15 September 2021

Recalling Philip Morris

So, we know that Newsom/Dems wiped Elder's ass. So, again, was it worse than Biden/Trump of 2020? We don't know for sure as I type, in that the latest numbers I find are for 74% of the Recall Vote.

Let's scale up. The NYT results 74%
   Newsom:  5,481,689  64% 
 Trumpism:  3,298,988  36% 
scaled 
   Newsom:  7,407,688  64%
 Trumpism:  4,458,092  36% 
    delta:  2,949,596 
The 2020 results
Biden: 11,110,250  63% 
Trump:  6,006,429  34%
delta:  5,103,821 
So, Newsom gets a smidgen more percentage than Biden. A big deal? Not likely. The idea that Trumpism would prevail in California is, to quote Mike Pompeo, "fucking moron". That was never going to happen. Larry Elder is no Ahnold.

07 September 2021

I Still Hate Neil Irwin - part the nineteenth

Once again, Mr. Irwin has been reading my musings? Of course, it helps that he has easy access to arcane (for the average citizen) professional/academic research papers. In this case, a Fed regional paper studying the correlation, and likely causative direction, of wealth/income inequality and the 'natural rate of interest'. Both his report, and the reported on paper, reflect what you've read here over the years: scardy cat holders of excess moolah can't and/or won't turn said funds into physical capital, thus we got the Great Recession when a very lot of that moolah decided to chase the nearly (so far as they were concerned and convinced) riskless residential mortgages.

Both he and the reported paper (at least, as reported) ignore two salient facts:
1 - this process he describes is what drove the Great Recession in the first place, the demand for 'riskless' high returns
2 - economists, even the Right Wingnut cabal, have known since Adam Smith (the real one) and raised to importance by Keynes, that the greater one's relative wealth, the less each additional Bongo Buck is spent on goods and services; it's either horded or invested (Jesus saves; Moses invests)
But, here's his take-away
New evidence suggests high inequality is the cause, not the result, of the low interest rates and high asset prices evident in recent years. That is a provocative implication of new research presented on Friday at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City's annual Jackson Hole economic symposium (which was conducted virtually because of the pandemic).
I could have told you that. Wait, I have. More than once. And it didn't cost you anything.

And the reason, as described here a few times, is that those with excess moolah drive the asset markets, and when they are feeling scardy cat, they turn to 'riskless' instruments. When they tired of Treasuries' returns, they convinced themselves that residential mortgages were almost riskless (thanks Blythe!) and they all jumped in feet first. We now know what happened next. As mentioned in a recent missive, banks are so scared they're sucking up Treasuries, too.
It's not that the high earners increased their savings rates. Rather, they were winning a bigger piece of the economic pie; by the researchers' calculations, the share of income going to the top 10 percent of earners rose to more than 45 percent in recent years, up from about 30 percent in the early 1970s.
In other words, if they be necessary, keeping an ever increasing proportion of the GDP in the hands of the 1% leads to an ever larger pile of moolah chasing returns without a change in MPC/MPS of the wealthy class. Fundamental Supply And Demand means that the price of assets will rise and returns on assets will fall. Econ 101.
"These forces pushing down r-star are probably so powerful that the Fed could never fight against them," Professor Sufi said in an email.
Oopsy! Here's a prediction (which won't likely be tested for some time yet): the fiction of Social Security 'investment' in Treasuries will collapse, and SS will be funded directly without all that hand-waving about instruments and imputed returns and other lies.

06 September 2021

Cops (of the world)

With all the finger pointing going on about the Afghan withdrawl, it's worth a minute to review the USofA's other 20 year war: Viet Nam. Yes, most Lamestream Media and Right Wingnut Propaganda date our involvment to the mid-60s. Ain't true.

Here's Phil Ochs' 1966 anthem, "Cops of the World".
Come, get out of the way, boys
Quick, get out of the way
You'd better watch what you say, boys
Better watch what you say

We've rammed in your harbor and tied to your port
And our pistols are hungry and our tempers are short
So bring your daughters around to the port
'Cause we're the Cops of the World, boys

We're the Cops of the World
We pick and choose as please, boys
Pick and choose as please
You'd best get down on your knees, boys

Best get down on your knees
We're hairy and horny and ready to shack
We don't care if you're yellow or black
Just take off your clothes and lie down on your back

'Cause we're the Cops of the World, boys
We're the Cops of the World
Our boots are needing a shine, boys
Boots are needing a shine

But our Coca-cola is fine, boys
Coca-cola is fine
We've got to protect all our citizens fair
So we'll send a battalion for everyone there

And maybe we'll leave in a couple of years
'Cause we're the Cops of the World, boys
We're the Cops of the World
Dump the reds in a pile, boys

Dump the reds in a pile
You'd better wipe of that smile, boys
Better wipe off that smile
We'll spit through the streets of the cities we wreck

We'll find you a leader that you can't elect
Those treaties we sighned were a pain in the neck
'Cause we're the Cops of the World, boys
We're the Cops of the World

Clean the johns with a rag, boys
Clean the johns with a rag
If you like you can use your flag, boys
If you like you can use your flag

We've got too much money we're looking for toys
And guns will be guns and boys will be boys
But we'll gladly pay for all we destroy
'Cause we're the Cops of the World, boys

We're the Cops of the World
Please stay off of the grass, boys
Please stay off of the grass
Here's a kick in the ass, boys

Here's a kick in the ass
We'll smash down your doors, we don't bother to knock
We've done it before, so why all the shock?
We're the biggest and toughest kids on the block

'Cause we're the Cops of the World, boys
We're the Cops of the World
When we butchered your son, boys
When we butchered your son

Have a stick of our gum, boys
Have a stick of our buble-gum
We own half the world, oh say can you see
The name for our profits is democracy

So, like it or not, you will have to be free
'Cause we're the Cops of the World, boys
We're the Cops of the World
Note that this was years before the real mess started. Note, also, how the USofA treated the Hmong after we high-tailed it out.

So, when do we demark USofA involvement? Here's the wiki

November 1, 1955 — President Eisenhower deploys the Military Assistance Advisory Group to train the Army of the Republic of Vietnam. This marks the official beginning of American involvement in the war as recognized by the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.[14]
By that measure, a 20 year war. Training the 'country's army? Sound familiar? On the other hand, one might start the clock a bit earlier
May 1, 1950 — After the capture of Hainan Island from Chinese Nationalist forces by the Chinese People's Liberation Army, President Truman approves $10 million in military assistance for anti-communist efforts in Indochina. The Defense Attaché Office was established in Saigon in May 1950, a formal recognition of Viet Nam (vice French IndoChina). This was the beginning of formal U.S. military personnel assignments in Viet Nam. U.S. Naval, Army and Air Force personnel established their respective attaches at this time.
The bottom line, so to speak, is that the USofA has been implementing gunboat diplomacy since, at least, Monroe. At least back then, the notion was limited to the New World. So, what's it all about? Natural resources, the mother's milk of Mercantilism; we take the resources for cheap (we prop up a compliant dictator to ensure the price) and sell back, at a nice premium, finished goods. We, and the West generally to spread the blame, only care about shithole countries when there is something in the ground we've decided we need. That's the reason Bush Jr, et seq, have steadfastly ignored the simple fact that 15 of the 19 9/11 perps were Saudis; toss in their UAE brethren and it's 17. Interesting factoid: now that Guinea is in something, looking like our new dictator, whomever 'our' is, Mr. Market is nervous about the supply of raw aluminum ore. It never stops, does it?

02 September 2021

Cliff Diving

It's hard to keep absolute track of the content of these missives, since they're not stored in my beloved RDBMS, but at least by the end of February these missives pondered the odd shape of the Covid infection curve. Why would it look like a witch's hat rather than having a slower decline than rise? What would explain that?

All these months later, David Leonhardt questioned some experts in epidemiology. And guess what? They still don't have an answer yet, either.
We have asked experts about these two-month cycles, and they acknowledged that they could not explain it. "We still are really in the cave ages in terms of understanding how viruses emerge, how they spread, how they start and stop, why they do what they do," Michael Osterholm, an epidemiologist at the University of Minnesota, said.
Note that at one point, Osterholm allowed as how the next few weeks would be the worst.

There have been plenty of exceptions to the two-month cycle around the world. In Brazil, caseloads have followed no evident pattern. In Britain, cases did decline about two months after the Delta peak — but only for a couple of weeks. Since early August, cases there have been rising again, with the end of behavior restrictions likely playing a role. (If you haven't yet read this Times dispatch about Britain's willingness to accept rising caseloads, we recommend it.)
Listen up wannaBePresident Huey Long 2024-sters

In a few countries, vaccination rates have apparently risen high enough to break Covid's usual two-month cycle: The virus evidently cannot find enough new people to infect. In both Malta and Singapore, this summer's surge lasted only about two weeks before receding.

