2:00PM Water Cooler 9/10/2021

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Bird Song of the Day

* * *


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

We already start to an instant rebound from Labor Day, I assume because reporting is returning to normal. Nevertheless, Labor Day, as the end of summer, also signals life changes for Americans, so those changes will affect the numbers too. We shall see!

Vaccination by region:

53.4% of the US is fully vaccinated, a big moment, bursting through the psychological 53% barrier (mediocre by world standards, being just below Ecuador, and just above Switzerland and Malaysia). Every day, a tenth of a percentage point upward; this stately progress seems to continuue no matter what is in the news. However, as readers point out, every day those vaccinated become less protected, especially the earliest. So we are trying to outrun the virus… (I have also not said, because it’s too obvious, that if by Bubba we mean The South, then Bubba has done pretty well.)

Case count by United States regions:

Covid cases top ten states for the last four weeks:

Fresh-squeezed numbers from Florida.

From CDC: “Community Profile Report September 10, 2021” (PDF), “Rapid Riser” counties, this release:

It would be nice if all that lovely green were not a reporting artifact, but…. This map, too, blows the “Blame Bubba” narrative out of the water. Not a (Deliverance-style) banjo to be heard. Previous release:

(Red means getting worse, green means bad but getting better.)

Test positivity:

Hospitalization (CDC):

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

Deaths (Our World in Data):

We are now well past the peak of last year at this time. Which I am finding more than a little disturbing. (Adding: I know the data is bad. This is the United States. But according to The Narrative, deaths shouldn’t have been going up at all. Directionally, this is quite concerning. Needless to see, this is a public health debacle. It’s the public health establishment to take care of public health, not the health of certain favored political factions.)

Covid cases worldwide:

* * *


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

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

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

Biden Administration

Capitol Seizure

“Hundreds of law enforcement officials were prepped early for potential Jan. 6 violence” [Politico]. “Just two days before armed rioters stormed and ransacked the Capitol, about 300 law enforcement officials got on a conference call to talk about the possibility that Donald Trump’s supporters would turn violent on Jan. 6. They specifically discussed the possibility that the day’s gatherings would turn into a mass-casualty event, and they made plans on how to communicate with each other if that happened. The officials were so prepared for chaos that they even had a hashtag to share information on the FBI’s private communication service: #CERTUNREST2021. These previously unreported details come from a person familiar with the call and an email summarizing it obtained by the transparency group Property of the People. The Wall Street Journal first reported that the call occurred. ‘Reporting indicates a significant number of individual [sic] plan to or are advocating for others to travel to Washington, DC to engage in civil unrest and violence,’ reads the summary of the call, which included officials from so-called fusion centers — regional intelligence hubs set up after 9/11 to track major domestic threats. The extent of the FBI’s awareness that the rally by Trump backers could turn violent raises fresh questions about why national security and law enforcement officials didn’t do more to protect the Capitol on that volatile day.”

“‘Our patience is wearing thin’: Biden imposes vaccine mandates for 100 million Americans” [Sydney Morning Herald]. “Our.” Who’s “we”? More: “The rules, introduced in an attempt to curb the spread of the highly contagious and economically damaging Delta variant, will require all workers at companies with over 100 employees to be vaccinated or to be tested for COVID-19 weekly. ‘We’ve been patient, but our patience is wearing thin,’ Biden said in a direct and unusually blunt message to unvaccinated Americans. ‘And your refusal has cost all of us.’ … The roughly 17 million workers at health facilities that receive federal Medicare or Medicaid also will have to be fully vaccinated. Biden is also signing an executive order to require vaccination for employees of the executive branch and contractors who do business with the federal government — with no option to test out. That covers several million more workers.” • Wonderfully clarifying that the party of the PMC — playing gatekeeper as usual — is imposing draconian workplace restrictions, which will disproportionately impact the poorer Black and working class populations, especially essential workers (and women who are disproportionately nurses and teachers). The hesitant aren’t all Bubbas. I guess we’ll see.

Here is a thread on the OSHA aspects of Biden’s plan:

Love it or leave it:

On the politics:

Lambert here: I have to say, it’s hard to imagine Obama doing anything like this (which is not to say Biden’s plan is workable or adequate). Advantage, Biden, exactly as with Afghanistan (which will quickly be forgotten except among irredentist factions of The Blob and whoever is planning our next war MR SUBLIMINAL In Africa. If Biden gets lucky on the numbers (it’s happened before), and he manages to lock Manchin into a room and set it on fire, the Democrats may do alright in the midterms. At least he’s trying! I think I need to get out my Magic Markers on his speech, though, which is not going to play well everywhere. The question is: Will it play well enough?

UPDATE “The Surprisingly Strong Supreme Court Precedent Supporting Vaccine Mandates” [Politico]. Jacobson v. Massachusetts, 1905: “Jacobson’s claim was essentially the same as that taken for granted by vaccine skeptics today: That they have the personal liberty under the U.S. Constitution to decide for themselves whether to take the shot. Backed by a group called The Anti-Vaccination Society, Jacobson made a formidable case, incorporating many of the same arguments about freedom from government interference that are ricocheting around cable TV this summer, and mouthed by politicians…. One man’s liberty, they declared in a 7-2 ruling handed down the following February, cannot deprive his neighbors of their own liberty — in this case by allowing the spread of disease. Jacobson, they ruled, must abide by the order of the Cambridge board of health or pay the penalty.” • But the question isn’t vaccines as such. The question is these vaccines.

Democrats en Deshabille

UPDATE Yeah, good. OK:

But ya know what the country definitely doesn’t need? This guy:

This guy, or anybody like him.

Realignment and Legitimacy

“All reactionaries are paper tigers” (paywalled) [Carl Beijer]. “Right-wing nightmare scenarios of massive armed resistance never happen.” • If the clownish Capitol riot is the best the right-wing can do, then reaction to the vaccine mandate is nothing to worry about.

Stats Watch

Inventories: “United States Wholesale Inventories” [Trading Economics]. “Wholesale inventories in the US increased 0.6 percent month-over-month to $722 billion in July of 2021, in line with the preliminary estimate and easing from a 1.2 percent rise in June. It was the twelfth consecutive month of gains. Durable goods rose more than anticipated (1 percent vs 0.9 percent in June) while nondurable goods inventories declined (-0.1 percent vs 0.2 percent in the preliminary estimate). On a yearly basis, wholesale inventories advanced 11.5 percent in July.”

* * *

The Bezzle: “How Audible robs indie audiobook creator” [Cory Doctorow, Pluralistic]. “Amazon’s ACX is a self-serve audiobook production platform: writers spend thousands of dollars to produce audiobooks of their own work. Amazon strongly incentivizes ACX producers to sell exclusively through Audible (which also distributes to Itunes). If you go exclusive, you get a better split of the proceeds – 40%. That’s right: though you bore all production costs and Amazon has no costs associated with selling your audiobook, Amazon still keeps the majority of the revenue from it, even if you grant them exclusivity. As unfair as that may sound, it gets a LOT worse. As part of its effort to lure customers to Audible, Amazon now grants no-questions-asked returns on audiobooks, and claws back the lost revenue from those returns from the audiobook creators.:” • From 2020, still germane…

The Bezzle: “Wells Fargo to pay $250M fine for mortgage oversight lapses” [The Hill]. • Those lovable scamps at Wells Fargo just can’t seem to get it right, can’t they?

