Links 8/8/2021


In the midst of millenarian chaos, the charismatic presence of Akbar – the perfect ruler Scroll

America needs to listen to the anguished operators of our flying death robots | Will Bunch Philadelphia Inquirer

Researchers announce the smallest exoplanet discovered yet Ars Technica

New York City’s beloved barred owl dies after being struck by Central Park maintenance vehicle CBS

US expands citizenship for children born abroad in win for same-sex couples BBC


I Was the Architect of Operation Warp Speed. I Have a Message for All Americans. NYT

A ‘mix and match’ approach to SARS-CoV-2 vaccination Nature Medicine

With COVID-19, World Health Organisation’s Fall from Grace Is Complete The Wire

Exclusive: New York Times quashed COVID origins inquiry Spectator


Why Young Adult Vaccination Rates are Stagnating Capital & Main

Fake Covid Vaccination Cards Are on the Rise in the U.S., Europe WSJ

Pfizer and Moderna Mock Biden, Raise Vaccine Prices Big. Matt Stoller.

How Useful Is a Third Dose of Vaccine? Der Spiegel

Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose vaccine gets emergency-use approval in India Scroll


US averaging 100,000 new COVID-19 infections a day AP

Florida in revolt as COVID cases spike, DeSantis rejects health measures Ars Technica

What Is Going on With Obama’s 60th Birthday Bash? NYT

Trump Transition

US liberals’ hysteria outlives Trump Le Monde diplomatique. Thomas Frank. Today’s must read.

Incrementalism For All Who Can Survive It Daily Poster (KLG). David Sirota.

Biden Administration

9/11 families to President Biden: Don’t come to our memorial events NBC

US business pushes Biden for a China trade deal Asia Times


Biden Admin Offers Hand Of Friendship To Bolsonaro Brasil Wire

We’re on the brink of catastrophe, warns Tory climate chief Guardian

Climate contrarians predicted the world would cool—it didn’t Ars Technica

Greece wildfires: PM describes ‘nightmarish summer’ BBC

Wildfires burn out of control in Greece and Turkey as thousands flee Guardian

As Dixie fire tears through communities, some refuse evacuation orders with guns in hand MSN

The $1 trillion infrastructure bill is a baby step toward the US grid we need MIT Technology Review

Can the UK make its heritage housing greener? FT


Collapse: Inside Lebanon’s Worst Economic Meltdown in More Than a Century NYT


Afghanistan war: Sheberghan falls to Taliban, militants say BBC

The Taliban seize Kunduz, a key city in northern Afghanistan. NYT

L’affaire Jeffrey Epstein

Now Virginia Roberts could sue Prince Andrew in a New York court over her claims that Jeffrey Epstein forced her to have sex with the Duke aged 17 Daily Mail

Big Brother IS Watching You Watch

Class Warfare

Reno Bus Drivers Strike – BK Workers Walkout & Hand Out Free Food – Funny Memories of Trumka Payday Report

Amid the Labor Shortage, Robots Step in to Make the French Fries WSJ

Cuomo on the Brink of Impeachment New Yorker

Cuomo’s Lawyers Try to Portray Him as the Victim Amid Sexual Harassment Allegations The City

Cuomo will resign, but first he needs to get through five stages of grief NY Post

Health Care

Making hearing aids affordable isn’t enough. Older adults also need hearing care services Stat

The Caribbean

James Early on Cuban Embargo, David Cooper on ‘We All Quit’ Fair


Neeraj Chopra Ends India’s 100-Year Wait for Athletics Olympic Gold The Wire

How Limestone Mining Has Pitted Gujarat’s Farmers Against Govt India Spend

India’s Loss of Pluralism Could Come at the Cost of Indo-US Ties The Wire


From Cultural Revolution to Wolf Warrior: Chinese diplomats on edge of a new era South China Morning Post

Mekong River group says water levels have decreased downstream despite China pledge China

Antidote du Jour (via)(chuck l):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Cocomaan

    The Frank article is okay but:

    Yes, [trump] got a big tax cut through Congress and was able to appoint a lot of judges, but other than that, he achieved little of consequence in the traditional sense. A supposed strongman awaiting his opportunity to seize control, he basically did nothing

    Wasn’t that the point of the hysterics? The point was to kill that Trump variety of conservative populism. It was also to keep the professional classes invested in expertise and power. The entire Mueller debacle took two years to play out and today is mostly forgotten.

    It wasn’t ever meant to actually work, just distract.

    The strategy worked pretty well. The elite classes are making a killing right now. Covid was a boondoggle. There’s a trillion dollar infrastructure bill at work and I have tons of doubts about it except on one issue: that financial and political insiders will be feasting at the trough and end up much richer for it.

      1. jsn

        On Bill Clinton’s first visit to a US aircraft carrier, a sailor in ranks made some comment about him being a draft dodger os something, I don’t recall the exact details. Clinton had the authority to strip the admiral he was touring with, and under who’s command the sailor was, of his rank for the obvious insubordination under his command. Clinton did nothing.

        Frank’s point as I took it was Trump in any number of instances had the authority to react to the clearly unlawful practices of the CIA and their Democratic enablers with the severity and dispatch reserved for the Snowden’s and Assanges of the world.

        Trump did not, and yet this is now what the professional managerial class is in fact rolling out with privatized, corporatized surveillance authoritarianism in a haphazard and incoherent manner, that for all its incoherence is much more destructive than anything Trump did short of court appointments and tax cuts for the rich that Democrats voted through. “Our Democracy TM” is one where corporations vote with their dollars to set policy the PMC then executes on the behalf of its woke corporate employers. The “Resistance TM” to Trump was in no way resisting authoritarianism, they were constructing a coercive Public Private Partnership for use against mere voters with whom they disagree.

      2. Generalfeldmarschall von Hindenburg

        They both miss the larger point that the time when the rulers needed to somehow justify their rapacity is nearing its end. Rebellion will be impossible. With enhanced AI, sin and heterogenous thinking will be impossible. It’s a diseased and lunatic dystopia but the various think tanks and ‘global planning bodies’ are quite candid and open about their views on where this is all headed.

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          Here’s some shorthand buzzwords for the kind of diffuse leaderless sullen-resistance rebellion which will remain possible and will bloat up out of the landscape more and more.

          Leaderless massive passive obstruction.
          Uncivil obedience: ” I obey but I do not comply”.
          ” I don’t feel like shopping . . . and lets see you make me go shopping.”

          Make love, not money.

          And here’s a few which might become a new ” Timothy Leary” mantra for today’s leaner tougher meaner hippies and tomorrow’s leaner tougher meaner counterculture.

          Join the Effit Generation. Tune out, slow down, slack off.

    1. farragut

      It has already begun, Coco:

      Senator Mark Warner has ~25 million in Apollo Global Management.

      Last month, Apollo announced funding blockchain-enabled initiatives.

      This month, Warner stepped in to re-write crypto tax reporting requirements in the infra bill.


      The infrastructure deal has garnered enough votes to continue

      Yet numerous officials have purchased millions in infrastructure stocks BEFORE the deal was announced.

      Includes $BLNK, $TSLA, $OSK, $PLUG, etc. Numerous officials are long telecom and $CAT.

    2. Aumua

      The article is OK, but Frank himself is clearly a bona fide member of the “elite” professional class that he skewers en masse in the article. Once again, and I’m going to keep saying this as long as we keep doing it, it’s counter productive to lump people together under labels that make it all too convenient to lay blame and project guilt. It’s true of the Trump loving ‘chuds’, and it’s true of the PMC ‘elites’. I’ll also point out that ‘elites’ has been and is still a hard right dog whistle, and we should keep that in mind when tossing the term around.

      1. Soredemos

        Classes consistently demonstrate common behavior and pursue what they deem to be in their material best interests. Exceptions are just that: exceptions. The fact that Frank is having to publish his article in a French paper is kind of a clue as to how the American elite view him.

        They are to blame, and they are guilty.

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          So is the Owner-Master Class which these Cultural Elite Butlers and Tutors and Governesses work for.
          After all, who did Clinton work for when he pushed through the Free Trade Agreements? The Investing Classes and Business Titan Classes who needed those agreements in order to be able to dismantle industry in America and “remantle” that industry overseas. Those are the people who rewarded Clinton by making him rich after he left office.

          And those are the people who are rewarding Obama by making him rich after he has left office. its not the PMCists who are giving Clinton, Obama, and etc. all those hundreds of millions of gratitude-for-a-job-well-done dollars . . . . those “Big Tubmans” as Obama calls them.

          So even as we wallow in hatred for the PMCists we can see, lets spare a drop of resentment for the Seriously Rich that the PMCists work for.

      2. chuck roast

        With that said, perhaps you can help me with trying to figure out who exactly are in the avant-garde of what I see as a fast approaching dystopia. Maybe some adequate framework to explain general brokenness and uncaring incompetence that I see way too much of. I could probably call some cultural expert and ask, but I would probably be put on hold. Please help me out with this. If I were to say that many, many young people will soon get hip to the imminent catastrophe they face, and they begin looking to “lay blame and project guilt”, who do you suppose they will finger? Here’s a hint: it ain’t my bus driver or the gal who made my ice coffee today or the guy who is painting the apartment upstairs. I’m listening…

        1. Aumua

          That’s true of course, but I’m simply talking about the tendency to lump people together under a label and then ascribing various characteristics to those people (could be anything we like or dislike) simply because they are that thing. That’s what I’m saying: people aren’t things. Everyone has a story.

      3. Cat Burglar

        This position is frequently met with, and has a couple things to recommend it. It insists that people are people, and that they and their relationships are what determine the world we live in together. In doing any kind of political action, I have found that valuable, because it puts problems on a human scale that can be changed by human action. So it does have practical value, as well as being personally interesting.

        The problem is, humans act in groups, often on a vast scale, at a scope and power which is beyond the level of either psychology or primary group dynamics or MFA fiction to characterize or explain. Not only do people act in groups and name themselves — as movements, parties, or nations, to name a few — and other people, often in groups, need to use names to characterize them. Sometimes groups will give themselves deceptive names. Dispute over which names are the right ones to use is the job of political discourse. If you can’t name the groups of people, their relationships as groups, their actions, and draw connections between them, then you can’t talk politics beyond the level of interpersonal relationships. You can’t produce understanding on a historical or social and political level, as good as it might be on an individual level. Under the position presented, you aren’t able to say that the Bush administration committed a war crime by invading Iraq, or that Bank Bailout Barry was a shill for the FIRE sector, unless you can make intellectual attributions of responsibility for factual actions and relationships — so it is a productive thing to do if you want to identify and stop such destruction politically.

        If you take culture, ethnicity, history, economics, fashion, music, or any of the other larger trophic levels of human life together out of the story, it looks to me like almost everything compelling and powerful and human is being left out. Then, you are just left with private interactions in private life — that there are only individuals and their contracts, and we know where we have heard that one before.

        1. Lambert Strether

          > If you take culture, ethnicity, history, economics, fashion, music, or any of the other larger trophic levels of human life together out of the story, it looks to me like almost everything compelling and powerful and human is being left out. Then, you are just left with private interactions in private life — that there are only individuals and their contracts, and we know where we have heard that one before.


      4. Lambert Strether

        > lump people together under labels

        Shorter: Politics is bad, especially class politics.

        As for “elites” being a far-right dog whistle, just…. no. At this point, it’s a whistle every dog can hear. And every cat, for that matter.

  2. Tom Stone

    The “Liberal” Hysteria about Trump had IMO three basis.
    1) He embarassed the media across the board by winning, along with the FBI (Which spied on his campaign via an illegitimate FISA warrant) and the CIA.
    It was a lock for HRC, everyone who matters KNEW that and acted accordingly.
    2) He was and is ostentatiously vulgar, which offended those who would not say “Shit” if they had a mouthful of it.
    Which they frequently do.
    3) He said the things out loud that nice people would never say “Of course we want Venezuela’s oil” comes to mind.
    An incompetent Narcissist indeed, one without the pretense that is essential for those who want to do the nasty and still feel morally superior.

    1. John

      Anyone who had taken a moment to look at Trump’s well-publicized life and career would see that as a candidate and as president he acted no differently than he had at any other moment. He ran the Trump organization as a family business, a “mom-and-pop” operation. He did nothing different during his presidency. Would he have accepted an overturning of the 2020 election as right and proper? Of course he would and he would have had no idea that it was anything less that what was due him. Did he encourage efforts to overturn the 2020 election? Of course he did, but he did so in his usual slapdash manner that had no prospect of success. Whatever else Donald Trump was and is, incompetence and ignorance top the list. Best he stick to golf and grievance.

      1. Michael Ismoe

        Per Thomas Frank:

        He was a terrible leader: prejudiced, self-absorbed, incapable of empathy, in love with his own image, clueless about what the job entailed. He lied constantly, even in easily checked public statements. He was a demagogue who only pretended to care about working people. He used the nation’s highest office to enrich himself and his supporters. He allowed private industries to rewrite regulatory rules however they chose.

        Could this not be on the graves of Obama, both Bushes and Clinton? The idea that our politicians are held to the rule of law is laughable.

        1. Carla

          As Frank says “…each of these statements would also describe traits Trump shared with many other politicians over the last 50 years — including presidents who went far beyond him in their destructive use of the office’s power.” But then he goes on to name ONLY Reagan, GWB and Nixon.

