Patterico's Pontifications

8/17/2020

Trump Reportedly Enthusiastic About Plant Extract As Cure For Covid-19 (UPDATE ADDED)

Filed under: General — Dana @ 12:12 pm



[guest post by Dana]

It would not be surprising in the least to see Dr. Trump once again latching onto an unproven cure for Covid-19:

To the alarm of some government health officials, President Trump has expressed enthusiasm for the Food and Drug Administration to permit an extract from the oleander plant to be marketed as a dietary supplement or, alternatively, approved as a drug to cure COVID-19, despite lack of proof that it works.

…The experimental botanical extract, oleandrin, was promoted to Trump during an Oval Office meeting in July.

It’s part of a pattern in which entrepreneurs, often without rigorous vetting, push unproven products to Trump — knowing their sales pitches might catch his eye. Trump will then urge FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn to “look at” or speed up approval.

Here’s where this gets even more troubling:

It’s embraced by Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson and MyPillow founder and CEO Mike Lindell, a big Trump backer, who recently took a financial stake in the company that develops the product.

Lindell told Axios that in the meeting, Trump “basically said: …’The FDA should be approving it.'”

MyPillow CEO Lindell, who is a major advertiser on Fox News and a personal friend of Carson and Trump, helped Whitney get an Oval Office meeting with the president in July to discuss oleandrin as a potential COVID-19 cure…

Lindell said that he, Carson, at least one lawyer and, briefly, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, joined Trump and Whitney for the meeting. Notably absent was Hahn, the head of the agency that studies and approves medical treatments.

Asked why the HUD secretary was promoting an unproven botanical extract to cure COVID-19, a Carson spokesperson emailed the following statement to Axios: “Secretary Carson is a member of the Coronavirus Task Force, he has been directly involved with the Administration’s response to this disease from the very beginning.”

Jim Geraghty reminds us that Ben Carson’s connection to companies marketing health supplements has been problematic in the past. This is Carson in 2016 promoting a medical-supplement maker accused of false advertising:

The wonderful thing about a company like Mannatech is that they recognize that when God made us, He gave us the right fuel. And that fuel was the right kind of healthy food. You know we live in a society that is very sophisticated, and sometimes we’re not able to achieve the original diet. And we have to alter our diet to fit our lifestyle. Many of the natural things are not included in our diet. Basically what the company is doing is trying to find a way to restore natural diet as a medicine or as a mechanism for maintaining health.

Here is more detail:

Carson’s interactions with Mannatech, a nutritional-supplement company based in suburban Dallas, date back to 2004, when he was a speaker at the company’s annual conferences, MannaFest and MannaQuest. He also spoke at Mannatech conferences in 2011 and 2013, and spoke about “glyconutrients” in a PBS special as recently as last year.

Mannatech has a long, checkered past, stretching back to its founding more than a decade before Carson began touting the company’s supplements. It was started by businessman Samuel L. Caster in late 1993, mere “months,” the Wall Street Journal later noted, before Congress passed the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994, which greatly loosened restrictions on how supplement makers could market their products. Within a few years of its inception, the company was marketing a wide variety of “glyconutrient” products using many of the same tactics previously described in lawsuits against Eagle Shield, Caster’s first company.

Concerns about this new alleged “cure” for Covid-19 are manifold – including a lack of public data confirming that oleandrin has been tested in humans, specifically regarding to Covid-19:

Senior administration officials familiar with the internal conversations around oleandrin have raised concerns about the way this botanical extract — pushed by Andrew Whitney of Phoenix Biotechnology — is being promoted at the highest levels of the Trump administration.

There is no public data showing oleandrin has ever been tested in animals or humans for its efficacy against COVID-19, but the extract has shown some evidence of inhibiting the virus in a non-peer reviewed laboratory study.

In an interview on Saturday, Whitney told Axios that oleandrin has been tested on humans for its efficacy against COVID-19 but said the study has not been published yet. He also said the lab study is in the process of being peer reviewed.The first path is as a COVID-19 drug, which would involve a rigorous process that includes clinical trials.

But to hedge his bets, Whitney said he is also pushing the FDA to allow oleandrin to be sold off the shelf as a dietary supplement — a move that could be made immediately, Whitney has told administration officials.

Whitney has claimed to administration officials that oleandrin cures COVID-19 in two days, according to a source familiar with his private comments.

But if the FDA allows oleandrin to be sold as a dietary supplement, the company would not be allowed to make medical claims about its ability to treat or cure COVID-19.

Asked about this claim about oleandrin being a “cure” for COVID-19, Whitney said he stands by it “100%.”

Whitney says that he has provided the White House with evidence to support his claims and that the FDA is “dragging its feet” about approval:

“The process is too slow. … We ought to be given an opportunity to test this. Call my bluff!”

UPDATE: Reporters asked Trump about the unproven coronavirus therapeutic today at the White House South Lawn. It sounded like he was testing the waters:

Trump confirmed he’s “heard about” oleandrin when asked Monday on the White House South Lawn, but still seemed to be in an information-gathering phase.

“Is it something people are talking about very strongly?” he asked the reporter.

“We’ll look at it, we’ll look at it, we’re looking at a lot of different things. I will say the FDA has been great. They are very close. We’re very close to a vaccine. Very close to a therapeutic. I have heard that name mentioned, we’ll find out,” the President said.

–Dana

124 Responses to “Trump Reportedly Enthusiastic About Plant Extract As Cure For Covid-19 (UPDATE ADDED)”

  1. Heh.

    Dana (292df6)

  2. Is this better or worse then the time Trump heard that disinfectants such as bleach and rubbing alcohol killed Covid-19 and suggested people inject them as a treatment?

    Time123 (b0628d)

  3. You know the best way to ask for a puppy is to ask for an pony and then SETTLE for a puppy, right?

    So at this stage I see asking for oleander to be like asking for the pony. No proof whatever. And then we can all settle on HCQ which has mixed-levels of proof of both safety and effectiveness.

