2:00PM Water Cooler 8/30/2021

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Bird Song of the Day

* * *


At reader request, I’ve added this daily chart from 91-DIVOC. The data is the Johns Hopkins CSSE data. Here is the site. I feel I’m engaging in a macabre form of tape-watching….

Vaccination by region:

South still fiddling and diddling.

52.3% of the US is fully vaccinated, a big moment, bursting through the psychological 52% barrier. Every day, a tenth of a percentage point upward. However, as readers point out, every day those vaccinated become less protected, especially the earliest. So we are trying to outrun the virus… (I have also not said, because it’s too obvious, that if by Bubba we mean The South, then Bubba has done pretty well.)

Case count by United States regions:

Slowing acceleration!

Covid cases top ten states: for the last four weeks (hat tip, alert reader Lou Anton):

Texas and California back in tandem. .Meanwhile, Georgia and Louisiana have diverged.

From CDC: “Community Profile Report August 25, 2021” (PDF), “Rapid Riser” counties, this release:

Lots and lots of yellow and green, especially in the South and the Acela Corridor. Florida is almost clear (which I should have mentioned already). Northern Maine (quite lightly populated. suddenly turned red. I hate to be optimistic, but it looks like this fever has broken (thought the back to school bump, IMSHO, has yet to really take hold.) Remember, however, that this chart is about acceleration, not absolute numbers, so the case chart still has momentum. This map, too, blows the “Blame Bubba” narrative out of the water. Not a (Deliverance-style) banjo to be heard. Previous release:

(Red means getting worse, green means bad but getting better. This chart updates Tuesdays and Fridays, presumbly by end-of-day.)

Test positivity:

The South drops, and a smaller drop in the West.

Hospitalization (CDC): This is where CDC moved its hospital data:

Here the CDC’s hospitalization visualization, from the source above:

The Gulf Coast is red, but moderating. Several states in the West is pink and increasing, except for Colorado, which is red.

Deaths (Our World in Data):

Deaths on trend rising. (Adding: I know the data is bad. This is the United States. But according to The Narrative, deaths shouldn’t have been going up at all. Directionally, this is quite concerning. Needless to see, this is a public health debacle. It’s the public health establishment to take care of public health, not the health of certain favored political factions.)

MS: “Mississippi Passes NY’s COVID Death Rate As Gov. Reeves Says Mississippians ‘A Little Less Scared’” [Mississippi Free Press]. “Mississippi has now surpassed the state of New York, the nation’s original pandemic hotspot, in total COVID-19 deaths per capita. The only state where the pandemic has proven deadlier than the Magnolia State is New Jersey. Mississippi displaced New York with a report of 65 additional deaths on Friday—a day after Gov. Tate Reeves told a Tennessee audience that southerners are ‘a little less scared‘ of COVID-19 due to their religious faith.”

Covid cases worldwide:

A little dip in the US. Southeast Asia doing better, I presume because little-covered Indonesia is past a peak. US sphere of influence under the Monroe Doctrine not doing so well.

* * *


“But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature?” –James Madison, Federalist 51

“They had one weapon left and both knew it: treachery.” –Frank Herbert, Dune

“They had learned nothing, and forgotten nothing.” –Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord

Biden Administration

“Biden Deserves Credit, Not Blame, for Afghanistan” [David Rothkopf, The Atlantic]. “Unlike his three immediate predecessors in the Oval Office, all of whom also came to see the futility of the Afghan operation, Biden alone had the political courage to fully end America’s involvement. Although Donald Trump made a plan to end the war, he set a departure date that fell after the end of his first term and created conditions that made the situation Biden inherited more precarious. And despite significant pressure and obstacles, Biden has overseen a military and government that have managed, since the announcement of America’s withdrawal, one of the most extraordinary logistical feats in their recent history. By the time the last American plane lifts off from Hamid Karzai International Airport on August 31, the total number of Americans and Afghan allies extricated from the country may exceed 120,000.”

Trump Legacy

“‘It Nearly Killed Me’: Michael Caputo’s Life After Years Fighting for Trump” [Politico]. “Caputo’s cell phone sounded, his ringtone ‘Ripple‘ by the Grateful Dead, a song about dark and dawn, falling down and getting up and uncertain roads ahead.” • Let the rehabilitation begin! (And remarkably fast, too!)

Obama Legacy

The tan suit:

The account is chair of @TheDemocrats. What’s frightening is that there are still people who may actually believe this.

Realignment and Legitimacy

“Bad News: Selling the story of disinformation” [Harpers]. “Look closer and it’s clear that much of the attention for sale on the internet is haphazard, unmeasurable, or simply fraudulent. [Tim Hwang, a lawyer who formerly led public policy at Google] points out that despite being exposed to an enormous amount of online advertising, the public is largely apathetic toward it. More than that, online ads tend to produce clicks among people who are already loyal customers. This is, as Hwang puts it, ‘an expensive way of attracting users who would have purchased anyway.’ Mistaking correlation for causation has given ad buyers a wildly exaggerated sense of their ability to persuade. So too has the all-important consumer data on which targeted advertising is based, and which research has exposed as frequently shoddy or overstated. In recently unsealed court documents, Facebook managers disparaged the quality of their own ad targeting for just this reason. An internal Facebook email suggests that COO Sheryl Sandberg knew for years that the company was overstating the reach of its ads. Why, then, do buyers love digital advertising so much? In many cases, Hwang concludes, it’s simply because it looks good at a meeting, blown up on an analytics dashboard: ‘It makes for great theater.’ In other words, the digital-advertising industry relies on our perception of its ability to persuade as much as on any measurement of its ability to actually do so. This is a matter of public relations, of storytelling. And here, the disinformation frame has been a great asset.”

“Wellness Mommy Bloggers and the Cultish Language They Use” [Harper’s Bazaar]. “In Cultish, Montell explores the language used by everyone from the notorious Jim Jones, who coerced nearly 1,000 members of his church to kill themselves in 1978 to the leggings-hawking direct sales company LuLaRoe. What unifies all these organizations and leaders is the use of language deliberately designed to make followers feel like part of a community, to feel privy to salvation or a higher power of being. Whether that salvation comes in the form of personal fulfillment and financial freedom by way of #bossbabe prowess, or in the form of toned arms, or in the form of ultimate spiritual transcendence, is mostly irrelevant. What distinguishes a cultish group from, say, a group of energized, enthusiastic people bent on achieving a certain outcome or goal, is the group’s employment of certain words and phrases designed to create stark, inalienable binaries between ‘us’ and ‘them.’ If you’re fluent in a cultish dialect, you are chosen, you are powerful, you are special.” • Hmmm.

“She spread election conspiracies. It ruined her life.” [Arizona Agenda]. Fascinating. One nugget: “To try to help her make sense of the last nine months, [Staci Burk] created an organizational flow chart of names, color-coded by how they all came into her life and how they relate to each other. ‘There’s no way out of this without believing one conspiracy or another,’ she said in a recent interview. ‘Because either all these guys coordinated to pull off a big grift, and it was for fundraising and for whatever they’re doing right now over at the circus (audit). Or there was actual election fraud.'” • So to make sense of it all, Burk creates… a yarn diagram. I’m starting to think that yarn diagrams don’t have the explanatory power we think they do.

Interesting question:

If this is admissible, the governor of Mississippi is gonna have to get in a long line.

Stats Watch

“Founders Retire. GEI Transferred To New Owner” [Econintersect]. “After nearly 11 years of 24/7/365 operation, Global Economic Intersection co-founders Steven Hansen and John Lounsbury are retiring. The new owner, a global media company in London, is in the process of completing the set-up of Global Economic Intersection files in their system and publishing platform. The official website ownership transfer took place on 24 August.” • I hope Hansen and Lounsbury made something on the deal; Econintersect was one of the last of the old-school blogs, and I always enjoyed it. Best of luck to them.

Manufacturing: “United States Dallas Fed Manufacturing Index” [Trading Economics]. “The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas’ general business activity index for manufacturing in Texas fell to 9.0 in August of 2021 from 27.3 in the previous month, pointing to the smallest growth in factory activity since January.”

* * *

Shipping: “U.S. Port Problems Reach Worst of Pandemic Amid Crush of Imports” [Bloomberg]. “The number of ships waiting to enter the biggest U.S. gateway for trade with Asia reached the highest since the pandemic began, exacerbating delays for companies trying to replenish inventories during one of the busiest times of the year for seaborne freight. Forty-four container carriers were anchored and awaiting a berth space outside the twin ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, California, as of late Friday, topping the record of 40 initially set in early February, according to officials who monitor marine traffic in San Pedro Bay. The average wait rose to 7.6 days, from 6.2 in mid-August, according to L.A. port data. Vessels are lining up because imports are pouring into the world’s largest economy just as inland transportation — like trucking and railroads — contends with its own bottlenecks of shipping containers that aren’t being moved fast enough into distribution centers and warehouses.”

