2:00PM Water Cooler 10/7/2021

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Patient readers, this Water Cooler is a bit light because I’m feeling a little bit under the weather. Hopefully tomorrow I will be back in form. –lambert

Bird Song of the Day

Another duet!

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At reader request, I’ve added these daily charts 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. I think it’s time to do some tinkering with the charts. I want to improve the vaccination area, if I can, to distinguish between first, second, and ideally booster shots, and give a total. The original purpose of the chart was to see if the advent of the “adults in the room” boosted the vaccination rate at all, and it did not. (Hence, kudos to the heroic efforts of people on the ground.)

Vaccination by region:

Coercion works? As exhortation, Biden’s speech had no impact at all.

“Covid-19 booster shots have outpaced the US rate of new vaccinations. And the millions still unvaccinated could trigger ‘future waves,’ expert warns” [CNN]. “[W]ith the number of Americans getting booster shots surpassing those who are initiating vaccination, experts warn more is needed to continue the progress…. An average of 384,963 booster vaccine doses are being given daily, while roughly 281,303 people are getting their first dose every day and about 292,927 people are becoming fully vaccinated each day, according to Wednesday’s CDC data.” • So IM Doc was, unsurprisingly, correct to draw attention to how mixed this data is. I looked at the CDC page with this data, and there’s no time element which is what I want. Perhaps I can use this tool, which allows different visualizations to be created. I wish there were a FRED for Covid data…

56.1% of the US is fully vaccinated (mediocre by world standards, being just below Czech Republic, and just above Saudi Arabia). We are back to the stately 0.1% rise per day. I would bet that the stately rise = word of mouth from actual cases. 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.)

White House on vaccine requirements generally:

And for all the examples in that list, I’m pro-vax and pro-requirement (assuming the requirements already exist, and the Biden administration hasn’t pulled a fast one by slipping in a requirement they wish existed).

Case count by United States regions:

Simply tape-watching, this descent is as steep as any of the three peaks in November–January. It’s also longer than the descent from any previous peak. The question is whether we will ascend to a second (or third) peak, as in last December-January, or not, as in last August. Note also that the regions diverge: The South, which drove the peak, is finally dropping. The West was choppy too, and is now falling. Ditto the Midwest. And now the Northeast is falling as well.

We could get lucky, as we did with the steep drop after the second week in January, which nobody knows the reasons for, then or now. Today’s populations are different, though. This population is more vaccinated, and I would bet — I’ve never seen a study — that many small habits developed over the last year (not just masking). Speculating freely: There is the possibility that natural immunity is much, much greater than we have thought, although because this is America, our data is so bad we don’t know. Also, if the dosage from aerosols drops off by something like the inverse square law, not linearly, even an extra foot of distance could be significant if adopted habitually by a large number of people. And if you believe in fomites, there’s a lot more hand-washing being done. On the other hand, Delta is much more transmissible. And although readers will recall that I have cautioned against cross-country comparisons, I’m still not understanding why we’re not seeing the same aggregates in schools that we’ve see in Canada and especially the UK, despite anecdotes. Nothing I’ve read suggests that the schools, nation-wide, have handled Covid restrictions with any consistency at all.

NEW From CDC: “Community Profile Report October 1, 2021” (PDF), “Rapid Riser” counties, this release:

Finally Maine (and New Hampshire) improving, also Minnesota. Speculating freely: One thing the consider is where the red is. If air travel hubs like New York City or Los Angeles (or Houston or Miami) go red that could mean (a) international travel and (b) the rest of the country goes red, as in April 2020 and following. But — for example — Minnesota is not a hub. If Minnesota goes red, who else does? Well, Wisconsin. As we see. Remember, however, that this chart is about acceleration, not absolute numbers. This map, too, blows the “Blame Bubba” narrative out of the water. Not a (Deliverance-style) banjo to be heard. Previous release:

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

Test positivity:

Looks like the missing data rebound in the South has begun. But what happens when test kits from Walgreens and CVS become dominant, and no reporting is done? We’re already partway there.

Hospitalization (CDC). Everything works today:

From this chart, pediatric hospitalization, in the aggregate, is down.

Mountain states still stubbornly high. Tennessee’s long ordeal seems to be ending.

Death rate (Our World in Data):

Total: 727,826 724,838. A definite downward trend, mercifully. We approached the same death rate as our first peak last year. Which I found 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.) (Also adding: I like a death rate because it gives me a rough indication of my risk should I, heaven forfend, end up in a hospital. I should dig out the absolute numbers, too, now roughly 660,000, which is rather a lot.)

Covid cases worldwide:

European exceptionalism?

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“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

“The foul-mouthed farmer sticking his neck out for Democrats’ agenda” [Politico]. “Despite hailing from a state that Biden lost by 16 points, Tester isn’t among the Democrats getting cursed out for obstruction by liberal activists…. In fact, the burly farmer from Big Sandy, Mont., has become a reliable advocate of much of Biden’s agenda, even as he eyes a potentially perilous reelection campaign in 2024 in a state where being a Democrat is hard enough. And as for whether Tester’s alignment with Biden and relatively liberal voting record is a clue about whether he’ll retire rather than run again … well, throw another quarter in the swear jar: ‘Oh, no, fuck that. That’s not my style.'”

“Scoop: Manchin demands progressives prioritize” [Axios]. Scoop? Like Manchin’s comms guy planted a story? Come on. That said: “Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) is telling colleagues that progressives need to pick just one of President Biden’s three signature policies for helping working families and discard the other two, people familiar with the matter tell Axios.” No. Let Manchin pick. He’s the one who wants the cuts. More strategically: “Why it matters: By forcing progressives to choose among an expanded child tax credit, paid family medical leave or subsidies for child care, Manchin is complicating any potential deal— but also signaling his willingness to negotiate. He’s also aligning himself with Democratic centrists in the House, who want to trim the number of programs in any final package but fund them for longer. Progressives are hopeful they can retain all of their cherished programs in a final bill by funding many of them for shorter durations and therefore lower the bill’s ultimate price tag.” • So what the centrists want is a bad deal that lasts a long time. Sounds legit. Sanders responds:

“1 big thing: Scoop – Sanders’ Sinema spat” [Axios]. Too many scoops! Cory Booker courageously organized a letter condemning the protesters who followed Sinema into a bathroom. “Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Sens. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Mark Warner (D-Va.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Catherine Cortez-Masto (D-Nev.) all signed onto the statement in addition to Booker….. Sanders’ communications director Mike Casca asked that the statement be edited to include the preface, ‘While we hope Senator Sinema will change her position on prescription drug reform and support a major [budget] reconciliation bill, …” An aide to Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), who organized the statement, said Booker would not accept the edits. Casca later replied: “Sanders will not be signing, so please cut ‘Senate Democratic Leadership Team’ from headline.” • Ouch. It’s not clear that the letter will be sent.