    At least the early worries about given Covid patients with high fevers NSAIDs have been alleviated. Turns out NSAIDS — though never actually tested against COVID-19 specifically — work as well on the symptom for this as the same symptom when resulting from other viruses. Who would have thought?

    pouncer (b0e023)

  4. Oh brother. These people are so easily alarmed.

    felipe (023cc9)

  5. 2… Is this better or worse then the time Trump heard that disinfectants such as bleach and rubbing alcohol killed Covid-19 and suggested people inject them as a treatment?

    Another hoax..,

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  6. OMG !! The My Pillow guy who buys the material for his bed sheets from EGYPT; Obviously a secret Trump back channel to Arab terrorists planning destruction of the DNC.

    joepeh (fc6d93)

  7. 4… alarmed and off teh hook.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  8. Come to where the flavor is. Come to Oleandrin country.

    All these frauds, they know that Trump has a sucker list 16-million strong. So if they get him to shill for their snake oil or their magical pillows ….

    nk (1d9030)

  9. Come to where the flavor is. Come to Oleandrin country.

    I’m not a pipe smoker, but if you can put that in a cigar, I’ll take a hit.

    felipe (023cc9)

  10. Please, nobody introduce President Trump to essential oils.

    JVW (ee64e4)

  11. Who am I to complain though? I donated money to Marianne Williamson in the Democrat primary, and she would have tried to heal us with crystals and meditation.

    JVW (ee64e4)

  12. Please, nobody introduce President Trump to essential oils.
    JVW (ee64e4) — 8/17/2020 @ 12:41 pm

    HAHA! Totally laughing out loud. What does that tell you about me?

    felipe (023cc9)

  13. JVW (ee64e4) — 8/17/2020 @ 12:42 pm

    OK, so JVW knows.

    felipe (023cc9)

  14. Chicago got teh cure for what ails you. Hollow point, if that’s your preference…

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  15. from the folks that brought you the subprime debacle,

    https://dailycaller.com/2020/08/17/kasich-bloomberg-molinari-democratic-national-convention-ocasio-cortez/

    bolivar de gris (7404b5)

  16. Q: whaddya get when you introduce an Iranian mullah to Essential Oils?

    A: a well-oiled asshole.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  17. Oleander? You do know that’s a poisonous plant, right? If you eat the leaves or grind to make a tea, it’ll kill you quick. In fact, the native tribes used a brew of mulched oleander and hot water to coat the tips of their poison arrows and spears.

    Gawain's Ghost (b25cd1)

  18. In teh Rio Grande Valley ?

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  19. @5 You’re lying again. Go watch the tape or pull the transcript and show me how I’m wrong.

    Time123 (b0628d)

  20. thats why they use in russia and china, these are the same people that bought surgisphere’s lie,

    bolivar de gris (7404b5)

  21. Here’s what he said

    “And then I see the disinfectant, where it knocks it out in one minute. And is there a way we can do something like that, by injection inside or almost a cleaning, because you see it gets in the lungs and it does a tremendous number on the lungs, so it’d be interesting to check that, so that you’re going to have to use medical doctors with, but it sounds interesting to me. So, we’ll see, but the whole concept of the light, the way it kills it in one minute. That’s pretty powerful.”

    Wups, I should have written

    Is this better or worse then the time Trump heard that disinfectants such as bleach and rubbing alcohol killed Covid-19 and suggested we study that as a treatment?

    I guess maybe you weren’t lying again. Good for you doing better in life.

    Time123 (ae9d89)

  22. Biden will be so boring.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  23. @22, I don’t know; Biden’s been famous for saying stupid stuff for years. It might be nice to get back to making fun of simple misstatements and not the most powerful man in the world getting taken in by a quack cure.

    Time123 (b0628d)

  24. 21… better put some ice on that.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  25. Please, nobody introduce President Trump to essential oils.

    JVW (ee64e4) — 8/17/2020 @ 12:41 pm

    Omg, too funny!!

    Dana (99b28a)

  26. He’ll be selling those along with Trump Steaks soon.

    Time123 (9f42ee)

  27. I’m not lying. I read about oleander decades ago. There were actually oleander trees around our complex in the 1970s, one right outside the sliding door of my bedroom. They are beautiful plants, and I’ve always been interested in botany. So I looked them up and was shocked by what I read.

    Gawain's Ghost (b25cd1)

  28. I saw the headline and I thought THC, weed, gummies, 420 yo, etc. On the bright side, it makes people happy when they take it. It might not do anything for Covid, but it probably doesn’t make it too much worse unless you smoke it.

    I was in Chicago earlier this year and eating steak at Chicago Cut, since David Burke’s Primehouse closed, near a dispensary. I thought “what the heck” and got a Brownie with 10mg THC. Tasted great, but I did not like it…bigly. Give me a bourbon, even Jim Beam, heck, a Coors Light.

    I have a book due Friday, so I’ve been heads down for weeks now. I can see the end, but I’m in formatting hell, and my editor is actually going on vacation Wednesday so it’s really due tomorrow.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (305827)

  29. You’re acerbic wit and insightful comments are missed, Klink. Can you give us a brief preview of the book?

    Dana (292df6)

  30. Good luck, Colonel Klink. Just keep your mind fixed upon how great it’s going to feel when you send the final manuscript to your editor.

    JVW (ee64e4)

  31. Gawain’s Ghost (b25cd1) — 8/17/2020 @ 12:56 pm

    I hear BOTOX is quite popular.

    felipe (023cc9)

  32. We moved into a house with enormous oleander bushes lining the property. Three dogs, and not terribly smart ones at that, so the bushes came out. They are indeed, very toxic.

