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Mother of Two Tests Herself, Her Kids, and Her Neighbor for COVID-19
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From my new column in Taki’s Magazine:

The Associated Press reported this week:

In the critical month of February, as the virus began taking root in the U.S. population, CDC data shows government labs processed 352 COVID-19 tests—an average of only a dozen per day.

At a time in which the failure of the Centers for Disease Control to promptly organize mass coronavirus testing is a national disgrace, the following sounds like a boomer clickbait headline:

Mother of Two Tests Herself, Her Kids, and Her Neighbor for COVID-19

But it’s true.

Now, this doesn’t mean that you or I could carry out a do-it-yourself quantitative polymerase chain reaction test. After all, the woman who did this, who prefers to be called S in this article, is a professor of genetics at a state flagship university where she researches bacterial genetics, with a focus on CRISPR. …

The larger point that this example highlights is that the United States of America in particular, the Anglosphere in general, and the world overall have a very deep bench of talented and trained medical and scientific personnel who can step up and take the initiative even when the official channels get bogged down. The U.S. has invested heavily in genetics and other biomedical sciences in recent decades and is poised to reap some benefits in this crisis.

Although we have been lectured incessantly (at least until about a week ago) about the lack of women in computer coding and physics, for the last two generations talented women have tended to flock in large numbers instead to the life sciences, which, at the moment, seems like a very good thing.

Read the whole thing there.

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  1. Chloramphenicol, aka “reanimator juice”. Sure, 1 in so many tens of thousands have a lethal reaction, but it kills anything congesting the lungs.
    Also, when you could use it off-label, you had to dump the milk for 3 weeks, and couldn’t sell the meat for 6 weeks after the last treatment.

  2. Anon[272] • Disclaimer says:

    I’m confused: Steve, did you interview this woman yourself? If so, that is a scoop and you should have made it more clear, not only to take credit, but the make the article more clear.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  3. @Anon

    Yes, but it’s not a SCOOP, it’s a nice human interest angle on a larger phenomenon of good people stepping up.

    • Replies: @res
    , @Thoughts
  4. CCZ says:

    “At a time in which the failure of the Centers for Disease Control to promptly organize mass coronavirus testing is a national disgrace…”

    Our age of near instant information offered information that our leaders apparently failed to absorb, consider, or act upon.

    On January 25, 2020 Southampton University published “Preliminary risk analysis of 2019 novel coronavirus spread within and beyond China.” A team of Canadian and British geographers and doctors used detailed analysis of airline travel patterns and volumes 2013-2018 to “explore the patterns of mobility of travelers from Wuhan to other cities in China and inform the risk of 2019-nCoV spreading across and beyond the country using the Lunar New Year migration.”

    They also examined the connectivity between high-risk cities in China and other countries during the three months around the Lunar New Year holiday to develop a ranking of the risk of Covid-19 spread.

    Country ranking:
    1 Thailand, 2 Japan, 3 Hong Kong, 4 Taiwan, 5 South Korea, 6 United States, 7 Malaysia, 8 Singapore, 9 Viet Nam, 10 Australia, 15 Germany, 16 Canada, 17 United Kingdom, 19 Italy, 21 France, 24 Spain.

    Specific cities were ranked: 1 Bangkok, 15 Los Angeles, 16 New York City, 19 London, 27 Paris, 30 Frankfort.

    Although, to date, the Covid-19 cases in Germany, Canada, the United Kingdom, Italy, France, and Spain exceed those in Thailand, Singapore, and Viet Nam, the concept of connectivity between high-risk cities in China and other countries seems to have eluded our pubic health “leaders.”

    • Thanks: ic1000
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    , @res
  5. Thanks for the encouraging column, Steve.

    As you’ve highlighted, this might be time in which some burdensome bureaucratic impediments to progress are swept away.

    It’s also a time in which people might really start looking toward the future when it comes to pandemic preparation.

    It’s a bit dicey, though, for the US government, via whatever agencies, to start drawing in all that talent out there. We don’t want all that talent ending up submerged in a regulatory swamp.

