2:00PM Water Cooler 9/2/2021

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Bird Song of the Day

Quite the symphony!

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

Vaccination by region:

I guess it’s really not fair to say that the South is fiddling and diddling any more. There’s a mild upward trend.

52.6% of the US is fully vaccinated, a big moment, bursting through the psychological 52% barrier. Every day, a tenth of a percentage point upward. However, as readers point out, every day those vaccinated become less protected, especially the earliest. So we are trying to outrun the virus… (I have also not said, because it’s too obvious, that if by Bubba we mean The South, then Bubba has done pretty well.)

Case count by United States regions:

Quite a bump.

Covid cases top ten states for the last four weeks:

Fresh-squeezed numbers from Florida. Texas and California back in tandem. Tennesse breaking away from the pack.

FL: “Florida changed its COVID-19 data, creating an ‘artificial decline’ in recent deaths” [Miami Herald]. Although this is deaths, not cases, I’m filing since there’s Florida data. “As cases ballooned in August, however, the Florida Department of Health changed the way it reported death data to the CDC, giving the appearance of a pandemic in decline, an analysis of Florida data by the Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald found. On Monday, Florida death data would have shown an average of 262 daily deaths reported to the CDC over the previous week had the health department used its former reporting system, the Herald analysis showed. Instead, the Monday update from Florida showed just 46 “new deaths” per day over the previous seven days. The dramatic difference is due to a small change in the fine print. Until three weeks ago, data collected by DOH and published on the CDC website counted deaths by the date they were recorded — a common method for producing daily stats used by most states. On Aug. 10, Florida switched its methodology and, along with just a handful of other states, began to tally new deaths by the date the person died.” • Let it never be said that Republicans are stupid. They’re not.

From CDC: “Community Profile Report August 31, 2021” (PDF), “Rapid Riser” counties, this release:

Less red in the Midwest. hate to be optimistic, but it looks like this fever has broken (thought the back to school bump, IMSHO, has yet to really take hold.) Remember, however, that this chart is about acceleration, not absolute numbers, so the case chart still has momentum. This map, too, blows the “Blame Bubba” narrative out of the water. Not a (Deliverance-style) banjo to be heard. Previous release:

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

Test positivity:

The South and the West seem back on form.

Hospitalization (CDC): This is where CDC moved its hospital data (and who the heck at Microsoft decided no header for a chart is a good idea):

A dip. Good news, and long may it last. Here the CDC’s hospitalization visualization, from the source above:

The Gulf Coast is red, but moderating. Look at Kentucky go! And I wonder if Alabama is flat because it’s at capacity. Several states in the West are pink and increasing, except for Wyoming, which is red.

Deaths (Our World in Data):

I have added an anti-trumphalist black line, since we are now well past the peak of last year. 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.)

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

Covid cases worldwide:

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

* * *


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

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

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

Biden Administration

“With Afghan Retreat, Biden Bucks Foreign Policy Elite” [New York Times]. “But it is precisely the longstanding, deep-rooted nature of the beliefs that Mr. Biden is challenging, analysts said, that has made the backlash against him so ferocious. Since the terrorist attacks of 9/11, the doctrine of an aggressive, expeditionary foreign policy — in which all options, including military force, are invariably on the table — has become a bipartisan article of faith in Washington. The news media, which covered those wars, played a significant role in amplifying these ideas…. While Mr. Biden may have antagonized foreign policy elites, his determination to extricate the United States from costly entanglements overseas plays better with average Americans.” • Biden-as-peacenik was not on my Bingo card, that’s for sure.

“Biden’s top-down booster plan sparks anger at FDA” [Politico]. “The Biden administration’s decisions over when to administer coronavirus vaccine boosters are triggering turmoil within the Food and Drug Administration, frustrating regulators and sparking fear that political pressures will once again override the agency’s expertise. FDA officials are scrambling to collect and analyze data that clearly demonstrate the boosters’ benefits before the administration’s Sept. 20 deadline for rolling them out to most adults. Many outside experts, and some within the agency, see uncomfortable similarities between the Biden team’s top-down booster plan and former President Donald Trump’s attempts to goad FDA into accelerating its initial authorization process for Covid-19 vaccines and push through unproven virus treatments.” • Similarities vs. differences….

“Biden pledged to ‘follow the science.’ But experts say he’s sometimes fallen short” [STAT]. “As president, though, Biden has sometimes struggled to follow through on his science-first pledges. Over the winter, the White House press secretary publicly undercut the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention after she suggested teachers didn’t necessarily need to be vaccinated for schools to be reopened safely. Then came the administration’s sudden U-turn on mask guidance in May, which was criticized for effectively assuming that unvaccinated Americans would still wear face coverings. Most recently, and perhaps most striking, was the administration’s endorsement of ‘booster’ vaccine doses, which numerous scientists say was based on scant evidence and undercuts the authority of scientific agencies. Given that Biden campaigned against a president who often downplayed Covid-19 and derided government scientists, many health experts hoped his election would mark the dawn of a more science-focused pandemic response. While the new president has made good on most of his scientific pledges, though, some of his apparent scientific stumbles have led some health experts to question whether he’s been true to his vow to follow the science — and whether politics have played a role in many of his administration’s most critical Covid-19 decisions.”

“In climate reversal, Biden okays new oil and gas mega auction” [Agence France Presse]. “US President Joe Biden’s administration on Tuesday announced plans to open more than 80 million acres in the Gulf of Mexico for oil and gas exploration after a court ruled against the administration’s pause in leasing.” • Leave it in the ground.

“The Emerging American Industrial Policy” [American Affairs]. “This emerging American industrial policy is characterized by its focus on capabilities critical to national security, supported by resili­ent supply chains, and achieved through political consensus. Understanding its features will sharpen what has been, until now, a rather nebulous debate. Congress, in particular, has a significant role to play, but only if it is willing to take advantage of its window of opportunity.” Focusing on the first: “The best explanation for the emerging American industrial policy is the realization among policymakers that the nation has lost critical capabilities that create good jobs, spur innovation, and offer a com­parative advantage. This important concept warrants some explanation. A capability refers to collective know-how—the competence to perform a certain task that cannot be performed by an individual acting alone. Collective know-how is embodied in a manufactured good. In a 1958 essay, Leonard Read described a pencil as a simple object that, perhaps surprisingly, no single person knows how to make.10 Its existence reflects multiple competencies found along a global value chain and brought together by firms acting in their self-interest. The more complex the product, the more competencies are required to produce it, and the more important it is to economic growth and national wealth. For example, a passenger jet is more complex than a pencil—reflecting the involvement of a much larger number of competencies in its value chain and providing greater economic rewards. More than a decade ago, Cesar Hidalgo and Ricardo Hausmann used export data to operationalize this concept, which they refer to as economic complexity. To simplify their work, Hausmann offered an analogy. In the game of Scrabble, players choose random letters and take turns creating words on a playing board using the letters they possess. Longer words are awarded more points than shorter words. Now consider that each player represents a nation, each letter repre­sents a capability, each word represents a unique manufactured product, and longer words represent more complex products. The challenge to a nation (player) is to obtain a diverse array of capabilities (letters) to produce new products (words) that generate greater wealth (longer words and higher scores).” • ”Collective know-how” sounds closely related to hysteresis.

Democrats en Deshabille

“Episode 103 – California Schemin’” (podcast) [Briahna Joy Gray, Bad Faith]. ” Brie spoke to a panel of three leading left candidates: Green Party candidate & criminal defense attorney Dan Kapelovitz, Socialist Equality Party candidate David Moore, and California National Party candidate and political science lecturer at San Francisco State, Michael Loebs. This conversation is as much about their individual candidacies as is is about their respective parties’ theories of change. Everyone here may agree on the need for Medicare for All, but a non-Marxist professor of Marxism cum successionist, a Trotskyite, and a Green Party member each have very different theories of how to get there.” • Helpful information on how California’s one-party state really works.

Realignment and Legitimacy


* * *

“”Breaking Points”: On Afghanistan, the Revolving Door, and Media Failure to Disclose Contracting Ties of Guests” [Matt Taibbi, TK News]. “[T]he fact that both the government and the national commentariat remain essentially captured by contractor money remains as big a problem as ever, as this episode shows. We haven’t even reached the stage of being able to identify the financial connections of the people occupying center stage on the national televised debate over military policy. It’s a terrible look that the people willing to point things like this out mostly all work for independent media outlets, while the New York Times and Washington Post have to be harassed to do the ethical minimum on that score. If we properly identified the sponsors of the people with the biggest voices in media and politics, a lot more of what America does at home and around the world would make sense.”

“The Washington Blob On Video” [The American Conservative]. Due to Covid, the author viewed many, many think tank videos: “’ve come away from the last year almost in awe at the near unanimity of members of what Barack Obama’s deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes called the “blob”—largely about developing and implementing U.S. foreign policy. This agreement, which sometimes resembles a Red Guards convention circa 1967, did not surprise me. But the forums dramatically demonstrated the uniformity in sentiment and style. A number of consistent realities have shown through…. The absence of debate runs far deeper than individual policies. Virtually every foreign policy organization believes in the imperative of action. Such groups exist to urge the country forward to fulfill what earlier Americans called “manifest destiny” and more modern sorts with finer sensibilities call “leadership.” Other than a few outliers—the Cato and Quincy Institutes, some leftish groups, and a handful of foreign think tanks—the overwhelming, unrelenting demand is to “do something!” Special credit goes for those who come up with new wars to keep the U.S. military busy. While there are degrees of involvement, action is always required, and usually the more, and bloodier, the better. Another unvarying principle is that whatever is must forever be, and perhaps should even be a bit stronger. Never is there an organization, alliance, treaty, commitment, discussion, agreement, concordat, accord, or anything else that can be discarded. Never. Rather, everything must be strengthened, improved, expanded, refurbished, and more. NATO is sacred.” • Unlike Taibbi, funding goes unmentioned.

“Mobs and justice” [Ryan Avent, The Bellows]. ” generally speaking, we don’t affirm the value of self-restraint on behalf of others in this country. We don’t value the dignity of every individual as well as the liberty. What capacity we had for that we seem to be losing. And so we have no cultural mechanism through which to encourage people to wear masks or get vaccines for the sake of others. We have no way, outside of the coercive power of the state, to encourage companies to pay their workers a decent wage, or get them to cut their emissions, or simply not design their massive automobiles in ways that make them more likely to kill pedestrians. The idea that the very clever and talented should worry less about their own scramble up the career ladder and more about expanding opportunity for everyone has no cultural legitimacy in this country. I think it’s really important to have that social capacity, and I worry terribly about the fact that we seem to be losing it, because it looks to me like a very difficult thing to reestablish once it’s gone. Building it back up again is the mother of all collective action problems; in a society in which power rules everything, it demands that people not exercise what power they have to the fullest.” • Well, we’re a society that makes people fight with insurance companies over billing when they’re on their deathbeds, so restoring dignity as a, well, “norm,” will take some work.

Stats Watch

Employment Situation: “United States Initial Jobless Claims” [Trading Economics]. “The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits declined to 340 thousand in the week ending August 28th, its lowest level since March 2020 and below market consensus of 345 thousand, as the labor market consolidated its recovery following business reopenings in the US and despite lingering concerns over the ongoing COVID-19 resurgence. At the same time, labor supply shortages continued to have a strong impact on the economy as employers struggle to find enough qualified workers to fill vacancies.”

Employment Situation: “United States Challenger Job Cuts” [Trading Economics]. “US-based employers announced 15,723 job cuts in August of 2021, the lowest since June 1997, led by companies in the Health Care/Products sector, which announced 2,259 cuts. Hospitals have struggled with costs since the beginning of the pandemic as revenue-generating elective procedures get cancelled. Others are closing down skilled nursing units due to a shortage of talent.”

Exports: “United States Exports” [Trading Economics]. “Exports from the US were up 1.3% mom to $212.9 billion in July of 2021, the highest since May of 2019, led by sales of capital goods ($1 billion), gem diamonds ($0.6 billion), autos ($0.6 billion), trucks, buses, and special purpose vehicles ($0.4 billion), auto parts ($0.3 billion), other business services ($0.2 billion) and charges for intellectual property products ($0.1 billion).”