    Dana (292df6)

  33. Trump elevates Scott Atlas, a doctor with a rosier coronavirus outlook
    Dr. Scott Atlas warns against coronavirus overreaction and hysteria, pushes for the reopening of schools and sports leagues, and downplays the need for broader testing to root out the virus.

    Unlike bigger-name, more circumspect public health officials, who’ve watched their luster dim at the White House, Atlas has become a star adviser in President Donald Trump’s inner circle at a crucial moment during the pandemic.
    …….
    ……..[T]he president is betting that a telegenic physician with a positive outlook, but no expertise in infectious diseases or epidemiology, can change his fortunes.

    Atlas, upbeat and relentlessly on message that Americans should resume life as much as they can, is the living embodiment of the president’s Covid-is-not-that-big-of-a-deal approach.
    …….
    In private meetings at the White House, Atlas has irritated other aides by arguing against expanded Covid-19 testing. He opposed a proposal championed by Dr. Deborah Birx, the response coordinator for the White House coronavirus task force, to scale up home testing through methods such as saliva tests. And recently, in a task force meeting, he told Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, that science does not definitively support government mandates on wearing masks. …….
    ……
    Critics, including other conservatives and health officials, say he is shading science and facts with a partisan lens to elevate himself and gain power in Republican circles.

    “At the end of the day, this is a problem for Stanford,” said one former colleague from the Hoover Institution, the right-leaning think tank at the university where Atlas is a fellow. “Look, we have an administration that is lying about the virus, and they are grasping for anyone in a senior academic role. When they can use that branding and that title, it is instant credibility and that is what the administration is looking for.”
    …….
    He has become the president’s go-to Covid-19 doctor, the anti-Fauci, even if he does not have a background in infectious diseases or epidemiology. Instead, his specialty lies in radiology and neuroradiology, subjects he taught for many years as a professor and chief of neuroradiology at the Stanford University Medical Center.
    …….

    Rip Murdock (36e2c3)

  34. Trump’s hawking this supplement brings back memories of another sham product.

    Paul Montagu (52bb2d)

  35. hawaii, south korea, phillipines, new zealand what do they have in common,

    bolivar de gris (7404b5)

  36. “At the end of the day, this is a problem for Stanford,” said one former colleague from the Hoover Institution, the right-leaning think tank at the university where Atlas is a fellow. “Look, we have an administration that is lying about the virus, and they are grasping for anyone in a senior academic role. When they can use that branding and that title, it is instant credibility and that is what the administration is looking for.”

    This critic may in fact be correct. But what are we to make of someone who seems to believe that the appointment of Dr. Atlas might lead to more COVID-19 deaths yet doesn’t have the courage to to attach his or her own name to his or her criticism?

    JVW (ee64e4)

  37. UNC pulls the plug on in-person classes.

    Foolish of them to try.

    They won’t be the last to bail out.

    Dave (1bb933)

  38. Felipe, Botox? I have to admit that made me laugh.

    You know, it reminds me of breast implants. There was this movie on HBO some years ago about the two doctors in Houston who started the craze. They started out using silicon implants, and suddenly cosmetic surgeons all across the country were following their lead.

    Millions of women rushed to cosmetic surgeons for breast implants. Hey, it was big money, to the tune of millions if not billions of dollars. Then what happened was that it turned out implants could burst, leaking silicon into the body, causing all sorts of health problems.

    In a panic, millions of women ran back to their cosmetic surgeons, screaming “Take them out! Take them out!” The two doctors in Houston were suddenly facing bankruptcy and multiple lawsuits. So they quickly came up with a solution. Instead of using silicon in implants, they would use saline.

    This somewhat soothed the panicked women, who now, instead of having their silicon implants removed, wanted them replaced with saline implants. And thus an industry was saved.

    It’s a funny movie, but I can’t remember the title. Yet it does speak to a real problem in the cosmetic surgery business–body dysmorphia. It’s a psychological condition which causes people to obsess over perceived imperfections in their bodies. It’s why some people undergo multiple cosmetic surgeries in some desperate search for perfection, which often leads to horrible disfigurement. There was an episode of Law & Order on precisely that subject.

    I don’t get it. I understand it, but I don’t get it. To me, you live with the body you were born with, that God gave you. There will be injuries and scars throughout life, but that’s just the way it is in this world. I myself carry serious burn and skin graft scars I suffered from acar wreck when I was seventeen. (Some punk kids stole stop signs around the county as part of their initiation to the Key Club, a beer-drinking fraternity in high school, and I took the wrong short cut home from my after-school job that fateful night.)

    Is there a cosmetic surgeon who could perform a series of operations to make me look good as new? I don’t think so, but I do know there are many who would promise they could, for several hundred thousand dollars.

    It’s not worth it. And I’m not about to risk further disfigurement. I just live with it, even though my scars act up sometimes. I believe in the old saying, “You’ll never get over it, but you can get through it.”

    Trump’s response to coronavirus is incomprehensible to me. It’s like a form of politic dysmorphia. And it is killing more and more people every day. Several of those who survive and recover from infection, suffer from debilitating after effects, such as lung, heart and liver disease. This is not a virus to be taken lightly.

    As to oleander, yeah, you’re damn right it freaked me out when I realized that there was a poisonous plant growing right outside my bedroom! Thankfully, those plants, along with practically every other plant in the Rio Grande Valley, died in the arctic freeze of 1983.

    Gawain's Ghost (b25cd1)

  39. Trump seemed to be testing the waters today, when asked about the unproven therapeutic:

    Trump confirmed he’s “heard about” oleandrin when asked Monday on the White House South Lawn, but still seemed to be in an information-gathering phase.

    “Is it something people are talking about very strongly?” he asked the reporter.

    “We’ll look at it, we’ll look at it, we’re looking at a lot of different things. I will say the FDA has been great. They are very close. We’re very close to a vaccine. Very close to a therapeutic. I have heard that name mentioned, we’ll find out,” the President said.