    What’s the best model for government/industry collaboration in a crisis? Outright government commandeering/appropriation? Promises of long-term future profits based on exclusive patents for companies that devote their efforts to the common good in the short-term? Relentlessly positive press releases to help those companies build up good will? Or simply a significant, not-just-in-name-only relaxation of the regulatory regime for new drugs, medical devices, etc.?

    I don’t have a very clear picture of how this all worked in the WWII years. It would indeed be interesting and potentially very helpful to go back and take a closer look at how so much got done so quickly back then.

  6. Wouldn’t this event be more like the Philippine–American War? It killed 4,196 when the population of the US was 76 million. WWII killed 75 million people worldwide and over 400,000 Americans.

    Follow up: Will we have to give half of Europe to communists like we did after WWII?

    • Replies: @The Alarmist
  7. @CCZ

    Is Thailand a big winter tourism destination for the Chinese, or is it just a big economic partner?

    • Replies: @anon
    , @Kaz
    , @PiltdownMan
  8. anon[308] • Disclaimer says:
    @Steve Sailer

    Is Thailand a big winter tourism destination for the Chinese

    Steve, the chinese are everywhere all over the world as tourists – they’re a blight on the landscape of once beautiful places.
    You need to get out of your cupboard.

  9. @The Last Real Calvinist

    Apparently, government contracting in the first half year of WWII was pretty much of a wild west gold rush with lots of crazy stuff happening. In general, the U.S. worked with private companies and that worked well, although there were some fiascos, such as the terrible American torpedo.

    A commenter on here makes a strong case that the Lockheed P-38 Lightning, which my dad worked on, was an overly expensive white elephant that got too many good men killed on takeoff. But still, it was a hell of a plane for the early years of WWII until superseded by the superior P-47 and P-51.

    Note that the Soviets during the Cold War used competition rather than centralized monopoly for producing their fighter planes, with separate organizations named after their leaders, e.g., MiG and Tupolev. They built some fine planes considering the Soviet Union’s limitations.

  10. Kaz says:
    @Steve Sailer

    Thailand is a big tourist destination in general, especially for those relatively nearby,.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  11. @Steve Sailer

    For people living in Southeast Asia or Southern China, there are really only two places to go for an overseas tropical winter beach vacation. The island of Bali in Indonesia, or the many beaches and offshore island resorts of Thailand.

    Thailand gets about 10 million tourists from China annually, more than from any other country.

  12. @anon

    “You need to get out of your cupboard.”

    Yes I do, but not quite yet.

    • Replies: @kaganovitch
  13. Anonymous[178] • Disclaimer says:

    Any ‘new’ medication put on the market must go through an extremely lengthy and expensive period of testing and evaluation – mostly involving ‘sacrificing’, ( to use the mealy mouthed jargon), animals.
    This is the real bottleneck on introducing new medication. Pharmaceutical firms must be pretty sure that they have a ‘winner’ on their hands before staking an enormous amount of investment.
    – and then you have the enormous claims and opprobrium liable on medication which proves toxic or harmful. Think of Thalidomide.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  14. @Steve Sailer

    Thailand is great for beach holidays, and Bangkok is a blast.

    There are plenty of spectacular beach resorts, but even in most lower-end places you’ll have access to decent food and cheap beach massages.

    Service at a good Thai resort or hotel is generally impeccable; the main disadvantage is it builds up your expectations for customer service when you travel to other places.

    Thailand is also quite safe in general; there is some crime, but you’re not likely to run into it at a decent resort, or in most parts of Bangkok.

    Seriously, after Thailand (and to some extent Malaysia as well; there are some gorgeous beaches there), it’s hard to imagine doing the beach holiday thing anywhere else.

    • Replies: @The Wild Geese Howard
  15. @Anonymous

    That’s why testing old, already approved drugs is a no-brainer: the side effects have already been studied in detail.

  16. One of Dave Pinsen’s posts led me to these tweets.

    • Thanks: ic1000
    • Replies: @Pericles
  17. utu says:

    Edison tested 6,000 types of vegetation for his carbonized filament before settling upon bamboo. His kind of atheoretical experimentation is out of fashion in pharmaceutical development, but it’s worth considering in this emergency.

    Automation: Chemistry shoots for the Moon
    Back in 1972, the synthesis of vitamin B12 took 91 postdocs and a dozen PhD students 12 years to complete. Almost five decades later, some syntheses remain nearly as complex.