          In my book, this is Frank’s great weakness. Even given all the evidence about how bad Democrats are, and much that he cites in his own writings, he still prefers to just hate him some Republicans.

          You are correct, Michael Ismoe — the idea that our politicians are held to the rule of law is grimly funny. Look at Cuomo — he killed hundreds of old people, and instead has been charged with sexual harassment.

        2. lance ringquist

          most of the times i like franks stuff. this was a good one except, the left nowadays always blames reagan and the bush’s, and they deserve it.

          but no one is more responsible for the mess we are in than bill clinton. he took a meat axe to americas civil society, standard of living, americas true wealth, our manufacturing, and he set back civil and economic rights to pre-FDR.

          besides residing over the forever wars.

          obama’s name should be right up there, he not only bailed out bill clintons disastrous polices, he doubled down on them, think the TPP and the unafordable care act.

          lets not forget jimmy carter either.

          frank in the past has named names no matter who was behind the polices, this time he slipped.

        3. Old Sarum

          Begotten Political legacies,

          …and Clinton begat Bush who begat Obama, who begat Trump. Whooeee!

          The room at the top gets roomier and the lower stories shakier.

          Pip pip.

    2. Carolinian

      From NYT link above

      The former president had baseball caps made for the occasion that read 44 at 60

      Seems to be a lot of that narcissism thing going around. In fact the article itself is about the bruised egos of those not big enough cheeses to still be invited.

      In the movie Hyde Park on the Hudson British royals come to visit FDR at his NY home and are bemused when he and Eleanor throw them a picnic serving hot dogs. During his term Roosevelt also refused to spend the money to paint the White House and vacationed at Warm Springs in a three room cabin with a wood stove. There are optics and there are optics.

      1. c_heale

        I think that says more about the British Royals than it does the Roosevelts. Some of the most powerful people in the world and they sit down to a picnic with you like they were everyday people. That’s really nice.

    3. Val

      It is potentially instructive that Obama is the incompetent narcissist in whom the criminal state found the greatest utility, after W and financial self-immolation, whereas Trump’s incompetent narcissism was simply too florid to be exploited in that standard sock-puppet manner.

      The arc of the political universe indeed bends towards incompetence, but these two managed to prevent a Hillary presidency for the most part.

      1. ex-PFC Chuck

        You forgot Clinton. It was during his administration most of the constraints on the FIRE sector were dismantled. By 2008 the results of that were obvious. Obama took office on 20/1/2009 with an historic opportunity to undo that damage but instead did nothing. Half a century from now, or perhaps decades sooner, those two will be fighting for the bottom of the pile when historians are assessing the relative merit of USA presidents. At the tactical level both C and O were fairly competent. At the strategic level, however, that is in choosing what to and what not to fight for, they were disastrous.

        1. farragut

          In hindsight, it’s no surprise O did nothing:

          One month before the presidential election of 2008, the giant Wall Street bank Citigroup submitted to the Obama campaign a list of its preferred candidates for cabinet positions in an Obama administration. This list corresponds almost exactly to the eventual composition of Barack Obama’s cabinet.

          From the WSWS article:
          “Citigroup chose Obama’s 2008 cabinet, WikiLeaks document reveals”

          Given the millions of Americans Obama fooked over, it’s a testament to the power of propaganda & narrative from the MSM & the donor class that he hasn’t been lynched (obviously, not as an African-American, but as one of the worst Presidents ever).

          1. Mikel

            There were plenty of hints about what side he would take before that.
            For instance, choosing the Senator of Delaware, Inc as VP.

          1. drumlin woodchuckles

            Free Trade is the New Slavery.
            Protectionism is the New Abolition.

            The New Deal was a good deal for most of us. I want my New Deal back.

    4. Pelham

      I wish someone would compile a list of the quiet, normally hidden truths that Trump said out loud. The Venezuelan oil remark was a classic. My favorite was another one on the subject of foreign election interference here, in which he said something to the effect that US hands were hardly clean.

      1. GramSci

        Trump’s one virtue was that he was artless. The lumpenproletariat mistook that for honesty.

        1. c_heale

          I think that the word lumpenproletariat is offensive. Trump did more than just tell some truths about the USA. His foreign policy was much less interventionist than many other presidents. This is probably because he’s a nativist.

    5. Lambert Strether

      > The “Liberal” Hysteria about Trump had IMO three basis.

      0) Loss of class power by the PMC.

      Not all of it, naturally, as the ferocious reaction to Trump showed, but enough to hurt.

  3. Sam Adams

    RE: US expands citizenship for children born abroad in win for same-sex couples
    Now these children have the advantage of filing complicated USA tax returns every year and complete the dreaded FACTA filing to the treasury. What a gift.

    1. The Rev Kev

      When you get down to it, the numbers will never be large. How many American have the money to travel overseas and arrange assisted reproductive technology to have children with? You are talking big money here so this is really something that is benefiting the top 20% or so of Americans.

      Now I could be wrong but were there not stories last year how children born in America to refugee parents were being regarded as non-Americans with the Trump regime pushing to have them deported? If so, one of these cases is not like the other.

      1. Dandelion

        I hope wealthy Americans who contract for surrogacy overseas are paying the impoverished mother bonus money for using her entire body, risking life and health, to manufacture and deliver to them a baby with factory-installed American citizenship — certainly a superior product on the market than an infant who requires the purchasers obtain after-market citizenship.

      2. Bill Smith

        “children born in America to refugee parents were being regarded as non-Americans”

        Just talk. By law (USC: 1041) any child born in the US to a parent subject to US law (this excludes registered diplomats) can claim US citizenship.

      3. Keith

        Not too sure about that. While a different scenario, pregnancy assistance is widely available in Mexico for a small fraction of what you would pay in the States, great customer service, too. Further, there a robust finsnce industry for this, as well. Agian, discussing fertility treatments, not surrogacy, but imagine it vould be similar.

        Oh, while anecdotal, did meet an Aussie there, too. Advide the patient treatment and customer service was better than homeland. Just one, but a credit to Mexican for pay health.

      4. GramSci

        “How many American have the money to travel overseas and arrange assisted reproductive technology to have children with?”

        I think the more typical same sex couple might be a single mother marrying a woman.

    1. Arizona Slim

      I’ve had personal experience with Dan Price’s company. About a year or so ago, I was looking into the resuming the practice of accepting credit cards as payment. I’d stopped doing so because the cost kept going up, up, and up. Besides, very few people were paying me with plastic.

      Well, I got in touch with Gravity and had a telephone meeting with one of their sales reps. Now, if you’ve ever dealt with the credit card processing industry, you’ve probably noticed that the sales reps are more than eager to sign you up.

      Not Gravity. I shared my monthly sales volume, and the rep said that unless my credit card sales were at least $10,000 a month, Gravity wouldn’t be right for me.

      So, he didn’t sign me up.

      However, when I pass that $10k threshold, believe you me, Gravity will be the first company I’ll be talking to.

      One more thing: Dan Price’s book, Worth It, has a place of honor on my bookshelf. I highly recommend it.

      1. jo6pac

        Thanks and I have used CC companies in the past and you’re about the sign up. Good to know about Gravity

        1. lordkoos

          It seems to me that the few hit pieces on Dan Price amount to allegations that have not been decided in a court of law, so innocent until proven guilty as far as I’m concerned. (He waterboarded his wife — really?) There are plenty of entities that would like to discredit him.

          I must say that I enjoy his twitter feed and he gets something like 300 applications for any position that opens up at his company — he must be doing something right.

  4. Henry Moon Pie

    Fires, floods and currents–

    Tim Jackson, author of Post-Growth: Life After Capitalism, has a blog post about our billionaires with big rockets. His diagnosis of their problem (and ours) is interesting:

    The faint whispering of the Martian wind, relayed faithfully across the solar system, doesn’t just confirm the possibilities for aerial flight on an alien planet. It’s grist to the mill of an essential belief that human beings are endlessly creative and fiendishly clever.

    Our visceral response to these momentary triumphs speaks to a branch of psychology called terror management theory drawn from the work of cultural anthropologist Ernest Becker. It was explored in particular in his astonishing 1973 book The Denial of Death. In it, Becker argues that modern society has lost its way, precisely because we’ve become terrified of confronting the inevitability of our own demise.

    Terror management theory tells us that, when mortality becomes “salient”, instead of addressing the underlying fear, we turn for comfort to the things which make us feel good. Capitalism itself is a massive comfort blanket, designed to help us never confront the mortality that awaits us all. So too are the dreams of the rocket men.

    When Sputnik kickstarted the first “space race” six decades ago, a US newspaper headline called it “one step toward [our] escape from imprisonment to the Earth”. Arendt (in The Human Condition)read those words with astonishment. She saw there a deep-seated “rebellion against human existence”. It isn’t just the pandemic that locks us down, the implication is. It’s the entire human condition.

    The anxiety we feel is nothing new. The choice between confronting our fears and running away from them has always been a profound one. It’s exactly the choice we’re facing now. As vaccine roll-out brings a glimmer of light at the end of COVID-19, the temptation to rush into wild escapism is massive.

    But for all its glamour, the “final frontier” is at best an amusement and at worst a fatal distraction from the urgent task of rebuilding a society ravaged by social injustice, climate change and a loss of faith in the future.

  5. Tom Stone

    While the context is vastly different Trump committed the same crime that led to Snowden’s exile and Craig Murray’s imprisonment, which will likely kill him;
    He embarrassed the elites.
    There is no greater crime in today’s world

    1. The Historian

      I don’t think the elites can be embarrassed – because to be embarrassed, one needs to be capable of experiencing guilt – and I’ve never seen the elite profess guilt about anything. No, Frank is right – what Trump did was to challenge their authority to rule – and there is no greater crime than that!

      1. hunkerdown

        Elites never profess guilt because the elite-mass relation is a debt that flows the other way. Ill-ease can be endogenous.

        1. Jeff W

          I agree—if you happen to stroll out of the restroom with a bit of toilet paper stuck to your shoe, you might feel a bit of fleeting embarrassment but it’s hard to imagine you’d feel any guilt over it.

      2. neo-realist

        He gave the elites massive tax cuts, massive military spending, and deconstruction of the government bureaucracy (leading to more privatization that benefits those elites). He may have challenged a faction or factions of the elites in favor of another faction that politically identifies with the MAGA goobers, but Trump arguably was not challenging elite rule in general.

        1. Aumua

          It all depends how you define the word ‘elites’, and therein lies the problem with using convenient labels to point the finger of blame. The right wing of course takes ‘elites’ to strictly mean liberals, as apparently does Thomas Frank, and unfortunately that connotation has crept into NC’s standard subtext for the word as well. It’s lazy and leads to all kinds of dishonesty and misunderstanding.

          1. Telly

            I understand your argument about how labels are unproductive but, if you don’t use one how do you let people know who you are talking about. Also, when I say elite I in no way separate the liberal elite from the conservative elite, in fact I don’t really see the difference myself. Trying to prevent others from using a word because someone else might think it means something else is not an effective way of countering the ever increasing rightward shift in global politics. In fact by trying to define what you think others think when they hear a word is worse than labeling because it erases the autonomy of that individual leading the others that are being defined outside of their own thoughts and desires to reject the people negatively defining them.

            1. Aumua

              Let me ask you this: how do you personally define the word ‘elite’, or the word ‘PMC’?

              I suppose you could say the elite are the ruling class, and the PMC are the modern bourgeois, like a sub layer of the ruling class. But in a strict economic sense, the small business owner with 15 employees is more a member of the ruling class than is the PhD who works for Raytheon. Really though they could both be described as working class, from another angle. So I mean is a PMC anyone with more than a bachelors degree? Or is it anyone who has a net worth over a certain amount? And where do you draw the line?

              If we have to blame something, I say let’s blame (and dismantle) the system instead of blaming imaginary blocks of people.

              1. Yves Smith

                No, the small business owner is an economically precarious position until he gets to >$4 or $5 million in revenues and even then that isn’t necessarily stable enough. I know people personally who were NOT in dot com or tech businesses who had to cut staff in the dot bomb era, ironically from the exact 15 you mentioned, to a single part time. Oh, and had to re-mortgage his home too.

                I know another small business owner, top reputation in his field, who went from 27 employees to bankrupt, and having to move back into his parent’s rent controlled apt at the age of >40.

                I can give plenty of other examples of this ilk….

            2. linearperk

              I think we are doing the propagandistic work of the “elites” when we call them elite.

              I use “the ruling class” or the “rulers” and often use it in high contrast with leadership.

              Leaders are part of a community where as masters and rulers are not.

              1. Aumua

                This is a very good point. Intent plays a part, and not everyone who attains some status in society is a craven perpetrator of ruling class power, or whatever.

      3. Alphonse

        More important to human beings than wealth and power is status. How much do you really need? The question is not how much, but what rank. There is always someone to surpass. Embarrassment threatens that status. They may or may not be susceptible to pangs of guilt, but they can all feel social shame.

        Underlying the drive for status lies the biological drive to reproduce. Status is a proxy for fitness that attracts the most fit partner. I presume that those with the drive to be elite tend to be those with the most powerful drives. At an unconscious level, shame may be experienced as an existential threat to something more fundamental than one’s own life: the continuation of one’s genes. Perhaps ironically, those with the most power over others are themselves the most susceptible to their natures. They might be happier without.