Shipping: “Sailing Stormy Waters: Mega Containerships” [Hellenic Shipping News]. “To put this into perspective, in 2005 the container fleet in total was under 2,000 vessels, the largest vessel capacity was 11,078 TEU with a Deadweight (dwt) value of 115,700 tonnes. By close of 2020 it had rocketed to 5,234 vessels, with some boasting a capacity of 23,964 TEU and 232,606 dwt. This has driven overall Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) by 42%, from 44K TEU in 2005 to 8.82 million TEU in 2020. Various factors have driven the growth notably economies of scale vs transportation costs, a dominant Asia Europe trade lane fuelling enough cargo, and fierce competition amongst owners. All have played into the burgeoning desire for more of what have become known as ‘mega’ container ships.” • An excellent overview, well worth a read.

Shipping: “A Box Stuck In China For 8 Months Shows Global Supply Chain Crisis” [NDTV]. “The pandemic has thrown shipping into upheaval over the past year and a half, with China becoming a major choke point. Yantian port in Shenzhen was closed in May because of a Covid outbreak, creating congestion for the entire eastern coast, which in turn caused ripple effects across the global supply chain. Earlier this month, shipping also had to be redirected away from Ningbo, the world’s third-busiest container port, after one employee tested positive for Covid. Typhoons and extreme weather have made matters worse. In July, the stranded container withstood Typhoon In-Fa, shutting Shanghai and other nearby ports for about four days. Delays could reach an all-time high in the weeks ahead if the trend persists, said Glenn Koepke, a senior vice president at FourKites Inc., a supply-chain information provider.”

Tech: “Facebook’s war on switching costs” [Cory Doctorow, Pluralistic]. “FB deliberately engineers its system to block “interoperability” – the ability to plug rival services into its network. Interop would let non-FB users connect with FB users, and make it so FB users don’t have to choose between their community and Facebook’s abuses. The economist’s term for this is ‘switching costs.’ A ‘switching cost’ is whatever you have to give up to switch between products or services – switching from Audible to a rival platform would cost you all your audiobooks, for example, thanks to Audible’s DRM. Facebook deliberately engineers its products to have high switching costs so that it can impose more pain on its users without losing them. So long as the pain of staying is less than the pain of leaving, Facebook calculates it can maintain its dominance.”

Tech: “Google disbands health unit as chief departs for Cerner” [Health Care Dive]. “Google Health has little concrete to show from its three-year run, according to analysts, despite the prestigious brand and deep pockets of its parent company. Healthcare is a difficult industry to disrupt, and the dissolution of Google’s health-specific division is the latest of a number of rolled back or called off initiatives from tech giants in the space.”

Manufacturing: “VW and Daimler Going Electric Overwhelms German Auto Suppliers” [Bloomberg]. “Germany’s auto suppliers are known to be great at solving problems. They’ll develop new products, raise efficiencies and carve out new niches. Still, the industry’s glory days are probably over: While a combustion drivetrain contains roughly 1,500 individual parts, an electric one has only 250. That’s a lot fewer slices of pie from which to feast.”

* * *

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 58 Greed (previous close: 50 Neutral) [CNN]. One week ago: 29 (Fear). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Aug 30 at 12:36pm.

Rapture Index: Closes unchanged [Rapture Ready]. Record High, October 10, 2016: 189. Current: 187 (Remember that bringing on the rapture is a good thing, so higher is better.)

Health Care

Yet another lost opportunity on ventilation:

Of course, it is from a hospital association, and we wouldn’t want to ask them to adjust their capital investment plans….

“Vaccine Refusers Don’t Get to Dictate Terms Anymore” [The Atlantic]. “[T]he adults running major institutions in our society want to move forward, and they are done waiting around for vaccine refusers to change their mind…. Sorry. Time’s up…. Vaccination mandates are essentially a recognition that vaccinated people have feelings too, and that the burden of fighting the pandemic shouldn’t be on them alone.” • Let me know how the contact tracing works out… Then again, I hate the shaming, but there are limits:

“A Florida vaccine warrior” [Libby Watson, Sick Note]. Sharon is the warrior of the headline. “Sick Note: What’s the number one thing you think federal (or state) leaders could do to help convince hesitant or resistant people to get vaccinated? Sharon: I think shots in doctor’s offices are the biggest. They have to absolutely make that happen. I asked my doctor why he didn’t have shots & he said nobody had offered & he didn’t think it was an available option, so there’s an outreach failure happening there. In these rural communities a lot of folks have seen the same family doctor since they were kids, so small town doctors really do have some sway, plus adding the privacy factor, nobody is gonna see you getting it in the grocery store & tell everyone around town you got it. As more & more people in the community get very sick or die, some of these folks are starting to waver & consider getting the shot because it is a very scary wake up call when folks you personally know start dying.” • Doctor’s office visits. What is this, Denmark? Fundamentally, nothing will change. Well worth a read.

“The Purple World: Healing the Harm in American Health Care” (review) [Blue Ink Review]. “Joseph Q. Jarvis has been examining America’s broken health-care system as a doctor and public health official for 40 years, and he has a sensible, reasoned prescription to fix what ails it, all detailed in his valuable and persuasive book, The Purple World… His prescription? States should start seizing power from Washington and offer comprehensive, publicly financed health benefits to every citizen. Among his recommendations: enrollment should be easy, even automatic; patients should have a choice of doctors and no out-of-pocket expenses; and those with mental illness and addiction should no longer be criminalized. He convincingly explains exactly how this will save money and improve care, partly by introducing social accountability – putting patients above profit– into health care delivery.” • I can’t see it. States are not currency issuers. At the first sign of a downturn, health care spending will be slashed. And then stay slashed.

Worth noting:


“Real world not giving you enough anxiety? Try being hunted down by the perfect organism in Alien: Isolation” [The Register]. The last paragraph: ‘However, for a seven-year-old game, Isolation looks incredible and is exceptionally well optimised, at least on PC, so if your graphics card is showing its age, you should have a decent experience. The British dev studio has lovingly recreated the feeling and aesthetic of Alien down to the millimetre so for even casual fans it’s unmissable. Clocking in at around 25 hours long, Isolation is without doubt the best survival horror I’ve ever played to the end – and, admittedly, the only one.” • 25 hours is a lot of labor, for the player, certainly, but even more for the studio. We have this gigantic universe of artwork that only appears on screen…

The Conservatory

“Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry is dead” [Jamaica Observer]. “Perry was born in Kendal, Hanover. He made his name in the late 1960s and throughout the 1970s as a producer of cutting-edge music by revolutionary artistes. His Upsetter label produced some of the greatest reggae songs, including Small Axe and Duppy Conqueror by the Wailers.” • Music for our time:

Groves of Academe

“Art, Power, and Profit at Duke University” [The Assembly]. “At the story’s center: A powerful institution—Duke University—wealthy in assets and prestige, but poor on clear policies that help protect the university’s public research mission and vulnerable early-career scholars; Two prominent artists and scholars connected with Duke University’s Center for Documentary Studies, who stood to gain—thanks in part to the university’s endorsements of their work—roughly a million dollars on the sale of images from the public domain; A former graduate student whose research is consigned to a small press while her thesis advisor—one of those prominent scholars—publishes a book on the same little-known subject through well-connected and well-resourced university channels; And a grassroots community whose fight for the public preservation of a local artist’s legacy ran up against a university bureaucracy that appears to have allowed its senior faculty exclusive access while denying other scholars access to newly discovered public domain images. ‘It’s like a Law & Order episode!’ said Carla Williams, a prominent photographer and photo historian.”

The Agony Column

“States ranked by anxiety, depression rates: June 23-July 5” [Becker’s Hospital Review]. “Among 55,046 adults surveyed between June 23 and July 5, 29 percent reported experiencing anxiety or depression symptoms.” • Find your own state!

Black Injustice Tipping Point

I should have run this Friday:

More on Beyoncé and Jay’s appropriation of Basquiat’s supposed Tiffany blue:


Class Warfare


Makes you wonder where they went. Noplace good, I would bet…

“Where the World’s Superyachts Are Right Now” [Bloomberg]. • Italy.

News of the Wired

One more reggae song for the heck of it, though perhaps I should file this under “Biosphere”:

* * *

Readers, feel free to contact me at lambert [UNDERSCORE] strether [DOT] corrente [AT] yahoo [DOT] com, with (a) links, and even better (b) sources I should curate regularly, (c) how to send me a check if you are allergic to PayPal, and (d) to find out how to send me images of plants. Vegetables are fine! Fungi and coral are deemed to be honorary plants! If you want your handle to appear as a credit, please place it at the start of your mail in parentheses: (thus). Otherwise, I will anonymize by using your initials. See the previous Water Cooler (with plant) here. Today’s plant (TH):

TH writes: “This is a peach tree outside of a small market in Onyx, CA. I didn’t think to ask if they sell their peaches.”

* * *

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If you hate PayPal, you can email me at lambert [UNDERSCORE] strether [DOT] corrente [AT] yahoo [DOT] com, and I will give you directions on how to send a check. Thank you!2:00PM Water Cooler 6/8/2021

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


  1. Mikel

    Re: Cultish

    I think there is plenty of evidence that 1,000 people did not commit suicide in Jonestown. Mass murder.
    On the other hand, for example, Apple Inc: certainly keeping the “cult” in corporate culture.