Imports: “United States Imports” [Trading Economics]. “US imports edged down 0.2% mom to $282.9 billion in July of 2021, after touching a record high of $283.3 billion in June. Main decreases were seen for toys, games, and sporting goods ($-1.1 billion), cell phones and other household goods ($-0.5 billion), nonmonetary gold ($-0.8 billion) and lumber ($-0.7 billion).”

Manufacturing: “United States Factory Orders” [Trading Economics]. “New orders for US manufactured goods edged up 0.4% mom in July of 2021, slowing from a 1.5% jump in the previous month but less than market forecasts of 0.3%. Orders rose for machinery (2.9%), namely mining, oil field, and gas field machinery (21.1%) and industrial machinery (8.1%); and primary metals (3%), namely ferrous metal foundries (7%). In contrast, orders for transport equipment fell 2.1%; computers and electronic products went down 0.4%; and those of electrical equipment, appliances and components dropped 1.7%. Excluding transportation equipment, new orders rose 0.8%.”

* * *

Apparel: “Some clothing retailers are finding that keeping fewer goods on hand can improve their profit margins. The low-inventory strategy runs counter to customary apparel-sector practices that seek to maximize sales by having a full array of choices available at stores. [But] companies including Gap, Abercrombie & Fitch and Guess are offering fewer end-of-season markdowns as they keep inventory levels low” [Wall Street Journal]. “Those late-season sales have long troubled retailers, but the financial hit was especially tough last year when many merchants had to slash prices after lockdown orders and a sharp shift in consumer spending left them holding excess stock. Now, measures of operating margins for the newly-lean apparel sellers are up this year. Retailers risk running low on stock, but Abercrombie finance chief Scott Lipesky says losing a sale is less significant in the long run than having too much inventory.”

The Bezzle: “More regulatory clouds are gathering over the electric-truck sector. Financial regulators have opened an investigation into Workhorse Group….targeting an Ohio-based firm that was an early investor in now-struggling startup Lordstown Motors” [Wall Street Journal]. “The SEC’s probe into Workhorse, which was founded to make battery-powered delivery vans and trucks, is the fourth known investigation into an electric-vehicle manufacturer in the past year. Upstarts targeting transportation emerged as hot investments last year, driven in large part by investors trying to replicate Tesla’s big returns. Workhorse in July suspended earlier guidance that it aimed to deliver 1,000 vehicles in 2021.” • Hmm.

Tech: Complaints about Google’s crapified search increasing, a thread:

It’s not just us…

Real Estate: “China’s Ghost Cities Are Finally Stirring to Life After Years of Empty Streets” [Bloomberg]. “It’s hard to say how China’s reputed ghost cities are faring collectively: Government data aren’t publicly available, and independent research is spotty. What is clear is that local governments can throw money at these projects for many years. In the short term, not all of the cities are meeting the same fate, Bloomberg Businessweek discovered on recent visits to three of them. When it comes to urbanization, though, China is playing a very long game.”

Tech: “The Silent Partner Cleaning Up Facebook for $500 Million a Year” [New York Times (dk)]. “Facebook and Accenture have rarely talked about their arrangement or even acknowledged that they work with each other. But their secretive relationship lies at the heart of an effort by the world’s largest social media company to distance itself from the most toxic part of its business…. Accenture has taken on the work — and given it a veneer of respectability — because Facebook has signed contracts with it for content moderation and other services worth at least $500 million a year, according to The Times’s examination. Accenture employs more than a third of the 15,000 people whom Facebook has said it has hired to inspect its posts. And while the agreements provide only a small fraction of Accenture’s annual revenue, they give it an important lifeline into Silicon Valley. Within Accenture, Facebook is known as a ‘diamond client.’ Their contracts, which have not previously been reported, have redefined the traditional boundaries of an outsourcing relationship. Accenture has absorbed the worst facets of moderating content and made Facebook’s content issues its own. As a cost of doing business, it has dealt with workers’ mental health issues from reviewing the posts. It has grappled with labor activism when those workers pushed for more pay and benefits. And it has silently borne public scrutiny when they have spoken out against the work.”

Concentration: “Lawsuit targets HCA’s hospital monopoly in Western North Carolina” [Facing South]. “But since going for-profit following its 2019 purchase by Nashville, Tennessee-based HCA Healthcare — a publicly traded hospital operator that’s among the most profitable U.S. health care companies — Mission has faced accusations from patients, employees, and public officials that it has sacrificed quality and value of care in pursuit of profits. Some of the complaints have been documented on Mountain Maladies, a private Facebook group of over 12,000 patients, health care workers, and Western North Carolina residents started last year. They include a patient being told to defecate in the bed because there was not enough staff to help them to the toilet, dramatic jumps in prescription prices, and warnings about unsafe COVID-19 protocols, including a failure to sanitize rooms after infected patients have been intubated. The growing concerns have led six Western North Carolina residents to sign on to a class-action lawsuit filed against HCA in August for “restraint of trade and unlawful monopolization” in violation of the state constitution and laws. In seven of the 18 counties it serves — Buncombe, Macon, Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Transylvania, and Yancey — Mission controls between 75% and 91% of the local health care market. The lawsuit says HCA used its dominance in the region to drive up prices while cutting costs in ways that compromise patient and employee health and safety.”

Supply Chain: “Factories across Asia are sending warning signals of further supply-chain strains. Manufacturing activity in several countries is faltering as Covid-19 cases are rising… adding to global supply-chain disruptions and confirming fears of a slowdown in the region’s economic recovery” [Wall Street Journal]. “Gauges of manufacturing activity plummeted across major Asian economies, in large part because virus lockdowns, port congestion and higher input costs hampered production. There were also signs that global demand for some Asian goods has been leveling off, as consumers rein in spending in the West. The struggles could signal more problems ahead for buyers of Asian products that remain in high demand, such as toys and semiconductors. As more factories struggle to keep operations staffed and fully operational, it is harder for buyers to source the products they need, potentially adding to inflationary pressures world-wide.

* * *

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 57 Neutral (previous close: 57 Greed) [CNN]. One week ago: 39 (Fear). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Sep 2 at 12:56pm.

The Biosphere

“‘Unprecedented’ outbreak of armyworms are destroying lawns across the US, often overnight” [USA Today]. • Monocultures are vulnerable to pests, who knew. And USA Today says “destroying lawns” like that’s a bad thing.


Defense in depth, a thread:

Health Care

Chicago, 1918, the Spanish flu:

We’ve regressed. I would like to earnestly thank today’s public health establishment for this.

“More Hospitals Sued Over Right to Try Ivermectin” [MedPage Today]. “As hospitals continue to admit COVID-19 patients, some are contending with demands from family members to attempt to treat their loved ones with ivermectin. Just last week, the CDC warned healthcare professionals to steer patients away from the drug. But that hasn’t stopped the pressure on hospitals, and the outcomes of new legal cases to force hospitals to provide the drug to struggling, ventilated patients have been mixed…. The CDC reiterated in its warning to healthcare professionals last week that ivermectin is not authorized or approved by the FDA for the prevention or treatment of COVID. The agency added that the NIH has also determined there are currently insufficient data to recommend ivermectin for the treatment of COVID. The CDC did say that there are ongoing clinical trials that might provide more information about these ‘hypothesized uses.'”

Good question:

Again, we’re not the only ones.

“When school isn’t safe: ‘You feel like you are sending your child into a lion’s den'” [CNN]. • As NC readers know, this study butchers ventilation issues, and CNN simply replicates CDC’s error (though I grant its nice to see seating diagrams make it through to the mainstream).

“Rogue antibodies involved in almost one-fifth of COVID deaths” [Nature] (original). “Antibodies that turn against elements of our own immune defences are a key driver of severe illness and death following SARS-CoV-2 infection in some people, according to a large international study. These rogue antibodies, known as autoantibodies, are also present in a small proportion of healthy, uninfected individuals — and their prevalence increases with age, which may help to explain why elderly people are at higher risk of severe COVID-19…. The international research team focused on detecting autoantibodies that could neutralize lower, more physiologically relevant concentrations of interferons. They studied 3,595 patients from 38 countries with critical COVID-19, meaning that the individuals were ill enough to be admitted to an intensive-care unit. Overall, 13.6% of these patients possessed autoantibodies, with the proportion ranging from 9.6% of those below the age of 40, up to 21% of those over 80. Autoantibodies were also present in 18% of people who had died of the disease. [Immunologist Jean-Laurent Casanova at the Rockefeller University] and his colleagues suspected that these devious antibodies were a cause, rather than a consequence, of critical COVID-19. … To examine this link further, the researchers hunted for autoantibodies in a massive collection of blood samples taken from almost 35,000 healthy people before the pandemic. They found that 0.18% of those between 18 and 69 had existing autoantibodies against type 1 interferon, and that this proportion increased with age: autoantibodies were present in around 1.1% of 70- to 79-year-olds, and 3.4% of those over the age of 80. ‘There is a massive increase in prevalence” with age, Casanova says. “This largely explains the high risk of severe COVID in people in the elderly population.”” • Hmm.

“FAA Wants Airport Bars to Stop Selling Alcohol to Go” [Food & Wine]. “Last week, the administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration wrote a letter to the leaders of airports throughout the United States, asking them to stop allowing airport bars to serve alcoholic beverages to go, in an attempt to prevent passengers from becoming unruly, noncompliant, or straight-up violent after they board a plane.”

“Worried About Breakthrough Infections? Here’s How to Navigate This Phase of the Pandemic” [New York Times]. • This headline is not fully-compliant with today’s argot. It should read “… .This Phase of Your Pandemic Journey.”

I know this is a right-wing talking point, but seriously, wouldn’t a yellow star be simpler and cheaper?

Zeitgeist Watch

“Government Self-Support Scheme Posters (1971-)” [Scarfolk Council]. • Helpful!

Class Warfare

Here it is, plain as day:

Anybody who can work from home is not “essential.”

News of the Wired

“Go ahead, have that third cup of coffee. You just might live longer, new research suggests” [USA Today]. “This new study involved 468,629 participants of the UK BioBank database; none had signs of heart disease at the start of the study. Participants’ average age was 56.2 years and more than half, 55.8%, were women. Compared to non-coffee drinkers, drinking up to three cups of coffee daily was associated with 21% lower risk of stroke, 17% lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease, and 12% lower risk of all cause death, the researchers said. A comparison of heart MRIs revealed coffee drinkers ‘had healthier sized and better functioning hearts,” Simon said. “This was consistent with reversing the detrimental effects of aging on the heart.’ Further studies are needed to explain the health benefit, she said, but “this is the largest study to systematically assess the cardiovascular effects of regular coffee consumption in a population without diagnosed heart disease.'” • Guess I’ll have to crank up the input!

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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 (JW):

JW writes: “Here’s a photo of my most spectacular peony this year in case you could ever use it. The white fluff is cotton from the nearby cottonwood tree.”

* * *

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

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About Lambert Strether

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


  1. haywood

    Question regarding un/vaccinated hospitalization data:

    I’ve never seen “unknown” as a category in these vaccinated/unvaccinated breakdowns.

    Are they classifying “unknown” vaccination status as “unvaccinated” for the data collection purposes?

    1. Eloined

      The two buckets I’ve seen used lately in public health reporting are “fully vaccinated” and “not fully vaccinated,” where the latter includes “individuals with one dose of the two-dose series, no doses, or unknown vaccination status. Individuals less than 12 years of age who are not yet eligible for the vaccine are also included.” See, e.g., https://www.sandiegocounty.gov/content/dam/sdc/hhsa/programs/phs/Epidemiology/COVID-19%20Watch.pdf.

      To some extent it seems the NFV bucket is then relabeled as “unvaccinated” in news coverage — either that or there are finer-grained data sources out there.

      As for what constitutes an “unknown,” it’s my understanding is that fully-vaccinated status must be registry- or document-verified, i.e. not merely self-reported.

      Along the same lines, this CDC guidance explains what constitutes a COVID-associated death or hospitalization, e.g. for those without COVID-positive lab results, at least one or two (depending on type) symptoms of illness, which may be runny nose, fatigue, etc., + “epidemiological linkage” established through individual or community metrics = sufficiency to establish the association for reporting purposes: https://ndc.services.cdc.gov/case-definitions/coronavirus-disease-2019-2021/.

    2. Conrad Schumacher

      I’m commenting from the observation area after having my first vaccine dose here in New Zealand.

      The vaccination site staff seem to be the same demographic as the poll workers in our elections. Mainly middle aged to older semi retired women. The whole process is run with the brisk yet kindly efficiency one gets from that group. Five minutes from arrival to shot, then 15 minutes in what is usually the bar of our local club.