“Biden moves to ramp up at-home Covid-19 testing” [STAT]. “he White House announced on Wednesday a $1 billion purchase of at-home rapid tests for Covid-19, a move aimed at scaling up test production in the U.S. and quadrupling the availability of the tests by December. ‘In the past few months, testing has increased — particularly at-home testing, a convenient option that came to market earlier this year. To meet this increased demand, the president’s plan ramps up both the availability of tests and access to free testing,’ said Jeff Zients, the White House coronavirus response coordinator, at a briefing with reporters. Demand for fully at-home rapid tests has surged in recent weeks, due in part to the Biden administration’s announced mandate of weekly testing for unvaccinated employees at workplaces of over 100 people. At-home testing suppliers have struggled to meet this demand in a way not experienced elsewhere: In Europe, for instance, regulators have approved a wider variety of tests and have subsidized their cost to consumers…. When asked whether the administration’s recent investments in at-home rapid testing should have occurred sooner, Zients said at-home testing only came to market earlier this year. He added that by December, half of the testing market will comprise at-home tests, ‘a product that didn’t exist when the president came into office.'” • Translating Zients, there should have been an Operation Warp Speed for testing, but the molasses-brained Biden Administration didn’t think of it.

Democrats en Deshabille

“Jayapal plays her cards right” [Seattle Times]. “Chances are that, in this current intraparty squabble, Sinema’s recalcitrance will force a steep reduction from the $3.5 trillion that progressives want and Jayapal will be forced to convince her colleagues on the left that it is better to accept less than they desire rather than end up with nothing. If that happens, it may be a small victory for Sinema’s maverick moderation, but the political future looks far brighter for Jayapal than Sinema. The Arizona senator has infuriated her fellow Democrats with her shenanigans, and she is likely to face opposition in the Democratic primary when she is up for reelection in 2024. Even if she beats back a challenge from within her party, she will be weakened when she faces a Republican opponent in a state that still leans conservative. Jayapal, on the other hand, represents a district that is so heavily Democratic that she can probably stay in office as long as she wishes.” And the final sentence: “And, given her popularity with House progressives and the respect she commands from House moderates, it is not hard to imagine her as a future Speaker of the House.” • As I said yesterday, the Democrats are facing a succession crisis, along with everything else. I would imagine there are plenty of Representatives who have feelings about Jayapal as Speaker (or Minority Leader). It’s hard to imagine that, say, Clyburn would be happy. Proverbs 16:18.

AOC on concentration:

Good, but let’s see follow-through (and more than YouTubes, though. That worked well for Warren, temporarily, but… Warren ended up where she did, didn’t she?)

Republican Funhouse

“Department of Education: Florida missed deadline for $2.3B in federal aid” [The Hill]. “After failing to submit a plan to the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) for how Florida would use federal funding for its schools, the state will forgo $2.3 billion in COVID-19 relief money. On Monday, the DOE sent a letter informing Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran that he had missed the deadline to submit a plan and obtain American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ARP ESSER) money…. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’s (R) office responded to the letter, saying that Florida school districts still have money from the first round of aid to use.” • So we have a sclerotic system, at the very best. More: “[Jared] Ochs [of the Florida Department of Education] said that Florida the state “communicated well in advance” of the June deadline that it would require additional time to create a plan. He added that his department plans to submit its plans for how to use the third batch of funding in October 2021.” • Sheesh.

Trump Post Mortem

I am probably being derelict in not getting excited about this:

My profound sense of ennui derives from (a) the fact that Democrats have form, and their form is that they lie all the time (RussiaGate), and (b) the lack of moral standing Democrats have to complain about election theft (which any Sanders supporter would share).

Realignment and Legitimacy

“What Democrats Need to Understand About the Changing Electorate” [The Atlantic]. “The study, from the group Way to Win, provided exclusively to The Atlantic, argues that to solidify their position in Congress and the Electoral College, Democrats must increase their investment and focus on Sun Belt states that have become more politically competitive over recent years as they have grown more urbanized and racially diverse. ‘The majority of new, likely Democratic voters live in the South and Southwest, places the Democratic establishment have long ignored or are just waking up to now,’ the group argues in the report. The study, focusing on 11 battleground states, is as much a warning as an exhortation. It contends that although the key to contesting Sun Belt states such as North Carolina, Georgia, Texas, and Arizona is to sustain engagement among the largely nonwhite infrequent voters who turned out in huge numbers in 2018 and 2020, it also warns that Republicans could consolidate Donald Trump’s gains last year among some minority voters, particularly Latino men. ‘These trends across our multiracial coalition demonstrate the urgent need for campaigns and independent groups to stop assuming voters of color will vote Democrat,” the report asserts.”

Stats Watch

Employment Situation: “United States Challenger Job Cuts” [Trading Economics]. “US-based employers announced 17,895 job cuts in September of 2021, slightly above a 24-year low of 15,723 in August. Still, September’s total is 85% lower than in the same month last year. Like in August, the most cuts were announced by companies in the Health Care/Products (2,673). Considering Q3, employers announced 52,560 job cuts, the lowest quarterly total since the second quarter of 1997. So far this year, employers have announced 265,221layoffs, down 87% from last year and the lowest January-September total on record. “Companies are in hiring and retention mode, and job seekers have a lot of power to make demands at the moment. We know there are millions of open positions, but many employers are having trouble keeping up with their applicants, taking too long to reach out, not making offers fast enough, or losing out to more attractive offers” said Andrew Challenger, Senior Vice President of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.” • “At the moment.”

