2:00PM Water Cooler 9/20/2022

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By Lambert Strether of Corrente

Bird Song of the Day

Chestnut Sparrow, Manyara, Tanzania. “Calls of a large group.” This is very short, but I like the burst of wings at the start.

* * *

Politics

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

“Here’s food for thought, had Ahab time to think; but Ahab never thinks; he only feels, feels, feels” –Herman Melville, Moby Dick

“You can’t really dust for vomit.” Nigel Tufnel, This is Spinal Tap

Biden Administration

“Biden’s ‘pandemic is over’ comments muddle COVID messaging” [Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy]. • No, it doesn’t. It is the message, and is perfectly consistent with Administration messaging throughout the pandemic. I find it really hard to believe that Biden’s “it’s over” remark will hurt him at the polls; and it may help him. Propaganda works!

“GOP leaders say approving Covid aid will be even harder after Biden ‘pandemic is over’ remark” [CNN]. “Top Republicans, who were already skeptical about approving more Covid-19 relief money, said Monday that President Joe Biden’s comments that the ‘pandemic is over’ essentially shuts the door on the slim chances of more money getting approved. ‘It makes it eminently harder for sure,’ Senate Minority Whip John Thune, a South Dakota Republican, told CNN. ‘It also begs the question as to why (he’s approving) other pandemic-related measures, like student-loan forgiveness, cancellations.'” • Yes, it does, and Biden knows this. I doubt that this figures largely in Administration thinking, but zeroing out Covid funding could cut those pesky nasal vaccines off at the pass — at least for benighted America — and how is that not a good thing?

“HHS Sec: ‘The president is correct’ about the COVID-19 pandemic” [Yahoo News]. U.S. Health Sec. Xavier Becerra supported a surprise comment over the weekend from President Joe Biden, who declared the pandemic over. ‘The president is correct,’ Becerra told Yahoo Finance Monday.” • A pliant creature of the California oligarchy springs into action and plays his part. (A creature withi no background in health care policy at all, no doubt a qualification for his job at HHS.)

2022

* * *

“High Floors + Low Ceilings = Tight Races” [Charles Cook, Cook Political Report]. “Don’t be surprised between now and the midterm elections to see most independent political prognosticators being unusually cautious in their pronouncements (those in the partisan cheerleading roles will exhibit their predictable responses). After all, the trajectory of this campaign has already departed that of any midterm election in modern times. A key component in election analysis is studying past elections, in this case midterm elections under somewhat similar circumstances. But this year is akin to driving cross country with no map or GPS. With the country at large and many states so evenly divided and with hyper-partisanship so pervasive, the political environment has created high floors and low ceilings for candidates in key races, keeping trailing candidates within striking distance of those in the lead. It takes an unusual circumstance for one candidate to win comfortably in many of these contests, much harder than it was just a decade or two ago.” For example: “The AARP Florida poll showed Rubio ahead of Demings in the Senate race by 2 points, 49 to 47 percent, and DeSantis leading Crist by 3 points, 50 to 47 percent. In the generic congressional ballot, Republicans lead Democrats by 2 points, 48 to 46 percent. Basically, the identity of the candidates didn’t matter: One group was voting only for Republicans, the other for Democrats; there were very few who did anything else. Note the remarkably tight cluster of Republican vote shares of 49, 50, and 48 percent in the Senate, governor, and House races, respectively, and the equally tight 47, 47, and 46 percent for Democrats. Rubio carried Republicans by 82 points, DeSantis by 84 points. Republicans stayed in line on the generic by 86 points, 91 to 5 percent.” • Well worth a read.

“The Seats-in-Trouble Forecasts of the 2022 Midterm Congressional Elections” [Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball]. “The goal is to use micro level (congressional district and state) competitiveness assessments in combination with their electoral history to statistically generate an accurate prediction of the election’s national outcome. The seats-in-trouble forecasts for the 2022 midterms are losses for the Democrats of 42 seats in the House of Representatives and 1 seat in the Senate…. Unlike conventional aggregate models using purely national indicators, the seats-in-trouble equations are based on competitiveness ratings of individual elections produced by the venerable Cook Political Report. Cook’s race by race ratings take various local conditions (the candidates, local issues, how national issues are playing locally, and redistricting) into account as well as how national conditions (like presidential approval and the economy) are distributed across local and state elections.[1] And unlike national impressions of likely party seat change pieced together from district by district ratings, the seats-in-trouble model systematically aggregates those pieces of the national puzzle into indices and statistically estimates how those indices have been associated historically with actual election outcomes. The result is an accurate, historically grounded, simple, and systematic forecasting model of national congressional election outcomes (the macro perspective) based on intensive examinations of individual election contests (the micro perspective).” • This is super-interesting and well worth a read.

* * *

“Scoop: McConnell’s closed-door confidence” [Axios]. “Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) expressed cautious optimism in closed-door remarks Monday to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce that the GOP can win back control of the Senate, Axios has learned…. McConnell also said he expects the election to be close, with a 50/50 Senate reflecting a 50/50 country that remains starkly divided.”

“Cocky Democrats may be counting their midterm votes before they’re cast” [MSNBC]. “According to Real Clear Politics’ average of the generic ballot polling, which combines methodologies and smooths out individual polling’s margins of error, Americans favor Democrats by 0.5 percent. But that’s not the case at the level of the competitive districts that will decide which party secures a majority in the 118th Congress. A late August CBS News/YouGov “battleground tracker” poll of voters in swing districts found Republicans enjoy the same 2-point advantage over Democrats they enjoyed in that poll in late July, and with fewer undecided voters left to convince.” • Yep.

* * *

AL: “Kemp widens lead over Abrams to 8 points in Georgia governor race: poll” [The Hill]. “Half of likely Georgia voters in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution poll released on Tuesday said they would support Kemp, while 42 percent said they backed Abrams. In late July, Kemp led Abrams by 5 points, 48 percent to 43 percent. The new survey differed substantially from a Quinnipiac University poll last Wednesday that showed the two competitors locked in a tight race, with Kemp holding a slim 2-point lead over Abrams. Kemp beat Abrams in the state’s 2018 gubernatorial race by less than 2 points.”

KS:

I don’t know if this translates to Democrat votes in the general. Voting down an anti-abortion amendment is one thing. Voting for the party who “fought for” Roe for years, pocketed the big bucks, and then didn’t deliver, is another. We’ll see.

MD: “You Never Really Felt Safe”: Resistance to Far-Right Maryland Sheriff Builds in Election Lead-Up” [BOLTS]. Under [Republican Sheriff Chuck Jenkins], Frederick County became home to one of the most draconian anti-immigrant local law enforcement regimes in the country. Working hand-in-hand with ICE, Jenkins’ police force deported more than 1,500 immigrants and detained countless more. The sheriff has ridden his anti-immigrant platform to the summit of small-town stardom, becoming a darling of Fox News and making an appearance at political gatherings held at the White House by former President Donald Trump and later at his Mar-a-Lago beach home. But that joyride might soon come to an end. Jenkins is up for reelection in November, and immigrants’ rights advocates hope this is the moment their longstanding efforts to reverse local policies finally pay off. Jenkins faces Democrat Karl Bickel, a former sheriff’s deputy and a retired policing analyst at the Department of Justice, who says he would curtail the sheriff’s department’s relationship with ICE if he wins. ‘It’s just not the place of local law enforcement to get involved in immigration enforcement,’ Bickel … told Bolts. ‘It’s time to start the hard work of rebuilding trust with the immigrant community.'”

PA: “John Fetterman, Facing Health Questions, Boosts Public Schedule in Pennsylvania Senate Bid” [Wall Street Journal]. “Four months after a life-threatening stroke took him off the campaign trail, John Fetterman, the lieutenant governor of Pennsylvania and Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate, is presenting himself more often to voters as he tries to show that he retains the ability to serve effectively. His Republican opponent, the celebrity doctor Mehmet Oz, says that Mr. Fetterman is shielding his health status from voters, by declining to hold news conferences and by agreeing to appear at only one debate. That debate is scheduled for Oct. 25, two weeks before Election Day and more than a month after Pennsylvania counties are allowed to start early voting. Mr. Fetterman said at a campaign rally on Saturday in Scranton, in the state’s northeast, that he was still recovering from a language processing problem caused by the stroke. He spoke for about 13 minutes, making clear arguments but stumbling two or three times over words. ‘The only issue is a lingering issue of auditory processing,’ he said of his health. ‘Sometimes I might miss a word. Or, sometimes I’ll mush two words together and create one that doesn’t exist,’ he said, before tweaking Mr. Oz for posting a video in which the Republican candidate combined the names of two local supermarket chains, Wegmans and Redner’s, into one he called ‘Wegners.'”

2024

“Texas sheriff investigating how migrants were ‘lured’ on flights DeSantis arranged” [Politico]. “Texas law enforcement authorities said Monday they are opening an investigation into how 48 Venezuelan migrants were ‘lured’ last week to board flights from San Antonio, Texas, to Martha‘s Vineyard under a plan orchestrated by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis for ‘nothing more … than a photo op.’ ‘Our understanding is that a Venezuelan migrant was paid what we would call a bird dog fee to recruit approximately 50 migrants from the area around a migrant Resource Center … in San Antonio,’ Bexar County, Texas Sheriff Javier Salazar told reporters.” •

“Martha’s Vineyard Takes Revenge On DeSantis By Shipping Him 50 Karens” [Babylon Bee]. “The group of 50 Karens was selected from over 478 Karens who volunteered for the flight, as most women who live on the island are named Karen. ‘Hopefully this political stunt will help DeSATAN see the error of his ways,’ said HOA Vice President Karen Bohannan. ‘If not, we’ll send even more. There are plenty more Karens where that came from!’ Once the Karens land in Florida, they have been instructed to wreak havoc on the locals by walking into establishments and demanding to see the manager, calling the police on black joggers, and driving slowly in the left lane. Locals have mobilized to prepare for the onslaught by building walls of sandbags and boarding up windows.” • To be fair, I’m sure Florida has plenty of Karens already. (I apologize to anybody in the commentariat actually named “Karen.”)

“Trump discovers he’s not in Cannon-land anymore” [Politico]. “Donald Trump put the Justice Department on its heels, courtesy of a single federal judge who gave him the benefit of almost every doubt as he fought against the FBI’s probe of documents seized from his Mar-a-Lago estate. Now, his team of lawyers is preparing to test whether they can replicate their fortune in front of a potentially more skeptical audience. And the first indication, offered in a filing on Monday night, suggests a tougher road ahead. The court-appointed ‘special master’ reviewing documents the FBI seized during the Aug. 8 search has asked the former president to disclose details about any materials he claims to have declassified before calling them his property. In a court filing Monday, Trump’s attorneys urged Raymond Dearie, the senior federal judge based in Brooklyn, to drop a component of his plan that includes asking Trump for those details. Disclosing those during the review, Trump’s attorneys said, was not a requirement of U.S. District Court Judge Aileen Cannon’s order appointing Dearie as special master. And, they added, it could harm Trump’s defense against any forthcoming criminal charges.”