    But automating the synthesis of all possible compounds is entirely different. The number of ways to combine atoms into molecules is astronomical, and the technology to build any arbitrary molecule doesn’t yet exist.

    But automation in chemistry has a chequered past. In the 1990s, it was mistakenly lauded as the saviour of the drug industry, says US-based industrial chemist Derek Lowe, with promises of myriad molecules that would be the next blockbuster drugs. The process, then known as combinatorial chemistry, involved setting up multiple parallel reactions on solid supports, filtering those reactions through cartridges and using multichannel pipettes. The idea was that libraries of potential drug molecules would be made in the blink of an eye. But the amount of data being produced was too large to analyse in a meaningful way, says Hii. And the resulting compounds made for disappointing drug candidates, says Lowe, who writes the Science blog ‘In the Pipeline’. “The hangover from this stuff was severe, because the promises had been so inviting,” says Lowe.

  18. So basically, all the libs in NYC, Seattle, New Orleans, and California are getting hit with the Chinese virus.

    Wine moms are panicking.

  19. JMcG says:
    @Steve Sailer

    The Mark 14 Torpedo was entirely a product of the Navy Department. No private enterprise involved. It had multiple problems, but they were expensive, on the order of 10k/unit in the 30s. It was never properly tested. Indeed, not really tested at all.
    The P38 was designed the way it was for very good reasons. Turbosupercharging was far superior to mechanical supercharging for retaining power at high altitudes, but required bulky ducting. Lockheed mounted the P38s engines on booms, Republic used a giant fuselage on their P47. Two very different approaches.
    Something over 14000 planes were lost between 12/41 and 9/45, just in the continental US. That’s about 10 a day. Flying wasn’t for the faint of heart.

  20. Although we have been lectured incessantly (at least until about a week ago) about the lack of women in computer coding and physics…

    This push of women into hard fields gets a little desperate at times.

    We ordered a bunch of books for Pi Day; they arrived late, but we have them until April or May now that the libraries are closed. One is The Joy of Pi (1997) by David Blatner, another Happy Pi Day to You! (2020) in the Cat in the Hat Learning Library.

    Blatner says early on that “This book is a celebration of pi and the spirit of the men and women who have calculated, memorized, philosophized about, and expounded upon this number throughout history.” But in the nearly 150 names in his index, I don’t see a single female one.

    The kids’ book ends with a picture of many great mathematicians in history standing on a school auditorium stage. There are several women and Asians. But…

    Of the women– Hypatia, Maria Agnesi, Ada Lovelace, Katherine (Hidden Figures) Johnson, Maryam Mirzakhani, maybe one or two others– none had any significant involvement with the study of π.

    Blatner has plenty of names of Chinese scholars who worked on the number, but only Shen Kuo, sort of an Oriental Ben Franklin, shows up on stage– but not in Blatner. The book fares better with Indians: shown are Aryabhata, Ramanujan, and Bhaskara II. The first two did work on π. (Brahmagupta belongs on the stage; he may be there, but I don’t have the book handy as I write.)

    The author and artists were so desperate to include women and “minorities” that they ignored any connection with the subject of the book. All the Western men shown were intimately involved with the number.

    If they really needed a Pi Queen, they needed only look back a year, to the reigning Guinness champion, who led a team that burrowed down to π trillion digits:

    A recipe for beating the record of most-calculated digits of pi

    Emma Haruka Iwao smashes pi world record with Google help

    Though perhaps not at their level (yet), Eugenia Cheng (another twofer) is worth looking at, for her How to Bake π, with actual recipes:

    • Replies: @HallParvey
    , @obwandiyag
  21. Just to lighten the mood …

  22. @RichardTaylor

    Will we have to give half of Europe to communists like we did after WWII?

    The positioning of the Soviet Army at the end of WW2 pretty much made “giving up” half of Europe moot.

  23. By the way, I’ve finally figured out what the U.S. government should have done with the West Coast Nisei: just ask each one to swear an oath about whose side he was on, and then trust his sense of honor.