  2. Levi

    FYI, Colorado isn’t red. That’s Wyoming. The chart is a bit confusing, but state names are on top of their graph.

  3. lyman alpha blob

    RE: “Bad News: Selling the story of disinformation”

    I’m glad people are finally catching on that the claims of targeted ads aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. Of course not before these glorified ad agencies gained far too much influence and power in our society, and it is going to be difficult to put that genie back in the bottle what with all the bribes passed our to those who could do so to make sure that they don’t.

    What’s the old saw from the ad exec? “50% of what the company spends on advertising is wasted, I just wish I knew which 50%” or something like that. That really hasn’t changed according to google itself. Can’t find the original report from several years ago, but this link mentions it – https://www.cbsnews.com/news/why-many-internet-ads-are-never-seen-by-anyone/

    1. Glen

      Oh, I don’t know – targeted ads have caused me to buy $4.6 trillion worth of crap from China.*

      * The exact amount may be exaggerated just like the effectiveness of targeted ads, BUT WE GOT YOUR AD MONEY SUCKER!**

      **OK, I have to confess, if the ad’s on my phone, it goes on my never buy list because ads on my phone are just that annoying.

    2. Carolinian

      Some browsers allow you to turn the images off to cut down on all that visual distraction. Plus there are ad blockers etc and smartphones have ads so small you can barely see them.

      Of course most people don’t do any of this and merely flip a mental switch and ignore. Site like Amazon probably do better with ads since users are going there to buy things rather than read articles.

      For the ad industry there’s always billboards. Hard to ignore those….

    3. skk

      For all interested in digital ad chicanery, Bob Hoffman’s weekly email is a must – sample:

      For the last few years we have been flooded with scandals and revelations about corruption, fraud, and lies in the online advertising ecosystem. In no particular order, here is just a partial list:

      Tens of billions of dollars in online ad fraud.
      Inflated and absurd “metrics” from Facebook
      Advertising dollars spent supporting terrorist, nazi, and pornography sites

      Traffic fraud
      Criminal federal investigation of Facebook data sharing
      The UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office stating that adtech is “illegal” and “out of control”
      Association of National Advertisers claim that corruption and kickbacks were “pervasive” in the advertising industry.
      Massive fraud in social media followers.
      Click farms going 24-hours a day
      Numerous scandals involving online publishers, search engines, and browsers spying on people without their knowledge or consent.
      Sharing of “secure” personal information among web entities
      FBI and Justice Department investigations of media practices.
      Google secretly sharing personal data with advertisers.
      The terribly damning part is that there are only two possibilities: Either agencies are remarkably stupid and don’t know what is going on, or they know and are keeping their mouths shut. It’s hard to decide which is worse.

      He does have a website: https://www.bobhoffmanswebsite.com/

      1. Mikel

        Finance departments at networks or other businesses would have to go after the fraud in online advertising and marketing…which is why Facebook, Amazon, etc picked up their advertising spending across platforms and marketing “partnerships” with businesses of all kinds.
        And around…and around…the snake eating its tail.

    4. Mikel

      If they make them unskippable, cable and satellite stay in business (where you can also record and fast forward through commercials).

      Decisions, decisions…….

      1. HotFlash

        Yes, it is deductible as a business expense, same as payroll, office supplies, and other costs incurred to earn revenue. Revenue minus expenses = profit, which is what a business is taxed on (more or less).

    5. Old Sarum

      Bad News:

      I do a lot of Youtube and I do not have ads blocked. If the ads are targeted, the results give me some comfort, because they may show me that “they” may know nothing about me at all.

      “They” seem to think that I have pets, false teeth, run a small business, have a fetish for Barbie dolls, am a sports gambler with a need for Asian women with large breasts, and is someone who watches action and sci-fi movies… (continued on page 94).

      If what I experience is “targeting”, it is no wonder that Afghan wedding celebrations are so dangerous.

      Perhaps the “technology” companies have got their negative wire connected to the positive terminal.

      Pip pip.

  4. Carolinian

    vaccinated people have feelings too, and that the burden of fighting the pandemic shouldn’t be on them alone

    Amazing how elites and influencers have a mania for putting an ID Pol frame around everything. Shorter them: your very independent existence threatens and offends me. A health care crisis becomes a social battlefield and proxy for the PMCs versus the deplorables.

    As some of us have said already, it would be different if the vaccine was a guaranteed, bulletproof cure against the disease. But it was never that and those who act as though it is are using their own inattention as an excuse for an ongoing (at least since 2016) grievance. And as has been pointed out here, they don’t even know who they are complaining about since the non vaxxed are often the very groups they typically champion (i.e. Latinos).

    1. Mikel

      And wasn’t there a study/article showing PhDs among the most virulent (pun intended) critics of the shots?

      1. The Rev Kev

        It has only been a matter of time. And when these new strains blow completely through our first generation vaccines, how will the PMCs react then?

      2. ProudWappie

        This is even below dr. Ding’s “standards”.

        This type of tweets, which amount to hysteria, are only making things worse.

    2. Daniel LaRusso

      I’m happy fro any grown up to take the vaccine or not. Completely individual choice. But I won’t wan to let my 11 year old get vaccinated for 12-24 months (even if she was allowed).

      I think this vaccine is an opprotunity to swim over the wrecks of braver souls. Yes she was vaccinated in her early days agaisnt all sorts, but I just don’t beleive that is the same thing.

    3. ProudWappie

      The lack of attention being paid to improving your general health is astonishing. Lockdown has only decreased the general health of most people, like we saw with articles about increased obesity. So any moral high ground, concerning a not so great vaccine, is completely destroyed, by the lack of attention being paid to health in general.

      I was already changing some aspects of my life style, and diet, before C-19, and I’ve put in some more effort now. Throughout the world, obesity and diabetes are big problems, and there’s more. Why are we not talking about the elephant in the room?

      1. Paulindurham

        ProudWappie in on to the subject I’ve thought of since the start of COVID.

        Why aren’t the CDC, WHO and other health agencies saturating the airwaves with information about taking responsibility for your own health!

        Obesity is the # 1 Co-morbidity for death from COVID

  5. Jason Boxman

    If you’re into survival horror, Sierra On-Line’s FEAR was a great game from around 2006 or thereabouts. I don’t generally ever play games like that, particularly at night in the dark, but I thought it was well done with an inventive AI that understands flanking attacks and good use of darkness, shadow, and story clues. Doesn’t seem to show up on “best of” lists for gaming though, no idea why.

    Have fun & stay safe!

    1. bojackhorsemeat

      Alien Isolation is great because it captures the atmosphere of Alien – all the iconography is there in the space station, the sheer scale of the planet in the background is overwhelming, the Alien is an undefeatable mastermind hunting you down. To be fair the actual “game” is only so-so, and 25 hours is excessively long, especially for a horror game! That’s a long time to be scared.

      1. Soredemos

        It’s a premier example of how to adapt an established property. It feels like a meaningful expansion of the world of the 1979 film. As a story in and of itself, eh, it has problems. Pacing for one; there’s simply too much game and a fair bit of that 25 hours is padding. Another problem (but also a strength) is that focus of the game is really the space station that it takes place on and the main character’s story arc becomes an afterthought and has a completely lackluster resolution.

        Still, it was clearly a love letter on the part of the devs, who interestingly are a strategy game outfit and had never made a first-person game before. Their work on the Warhammer Total War games is similarly a love letter to an established property (one actually previously abandoned by its original creators, and now resurrected thanks to the success of the Total War version).

        1. BlakeFelix

          I do like Warhammer total war.. And Alien:Isolation. I didn’t know that it was the same guys.

      1. Jason Boxman

        I spent way too many hours playing Battlefield 2 and Enemy Territory, so I guess I’m not really an authority on what FPS offer great story lines. I still haven’t played Half Life, but I did finally buy a fan remake that is blessed by the creators and supposedly identical to the original in storyline. Haven’t had time to play yet though. It collects dust like most of my Steam purchases…

        1. Riverboat Grambler

          Black Mesa is great, a very faithful remake that adds and expands on levels that worked while generally improving things the ones that didn’t. Definitely worth playing if you like single-player shooters.

        2. JohnnySacks

          Half Life 2 is still one of my favorites, the story line, the physics, playable on real world hardware. Many hours of pleasant escapism for this old man. Tried FEAR but the surreal motion scenes made me ill. Not sure what I want to try next, but I can’t justify another computer upgrade, console out of the question.

          1. Anthony Noel

            Well if you’re looking for “story” intensive FPS, and ones that aren’t system intensive, I’d say System Shock 2 and it’s spiritual successor the first Bioshock(Also a fantastic way to illustrate the folly of Ann Rand). Deus Ex, is great.

    2. Riverboat Grambler

      FEAR is great, love to replay it every few years. I even did a run without using any slow-mo, which puts even more emphasis on how good the enemy AI is. I would agree with the comment that it’s more of a spooky FPS than a survival-horror game but that’s no knock on the game. It’s chock-full of anti-corporate themes too, similar to Alien.

      I’ve stayed away from Alien Isolation on account of the length and the general trial-and-error style of hide-and-seek horror games but I should put it on my wishlist and wait for a sale.