31 August 2021

Thought For The Day - 31 August 2021

Another island going down the tubes. I suppose because it's many thousands of miles from Soho, Hawaii doesn't make the headlines. Talk about exponential! Of course, the situation could go in reverse if you're visiting the graph some days later.

On the 29th, the case count is 1,658. That's more or less 10 times the next worse day in all the pandemic. "Death in Paradise".

30 August 2021

I Told You So - 30 August 2021

Many's the times these missives have dissed the scardy cats in the Corner Offices for their demand for for-certain high returns on fiduciary capital. Such, of course, don't exist, so the Corner Offices now load up on Treasuries. We got the Great Recession just because the Corner Office guys gulled themselves (and we civilians) into believing that pell-mell residential housing mortgaging wasn't Just Another Ponzi Scheme. Thanks Blythe!

These days, we get conflicting arguments. Some say Powell will turn off the faucet of Fed Treasury buying: the party's over. The Fed's the reason Treasuries draw historic returns, and not in a pleasant way for the capital rich.
The short answer: Money is essentially free now, thanks to the Fed's double-barrel shotgun approach to economic stimulus — interest rates near zero and a massive investment in bonds that keeps yields near rock-bottom. If the Fed eases off the stimulus pedal, borrowing could grow more expensive, making businesses pay more, which means less profit which means Wall Street is sad.
Of course, that assertion is true IFF Treasury interest rates are solely the result of Fed buying. But what if that's just not true?
Rates on Treasury bonds are still near historically low levels, but banks have been buying government debt like never before. In the second quarter of 2021, banks bought a record of about $150 billion worth of Treasurys, according to a note published this month by JPMorgan analysts.
My my!!! The Smartest Guys In The Room just can't, or won't, find any useful ways to turn fiduciary capital into physical capital. There's the meme, been around for some years: "Software ate the world!" Meaning - real goods making is terminal, and so is most need for significant physical capital. (Of course, that tic again, the glow of AI has dimmed rather a bit in two years.)

It's worth keeping in mind that what Powell/Fed have been engaged in is not just more of Great Recession QE. It looks the same, but the two are separated by some years and events in time. It's arguable that Powell's Fed's action is more necessary than Bernanke's of a decade ago. Why, one might ask? Because Covid is a truly external systemic shock, while the Great Recession was the product of those self-same Smartest Guys fiddling the system.

25 August 2021

Thought For The Day - 25 August 2021

Smack Down!!
[US District Judge Linda] Parker is ordering the lawyers reimburse the attorneys' fees that the city of Detroit and Michigan state officials paid in seeking the sanctions. The lawyers must also take legal education classes, the judge said, and she is referring her decision to the Michigan Attorney Grievance Commission, and "the appropriate disciplinary authority for the jurisdiction(s) where each attorney is admitted," for potential disciplinary action.
[my emphasis]

Not Shithole Countries

Recall wannaBePresident Huey Long 2024's lament that the USofA only gets immigrants from 'Shithole countries'?
One of the sources who was briefed on the conversation quoted him as saying: "Why do we want all these people from Africa here? They're shithole countries ... We should have more people from Norway."
The Norwegians replied
Christian Christensen, an American professor of journalism at Stockholm University in neighboring Sweden, tweeted: "Of course people from #Norway would love to move to a country where people are far more likely to be shot, live in poverty, get no healthcare because they're poor, get no paid parental leave or subsidized daycare and see fewer women in political power. #Shithole"
So, what have the Norwegians done recently? How about a human-less, electric cargo ship?
Nearly all of Norway's electricity is generated by hydroelectric power, which is generally considered to have much lower carbon emissions than burning fossil fuels, although it still produces greenhouse gases.
Which means, of course, that Norway isn't simply switching out one source of noxious pollutants from ships to another source, coal fired power plants. Not bad for a Not Shithole Country.

Driver-less tractor-trailer trucks, now cargo ships? How will the marginally educated earn livings? They are the 'Real Americans' after all. They said so on 1/6.

17 August 2021

The Red and The Blue - part the fourth

Here's a long-ish essay, which is what I've written in bits and pieces over the, at least, five wannaBePresident Huey Long 2024-years. You should enjoy.

The crux of the matter (you read this, more or less, many times here)
Sun Belt metro areas like those centered on Atlanta, Dallas, Houston and Phoenix, in fact, are generally among the most dynamic areas anywhere in the nation, soaring not only in population but also in jobs and economic output, and pulling further away from the non-metropolitan areas of their states.
And, the Kryptonite quote
Muro's team at Brookings took a broader look, comparing the population growth of all the metropolitan areas in the key Sun Belt states with the remainder living in smaller places. In Texas, Florida and Georgia, the analysis found, the metropolitan areas accounted for about 99% of the states' increased populations since 2010; in North Carolina, South Carolina and Arizona, the metropolitan areas accounted for more than 100% of the states' growth, meaning that the smaller non-metropolitan places actually lost population over the past decade.
Is it any wonder that the Right Wingnuts are scambling like mad to install a permanent Tyranny of the Minority? Just like a third world dictatorship.

Recall: you can't gerrymander a state; while the Right Wingnuts may win some House seats, the Senate is in the Democrats' crosshairs. wannaBePresident Huey Long 2024 is likely too stupid to understand the numbers (he's innumerate), the RNC isn't. The same can be said for state legislatures. State-wide offices are just that, so the Right Wingnuts are striving to suppress votes in urban districts not just to please wannaBePresident Huey Long 2024's White House ambitions, but to forestall getting tossed out of their own State Houses. May be not 2022, but soon. And sooner if they do take any measure of victory in 22 and install Taliban-ish restrictive regimes. When you come right down to it, the difference between them is more of quantity not quality.

13 August 2021

Am I Blue

You betcha! Born and raised and currently residing in New England. Two pieces of recent news makes clear that the Blue is smarter than the Red. Not to mention that the Blue has been supporting all those Welfare Shitkickers in the Red states for generations. FDR gave them clean water, electricity, roads, and most of the other basic facilities of civilized living, and what do they do? Vote for oligarches whose primary goal is the keep the Shitkickers down. Panty waists like Biden continue to delude themselves into believing that the shithole county folks will actually vote for the politicians who actually seek to make their lives better. They've figured out that the Debbie Dummy Democrats will still lavish support on them, no matter what. Stupid is as stupid does. On both sides.

Y'all must know by now that 95%+ of Covid-δ infections are the unvaccinated in Red states? Boy howdy. So, let's go bail them out of their stupidity!! May be it's time for some Tough Love?

As has been said here more times than most readers need: there are no Blue states and Red states if you look closely enough, just Blue cities and Red shithole counties. The former are where the smart people go to make progress for themselves and the community as a whole. The latter, alas, are the places that the morons stay and bitch that city folk live a much better existence and took away their slaves in The War of Northern Aggression. There's a song from the WWI period (yes, that long ago) which sums up the problem: "How Ya Gonna Keep 'em Down on the Farm (After They've Seen Paree)?". Yes? It is well documented that shithole counties are getting older, whiter, sicker, and dumber as young folk with any smarts get the hell out as soon as they can. And they go to cities, where their smarts can be put to good use.

Now, we have the results of the wannaBePresident Huey Long 2024 Census. As expected, though not by those who were afraid that wannaBePresident Huey Long 2024's minions could put a fat thumb on the scales, cities continue to grow and shithole counties continue to shrink. Not even Viagra will help all those aggrieved old white men get it up. Every news org has a write up; pick the one you normally read. And media, politics, and data wonks are having at it, too. Some take the positive view that this is yet the next nail in the coffin of the Old Persecuted White Guy network. Others take the pessimistic view that, at least in the near term, Right Wing control in so many states will be able to gerrymander their way out of disaster this time.

For myself, I lean more positive than negative. I find it less likely that gerrymandering will gift seats to the Republicans, and, absent draconian voter suppression working, state-wide races will become ever more dependent on city dwellers. That's good for the thinking individual.

The second bit of news is kind of mind boggling. It's not Cold Fusion (which only manifested as a poor data programming tool), but might be nearly as spectacular
"If you go to a much higher magnetic field, you can go to a much smaller size," said Bob Mumgaard, a plasma physicist who is chief executive of Commonwealth. He said that if it was possible to build a device just one-fiftieth the size of the planned reactor in France — which will be roughly as big as a soccer field — it would be able to generate almost as much power.
Much like the difference between American and Russian nukes in the 1950s: they went for big and easy, we went with small and difficult.
Commonwealth's new magnet, which will be one of the world's most powerful, will be a crucial component in a compact nuclear fusion reactor known as a Tokamak, a design that uses magnetic forces to compress plasma until it is hotter than the sun. The reactor looks like a doughnut-shaped jar surrounded by magnets. Soviet physicists originally envisioned it in the 1950s.
I recall reading up on Tokamak back when I was in college. Kind of a Sputnik experience. While most fusion is built around lasers, these folks are going with mega-magnets. We'll see who's best. I wouldn't bet against MIT, though.

