2:00PM Water Cooler 1/9/2023

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Bird Song of the Day

Eastern Kingbird, Burke, North Dakota, United States. “Dawn +0.0hrs; species cut number 17 BNA: Compound Vocalization “chatter-zeer”.mf. Other Behaviors: Advertise. Habitat: Grassland, Thicket/Brush.” Tyrannus tyrannus (!).

* * *


“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

“So many of the social reactions that strike us as psychological are in fact a rational management of symbolic capital.” –Pierre Bourdieu, Classification Struggles

Biden Administration

“Biden marks Jan. 6 anniversary with emotional tributes, stark warnings” [Politico]. “Marking the second anniversary of one of the nation’s darkest days, President Joe Biden paid tribute Friday to the heroism displayed on Jan. 6, 2021, while also warning that the forces that fueled the violence at the U.S. Capitol still lurk.” • I should really put on my yellow waders for this speech, but I don’t know if I have the strength.

Republican Funhouse

“Pfizer gives $1 million to Republican Party of Kentucky to expand its headquarters” [Kentucky Lantern]. “A report filed by Republican Party of Kentucky Building Fund last week with the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance listed the $1 million from Pfizer along with five other big corporation contributions in the final quarter of 2022 totalling $1.65 million. That is an extraordinarily large haul for the fund which had raised only $6,000 during the first three quarters of 2022.” • That’s nice. Hey, maybe Mitch McConnell is running for President!

Democrats en Déshabillé

Patient readers, it seems that people are actually reading the back-dated post! But I have not updated it, and there are many updates. So I will have to do that. –lambert

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.

* * *

IMNSHO, Frank is correct:


Lambert here: I am but a humble tapewatcher, but unlike Eric Topol, I’m not calling a surge, because the last peak was Biden’s Omicron debacle, and after an Everest like that, what’s left? Topol’s view is the establishment view: Hospital-centric. Mine is infection-centric. I do not see the universal acceleration or doubling in cases that I would expect to see based on past surges.

I am calling a “Something Awful.” It’s gonna be bad, in some new way, and we don’t know how, yet (but see here for immune system dysregulation, which is looking pretty awful). Wastewater has taken off in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, and Los Angeles, right on time, two weeks after Thanksgiving. Those are not only in themselves large cities, they are all the sites of international airports (reminiscent of the initial surge in spring 2020, which emanated, via air travel, from New York). Wastewater is a leading indicator for cases, which in turn lead hospitalization (and death). In addition, positivity has reached its highest level ever, at least at Walgreens, and BQ.1* has taken over, closely followed by XBB, and both are immunue escape variants. UPDATE The rapid rise of XBB in the Northeast is very concerning. The effects of all our holiday travel should be playing out in the next two weeks, and we are one week in.

Stay safe out there!

• “Why ‘herd immunity’ is as outdated as ‘the earth is flat’ when it comes to COVID: Opinion” [Courier-Journal]. Very good: “There is no such thing as “Herd Immunity” for COVID-19. In this context it is a concept as antiquated as the ‘Earth is Flat’. The theory was based upon the work of William Farr in 1840 who proposed a bell-shaped curve which illustrated the body’s ability to mount a lasting response to an unchanging pathogen.” Holy moley, even defuncter than droplet dogma! More: “This concept was formulated before science knew what viruses and mutations were. In actuality, many biological systems are highly dynamic and constantly adapting. This is eloquently described in Steffanie Strathdee and Thomas Patterson’s book the Perfect Predator. This work describes the biological dance between viral phages and their bacterial prey, each one adapting and reengaging in a duel, the outcome of which is uncertain. With the exception of smallpox, no pathogen has ever been eradicated from the earth and with smallpox, eradication was achieved with a highly effective long-lasting vaccine. But with mutating RNA viruses, ‘herd immunity’ is an extinct construct. Even surges of the common cold and the seasonal flu finally subside because of changing seasons. And unlike the relatively stable DNA virus of smallpox, RNA viruses have a much higher mutation rate. If one looks at the SARS-CoV-2’s (the virus which causes COVID-19) epidemiological curve for our nation, it is a colliding roller coaster and nowhere near a bell curve. We have been hit with variant after variant, Delta infections transitioned to Omicron and now we are struck by a soup of variants, composed of pathogens harboring a plethora of different immune-avoiding mutations, making the concept of ‘Herd Immunity’ next to useless. Unfortunately, SARS-CoV-2 appears to be the most adaptive and dynamic foe we have ever faced and hoping that the antiquated concept of ‘Herd Immunity’ will save the day, causing SARS-CoV-2 to ‘miraculously (go) away‘, is just pure fantasy.” • Commentary:

The whole thread is worth a read.

* * *

• “🌋Alarm is appropriate, the volcano is erupting🔥” [Teams Human]. “People respond to crisis with alarm — which leads people to take appropriate actions. Humans are generally actually good about reacting appropriately to disasters — it’s the elites who succumb to what disaster researchers call ‘elite panic‘ and behave counter-productively, putting a higher priority on controlling people over controlling the problem. There are countless stories of people escaping disasters and other calamities because they were ‘alarmists’ — and also wrenching stories about people perishing because they did not or could not take timely action in a crisis. The story of Pompeii is riveting. One may be led to think initially that the people frozen in place by the volcano were merely caught unaware. But only about 2,000 [1,150] people out of around 20,000 [11,000] actually stayed behind in Pompeii to get pyroclasted into a grim posterity. The vast majority were alarmists who fled the city — in abject fear of the volcano… and escaped in time and therefore lived out the rest of their lives. What led that minority to stay behind? Normalcy bias? Propaganda? I wonder if perhaps elites convinced some essential workers that they needed to stay behind and keep the economy going. Perhaps some felt they had no other good option and just hoped for the best. We will never know the exact stories. But we’re seeing ours play out. Somehow those people were convinced staying behind was okay. What we don’t ask in retrospect, notice, is why did people flee? We know why and we understand they were right to do so. We also don’t ridicule them for having been scared into leaving Pompeii – possibly with fear mongering?” • To me, Pompeii is an excellent riposte to that incredibly stupid and insulting “living in fear” talking point. (Of course, our society is different; it’s easier to simply flee a city than to live in what amounts to a form of internal exile; but one may hope that, one way or another, the exile is temporary.)

“Science denial, overconfidence, and persuasion” [Science-based Medicine]. “As [Steve Novella] noted in his post, for most people other than experts in relevant fields, a very good ‘first approximation of what is most likely to be true is to understand and follow the consensus of expert scientific opinion.'” • Translating to Kuhnian language, “normal science is good science.” All very well, until science demands a paradigm shift, as it most certainly did in the case of Covid’s airborne transmission. I have great sympathy for people who’ve spent their lives fighting flat-earthers and creationists, as well as devotees of Andrew Wakefield, and I do note the appropriately careful phrasing of “first approximation.” However, in the case of the continuing Covid pandemic, better heuristics than “consensus of expert scientific opinion” were and are sorely needed.