“Trump lawyers oppose Justice Department request to keep classified information from special master” [Los Angeles Times]. ” In a court filing Tuesday, former President Trump’s lawyers again questioned if the classified documents recovered by the FBI during the Aug. 8 search of his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida were actually classified, but provided no proof that Trump had declassified them….

‘The government again presupposes that the documents it claims are classified are, in fact, classified and their segregation is inviolable. However, the government has not yet proven this critical fact,’ the filing states.” • I confess I am not master of the detail on this case, so I don’t know if this is a mere debater’s point. But yes, surely the burden of proof is on the prosecutorial side to prove that the documents were classified in the first place? (And just because a document has “Top Sekrit” written on the cover doesn’t mean it actually is; there isn’t an office in the government charged with putting new covers on declassfied documents.)

“Trump defends ‘perfect’ call with Raffensperger amid threat of prison sentences from Georgia probe” [The Hill]. “Former President Trump defended the controversial call he made to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger following the 2020 election, saying in a statement on Monday that it was ‘an absolutely PERFECT phone call.’ He claimed that those on the call ‘had no problems with the call, and didn’t voice any objections or complaints about anything that I said on the call which could be construed as inappropriate.'”

“Videos Show Trump Allies Handling Georgia Voting Equipment” [New York Times]. “The new videos also show that some of the Trump allies who visited Coffee County were given access to a storage room, and that various people affiliated with Mr. Trump’s campaign, or his allies, had access to the building over several days. The new footage also shows Cathy Latham, then the head of the county’s Republican Party, with members of the Trump team, standing together in an office where the county’s poll pads were laid out on a table. Ms. Latham is among the targets of a criminal investigation in Atlanta, related to her participation as one of an alternate slate of electors who tried to overturn Mr. Trump’s loss in Georgia. That investigation, which is being led by Fani T. Willis, the district attorney of Fulton County, has also touched on what took place in Coffee County…. Investigators from Mr. Raffensperger’s office also appear in the new videos, raising questions about what they knew. … [V]oting rights advocates involved in the litigation have questioned why Mr. Raffensperger, the defendant in the civil case, did not move more aggressively.” • There shouldn’t be “voting equipment.” There’s your problem.

Democrats en Déshabillé

I have moved my standing remarks on the Democrat Party (“the Democrat Party is a rotting corpse that can’t bury itself”) to a separate, back-dated post, to which I will periodically add material, summarizing the addition here in a “live” Water Cooler. (Hopefully, some Bourdieu.) It turns out that defining the Democrat Party is, in fact, a hard problem. I do think the paragraph that follows is on point all the way back to 2016, if not before:

The Democrat Party is the political expression of the class power of PMC, their base (lucidly explained by Thomas Frank in Listen, Liberal!). It follows that the Democrat Party is as “unreformable” as the PMC is unreformable; if the Democrat Party did not exist, the PMC would have to invent it. If the Democrat Party fails to govern, that’s because the PMC lacks the capability to govern. (“PMC” modulo “class expatriates,” of course.) Second, all the working parts of the Party reinforce each other. Leave aside characterizing the relationships between elements of the Party (ka-ching, but not entirely) those elements comprise a network — a Flex Net? An iron octagon? — of funders, vendors, apparatchiks, electeds, NGOs, and miscellaneous mercenaries, with assets in the press and the intelligence community.

Note, of course, that the class power of the PMC both expresses and is limited by other classes; oligarchs and American gentry (see ‘industrial model’ of Ferguson, Jorgensen, and Jie) and the working class spring to mind. Suck up, kick down.

* * *

#COVID19

• “Disrupt the social order.” At NIH last week, via:

That was the question from the very beginning, as I show here (and under capitalism, the “social order” means the wage relation). Fauci’s remarks on vaccines and variants are also very interesting; elites talking among themselves don’t sound like they sound on TV.

• “‘Very Harmful’ Lack of Data Blunts U.S. Response to Outbreaks” [New York Times]. “The federal government invested heavily over the past decade to modernize the data systems of private hospitals and health care providers, doling out more than $38 billion in incentives to shift to electronic health records. That has enabled doctors and health care systems to share information about patients much more efficiently.” That’s ***cough*** “share information about patients billing ***cough***. I mean, that’s what so-called medical coding is for. See NC here, here, and here on “upcoding” and EHRs generally. More: “Decades of underinvestment in public health information systems has crippled efforts to understand the pandemic, stranding crucial data in incompatible data systems so outmoded that information often must be repeatedly typed in by hand. The data failure, a salient lesson of a pandemic that has killed more than one million Americans, will be expensive and time-consuming to fix. The precise cost in needless illness and death cannot be quantified.” Two reasons nothing will be done. And then there’s this: “But almost two years after the first Covid shots were administered, the C.D.C. still has no national data on breakthrough cases.” • But that’s because CDC decided not to collect breakthrough data! You’d think that Walensky and Jha, who are the main sources quoted in the story, would have mentioned that. Guess not.

* * *

“UMD Researcher Develops Nasal COVID Vaccine” [Maryland Today]. “Xiaoping Zhu, a professor of veterinary medicine, has developed an inhalable coronavirus vaccine that goes directly to work in the parts of the body—like the nose and sinuses—where even those fully up to date with shots can be vulnerable…. ‘[The shots are] wonderful vaccines that protect people from hospitalization and death, but don’t prevent transmission,’ Zhu said. ‘The nasal vaccine produces an antibody that stays in the upper respiratory tract to stop transmission, which the intramuscular vaccine does not.'”• Zhu’s vaccine is beginning clinical trials. Thing is, though, I thought Covid was supposed to be “endemic,” like the flu? But if we stop tranmission, what happens to Pfizer and Moderna? Will nobody think of Big Pharma?

“Nasal and inhaled vaccines may be the best hope to finally stop COVID transmission, but the U.S. isn’t funding them: ‘It’s just unacceptable’” [Fortune]. “[Eric] Topol has been pushing the U.S. government to adopt an ‘Operation Nasal Vaccine’ to fund the development of nasal vaccines similar to how Operation Warp Speed helped fund the first generation of COVID-19 vaccines. Over the summer, the U.S. government hosted a ‘future of vaccines’ summit that discussed government support for nasal sprays and other new vaccine technologies. But additional funding for vaccine development has been held up in U.S. Congress for months, and it’s unclear if the government will allot additional vaccine funds. ‘We’ve waited and waited and waited,’ says Topol. ‘It’s just unacceptable.’ Of course, vaccine makers like Pfizer (which spends more than $10 billion annually on research and development) do not need necessarily government support to fund the development of new vaccine technology. Morgon says large firms have refrained from nasal vaccine investments because they already have a product that works. ‘Big companies tend to be pretty conservative,’ he says.” • Asking Pfizer to develop a sterilizing vaccine is like asking Gilette to develop a self-sharpening razor. Why would they?

“Explained | How does a COVID-19 nasal vaccine work?” [The Hindu]. “A nasal vaccine is delivered through the nose or mouth and it is expected to work on the mucosal lining, prompting an immune response at the entry points of the virus in the human body. It likely prevents the infection right there, thereby also blocking its spread. Scientists have called this sterilising immunity, where the virus is prevented from causing infection in the host effectively…. ‘Exactly how successful these vaccines will be is unclear. Expecting a vaccine to stop transmission of a virus or prevent even mild illness — achieving what is called sterilising immunity — is a high bar. Bharat [Biotech] and CanSino [Chinese vaccine maker that has secured a licence to use another nasal vaccine] won’t know whether their vaccines can achieve this until they have conducted further efficacy studies,’ explains [science writer Emily] Waltz. Both Bharat Biotech and CanSino have announced that their trials have been successful but have not released data. She points to two other nasal vaccines that have reportedly been deployed in populations, one in Iran and the other, an intra-nasal version of Sputnik V in Russia, but says scant data is available from either of them.” • Hopefully we’re not going to repeat history on the data….

• “Preclinical evaluation of safety and immunogenicity of a primary series intranasal COVID-19 vaccine candidate (BBV154), and humoral immunogenicity evaluation of a heterologous prime-boost strategy with COVAXIN (BBV152)” (preprint) [Research Square]. “We performed preclinical evaluations of BBV154 in mice, rats, hamsters and rabbits. Repeated dose toxicity studies presented excellent safety profiles in terms of pathology and biochemical analysis. [Intranasal (IN)] administration of BBV154 elicited robust mucosal and systemic humoral immune responses coupled with cell-mediated immune responses dominated by Th1-like cytokine expression. Heterologous prime-boost vaccination with intramuscular (IM) COVAXIN-prime followed by BBV154 intranasal in rabbits elicited superior immune responses compared with the homologous COVAXIN/COVAXIN schedule. BBV154 is now being assessed in both homologous and heterologous combination schedules in ongoing human clinical trials.”

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• Maskstravaganza: Trying to get through to the Hospital Infection Control Community:

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* * *

Case Count

Case count for the United States:

Cases are undercounted, one source saying by a factor of six, Gottlieb thinking we only pick up one in seven or eight.) Hence, I take the nominal case count and multiply it by six to approximate the real level of cases, and draw the DNC-blue “Biden Line” at that point. The previous count was ~62,400. Today, it’s ~60,600 and 60,600 * 6 = a Biden line at 363,600. (Remember these data points are weekly averages, so daily fluctuations are smoothed out.) The black “Fauci Line” is a counter to triumphalism, since it compares current levels to past crises. If you look at the Fauci line, you will see that despite the bleating and yammering about Covid being “over,” we have only just recently reached the (nominal) case level of November 1, 2021, and we are very far from that of July 1, 2021. And the real level is much worse.

Lambert here: The fall in case count looks impressive enough. What the Fauci Line shows, however, is that we have at last achieved the level of the initial peak, when New York was storing the bodies in refrigerator trucks. So the endzone celebrations are, to my mind, premature. Not that anyone will throw a flag. Of course, the real story is in the charts for California and the South. See below.

Regional case count for four weeks:

The South:

I wonder if Florida’s weird reporting is what causes the odd “lumpiness” in the national case count during this “high plateau.” Earlier, the curves are much smoother.

The South (minus Texas and Florida):

Encouraging.

The West:

What’s going on out there?