    This assumes the internment was meant to protect us from them. A more cynical, and thus likely more accurate, reading is that it was intended to protect them from us. US citizens of Japanese descent being torn to pieces in the streets would have been a PR nightmare for an administration fighting a “good war”.

    The government had solid evidence that Americans on the West Coast were mentally unstable and hence dangerous. They had listened to and voted for FDR three times.

  24. @The Last Real Calvinist

    Bali, the Gilis and the Nusas in Indonesia are also fantastic beach holiday destinations.

  25. Although we have been lectured incessantly (at least until about a week ago) about the lack of women in computer coding and physics

    I have worked in IT, coding and data analysis, for 20 years and women have been at least half of the workforce in every company I have worked for. My current boss is a woman and her boss is a woman. In one of my former companies my boss was a woman. The software that we currently work with is from the largest medical EMR software company in the world. This company was started by a woman named Judith Faulkner. I never got where they came up with women being shut out of this industry. It just ain’t true!

  26. @Steve Sailer

    Saint Steven’s prayer “God, make me a traveler,but not yet”.

  27. ic1000 says:

    I’ve been skeptical that a vaccine to Covid-19 can be developed because vaccine efforts against the closely-related SARS-causing coronavirus revealed unexpectedly dangerous side effects.

    However, biotech venture capitalist Peter Kolchinsky trained as a virologist, and has a much more optimistic take. Here is his City Journal article from March 23rd, A Cure for the Common Misconception: Covid-19 vaccines are possible, but we need a public-health mindset to make the most of them.

  28. Anonymous[270] • Disclaimer says:

    The test is not rocket science and most people with real-time PCR cyclers can do it but there are good reasons to be skeptical of the impromptu testing:

    1. The test depends critically on the quality of the swab and on the quality of the initial RNA prep. It is said that unless the swab hurts, it runs high chance to be ineffective. Get suboptimal reagents and/or suboptimal handling and the RNA will not be reverse-transctibed well. These two are the major contributors to the current [unknown but suspected to be high] false negative rates.

    2. CDC test for coronavirus is not very good. Unlike its test for influenza virus which is excellent. Why CDC went with it when they had a good template to follow is anyone’s bet. Unfortunately, it is what most labs in the USA use now.

    3. Testing without known true positive and negative controls is kind of pointless. Sure, you get the results – but how do you know how to interpret them? Just assuming that everything works because you “followed the protocol” is silly – everyone knows how frequently this fails.

  29. Any grad student, or advance undergrad, in the biosciences can do a PCR test. Our esteemed blog proprietor could learn how to do PCR with a few hours training.

    University labs have the equipment. Every pharmaceutical manufacturing/quality control facility has the equipment to do it.

    And the test is very good.

    The problem in not the technology — it’s the LOGISTICS. When you are a pharma company and you are developing, say, a handful of monoclonal antibodies, there are no logistical problems.

    But if you need to

    –gather thousand of samples correctly from thousands of geographical locations, making sure you have the correct sample containers
    –extract each sample
    –properly barcode each sample
    –transport the samples in the appropriate fashion
    –queue up the samples in the lab for for efficient assembly line processing
    –process the samples
    –analyze the samples
    –enter the sample results in a database, ideally not just with results, but also by demography, co-morbidities and other useful information for epidemiological purposes
    –communicate those results to the proper audiences for them

    ….well, you get the idea.

    As they say in the military arts, it’s not about the fight only, it’s about intelligence AND the supply line.

    Was it Patton who said “Good generals know strategy; great generals do logistics.” ?

    Whether he did or not, that’s one reason, among others, why he kicked ass.

  30. @Reg Cæsar

    Every one of those men had a mother. The primary job of every woman, if capable, is to give birth. Care and feeding of infants eventually leads to the production of really smart men who can conceive of things such as pi.

    And everything else in the modern world. Women are too important to waste on STEM. Even God needed the help of a woman to birth his only begotten son.

  31. A acquaintance of mine who is a dentist with a very successful practice (but he is not my dentist) and he holds a number of patents for various things that he has invented, told me yesterday that he could test himself for corona virus in his own lab and that he would treat himself with Vitamin D3 and Zinc gluconate tablets or liquid zinc preparations gargled in the throat and the prescription antibiotic azithromycin.