09 August 2021

Bay State

A commenter on a blog I follow got uppity about the whole Red State/Covid-δ debacle, particularly incensed that someone pointed at Florida and Texas as the source of much of Covid-δ's spread. As if this were some Snowflake Fantasy. Said commenter pointed its finger/link at Massachusetts; I suppose to make the point that it's not just Red States. Well, not a strong argument.

Of course, the link was reporting about the P-town issue. The place has a resident population of about 3,000 and a daily summer season count around 60,000 almost all of which aren't from around those parts. The touristy part of town is narrow streets and alleys, and most of the time it's a shoulder-to-shoulder experience in season; the times we've gone is way out of season. Hard to imagine a better petri dish for Covid-δ.

Even more amusing: this argument prompted me to look at the NYT MA page, and lo and behold the only Red part of the state is Nantucket, an even more alien invaded place, second and third home of the rich and famous.
Nantucket is a tourist destination and summer colony. Due to tourists and seasonal residents, the population of the island increases to at least 50,000 during the summer months. The average sale price for a single-family home was $2.3 million in the first quarter of 2018.
-- the wiki

08 August 2021

That Pesky Exponent

The mantra these days: if you're innumerate, you're a danger to society. Ronny VirusSeed© is the number one idiot, with Wheelchair Greg a close second. Covid-δ is the top fuel dragster of disease, going from 0 to 300 mph in a quarter mile (not that they run that far anymore - too dangerous).

From today's news
Behind the country's latest surge is the Delta variant, which now accounts for more than 93% of coronavirus circulating in the US, according to data from the CDC. This includes several sub-lineages of Delta, all of which are classified as variants of concern. The number is even higher in parts of the country including Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska, where Delta accounts for more than 98% of circulating virus.

Those numbers show a rapid increase in the variant's prevalence across the US. In late May, the CDC estimated that Delta made up about 3% of new Covid-19 cases.
[my emphasis]
That ain't linear.

07 August 2021

Delta Dawn - part the second

The first episode has some connection to this one, mostly coincidence, but I couldn't let the pun go unpunished.

Among the shibboleths I've run across in my life is the following
The Old World nearly wiped out the New World populations with the simple common cold.
The New World returned the favor, although not as spectacularly, by giving us syphilis.
Today's analogy is somewhat more cynical
American IT gave IIT Freshers all of our compute jobs.
In return, India gave us Covid-δ.
Note a fair trade, but who said life was fair?

And, of course, the latter is undeniable. Within a smidge, it emerged in the USofA beginning of this March. It took a couple of months to gain traction. Now, go look at the NYT country case graph. Note the shape following February, 2020 vis-a-vis May, 2021. Geometric progression can be bad and it can be lots worse. Covid-δ is lots worse. This is a slope worse than last fall. Moreover, if you look at the Bad Red States, FL/AL/LA and such it's the unvaccinated.

Ronny VirusSeed© is the worst of the bunch. Not only is FL rising faster than it did in The Bad Olde Days, daily case counts (which I guarantee are being fiddled minimized) are greatest yet. Good going Idiot.

The issue is easy to see. For some Red State get some case count/date after Covid-δ was detected. Next, slide back to 2020 and that value. Next, take the latest case count number, and slide back to the original infection segment and that case count. Note how long the time is in both situations. In general, what is one month with Covid-δ is three or four months with original Covid. Let that sink in. There are some questions now:
Will Covid-δ find a peak and drop as fast as it climbed the way original Covid did?
Will Covid-δ not stop at a peak similar to original Covid and just keep going?
Since Covid-δ is far more infectious to the unvaccinated, and the unvaccinated are concentrated in Red States, will the peak be OK nationally, but population altering in Red States?
Will Floridians capture Ronny VirusSeed© and hang him by his heels and fillet him with the band playing "The Wicked Witch is Dead"?
Back about March, 2020 the effectiveness of asymp transmission was no longer debated; no one, other than a Right Wingnut Moron, would hang around someone coughing and sneezing and nose dripping, so the asymps had to be driving infection. This time around, the Lamestream Press appears to be ignoring history. We now know that breakthrough infection of the vaccinated, while rare, is likely asymp. It may even be true that the vaccinated, while not infected/asymp, can still transmit Covid-δ that has entered the nose, but doesn't get down into the respiratory tract to cause infection. The jury is still out on that.
[B]ecause Delta reproduces so quickly and efficiently, it appears that the virus can sometimes reach detectable and infectious levels in vaccinated people before the vaccine-mediated immune response kicks in.
[my emphasis]
One hopes it's not so, because this is more insidious than asymp. So The Revenge of the Smart; this time around we'll be killing off the Covidiots!!! Yay!!!

03 August 2021

Parallax View - part the fifty fourth

The last version in these missives (expected to end the title, sigh) was way back in April, 2021. Here is today's map. The map didn't appear to be predictive or illuminating back in April, thus suspension. Guess what? It still doesn't, compared to the version from CNN (about half-way down the page), which shows transmission levels. Now, that's what we need to know.

It's similar in information content to the Tectonix map of the Fort Lauderdale Covidiots, aided and abetted by Ronny VirusSeed© in 2020. Same greedy stupidity, yet again. As I type, Florida reported 38,321 on 27 July and 38,776 on 30 July, new cases. Miraculously, 0 in days since. Ya believe that? Neither do I. Those numbers are way bigger than any over the entire length of the pandemic. and Ronny VirusSeed© continues to gaslight his citizens. And, just as the Lauderdale Covidiots spread Original Covid far and wide, we can expect the same this time. Even just a glance at the transmission map shows that the spread is well underway. The only saving grace is that the infections are nearly 100% among the unvaccinated. Freedom to die.

A week or so ago I mentioned to The Wife that the carrot hasn't been working in getting the cretins vaccinated, thus it's time to employ the stick, which would be that if you end up needing medical care for your Covid infection, neither Medicare, Medicaid, nor health insurers will pay for it. The cost comes out of your pocket. A day or two later, Carville was bloviating on one of the MSNBC nightly chat fests, and went nucular: if you get sick with Covid, and you're not vaccinated, you don't get medical care. No doctor visit, no hospital bed. No nuthin. Boy howdy!! Some people are just too stupid to do the right thing. They all think that 19th century USofA was some kind of Freedom Utopia, when it was in fact mostly deprivation for most citizens most of the time.

30 July 2021

Dee Feat is in Dee Flation - part the forty second

The morons from wannaBePresident Huey Long 2024's sorry ass time in office continue to bray that inflation is coming!!! Yeah, right.

Here's today's numbers from briefing.com
08:31 	ECONX Q2 Employment Cost Index 0.7% vs. 0.9% Briefing.com consensus; 
                                                     prior 0.9%
 
08:30 	ECONX June PCE Prices Core 0.4% vs. 0.6% Briefing.com consensus; 
                                                 prior 0.5%
 
08:30 	ECONX June Personal Spending 1.0% vs. 0.7% Briefing.com consensus; 
                                                   prior revised to -0.1% from 0.0%
 
08:30 	ECONX June PCE Prices 0.5% vs. 0.7% Briefing.com consensus; 
                                            prior revised to 0.5% from 0.4%
 
08:30 	ECONX June Personal Income 0.1% vs. -0.6% Briefing.com consensus; 
                                                  prior revised to -2.2% from -2.0%
While not tsnuami good, all better than 'consensus'. Ya think? Capitalists are greedy; they're ramping production to meet demand, but it's not like a fire hose, more a 5/8 inch garden hose with suburban water pressure.

27 July 2021

Your Cheatin Heart - part the fifteenth

June 15, 2021 

New York Times
by A. Corres Pondent
RED STATES WITH SPARSE VACCINATIONS EXPLODE WITH COVID

To the surprise of No One, the Red States, which have been lax in getting their populations vaccinated, are experiencing a resurgence in Covid. The curve started back up on May 14, the day after the CDC and President Biden announced that the fully vaccinated are free to go about their lives without a mask in all venues, not just outdoors.

To the surprise of No One, all those Red State Yahoos immediately dis-masked, even though the majority eligible for vaccines have refused to be vaccinated. If the rest of the country is fortunate, the Yahoos will infect themselves to death.