      IMO the best “pure” survival-horror game from recent years is Resident Evil 7. Incredibly atmospheric, genuinely scary in parts, and a return to form for the series despite the uneven latter half of the game.

    3. Soredemos

      FEAR shows up often on best first-person shooter lists, but it’s considered more hit or miss as a horror game.

  6. antidlc

    Butler County judge orders West Chester Hospital to treat COVID-19 patient with ivermectin, despite CDC warnings

    A suburban Cincinnati woman, whose husband has been on a ventilator at West Chester Hospital with COVID-19, won a court order forcing the hospital to treat her husband’s novel coronavirus infection with an antiparasitic treatment commonly used for livestock.

    The case is one of a handful nationwide where courts have sided with family members and forced doctors to use ivermectin, which is unproven in the treatment of COVID-19 and is not recommended by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


    1. Milton

      I can’t believe that a PMC acquaintance of mine was prescribed an animal *antibiotic for treatment of an infection. Her doctor was able to prescribe than long-used medicine even though the safety profile is less safe than that other horse paste remedy.

      ^tetracycline use is 6x larger in animals than for humans.

    2. drumlin woodchuckles

      I’ll bet the order was to treat her husband with human-centric formulations and doses of ivermectin.

      I’ll bet the article’s claim that the order was to treat her husband with “horse paste” was a typical MSM lie.

      1. Synoia

        Let me be clear (/s). Horse metabolism is more delicate than human.

        If the medication helps horses, it also helps humans (omnivores) adjusted for body weight.

    3. Kevin

      Legalize recreational drugs?
      The principle at work here (via the judge) should apply there as well: your body, your choice.

    4. splashoil@gmail.com

      The India study of ivermectin as a prophylactic is largely blacked out here in US. But one can imagine health care workers and teachers using it here. The PCR testing in India found no detectable Covid after 30 days from two doses of ivermectin 72 hours apart. This is the human formulary not the treatment commonly used in livestock. If as the study indicates, there is an ability to break the chain of transmission, that is huge. Got it Bill Gates?

    5. JCC

      Unbelievable? No. Believable.

      No study has shown Ivermectin to be a cure, many have shown that it may reduce symptoms due to reduced viral load which may contribute to survivability. It’s a safe and inexpensive drug that has been shown to reduce viral load in many studies.

      The problem in the US is that it is a prescription drug whereas in many countries it is not, and available over-the-counter in human doses.

      So, here in the US, people that believe it may help are resorting to veterinary doses and MSM is having a field day pointing this out using terms like “horse paste”. And, of course, using veterinary drugs by humans is a problem, but I seriously doubt any hospital is using “horse paste” on human beings. After all, drugs manufactured for animal use have ingredients that are not always safe for human consumption.

      Just because it is not recommended by the CDC does not necessarily mean it doesn’t work. I hate to point out the obvious, but due to distrust of many of our regulation authorities, particularly those captured by Corporate Groups, many aren’t going trust, or worse, listen at all to them, and it’s hard to blame them for not doing so.

      And there have been a few studies here in the US, and many in other countries, mostly pre-print so far, showing it helps even if it doesn’t “cure”.

      For example – https://journals.lww.com/americantherapeutics/fulltext/2021/08000/ivermectin_for_prevention_and_treatment_of.7.aspx

      And from ClinicalTrials.gov:

      Ivermectin has been used for more than 30 years for the treatment of several diseases. More than one million doses of the drug are administered daily, particularly in low- and middle-income countries. Due to the low prevalence of adverse events with the use of this drug, ivermectin is considered to have a good safety profile and its potential benefit in other diseases is currently under investigation.

      An in vitro study of ivermectin in SARS-CoV-2 in Australia showed a significant reduction of viral load in infected cells. Subsequently, a descriptive study of 704 critical patients with COVID-19 showed a reduction in mortality, hospitalization, and intensive care unit length-of-stay in those patients who received the drug. Unfortunately, this study was withdrawn by its authors, leaving more questions than answers.

      Some countries in Latin America have authorized its use for the management of patients with COVID-19 even in the absence of solid evidence, and several other countries are conducting clinical trials to evaluate its efficacy for the treatment of moderate and severe disease.

      Please note, I am not promoting Ivermectin, all I’m saying is that it is not “Unbelievable”. Particularly for poorer low income countries that have limited access to vaccines (which, by the way, are also not a “cure” as has been pointed out here often enough)

      And, as pointed out by IM DOC yesterday regarding his short book review on the past history of pandemics, it will take years to sort all this out and making absolute statements about any of this right now doesn’t make sense, at least not as far as I’m concerned.

        1. JCC


          I apologize for mis-understanding your point. It wasn’t as bad as others I’ve seen in MSM, although I did note the statement strongly inferring its primary use is to treat livestock… maybe in this country, but not everywhere, obviously

      1. bsun

        > I hate to point out the obvious, but due to distrust of many of our regulation authorities, particularly those captured by Corporate Groups, many aren’t going trust, or worse, listen at all to them, and it’s hard to blame them for not doing so.

        And this is almost certainly being made worse by all the hysterical and lopsided reporting on ivermectin that’s come out this week.

      2. Procopius

        Ummmm… minor quibble. I don’t think most people who are using it are actually “resorting to veterinary doses.” Several months ago there was lengthy discussion here at NC on how to reduce the actual dose taken to an amount suitable for a human. Probably some people are taking the animal-sized dose, since there were people who were drinking or injecting bleach after Trump’s ill-advised comment, and: “You know how dumb the average person is? Well, half of them are dumber than that.”

    6. Ping

      Re: Ivermectin

      The first hour + is very nerdy and describes his torturous research journey but the last of Dr. Malone’s podcast (NC readers are aware of him) he all but identifies the Gates Foundation as funding a psy-ops operation around vaccines that would include attacking ivermectin. The choir of identical negative messaging in recent weeks verifies that in my mind.

  7. shinola

    -“Mississippi Passes NY’s COVID Death Rate As Gov. Reeves Says Mississippians ‘A Little Less Scared of COVID-19 due to their religious faith.”

    I guess Gov. Reeves hasn’t heard, or has forgotten, this old chestnut:

    *God answers all prayers, but sometimes the answer is “No”*

    (one of the best bits of circular “reasoning” I’ve run into; used by evang’s in the late 60’s. I first heard it from jeezuz freeks back then, but I imagine it’s been around quite a bit longer than that)

    1. K.k

      ““When you believe in eternal life—when you believe that living on this earth is but a blip on the screen, then you don’t have to be so scared of things,” Bill Dries reported the governor saying in the Daily Memphian. ”

      He wants his fellow citizens to accept the lords verdict and embrace the ever eternal. Last year it was our grandparents and elders we might have to sacrifice to now dont stress it, you still have the ever eternal life to look forward to, please get back to work.

    2. Pat

      I spent years surrounded by Catholics and Mormons, many of them devout. And I can say without reservation that most of them were scared silly when being assigned to a war zone or getting a cancer diagnosis. Their faith was not the calming influence facing an uncertain death that Gov. Reeves likes to indicate. (I did find that those who knew death was coming soon did seem to get much calmer and ready, it was the families that weren’t.)

      What I didn’t encounter, even among many of the evangelicals I knew, was this idea that God didn’t let his believers get ill or die. Most were very clear that death while a release and a return to the Father was and is on God’s terms not yours and your wishes do not have to have anything to do with his.

    3. Keith

      Well, perhaps you can goad those in MS into healthy lifestyles to help prevent COVID death, as gluttony and apathy are sins. MS has one of the highest, if not the highest, rates of obesity, which is a major factor in covid death but is completely treatable by the individual themselves through exercise and diet (limited exclusions apply).

      1. ambrit

        Hmmm. Blame the victim much? Mississippi is pretty much standard among the states of Deploristan in their food deserts, heavy junk food advertising on tv to the poor folks stuck at home with no jobs nor prospects of jobs, and general poverty. Even the PMCs are no longer immune. Now, as I mention to my peril ‘on the street’ around here, the universities are mainly technical and training institutes in disguise.
        This society does not teach self-respect to the young. A failing society is a predictable result.
        There is a good scene in the film “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape” where an overweight woman asks; “You don’t think that anyone wants to be this fat, do you?”

        1. Keith

          “Blame the victim” is just a cop out. Obesity is a lifestyle issue and is largely preventable, and probably the best way to deal with COVID. You seem to leave out the pre-disposition of many southerners to eat fried foods (which is a nation-wide issue, too). Fried foods had a place when people engaged in back breaking labor in the fields. If people dropped a lot of this fast food and greasy nation stuff and simply got off their rears and walked, a lot of weight issues can be resolved. Further, you seem to be hinting at depression, which would also be aided by a better diet and a little exercise.

          Making excuses for the obese and claiming it is some sort of ‘fat shaming’ does nobody any good. There are consequences for lifestyle choices, especially with obesity, from covid death to diabetes. Rather than embracing the fatness and making excuses for why someone can’t, we should be dealing with this headon and encourage people to find excuses for why they can.