Tech: Value engineering at Apple:

Makes perfect sense for this stupid mouse design. But “putting critical components next to heat sources,” I dunno. I quick tour of Apple tear-down sites yields nothing. Readers?

Concentration: “U.S. judge in ‘Fortnite’ case strikes down Apple’s in-app payment restrictions” [Reuters]. “A U.S. judge on Friday issued a ruling in “Fortnite” creator Epic Games’ antitrust lawsuit against Apple Inc’s App Store, striking down some of Apple’s restrictions on how developers can collect payments in apps.” But more importantly: “The judge ruled Epic failed to demonstrate Apple is an illegal monopolist, but did show the smartphone giant engaged in ‘anticompetitive conduct’ under California laws. The judge issued a nationwide injunction blocking Apple ‘anti-steering provisions’ — rules that limit app developers from pointing users outside of Apple’s ecosystem. The judge said these rules ‘hide critical information from consumers and illegally stifle consumer choice.'”

Concentration: “Apple not a monopoly but must allow alternate payment methods for apps, judge rules” [Apple Insider]. “Apple prevailed in breach of contract clauses. Specifically, Epic needs to pay damages equal to ‘30% of the $12,167,719 in revenue Epic games collected’ through Epic Direct Payment, plus any revenue collected through November 1 to date of judgement, plus interest. Part of the ruling was the definition of the market at stake, which was a contentious point of the trial. ‘Ultimately, after evaluating the trial evidence, the Court finds that the relevant market here is digital mobile gaming transactions, not gaming generally and not Apple’s own internal operating systems related to the App Store,’ the judge wrote. ‘The mobile gaming market itself is a $100 billion industry. The size of this market explains Epic Games’ motive in bringing this action. Having penetrated all other video game markets, the mobile gaming market was Epic Games’ next target and it views Apple as an impediment.’ The judge was clear that Apple is not a monopoly, however. Saying that ‘success is not illegal’ the judge ruled that Epic could not demonstrate that Apple was engaging in monopolistic behavior. ‘While the Court finds that Apple enjoys considerable market share of over 55% and extraordinarily high profit margins, these factors alone do not show antitrust conduct. Success is not illegal,’ said the Judge. ‘The final trial record did not include evidence of other critical factors, such as barriers to entry and conduct decreasing output or decreasing innovation in the relevant market. The Court does not find that it is impossible; only that Epic Games failed in its burden to demonstrate Apple is an illegal monopolist.'” • Not “decreasing innovation”? Really? I can’t speak to the iPhone, not owning one, but if a Martian looked at the first Mac desktop in 1984, and compared it to today’s Mac — or Engelbart’s work before it — they’d be hard-pressed to find a difference. Of course, desktop, files, folders… We are all bureaucrats now, administering ourselves, so perhaps social relationships must change before the Mac UI does. Nevertheless.

Mr. Market: “Dow stages over 300-point U-turn and trades lower, as opening gains fizzle” [MarketWatch]. “The Dow industrials pivoted lower and the broader stock market struggled to end a series of losses on Friday, as investors weighed COVID-19 vaccine mandates announced by President Joe Biden to fight the coronavirus delta variant that some worry is slowing the economic recovery.”

* * *

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 39 Fear (previous close: 42 Fear) [CNN]. One week ago: 54 (Neutral). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Sep 9 at 12:38pm.

Health Care

Gotta wear shades:

Might as well mandate them all, I guess. Plus, maybe we can get away with not changing any ventilation systems. Win-win!

“‘Poor building design sped up Covid spread,’ says academic” [Architect’s Journal]. “[Orla Hegarty, assistant professor at University College Dublin’s School of Architecture] argues that while many building with high ceilings and good air flow posed a low risk of transmission, similar to being outside, other buildings were hotspots for disease spread – with three types being particularly notable: 1) Meat and food production facilities have been associated with numerous outbreaks, as cold, dry air is recirculated to save energy – creating optimum conditions for virus spread. 2) Hospitals and nursing homes are large buildings containing vulnerable people. They sometimes have poor ventilation – especially when in an older, converted building. Patients tend not to wear masks, while medical staff may not be wearing the right grade of mask to protect from aerosol spread. 3)Hospitality buildings and schools often contain lots of people but may not have sufficient ventilation in the pandemic.” • Well worth a read.

“We’re Asking the Impossible of Vaccines” [The Atlantic]. “Eventually, all discussions about sterilizing immunity become nerdy quibbles over semantics.” • Holy moley, if there were an Oscars for goal-post moving, this would be a top candidate. To my simple, layperson’s mind, a vaccine I only need to take once (possibly with a booster), like polio or measles, is sterilizing. A vaccine I have to keep taking, like a flu vaccine, is not. I wonder if of our experts would care to comment on this article, which, however motivated, seems designed to normalize the rapidly waning effiicacy of today’s Covid vaccines.

Vaccine timeline:

Hopefiully, no corners were cut….

“Mu: everything you need to know about the new coronavirus variant of interest” [The Conversation]. “The World Health Organization (WHO) has added another coronavirus variant to its list to monitor. It’s called the mu variant and has been designated a variant of interest (VOI)…. A VOI is not a variant of concern (VOC), which is a variant that has been proven to acquire one of those characteristics, making it more dangerous and so more consequential. Mu is being monitored closely to see if it should be re-designated as a VOC. We have to hope not…. There are four other VOIs being watched by the WHO – eta, iota, kappa and lambda – but none of these have been reclassified as a VOC. That might be the case with mu as well, but we have to await further data. What makes mu particularly interesting (and concerning) is that it has what the WHO calls a “constellation of mutations that indicate potential properties of immune escape”. In other words, it has the hallmarks of being able to get around existing vaccine protection. Mu was first seen in Colombia in January 2021, when it was given the designation B1621. It has since been detected in 40 countries, but is thought to currently be responsible for only 0.1% of infections globally.”

“Rats, more coronaviruses!” (podcast) [This Week in Virology]. “The TWiV team explains what the Biden report on SARS-CoV-2 origins did not: evidence that the virus came from Nature, not a lab; and reveals new coronaviruses in rodents that inhabit populated areas in southern China.” • “Nature” the magazine? First I’ve heard….


* * *

Our Famously Free Press

I’m so old I remember when New Yorker cartoons were actually funny:

Horsepaste is the new RussiaRussiaRussia. Remember when the Times belittled Trump by presenting him as Putin’s [snicker, snicker] gay lover? Same deal here: The New Yorker belittles Mark Zuckerberg (I think) be presenting him as [snicker, snicker] a cross-dresser or trans. And they all have “In this house…” signs on their lawns — with rainbows!

Screening Room


Hefty Mart, the corporate auteur…. I wondered why Agency was so creepy and bad. Perhaps Gibson wanted to write something he was sure Bezos would greenlight.

Groves of Academe

These tips seem well-thought-out to me:

Especially this one:

Maybe this should be the norm?