      Hopefully the vaccine itself is as effective as those who are administering it.

  2. Zephyrum

    Why is basically the entire media lying about what Ivermectin is and calling it a horse drug?

    Because Ivermectin has been chosen as a group membership indicator, independent of its own nature. If you advocate for Ivermectin then you must be an ignorant resident of a red state, according to most of my Democrat friends. The media is signaling adherence to that group. I tried pointing them at articles linked at NC but people don’t really care whether it works, only what it says about its advocates and detractors.

    1. Pelham

      This may be the primary reason. A secondary reason may be advertising. Big Pharma ads saturate TV screens and underwrite a lot of what we view, especially on cable news. Being commercial, our “famously free press” is rather famously beholden — to the drug industry and many others.

      1. Joey Deacon

        …Or perhaps it is because many people are buying in the veterinary format from Tractor Supply Company or Amazon, and try to figure out the proper human dose at home.

        Commenters on here are often talking about that, and so I imagine its far more prevalent on FB etc

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          > in the veterinary format

          Yes, the sociopathies of group membership is certainly one factor preventing routine off-label prescription, which is the obvious solution, since — I know this will surprise you — shaming isn’t working, or else the supplies would not be running out.

          The Streisand Effect is fully in effect here, and — I know this will surprise you, too — the PMC doubled down rhetorically on fail, swapping out “horse paste” and swapping in “horse dewormer,” doubling or perhaps quadrupling the dehumanization.

          We saw a smaller example of this when people started treating vaccines as brands; Pfizer was cooler, and so forth.

          Needless to say, if medical advice and group membership/status have become identical — and one might apply this to either camp here — then the advice is worthless and “do your own research” (for real) becomes even more important.

          And since all those propagating “horse paste”/”horse dewormer” are lying*, it’s simplifying and clarifying to cross them off your list of trusted sources.

          NOTE * I have seen the argument made that the dehumanization is only directed at the Bubbas who buy IVM at the feed store, as opposed to the Bubbas who have scrip. Pull the other one, it’s got bells on.

      2. Brian Beijer

        Neither yours nor Zephyrum’s reasons explain why these same lies and “disinformation” about Ivermectin are being spread in other Western (NATO) countries. I live in a country that has nationalized healthcare and where pharmaceutical advertisement is illegal. We still get the same Ivermectin is a horse medicine bs. The campaign against IVM is consistent and international.

        1. DJG, Reality Czar

          Brian Beijer: I notice here in Italy that, in certain areas, certain Italians are taking their cues from the U S of A. It has deleterious effects.

          I was surprised to see a passing reference in LaStampa to ivermectin as horse medicine, given that that description isn’t the official stance of the EMA or Italian medical authorities. Yet in today’s coverage of the NYC floods, the NY correspondent starts out with a visit to Paul Auster, a U.S. novelist particularly in favor among a certain kind of European intellectual.

          So I suspect that some of this is U.S. cultural influence. It is hard to explain to Europeans, even Italians, that ‘le americate’ are not good for their culture or society.

          You should see Matteo Salvini’s quotes and tweets, which look as if they have been written by the U.S. Republican Party fundraisers…

    2. Soredemos

      A bunch of the responses to that tweet amount to ‘ah, ahwctually, the problem isn’t the drug, but that people keep taking the horse version. I Am Very Smart.”. But then we see the CDC advising human physicians to not prescribe it either. So according to the CDC, the problem is the drug itself, full stop, period.

      I’m still amazed the degree to which our public ‘health’ institutions and personalities are just blatantly lying to us now.

      1. Shtucb

        My wife has been taking Ivermectin for several years now, prescribed off-label by her dermatologist for her rosacea. She’s been taking it since long before covid. She now gets the third degree from pharmacists before they’ll hand it over to her: “Do you know what you’re taking?”, “Are you having covid symptoms?”, etc.

      2. Lambert Strether Post author

        > according to the CDC, the problem is the drug itself, full stop, period.

        Link, please. Last I checked, the FDA page has not changed, and last I checked, drug safety was the FDA’s remit, not the CDC’s.

  3. jr

    This video is about a man who has built a luxury bunker condo in Kansas. It’s in an old missile silo. I think the owner let VICE in as form of free advertising:


    I immediately thought of Fallout 3 with the bunker salesmen going door to door. The Olympic size pool has a sign reading “Lost in Paradise” painted on the wall. There is a game room where up to four people can play “Fortnite” as well as “Missile Command” for the old timers. You cannot make this stuff up.

    1. Amfortas the hippie

      last few years, as several wealthy folks have bought out distressed legacy(as in pioneer) ranches around here…within 5 miles of me, within the valley i’m in….while they’re having their extremely fancy and tall and more than robust fences installed*, along with their elaborate gates**, and enormous “barns”***, and clearing out all the cactus and mesquite and cedar****….i’ve heard…every once in a while…explosions.
      just like what we used to hear when the granite quarries were up and running(3 and 10 miles away from where i sit. stone used for a seawall in Taiwan)
      friends and relations among the disparate Help…from fencers to carpenters to stonemasons….say that they’re putting in “wine caves”, with a back door that leads to a bunker.
      my info says that whomever is doing this work is not local…and it’s all hush-hush.
      nobody i know has seen the inside of these “wine caves”, let alone the bunkers.
      to my knowledge, i’ve only met one of these folks, at the feedstore…and that gal recognised my truck and knew i was her near neighbor…seemed nice enough(and pretty!)…but i’ve heard things about some of the rest of them that are not nice,lol.

      of note, and germane: this is the first year in my memory that the local PTB have put on a full court press touting that they didn’t have to raise the property tax rate(applause sign), (subtext) because the valuations rose enough to cover all the jack they’re spending…
      so i can’t wait to wrangle with the appraiser(again) about how this here trailer house hasn’t appreciated 6k in a year…and how that chicken house over there is not “worth” 10K.
      (there’s no receipts for most of went into any of this,lol…because i liberated so much material from the dump….i’m certain they want to lock the doors when they see me coming, afraid i’ll pay in loose pennies again, if i’m displeased.)

      (*-these fences are far away from the norm, out here. steel posts and h-braces concreted in like i’ve never seen…and they’re all taller than “deer fence”…super expensive.
      ***-these “barns”…are like my mom’s metal barn(20×25-made of r-panel and that curled up faux i-beam)…but they are huge….like(estimating from driving by on dirt road) 100′ x 50′. ..if not bigger….and with 30′ roofs, with giant rollup doors that are at least 20′ high.(bigger than my grandad’s industrial sheetmetal shop)
      ****-this, i’m happy about…good for the water table, and the local flora and fauna in general.)

      1. Brunches with Cats

        Are they actual barns — for animals, hay storage, farm equipment, etc. — or are they barndominiums? A nephew spent some time in Austin in the building trades, worked on a bunch of those things, then came home to rural Upstate New York and built one for himself, not a monster, but modest, like Frank Lloyd Wright envisioned (drew plans, but never built one). Red metal siding, metal roof … confounded the local geezers. From what I read, Texas property tax was lower on barndos, which partially explains their popularity, but I also vaguely recall reading that the state caught on, and so they’re no longer the tax advantage they used to be. I imagine you’ve got the skinny on all that.

        1. Amfortas the hippie

          i can’t speak to the tax advantages of barndominiums(didn’t figger when i decided against it for my own house…me bein competent to do the work, did.
          i was competent in post and beam and garbage.
          so that’s what i did…for better or worse(roof leaks like a bitch=i am not a roofer)

          the barns i’m referring to are generally filled with hay and big equipment…dozers, even.
          i suspect that that’s for the too-many cows they’re running, expecting the rain to flow and make their pasture magically fruitful with all the “Native Pasture” seed they’ve put in after removing the mesquite and cactus.
          they’ll make all kinds of money, because they have money.

          they are not ‘ranchers’.

          they only believe that they know what they’re doing.

          just another grift

      2. Lambert Strether Post author

        The very wealthy seem to think that whatever is coming won’t be nice. Perhaps we should listen to them. Of course, these people aren’t wealthy enough to afford New Zealand, or even Montana or Idaho, so perhaps they’re only local gentry?

        Do you know if these edifices are self-contained with respect to power and water?

  4. Terry Flynn

    Re googling. Bad workman blames his tools. I can honestly say I’ve noticed no problems in googling (or duckduckgoing) stuff more recently. Know the key words and phrases associated with your search and it’ll be page one.

    It’s akin to looking for phonetic in the dictionary knowing it doesn’t start with an f. Gen Z annoy me……but I’m gen X and hate all the other gens apparently.

    1. Basil Pesto

      Inclined to agree. I can’t say I’ve noticed that it’s gotten harder. Depends, I guess, on how technical your searches are, how much you expect from goog, the frequency of your searches, whether you’re looking for one source in particular or good information in general. Nevertheless, crapification is real.

    2. Sawdust

      I think the big difference is between trying to find “the answer” and trying to see what’s out there. Going online used to be more like exploring a forest but now it’s more like being carried down a tunnel.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        > more like exploring a forest but now it’s more like being carried down a tunnel.

        Excellent point — since it supports my priors that enabling serendipity is a requirement for any search system worthy of the name (card catalogs were very good at this, because related categories were physically adjacent and of course there were cross-references).

    3. Lost in OR

      I’ve found that once google’s logarithms have figured out what they think I want I can’t break out of that paradigm. And good luck finding a product sourced locally.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        > good luck finding a product sourced locally

        It’s amazing, or not, that when there’s a local story somewhere, Google still feeds you the NYT or Guardian or CNN version. God forbid they should give the locals who broke the story the hits. It’s disgusting, since the algorithm cannot be hard.]

        UPDATE Ha ha, I just disproved myself with a search on “Philadelphia flooding,” but I insist this is an exception to the general tendency.

    4. Greg

      You’re an expert in your field(s), this is a problem for non-experts. How does someone who knows nothing find the right keywords?

      1. Terry Flynn

        Thanks – a good question. There are things I Google that aren’t in my field – I use lateral thinking and don’t just expect an “ask Jeeves” response. A few extra terms, turn on or off country specific search and asking on other filters.

        Too many purple are lazy when searching. To get the right answer you must think about the question. You DON’T need to know keywords.

        1. Greg

          I understand where you’re coming from, and the explanation makes sense.
          I still don’t think it’s right to assume that the problem is laziness when other people are noting that it used to be easier to find things without having the search knowhow to shake the results a few times until the good stuff floats up. I think what you’re talking about is a coping mechanism, rather than a disputation of the original point.

          I guess we’re talking two different things. You’re pointing out that if you learn how to search, you can still get reasonable results, which is true enough most of the time. Lambert etc were talking instead about how it is now almost impossible to get good results without using the advanced techniques you mention, while previously a lazy approach worked ok too.
          A third aspect is how some results simply aren’t there anymore no matter how you search (the strongest example being a page they personally wrote and know is still hosted).

        2. Yves Smith

          Nonsense. Google is de-indexing tons of articles. I regularly put in search strings from articles (not just NC) in our archive, and they do not come up. You can run searches on tons of news topics and after the second page you get irrelevant junk, where there are HUNDREDS of relevant stories.

          Many academics have told me they are forced to search on NC because they can’t find stuff about the financial crisis otherwise.

    5. ilpalazzo

      I have encountered a few situations recently where a couple of years ago I was able to find stuff I wanted with some minor effort that I am now unable to find at all despite much more effort. Technical stuff mostly (service software for not very old pro audio equipment). I know I could hit fora or groups for help; in the end I found copies on my archive disks. Googling turned out nothing though.

      1. Amfortas the hippie

        i get that with political, economic etc stuff that the blob, or whatever, doesn’t like.
        like the horrible private hospital the va sent my stepdad to.
        with google, i get the hospital corp’s website for the first 10 pages, interspersed with forbes articles about how they’re a good investment.
        very little, at all, thereafter, about how often they’ve been sued, or in trouble for medicare fraud, etc.
        them having no electricty…and no air conditioning in the icu…with a diesel genny that looks older than me(and in more disrepair) the day he died is totally absent…wasn’t reported, i guess.
        (i reported it to the va IG)

        and there’s loads of stuff i remember from the last 20+ years of being online that google thinks doesn’t exist..yet, when i rummage in my library for a representative hardcopy(with the http thing at the top), there it is….at the same http addy it has been.
        definitely crapified…but i don’t think it’s an oversight, or mere corporate rot…it’s purposeful, and with intent.