Employment Situation: “United States Initial Jobless Claims” [Trading Economics]. “The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell to 326 thousand in the week ending October 2nd, from a seven-week high of 364 thousand in the previous period and below market expectations of 348 thousand. The number of claims moved towards a pandemic low of 312 thousand reached in early September, as the job market continued to show signs of recovery and as impacts related to Hurricane Ida and the Delta variant’s summer spike started to fade. On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, notable decreases in claims levels were recorded in California (down 10.5 thousand), District of Columbia (down 4.0 thousand), Michigan (down 3.2 thousand), and Texas (down 3.1 thousand).”

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The Bezzle: “Anyone Seen Tether’s Billions?” [Bloomberg]. The reporter hasn’t either. Out of many astounding paragraphs, this is perhaps the most intriguing: “After I returned to the U.S., I obtained a document showing a detailed account of Tether Holdings’ reserves. It said they include billions of dollars of short-term loans to large Chinese companies—something money-market funds avoid. And that was before one of the country’s largest property developers, China Evergrande Group, started to collapse. I also learned that Tether had lent billions of dollars more to other crypto companies, with Bitcoin as collateral. One of them is Celsius Network Ltd., a giant quasi-bank for cryptocurrency investors, its founder Alex Mashinsky told me. He said he pays an interest rate of 5% to 6% on $1 billion in loans from Tether. Tether has denied holding any Evergrande debt, but Hoegner, Tether’s lawyer, declined to say whether Tether had other Chinese commercial paper. He said the vast majority of its commercial paper has high grades from credit ratings firms, and that its secured loans are low-risk, because borrowers have to put up Bitcoin that’s worth more than what they borrow. “All Tether tokens are fully backed,” he said.” • If you are holding any crypto, I would read this carefully (if it’s not too late).

The Bezzle:

Ventures like this are what we have rocket scientists doing now. Doctorow comments:

Tech: Kill it with fire:

Ideal for union-busting, demonstrations, and quelling disorders of all kinds. The Tatmadaw has already expressed keen interest. And of course the scaled-down “Semi-Pro” edition is ideal for domestic disputes!

Tech: Justine Haupt makes perhaps the most amateur YouTube ever (I love the lights reflecting off her glasses):

But the content is terrific. “I feel like I’m living in a bad drream. The world is weird.” With soldering tips! (Oh, she trolls “smart phones” for getting only 4-bar reception, because her phone gets ten. (It’s not a matter of turning the knobs up to eleven, it’s because the external antenna gets better reception.) I would think that would be a big selling point for mountaineers and hikers, as well as people out in the boonies generally.

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Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 34 Fear (previous close: 27 Fear) [CNN]. One week ago: 25 (Extreme Fear). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Oct 5 at 2:00pm.

The Biosphere

UPDATE “Melting ‘glue’ may have sent the world’s largest iceberg to its doom, new study finds” [Live Science (original)]. “The split of A68, an iceberg approximately 2,240 square miles (5,800 square kilometers) in area, reduced the size of Larsen C by 12%, Live Science previously reported. Larsen C is the third ice shelf on Antarctica’s western peninsula to undergo massive ice loss in the past two decades. The prevailing theory was that these splits were happening due to a process known as hydrofracturing, in which pools of melted ice on the surface of ice shelves seep through the cracks and expand once they freeze again, co-author Eric Rignot, a professor of Earth system science at the University of California, Irving, said in a statement. ‘But that theory fails to explain how iceberg A68 could break from the Larsen C ice shelf in the dead of the Antarctic winter when no melt pools were present.’… [The scientists] focused on the role of ‘melange,’ a mix of windblown snow, frozen seawater and ice shelf fragments that exists inside and around rifts and typically works to seal the fractures [in the ice floe]…. Just like sea ice, melange is vulnerable to the effects of warming oceans and rising air temperatures. “The melange is thinner than ice to begin with,” lead author Eric Larour, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory research scientist said in the statement. Just 32 to 66 feet (10 to 20 m) of melange thinning is enough to reactivate a rift, or start to unzip it and trigger a major calving event… Reactivating a rift can trigger ice shelves to retreat decades before water ponding would cause hydrofractures on the ice sheet surface.” • Whoops, new parameters for the models…

“Exxon Parts With Lobbyist Recorded Detailing Anti-Climate Plans” [Bloomberg]. “Keith McCoy, the Exxon Mobil Corp. lobbyist who was secretly recorded detailing what he said were the oil giant’s efforts to undercut efforts to fight climate change, is no longer with the company. ‘I can confirm that Keith McCoy no longer works for the company,’ spokesman Casey Norton said in an email. ‘It is a private personnel matter, and we will decline to provide further comment.’ McCoy didn’t respond to phone messages and emails seeking comment. McCoy, who had been a senior lobbyist with the Irving, Texas-based oil and gas company, was recorded by the environmental group Greenpeace UK in May indicating the company had fought early efforts to fight climate change by joining ‘shadow groups.’ McCoy also said he was working to undercut key climate measures in President Joe Biden’s infrastructure proposal and that the oil giant only voiced support for a carbon tax because it knew such a policy would be almost impossible to implement.

‘Did we aggressively fight against some of the science? Yes. Did we hide our science? Absolutely not,’ McCoy said in the recording, excerpts of which were aired in June by the British network Channel 4. ‘Did we join some of these shadow groups to work against some of the early efforts? Yes, that’s true.’ The company’s chief executive officer, Darren Woods, later apologized, saying the comments ‘in no way represent the company’s position’ and reiterated support for a carbon tax.” • [nods vigorously].

Health Care

UPDATE “Is faulty injection technique behind rare clot disorder reported post Covid vaccination?” [India Today (Objective Ace)]. “’If the tip of the needle doesn’t reach deep enough in the muscle or if it hits a blood vessel, the vaccine can be directly injected into the bloodstream. This is an extremely rare possibility. It can happen when the skin is pinched up by an inadequately trained health worker. Intra-muscular injections are supposed to be given without pinching up the skin, so that the needle tip reaches the muscle. When the skin is pinched up, the needle tip reaches only the subcutaneous tissue,’ said Dr Rajeev Jayadevan, a member of the Indian Medical Association’s national Covid taskforce in Kochi, Kerala…. He explained that if the needle tip enters a tiny blood vessel in this way, which happens only in the rarest of rare cases, the vaccine will directly enter the bloodstream and can potentially cause an acute reaction.” • See the end of the story for “Correct Technique For Intra-Muscular Injection,” which includes “aspirating” the syringe to make sure a blood vessel has not been hit, as the Denmark’s Statens Serum Institut recommends. The story is basically quotes from Jayadevan and a mouse study, but the possibility is still interesting. Does anybody know what standard United States practice is? Assuming there is a standard? Aspiration seems like the sort of thing an MBA would leave off the checklist.