Imperial Collapse Watch

The Bauhaus gasps its last:

Class Warfare

Elevator Pitch: “America’s Got Talent, but for the Non-Profit Industrial Complex:

From the description, though, the show appears way too close to reality…

News of the Wired


“What It’s Like to Fix: Linotype, Intertype, and Other Old Presses” [iFixIt]. “Everything on the Linotype machine was made to be fixed. “This machine was made to last hundreds of years, and many hours of operation. They were designed in 1886, and with proper care and maintenance, they are still running today,” [David Seat] wrote. The oldest Linotype he works on is in Denmark, originally built in 1905. ‘The main problems that I run into on Linotype Machines are sticky keyboards, dirty mats and magazines, transfers not lined up properly, or bad heaters in the pots,’ Seat wrote. ‘These make up about 75 percent of the repairs that I have to perform.’ The most difficult fixes are replacing the pot’s mouthpiece or plunger. Cleaning out a keyboard is one of the most time-consuming—a reassuring bit of continuity with today’s technology. Because he’s traveling the country, and because each machine is thousands of parts, Seat doesn’t always have what he needs to finish a job. Sometimes he doesn’t have the time for the full repair, either. It’s one of the worst parts of the job. ‘Being on a job and knowing the machine needs many hours of work to be proper, but getting limited to a few hours to try to make it function a little, when you know it could be so much better.’ • I wonder if the parts problem could be solved by 3-D printing. Anyhow, if you want to publish a newspaper during the Jackpot, best have one of these. Maybe you can pick one up at a yard sale…

* * *

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

RH: “Peppers on the left, tomatoes center and right.” Nice project!

* * *

Readers: Water Cooler is a standalone entity not covered by the recently concluded and — thank you! — successful annual NC fundraiser. So if you see a link you especially like, or an item you wouldn’t see anywhere else, please do not hesitate to express your appreciation in tangible form. Remember, a tip jar is for tipping! Regular positive feedback both makes me feel good and lets me know I’m on the right track with coverage. When I get no donations for five or ten days I get worried. More tangibly, a constant trickle of donations helps me with expenses, and I factor in that trickle when setting fundraising goals:

Here is the screen that will appear, which I have helpfully annotated.

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

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
This entry was posted in Guest Post, Water Cooler on by .

About Lambert Strether

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


  1. Randy

    “But “putting critical components next to heat sources,” I dunno. I quick tour of Apple tear-down sites yields nothing. Readers?”

    Not Apple but it makes me think of Dell’s crummy laptops whose motherboards would overheat constantly due to lithium batteries going molten.

    1. Dr. John Carpenter

      Re: the quote, ex-Apple tech here. (Yeah…shoot me.) I’ve seen the insides of a lot of Apple devices first hand. Not exactly sure what he’s talking about. Maybe in the time since I left they’ve changed, I couldn’t say. I mean, “crucial components” tend to be the ones that produce the most heat and Jobs had an obsession with silent running devices with no fans. They make a lot of decisions you can argue with (and believe me, I have) but I’d need to see some examples of what he’s talking about.

      (And for the record, I’ve worked on plenty of other computers as well. You can find design flaws in anything really if you’re repairing them day in and out. Not defending Apple, it just hasn’t been my experience that they’re much different than anyone else in this area.)

      1. skippy

        I still scratch my head as why anyone buys OEM computers when the options on price and function for self builds is so superior, added bonus of easy upgrades or replacement of parts. You don’t even need to go the whole enchilada in one go, just get the basic set up and then add say extra ram, cooling up grades, M.2 SSD, etc as you want.

        Per se I’m still using my 1200W thermaltake power supply from my old 2010 build on my new 2019 build, added another 16GB of ram[32 total], used old air CPU cooler till I upgraded to 3 fan liquid sealed cooler, old 500GB external SSD to 1T M.2 SSD, you get the idea.

          1. skippy

            Laptops are the bic lighter of computer devices and if one seeks durability, function, and shelf life expect to pay for it, again and again and again~~~~

            Can’t even imagine the E-waste and commodities/energy consumed whilst product is rolled out on the principle of fast fashion, all whilst background code grows exponentially requiring cloud services.

            Still using my two 2010 1T HD high rpm barracudas e.g. less toxic e-waste.

            Not to mention with today’s phones/pads one can accomplish many of the same tasks whilst away from PC and then advance it at home. Just from the aspect of having 4 kids and all the dramas with laptops during that period of schooling, not to mention the musculoskeletal issues, but hay its a huge self licking ice cream cone of an industry.

            There is a good reason why parts [replacement/upgrade] for laptops is almost nonexistent and its not for the benefit of the buyer/user.

            1. Still Above Water

              I still use my 2012 MacBook Air every day. Had to replace the battery, but that’s to be expected. The power cord is so frayed I’ve been expecting it to fail for 3 years now, and yet it keeps working. I’ve got a backup for the cord, but not the laptop, and I dread the day I have to replace it. I mostly use it to run legacy software such as Office 2000 and Eudora (ca. 2006) on a Windows XP VM.

        1. Lord koos

          I’ve built a couple of different computer systems for use as digital audio workstations in my home studio. It’s much cheaper and you can get end up with exactly l what you want or need. Laptops are another story unfortunately. Does anyone sell a laptop kit? That would be a great project.

      2. Acacia

        Not a professional tech here but I’ve been inside more than a few Apple products over the years, including the notebooks, as well as different PCs, Dell notebooks, etc.. Built a few systems from scratch, too. What Dr. Carpenter says above pretty much jibes with my impression: Apple isn’t terribly different than other vendors.

        I will say that some of Apple’s design decisions — such as the charging port on the bottom of the wireless mouse — are pretty annoying. Full disclosure: I’ve given up on wireless mice. Apple’s mouse goes through batteries quickly, and even if you use NiCads, it seems like every other week you have to swap in freshly-charged ones. And don’t get me started on how often the Bluetooth connection is lost, even when the computer is sitting on the same desk. I finally just went back to using a wired mouse and wired keyboard, and life is much better :)

        1. skippy

          Concur and would add that wireless or bluetooth just add complexity where its not necessary and as such the inherent bugs and faults. In Apples case its just about ascetics before function eg. a cool looking work space or as a decorative object aka I am what I consume thingy …

        2. BlakeFelix

          I’m a fan of redragon perditions. Lots of buttons, responsive, macro programmable (although the macro UI is terrible),. pretty cheap

      3. Old Sarum


        Priced at a hefty premium, encapsulated in premium eye-candy clothing, but badly engineered internals. That seems to be the gripe.


  2. Samuel Conner

    One wonders if the ‘fridge is nudging its owner in the direction of lower calorie intake.

    Maybe the door hinges could be modified to require more effort to open the door, or to make access progressively more difficult as the “times opened in last X hours” increases. Make you work for your meals!

      1. Kevin

        I walked by my fridge just last night and heard a little voice singing Stayin’ Alive.

        Turned out it was just the chive talking.

    1. skippy

      The *** Machine *** will make[force/nudge] – you – an “optimal operator” of it … its for your own good[tm] …

  3. Samuel Conner

    In contemplation of the location of the mouse charging port …

    the designer seems to be communicating: “up yours!”


    which, LOL, on reading to the end of the attached text, was precisely the conclusion the writer came to.

  4. Ian Perkins

    a vaccine I only need to take once (possibly with a booster), like polio or measles, is sterilizing

    Yes, but that’s the trouble when technical terms get into the mainstream. Polio, measles and smallpox vaccines certainly work, but vaccines or previous infections aren’t necessarily so good at preventing subsequent infections, only illnesses! From ‘Individuals cannot rely on COVID-19 herd immunity: Durable immunity to viral disease is limited to viruses with obligate viremic spread‘, linked to in the Atlantic article,
    “Poliovirus vaccination provides insight into the nature of protective antiviral immunity. Intramuscular immunization with inactivated virus prevents paralytic disease but not GI infection, with repeat vaccination necessary to reduce shedding of infectious virus. Similarly, even natural respiratory infections with measles or variola (smallpox) viruses, famous for inducing life-long immunity to disease, do not prevent respiratory reinfection, which though asymptomatic and nontransmissible, can be detected by increased antiviral antibody titers [7,8].”