Wastewater

SITE DOWN Wastewater data (CDC), September 13:

Lambert here: I added all the dots back in. The number of grey dots really concerns me. How can all the sites for international air travel center New York be grey (“no recent data”). And California’s pretty gappy, too.

For grins, September 11:

Positivity

From the Walgreen’s test positivity tracker, September 10:

-3.3%. Good news!

Transmission

NOTE: I shall most certainly not be using the CDC’s new “Community Level” metric. Because CDC has combined a leading indicator (cases) with a lagging one (hospitalization) their new metric is a poor warning sign of a surge, and a poor way to assess personal risk. In addition, Covid is a disease you don’t want to get. Even if you are not hospitalized, you can suffer from Long Covid, vascular issues, and neurological issues. For these reasons, case counts — known to be underestimated, due to home test kits — deserve to stand alone as a number to be tracked, no matter how much the political operatives in CDC leadership would like to obfuscate it. That the “green map” (which Topol calls a “capitulation” and a “deception”) is still up and being taken seriously verges on the criminal. Use the community transmission immediately below.

Here is CDC’s interactive map by county set to community transmission. (This is the map CDC wants only hospitals to look at, not you.)

Lambert here: Clearly, the pandemic is over. Holy [family blog], even if somebody shoved CDC’s reprehensible “Community Levels” chart (see above) under Biden’s nose, even he could see that only half the country is still medium or high:

How does that translate into “over”? 50.73% “low” is first past the post?

• “The end of the pandemic” [Noah Smith, Noahpinion]. “At some point, we simply collectively stop thinking of diseases as pandemics and start thinking of them as endemic — as diseases that are now simply present in our world rather than as special, unusual threats. At some point this happened for HIV, the other great pandemic of our times. So it seems to me that Biden’s declaration that the pandemic is over is as good a place as any to bookmark this transition.”

NOT UPDATED Rapid Riser data, by county (CDC), September 16:

I suppose that if case counts are indeed level, it’s likely there would be few rapid risers.

Previous Rapid Riser data:

NOT UPDATED Hospitalization data, by state (CDC), September 16:

Sea of green!

NOTE: Rapid Riser and Hospitalization data are updated Wednesdays and Fridays.

Variants

Lambert here: It’s beyond frustrating how slow the variant data is. I looked for more charts: California doesn’t to a BA.4/BA.5 breakdown. New York does but it, too, is on a molasses-like two-week cycle. Does nobody in the public health establishment get a promotion for tracking variants? Are there no grants? Is there a single lab that does this work, and everybody gets the results from them? Additional sources from readers welcome [grinds teeth, bangs head on desk].

NOT UPDATED Variant data, national (Walgreens), September 1:

Still no sign of BA.2.75 at Walgreens, despite its success in India and presence in Bay Area wastewater.

NOT UPDATED Variant data, national (CDC), August 27 (Nowcast off):

Two highlights: BA.4.6 has assumed a slightly greater proportion (more in the NowCast model, which I refuse to use). Also, first appearance of BA.2.75. So where is it, you ask?

The above chart shows variants nationally. I have gone through the CDC regions and made a table. As you can see, BA.2.75 is prominent in Region 2 (New York and New Jersey), followed by Region 5 (Midwest), and Region 1 (Northeast). Hmm.

Table 1: CDC Regional BA.2.75 Data, Sorted by % Total

CDC Region % Total States in Region
Region 2: 0.8% New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands
Region 5: 0.7% Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin
Region 1: 0.7% Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont
Region 3: 0.4% Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia
Region 4: 0.4% Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee
Region 7: 0.3% lowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska
Region 6: 0.0% Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas
Region 8: 0.0% Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming
Region 9: 0.0% Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, American Samoa, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands….
Region 10: 0.0% Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington

Let’s see if BA.2.75 starts doubling.

• A long thread on immune escape. I’d be interested to hear what the Brain Trust thinks:

Deaths

Death rate (Our World in Data):

Lambert here: Not sure why World in Data changed the color to red.

Total: 1,078,938 – 1,078,018 = 920 (920 * 365 = 335,800, which is today’s LivingWith™* number (quite a bit higher than the minimizers would like, thought they can talk themselves into anything. Fluctuates quite a bit, but even the low numbers are bad). I have added an anti-triumphalist black Fauci Line.

It’s nice that for deaths I have a simple, daily chart that just keeps chugging along, unlike everything else CDC and the White House are screwing up or letting go dark, good job.

Stats Watch

Housing: “United States Housing Starts” [Trading Economics]. “Housing starts in the US unexpectedly jumped 12.2% month-over-month to an annualized rate of 1.575 million units in August of 2022, beating market expectations of 1.445 million. It is the biggest increase since March last year, although figures for the previous months were revised lower to showed starts fell at a faster 10.9% in July.”

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Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 34 Fear (previous close: 37 Fear) [CNN]. One week ago: 39 (Fear). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Sep 20 at 1:55 PM EDT.

The Gallery

Cubists not named Picasso (2):

Groves of Academe

“Taking Our Time: How Australian Universities Measure Academic Work” [Public Books]. “Teaching and research are what makes a university a university. So, unsurprisingly, with more managers and fewer securely employed academics and professional support workers, the demands on employees doing the core work have increased. As anyone who has been subject to an efficiency drive will know, the effort to do more with less either reduces quality or leads to overwork. Increasing student numbers and raising demands for research outputs, combined with decreasing appetite for investment in teaching and research, have led to stress and burnout. In addition, the managerialist devaluation and decentring of academic work in the institution—through both structural divestment and increasing precarity of academic professionals—is arguably one of the causes of the wider social devaluation of expert knowledges. Is it a coincidence that we have to make the public case for the trust value of scholarly knowledge (about climate change, vaccination, and the economic importance of frontline care workers, for example) when the institutions that generate the knowledge do not themselves trust and value the people doing this vital work.”

Zeitgeist Watch

“Most Adults Should Be Screened for Anxiety, U.S. Panel Recommends” [Wall Street Journal]. • Ya think?

“I Wish I Was a Little Bit Taller” [GQ]. “The promise of Dr. D’s [leg lengthening] institute is that, for a price, you too can increase your odds of becoming a Fortune 500 CEO. And people are willing to pay. Most patients will fork over from $70,000 to $150,000, depending on how many inches they want to gain. The majority opt for the standard three inches, which can be expected if you get only your femurs done—a process that takes about a year—but six inches is possible if doctors later do your tibias as well. You then have to get the nails surgically removed, which costs an additional $14,000 to $20,000. Money an issue? Personal financing is available through SoFi, the online bank. John took out a loan for his femurs—$1,200 a month for the next five years. It’s nothing short of a miracle that we can change something in the human body that was once unchangeable. A short king can transform himself into just a king—as long as he’s willing to subject himself to the kind of horrifying, life-altering injury traditionally associated with getting hit by a bus. It’s as if we’re playing God to appear slightly more boneable on Tinder. On some level it’s grotesque. It’s also a medical wonder. And it raises all kinds of thorny existential questions, like whether creations as fragile as us should be playing God at all.” • All questions the Jackpot will clear up….

Class Warfare

See Fauci’s remarks at the first bullet under #COVID19

News of the Wired

“Filling the Gaps” [History Today]. ” Considering the serious, intellectual, scholarly and often religious nature of most early modern texts, the majority of text-related annotations in these volumes constitute what historians term ‘aids to memory’. These aids came in many different forms and in varying degrees of intensity, which suggest the differing levels of engagement with the text itself. Most common, perhaps, were marks and symbols, such as an asterisk or a manicule (a pointing finger), in the margins of a page next to specific sentences or passages of particular importance. In some instances, readers summarised the contents of a page with a sub-heading, of sorts, at the top of a page. More often, these handwritten memory aids extended into verbal summaries or short commentaries on paragraphs or points those readers found significant or pertinent to their reason for reading. Sometimes marginalia filled up the entirety of the blank page surrounding the text, leaving very little white space. Occasionally small drawings could be detailed in the margins, illustrating the content of the text. A volume from the library of Anthony Higgin, Dean of Ripon from 1608 to 1624, contains a small illustration of a crocodile in the margin of one page, followed by a drawing of the sun (complete with a smiley face) and the moon adjacent to their textual descriptions.” • An early form of hypertext? Granted, not digital… .

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Contact information for plants: Readers, feel free to contact me at lambert [UNDERSCORE] strether [DOT] corrente [AT] yahoo [DOT] com, to (a) find out how to send me a check if you are allergic to PayPal and (b) 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. From CG:

CG writes: “I had a very good Sunday walk yesterday and saw that goldenrod was in bloom everywhere, from solitary stalks to large areas. I tend to think of goldenrod (in bloom from late summer through early autumn) as the coral reef of plants, since the goldenrod (in a healthy environment) supports innumerable lives, from bees and various pollinators, to butterflies, dragonflies, and other insects. Monarchs love goldenrod too: the late blooms help support them in their journey south.

The first photo is an overall area of blossoms; the second goldenrod photo includes a honeybee. (The black background is a pleasant photographic usage of setting the light for the foreground subject and the background, if in shade, becomes black.)

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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.

148 comments

  1. Arizona Slim

    Quoting from the WSJ article about anxiety screening:

    “Adults under the age of 65 should be screened for anxiety disorders and all adults should be checked for depression, a government-backed panel said, as many Americans report symptoms of these mental-health conditions following the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.”

    To which I say:

    I wonder what pharma concoctions are going to be prescribed for the people who actually submit to these screenings. And I also wonder which simple solutions are being ignored. Such as:

    1. Going for a walk or doing some other form of mild exercise.
    2. Confronting the source of your anxiety. Yeah, I know. Yelling at the boss is a bad idea. But how about sitting down, writing about the anxiety, and identifying possible solutions?
    3. Cleaning up your diet. Pro tip: Too much sugar and caffeine can heighten anxiety.

    I’ll let others add to this list.

    Reply
    1. Henry Moon Pie

      I’d add to your list a feeling of impending doom that’s permeating society and adding to the anxiety level. Attribute it to the Collective Unconscious, animal instinct or general woo-woo, but it’s there and growing. And it’s not wrong.

      A majority of the citizenry live lives that can be likened to walking a tightrope. There are a nimble few who navigate it with some ease, but most of us are haunted by a constant fear of losing our balance and falling to depths unimaginable. And add to that fear that beyond the usual individual risk of taking a dive there is a risk of societal collapse. Intense.

      The trick is realizing that those depths might actually be less anxiety-ridden than the tightrope.

      Reply
      1. AndrewJ

        Speaking as one in the depths, I can say that anxiety is not my problem, not as I’ve seen in expressed in others. Depression, however, is.