* * *

• “Novel indicator for the spread of new coronavirus disease 2019 and its association with human mobility in Japan” [Nature]. “The Japanese government adopted policies to control human mobility in 2020 to prevent the spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, which causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The present study examined the impact of human mobility on COVID-19 cases at the prefectural level in Japan by devising an indicator to have a relationship between the number of infected people and on human mobility. We calculated origin–destination travel mobility within prefectures in Japan from March 1st to December 31st, 2020, using mobile phone data…. the [Infection Acceleration Indicator (IAI)] and human mobility during the COVID-19 pandemic were useful for predicting infection status. The number of COVID-19 cases was associated with human mobility at the prefectural level in Japan in 2020. Controlling human mobility could help control infectious diseases in a pandemic, especially prior to starting vaccination.” • As Taleb said from the beginning for air travel, but for all mobility. (“Stay in your bubble” was early advice, and I still think there’s something to be said for it, despite your vociferous anti-masking Uncle or Aunt.) So, go long digital communications (or continue going long).

• And speaking of travel, Jerome Adams picked up the Audacy link we ran a few days ago:

“This ends debate on utility of N95 use during air travel.” Feel free to circulate widely.

* * *

• The current “vaccine soup” makes the WHO naming convention poor scientific communication, what a surprise. Hence, “kraken”:

* * *

• “Efficacy of Do-It-Yourself air filtration units in reducing exposure to simulated respiratory aerosols” [Science Direct]. “Our study used a speaker-audience model to examine the efficacy of two popular types of DIY air filtration units, the Corsi-Rosenthal cube and a modified Ford air filtration unit, in reducing exposure to simulated respiratory aerosols within a mock classroom. Experiments were conducted using four breathing simulators at different locations in the room, one acting as the respiratory aerosol source and three as recipients. Optical particle spectrometers monitored simulated respiratory aerosol particles (0.3–3 μm) as they dispersed throughout the room. Using two DIY cubes (in the front and back of the room) increased the air change rate as much as 12.4 over room ventilation, depending on filter thickness and fan airflow. Using multiple linear regression, each unit increase of air change reduced exposure by 10%. Increasing the number of filters, filter thickness, and fan airflow significantly enhanced the air change rate, which resulted in exposure reductions of up to 73%. Our results show DIY air filtration units can be an effective means of reducing aerosol exposure. However, they also show performance of DIY units can vary considerably depending upon their design, construction, and positioning, and users should be mindful of these limitations.” • This is a NIOSH study, therefore not the CDC study above. (So NIOSH did the study and got into print far more rapidly than CDC, in the midst of a pandemic. Typical.

• CDC tests Corsi-Rosenthal boxes, years too late:

• Improving Corsi-Rosenthal boxes with PC fans?

Definitely worth a read.

• Four hours until a room is safe? A thread:

* * *

• “Health Experts Warily Eye XBB.1.5, the Latest Omicron Subvariant” [New York Times]. “A young version, known as XBB.1.5, has quickly been spreading in the United States over the past few weeks. As of Friday, the Centers for Disease Control estimated that it made up 72 percent of new cases in the Northeast and 27.6 percent of cases across the country. The new subvariant, first sampled in the fall in New York State, has a potent array of mutations that appear to help it evade immune defenses and improve its ability to invade cells. ‘It is the most transmissible variant that has been detected yet,” Maria Van Kerkhove, the Covid-19 technical lead at the World Health Organization, said at a news conference on Wednesday.'” And here’s the buried lead: “Sequencing efforts have declined so much worldwide that the discovery of the next generation of XBB.1.5 may be delayed. “As sequencing becomes less and less available at a global level, it’s difficult for us to track each of the subvariants of Omicron,” Dr. Van Kerkhove said.” • Mass infection is the policy, as I keep saying. Eugenics is the policy goal.

• I want to be a part of it, New York, New York:

• “COVID in California: FDA warns crucial drug may not work against XBB.1.5” [San Francisco Chronicle]. “”Evusheld may not provide protection against developing COVID-19 for individuals who have received Evusheld and are later exposed to XBB.1.5,” the FDA said in its bulletin. ‘However, we are awaiting additional data to verify that Evusheld is not active against XBB.1.5. We will provide further updates as new information becomes available.” AstraZeneca’s Evusheld is primarily used as a preventive therapy for people with compomised immune systems. Last month, physicians at UCSF were told to stop prescribing Evusheld and another monoclonal antibody treatment, bebtelovimab, because they are no longer effective against aggressive virus strains. ‘With new subvariants, these agents are no longer effective,’ said Bob Wachter, UCSF’s chief of medicine.” • Well, that’s awful.

* * *

• From June 2022, but still appalling:

Well, at least our sociopathic individualism is diverse. There’s that.


With Walgreen’s positivity, MWRA wastewater, and Manhattan hospitalization all down, I thought I’d look at the wastewater proxy for case data (i.e., wastewater as such (blue) not clinical cases (green). From Biobot national data:

As readers will observe, we’re basically where we were in all previous surges, good job (with the exception of Biden’s enormous Omicron jouissance). So, not encouraging. NOTE: I don’t present BioBot data regularly because I don’t like the frequent backward revisions. Also, the divergence between clinical case data and wastewater data from mid-March 2022 onward screams out for investigation. I say “propaganda,” but I haven’t written the post yet. Readers are free to introduce supporting evidence in comments :-)


Here is CDC’s interactive map by county set to community transmission (the “red map,” which is the map CDC wants only hospitals to look at, not you.) The map is said to update Monday-Friday by 8 pm:

At least Alabama isn’t all blue anymore.

The previous map:

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. That the “green map” (which Topol calls a “capitulation” and a “deception”) is still up and being taken seriously verges on the criminal.


From the Walgreen’s test positivity tracker, published January 9:

-2.1.%. Weird to see the whole country flash to green, although the rate of increase was slowing.


NOT UPDATED Wastewater data (CDC), January 2:

Too much red (even with Illinois offline). JFK/LGA (Queens County, NY), SFO (San Francisco, CA), LAX (Los Angeles) are all red. ATL (Cobb County, GA) no longer. ORD (Cook County, IL) is offline.

December 27:

And MWRA data, January 5:

Lambert here: Both North and South are down. However, not all the students are back; BU classes begin January 19; Harvard’s January 22.


