Big Pharma

But how will new medicines and treatments get approved if we force American health insurance companies to sell at reasonable prices? </SpongeBob mocking> I don’t know, but maybe the hundreds of millions the insurance companies pay their executives would be a good place to find a little funding.

The only reason I can think of that this is not being sold in the US is to preserve cash flows for the testing being done at clinics, doctors offices, and CVS.

Institutions | No Mercy / No Malice

I grew up on stories of the second world war. During the aerial bombardment of London known as the Blitz, my mother, aged seven, had to sleep in tube stations for protection. She was given a mask against poison gas. It was difficult to put on, and frightening to wear, so a thoughtful designer had modified the children’s version with a rubber nose — my mother thought it made her look like Donald Duck. Sheltering underground with a gas mask was traumatic, but society was under threat and sacrifices had to be made. Today, when people refuse to physically distance or wear a mask at Walmart, I envision my seven year-old mother as a child, on a dark tube platform, with her awkward Donald Duck gas mask.

Once again, society is under threat — not from tanks and bombs but from an enemy one-400th the width of a human hair. The toll has been catastrophic. In America, Covid-19 has claimed more than 500,000 lives. Millions of people have lost their jobs and 40m face eviction. A generation of children have had their education interrupted or impaired.

Source: Institutions | No Mercy / No Malice

World-wide, there have been about 2.5M deaths from COVID-19. But, for comparison, World War 2 killed seventy-five million people. I’m not making the comparison; this guy is. So let’s really compare the figures, if we’re going to compare. Of course, 2.5M is tragic, but this is not the same thing. And you can throw in numbers of people who have been evicted or put out of work, but, again, are you really going to compare those numbers to the devastation caused by carpet-bombing Europe into rubble during the Big One?!

If you want to equate sitting in an tube station with a gas mask during a indiscriminate Nazi air raid, so that you don’t get blown to bits by a bomb, to wearing a mask to help prevent the spread of a slightly-more-deadly form of flu, then let’s at least be a little bit honest about the relative dangers being ameliorated by these behaviors.

He also starts to make some point about how America has suffered a disproportionate level of deaths, presumably because we responded to the threat so terribly, presumably because “Donald Trump.” But there are two problems with this. First, there are other countries who have been just as loosely “masked” and “distanced” as the US, and they haven’t had nearly the bad luck we have, so these measures are not the full story. Second, the world loves to rail on the US for being so relatively obese compared to other countries, and one of the biggest co-morbidities with COVID-19 is… obesity.

Of course, as always, people are free to draw whatever analogies they wish in order to make a point, but this level of moral equivalence and glossing over basic facts — especially from someone who supposes to take such a mentally rigorous approach to his subjects — will make me skip the rest of whatever he was trying to say, every time.

Lisa Montgomery Is Executed After Supreme Court Clears Way – WSJ

According to a pool report from the Associated Press, “a female prison staffer standing over Montgomery’s shoulder leaned over, gently removed Montgomery’s face mask and asked her if she had any last words. ‘No,’ Montgomery responded in a quiet, muffled voice. She said nothing else.”

Source: Lisa Montgomery Is Executed After Supreme Court Clears Way – WSJ

Thank God she wore a face mask on the way to being put to death by the State! We wouldn’t want her to catch COVID just before being executed!

Separately, why would a prison staffer remove it to ask a question!?

Also separately, why are the votes of Court so predictable, based on ideology, when it comes to matters of law?


Thanks to Covid-19, everyone who can be has been “homeshored.” The cost savings for companies “allowing” employees to work from home must be staggering. They’ve offloaded their spending on HVAC, power, water, internet bandwidth, office supplies, coffee, and toiletries to the employees. I expect homeshoring to continue, in large part, after Covid-19 is “over” (however that is defined).

The counter argument is what to do about onboarding new employees? How will they ever get integrated into their local workgroup, or the company culture, if they’re only interactions are stilted video conference calls? It’s a depressing thought. Many people are decrying how impersonal modern life is becoming, and what the lack of interpersonal relationships is doing to our society, and this trend doesn’t bode well for this either.