Science Personified runs but cannot hide from COVID-19

From the UK Deplorables, “Anthony Fauci says that he’s experienced rebound Covid symptoms after taking a Pfizer’s antiviral Paxlovid – which studies now show is NOT effective for people who are vaccinated” (Daily Mail):

Dr. Anthony Fauci said that he’s on his second course of Paxlovid after testing positive again for Covid-19

The [CDC] warning noted that none of the reported rebound cases saw patients suffer a severe case of Covid-19, though Fauci described his symptoms as ‘much worse’

Earlier this month, Fauci tested positive for the virus with mild symptoms including fatigue. As his symptoms got slightly worse, Fauci began a five day course of Paxlovid.

Following that course, Fauci said that he tested negative for the virus three days in a row. He decided to test again on the fourth day. The result came back positive.

Biden has propped it up during his 2022 State of the Union address as one of the keys to America’s Covid response, even offering it for free to anyone who tests positive for the virus. At the 2022 State of the Union, Biden said: ‘If you get COVID-19, the Pfizer pill reduces your chances of ending up in the hospital by 90 percent.’

He announced the ‘Test to Treat’ program, where Americans who tested positive for the virus at pharmacies around the country could quickly get a course of the drugs at no cost.

I like that last part the best. A taxpayer getting a medicine that is paid for by taxpayers (i.e., him/her/zir/theirself) is getting it at “no cost”.

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What are you paying for a haircut after Bidenflation?

A basic haircut at a barber shop in downtown San Diego was $40 plus tip earlier this month. What are you paying?

Based on limited experience, haircuts in the West are much more expensive than haircuts back east. It was $36 in Denver before coronapanic.

“Want to Understand Inflation? Check the Price of Your Haircut” (WSJ, June 22):

In San Francisco, Shorty Maniace raised prices at J.P. Kempt Barber Social from $55 to $65 in May and is considering another increase. When the barbershop opened in 2013, a standard cut was $45. He says people regularly walk out of the salon in a huff after hearing the price.

How do all of the San Franciscans living in tents afford haircuts?

YWAM SF offers free haircuts to homeless or low-income people who need it or are going to have a job interview.

I’m a little out of touch because we’ve had a micro barbershop running here at home starting in 2018 for the kids and then in 2020 for everyone except the barber herself.

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Economist answers my question about high interest rates and high deficits

Two weeks ago: Could our epic deficits drive inflation no matter how high the Fed raises rates?

John H. Cochrane, the superstar economist (and sailplane pilot! How does that work when you’re a professor at University of Chicago and the nearest ridge is 1,000 miles away?), answers the question in the Wall Street Journal… “The Federal Reserve Can’t Cure Inflation by Itself”:

By raising interest rates, the Fed pushes the economy toward recession. It hopes to push just enough to offset the stimulus’s fiscal boost. But monetary brakes and a floored fiscal gas pedal mistreat the economic engine.

The Phillips curve, by which the Fed believes slowing economic activity reduces inflation, is ephemeral. Some recessions and rate hikes even feature higher inflation, especially in countries with fiscal problems.

Higher interest rates will directly make deficits worse by adding to the interest costs on the debt. Reducing inflation was hard enough in 1980, when federal debt was under 25% of gross domestic product. Now it is over 100%. Each percentage point interest rates are higher means $250 billion more in inflation-inducing deficit.

Monetary policy alone can’t cure a sustained inflation. The government will also have to fix the underlying fiscal problem. Short-run deficit reduction, temporary measures or accounting gimmicks won’t work. Neither will a bout of growth-killing high-tax “austerity.” The U.S. has to persuade people that over the long haul of several decades it will return to its tradition of running small primary surpluses that gradually repay debts. That outcome requires economic growth, which raises long-run taxable income. Raising tax rates alone is like climbing a sand dune, as each rise hurts income growth. The U.S. also needs spending reform, especially on entitlements. And it needs to break the cycle that each crisis will be met by a river of printed or borrowed money, bailouts for big financial firms and stimulus checks for voters.

