Wednesday, March 31, 2021
COVID-19: Vaccine Trials Ended
Dear Mr. Frank Wilson:
How much confidence do you have in a new product that has been tested for only a few months?
People are clamoring to get the new COVID products, including those who might have been in the placebo group in the Pfizer and Moderna trials. Now, they can get their shots because trials that were supposed to continue for two years are being terminated prematurely.
As Shannon Brownlee, a lecturer at George Washington University School of Public Health, and Jeanne Lenzer, author of The Danger Within Us: America's Untested, Unregulated Medical Device Industry and One Man's Battle to Survive It, point out, “Many vaccines, along with drugs and medical devices, look ‘miraculous’ at first—only to turn out to be less so as more data comes in.”
The possibility that the FDA might fail to insist on further testing once vaccines were marketed was pointed out in September by Howard Bauchner, M.D., editor-in-chief of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). “Prematurely approving a vaccine could undermine Covid-19 vaccine efforts and erode confidence in vaccines more generally.”
Vaccine adverse effects are tracked by the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), but reporting is voluntary and incomplete. And without a controlled trial, it is hard to determine whether the vaccine caused the effect.
More than a dozen countries, mostly in Europe, temporarily halted the AstraZeneca COVID vaccine because of reports of serious or deadly bleeding or blood clotting problems, but then restarted them after the European regulatory agency declared the product safe. It was not clear that the rate of post-vaccine problems was greater than the background rate.
But on Mar 31, Germany suspended the product in persons under the age of 60 due to renewed concerns. The regulatory agency found 31 cases of rare blood clots in veins draining the brain (cerebral venous sinus thrombosis).
While the demand for vaccines is high overall, there is also considerable resistance, especially in health workers. In Switzerland, at most half of health workers were willing to get inoculated. In Germany, a survey by a care home operator found that only 30% wanted to get vaccinated. Half of French workers say they will resist.
French hospitals had to slow the rollout because 25 percent of workers were too sick to work for a time after the injections.
As trust diminishes, more coercive measures are being used to get people to take the jabs.
For information on prevention and early treatment protocols, see c19protocols.com.
Jane M. Orient, M.D.
Executive Director, Association of American Physicians and Surgeons
The icon is highly symbolic, a grace, and a unique kind of sacramental, not just an art-form. Icons are never purely naturalistic, but are a place of prayerful encounter with the “prototypes,” the Lord and the saints the images portray. Learning to paint them according to the strict canon of traditional iconography was a path of submission that led to new vistas of freedom, both spiritually and artistically — one might say a “narrow gate.” It was one of the greatest teachers of my life.
Tuesday, March 30, 2021
Trust me, this is only the beginning. Anybody who knows how to report has known this from the start (by doing a little reporting).
All that happens now is an ignorant 'parroting' of the superficial forms of brain-thinking - such as managerialist flow-charts and checklists - whose application is rigid but whose content is increasingly arbitrary and incoherent.
In a Dec 8 submission to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC), pediatric rheumatologist J. Patrick Whelan, M.D., Ph.D., expressed concern that mRNA products, through spike proteins, have “the potential to cause microvascular injury [inflammation and small blood clots called microthrombi] to the brain, heart, liver and kidneys in ways that were not assessed in the safety trials.”
One of the problems of depression as an object of study is that there are no clear-cut biological markers to distinguish cases from non-cases. Some endocrinological conditions mimic depression, and some medications undoubtedly cause it. In the great majority of cases, however, there are no measurable bodily changes, except those brought about by the symptoms themselves: in depression, symptoms and disease are one, at least in the present state of knowledge.
Monday, March 29, 2021
How dare they not listen to the redoubtable Dr. Fauci.
Beauty and Truth present themselves to us in fragments, not all at once in a seamless web. If such a seamless web exists, it is beyond our ken in this World. Now and then we glimpse scattered threads, or what might be emerging patterns.
Practically nothing of what you have advised and predicted for the Middle East in the last 30 years has ever happened. You have always written the wrong things for the wrong reasons.
Sunday, March 28, 2021
… the “dictatorship of woke capital” is not inevitable. The book’s title is in fact taken from the title the editors of the journal First Things gave to a powerful speech that Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton gave in June 2019. “As liberal activists have lost control of the judiciary, they have turned to a different hub of power,” Cotton said. In a democracy, we resolve our differences through democratic debate; “what should never happen is a billion-dollar corporation trying to dictate these moral questions to us.” America has awakened, finally, to what the woke are doing.