Lambert here: It’s beyond frustrating how slow the variant data is. 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? [grinds teeth, bangs head on desk]. UPDATE Yes. See NC here on Pango. Every Friday, a stately, academic pace utterly incompatible with protecting yourself against a variant exhibiting doubling behavior.

NOT UPDATED Variant data, national (Walgreens), December 23:

Lambert here: BQ.1* dominates, XBB moving up fast. Note all the BQ subvariants; it’s almost like something’s encouraging them, like maybe a policy of mass infection. Sure hope none of ’em get lucky, like XBB.

NOT UPDATED Variant data, national (CDC), December 17 (Nowcast off):

BQ.1* takes first place. XBB coming up fast. (For BQ.1/XBB and vaccine escape, see here.) Here is Region 2, the Northeast, where both BQ.1* and XBB are said to be higher, and are:

Holy moley, XBB.1.5! (Makes clear that Region 2 (New England) varies greatly from the national average. Wouldn’t it be interesting if we ended up with different variants dominating different parts of the country.

• As a check, since New York is a BQ.1* hotbed, New York hospitalization, updated January 5:

A retreat from the steady rise I have found so concerning.

• Hospitalization data for Queens, updated December 31:

I don’t know whether this is a genuine jump or a backward revisions, but I’ve been waiting for Queens to move after the holidays, because (I assume) a lot of LGA/JFK workers live there, or at least commute through there.


Death rate (Our World in Data):

Total: 1,121,097 – 1,120,804 = 293 (293 * 365 = 106,945 deaths per year, today’s YouGenicist™ number for “living with” Covid (quite a bit higher than the minimizers would like, though they can talk themselves into anything. If the YouGenicist™ metric keeps chugging along like this, I may just have to decide this is what the powers-that-be consider “mission accomplished” for this particular tranche of death and disease).

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

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Shipping: “Flexport CEO Says a ‘Great Recession’ Is Here for Global Shipping” (podcast) [Odd Lots]. “Back in early 2021, Ryan Petersen was one of the first people we spoke to on the Odd Lots podcast about supply chain snarls and high shipping costs. The founder and co-CEO of Flexport has since gone on to become a go-to name in the world of logistics, making headlines after he tweeted about what could be done to fix congestion at the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles. (A Bloomberg Opinion columnist called it the “tweetstorm that saved Christmas.”) But fast forward two years and it seems like we’re on the verge of a sharp reversal for the shipping industry, with freight rates now plunging and container traffic to the US down almost 20% last month.” • Petersen was the guy who drove around the Port of Los Angeles in his boat and found that literally no containers were moving, at the height of the shipping congestion crisis.

The Bezzle:

It’s almost like there’s some sorta playbook….


Depending on the implementation, I think long-form Tweets could be a good thing. What’s wrong with a blogosphere in a universal, global address space?

* * *

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 45 Neutral (previous close: 43 Fear) [CNN]. One week ago: 37 (Fear). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Jan 6 at 1:27 PM EST.

Under the Influence

You’re not gonna see @dril decamping to Mastodon:

Groves of Academe

This is a jape, but it should be real:

The Gallery

Somewhere, in one of those lavish and horrid houses featured on Friday Night Zillow, there’s a squillionaire doing this right now:

Detail shot:

The Screening Room

“Braying Through History” [The Nation]. “Now, at age 84 and still as willful as a toddler, [Jerzy Skolimowski] has reworked one of the most revered movies ever made, Robert Bresson’s 1966 Au Hasard Balthazar…. As in Balthazar, the eponymous protagonist of EO is a donkey—named for his bray by the young circus performer Kasandra (Sandra Dryzmalska) who loves and loses him. As a character, Eo is generally placid, patient, and largely reactive; as a movie, EO is loud, jagged, and kinetic… six donkeys shared the title role (and none, nor any other animals, were harmed in the course of filming). The beasts give EO an authenticity beyond human acting, without the trappings of rational meaning. Behind the veil of Skolimowski’s bravura technique, life simply is.” • Not to go all tribalist, but next in The Nation, an elephant?

Our Famously Free Press

“Walgreens executive says ‘maybe we cried too much last year’ about theft” [CNBC]. “A top Walgreens executive on Thursday acknowledged the company may have overblown concerns about thefts in their stores after shrinkage stabilized over the last year…. Over the last two years, Walgreens has been raising the alarm about increased theft. As a result, it hired private security guards and locked up merchandise so it can’t be accessed without a store associate. … “We’ve put in incremental security in the stores in the first quarter. Actually, probably we put in too much. We might step back a little bit from that,” said Kehoe. The company is using more law enforcement as opposed to private security, [CFO James Kehoe] added.” • But I bet Amazon sold a lot of spyware. So all things work together for good.

Zeitgeist Watch

Please, stay in Vegas:

“To the Republic for Which Wyoming Stands” [The American Conservative]. “I have started to think, in my time here, to quote Elsa Dutton in Season 1, Episode 5, of 1883, that ‘cities have weakened us as a species. Step into the streets without looking and the carriage merely stops or swerves; the only consequence an angry driver. But here? There can be no mistakes. Because here doesn’t care.’ Wyoming is a place where human frailty is daily self-evident and nature’s rules reign. It is a place whose landscape invites introspection and contemplation rather than escape into an online universe. And it is a place where reality cannot be denied, only reckoned with. ” • “Here doesn’t care.” The author seems not to have encountered the health care system most of us must use. Or any other system.

Class Warfare

It’s good to have a warning:

News of the Wired

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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 EMM:

EMM writes: “A bit of moss.” Indeed!

Readers, please send me more plants!

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About Lambert Strether

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


  1. davejustdave

    Jimmy Fallon’s vocal performance of the tiny song about the new COVID variant, XBB.1.5, is clearly in the style of Fred Schneider of the B-52s.

    1. notabanker

      I’m waiting for the follow up album with hits like:
      Cancer – It only kills most people
      Alzheimer – No worries, you won’t remember it.
      And the real tour de force:
      Heart Attacks – It’s not just for Statins anymore.

      I’d say cancel him, but I haven’t watched that family blog in 20 years so it makes no difference to me.

  2. IM Doc

    About the herd immunity article —–

    I apologize – I am on a work laptop today and I do not type well on laptops. I hope there are not a lot of errors.

    I have said this before in the comments, and I will say it again. This is likely to be the last time. I am not interested in being a broken record.