In other words, as long as Congress keeps borrowing and spending, at least according to Professor Cochrane, we can experience inflation even with high interest rates from the wizards behind the curtain at the Fed. Maybe there could be a house price crash due to the high interest rates (how many people can afford a $20,000 per month mortgage on a 4BR?), but that won’t bring down the headline inflation number since house prices were taking out of the government’s official stats. The rent prices that are in the CPI stat shouldn’t come down because mortgage rates are high. In fact, maybe the high mortgage rates will lead to higher rents since renting is an alternative to buying and paying a mortgage.

On the third hand, though our realtor says that the crash hasn’t happened yet here in South Florida, houses are sitting longer on the market. This could be because it is mid-summer and that is the traditional dead season for real estate. Here’s a fairly standard 5BR house on a busy street in Abacoa:

Note the 38 days on the market at the bottom. In January 2022, this place would have sold within two weeks. Zillow estimates the payment for living on this vast 1/4-acre estate and listening to cars zip by all day at $17,576 per month. For that to be one third of a buyer’s income, he/she/ze/they would have to earn $633,000 per year (i.e., be a dermatologist or plastic surgeon).


  • Cochrane’s calculation of the complete tax rate for a successful Californian (he also has a job next to Stanford): How much is the property tax? In Calfornia, we pay 1% per year. That doesn’t seem bad, except that property values are very high. You can’t get a tear-down in Palo Alto for under $2 million. If you buy a house that costs 5 times your income — say someone earning $200,000 per year buying a $1 million house — then that is equivalent to 5 percentage points additional income tax. On top of 42% federal, 13.2% state, 9% sales, and other taxes, it’s part of my view that we’re past 70% top marginal rate now.
  • “How did Paul Krugman get it so Wrong?” (2009): Most of all, Krugman likes fiscal stimulus. … In economics, stimulus spending ran aground on Robert Barro’s Ricardian equivalence theorem. This theorem says that debt-financed spending can’t have any more effect than spending financed by raising taxes. … If you believe the Keynesian argument for stimulus, you should think Bernie Madoff is a hero. He took money from people who were saving it, and gave it to people who most assuredly were going to spend it. Each dollar so transferred, in Krugman’s world, generates an additional dollar and a half of national income. The analogy is even closer. Madoff didn’t just take money from his savers, he essentially borrowed it from them, giving them phony accounts with promises of great profits to come. This looks a lot like government debt. If you believe the Keynesian argument for stimulus, you don’t care how the money is spent. All this puffery about “infrastructure,” monitoring, wise investment, jobs “created” and so on is pointless. Keynes thought the government should pay people to dig ditches and fill them up. [Good news for the PPP program is next] If you believe in Keynesian stimulus, you don’t even care if the government spending money is stolen. Actually, that would be better. Thieves have notoriously high propensities to consume.
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Hijacked Facebook account message exchange

A young relative’s Facebook account was hijacked (via social engineering) and below is my message exchange with the new person behind the old persona. The hijacker initially asked for my mobile number, presumably hoping to complete the conversation via text message instead of on Facebook. I was immediately suspicious given that we were already in an application that allows text, voice, and video. When the request was for $100 I knew that it was a scam because 100 Bidies rounds to $0 in 2022 purchasing power.

I am a little confused…

Fortuitously, it turns out that I am good friends with Tito Rodrigueze:

The hijacking victim’s mom spent days trying to recover the account. Facebook is not easy to deal with, it seems.

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Massachusetts contemplates California-style tax rates

Maskachusetts has been prevented by its constitution from imposing California-style progressive tax rates to fund its Progressive government goals. That could change in November if voters approve an amendment that would enable forcing the rich to pay their fair share.

Currently, Massachusetts is ranked among the top 15 states in percentage of residents’ income taken to fund state and local government (Tax Foundation). TX runs state/local gov. on 8.6% of what its residents earn. FL takes 9.1%. MA takes 11.5%. The champions include NY at 15.9% and CA at 13.5%. Government by Science (philosopher kings) is not cheap, apparently.

