Saturday, April 30, 2022

Willie Mays A's?

The initial premise of the baseball movie 'Major League' is that the fictional owner of the then Cleveland Indians, Rachel Phelps, wants to field a team so bad that attendance will fall below a magic threshold that will allow her to move the team to Miami.

Thus, the team brings in a broken down catcher from the Mexican league, a fireballer that (literally) can't see the plate, and a speedster named Willie Mays Hayes who can't hit.

Of course, in the end, everybody, including the owner and the long suffering fans, wins.

That does not look it will be the case for the real life fans of the current version of the Oakland Athletics 



The current version of the real life Oakland Athletics are still being run by Dr. Moneyball, Billy Beane.

Which means that while they routinely sell off high-priced stars to stock the shelves with cheaper  talent with quality 'metrics', the A's on-field product is almost always competitive.

What's going on in the A's front office, driven by team president Dave Kaval and owner John Fisher, however, is a completely different story:

...The attendance (for a recent home game with the Baltimore Orioles) was just 3,748, the lowest crowd count at the alternately dreary and cheery Coliseum since 1980. It's also the smallest crowd at a major league game minus pandemic restrictions since an announced 5,297 fans attended an August 2019 Miami Marlins game.

The reasons why are both well-worn and also infuriating...


...Since the Raiders left and the pandemic landed, the A's have held all the cards and their actions suggest as much.

(The fan-friendly) A's Access (ticket program) was discontinued. Parking was jacked up to $30, even as COVID-19 restrictions left mass-transit options emaciated. Single-game tickets were raised – $25 for a third-deck seat in a decrepit football stadium, anyone? – and in the grimmest turn yet, many season-ticket packages were significantly raised before this season.

How much? A bleacher seat went from $456 in 2019 to $840 in 2022, according to the San Jose Mercury News, with more expensive options also doubling or nearly doubling.

Meanwhile, as the A's continued jumping through ever-growing hoops for their desired waterfront home at Howard Terminal, Kaval and MLB commissioner Rob Manfred teamed up on a not-so-subtle bit of dark messaging: Your current home sucks...

What are Mr. Kaval and his commissioner lackey Mr. Manfred up to here?

Well, if you pay any attention to professional sports whatsoever, it's essentially a most egregious version of a story you've likely heard before - essentially team owner Fisher is holding A's fans hostage while he attempts to force the city of Oakland into coughing up a half a billion dollars for a new ballpark that will make him and real estate developers billions.

And if that doesn't work, the Mess'rs Kaval and Fisher are threatening to move the baseball team, like the football team before it, to the Nevada desert.



When we lived in the Bay Area, back in the time of La Russa, it was a great time to be an Oakland A's fan.

We could walk to the North Berkeley Station, take the train down to the ballpark, and stroll right into the outfield bleachers. One afternoon I even went alone, with a then four month old Tiny E. in the backpack, so that we could wander around the concourse above the bleachers the entire game. I ate more than my share of hotdogs that day.

It was heaven out there in the bleachers. And it was cheap. And then Al Davis wrecked everything with his stupid mountain of seats and skyboxes that destroyed the up close and personal view of the field in front of you* and the panoramic view of the East Bay hills behind you.

Since then we've been back more than once - including the the spring day we went to see Vlady Senior after he abandoned Les Expos and went on to ply his trade for the pre-Troutian California Angels. At that time the former Tiny E. was getting bigger and the Oakland Coliseum was much fuller than it is now. 

One time we were sitting near a bleacher denizen who bellowed... 'Hey, Rickey. They traded the wrong Henderson!'....The guy was referring to recently dispatched bleacher favourite Dave Henderson....Rickey just went into his crouch in left, put his right hand on his rear end out of view of all the other players on the field and gave the guy the finger...The fans all around us went bonkers...
Hey, just so you know...All is not lost with today's game because it turns out that sometimes there is crying in baseball...
And, on that note....Apparently there is a TV version of 'A League Of Their Own' coming...


Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Something To Actually Be Outraged About...


What with all the faux outrage being generated by, say, the truckload, here is something genuinely disturbing that affects just about everyone in Canada:



How much are Canadians gouged for this in sum total?