Today's update; sooner than expected but boy howdy!! The South shall die again!!
             cases    per 100K
Louisiana      7,592     63 
Mississippi 3,608 37
As of Episode 14
             cases    per 100K
Louisiana      5,388     52 
Mississippi 1,317 31
The innumerate refuse to grok non-linear/geometric/exponential progression.
In the last two weeks, new case counts in Louisiana accelerated the fastest in the nation at an average rate of 444 cases per week per day (2.38 cases per 100,000 people per week per day). Only 36% of the state's residents are vaccinated, making it among the least vaccinated in the country.
Stupid is as stupid does in Louisiana.
"It's a personal decision, to begin with. Second, when is it gonna end? I just... disagree that the government should tell us what to do", said mother of three Dylcia Maier.
And, for good measure, here's what Mississippi's Tate Reeves is doing during this new surge
In a month, the number of Mississippians hospitalized for COVID-19 has climbed 403%, while the number of patients on ventilators on ventilators is up 550%. But even as Mississippi's weary public health officials and health care workers were busy fighting the pandemic's latest wave back home, Gov. Tate Reeves was 700 miles away, regaling a partisan group with tales of his political triumphs.
So, of course, he's playing Darth Vader while Mississippi burns
With the governor opting for a more laissez-faire approach to the pandemic than ever before, MSDH reported 1,317 new cases of COVID-19 today—the most in a single day since Jan. 30, 2021.
One might hope that these morons get tossed out of office next election. The ironic point being: the only folks dumb enough to vote for even dumber candidates are the ones so stupid they'll likely get really sick from Covid. May be even die. Then, of course, they can't vote. Well, if they're White they surely can.

26 July 2021

Your Cheatin Heart - part the fourteenth

June 15, 2021 

New York Times
by A. Corres Pondent
RED STATES WITH SPARSE VACCINATIONS EXPLODE WITH COVID

To the surprise of No One, the Red States, which have been lax in getting their populations vaccinated, are experiencing a resurgence in Covid. The curve started back up on May 14, the day after the CDC and President Biden announced that the fully vaccinated are free to go about their lives without a mask in all venues, not just outdoors.

To the surprise of No One, all those Red State Yahoos immediately dis-masked, even though the majority eligible for vaccines have refused to be vaccinated. If the rest of the country is fortunate, the Yahoos will infect themselves to death.



Let's look at the bottom 5, as of today, compared to where they were on 14 May (the list of bottom 5 hasn't changed from the last Cheatin Heart episode)
             cases    per 100K
Louisiana      5,388     52 
Wyoming 124 15
Arkansas 2,015 60
Mississippi 1,317 31
Alabama 1,888 30
[14 May]
             cases    per 100K
Louisiana      421    10 
Wyoming 110 18
Arkansas 383 8 [entered 24 June]
Mississippi 201 8
Alabama 285 6
The Alabama 14 May data hasn't been cleaned up, so this is still the 7-day average cases.

What's not been widely reported, at least in my sources, is that both hospitalizations and deaths have already started up the shaft of the hockey stick (Alabama deaths, for some reason, is flat). The worst is yet to come.

16 July 2021

Your Cheatin Heart - part the thirteenth

June 15, 2021 

New York Times
by A. Corres Pondent
RED STATES WITH SPARSE VACCINATIONS EXPLODE WITH COVID

To the surprise of No One, the Red States, which have been lax in getting their populations vaccinated, are experiencing a resurgence in Covid. The curve started back up on May 14, the day after the CDC and President Biden announced that the fully vaccinated are free to go about their lives without a mask in all venues, not just outdoors.

To the surprise of No One, all those Red State Yahoos immediately dis-masked, even though the majority eligible for vaccines have refused to be vaccinated. If the rest of the country is fortunate, the Yahoos will infect themselves to death.

It can now be revealed that A. Corres Pondent is the nom deFakeNews of Mitch Smith and Julie Bosman whose report today, laggard though it be (dead trees version), confirms the fact:
"I hope and pray that it doesn't come to West Virginia and just absolutely runs across our state like wild," said Gov. Jim Justice, whose state has recorded relatively few cases recently but has a low vaccination rate. "But the odds are it will."
Of course, he used to be a Democrat, so there's that to consider.

Let's look at the bottom 5, as of today, compared to where they were on 14 May
             cases    per 100K
Louisiana      1,500     24 
Wyoming 124 15
Arkansas 1,309 33
Mississippi 557 13
Alabama 1,398 14
[14 May]
             cases    per 100K
Louisiana      421    10 
Wyoming 83 12
Arkansas 383 8 [entered 24 June]
Mississippi 201 8
Alabama 285 6
The Alabama 14 May data hasn't been cleaned up, so this is still the 7-day average cases.

So in all, A. Corres Pondent got it right. If one reads deeply of the Fake News, the worst is yet to come. Remember Ronny VirusSeed©'s Spring Break Infectiathon (28 March 2020) from Spring Break 2020? Same shit going on in the Redneck states still. Still no cure for stupid.

"a pandemic of the unvaccinated"
-- Dr. Rochelle Walensky/16 July 2021

13 July 2021

Boeing Boeing - part the fourteenth

Apparently not among these many missives, but somewhere out in the innterTubes going back some years, I've pointed to issues with the 787 fuselage construction: all plastic and glue. And, naturally, the incompetent Redneck South Carolina staff that Boeing built to avoid unions. Well, the chickens have, again, come home to roost.
The company said some of the planes' fuselage was not joined together to meet precise standards and there are questions about the verification process to make sure they meet the standards.
Cool!! The Dreamliner could come apart at Angels 35! Not just today, of course.
[T]hese newly discovered lapses potentially stretch back "almost a decade" and involve "nonconforming" sections of the rear fuselage of multiple 787 Dreamliner aircraft.
And, of course, Boeing is putting all 787 production in the hands of the Redneck Morons!! In due time there will be an episode of "Air Disasters" documenting these planes falling apart in mid-air.

12 July 2021

Fucker Carlson

Carlson recently bloviated that the median age-at-death for Covid was greater than median life expectancy. Yet another case of 'figures don't lie, but liars figure'.

Not that he just made an honest mistake, of course.

Median life expectancy at birth isn't what matters in the case of a Covid comparison. What matters is life expectancy of someone who's already kind of old; let's say 65.
- in 2018, men 65 have an expected life time of 18.1 years, or 83.1 in toto.
- the quoted median age (by Fucker) of Covid deaths in Ohio is 80.
- the median life expectancy (by Fucker) is 73; this is the 'at birth' value and thus includes (is reduced by) all early deaths.

Ergo, Fucker Carlson is a lying moron. It is also true that Delta is killing off non-Geezers unlike Original Covid and other variants.

08 July 2021

Thought For The Day - 8 July 2021

Back in June, I was spitballing a bit through the notion that the desiccated Southwest would soon demand a water pipeline from the verdant New England lakes, rivers, and reservoirs to their deserts. Spitballing, it turns out, that wasn't far from the truth.
"Stop the flooding on the east coast, put that [Mississippi river] water in a pipeline and deliver it to the west coast where we have a drought," Dunn said.
Now, last time I looked, the Mississippi isn't part of the East Coast, and the actual East Coast, apart from the state of Florida, isn't prone to flooding. And, as one expert pointed out
Bahr says that's because the flooding along the Mississippi Delta is part of the area's ecosystem, and also fertilizes the land along the river for farming.

"And then on our end, whenever you introduce a different type of water you have all types of potential for introducing invasive species, different water chemistry. You know the list goes on," Bahr said.
Who cares about Midwest family farms, anyway? Have I mentioned that Nestle has owned Poland Spring (through buying up Perrier who had earlier bought it) for some decades? I guess water isn't a public good.

03 July 2021

Your Cheatin Heart - part the twelfth

June 15, 2021 

New York Times
by A. Corres Pondent
RED STATES WITH SPARSE VACCINATIONS EXPLODE WITH COVID

To the surprise of No One, the Red States, which have been lax in getting their populations vaccinated, are experiencing a resurgence in Covid. The curve started back up on May 14, the day after the CDC and President Biden announced that the fully vaccinated are free to go about their lives without a mask in all venues, not just outdoors.

To the surprise of No One, all those Red State Yahoos immediately dis-masked, even though the majority eligible for vaccines have refused to be vaccinated. If the rest of the country is fortunate, the Yahoos will infect themselves to death.

[update 14 May]
Here's the vaccination record for the states. The bottom of the barrel
At the other end, the five states with the lowest percentage of people with one dose are Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, Wyoming and Idaho.
So, one dose isn't the best measure, but still. Here's the benchmark as of 14 May behind the June 15 lede from the NYT.

Since the point is daily trend, updated to use reported daily cases. Per 100K is only reported, in this source, as 7-day.
             cases    per 100K
Mississippi    201     8 
Louisiana 421 10
Alabama 285 6 cases data on the 14th is way whacky, so stick with 7-day average
Wyoming 83 12
Idaho 167 9
We'll stop by the data every now and again to see whether the Oracle turns out to be correct. One actually hopes not, since Covid doesn't respect state lines.