The Pioneer Institute provides some analysis:

The amendment to the Massachusetts Constitution would have a particularly significant impact on retirees and small businesses. It would affect a long list of “income” categories, including salary, capital gains (on the sale of investments, homes, businesses and other assets), dividends, IRA and 401K distributions, interest, royalties, and commissions. In any one year, should the totality of these income streams exceed $1 million, the state would increase existing income taxes by 4 percent on the excess.

“Pass-through” companies such as partnerships, limited liability corporations, subchapter S corporations and sole proprietorships are taxed via individual returns. These mostly small businesses, nearly two thirds of which are subchapter S corporations, employed almost half of all private, for-profit employees in Massachusetts in 2019.

Passage of the constitutional amendment would force many pass-through businesses to pay the new 4 percent tax on top of the existing 5 percent income tax. Subchapter S corporations, which currently pay Massachusetts’ unique “stinger tax” of up to 3.9 percent, would face a total state tax burden of up to 12.9 percent, a rate higher than large corporations pay.

In addition, adopting the tax hike amendment would give Massachusetts the nation’s highest short-term capital gains tax (16 percent) and the highest long-term capital gains tax in New England.

… the tax hike amendment falls primarily on households selling a family home or business to finance retirement. Nearly half of all parties affected by the tax earn $1 million or more only once in a decade; over 60 percent do so only twice.

The tax would apply to more residents every year. To adjust for inflation, the tax amendment uses the Chained Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers, which has lagged well behind household income and wages in Massachusetts. State legislative salaries, on the other hand, are tied to median household income, which has risen much faster.

I’m not sure that the tax increase would be a bad idea. Due to the state’s 5% income tax and 16% estate tax, a successful person could already save $millions for his/her/zir/their children by moving to the vacation playground of Florida (see analysis below; kids will enjoy roughly 42 percent higher spending power if the parent moves 30 years prior to dying). We can therefore infer that most people who have chosen to stay in Maskachusetts don’t mind paying higher tax rates.


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Who is going to a Pride march today?

Attending mass gatherings is the best way to avoid viral infection, according to Science. See “Pride parades should go on despite monkeypox concerns: WHO” (The Hill, May 30):

A World Health Organization (WHO) adviser said on Monday that people should not change their plans to attend pride parades next month amid the increased circulation of monkeypox.

“It’s important that people who want to go out and celebrate gay pride, LGBTQ+ pride, to continue to go and plan to do so,” said Andy Seale, a strategies adviser in the WHO Department of Global HIV, Hepatitis and Sexually Transmitted Infections Programmes.

WHO experts have pointed to sex at two recent raves in Europe as the leading theory for the spread of the virus, which is endemic in areas of Africa. The agency has said several cases have been reported among men who have sex with men, but cautioned it may be a reflection of “positive health seeking behavior” in that demographic, given that the cases were identified at sexual health clinics.

Seale said at Monday’s public briefing that the organization has linked cases to a number of “social events” in European countries.

Monkeypox and variant SARS-CoV-2 will presumably be celebrating at today’s NYC Pride March. From Wikipedia:

New York City Pride March is an event celebrating the LGBTQ community; it is one of the largest annual Pride marches in the world, attracting tens of thousands of participants and millions of sidewalk spectators each June.

Readers: Who is going to a Pride event today? Below, Science explains why Pride events are typically in March rather than June here in Florida:


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Corporations go from greedy villains to heroic protectors of women by paying for abortion care travel

Friends on Facebook have been celebrating a variety of companies previously condemned as “greedy” for their 20-50 percent price increases that have contributed to Bidenflation. What did these companies do to get out of the doghouse? Promise to pay for employee travel related to abortion care. “Here are the companies that will cover travel expenses for employee abortions.” (NYT):

A handful of companies have committed to helping their employees access abortion services.