          It is absurd to ignore the obesity issue and its links to poor covid outcomes when we are talking about requiring people to get the shot or masking or whatever. It is easy to blame the unvaccinated or the mask-less for covid problems in a pandemic, we do that because it is believed to be a part of prevention. Obesity is a bigger issue, as the numbers show. Obesity is a lifestyle choice that is making the pandemic worse (exceptions apply). The obese are a big part of the severe outcomes for their choice. And yes, when dealing with obesity, individual responsibility plays a big part. In the end, if we can demand someone to wear a mask or get a jab to keep their job, I think we can say, “Hey, drop the twinkie.”

          1. Basil Pesto

            [not being obese] is probably the best way to deal with COVID

            absolute bullshit that you literally just made up

            as to the rest of your screed, all I can be bothered to say is you’re not as smart as you seem to think you are. I have a feeling that Yves will tear you a new asshole over this comment a bit later, which I look forward to.

            1. Yves Smith

              Better yet, I blacklisted him for Making Shit Up. I don’t have the time or energy these days to argue with patent and nasty nonsense.

              And he should see how many thin women have eating disorders and stimulant habits. Start with Lady Di and pretty much every female model and ballet dancer.

            2. ProudWappie

              I totally agree. I’ve watched a documentary recently, where they covered the nasty marketing tricks employed by a number of manufacturers of bad food. I was especially surprised (and angered) by the way they bypass laws, by using the Internet to promote their brands.

              It’s too easy to just say it’s a lifestyle choice; that lifestyle choice is actively being facilitated in a variety of ways.
              dubious marketing techniques by the usual culprits

          2. ambrit

            I think that you are being too reductionistic in regards to obesity.
            First, to engage in the “lifestyle choices” you encourage, one needs to be aware of their own ‘agency’ in this life. Such ‘agency’ is trained out of the “average” person during the American socialization process. When self gratification is publically associated with food, as one can literally see if one were to spend a day watching American television, especially the advertisements, one can begin to glean the outlines of a false self image. The sad truth is that most advertising works.
            Second, the food desert issue is more pronounced than you seem to be aware of. Walk through one of the poorer neighborhoods near where you live and tally the food emporia. What type predominates? Fast food, that’s what. The smaller bodegas and coener stores are a little better, but not much.
            Thirdly, in the rush to STEMize America, I see that Home Economics has fallen by the wayside. I took some Home Ecc classes. Basic cooking, (for dummies,) as I embodied the clueless STEM adjacent high schooler of my day. Given the need for a two earner household today just to make ends meet for a ‘standard’ family, a bit of culinary knowledge in the younger cohort would go a long way to “regularizing” the family diet.
            Finally, consider the spotty outcomes of Alcoholics annonymous groups. Food can be just as addicting as booze and drugs. It is a simple and easy “fix” for anxiety and suchlike. So, alas, I cannot agree with your plea, (like Nancy Reagan in the long ago,) to “just say no.”

            1. Daniel LaRusso

              I’ve lost weight recently and all I did was “say no” to food. I dropped snacking and one meal a day. It was hard becasue I eat for anxiety and other emotional issues, I had cravings and hunger pangs as well in the first few weeks. But the act of just not putting food in my mouth was what worked and I’ve just learnt to “be hungry”. No one could do it for me, no one else put the food in my mouth.

              1. ambrit

                I do applaud you for this difficult feat. However, do reflect on how you came to make that decision. Did it come to you full blown out of the ether? I doubt it. If you had examples of such an action to study and emulate, then you are seeing in action the methods that ‘enable’ such “lifestyle choices.” We do not live in a social vacuum, unless, of course, you are an anchorite, contemplating the Cosmos in your own individual cell.
                The “putting food in [the] mouth” is almost never to be literally construed. The temptation for we all to put the excess food in our own mouths is how it works. Advertising is basically temptation. (I am a proponent that auto advertisements must run a legible line along the bottom of the ads saying “Hot chicks not included.” Now, I imagine that the “sex sells” methodology is equal opportunity, as a certain lascivious Amazon television ad shows.
                Stay safe, turn the TV off.

      2. judy2shoes

        Do you think that the high rate of obesity just might be related to the fact that MS is the poorest state in the nation with the 2nd highest level of poverty (19.5%) just below Louisiana (20%)? How much time do you think the poor people in MS have to exercise after working 2 or 3 jobs to make ends meet? How much money do you think is left over after paying the rent, utilities, car payment, etc. to buy good quality food? Do you think the average poor person has even been educated on what a proper diet would be? I would guess that in MS, the government (just like our federal government and many state governments) maximizes money flow to the well connected and minimizes what ends up in programs designed to help the poor. Perhaps ambrit can weigh in.


        1. ambrit

          Yes. See my comment just above yours.
          To further the critique of the argument for “Just Say No,” I observe that such is an iteration of the “Rugged Individualist” ethos. This ethos has been defacto debunked, but lingers on like a lich from the Crypt of Reaction.
          Be safe!

          1. judy2shoes

            “Rugged Individualist” ethos. This ethos has been defacto debunked, but lingers on like a lich from the Crypt of Reaction.

            It’s as American as apple pie!

      3. Wukchumni

        Say what you will about the Hospitality State, but it’s my go to when playing 50 state liars poker.

    4. flora

      Just one more data point that’s often overlooked in stories: obesity is a contributing factor in outcomes. (One unanticipated effect of the lockdowns has been weigh gain, dubbed the covid-20 (lbs), which isn’t helping.) In the CDC’s chart, Miss has one the the highest percentage of high-BMI population.


      1. LilD

        I heard that Niels Bohr had a horseshoe hanging in his office

        A visitor said “surely you don’t believe it will bring you good luck!”

        Bohr replied “of course not. But they say that it works even if you don’t believe”

        1. KLG

          No argument from me, Wukchumni! I grew up in a paradise, albeit one that will disappear beneath the sea because of our misbegotten worship of The Market. And I have been a deacon in a mainline Protestant congregation. Served communion regularly in a prison, where the most common question was, “Are you Christian or Catholic?” I just never talked about that eternal life stuff and nobody asked if I was that kind of heretic.

  8. curlydan

    Speaking of Duke…
    “In the first week of classes, 304 undergraduates, 45 graduate students and 15 employees tested positive for COVID-19. All but eight of these individuals were vaccinated, and the vast majority of them are asymptomatic. A small number have minor, cold- and flu-like symptoms, and none have been hospitalized, according to the university.”

    What is a “small number”? Would it hurt just to give that number?


    1. Greg

      That sounds like they need to have a good look at their testing – either its got a high false positive, or contaminated results, or… All would explain that profile better than trying to match it up to the results from anywhere else doing heavy covid testing.

      1. Pat

        Or perhaps not, considering that delta (and Lambda) are on the rise and we do not have a comprehensive testing program in the US.

        Unless your job requires it, the likelihood is you aren’t getting testing unless you have symptoms.

      2. Greg Taylor

        My NC school saw 7% of residential students infected in Week 1. Most NC schools are testing the unvaccinated at least weekly and following up testing contacts and in some cases entire dormitories. Our vaccination rate is unknown but far lower than at Duke. I’d guess 40-60%. About 1/3 of the infected were fully vaccinated. All are in isolation. If the issue is false positives, it’s not confined to Duke.

    2. Hacker

      Yes, it would hurt to give that number if it was anecdotal. Often bulk testing does not collect symptom data, and even if they did, the reporting might not designed to accommodate that.

      I also agree that it hurts us not to have that number. The US has extremely poor health informatics. I naively believe that this is due to the focus of the digitization of healthcare information being for profit codes and not symptoms or outcomes. I don’t see the rest of the world doing tremendously better, though, and I can’t explain that.

      1. Objective Ace

        if the number with symptoms is anecdotal then so is the number who are asymptomatic, or even worse: just made up and published

    3. Gc54

      Duke is also planning to fire unvaccinated staff on Oct 1 despite the obvious observation that vaccination is temporary. Will be a hoot if they try to fire unvaccinated faculty.

  9. Joe Renter

    RIP Lee Scratch Perry.
    He was a real force in Reggae.
    I had to good fortune of seeing LCP in Seattle a couple years ago.
    I grew up in town the had a large Jamaican diaspora. The music was so different from what I grew up on. It really captivated me. The public radio station had a three hour reggae program every week and groups came through town. I saw Bob and many others (Ras Michael too). This was the late 70/s early 80’s.This brief slice of time is so rich in my minds eye.
    I think I might have to a 4:20 today for Scratch.

    1. aleph_0

      He also, in his later years, did a bunch of colabs with dub and electronica groups in the UK which was pretty pioneering. It was great work. RIP

  10. drumlin woodchuckles

    . . . ” It’s the public health establishment to take care of public health, not the health of certain favored political factions.)”

    Any failures to protect public health in areas under DemParty domination would be failures of public health, since the DemParty is at least putatively in favor of public health maintainance.

    If the very same failures took place in Repuglan dominated areas, that would be the same failure.