    1. IM Doc

      While these issues are true – I think it must be stated about SMALLPOX – it has been eradicated from the planet in the wild – may still be alive in freezers somewhere. And the others are so extremely rare that they are miniscule in their occurrence –

      I would also like to ask the writer of that article – after the statement above about the polio vaccines – What do you think the ORAL sugar cube form is for? Why is it that we give BOTH to patients?

    2. Lee

      From the Atlantic article:

      “Some people hoped the COVID-19 vaccines could achieve sterilizing immunity, especially after reports in the winter and spring trumpeted the jabs’ surprising power at preventing infections—enough that the CDC told vaccinated people they could shed their masks in May.”

      When the “some people” are from the CDC, a putative paragon of relevant expertise, it’s no wonder people get confused not to mention a wee bit cranky.

      Another example: some people, from Pfizer IIRC, talked about being able to easily tweak their vaccines so as to provide better protection against variants, but are now touting untweaked boosters.

      Now, if I understand correctly, it is being claimed by some that boosters will not only enhance the antibody response, which is well and good in the short run but always wanes over time as a matter of course, but it also improves the T and memory B cells’ response, providing more long lasting protection to both Covid Classic and its variants.

      Being well versed neither in immunology nor virology but a fairly well informed member of the general public, I’ve personally bet the farm on the vaccines, boosters and all. Even so, I cannot shake the feeling of being routinely mislead and manipulated by TPTB in both the public and private sectors.

        1. Skip Intro

          When the first Pfizer results were released, and only showed the relative reduction in risk of hospitalization, rather than even tracking the subjects’ covid levels. Some (NC readers) were instantly suspicious.

            1. Skip Intro

              The only reason I can see to do that is that you know what you will find, but you don’t want to report it.

  5. Josef K

    Twitter now wants you to sign up to read threads. Jack decided to leverage Twitter’s significance and like FB and instagram and whoever else wall off it’s discussions from the open internet.

    Like TBL I’m fundamentally against Club Web. It’s now obvious that anti-social media is a private spiderweb. And twitter ain’t paying it’s twitterers, so any kind of paywall/sign-up doesn’t correlate with news or other websites requesting or demanding a sign-up to read.
    There certainly is great stuff on twitter–contributed for free by the twitterers, who I’m going to guess had zero say in this decision–so lots of juicy links to it here, but checking twitter links now isn’t like it was until recently. NC readership is being nudged by proxy into joining twitter. I’ve just stopped clicking on the links, which makes reading your lovely blog that much less worthwhile for me. Yeah, I know, don’t let the door….

    I brought this up already, recently, to crickets, which is the norm for my comments (don’t care), but I thought it was important enough, and emblematic enough, to warrent at least a comment somewhere, some time. There’s plenty of “twitter is a LCD swamp” condescension around, but it does look like JD has made a smart bet since there doesn’t seem to have been an iota of discussion around this change.

    1. JM

      I’ve seen the log in “request” myself, and clearing cookies seemed to make it go away for me. I’ve cut my browsing of Twitter, and haven’t seen it since; I didn’t look but I wonder if it has some sort of counter and if you go over some arbitrary number it starts to lock things down? Either way I’m happy to be reminded not to lurk there, personally.

    2. MT_Wild

      Try a different browser. This happens for me in chrome, but I can still read threads and comments in duck duck go.

    3. Eloined

      Noticed that a couple weeks ago. Doesn’t happen with my browser in incognito mode. No walled-garden sentries popping up by that route — yet.

    4. marcyincny

      It’s an extra step but I can copy the address and use it in another window to read a thread. I’d rather do that than sign up on Twitter. (I’m using Firefox.)

      1. Josef K

        Thanks for the replies. BTW is “warrent” a word? Anyway….I thought about cookies (and we all noticed long ago, didn’t we, how this term fits the pattern of costs being labelled as benefits, but I digress), or my browser being a factor, but regardless, there’s been that change.

        JD owns the platform, but its value is in the value of the ideas and information that bounce around on it, and a big part of twitter’s appeal has been, I would argue, its relative openness. He’s making a typically stingy and short-sighted decision to leverage the first against the second. I’m already voting against it with my attention span, and that’s all he’s can get from me.
        But millions of well-meaning people still send money, Zeus knows why, to amazon, and twitter is, apparently, addictive (is it class 3?), so I’m betting against myself, it’s the smart play.

    5. IM Doc

      I could not agree with you more.
      The current way my machines interact with Twitter is rapidly becoming unusable.
      I doubt I will read anything there for much longer. As an added benefit, I think it will be good for my mental health to leave Twitter alone.

    6. Kfish

      I’ve noticed that too. I can still right-click to open a link in a new window no problem or edit the URL to get to a new location, but clicking on a hyperlink takes me to the login screen.

      Twitter overestimates its own importance to my life.

    7. Kevin Carhart

      There’s an alternate harness called nitter. Does this help?
      There are also alternate harnesses for youtube. The eleven-letters-and-numbers hash for a video is somewhat open now. Some of the alternate harnesses do not have obnoxious site characteristics like the autoplay-next, turned on by default. (One of these is called invidious, and they have worked out how to turn themselves into a variety of instances, so that they’re more resilient to one site going down.)
      I suppose nitter is taking a username or a poundsign-and-topic and using it to load all the contents from that thing. It appears you can read a thread.

      Surely it is not a “don’t let the door hit you”. I have seen more on Naked Capitalism about themes like, for instance, the outrageousness of lock-in where some service is only available to people with either an Android or an Apple smartphone — than anywhere else. Damn NC is good sometimes!

      1. Lord koos

        Thanks much for Nutter link, hopefully it will stay up, unlike the YouTube mirror hooktube which was great while it lasted.

  6. IM Doc

    With regard to The Atlantic article about vaccination –

    There is a highlighted sentence directly under the title of the article ( I am not a journalist – I am sure this sentence in the layout has a name – do not know what it is, though).

    Complete protection against infection has long been hailed as the holy grail of vaccination. It might simply be unachievable.

    The very instant I read that sentence – as a medical doctor and a medical historian – I know instantly that this person has no idea what they are talking about – and has not bothered to do the most basic of research in the topic.

    One word –


    It has been achieved – it is not unachievable. But it took a STERILIZING vaccine. And ON TOP OF THE VACCINE, all kinds of other efforts which were completely different based on the part of the world. The top priority – Truth being told to the population at all times. A concerted effort with non-compromised leaders and spokespeople. And to have the entire health system on board in an organized manner. Also, not a small amount of PR was required then, because the vaccinations left permanent scars on the skin. The authorities got out ahead in front of this issue – and did not wait until it detonated when people started noticing it and sharing it with friends. Furthermore, smallpox vaccination rates were nowhere near 100% – but when you have a sterilizing vaccine, it does not need to be so. Political and health leaders did absolutely no kind of shaming or belittling. The messaging was almost all positive and congratulatory. It is also important to realize that this eradication occurred in an era of mass media but long before we had the Internet and especially social media. I do not think we can even begin to overestimate the absolutely horrific effect social media has had on our response this time. Most patients I see every day literally want to throw their hands in the air – they have completely given up.