        At least that’s my thought. The drives of these people are natural forces that we need to harness or suppress lest they produce whirlwinds of disaster. Shame can be used to push elites one way or another – but at cost: it feeds the beast, increasing the salience of status and activating their aggression. If you want to defenestrate particular elites, you might use shame to motivate other elites to replace them. Otherwise it’s probably counterproductive.

        1. Pate

          Now that’s what I’m talking about. Excellent analysis and sensible solution. According to anthropologists shame was used to promote group survival and we lost the ability to shame bad actors once we started living in groups larger than 150 (agrarianism). It seems the bad actors are rewarded in our current situation.

        2. chuck roast

          Thanks for this, but some people have absolutely no shame and are never embarrassed. Donald Trump for example. That doesn’t mean that they don’t harbor resentments.

          In 1989 I drove up to my sister’s house for a visit. I was in discussion with her live-in when he told me that he went to prep school up on the Hudson with Trump. Of course at this time “The Donald” was simply a puffed-up developer/man-about-town. So, he gets out his class year book and starts showing me the photos. He tells me that Trump was widely disliked by his classmates, and that his (the live-in’s) roommate was the only guy on campus that would hang around with Trump. However, Trump was still viewed as a BMOC and had no trouble getting the girls.

          Here is a guy who was widely shunned early in life by his peers and clearly has a life-long axe to grind. Kind of like Nixon whose only friend apparently was Bebe Rebozo.

        3. Lambert Strether

          > More important to human beings than wealth and power is status.

          I think if all the individuals who comprise the billionaire class suddenly became humble and modest, the world would be much the same as before.

    2. Lupana

      How is Trump who inherited his wealth and lives in a world of privilege not himself elite? It’s just a battle of the elites as far as I’m concerned – none of them have anything but their own short-sighted interests in mind and none of them are to be trusted or defended. It’s all a sideshow while the world with all of us in it literally burns.

      1. Cocomaan

        I think that was the crux of Trump: he was the insider. He was a celebrity billionaire. Other billionaires and people who had been in his orbit needed to distance themselves from conservative populism, but also from one of their fellow rich kids. He betrayed the cult.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          Trump had plenty of rich people behind him. A more precise explanation is the media aligned elites assumed HRC would win in 2020 and went all in. The little people who were horrified by Trump and watched cable news to resist meant they had to stay enemies. After all, they need eyeballs. Then other large donors, expecting ambassadorships and so forth, to Team Blue also went nuts over sunk costs. With the SS Hillary’s invincibility, they dumped something like 2.8 billion officially into her coffers. That doesn’t include other Team Blue operations or the Clinton Grifting Initiative.

          The Bush family loyalists like their Team Blue courtier level counterparts had nothing to do but grift. They also needed to come up with a reason for why Trump won that didn’t involve them actually being. At fault to keep the gift going. There are still people who respond to fundraising appear from James Carville. Let that sink in. I think those people need to be agitated at this point to get going.

          I would also add a number of Republicans likely expected 2020 to be wide open if Hillary was President. Trump disrupted plans, leaving one winner. Trump not being part of the team meant these people didn’t have places in the new order. How often did we hear about Trump not filling jobs? Imagine what wretched trolls a Hillary or Jeb would put in those jobs.

        2. Lupana

          Yeah, but I doubt Trump has a core belief beyond whether or not something makes money which is probably true for all elites and people of extreme wealth. No matter what facade they operate behind, conservative populism or liberal values – none of them have any idea what it is to live life like the vast majority of the world’s population and they act accordingly.
          Trump spoke the words his supporters wanted aimed at ‘liberals’ but in the long run, he was always going to go back to his own world which is the same world occupied by liberal elites – money, comfort and privilege. As far as him betraying the cult – as my grandmother would say “De la boca para adelante..”

          1. Cocomaan

            Can’t disagree with that. And trumps policies ended up doing just about the same thing as anyone else. He signed the big tax cut, but when it came to signing onto huge covid bills, or handing out stimmies, he was there with pen in hand. He just had a conservative “flavor” to continuing the empire.

            1. Lupana

              That’s a good way to put it – conservative flavor’ vs liberal ‘flavor’ but it just feels like ultimately they both deliver the same thing and we the people end up more divided and the country more in a muddle of stagnation where we can’t accomplish anything of value to anyone.

          2. John

            It occurs to me that Trump is like Gatsby. He has the wealth, the flash, the glitter, but he never can quite make it into the inner circle. Ultimately, he is the outsider. In New York terms, he is a kid from the outer boroughs, Donny from Queens.

            1. NotTimothyGeithner

              Trump may not have need invited to sit in a tent with Hollywood types, but when Bill Clinton left office with sky high approval ratings for an outgoing President, he couldn’t raise a dime until after Kerry lost. The expectations Hillary would win, and that Trump would be a one term president factored into everything. He cost plenty of people a lot of money. Ratings after cable news after the an issue now, so they hope to reassemble the band.

              The Cheney daughter knows her only path to power outside of Wyoming is souring on Trump by their shared voters. So she goes after Trump. That’s how it goes.

              I would draw attention to the Clinton Grifting Initiative shutting down in December 2016. The Clintons were as worthless as they were from 2000 to 20004. Did Bill score an invite to the social event of the season?

              There is no insider outsider, just worth today.

              1. The Rev Kev

                That may be why those former administration officials (the Obama Boys?) got the chop from his invite list. His use for them finished in 2016 so they are no longer of any worth to him. Inviting them in the first place was just a courtesy for appearance’s sake.

                1. NotTimothyGeithner

                  Obama is really trying to set himself up as a Hollywood mogul. This party is likely a pitch for his Netflix programming.

                  1. NotTimothyGeithner

                    I saw Larry David was disinvited. I would note the Seinfeld rights aren’t up in the air, so there was nothing to gain.

                    1. ObjectiveFunction

                      Larry has a nice compound in Menemsha, opposite James Taylor.

                      It’s a big club and he’s in it.

            2. Yves Smith

              NO NO NO!!!!

              Trump NEVER wanted acceptance of the NYC upper crust. It’s a very simple formula. Hire the right society decorators. Give oddles to the big establishment charities. Throw tasteful parties, which means having a proper society wife (see Carolyne Roehm as an example).

              Trump loved poking them in the eye. Decorated with gold. Dated swimsuit models. Never gave a dime to a fancy charity. Didn’t seem to care much about getting any of his kids into fancy private schools so they could go to the Ivies.

      2. Pelham

        Good question. I think at some point he at least partly divorced himself from the dominant faction of the elites characterized by their good taste, globalism and wokeness in addition to their wealth. Trump’s wealth and taste are vulgar, but on the positive side this frees him to exercise his partial understanding of what a good deal of the flyover public longs for in a leader. And a good share of that is simply giving a good if only symbolic and otherwise ineffectual electoral pounding to the consensus elites who have betrayed the country for the past few decades.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        I remember reading a story-form of that saying some decades ago in Acres USA. It was in one of the editorials that publisher-founder Charles Walters Jr. would write. It went like this:

        A young law student at Harvard Law School kept wondering why “justice” was never discussed in any Harvard Law School class. He finally asked a Senior Professor about that. ” Why don’t we ever talk about ‘justice’ in any of these classes?”

        The Senior Professor screamed at him: ” Justice? You want JUSTICE? This is the School of LAW! If you want JUSTICE, the Harvard Divinity School is just up the road.”

    3. hunkerdown

      It’s always been the only crime. Sentencing tables reflect elite priorities, and offenses that discredit the elite-mass relation and its conceits command the most grisly, extreme tortures and punishments. Telecommunication gives us a once-in-a-lifetime chance to pick this knot of priority and property open.

  6. nvl

    Regarding heterologous dosing of vaccines (Nature Medicine link), Lambert posted
    on this about a month ago, during which time I have been leaving messages for
    the microbiology department of NYU Langone, for enrollment in a clinical trial.

  7. IM Doc

    This week has been a bit busy – so I have just put the whole week into one big comment.

    We continue to have quite a bit of infection in the community. In my own practice, I am usually seeing 5-15 cases a day of COVID. The majority of these cases are vaccinated breakthroughs. There have been 2 whole days this week where the entire day were all vaccinated breakthroughs. Please note – this is the outpatient side. Despite Dr. Walensky’s reassurance to Americans that these are very rare, this has not been my experience at all. These breakthroughs continue to happen in clusters. While the unvaccinated positives tend to be more isolated and far less likely to spread and sicken contacts. The clusters are almost always vaccinated as well. I have no explanation for this. It is my feeling the virus is trying to tell us something. This seems to be consistent with constant news reports of cluster events among the vaccinated all over the country.

    The unvaccinated positives are likely underrepresented in my office sample. They are likely younger. They are likely to have no insurance or high copays so very hesitant to get tested. They are likely to get fired if they miss a day of work so they just do not want to know if they are positive. Furthermore, it seems that every effort has been made to make it very difficult for anyone to get tested. Why bother?

    As far as the hospital – it remains about 50/50 vaccinated/unvaccinated. The percentage of vaccinated patients seems to be slowly creeping up daily. I am hearing from my friends all over the country that the same is true. You no longer hear about 1% vaccinated anymore in the hospital. A slow but surely increasing prevalence of the vaccinated in the hospitals. The vaccinated inpatients tend to be older and vaccinated at the beginning in DEC or JAN. The unvaccinated are younger – usually 40-60 – almost always with obesity or diabetes. Unlike the last wave, the majority of these patients are in and out in a day or two. I am not saying there are not sick people – there are. Just not nearly as many as before. This too is confirmed by my friends. The critically ill are few but are almost entirely made up of the unvaccinated. We have had but 2 vaccinated in the ICU this whole time. The stories you are hearing of crashed hospitals in the big cities are happening because large numbers of non-critical patients are being admitted and discharged – with continued large numbers coming into the ER. The other factor is staffing. Nurses have become depressed and are leaving in droves. And the ancillary staff in many places has been decimated by employees leaving because of the vaccine mandates. There is more at work than patient numbers by the panic porn that is all over the MSM.

    The vaccines are clearly not working as promised. Large numbers of vaccinated patients are getting sick. I remember when I did the guest post back in December about the Pfizer trials. I was and am gravely concerned about the medical establishment in the guise of the Editors of NEJM referring to these miraculous vaccines, perfect in every way, as a “triumph”. There are lots of things in medicine the past decades that are indeed miracles. But calling something a “triumph” before a shot was in the first arm betrayed to me a certain level of hubris – and I knew in my heart at that very moment that Nemesis, Hubris’s best friend, would soon be making a visit.

    We should all remember where the word TRIUMPH actually comes from.

    One of my very elderly classics professors in college had worked as an adviser to Hollywood during the “Sword and Sandals” extravaganza of the 1950s. In his opinion, that clip was from the film that got the whole concept of triumph closest to reality. Quo Vadis. The Roman General is on his chariot going through the streets of Rome, past the Vestal Virgins. The throngs are going ape. But there is something there in Rome that we are sorely missing today – a slave on the chariot holding the Crown of Gold over his head. And please note what the slave is whispering in his ear the whole time. In Latin the words were Memento Homo! Memento Mori!. In English that means – REMEMBER THOU ART BUT A MAN! – REMEMBER THAT THOU ART MORTAL! – Unlike the medical triumph of these perfect vaccines, the Roman triumph was done for things that were very well deserved. And with all the Hubris going around, do we ever need that slave in the chariot today……..

    As our Ancient Greek forebears taught us, when Hubris is let loose in the world, the Gods would have but one remedy to clean up all the delusions and insanity, and that would be to let loose Nemesis.

    And I am beginning to see a lot of Nemesis coming right down from the sky. These vaccinated patients that are sick are not very happy at all. Many of them are profoundly angry. The lies and misrepresentations are very soon going to start catching up with our leaders. And what I never dreamed would happen has begun to happen this week – close to half of my positive COVID patients – in an unsolicited manner are demanding to be placed on alternative therapy such as ivermectin. In a very angry manner.

    I have no problem using this drug. I used it quite a bit in the first big crash in the fall and winter and started using it again about 6 weeks ago. Using the scientific method as I was so carefully trained to do decades ago, and with the limited tools I have, I have been able to make some observations.

    Once a patient, vaccinated or not, becomes positive for COVID in my practice, my nurses or myself call them once in the AM and once in the PM. There is a form we fill out on each of these calls to describe their clinical condition with parameters – fever, congestion, shortness of breath, coughing, pulse ox, etc. When the patients have cleared every single one, we quit calling them. We usually have between 15-20 active cases this past few weeks daily. A pattern became very obvious very quickly in this process – and I have distilled it with 2 raw numbers. The Ivermectin patients are cleared of symptoms (N of 44) in average of 2.4 days. The Non-Ivermectin patients (N of 19) are cleared of symptoms after 5.7 days. Furthermore, on day 5 of the illness, we always have the patients go and get tested again. The Ivermectin patients have literally a 100% negative rate by Day 5. The non-Ivermectin patients have a 58% clearance rate by Day 5.

    I want to make one thing very clear. This is the scientific method. These numbers are consistent with the overall signal that all kinds of studies are showing with this drug. However, I am just one clinician in one office. Nothing dispositive can be said or done with these numbers.

    However, it is an indication of yet another complete fail on the part of our medical leaders. These signals have now been out there for about a year. It is at this point, a national embarrassment that nothing has been done to fully evaluate this drug. I will say again, our leaders are not practicing medicine, they are practicing business.