I cannot get the Bloomberg article to display no matter what I do, but here is Weisenthal’s tweet:

“Kill it with fire,” I suppose, is what the Platinum Coin does to the gold standard, and gold standard thinking. And high time, too.

Sports Desk

“Just Buy the Damn Championship Already” [New York Magazine]. “It’s time for the Yankees to start acting like the richest team in the history of the sport and stop caring, even a little bit, about the luxury tax… Major League Baseball’s labor war with the MLBPA is looming, and it’s possible the luxury tax will look very different next year. The league’s first proposal for a new collective bargaining agreement included a dramatically lower threshold — one the players union will surely fight. But anything short of a hard salary cap should free the Yankees to use the unparalleled resources they have, and do what they’ll forever be accused of attempting to do anyway: buy a damn World Series trophy.”

News of the Wired

I loathe Christmas in October:

On the other hand, I love outsider art and popular religious displays of all kinds (except for evangelicals, sorry, no Touchdown Jesus for me, I can’t even). So perhaps I should not be mocking, here.

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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 (Carla):

Carla writes: “Madison Township Park, on the Ohio shore of beautiful Lake Erie, Sept.3, 2021.” Lovely portrait.

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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. Wukchumni

      It is the realm of collectors who call them ‘Broken Banknotes’ now, which is more appropriate as the institutions that issued them oftentimes didn’t actually exist, with the idea that a fancy looking banknote from a bank in New Hampshire would past muster to a merchant in Michigan, because of the tyranny of distance and lack of information that the First Farmers Bank of Conway NH was a figment of the counterfeiters imagination.

      The real commonality between these banknotes of old & cryptocurrency was that of the importance of distance, back then it was physical-now it’s strictly in the ether far far away, but right there on your QWERTY, in theory.

      A couple of books on the subject:

      The Confidence Man by Herman Melville

      A Nation of Counterfeiters: Capitalists, Con Men, and the Making of the United States by Stephen Mihm

      1. CG

        I’m sorry, it was a comparison that had been rattling around in my head since I first heard of Tether that made me feel clever for remembering something from high school US history and I hadn’t yet read the article until now. My apologies.

  1. Wukchumni

    I’m not sure how minting a platinum 1 ounce (or even a gigantic one that weighs a ton) trillion $ coin changes anything in regards to the gold standard presently enjoying it’s golden anniversary of not being a standard anymore this summer. I really tried to understand the logic, it’d be like me claiming that since the MLB allows each team a few challenges on calls made on the field per game, it will wreck the designated hitter rule (in place just about as long as the Au standard hasn’t been a thing) and pitchers in the American League will have to once again be of some use in the batters box.

    1. skippy

      The cognitive impediment is at its core – fiat is not a commodity and regardless of quasi monetarism being used to administrate fiat by neoclassical and neo/new Keynesian’s[?????] does not change that fact. IS-LM with notions of Says Law and Barter work around aside.

      1. Wukchumni

        Conjuring up a trillion in fiat appears to only be possible utilizing a commodity, funny that.

        The use of platinum is interesting in that it’s main purpose for quite a long time in the 19th century was counterfeit gold coins, for you see Pt has a really similar specific gravity (heft) and cast counterfeits would be then gold plated in order to pass as the genuine article.

        1. Peter

          That’s an interesting observation. We should pay with a trillion dollar NFT. Make it literally out of nothing. Completely destroy the minds of the adherents to species.

        2. skippy

          Again trying to project monetarist hard currency beliefs on Fiat/MMT is a categorical error, that’s without getting into all the ex nilhilo axioms that its grounded in, before using it to describe past or present realities.

          Just the emotive tenor you use to forward your beliefs indicates a state of mind that is set, regardless of anything to the contrary, albeit this does not change facts. Hard commodity currency has been done and dusted, gold price was set and failed, fiat administered by monetarists failed, which leaves us at our currant reality of quasi monetarism, noted that there has been debate between the Sound money vs the Functional money groups of how to proceed. Sound money is still a free market dynamic where Functional seeks to move away from that dynamic by setting a floor for labour and let it float, although it does indicate currant function opposed to the never ending muddying of waters by the hard/sound money group.

          The whole argument about purity vs fake has nothing to do with the broader economic realities past or present and only serves to create a false morality plea. Which if one accepts on face value then can be used to flesh out an entire world view about humans and their actions post facto.

          Sorry Wuk but trade is more important than the token used to facilitate how contracts are satisfied, its the one constant through out human history, regardless of states [how many on the graveyard due to hard currency], but then again I understand the perspective of those that ply the bullion trade et al and how that effects their personal views, not unlike coders and how that work can bleed over into their entire world view.

          Take care mate …

          1. Wukchumni

            Money used to be constrained by Mother Nature and then we said screw that and did away with limits… allowing unlimited growth, overpopulation and overreach and here we are.

            That trade that you think so highly of is one of the worst things to come out of the bargain, as many people are now reliant upon supply chains far far away that are falling apart, was that a good thing?

            It isn’t as it isn’t painfully obvious how we screwed things up going down an uncharted financial path and will continue to do so until our hand is forced and all that fiat play money conjured out of thin air is no longer of any use, but it was fun while it lasted.

    2. flora

      Odd question here (hope my data is correct). The US Mint is a US govt agency. The US Treasury is a US govt agency. The Federal Reserve is the nation’s central banking system by a 1913 Act of Congress. So here’s the question: If the US Mint “mints” a platinum coin, has the Treasury stepped in to guide monetary policy and limited the Feds monetary control? If not, what’s the point? (Probably a dumb question. Finance isn’t my strong suit.)

      1. JeffC

        It seems much less so if you forget the now common model of “depositing” the coin and go back to (what I think was) the original notion: the Treasury can take the coin to the Fed and buy a large virtual pile of Treasury securities from their collection. Then the Treasury retires those securities. Debt limit approached no longer. Economic effect: zilch, as the Fed already refunds interest earned on its Treasury securities back to the Treasury. That refund means Treasuries held at the Fed may as well not exist. Everything else, all the clutching of pearls, is the psychological effect of the mythology of the Fed.