    Dana (292df6)

  40. I’ve updated the post with the President’s comments to the press regarding oleandrin.

    Dana (292df6)

  41. Heh! That was no information-gathering phase. That was an early Alzheimer’s phase. Faking it. Trump had no clue what therapeutic the reporter was talking about, and didn’t know if he was supposed to but had forgotten.

    nk (1d9030)

  42. We cannot have hope, we must stay in the eloi bunkers and take the 3,000 treatment with the chinese patent.

    Bolivar di griz (7404b5)

  43. Hm, that’s also a viable possibility, nk. But I felt it was more of a test to see whether people are talking about it, or excited about it, thus making the decision for him as to whether he should tell someone to pursue it.

    Dana (292df6)

  44. Hey, Dana, where in your text do you support your headline? “We’re looking at it” does not euqal “enthusiastic.”

    Sure, Trump is witless, but this seems more like reporters and other gonifs are pushing it on him so they can make some quick bucks or claim he’s supportive.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  45. From Dana’s post:

    It’s embraced by Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson and MyPillow founder and CEO Mike Lindell, a big Trump backer, who recently took a financial stake in the company that develops the product.

    Lindell told Axios that in the meeting, Trump “basically said: …’The FDA should be approving it.’”

    Dave (1bb933)

  46. And the headline does say “reportedly”.

    Verdict: Dana still 100% truthful and accurate

    Dave (1bb933)

  47. Foolish of them to try.

    They won’t be the last to bail out.

    Why? From the student’s PoV, at least, being in classes with masks is safer than being in the shared dorm rooms without. Maybe from the faculty’s PoV, but which way is the money flowing?

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  48. Ben Carson, otoh, is a disgrace. More Trump than Trump.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  49. DNC opening horrid.

    Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, as only the DNC can.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  50. #45: It says Trump” not “Ben Carson”. All we have with Trump are intellectually dishonest reporters trying to force a sound bite.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  51. DNC opening horrid.

    How so? Did they bring out the flag and everyone took a knee?

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  52. And the headline does say “reportedly”.

    What, this is code for “everything else in this sentence might be wrong”? Well, OK then.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  53. Do you not understand that falsely claiming crap about Trump helps Trump?

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  54. Actually, Kevin M., it’s not code for anything. I was very careful to intentionally include “reportedly” because of the lack of a direct quote from Trump. If you look at the update to the post, Trump was directly asked about the unproven therapeutic in question. His response seemed to indicate that either he was testing the waters to see how people have reacted to the public report about it (my take) or he was clueless and had no idea what the reporter was talking about (nk’s take). Either take fits what we know about Trump. Most likely, he had the meeting, was told all about the oleandrin, was excited and enthusiastic about it, left the meeting, and then immediately forgot about it.

    Dana (292df6)

  55. One of Trump’s upper-echelon knob-polishers claimed that Trump said, during a cabinet-level meeting in the Oval Office, that the FDA should approve the drug.

    How is that inconsistent with “reportedly enthusiastic”?

    Dave (1bb933)

  56. @51. It’s scattershot and incoherent– and far too dark.

    As much as I despise Reagan– and Noonan FTM; I give them both high marks for crafting some elegant prose on the fly to deliver live on the air to the American people, without resorting to and using some pre-taped messaging as a crutch.

    Case in point; Challenger exploded at 11:38 AM EST on Jan., 28, 1986; by 3 PM–less than 3 1/2 hours after the accident, Noonan had crafted a stellar speech and Reagan read it via teleprompter live on the air. None of this canned-crap — as w/ MichellEau trying to sell Joe.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  57. ICYMI, Trump announced today that he is running for a third term:

    Speaking Monday, Trump said: “We are going to win four more years. And then, after that, we’ll go for another four because they spied on my campaign. We should get a redo of four years.”

    Dave (1bb933)

  58. O.M.G.

    CNN & MSNBC are now BET.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  59. Dana,

    The question to Trump indicates, if anything, that the reporter wanted to generate a sound bite and Trump didn’t give him one. Certainly not anything that woulds justify the word “enthusiastic.” The headline here is a crock.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  60. what are we to make of someone who seems to believe that the appointment of Dr. Atlas might lead to more COVID-19 deaths yet doesn’t have the courage to to attach his or her own name to his or her criticism?

    He is at least afraid that something he says might be wrong, and it could be he knows he’s wrong. At least about something where he and Atlas are on opposite sides.

    I’m of the “Let One Hundred Flowers Bloom” school. (maybe a bad phrase considering its origin)

    Sammy Finkelman (db2a13)

  61. I don’t even see anything where Trump is “reported” to be enthusiastic.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  62. Now, if the title of this bit was “Trump administration continues to investigate nearly any quack nostrum” I’d agree with it. But I just get stuck over that “enthusiastic” word.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  63. Here:

    He described the President’s response toward the extract as “enthusiastic.”

    “He was enthusiastic, as he is on everything that’s going to help people,” he told CNN, adding that Trump wanted the Food and Drug Administration to “do its course.”

    Dana (292df6)

  64. Kasich- literally outstanding in his field. Ever seen him eat?

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  65. Well, there’s a forthcoming tome opining about IT governance and operational transformation in the post cloud world.

    I wanted a title like “The Cloud is DEAD!!!” and some levity in it, but I’ve been pushed to include buzzword bingo, and not a chapter “Buzzword Bingo”. Apparently if you want to sell it to a Biz school, add more boring, sprinkle alignment, misaligned, organizational metrics, economic advantage, multi-sourcing…boring, boring, boring.