    The fact remains that many Repuglan leaders and their Trumpanon fellow travelers very deliberately and maliciously obstruct and sabotage all efforts to protect public health under the rubric of ” no mask freedom” and etc. A hatred-for-Democrats-based refusal to see that basic fact does not make it any less of a basic fact. The basic fact of Fascistrumpanon opposition and obstruction to public health will remain a fact even if never admitted to. Governors Abbott and DeSantis are real governors who really exist in the real world, and their deliberate obstruction of any and every attempt to slow the spread of disease is also a basic fact.

    Will they ( and the FascisTrumpanons in general) achieve a level of public health prevention over and above the basic background failure of the Public Health Commissars uniformly over America? I don’t know. But it is a real world fact that they really are trying to achieve even more public health prevention in their areas.

    1. Swamp Yankee

      I agree with your comment, drumlin woodchuckles — I see many online leftist friends so full of justified contempt for the Dems and their PMC-bourgeois base, that they forget that figures like DeSantis and Abbott are both real and deadly serious.

      We can definitely hold these two ideas in our head at the same time — that the Dems and the social strata they primarily represent (i.e., their base) are horrible; and that the Republicans are typically more horrible, especially at the level of policy. The PMC vs. Provincial Gentry is also a jump ball in terms of which is more loathsome — I’m giving that one a “both/and.”

      But yes, the anti-maskers are stunningly malevolent actors.

  11. Pat

    Looking at the figures listed for Duke above. Do we have any information on how infectious asymptomatic or mild breakthrough cases are from a trustworthy source, iow NOT the CDC.

    I know it is probably unfair of me, but unless and until they have a lot of data and testing regarding anything, I’m not going to believe any information they put out that falls in the press release…you should believe us…announcements that have little or no data attached to them. And the last I saw from them on infected vaccinated cases was more a declaration of faith rather than anything either logic or god forbid fact based.
    And while I say that after having heard for years how asymptomatic people can spread viruses, it doesn’t make any sense to me that the vaccine would change that, I am also willing to consider that this is the case if there has been some research and appropriate testing has been done to establish this.

  12. dave

    I still occasionally see the Obama tan suit meme in my social media feeds.

    Lots of people out there still really need the Obama Administration to have been pure and pure of heart.

  13. Mikel

    “Why, then, do buyers love digital advertising so much? In many cases, Hwang concludes, it’s simply because it looks good at a meeting, blown up on an analytics dashboard: ‘It makes for great theater.’ In other words, the digital-advertising industry relies on our perception of its ability to persuade as much as on any measurement of its ability to actually do so. This is a matter of public relations, of storytelling. And here, the disinformation frame has been a great asset.”

    Well, now it’s a self-licking ice cream cone with an entire ecosystem of livelihoods built around jobs with “digital strategy” in the descriptions.

    1. cnchal

      Wait till Mr Market finds out that he priced these companies in the trillions while billions spent on digital ads which supposedly justifies the stawk price, is lost to fraud. He is gonna be pissssed.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        Mr. Market won’t care. Mr. Market just wants everybody to by buyen-selling and sellen-buying, all session long.

        Buysell! Sellbuy! Trade Trade Trade! All session long.

  14. Screwball

    Happy anniversary to the biggest scandal of the Obama presidency.

    The account is chair of @TheDemocrats. What’s frightening is that there are still people who may actually believe this.

    Not “may” actually – they do. I know plenty of people who not only believe this; they actually and wholeheartedly WORSHIP this guy and wish him and Michelle were in office for life.

    Unbelievable! Propaganda works.

  15. ptb

    So the Abbott BinaxNOW home tests (lateral flow type antigen test) are out again at my local pharmacies, and a quick search shows similar stories around the country. Here’s a recent CNN piece:


    They say to “expect some delays”, and “we’re ramping up production again”, i.e. after apparently slowing down or maybe even stopping the roll-out of this product earlier in the year… The embedded CNN video (unclear date) says they are aiming for 50 million per month production rate at some point in the fall, and points out that the sensitivity and selectivity figures quoted are for the symptomatic population.

    I’ll also note that I purchased a test just over a week ago, when they were briefly restocked. The labeled production-batch date was May 2021, which I looked for to compare to stories suggesting some kind of production upset or deliberate reduction of production capacity around in the June-July timeframe.

  16. zagonostra

    >Vaccine hesitancy and religious freedom

    There are people who see in Revelations 13:16-17 the prophesying of mandatory vaccines. You will never ever get these folks to take the vaccine. Isolating people for their beliefs when they are not hurting anyone (make them wear masks, get tested, etc, fine) when they refuse to take the vaccine smacks right up against their religious freedom. Of course you can point to Leviticus and a thousand other passages that would be horrifying in a modern civilized country, but I’m willing to let others abide by their beliefs as long as it doesn’t hurt someone else. So I think the burden is on those who claim that the unvaccinated pose a clear and present danger that it is of sufficient magnitude to force them to take the vaccine.

    16 And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:

    17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.


    1. Amfortas the hippie

      sadly, i agree.
      it’s their right.
      but it’s the local schools(and businesses) right to deny them entry…as well as to require masks during a damned pandemic.
      the politicisation of masks…by both sides, i might add…is likely the worst feature of this whole experience.
      i’m weary of basing the possible around a small but very loud bunch of idiots.
      (marihuana is the devil’s weed, foetii uber alles!, and let’s replace jefferson with abraham of the habiru!, etc)
      thankfully, in texas, i can shoot trespassers…so at least there’s that.
      i liked xtianity better before the righty counterrevolution got hold of them.

      1. Daniel LaRusso

        It’s not fair that someone exercising a “right” to not wear a mask cannot buy food or other essentials. You’ve essentially taken that right away from them – they are left with no choic but to comply.

        Surely, someone legal mind in the sttes can argue that case successfully.

    2. IM Doc

      John Barry – who wrote The Great Influenza – the best book about the Spanish Flu of 1918 – had a very important quote that he found somewhere around that time – and I cannot remember who he was quoting –

      “When you combine politics with science, all you have left is politics.”

      It is absolutely NOT the vaccine that these folks think is the Mark of the Beast. Not at all. It is the concept of the vaccine passports – and then the next extension would be to have a chip placed with your vaccine and other information that then communicates with the 5G network. It is the same concept as the social network score being brought out by the Chinese Communists right now on their people. Once you quit listening to Rachel Maddow et al making fun of these people for being 5G tin foil hatters – and really listen to how this is actually their worst prophetic nightmares coming true, you begin to have a bit more understanding. But all the other side gives them is laughter and derision and downright ugly mean bullshit behavior.

      I came from this world. My family were not quite snake handlers – but close. To ask me to turn on them and denigrate them is something I will just not be able to do. As much as I do not agree with their worldview – I still love them – and they are what made me who I am today.

      Denigrating and making fun of them is just going to make it worse. That too is part of their world view.

      Because the other part of their prophecies that get so little attention – is that Jesus himself told them all that the righteous would be spit on and laughed at. And they would be considered BLESSED when this happens. Look around you right now. And FYI much of both the African and Latino communities have this same end-times belief. It is not unique to Southern Whites. Folks, these people are ready to rock and roll. They are locked and loaded and quietly preparing themselves to fight the Beast. I attended a Zoom meeting for a family funeral last week. He did not die of COVID – but it was as fire and brimstone and preparing the troops about these issues as I have ever heard. If they are doing this at funerals, God only knows what is going on during Sunday services.

      I cannot believe the absolute incompetence of our health officials has led to this. But here we are. I hope and pray that something changes. If not, this is going to get real ugly real quick.

      1. Amfortas the hippie

        “I came from this world. My family were not quite snake handlers – but close. To ask me to turn on them and denigrate them is something I will just not be able to do. As much as I do not agree with their worldview – I still love them – and they are what made me who I am today.

        Denigrating and making fun of them is just going to make it worse. That too is part of their world view.”

        amen…they’ll double down, and all the pmc/”elite” scolding and punishing will only make it more real to them
        and yeah…i make fun of them all the time…generally where they ain’t.
        they are my people, too.
        the crazies i live amongst were created, not born…and my lay anthropological fieldwork bears this out, even recently(many were bernie before they were trump, and then went all the way that way)
        if the dern gop machinery would cease pushing buttons in these folks, that would make for a better world.
        so would an emp that only damaged radios.

        1. Amfortas the hippie

          and look!:https://www.cnn.com/2021/08/30/politics/education-department-civil-rights-investigation-school-mask-mandates/index.html

          that is sure to be more fun than mud.
          “tyrannical government”, “soshulizm”, and “Jade Helm 2.0″…
          i can’t wait.

          in the classes my wife(cancer) teaches, all the kids don’t make an issue about masking up…and the same respect for wife gloms onto my youngest…nobody so far has batted an eye about him masking for her sake.
          but i’ve heard about other instances hereabouts that were not so civil…
          it’s a stupid position to be in, no doubt.

          and…tiny, isolated, clannish place, mind you…”local news”(the EMT/Fire Scanner) has 3 times as many covid positives indicated than the official numbers.
          so it’s more widespread than the local bigwigs are letting on…again.

        2. jr

          “pmc/”elite” scolding and punishing will only make it more real to them”

          I just overheard my neighbor’s girlfriend engaging in a Zoom meeting on her patio. She’s in one of those tech fields that sounds like advertising/marketing when she explains it. PMC’s to the woman. About eight of them from the glance I got at the screen. It was after work cocktail time, I think. Call it a focus group of mid-level female tech professionals.