    3. Glen

      How about we just get a shipping container full of sawed off catalytic converters and call it the coin?

      Then enterprising American citizens can also become trillionaires.

  2. saywhat?

    “Kill it with fire,” I suppose, is what the Platinum Coin does to the gold standard, and gold standard thinking. And high time, too. Lambert

    Only partially since some cling tenaciously to government privileges* for private banks and those too are relics of the Gold Standard when fiat was too expensive for the entire population to use instead of bank deposits.

    But if we continue to favor private bank deposits with government privilege then, even with inexpensive fiat, not only shall we continue to violate equal protection under the law in favor of the rich, but we also endanger the very concept of inexpensive fiat – as inflationary when it is not necessarily any such thing.

    So let’s kill all vestiges of the Gold Standard – root and branch – with ethical principles.

    *such as deposit guarantees.

    1. Wukchumni

      Deposit guarantees on money in US banks only came about after the USA went off the Au Standard.

      1. saywhat?

        Needlessly expensive fiat is corrupt on its face since fiat is based on legitimate (ie. government) force and can have no higher backing. Thus it’s not gold (or any other commodity) that would back fiat but the legitimate authority and power of government that would back the value of gold (or any other commodity) – should we be so corrupt as to return to needlessly expensive fiat.

        1. Wukchumni

          Is that a roundabout way of confirming what I wrote earlier?

          Have a read of a great book of the era-The Great Depression-A Diary

          A critical thinking lawyer in Youngstown Ohio kept a diary from 1931 to 1941, and from 1931 to 1933 banks are closing up all over Ohio and not allowing depositors to get their savings out, and this was happening all over the country, which is why FDR enacted deposit guarantees under the FDIC.

          1. skippy

            That would seem to be more an issue about how businesses are allowed to operate than one of some token, whatever it might be.

            Especially in this specific case where people put this token for safe keeping and then denied access to it because the business deemed it was in their best interests*. So it would reasonably seem forces were at play – way before – any conflicts about what the token is or how that would proceed all other events and that the form of the token had any ability to negate such human behaviors.

            What if atomistic individualism had more to do with it than anything else.

  3. MonkeyBusiness

    Bloomberg is late to the Tether party, which probably means that the whole house of cards will collapse soon. Or the Government will use the Platinum Coin to bail it out ;)

    There’s just way too many articles and Youtube videos out there that pertain to Tether, but here’s one I can recommend:

    One possible Crypto endgame: https://medium.com/concoda/the-crypto-elites-are-plotting-a-wall-street-merger-352a61bb14e2

    Welcome to the new bailout, same as the old bailout.

    1. ProudWappie

      I agree, multiple sources already showed that Tether is all air, and no substance. The people behind it are rather dubious to begin with, and the way it is setup, is even worse. Someone also pointed at Tether as a potential pump-and-dump behind BitCoin. I like George Gammon’s take on this as well.

      The wildcat bank comparison has something going for it as well, thanks for that link.

  4. Nikkikat

    As to Cory Booker and his letter about those awful, terrible, no good protesters. It would seem that Cory had run a foul of protesters himself; along with the rest of the signers to the letter. Thank you Bernie! Glad to see him making some demands of his own. Sinema deserves everything she is getting. Of course if she loses her next election, she will no doubt land in a cushy lobbying job, which is what she wants. Those cheer leading outfits and fancy purses don’t come cheap.

    1. Gregorio

      As far as I’m concerned, she brought the bathroom and airplane incidents on herself by her refusal to engage with anyone who isn’t a donor. It’s pretty obvious who she believes she’s working for, and she gets no sympathy from me.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        There is the old JFK quote about the results of preventing peaceful revolution. This is just the predictably obvious result. That time McCain was a “Maverick”, he largely sided with popular positions. McCain-Feingold had terrible results largely to get McCain on board, but the idea of reforming campaign financing was a popular one, even among Republican voters.

      2. Carolinian

        The flaw in your argument IMO is the assumption that they don’t all deserve to be followed into the bathroom–assuming that’s an appropriate thing to do. Who do you think Pelosi “believes she’s working for”? Indeed as Lambert keeps pointing out it was Pelosi and gang who picked Sinema.

        And let’s just stipulate that Bernie has let down his supporters too in some ways. Our problem is not merely two senators but an entire system designed to produce a plutocratic result.

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          But Senators are particular pain-points of obstruction who can be made to suffer for wild excesses of personal egregiosity. Sonetimes you can only reach into a system through certain tender kneecaps.

          Bernie has let down supporters in some ways, but not in this way. In this way and place, he is doing the right thing and is gaining deserved respect and support. Trying to divert me from noticing that by drawing my attention to the stipulation of other ways Bernie has let his supporters down . . . has not worked on me in this case.

          Sinemoocher and Coaly Joe deserve particular pain and pressure at this particular sensitive hinge-point in short-term history in the making. (Sinemoocher just deserves deletion and “canceling”.)

          As to Pelosi . . . I remember back when she was protecting Bush/Cheney from Impeachment Hearings, it was suggested that Californians try organizing an extermicott to exterminate her husband’s chain of restaurants from commercial existence. But public mood wasn’t ready for a thing like that back then. It might be ready for such measures now.

          1. Carolinian

            ready for such measures now.

            Let me know when that happens. Admittedly mine is the cynical position (“expect the worst and you’ll never be disappointed”) but the public seems to share it given approval ratings down in the thirties for both parties.

            I’d say if the Dems and their supporters really want sweeping reform they need to win back solid majorities via populist politics and not try to finesse a narrow advantage. Meanwhile it’s really not a stretch to speculate that what they really want is a PR victory while continuing to scratch the back of their special interest funders. Views may differ.

  5. Laughingsong

    “Just Buy the Damn Championship Already”

    Go ahead and try the Steinbrenner Method for all the good it will do you.

    The problem with those types of top baseball stars is that about half of them are totally disruptive to a team ethos (think Puig as opposed to Jeter). Poison in the clubhouse might be overcome by an especially talented manager but even if the team manages to get one or even two series trophies, eventually it will disintegrate like the Police or Fleetwood Mac. Tough to create a dynasty.

    1. Carolinian

      “The richest team in baseball.” So it’s class warfare here as well. Only the little people don’t buy championships.