    6. Jeremy Grimm

      I suppose your mileage may vary from mine. I no longer use Google. I worked in a specialized area and knew plenty of buzz words in my field but I still had to make repeated searches with Google and then sift down as far as the fourth or fifth page of results to find anything I could use or use to help continue my search. I have not noticed any recent increase in problems Googling, but that is because I have not used the Google search engine for several years. I do find Google maps useful on occasion.

      I use DuckDuckGo now. Their search syntax is not as rich. I often search for information about products now. If I restrict the returns from Amazon.com and Ebay.com it does bring in more hits related what I am searching for, though I do get several hits only remotely related to my search and not infrequently the hits run out. At least DuckDuckGo claims they do not track my web searches.

      A bad workman blames his tools, a good workman carries good tools, and any workman who has little choice in the tools available has every right to blame his tools.

    7. aleric

      I’m gen X and I think the search results have been getting worse for programming questions. More because of the large number of low quality ad-packed sites, obsolete answers (usable date filtering please), and many of the most useful sites don’t allow external search engines to crawl them (probably to save on bandwidth), than any issue with the search engine itself. There don’t seem to be as many interesting small blogs as there used to be, maybe those types have all moved to social media now.

    8. The Rev Kev

      Yves has said a coupla times before that if she had tried to write her 2010 book “ECONned” using present Google, that it would not be possible as the search algorithms have been degraded so badly since then.

      Just to add, I have noticed a distinct deterioration in the quality of results for Google News too over the past few months. Lots of interesting stories just do not show up and if you know of something interesting, you have to go digging for it.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        > .Yves has said a coupla times before that if she had tried to write her 2010 book “ECONned” using present Google, that it would not be possible as the search algorithms have been degraded so badly since then.

        Yep. Both Yves and I use search (and, sadly, Google) more than anybody could possibly imagine, both of us for more than a decade. Our experience coincides with that of the academics in the Tweet. But we are all “bad workmen” lol.

        Of course, Yves and I aren’t searching for a reasonably fixed set of keywords in a topic vertical that Google can also algorithmically tailor to an individual. We search to post and to find and verify links that serve our readers, and so the topic areas we cover are incredibly wide, and the sources are global. Serendipity is also useful. For that, we need a generalized search tool. Google was and is sold as that tool. And once it was that tool. Now it’s not.

  5. Sub-Boreal

    Soil fans in the NC community may wish to know about a new, open access reference source just released by the Canadian Society of Soil Science.

    “Digging Into Canadian Soils” is a comprehensive introductory-level online text. With more than 40 co-authors, it covers all of the basics such as soil chemistry, biology, physics, and genesis/classification, as well as applied aspects such as reclamation and remediation. Lay readers should also find this to be a useful reference – and the price is right!

    This project was intended to give our students some relief from the escalating cost of textbooks, and to give an alternative to the US-centric content of established texts, such as “The Nature and Properties of Soils” which is currently listed at $C 189.99 on A_ _ _ _ n.

    Available for viewing or download at: https://openpress.usask.ca/soilscience/

  6. Blue Duck

    Can anyone speak to the reliability of the NYTimes daily case count?

    I’m in Sonoma county, and per the NYT we had 600+ new positive cases on September 1st which is up ~500 from August 31st. The county and local media is reporting ~200 positive cases for sept 1st. If the nyt is correct then things are way out of hand here, but if they’re wrong then their algo is totally busted.

  7. tegnost

    I realize I’m nit picking here, but in relation to electric vehicles in general and trucks in particular, there is a long standing largely american industry making trucks now, but in their evolution towards being what they are branched away from the typical truck one sees on the highway. The point being that “serious” electric vehicles will look and perform differently than petroleum powered vehicles and to be truly innnovative on this a company needs to break away from the paradigm of the standard vehicle design as we know it.

    1. Amfortas the hippie

      while i like that there’s movement on this…
      1. where’s the prices?lol..call for a quote=if you have to ask….
      2.this one(https://cdn1.polaris.com/globalassets/taylor-dunn/2019/model/brochures/bigfoot-xl-brochure.pdf?v=6430390a) has an extra 2 batteries more than my regular golfcart(2001 ezgo w/ lift kit and high performance upgrades—which noone within an hundred miles can work on, btw)…so i’m skeptical about their claims regarding towing power, etc.
      3. all the one’s pictured are rolling along happily on pavement.
      trucks(and tractors) where i live are for pastures and rangeland(10 ply tires are all the rage)…
      my tricked out golf cart is more robust than what you see on the course, but i must be careful with even the warshboards on the dirt road, let alone the pasture…lest i loosen a motor connection and cause an arc)…and forget towing anything like what they claim with a mere 2 extra battries.

      i’d love to replace my ’04 dodge ram with an electric vehicle that can do more or less what it does(especially manure hauling)…but we’re nowhere near there, yet.
      i did think it was weirdly cool that doors and windows and a roof over the cab were “options”,lol.

      if i had money to burn, it would be more realistic to convert a diesel truck to biodiesel(or add wood alcohol) and make yer own….or even all the gasoline things around here to ethanol, which is easier to make from almost anything(need cork seals instead of neoprene)
      please don’t take my criticism for naysaying…i most definitely want a viable, affordable electric truck…and i do like that they’re making them ugly, so that maybe all the “all hat” people will not drive them, and screw up the market.
      (i have a hat, btw. currently drinking beer at the wilderness bar with 2 jake turkeys who think i’m their mamma)

      1. tegnost

        ’05 36v ezgo here. I can’t stand the adjustable brakes, only the driver side effectively stops the wheel from turning, the frictional coefficient of gravel determines whether I stop or not. Club cars have good brakes. I don’t think necessarily the golf cart style is good either, designed to have 100 lbs of clubs on the transom so bad brakes if it’s not loaded. What I see are the rad bikes and that sort of thing outperforming and the vehicle makers could be looking there for innovation, instead they want a truck that looks like a truck. Imagine a golf cart with bicycle sized wheels, independent suspension, lithium batteries, charging on downhills, and the list can go on. also golf carts could be a power source for job sites. I think there’s room for improvement.

        1. Amfortas the hippie

          i’d go for that bicycle wheeled thing if it can haul me and my tools around the place.
          i’m cripple, after all.
          that’s why i have the thing…and i’ve learned to fix that as best i can…as much as i can fix anything else(a lot).

          ergo, i’m thinking about building a small engine/golfcart shop out here.
          definite need…especially for the former.
          but i’d hafta import a mechanic…who wants to be free, and all.
          free room and board!


  8. zagonostra


    I think Chomsky has been absorbed by the same blob that took over the liberal class and has left behind nothing but a foul residue called the PMC.

    His analysis lacks all the nuance that separates CV19 from small pox and that vaccines are non-sterilizing, natural immunity being show as more effective, etc, etc. His equating the two is either ignorance or demonstrates he has lost his analytical ability to see a topic outside those parameters that he taught me long ago to question.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Chomsky has gone past his use-by date. Sorry, but that is the truth. Maybe he was a giant in the past but I am only seeing who he is now. He was the one that said last year that everybody had to vote for Joe Biden to save the environment. That hasn’t worked out so well that. But when Chomsky equates people who refuse the present vaccines with people who would refuse to us smallpox vaccines, that is just being deliberately ignorant that as well as a sign of sloppy thinking.

  9. zagonostra

    >UPDATE 1-China’s Alibaba to invest $15.5 bln for “common prosperity”

    What kind of madness is this?

    Beijing has been encouraging companies to share wealth as part of the effort to ease inequality in the world’s second-largest economy. Other companies that have made similar announcements

  10. Stephanie

    Anybody who can work from home is not “essential.”

    At the risk of devil’s advocacy, which I generally despise, this statement puts everyone in an at-home care role into the category of ‘non-essential’. This adds a bit of insult to injury, since often caregivers are either unpaid family members or low-paid child-care providers. Since child-care is in short supply on MN, especially in rural areas, it strikes me that at-home day-care providers might be useful, if not necessarily essential.

    1. Amfortas the hippie

      i noticed that, too…and let it go…because i know he didn’t mean that, or me*.
      such generalisations are useful, even if they sweep up people like us.
      one must identify the enemy in order to fight them.**

      (*i became mr mom when 1. i couldn’t work in kitchens any more and 2. my eldest son, then a baby, needed me at home.and 3. i lucked onto a job where i got paid for what i was doing anyway(taking care of great grandma at mom’s next door)
      wife and i decided on her career as a teacher, instead of my prospects.
      now, of course, i’m the proverbial “Key Man” of this place, without whom, it all falls apart.)
      (**- germane to all of these discussions!!- i’m currently re-reading the War of the Flea by one Robert Taber, who was the cbs guy down in Cuba with Fidel and the gang.
      it is a hoot, and a hell of a read…and should be included in the primer for what’s to come, if all the trendlines stay the course. I’ll never start a revolution…i don’t have the population behind me…too weird and smart…but whatever revolution or warlordism that ends up being the thang out here, they’ll need a court philosopher/merlin who knows how to do a bunch of things that everybody else doesn’t…highly recommended…and if a bunch of folks suddenly order it, it’ll give the spooks conniptions)

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        > i know he didn’t mean that, or me*.

        No, I didn’t. I meant the kind of digital WFHers who are wondering what kind of track pants to buy in the Style Section of the New York Times. Certainly not caregivers (who can’t do their tasks via email, if you see what I mean)

    2. Mo's Bike Shop

      I’m going to say that ‘work’ is doing a lot of work there. I felt appreciated because I’m being required to commute to an office to work online.

      But yeah, ‘homemaking’ should be materially valued by ‘Our Civilization.’

      1. Amfortas the hippie

        ” I felt appreciated…”
        damn, dude.
        indictment, right there, of the whole damned mess.
        my brother, PMC…his work translated seamlessly to home…although Home tried to reject it, as an allergen.
        he’s online with spreadsheets of figures, while talking to other corporate lackeys all day long.

        it’s definitely “work”, by some definition.
        i’m not sure that it’s necessary at that intensity.
        at least necessary to the survival of humanity, that is.

        1. Mo's Bike Shop

          at least necessary to the survival of humanity, that is.

          Yup. Raised by a tool and die machinist who could not understand why I did not see it as a permajob. I wish it was then. Might be soon. If I ever have to wander the earth, I’d take a bag of distinct SAE bolts and a scale.

          I’m a fullstack web publisher for the Research arm of a respected state university. But the ag extension does a lot more good for the world all the time with a boring web interface.

          1. Amfortas the hippie

            ag extension are, in my experience, nothing more than state-paid salesmen for Big Chem.
            if you’re the guy who makes it possible for me to link to things like marcus aurelius or whitman…so i can back up my rhetoric at the wilderness bar with all these here rednecks…then you are a hero of the resistance.
            don’t sell yerself so short.
            if you facilitate the flow of information, at all…on this intertube thing..because Information Should Flow…then good on you.
            you have my gratitude.

    3. Yves Smith

      The chart had income ranges. This was for paid work. At home care in YOUR OWN HOME is not paid. It would be Medicare/Medicaid/long term care insurance fraud to care for a family member and try to get them to pay.

  11. zagonostra

    >Ask for COVID vaccine proof, face a $5,000 fine in Florida

    Interesting and a stark contrast to NYC where I read in todays links that Broadway shows will not admit you unless you show proof of being vaxed.

    The statute reads that a business entity “…may not require patrons or customers to provide any documentation certifying COVID-19 vaccination or postinfection recovery to gain access to, entry upon, or service from the business operations in this state.”This article is confusing in light of companies requiring vaccines.


    1. Milton

      I’m fine with that requirement and would like to see it paired with: “…may not require voters to provide any documentation certifying ones’ eligibility–e.g., proof of citizenship.”

      1. Amfortas the hippie

        it gels with the “i don’t have to make a cake for queers” crowd, which is that guy’s base, however small and withered.
        the righty counterrevolution has been endeavoring to rewrite the fundamentals of law and constitution…including esoterica such as the meaning of words and the founders intent…for a long time. Consistency is not required…nor is logic of any kind, really.
        their voting base has been well trained to do without both…and the people they work for want such changes.
        for the worst case scenario, imo, see: mencius moldbug and his meanderings…(peter thiel’s court philosopher)…”Dark Enlightenment” and “Neoreaction”…hans hermann hoppe and frelling joseph de maistre, of all people.

