GET VACCINATED & BOOSTED!
& BRIEFLY NOTED: For 2021-12-29 We
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Frank Luntz is an interesting character: He started out as a one of the most red meat-loving of the Newt Gingrichites, foremost among those aiming at delegitimizing Democratic politicians’ standing as Americans, in the hope of breaking the country in half and leaving Republicans in control of a paranoid fearful-of-Democrats base that would be the larger half. In Luntz’s world, Palestinian proposals are “demands” while Israeli-Likud proposals are “concessions”. In Luntz’s word, it is not “global warming” but “climate change”; it is not the “estate tax” but the “death tax”. “Speak like Newt!” he advised Republican candidates. Democrats are: “sick”, “corrupt”, “hypocrites”, and “traitors”. Obamacare was a '“government takeover of the health care sector.
Yet even Frank Luntz says that he has had enough of the Republican Party today:
Frank Luntz: COVID hospitalization rate for adults in 2021: Vaccinated: 𝟯.𝟵 people per 100,000. Unvaccinated: 𝟲𝟳.𝟴 people The vaccine works. Get vaccinated…
Charlie Kirk @charliekirk11If the vaccine works, then why doesn’t it work?
There is nothing else you can do that takes five minutes, and that cuts your risk of COVID by a factor of 20, and cuts the risk that you give COVID to your family, friends, and strangers you come in contact with by a factor of five.
Richard Haass & Margaret MacMillan: How Can We Use (but Not Abuse) History?: ‘How best to apply history to better understand current global challenges, including the erosion of democracy, the rise of China, and Vladimir Putin’s Russia… <https://www.cfr.org/podcasts/how-can-we-use-but-not-abuse-history>
Very Briefly Noted:
Juan Cole: Good News in 2022: Top 5 Reasons to be Happy about Electric Vehicles in US in Coming Year: ‘The price of a kilowatt hour of battery usage was $1000 just a decade ago, says Justin Rowlatt at the BBC. Today, it is $100 per KWh, just a tenth. It is already now cheaper to buy an EV and run it than to buy an equivalent internal combustion vehicle and keep it on the road… <https://www.juancole.com/2021/12/reasons-electric-vehicles.html>
Jon Stone: Boris Johnson Said He ‘Loved’ Fox Hunting in a ‘Semi-Sexual’ Way & Encouraged Illegal Hunts to Ignore Ban <https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/boris-johnson-fox-hunting-sexual-illegal-ban-a9624846.html>
Andy Slavitt: _’My baseline is to advocate for policies that favor those with the fewest choices: -Require vaccines when in crowds -Preserve best anti-virals for immunocompromised -Support frontline health care workers by reducing spread. 2022 will have twists & turns but we have many tools we should use to both minimize death & maximize living. Certainty seems like the only sure mistake… <
Alice Evans: ’33% of Egyptian women think a woman may deserve to be beaten. 59% think men should have the final word on decisions in the home. 85% think they should not have friends of the opposite sex. 61% think boys are responsible for their (older) sisters <https://t.co/bb7jf83UkN>… <
Erik Brynjolfsson: ’We won’t know the full effects of long Covid_ for a long time, but reports like these are troubling: Caroline Orr Bueno: "It’s been 20+ months since I had a very “mild” case of COVID and I still have nerve damage and haven’t regained my sense of smell or taste. I’m 36 years-old and otherwise healthy. (Something to keep in mind when you hear about Omicron being a “milder” variant)… <
Caroline Orr Bueno, Ph.D @RVAwonkIt’s been 20+ months since I had a very “mild” case of COVID and I still have nerve damage and haven’t regained my sense of smell or taste. I’m 36 years-old and otherwise healthy. (Something to keep in mind when you hear about Omicron being a “milder” variant).
Joanna Stern: I Spent 24 Hours in the Metaverse. I Made Friends, Did Work & Panicked About the Future: ‘The best way to learn about the 3-D future internet everyone’s talking about? Visit it in a virtual-reality headset. Trapped in the Metaverse: Here’s What 24 Hours Feels Like…. WSJ’s Joanna Stern checked into a hotel and strapped on a virtual-reality headset for the day…
Sabrina Tavernise: First They Fought About Masks. Then Over the Soul of the City: ‘July, the first summer of the pandemic, Jonathan Waddell, a city commissioner in Enid, Okla., sat staring out at a rowdy audience dressed in red. They were in the third hour of public comments on a proposed mask mandate…. The meeting was unlike any he had ever attended. One woman cried and said wearing a mask made her feel like she did when she was raped at 17. Another read the Lord’s Prayer and said the word “agenda” at the top of the meeting schedule seemed suspicious. A man quoted Patrick Henry and handed out copies of the Constitution. “The line is being drawn, folks,” said a man in jeans and a red T-shirt. He said the people in the audience “had been shouted down for the last 20 years, and they’re finally here to draw a line, and I think they’re saying, ‘We’ve had enough’”…
Karl W. Smith: Inflation? There’s Another Explanation for Rising Housing Costs: ‘As the U.S. economy haltingly recovers from Covid, rents are starting rise just about everywhere—but there is a distinct geographical pattern, with the data indicating that the work-from-home trend has led some well-paid professionals to ditch the city in favor of more rural environs. It also seems to be pushing some folks toward lower-cost locations. These younger professionals, with incomes that count as modest if they live on the coasts but are still above the national average, have not only substantial purchasing power but sometimes also new families that need housing. In the first half of 2021 small towns and rural areas saw twice as many businesses move in as out, while the urban cores on net lost establishments. Crucially, the scale of this migration does not have to be great for the net effects on local economies to be large…
Tim Snyder: USSR 1922–1991, USA 1776–2025?: ‘the West won the cold war: a combination of elections, markets, the welfare state, and labor unions that allowed social mobility and a sense of the future…. Since the 1980s… throwing away most of our advantages… weakening a system that once looked formidable and attractive. It would be best to notice this while we still have some time to do something about it…. We should not be congratulating ourselves. We should be asking ourselves what we have done wrong these last thirty years, and thinking about how to end our own stagnation. We should be preparing for the crisis looming in 2025…
Natalie E. Dean: How Do We Study the Severity of a New Variant?: ‘A guide to help you organize your thinking…. Consider it a companion to the emerging research, with an emphasis on intuition rather than numbers. We can think about an individual’s risk of severe disease as reflecting three components: (1) their risk of exposure, (2) their risk of infection given exposure, and (3) their risk of severe disease given infection. We can multiply these three components together to calculate their risk of severe disease…
Become a free subscriber to receive this ‘Stack in your email. Do note that this Grasping Reality newsletter is a reader-supported publication—I really would like to collect enough from it to hire an RA. So consider becoming a paid subscriber, please, if you find this project worthwhile.