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      Puig had a lot of press because he was a defector, but outside of his rookie season, he’s not special or was ever in a spot where i think Buck Showalter would say, “give him a low jersey number,” in Spring training.

      The real problem for the Yankees is many players can reach the how much is enough. If a guy comes up with Atlanta and wants to retire to a spread in Texas, why bother going to NYC? Especially if the guy isn’t eager to engage with media. Then the tv deals are so good, the Yankees can’t do what they use to do which was raid their farm team, the Kansas City Royals.

      Now, Bos, Los, LAA, NYM, both Chicago teams, Phil, Seattle, Atl, Houston, Rangers, and Toronto can meet players demands. Not everyone is eager to move. Ohtani, when he came over, only listened to 3 teams that fit a profile, and the Bronx wasnt one of them. The Yankees know this is the reality.

      The Jeter era dynasty isn’t a good comparison. Jeter, Bernie Williams, Jorge Posada, and Rivera were a solid core during that stretch. They solved a lot of problems when you are trying to figure out how to build a team. Cashman managed it. They were throwing money around to fill holes, not go, “wow, this Judge guy is good, and we are in the midst of some bad contracts and over paying guys. I hope we can win.”

  6. Nikkikat

    Regarding health care and proper injection technique of covid vaccine. Jimmy Dore Show covered this issue about two weeks ago. British doctor or scientist. I can’t recall. However,
    The technique of aspirating the needle. I think it made a lot of sense. It was concerning to me in he beginning of massive covid vaccine sites in California. There were all sorts of people that were trained very quickly, jabbing people in long lines of cars. I was aware of issues where by a person getting injection could develop a problem with the shoulder if improperly injected. I sought out pharmacy instead where I knew the pharmacist and had received flu vaccine shots from him. Never too comfortable with the mass vaccine sites.

    1. JTMcPhee

      I went through nursing school when there was that change in intramuscular injection technique, as I recall it. Early in the program we were taught to aspirate (draw the plunger back for 5 or more seconds and look for a “flash” of blood in the barrel of the syringe) to be sure we had not put the tip into a veinule or arteriole, let alone a major circulatory structure. By the end of the program we were exhorted not to aspirate, because “reasons.” Just a mandated “standard of care” change. One explication: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25871949/

      Taking a pinch of skin for an IM injection was NOT acceptable, at least as I learned the rules.

  7. jo6pac

    So another short term bailout will happen. I must have missed the email that this never ending theater show was sold to net-flex

  8. Mason

    I really would like to know how IVM would kill someone. New Mexico has ‘confirmed’ two people are dead from it or the drug contributed heavily towards death. We only have the patient’s ages and knowledge that one of them had severe Covid. One patient had to be on a ventilator for Covid, and the other was on dialysis treatment. I’m assuming the 79 year old victim died of kidney failure and was on dialysis. It also seems like they took the veterinarian form, ‘horse paste’.

    The other victim being 38 years old and so this poor bugger may of stumbled upon the lethal dose of Ivermectin. This is assuming New Mexico is telling the truth but at this point I am suspicious.

    There are a few reports that Covid causes kidney damage. That patients being hospitalized have blood in their urine. So wouldn’t Covid be more of a cause of death than ivermectin for kidney failure?

    Peak Prosperity has a video with a safety study of Ivermectin and there are very few cases of high and dangerous overdoses. A 19 year old woman attempted suicide with Ivermectin and took up to 1200 mg of the stuff and required four days at a hospital with neurological symptoms and vomiting. No death. No kidney failure.

    It’s possible to overdose to death on anything but we need more information and I just have the darndest feeling we won’t get follow-up info. They are strict with detail due to HIPPA. I’m looking at the NM Department of Health’s facebook livestream and instead of saying they were hospitalized for Covid, they were hospitalized for ivermectin toxicity.

    It’s all very confusing…

    1. PKMKII

      It is a peculiar thing that, in the name of fighting Fake News, Ivermectin is getting presented in the PMC narrative about COVID as this pure poison/killer/horse-only drug and not, an incredibly common and useful drug for parasitical conditions. Which does them no favors if they’re trying to present themselves as “following the science,” to make a little lie in the name of the greater truth.

      1. rowlf

        Maybe someone can re-do this old joke about religion to cover the belief struggle between Covid protection and treatment:

        Once I saw this guy on a bridge about to jump. I said, “Don’t do it!” He said, “Nobody loves me.” I said, “God loves you. Do you believe in God?”
        He said, “Yes.”
        I said, “Are you a Christian or a Jew?”
        He said, “A Christian.”
        I said, “Me, too! Protestant or Catholic?”
        He said, “Protestant.”
        I said, “Me, too! What franchise?”
        He said, “Baptist.”
        I said, “Me, too! Northern Baptist or Southern Baptist?”
        He said, “Northern Baptist.”
        I said, “Me, too! Northern Conservative Baptist or Northern Liberal Baptist?”
        He said, “Northern Conservative Baptist.”
        I said, “Me, too! Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region, or Northern Conservative Baptist Eastern Region?”
        He said, “Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region.”
        I said, “Me, too! Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1879, or Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1912?”
        He said, “Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1912.”
        I said, “Die, heretic!” And I pushed him over.

        New ending?
        I said, “Me, too! Have you had your booster shot”
        He said, “No, I had a bad reaction to the first shots and am taking vitamin D, C, melatonin, zinc and Quercetin instead.”
        I said, “Die, heretic!” And I pushed him over.

    2. Arizona Slim

      I sit in on the FLCCC Weekly Updates. Highlight of my week. This topic has been discussed at length, and, so far, the FLCCC knows of no IVM fatalities.

      1. Mantid

        Az, yes, the FLCCC Updates are quite good. Also, the reason they have not found any Ivermectin deaths is simply because there haven’t been any.

  9. Mikel

    It’s ALREADY looking a lot like Christmas: Couple decorate home with hundreds of festive lights for charity https://t.co/Tzg6xoCfoL

    Go knock on their door and say, “Trick or Treat.”

    They’ll say, “It’s not Halloween.”

    You’ll say, “It’s not Christmas either.”

    Do the same if they leave up decorations after Jan. 1…just for laughs.

    1. griffen

      All they really need now is for Cousin Eddie to arrive with that rambling wreck of Griswold cousins.

      Hopeful that a kitten or cat has not been pre-wrapped for gift giving.