Companies began to come out with policies on covering travel expenses for employees who need abortions in May, when a leaked memo from Supreme Court justices previewed their decision on the case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. This small group included Starbucks, Tesla, Yelp, Airbnb, Microsoft, Netflix, Patagonia, DoorDash, JPMorgan Chase, Levi Strauss & Co., PayPal and Reddit. Others, including Disney, Meta, Dick’s Sporting Goods and Condé Nast, joined them on Friday when the decision became final, though most of them avoided making public statements directly referencing the ruling.

“As the world’s most broadly based health care company, we strive to improve access and affordability, create healthier communities, and put health within reach for the people we serve,” Johnson & Johnson said Friday. “We also believe health care decisions are best determined by individuals in consultation with their health care provider.”

Ordinarily we assume that corporations seek to maximize profit. It is much cheaper to pay for abortion care, even if travel is involved, than to pay for parental leave and then to pay 100 percent salary for the reduced productivity of a worker with a baby at home waking him/her/zir/them up at night. But the assumption of the Righteous, who just last week were condemning these companies for “greed”, seems to be that these companies are doing the good work for altruistic/philanthropic reasons.

Yet more curious is that the folks who previously celebrated pregnant people in a rainbow of 74 different gender IDs now refer to abortion care as something only for “women”. Examples:

Women are going to die because of this horrific decision. This a cry for body autonomy, and equality itself.

Women are now second class citizens…

Are there Republicans in Congress who share the view of our [Maskachusetts] Governor Charlie Baker who will vote to protect a women’s right to choose in Congress.

I don’t want to hear from anyone about how taking away reproductive rights from women is a pro-life move.

Regardless of your views on whether abortion care should be regulated at the federal or state level (if abortion care is to be regulated at all), it seems clear that decades of progress in gender science have been wiped away by the Supreme Court.


  • “Amazon will pay US staff travel expenses for abortions and other treatments” (BBC): A message to Amazon staff said that the firm will pay up to $4,000 (£3,201) in travel expenses each year for treatments not available nearby. (Why is there a limit if abortion care is important?)
  • Broody hen compared to gravid human in the office (2018): Just as a broody hen negatively impacts a farmer’s productivity, a gravid human poses a significant inconvenience to her employer. That’s why companies like Google, Facebook, and Apple pay for female employees to extract and freeze their eggs. It’s great to see tech companies empowering women the same way that factory farms empower their battery hens!
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Uber characterizes Mohamed as gay

To celebrate Pride Month, Uber uses a rainbow icon to show the driver’s vehicle. Here’s an example where Uber’s white saviors suggest that “Mohamed” is a follower of Rainbow Flagism:

The good news is that, after a ride in the back of a Tesla 3, the Prius seemed luxurious!

Of course it is brave of Uber to celebrate everything 2SLGBTQQIA+ in the U.S., where the repercussions could be severe, but do the rainbow cars appear for Uber users in Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Bahrain, Pakistan, Qatar, and United Arab Emirates?

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Is it now time for the Bloomberg Abortion Bus fleet?

From 2020: Why can’t Michael Bloomberg run a fleet of abortion buses?

The Supreme Court has said that abortion is a matter for state legislatures to decide, just as states decide on most issues, including medical licensing and practice, and just as states did for the first two post-rebellion centuries of the U.S:

After making it to the 198th trimester, Roe V. Wade has been aborted. Conceived all the way back on January 22, 1973, Roe V. Wade has been struck down after a decision was passed down today by the Supreme Court.

6 out of the 9 Justices decided to terminate the longstanding federal law. According to Doctors who performed the procedure, “Roe V Wade did not feel a thing as it was ripped apart word by word, syllable from syllable as it was fed through the paper shredder.” … At publishing time, Planned Parenthood had acquired the shredded remains of the precious document and was reportedly selling the scraps for money.