    2. Carolinian

      Broadway shows will not admit you

      That’s a damned shame. But perhaps Broadway is better than when I lived there long ago.

  12. IM Doc

    About the above Medpage Ivermectin article –

    This sentence –

    The agency added that the NIH has also determined there are currently insufficient data to recommend ivermectin for the treatment of COVID.

    Not actually correct – the NIH current status on ivermectin is there is not enough data to recommend OR to discourage its use. The NIH changed this recommendation in December of 2020 as previously the NIH status on ivermectin usage was to discourage its use. Usually the status in which ivermectin is now placed would be accompanied with all kinds of funds to study the true efficacy of the drug, to see if it is successful. That of course is not being done at this time.

    Interestingly, 2 of our other COVID modalities have exactly the same recommend/discourage status. That would be remdesevir and outpatient monoclonal antibodies. EXACTLY the same status on both of these as ivermectin currently. The NIH states there is not enough evidence to recommend or to discourage the use of either of these.

    And yet we continue right on with both the others without a blink of an eye.

    A little math –

    Ivermectin course for COVID is less than twenty dollars.

    A course of REMDESEVIR is currently right at 8800 dollars.

    An outpatient treatment with monoclonal antibodies is right at 23000 – 25000 dollars with all the infusion costs added.

    Remdesevir is loaded with all kinds of safety problems that I have seen with my own eyes. And it has the extra benefit of obviously not working – it literally does not do a god damned thing. Multiple studies have hinted at this.

    The monoclonal antibodies are reasonably safe, unless you are one of the unlucky 1-3 out of 200 who have a very significant allergic reaction. Sometimes quite bad. They do seem to help to some degree.
    But it is my immunologist and virologist friends who are having seizures about their use like this in massive 100-200 daily infusion centers, and the very high likelihood of producing all kinds of mutant variants with this therapy.

    Your bankrupt government that is in hawk already for tens of trillions of dollars is currently “paying” for the last 2 choices – but not sure how long that will last.

    Facebook feeds are now filled with all kinds of memes and stories with horse paste and horse pictures. But not a word about the other 2 or how expensive they are. I have seen all kinds of pics lately of my fully vaccinated friends and family in a monoclonal infusion center. They seem to have no clue they are bankrupting their kids future for a medication with the same NIH recommendation as ivermectin – which they are just laughing out of the room. They go right on blaming the unvaccinated for the pandemic in their feeds, all the while the antibodies they have just been given may be leading to the next mutation that will come up snake-eyes. And to boot, that one dose of meds they are getting is more than a lot of people in this country make in a year.

    Yet, I continue to use ivermectin and budesonide with statistically obvious effects to keep patients out of the hospital compared to my peers who are not using it.

    I have never dreamed in my life that I would live to see the American people bamboozled this easily. But here we are. I just keep working – very hard lately – it keeps my mind in much better places.

    I spoke with one of my old students who is now a medical missionary in Africa this week. How this is being handled in the West has been an eye-opener for all to see where he lives. At least they have perspective in Africa. We have lost 600K people in the USA to COVID. The world loses upwards of 1 to million a year from diarrhea. The only difference between the two is that the diarrhea deaths are almost completely avoidable with appropriate care that is freely available in the West but not so much in Africa. And that is just diarrhea. They see the immense COVID freak out in the West and just shake their heads. My poor student just stated that he has to pray every day for strength not to despise what his culture has become.

    My mind has been reliving the story of Lot and Sodom & Gomorrah a lot lately. But also to the Book of Daniel and Balthazzar’s feast. MENE MENE TEKEL UPHARSHIM. Written by a hand on the wall to leader of the most powerful country on earth at the time. NUMBERED NUMBERED WEIGHED AND DIVIDED. “Alas O Babylon, the Lord God Jehovah has weighed you in the balance and has found you wanting. Thy last day is upon you.”

    Lord have mercy.

    1. Fiery Hunt

      I wish I could express my deep appreciation for everything you’re doing, both at your day job and informing us here. Adding to my admiration is your palpable disgust with the corruption and capture of our health care system. Please be assuaged by the righteousness of your actions even if it seems futile…

      With sincere gratitude,
      -Fiery Hunt

    2. urblintz

      Thanks for the very thorough comment and your continued fight to both practice your art and to protect your sanity against the cognitive dissonance engulfing us all. I zeroed in on the same sentence in that medpage today report.

      It was good to find the link below and perhaps you’ll find some comfort there as well:

      Believe It: A Top Old School Journalist Stands Up for Ivermectin and Free Speech
      (Matt Walsh, a 45-year American newspaper editor, reminds his audience of 425,000 that science and journalism save lives with humility and honest debate.)


    3. Soredemos

      “Remdesevir is loaded with all kinds of safety problems that I have seen with my own eyes.”

      One thing I’ve learned from this pandemic is that anecdotal opinions don’t matter. Even those from qualified professionals. Now the goodthinkers all worship at the altar of RCTs. It doesn’t matter if you’re a doctor who has seen clear, direct results from the prescribing of ivermectin. Just like it doesn’t matter if you’re a woman whose menstrual cycle has been disrupted by a vaccine (this one is particularly amazing to me. So much for ‘believe women’ and ‘lived experience’). If there isn’t an RCT that meets their politically motivated standards, it isn’t real science.

    4. Carolinian

      Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

      I believe you have said that in reasonable doses Ivermectin is unlikely to hurt you regardless of whether it works. Surely that is the main point. Apparently the elites have gotten it into their heads that Ivermectin is being used as an excuse to not get the vaccine, their other obsession, and therefore must be demonized.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        > in reasonable doses Ivermectin is unlikely to hurt you

        That is certainly true for the billions of people who have been prescribed IVM worldwide for some decades; hard to believe the inventors would have received the Nobel prize otherwise.

        That said, I have never seen a reasoned post showing that the feed store stuff is safe for humans; the dose of the active ingredient is, AFAIK different, and the inactive ingredients are different too. For all I know, whatever ingredients that make the pill good for an animal to digest are bad for humans. I just don’t know. And it would be nice to have that piece of the puzzle solved.

        But as far as off-label IVM for humans: Low cost, no harm, possible help, include as part of a practice of layered defense (even if you’re vaccinated, as a potential protection against reinfection) it just looks like a no-brainer to me. And then, of course, there’s the placebo effect….

        1. ambrit

          Try and get a prescription for an off label use of the human use form of the drug. Especially if you do not have ‘access’ to an “independent” medico (which seems to be directly related to income.)
          The fix is in. The Vig must flow.
          Can you get it across the border in Fredrickton? How does Canada treat the “drug that cannot be named?” I have read that Mexico has embraced the “drug that cannot be named.” A “poor” country right next door to America that still manages to run an efficient National Health Service. There is a lesson to be learned there.

    5. zagonostra

      Facebook feeds are now filled with all kinds of memes and stories with horse paste and horse pictures

      I don’t do fb, so thank you for reporting out on what seems to sound like a mass propaganda campaign that hasn’t been seen since, and exceeds in scope, the Russiagate hysteria.

    6. The Rev Kev

      For what it’s worth, doc, we are going through the same thing here in Oz. It is getting so bad that people have been ordering Ivermectin online and the amount of imports of this drug has exploded tenfold causing the authorities to get “worried.” I sometime wonder if it was found that aspirin will kill this virus and sterilize it from your body whether there will arise a campaign informing us that aspirin is now dangerous and you are a hick if you take it. There was fair warning here that this situation could arise surrounding the topic of vaccinations.

      We have horses and a coupla years ago there was a worry about a bat-spread virus (oh, the irony) called Hendra. Rarely, somebody died of it so the pharma companies came up with an expensive repeated vaccine for horses and the rules were made that you could not take your horse to a show or anything unless it had been vaccinated. Horses started to experience all sorts of nervous system problems and some died. Many horses were ruined but if you go to sources like Wikimedia, this will be minimized or denied. Gawd, this sounds so familiar to our present situation as I type it.

      Anyway there is nothing to do now but to fight the good fight and to save as many people as possible through common sense which I see that you are doing. You have my respect, doc.

  13. Lee

    “Anybody who can work from home is not “essential.”’

    What if two-thirds of us didn’t show up for work, would anyone notice?

    “What is essential work?

    The coronavirus pandemic has revealed much about the nature of work in the U.S. As state executive orders defined “essential services,” attention was focused on the workers performing those services and the conditions under which they work. Using executive orders from California and Maryland as models, we identify below 12 “essential” industries that employ more than 55 million workers, and we detail the demographics, median wages, and union coverage rates for these workers. In doing this, we build on the excellent work by the Center for Economic and Policy Research in their report A Basic Demographic Profile of Workers in Frontline Industries. Key differences are that we use a different data set—the Current Population Survey (CPS) instead of the American Community Survey (ACS), so we could get union breakdowns—and we expand the definition of essential to include occupations found in California and Maryland’s executive orders.

    As shown in Table 1, a majority of essential workers by these definitions are employed in health care (30%), food and agriculture (20%), and the industrial, commercial, residential facilities and services industry (12%).” https://www.epi.org/blog/who-are-essential-workers-a-comprehensive-look-at-their-wages-demographics-and-unionization-rates/

    1. Glossolalia

      The IT person working from home to keep your bank’s internet infrastructure running is pretty essential.

  14. allan

    Tired: The myth of the Gorgons

    Wired: Mutual gaze with a robot affects human neural activity and delays decision-making processes
    [Science Robotics]

    In most everyday life situations, the brain needs to engage not only in making decisions but also in anticipating and predicting the behavior of others. In such contexts, gaze can be highly informative about others’ intentions, goals, and upcoming decisions. Here, we investigated whether a humanoid robot’s gaze (mutual or averted) influences the way people strategically reason in a social decision-making context. Specifically, participants played a strategic game with the robot iCub while we measured their behavior and neural activity by means of electroencephalography (EEG). Participants were slower to respond when iCub established mutual gaze before their decision, relative to averted gaze. This was associated with a higher decision threshold in the drift diffusion model and accompanied by more synchronized EEG alpha activity. In addition, we found that participants reasoned about the robot’s actions in both conditions. However, those who mostly experienced the averted gaze were more likely to adopt a self-oriented strategy, and their neural activity showed higher sensitivity to outcomes. Together, these findings suggest that robot gaze acts as a strong social signal for humans, modulating response times, decision threshold, neural synchronization, as well as choice strategies and sensitivity to outcomes. This has strong implications for all contexts involving human-robot interaction, from robotics to clinical applications.

    Oddly, no mention of implications for law enforcement.

    1. anon y'mouse

      remember the shiny, reflective sunglasses worn in the Stanford Prison Experiment by those assigned as “guards”?
      yeah, seems at first glance like the same thing.

  15. urblintz

    “the NIH has also determined there are currently insufficient data to recommend ivermectin for the treatment of COVID. The CDC did say that there are ongoing clinical trials that might provide more information about these ‘hypothesized uses.’”

    Actually, the NIH determined there are insufficient data to recommend against ivm as well. Same “neutral” rating as the prohibitively-expensive-readily-administered-ineffective-with-known-and-serious-side-effects-yet-fda”approved for covid”- remdesivir, undergoing no further clinical trials, apparently.

    Here’s Fauci, 18 months ago (3/20) talking about vaccines: “even before you know something works, at risk you have to start producing it… we are working with a variety of companies to take that risk.”

    and talking about therapies he mentions a “whole menu” undergoing “clinical trials” to determine “if something is safe and effective. If it isn’t, get it off the board and go to the next thing. If it is, get it out to the people that need it.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZrWAqpPGAxQ

    I remember him touting remdesivir by name soon thereafter..

    positive reports of the already fda approved and extremely safe ivermectin had emerged … yet 18 months later, the wholly compromised remdesivir is okey dokey but, as per the medpage today quote above, ivm is (only now?) in “on-going” trials looking for “hypothesized uses.”

      1. JBird4049

        It does not have to be his stock portfolio. His bank accounts might do. Also, people can receive some very nice “gifts” such as watches or wine, or loans with extremely generous terms.

        1. The Rev Kev

          Just wait until you hear about the great book deal that he will be getting. You heard it here first.

  16. Toshiro_Mifune

    Anybody who can work from home is not “essential.”

    You would be surprised (or maybe not) how much of IT services are essential and being done from home.