This much:

...Telecommunications services (in Canada) are a $50-billion a year business — the third biggest household expenditure after shelter and food...


Saturday, April 23, 2022

Your Evening Audio...Cigarette Machine (Fred Eaglesmith Cover)


Bigger E. brought this tune to me just before Easter.

I'm having a hard time figuring out if there is any redemption whatsoever in there or not.


The pandemic seems to have taken some of the wind out of Mr. Eaglesmith's sails...Here he is a few years ago with his partner, Tif Ginn, telling a tale about the Texas State Troopers' Running Light Dogs before getting down to a road tune.


The Pyramid Pardon Scheme, Defined.


The top of the scheme:
...In Donald J. Trump’s final hours as president in January 2021, he pardoned his onetime chief strategist, Stephen K. Bannon, who faced charges that he had conspired to swindle donors to a private group that promised to build a wall along the Mexican border.

But three men charged with Mr. Bannon were not pardoned...

And the bottom:
Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that BRIAN KOLFAGE and ANDREW BADOLATO pled guilty today in connection with their roles in defrauding hundreds of thousands of donors to an online crowdfunding campaign known as “We Build the Wall.” Both defendants pled guilty before United States District Judge Analisa Torres...

Clearly, the noble here was properly handled.

At least in Trumpian pyramidalismic terms.

Subheader/kicker earworm need scratching?...This.
Meanwhile, Driftglass points out the eighteen year education of Barack Obama when it comes to both siderism.


Friday, April 22, 2022

The Times, The Trumpist, And The Tape.


What's it all about this time Alfie?

Well we're talking what went down amongst the US'ian Republicans-In-The-Know as Congress got ready to vote on Mr. Trump's second impeachment for inciting insurrection in January of 2021.

Here's what the NY Times reported yesterday:
...When Representative Liz Cheney of Wyoming asked about the chances Mr. Trump might resign, Mr. McCarthy said he was doubtful, but he had a plan.

The Democrats were driving hard at an impeachment resolution, (Republican House Leader) Mr. (Kevin) McCarthy said, and they would have the votes to pass it. Now he planned to call Mr. Trump and tell him it was time for him to go.

Mr. McCarthy said he would tell Mr. Trump of the impeachment resolution: “I think this will pass, and it would be my recommendation you should resign,” he said, according to the recording of the call, which runs just over an hour. The Times has reviewed the full recording of the conversation.

He acknowledged it was unlikely Mr. Trump would follow that suggestion...

Here is yesterday's response from the longtime Trumpist, Mr. McCarthy:


And finally, the bit you've likely heard about (often sans the context) on about a gazillion media outlets today...the tape:

Image at the top of the post...A very different K. McCarthy, and my favourite Winnipeg Club/Monarch player of all time.
Tip 'O The Toque to....Digby.
In totally unrelated (not) news...Is anybody else wondering about a still to be built escalator from space and the ultimate political ambitions of a man named Musk?


Thursday, April 21, 2022

Local Postmedia Opinion Page...Mr. MacLeod's Job In Lotusland Is Done.

From Davide Mastracci in the National Observer, circa 2019, commenting on original reporting by Sean Craig who was then at Canadaland:

...(I)n October 2018, Postmedia’s then-president and now CEO, Andrew MacLeod, called a meeting and told National Post editors the publication was “insufficiently conservative.”...

From yesterday's online version of the Vancouver Sun's OpEd page:


Does this mean that Mr. Ivison is now the house liberal?


Friday, April 15, 2022

Boosters Work....Second Boosters Work Even Better.

Please note...

The controls/upper curves in the graphs here are NOT placebos.

They are either two or three jabs that have been compared to three or four, respectively.

This is really quite exceptional, especially given that this is the ultimate endpoint.

The image is from a summary by Eric Topol...We've reported on the earlier studies previously...Here is the link to this week's paper (bottom graph) published in the New England Journal of Medicine.


Thursday, April 14, 2022

Lies And World Travel, vol 3.


When last we discussed the story of how the bogus US-funded Ukrainian Bioweapons Labs story went mainstream, we went through the immediate proximal origin story which was generated by a single conspiratorial Twitter account the day that Mr. Putin's forces began their war of aggression.