    When one is in medical training, one realizes that the TEXTBOOKS of medicine are the repository of the stored wisdom of the ages. When things change or are found to be different as time goes on, the textbooks change as well, but very slowly. So, as a physician, you are trained to look at textbooks for the stored knowledge of whatever issue you are questioning. Good textbooks are not “UpToDate” no matter how much the medical corporations would like us to run on algorithms. Also not Twitter, not last week’s journals, but the textbooks. Every time I have ever read about coronaviruses or other families of rapidly mutating, highly contagious RNA viruses, ie influenza, it specifically states in the first few paragraphs of these textbooks that there is NO SUCH THING AS HERD IMMUNITY in these situations. There is population immunity that develops over time that is much different than the herd immunity we are used to in things like measles. Measles outbreaks are uncommon and very limited because there is a level of “herd immunity”. Coronavirus OC43 and Influenza cause people to be sick over and over, even if you had them 6 months or a year ago. MEASLES vs OC43 ARE TWO COMPLETELY DIFFERENT THINGS.

    I therefore realized early on in the pandemic that this was going to be the case. I have commented about this repeatedly. It is not because I am any smarter – it is because I was trained to look at the sources and to value each source for different kinds of wisdom. The fact that on all sides this “herd immunity” fallacy has been continually spewn about COVID by people who know better has been very depressing for me.

    Our species and this virus will eventually learn to live with one another. It has happened many many times throughout history – and please realize, if this were not the natural course of events, WE WOULD NOT BE HERE. This has all happened before, and will all happen again. This species has survived through them all. Whether the rapprochement is years or decades or longer, is not known. When these pandemics come to the world, you can view them as a hot war – with casualties on both sides. Eventually, the hot war will become an eternal cold war. Our species and this virus will live together. We are not there yet.

    As I have also stated repeatedly, introducing a NON-STERILIZING vaccine into an acute pandemic like this, pre-rapprochement, has never been done in the history of human medicine on a global scale. We vaccinate all the time now in the “cold war” period – like the flu. When the “acute pandemic” program has been done in animal models, either the vaccine was withdrawn when discovered to be non-sterilizing OR unfortunate things happened to a limited number of subjects. But to administer a non-sterilizing vaccine in a highly mutable and contagious global acute pandemic to this many subjects has never been done before. You are living through the greatest experiment ever conducted in medicine. It is too late to go back now. We are just going to have to see what happens.

    Being armed with this information – it is imperative that you arm your body the best way we can until the cold war time is reached. When that will be, I do not know. I go over this repeatedly every day with my patients – EAT WELL. EXERCISE. DON’T SMOKE. GET OUT IN THE SUN. LOSE WEIGHT. GET YOUR A1c DOWN. SMILE. DE-STRESS. HUG YOUR KIDS. CHECK ON YOUR NEIGHBORS.

    1. JBird4049

      There’s a persistent misguided belief that the worst is behind us, and we’re all “building immunity,” so each subsequent Covid infection will be milder than the last, until one fine day, it will no longer affect us at all. I hear this CONSTANTLY. This is false.


      infection is the policy, as I keep saying. Eugenics is the policy goal.

      Has anyone brought up Smallpox or Malaria? Two diseases that killed millions every year for thousands of years. In the hundred years before it was eliminated, smallpox killed half a billion people. Then there is malaria, a disease so pernicious, an inherited disease, sickle cell anemia, arose because it gave immunity to malaria.

      A milder form of smallpox eventually did appear, that only killed, IIRC, five percent of its victims and scarring and blinding more.

      I just read history as a hobby and for college. I don’t like calling people stupid or insane, or at least it is just a cheap insult, but sometimes there seems to be no other reasonable description.

      1. IM Doc

        We should add to what you say above – we have learned to “LIVE WITH” influenza in that it is not a nuclear bomb most years. However, it still takes out many people in our world every year. This is NOT the definition of being bulletproof from herd immunity.

    2. PlutoniumKun

      Don’t apologise please – thank you for stating this again so clearly.

      I’ve even used the ‘hey, its even in the virology textbooks’ line to those medics in my family (this has caused some quizzical looks over the inner table who know full well I’ve never read a medical textbook in my life).

    3. Lambert Strether Post author


      JAMA, November 2, 1894:

      Of course, the art of medicine has advanced since 1099, and even 1894. But the spirit is much the same.

    4. Skip Intro

      if this were not the natural course of events, WE WOULD NOT BE HERE

      Past performance is not a guarantee of future results, as they say in the funny papers.

    5. clarky90

      Neo Big Mind has decided to change OUR collective understanding of the world. For instance, for me, “The Rainbow” signifies a Covenant with God…… To my grandchildren the rainbow points to a multiplexity of human genders. Oh my.

      COVID is a pandemic of the unhealthy and the naive. Be airplane hesitant! Be a cruise ship denier! Embrace cooking your own food.

      Go camping……. Lift weights….do yoga….. Look for sunlight, and then, purposefully sit in it.

      Cats typically learn all of this from their mothers when they are kittens.

      1. playon

        COVID is a “pandemic of the unhealthy” if you can discount the increased number of people who have died from heart failure since 2020.

        Getting COVID-19 increases the risk of developing myocarditis.

    6. flora

      IM Doc:
      ” When things change or are found to be different as time goes on, the textbooks change as well, but very slowly. So, as a physician, you are trained to look at textbooks for the stored knowledge of whatever issue you are questioning. Good textbooks are not “UpToDate” no matter how much the medical corporations would like us to run on algorithms.”

      Absolutely. You are so right. I’m not a medico. My field involves data and computation. Good textbooks are never “up to date” wrt latest data plots but lacking context. Good textbooks are up to date only wrt to change-over-time data analysis and contain important extrapolations and context from the same, imo. This outlook is a longterm and not a short-term project. It is a “how do address a problem” view, not a “quick fix” to a problem view.

      Thanks again for your insightful comments about the real world effects of a too-short-timeline thinking.

      1. flora

        Adding on a personal note: tis a wonderful thing to see one’s students move from the easy answers to a problem to braving their own approach to a problem with no easy answers. Braving their own approach is perhaps where the mentoring bit comes in.

    7. Mikel

      One thing the world is up against now that may be different than before: more money than ever is being made which requires large numbers of people to gather at the same time in indoor places.

      1. hunkerdown

        Actually, the central premise of capitalism is the separation of labor from its conditions. The dollars merely represent and recognize quanta of alienation.

        1. Mikel

          I’m more referring to a group of people or interests with alot of money – more than ever from such endeavors – with much at stake and a oversized influence on policy.

        2. Lambert Strether Post author

          > separation of labor from its conditions

          The sale of labor power (not labor*) by the worker.

          NOTE * Labor, being the innate human capacity for creatively changing the world, cannot be alienated. Humans are not interchangeable parts.

          Labor power, being the rental of the worker’s time by capital for the performance of defined tasks, can be (“quanta of alienation”). Humans, to capital, are interchangeable parts.

          At least that’s my summary of work read long ago.