          Some takeaways: everyone is sick of Afghanistan and COVID already. Someone needs to start a fund or something for those poor Afghan women; someone literally asked if there was a t-shirt or a store with something to buy. People who refuse to get vaccinated and who work in restaurants shouldn’t be allowed to work. This prompted a round of exclamations that in my state they are vaccinated!

          Then someone mentioned knowing someone who was fully vaccinated and who contracted it and gave it to his kid, who is seriously ill. That raised some voices of concern and condolence and someone else mentioned hearing about breakthroughs but that topic was quickly abandoned for happier vistas…

          1. Basil Pesto

            Someone needs to start a fund or something for those poor Afghan women; someone literally asked if there was a t-shirt or a store with something to buy.

            Amazing *chef’s kiss*

        3. marym

          People shouldn’t be required to take these vaccines at this point, with so many open issues as far as side effects. However, over the last year and a half people have claimed “religious freedom” in objecting to masks, limiting the size of indoor gatherings, and vaccines.

          If people are claiming a religious exemption for any precautionary measures, at some point they’re just using the social and constitutional deference accorded to religion as a means of imposing a belief system and its consequences on the public at large.

          As far as ridicule – I’m grateful to all the people who’ve taken precautions (vaccines, or non-medical precautions) without falling into self-pity over ridicule, harassment, and hostility from religious and secular elite and rank-and-file pandemic deniers

      2. Arizona Slim

        IM Doc, if you wrote a book based on what you’ve been posting here, I’d be buying it by the caseload.

      3. Mikel

        “God only knows what is going on during Sunday services….”

        Lockdowns messed with the tithing.
        There will be hell to pay.

  17. Val

    “Vaccination mandates are essentially a recognition that vaccinated people have feelings too”

    This is a breakthrough in the old-timey sense, a useful theoretical or empirical advance, rather than mere evidence of a faulty product and the grinding tectonics of cognitive dissonance.

  18. Pelham

    Re Biden’s credit for Afghanistan withdrawal (and none for Trump): OK, so Trump probably deserves no more than a smidgen of credit for getting the Afghan-exit ball rolling, if that. But having kept abreast of developments in this regard over the past couple of years, it appears to me that the absence of credit for Trump may have a lot to do with his inability to get the US military in line behind a real withdrawal. If that’s the case, what does this say about the presidency itself? Is it the case that not just any Joe or Jill who’s elected to that office can actually expect the MIC to comply with orders from the commander in chief? And are we supposed to accept this as a plain matter of course?

    1. Keith

      IIRC, that issue was proven in Syria when he wanted to get the troops out of there. He was told they weren’t there, or something like that.

      Thinking back to the Obama years, they military publicly rebuked him is regards to some defense related matter. I do not recall the issue, but I recall pundits talking about it.

      Lastly, there is Schumer’s remark about what the intel community will do with you if you cross them, which I believe was direct towards Trump.

      1. Pat

        No the rebuke was Syria. Obama had set up a withdrawal, stand down.Many of us were excited as it was one more military action based on bad evidence and bad psychology. It was also pushing us towards problems with Russia as they had taken it upon themselves to help Syria, and iirc they made our military and intelligence out to be the liars they are by taking out a terrorist supply convoy that was clearly not official and just as clearly had no one interested in it from the American side. Anyway once the orders came, It took no time for the US Military to start bombing the crap out of base that had Russian advisors. Everyone called the official channels. The order went out to stop. It didn’t. They just kept on flinging missiles.

        They flat out disobeyed not only the original stand down orders, they ignored the calls to stop bombing. And yes, no one was court martialed, charged, or was reduced in rank for this. And all talk of exiting Syria officially ended.

        1. Pat

          Come to think of it, I thought during the election that Clinton’s much vaunted no fly zone in Syria was partly a result of the very clear aerial images of that convoy that Russia blew up.

  19. Otis B Driftwood

    This isn’t the first time Google has failed at healthcare. The first time was about a decade ago. It was also called Google Health. They had their own data model and API, arrogantly thinking they could ignore existing interoperability standards.

    1. hunkerdown

      I’d rather have had Google’s. The X12 committee and, to an extent, the entire EDI industry, is a grift. Unlike most nationally-endorsed standards, X12 is term-licensed for several thousand dollars per year, not sold. It has a smell like it was designed around computed GOTOs into someone’s old BASIC program. If any standards committee needs to be nationalized and expropriated, I nominate this one first.

      1. Otis B Driftwood

        Because the US is unique in the way healthcare is financed, X12 plays a unique role here in the US. No other country has to bother with things like pre-adjudication of claims, eligibility requests and all that nonsense transaction using X12. And yes, of course, the specifications for this were fee-based. Everyone hates it.

        HL7, for better or worse, is the international standards body for interoperability. “v2” has been around since the 1980s, when it was introduced for use inside healthcare settings for administration and clinical system to talk to each other. It predates the internet.

        The later CDA standard is widespread internationally and is used for clinical interoperability. The FHIR standard (REST based) was introduced about a decade ago and has been slowly gaining adoption as a supplement to (and eventual replacement for) CDA.

        HL7 learned from past mistakes (most infamously the failed v3 standard) and made FHIR open sourced.

        Google never understood any of this. And that’s why they failed.

        1. The Rev Kev

          Either that or US healthcare was too corrupt to navigate, even for Google with all its computer power.

        2. Jason Boxman

          I did a literal review for my masters on HL7, CDA, and interoperability. v3 was supposed to resolve the lack of a semantic model in v2; I guess that didn’t workout as planned. In Germany Münster University Hospital (MUH) setup a pilot in 2005 that used CDA for discharge letters. I wonder if that ever went anywhere?

          From my discussion of HL7 v3 CDA (Clinical Document Architecture):

          A second weakness is the overall complexity of HL7 CDA itself. Part of that complexity stems from the design of the RIM, owing to its robust semantics (Worden & Scott, 2011, p. 710). That complexity is compounded by HL7 CDA itself (Worden & Scott, 2011, p. 710). Each section in a CDA document can contain numerous entries with “discrete pieces of clinical information” (Worden & Scott, 2011, p. 710). The standard requires the employment of a template to denote the kind of information each entry contains (Worden & Scott, 2011, p. 710). The management of the templates themselves is a source of complexity (Worden & Scott, 2011, p. 710). The resultant XML representation of a CDA document may contain as many as twenty levels of nesting, with many attributes repeated within, but unchanging between, the different levels of nesting (Worden & Scott, 2011, p. 710). In response to this critique, the HL7 greenCDA initiative seeks to reduce the complexity of CDA through an intermediary document that factors out unnecessary nesting and attributes (Scott & Worden, 2012, p. 697).

          That sounds like a mess to work with; I’d completely forgotten. I never did get a job in the field, and it sounds like I’m better for it. I do miss having access to research journals. Fascinating reading. And an undergrad will fetch, copy, and email anything that isn’t available electronically!

          1. Otis B Driftwood

            Did your research include FHIR? It was launched in 2011 so maybe that’s after you did your work. It was specifically created and has been developed as an answer to the failures of v3. Cerner, where Feinberg is going from Google, is a leader in adopting this standard.

            Here’s an article on Feinberg’s departure to Cerner (the 2nd largest IT vendor in the world)


            Google Life Sciences is still around. With a focus on using their platform and knowhow for genome research and analytics, this seems a better fit for them.

            1. Jason Boxman

              I stumbled across FHIR a few years after; At the time, there might not have been any research papers available on it, not sure. It looks interesting, but I never had any time to seriously investigate using it.

              That’s interesting that Cerner is adopting it. Is that in response to Epic? Based on this they seem to have equal market share:


              Epic claims to support FHIR as well. I can only hope they are both supporting it in good faith as we could use wide adoption of an interoperability standard.

  20. Amfortas the hippie

    re: the angry tweaker in the airport.
    long ago, when i lived in austin, i worked for a time for a tiny outfit delivering lost luggage.
    so i spent more time than i was comfortable with at the airport, hanging around.
    i was in there practically every night, and knew the airport security people’s faces.
    and they mine.
    nevertheless, it was fun, apparently, to shake me down all the time.
    felt like delivering doughnuts to a copshop, right after a drug bust when they’re all keyed up.

    that was way before 9-11.

    that this guy can go off, at length, like that with apparently no immediate consequences is pretty shocking.
    all i gotta do is drive through the pick up lane to collect grandma to get asked a bunch of questions.
    and i’m even habitually polite,lol.

    what makes that guy immune from such leo involvement?

    1. Arizona Slim

      I *think* I heard someone ask where the police were. It was toward the end of the video.

      BTW, if you’re in an airport and you have your phone or access to a courtesy phone, go ahead and dial 911. Believe me, the police will come a-running.

      How do I know this? Personal experience.

      I was harassed on a flight bound for Tucson. Guy started asking me what I thought were overly intrusive questions, and I reacted with my rapier-sharp tongue. I might add that this guy was drunk when he got on the plane and the flight attendants kept right on serving him.