    I have a moral obligation to my patients. I must always do what is in their best interest. Our MSM is screaming the panic porn daily about hospitals and critically ill. On the ground, I am seeing already an alarming incidence of post-COVID symptoms (mainly now brain fog, depression, suicidal thinking, and severe headaches) in many of these patients WHO HAVE BEEN VACCINATED and then were infected.

    Dr. Fauci & Dr. Walensky and Pfizer/Moderna – your vaccines have FAILED these patients. They still got sick. In numbers that are alarmingly high compared to what was promised. Post-COVID syndrome is a real thing – as real as it gets – and again your vaccines have failed. You would tell us to do NOTHING. Your whole plan is seemingly VACCINE VACCINE VACCINE. Well, they failed. Is it not my obligation to do everything possible to spare these patients POST COVID syndrome? With a drug with decades of safety behind it? With all the signal behind how well it works? Confirmed by my own eyes in my own practice?

    Patients and the general public are profoundly angry and are beginning to lose all faith in our medical establishment. I see it every day. Nemesis is indeed upon us. If the Biden Administration does not quickly act to chart another course, I guarantee you, Nemesis will soon be unleashed upon them. It is going to be Reagan/Mondale 1984 landslide all over again.

    1. The Rev Kev

      I’m seeing this whole idea by some politicians in Oz that vaccines will save us all and then everything will be alright once again. Our Prime Minister is actually saying that when we hit an 80% vaccination rate, that we can open our borders to the world and Coronavirus will be treated ‘just like the flu’. Yes, he actually said that. I am not sure about Nemesis but I would say that there will be profound disillusionment followed by anger if not rage which you are already observing with your patients as time goes on. The year 2022 is going to be really interesting.
      Hope that you are completely over your bout with this virus.

      1. campbeln

        Scotty from Marketing was bailed out of the bush fire fiasco by Covid. In a way, it made him act better than he ever would have without such a debacle. However, I don’t see how he gets out of this one this time.

        The entire western world lack leaders. All we have is some third-rate managers (or worse).

        1. bwilli123

          New Zealand, China and all bar one of the Australian state premiers are effectively managing Covid.
          The remaining heads of government have the cold heart of neo-liberalism determining that business and the economy come first.
          “No such thing as society” still rings true for these sociopaths

          1. vlade

            Whether China is or isn’t managing it still remains to be seen – the cases have been on the up.

            NZ is able to effectively manage it, because it really can control its borders well – it’s 2k miles from anywhere, so you can check and quarantine 99.99 people coming from abroad (if not more). Even for Oz, you can cross Torres Straits much more easily, and they get boatloads of refugees regularly (and I doubt they get all of them before they land).

            We could have suppressed the virus earlier on. Sort of. Because there is no chance in hell that we would have suppressed it all across the world.

            So CV would be with us, and the lockdowns would be “only” local, with substantial traffic (especially air traffic) reductions and inter-country movement restrictions (on goods, not just people). All that would be doable, but far from costless, both in money and convenience. And if anything, we’re too much convenience bound now.

            So I don’t really believe it’d be politically feasible for a long term. You can see it actually on the example of the NZ now, where they have been doing it for more than a year, and NZ is a pretty close society still, but there are already rumblings about how they would get vaccine to open to the world. Success can be its own enemy.

            Let’s face it. We run into nature, and it’s winning – as it usually is. And we have likely made things worse by mass rollout of a non-sterilizing vaccine, helping the virus’ evolution in the process.

            1. steelyman

              Singapore which is generally considered one of the more successful nations in dealing with CV-19 recently had cases spike up to 180-200 new cases a day. We’ve now got it down to around 60-80 a day.

              Yet according to this Reuters report which is dated August 9th China reported 125 new cases on Sunday, up from the previous day’s 96. So slightly worse than SG but let’s please note that China’s pop is around 1.4 billion and Singapore’s stands at 5.5 million.


              Overall, I’d say China is doing a pretty good job “managing the virus”.

              1. The Rev Kev

                Agreed. And I would add that China has a land border running for 22,117 kilometers (13,743 miles) which connects to 14 separate countries. Whether we like them or not is irrelevant. You have to credit them with trying.

    2. Skip Intro

      Chilling observation about Nemesis. I feel like we NC readers are in another one of those overhang moments, where the things we have been fretting about for weeks or months are beginning to break the surface of wider public consciousness. Like in 2007, you see the crash coming while everyone is still celebrating.

      Now we have a bizarre disconnect between the overwhelming vaccine propaganda, and the reality that was suggested a year ago by the unconventional measures of mRNA vax effectiveness. I think it will slowly become clear that mass vaccination with a non-immunizing vaccine was a hugely dangerous experiment that will strengthen the virus while weakening trust in obviously failing ‘public’ health systems. Ironically, the vax logic has reversed. Getting vaccinated with a non-sterilizing vaccine represents a risk to society, but for the individual, it represents a good bet for their own outcome.
      And all the megaphones are still turned to 11 with the reckless ‘Vaccine Macht Frei’ messaging that is causing so many vaccinated superspreader events. WaPo-believing dead-enders are battling for vax mandates, even as they are shown to be ineffective or counterproductive.

    3. petal

      IM Doc, you probably didn’t see, but this week we had 10 cases within 24 hours at our local college-all in fully vaccinated people. The indoor mask rule has since been brought back for all. Our “vaccines will solve everything/vaccines=freedom” dept chair wasn’t pleased. Thank you again for posting! I always look for your posts. They are sanity in this upside down crazy world.

      1. JWP

        Awaiting the chaos when I return to school. No restrictions on vaccinated people (no masks, full classes indoors, gym open, etc) Very much vaccine triumphalism in the emails being sent out. Vaccination rates are close to 90% for returning students and 95% for faculty and staff and the rest had Covid in the spring/winter. Over/under is 3 weeks before mask mandate returns.

        1. petal

          Oh I’m not battling them. Keeping my head down. I’m just a nobody-best to lay low, sit back, and watch this play out. Thank you, though! I will check it out-looks interesting.

    4. Not Even Wrong

      I’d like to join in thanks, IM Doc, for all your time and effort to give us your informed view.

      Are you hearing anything in the medical community about legal mandates for minors in some states after FDA approval, as a requirement to attend school?

      I’d hoped the treatment of minors would be held to a higher standard of evidence and caution, given minors’ very distinct risk profiles, legal status, medical needs, and the general ethical obligation for their care.

      Though adult mandates get most of the press, there’s plenty of legal precedent for minors in school, post-approval. The enforcement machinery is there. Vocal cadres of parents and staff assert that COVID-unvaccinated children endanger their school communities. Political appetite is strong– example, DeBlasio’s recent edict is already a de-facto mandate on minors.

      Thanks again for your insights.

      PS On your mention I ordered on eBay, used, Mandell 7th ed. for ~$12– all 20lbs & 4K pages of it. I’ll never pretend to have answers, but I hope to ask better questions.

      1. IM Doc

        This issue is rapidly becoming a very big mess.

        First of all – if you read some of the comments below, there is growing and alarming concern about the number of kids getting really sick from COVID which did not happen the last time. There is of course little evidence that vaccinating the kids would make them less likely to get this sick.

        There is also severe safety concerns in vaccinating kids. This is largely because we have seen the bad side effect issues grow in intensity as the subjects are younger. There is little hope this will not get worse with the kids. Many Western countries who are not as beholden to Big Pharma as the USA – Germany, Norway, and the UK for example – have taken one look at the data so far and said NO WAY ARE WE VACCINATING KIDS.

        This is going to be a hellacious experience for us all. My wife and I have school-age kids. We went to the first parent meeting of the year this past week. Mandated vaccination was discussed. A straw poll was conducted at the door of who will be allowing their kids to be vaccinated. The vote was 112-2 for NOT vaccinating their kids. It was clear to me a huge number of parents will be pulling their kids from school and home schooling if this is mandated. This could be a real blow to our entire public education system.

        I do not know the answer other than it is clear this will be a big huge mess. As far as FDA approval, anyone who takes approval by the FDA of any pharmaceutical after the debacle of the Alzheimer’s drug this past few weeks, is a moron.

        There is no way at all that safety issues have had any kind of time for full evaluation. NONE WHATSOEVER.

        1. Aumua

          it was clear to me a huge number of parents will be pulling their kids from school and home schooling if this is mandated.

          True, but a good number of those parents are probably going to pull their kids if masking is mandated as well. At least there is a big battle going on about that here and I’m sure in many places. So it’s just become damn near impossible to separate the truth from the b.s. any more around this. I mean impossible for most people (myself included) to separate genuine concerns from rampant speculation and propaganda about vaccines and covid in general.

          1. Yves Smith

            I doubt that is true to the degree you suggest. You provide no substantiation. And masks are a bizarre fetish object, in contrast with a medical intervention in which parents have no say.

            By contrast, in deep red Texas, it’s parents who oppose the governor’s anti-mask mandate.


            The noisy group opposed to masks is businesses. They think they turn off patrons or make it hard to hire/keep staff (when the opposite is likely true, masks are more likely to be a net plus in hiring and retention) or just resent the imposition.

            By contrast, parents have overwhelmingly wanted kids back in school because they work or find home schooling/managing them at home/remote learning to be stressful and not very workable. IM Doc’s community skews very affluent so more parents can hire help.

          2. drumlin woodchuckles

            An mRNA neo-vaccinoid is not the same thing as a vaccine, and only the deeply confused would think that it is.

            That said, I myself got the two shot series of Moderna mRNA neo-vaccinoid injections, because at my age and with my co-morbidities, I decided that I face a higher risk from coronavid itself than I would face from mRNA neo-vaccinoiditis.

        2. drumlin woodchuckles

          One wonders if ” a real blow to our entire public education system” is an unstated intention and part of the plan.

          If the “forced-vaccinationists” can drive enough millions of parents to take enough millions of children out of public schools so as to be able to knock the whole public school system all the way down to the ground like a fallen Jenga tower, then the Gates Foundationists and the Private Charterists will be able to privatise all the fallen Jenga tower pieces they consider to be worth privatising. And leave the unprofitable pieces just laying there un-picked-up.

          Is my tinfoil hat too tight?

      2. IM Doc

        Oh and about Mandell – I believe that the one you are getting is a few editions ago. Still good to have around.

        The whole reason I brought up Mandell was the discussion of herd immunity in respiratory viruses.

        The whole “herd immunity” issue is the 2nd biggest lie that has been told to the American people. The biggest lie was the constant spouting of the Relative Risk Reduction of 95% in these vaccines as meaning that the patient was 95% protected. I have never heard a bigger lie in all my years of medicine.

        “Herd Immunity” in polio or measles is just that – you either through natural infection or vaccination have a process whereby the members of the herd cannot pass the virus to one another. It is a bulwark that will eventually completely stop the spread.

        That is not the way things work with respiratory viruses. They have a different relationship with our immune system. Your body does remember some things, so that each successive infection is likely to be less symptomatic but you will still likely get infected multiple times through your life. And you will be able to spread it to all around you when infected. In the setting of an acute pandemic with a novel agent – things are a bit different in the beginning. The agent and the immune system of both the hosts and collective humanity must do a dance for a little while to get used to one another. I have heard immunologists describe this as a “hot war.” This is what we are doing right now – and as you can see it can get very very ugly. Eventually, things calm down into a “Cold War”. The agent keeps coming back to each an every one of us. But is not nearly as lethal. COVID will eventually do this as well.

        This is most assuredly what will happen – and as you can tell has no relation to “herd immunity” as in the polio or measles virus that is being promised to the American people.

        It must be noted, we as humanity have never introduced a vaccine into a hot war like this ever before. No idea how that will affect the process in the long term. One thing is for certain – the same immunologists are now stating emphatically that we are just going to have to get used to living with COVID.

        1. Raymond Sim

          “Eventually, things calm down into a “Cold War”. The agent keeps coming back to each an every one of us. But is not nearly as lethal. COVID will eventually do this as well.”

          Not as lethal in the surviving population. That’s why actual herdsmen try to avoid too much naturally acquired immunity on the way to herd immunity. Quarantine and systematic testing were routine parts of animal husbandry as I remember it, and taken very seriously.

          “– the same immunologists are now stating emphatically that we are just going to have to get used to living with COVID.”

          How’s their track record on predicting outcomes thus far in the pandemic? My personal observation is that advocates for living with the virus are typically not people who’ve shown much foresight up till now.

    5. skk

      Interesting. Thanks – a question – from the patient perspective:
      Do your patients speculate where, when they got it ? Or more crudely who they got it from ?
      and if they share their speculations, anything of generality one can come to ?

      1. IM Doc

        The vaccinated patients almost always come from a family cluster or some kind of social group or event – and most if not all the other people are vaccinated. They have no clue.

      2. Mantid

        skk, From a musicians perspective (huh, you may ask)…… Musicians are sensitive people, really. We are in the public’s eye and ears and are adept at sensing and responding to an audience quickly and efficiently. We are very good listeners and can sense stress, anxiety, joy quickly. Well since things have opened up to a large extent, people seem so relieved and happy to be out and about. However, I don’t think they really are. It’s a bit like global warming, everyone’s so sad about the floods and fires, but deep inside we all know we are the cause. The average person in a crowded concert hall or pub is afraid, deep inside, that they will get it. But it feels so good to be out, especially after a couple pints.