Essentially, the poster pushed the conspiracy story that the real reason for the war was because Mr. Putin wished to target such Labs in Ukraine.

Within a day the Twitter account concerned had been suspended and it's claims were thoroughly debunked.


Why didn't the lie die then and there?

Well, pretty much immediately, Mr. Jones and the gang swung into action (no link on purpose):


Here, according to an investigatory report from the Anti-Defamation League, is a summary of what happened during the twenty-four hour period after the original tweet thread was posted on February 24th:
...Within hours of (the) initial tweet, InfoWars, a conspiracy site run by Alex Jones, published a story promoting the biolab conspiracy, crediting @WarClandestine for uncovering what it dubbed the “ulterior motive theory.” QAnon forums and Telegram channels also began to share the theory. Meanwhile, the hashtag #USBiolabs began trending on Twitter and TikTok, where posts promoting the conspiracy racked up tens of thousands of likes...

Snopes has more on this period, including a description of how various hashtag conspiracists managed to tie themselves into further knots because of, you guessed it, COVID-19:
...Conspiracy theories are very often built on top of one another. The claim that the U.S. is operating biolabs in Ukraine, for example, is built on the false notion that the United States (or, according to similar theories, China) intentionally started the COVID-19 pandemic with a human-made bioweapon. Once you buy into that rumor, you can be sold the next: that Russia is invading Ukraine to stop the next pandemic...

On social media, a number of people responded to a #usbiolabs thread with false claims about Russia attacking Ukraine to stop a “Covid-2” bioweapon from being released...

And then, with the brush fire already lit, the state actor-driven flame-fanning soon began:
...On February 26, the state-owned Russian news outlet Sputnik posted on Telegram what it claimed were "some of the documents on US biolabs in Ukraine." The post included what appeared to be a basic fact sheet about a regional laboratory of veterinary medicine based in Luhansk...

This was followed by more furious flame fanning the very next day:
...On February 27th – just three days after his thread was posted – the Russian Embassy in Bosnia and Herzegovina posted on Facebook endorsing the theory, accusing the United States of stuffing “Ukraine with biolaboratories, which – quite possibly – were used to study methods for the destruction of the Russian people at the genetic level.”...

Which led the original Twitter poster, who by then had a new account, to crow:
...“My hypothesis was correct!... Russian air strikes in Ukraine have nothing to do with Ukraine, but rather AMERICAN ASSETS in Ukraine! It means this “war” is MUCH bigger than Ukraine. It’s a skirmish with the United States of America.”...

And how did this now fully blazing 'hypothesis' reach the floor of the US Senate less than two weeks later?

Stay tuned for Volume 4....

Meanwhile....If the state-prop shoe fits...fake film frame it.


And The Tulips Were Boiled In Their Tanks.


From Matt Novak in Gizmodo:
Crypto investor Sina Estavi bought an NFT of Twitter cofounder Jack Dorsey’s first tweet ever for $2.9 million in March of 2021. And after a year of constant hype for NFTs, most people would naturally assume Estavi might be able to turn a nice profit on his investment by now. But most people would be wrong.

Estavi put the NFT up for auction last week, and bidding ended on Wednesday. The highest bid? Roughly $277 worth of the cryptocurrency Ethereum, at current prices, according to crypto news outlet CoinDesk...


One can only wonder if the good Mr. Poilievre is looking for just such a chained to the blockhead-type bargain?

Header and image at top of post...
William Burroughs and Jack Kerouac once wrote a book about tanks and boiling that involved hippos not tulips.


Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Vancouver Civic Politics (ctd)...Oh Captain My Captains, Plural?


Yesterday we finally learned, for real, that the new alphabet political ship in town captained* by Ken Sim would have three new mates on board.

From FABula's piece in the Globe:
A new Vancouver civic party and its mayoral candidate, Ken Sim, got a significant boost Monday when three current city councillors said they’d be running with him in this fall’s election.

It’s a significant coup for the ABC Vancouver party to gain incumbents Sarah Kirby-Yung, Lisa Dominato and Rebecca Bligh. All were elected under the Non-Partisan Association banner in 2018 and later left because they said the party had become right-wing and undemocratic...