    There are claims that zinc helps with resistance against pneumonia by changing the environment in the lungs to be less friends to viral reproduction and it is reputed to aid recovery from the common cold viruses.

    There is not doubt that zinc in small amounts is necessary for health, but the problem is that zinc taken in excess can cause nausea and vomiting, and vomiting can cause aspiration of abdominal contents into the lungs, thus causing a form of pneumonia, so not something to be trifled with–especially if you or the patient is already weak and debilitated.

    However, if you had a zinc deficiency, that would not work in your favor.

    In medicine the nostrum “do no harm” is not just a corporate slogan like “do no evil”. The possibility that the cure is worse than the disease is always real and needs to be considered and taken seriously.

    However even an old cynic like me who wants to cheat death for a bit longer pricks up their ears when they hear about these ideas, especially if they come from a somewhat credible source. But recommending them to the general public is quite another matter.

    Azithromycin, however, is safe to give to children, if prescribed by a practitioner.

  32. res says:
    @Steve Sailer

    Sounds like a good article to try for wider circulation.

  33. res says:

    Very interesting. Thanks!

    The link from there to the actual analysis contains details for anyone interested.

    It would be interesting to update the analysis with current data. And create a worldwide version if possible. Consider this plot (The R^2 of 0.59 in panel D is quite high IMHO).

  34. What a wasted effort. Children are virtually immune to kungflu and younger middle-aged people get only mild symptoms, if any.

    Option A: quarantine everyone, stop the world because some boomers feel terrified

    Option B: let terrified boomers quarantine themselves while the world elsewise goes on turning

    The heights of solipsism and megalomania implicit in Option A are unimaginable to me personally. I’d feel a profound shame to needlessly harm others like that. Option A, the route Boomer-American leaders have chosen, is sociopathic.

    • Troll: Corvinus
    • Replies: @MBlanc46
  35. @The Last Real Calvinist

    What’s the best model for government/industry collaboration in a crisis?

    In wartime and emergency situations there is a traditional tendency to rely on command-and-control, rationing, and central planning.

    “Profiteering” and “gouging” are considered criminal. But good-old market forces are still the best way to marshall resources. If someone can get very rich doing something quickly, it will usually get done.

    But the drug and healthcare industries are the least free-market of all. And are out-right socialized in most countries.

    Right now venture capitalists could be throwing together teams of world class virologists to crash-develop vaccines, tests and treatments. These could be worth literally trillions to the world economy.

    But the effort won’t match the need because there is no good way to reap the benefit as profit. Government regulation, weak intellectual property protection, price controls, etc. And once you develop something the humanitarian demand to make it available for free will keep you from really cashing in.

    Perhaps some international fund could be created to award massive (billion-sized if warranted) awards after-the-fact to innovators for their contributions during time of crisis. If entrepreneurs trusted the judgment and award would be made fairly based on results, it would incentivize them.

    That’s just one idea, but the point is free markets work if you structure the incentives.

    • Agree: Johann Ricke
  36. @Steve Sailer

    The torpedo problem started before the war. The Germans had the same problem, for the first 18 months or so of the war, a lot of merchant vessels survived because they were attacked with defective torpedoes.

  37. Heynonny says:

    Moreover, we should look at the entire drug tool-kit of the veterinary profession.

    Intriguingly along these lines, from a comment section elsewhere in the Internet wilds:

    From FIP Warriors Facebook page

    Dear Veterinarians, cat owners and public: I am being increasingly questioned about the relationship of GS-441524 and a very promising treatment for Covid-19, Remdesivir. GS-441524 is the the biologically active component of Remdesivir and has been widely used around the world to safely and effectively cure cats of feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) for over 18 months. FIP is a common and highly fatal coronavirus disease of cats. GS-441424 and Remdesivir are almost identical drugs. Remdesivir is the form of GS-441424 that Gilead Sciences has chosen to use in humans for COVID-19 and is now in clinical trials in China, USA and several other countries. Remdesivir is what is known as a prodrug. A prodrug is altered by infected cells to yield the active ingredient, which in this case is basically GS-441524 with the addition of one phosphate group (i.e., GS-5734). Gilead scientists slightly altered GS-5734 to protect the added phosphate group and allow absorption into cells. This form of GS-441524 is what is known as Remdesivir. Once in the cells, cellular enzymes remove the protection to yield GS-5734. GS-5734 is further activated by the addition of two more phosphates in the cells to the triphosphate form of GS-441524. This is the molecule that inhibits the production of viral RNA. We chose to use GS-441424 for treatment of the coronavirus disease FIP because it had identical antiviral properties to Remdesivir and at the time was not under consideration by Gilead Sciences for use in humans. GS-441524 is also much cheaper to make than Remdesivir. Therefore, there was no apparent conflict with using one form for cats and another form for humans. However, Gilead came to believe that our cat research would interfere with their ability to get Remdesivir approved for humans and refused to grant animal rights for GS-441524. This refusal, coupled with the desperate need around the world for the treatment of FIP, led to a Chinese black market for GS-441524. FIP is also a significant problem in pet cats in China, and Chinese cat owners were even more desperate for a treatment for FIP than owners in other countries. The first papers describing GS-441524 treatment of cats with FIP were published in 2018 and 2019 and thousands of cats have been treated since then. In spite of this experience, the medical profession, including researchers, have been seemingly unaware of the use of GS-441524 for a coronavirus disease of cats and its relationship to Remdesivir. Veterinarians also have considerable experience with coronaviruses, coronavirus diseases, and coronavirus vaccines for swine, calves and poultry that has gone unappreciated. Pet ferrets also suffer a severe FIP-like disease caused by their own species of coronavirus.

    What will happen to supplies of GS-441524 for cats if Remdesivir is proven to be safe and effective as a treatment for Covid-19? GS-441524 is the first critical step in the production of Remdesivir and it is logical to assume that there will be a competition between cats and humans for it. On a positive note, world wide approval for Remdesivir may also help change minds against granting animal rights for GS-441524. If approved for human use, Remdesivir, if not GS-441524, would become “legally” available through veterinarians. However, the safety and efficacy of Remdesivir for FIP has not been established. -Niels C. Pedersen, DVM, PhD, School of Veterinary Medicine, UC Davis.

    In less good news, the FDA just granted “orphan drug” status to Gilead/Remdesivir.

    • Replies: @vhrm
  38. @anon

    Steve, the chinese are everywhere all over the world as tourists – they’re a blight on the landscape of once beautiful places.

    Some friends of the Badwhites visited Angkor Wat and some other parts of Cambodia last year. On one of their tours the tour company provided a pack lunch. After eating, the Chinese tourists just threw their garbage on the ground. All the white tourists were aghast.

    • Replies: @Paleo Liberal
  39. Pericles says:

    It makes me wonder to what extent EBM was introduced in order to manage a worse population of doctors.

  40. @William Badwhite

    Having lived in Asia, this surprises me not in the least. I regularly saw Chinese toss stuff on the ground without a thought.

    Example— try going to Waikiki beach or Miami Beach. I have been to both places. Millions of tourists. Spotless.

    I once went to a beach outside of Taipei. It was filthy. All sorts of trash in the water. Only a small fraction of the visitors, but thousands of times the trash.

    The lack of trash is not a liberal vs conservative thing either. I walked around the state Capitol in Wisconsin after a left wing rally. Spotless. Folks who have seen the aftermath of right wing rallies report the same thing.

    • Replies: @Dan Hayes
  41. I don’t have a very clear picture of how this all worked in the WWII years. It would indeed be interesting and potentially very helpful to go back and take a closer look at how so much got done so quickly back then

    It would be an interesting topic – a real inside, detailed look at the government contracting process in WWII. I don’t know off-hand of any historian who’s tackled it.

    Somewhat related: The Wages of Destruction by Adam Tooze is a good look at the economy of the Third Reich before and during WWII. Apparently, the vaunted German efficiency wasn’t all it was cracked up to be and couldn’t compare to American productivity (which was the envy of every nation in the world at that time.)

    But the Germans still pulled off miracles of production to keep in the war till the bitter end. Helped in large part by millions of slave laborers, of course.

    • Replies: @Paleo Liberal
    , @Dan Hayes
  42. Thoughts says:
    @Steve Sailer

    Or we wonder…

    Why didn’t she test her husband?