      After the plane arrived at the gate and I deplaned, I made a beeline to an airport courtesy phone. Dialed the magic triple-digit number and told the dispatcher that I’d meet the police at baggage claim.

      Not only did a Tucson International Airport officer arrive on foot, so did a state trooper.

      Wouldn’t you know it, I spotted my harasser. He spotted me too, and he wisely made the decision to not pester me any further. He left the airport with another guy, and I never saw him again.

    2. Wukchumni

      Really the most important thing a citizen can do in these times is to film bad actors in order to draw attention to your accomplishments, online.

    3. Tom Stone

      I don’t know what made him immune, perhaps it was the superb quality of “Monkey Dancing” he exhibited.
      And yes, that’s the term for this kind of display.

  21. antidlc

    About that brand name “Comirnaty”…

    Are Pfizer and Comirnaty the same? What to know about COVID vaccine name change

    The new brand name “is coined from Covid-19 immunity, and then embeds the mRNA in the middle, which is the platform technology, and as a whole the name is meant to evoke the word community,” Scott Piergrossi, president of operations and communications of the Brand Institute, a branding agency that specializes in the development of brand names and identities, told Fierce Pharma in December.

  22. GramSci

    “I’m starting to think that yarn diagrams don’t have the explanatory power we think they do.”

    Say it isn’t so! Next we’ll have to distrust fMRI brain scans!

  23. Joe Renter

    Thanks for that WJ. That indeed was a powerful read. I now consider him a hero. What family blogging country we live in.
    The empire can’t crumble soon enough.

  24. Darthbobber

    I’m thinking Hamid Karzai International Airport will soon have a new name. Should we start making suggestions?

    1. Wukchumni

      I have no idea what the new moniker should be, but I rue the day we took the unlimited mileage option on our rental Karzai.

  25. Darthbobber

    Do other commentors have any views on Clarissa Ward’s “eerily prophetic” interview with Mr. (identity protected) Isis K commander? Conducted a couple weeks before the “eerily prophesied” bombing but only broadcast after?

    Who set this little tete a tete up for her? And why?

  26. The Rev Kev

    The Afghanistan occupation is now over. Have just seen a report on TV showing the last US military plane take off from Kabul airport. There are celebrations in the streets of Kabul and militants are doing celebratory gunfire. The end of an era for us, the start of a new one for them.

    1. Arizona Slim

      I predict that the Taliban will be as competent at governing as the Sandinistas were in Nicaragua. As in, not very.

      1. The Rev Kev

        They will certainly have their own problems and plenty of them, but it will be Afghans making all the decisions. For the sake of all the people that live in that region, I wish them well.

  27. Wukchumni

    It has become obvious that we have to stop making military jets to use against a non-existent enemy and focus instead on the real adversary, fire.

    I wonder how many Chinook dual rotor firefighting helos we could get for a crummy F-35 that does nothing?

    Yeah, a lot of gold-plated titanium rice bowls are going to go empty if we take away their source of MIC income, but so be it.

    1. JCC

      Interesting question, so I looked it up :-)

      The base cost of an F-35 (base cost) is supposedly down to about $80M, whereas a Chinook runs about $25M

      The F-35 costs approximately $38K per hour to fly, whereas a Chinook costs about $4K

      So, to start, it’s possible to put 3 Chinooks in the air for an 8 hour day each for less than the base cost of one grounded F-35. That doesn’t include the fact the 25% of deployed F-35’s are grounded due to lack of engines, along with other off-the-cuff indeterminate considerations.

  28. enoughisenough

    I call BS on the depression/anxiety rating survey.

    Self-reporting? To me, it is NOT surprising that this cohort is at the bottom of the list:

    any cultural similarities? We’ve got the upper midwest, and the most American Germanic types represented. Huh-uh. These people are not NOT depressed: they are REpressed, and cannot admit they have issues.
    Also, OH at 31%? hahahaha they wish. That’s some underreporting if I ever saw it. Those people are MISERABLE – check all the meth addiction rates, etc.

    These people are depressed AF and just don’t want to admit it. The seething rage they all carry around daily is palpable.

    So, not buying it, but it is totally what I expected: MN “nice”. Smiling while they hate your guts and drink themselves to death every night.

    Nebraska — 25.5
    Vermont — 25.5
    Iowa — 25.3
    South Dakota — 25.2
    Wisconsin — 24.8
    Illinois — 24
    Maine — 23.7
    New Jersey — 21.9
    Minnesota — 21.6

  29. Wukchumni

    What effect will Lake Tahoe burning up have on us?

    So far, we’ve mostly only reacted to fires, but have been hesitant to really be pro-active for a lot of reasons, but that obviously has to change.

    The idea that 200 GI Joes have been pressed into action to fight the conflagration, speaks of desperation in that they are physically fit, but have no experience.

    Lets transform our active military into firefighters first, soldiers second-not the other way around.

    1. lance ringquist

      thanks for the link. they have small slip joint pliers. i used to get mine from diamond tool out of duluth minnesota, but sigh, they went under because of the sellout.

      now i know where to get them.

      1. jonboinAR

        Klein pliers and any other hand tools they put their name on are professional quality. I’ll vouch for them.

      2. drumlin woodchuckles

        And see? 2 people here already knew about Klein tools and now I know and others will know. In the teeth of the Free Trade Occupation Regime, this is how individuals can begin to form a Culture of Fair Trade Resistance, through the unromantic daily-life choices of what they will and won’t buy, and from whom or not-whom, in between the high excitement of protests and demonstrations and other forms of impromptu and ad hoc political entertainment.

        1. lance ringquist

          i buy from this place all of the time. he is a close neighbor.


          he has awesome tube socks, they go right up to my knee’s!

          i buy from here sometimes also,


          but most american manufacturers are just hanging by a thread. till americans realize they were sold out in the 1990’s by a slick grifter who used the party of FDR as a cover, we can never recover.

          that party is no longer relevant.

          1. drumlin woodchuckles

            For the next few years, the best we can do is spread knowledge of the existence of these companies and recruit enough people to the concept of buying their “something” from these companies instead of from foreign companies. Maybe we can recruit enough people to that long-range behavioral orientation to where we can help all these small companies hang by 2 threads, or even a string.

            That’s all we can do until a major mass-mind-shift is gotten underway somehow or other.

            And of course a descending ladder of “best” to “worst” companies among the foreign ones in sectors where that is all that is left would also be a good thing to know and to have. If nobody makes it in America anymore, at least buy it from Canada/Europe/Japan before Korea before Taiwan before Mexico before Slave Laborstan before China last and worst of all.

            Because China has the special agenda of using its massive production to exterminate our economy and our society, and every purchase of anything from China helps the CommuNazi ChinaGov PartyState achieve that goal. That’s geostrategically different than buying underpriced sweatshop shirts from underpayed Bangladesh.

            1. lance ringquist

              even if we change peoples minds, bill clintons hedge funds will get a hold of those companies if they show any sign of real life, and off production will go to bill clintons free trade utopia communist china.

              to reverse bill clintons disastrous policies i am afraid its not doable by conventional means.

              its going to take a long long time democratically if ever. biden is about to let the mask manufacturers go under again. or its going to happen almost at once by unconventional means:(

            2. lance ringquist

              this is what we have to overcome,


              i just see no way out of this. nafta billy clinton sold us out to wall street and the chinese communist party. everything you use, everything you touch, every where you go, there is a wall street parasite feeding away.
              and if we can re-invigorate a company, in comes the wall street parasites slashing R&D, moving offshore, loading the company up with debt, bleeding away the profits, collapsing the company, and the chinese communist party has another market to plunder.

              you can see this with G.M., BOEING, just about any company that has wealth.

  30. Earl Erland

    Ripple: “A song about dark and dawn, falling down and getting up again, and uncertain roads.”
    Is this the first example of AI journalism on hippy crack?

  31. drumlin woodchuckles

    Well, I watched the airport freakout video.

    Am I really supposed to feel any human fellow feeling for the bucket of radioactive subhuman waste depicted in the video? Really? Really?

    I hope it gets long-haul covid for the rest of its life. I mean that sincerely.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        Let them be the first to end the dehumanization process which they were the first to loudly and proudly start.

        Let the Republicanazi MAGA Foxanons cancel their decision to be a violent threat and a deadly menace to society, and then we can stop viewing them as a violent threat and a deadly menace once they decide to stop being one.

        It is time for left-oriented people to admit to seeing a Redemption 2.0 Movement in mid-process devoted to abolishing the current Reconstruction 2.0 when they see it.

  32. urblintz


    Moderna stock (NASDAQ:MRNA) traded 1.7% lower as the company’s woes in Japan deepened on the suspension of another million doses of its Covid-19 vaccine, after foreign substances were found in more batches.

    The discovery of contaminated batches has led to the suspension of as many as 2.6 million doses of the company’s ‘messenger RNA’-based vaccine and comes as the world’s third largest economy battles its worst wave of the pandemic.

    Daily infections are now exceeding 25,000 amid a slow rollout of vaccinations. However, the rolling seven-day average for new infections fell for the first time since June last week, suggesting that the current wave may be cresting.

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