    8. Jason Boxman

      On the way back from my walk, it just occurred to me that perhaps _this_ is the unspoken, unofficial policy: To get to that cold war state as soon as possible, by getting everyone infected early and often. (I guess that is exactly what the Great Barrington Declaration actually intends, after all.) To my mind, this is disastrous policy, because there’s no guarantee that there’s a there there. It could also evolve to be worse, or continue to maim and kill at the rate it is today, which is already unthinkable.

      1. Carolinian

        My understanding of the Barrington declaration, Sweden etc was to in fact protect, via quarantine if necessary, those most likely to die from the pandemic–the elderly. Please pay attention to the second part of IM Doc’s comment which is that the approach that has been taken is every bit as much of an experiment as the much denounced Barrington. Yes there’s Long Covid for some but also possible Long Vaccine for many. It may turn out in the long run that the do nothing approach (while protecting the especially vulnerable and everyone following the Doc’s good health advice) would have been better. Too early to tell?

        That’s just my very non medical opinion. No brickbats please.

        1. Acacia

          This is not intended as a brickbat, but what do you mean by “Long Vaccine for many”? I.e., that we’re now expected to keep getting shots/boosters/whatever every few months?

          I guess I am also wondering about the “do nothing approach”, which I interpret to mean the so-called vaccines are of such questionable efficacy that placing any real stock in them has been misguided, and that our collective efforts should be (and should have been) focused on basic things like masking, ventilation, air quality, etc.

    9. Greg

      Regarding textbooks as authoritative stores of knowledge, I can confirm from three years ago that veterinary textbooks are also clear that there is no herd immunity for coronaviruses. Was the first thing my wife said when covid became news.
      So there’s that, from the doctors who treat actual herds.

    10. Val

      I am under strict orders to read your (IM Doc) comments to my wife every evening, as they occur.
      Please be at ease if you ever think you are repeating yourself. It is to our great advantage.
      And frankly, there has never been anything tedious about your contributions here.

      Every blessing to you, your family and your patients.

      (And if I ever met hunkerdown, I’d probably roll around at his/her feet like a little puppy dog, too.)

    11. agent ranger smith

      I would say that “repeating yourself” should be viewed as not a problem.

      Why would I say that? Because some new readers are always coming and going from Naked Capitalism.
      Chances are very good that the tenth time you write this may be the first time yet another new reader sees it and reads it.

    12. Lex

      Thank you. I’m rather amazed at our sincere belief that evolution will happen on a time scale short enough for getting in that vacation we have scheduled. I have no doubt that someday we’ll live with Covid like the cold or flu, and I understand that viral evolution is very fast. I just don’t figure that all of this will happen on a timeline that’s convenient for economics and politics. It’s made me wonder what humankind’s first encounter with the common cold and flu were like, how long did it take before they were mostly an annoyance rather than a deadly disease? (Of course the flu can still be deadly and only a century ago produced a globe spanning pandemic of disaster.)

      I’ve come to view the current mRNA vaccine model as applied to Covid similar to genetic modification in crops. It may be good or bad (I don’t know) but it is winding up evolution and letting it go. As not-an-evolutionary-biologist, I only surmise that the trajectory and end point is totally unknown.

  3. Val

    A male kingbird’s territory is really small in area but extends upward into the heavens. Occasionally they will land on flying raptors who have violated this airspace in order to peck the back of their heads. Full of zazz, they. Take note.

    And that plantidote is just about the best most hopeful thing ever.

  4. Jason Boxman

    We will provide further updates as new information becomes available.

    In the meantime, we’ll let it spread! Quite the genocide we’ve got going in this country. I wish eugenics wasn’t the more appropriate term; Everyone I think knows genocide. Eugenics is a bit less well known, I think.

    1. JBird4049

      Not everyone knows that genocide and/or eugenics is being committed yet. Many people still have some faith in the system and others are honestly misinformed, but I like Abraham Lincoln’s statement: “You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all the the time.”

      The propaganda and flat out lies, as well as the honest confusion with COVID’s nature, and the various vaccines, which have their own individual problems and benefits makes understanding hard. This is why I keep telling myself to not judge others harshly with the whole situation.

      But in a few years when the toll is so large, it’s undeniable, and books and articles are published, people as a whole will understand. I rather worry about the backlash. It is not that shysters like Anthony Fauci don’t deserve to stand trial, perhaps at The Hague, but that it might destroy far too much.

    2. agent ranger smith

      As a catchy bunch of syllables, the word ” eugenicide” potentially sounds nice. Can people agree on a relevant meaning and definition to give it such that it could be truly useful to name the upper class policy being carried out against the non-upper-class majority population?

      If not, then perhaps the more clunky Mihop the Jackpot will have to do.

  5. Louis Fyne

    floating around Twitter: no-insurance, cash cost of a CT scan in China, $40 (USD equivalent). If you want an MRI, $100 to $120.


    One of the side-effects of the US sanctions on China (circa 2017, which affected medical equipment too), China now has its own booming domestic medical diagnostic industry, and presumably will de-couple itself from the West, GE and Siemens.

    Much like the post-Crimea 2014 anti-Russia sanctions fast-tracked Russia’s push into an autarky.

  6. Jason Boxman

    But fast forward two years and it seems like we’re on the verge of a sharp reversal for the shipping industry, with freight rates now plunging and container traffic to the US down almost 20% last month

    What I’m curious about is what the impact of China opting for mass infection is going to be on the supply chains going forward. With a recession on the horizon in the US, in the near term, will it matter if there’s less supply?

  7. JohnA

    Re the Thomas Frank interview comparing Obama with Roosevelt. Of course Obama had the political power to introduce single payer and overcome Wall Street, but if he had, he would not now have the waterfront mansion with massive acreage, would not have the multimillion book deals, TV deals etc. Obama had a choice, the people or himself. And he chose himself. A modern day politician in a nutshell, what’s in it for me?

    1. hunkerdown

      I prefer to look at it as him choosing the system in which he could continue to be superior and the working class continues to exist. Morality is a fundamentally unserious critique.

    2. Bart Hansen

      And he also had the chance to march Garland up to the court, directing Roberts to find him an office and room on the bench.

    3. tevhatch

      The last part of the interview, Thomas Frank is showing a similar sort of cowardice to Barry Obama as well. Frank could not bring himself to say Obama was in it for the money and the easy life. I guess, just like Seymour Hersh learned that going after corporate criminals (Gulf and Western) was more trouble than it was worth, Thomas Frank has learned not to poke the Obama organ too honestly, and to settle for the easy life. After all, those people in Kansas don’t have the power of Obama and the DNC.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Agreed. Frank is trying to excuse Obama but I don’t think that he really understands yet what Obama was all about. It wasn’t that Obama wanted to do it his way. Obama never wanted to do stuff that benefited ordinary people to the extent that it opened a wide lane way for Trump to cruise down.