        Reply
      2. Jeremy Grimm

        I have been tormented by a feeling of impending doom for the last many years. The only remedy I might suggest is total submission to that doom. But that is no remedy. By my reckoning, Humankind is heading headlong toward doom — a doom of many dimensions. I feel and have long felt anxious, depressed, baffled, appalled, and mystified by the direction of events. The only remedy drugs can offer are the remedies of temporary oblivion or temporary escape. I abhor oblivion and long for escape, but curiously the Society I live in is only tolerant of oblivion.

        Reply
    2. Barbara

      4. Fair wages for low-income workers
      5. Affordable housing (1/3 of housing for sale owned by venture vultures)
      6. Universal healthcare – so you don’t go bankrupt
      7. Money out of politics
      I’ll leave room for more……….

      Reply
        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          Get the Law to recognize that . . . ” The Corporation has no rights that natural persons are bound to respect.”

          Reply
      1. chris

        8. Not seeing our elected officials continue to start wars of choice.
        9. Not having to deal with the corrosive effects of staying quiet because you’ll be penalized for speaking up.
        10. Not being penalized for not wanting to own, or being unable to afford, objects that are “required” to be a citizen (e.g., smart phone, internet connection, etc.).
        11. Having people in authority actually want to make things better instead of constantly paving over past mistakes.
        12. Being able to discuss past mistakes in our country without being labeled a terrorist.
        13. Having a social safety net so that trying and failing to start a successful venture wasn’t a death sentence…

        Reply
        1. HotFlash

          To your #13 I would observe that here in Canada, where we have (at least for the moment) guaranteed healthcare for all legal residents, paid by our HST harmonized sales tax, (“harmonized” bewt Fed and province), ie, no tax or pmt by individuals or employers at any level), starting and running a business is a whole lot less stressful.

          Reply
    3. Jon S

      My wife has been diagnosed with anxiety disorder and she’s been prescribed imipramine daily and xanax as needed. It doesn’t solve the problem. But neither do walks, diet, exercise, adequate cash-flow, etc… She’s tried them all.

      A Psychiatrist says it is the result of an over active amygdala (handles fear response) and an under-active frontal lobe (handles rational thought). It results in an excessive need to have control in situations that she can’t control. The realization of the loss of control causes her brain to signal her heart to gear up for fight for flight, and so she assumes it is the start of a heart attack. Which of course doesn’t help matters.

      COVID has been a nightmare for her. Imagine walking into the grocery store, in Florida, to get the basic necessities where masks were rarely worn. While anxiety doesn’t necessarily lead to OCD or depression they’re highly correlated. The need to control leads to OCD, and the loss of normality leads to depression.

      I love her dearly, but the medical community still doesn’t have a clue how to help.

      Reply
      1. Lee

        FWIW: At various points in my life when I felt overwhelmed, I’ve found that the practice of simple meditation, zazen for example, and talk therapy were helpful. The people I interacted with in both instances were at least as helpful as the physical and mental practices imparted.

        Reply
      2. HotFlash

        My observation and recommendation, which is much harder to implement, is that since we are trapped in a *purposely* high-stress political drama which we are pretty-well powerless to affect, also, IMO, *purposely*, we are just going to have to fix it. And, I think it’s going to get darker before it gets lighter. Tried to look up Wizard of Oz ref for a cheery clip, could not find.

        Reply
  2. LawnDart

    Hosts, I don’t mean to step on your toes, but I think you and Yves are about to get a little more busy than normal:

    You may have caught that Putin and Shoigu are scheduled to speak around/after 20:00 Moscow time (so any time now):

    https://rutube.ru/video/c711a103beaa2865a3923510541d77c0/

    And Medvedev may have just dropped a hint via Telegram:

    https://t.me/medvedev_telegram

    Translation of Medvedev’s post is around the end of comments in today’s links (and his statement might bring some unease).

    Reply
      1. ambrit

        I just checked into the CNN YouTube site to find out about the claimed cyberattack against the Russian media system and made the mistake of checking the comments. Boy oh boy! What a bunch of jingoistic trash!
        A sure fire business idea would be to flog an app that allowed one to determine if comments were ‘legitimate’ or bots. Make it something similar to the Dreaded Blue Check. Then the sophisticated “consumer” could judge the political climate by the percentage of comments concerning particular ‘stories’ that are propaganda themed. Just a measure of the importance the bot farms give an item would be very enlightening.

        Reply
        1. hunkerdown

          I do like this “citizen social media science” thing you’re proposing.

          One clever person from the antipodes made Secateur, which maintains a list of NAFO trolls which it then loads into your blocklist according to Twitter platform rate-limiting. It’s a tactical solution to an operational problem, and seems to access the Twitter API from a server, on your behalf, using your password (!) which is always and ever a bad idea. But it proves that people are thinking seriously about eliminating propaganda.

          Someone here wrote that the worst thing you can do to a performing artist is to boo them. IMO, we can chase mainstream ideologues back into their holes by consistently subverting their narratives, rejecting their ideology, and booing them mercilessly.

          Very large publishers like NYT and CNN curate their image scrupulously. Their comments section should be considered as managed as any live studio audience they might allow.

          It’s the sort of functionality that should remain free. Business a) gives Them discretionary power over you by way of lawfare etc. b) validates the commercialist lifestyle c) carries no enforceable expectation of honest service, and can be quietly sold on to a person and a mission you don’t know, just as many ad blocking extensions have in fact been.

          Reply
    1. Judith

      b. has a discussion about this:

      https://www.moonofalabama.org/

      Here is an excerpt:

      I find this whole seemingly hasty process atypical for Putin’s usual way.

      My hunch is that Russia received information over some weapon systems the U.S. is secretly providing to the Ukraine. This could be missiles with several hundred kilometer range or other types of weapons that could seriously threaten Russia’s towns and cities.

      If so, Russia has to do something now to end the war before its becomes more than a nuisance for Russia and its people. Ending means of course by winning it.

      Training up a mobilization force takes about three months. It would put it on the front in the mid of winter, a season during which Russian forces can operate quite well.

      Reply
    2. LawnDart

      Medvedev’s sentiment, “Encroachment on the territory of Russia is a crime, the commission of which allows you to use all the forces of self–defense,” appears to be reiterated by this woman:

      Member of the Federation Council Olga Kovitidi said that Kiev’s attacks after the referendums will be considered aggression against Russia.

      Kiev’s attacks after the referendums will be regarded as aggression against Russia. This was stated by a member of the Federation Council Olga Kovitidi. Her words are quoted by RIA Novosti.

      “Any manifestation of military aggression by Ukraine after the announcement of the results of the referendum should be regarded as open aggression against the civilian population of Russia, followed by severe punishment for all those responsible,” the senator said.

      According to Kovitidi, the population of the liberated territories has the right to restore historical justice and hold legal referendums on joining Russia, which is able to protect its citizens.

      Source: news-front[dot]info 20.09.2022 21:30

      I don’t see how this will not escalate. After 27.09.2022, next Tuesday, the referrendum will be over and by the end of the week, Russia will formally welcome these republics to the Motherland. I’d expect that Lavrov will be “unavailable” to NATO countries (as Shoigu will have already made Russia’s position explicitly clear to them), but that Lavrov will be busy with “friendly,” neutral, or otherwise on-the-fence nations.

      I think it may be Shoigu who will illuminate the flashing neon-red lines for NATO and Ukraine this evening, and that Putin will focus on addressing the Russian domestic audience as well as the rest of the world– the Russian nationalists seem to be howing, and at this point, it might take an offering of blood to sate them, shy of letting-loose the dogs of war.

      It also seems to me that the next few weeks may offer us the opportunity to witness (but hopefully not participate in) some of the scariest shit since the Cuban Missile Crisis: you just know that US/NATO is going to push Ukraine across that first red-line, to attack the formerly-Ukrainian territories of Russia.

      Feeling somewhat anxious and depressed while facing the prospects and abilities of “our leaders” to safely resolve this particular crisis is a normal reaction, in my opinion. Anger and lashing-out (at our Western PMC, the talking-heads, puppets and muppets, and (god knows), the oligarchs who are pulling their strings) may be perfectly reasonable in the coming days.

      Reply
    3. LawnDart

      And this is a bunch of crap: the rutube site now 404s on the link to the speech and the youtube link now shows it as a “private” video.

      Jeeze, do you think someone wants to control the narrative or what?

      It looks like we may need someone outside of The West to fill us in on the details…

      Reply
      1. LawnDart

        Ok, nevermind: “Putin’s recorded address will be shown on September 21, when “the Far East wakes up”

        I will note that it is now Wednesday, September 21 in Hiroshima, Japan.

        “Recorded address” has me on edge: where will Putin be when this airs?

        Reply
          1. Wukchumni

            It has the feel of the anytime after the Nazis occupied the rest of Czechoslovakia in March and you just knew an ill wind was about to blow up, but where?

            Reply
            1. LawnDart

              Or maybe Jan/Feb 2020? That’s one period where readers here became well-aware of a brewing storm…

              I’m not sleeping tonight– going to await the speech and try to devine the entrails: some quick-moves may be called for come morning, and I hope that Mr. Market doesn’t immediately and violently barf on the news from Moscow.

              Reply
              1. Tom Stone

                I rather hope the market does barf on the news, it might get the attention of people who can get the attention of those in the beltway that matter.
                Nuclear Armageddon is bad for stock prices…

                Reply
                1. LawnDart

                  In a way, I hope it pukes too– just not til my meager investments are all-cash!!!

                  [Note: at the time of this writing, ths DOW is slightly up, and Asia is starting to throw-up heartedly]

                  Reply
          2. LawnDart

            “According to the source of” Base”, the air groups of Russian TV and radio channels warned that the address of the President of Russia is planned from 9: 00 to 10: 00.”

            Dmitry Smirnov, a correspondent for the Kremlin pool ([sic]one of the first to announce a special statement in the public space), advised “to get up around eight o’clock.”

            Source(s):
            penzainform.ru
            and
            9111[DOT]ru, 21 сентября 2022

            Reply
  3. antidlc

    RE: “GOP leaders say approving Covid aid will be even harder after Biden ‘pandemic is over’ remark” [CNN].

    “Top Republicans, who were already skeptical about approving more Covid-19 relief money, said Monday that President Joe Biden’s comments that the ‘pandemic is over’ essentially shuts the door on the slim chances of more money getting approved.

    It also gives schools, municipalities, and businesses an excuse to do nothing about ventilation.

    Reply
  4. IM Doc

    Hello all – have not been here in a little while – the office is absolutely being slammed busy while we are having to pull office employees all the time because of the rolling waves of COVID among the almost 100% vaxxed staff in the hospital. It has been a trying time. On top of that – there is the harvest – wife and kids and I are picking fruits and vegetables and canning/freezing/preparing like mad. My family is what is keeping me sane right now.