    There is ZERO wild smallpox on the face of this planet today. ZERO. The only place it is left intact is purportedly in the freezers of viral labs at the CDC and in Russia. I am not even certain about that.

    Polio is a very similar story, but is not completely eradicated from the planet – just a sliver is left. And one could argue the same about measles, mumps, and others that have been made so uncommon that young doctors would not recognize the symptoms if seen in the ER.

    Coronaviruses are a completely and totally unique virus family in almost every way conceivable. The pox viruses are much more amenable to vaccination efforts. But that in no way means that science will never find a way to eradicate a coronavirus aided by vaccinatinon.

    But ERADICATION via vaccination would require a STERILIZING vaccine. And that is not where we are today. The sooner our health agencies and media begin to level with the people and not put out this kind of article the better we will all be. I was gravely concerned when the messaging earlier this year was so misleading that it was giving people the idea that the vaccines were causing eradication. The mainstream narrative today saying this was never the case just 4 months ago is totally deluding itself just like with so many other issues. “Why we never said that – everyone always knew it was never going to prevent you from getting it” – all over the news today – is belied by the statement on my vaccination consent form right in front of me – THIS VACCINATION WAS GIVEN AN EUA for PREVENTION of COVID-19. Right there on the form. It was a classic case of miscontruing concepts without actually lying that misled the vast majority of my patients. Big Pharma is very very good at that.

    I am of the firm belief, that after the Biden performance last night, unless an intense leveling is done with the American people about appropriate expectations and soon – there will be enormous political consequences for his administration. More than half the country thinks that forced vaccination of these NON-STERILIZING vaccines is going to end this pandemic. That is not the case at all. And I can see a future of a lot of disappointment and anger.

    There is precedent for where we are today – the FLU shots. Also non-sterilizing. But nobody discusses the flu vaccination in terms of eradication – because it is simply impossible with non-sterilizing vaccines. Level with the people. They clearly understand the flu shot. They clearly get it – the flu shot will not eradicate the virus from earth – it will however make you less likely to get really sick – WHEN YOU GET THE FLU. And we have learned to live with the flu with the tens/hundreds of thousands of casualties every year. Until something much better comes for COVID, it is going to be a similar story.

    Until we begin to treat the citizens of the world as adults, and not kids – and quit bamboozling – we are never going to have buy in from every group as has happened in the past.

    My two cents.

    1. Ian Perkins

      Do smallpox vaccines completely prevent infections, or just transmissible infections? Polio vaccines prevent the latter, but don’t achieve the former entirely – which is somewhat academic, as they both work, but if we’re quibbling the use of words, “Complete protection against infection has long been hailed as the holy grail of vaccination. It might simply be unachievable” might be accurate.
      See my comment above – https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2021/09/200pm-water-cooler-9-10-2021.html#comment-3604595

      1. IM Doc

        I would suggest – that making statements such as that sentence are really misleading to everyone but those who have been schooled in virology and vaccinology. Those words mean something completely different to me than my patients. The difference between an “infection” and a “transmissible infection” is debating angels on a pinhead for most people.

        I get the feeling that they are realizing that the whole COVID vaccination story is getting shot through with holes – and they are pulling at straws.

        I just had my front desk person read this article. A college graduate in English. She did not understand it the way it is being presented. Again – this is common BIG PHARMA dissembling.

      2. IM Doc

        It seems to me the argument here that most people get that the writer is trying to convey – is OH well – the COVID vaccine is not working out as well as we would hoped – but no big deal – neither did any other, when you really think about it and use arcane terms.

        Nothing could be further from the truth –
        When is the last time I saw a polio infection or a transmissable polio infection? NEVER
        When is the last time I saw a smallpox infection or a transmissable smallpox infection? NEVER
        I can go on with measles mumps, etc.

        When is the last time I saw a COVID infection or a transmissable COVID infection – well I have seen 8 this AM – all in vaccinated patients.

        And most people get that – and look sideways at articles like this trying to explain this away via word games.

        1. Josef K

          Doc, thanks as always for your input.

          I’m often enough reminded of the American saying “the devil is in the details.” Not “the beauty,” or “the wonder,” or “the important part,” etc. Part of my occupation is doing finely detailed repairs on old, valuable objets d’art, and the details are the devilishly hard part, but also where the importance, beauty, and wonder lies. I’m cursing the gods mid-job, and–if all goes well–smiling with great satisfaction at the results.

          I was talking with a carpenter recently, and we agreed “it’s all about the margins,” and this is applicable in the figurative sense as much as the literal sense. That line between the original and the repair, finessing that is 80% of the job, and likewise in our actions and behaviors.

          Anyway, having lived in Japan for probably too long for my own good, the sloppiness of contemporary America is one of the most salient things I notice constantly now that I’m back here for a while. The attention to detail has abated, so that even, I would argue, technological marvels like the Macbook I’m typing this on, reveal this diminishment.

          It’s one major reason, it seems to me, that the vast majority of our population can’t reason above a grade- or middle-school level, so that distinctions like sterilizing vaxxes vs non-sterilizing are just too subtle to spend the energy understanding. So not so much due to lack of intelligence, but lack of concern, not only to understand, but to learn how to understand, is there so much confusion.

          Russel’s complaint that the foolish are full of certainly while the best are full of doubt–I paraphrase somewhat loosely–comes to mind.

          Last, as I learned while doing environmental activism, it’s not how much you know, it’s how much you care; this factor shouldn’t be underestimated. Here, I find the same aimlessness and vague malaise affecting every modernistic, consumeristc society I’ve lived in, and seen seeping into and slowly destroying the ones that the Western Capitalist system is swallowing up into its maw. I think it’s a kind of perfect storm of societal changes that do not bode at all well for the near-term future.

          1. mac na Michomhairle

            “Aimlessness and vague malaise…” Very well-put. I would add that these societies are losing touch with reality: “The world is what I say it is.” American and other similar societies have been drifting into strange new waters, these last twenty or thirty years, and the outlook is more and more frightening.

            I wonder if it will soon be necessary for people who are alarmed to find ongoing ways to support one another in local and larger communities in daily life? The Populists in 1890s America succeeded in creating a powerful movement by both creating structures that 1) delivered concrete benefits (making it possible to earn a living (ie. farm profitably) outside the predatory mainstream), and 2) created structures that allowed room for an alternative analysis of society.

            My experience in social work makes me think many many ordinary people are finding it harder and harder to survive, and that it’s going to get worse unless these people look to organizing, not to demand the government or corporations help them, but to create structures of their own.

            That does sound crazy. I never thought I would ever think stuff like that in my life. Maybe I should do relaxation exercises.

          2. QuidksilverMessenger

            “it’s not how much you know, it’s how much you care”. This is very much the essence of our current situation. What is ‘care’? What does it mean to ‘care’? Care of course is part of real feeling- not ordinary emotions, reactive associations- but a true capacity to relate, to unite as it were, to unbury conscience.
            I think this is the only hope for us- the transformation of the insanity of our current emotional condition toward (dare I say it) compassion, love, and the ability to put ourselves in the place of another. And the beauty of this is that a transformation of the emotional world is also a transformation of the ‘mind’, and of thinking, as well.

        2. Arizona Slim

          We have a hero who walks among us.