From my Facebook feed:

from Los Angeles, a woman well past her childbearing years: channelling rage and wondering what rights will get trampled next?

from Maskachusetts, a woman who could possibly have had a baby in the 1980s (but did not): I truly never thought I’d see this day. 😢 It’s probably the beginning of the end!

from Virginia, a guy whose Facebook profile picture shows him with some kids around age 10: I don’t often get angry. But I’m angry today. I don’t post about politically-charged issues, but I am today. And I don’t want to hear from anyone about how taking away reproductive rights from women is a pro-life move. It should not be a partisan issue, but thanks to the Nixon administration, it became that way and remains so to this day. Men, if you want to keep your guns, you better get your head straight about protecting women’s reproductive rights or you’re going to lose your guns through the same methods that Texas is using to take rights away from women.

a retirement-age Jewish man in Maskachusetts: The tragedy of the Trump Supreme Court will infect this country for generations. There is an unholy alliance between the extremely wealthy and powerful with the far right religious freaks and white nationalists. The rich get to pay no taxes and control all branches of government. The others get all the guns they want, abortion outlawed, and to feel good about hating whatever group they love to hate. The country will keep sinking into anti-education, anti-science, anti-truth muck.

a big law firm partner in Los Angeles (identifies as a male?): The new Civil War has begun.

from a self-described TERF in Seattle (the only one in the group who is biologically capable of incubating a baby): Wild to me that we’re entering a period that’s going to be not unlike the collapse of slavery, where slave-holding states set against free states in insane ways. Obviously thousands of women now in red states are going to be travelling out of state to get abortions, and there’s going to be states pitted against each other to either assist these women or prevent them from leaving/accessing abortion.

I wonder if we’re getting into a situation like Californians and the unhoused. Californians are rich and they say that they’ll do absolutely anything to provide housing for the unhoused (not “homes for the homeless”!) except there is one little thing that they won’t do… build and provide housing. Californians who call themselves social justice advocates will buy new Teslas, indulge in $250,000 kitchen renovations, and splurge on European vacations instead of funding apartment construction. Similarly, advocates of unlimited abortions are generally elite and wealthy. They say that they will do anything to help “women” (somehow pregnant people in 73 other gender IDs are neglected) obtain abortions…. except fund transportation from the benighted states to abortion care facilities in scientifically governed states (abortion is legal in Maskachusetts right up to 37 weeks and beyond).

“‘Proterra Powered’ electric bus travels 1,700 miles using only public chargers, exceeding 300 miles during certain legs” (electrek) describes a comfortable electric coach from Belgium (where abortion is legal until 12 weeks after conception). Billionaire Democrats could save Planet Earth in two ways simultaneously via these buses: (1) transportation without burning any fossil fuel (except whatever was burned to generate electricity), and (2) reducing the growth rate of the human population.

Readers: Abortion has been subject to restrictions in a lot of states for at least 20 years. If abortion care access is as important to Democrats as they say it is, why aren’t there already convenient and simple Democrat-funded transportation+abortion services?

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Masking is optional at the University of California

A friend teaches at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). He described the continued impact of coronapanic at the school. Half of all class meetings can be via Zoom. Vaccine papers are checked to make sure that everyone has had at least three shots of the Sacrament of Fauci. Masks must be worn in the classroom by the triple-vaccinated teachers and students.

I checked the school’s Masking and Operations page:

Masking is currently optional except that it remains required in all indoor classroom/instructional settings, clinical areas, and on Triton/university transportation until further notice.

In addition, all students (regardless of vaccination status) must wear face masks within their residential unit except for their personal bedrooms or in the shower. Masks are also required when inside residential buildings and outside of students’ personal residential units in halls, elevators, lobbies, etc.

No need to wear a mask except when in a classroom or a dorm or some other places!

Professor Doctor My Friend, Ph.D. subscribes to receive text messages when there is a serious on-campus emergency, e.g., a fire or a chemical spill. Here’s one that woke him up a few days ago:

On 06/16/2022 at 11:28pm, the UC San Diego Police Department received a report of an Intimidation – Sexuality Orientation Bias, that occurred at UCSD Hillcrest Hospital on 06/13/2022 at 3:10pm. The reporting party stated that a person left multiple notes in their work space threatening their person and made derogatory comments toward their sexual orientation. The reporting party stated their co-worker received similar intimidation in a previous incident.

The middle-of-the-night message regarded an incident that occurred at a UCSD-owned hospital more than 10 miles from the main campus.

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