    Or is there one to test?

  43. @Hypnotoad666

    I know a German engineer who does a great selling job and keeps getting higher abs higher positions.

    I worked with him once on a project. He was vastly overrated and spent all his time blaming everyone else.

    But — German engineer! Must be great!

    • Replies: @The Wild Geese Howard
  44. @Paleo Liberal

    But — German engineer! Must be great!

    The sad fact is that, for most people, the ability to sell one’s self is more important to one’s career than any actual technical or scientific skill they possess.

    • Replies: @Inquiring Mind
  45. gcochran says:
    @Steve Sailer

    The crappy torpedo was made at a government plant. In Rhode Island.

    • Replies: @JMcG
  46. @Reg Cæsar

    The charter school for smart children at San Francisco State was known colloquially as “Chinese Girls’ School.”

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  47. JMcG says:

    And barely tested because they cost 10k a pop. Well, 10k a fizzle is more correct I suppose.

  48. Anonymous[362] • Disclaimer says:

    But it turned out that the 5,000 Japanese-Americans who told the U.S. they were loyal to the Emperor caused much trouble at their high-security internment camp, just like they said they would, while those who swore allegiance to the U.S. behaved admirably.

    US government took away their property and shipped their entire families to camps. Yet, it was admirable of them to remain loyal to the nation that did this to them.
    Sounds more pathetic and sheepish.

    If the US government had done something similar to Jews during the Cold War when Rosenbergs and etc was happening, Jews probably would have been more defiant. And they’d probably take pride in their defiance.

    • Replies: @JMcG
  49. @obwandiyag

    The charter school for smart children at San Francisco State was known colloquially as “Chinese Girls’ School.”

    I bet they had a hell of a chamber orchestra.

  50. @Steve Sailer

    Apparently, government contracting in the first half year of WWII was pretty much of a wild west gold rush with lots of crazy stuff happening.

    Arthur Miller got a play out of it, and rather quickly:

    • Replies: @Inquiring Mind
  51. Corvinus says:

    “At a time in which the failure of the Centers for Disease Control to promptly organize mass coronavirus testing is a national disgrace…”

    That is a patently false premise, Mr. Sailer. It should read “The failure of the Centers for Disease Control to promptly organize mass coronavirus testing was the result of several factors”. Remember, Trump initially did not take Covid-19 seriously. Recall how health officials describe a bureaucratic process that was at odds with the CDC about the urgency of the growing menace. It is unclear who in the government originally made the decision to design a more complicated test, or to depart from the WHO guidance, but signs point to Trump himself. I mean, we cannot let a little virus ruin our national economy! #DieForTheDow

    “The larger point that this example highlights is that the United States of America in particular, the Anglosphere in general, and the world overall have a very deep bench of talented and trained medical and scientific personnel who can step up and take the initiative even when the official channels get bogged down…”

    And how are those “official channels getting bogged down”, Mr. Sailer? How is the CDC and other federal officials suppose to take the initiative if Trump or his cronies gets in the f—- way? Are they not beholden to HIS instructions as the head of the executive branch? Does not everything have to go through him first? We have the people to do it, correct? So why are they being hamstrung?

    • Replies: @Je Suis Omar Mateen
  52. JMcG says:

    I’d say the Nihau incident shocked the USG. A Japanese pilot whose aircraft was damaged over Pearl Harbor crash landed on a privately held island in Hawaii. The Japanese on the island immediately decided to aid him, resulting in deaths to native islanders. I’d never heard of it til a few years ago.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  53. @The Wild Geese Howard

    If Germans are such great engineers, why are BMWs and Mercedes automobiles so expensive to repair?

    • Replies: @The Wild Geese Howard
  54. @Reg Cæsar

    I never know to what audience to tell this. It is hard to find anyone who is both an aviation geek and also is familiar with the oeuvre of a certain man once married to Marilyn Monroe.

    Back in the days I kept my Private Pilot license current and belonged to the Airplane Owners and Pilots Association (I’m AOPA and I vote!).