        With Covid, many people are in the phase where on the surface they say “It’s all good. Johnson, Faucci and Biden say it’s all OK”. However, deep inside they know it’s quite bad. The stories and comments, “I have this friend who’s sick…….. My daughter’s classmates ……..”, etc. These comments are coming to the fore more often. Musicians are beginning to drop out of gigs knowing that in a couple weeks it’s going to be very dangerous so they are cutting their losses now. I’m cutting out of most large or indoor venues and others are as well.

        It will be interesting to see how, in this case public performance of music (dance, theatre, poetry readings, etc.) will evolve. Large ensembles such as orchestra, church choirs, school groups, may become a thing of the past.

        We all know that Covid is a big infectious elephant on the dance floor.

        A bit of a tangent, so thanks for listening.

        1. The Rev Kev

          I guess for a while that musicians like yourselves will have to give out performances over the internet. No way as satisfactory as playing a crowd but at least it will keep them safe as well as their families.

        2. drumlin woodchuckles

          I still live the semi-shut-in life I have lived for years. I have gone to a few restaurants lately to “get it out of my system” in order to prepare myself for a swift return to a more shut-in life with zero restaurant attendance.

          So far, I have not gotten actual coronavid, so far as I know.

    6. Mikel

      “So long as vital elements of the world’s inhabitants aren’t protected towards the virus, it can proceed to unfold and mutate…”

      The Der Spiegal article and others with this narrative about the shots makes me want to scream. THE VIRUS IS UNFOLDING AND MUTATING IN THE VACCINATED AS WELL”.

      To stop the spread and thus mutations would require a sterilizing vaccine. These are not sterilizing. Other things have to be done to address the spread (ventilation, looking at the wastewater, etc). The shots are only providing a buffer between pulverized health care services around the globe and chaos in the hospitals.

    7. Pelham

      In my estimation, IM Doc is the single best source of Covid information. Thank you. One question: At this stage, since my family and I are fully vaccinated, our biggest personal concern is focused on long-Covid. Your sample sizes are small, I understand, but have you observed any difference in the occurrence of long-Covid symptoms among those who’ve been treated with ivermectin and those who haven’t? And if long-Covid is just as likely regardless of ivermectin as a treatment, would you advise use of ivermectin as a prophylactic? Thank you.

      1. IM Doc

        I am keeping a very close eye on this situation with how the COVID positive patients on Ivermectin do going forward. I do not think enough time has passed for me to be really sure one way or the other – but when a pattern emerges I will be on here telling everyone – one way or the other.

    8. mtt1029

      Sir, I would like to thank you for all that you are doing here. With your commentaries you’ve done me great service and I wish that I could repay you in some fashion.

      I have two questions that I haven’t seen addressed (forgive me if you have covered them previously):

      1) Do you have any sense about whether the decline in the efficacy of the vaccines due to waning of antibody levels in the vaccinated (implied by your comment about Dec-Jan vaccinated driving current inpatient levels) or to the Delta variant having mutated around the vaccine?

      2) Amongst the MSM panic porn, there’s increasing reporting about children’s hospitals being full, etc., is this actually a real issue right now?

      Thank you.

      1. IM Doc

        I think there is little doubt that the effectiveness of the vaccines begins to wane after time. Thus, all the talk about boosters.

        As I stated somewhere else today, the children’s hospitals are indeed getting slammed. There is a raging RSV outbreak in which we are in exactly the wrong time of the year for that. But on top of that I am hearing that kids are getting really sick with COVID – way worse than the last surge. I do not have any kind of handle on accurate numbers – but when I get any kind of feeling will share.

        To be honest, this is really concerning to me – this kind of game change if this turns out to be significant is exactly what we do not want this virus to be doing right now.

    9. Jeremy Grimm

      The Vaccine Solution manifests fatal Huberis, but also wanton Avarice in worship of an ancient god of Carthage. Both blots are joined by fabulous Incompetence. Nemesis is aflight, her sword is raised … but many innocent sheep will feel its blade along with the guilty. I fear — the US Polity is grown so moribund that even a Reagan/Mondale 1984 landslide might come as a relief.

      I join the many others, commenters, and quiet lurkers who treasure your comments and insights — thank you.

    10. lordkoos

      IM Doc, thank you so much for your comments on this blog, they are very much appreciated.

    11. Screwball

      Anger, yes, I see that too. To the point I’m getting more worried where this will lead. I talk to quite a few of the PMC class. They are losing their minds right now.

      Those stupid mouth breathing hicks that won’t get the shot – damn them to hell. They discussed what to do, with the solutions being;

      1) Segregated hospitals for the vaxxed and un-vaxxed – this includes the staff who refuse – they all go to the same place so they can kill each other (their words, not mine).

      2) No taxpayer money to pay for any treatment to un-vaxxed. Because their stupid – screw them – pay for it themselves.

      3) Any non-vaxxer should be put at the end of the line at the hospital – because they could have prevented this by getting the shot. Because their stupid.

      4) screw them – let them die – they earned their freedom – let them have it.

      5) and for fun, any mention of an alternative drug that seems to have possible good outcomes – you are a crazy Trumpist idiot who believes in a conspiracy theory instead of the science and should die for being so stupid.

      Oh brother! What a sad state of affairs this country is. Can we get more divided and hateful to each other? Could TPTB made any more of a mess than they already have? I’m afraid so, and where this all ends is yet to be known, but I have a feeling it will not end well.

      On a good note, I am a teacher, and school starts the 16th of this month. I just got an e-mail from the college (a state college in Ohio) that we are all to wear masks while in school – vaxxed – or un-vaxxed. Good, and not that difficult of a call if you ask me.

      Too bad the current administration didn’t go that but decided to turn half the country on the other half. Unity, I know…

      1. ObjectiveFunction

        You just described my FB feed for the last week.

        …. And yes, it’s the very same TDS friends whose feeds I had to put on 30 day time out for excessive soapboxing in prior years.

        They have simply copy-pasted their entire demonology from Trump voters to the unvaxxed, assuming the two sets are equal. They literally want them to be outcast, to suffer and die.

    12. neo-realist

      The vaccinated inpatients tend to be older and vaccinated at the beginning in DEC or JAN.

      It’s possible that the neutralizing antibodies generated from the vaccines in those patients have dissipated after about a six month run. I think that if the vaccines weren’t working as promised, those patients would have been hospitalized earlier.

      1. IM Doc

        I think you are correct.
        However, I do not recall anyone saying in the initial rollout that 3-6 months would be the efficacy window. If this is anything like animal coronavirus vaccination attempts in the past, the next round of boosters will yield 2 months, the next round 1 month – you get the point. This is not a good sign. How many polio vaccines or measles vaccines have you had in your life? The flu shot is indeed annual. Influenza is a much less complicated virus, however, and corona viruses are one of the best families for mutation.

    13. gc54

      I have first-hand reports this weekend from a PhD nurse cousin of my spouse in Florida and a doc in North Carolina, both working hard in pediatric ICUs. Both ICUs are now full w/ COVID cases, the doc has all 7 of their ECMO machines in use constantly and other kids a little less far gone on ventilators. My neighbor is trying to get his 4 and 2 year old daughters into vaccine trials. Fearful because the eldest is in day care. We are both confronting large college classes starting in 10 days with no possibility of remote instruction because of administrative greed and the pent up desires of students who are being told that they really must vaccinate. 80% of faculty have been vaccinated, only 49% of staff even though free and time off work for a day or two with pay.

      1. IM Doc

        The other very concerning issue going on that I am hearing is that many of these children’s hospitals are getting slammed with RSV.

        I have actually seen 2 RSV adults in the past month or do. They were both very ill but not quite hospital level. Adults with RSV and very sick in the summer. I have never seen this in my entire career,

        This is being seen elsewhere and lots of theories going around but nothing concrete. Both of these people were COVID vaccinated.

        An RSV epidemic with kids in the summer on top of sick COVID kids is not a good sign for the upcoming fall.

        1. skippy

          Its interesting you mention RSV because my recent virologist client brought it up in the context that due to pre/post historical changes in the environmental back drop brought on by ad hoc responses to Covid – this is not Kansas anymore Toto.

          I would also add that a great many credentialed and experienced medical people on media style platforms, that previously displayed more scientific rigor in their offerings are now seemingly singing the same tune. For some silly reason I’m getting flash backs of non economist sorts from the Sciences which have a large media footprint being trotted out post GFC saying the cure is we need more productivity to get back to “NORMAL”.

          I also did see a milquetoast mea culpa by Dr. Fauci & Dr. Walensky by Tsai in the context of a ***shift in experts’ thinking*** with regards to the magical beast that is herd immunity. So yeah, I concur with your on the ground assessment about people starting to get cranky with the ham-fisted PR and how it effects their lives whilst their betters don’t blink an eye and carry on – see Obama et al.

          BTW I got admin-ed by the social media platform ‘The Conversation’ Oz for pointing out the inaccuracy of the term herd immunity when applied to Covid w/ attribution on a post not a week ago. By a Health+Medicine journo, undergrad biochemist, polymath in training, and Health Medicine Deputy Editor at The Conversation.

          So there you go mate … public perception PR proceeds academic/scientific rigor with a side of flexian meritocratic uplift [payday] for those not encumbered by anything like ethics or morals because some orthodox econometric demands[tm] it.

        2. Raymond Sim

          Adults getting seriously ill with RSV was one of the things I was afraid we might start hearing about, my hypothesis being that lots of us are probably way overdue for our RSV booster infection, while at the same time also already suffering from syncytia-induced injury.

    14. zagonostra

      Just returned from a trip to Pittsburgh to visit my daughter. We went into a bike shop and a used book store and masks were required. I didn’t have one since I’ve gotten used to not being asked to put one on where I live part of the year, about 2 hours East. The managers/clerks had extras to hand out to people like me who aren’t used to carrying them around anymore. It seems strange and disconnected because we went to eat at a restaurant and they didn’t ask for us to wear mask. Its seems so bizarre to let individual establishments set medical policy.

      I found an interesting book in the discount rack, The Andromeda Strain by Michael Crichton. It was written in 1969. I watched to movie ages ago but never read the novel. I only vaguely remember it had to do with some contagion outbreak. I have scant knowledge of what they were doing with BCW programs at Ft. Detrick and know most to nothing about why that facility was closed down. I’m about a third into the book and the facility is described as huge and elaborate, doing cutting edge research. Anyway it’s strange reading this from this particular viewpoint of 2021.

      1. Mantid

        You’ve touched a nerve! Had an English class in high school and Mr. Carr assigned that book for a report. I kept putting it off until, literally the morning the report was due. Thought I could skim it, write a few quotes and bang out a paper. I couldn’t put the book down. Skipped school that day to read the whole thing. Couldn’t turn in a late paper but got in a lively conversation with Mr. Carr about …. “and the part where…… and when she …….. the old man in the store and the baby crying ……” One of my favorite books in high school. Read On! He gave me an A. If you’re out there Mr. Carr, you were on of the best.

        PS, he taught driver’s ed too – no lie.

    15. Don Midwest

      IM Doc, do you use the protocols posted by FLCCC – Front Line Covid Critical Associates?

      Their preventive and early treatment phases have other off the shelf drugs — vitamin C, vitamin D, mouth wash, etc.

      There is a lot of excellent information on their web page

      Including a 50 page manual for doctors which has important graphs of phases of the disease and treatments for various phases. 15 pages are references.

      1. IM Doc

        The answer is yes.
        In my opinion, when all the dust is settled – those brave folks will be the heroes of this entire situation.

    16. Aumua

      I think saying the vaccines have FAILED is a step too far. Maybe they have failed to live up to the promises that some people have made. I personally never got the impression that being vaccinated would prevent me from getting COVID, or even having symptoms. Now perhaps I’m exposed to overall better information and am able to read between the lines better than a lot of people. Perhaps it’s because I am a reader of NC that I am able to filter various claims being made into categories of truthfulness. But suffice to say that my expectations of the vaccines have always been realistic, once they started coming out at any rate. And those expectations did come from official channels, to some degree.

      So the (mixed) messaging around the vaccines and other COVID public health points is a giant FAILURE, I’ll grant you that. But not necessarily the vaccines themselves, which I still see as having a positive effect on the pandemic.

      1. Lupana

        It seems like on an individual personal level they have a positive effect but as far as slowing or stopping the pandemic, I’m very confused and not so sure..

        1. Aumua

          I’m not sure either! It’s just my best educated guess that they seem to be having an effect on deaths and serious illness at the very least.

      2. IM Doc

        If you carefully read what I was saying – they have failed for those patients who are now breakthrough positive. And their now very likely possibility of having long-COVID syndrome. I do not know if there is any evidence whatsoever to support a vaccinated positive patient having a lower chance of developing long COVID. Ergo, my attempt to do whatever I have available to rid their body of the virus as quickly as possible. And we have had an entire year and a half to look into this very issue. There is absolutely zero guidance from the CDC what clinicians should do with breakthroughs – NOTHING. We have had signals on ivermectin and actually several other agents that could be helping right now – but because of the monomaniacal focus on vaccines, absolutely nothing has been done. And now I have a rapidly growing cohort of patients with COVID where the vaccines have failed to prevent infection who are at risk of long COVID. I do not recall Fauci or Walensky saying one word about long COVID, if you have please let me know.

        I am encouraging as many high risk patients as I can to get the vaccine. But as far as protecting the population, I think everyone can see for themselves and make their own determination.

        1. Yves Smith

          To his point, NEJM article on medical workers in Israel:

          19% of breakthrough cases had persistent symptoms, aka Long Covid.

          I had argued with a reader about long Covid risk and vaccinating.