    1. Terry Flynn

      Agreed. Having run a business from home with sensitive data I am acutely aware of the multiple possible vulnerabilities. The sudden “work from home” philosophy has on the face of it made it seem that lots of IT jobs are not essential but they are and we will only realise in a year or two that inadequate defences on home PCs will likely have multiplied the number of breaches of security.

      Hackers are probably having a field day.

  17. djrichard

    “The Emerging American Industrial Policy” [American Affairs].”

    No discussion of who’s buying up all the treasuires to fill up the slack created by trade deficits, upon which the global supply chain depends.

  18. Eustache de Saint Pierre

    This news form India via video might be of interest, as top Indian Doc who bears the not very Indian sounding name of Lenny DaCosta, passionately explains what happened in Utter Pradesh to reduce cases from about 60,000 cases a day, to 15,000 within about 6 weeks despite low vaccine rollout, which they did by providing free kits to many within a population of around 230 million. He also states that despite what he calls the crap in Western media the unmentionable is still being used.

    Youtube banned the video which is here & with the intro it is about 7 minutes long.


    1. anon y'mouse

      DaCosta is likely from Goa, which had a huge influx of Portuguese traders take up residence hundreds of years ago when they had a semi-colonialist government, so much so that they make and eat sausage there and have catholic churches and convents in abundance.

      now you too can use this factoid to startle any indian people with Iberian names at dinner parties with your “psychic” abilities.

      1. José

        Yes, Goa was once the capital of the Portuguese empire in the East – and the current Prime Minister of Portugal is from a family originally from Goa. His name is António da Costa.

      2. Eustache de Saint Pierre

        Yes, he states that he is from Goa in the video although I didn’t know the Portuguese connection & thanks for the explanation.

        I don’t do dinner parties, but you never know.

  19. Jason Boxman

    Oh, boosters. If you call the Publix pharmacy, as of yesterday, you can already schedule a booster shot. So the cat is out of the bag and into the next county.

  20. RockHard

    Something occurred to me today, it started listening to some of Paul Jay’s recent podcasts, then a recent piece at Angry Bear reacting to something Yglesias wrote about the reaction to Afghanistan, but then reading the Biden as Peacenik line here…

    Remember the debate over what would happen to Biden? Would he step aside after one term to set up a Harris run for the WH, or would he hang on as a cadaver sort of like Sen. Feinstein?

    Maybe the answer is, he only plans to be a one-term Pres. So he doesn’t care about reelection, and maybe he doesn’t care much about Harris presidency either. So however ugly it gets, he’s not running, so he gets to do “the right thing” as he sees it. I have to say, I had extremely low expectations for Biden, but if his legacy is “he got us out of Afghanistan”, that’s a pretty good setup.

    He’ll go out like Ford, who took over from disgrace, got us out of Vietnam and into the worst inflation ever. Hopefully it’ll take 30-40 years to get ourselves into the next Vietnam.

    1. ACF

      For whatever the reason, I am deeply surprised, but profoundly grateful that Biden is serious about ending our war in Afghanistan. I can’t even articulate the peace that comes from being able to believe that an end to endless war is possible. I mean, there’s so many other ‘military operations’ around the world, it’s not like all our endless warring is ended. But leaving Afghanistan is so big.

      1. Phenix

        We are currently getting involved in the Horn of Africa again. The Grey Zone has excellent coverage on it.

        1. ACF

          Yes. Which is why I don’t imagine that we are ending all our endless wars. But I appreciate the precedent.

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      A few thoughts:

      -there were rumors Biden believed Obama was rolled by the brass and told him so.
      -the deadline and Taliban strength was an issue. The current Taliban isn’t a deeply unpopular outfit about to be kicked out by a power that might make Afghanistan the next Japan or Germany.
      -what options did Biden have without sending more troops? In the era of Covid, that is easier said than done.
      -there was the anecdote Biden asked the generals for options and they shrugged.
      -“America is Back”. Its fair to raise questions about how Biden sees the Presidency and the US. Its entirely reasonable he simply expects people to obey his edicts because he isn’t the Orange Man.

      I doubt it was a grand plan as much as simply reacting to the developing situation he likely learned about the first time. Then he does have the promise of leaving in 2014.

      1. RockHard

        -there were rumors Biden believed Obama was rolled by the brass and told him so.

        I’ll buy that. I thought multiple times that Obama was in over his head and got rolled. The ACA, Afghanistan, Gitmo, etc.

  21. Bacon

    On the unvaccinated: “wouldn’t a yellow star be simpler and cheaper?”

    This strikes me as unnecessarily reactionary. Has society no right to set the terms for inclusion?
    I realize that many are not unvaccinated by choice, society has plenty of work to do in an equity sense but I see this argument used a lot by people who I think mean to say there is no limit to the awful behavior that society can be forced to put up with.
    I’ve got my ostracon at the ready.

    1. hunkerdown

      No. Imaginary friends do not have rights and the PMC’s feelings DO NOT override material facts anymore.

      I see your ōstrakon and I raise you total war.

      1. ambrit

        Forget the “total war.” A low level civil insurrection will do nicely.
        As I mentioned on another thread, I’m getting ready to reread Arendt’s “Eichmann in Jerusalem.” That book perfectly describes our times.

    2. zagonostra

      Thanks for the new word, ostracon, I had to look that one up.

      As to whether “society has a right to set the terms for inclusion?” you better go back to Hobbes, Locke, and Rousseau. Actually go back further to St. Thomas in “De regimine principum” or Dante in “De Monarchia” for it is not just “equity” but “Justice” which on has to take into account.

      1. ambrit

        Ancient Greece was a pagan culture. Our ‘moderne’ culture is modelled upon an equally ancient monotheistic patriarchial herder culture. They went in more for throwing big heavy stones at the person to be ostracized. The results were more permanent than ostracization.

    3. enoughisenough

      it’s nonsensically punitive to want anyone ostracized, especially knowing that vaccinated people spread Covid too.

      If the goal is to stop the spread, there should just be a federal mask mandate, and then we’d all be in this together, and we could build solidarity instead of all this stupid backbiting.

      So disappointing Chomsky is saying this crap.

      1. BCD

        Agreed, the intent of ratcheting up all the “If you’re vaccinated you can do A, B, C” which evolved into “If you’re unvaccinated you shouldn’t do X, Y, Z” and now my new favorite “A vaccinated case of CV19 is a good case of CV19” is really about getting people focused on blaming each other rather than recognizing the disastrously failed public health policy putting us all at risk. A shockingly high number of otherwise intelligent people are falling for it.

        A simple travel quarantine system could have significantly reduced spreading of Delta saving many. There are many old fashioned defense in depth ideas not tried. The very people who keep saying its too hard to control, too expensive to ventilate, we have to let r rip and get back to normal are homicidal maniacs.

        Do the people saying “well we’re just going to have to live with it” realize that could mean sentencing millions to severe and potentially lethal Covid infections over the next decade or more? Not to mention the long burden of long Covid on both the victims and Healthcare system. We need plan B, C and D in the works right now because re- re- re-doubling down on vaccines has officially reached diminishing returns stage.

        Many people didn’t think WW2 was winnable after Pearl Harbor, maybe it was more perception than reality yet they were forced to overcome it and went on to win it. Our problem is that as a society we can’t perceive the win of eradication (partly due to our gov and MSM actively working against victory) even though its closer to achieving than most imagine just like on Dec 7,1941. A single Manhattan project did not win WW2, it was ALL the grand projects many of which were considered impossible before attempted and yeah there was plenty of failure and humble pie along the way.

        1. Lupana

          Honestly wish people like you and others here were running the country. I get really discouraged at where it seems things are heading.

      2. Dr. John Carpenter

        Punitive and one could say reactionary too. I agree with you on masking.

        And Chomsky has been full of bad takes lately, but so it goes.

    4. Darthbobber

      Problem is that “society” is not an entity as such. It functions only via mediation by those who claim to be speaking for it.

      Given the highly asymmetric ability of people to participate at all in the discourse, and the control of “society’s” main channels of communication by a small group of highly unrepresentative people, it’s just silly to pretend that society somehow sits down together and comes to a consensus on issues.

    5. Mo's Bike Shop

      …but I see this argument used a lot by people who I think mean to say there is no limit to the awful behavior that society can be forced to put up with

      The minimum wage is $7.25 an hour. $58 dollars a day. Two hundred and ninety dollars a week, less taxes and ‘benefits’.

    6. Geof

      A highly up-voted post on reddit here in Vancouver calls for concentration camps:

      the anti-masker, anti-vaxxer is a danger to the common societal good. It is now past time that these people are tolerated, and they should be treated as pariahs. . . .

      its time to get serious. Start removing “antis” from your friends list, disassociate with them, name and shame them. . . . Deny them access to medical care in favour of those more deserving, those who think of others before themselves. Deny “antis” access to hospitals. . . .

      Treat them like the plague-spreading lepers that they are. If they die, they die. I won’t shed any tears or feel any sympathy. Their stupidity caused their demise and the world is better off for it. Are you an “anti”? Are you offended? GOOD, because you brought this on. You want to be put in isolation camps? Keep it up, because that’s where this is headed, you will have deserved it, and I’m all for it at this point.

      I am not in favour of censorship, but it seems to me that if anything were to be censored, calls for collective violence should be at the top of the list.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        > Treat them like the plague-spreading lepers

        This when we know, from “the science,” that breakthrough infections are real.

        Perhaps the reinfected vaccinated should be made to wear a different color of star: Purple, perhaps. They must be, after all, of inferior stock.

        1. ambrit

          It’s enlightening to see people, (not you I hasten to add,) advocate for a heirarchial design to the treatment of the victims of this Pandemic. Coloured Stars, ostracization, segregation based on vacination status, mask use, and a necessary (for financial reasons) resort to “non-traditional” uses of pharmaceuticals; all establish a step pyramid, the masses of ‘deplorables’ at the base, rising on up to the empyrean heights from where the “right thinkers” benignly rule us all.
          Then I think back to the Middle Ages and the Memento Mori that graced the tombstones and public imagry of the Plague Years. In such, Death leads a line of all the various classes of that society in a merry Dance. The lesson there has not crossed the social meme threshold yet for today’s cohorts.
          Death is no respecter of status.
          Memento Mori: https://dailystoic.com/history-of-memento-mori/

  22. ACF

    Re the coffee study

    every time I see these, I wonder what the outcome really correlates to. I mean, what kind of person drinks 3 cups of coffee a day? Is that person noticeably more likely to exercise more through their job or activities of daily living than someone who drinks one cup or no cups?

    Is there a chemistry of caffeine tolerance that correlates to good health?

    I mean, let’s say the correlation between being a person who chooses to drink three cups of coffee a day and people who have lower health risks. Why is that necessarily causal? Maybe the caffeine intake correlates with something else that IS causal. And this matters b/c if being someone who spontaneously chooses three cups day is sufficiently different in kind (in a behavioral or biological sense) than other people, then anyone else self-medicating with coffee is not necessarily helpful.

    1. Terry Flynn

      I was taught by giants of epidemiology. They freely used the “wheel of fortune” joke in presentations to show this week coffee is good or bad.

      There are a zillion confounding factors in the studies epidemiologists follow. Of course the results will change regularly. This is just stats in a finite population. We’re the numskulls for getting excited by each change.

    2. Utah

      I drink 4 cups of coffee per day. And I work a very active job. I could probably drink less, I used to. I could also definitely drink more, but then I don’t sleep. So maybe you’re onto something. But heart disease runs in my family, so maybe I should cut down to three and hope it helps!

  23. 1UnknownSubject

    The rapid riser chart from the CDC that you post every day is pretty interesting as it relates to spread. It seems to have gone north, and maybe is heading north east up into New England. Labor Day could cause further spread / or perhaps additionally, confinement due to weather could also cause spread hitting the upper midwest at the same time. Praying we have seen the worst of it.

      1. ACF

        On long island, NY, we currently have pretty low spread schools generally started circa 9/1.
        We have definitely NOT started to see the effects of back to school. Late September is the soonest we should be able to see how resilient schools will be. Takes time for infected people to bring it to school and for it to noticeable spread with schools, and in general schools have partial weeks to begin, b/c of Labor Day, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur.

  24. Lost in OR

    The Silent Partner Cleaning Up Facebook

    I saw my first ever facebook ads while watching MMA recently. One had young women sharing themselves dancing to and singing some pop song. Another had gender creatives (they might have been men) sharing themselves applying too much makeup. Either MMA has a wider audience than I would have guessed or facebook needs to adjust their marketing plan.