          Thank you, IM Doc, for all of your help and support during this time. It means more than you’ll ever know.

        3. m

          5 out of my 6 covid patients fully vaccinated and a couple were done in April. I am sorry but from where I sit, these things are useless. 2 Pfizer, 2 J&J and 1 Moderna, as far as the notion symptoms will be lessened, nonsense. One of my admits just came back in, I guess he would be considered a vaccinated breakthrough long hauler. This OSHA bs, wonder how this will play out. No way will I get vaxxed. The start of my life of bumdom is 3 shifts away!

    2. lambert strether

      > There is a highlighted sentence directly under the title of the article ( I am not a journalist – I am sure this sentence in the layout has a name – do not know what it is, though).

      I was taught to call it a “deck.”

      1. Kevin Carhart

        Awesome. How about,
        non-reproducing blue markers for making corrections on the flats
        running stories through a waxer, the scent of molten wax

      2. Howard Beale IV

        It’s actually called a “pull-quote”, according to an ex-journalist on another online forum that I frequent..

        1. lambert strether

          No, it’s not. Structurally, it’s different. A deck is below the headline, supporting it. That’s why it’s called a deck.

          A pull quote is embedded in the running text. Hence, it presents various formatting and design challenges a deck does not.

    3. flora

      Thanks for this comment. An aside, if I may.

      My 1980’s Merriam-Webster dictionary defines “vaccine” this way:

      1. matter or preparation containing the virus of cowpox in a form used for vaccination
      2. a preparation of killed microorganisms, living attenuated organisms, or living fully virulent organisms that is administered to produce or artificially increase immunity to a particular disease.

      Merriam-Webster recently changed the definition from what it was for decades into this:


      M-W’s definition changed from ” produce or artificially increase immunity” to “stimulate an immune response”. Not the same thing.

      So, I suppose by the new definition of the word, the Atlantic sub-title or deck could be “correct”, but that seems like wordplay to me.

      1. Dandelion

        This is the post-modern way. Redefine words. Everyone thinks we’re on the same page but they’re no longer on our page. Meanwhile, the surreptitious, top-down change in definition alters law and policy without pesky debate or voting and those affected by such change remain completely aware.

        It’s Humpty-Dumptyfying language, which ultimately, means law. And the question is: who is master. I think it’s quite obvious who that is: subjectivist (which means individualist) neoliberals who masquerade as leftists but aren’t because none of their politics are grounded in materialism or class analysis. That encompasses both the PMC and the precariat (and the well-paid with tenure) symbol-manipulators of academia, the arts, and the media.

      2. Objective Ace

        To be fair, using the internet’s way back machine, this change appears to have been made at least as far back as 2019. Hard to believe the current on goings in the country had anything to do with it

    4. Thistlebreath

      IM Doc: Highly recommend Larry Brilliant’s book, “Sometimes Brilliant.” He was there for the smallpox effort.

      Larry came out of Wayne State’s Med School, along with Hal Jayne and Ron Krome, who both battled to establish ACEP. Knew ’em all. Gritty krewe. Surgeons had no intention of giving up an inch of turf. And yet, the ACEP pioneers persisted.

      “The Demon in the Freezer” is also a good read, much more detailed about WHO’s mobilization.

    5. Lobsterman

      There will not be consequences for Biden, because his political opponents are straight up pro-COVID. There is no alternative available.

  7. Wukchumni

    We’ve got a lightning strike caused wildfire from last night’s storm going on here on top of Case Mountain about a dozen miles west of Mineral King Valley. It’s a little windy here in the foothills, which means winds aloft are probably much stronger, especially on the summit. The altitude of the wildfire is right in the sweet spot of the dead zone of 130 million newlydeads in the Sierra from when the beetles were on tour in 2012-16, which are termed ‘red trees’ for the first year after dying, only to morph into ‘grey trees’ which are a little hard to notice as they just blend in.

    Helicopters have been ferrying back and forth from the lake dropping water on it, and hopefully the aerial assault can quell the flames.

    This area last burned in the late 1980’s, so there is some ‘recency’.

    There’s a couple of Sequoia groves in harms way, the little visited Case Mountain grove and even more remote Coffeepot Canyon grove. Both of these groves total about 200 acres.

    Were the fire to work its way east of Eden grove which totals more than 800 acres, it would run into the burn scar of the Eden Fire, another lightning strike model from 2018, which was monitored by NPS, but allowed to run its course as no structures were in its path and Sequoia trees need fire for regeneration, so it built to nearly 1,800 acres before Mother Nature snuffed it out during the first storm of the year around Thanksgiving.

    Both the Eden and Dennison Fires should be seen as a success story for the health and well-being of our public lands. By not taking any direct suppression action on these fires, the parks did not put any on the ground firefighters in harm’s way, created contemporary fire history in an area that has over a century of extreme fuel loading, and greatly reduced costs and risks associated with fully suppressing all fires, all the time. Compared to the 2018 Horse Creek Fire in the same area, Mineral King Valley, the Eden Fire cost about 1/10th the amount and covered an area 52 times the size.


    1. The Rev Kev

      I was thinking about that story of the guy following a fire in that forest you gave which Lambert hoisted into Water Cooler the other day. I was trying to imagine what it would be like if you had a National Park that re-created exactly what a forest would have looked like from two centuries ago that people could go visit. But then I thought that you may not be able to do so because introduced species since have been attacking the tress which would make up such a forest and which you have also talked about. Sad that.

  8. Carolinian

    Re your Frank Luntz instapoll–they took a poll on the bridge of the Titanic on whether icebergs were a possibility and two out of three replied “that’s crazy talk!” Give it a few days. And while Georgia may be a swing state the people running it are not very swingy

    Georgia’s Governor Brian Kemp via tweeter

    “I will pursue every legal option available to the state of Georgia to stop this blatantly unlawful overreach by the Biden administration,”

    1. Michael Ismoe

      Wait until the death rate starts increasing again. I wonder how long it will be before the numbers invert.

  9. Drugstoreblonde

    the corporate auteur

    Reading Agency last year made me reevaluate everything I had hitherto read of Gibson. IMO he’s one of the most overvalued science fiction authors in the Business. Basically if Nick Land had written the West Wing.

    1. lambert strether

      I gave Agency another try recently and loathed it as much as I did on my first reading. The writing is bad. The plotting is bad. The dialog is bad. The characters are bad. The interactions between the characters are bad. The theme is bad. The politics are bad. As a sequel to The Peripheral, it is bad. Everything about William Gibson’s Agency is bad. If the badness is on purpose, that makes it worse.

      1. Soredemos

        Perhaps Gibson’s mind was broken by the 2016 election. That happened to a lot of people. Wasn’t Stephen King writing a book that apparently vilified Trump voters?

        1. Still Above Water

          That’s my impression. I used to follow Gibson on Twitter, because he often posted interesting links and observations. After 2016, he became a constant stream of TDS hysteria. :(

          “Agency” is the only Gibson book I don’t own and haven’t read – when it was revealed to be a fantasy in which $Hillary won, I lost interest.

          1. witters

            Don Winslow went the same way. Still, we have The Power of the Dog, and The Winter of Frankie Machine.

            And how did things go with Robert Crais, TDS-wise?

            Chandler would be immune.

          2. Gc54

            Seems ripe for a rich trove of anti-fan literature depicting the whole administration’s sink into the inevitable sea of incompetence and corruption.But would those really be “novels”? Sequel: “the rise of Chelsea” coming to a remainder stack near you.