Soon thereafter one of the mates apparently signalled that she is open to communicating with a potential new skipper.

Or some such thing.

*And built and backed, according to Ms. Bula, by a political shipping magnate named Peter Armstrong.


Monday, April 11, 2022

Vancouver Civic Politics...The End Of The NPA?


Former NPA mayoral candidate Ken Sim, who left the party in a huff, apparently, at least in part, due its hard right turn awhile back, has constituted his own party with other disaffected civic pol types, types who are actually elected councillors at the moment.


Who benefits from a for real split on the right side of the CoV ledger?

Conventional wisdom will likely weigh in saying that this all but ensures Mr. Stewart and friends will have a relatively easy ride this fall.

After all, this development is essentially like having a guy named John Coupar Mellencamp getting himself on the ballot and hiring a thousand buses, or some such James not Jim-type thing.


One can only wonder if Marky-Mark will soon start spouting off about how he is the only one who can be the uniter in this town.

And why not?

After all, M-M's Wiki page is as clean as a whistle these days.

Update, Monday evening: Hmmmm...Looks like Marky-Mark's charmingly offensive charm-offensive has already begun...


Has Mr. Putin's Expansionist Plan Gone Sideways?


And, no, we're not talking about the outer reaches of the Donbas.

Instead, we're talking about Scandinavia.


Here was the situation one month before Mr. Putin's war of aggression in Ukraine:
...There is no mistaking the long-standing animosity between Russia and NATO, with whom Putin’s government broke ties in 2021, calling back its NATO mission in Brussels. For months, Russian officials have been demanding that NATO stop expanding, bar Ukraine and Georgia from joining, and kick out members that have joined since 1997...

Here, apparently, is the situation, now:
Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine is a "massive strategic blunder" that could result in an expansion of Nato as early as this summer, officials have claimed.

According to the Times (of London), US officials reportedly confirmed that membership of the alliance for Sweden and Finland was "a topic of conversation" during talks between Western foreign ministers last week attended by representatives of both Nordic countries.

It is thought the two nations could launch a bid for Nato membership in the coming months in the wake of Russia's widely condemned military assault.

Finland -which shares an 830-mile land border with Russia - is expected to apply for Nato membership by June, with Sweden potentially poised to follow soon after...

If this happens, Mr. Putin will have achieved a feat that not even Mess'r's Stalin, Malenkov, Khruschev, Brezhnev, Andropov and Chermenko, combined, could achieve.

Imagine that.

The next installment of the generation and the propagation of the big lie of US'ian bioweapons labs in Ukraine is coming...Just busy with the end of term stuff and all...The first two installments are here and here...
Image at the top of the post...Finnish and Russian border marks...from RCINet.


Sunday, April 10, 2022

Let The Franco Nose Holding Begin!


First there was this:

And soon thereafter there was this:


Friday, April 08, 2022

Lies And World Travel, vol 2


In volume one of this story we noted that, by mid-March of this year the mainstream media was having a little difficulty figuring out why, exactly, it was continuing to cover the Ukranian Bioweapons Lab story when they knew it was not true.


How, exactly, did the story even start?


The Anti-Defamation League has determined the identity, and the QAnon connections, of a former restaurant manager and Army National Guard veteran who, using the handle @WarClandestine began tweeting things like the following on February 24th, the day that Russia began its war of aggression against Ukraine:

This person went so far as to posit that destroying US-funded biological weapons labs was Mr. Putin's real motivation for bombarding places like, say, Kiev:

The Twitter account concerned was soon suspended and by the next day, February 25th, groups like Politifact had investigated and thoroughly debunked the claims:
...There are no U.S.-run biolabs in Ukraine. The country is one of many former Soviet Union republics, and other countries, partnering with the Defense Department as part of the Cooperative Threat Reduction Program...
And what, exactly, is the Cooperative Threat Reduction Program?
...The Cooperative Threat Reduction Program began after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991 to reduce the threat of existing weapons of mass destruction. It is also known as the Nunn-Lugar Program (named after the senators who passed the Soviet Threat Reduction Act) and is housed within the Defense Department’s Defense Threat Reduction Agency, according to the Center for Arms Control and Non-proliferation...