  25. Judith

    Regarding “Biden as peacenik”

    Biden is being praised and criticized for ending the U.S. presence in Afghanistan. However, there have been some predictions that he will continue the war by other means. This of course remains to be seen, but here are three links (one – Thomas Meaney from Lambert last week) that are making that argument.


    As the Afghanistan war wound down, the C.I.A. had expected to gradually shift its primary focus away from counterterrorism — a mission that transformed the agency over two decades into a paramilitary organization focused on manhunts and killing — toward traditional spycraft against powers like China and Russia.
    But a pair of deadly explosions on Thursday were the latest in a series of rapidly unfolding events since the collapse of the Afghan government and the Taliban takeover of the country that have upended that plan. Like a black hole with its own gravitational pull, Afghanistan could draw the C.I.A. back into a complex counterterrorism mission for years to come.


    Nevertheless, on Aug. 27, Biden retaliated with a drone strike that apparently killed “an ISIS-K planner,” even though “there was no evidence so far that he was involved in the suicide bombing near the airport on Thursday.” The U.S. Central Command released a statement that said, “We know of no civilian casualties” from the U.S. drone strike. But according to The Guardian, an elder in Jalalabad reported that three civilians were killed and four were injured in the U.S. drone strike.

    On Aug. 27, the United Nations Security Council issued a press statement affirming that “all parties must respect their obligations under international humanitarian law in all circumstances, including those related to the protection of civilians.” The Council stated that “any acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable, regardless of their motivation, wherever, whenever and by whomsoever committed.”

    Moreover, the Council “reaffirmed the need for all States to combat by all means, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and other obligations under international law . . . threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts.”

    Nonetheless, on Aug. 29, Biden launched another drone strike against suspected members of ISIS-K, blowing up a vehicle apparently containing explosives. At least 10 members of the same family, including six children, were killed. The Central Command called the attack “a self-defense unmanned over-the-horizon airstrike today on a vehicle in Kabul.”

    Biden’s administration has pledged to conduct “over-the-horizon” operations in Afghanistan. The U.S. plans to monitor terror threats with surveillance and execute air strikes from beyond Afghanistan’s borders, particularly in the Persian Gulf. But as the Security Council stated, all countries have a legal duty to comply with international law.


    European chancelleries have responded with horror to the apparent contraction of American resolve (the German tabloid Bild Zeitung ran a panicked headline claiming that the Taliban now has more weapons than a Nato state). But the reality may be more bleak. Although Biden played populist tribune for a day (a role he has been itching to perform for decades), dismissing the elite consensus about the war and ignoring the appetite of the military-industrial complex, his decision hardly signals the end of the forever wars. In 2009, when he dissented from Obama’s troop surge in Afghanistan, it was less in the cause of devolving America’s global projection of force than of refining it. Biden wanted over-the-horizon capability then, and he wants something like it now. The killing of thirteen US Marines at Kabul airport has not diverted that desire: a reduced US troop presence will provide fewer targets for local militants, Biden has argued, and those militants will be ‘hunted’ for retribution by more remote means. Biden was even more sanguine than Obama about the promise of drones and special forces to fight America’s enemies. He isn’t so much the undertaker of the war on terror as its McKinsey consultant.

  26. Mikel

    “US-based employers announced 15,723 job cuts in August of 2021, the lowest since June 1997, led by companies in the Health Care/Products sector, which announced 2,259 cuts. Hospitals have struggled with costs since the beginning of the pandemic as revenue-generating elective procedures get cancelled. Others are closing down skilled nursing units due to a shortage of talent.”

    But insurance premiums aren’t going down…
    They call this BS “efficiecency”.
    Insurance – in case some private health insurance exec needs a bigger bonus.

  27. Wukchumni

    The south looks like a Loch Ness Monster on that Covid positivity chart, but according to the Mississippi Governor, it’s a myth.

    1. Carolinian

      Here in SC we are right back where we were at the last peak.

      Just out walking around my neighborhood and notice a lot more convertibles than in the past. Is this the new Covid car? (My neighbors latch onto the latest trends.)

    2. ambrit

      Well, we here in the North American Deep South generally imagine that all West coasters are pot smoking gender benders.
      I’m not being too hyperbolic. Regional differences in culture are usually magnified, especially by those with an inferiority complex. We can agree that ‘da Sout is definitely “complex.”
      Stay safe, y’all!

  28. Mikel

    “Noam Chomsky says the “right response” to The Unvaccinated is “to insist that they be isolated” from society…”

    People with these talking points better hope that nothing goes horribly wrong with the vaccines. There are pockets of the unvaccinated who feel the same way about being around those that are vaccinated.

    And it does nothing to promote the unity that will be needed to fight for a better public health care system.

  29. Darthbobber

    Manchin turns the thumbscrews a bit more. Now he’d like to “hit the pause button” altogether on the reconciliation bill. Due to runaway inflation and the Afghanistan withdrawal. +some gobbledygook about the importance of finding that military that “keeps us all safe”.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      I never thought Biden would smite a guy like Manchin, but in light of the msm turn, I’m not so sure.

  30. polar donkey

    Tennessee and covid.
    It is getting really bad here. Friend who is a nurse at NICU here in Memphis said yesterday they have 3 newborns who’s mothers died of covid. Schools all across the state shutdown. It is almost as bad as last November/December when Tennessee was the worst place on earth for covid rate. Memphis got a mask mandate almost 3 weeks ago. I guess keeping it from spiraling out of control, but Monday and Tuesday we has 2,050 cases total. Restaurants 100% capacity. There are numerous counties in the state at 2 and 3 times the covid rate as Memphis’ county. A year and half of this and no one has learned anything, in fact, gotten stupider.

    1. curlydan

      The Tennessee and Kentucky COVID maps I’ve seen lately are scary. Stay safe in an maddening environment! I fear Ohio (particularly southern Ohio) is the next state to start climbing the COVID ladder–starting to look bad there, too.

  31. Wukchumni

    ‘Go for throttle ops, Challenger’
    Employment Situation: “United States Challenger Job Cuts” [Trading Economics]. “US-based employers announced 15,723 job cuts in August of 2021, the lowest since June 1997, led by companies in the Health Care/Products sector, which announced 2,259 cuts. Hospitals have struggled with costs since the beginning of the pandemic as revenue-generating elective procedures get cancelled. Others are closing down skilled nursing units due to a shortage of talent.”

  32. Jason Boxman

    That liberal Democrats care about women’s rights ought to be put to rest by now. Roe v. Wade was essentially undone back in 1992 in Planned Parenthood v. Casey:

    In addition, the court in Casey also established a less rigorous standard for determining whether state abortion laws are constitutional. In Roe v.Wade, the court had declared access to abortion to be a fundamental right and had determined that states could only regulate abortion (before fetal viability) if there was a “compelling state interest.” Thus, subsequent abortion statutes had been evaluated under the “strict scrutiny” standard, the most rigorous legal standard for determining whether a law passes constitutional muster. As a result, in the years immediately following Roe, many abortion regulations were declared unconstitutional.

    But in Casey the court replaced strict scrutiny with a new and less rigorous “undue burden” standard. Under the new standard, regulating abortion before the point of fetal viability would be deemed unconstitutional only if it imposed an undue burden on a woman’s right to terminate her pregnancy.

    And states have been chipping away, quite effectively, ever since. While liberal Democrats run on the issue all the time, they’ve done little enough to stop this. Maybe because this is only an issue in much maligned Republican-run states?

    1. Big River Bandido

      The “reproductive rights” grifters would rather have a fundraising issue for their PACs than good public policy. If liberals truly cared about reproductive freedom, they wouldn’t have been AWOL on contraception all these last 50 years.

    2. Mo's Bike Shop

      Funny this comes up now: when the state is finding it important to intervene in everyone’s bodily fluids. I’m vaccinated and support your choice not to be. (Maybe not your reasoning.) But if one is going to be anti-abortion, how can one be anti-mask, or against compulsory vaccination?

  33. Jason Boxman

    I got this yesterday from my PCP back in Boston; The situation there is grim as well (they don’t have my vaccination status because, of course, we don’t have a national EHR system, just a bunch of siloed systems designed for billing):

    To all of my primary care patients:
    I wanted to personally reach out to you because according to our records you have not yet been vaccinated against COVID-19. If our records are incorrect, thanks for getting vaccinated and feel free to disregard this message!

    I have spent the last two weeks working in the CHA ICU taking care of COVID patients. The only patients that are in the ICU, and therefore critically ill, are patients who, like you, are unvaccinated. Last week, I took care of a previously healthy fifty-year-old woman, who is a mother of young children, who will likely not survive COVID. I am grieving for her and her family. I have another unvaccinated patient who will miss her son’s wedding because she is on a mechanical ventilator. I watched her sons say goodbye to her from the doorway of her hospital room before we intubated her. Unfortunately, I have many stories like this. These hospitalizations and deaths are preventable. Had these patients been vaccinated, they would likely be at home with their families.

    I am begging you to get the COVID vaccine because it would break my heart to lose one of you to this terrible illness. I know there is a lot of fear about the vaccine, but the data have shown that the vaccines are safe and effective at preventing severe disease and death, even from the Delta Variant. If you have any hesitations about the vaccine or would like to discuss your decision to get vaccinated, please reach out to me via MyChart or telephone xxx-xxx-xxx. If you would like to get vaccinated, you can walk in to most pharmacies without an appointment. CHA is offering walk-in vaccination at both the Cambridge Hospital Pharmacy (1493 Cambridge St. Cambridge, MA) and at our vaccination clinic (176 Somerville Ave. Somerville, MA). As always, please continue to wear masks, social distance, and wash your hands! Stay safe out there!

    With Love and Kindness,

  34. Wukchumni

    A woman’s right don’t mean much tonight (clap, clap, clap, clap) deep in the heart of Texas.

    The hangers on go on & on (clap, clap, clap, clap) deep in the heart of Texas.

    Reminds me of wear a glove when you love (clap, clap, clap, clap) deep in the heart of Texas.

    The unwed mothers wail to no avail (clap, clap, clap, clap) deep in the heart of Texas.

    The politicians push is to beat around the bush (clap, clap, clap, clap) deep in the heart of Texas.

    The far right cry ki yippee yi (clap, clap, clap, clap) deep in the heart of Texas.

    The Supremes bawl and play ball (clap, clap, clap, clap) deep in the heart of Texas.

  35. Jeremy Grimm

    I am having trouble wrapping my head around some of the items in the exports report: The US exports gem diamonds? Does the US have a comparative advantage in producing gem diamonds? We are exporting autos? I thought there was a boom in used cars because chip shortages limited the number of available new cars.

  36. Jeremy Grimm

    The apparel heading highlights some interesting management thinking:
    “Some clothing retailers are finding that keeping fewer goods on hand can improve their profit margins. … Retailers risk running low on stock, but Abercrombie finance chief Scott Lipesky says losing a sale is less significant in the long run than having too much inventory.”
    I thought business managers wanted to improve their total net profits. Focus on profit margins did not serve General Motors or General Electric well. I also wonder at the idea that losing a sale is less important in the long run than having too much inventory. How does this Abercrombie finance chief feel about losing customers?

  37. B Flat

    India’s Ivermectin Blackout – searching for any ivermectin news besides “zomg bubba horsepaste” I found this series in a local paper, The Desert Review (California). It’s a series written by doctor who uses a pseudonym, presumably to avoid cancellation. As far as I can tell the information is legit, and big if true. I’m watching to see how Joe Rogan fares…

  38. Wukchumni

    Vice president calls on Americans to buy Christmas presents early because of global supply chain issues.

    {just 116 shopping days left…}

    It’s beginning to look a lot like a gift-less Christmas
    Everywhere you go
    Take a look at the online five and ten, out of stock once again
    With shortages that continually grow

    It’s beginning to look a lot like a gift-less Christmas
    Lack of toys in every store
    But the prettiest sight to see is the lack of thievery that will be
    Happening on non-existent deliveries @ your own front door

    Made in China boots and a laser that shoots
    Is the wish of Joe Biden
    Dolls that’ll talk the talk but don’t walk the walk
    Is the hope of Kamala and Jen
    And mom & dad can hardly wait for deliveries to start again

    It’s beginning to look a lot like a gift-less Christmas
    Everywhere you go
    There’s a lack of opportunity everybody agrees
    Give them a lump of coal

    It’s beginning to look a lot like a gift-less Christmas
    Soon the shortages will start
    And the thing that’ll sting is when the retailers sing
    About the profitless part.