[update 21 May]
             cases    per 100K
Mississippi    105     5 
Louisiana 340 9
Alabama 443 6
Wyoming 70 14
Idaho 167 9
[update 28 May]
             cases    per 100K
Mississippi    131     5 
Louisiana 354 9
Alabama 228 5
Wyoming 96 12
Idaho 135 8
[update 4 June]
             cases    per 100K
Mississippi    141     4 
Louisiana 364 7
Alabama 557 6
Wyoming 80 12
Idaho 166 6
[update 11 June]
             cases    per 100K
Mississippi    236     4 
Louisiana 228 7
Alabama 188 5
Wyoming 103 12
Idaho 118 6
[update 15 June]
             cases    per 100K
Mississippi     47     4 
Louisiana 559 8
Alabama 290 5
Wyoming 68 11
Idaho 89 5
[update 18 June]
             cases    per 100K
Mississippi    244     4 
Louisiana 326 6
Alabama 334 4
Wyoming 65 9
Idaho 0 4
[update 25 June]
             cases    per 100K
Mississippi    243     4 
Louisiana 210 6
Alabama 540 4
Wyoming 104 11
Idaho 83 5
[update 2 July; swap in Arkansas]
             cases    per 100K
Mississippi    242     6 
Louisiana 525 9
Alabama 315 4
Wyoming 92 12
Arkansas 494 16
This is the last scheduled update, as promised. Further Cheatin Hearts will be presented if extraordinary data, better or worse, should emerge. As of today, it sure looks like the Two Americas meme has yet another vector; get the shot(s) and survive or not and die.

[update 28 June]
Well, we have more data on the Bottom Five. One replacement, but I'll take solace in the fact that four of the five remain in the Bottom. Consistency is the mark of a small mind.
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 46.1% of the total US population has been vaccinated against Covid-19. Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Wyoming are among the states with the lowest vaccination rates, with less than 35% of their population fully vaccinated.
Idaho was the fifth at the beginning, thence Tennessee, and now Arkansas. That they're all now Southern Rebel Red States, is another hallmark of consistency. Good on ya.
Despite an increasing number of hospitalizations, [Arkansas governor Asa] Hutchinson said he does not think strict limitations are needed again to prevent the spread of the virus because people are more informed of how they should act. However, he did not rule out imposing any restrictions.
Let the Social Darwinist approach go full boar.

Substituting Arkansas for Idaho over the period of these missives, we see the following.

[14 May data start]
             cases    per 100K
Mississippi    201     8 
Louisiana 421 10
Alabama 285 6
Wyoming 83 12
Arkansas 250 8
[update 24 June, Arkansas only]
             cases    per 100K
Arkansas       383     8 
[update 2 July]
Well, it looks like The South Has Risen Again.
In Arkansas, which has one of the lowest vaccination rates in the nation, cases are surging, officials said. In Los Angeles County, where the vaccination rate is slightly above the national average, officials warned about a possible new wave of infections, especially given the rapid spread of the Delta variant.

"We are now going in the wrong direction yet again with Covid-19 infections here in the state of Arkansas," said Dr. Cam Patterson, chancellor at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, during the state's weekly briefing Tuesday.
[my emphasis]
And, as one would expect
"Looking state by state and county by county, it is clear that communities where people remain unvaccinated are communities that remain vulnerable," Dr. Rochelle Walensky, head of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said Thursday. "This is all true as we monitor the continued spread of the hyper-transmissible Delta variant."
To plagiarize the Granite State motto, "Live Free or Die", well OK
The state saw 988 Covid-19 deaths since late January, and 99.6% of those deaths were people who were not vaccinated, Hutchinson added. In the same time period, more than 98% of those hospitalized with Covid-19 were not vaccinated.
It appears that A. Corres Pondent was just two weeks too soon. Well within the bounds of stat sig, in my opinion. There's no cure for stupid, or fealty to Batshit J. Moron.

[update 3 July]
Over the last few weeks there have been a flood of reports about how Australia has devolved from a paragon of Covid success to a shithole country ravaged by Covid thanks to Delta; of course, 'ravaged' is relative. This is today's version.
Three days after the emergence of a rare Covid-19 case in Sydney, around 40 friends gathered for a birthday party. Along with cake and laughter, there was a hidden threat: One of the guests had unknowingly crossed paths with that single Covid case, an airport driver who had caught the Delta variant from an American aircrew.

Two weeks later, 27 people from the party have tested positive, including a 2-year-old child, along with 14 close contacts. And the seven people at the gathering who were not infected? They were all vaccinated.
Latest estimate is that ~25% of Covid in the USofA is Delta. Australia has learned, yet again, that geometric progression only looks slow at the beginning. That's why and how they managed to keep Covid in check before the vaccines were available: at the first sign of infections, clamp down. And it worked. And they tried it again when Delta appeared, but now
New South Wales avoided a full lockdown during previous Covid outbreaks, including a cluster last December that was curbed with three weeks of suburb-specific restrictions. This time, Gladys Berejiklian, the state premier, tried a similar tactic, but found that Delta moved too quickly to be contained.
[my emphasis]
All you Red State Rebels be warned, yet again, your insistence on 'personal freedom' is going to kill your tribe.

27 June 2021

Your Cheatin Heart - part the eleventh

June 15, 2021 

New York Times
by A. Corres Pondent
RED STATES WITH SPARSE VACCINATIONS EXPLODE WITH COVID

To the surprise of No One, the Red States, which have been lax in getting their populations vaccinated, are experiencing a resurgence in Covid. The curve started back up on May 14, the day after the CDC and President Biden announced that the fully vaccinated are free to go about their lives without a mask in all venues, not just outdoors.

To the surprise of No One, all those Red State Yahoos immediately dis-masked, even though the majority eligible for vaccines have refused to be vaccinated. If the rest of the country is fortunate, the Yahoos will infect themselves to death.

[update 14 May]
Here's the vaccination record for the states. The bottom of the barrel
At the other end, the five states with the lowest percentage of people with one dose are Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, Wyoming and Idaho.
So, one dose isn't the best measure, but still. Here's the benchmark as of 14 May behind the June 15 lede from the NYT.

Since the point is daily trend, updated to use reported daily cases. Per 100K is only reported, in this source, as 7-day.
             cases    per 100K
Mississippi    201     8 
Louisiana 421 10
Alabama 285 6 cases data on the 14th is way whacky, so stick with 7-day average
Wyoming 83 12
Idaho 167 9
We'll stop by the data every now and again to see whether the Oracle turns out to be correct. One actually hopes not, since Covid doesn't respect state lines.

[update 21 May]
             cases    per 100K
Mississippi    105     5 
Louisiana 340 9
Alabama 443 6
Wyoming 70 14
Idaho 167 9
[update 28 May]
             cases    per 100K
Mississippi    131     5 
Louisiana 354 9
Alabama 228 5
Wyoming 96 12
Idaho 135 8
[update 4 June]
             cases    per 100K
Mississippi    141     4 
Louisiana 364 7
Alabama 557 6
Wyoming 80 12
Idaho 166 6
[update 11 June]
             cases    per 100K
Mississippi    236     4 
Louisiana 228 7
Alabama 188 5
Wyoming 103 12
Idaho 118 6
[update 15 June]
             cases    per 100K
Mississippi     47     4 
Louisiana 559 8
Alabama 290 5
Wyoming 68 11
Idaho 89 5
[update 18 June]
             cases    per 100K
Mississippi    244     4 
Louisiana 326 6
Alabama 334 4
Wyoming 65 9
Idaho 0 4
[update 25 June]
             cases    per 100K
Mississippi    243     4 
Louisiana 210 6
Alabama 540 4
Wyoming 104 11
Idaho 83 5
[update 22 June]
Well, our candidates for a Darwin Award continue to appear. No suprise, all from Red Rebel states.
Low vaccination rates are dangerous when combined with the spread of variants like Delta, which is believed to be more transmissible and cause more serious illness. Steve Edwards, CEO of CoxHealth, a healthcare system in Springfield, Missouri, told CNN the combination is to blame for a six-fold increase in hospitalizations in his system.
Early on, it was recognized that Covid spread was just as effective with lots of small groups as it was for a few large groups. That data point continues to appear.
Researchers used private insurance data from 6,535,987 individuals living in 2,926,530 households between January 1 and November 8, 2020. They compared Covid-19 infections between households with and without a birthday in the previous two weeks, adjusting for household size.

They found that households were more likely to have confirmed Covid-19 cases two weeks after a birthday. The risk was even higher when the birthday was for a child, the study reported.
[update 23 June]
May be you recall the plaint by the anti-vaxxers that the various vaccines, the mRNA versions in particular, are killers, among other naughty things. I always have wondered why the anti-vaxxer clan, generally Right Wingnut Trumpsters, would be so Socialist to warn us Gullible Snowflakes that we're putting our lives and our clan in Mortal Danger. I mean, that's just another way to squelch the Snowflake Vote, isn't it? Shouldn't keeping their yaps shut be the smarter course? Of course it is.

As asserted here many times, the Cheats will end up being the Body Bag Clan, you betcha. (Whether this is obvious in A. Corres Pondent's timeframe is a different issue.) Today brings more news in this vein.
"Covid-19 vaccines are available for everyone ages 12 and up," US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said at a White House briefing Tuesday. "They are nearly 100% effective against severe disease and death -- meaning nearly every death due to Covid-19 is particularly tragic, because nearly every death, especially among adults, due to Covid-19 is at this point entirely preventable."