Saturday, March 27, 2021
The seditious Sooners intend to throw a monkey wrench into the war machine. They plan to gather at the farm of “Old Man” Spears, a local Socialist and son of a Confederate veteran, where they will commence a long march eastward, subsisting on green corn and picking up rebellion-minded farmers as they go. When this agrarian army arrives in Washington, they will depose “Kaiser Wilson” and call the boys home.
Preliminary data from EU statistics agency Eurostat compiled by Reuters showed Sweden had 7.7% more deaths in 2020 than its average for the preceding four years. Countries that opted for several periods of strict lockdowns, such as Spain and Belgium, had so-called excess mortality of 18.1% and 16.2% respectively
Friday, March 26, 2021
It’s true, Biden managed not to fall off the dais, or go completely blank, or fall over his dog. It’s true, he matched the topics on his cue cards to the subjects of the questions. But this press conference was nerve-wracking and enervating to watch. It’s obvious that Biden’s mind often has no idea what his mouth is saying. This press conference was supposed to dampen concerns about his mental acuity. Instead it confirmed that Biden is too old and complacent for the scale of the task
Never apologize, don’t act afraid, and, to borrow a phrase from Obama, “punch back twice as hard.” Call the mob out for what it is: a bunch of bad people trying to pretend they stand for something moral. Going after people for their political views this way isn’t an act of morality. It’s an attempt at political terrorism, and it’s un-American
The essence of finding pleasure in art poetry is paying attention to language in a new way. In daily talk and in most writing, words are used to convey information: you’re not supposed to pay attention to the words themselves but to the message they deliver. The ultimate example is a stop sign, where the meaning resides just as much in the red octagon as in the word “stop.” A driver isn’t meant to read the word at all, just reflexively put a foot on the brake.
Thursday, March 25, 2021
Be careful, true believers.
Not to put too fine a point on it, he was more accomplished than the person writing these words. To those few who knew us both, we presented a curious juxtaposition. But it wasn’t simply a matter of opposites’ attracting, although I think we both enjoyed the weak gravitational force between us. Where he was calm, I was quick to anger. Where he enjoyed prestige, I eschewed the institutions necessary to attain it. Where I reacted hotly to people and their behavior, he concluded that “resentment is a form of ego I detest.” And I believe it was my unsettled state that drew me to him and, in a strange way, him to me. Even a malcontent can come in handy.
… the author has chosen to write his subject’s biography backwards, from maturity to infancy. Perhaps he took the idea from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s story “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”(Fitzgerald in turn may have had it from Eden Philpotts’s novel ), or perhaps he wanted to shake the complacency of those of us who still think we live in a Newtonian universe and for whom time remains an absolute measure, an inexorable, unidirectional forward march of events. Be that as it may, as a biographical device I found it distracting rather than illuminating. It makes for a jerky rather than a smooth narrative, placing an unnecessary strain on the reader’s mind, for each chapter oscillates backwards and forwards so that one is often not quite sure of the temporal relation of what is being discussed to what one has already read and to what is to come. A more conventional approach, beginning with birth and ending with death, would have been better; sometimes convention is superior to originality or eccentricity.
Wednesday, March 24, 2021
… the spike proteins studding SARS-CoV-2 bound more tightly to their human cell receptor, a protein called ACE2, than target receptors on any other species evaluated. In other words, SARS-CoV-2 was surprisingly well adapted to its human prey, which is unusual for a newly emerging pathogen. “Holy shit, that’s really weird,’” Petrovsky recalls thinking.
Tuesday, March 23, 2021
… after exploding onto the world stage at such a tender age, Friedlander was gone from the pages of his own creation by the age of 25, drifting out of sight, then in and out of mental institutions. Only decades later did his own magazine track him down and reconnect; by then he had just months to live.
… subscriber-based platforms like Patreon and Substack allowed for some cast-offs to build new careers as independents. For a long time, this was a small enough group that few noticed or cared.
Now, however, these second acts are prompting a backlash. What’s the point of canceling someone, if they don’t stay canceled? Why consign someone to purgatory if they can make a living there?
Monday, March 22, 2021
A century-and-a-half after the Civil War, the Society of Jesus has acknowledged the justice of specific reparations owed to the five thousand or so living descendants of the Black people the Jesuits once owned, an enterprise they had engaged in for more than a century. With a “down payment” of $15 million, the Jesuits have pledged to raise $100 million in private donations (not taxpayer funds). What follows is an edited excerpt from “Lock(e), Stock and Jesuit,” Chapter 29 of my Christ, Capital & Liberty: A Polemic.