    So Mr. Miller simply made stuff up in keeping with his Capitalism Bad ideology, All My Sons was required reading in high school, and no one stood up in class, “But teacher, welding is an accepted practice for repairing cracks in aircraft engine cylinder head.” When I read that article in AOPA Aircraft Maintenance, my childhood was taken from me.

    • Replies: @MBlanc46
    , @Anonymous
  55. @JMcG

    A giant native Hawaiian eventually charged the armed Japanese pilot and killed him with his bare hands, liberating Nihau.

  56. @Inquiring Mind

    You seem to have missed the point of my post, which was a response to Paleo’s original lamentation.

    I own a late-model BMW.

    I will be the first to tell you that the design of the oil system on their I4 and I6 engines sucks and seems designed to guarantee expensive repairs every 30k or 40k miles.

    For now, I am willing to tolerate this suspect mechanical engineering for the glorious acceleration, handling, and stability at speed.

  57. @Corvinus

    “Remember, Trump initially did not take Covid-19 seriously.”

    Our President still doesn’t take CoronaHoax seriously. But he can’t reveal his true feelings until November 4th, whether he wins or loses the election.

    Meanwhile, for The Duration, he too is not letting a good manufactured crisis go to waste by holding daily pressers that make him look Presidential and compassionate. Oh, and direct-depositing a couple grand in everybody’s checking account doesn’t hurt his 2020 prospects either.

  58. Dan Hayes says:
    @Paleo Liberal

    NYC Central Park outdoor operas: spotless remnants. NYC outdoor rock concerts: pigsty remnants. Both results as expected!

  59. Dan Hayes says:

    One man can make a difference: Albert Speer in Nazi Germany; Robert Moses in Tammany Hall New York!

  60. Anonymous[113] • Disclaimer says:

    The Lightning was a great plane once you were in the air. And the abysmal single engine takeoff problem could have been fixed; cleaner faster acting gear doors and fast feathering hydraulic props would have greatly helped. Properly developed it could have went on to do a great job of ground support in Korea.

    As someone here said, the vaunted Kelly Johnson was actually not good at all at routine development. Most of the great airplanes were actually long term developments such as the innumerable Marks of Spitfires and the D model Mustang. Even Kelly’s ultimate design, the SR was operationally complicated by kluges like the triethyl borane ignition system that persisted throughout the type’s life and were a supply chain albatross. The Valkyrie operated at Mach 3 and had far fewer odd supply requirements.

    • Replies: @JMcG
  61. MBlanc46 says:
    @Je Suis Omar Mateen

    Corvinus is a fine one to be calling someone a troll.

  62. MBlanc46 says:
    @Inquiring Mind

    It’s nowt but Leftist propaganda by Comrade Miller. View from the Bridge is worse, in my opinion. The character of Willy in Salesman makes up for the propagandistic elements.

  63. JMcG says:

    And the Valkyrie was taken down by a Starfighter. Kelly Johnson strikes again!

  64. Anonymous[113] • Disclaimer says:
    @Inquiring Mind

    Welding cylinder heads is acceptable under specific conditions but in any event needs to be documented. Largely it has fallen out of practice except on antique engines.

    Miller was a moral turd and I felt that way when I read him in school in the late 70’s when he was very much still working. But he did ask questions needing answers-it’s just that his answers were bullshit.

  65. vhrm says:

    Interesting and very hopeful. thanks.

    Apparently Gilead asked the FDA to take BACK the orphan drug status due to backlash and FDA did.

    But I’m not entirely clear on the implications since it’s still not approved and it’s still their patent… so
    I’m not clear the backlash was even warranted.

    (i actually but their argument that it was an attempt to fast track approval (though i often hate on drug companies))

    But anyway… it’s good to hear it has that track record in cats. I hope they continue pumping it into people while the efficacy studies are sorted out.

  66. @JMcG

    The dismal debacle that was the Mark 14 torpedo CANNOT be exaggerated. It was the worst weapons failure in the history of the U.S. military and a massive black mark on the government’s record.

    • Agree: JMcG
    • Replies: @Joe Stalin
  67. Anonymous[419] • Disclaimer says:

    – Another skiing victim (Aspen) described in the Houston Chronicle:

    Airplanes (densely packed public transportation) and skiing lodges (densely packed public entertainment) are killing us, literally.

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