And how, precisely, has the program been used in Ukraine?
...(T)he U.S. Department of Defense Cooperative Threat Reduction Program has provided technical support to the Ukrainian Ministry of Health since 2005 to improve public health laboratories, whose mission is analogous to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention...

Given all that, you may be wondering how the lie managed to out-race the truth around the world in the interim.

That's something we'll get to in the next installment of the story...


Thursday, April 07, 2022

Lies And World Travel, vol 1

I'm pretty sure you've come across the following phrase:
"A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is still putting on its shoes."
And I'm almost as sure that you've heard the phrase attributed to Mark Twain.

Or, even, Winston Churchill.

But neither is true, as the phrase was first uttered in various versions long before it was attributed to either Twain or Churchill:
“A lie will go round the world while truth is pulling its boots on.” C. H. Spurgeon, Gems from Spurgeon (1859). An earlier version appears in the Portland (Me.) Gazette, Sept. 5, 1820: “Falsehood will fly from Maine to Georgia, while truth is pulling her boots on.” Still earlier, Jonathan Swift wrote in The Examiner, Nov. 9, 1710: “Falsehood flies, and the truth comes limping after it.”

But, regardless its true form and/or it's or its actual originator, there is no question that there is validity in the phrase, perhaps now more than ever.

To wit, the lie that is the Ukranian Biolabs story...

The following was the state of play on March 14th, three weeks into Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine:
Russia’s early struggles to push disinformation and propaganda about Ukraine have picked up momentum in recent days, thanks to a variety of debunked conspiracy theories about biological research labs in Ukraine. Much of the false information is flourishing in Russian social media, far-right online spaces and U.S. conservative media, including Tucker Carlson’s show on Fox News...

But how did the lie start and how did it travel around the world almost immediately on February 24th, the day war started?

Stay tuned for volume 2...


One Of 'The Only Media Critics Who Mattered' Has Died.

Eric Boehlert, the guy behind 'Press Run' has died.

One of the other US'ian media critics who matters, Charles Pierce, has this to say:

...Eric Boehlert, who fashioned for himself a career as one of the only media critics who really mattered, was killed while riding his bike through his beloved New Jersey suburbs. He was 57, but his spirit was decades younger and his wisdom was decades older, and that’s just the way that was, too...


...He was gloriously unimpressed by reputations. He was the implacable foe of journalistic laziness in all its forms, especially as expressed through access journalism and the reportorial arch-heresy of Both Siderism. Take him all in all, he was something of a proud throwback to what the craft of journalism ought to be. It pains me as a professional to know that a lot of famous yahoos are going to get a freer ride now that he’s gone, although I feel certain that the likes of Dan Froomkin and Margaret Sullivan—and, in its own little way, this shebeen—will carry on his work as best we all can...

Regarding that last bit from Mr. Pierce...

I would only add that someone should, maybe, roll Jay Rosen in bubble-wrap for the duration.


Wednesday, April 06, 2022

Fourth Vaccine Dose Update.

Here's the kicker from the province's announcement yesterday.

Last week I mentioned that the big data sets for fourth shots under Omicron were coming. Here's the first one, with the Pfizer mRNA vaccine, from Israel, published yesterday in the New England Journal of Medicine. The following is a description of the cohort from the paper's abstract:
...Using the Israeli Ministry of Health database, we extracted data on 1,252,331 persons who were 60 years of age or older and eligible for the fourth dose during a period in which the B.1.1.529 (omicron) variant of SARS-CoV-2 was predominant (January 10 through March 2, 2022). We estimated the rate of confirmed infection and severe Covid-19 as a function of time starting at 8 days after receipt of a fourth dose (four-dose groups) as compared with that among persons who had received only three doses (three-dose group)...

Eric Topol summarizes the paper's findings here:


Given all that, I would be very surprised if the province doesn't move down to age 60 for everyone as that group approaches six months after their third jab.

While these fourth shot data are important, especially for the large elderly at-risk portion of our population, I can't emphasize how important it is for anybody who has already had their 2nd shot but nothing more to go out and get their 3rd shot if they want to significantly reduce their risk of serious illness in the event that they get caught up in the coming (already arrived?) 2nd Omicron variant wave.