The new class structure resembles that of Medieval times. At the apex of the new order are two classes—a reborn clerical elite, the clerisy, which dominates the upper part of the professional ranks, universities, media and culture, and a new aristocracy led by tech oligarchs with unprecedented wealth and growing control of information. These two classes correspond to the old French First and Second Estates.
Veteran journalist and New York Times best-selling author Mark Harris spent a number of years (and conducted more than 250 interviews) putting together a substantial new biography of Nichols called Mike Nichols: A Life. The book is a testament to the enduring power of a man who could seemingly always find an audience willing to listen to what he had to say — and to the endurance of a biographer who has adeptly helped us understand and appreciate Nichols for the complicated genius he was.
Sunday, March 21, 2021
He was a statesman, not an ideologue. His beliefs were shaped by his experiences as a lawyer, a small-town mayor, a state senator, a governor, and a vice president. It is not an abstract belief system that motivated Coolidge, but wisdom gained through the practice of political life. Well-known for his reluctance to bloviate, “Silent Cal” was nonetheless a well-regarded speaker in his day. He took to the new medium of radio with gusto; a book of his speeches bolstered his reputation when he was governor of Massachusetts.
Saturday, March 20, 2021
Progress, Chesterton pointed out, isn’t anything. You can’t be for progress unless you’ve defined the thing towards which you are progressing. Otherwise progress is simply a comparative for which we have not established the superlative. The Progressives, according to Chesterton, were only interested in “going on towards going on.” Their notion of progress was based on a rejection of the past, a hatred of history, and a breaking of the commandment that tells us to honor our father and mother. Tradition means giving a vote to our ancestors. It is, Chesterton said, “the democracy of the dead.” Letting our ancestors have a vote is only common sense, whereas voting on behalf of our ancestors is election fraud.
If craft without inspiration avails little, inspiration without craft avails even less. Ultimately the failure of craft, apart from the question of sheer inability, is a matter of laziness, of a reluctance to sacrifice for excellence, of a preference, in in the end, for sin.
On the surface, there is nothing much to get excited, or confused about, yet. However, when you start looking a little more closely, you begin to notice stranger things.
Friday, March 19, 2021
It is a jewel, one that takes seriously the BBC’s founding mission ‘to inform, educate and entertain’, while simultaneously giving lie to the idea that this is at all difficult. Making intelligent radio is as simple as letting people say intelligent things. Along with Bragg’s not-quite-gruff, economical style, the key ingredient is the extent to which he and his producers trust their audience. In turn, the show’s enormous audience have repaid this trust by making it one of BBC Radio 4’s most well-loved and long-running features.
Thursday, March 18, 2021
Ben Jonson, an edition of whose poems Gunn once edited, is an important figure here: Nott quotes Gunn saying that people have ‘difficulty with my poetry … in locating the central voice or central personality. But I’m not aiming for central voice and I’m not aiming for central personality. I want to be an Elizabethan poet. I want to write with the same anonymity you get in the Elizabethans.’ Nott suggests that we get a ‘staging’ of Gunn’s personality in these letters, a tailoring of voice to recipient. That certainly feels right, though it feels too as though the life and personality come through in the letters in a way they don’t in his poetry, particularly the earlier work.
'It is not clear what legal changes could remedy this. But what is clear is that our nineteenth- and twentieth-century understandings of antitrust, the public square, state power, and the free market are presently incapable of cabining corporate forces that are hostile to the perpetuation of a free society.
There is also the Buckley who was the peerless discoverer of talent. Garry Wills is one. George Will is another. My predecessor at the New York Times Book Review, John Leonard, was a third — who was a superb literary journalist and really the best editor by far in the history of the New York Times Book Review. And I feel I’m qualified to say that because I had the same job. But a brilliant writer and critic. And when Bill hired him, he was 19 years old. He was a Harvard dropout.
Written by Neal Cassady in 1950 and lost for 60 years, The Joan Anderson Letter was indeed considered a holy relic of the Beat Generation, and a Rosetta stone document that would show how Cassady’s writing directly influenced Jack Kerouac’s style and direction in life. Which is to say that without this document, On The Road might never have been written, and without Neal Cassady, Jack Kerouac might have written In My Room, instead of setting the literary world on fire.