    My first one was a closer to a “Dummies” book for undergrads and actual human people and it sold pretty well, especially on Kindle, but it was also $5.99 on Kindle because the pub couldn’t figure out how to price it, getting payed out royalties on net sales sucks, but I enjoyed writing it. If you are getting 10%, but the ebook retails for 6, Amazon takes…lets just say a lot, not just the 30%, so the author is pulling literal pennies on the book, not dollar, the whole book, well, more than 25 less than 50, so basically you’re getting paid the advance, and a hope that maybe you’ll get it paid back. After the advance I think I netted a trip to Hawaii, maybe Paris, in 2014. Which is fine, this one is immensely less enjoyable…and boring, and tedious.

    Did I mention boring? I reread a chapter a few minutes ago and I have zero memory of writing it, none, and that was 2 weeks ago.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (305827)

  66. “SACRAMENTO, CA—The state of California, home to some of the world’s most innovative technology companies, is struggling to provide a steady flow of electricity to its residents, sources confirmed Monday.

    “We will continue to be the most advanced hub of technological progress as soon as we get the power back on here,” said Governor Newsom.

    Electricity, which first made its debut in 1882, is a luxury Californians have come to rely upon for modern indulgences such as dishwashers, laundry machines, and indoor lighting. A recent heatwave has sparked the need for rolling blackouts throughout the state that is home to Silicon Valley, technology’s most advanced center for research and development.

    Experts hope the collective brainpower housed in these technology meccas might be harnessed to solve the crisis. Sources predict these geniuses will one day provide Californians with enough reliable power to toast some bread while their neighbor runs the vacuum cleaner.

    Residents of the 49 other, less advanced states hope California’s efforts might benefit them as well, and they have been glued to their televisions and computers around the clock hoping to hear some good news.“

    https://babylonbee.com/news/state-hailed-as-progressive-utopia-of-advanced-technology-cant-figure-out-how-to-keep-the-lights-on
    _

    lol

    I hear the Bee is currently in Twitter purgatory. Hope they see the light soon.
    _

    harkin (cd4502)

  67. @67 (I know this is not serious, but I’m going to address it seriously.) It’s been very very very very very very very very very hot here (we are looking at 3 weeks of over 100 degree temps and record highs for August, which starts out as normally quite hot, it was 112 last week). PG&E neglected infrastructure for a long time. What we probably really need are solar tiles on all our houses, because our major residential power usage is AC. Did I mention dear God it’s hot?

    Nic (896fdf)

  68. 68. Yes, Aug., is normally hot but this has been an extreme stretch- like 7-10 days of 100+ temps. It hit 118 outside San Diego over the weekend and been 100+ during the days w/next to no breeze. And overnight it barely drops to 75. A/C is too costly to run so the fans whir instead. It has been hellish for several days and yes, SDG&E keeps raining rates and cutting corners on maintenance and doing power-shutdowns in various locales for an hour or two. The utility grid and infrastructure in the UK was better– than in California.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  69. @69 We were outside most afternoons last week doing schedule, tech, supply, and textbook delivery to parent vehicles in the parking lot. (boy do I love 12 hour days, the last half of which are in 100+ heat. They are just my favorite thing.) I had several coworkers who went home with heat exhaustion and we went through cases and cases of water.

    Nic (896fdf)

  70. Nic,

    I have another one of my mom’s school stories for you. She and/or her fellow teachers came up with an explanation of what is wrong with our education system. It goes like this:

    The teachers are afraid of the students; the principal is afraid of the parents; the parents are afraid of the students, and the students aren’t afraid of anybody.

    norcal (a5428a)

  71. @72 Not entirely wrong, though I’d add the DO into there somewhere. 😛

    Nic (896fdf)

  72. How about the principal is afraid of the DO, and the DO is afraid of the parents?

    norcal (a5428a)

  73. the students aren’t afraid of anybody

    Whoever says this has never given a physics exam to 300 pre-med students.

    Dave (1bb933)

  74. @74 That sounds more like it.

    Nic (896fdf)

  75. Hey, NorCal, my grandmother said roughly the same thing. In her self-published autobiography, she wrote: “One of the problems is the teacher is afraid of the principal – the principal is afraid to the superintendent – the superintendent is afraid of the school board – the school board is afraid of the parents – and the parents are afraid of the kids – and the kids know it.”

    Gawain's Ghost (b25cd1)

  76. Well, this is not promising.

    https://hotair.com/archives/allahpundit/2020/08/17/birx-locked-like-italy-people-werent-allowed-homes/

    It seems, as Dana noted, the My Pillow guy is the one who got Trump started on this oleandrin gig, and he has a financial stake in the company. I’d been thinking about ordering some new pillows, sheets and maybe a bed cover from My Pillow, as we’ve been cleaning up the condos after my mother’s passing, preparing for the estate sale. Not anymore.

    And this is certainly not promising.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/17/opinion/covid-19-heart-disease.html

    Covid-19 is causing myocarditis in survivors of the disease, even among young healthy athletes. That is not good.

    Gawain's Ghost (b25cd1)

  77. is there a way we can do something like that by injection inside or almost a cleaning?

    Because you see: it gets inside the lungs and it does a tremendous number on the lungs!

    so it would be interesting

    Dustin (4237e0)

  78. @78 Was your grandmother a teacher? In Texas? I like her formulation, and I will relay it to my mom.

    My mom also said she could teach a hypothetical class of 150 Asian students without a problem, but not five white students with attitudes. She said she never had an Asian student give her a problem in her career. It was the same with students who were children of other school teachers.

    I think the gist of this all is that our schools can only be as good as the family culture the students have at home. Unfortunately, there are too many parents out there who 1) Spoil their children and 2) Refuse to believe that their precious little darlings would ever misbehave in school.

    norcal (a5428a)

  79. @63: Here

    Why isn’t it HERE?

    And really, a financially-motivated scoundrel playing the Trump-card on a politically-motivated reporter is basically “news from Liars Island.”