          This seems more or less on par of the odds of getting Long Covid if you get sick and are not vaccinated. I’ve seen estimates on the 1/6 to 20% level.

          Now admittedly there is sample bias here:

          1. Health care workers will skew younger and healthier than the population as a whole because their work demands that most of them are on their feet and moving about.

          2. Israel, so Pfizer vaccine, so immunity waning due to early vaccinations v the US, and health care workers would have been close to the head of the line.

          3. Pfizer vaccine question again, it may be less effective v. Delta than AZ or J&J (J&J is claiming that).

          1. Raymond Sim

            I believe Iranian healthcare workers were the first population where reinfection became an evident fact of life with this virus.

            I don’t know how well protected that population has been in Israel, but if I were looking for vaccinated people whose systems had endured repeated viral challenge, nurses would seem to be the top prospects.

      3. ChiGal in Carolina

        Agree; from the get-go it was stated that the vaccines were not 100% effective. Breakthrough cases were to be expected. It was also not claimed at the beginning that vaccinated people would not transmit the virus: this was repeatedly stated as something they were trying to obtain data on. But some people got triumphalist, I think Walensky has done the most damage with her categorical and just plain wrong assurances that vaccinated people don’t get sick and can’t pass it on. Her own agency had to issue a public correction.

        Maybe it was around the time that vaccinations started slowing down and they decided on the strategy of manipulating stragglers with false promises.

        True, there should be more research on treatment, and that all the eggs went into the vaccine basket does suggest overreliance on them. But they were never touted as 100% and the people who were paying attention are not surprised in the least.

    17. cnchal

      > . . . The clusters are almost always vaccinated as well. I have no explanation for this.

      Many vaccinated assume they are invincible to the virus not realizing that the “authorities” are lying gasbags.

      I remember just before the 4th of July weekend when the official line was mask off and the MSM endlessly playing a clip of an old fart at an airport proclaiming being vaccinated was like wearing a suit of armor. The message was, pandemic is over, a fairy tale told by the venal to the credulous.

    18. Jason Boxman

      You must have an incredible energy level; Thanks for taking the time to keep us informed!

    19. ChrisPacific

      On the ground, I am seeing already an alarming incidence of post-COVID symptoms (mainly now brain fog, depression, suicidal thinking, and severe headaches) in many of these patients WHO HAVE BEEN VACCINATED and then were infected.

      Are you noticing any difference between your Ivermectin and non-Ivermectin groups on this point?

    20. urblintz

      Alas, many of us saw this coming, were vocal about it before any degree of skepticism was allowed, and were ignored or dismissed.

    21. Lambert Strether

      > Nemesis will soon be unleashed upon them

      I would argue that people who have children will put up with almost anything as long as their kids are not threatened. So, it will be interesting to see how “back to school” and “heading toward a new peak” intersect in the coming weeks.*

      *Qualifier that if ventilation matters, the material buildings matter. In the United States, these will be all over the map, due to age, climate, school district wealth, etc., etc. Only the last will have the clout to have their complaints heard, of course, and the wealthy districts can best afford CO2 meters, fans, HVAC assessments an modifications, etc. Sigh.

  8. The Rev Kev

    “Cuomo on the Brink of Impeachment”

    Andy has only one way out. He should have his brother ‘Fredo’ Cuomo stand up for Governor of New York. And when that happens, ‘Fredo’ can then pardon him for his crimes.

  9. Wukchumni

    Goooood Mooooorning Fiatnam!

    The call had been made for a few rounds of smoke on our position, but somebody must’ve gotten the word to keep it coming as we were soon enveloped in an aerosol assault, despite the fire mission being 300 miles away to the north.

    Our situation on the ground definitely had the look of any old bad smoggy day in L.A. circa 1971, where you couldn’t see very far in the distance-a sorry state of affairs with wisps whipped south whistling Dixie.

    1. lordkoos

      A few days ago we finally saw the end of a week of smoke during which the official air quality ranged from “unhealthy for sensitive groups” to “very unhealthy” while at the same time temperatures were very high several of the days. Sitting in a closed-up house without air conditioning while it’s 98 degrees outside is no one’s idea of summer fun… thankfully the smoke finally blew out a few days ago but for a few days there was nothing we could do but endure. We’ve begun discussing the idea of moving to the coast where temperatures are more moderate.

    2. Nce

      Yep. Friday was in the red-purple categories, but since then westerlies have brought a little relief by blowing the sh*t into NV. (Hah, last year I’d camp on the east side of the Whites to escape the worst of it, but this year Deep Springs is getting socked in.) It’s not bad enough yet for me to consider a Humboldt move, unless a doc tells me to do soon.

      1. Wukchumni

        We had a trio of nothingburger lightning strike caused fires on the outskirts of Mineral King that were extinguished quickly last week, all quiet on the western front.

        Its getting to the point where the Sierra hiking season might be similar to the window for climbing Mt Everest, a few weeks where its possible.

        I’m not a beach person, so a road trip would have to be my escape route, versus this incensed incense wafting by for months at a time.

  10. Otis B Driftwood

    While everyone is focused on the drama in New York, here in California I have just received my sample ballot for the upcoming recall election. Newsome faces 46 aspirants to replace him. A crowd of people no one knows.

    The brief against Newsome reads like a post on a subreddit. An incoherent mishmash of right wing fears.

    I didn’t vote for Newsome and will likely never do so, but this is another absurd waste of time and resources.

        1. witters

          Think of it as the only time your vote really says something about a political figure that reflects your view 100% I think that makes more sense than any other idea about what your vote is doing/saying.

    1. Socal Rhino

      I watched the last 10 minutes of a debate/joint appearance on Fox of 5 contenders. The message seemed pretty well crafted to have a chance with CA voters – the focus being good governance. For example, agreement that the state needed to act on the housing crisis and calls for transparency in what exactly the billions being spent across a half dozen agencies are being spent on and why that isn’t working. And much the same on half a dozen issues. Newsome may have a real fight on his hands. That said, the CA GOP declined to endorse any candidate, that seems like a positive for the governor.

      1. Dandelion

        Not to mention his failure to deal with PG&E’s failings, which has meant another summer choking on smoke, and it’s not even fire season yet. Power lines should have been set underground at least 20 years ago.

          1. The Rev Kev

            Getting that way in Oz as well. Fire season use to be relatively short giving time for the fire brigades to do burn-offs and re-equip but now the fire season is getting longer and longer now. Not ready to invest in an asbestos house though.

      2. Raymond Sim

        I wish I could vote to recall him and vote for him as his own replacement. Newsome slithering off to his wine cave will just mean handing the Ca Dems a universal excuse for everything that happens in coming months. Newsome surviving the recall will be treated as the mandate of heaven.

        1. Dava

          People died-Newsom lied

          “Newsom overstated the number of acres treated with fuel breaks and prescribed burns by 690%. He claimed 90,000 acres have been treated after he signed an executive order authorizing burns on 35 priority projects, but CapRadio reports the actual acreage number is 11,399.

          – Newsom slashed $150 million from Cal Fire’s wildfire prevention budget in 2020.

          – Several wildfire experts say the state has done nowhere near enough to be prepared for the 2021 wildfire season.

          The CapRadio report states that Newsom’s office did not respond to “multiple requests for comment over the course of two weeks.” Newsom has repeatedly touted the 90,000 acre figure in public appearances and press releases.”

    2. Nce

      Wow, I’ve gotta check my PO box as I wasn’t expecting anything. I have no idea how I’ll vote. I bet many voters are like me and have forgotten about this.

  11. GramSci

    Re: Hearing

    I want to give a shout out to my Coniler “hearing appliances”. They work for me even as my hearing loss goes from “moderate” to “severe”. Medicare should cover hearing loss, but I’m not sure it should pay thousands when, for most people, something like these would suffice at $190 the pair.

    1. Mildred Montana

      I am happy for you. My mother dealt with severe hearing loss for forty years so I know how disabling it can be.

      For her, one of the most frustrating things was trying to get people to remember that she was hearing-impaired and therefore to speak directly to her and enunciate clearly. That was all, louder was not necessarily better.

      Unlike the blind, the hard-of-hearing are not visibly impaired. So people tend to forget. In her frustration, she often talked about wearing a sign or an easily-recognizable symbol to alert them to her problem. Although she never did, I think that’s a good idea.

  12. The Rev Kev

    “Pfizer and Moderna Mock Biden, Raise Vaccine Prices”

    It’s a good article but Matt Stoller never finished putting it together to its logical conclusion. He says Pfizer and Moderna raised prices on their vaccines so the European Union must now pay an extra 25% than it did for the Pfizer vaccine, and 10% more for Moderna’s. America’s turn will be next year. Pfizer and Moderna have a business plan to double their profits each and every year for the next decade so that money is going to have to come from somewhere. And I can guarantee you that this will not be the last price rise. Both corporations have said that they want to sell those doses in 2022 for, what was it, $170 a dose?

    Then he talks about the Chinese and Russian vaccines (while labeling them authoritarian States), saying that they aren’t as good as the mRNA ones. I would say that the jury is still out on that one but I will let it pass. He then gives a short list of where the Russian vaccines are manufactured and I see myself that Sputnik V is authorized in 69 counties, including some in the EU. But here is the thing. The European Union has boxed itself in as far as having to pay those higher prices. At the same time, they are slow walking approval of the Russian vaccines to the point that it is a death march. If they got over themselves, they could approve the Russian vaccines, arrange to have them manufactured in the EU, and then tell Pfizer & Moderna to go pound sand if they want to keep raising their prices. And Sputnik V last I heard is going for about $15-20 a dose.

    1. Carolinian

      Stoller knows a lot about antitrust but he has a real penchant for being half right. Indeed his article contradicts itself internally when he says the vaccines are the solution to the pandemic and then later says that delta and future variants may render them ineffective. He’s also a big New Cold Warrior and writes things like

      A few weeks ago, for instance, there was a summit between Biden and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and Biden poured on the praise, even giving in on Merkel’s desire for a Nord Stream 2 pipeline that would undermine Eastern European security interests.

      The Atlantic Council couldn’t have said it any better themselves. When China comes up Stoller doesn’t like them either. He should stick to his beat.

      1. Roger

        You are so right, I have noticed this now a number of times! The problem with a lot of such commentators, deep down they are still US Universalist Liberals (any system other than “democratic capitalism” is totalitarian or just plain wrong) through and through and share the “US exceptionalism” programming. There are places where Stoller just will not go, even though the train of thought would take him there if he did not carry out an immediate intellectual U-turn. I am down to NC, Moon of Alabama, Novara Media (UK-related), The Grayzone, Brazilwire and a few others for less intellectually-restricted analysis.

      2. Temporarily Sane

        Agreed. That’s why I can’t take Stoller seriously. The clown quotient is too high with that guy.

      3. lance ringquist

        i do not blame china, but that does not mean we need to roll over for them.

        lincoln understood the damage free trade would do to a countries sovereignty, wealth, and standard of living.

        “The globe is divided into different communities, each seeking to appropriate to itself all the advantages it can, without reference to the prosperity of others.”

        bill clinton handed them our wealth on a silver platter, the best way to avoid a war is to recognize what was done by bill clinton, reverse it, and let china go on its own without the gutting of our own nation.

    2. bob

      He was infected by DC brain years ago now. He often makes sense for a while, but then trails off into delusions of nationalist neoliberalism.

    3. Randy G

      It is with great ambivalence that I read anything by Matt Stoller, and I feel a sense of relief that Rev Kev, Carolinian, and Bob have similar reactions. His focus on monopoly is extremely important; his willingness to mock Obama as a con man is also creditworthy.

      However, he sounds exactly like a DC insider (a smug fabulist) when he starts this nonsense about the authoritarians versus the democracies.

      The U.S. is not a democracy, it is an Empire run by an oligarchy for the benefit of corporations and billionaires. Even ex-President Jimmy Carter has conceded this, and studies have shown that the demos have little influence on actual policy.

      The two-party system is in reality a one-party system, and it is so ossified at this point it appears unable to actually respond to immense crises such as wealth inequality, institutional decline, and even a rather mild plague. Forget about a sane response to catastrophic climate ‘change’ and environmental collapse.

      There’s obviously some panic setting in now that our “elites” realize that they have ‘misunderestimated’ the Chinese and, for that matter, the Russians.

      Hence the floundering of the Biden Administration as they veer here and there: mumblings on corporate monopoly; pushing an infrastructure bill to stem the national rot; the sudden withdrawal from the colonial misadventure in Afghanistan; and all the hyped up hysteria for China and Cold War 2.0.

      Perhaps Stoller can’t venture into DC sounding like Abby Martin or Caitlin Johnstone when he chats with the corporate lackeys in Congress, but he certainly seems to be a true believer in this Cold War II propaganda blather.

  13. Louis

    With respect to the Wall Street Journal Article about fast-food automation, this is likely one of those trends that was merely accelerated by the pandemic: i.e. pandemic or no pandemic it was coming and the pandemic merely sped things up.

  14. JTMcPhee

    On Rishi Sunak and other “conservative” revanchists from Colonial roots: Interesting how many of the individuals at the top of the power tree in Old Blighty are from that set. The colonized have their revenge, burning the former seats of power, decimating the British mope class, though of course in the neoliberal world in which they have come to excel, the benefit redounds only to the blessed, elevated individual, and at the continued expense of the Dalit, or in Woke version, the “Scheduled Caste…”

    1. skk

      The thing I can say in the defense of Priti, Rishi, Alok is that they don’t flaunt or trade on their colonized origins status – or that dreaded dreadful acronym BAME, as they go about their own class benefiting work.