    2. griffen

      I’m about a third of my way nto the Peripheral. Need to pick back up over the weekend or coming weeks to finish.

      First book of his I’m reading, based on the frequency of mentions here.

      1. lambert strether

        > I’m about a third of my way nto the Peripheral

        The Bigend Trilogy previous to The Peripheral is also worth reading. It was written from 2007-2010. Uncannily, Gibson captures today’s near-worship of intelligence community personalities and tradecraft by the PMC, before it happened.

        Then, TDS blazed through Gibson’s talent, leaving only ashes behind….

      2. JohnnySacks

        Once I gave up trying to understand everything going on in Peripheral I enjoyed it more. Agency, well, certainly a level above some of the mass produced tripe out there, but not his best. The one I re-read ever 4-5 years is All Tomorrow’s Parties. I wonder how Amazon will do with Peripheral, not that I’d ever pay more than my $12 a year cheat for any Amazon, Disney, or Apple content.
        My disappointment is the botch of Stephenson’s Diamond Age, still vaporware.

  10. martin horzempa

    “Today, we shared positive pre-clinical data demonstrating our ability to combine 6 mRNAs against 3 different respiratory viruses in 1 vaccine: COVID-19 booster + Flu booster + RSV booster. #mRNA

    Just a thought,
    I am not an md or a scientist, but it would seem to me that if we can combine 6 different
    mRNAs from 3 different viruses then we should be able to combine 6 different mRNAs
    against the CV19 virus. Currently if i understand things right all three of our vaccines are monovalent and each of them only work against a single spike protein . There are mutllple proteins on the surface of the Covid protein that might present targets for the human immune system are there not? A multivalent vaccine would be much harder to evade by mutation if there had to be 6 simultainious changes to the surface proteins of the virus.
    A multivalent mRNA vaccine might approach the efficatiousness of natural immunity produced by an infection with Covid-19. Perhaps IM Doc or another more knowledgable NC reader might talk me down and set me staright, but a vaccine with multple targets seems to me to be what we need from our vaccine makers rather than a combination vaccine which hasnt been effective in stopping Covid because it is mutating faster than we can deploy effective protection.

    1. johnnyme

      From what I’ve been able to find, the most promising (and interesting) vaccine candidates for targeting multiple variants are vaccines based on spike ferritin nanoparticles (SpFNs) which use a soccer ball shaped protein with slots for 24 different spike proteins to be attached. Walter Reed Army Institute of Research’s vaccine is currently in phase I trials.

      If this vaccine technology works and could be deployed as a nasal spray targeting the mucosal immune system, it would be a serious game changer.

  11. PKMKII

    Regarding the application of Jacobson v. Massachusetts to COVID-19: As the article alludes to, the Supreme Court is typically loathe to make rulings on epistemological grounds, for lack of a better word. If a challenge to the COVID vaccines is brought up, I don’t see them making the decision on the basis of whether or not they think, as a matter of public health and safety, that a vaccine mandate makes for good policy or science. Rather, it would hinge on whether or not the governmental body in question had “reasonable” grounds for their action. Regardless of what one thinks of it, on a purely judicial grounds the FDA approval is probably going to weigh heavily in the favor of “reasonable.”

      1. Pat

        This was an individual institution and the plaintiffs were students. One judge shot down their appeal of a lower court ruling. Admittedly the fact that one judge was Coney Barrett does bode well for the court having a majority to uphold this.

        But there is going to be a case where the plaintiffs are far more important than a handful of college students and there is every chance that a lower court will hold Biden’s far more sweeping mandate.

        My bet is it is held by at least one district court. And the hold lands directly in the Supremes’ laps. If they refuse to hear on the hold, one of the lower courts will rule against it sending it right back to the high court. Either way the WHOLE court will be hearing it, and it can be gamed out multiple ways.

    1. Objective Ace

      Not only is the timing of the full FDA approval (a couple weeks before this mandate) noteworthy, it’s also interesting who it covers. I thought it was interesting and seemingly arbitrary that it was fully approved for some, but not all children–those 16-18. (how do we really know it’s safe for a 16 year old but not a 15 and a half year old?)

      Its extremely convenient judicially that the full FDA approval just so happens to cover 16 and 17 year olds. This is because the Fair Labor Standards Acts only allows children to work full time once they are at least 16 years old. If I were cynical, I might think this was just a little too convenient

    2. Skip Intro

      It seems like the legal justifications rest on the understanding that vaccinations prevent the spread of the virus. If that is not the case, as seems to be demonstrably true, the justification seems to fall apart.

      1. jimmy cc

        the legal justification will rest on whether the government has the legal authority to do what they are doing as the laws are written.

        1. hunkerdown

          Nonetheless, they are required to articulate a reason for policies. They will probably get away with “reduced hospitalization” (as if the hospitals were a public resource or something — give me my Hill-Burton Act back!) as a rationale.

          Louis Rossmann quotes at 1:38 a white-shoe lawyer who is interested in how the mandate “levels the playing field” in response to people who might be tempted to avoid a discretionary vaccine mandate by job hopping. Now employers of 100+ have little discretion and imposed costs.

  12. Wukchumni

    Took my truck to be serviced at Toyota, and who knew the rapture would start with new cars?

    The formerly large lot now was ringed on the outside with a dozen new cars, and nothing beyond- a ‘Spoketemkin Village’ of circling the wagons, with used cars on the flanks.

    I was told all of the new cars were sold and they had not 1 new car to offer.

    Cheerfully, the service guy told me they expect more inventory in 2 or 3 months,

  13. Dr. John Carpenter

    “The Activist” has been my obsession du jour. I was waiting for something like this, but I figured it would be more like a competition to pay for a necessary medical procedure. I guess we aren’t quite there yet.
    Anyway, I spent much of my lunch hour trying to figure out who they would put on this show that wouldn’t offend CBS’s sponsors. I have a hunch we won’t see any actual activists but will see advocates for NGOs and whatnot.
    What I really want to know is, what do they have planned for the talent portion of this contest?

    1. Art

      I think you’re right, it’s gonna be a woke version of The Apprentice with contestants hustling for a bunch of Hollywood-approved causes. “Will the judges send the books to the Afghan girls or will they send the solar cookers to Africa? Tune in tonight for The Activist!” Barf! Flying saucer take me away already.

    2. Pat

      To me the selection of the judges makes it very clear that this is about social media activism not getting down in the weeds. A singer dancer, an actress and a dancer occasional actress all known more for their social media presence than any real accomplishments…okay Usher maybe had more at one point and did introduce the world to Bieber but now?

      1. Dr. John Carpenter

        As if there was any doubt, from the article:

        “Activists go head-to-head in challenges to promote their causes, with their success measured via online engagement, social metrics, and hosts’ input.”

    3. lordkoos

      Fans of the group Firesign Theater might recall a bit they did about a game show where you had to guess the name of a disease before it killed you… the game was called “Beat The Reaper”.

      1. Dr. John Carpenter

        Haha, I was just listening to that recently. A lot of their stuff is very prescient. I Think We’re All Bozos On This Bus could be about the time we are living through now…

        1. mistah charley, ph.d.

          My favorite line from them, part of a segment on people-in-the-streets views of the future:

          THIS is the future. You got to LIVE it, or LIVE WITH it.