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  80. Kasich is the Jar-Jar Binks of Republican politics.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  81. More like chandler bing, his handler was the idiot behind the huntsman campaign anong others,

    Bolivar di griz (7404b5)

  82. Trump announced today that he is running for a third term

    He should live so long.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  83. Anorcal. The problem with education in the United sates is very simple:

    Compulsory education, which is enforced very well, but nothing else about school is. If we got rid of compulsory education school would work very well.

    Sammy Finkelman (db2a13)

  84. Separate school from state for much the same reason we separate church and state.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  85. The problem is what is being taught, itsnoy knowledge even basic skills but sjw garbage

    Bolivar di griz (7404b5)

  86. @80 norcal (a5428a) — 8/18/2020 @ 4:39 am

    I think the gist of this all is that our schools can only be as good as the family culture the students have at home.

    Just don’t force them to attend if they don’t really want to be there.

    Compulsory education doesn’t work. It may have once worked, a few generations ago, but it doesn’t work any more. Don’t force them to attend if you can’t force them to pay attention, or at least not disrupt.

    Children attending school has become a fetish.

    Sammy Finkelman (db2a13)

  87. mr. president donald trump, who is still looking for a hooker that looks like his daughter and costs less than $130,000, would be within the law if the Constitution provided that no person could “serve” more than two terms as President

    fortunately, the Constitution provides that no person may be “elected” President more than two times

    think about it

    nk (1d9030)

  88. We arent teaching them the basics but the know 57 genders, microagressions and the skydragon is going to get them.

    Bolivar di griz (7404b5)

  89. 87. Bolivar di griz (7404b5) — 8/18/2020 @ 7:05 am

    The problem is what is being taught, its not knowledge even basic skills but sjw garbage

    That;s also tre,

    But besides they;ve made things easier and easier. And incorporated a lot of e redundncy so that children can miss many classes and not lose anything (while we still pretend every day is important)

    Schools have stopped teaching so much so that the only way students in New York City public non-charter, or otherwise special, schools can pass the admissions tests for admission to the specialized high schools is by their parents paying for tutoring. They are obviossly testing things not taught.

    Kind of like the Bar exam or the CPA exam.

    Sammy Finkelman (db2a13)

  90. The psychic cost of this lockdown

    https://mobile.twitter.com/AlexBerenson/status/1295589225040158720

    Bolivar di griz (7404b5)

  91. I’m surprised that Republicans didn’t use this opportunity of school shutdowns to promote home schooling.

    Rip Murdock (b1f26f)

  92. I’ll take a wild guess that you are not a working parent, Mr. Rip.

    nk (1d9030)

  93. 90. Bolivar di griz (7404b5) — 8/18/2020 @ 7:12 am

    We arent teaching them the basics but the know 57 genders, microagressions and the skydragon is going to get them.

    They remove old things from the curriculum, or stop testing it, and they add new things.

    The big one of these three would be climate disaster.

    Multiple genders comes out administratively, not as part of formal classroom instruction, and it is usually not present at all, or it’s an epidemic and contagious.

    Microaggressions is also probably only here and there and not part of the formal curriculum and really only at the high school level or higher. And it only affects people who have learned to read.

    Sammy Finkelman (db2a13)

  94. Let me qualify that. If you meant it as evidence that Republicans are not complete and utter political idiots, then you have a point.

    nk (1d9030)

  95. Either of you comrades, Bolivar and Sammy, put kids through school in the last twenty years? Ever? Have the people you’re getting your information from?

    nk (1d9030)

  96. I’m surprised that Republicans didn’t use this opportunity of school shutdowns to promote home schooling.

    There was golf to be played.

    Dave (1bb933)

  97. I was a teacher for 16 year, what is the greek word for capisce.

    Bolivar di griz (7404b5)

  98. Manbearpigs mann fiction was on the syllabi, as truth, for example

    Bolivar di griz (7404b5)

  99. On a few occasions I’ve helped tutor my friends’ kids who attend(ed) Laguna Beach High School.

    It sure looked like calculus, chemistry and physics they were being taught.

    From time to time we also discussed what they were studying in their English (Shakespeare) and History (Jacksonianian politics) classes at the time.

    Dave (1bb933)

  100. Then you know that oleander is what they burned at Delphi for the Pythia to inhale and have her visions.

    It’s an Old World plant, BTW, that the hacendados brought over, not native to the Americas.

    nk (1d9030)

  101. That explains last nights convention,

    Bolivar di griz (7404b5)

  102. Here’s an old Greek song, lyre (yes, I said lyre) and voice, On the Oleander’s Blossom. The scenery is nice, too.

    nk (1d9030)

  103. Both the Delphic Oracle and the lyre are associated with Apollo.

    nk (1d9030)

  104. 300 had a good representation i gather,

    Bolivar di griz (7404b5)

  105. I’m surprised that Republicans didn’t use this opportunity of school shutdowns to promote home schooling.

    President Trump is not all that quick on his feet. Or off them.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  106. Either of you comrades, Bolivar and Sammy, put kids through school in the last twenty years? Ever? Have the people you’re getting your information from?

    My niece just graduated from high school in an affluent area. She’s a vegetarian Bernie-bot who thinks that her needs will be provided for by others.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  107. fortunately, the Constitution provides that no person may be “elected” President more than two times

    But Hillary was “elected” in 2016. Trump just got in through that Electoral College loophole.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  108. No thats now how any of it works,

    Bolivar di griz (7404b5)

  109. My daughter, likewise a Bernie fan who just graduated high school, got over her vegetarian fling, but she still thinks that her purpose in life is to help others. Idealists, what can you do?

    nk (1d9030)

  110. Did we review this travesty of a mockery of a sham, carried out by a corrupt prosecutor

    https://legalinsurrection.com/2020/08/st-louis-couple-who-defended-their-home-against-mob-will-speak-at-gop-convention/

    Bolivar di griz (7404b5)

  111. Did they have oleanders around their palazzo?

    nk (1d9030)