      Unlike Obama.

      1. R

        The Anthony Costello started well in righteous anger but then fizzled out with the rallying cry that there is plenty of food in the UK but not enough “access to food”. This is Lambert’s best neoliberal-possession tell, that word access. Costello needs to speak plainly: there is not enough money to buy food because they have neither income not wealth. Access to food is meaningless, only ownership and consumption of food will help the poor, not tickets to view a chicken turning on a spit.

        1. ObjectiveFunction

          Ha, reminds me of that meme featuring Stalin:

          Dark humor is like food. Not everybody gets it

  15. Krystyn Podgajski

    “Biden delegation that met Bolsonaro in Brasilia this week offered Bolsonaro *membership in NATO* in exchange for him not using Huawei for Brazil’s 5G”

    Can someone explain why controlling who owns 5G is so important that Biden would dangle a NATO membership in front of Brazil for them not to use a Chinese company? This makes me sacred of the real purpose of 5G.

    1. tegnost

      How far is the north atlantic from brazil?
      He obviously can’t offer membership in the TPP…maybe CAFTA?

      Tough times.

    2. Roger

      The US spy agencies have back-doors into all the US produced network equipment, Huawei refused to provide these and the US of course worries that it will provide them to the CCP. IF you can listen in to all the router equipment, you can listen in to everything. If Huawei becomes the dominant supplier, the US spy agencies go deaf in significant parts fo the world and maybe its the CCP listening in (Huawei have publicly states that they will not provide back-doors to any government, but thats just the usual required PR bullshit).

      1. oglenn22

        Between Israel’s Pegasus spyware and what the CIA already has I seriously doubt that anything Huawei makes can’t be hacked. The whole 5G thing is about who’s billionaires get richer, China’s or US’s.

  16. The Rev Kev

    “Incrementalism For All Who Can Survive It”

    (Overheard at the DNC)-

    ‘What do we want?’


    ‘When do we want it?’

    ‘Now is not the time! Yay!’

    1. tegnost

      considering how biden is arguably to the right of reagan you have to wonder which way the increments are going…

  17. ddt

    Just read of a clinical trial of an Israeli regimen called “EXO-CD24” for treatment of covid19 that’s showing lots of promise. Hopefully this won’t be shoved aside for the vaccine-only treatment option.

    1. petal

      Here is a link if people are interested: Israeli breakthrough COVID treatment gets approval for advanced trial
      “EXO-CD24 COVID-19 is based on CD24-enriched exosomes and is meant to fight the cytokine storm, which overwhelms the immune system. Exosomes are responsible for cell-to-cell communication. In this case, they deliver the CD24 protein to the lungs, which helps calm down the immune system.”

      I read that it is inhaled into the lungs.

  18. Wukchumni

    One nice thing about going on a backpack trip in the Wi-fi-less regions is it instantly cuts you off from this ball & chain, sorry! out of order.

    …which made it so easy to avoid another Olympics

    Our first foray in the forest was to Iva Bell hot springs starting from Red’s Meadow, a walk too far for a dayhiker @ 13 miles-you have to backpack in. There’s 7 different ones to take a soak with everybody’s favorite being the King Tub, high up on the hill with a commanding view of Fish Creek Valley below and steep ridgelines on either side with a long distance view of Yosemite NP.

    We had blessed rain for about an hour every day, remnants of monsoonal activity emanating from points south so the raindrops weren’t even served cold. One afternoon just before a thunderstorm got going, 3 of us got into the hot springs in the first photo in this link:

    …and soaked through thunder & lightning which might not have been wise if we were to have gotten zapped, making the headlines in the only way really as far as the wilderness is concerned, as a trio beyond triage

    But that didn’t happen and i’m here to tell the tale, and the closest stanza of the dozen lightning flashes and long playing reverberations of thunderclaps was 7 seconds. It was magical.

    All of my 40 years of traipsing in the back of beyond, backpackers skewed mostly male and the average age just kept going up…

    And then everything changed starting about a decade ago with the movie Wild and you started seeing young adult women in the wilderness more and more, and to give you an idea of what’s what, 9 of the 10 backpackers going in to the hot springs as we were coming out, were women.

    On our next 5 day walk in Yosemite NP we noticed how young everybody was, along with a noted absence of tattoos adorning them. Our over the hill foursome of 49, 59, 64 & 68 was the exception in that everybody else seemed to be 28.

    I surmise its on account of a few other factors, in that it costs about nothing once you have the gear and Millennials owing student debt aren’t likely to be rolling in dough, and as mentioned above, its the one place where you can be deliberately disconnected, but not distracted.

    You can only get into Yosemite NP by reservation and they are very stringent about seeing your papers please, as we were approached numerous times by the NPS rangers on foot while waiting for our chance to be questioned further at the frontier border, by which we made a smooth entry into Wallhala-adjacent, more approximately @ Tuolumne Meadow where we wolfed down lunch outside on a bench from the grill there when an odd thing happened post repast in that I attempted to go into the market @ 1:30 pm and the manager told me both the market & grill were closed because ‘a couple of employees had to go home as they were sick’. I inquired if it was Covid, and he gave me an ‘I don’t know?’ look which said plenty.

    Leonard Bernstein was once asked what his favorite rock group was, and he said: Yosemite.

    Earth was rare during our sojourn on foot as its almost all granite aside from the meadows where there was no dearth of dirt.

    I’d only ever driven into Yosemite Valley before and its utterly spectacular, but so much more worthy walking in on it instead, and as an added bonus it wasn’t the usual human pedaling zoo & ad hoc automobile warehouse i’d grown so weary of going to, visitation seemed on the down low which matched the mood of the waterfalls, Yosemite Falls having the look of tears falling from afar.

    1. The Rev Kev

      ‘we noticed how young everybody was, along with a noted absence of tattoos adorning them.’

      I know that that is an important data point that but for the life of me cannot work out why.

  19. The Rev Kev

    “Afghanistan war: Sheberghan falls to Taliban, militants say”

    Trying to bomb the Taliban as time goes on may get problematical. Not only are they seizing armouries of weapons & ammo from captured towns & cities, they are also getting ahold of Humvees and armoured vehicles. So from the air, it may get difficult to tell the difference between the Taliban and the Afghan forces.

  20. petal

    Obama’s birthday party: EXCLUSIVE: Awkward! Obama runs into Nancy Pelosi following a round of golf with Don Cheadle after she was DISINVITED from his ‘scaled down’ 60th birthday but showed up to Martha’s Vineyard anyway

    Maskless Obama hits the dancefloor at his celeb-filled ‘scaled back’ Martha’s Vineyard 60th birthday bash attended by hundreds that has been labeled ‘hypocrisy at its finest’ amid US Delta surge

    Complete with no-fly zone! Barf. And to think we have to keep giving this guy medical care and security for how many more decades while so many go without? sigh.

    1. Wukchumni

      We shall defend our island nook, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight for no-fly zones, we shall fight the use of images w/o copyright, we shall fight for the right to party like it’s 2019.

  21. skk

    re: In the midst of millenarian chaos, the charismatic presence of Akbar – the perfect ruler

    As ever, the headline has got nothing to do with the essay – the sub-head and art are much better:

    Looking at pages from the Tarikh-i-Alfi, the first grand, illustrated historical manuscript made in the emperor’s kitabkhana.

    Thanks for the link.

  22. Pat

    While I am still dinging my karma by ‘praying’, begging, urging the Universe to strike down the Obama revelers with massive Covid cases, I am also beyond amused at all the things that event has illuminated.

    The Obamas are crash and tasteless.
    They don’t give a damn about public opinion despite occasional nods in that direction. They know we/you are all stupid.
    They also don’t think that ordinary concerns have anything to do with them.
    They do want a whole range of supposedly important people to kiss their rings.
    Most of the people in supposed upper reaches of our political and media world believe exactly the same.
    There is some real evidence that these people couldn’t find their hands in front of their face on a sunny day.

    Why do I say that. Well if they scaled back, you couldn’t tell and the same people that reported on the event, continued to report on the ‘scaled back’ event. They were shown to be being incredibly stupid health wise in a pandemic. The ring kissers spent as much on going there as the Obamas spent on this summer Court for the courtiers. As things get worse, this is not going to disappear. The hypocrisy is too blatant.

    Because I do think these people are arrogant and believe their * don’t stink, I have to wonder if they have been stupid in trimming their guest list. Just as they didn’t understand that the media is desperate for stories now that Trump is gone and that this was going to be covered and their smaller event would be shown to be barely pruned, I can also see them thinking that the few that did get cut would never know how few they were. I can see them dissing some no name, not rich people who have been with them for years and thinking ‘they’ll understand.’ And not getting people won’t understand, and will be hurt to find that celebrities you spend maybe three hours with every other year are more ‘family’ than they are. The reaction to this may be surprise number two. At least I hope it is. They might just tie up their wounds, but a dish served cold would be better.

    1. Pat

      Well I have to take it back. They disinvited Pelosi!?! Okay maybe they know something about her reach I do not, but that strikes me as shortsighted.

      1. tegnost

        I’m sure nancy is there for fundraising,
        not having to go to the party makes for good back room dealings

      2. lordkoos

        Perhaps it was because of Pelosi’s age — at 80 she’s more at risk than younger attendees.

    2. Pelham

      They certainly don’t appear to be concerned about public opinion. But I still really don’t get why they’re throwing this bash. Why bother? They’re rolling in it already. What’s to be gained? I’d like to hear a sincere Obama defender explain this, or try to. Although I find the event obnoxious and infuriating, I’m also genuinely — and I do mean genuinely — puzzled. Could it have something to do with Michelle’s or one of their kids’ unspoken ambitions? If so, it’s likely to backfire in the public eye, although maybe it’s all about currying favor among the wokenoscenti.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        I joked about recruiting for Netflix, but Obama has always wanted to the approval of the men in suits from when he was a kid. This is Obama living out his club president of the country club fantasy. Obama identifies with the club members in Caddyshack or the Omegas in Animal House.

        Obama doesn’t want to be Rodney Dangerfield but would like to walk among the Connecticut golf courses as a club member in good standing. He needs to hold a dull party on Martha’s Vineyard so he’ll be accepted.

        I mean Tom Hanks and Stephen Spielberg are family friends of Obama…there is probably a line out the door of people more interesting than Obama who he relied on and knows outside of the movies or one fundraiser who were cut.

        The place of Hollywood has changed certainly.

        1. Screwball

          Did you see the price of that country club? From the link posted by @petal above (thanks petal).

          Membership costs $12,000 a year on top of a $350,000 initiation fee and is currently at full capacity with 305 members.

          The most expensive country club in my area, famous for hosting multiple US Opens, PGA, the whole 9 yards – is nowhere close to that expensive.

          Barry has no shame, remorse, or class – he’s a POS – and by looking at his golf swing – can’t golf either. But he looks the part. Family blog him.

      2. lordkoos

        Perhaps the idea was to show us plebes that things have returned to “normal” and it’s now fine to have mask-less gatherings.

        1. Dr. John Carpenter

          This was my thought too. That’s why I was surprised at the reports of this being “scaled back”, although what barfed up in my news feed this morning didn’t fit my idea of scaled back.

      3. Dava

        Certainly not concerned about sea level rise either, after buying their Martha’s Vineyard compound right next to the sea.

        Looks like he based his oligarchic third home purchase on intelligence briefings that speak the truth?

    3. IM Doc

      I guess I want everyone to have in their mind when they view these videos of one thing.

      I am not seeing a whole lot of masks and social distancing. In fact, I cannot see a mask at all.

      These are the self same people at this party who are out telling every American parent that it is unsafe for their kids to go to school without a mask. You can literally bathe in the hypocrisy and the evil.

      My God, what a bunch of losers. I will have to answer to God one day that my wife and I were such ardent supporters of his. It really is deeply troubling on so many levels.

  23. Eustachedesaintpierre

    The drone operators remind me of the reaction of Wehrmacht soldiers, who were tasked with shooting Jewish civilians, which according to their so called superiors was badly effecting morale. Einsatzgruppen replaced them with the aid of Eastern European collaborators, followed by mobile gassing trucks as a first step towards the final solution.

    Maybe Neocons should be recruited, so they can really get that armchair warrior buzz, instead of forcing people who actually have a sense of morality to murder for them.

  24. urblintz

    “Prophylactic Role of Ivermectin in Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 Infection Among Healthcare Workers”

    Two doses of oral ivermectin (300 μg/kg/dose given 72 hours apart) as chemoprophylaxis among HCWs reduced the risk of COVID-19 infection by 83% in the following month. Safe, effective, and low-cost chemoprophylaxis has relevance in the containment of pandemic alongside vaccine.”

    The notion of vaccinating everyone was never credible or doable.


  25. semiconscious

    re: BREAKING—Florida is caught underreporting #COVID19 deaths by 3.5x. Instead of the reported “175” deaths, the actual net increase in #COVID deaths is 616 in one week. Fuzzy math @GovRonDeSantis?

    HT @BNODesk.