Tuesday, April 05, 2022

Progaganda v. The Free Press.


First, the propaganda:

Second, the free press:

Here is the lede of the New York Times report by Malachy Brown, David Botti and Haley Willis:
An analysis of satellite images by The New York Times rebuts claims by Russia that the killing of civilians in Bucha, a suburb of Kyiv, occurred after its soldiers had left the town.

When images emerged over the weekend of the bodies of dead civilians lying on the streets of Bucha — some with their hands bound, some with gunshot wounds to the head — Russia’s Ministry of Defense denied responsibility. In a Telegram post on Sunday, the ministry suggestedthat the bodies had been recently placed on the streets after “all Russian units withdrew completely from Bucha” around March 30.

Russia claimed that the images were “another hoax” and called for an emergency U.N. Security Council meeting on what it called “provocations of Ukrainian radicals” in Bucha.

But a review of videos and satellite imagery by The Times shows that many of the civilians were killed more than three weeks ago, when Russia’s military was in control of the town...

And no,
Mr. Carlson of Fox News did not say the things that former Fox News person Mr. Walsh said he did...In fact, despite his previous utterances, Mr. Carlson has suddenly gone quiet on all things Mr. Putin and/or Ukraine in the face of real reportage.


Sunday, April 03, 2022

Sunday Set For April 3rd


This one is pretty much all about the verisimilitude of the 1/4/5.

Anyway, today's tunes are:
John Prine's "Angel from Montgomery" which momentarily breaks the three chord cycle in the truth of the chorus.

Guy Clark's "Stuff That Works" in, what else but the people's key.

Townes Van Zandt's "Pancho and Lefty".

Springsteen's addition to the murder ballad genre, "Nebraska".

And here are this fine spring afternoon's warbly covers...

Video at the top of the post...Guy and Susanna Clark's Christmas sing-a-long with friends at their Nashville kitchen table, Christmas Eve 1975.


Saturday, April 02, 2022

The Other David v. Goliath Story In The News.


From a piece titled 'How Two Best Friends Beat Amazon' in today's NY Times by Jodi Kantor and Karen Weise:
In the first dark days of the pandemic, as an Amazon worker named Christian Smalls planned a small, panicked walkout over safety conditions at the retailer’s only fulfillment center in New York City, the company quietly mobilized...


...In the end, there were more executives — including 11 vice presidents — who were alerted about the protest than workers who attended it. Amazon’s chief counsel, describing Mr. Smalls as “not smart, or articulate,” in an email mistakenly sent to more than 1,000 people, recommended making him “the face” of efforts to organize workers. The company fired Mr. Smalls, saying he had violated quarantine rules by attending the walkout.

In dismissing and smearing him, the company relied on the hardball tactics that had driven its dominance of the market. But on Friday, he won the first successful unionization effort at any Amazon warehouse in the United States, one of the most significant labor victories in a generation...

And here's the really amazing part, Mr. Smalls and friends did this pretty much all on their own:
...Mr. Smalls and his best friend from the warehouse, Derrick Palmer, had set their sights on unionizing after he was forced out. Along with a growing band of colleagues — and no affiliation with a national labor organization — the two men spent the past 11 months going up against Amazon, whose 1.1 million workers in the United States make it the country’s second-largest private employer...


...The union spent $120,000 overall, raised through GoFundMe, according to Mr. Smalls. “We started this with nothing, with two tables, two chairs and a tent,” he recalled. Amazon spent more than $4.3 million just on anti-union consultants nationwide last year, according to federal filings...

Throughout, Amazon did their darndest to squash the workers' efforts, including: calling the mostly African American organizers 'thugs'; having an initial signature drive quashed; monitoring the organizers social media; swamping workers with text messages and in-warehouse admonishments to 'Vote No';  and, sometimes holding up to twenty mandatory meetings with workers per day. 

Yes, you read that correctly - up to twenty mandatory meetings per day.

In the end, this behaviour resulted in a number of National Labor Relations Board rulings against the company that ultimately resulted in the workers being allowed to stay in the warehouse buildings to organize when they were off the clock.