    Are people still dying of COVID? Why yes they are. My 4th victim of COVID happened just in the past few days. There are three others with COVID on their death certificates that are not directly related to COVID but it certainly contributed.

    Patient 4 was an absolutely wonderful 92 year old little old lady..an anchor of the community. She pinched my cheeks at least twice during every visit with one hand while clutching her purse with the other. She was the source of endless bawdy jokes. I will miss her terribly. I took care of all her kids and grandkids. Grandson got married a week ago……she was not going to miss it. It was the same story – all the guests had to be vaxxed and boosted to attend. But no masks were worn – except by the unvaxxed help. You simply cannot find any staff these days and employ a vaxx mandate. 26 people at the event all vaxxed and boosted got COVID. Of course, the unvaxxed BUT MASKED help did not. It is literally at this point becoming a broken record – same results every time. My patient was vaxxed and boosted times 2. She had a very severe pneumonia and profound dehydration from diarrhea – after a discussion with the family, she was allowed to pass with dignity like she always demanded of me to honor when her time came. At least this week, this lady was surrounded by her family. I was even there to hold her hand when she breathed her last. It is my duty to do that and to be there – pandemic or not – vaxxed or unvaxxed, young, old, gay, straight, white, black, Latin, whatever. I have been ashamed of the behavior of my profession in these past 3 years in that regard. The treatment of the unvaxxed will be a stain for a generation.

    I think I speak for all of medicine and nursing, we are tired. We are worn out. At times very dispirited. I think I can safely say it seems that the morale of everyone I know in medicine from coast to coast is at an all time low. It does not help that there seems to be no one in charge.

    Where, oh where, could these people be getting the idea that all is perfectly safe at these events if everyone is vaxxed and boosted? That maybe, it is not a good idea for 90 year olds to be there?

    Could it be our president telling the world that the pandemic is now over?

    Could it be this performance by the PM of our neighbor to the north yukking it up like a high schooler AT A FUNERAL? You do that in some parts of Canada today and your ass is in big trouble…..but he can do whatever he pleases….No masks, no care in the world – and the hypocrisy of his behavior here and his ruling style is for the ages.

    Where oh where could people be getting these ideas?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r8ZioyQZo2k

    One of the things that keeps me going is the desire to live long enough to do what I can to make certain we always remember this mountain of screw-ups and never allow it to occur again.

    Reply
    1. Arizona Slim

      IM Doc, my heart goes out to you. You really are a doctor in the finest sense of the word.

      And, speaking as one of those evil unvaxxed people, I can attest to the fact that I will remember how I have been treated for the rest of my life. Given that longevity runs in my family, the rest of my life may last for a generation.

      Reply
    2. Lee

      Hi Doc,

      It sounds like you’re heavily overburdened but heroically bearing up. I hope you don’t mind if I ask you a question about your practice.

      Are you using Evusheld for any of your highly vulnerables? I’m trying to pry some out of Stanford Healthcare’s ill-informed, stingy iron grip so that I can more safely get some dental work done and so far it’s unobtainable. Dr. Daniel Griffin on This Week in Virology suggests the drug should be renamed “Evushelf“, as it is being unconscionably underutilized.

      Reply
      1. mistah charley, ph.d.

        Speaking from my own experience – I had no problem getting Evusheld last week from my Medicare Advantage plan with Kaiser Permanente MidAtlantic. This spring I was diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukemia, although I am still in the “watch and wait” phase – unlike most cancers, with CLL early treatment is NOT indicated, and so the fact that my white blood cell count has been elevated for six years, but the relevant diagnostic tests only done recently due to a combination of circumstances, has not negatively impacted the course of my disease.

        Reply
    3. Lee

      Re Trudeau:

      As with Biden and others, more proof that Covid-19 causes brain damage. This may not be a bad thing. I’m reading Sapiens by Harrari, and I get the impression that he thinks a big problem with our species is that we are too clever by half. After all, the longest tenure of any of our cousins Homo was Erectus logging in some two million years. Harrari believes we will be lucky to last another thousand. So, maybe collectively shaving off some I.Q. points might save us and many other species.

      Reply
      1. hunkerdown

        The WEF court philosopher? Well, he would, wouldn’t he.

        Intelligence and leisure do not inherently cause problems. Power relations cause 99% of them and prevent the other 1% from being solved. We’re better off shaving off ruling classes so that we don’t have to be objectified by pietous morons anymore.

        Reply
      2. C.O.

        Well, except that this Trudeau was never smart. His knee jerk “impose a stat holiday at no notice” because he identifies as a king has not helped matters at all. That said, I don’t think intelligence is the issue so much as the complete disconnect between people like Trudeau and the rest of the real world to the point that they can’t believe anything but what their narrative already says.

        Reply
    4. britzklieg

      It’s incongruous to thank someone for depressing news but, I thank you. You’ve shown great courage in speaking out and even more so in how you’ve acted as a professional.

      Reply
    5. Michael King

      Thank you for mentioning our clown of a Prime Minister. First the blackface episodes, now this. The criticism here in Canada has been directed at his frivolous attitude before Queen Elizabeth’s funeral, not about his risky behaviour re: Covid and the example it sets. The man has already been infected twice. As NC might say, not a serious man.

      https://www.pbs.org/newshour/politics/canadian-prime-minister-justin-trudeau-tests-positive-for-covid-a-second-time

      https://frankmag.ca/2022/09/pms-heartfelt-tribute-to-queen/

      Reply
      1. Michael King

        Sorry my friends. The “heartfelt-tribute-to-queen” is behind a paywall. However, go to Frank’s homepage and you’ll see it: Trudeau as Freddie Mercury.

        Reply
    6. Yeti

      IM Doc, I read your comments regularly and trust your opinion. I have been following Health Canada stats for a few months now and have come to the conclusion that the vaccine in doing relatively little to prevent hospitalization and deaths here.

      Here is an analysis of Covid-19 cases and deaths directly off Health Canada’s Epidemiology update page. As you will see it is clear from this 5 week data set there is little to no benefit to being vaccinated or boosted as compared to the unvaccinated. Charted below is the data available from June 5-July 10, 2022.

      Cases % of pop. % of cases. HC’s claim
      Unvaxed. 6,858. 18%. 14.5%. 42.3%
      Vaxed. 8,487. 21%. 18%. 34.1%
      1 Booster. 26,043. 50%. 55%. 16.3%
      2 Boosters. 5918. 11%. 12.5%. 0.8%
      Total. 47,306

      Deaths. % of pop. % of deaths. HC’s claim
      Unvaxed. 99. 18%. 15%. 51.7%
      Vaxed. 103. 21%. 16%. 18%
      1 Booster. 342. 50%. 53%. 19.7%
      2 Boosters. 103 11%. 16%. 1.7%
      Total. 647

      August numbers are even worse for the boosted.

      Would appreciate your take on these numbers. Another quick question, are you or have you treated patients with any of the treatments recommended by the FLCCC and if so what is your experience? Also while I’m at it I happen to be bearded (Zz Top style) what protection will a mask provide myself or others who happen to be around me. I have yet to hear that I need to shave to go in public but am waiting for it to happen. I’ve had a beard for almost 47 years.
      Regards to all….Yeti

      Reply
      1. SES

        Well, I had a beard for over 40 years, and the improvement in the mask seal when I shaved it off was dramatic. Shaving your beard off until this mess is over is a small price to pay for protecting those around you, and yourself.

        Reply
    7. Rick

      Thank you for taking the time to update us on your experience. My docs seem quite reluctant to make any comments however general on their clinical experience with covid.

      I admire your optimism and dedication to improving our response to an ID crisis in the future. My experience with the ongoing four decade long HIV epidemic makes me rather cynical, I’m afraid. Even now there’s confusion between public health medical treatment and moral judgements (the recent PrEP ruling).

      Your compassion in treating people with respect and dignity regardless of their vaccination status is important and much needed in our current climate. Thank you for speaking out about the issue.

      Reply
    8. flora

      Adding my thanks to you for writing from your perspective of real doctoring of individual patients in a small and well known community.

      If people are telling bawdy jokes about me when I’m 92 I’ll consider my life well spent.

      Reply
    9. Samuel Conner

      > make certain we always remember this mountain of screw-ups

      I take some small consolation that we’re living in a time that will be of great interest to future historians, assuming that civilization is still advanced enough in the future that there will be sufficient economic surplus to allow people to study history.

      Reply
    10. The Rev Kev

      Thanks for the update. Still hoping that you come up with a book eventually with your memories of the pandemic coming to your part of the world even if you have to have it published posthumously. It is the sort of record that future historians will treasure as official stats will only take you so far, not that the stats are worth much anymore. In any case, you write so well and your views of what effect the pandemic had as well as how it played out with local things like political beliefs and the social order should be recorded somewhere. And I would by that book.

      Reply
      1. Arizona Slim

        Not to worry, Reverend. I’ve been keeping a collection of IM Doc’s Greatest Hits in these NC comments.

        And, IM Doc, I’d be happy to provide them to you at any time. They’ll go a long way toward helping you get that book written.

        Reply
    11. HotFlash

      *Huge* virtual hug to you and all your family. Just so happy to see your fonts.

      Moi, raised as a Christian, not anymore due to Their not being very Christian. So, a recitation from the Baltimore Catechism, which we were required to absorb for Confirmation (coming of age):

      THE 7 CORPORAL WORKS OF MERCY are as follows (trad Catholic take, but can others comment about their religions, if any?:

      1. Feed the hungry.
      2. Give drink to the thirsty.
      3. Clothe the naked.
      4. Shelter the homeless.
      5. Visit the sick.
      6. Visit the imprisoned.
      7. Bury the dead.

      Spiritual Works of Mercy:

      Admonish sinners.
      Instruct the uninformed.
      Counsel the doubtful.
      Comfort the sorrowful.
      Be patient with those in error.
      Forgive offenses.
      Pray for the living and the dead.

      Sorry for (anti)rant, now going to read your post.

      Sir, Doctor, you are doing that. I have learned so much from you. Many more here have, and we are instructing our families, friends, and neighbours. I know it is never enough in hard and crazy times like these, but can only do the best we can do, and you are doing so much better than those of us without reach.

      As a society, esp a self-proclaimed Christian Society, we are doing abysmally.

      Reply
      1. mistah charley, ph.d.

        During the 20th century I was much impressed with the Prayer of St. Francis – “instrument of peace” – although I have a Protestant and Unitarian background. I wrote it down, kept it in my wallet, and after marrying my wife – a Catholic – I have memorized it and we sometimes recite it together.

        Recently I came across this expanded version of the Serenity Prayer, and would like to memorize it as well.