    — Eric Feigl-Ding (@DrEricDing) August 6, 2021

    ‘this tweet is unavailable’? fuzzy tweet @DrEricDing?…

  26. upstater

    re. The $1 trillion infrastructure bill is a baby step toward the US grid we need MIT Technology Review

    While there certainly is a valid case for development of inter-regional HVDC transmission for renewable energy sources, the sad fact of the matter is that the cheapest kilowatt of electricity is the one you don’t use, i.e., conservation. None of these renewable electricity programs come anywhere close to advocating or incentivizing radical reductions in consumption. Indeed, the plans at the federal or any state level call for business as usual with greatly increased consumption. The MIT article also touts this line.

    Everyone driving EVs to work and big box stores from suburban homes equipped with heatpumps doesn’t solve anything and even makes some problems worse.

    Wrong plan, too little, too late.

    1. R

      The FT article on upgrading period UK houses is similarly wrongheaded.

      Most modern efficiency improvements in old houses are a waste of money. Double glazing is proven to be no more effective than well maintained single glazed windows and a thick pair of curtains at night. Or well fitting shutters which are security into the bargain. The seals rot in sunlight over a decade so it ends up functioning as single glazing anyway.

      The best efficiency measure is to buy a woolly jumper and turn the thermostat down.

      And anyway, far more energy is used in marine cargo movements and in building new homes and demolishing old ones needlessly than in heating residential homes. We’re being gaslighted, as it were. Modern replacement houses never recover their embedded energy deficit over refurbishment. English Heritage has endless publications on thus yet the FT asked greentech thinktanks….

  27. polar donkey

    Shelby County (Memphis) Tennessee had 750 covid cases Friday. Hospitals are full. One hospital said covid cases will not peak till August 31st. The state had an emergency covid hospital set up for almost a year. Sat empty the whole time. Governor said it was a waste, closed it on July 1st and put it up for sale. It is going to be a rough 2 months ahead. My kids went back to school in Mississippi last Thursday. No ICU beds left in the state and a 2,000 nurse shortage. Not even a mask mandate for students. Arkansas schools have been back 2 weeks. State banned mask mandates in the spring. Marion Arkansas schools have 4,000 students. 900 quarantined already. Shelby County Schools have students return this coming week. They do at least have a mask mandate.

  28. Mikel

    “James Early on Cuban Embargo…”

    “Imagine if China used its power to cut off international trade to the US, including for things like medical equipment, because they didn’t like Joe Biden, and hoped that if enough Americans were made miserable, they would rise up against him, and install a leader China thought would better serve their interests…”

    Well, I think it’s safe to say with certainty that the embargos anywhere are not for the purpose of encouraging people power or encouraging anything resembling actual big D “Democracy”. You know, the actual democracy that has nothing to to do with making the world safe for corporate pillage.

    Embargos are an act of war – a way to sow chaos in order to make room for some puppet, or other tyrant that is good for profits,
    to emerge.

  29. urblintz

    “”Just by looking at the data, you can clearly separate the different patient groups, even without doing technical statistical analyses,” said Alhaji Janneh, lead author and graduate student in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

    In asymptomatic patients who tested positive for a SARS-CoV-2 antibody, the researchers found a slight increase in serum sphingosine levels—and only sphingosine—compared to patients who tested negative. Remarkably, in patients who developed COVID-19 symptoms, there was a 15-fold reduction in sphingosine levels. Conversely, almost 75% of asymptomatic patients had elevated AC levels while most symptomatic patients had no detectable AC. The presence of serum AC correlates with the increased levels of sphingosine.

    “Can this be an alternative way to predict which patients are the most vulnerable to severe disease?” asked Ogretmen, who is also a professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and the SmartState Endowed Chair in Lipidomics and Drug Discovery. “If we can separate asymptomatic patients from symptomatic patients, we can use limited remedies and resources for patients who are more vulnerable.”

    Overall, there is a 99% probability of correctly determining which patients, who have tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies, will develop disease symptoms versus remain asymptomatic, using blood levels of sphingosine.”

    and another predating the SC research:

    Alterations of lipid metabolism provide serologic biomarkers for the detection of asymptomatic versus symptomatic COVID-19 patients

    1. bwilli123

      Also reported in Medical Express Potential COVID-19 medication found among tapeworm drugs
      “The compound’s antiviral mechanism is the key,” Janda says. “It blocks the viral material from getting out of the endosome, and it just gets degraded. This process does not allow new viral particles to be made as readily.”
      Importantly, because it acts inside cells rather than on viral spikes, questions about whether it would work in new variants like Delta and Lambda aren’t a concern, he adds.
      “This mechanism is not dependent on the virus spike protein, so these new variants coming up aren’t going to relegate us to finding new molecules as is the case with vaccines or antibodies,” Janda says.

  30. Carolinian

    Pat Lang reports that the US embassy in Kabul is telling Americans to get out now. Don’t wait for the roof choppers.

    Meanwhile the Pentagon is searching around for a new war to fight.

    And now we move forward two decades. Last October another wargame simulated a US defence of Taiwan against a Chinese attack. Another test of some high-falutin war-fighting concept. (One might parenthetically ask how many of these concepts are actually business-school ideas given the predilection of US generals for MBAs. Probably the worst imaginable preparation for what our USMC “Iranian” commander called a “terrible, uncertain, chaotic, bloody business“.) General John Hyten, Joint Chiefs of Staff Vice Chairman, reported on the wargame:

    Without overstating the issue, [Blue force] failed miserably. An aggressive red team that had been studying the United States for the last 20 years just ran rings around us. They knew exactly what we’re going to do before we did it.

    The first thing that went wrong for the Blue force was that it suddenly lost all its communications – as I have been saying (and the Chinese and Russians surely know) one of the fundamental assumptions of the US style in war-fighting is constant, reliable, assured communications. All its “smart” weapons need to be “talking” to their controllers all the time: stop the “talking” and they become immediately “stupid”. Then the US force was hit with wave after wave of missiles. And the rear areas were hit with waves of missiles. And that was that. And, in another wargame in 2020, Poland was annihilated by the Russians: Warsaw was surrounded in five days.

    What stood out for me in Hyten’s refreshingly honest presentation was this: “studying the United States for the last 20 years”. Washington officials are not noted for their ability to see things from the other side’s point of view, but he certainly got that one right. China (and Russia and Iran) know that they are on Washington’s hitlist. They have been watching Washington fight wars for two or three decades (winning none of them, despite the hype); they know how Washington fights; they know its strengths and weaknesses. They have put a lot of thought into it. One might also observe that, while Washington fights its wars safely overseas, China, Russia and Iran have very strong memories of wars fought on their own territory. This gives them, as Andrei Martyanov is always pointing out, a rather different view of war – it’s not some affair of choice far away over there, it’s a horrible, deadly, bloody, immensely destructive process in your own home.

    Not that this will deter Blinken and the think tankers from trash talking. They need lip zippers.

      1. Raymond Sim

        My heartfelt best wishes to him and his family.

        I believe he’s one of the people I’ve gone off on here in recent months. I’m pretty sure I was right and he was wrong, but honest to God I wish it were the other way round.

  31. Expat2uruguay

    I didn’t realize that Glenn Ford of the Black Agenda Report passed away last week. I found out when added this interview of Glenn telling his life story. With Paul Jay from 2013.

    RIP Glenn Ford

  32. allan

    A Modest Proposal The Case Against Masks for Children [WSJ]

    Each and every objection is irrelevant, false or misdirection.
    As is so well documented at NC every day, we can’t vaccinate our way out of this –
    universal masking with high quality filtration will be required for some time if
    we want to avoid a disaster this autumn. What is wrong with these people?

    1. Yves Smith

      One of the way people put up straw mans about masks is that they act as if the goal is to protect the user, which they won’t (much) unless a very high quality mask. And the problem is you do need a good level of general compliance for masks to work. But of all places, that ought to be achievable in a classroom….if we were in a society where teachers had authority.

  33. allan

    Professor Sentenced in Pay-for-Grades Scheme [Inside Higher Ed]

    … a former professor of mathematics at Baltimore City Community College, pleaded guilty to bribery in a scheme involving students’ grades, Maryland attorney general Brian Frosh said Thursday. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison with nine years suspended and five years’ probation upon release, plus $60,000 in restitution. …

    Oddly, unlike Steve Rattner in his Pay-for-Play scandal, the good professor was not allowed to
    not admit any wrongdoing, continue to assert his innocence and be a fixture on Sunday morning shows.

  34. ChrisRUEcon


    Unfortunately, I cannot comment here using the words I truly want to, as it would violate this wonderful Family Blog’s rules on decorum.

    I would only invite readers to hear Rishi describe in his own words on where he thinks government gets money from – via Twitter*.

    He should be disqualified from running anything having to do with government finances.

    * – Apologies for any swearing this may cause

    1. ChrisRUEcon

      Delta Surge

      I empathize with those who have children under twelve. What utter dereliction of duty from the top down. At this point it’s mostly down to hoping that it each person’s little patch, folks are vaccinated and still masking. I can’t imagine what it’s like in places where people are still refusing to do both.

      My sincere wishes for every one in our commentariat – that we all see this through; at this point, we’re all just passengers IMO.

      1. ChrisRUEcon

        Barack’s Birthday Bash


        Is anyone actually surprised??! He’s a celeb now … is this any different from the Kardashian vacation extravaganza at the height of the pandemic? Obama’s free as a bird, man! Gonna overrun a much beloved public park in Chicago to build his “ode to black Reaganism” library, have fun making Spotify playlists and hobnob to his heart’s content with the rich and famous.

        This is pretty close to his final form evolution. When he takes his private space flight, and says some typically lame but deemed-profound-by-sychophant-media while staring at the earth from above, his metamorphosis will be complete.

        1. JTMcPhee

          It is in no way a “library,” patently does not even pretend to be. It’s just a forking Ziggurat to his ego, a screw-you to the local mopes. May he rot.

          1. ChrisRUEcon

            Hahahaha! Would you believe me if I said I initially had library in quotes as well, but decided against it? ;-) Next time I’ll trust my gut … Ziggurat, indeed!

      2. The Rev Kev

        Boy, aren’t we lucky! ‘Moderna considers Australia for vaccine trial for under-12s’. From the article-

        ‘Moderna is evaluating Australia as one location for a trial that aims to enrol 6000 children aged from six months to 12 years, with most of the study taking place in the United States.’

        Now they want children and toddlers to be guinea pigs for a mRNA experimental vaccine.

        1. ChrisRUEcon

          Well, I would not call mRNA experimental at this stage. I mean, we have voluminous production results in the field as it were (full disclosure, I got Pfizer). And with children, I believe, any experimentation is around dosage amounts and not with the actual constituents of the vaccine itself. However, IANAV(irulogist) so happy to have anyone with more knowledge in this domain chime in.

          1. The Rev Kev

            Hasn’t been approved by the FDA so yes, it is still experimental. And if you read IM Doc’s comments & report above, you will see that they are not delivering. In fact, they could make this pandemic worse by letting vaccinated people get infected which will give this virus multiple chances to mutate into a version that will totally blow past these mRNA vaccines.

            And IM Doc has already talked about how difficult it is in the US to report any problems with these vaccines. So when a guy like Fauci says that he hopes that these drugs get approval, I will come out now and say that he is talking his portfolio rather than his expertise-


            1. ChrisAtRU

              Ahhh … thanks for pointing to IM Doc’s comments. I’ve read the 1st long one, and that is alarming. Given Delta’s potency, I was not surprised to hear on infections in the vaccinated, however, 1% vs 50%/70% is a clear indication that the vaccine is not equipped to handle Delta. My other thought is how much of this is behavioral, which lands right back in the laps of the CDC and Fauci, who time and again supported non-masking for the vaccinated. By giving vaccinated people the idea that for them, it was effectively over, the opened the gates to those people feeling it was safe to do things that it was patently not. For myself, I have never stopped masking and have largely not gone back to any pre-pandemic activities like eating indoors and thus far, have avoided infection. Thanks for setting me straight here. It worsens my concerns, but as always, prefer to be playing with a full deck as it were. Cheers.

  35. Wellstone’s Ghost

    The restaurant and bar scene up here in the urban centers of the Pacific Northwest are making a valiant stand against getting shut down again by requiring proof of vaccination for entry. The masking requirement is still oddly absent from these requests. They know another shutdown will be ruinous given the investments many have made to mitigate the damage already done. Business has been booming for the last month. Watching this while reading about Afghanistan has me thinking that the virus is the
    Taliban and the businesses are the government forces.
    Governor Jay Inslee will announce tomorrow a vaccine requirement for all Washington state government employees. Oddly, no mask requirement is expected to be part of his decree at this time.
    I really don’t understand the issue people have with masks. When I was an exchange student in Japan it was common practice to wear a mask when sick given the close proximity to other people.
    The US is on the ropes and Covid is Mike Tyson. No, the US is not Buster Douglas.

  36. Mikel

    “Internal Health Ministry data shows that 14 Israelis have been infected with COVID-19 a week after receiving a booster shot, Channel 12 news reports.
    The network says 11 of those infected are over the age of 60 — two of whom have now been hospitalized — while the other three got their third dose because they are immunocompromised.
    If confirmed in larger samples, the figures could cast doubt on the effectiveness of the booster shot, which Israel has started administering before major health bodies around the world have approved it….”

    Is 1 week after any of the shots enough for them to begin their protective processes?
    They only began the boosters a little over a week ago. And with the Covid wide range incubation period, did they possibly already catch it before the booster?
    With all the magical thinking around the shots, it’s possible they can’t provide whatever protection they are able to provide at any given time.

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