Those still dying from Covid-19 in the US are "overwhelmingly" unvaccinated, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Dr. Anthony Fauci told CNN's Jake Tapper.
As that old adage goes, "there's no cure for stupid". And they won't vote. Well, one hopes.

Last but one of the weekly updates. More states increasing than decreasing. Who'd a thunk it?

23 June 2021

Kind of a Putz

Regular reader may recall the various times these missives have asserted that one can measure material progress of humanity writ large by cataloging the entries into the periodic table. And, by contradiction, the slow down in invention since the periodic table was completed; at least of the stable natural elements. That observation was, sort of, contradicted by pointing out that organic chemistry is different, in that polymerization supports molecules of, I will suppose, infinite size and number based on carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and the occasional Other. Better living through Plastics, that "one word, Daniel".

Today's NYT offers an obituary of a signal organic chemist, who devised new catalytic processes that have made it possible to attach new Others to the base elements.
Traditionally, organic chemists largely limited themselves to molecules using the 10 or so elements found in organic compounds. Dr. Negishi said that he and others had "realized that we should make sure of the entire periodic table."
From my fingers to God's ear.

As to the title of this missive, it turns out that Negishi was in it for the Nobel. And he carried the medallion in his wallet!
"When he got his Nobel Prize, he became nicer," Dr. Tour said. "He'd take his wallet out of his pocket, and protruding from his wallet was the Nobel Prize medallion."

Dr. Tour said Dr. Negishi would pass the medal around and wouldn't mind if someone dropped it. "You could see the ding in one side of it," Dr. Tour said. "And he just laughed about it."

21 June 2021

Dee Feat Is In Dee Flation - part the forty first

As mentioned by-the-way in these missives, the 'inflation' that followed the vaccination success of Sleepy Joe and the Northerners (a Classic Rock group if ever there were one), didn't last long. Yet more reporting that supply has begun to emerge now that demand is reckoned to be stably returned. Surprise surprise.
It's a dance of supply and demand that has reassured many experts and the Federal Reserve in their belief that painful price spikes for everything from airline tickets to used cars will abate as the economy gets back to normal.

"Many of the extreme price spikes we've seen in recent months are likely to reverse for Econ 101 reasons," said Jan Hatzius, chief economist at Goldman Sachs.

Lumber prices in the futures market, for example, are down more than 45 percent from their peak, slipping below $1,000 for the first time in months. That's still high — between 2009 and 2019, prices averaged less than $400 per thousand board feet — but the sell-off has been gaining momentum over the last few weeks. The price has fallen in 11 of the last 12 trading sessions, including a 0.5 percent drop to settle at $900.80 on Friday, according to FactSet data.
Told ya so.

20 June 2021

Your Cheatin Heart - part the tenth

June 15, 2021 

New York Times
by A. Corres Pondent
RED STATES WITH SPARSE VACCINATIONS EXPLODE WITH COVID

To the surprise of No One, the Red States, which have been lax in getting their populations vaccinated, are experiencing a resurgence in Covid. The curve started back up on May 14, the day after the CDC and President Biden announced that the fully vaccinated are free to go about their lives without a mask in all venues, not just outdoors.

To the surprise of No One, all those Red State Yahoos immediately dis-masked, even though the majority eligible for vaccines have refused to be vaccinated. If the rest of the country is fortunate, the Yahoos will infect themselves to death.

[update 14 May]
Here's the vaccination record for the states. The bottom of the barrel
At the other end, the five states with the lowest percentage of people with one dose are Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, Wyoming and Idaho.
So, one dose isn't the best measure, but still. Here's the benchmark as of 14 May behind the June 15 lede from the NYT.

Since the point is daily trend, updated to use reported daily cases. Per 100K is only reported, in this source, as 7-day.
             cases    per 100K
Mississippi    201     8 
Louisiana 421 10
Alabama 285 6 cases data on the 14th is way whacky, so stick with 7-day average
Wyoming 83 12
Idaho 167 9
We'll stop by the data every now and again to see whether the Oracle turns out to be correct. One actually hopes not, since Covid doesn't respect state lines.

[update 21 May]
             cases    per 100K
Mississippi    105     5 
Louisiana 340 9
Alabama 443 6
Wyoming 70 14
Idaho 167 9
[update 28 May]
             cases    per 100K
Mississippi    131     5 
Louisiana 354 9
Alabama 228 5
Wyoming 96 12
Idaho 135 8
[update 4 June]
             cases    per 100K
Mississippi    141     4 
Louisiana 364 7
Alabama 557 6
Wyoming 80 12
Idaho 166 6
[update 11 June]
             cases    per 100K
Mississippi    236     4 
Louisiana 228 7
Alabama 188 5
Wyoming 103 12
Idaho 118 6
[update 15 June]
             cases    per 100K
Mississippi     47     4 
Louisiana 559 8
Alabama 290 5
Wyoming 68 11
Idaho 89 5
[update 18 June]
             cases    per 100K
Mississippi    244     4 
Louisiana 326 6
Alabama 334 4
Wyoming 65 9
Idaho 0 4
[update 16 June]
Yet another report warning about variants
"The second reason it's concerning is that there is some data to indicate that it may in fact also be more dangerous, may cause more severe illness. That still needs to be understood more clearly, but these are two important concerns and they explain in part ... why this is become the dominant variant in the UK, where over 90% of cases are the Delta variant," Murthy said.
[update 17 June]
Oh shit!! Not only for the drug company, but for the rest of us. CureVac released data from an interim analysis of its mRNA Covid vaccine, and the picture isn't pretty. I've not a whit of interest in CureVac, but this bit did get my attention:
Shares of CureVac CVAC, -3.47% fell 42% in premarket trading on Thurdsay, a day after the German biotech said its COVID-19 vaccine was 47% effective in preventing the disease. CureVac's study, conducted in 10 countries and involving 40,000 people, showed the vaccine's struggle against a "fast changing environment" of at least 29 COVID-19 variants, with the original coronavirus strain "almost completely absent."
my emphasis
As it happens CureVac is also an mRNA vaccine, but is woefully inferior to other types. So, is mRNA in the main, still a magic bullet? Only the shadow knows. Which is to say: if the mRNA in this vaccine didn't instill anti-bodies to Covid, what did it do? Expect the antiVaxxers to predict third arms and second heads to develop in these trial patients. And, of course, this is a recent trial, where original Covid has all but disappeared. If Delta and other nasty strains get into our Bottom Five states, watch out. The pencil neck people will be real life Walking Dead, stalking Liberal Elites in the Northern states.

[update 18 June]
Spent part of the day pondering the status of P.1 from Brazil, but got busy clearing gutters. Should have known. Last time I went looking, it was laying waste. I didn't have to do much searching; here is reporting that just appeared on my CNN front page. As stated here earlier, P.1/Gamma could be the new problem.
Current evidence suggests Gamma can resist the effects of antibody treatments.
In nine states, HHS has halted the distribution of two monoclonal antibody treatments from Eli Lilly and Co, citing reduced effectiveness against both the Gamma and Delta variants.
"Results from in vitro assays that are used to assess the susceptibility of viral variants to particular monoclonal antibodies suggest that bamlanivimab and etesevimab administered together are not active against either the P.1 (Gamma) or B.1.351 (Beta) variants," HHS said on Wednesday.
Mississippi and Alabama continue to progress. We'll see.

17 June 2021

Thought For The Day - 17 June 2021

Every now again, more often than not, you owe it to yourself to put "Human Wheels" on whatever music machine you have and run it at the highest volume your speakers or headphones can handle. You really should.

16 June 2021

Your Cheatin Heart - part the ninth

June 15, 2021 

New York Times
by A. Corres Pondent
RED STATES WITH SPARSE VACCINATIONS EXPLODE WITH COVID

To the surprise of No One, the Red States, which have been lax in getting their populations vaccinated, are experiencing a resurgence in Covid. The curve started back up on May 14, the day after the CDC and President Biden announced that the fully vaccinated are free to go about their lives without a mask in all venues, not just outdoors.

To the surprise of No One, all those Red State Yahoos immediately dis-masked, even though the majority eligible for vaccines have refused to be vaccinated. If the rest of the country is fortunate, the Yahoos will infect themselves to death.

[update 14 May]
Here's the vaccination record for the states. The bottom of the barrel
At the other end, the five states with the lowest percentage of people with one dose are Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, Wyoming and Idaho.
So, one dose isn't the best measure, but still. Here's the benchmark as of 14 May behind the June 15 lede from the NYT.