        1. spud

          but frank did say what i have been saying for years, who is more dangerous, the gop that knows they speak nonsense, or the nafta democrats that actually believe the nonsense.

          that is why frank is correct. to break the back of the rise of fascism in this country, cannot be done relying on the democrats who have embraced it so thoroughly.

          in fact, frank may have made the same mistake gingrich made, he thought the oligarchs would be thankful when he worked with bill clinton on taking a meat ax to america.

          but today i laugh when i see gingrich doing late night infomercials, and bill clinton roams the world, pockets full of money, making the world safe from socialism.

          it might not be the gop we should fear the most, but we should fear the nafta democrats more.

    4. playon

      He might not have the mansion but I’m sure he would have had the book & TV deals if he had actually done something for the average American.

    5. agent ranger smith

      I wish the focus had been sharper and clearer in that video so that I could have read some of the titles of some of the books on Thomas Frank’s bookshelves.

      1. agent ranger smith

        ( The focus was just clearer enough when the interviewer filled the screen that I could read two of the book titles on her shelves . . . The New Jim Crow and The Pinochet File )

  8. Lee

    Supply Chain/Covid Blues:

    Caught a snippet on the radio today, for which I cannot find a link. A blender “manufacturer” in Santa Cruz, CA whose blenders are actually manufactured in China says it’s great that China is opening up again because dealing with design and fabrication issues cannot be adequately addressed over Zoom. You really have to be there in person to be effective. Unfortunately, everybody he needs to meet with now has Covid.

  9. dougie

    Thank you so much for the info on the quiet and pre-assembled CleanAir CR devices from this lazy and noise sensitive person! I just ordered 2, as it was all they would let me order. I will attempt to order 2 more tomorrow (1 each of two different styles) for my business. I need 5 total to provide cleaner air for my clients and associates.

    I have done lots of research into quiet and effective air filtering. My dentist has a over a dozen really nice units, one for each treatment room, medium size @$1500.00 each. Say WHAT?? No thanks.

    1. Acacia

      Intrigued by this design using PC fans, I did a bit of digging. The usual go-to for low noise, high performance fans is Noctua (I’ve used them in PC builds and they are really quiet), while this CR box uses Arctic P14 (140mm) fans. This made me curious to compare. There’s a fair amount of discussion on the interwebs about various types of PC fans, and the consensus seems that the Arctic P14 is pretty close to the Noctua PF-A14 in terms of low noise and air volume, but quite a bit cheaper.

  10. Lambert Strether Post author

    > quiet and pre-assembled CleanAir CR devices from this lazy and noise sensitive person

    Re lazy, a famous quotation:

    I distinguish four types. There are clever, hardworking, stupid, and lazy officers. Usually two characteristics are combined. Some are clever and hardworking; their place is the General Staff. The next ones are stupid and lazy; they make up 90 percent of every army and are suited to routine duties. Anyone who is both clever and lazy is qualified for the highest leadership duties, because he possesses the mental clarity and strength of nerve necessary for difficult decisions. One must beware of anyone who is both stupid and hardworking; he must not be entrusted with any responsibility because he will always only cause damage.

    My guess is that you’re qualified for the “highest leadership duties.”

    In fact, if you send me pictures of your setup, that would be great.

    1. dougie

      **My guess is that you’re qualified for the “highest leadership duties.”**

      I hope you are correct! I recently reassigned my two top “leaders” to positions where they could excel (and make more money) , and resumed leadership of the business after 5 years of a hands off approach. I am choosing to view it as a wonderful opportunity, and not a pain in my ass. Honestly, it is both.

      Once we get our units installed, I will forward pictures. I called the company to ask why I couldn’t order 5 units at once. Initial call went unanswered, with no voice mailbox set up. Someone called back a few minutes later to say that their orders were booming and they were doing their best to keep up.

      I thanked them for not being a VC startup and let them know I would be as patient as I needed to be.

    2. The Rev Kev

      I have heard that in the old days if they had a stupid person in the military, they put them in transport as they could not do much harm there as is normal. If this sounds unlikely, I would draw people’s attention to the job that Pete Buttigieg was assigned in the Biden admin.

    3. Jorge

      There are different versions of this four-plex floating around. One makes the point that clever and lazy make good “hierarchy” officers because they delegate well: they figure out how to get their underlings to do their work for them.

  11. ChrisRUEcon


    Well, as always, one expects and benefits from the fact that this cherished family blog is always early and correct … but … it appears that the good folks at Stanford (via #Twitter) have finally given their blessing to “COVID infects ciliated nasal cells” assertion. Link to paper being discussed in the thread is here (via cell.com).

    Note to SoCalJim and Lambert – I got the nebulizer and atomizer devices. Waiting on the HOCl solution to test Naomi Wu’s hypochlorous acid delivery suggestions.

    1. Greg

      That was very good, thanks for sharing. He’s an engaging speaker and the combo of artistic insight and data analytics is useful.
      Would be interesting to hear the thoughts of the more financially-minded among the commentators here, particularly on the authors take on the future of streaming platforms in a high-interest world.

    2. cnchal

      The fascinating part for me was the explanation of “blitzscaling”. Grow so fast and then figure out if there is a business case afterwards. Bribing record companies and handing stawk to them to sell to bag holders is old hat.

      The parallel of selling below cost with Uber is also how Amazon snares whip cracking sadists, subsidizing each Prime whip cracker to the tune of nearly a grand per year and a further parallel is how Amazon continuously ratchets up fees and runs a pay to be found racket on third party sellers, the majority of them in China where you can’t hear their muffled screams. To top it off, Amazon punishes them for selling for a penny less anywhere else.

      I subscribe to none, no music, no movies, the content mostly consists of grotesqueness, I see the ads from over the air TV when I happen to pass by the idiot box for the garbage Netflix, Disney, Amazon and the rest peddle and it is too stupid to waste time watching any of it. I wonder if there even enough paying eyeballs in the world to consume the dreck pushed out and have pity for those that do spend their time marinating in the digital stew colloquially called entertainment.

    3. Foy

      Excellent video, thanks for posting. More examples of how these platform companies are just monopolies that concentrate wealth but they ultimately have failing business models after they have completely screwed over whatever industry they touched with their blitzscaling ideas

    4. Lambert Strether Post author

      > Spotify and why it will fail.

      Hopefully because podcasts are distributed via old-school RSS.

      That’s why you heat the formula “… [platform] or wherever you get your podcasts.” Long may that continue!