  112. My daughter took it hard that Warren didnt get the VP, but my corner of ethnic brethren are probably just a Stephen Miller firing from going Red hat given the interruptions and danger of the Chicago specific riots.

    urbanleftbehind (d83207)

  113. “On The Oleander’s Blossom” refers to the plant’s prophetic prowess, BTW. The singer lays down to sleep on oleander flowers and he has a “bitter” dream. (The oleander has a very bitter taste.) He dreams that the girl he loves is being married off by her family to his enemy just to spite him.

    nk (1d9030)

  114. Sparta was the domain of Artemis, Apollo’s sister, not Apollo. The Spartans had to hire seers from Elis, and their music was primarily choral.

    nk (1d9030)

  115. Ares was strong in Thrace. He would have been worshiped by Spartacus. Sometimes I wonder what Exodus would have taken hold in the West if the pirates had kept their word and “parted the sea” for Spartacus and his escaped slaves.

    nk (1d9030)

  116. Meanwhile…..

    Saagar Enjeti
    @esaagar
    ·
    WSJ reports China will tie international vaccine distribution to reciprocal recognition of its territorial claims to the South China Sea

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/china-seeks-to-use-access-to-covid-19-vaccines-for-diplomacy-11597690215?redirect=amp#click=https://t.co/jXJzOEEzhJ
    _

    harkin (cd4502)

  117. My oldest daughter is still in HS. She didn’t like Bernie or Warren.
    My kids school is providing a very solid grounding in math, science, and literacy. The math curriculum is much better then the one I had in grade school, and that one prepared me pretty well for a STEM degree.

    Time123 (c9382b)

  118. No, NorCal, my maternal grandmother was not a school teacher. I honestly don’t think she ever had a job in her life. She was perfectly happy as a housewife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, because my grandfather took care of her.

    Their story is one for the ages. My grandfather dropped out of school after the 3rd grade and went to work plowing fields with an ox to help support his parents and family. Talk about hard labor, he worked that job for over ten years. But he was smart about it, saved as much of his money as he could and read everything he could get his hands on–books, newspapers, magazines, etc. Then he walked into the Business School in San Antonio, passed the entrance exam, and earned a business degree. He became a bank manager.

    Incredible, that would be like earning an MBA with a 3rd grade education today. Know how he did it? He helped his sisters, who all attended and graduated from Catholic school, do their homework every night. In other words, he received the same education without attending class. He read all the textbooks, studied for the quizzes and exams, as he helped his sisters graduate. Once they did, he simply walked into the Business School and took the exam. Passing it was no problem for him, nor was earning a degree.

    My grandmother, meanwhile, attended and graduated from Catholic school. She was actually a star forward on her school’s lady basketball team, if you can believe it. Once my grandfather was gainfully employed, he married her. She was the love of his life. How they met and came to know each other is anybody’s guess, but they did and fell in love, and the rest, as they say, is history. Theirs was a successful and fruitful marriage, for 65 years.

    The thing is that my grandmother contracted tuberculosis in the late 1940s. My grandfather took her to the doctor, and he told him there was no cure. The only solution was lung surgery to remove infected tissue and hope that she survives.

    Okay, lung removal? That was major surgery and very expensive, then and now. We’re talking about hundreds of thousands of dollars, and my grandfather didn’t have anywhere near that kind of money. So one night, he went to the bank, opened the door and unlocked the safe–he was the bank manager, and he had the key and knew the combination. He robbed the bank! Yeah, absolutely, he robbed the bank in a desperate attempt to save his wife’s life. He paid the doctor in full and in cash the next day for the operation.

    And you know what? Miraculously, she survived. She was bedridden and had to be kept a nursing home for fourteen years, but she survived. (In fact, she outlived him.) Once he knew that she would live, and that his son could support the family (he took a job as a long haul truck driver at the age of 16), my grandfather went down to the police station, turned himself in and confessed his crime. He was a Catholic, and that’s what Catholics do–confess their sins and accept their penance.

    He was sentenced to twenty years, but he only served six months, got released for good behavior. Everyone knew him–he was the bank manager they all went to for approval on their home and business loans–they all knew and understood why he did what he did, and they all forgave him. He did confess and admit to his crime, after all. They weren’t about to allow him to become the bank manager again, understandably, so he became the manager at the grocery market. True story.

    Years, decades, later, my grandparents wanted to fix up their house. Clean up, repaint, and so on. My grandmother slipped on the porch steps, fell and broke her left wrist. Unable to help with the renovation, which my grandfather dutifully completed, she simply sat at the kitchen table and wrote her auto-biography by hand. Her experiences had given her a zest for life, which is fully evident in her book. It was self-published and exists in only six copies, distributed to her descendants. I have one, and it is quite the read. She did have a way with words, could turn a phrase, as they say. If I could, I would mass-market it, but I don’t believe that was her intention. So I just keep it and only share it with relatives and trusted friends.

    My paternal grandmother, on the other hand, was a school teacher for thirty years. Except she wasn’t really my paternal grandmother, because my father was an abandoned child that she adopted, after finding him one morning left of her porch. I have no idea of who my actual biological grandparents are, and I’ve done the research. All I know is that my grandmother’s maiden name was Howell, but I can’t find any information on my grandfather. Family legend has it that he was a Cherokee, but I haven’t found any proof of that.

    Howbeit, my adoptive grandmother’s maiden name was Tyndale. She was a direct descendant of William Tyndale, who was the first to translate the New Testament from the original Coptic Greek to English, publisher of the Tyndale Bible. I have no claim to ancestry, but that is who she was. She was a fierce Protestant and a Suffragette. She actively participated in protest marches and organized rallies in the Women’s Rights movement of the early 1900s. Once the 19th amendment was passed and ratified, she went to college and graduate school and became an English teacher.