Since the point is daily trend, updated to use reported daily cases. Per 100K is only reported, in this source, as 7-day.
             cases    per 100K
Mississippi    201     8 
Louisiana 421 10
Alabama 285 6 cases data on the 14th is way whacky, so stick with 7-day average
Wyoming 83 12
Idaho 167 9
We'll stop by the data every now and again to see whether the Oracle turns out to be correct. One actually hopes not, since Covid doesn't respect state lines.

[update 21 May]
             cases    per 100K
Mississippi    105     5 
Louisiana 340 9
Alabama 443 6
Wyoming 70 14
Idaho 167 9
[update 28 May]
             cases    per 100K
Mississippi    131     5 
Louisiana 354 9
Alabama 228 5
Wyoming 96 12
Idaho 135 8
[update 4 June]
             cases    per 100K
Mississippi    141     4 
Louisiana 364 7
Alabama 557 6
Wyoming 80 12
Idaho 166 6
[update 11 June]
             cases    per 100K
Mississippi    236     4 
Louisiana 228 7
Alabama 188 5
Wyoming 103 12
Idaho 118 6
[update 15 June]
             cases    per 100K
Mississippi     47     4 
Louisiana 559 8
Alabama 290 5
Wyoming 68 11
Idaho 89 5
[14 June]
Here's Dr. Peter Hotez on the Southern Problem. It's not going away.
If new variants arising from the southern states are allowed to emerge over the summer, these could accelerate across the rest of the country into the fall. For example, the P.1 variant (and possibly the E484K mutation superimposed on B.1.1.7) appears to be slightly less susceptible to the current vaccines compared to, say, the original lineages, or the B.1.1.7 variant on its own. Regarding the Delta variant, two doses of the mRNA vaccine still appear to work well, whereas a single vaccine dose appears to exhibit reduced efficacy.
Sound familiar? The forest fire analogy is apt: suppress it fast when it's small, or there's the Devil to pay later.

All in all, yet another mixed bag. Louisiana and Alabama are deer in the headlights mode. Mississippi is all over the place, the 14th was 266 while the 11th was 0. A. Corres Pondent is sorta, kinda half right as of the 15th. Likely the article would be spiked. Given the concern offered up by the 'experts' with regard to variant propagation among the poorly vaccinated states, and these five were the bottom of the barrel at the outset of this sequence, I'll give the review two more full week iterations and thence re-visit the data if the situation goes into the abyss.

13 June 2021

By The Numbers - part the twelfth

wannaBePresident Huey Long 2024 continues on his Grievance Tour of Red America, continuing to claim that, somehow, the Snowflakes stole the election from him. There remains the critical problem, which the Snowflake News neglects to mention (and they should each and every time they report on the Tour), that it was only ex-President AuH2O 2020 who lost by 7,000,000 votes. If the Snowflakes had figured out how to rig the vote, it would be completely stupid to only steal from Dear Leader Yo! Semite of Thigh Land, when it's even more important, in my humble opinion, for the Snowflakes to gain full control, 60 seats, of the Senate. Not only did the wily Snowflakes not get that, and only got 50 by getting out the voters in the GA Special, they lost seats in the House.

It seems odd that the Snowflakes would use their magnificent machine in such a clumsy way. But, of course, the Crazys don't think. Much.

12 June 2021

Your Cheatin Heart - part the eighth

June 15, 2021 

New York Times
by A. Corres Pondent
RED STATES WITH SPARSE VACCINATIONS EXPLODE WITH COVID

To the surprise of No One, the Red States, which have been lax in getting their populations vaccinated, are experiencing a resurgence in Covid. The curve started back up on May 14, the day after the CDC and President Biden announced that the fully vaccinated are free to go about their lives without a mask in all venues, not just outdoors.

To the surprise of No One, all those Red State Yahoos immediately dis-masked, even though the majority eligible for vaccines have refused to be vaccinated. If the rest of the country is fortunate, the Yahoos will infect themselves to death.

[update 14 May]
Here's the vaccination record for the states. The bottom of the barrel
At the other end, the five states with the lowest percentage of people with one dose are Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, Wyoming and Idaho.
So, one dose isn't the best measure, but still. Here's the benchmark as of 14 May behind the June 15 lede from the NYT.

Since the point is daily trend, updated to use reported daily cases. Per 100K is only reported, in this source, as 7-day.
             cases    per 100K
Mississippi    201     8 
Louisiana 421 10
Alabama 285 6 cases data on the 14th is way whacky, so stick with 7-day average
Wyoming 83 12
Idaho 167 9
We'll stop by the data every now and again to see whether the Oracle turns out to be correct. One actually hopes not, since Covid doesn't respect state lines.

[update 21 May]
             cases    per 100K
Mississippi    105     5 
Louisiana 340 9
Alabama 443 6
Wyoming 70 14
Idaho 167 9
[update 28 May]
             cases    per 100K
Mississippi    131     5 
Louisiana 354 9
Alabama 228 5
Wyoming 96 12
Idaho 135 8
[update 4 June]
             cases    per 100K
Mississippi    141     4 
Louisiana 364 7
Alabama 557 6
Wyoming 80 12
Idaho 166 6
[update 11 June]
             cases    per 100K
Mississippi    236     4 
Louisiana 228 7
Alabama 188 5
Wyoming 103 12
Idaho 118 6
[10 June] Well, the Lamestream Press is starting, too late in my estimation, to call out the Red States.
A range of theories has emerged about why the South, which as of Wednesday was home to eight of the 10 states with the lowest vaccination rates, lags behind the rest of the country: hesitancy from conservative white people, concerns among some Black residents, longstanding challenges when it comes to health care access and transportation.

The answer, interviews across the region revealed, was all of the above.
[12 June] Since this is reporting day for this series, I'll include this bit of news for today. It should come as no surprise.
Less than half of adults living in Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee and Wyoming have received one dose of Covid-19 vaccine, according to the CDC this week.
Idaho has swapped with Tennessee, which is kind of no surprise. It appears that Blaine county pulled Idaho out of ignominy; and, to no one's surprise, a Blue population. Tennessee has not one county above 50% fully vaccinated.
Blaine County has a higher cost of living than surrounding areas; the median value of its owner-occupied housing units is more than double the state average.
...
Blaine County has gained a reputation as a Democratic Party enclave in strongly Republican Idaho. The Democratic presidential candidate has won the county in every election since 1992.

Mixed bag again. I look askance at the Alabama precipitous drop; color me unconvinced. We'll see. A few more days. Being diehard suspicious of the Red states, perhaps two weekly updates from today in addition to the normative 15 June one. Fingers crossed; may be A. Corres Pondent will have nothing to write. Hope springs eternal.

09 June 2021

Thought For The Day - 9 June 2021

First, it's Lake Mead drying up, now FDA has gone rogue, or thoroughly corrupt, by approving an Alzheimers 'drug' that doesn't work. I wonder how well the Sun Belt is going to work out: no water and millions of geezers hooked up to $56,000/year IVs? Oh, that's right, the Blue State taxpayers will bail these 'growth states' out. "We must build a pipeline from New England lakes and reservoirs to the parched Southwest!! They must have water!!" As usual. FDR should have told the Old South to go to hell. (The following is prominent in my dead-trees copy from today, but not in the on-line version. No explanation.)
This is what really keeps me up at night: A therapy of this cost is going to have enormous implications for everyone. And by everyone, I literally mean you, too. There's going to be some 60- and 70-year olds in your plan. If they start getting this treatment, you will see your premiums will go up.
-- Dr. Joseph Ross, Yale
America will never be a socialist country.
-- wannaBePresident Huey Long 2024/2019

Well, OK. Then only demented geezers (nearly the entirety of the Trump Party rural base) who have a spare $56K/year sitting around can get it. Not to mention that $30K in ancillary costs.

The only meaningful difference between European/Canadian style socialism and the sub-rosa American version is that here in the USofA, corps like Biogen rake in billions from the masses. Yeah, I guess that's proof that a country runs better with a few stupidly rich folks, and the rest scratching for an existence. Ya think? Did I mention that, thanks to some purloined tax returns, we now know that the top 25 richest paid little to nothing in taxes? For what benefit to the society and economy? One might wonder?

05 June 2021

Your Cheatin Heart - part the seventh

June 15, 2021 

New York Times
by A. Corres Pondent
RED STATES WITH SPARSE VACCINATIONS EXPLODE WITH COVID

To the surprise of No One, the Red States, which have been lax in getting their populations vaccinated, are experiencing a resurgence in Covid. The curve started back up on May 14, the day after the CDC and President Biden announced that the fully vaccinated are free to go about their lives without a mask in all venues, not just outdoors.

To the surprise of No One, all those Red State Yahoos immediately dis-masked, even though the majority eligible for vaccines have refused to be vaccinated. If the rest of the country is fortunate, the Yahoos will infect themselves to death.

[update 14 May]
Here's the vaccination record for the states. The bottom of the barrel
At the other end, the five states with the lowest percentage of people with one dose are Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, Wyoming and Idaho.
So, one dose isn't the best measure, but still. Here's the benchmark as of 14 May behind the June 15 lede from the NYT.