          Now, in my later years, I realize there is one more alternative, which will be at a time to be determined – “Get out of the way.”

  14. jr

    I don’t know about Apple but “putting critical components next to heat sources” pretty much sums up my teens to mid-40’s…

    1. griffen

      That sums up every last popular pop metal or hair metal from the 80s, if you will indulge a fan of that era. Crap to some ears I’m sure of it!

      Motley Crue, Def Leppard, Poison, Scorpions…the late Tawny Kitaen on the hood of Jaguar..

  15. Wukchumni

    Friday film twist of fete:

    I present The Fireman’s Ball from 1967. It was Miloš Forman’s last film he directed in Czechoslovakia, and one of the constant themes is everybody stealing from one another in the midst of a fireman’s ball, as consumer goods were scarce during Communism. I asked my mom about the thievery, and she related that it was common during that era according to our relatives in Prague.

    Make sure you click on subtitles to read in your language of choice.


  16. Tvc15

    Ken Klippenstein tweet “The vaccine mandate doesn’t actually force you to get vaccinated, you can always just quit your job. Can’t afford to? Should’ve budgeted better”

    Who the family blog does this asshole think he is? I had never heard of him until coincidentally Jimmy Dore did a bit on him last night. He’s a real piece of work that the blue check twitter PMC love. As JD says, he’s doing the bidding of the establishment and more accurately the bidding of billionaire, Pierre Omidyar who funds The Intercept. This morally bankrupt propagandist should try and find his humanity.

    1. tegnost

      You can quit your job and then your boss can complain how s/he can’t get any good help…
      Quitting jobs can definitely be a good thing for the quitter.

  17. WobblyTelomeres

    On a different, quite foily, note, I was driving, returning from an errand, and thought of this bit of news:


    – X-ray computed tomography.

    I seem to recall this being done years ago. After getting home, a search produced this:


    – X-ray fluorescence spectrometry

    And, from MIT,


    – T-ray (terahertz) femto-photography.

    The first two, x-ray based, techniques seem to require metallic ink, while the T-ray technique just requires something chemically distinct from the paper. I think..

    Since the post office photographs every piece of mail these days, it certainly is possible that automatic scanning of the contents of sealed letters would be the next step. Which would appear to be a clear 4th amendment violation, no? Not that that has ever stopped our three letter agencies. Anyone know who funded the MIT work?

  18. Pat

    Just a question for those with more legal history and just plain legal knowledge than I have.
    Has anyone ever legally sought to have FDA approval overturned by the courts?
    Could their be legal grounds to eliminate the full approval of the Pfizer vaccine since there were so many ways it skirted the standard approval process?
    I figure with mandates average humans with mega bucks could file, but are there groups or organizations who might have greater standing with the courts?

    1. jimmy cc

      it usually works the other way, people can have courts lift fda bans, but i have never seen an approval tried to be overturned.

      you sue the manufacturer, fda cant be sued. again, it usually wotks the other way, people dont fight fda approvals.

      maybe possible, its the best i can do.

  19. Falls City Beer

    While the press has zero attention span and the news out of Afghanistan has largely faded, I think you greatly underestimate the nearly uncontrollable power of the war propagandists who underwrite the legacy media in this country. Afghanistan will be an election issue. Maybe not front and center, but it will be part and parcel of the right’s “Biden’s weak and enfeebled” tropes. And if we’re still dealing with Covid next summer like we’ve been dealing with it this summer—not a terrible bet—it’s Katie bar the door. It’ll be an absolute bloodbath. I can’t really conceive of too many scenarios that won’t yield at least a modest red wave.

  20. Raymond Sim

    Neutralizing antibodies continue to seem the best correlate to protection from the virus:


    The part about CD-8 T-cells in the lungs seems interesting. They may not be a good thing in all cases. CD-8 T-cells responding to the viral superantigen have been postulated as a cause of a lot of the worst symptoms of infection.

  21. Bazarov

    Learned today that my uncle, who I’m very fond of, has been diagnosed with cancer. He’s in terrible pain that can be alleviated with surgery, but he cannot get treatment because the hospitals are overrun by Covid.

    It’s conceivable he could die waiting for this surgery.

    We live in a failed state.

    1. eg

      Preventing precisely this situation is the entire premise for public health restrictions to reduce community mobility plus masking, ventilation, reduced indoor gatherings and high vaccination rates (the latter hopefully reducing hospitalizations).

      But no, you got “muh liberteez, muh freedumbs, muh profitz” instead.

  22. The Rev Kev

    ‘Speaker Pelosi: “I say to my Republican friends, take back your party. The country needs a big, strong Republican Party. And I say that as a leader in the Democratic Party… Don’t have it be a cult of personality on the extreme, extreme, extreme right.”‘

    Yes, the Republican Party too could also organize itself into one run by a gerontocracy as well – given time. :)

    1. Michael Ismoe

      I love when the Dems call the GOP a “cult of personality” as they board the plane for Obama’s birthday party.

    1. rowlf

      The jungle drums suggest that immigrants get de-wormed too.

      Overseas Refugee Health Guidance

      To promote healthy resettlement, CDC provides supplemental guidance to panel physicians caring for US-bound refugees. The Overseas Refugee Health Guidance provides panel physicians with supplemental guidance on vaccination, pre-departure treatments for malaria and intestinal parasites and fitness to travel. These activities are coordinated with the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

      Kinda awkward IVM-wise.

  23. VietnamVet

    The transformation of the old North American Empire into a global hegemon governed by the Blob was accomplished by excellent propaganda that divided Americans so they could be ruled by the multi-national corporate-state. It also helped that the changeover was never mentioned and the ruling class ardently believes the propaganda – it keeps them in the money. “America’s 1% Has Taken $50 Trillion From the Bottom 90%.” But the colonization of the world (including the peoples of North America) is ending. Central Eurasia is already gone.

    They really do not know what they are doing. The mRNA vaccines were never safe and effective. There was no data to support this claim. They have proven side effects and do not stop transmission. They do make money for corporations. The only claim left is that COVID vaccines prevent death and severe illness. The problem with the establishment not being on the level with Americans, not even once, is that this limited claim is questionable. A true fact is that the pandemic will never be controlled without a functional national public health system. Globalist will not fund this, so everything being done now in the USA is pointless. “Let ‘er Rip”

    The vaccine hesitant are being scapegoated along with the propaganda fed American “know-nothing” cults and tribes. The 1% world aristocracy simple cannot hold the USA together in a time of endless plague and forever wars. Globalists have lost the mandate of heaven.

  24. tegnost

    on a lighter note from the san juan journal police blotter…
    we really do rough it here…I mean, like, wild animals…
    but we do have trained professionals.

    • [Overheard on the police scanner] Dispatch was notified of a bobcat in the North Beach area of Orcas Island. The reporting party said they had the eyes on the feline at the time. When emergency services arrived, they discovered the bobcat was a standard house cat and proceeded to pet it. No further action was necessary.


    1. Old Sarum

      Feline Fubar:

      Perhaps it was a slow day for the police that day, or a crank call, but I’ve got my suspicions that the feline observer who made the initial call is ideal standard CIA material, who will one day be back-seat driving military drones, airborne and terrestrial.


  25. Synoia

    The Blob and whoever is planning our next war MR SUBLIMINAL

    In Africa.

    Africa is quite large. Specifically where?

    I’d note Lybia’s return to “freedom” hardly appears as a triumph.

Comments are closed.