        God, grant us the…

        Serenity to accept things we cannot change,

        Courage to change the things we can, and the

        Wisdom to know the difference

        Patience for the things that take time

        Appreciation for all that we have, and

        Tolerance for those with different struggles

        Freedom to live beyond the limitations of our past ways, the

        Ability to feel your love for us and our love for each other and the

        Strength to get up and try again even when we feel it is hopeless

        May peace be with us all, even in – especially in – these troubled times.

        Reply
        1. Pat

          Thank you. I have needed a new mantra, this fits.

          I have to really really work on the first part which is why I need the new mantra.

          Reply
        2. skippy

          Sorry people but these mantras are antiquarian homilies for the unwashed to accept their fates willingly by the very people that indoctrinated them from birth.

          Its a bit like how Libertarianism is just a Corporatist Micky Mouse fan Club for the BSD Corporatists – cough …. a fan base that then give power to others and a means of control over that fan base for power and riches.

          I would note the amount of billionaires in America and increasing is contra to the supposition above because history has never rolled that way.

          Reply
          1. Pat

            Since addiction runs in my family drugs and alcohol aren’t an option to reduce my ever increasing anger and blood pressure. Ommmm bores me. So I’ll go with the homily.

            And I may not accept it willingly but the last few years have taught me that choice about whose in charge is illusionary, and even a pandemic is about who profits.

            Reply
            1. skippy

              Your reply is one of the most honest things I’ve experienced ever. On that alone I give you the respect its due – you were being real to me as a person.

              Yeah Pat its hard and why we are all here for better or worse.

              On the flip side if you want to know that that money fixes everything I can attest it does not.

              Reply
        3. drumlin woodchuckles

          I have a few self-written sayings too, in case they may be inspiring or even useful. They are not for purist application in our impure world. They are only offered for possible guidance to take where indicated and where takable.

          Every dollar is a bullet on the field of economic combat.

          A rotten barrel spoils all the apples.

          Nobody owes the rich a living.

          I am not my keeper’s brother.

          Make love, not money.

          Food will get you through times of no money, better than money will get you through times of no food.

          ********

          I remember reading once an anecdote about how some preacher-or-other criticized J.P. Morgan to his face for one of J.P. Morgan’s stock-watering swindles. J.P. Morgan is said to have replied . . . ” When God made sheep, He meant for them to get sheared.”

          This led me to think up the saying . . . ” God made sheep to get sheared. Self-made sheep deserve to get sheared. Don’t be a sheep and you won’t get sheared.”
          In fact, our social order doesn’t permit us to apply that wisdom very often or very far. The lower class majority has been very carefully ensheeped and corralled so as to be involuntarily sheared over and over and over again.

          So is there anything We the Sheep can do to make the shepherds’ life less pleasant? Are any of us ever able to stop growing virgin wool and start growing dirty used brillo? Can we at least be baaad little sheep and not the good little sheep of the shepherd’s heart’s desire?

          Reply
    12. Pat

      As always I am grateful for both your observations and insights.
      I am also sending good thoughts to you, your family, your patients, and your staff and fellow medical providers and staff.

      I am not as kind as you, imho Hell has an extra long waiting list as a result of this, although Fauci has had reservations there for decades. Perhaps a demon or two could help them get there quicker via the disease they have so assiduously helped spread. Unfortunately angelic forces will not be allowed to help end the stupidity.

      Reply
    13. skippy

      Good to hear from you IM Doc as I’ve been thinking of you in the trenches and how off your feet you would be, staff included, and looking at winter coming.

      Only advice this 61 year old that has been through a bit can tell you – is – never stop, don’t let the light inside of you go out, because the mean in this world would like nothing more that for you to do so as for them they call that a ***WIN*** ….

      Un-vaccinated, have not stopped working, enjoy a good life, all because I do the simple things and do it all right/well – stay fit [see work/dog walks], eat well, use professional high-end industry masks [Sundström], do mentally stimulating things like read Naked Capitalism and have a say when applicable [here or out in the broader community] ….

      Its nice to know IMO that blokes like you are still out there after all these decades of neoliberalism and I thank you for being so. More so that you have taken the time to share your experience and knowledge to the NC reader ship, not based on some self serving agenda, but a ethos of care in helping others. You are an example of what many were in the past and still on offer when the system[tm] is attuned to those outcomes.

      Respect.

      Reply
  5. Jason Boxman

    No, it doesn’t. It is the message, and is perfectly consistent with Administration messaging throughout the pandemic. I find it really hard to believe that Biden’s “it’s over” remark will hurt him at the polls; and it may help him. Propaganda works!

    Exactly this. That was my first thought. Biden just said the quiet part out loud, and this gives liberal Democrats the go-ahead to truly believe the pandemic is over, which they’ve believed is true since vaccines!! were first available. It’s debatable whether Biden’s pronouncement or Walensky’s about scarlet masks will ultimately kill more people.

    Either way, Biden’s Winter of Death is surely a lock now.

    Reply
    1. Henry Moon Pie

      Do you think we can get him to declare that climate change is no longer a threat? That would take a load off my mind.

      I’m so glad I live in a country where the President has godlike decree powers.

      Trump said Covid would magically go away.

      Reply
    2. Dr. John Carpenter

      It’s not even the quiet part. They really think they say it and make it so. I believe this was a specialty of President Myboss and Biden has been going in this direction since taking office. See also Biden’s comments on inflation or a lot of other things, some of which his handlers had to walk back for him because they were just too unbelievable.

      Reply
  6. Michael Hudson

    In “real” terms, of course the Republicans will win the Senate, if you include Republicans running on the Democratic ticket, as in Ohio. The Democrats always have a backfield to stand up with Manchin, Sinema and others to block any “Democratic” Senate proposal from getting through that is not sufficiently “bipartisan.”

    Reply
    1. Jeremy Grimm

      Standing outside, I look from republican to democrat, and from democrat to republican again; but already it is impossible to say which is which.

      Reply
    1. britzklieg

      IMHO, and with all due respect to Haseltine, “may not be” is not a good enough reason not to discover that they “may” be.

      500-600 deaths a day is a very good reason to try, dontcha think?

      Reply
    2. jsn

      As a Pharma entrepreneur, this guy’s conflicted six ways from Sunday.

      He’s done very well for himself in a country literally killing itself pharmaceutically.

      I don’t trust public voices in US medicine who aren’t leading with the collapse of life expectancy.

      Reply
    1. Lee

      My son is sexually spanning the height gap, at least intergenerationally, by marrying up, as it were. He’s 5’9″ and is having a child with a woman of equal or even slightly greater height, whose father is 6’3″. The old fashioned ways are best.

      Reply
      1. ambrit

        Are there Bene Gesserit involved?
        Considering the probability that eugenics is being practiced upon the Terran human population, I suspect that the Bene Gesserit are already heavily involved in the socio-political dance.
        I wish that Herbert had warned us that the Bene Gesserit are allied with the Zeta Reticulans.

        Reply
    2. Roger Blakely

      Does anyone think that this profoundly messed-up mating and dating market won’t generate a political expression?

      You have rich, yuppy IT nerd boys paying $100,000 and submitting themselves to the rack to gain three inches. With enough money and enough pain and suffering they might get six inches out of it. Why go through all of that? Because so many young women set their Tinder search at six feet or higher. The average height of the American male is five feet, nine inches. Young women’s preference for height is so ironclad that young men who can afford to do so are spending $100,000 and submitting themselves to the rack just to have a shot at reproduction.

      Here is what we in the Manosphere noticed this week. MSNBC’s Tiffany Cross blames men of the Black Manosphere (Kevin-Samuels-following, Tariq-Nasheed-quoting) for why Stacy Abrams is losing the race for governor in Georgia.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=arxouyuGdRw&t=0s

      Reply
      1. Rip Van Winkle

        Back in the ‘80s one simply went to the 5 a.m. close bars from the 2 a.m. close bars to increase one’s chances.

        Reply
        1. Tom Stone

          If you want to meet attractive women take dance classes.
          It doesn’t really matter whether it’s swing, folk or ballet, you will meet and interact with a lot of athletic women and have fun.

          Reply
      2. The Rev Kev

        ‘Because so many young women set their Tinder search at six feet or higher.’

        Can young women set Tinder searches by shoe size as well?

        Reply
          1. The Rev Kev

            If you were going to spend $75,000 on getting an extra three inches of leg height, the minimum that the surgeon could do would be to chuck in an extra three inches elsewhere.

            Reply
              1. Late Introvert

                Dude, I’m 5’5″ on a good day, and shrinking. I get it, it’s all true, but not for all women, and in fact the tall women just never get approached by us short guys. Now that I’m too old, and much nicer, I get a lot of attention from the ladies. Your eyes and face and words matter 10x as much, I wish I had known that. Good luck out there.

                And using words like manosphere is going to win you exactly zero likes.

                Reply
    3. Randall Flagg

      Watch the. movie “Gattaca”.
      The main character needs to be taller.
      It is also overall a frightening prelude to the direction our society is going in.

      Reply
  7. dbk

    “I doubt that this figures largely in Administration thinking, but zeroing out Covid funding could cut those pesky nasal vaccines off at the pass — at least for benighted America — and how is that not a good thing?”

    Oh the sarcasm, it burns.

    I tell friends and relatives in the U.S. that I’m waiting for approval of the nasal vaccine (sterilizing, right?) before returning to the U.S. for a visit – and nobody’s heard of it.

    Guess they should read NC.

    Reply
  8. Wukchumni

    ‘The only issue is a lingering issue of auditory processing,’ he said of his health. ‘Sometimes I might miss a word. Or, sometimes I’ll mush two words together and create one that doesn’t exist,’ he said, before tweaking Mr. Oz for posting a video in which the Republican candidate combined the names of two local supermarket chains, Wegmans and Redner’s, into one he called ‘Wegners.’”
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Fetterman is my kind of candidate in that he’s forever messing with his opponent in very creative ways, it isn’t really as if the other guy’s qualifications even need come into play, and wouldn’t you love to be a fly on the wall in the kingdom of Oz to see how it’s affecting him?

    Reply
    1. Arizona Slim

      In other words, Fetterman is capable of messing with the English language the way George W. Bush and Trump were famous for doing. Being able to mess with his opponent too? Dang, I wish I still lived in PA so I could vote for this guy.

      But here I am. In Arizona. Where the Mark Kelly vs. Blake Masters senatorial clown show is going on.

      Me? I’m tempted to write in Bozo the Clown for Senate.

      Reply
        1. Wukchumni

          Bozo used to award a giant cart full of toys to the lucky tyke who could do some near impossible task, sounds like he’d be a viable candidate if he lost the ‘the clown’ part.