Since the point is daily trend, updated to use reported daily cases. Per 100K is only reported, in this source, as 7-day.
             cases    per 100K
Mississippi    201     8 
Louisiana 421 10
Alabama 285 6 cases data on the 14th is way whacky, so stick with 7-day average
Wyoming 83 12
Idaho 167 9
We'll stop by the data every now and again to see whether the Oracle turns out to be correct. One actually hopes not, since Covid doesn't respect state lines.

[update 21 May]
             cases    per 100K
Mississippi    105     5 
Louisiana 340 9
Alabama 443 6
Wyoming 70 14
Idaho 167 9
[updated 28 May]
             cases    per 100K
Mississippi    131     5 
Louisiana 354 9
Alabama 228 5
Wyoming 96 12
Idaho 135 8
[updated 4 June]
             cases    per 100K
Mississippi    141     4 
Louisiana 364 7
Alabama 557 6
Wyoming 80 12
Idaho 166 6
On the whole, life is getting worse in the states of the free. Time continues.

[1 June]
A touch of honesty. Who knew?
Peru has more than doubled its official death toll from the Covid-19 pandemic following a government review of the figures, leaving the country with the highest coronavirus-related death rate per capita in the world.

Peru's prime minister announced Monday that the death toll from March 1, 2020 to May 22, 2021 had been revised up to 180,764. The previous figure was 67,807, which is 2.6 times lower.
[3 June]
Well, we have concrete evidence of those cheatin hearts.
That changed in mid-May after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advised vaccinated Americans that they could go maskless in most indoor settings. The next week, the store told employees that they could no longer ask customers to cover their faces. So mask use plummeted, and the anxiety of Ms. Wainwright and other workers shot up.

"We just feel like we're sitting ducks,"said Ms. Wainwright, who estimated that far fewer than half of patrons wore masks on a recent Sunday. "Now it's just a free-for-all."
No surprise that the cheats are in those Red states.

[4 June] Sitting ducks?
"There are 12 states that are already at 70%. I worry about the ones that are way below that, and they are sitting ducks for the next outbreak of Covid-19 -- which shouldn't have to happen now," National Institutes of Health Director Dr. Francis Collins told CNN's Chris Cuomo.
You betcha.

And for those who feel they don't need the protection of the vaccine, Collins said to think of getting doses as a "donation" to those in communities who -- for reasons like chemotherapy and organ transplants -- aren't necessarily protected against Covid-19 by vaccinations.
But, but, but... for the Social Darwinists in the Freedom Protecting Red states, "donations" to the community is just Communism. And you know these knuckledraggers are all for guns and meth, but hate anything that smacks of Communism.

29 May 2021

Your Cheatin Heart - part the sixth

June 15, 2021 

New York Times
by A. Corres Pondent
RED STATES WITH SPARSE VACCINATIONS EXPLODE WITH COVID

To the surprise of No One, the Red States, which have been lax in getting their populations vaccinated, are experiencing a resurgence in Covid. The curve started back up on May 14, the day after the CDC and President Biden announced that the fully vaccinated are free to go about their lives without a mask in all venues, not just outdoors.

To the surprise of No One, all those Red State Yahoos immediately dis-masked, even though the majority eligible for vaccines have refused to be vaccinated. If the rest of the country is fortunate, the Yahoos will infect themselves to death.

[update 14 May]
Here's the vaccination record for the states. The bottom of the barrel
At the other end, the five states with the lowest percentage of people with one dose are Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, Wyoming and Idaho.
So, one dose isn't the best measure, but still. Here's the benchmark as of 14 May behind the June 15 lede from the NYT.

Since the point is daily trend, updated to use reported daily cases. Per 100K is only reported, in this source, as 7-day.
             cases    per 100K
Mississippi    201     8 
Louisiana 421 10
Alabama 285 6 cases data on the 14th is way whacky, so stick with 7-day average
Wyoming 83 12
Idaho 167 9
We'll stop by the data every now and again to see whether the Oracle turns out to be correct. One actually hopes not, since Covid doesn't respect state lines.

[update 21 May]
             cases    per 100K
Mississippi    105     5 
Louisiana 340 9
Alabama 443 6
Wyoming 70 14
Idaho 167 9
[updated 28 May]
             cases    per 100K
Mississippi    131     5 
Louisiana 354 9
Alabama 228 5
Wyoming 96 12
Idaho 135 8
Remember when Canada closed its borders with the the Covid-dirty USofA?
Government leaders in both countries first announced the border closure more than one year ago on March 21, 2020, and have extended the order on a near-monthly basis since.
When Canada was a paragon of good sense and effective policy? Canada has been recently mentioned here because the facts on the ground, as they say, have changed. While no where near Brazil or India in absolute numbers (the population is a small fraction of either of those countries), Canada is experiencing yet another surge; some say third while others this is the fourth.

Today's report focuses on Manitoba. Recall that Canada's governmental structure is not just a Little USofA; it is actually more of a Confederate State's Rights nation. Provincial government has more authority then US states. For instance
The situation is a remarkable reversal. Manitoba once stood out as an example of the effectiveness of tight restrictions, like closing its borders to the rest of Canada, to curb the spread of the virus.
Now:
Over the past two weeks, the province has reported a daily average of 35 new cases per 100,000 people, far exceeding Canada as a whole, which is averaging about 10. Manitoba has more than twice as many new cases per day than the next-highest state or province.
Across the globe, the truth is manifest: containment of a pathogen as Covid-19 means you cannot 'open up' the economy/society as soon as the case count drops a bit. In fact, just opening at some arbitrary lower case count, without instituting aggressive testing and contact tracing means that Dat Ole Exponential Growth will come aroarin back. Why would it not? Lack of those two effective measures is how we got to last January in the first place (thanks to ex-President AuH2O 2020). Combine opening at some lower case count without testing and contact tracing and with low a vaccination rate guarantees another surge. Canada is a poster child for how not to do it. Most provinces are in about the same boat as Manitoba. In order to nip such a pathogen in the bud, so to say, the healthcare system has to know, lickety split, who's newly infected, who they got it from, and who they may have infected. It was last year that most of the USofA gave up on testing and tracing because Covid had been allowed to explode past the testing and tracing capacity.

One of my few teeVee addictions is "Air Disasters", which The Wife deplores since I've always had an antipathy to flying (I don't trust engineers as a group). Yet knowing this about self, I'm still fascinated by the show, for the simple reason that it's a showcase for how other engineers tease out the failure of an airplane flight. Sometimes it's just that the crew screwed up. Other times, more interestingly and importantly, the investigators discover some systemic issue, sometimes with the aircraft model, other times with the ATC system, and sometimes with the regulators. Always, at least in the show, the system, broadly, learns from the disaster, and institutes changes to prevent a recurrence. On the whole, globally, politicians have refused to learn anything about quashing Covid.

We've got another couple of weeks to see whether the vaccine resistent states have their own, localized, surges. So far the numbers are mixed. Stay tuned.

25 May 2021

I Still Hate Neil Irwin - part the eighteenth

My, but we of the dead trees NYT have to wait. Today's Times has the reporting (most of it, anyway) I've been waiting for Mr. Irwin to write for a vewy, vewy long time. The subject, inflation. Note the date on the link: 20 May. Yikes!

But, I suppose, better late than never. The point of the piece is that inflation isn't solely the product of money-grubbing, overpaid serfs, i.e. wage push. Finally, he discusses the other forms, and in particular, inflation in limited sectors caused by immediate term shortage. IOW, after more than a year of Covid contraction, and a vewy, vewy rapid vaccination regime (well, in the consumer sourcing Blue States, at least), production needs some time to ramp back up. And given that a significant proportion of consumer goods, even those with American brand names, come from Asia, supply won't re-appear with a snap of the fingers.

So, he starts with some pertinent questions:
Is this a change in relative prices, or a change in overall prices? Are the prices of items becoming more expensive likely to rise further, stay the same, or go down? Are wages also rising? Is inflation so high and erratic that it is hard to plan ahead? And is this really inflation at all, or is it a shift in the price of investments like stocks and bonds?
Regular reader may see one question with which I've always disagreed with Mr. Irwin: the soaring of Mr. Market's prices since the Great Recession is still just inflation; lots of analysts have been saying for most of those years that P/E ratios are whacky. One might also argue, I have, that the Fed's QE/bond buying effort to keep nominal interest rates very low also drives up stock prices. Vis-a-vis Damn Gimmint zero-risk instruments, aka the opportunity cost, more moolah flows to stocks, pushing up prices, and lowering the interest analog, the inverse of P/E.

And, then the crux of the current matter
The core challenge of an economy emerging from a pandemic is that numerous industries are going through major shocks in demand and supply simultaneously. That means more big swings in relative price than usual.
It's going to take some time for those widgets to get here by boat from Asia. Just that simple.