    5. fjallstrom

      I think there is a difference in comparison with Uber.

      With internet distribution of music, the record labels that controlled the record market has become largely unnecessary. The war on digital piracy – You Wouldn’t Download A Car – was about preserving the power of the middle men.

      Spotify sold itself as the solution to record companies. It gives them an arena to keep control of. As the video points out, artists has and will be squeezed. Record companies will be paid.

      But – in contrast with Uber – Spotify’s main cost should be negotiable. Record companies wants to maintain control and will probably be willing to decrease their cut a bit if it becomes necessary for staying in control.

      Otherwise, I am sure the kids can learn how to copy music files again. And I don’t think the record companies will like that.

  12. fresno dan

    Baghdad airport, January 3, 2020, 00:52 a.m. local time. The assassination of Gen.QassemSoleimani, commander of the Quds Force of the Islamic RevolutionGuards Corps (IRGC), alongside Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, deputy commander of Iraq’s Hashd al-Sha’abi, by laser-guided AGM-114 Hellfire missiles launched from two MQ-9 Reaper drones, was, in fact, murder as an act of war.

    Tehran’s direct response to Gen.Soleimani’s assassination, in fact quite restrained considering the circumstances, was carefully measured to not unleash unrestrained imperial “deterrence”.
    It took the form of a series of precision missile strikes on the American-controlled Ain al-Assad air base in Iraq. The Pentagon, crucially, received an advance warning….
    Any exceptionalist with a working brain would not fail to get the message: we can hit your assets anywhere in the Persian Gulf – and beyond, at the time of our choosing.
    As the whole chessboard across West Asia is being reconfigured at breakneck speed, perhaps the only developmentGen.Soleimani would not have foreseen is the petro-yuan displacing the petrodollar “in the space of three to five years”, as suggested by Chinese President Xi Jinping in his recent landmark summit with the GCC.

    1. tevhatch

      or it’s a later illustration to political slander, a sort of pee tape/Russiagate. Text that survived was often official samizdat so that enough copies were around for one or more to survive animals, fungus, library fires, etc. Discrete or anti-official text usually wasn’t reproduced in quantity by scrivenners.

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      > that painting depicts a mass murder

      Making my comment on squillionaires all the more appropriate!

      (There’s a separate issue of whether the story is true, or a Roman hit piece.)

  13. Not Again

    I should really put on my yellow waders for this speech, but I don’t know if I have the strength.

    You really ought to do this. Biden might want to know what he said. Every one of his speeches ought to start with “Draw a clock….”

      1. tegnost

        i agree, too much rabbit hole to bother.
        This is how I see it….
        (from a cursory google search)
        says 40 to 60,000 rioters seems right or low, it was madness all over, I needed the manual for my old gmc which I accessed at the library downtown and I was running past active duty military to get there (library was closed, grrr) I didn’t participate in the protest, I just lived in capitol hill…I gave up on protests after the iraq war protest for the first one which was the most people I’ve ever seen from st marks to first hill packed to capacity…
        jan 6
        2 to maybe 10,000 at most….
        add months of advance knowledge and embedded fbi in the proud boys and the whole thing is a farce, full stop.
        2,000 morons(sorry, any left of center protest would have had a training telling people in no uncertain terms to not break the law or resist arrest)
        entered the capitol.
        russia could take over USA easy peasy…(/s)
        Are there no fusion centers?

      2. Lambert Strether Post author

        > Lambert: save the yellow waders. Tucker has a concise piece here:

        With all due respect, I think I can add value to whatever Carlson has to say, should I choose.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Watching him and the Dems, I had the impression that they want to make the anniversary of Jan. 6th as some sort of tradition or annual commemoration. A sort of touchstone for true Democrats. I suppose that they think that they can use the optics of this to beat the Republicans over the head with each year which may or may not be true but would in reality only play to their base. Most people would probably not care as they have their on troubles to deal with such as inflation, high prices with food & energy, etc.

      1. Pat

        I hate the 9/11 memorials. It has been a public spectacle long after it should have been something that families and friends chose to do on their own. Don’t get me wrong, it was deadly and shocking and a waste. And thousands died and even more were traumatized in an event that never should have had happened. But the bigger tragedy of that event is that it was used relentlessly by those that enabled it to strip Americans of their rights and their privacy in the name of protecting them. It justified endless military misadventures most of which were really about increasing the wealth and power of a select few not protecting Americans. It isn’t the only example of events being used to distract the public as some legal protections or rights were systematically dismantled it is just the largest of my lifetime.

        I watched a lot of January 6 as it happened. I also made a point of wandering through social media in real time. It was never what it was painted as being, even as it was happening. Not only was it actively enabled, it was never as deadly as it was and has been, once again relentlessly, portrayed in our media.

        Which is a long way of saying that I agree that setting up an annual rite is what the Dems are doing, but it is more sinister than that. This is the 2000 election on steroids combined with 9/11. The wallowing in fear is not just allowing and encouraging more censorship and more restrictions on not just civil protest but discourse in general, it is also distracting from the powerful actually doing what they say they are protecting us from. I keep seeing things that make me think that there will be even less recourse for the “wrong” candidates to confirm elections are honest. People forget that for all the storm and drank about his making use of the system, that system denied Trump’s attempt to change the result, because it isn’t enough, and not just for Democrats. Just as we have even more voter purges every year that resemble Jen’s in Florida 2000 (and in supposedly blue states) we also have less and less trustworthy voting machines after that recount, I am sure that the ballot requirements will tighten even further and that the unapproved candidates will have even less ability to demand recounts or seek redress. Just as Russia did it was quietly bipartisan, the behind the scenes maneuvers to tighten ballot access and limit election oversight are bipartisan between the right Republicans and the right Democrats. It isn’t just if the public dares protest….

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          > Which is a long way of saying that I agree that setting up an annual rite is what the Dems are doing, but it is more sinister than that. This is the 2000 election on steroids combined with 9/11. The wallowing in fear is not just allowing and encouraging more censorship and more restrictions on not just civil protest but discourse in general, it is also distracting from the powerful actually doing what they say they are protecting us from.

          From 30,000-foot level, that’s where I am.

          1. fjallstrom

            I think it is remarkable from the 30,000-foot level how similar the stories that Democrats and Republicans tells are.

            – The president from the opposing team is illegitimate.

            – He will soon be removed.

            – Any day now.

            – Just gotta wait for the long form birth certificate or intelligence report.

            – The other side is evil.

            – If you don’t support the leadership then you help the other side.

            – Helping the other side is evil.

            – Why do you hate America?

            It is a story that leads to epistemological closure and stringing on people as followers. It reminds me of Apolcalyptical cults.