          Reply
  9. Hepativore

    So, I have a question about leg-lengthening surgery, as it has been very commonly performed on rich Asians in places like China for years to appear “successful”

    Does that cause any longterm soft-tissue damage? I know that skeletal muscle tissue can regenerate to a point, but it takes a very long time and there is a limit to how much it can repair itself without scarring.

    Is there also “arm-lengthening” surgery to keep your arms and newly-elongated legs in proportion to each other?

    I am a former research histologist, but as I never worked in a clinical environment, medical and plastic surgical treatments are beyond my field of expertise.

    Reply
    1. Wukchumni

      I’ve heard of enthusiastic 2nd Amendment supporters going to Asia for surgery that will give them the look of Durga* and this is always the issue with only possessing 2 arms when you’ve got a closet full of guns.

      *Durga is described as having many arms, each of which wields a weapon, and riding a fierce lion.

      Reply
  10. Glen

    I’m looking at poor PR and thinking this is what life looks like when your government gets small enough, and weak enough to get drowned in the bath tub. And then gets repeatedly drowned by global warming.

    Ouch!

    Reply
  11. Will

    A few days ago, Lambert asked where the crypto bros have gone. Well, here in Toronto, a 23 year old crypto king is “co-operating with the bankruptcy process and is hopeful that it will work out in the most equitable fashion for everyone involved.” Somehow our young king managed to pull in at least $35 million from ‘investors’ before it all fell apart.

    Unfortunately, his co-operation in recovering investor money is hampered by the fact that he says “he was very unorganized, did not keep track of his finances and didn’t keep a record of his indebtedness or payments.”

    https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/luxury-cars-seized-crypto-king-investors-try-recoup-millions-1.6583982

    Reply
  12. griffen

    Trump. It was a perfect phone call, the conversation with the minion, er, Secretary of State whom I later decreed was an unworthy creep of a Republican and I also told Georgia voters that the guy might even kick puppies.

    Trust me, that jerk knows where those votes were and would not bend to my will. I even tried that Force thing where I said “I find your lack of votes disturbing” and he did not flinch.

    Reply
  13. semper loquitur

    More US Employers Are Trapping Workers in a New Form of Indentured Servitude

    https://truthout.org/articles/more-us-employers-are-trapping-workers-in-a-new-form-of-indentured-servitude/?amp

    Bosses in industries such as retail, health care and logistics are reverting to an old tactic and trapping people in miserable jobs by threatening to saddle them with debt if they quit. Workers across the United States in fields ranging from nursing to trucking have been discouraged from leaving jobs they hate or can’t afford to keep because employers vow to charge them for training costs if they quit before an arbitrary deadline.

    Reply
    1. C.O.

      Here in Canada some years ago now, I was striving to cover a gap in steady employment coverage by looking into taking up part time civilian security work. Since I had previous solid experience it seemed a reasonable plan, and it made up for its pitiable wage levels in the scheduling – at that time, minimum wage was $7 an hour. Minimum wage is what civilian security used to get for the first year on the job, if they made it that long. I went in to listen to the orienteering speech which meant a long bus ride to central office, where they showed off the uniform and set us up at the end to get fitted with ours. It was only then that they finally let slip that we were expected to buy the uniforms outright and to purchase the little log books we were supposed to use on the regular. The uniform alone came to nearly $400 (not counting boots), which with the number of maybe guaranteed hours that actually weren’t guaranteed when I read over the actual employment agreement they hoped to have us sign, meant that for the first 3 pay periods at least there would be no pay. Which would have meant no ability to pay rent, let alone acquire a minimum number of bus tickets as I could not afford a car. “Don’t worry!” the recruiter warbled. “We’ll just take it off your cheque until it’s paid off.” To which I replied, “I can’t afford to pay to work,” handed back the employment agreement unsigned and took myself off to a different set of interviews that turned out a bit better.

      This sort of cruel strategy is near cousin to the company store, and it sounds like “training costs” are the company store’s demon offspring.

      Reply
    2. LawnDart

      Beware: an employer’s tuition-reimbursement plan can work the same as a TRAP (Training Repayment Agreement Provision). At least that’s what I know from direct and personal experience after working for the state.

      Reply
  14. marym

    > But yes, surely the burden of proof is on the prosecutorial side to prove that the documents were classified in the first place?

    This is a civil case in which Trump is the plaintiff. Some legal-commentary on twitter says that puts the burden on Trump (ianal).

    Here’s a report on today’s proceedings with back-and-forth on the issue of whether documents should be considered classified based on what DOJ and Trump have or haven’t provided. The author also tweeted that the judge’s quoted comment “that’s the end of it” wasn’t “issuing a ruling. He’s pressing Trusty on why that shouldn’t end his calculation.”

    https://lawandcrime.com/trump/as-far-as-im-concerned-thats-the-end-of-it-skeptical-special-master-presses-trumps-lawyers-on-declassification-evasions-at-hearing/
    https://twitter.com/KlasfeldReports/status/1572290983684935680

    Reply
    1. Pat

      Call me wild and crazy, but I think if it is about possession of classified documents it should be criminal not civil. Otherwise that would mean it wasn’t illegal…wouldn’t it.

      Slope meet slippery.

      Reply
  15. The Rev Kev

    “Videos Show Trump Allies Handling Georgia Voting Equipment”

    You know, if people used paper and pencils to vote, it would be pretty hard to cover up and skulduggery that they did beforehand with paper votes.

    Reply
  16. drumlin woodchuckles

    Little garden report . . .

    I have a mass of goldenrod growing next to a bunch of sedum. They both flower at the same time. In my own garden case, I see that where sedum and goldenrod are blooming next to eachother, the honeybees and some bumbleshape bees prefer the sedum. Whereas the many little sweat bees and sweat wasps and various flies and various paperwasp type wasps prefer the goldenrod. Where goldenrod plants bloom without any sedum near them, honeybees also visit the goldenrod.

    There are some plants which attract so many kinds of pollinators that they may be considered sampling devices for what pollinators live in the area. Sedum would be that for honeybees specifically. Goldenrod and Japanese knotweed would do that for a whole range of pollinators. The most powerful multipollinator magnet I have ever seen myself is the Devil’s Walking Stick shrub ( Aralia spinosa).

    I planted hickory cane corn in 3 batches, early June, late June, early July. Late, later, latest.
    Most of the early June corn plants have formed ears by now big enough that I have a realistic hope of live dry seed viable replantable ears from them. Some of the late June plants have ears in visible early formation. Many of the early July plants have recently tassled, many of those have very recently silked, and a few of those are just barely beginning to form visible ears. I hope for the best.

    I planted a bare patch of bed to a mix of buckwheat, mustard, and some random other stuff. Normally buckwheat leaps up and dominates. But this time I also overplanted with seed of the traditional Ethiopian grass-grain plant teff. The teff all came up and for at least a week zero buckwheat came up. Then a few buckwheat plants struggled up through the teff and now have grown several times taller than the teff. But only a relative few. Does teff wage chemwar in the soil against buckwheat seeds?

    Reply
    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      Something else I didn’t have time to mention before library closing time . . . Some of my corn plants show aerial prop-roots emerging a node or two above ground level. As so many corn plants do.

      Down the years I had noticed a little bit of snotty gum covering the tips of some of those emerging prop roots. I had always used to think that was the plant’s way of protecting the root tip till it could reach the ground.

      But then I read an article here at NaCap a few years ago about the corn of a particular mountain village in a high-rain part of Oaxaca State, Mexico, which produced huge drippy flows of this prop root snot. It was discovered that the root snot harbored nitro-fixing bacteria which allowed the corn plants to fertilize themselves with all their Nitrogen needs with no outside N inputs needed of either the Legume or the Haber-Bosch or any other variety. Here is the article that NaCap ran . . .
      https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2018/08/amaizeballs/567140/?utm_term=2018-08-09T15%3A41%3A32&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=the-atlantic&utm_source=twitter&utm_content=edit-promo

      So I looked at all my corn plant prop roots and tied orange yarn around the stalk of every corn plant which had slightly snotty prop root tips. That way I can know which corn ( if it matures) came from snotty root corn plants. I can plant such seed near eachother to see if over time I get corn plants with snottier prop root tips.

      A ” rebel seed breeder” name Joseph Lofthouse also wrote a few years ago that inspired by that article he will also be looking for snotty root corn plants to see if he can breed up some self-Nitro-fixing corn varieties. I can’t find that article now. But here is something to indicate who Joseph Lofthouse is.
      https://greatamericanseedup.org/joseph-lofthouse-landrace-seeds/

      Reply
  17. drumlin woodchuckles

    When Fauci says “disrupt the social order” I don’t know if he is thinking of “the wage relation”. I think he is thinking of millions of people rioting against the Fauci class of disease spreaders and even sending shooter-teams against various overclass people and their disease-fostering agents like Fauci.

    Reply
  18. The Rev Kev

    Something from the funny side of life-

    ‘Turkey’s plans to join the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) have sparked an angry reaction in Berlin, with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz slamming Ankara’s decision to seek membership in the Russia and China-led security bloc.

    “I’m very irritated about this development,” Scholz told journalists in New York following his meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly. The chancellor said he believed the SCO was “not an organization delivering an important contribution to a good global coexistence.” ‘

    https://www.rt.com/news/563206-germany-scholz-turkey-sco-membership/

    Since Turkey has been put on hold for 52 years in joining the EU, I do not think that Turkey will worry about what an Olaf Schulz says.

    Reply
    1. notabanker

      not an organization delivering an important contribution to a good global coexistence.

      Yeah, they’ve sat idly by while the US has sent troops to Sierra Leone, Iraq, Somalia, Congo, Gabon, Cambodia, Kenya, Tanzania, Afghanistan, Sudan, Liberia, East Timor, Serbia, Nigeria, Yemen, Georgia, Djibouti, Haiti, Pakistan, Lebanon, Yemen, Libya, Uganda, Jordan, Turkey, Chad, Mali and Syria.

      Now that’s an important contribution.

      Reply
    2. LawnDart

      Turkey/Türkiye is trying to walk a fine-line between NATO and Russia, and accomplishing it as well as a dead-to-rights drunk trying to pass the test at a sobriety checkpoint.

      Reply
  19. Jason Boxman

    https://www.nytimes.com/2022/09/20/us/politics/covid-data-outbreaks.html

    The C.D.C. has patched together other, disparate sources of data, each imperfect in its own way. A second database tracks how many Covid patients turn up in about 70 percent of the nation’s emergency departments and urgent care centers. It is an early warning signal of rising infections. But it is spotty: Many departments in California, Minnesota, Oklahoma and elsewhere do not participate.

    (bold mine)

    Holy. F**. *Sh**.