      1. JBird4049

        I get why people love to decorate for the Holidays, especially for Christmas, but like, I remember working at retail and seeing right before Halloween, actual combined Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas displays plus somehow Kwanzaa and Hanuka occasionally being added at well. Somewhere. I felt ridiculous being behind the counter, behind all the decorations, Christmas lights and all, while offering Halloween candy. What is it with overdecorating?

    2. LifelongLib

      Catholics celebrate Christmas until January 6 (Epiphany, the 12th day of Christmas). I believe that churches that still use the Julian calendar celebrate it until even later.

      1. Raymond Sim

        My wife and I both feel quite strongly, without being sure why, that the tree should go up on Christmas Eve, and come down on Jan. 5. People here in Central California seem to regard this behavior as disreputable.

  10. TBellT

    The CDC does not recommend aspirating on injection, but it also doesn’t forbid it. “Aspiration before injection of vaccines or toxoids (i.e., pulling back on the syringe plunger after needle insertion but before injection) is not necessary because no large blood vessels are present at the recommended injection sites, and a process that includes aspiration might be more painful for infants”.

    Since the Dr. Campbell video covering this I’ve been trying to find counter arguments for why it’s unnecessary and these are the best ones I could find. I still find it lacking though. I’m not in medicine but from a risk avoidance standpoint if a practice only finds an issue 1 out of 10^N times, if the the potential downside includes death than really need to consider including it.

    1. Jack

      RE injection technique; Aspiration, drawing back on the syringe plunger, is for intravenous injection. The flash of blood in the needle hub demonstrates that the needle is in the vein, and the medicine is not going to extravasate. The usual sites for intramuscular injection, the deltoid muscle, and the upper outer aspect of the gluteus maximus, are specifically selected to avoid any neurovascular bundle anatomically. The needle is always aspirated for IV injection, never for IM injection, as it is vanishingly rare to hit a vein at the approved sites when using standard equipment and technique. The chances of hitting the vein accidentally using good technique are small indeed.

      1. Raymond Sim

        “The chances of hitting the vein accidentally using good technique are small indeed.”

        Forgive me for being brusque, but so what? I keep seeing this given as the response to concerns about injection technique, leading me to wonder if those of you giving the answer actually understand the grounds for concern.

        What you can properly say is something more like this: For injectates with which you’re familiar, when using good technique it is uncommon indeed to incur problems you would associate with unintentional introduction of injectate directly into the vascular system.

        Up till now, if a patient developed myocarditis subsequent to vaccination, would the possibility that ‘good’ technique might be responsible for that event have even entered your mind? Is there any common injectate whose potential for serious complications from such an event approaches that suggested by the animal studies that have prompted the recent concern over injection technique?

  11. Val

    A quadrillion dollar coin should read MAGAJubilee on the obverse and be as small as possible, with a relatively large hole in the middle, just to reinforce the point.
    Then lose it in the couch cushions somewhere and establish a lawful representative government.

  12. Carolinus

    Aspiration is the standard for intramuscular injections in the US. Funny thing I noticed about it as a new nurse though- nobody does it. I maintained the practice when I was giving flu vaccines to coworkers and can attest that I have never once pulled back blood into a syringe when doing so. I have seen some bleeding (steady trickle requiring pressure to stop) when withdrawing the needle. I’m personally skeptical of the claim that the vaccines were administered into the macro-circulatory system. Intramuscular injections are targeting the muscles because they are highly vascular, but seeking to access the microvascular uptake that would be slower than intravenous but quicker uptake compared to injection into less vascular, fatty subcutaneous tissue. My point is a needle penetrating the muscle is certainly accessing the microvascular circulation to a degree, and that degree is probably fairly variable. Vaccine could enter the circulation quickly in some amount without hitting a large vessel. Seems like casting about for a scapegoat to me.

    1. Lemmy Caution

      I notice the nurse didn’t aspirate before injecting Biden with the booster the other day — she rammed that needle in like she had another 40 people waiting in line.

      1. Bart Hansen

        What I noticed from the full video was that he wore a very expensive long sleeved shirt and that he took a very long time to roll it up far enough. Why was he not told to wear a short sleeved polo with his presidential crest on it? Jill was probably at work.

    2. Raymond Sim

      “Seems like casting about for a scapegoat to me.”

      Me too. Which is part of why I’m wondering if those saying “naaah our technique is fine” understand the concerns that have arisen. They’re essentially passing the buck to the vaccine itself, which I doubt is their intent.

      I mean, if I’m going to go get a booster I would like it to be administered by people who can at least get their story straight.

  13. Jeremy Grimm

    If Christmas in October is troubling, I highly recommend watching the Korean film “Christmas in August”. It is a very touching film.

  14. Jeremy Grimm

    I would join the word IM Doc introduced me to — ‘acedia’ — with the more current Psych-Eval-Pop word ‘dystymia’, to characterize … best characterize … my own feelings as I ponder the many ways our Beautiful Blue Planet is dismembered, and figuratively spat upon in its many states of ruin. And … I am not sure how well my new words capture my growing feelings — I miss words conveying my ‘rage’.

    1. Jason Boxman

      That’s how I’ve felt for at least the last decade when I belatedly became aware of the existential crisis that climate change presents. To that, add a global pandemic.

      Stay safe!

  15. Jason Boxman

    Want more Bezzle? There’s a company in Florida I became aware of that has a highly successful business model of helping veterans maximize their VA benefits, in exchange for a cut of those benefits. They’re so profitable with this model they’re working on modernizing the back office and building out a smartphone app so they can move into other areas where complex eligibility requirements are an impediment to applicants, such as social security disability.

    It’s a shame so much bureaucracy exists simply to deny citizens benefits that they’re eligible for.

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      Bureaucratic and rules simplification would result in some disemployment of mid and mid-low level bureaucratic enforcement workers. But some of them are weary and cynical enough that they might respond to a lifetime-buyout of their position for totally-equivalent money and retirement, and then the obstructions they were paid to apply can be deleted along with the bureau people who are paid to apply those obstructions.