    It’s beginning to look a lot like a gift-less Christmas
    Lack of toys in every store
    But the prettiest sight to see is when the porch pirates come up empty
    On your own front door

  39. Expat2Uruguay

    Can someone please give me the name of the better search engine than Google? I’m trying to search for something and it keeps crashing. Help!

  40. Carolinian

    Taibbi has another new piece about a guy whose anti-ivermectin video was censored by Youtube for even mentioning the topic.


    Fuller feels this is going too far since he’s a a serious journalism type and not a misinformer. But even he admits that the MSM are over the top with the demonization. He doesn’t suggest, however, that perhaps the lowers often seem obsessed with Ivermectin–his criticism–because the uppers are so dead set against it (Ivermectin is the new Trump?).

    Will this madness never end?

    1. Basil Pesto

      Maybe we should revise the aphorism to:

      “if your speech depends on a platform, then you don’t have speech”


  41. CH

    There’s something I don’t get.

    Ever since the start of the Biden Presidency we’ve been told that Democrats are the REAL fascists (and that Jan. 6 was no big deal), because the Democrats were all in bed with the Military Industrial Complex, the alphabet soup of national security agencies (the FBI, CIA, NSA…) and the media, by Taibbi, Greenwald, and this very site. Tabbi/Greenwald (basically the same person at this point) wrote column after column after column making this same point over and over again ad nauseam. They claimed that they reluctantly became fixtures on right-wing news media because only people like Tucker Carlson sufficiently cared about “freedom” and “censorship” even if they allegedly disagreed with him on other topics. They even took Carlson’s claims of being spied upon at face value without a shred of evidence despite dismissing absolutely everything even remotely connected with Russia, no matter how well or exhaustively documented.

    Now the MIC, the media, and the national security state are clearly attempting to destroy the Biden presidency (and so far, largely succeeding). Doesn’t this on some level undermine everything Taibbi/Greenwald–and this site–have been saying for a year and a half? If so, why are Taibbi/Greenwald still considered to be the paragons of journalistic integrity when they got it so wrong? For years they told us that the media was basically an extension of the Democratic Party. So why are the media now trying to undermine the Biden administration? Will they at least admit that their world view was wrong, or at least overly simplistic, before completely changing the subject and ignoring everything they’ve said previously? And why is everyone letting them get away with it?

    There’s a certain segment of people (especially here) for whom Taibbi/Greenwald are secular saints who can do no wrong, and will defend them to the death no matter what they do. I’m sure they’ll explain to me exactly why I’m wrong. But perhaps they should consider just for a moment whether they are just as mentally captured as the people they constantly ridicule brainlessly imbibing the worldview pushed by MSNBC, CNN, OANN, and FOX News et al.? I mean, the people who constantly blame every single problem in America on the mysterious and all-powerful “PMC” are staring to sound like the people who blame absolutely everything on “communists”. I’d hate to see this become just another outpost of groupthink or knee-jerk contrarianism.

    1. tegnost

      So why are the media now trying to undermine the Biden administration?
      They’re not trying to undermine biden, they’re trying to create the illusion that biden is somehow not part of the blob. They’re wagging the dog.

      There’s a certain segment of people (especially here) for whom Taibbi/Greenwald are secular saints who can do no wrong, and will defend them to the death no matter what they do.
      slightly hyperbolic, don’t you think?

      And I blame it all on wall st., the PMC are just well fed sheep who I do not look to as a group for any ground breaking insight.

    2. Amfortas the hippie

      assuming that yer honest in yer confusion…
      there is only one Party, and it has two wings.
      at either edge of these wings is a fringe of feathers…the wingtips, if you will….the right wingtip has been encouraged for decades, now…while the left wingtip has been burned off entirely.
      because of the Bond Market, who hates us all.
      the Bond Market figgers it can somehow survive a civilisational upheaval on the level of the Fall of Rome.
      so it sees it’s interest in continuing the long term mindfuck that got us to where we are right now…where nobody can tell whichaway is up…an ontological crises…multiform…that they can continue to extract wealth from , indefinitely.
      what folks like me think…aside from being totally irrelevant to those in power….is that they are wrong…and that there’s limits on how far they can push their model.
      if nothing else, the carrying capacity of the planet itself will limit what they can do…how much they can accumulate.
      but they will carry us all down with them.
      and that’s a problem, given what we know, now.
      after all, what gives them the right?
      a bunch of not-even-paper in a not-real vault?
      backed up by nothing but our continued belief?

      i say fuck that.
      eat them.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Your comment about civilisational upheaval and the Fall of Rome caused me to wonder how the German stock market made out during WW2. Not so bad it turns out. Check out the following page-


        The one for Germany is at the bottom but the others are worth checking out too. These days I tend to equate stock markets like who is popular in high school. No relation to what they might be actually like in other words.

        1. Amfortas the hippie

          stock tickers and “lifestyles of the rich and famous” are our windows into Versailles.
          eat them…eat them…
          they are nice..they are fresh…they are tasty…
          or, if you prefer Samwise:”then let us be rid of it”

          ie:stop feeding the motherfucker.

        2. Wukchumni

          You might like Wealth, War & Wisdom by Barton Biggs, as its specifically in regards to stock market performances by the players in WW2, a fun romp!

      2. Brian Beijer

        Damn. Best short synopsis on the end of the Western world that I’ve read yet. It encapsulates not only what is happening in the US, but the EU and all the other Eyes of the Gorgon as well. It’s up there with Hemingway and his baby shoes for sale. I’m 100% in agreement with your conclusion too. My wife and I live in a moderately wealthy vacation home area. When my wife gets upset after a run-in with one of these vacationing, “the world is my property” ass**les, I tell her, “Don’t worry. We’ll just put them on the list.” I suspect it’s the same kind of list that you have.

  42. Lee

    Sara Chayes on our nation building in Afghanistan: we did not do nation building in Afghanistan so much as replicate America’s own corrupt governance.

    Not shocking to NC readers but surprised to hear it on PBS program Amanpour & Company, particularly given Amanpour’s interventionist proclivities.

  43. urblintz


    Nancy Pelosi Just Endorsed a Congressman Who Opposes Abortion and Gay Rights

    “When progressives criticized the DCCC for refusing to apply a reproductive rights litmus test to 2018 candidates—it never has—Pelosi insisted there was room in the party for anti-abortion candidates. “This is the Democratic Party, this is not a rubber-stamp party,” she told the Washington Post.”

  44. Amfortas the hippie

    re:American Affairs and industrial policy.

    well and(very) good.
    i dig it.
    should have happened long ago.
    but we need to eat in this country, too.
    i can’t compete with slave grown tomatoes…and, remember, there’s more to agriculture than “commodity crops” that can be weaponised.
    talk about national security…merely read sun tsu, or an hundred others, on the relevance of being able to feed one’s own without relying on foreign food sources.
    the usual, “but Mr Market won’t let us!” was always a liars ploy to enrich the few, and to decimate what was potentially a motivating force against corporate rule…namely, Farmers.
    with all these folks out of work…or not willing to work bullshit jobs, for crap pay, and be treated like a widget…give them something to do…like feed their country.
    Victory Gardens, 2.0

    1. Amfortas the hippie

      and having said that, and although i loathe the man, this is what bubbled up into my brain as i was writing:

      ifone died(so no vids, Lambert, as yet)…cracked screen, hopelessly marred.
      so i managed to put my simcard into my stepdad’s(RIP) old people phone.(a “snapphone”)…which is terrible, and hard to operate…the most basic functions are 80’s level arduous.
      first world problems, and all.

      so there’s football, and me and mom are the only one’s on the place…and i’ve pretty much overdosed on my mother…lo, these last 4 months…and went and did her chickens, fed the sheeps…in case they come up…and returned to my side of the place, the “smarter, not harder, side”…put up all my birds, fed the geese(they have plenty to eat; this is more about being able to call them when i need to)…roamed around naked with a beer and a splif looking at things( the best fertiliser is the farmer’s footsteps).
      and now i’m in the cowboy pool(hot and louisiana humid), watching mosquitos (aedes albopictus) try to land on green tomatoes.

      1. ambrit

        Oh bugger me! I had to laugh at the mosquito reference. I did some wash this morning and then hung it all out on the clothesline in the back yard. The little so and sos were attacking my ‘lower extremities’ the whole time I was out there. This afternoon, I gathered the dry clothes off of the line. The little pests were worse than in the morning. I really hope that no serious mosquito borne disease or parasite gains a foothold in North America. If something of that nature does, I am a gonner.
        Be safe!

  45. Anthony K Wikrent

    RE “Mobs and justice” [Ryan Avent, The Bellows]: “we don’t affirm the value of self-restraint on behalf of others in this country. ”

    Sounds to me like the ghostly wind of dear departed republicanism:

    What made the Whig conception of politics and the republican emphasis on the collective welfare of the people comprehensible was the assumption that the people, especially when set against their rulers were a homogeneous body whose “interests when candidly considered are one.” Since everyone in the community was linked organically to everyone else, what was good for the whole community was good for all the parts. The people were in fact a single organic piece (“for God hath so tempered the body that there should be no Schism in the body, but that the Members should have the same care for one another”) with a unitary concern that was the only legitimate objective of governmental policy. [p. 58, Gordon Wood, The Creation of the American Republic]

    And, ” I think it’s really important to have that social capacity, and I worry terribly about the fact that we seem to be losing it.” Well, the rich have been carefully and lavishly funding the building of the conservative and libertarian movements (“selfishness is a virtue”) for 3/4 of a century now. Seems it’s had some effect…. And recall that Buckley, Podhoretz, Kristol, et al, were very explicit about their desire and plan to murder the “liberal consensus.” But, hey, if you’re a leftist, no need to worry about all these bothersome details — the malevolent socio-economic forces of capitalism are to blame, from the minute the Constitution was signed by all those old self-serving white petty tyrants in 1789. What Buckley, Podhoretz, Kristol et al and their funders did in no way changed the course of materialist history !

  46. VietnamVet

    The Biden/Harris Administration is piling big bad externalities onto the Trump Administration’s record of doing nothing right; 1) Allowing air transportation of Delta Variant into the USA, 2) Terminating masking and social distancing at the same time, 3) Not acknowledging that mRNA vaccines do not stop virus transmission and may even aid it — Mandates are pointless, 4) Squashing alternative treatments, 5) Reopening schools in face of climbing COVID cases and deaths including children, 6) Shaming the unvaccinated, 7) The fall of Kabul is a magnitude worse defeat than Gerald Ford’s, 8) Walls of water flooding NYC and lights out New Orleans, 9) Wildfire overrunning Greenville, CA and South Lake Tahoe evacuated, and 10) abortions in Texas after 6 weeks are now illegal and pro-choice supporters are subject to aiding escaped slave type of punishments until the Supreme Court rules on the legality of the Texas law.

    Either this is a lot of coincidences or another possibility is that this all is the result of the USA being run by a globalist cult that believes the no such thing as society and money is sole measure of merit. They created their own magical reality and got enormously rich at the same time. The real world is biting back.

  47. Lambert Strether Post author

    Joe Rogan Tests Positive For COVID, Is Taking Ivermectin Digital Music News.

    The podcast host took to Instagram late Wednesday night to announce the news to his fans. He says he tested positive after returning from a series in Florida, which is a hotbed of infection right now.

    The 54-year-old host said he felt very weary on Saturday and was tested the following day. “Throughout the night I got fevers, sweats, and I knew what was going on,” he asserts. After his diagnosis, he says he “immediately threw the kitchen sink at it.”

    “Monoclonal antibodies, ivermectin, Z-PAK, prednisone, everything. I also got a NAD drip and a vitamin drip, and I did that three days in a row. Here we are on Wednesday, and I feel great,” Rogan told his followers on Instagram. He postponed his Nashville show to October 24th.

    High stakes. A lot of confounders. And not everybody can afford a cocktail like that.

    That said, it’s amazing the amount of energy being invested fighting the possibility of treatment (which we’re gonna need regardless, since the vaccines are not sterilizing, and the vaccinated can not only become reinfected, but infect others).

    Why is the concept of a layered defense so hard to understand?

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