Relevant and even prescient commentary on news, politics and the economy.

Yes, the covid epidemic is undermining trust in government . . . just not for the reason you may think

Disasters and threats tend to be politically unifying.  Public approval of George W. Bush jumped after the 9/11 attacks, and trust in government increased.  Donald Trump’s approval rating was highly stable due to increasing polarization, but even he enjoyed a small increase in approval at the start of the covid epidemic, and trust in government […]

U.S. Seeks to Block Bankruptcy Plan That Would Free Sacklers From Opioid Claims

“The Justice Department moved on Thursday to block a bankruptcy plan that grants broad legal immunity to the pharmaceutical company Purdue Pharma, whose drug OxyContin has been at the heart of the nation’s opioid epidemic. William K. Harrington, the U.S. trustee for the Justice Department, filed a motion in federal court to halt confirmation of […]

Science is a human enterprise

Prof. Joel Eissenberg, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Arguably *the* transformative scientific innovation of the past two years was the development and deployment of mRNA vaccines against SARS-CoV-2. But like any innovation, there is a long unsung history, with lots of players nobody heard of. Since the Nobel Prize in Medicine is likely to go to […]

Lodestar

Time was when the future could be and was read from the tea leaves of the past. Elders, old-timers, and other records could tell us what to expect in the way of weather. That wasn’t so long ago. Today, all we have to go on is the scientific models. The past no longer applies when […]

On the downside of the Delta wave, vaccinations make all the difference

Coronavirus dashboard for September 13: on the downside of the Delta wave, vaccinations make all the difference With each passing day, it becomes increasingly likely that the peak of the Delta wave was just before Labor Day. We’ll probably get a pop in the weekly average number tomorrow, as today’s numbers replace the Labor Day […]

Calling Covid Vaccine “Needle Rape”

Idaho Health Board Candidate Calls COVID-19 Vaccine “Needle Rape” | Boise State Public Radio Angry Bear has its share of expressed ignorance about Covid, wearing of masks, social-distancing, and being vaccinated to mitigate the impact of Covid. One would think government officials would disavow politics and work together figting the pandemic. Not so . . […]

Coronavirus dashboard for September 10: was Labor Day indeed the peak of the Delta wave?

Coronavirus dashboard for September 10: was Labor Day indeed the peak of the Delta wave? I have been saying for some time that the Delta wave would probably peak around Labor Day. It’s not certain yet, but it is looking increasingly likely to have been the case. The Delta wave struck in both the US […]

Beware of “The Narrative”!

Beware of “The Narrative”! Back in 1979 philosopher Jean-François Lyotard was commissioned to do a report for the province of Quebec that turned into a book, The Postmodern Condition. I remember that book well because I read it during my graduate studies that focused on narrative analysis. A central theme of Lyotard’s book was the “death of […]