            It also has no respect or use for truth. It may have been Karl Rove that coined the world view where the reality based community is the opposition to being in power, but both sides seems to have embraced it. What is true simply doesn’t matter, only if you can use it.

            Two teams, alike except in colour, claiming to be opposites. Words that doesn’t mean anything. I wonder if this is how politics in ancient Byzantine was?

  14. Rainlover

    I’d like to know if anyone here has experienced testing positive for covid for long periods of time after the initial infection. I’ve been looking for articles that address this issue but have found little of use. Even FLCCC does not address it. My friend has tested positive on both the antigen and PCR tests for 3 weeks now. Information I’ve found suggests pieces of the virus may remain in the nasal passages and cause a positive result.


    Is this something that Vitamin I could deal with? The consensus seems to be that one is not contagious, but should still avoid immune-compromised people. Hmmmmm.

    1. sharron2

      Had a 75 yro friend test positive for 30 days with PRC tests last winter. She was feeling great, no symptoms for the last 3 weeks. Does have adult onset diabetes and a little overweight. Her husband never caught it. She did quarantine from the public the whole time.

  15. Wukchumni

    A forgettable day on the slopes @ Alta, sideways snow falling and greatly diminished visibility made for a dull play day for the Dartful Codgers…

    The real story is the atmospheric river stalled out on the Cali coast between Ventura & Santa Barbara, and dumping water like nobody has ever seen. Major damage and this is just one of many more AR’s to come.

    1. Jorge

      In the SF Bay we’ve had rain for 2 weeks and forecast for another week. I haven’t seen this since a three-week storm series in the mid 1990s.

    1. The Rev Kev

      In related news-

      ‘The Satanic Temple group has announced on social media that SatanCon 2023 will take place at the end of April in Boston, Massachusetts. Dubbed the “largest Satanic gathering in history,” this year’s convention will celebrate the Temple’s tenth anniversary.

      Those who show up to the ‘Hexennacht in Boston’ on April 28, will have to wear “an N-95, KN-95, or disposable surgical mask,” according to the convention website.’


  16. none

    Can someone explain the advantage of DIY CR boxes vs HEPA filters that have existed since whenever? The HEPA filters are a lot quieter which makes them attractive from a noise perspective. They do have less airflow than CR boxes, as one would expect from their smaller size. CR boxes made from PC fans would be even smaller, of course.

    1. tevhatch

      1. volume of air, look at the surface area of your average HEPA filter for a home, you’ll get the idea.
      2. Costs are significantly lower for HVAC MERV 13 filter, based on air volume equal flows, particularly when purchased in full carton sets. BTW HEPA isn’t a rating, but a system of rating. Often abused.

  17. The Rev Kev

    “Alarm is appropriate, the volcano is erupting🔥”

    This article talks about the volcano at Pompeii but there is a far more relevant example that could be used and that is the eruption of Mount Pelée in the Caribbean in 1902. It was a French colony and that town had a population of about 28,000 people nearly all of whom died, were burned or were buried by falling masonry. The point is, the city fathers were trying to ignore the signs and rumblings of that volcano in the preceding weeks as it would disturb ‘commercial interests’. Business might suffer. Anybody who panicked about all these signs were leaned on and told to shut up by the authorities. And as a confidence measure, that town was scheduled to have a picnic on the slopes of that volcano the day before the explosion but which was cancelled at the last moment. It was like lambs to the slaughter-


    1. JTMcPhee

      An example that seems more on point to me is the Grenfell Tower fire in London. The place was burning, but the authoritative voices on scene told people to shelter in place, with fatal outcome, And there are hundreds of similar buildings still clad with aluminum insulated panels just like Grenfell, the Tory government and various local Councils have done jack-all to remove the cladding which was installed to “improve building aesthetics,” and there have been subsequent fires following the same trajectory. https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/london-fire-600-high-rises-have-grenfell-tower-style-cladding-n775401

      What’s the policy, again? Massive depopulation to sweeten the world for the enjoyment of the Successful (TM)? Who, how many, can afford to live in a bubble? Especially while the Successful ™ are pinching off the air and sustenance to the bubbles?

      Eat the rich/

  18. hoki_haya

    anything on the azerbaijani blockade of artsakh that’s gone on for nearing a month? i’m living in the area, am not too surprised there is minimal press coverage. 120,000 armenians are in effect held hostage without access to trade or utility. we all knew this was coming, just a matter of time, and that time is now.

    azerbaijanis can perhaps be dealt with militarily, but we need the russian observers for dialogue and resolution to uphold the supposed treaty.

    1. hoki_haya

      in the town where i live, in Vayats Dzor, there are around 30 EU ‘observer’ vehicles. they have remained idle throughout the conflict.

  19. Pat

    Just a thought, but I think the NYC hospitalization numbers are and will remain wonky. We have consolidated ownership of our hospitals. We are blessed that we have so many in the area, but in the years I have lived here so many have added ownership in their names. Montefiore, Presbyterian, Lenox Hill, Mount Sinai, NYU… It has been a tough period as Nurses have been negotiating contracts with many of these systems and the individual hospitals. Today they struck two of the Montefiore and Mount Sinai hospitals.Others hospitals have only signed contracts in the last week or so. None were being upfront, but there are reports of procedures were being cancelled and patients were being moved if they couldn’t transition them to outpatient care, particularly children.

    Just saying…

      1. Pat

        I think they are. The hospitals were preparing to be without nurses. They were being cagey with the press but anyone who didn’t absolutely have to be there probably wasn’t for the last couple of weeks or so. That would mess with the numbers.

  20. Lex

    I found the linked study on diy air filtration really neat. Nothing surprising in it but some cool gear and methods. The deep discussion about air flow patterns and even the difference between stated ACH and actual was very interesting in terms of proving it. For anyone doing this sort of setup with a serious approach, rent a theatrical smoke machine (it’s just a particle generator) to visualize air movement in a room. A sonic humidifier will also do the job to some extent, at least to see generally how air is pulled towards a ventilation source or pushed around, but it only works in local (within the room) situations. You can get a good idea of how strong the pull of your diy filter is by starting with the humidifier close to it and moving it further and further away.

  21. agent ranger smith

    What’s that other bird on the kingbird tape?

    Several times on the tape I heard a short melodious song with almost thrush-like quality lasting for 2-3 seconds per song. I could start-restart the “tape” to note what timepoints on the moving time-tracking slider-bar that other song came in at.

    It came in at . . . 0:08, 0:22, 0:29, 1:05, 1:39, 1:56, 2:14, 2:30 . . . . for a total of 8 songs of about 2-3 seconds per song.

    If anyone else decides to listen for that other song, and knows what kind of bird it is, I would be interested to know.

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