    She was very strict. Five-years old, she would have me stand at attention in her living room, read passages from the King James Bible and Shakespeare, and expect me to repeat them back from memory. It was cruel and unusual punishment, because when I didn’t recite the passages correctly, she would have me go out and fetch a switch to whip my behind with. If I didn’t, she would to out and fetch a switch herself, which would have been worse. That was my upbringing–one grandmother was kind and loving, the other was strict and mean.

    I have to say, though, that I benefitted greatly from both. Although, I certainly enjoyed being with one more than the other. My Tyndale grandmother was actively involved in Democratic politics in San Antonio. An award-winning gardener, she was the leader in the Beatification Projects in San Antonio in the 1960s–she was the landscaper for the projects throughout the city. There wasn’t a day, when I was over at her house as a small child, playing with toys, when the mayor or city council members or prominent business leaders didn’t stop by to discuss landscaping on various projects with her. If I didn’t stand at attention and address them formally, she would smack me upside the head and say, “Manners!” Then send me outside to fetch a switch. So I learned, I learned very quickly, because if I didn’t, the outcome would be excruciating.

    What a difference that was from visits to my Catholic grandmother. She was always so happy and cheerful, so warm and welcoming. And at her house, she always had homemade cakes, pies, cookies, and candies, for the taking. It was a young boy’s dream come true. She never raised her voice, smacked me upside the head, or whipped me, not once, not ever. She was the greatest, most loving grandmother in the world.

    She lived only a few hundred yards from us, and my mother would regularly take me and my siblings to her, when she needed a break or wanted to watch her soap opera. The Secret Storm, that was her favorite. Grandmere, as we called her, would welcome us with open arms. She would take me in her loving hands, set me on the counter, and taught me how to cook. “A plate is,” she would say, “protein (beef, pork, chicken, fish), carbohydrates (potato, beans, rice), and vitamins and minerals” (one green and one yellow vegetable–broccoli and carrots, green beans and corn, spinach and cauliflower, whatever, one green and one yellow vegetable.) As a child, I would say, “Those carrots aren’t yellow, they’re orange.” And she would say, “Orange is a yellow color.” And that was it, end of discussion. Okay, orange is a yellow color; I just observed, and smelled–that’s how you know you got the seasoning right, by smell–she taught me how to cook, how to prepare a plate, with every nutrient necessary for survival. And for that, I am eternally grateful.

    It is shocking to me that my mother, who was her daughter, did not learn the same. Cooking is all about ingredient selection, food preparation, balance and proportion, seasoning, and heat control. It’s very simple really. One day I walked home from school in the 3rd grade, and no one was there. My mother must have taken my sister and brothers to the doctor for their shots, whatever, I don’t know. But the entire house was empty. So I thought, okay, no problem, I’ll just make a plate. So I did. My grandmother had taught me how. When my mother came home, with my sister and brothers, she asked, “What are you eating?” I said, “No one was home, so I made a plate.” She took one bite, and from that moment forward she never cooked again. No, seriously, after that day, I was the family chef. Breakfast and dinner for six people every day, and I was only eight years old! My parents would take me to the grocery store every weekend to buy groceries. I was like, “Um, I get to choose?” Okay, I’m thinking steak, shrimp . . . whatever came into my mind. And they would buy it! Without question or hesitation, they would pay for everything I selected, because they knew they would eat like kings and queens. And they did, because I happen to be a very good cook. They, the entire family, ate like royalty, until I went away to college. And when I did come home for vacation, they would all look at me with this starving look in their eyes, “Feed us, please.” Honestly, it was a bit ridiculous to me. If I could figure out how to make a plate when I was eight, why couldn’t any of them? It’s an unsolvable mystery, but the obvious answer is that they were all too lazy or stupid. I cooked for my entire family for decades, because apparently I was the only one who could. And, to this day, I have zero respect for anyone who does not know how to cook. I forgive my family members, because I had a responsibility to take care of them. But anyone else? Pfft, forget about it. If you don’t know how to cook, you deserve to starve to death. I am not your servant, and I am not going to provide for you; I certainly am not going to cook for you.

    Now, I am alone. My parents have passed away. My sister and brother have come down to help me clean up and get everything ready for probate court and the estate sale. It’s going to take months. My mother died without leaving a will, which really complicates everything. I loved her with all of my heart and soul, would do anything for her, but she left me with one hell of a mess to clean up. She kept everything under my father’s name, and he died in 2003! Bless her heart, she couldn’t let him go. But now we, even though we are all named beneficiaries, cannot access her life insurance, her bank accounts, her assets, her ownership shares of the company, without a death certificate. It’s all frozen! And we’re talking about over $1 million here. Yet, we cannot access any of it or proceed forward, until we get the death certificate. It’s been almost three weeks now, and we still haven’t received it. What a nightmare.

    It will all work itself out, eventually, but it is going to take months. This is the sad reality that I have to live with. But, Cowboy Up!, as they say in Texas.

    Gawain's Ghost (b25cd1)

  119. Gawain’s Ghost,

    What a wonderful history. Thanks for sharing. I laughed about your mother never cooking again after tasting your fare!

    norcal (a5428a)

  120. Gawain’s Ghost,

    I just finished reading your wonderful stories, and am grateful you took the time to share them with us. I know this is a tough season for you, with having just lost your mom, but I really hope sharing these stories was salve to the wound and a reminder of what a rich background you have and how blessed to have such interesting and decent people in your lineage. Except the mean grandma. I love that your grandpa risked it all to steal and save his beloved, and I love that he turned himself in. Your Catholic grandma is every kid’s dream come true. Every kid, even when older, needs that one person who never lets them forget how special and treasured they are. Love’s building blocks. And what a disciplined man your other grandpa was, who tilled fields and ended up with a business degree. That is someone isnt afraid of hard labor and has an incredible work ethic. Thank you for sharing.

    Dana (292df6)


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