    Someone showing up in urgent care or the ER with COVID is a TRAILING indicator. How many years has the Pandemic been going on now? And Sharon LaFraniere at NY Times doesn’t know this? And no one in her rolodex knew and clued her in? No one edited or peer reviewed this article?

    We’re all so screwed.

    Reply
    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      Those readers of these threads who have read and understood and can apply for their own personal selves every counter-covid resistance recommendation offered here over the last 2.5 years will be less screwed than all those readers ( and non-readers) who haven’t.

      This is what Darwin Filtration Eugenics looks like.

      Reply
    1. ChrisRUEcon

      Oh wow … this is huge … and not in a good way. I’d like to follow the bouncing ball here from Crypto-bro-campaign donations to policy. Democrat governor as well, which ties into:

      A young crypto billionaire’s political agenda goes well beyond pandemic preparedness (via LA Times)

      Excerpt:

      Bankman-Fried wasn’t particularly involved in politics before the 2020 election, when he donated $5 million to Future Forward, a PAC that backed Joe Biden for president.

      From there, his political spending took off. Bankman-Fried is the largest donor to Protect Our Future, a super PAC focused on advancing Democrats who “will be champions for pandemic prevention — candidates who, when elected, will have their eyes on the future,” according to its website. He has donated $27 million of POF’s $28 million total raised. His younger brother, Gabe, is the founder and director of the Guarding Against Pandemics, a nonprofit with an associated PAC. The PAC has raised $362,000. Bankman-Fried donated just $5,000 to Guarding Against Pandemics PAC, according to FEC records.

      … so there you have it. Next stop, get Federal Gov’t acceptance of crypto tax payments, and then every Sh**Coin scam-bro can set up shop in the cloud and make tax-accepted “money” from mining and NFTs.

      Worst. FamilyBlog. Timeline.

      Reply
      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        If he and his group stop at supporting Stop-The-Pandemic type people and policies, that is a good thing.

        If he and his group move on to supporting Pretend-Crypto-Is-Money type of people and policies, then that is a bad thing.

        If they can get Crypto accepted as payment for taxes, the final stage of the Crypto Bro coup would be to outlaw the payment of taxes in anything other than Crypto.

        Reply
  20. LawnDart

    Kremlin, Telegram channel; 09:12, 09.21.2022, Moscow Time–

    •Lavrov is heading to New York to attend the 77th session of the UN General Assembly
    Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov arrived in New York to attend the 77th session of the UN General Assembly

    •Halyk Bank of Kazakhstan (the largest in the country) temporarily suspended the service of Mir cards at ATMs, but serves them when paying for purchases and services

    •Two out of ten members of Lavrov’s official delegation to the UN General Assembly were not issued US visas, Russia expressed its claims in this regard — Zakharova

    And still awaiting speech.

    Reply
    1. The Rev Kev

      Washington has been delaying issuing the visas for Lavrov and his delegation for months but had to issue them recently as they are obliged to do so under a treaty obligation as the UN is located in New York city. The temptation was there to refuse him a visa but the optics would have been horrible in the UN and would have undercut their own case. Still, funny things happen at the UN such as when a controversial speaker suddenly finds that their mike is malfunctioning and their speech is being garbled. It has happened. I wonder though if Lavrov will bring along any surprises to release in his speech?

      Reply
  21. LawnDart

    Check Skynet– I just posted the bullet-points from Putin’s speech, as they just appeared on the Kremlin’s Telegram channel.

    [I refreshed the page after my 2:14 comment]

    Reply
    1. LawnDart

      More from Kremlin Telegram 1/3:

      The governors were instructed to ensure the call for mobilization in the amount and within the time frame determined by the Ministry of Defense for each region

      Reply
    2. LawnDart

      And there’s a 15-minute video– Putin’s address, I think– but with my Russian, not a chance in hell can I translate this.

      Reply
      1. Polar Socialist

        AIF seems to have the whole speech now.

        It seems that Donbass militias will become legally part of Russian forces and will start receiving same material and medical support. Especially proper equipment and ammunition.

        Lots of mentions of “neonazi regime” and how it’s oppressing and torturing civilians.

        Military production will be put on high gear.

        Russia is at war with the West, and once more she is called to stop a hegemony seeking a global dominance.

        Reply
  22. LawnDart

    Kremlin Telegram 2/3:

    Decree “On the announcement of partial mobilization in Of the Russian Federation”

    The Head of State signed a decree “On the announcement of partial mobilization in Of the Russian Federation”.
    September 21, 2022

    In accordance with Federal Laws No. 61-FZ of May 31, 1996 “On Defense”, No. 31-FZ of February 26, 1997 “On Mobilization Training and Mobilization in Of the Russian Federation” and of March 28, 1998 No. 53-FZ “On military duty and military service” I decree:

    1. Declare partial mobilization in the Russian Federation from September 21, 2022.

    2. To carry out the conscription of citizens of the Russian Federation for military service on mobilization in The Armed Forces of the Russian Federation. Citizens of the Russian Federation called up for military service on mobilization have the status of military personnel undergoing military service in The Armed Forces of the Russian Federation under contract.

    3. To establish that the level of monetary maintenance of citizens of the Russian Federation called up for military service on mobilization in The Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, corresponds to the level of monetary maintenance of military personnel undergoing military service in The Armed Forces of the Russian Federation under contract.

    4. Contracts on military service concluded by military personnel shall continue to be valid until the end of the period of partial mobilization, with the exception of cases of dismissal of military personnel from military service on the grounds established by this Decree.

    5. To establish during the period of partial mobilization the following grounds for dismissal from military service of military personnel undergoing military service under contract, as well as citizens of the Russian Federation called up for military service on mobilization in Armed Forces of the Russian Federation:
    a) by age – upon reaching the age limit for military service;
    b) for health reasons – in connection with their recognition by the military medical commission as unfit for military service, with the exception of military personnel who have expressed a desire to continue military service in military positions that can be replaced by said military personnel;
    c) in connection with the entry into legal force of a court verdict on the imposition of a custodial sentence.

    6. To the Government of the Russian Federation:
    a) to finance partial mobilization activities;
    b) take the necessary measures to meet the needs of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, other troops, military formations and bodies during the period of partial mobilization.

    [7… Whatever the hell #7 is, it didn’t make it onto the Telegram post]

    8. The highest officials of the subjects of the Russian Federation to ensure the conscription of citizens for military service on mobilization in The Armed Forces of the Russian Federation in the number and within the time limits determined by the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation for each subject of the Russian Federation.

    9. Grant citizens of the Russian Federation working in organizations of the military-industrial complex the right to a deferral from conscription for military service on mobilization (for the period of work in these organizations). The categories of citizens of the Russian Federation who are granted the right to a deferral and the procedure for granting it are determined by the Government of the Russian Federation.

    10. This Decree comes into force from the date of its official publication.

    Reply
      1. LawnDart

        Jesus. Thank whatever gods there are that you’re here.

        Have you found an actual transcript of Putin’s speech?

        Rumor had it that Shoigu was going to speak as well…

        Reply
          1. LawnDart

            Kremlin is lighting-up their Telegram channel– I caught some earlier ones, but the posts after 9:29am Moscow time have escaped me: 10:30, 10:31, and 10:39 are a mix of text, images, and videos and I’m not sure what’s worth my time to try and translate as we’re now dealing with a firehose of information coming at us.

            Reply
        1. Sibiryak

          The full speech is up. Yve’s will probably post a machine translation soon.

          Here’s one short excerpt (quick Google translation) that will give you a feeling for the tone of the address:

          Nuclear blackmail was also launched. We are talking not only about the shelling of the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant, which is encouraged by the West, which threatens a nuclear catastrophe, but also about the statements of some high-ranking representatives of the leading NATO states about the possibility and admissibility of using weapons of mass destruction against Russia – nuclear weapons.

          For those who allow themselves to make such statements about Russia, I would like to remind you that our country also has various means of destruction, and for some components more modern than those of the NATO countries.

          And if the territorial integrity of our country is threatened, we will certainly use all the means at our disposal to protect Russia and our people. It’s not a bluff.

          Reply
  23. LawnDart

    Kremlin Telegram 3/3:

    •The Constitutional Committee of the Federation Council supported the simplified acquisition of Russian citizenship by foreigners who signed a military contract

    Reply
  24. LawnDart

    Shoigu: “We are not fighting with Ukraine, but with the collective west… …All types of arms, including the nuclear triad, are fulfilling their tasks.”

    It’s going to be an interesting day…

    Reply
    1. Sibiryak

      The difference in demeanor between Putin and Shoigu was striking.
      Putin was energetic and fiery; Shoigu was relaxed, almost tired-looking.

      Reply
      1. LawnDart

        I totally had it backwards in my expectations– I thought Putin would play the resigned peacemaker and that Shoigu would be the one to chart hellfire and brimstone. If they’re trying to keep us off-balance, they’re succeeding.

        Reply
  25. LawnDart

    Moscow Times is leading with bombast, but this is not the impression than I’m getting from other Russian media– mobilization or not, to me it seems that the long(ish)-game is still on. But, anyway, here from the (pro-Atlanticist) Moscow Times:

    Putin Declares ‘Partial’ Mobilization Amid Ukraine Setbacks, Warns West of Nuclear Response

    [Selected excerpts]

    “Mobilization measures will begin today, Sept. 21,” Putin said.

    “In Washington, London and Brussels they are directly pushing Kyiv to shift the military action to our territory… they talk about how all available means should be used to destroy Russia on the battlefield with the ensuing loss of political, economic, cultural and all types of sovereignty and the total plundering of our country,” Putin said.

    He also threatened a response to what he called the West’s “nuclear blackmail” against Moscow.

    “I’m not talking about Western-encouraged shelling of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant, which threatens nuclear disaster, but also senior representatives of leading NATO states allowing the possibility and admissibility of using weapons of mass destruction against Russia, nuclear weapons.”

    “Those who allow themselves such statements on Russia, I’d like to remind you that our country has various [weapons] of destruction, more advanced than NATO countries,” he continued.

    “When the territorial integrity of our country is threatened, we will certainly use all the means at our disposal to protect Russia and our people. This is not a bluff.”

    Shoigu later said: “We’re killing, killing and killing, and that time has come: we’re at war with the collective West.”

    Source: https://www.themoscowtimes

    [DOT]com/2022/09/21/putin-declares-partial-mobilization-amid-ukraine-setbacks-warns-west-of-nuclear-response-a78850

    MSM on both sides are trying to catch eyeballs, and I think that the MT does a great job in this, but it may be more worth the while in the immediate present to ditch that and go to more primary sources– the state media and their respective press releases and social media channels, as well of those of known state officials.

    Reply

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