Now that they have lost and their suppressive smear campaigns have proven fruitless, you might be able to guess who the company is thinking about going after in an effort to get the vote overturned:
...“We’re disappointed with the outcome of the election in Staten Island because we believe having a direct relationship with the company is best for our employees,” an Amazon spokesperson said. “We’re evaluating our options, including filing objections based on the inappropriate and undue influence by the NLRB that we and others (including the National Retail Federation and U.S. Chamber of Commerce) witnessed in this election.”...


When in doubt, round up the usual suspects and go after the regulators.

Or some such neocorporatishtic thing.

Image at the top of the post...From the the union's Go Fund Me page.


Friday, April 01, 2022

Fourth Dose, Booster Deux Info...

The 4th shot data, above, are from a large cohort Israeli study currently under peer review that shows that a 4th shot/2nd booster of the Pfizer mRNA vaccine significantly decreased mortality in folks 60 years old and over who received their third shot/1st booster four months earlier or more.

But those data were gathered during the big Delta variant wave in Israel.

And now we're getting ready for Omicron-2.

However, now that the US FDA has announced that 4th mRNA shots are available for folks 50 years plus in the States there is a lot of chatter about efficacy.

Unfortunately, there just aren't a lot of large cohort data sets in yet. And one of the other issues to consider is the coming of the Omicron-specific vaccines.

Eric Topol of the Scripps Institute, who has proven his bonafides over and over again during the pandemic, has this to say in his latest longform post on the subject:
"...I would recommend the 2nd booster if you are more than 4-6 months from your 3rd shot, you are age 50+, you tolerated the previous shots well, and you are concerned about the BA.2 wave where you live, or that it’s getting legs as you are trying to decide. Or if you are traveling or have plans that would put you at increased risk.

It can certainly be deferred, but the question is when is the right time, and whether an Omicron-specific vaccine will have any advantage over a 2nd booster directed at the original strain. The data from 2 animal models (macaques and mouse models) suggests there may not be advantage of the Omicron-specific vaccine but that may not correlate with its effect in people. From my discussions with FDA, it is not likely the Omicron-specific vaccine will be available before late May or June. So you can factor that uncertain added benefit and timeline into your decision..."

So, there is clearly some grey here, particularly for non-seniors, which likely explains the reason that the province of British Columbia is being cautious so far:

...B.C. Health Minister, Adrian Dix says the province is well aware many people are hitting the six month mark since their last injection in long-term care homes.

“We are generally amongst the first provinces to move on these things and I expect you’ll see soon that this is an issue under active review. When you get a dose, it is sometimes dependent on the previous doses.” said Dix.

Dix specifically points to the six month mark as a potential fourth dose roll-out date. That would be this April for long-term care residents who received their third dose back in October.

“A key priority for us continues to be ensuring those most vulnerable to COVID-19, who have been given priority at every stage in our B.C vaccination program continue to see their health protected to the maximum possible extent,” Dix said.

“I think you’ll hear something from Dr. Henry and myself very soon.”...

Here's a little more from Dr. Topol:
"...If you had 3 shots and an Omicron breakthrough infection, there’s little need for getting a 2nd booster at this point. You’ve got some hybrid immunity and you can save an extra shot, if or when there’s ultimately supportive evidence for a later time.

If you haven’t had your 1st booster, you’re long overdue to get it. It was lifesaving vs Delta for people age 50+ and vital for maintaining high level of protection vs severe disease from the Omicron family of variants..."

Finishing up, a wee bit off-topic but not really (see image at top of post)...

Honestly, for folks that have already had two jabs, why wouldn't they get their third shot/first booster given the clearly demonstrated efficacy? 

The decreased numbers in that regard in B.C. are startling and could really be a personal and public health issue when the Omicron-2 wave arrives in Lotusland:

...93.8% (4,056,892) of all eligible adults in B.C. have received their first dose, 91.5% (3,956,215) have received their second dose and 59.3% (2,564,549) have received a third dose...


When You've Lost Kazakhstan...

And, no, the publication date of the original interview with Timur Suleimenov, the first deputy chief of staff to the president of Kazakhstan was not April 1st...