  16. The Rev Kev

    ‘WATCH: Researchers in California unveiled a bipedal robot that combines walking with flying to create a new type of locomotion, allowing it to jump, skateboard and walk on a slackline’

    I’m sure that those researchers do stuff like this and think that it is all cool but when your life is all tech, that is what you are going to think. But for those that actually have to live with the consequences of their work, we don’t like it nor want it. And it is more that the ‘uncanny valley’ at work here. Recently, Boston Dynamics’ robot dog Spot joined Missouri cheerleaders and though those researchers think ‘Hey, isn’t it great?’, most people would want to take a sledge hammer to it-


  17. jr

    The thing that gets to me most about those fu(king robots, other than their obvious potential for repression, is that they are always paired with upbeat or soothing music. I’d love to see a video where they are set to an “impending doom” soundtrack.

  18. Objective Ace

    Of course Biden’s Vaccine graph leaves out all of the vaccines that don’t support his agenda. Most noteworthy the flue “vaccine”, which, just like the Covid shots are vaccines under the CDC’s new definition

    Also worth noting that his graph merely shows the effectiveness of vaccines, not the effectiveness of vaccine requirements even though thats what the graph is titled

    1. Mikel

      When they start giving more shots to kiddies, people will have questions if there is a sudden leap of cases in the kiddies that aren’t vaccinated.

  19. Minnesota RN

    Today, President Biden spoke in Elk Grove, Ill. about vaccine mandates. He claimed if hospital staff
    are vaccinated you cannot contract Covid from them. He is unaware that vaccination does not stop
    transmission. He also has stated you will not fall ill with covid. He has also said the vaccines are “safe”. This man is totally unaware of anything to do with the vaccines. He is seriously misinformed.

    1. The Rev Kev

      He is also the guy that said that there will never be a vaccine mandate but that was then and this is now.

    2. jr

      He is also unaware of the inappropriateness of stroking young girls but no one seems to notice that either.

  20. ambrit

    Tell me it ain’t so Joe! From the Department of Tape Watching:
    “Mountain states still stubbornly high.”
    (A contender for the Tom Stoppard Immemorial Word Play Prize.)
    Sly is not the word….

  21. CoryP

    I’m a pharmacist not a nurse or doctor so my experience with injections is somewhat recent in the last 5 or 6 years, and not traditionally within my scope of practice.

    My understanding as it applies to both traditional vaccines (flu, hepatitis, etc) and steroid injections (testosterone, progesterone—in oil) is that the necessity for aspiration is decreased with proper siting.

    No doubt this is partially an effort to reduce training requirements and allow safe self-administration and/or deputize more random health care professionals to give injections.

    As far as I know, the main rationale for using the deltoid and the ventro-gluteal site (basically the hip, as opposed to steroid shots in the actual ass).. is that you’re very unlikely to hit either a nerve or a major blood vessel even if your technique is sloppy.

    Prior to this discussion about the Covid vaccines, my main concern was the possibility of an oil embolism if a steroid shot went into a blood vessel. From the reading I did, this seemed extremely rare and such an event producing actual harm was even more rare.

    All of this is to say that I was taught and accepted that aspiration is unnecessary for the sort of injections I do at work.

    If the safety of nucleic acid Covid vaccines (mRNA, DNA viral vector) is more sensitive to proper injection technique than a deactivated flu virus…well, then I defer to the actual experts. Whoever those may be. This is interesting tho.

  22. ambrit

    I am concerned that no one spotted the Dune ‘joke’ embedded in the Antarctic ice shelf article. First, the conglomerate substance “holding together” the splitting ice masses is called ‘Melange.’ Go right to Dune. “The Ice must flow.”
    I will go hide now.

  23. Jason Boxman

    So how nuts is this:

    But China needs to find a way to produce even more energy while reducing emissions at the same time — a tall order.


    The United States and other countries are pressuring China to agree to help limit global warming this century to no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius compared with temperatures before the Industrial Revolution.

    Of course the direct path to that is simply to produce less garbage for consumerism, and part of the reason China requires so much energy is because it produces an enormous amount of pointless consumer goods that we shouldn’t manufacturer in the first place.

    If we’re worried about Chinese emissions, the solution is simple: Begin an immediate drive to consume less and conserve resources.

    China’s Power Crunch Exposes Tensions Ahead of Key U.N. Climate Summit

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      And abolish Free Trade so that we can make here what we would still consume here under this “use less” scenario, so as to prevent the emissions involved in shipping something from China ( or Bangladesh or Vietnam or Taiwan or etc. ) to America.

      1. The Rev Kev

        You have a point. There are about 50,000 merchant ships trading internationally which are mostly burning dirty bunker fuel. Back in 2019, large ships consumed 213 million metric tons of this stuff so you wonder how much of it was really necessary and how much could be cut out after vitally needed trade was taken into account.

  24. allan

    The Devil in a Blue Dress Devil:

    A Controversial Autism Treatment Is About to Become a Very Big Business

    When desperate parents are looking for medical treatment for their kids, especially their autistic kids, they often do two things: They look up information about a program at Duke University, and then, in short order, they go to GoFundMe. The fundraising site is full of pleas that often mirror one another, in essence saying: My child has one hope, and that hope is in stem cell and cord blood treatments.

    This hope, though, is attached to treatments that are hotly disputed at best, unproven at worst, and often very expensive in either case. At Duke University’s Marcus Center for Cellular Cures, parents can enroll their children into a number of clinical trials that aim to study the effects of cells derived from umbilical cord blood on treating the effects of autism and brain injuries; adults can also participate in a trial testing whether cord blood can help them recover from ischemic strokes. And when parents can’t get their children into any of these clinical trials, particularly for autism, they often opt for what’s called the Expanded Access Program (EAP), in which they pay between $10,000 and $15,000 to get their kids a single infusion. …

    Now, a for-profit company called Cryo-Cell International with ties to Duke researchers has indicated that it plans to open clinics promoting these treatments, under a licensing agreement with the renowned North Carolina university. …

    Duke and Cryo-Cell’s rush to monetize a procedure before it’s shown to have solid benefits has created concern, though, across the community of scientists, clinicians, and medical ethicists who study autism treatments. …

    Low-accountability spinoffs are also low-correlation investments,
    making them ideal additions to any non-profit’s Swensen Portfolio.

    1. Raymond Sim


      Meanwhile the Koreans have a homegrown ballistic missile sub.

      I’d almost feel bad for the Japanese, but my year on Wake Island as a boy means the Japanese naval ensign triggers me. Couldn’t happen to a nicer military.

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