Colin Powell; What Makes America Great?

(CNN) Colin Powell, first Black US secretary of state, dies of Covid-19 complications amid cancer battle.

America’s greatness is measured in great individuals. When they are occasionally in possession of the public trust, together we touch greatness. Colin Powell was one of them. At times, greatness is embodied in the unshakable resolve of a Washington or Lincoln. Colin Powell’s greatness was of another, more subtle kind.

Powell considered himself a principled custodian of the public trust. When he realized he had betrayed that trust, he owned up to it, which resulted in his dismissal as Secretary of State. But the bar to great leadership  is higher than simple sacrifice. It requires effectiveness. Powell realized that consensus is crucial to democracy, and compromise is crucial to consensus.

If he had been asked, “Who owns the dream?” I think he would have replied, “No one. And everyone.”   To those who think they own the dream of America, look to Colin Powell.

Lead on, Colin Powell.

 

 

 

(CNN) Prince William slams space tourism and says billionaires should focus on saving Earth

(CNN) Prince William slams space tourism and says billionaires should focus on saving Earth.

Bravo, Prince William! Space tourism is an ego trip; a hyper-expensive view out a window, well mimicked in virtual reality – except for the chance of an exotic death.

Carbon based life is unsuited for space exploration. Androids, resistant to radiation, who will not require air-water-food life support systems, will take our places.  Androids will have the ability to experience, and relate experience, which is the only thing robots currently cannot provide. And they are expendable.

Until this rapidly approaching future, the extreme cost of manned space flight should be reserved for more than flights of fancy. The Tsiolkovsky/Goddard rocket equation enforces a huge carbon cost, with no solution on the technological horizon. This severely circumscribes the economic exploitation of space.

Freed by androids of the huge incremental carbon-cost burden of life support, some small subset of hopes for economic exploitation may be viable.

Or maybe not. The odds favor Prince William.

US intelligence community UFO report; Steam Powered UFOs; Getting Metaphysical, Part 3

We continue from

In Part 2, which advances the Chinese drone hypothesis, I cautioned, “Whether or not this explanation approaches correctness, it has an important purpose. It must be thoroughly disposed of before moving against Occam’s Razor, further down the list.” Perhaps I should have explicitly addressed sightings of something resembling a submarine at  periscope depth. An entity which can field UFOs of such amazing ability would hardly need submarines, nor enjoy the corrosion of salt water.  Which is easier to envision:

  • An intelligence failure relating to submarines and drones circa 2003?
  • Physics so far out of the box, we haven’t a clue?

Let’s assume that the Chinese drone hypothesis has been hammered on and deprecated. We would want to pipe-dream some ideas and make a category list:

  • Within the state of the art.
  • Impractical.
  • Not within the state of the art, but someone is  spending money on it.
  • Has been observed at large scale in the universe, but not on the scale of human engineering.
  • Allowed by theory, or thought to be. This is frequently a mistake of naive interpretation.
  • Metaphysical, informed speculations on aspects of the universe not accessible to us.

All of these, except for the last, involve energy. The concept of energy as a thing dates to 1740 due to a brilliant French woman, Émilie du Châtelet, doubtless inspired by Isaac Newton and  the 1712 steam engine of Thomas Newcomen. Development of James Watt’s improved engine began in 1763, so du Châtelet was a true visionary.

Steam engines were used to do work, the expression referring to the replacement of human bucket brigades to bail water out of mines.  For a given amount of fuel, how much work could a steam engine perform? In 1824, Sadi Carnot determined the best we can do. A steam engine requires a source of heat, and a source of cold. The greater the difference between hot and cold, the more work for a given amount of fuel energy.

What is surprising is that Carnot’s limit is a hard limit for every heat engine, steam, diesel, gas, jet, rocket. Each of these has its own limit, which is always less than Carnot’s limit. The limit says nothing about nuclear energy, but when a reactor makes steam to power a turbine which powers a generator, Carnot’s limit is in force.

In 1776, Watt’s engine was about 2% efficient. By 1900, it was 17%. Currently, the largest, most modern stationary gas turbines/combined cycle break 60%.  Improvement of 1/4% per year in 245 years. This is endgame for heat engines.

At best, 40% is waste heat, what you feel when you touch the tailpipe of a car. With jets and rockets, the waste is much larger because without a shaft to turn, expanding hot gas does the work. (NASA) Newton’s Third Law: The exhaust goes in one direction; the plane or missile goes in the opposite direction.  Action, reaction. Planes and rockets, except for gliders, have reaction engines.

All hot objects radiate infrared light. Reaction engines glow brightly in infrared. The Navy UFOs had no glow. Now refer to the category list, within the state of the art. At first glance, electric propulsion, a motor which turns a propeller or turbine, defies the limits of heat engines. This is an illusion; the bill is paid in waste heat at the generating plant.

But If a battery and motor have sufficiently low electrical resistance, a propeller or turbine can turn without a blazing heat/IR signature.  The waste heat is magically left back at the generating plant. Efficiency in the drone itself of 80% is possible. A submarine can unnoticeably discharge massive waste heat from  onboard generators into the ocean.

This is the motivation behind Part 2:

  • Propulsion is provided by cold-air turbines spun by massive neodymium rare-earth permanent field motors.

An electric turbine would have much lower performance than rockets and jets. No known form of propulsion can explain the alleged performance characteristics of a Tic-Tac.

So we’ll next continue with the impractical and speculative.

 

 

Facebook

The wish that Facebook did not exist may have achieved some level of popularity among social thinkers, who associate it with the recrudescence of hate and mental health disorders of adolescents  In his 1922 book  (Wikipedia) Public Opinion, Walter Lippmann anticipated some of this, by description of how public opinion is formed. Read the Wiki; I vouch for the accuracy.

Lippmann’s description is intricate. Since you’re going to read the Wiki, and hopefully the book, what follows is guiltless simplification. Each of us understands a tiny bit of the world. To form our opinions about the greater world, we rely on a hierarchic structure of increasing expertise. Your opinions, and mine, are to a greater or lesser extent reliant on a chain of trust relationships.

At some point, perhaps in the lead-up to World War I, Lippmann divested the idea of pure democracy, replacing it with “engineered” public opinion. It was his solution, which he saw as extant practice,  to what he described as the inability of the voter to understand more than a small piece of the world, and therefore a good thing.

It is surprising that Lippmann’s reputation could survive repudiation of the myth of democracy. But in 1922, censorship and segregation were institutions even in D.C. Free speech had been abridged for two years by the Sedition Act of 1918.  J. Edgar Hoover was just beginning his assault on freedom. Perhaps Lippmann’s rep survived because he never attacked the institution of democracy, but only the way it works.

A century later, we might take a fresh look at Public Opinion. We might consider validity of the myth of how democracy works less important than preservation of the institution. We are preceded by Winston Churchill, who said,  “Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others.”

We begin with reality of the group mind, not as  the helpful superintelligence of (Wikipedia) collective consciousness, but of the atavistic human, the crowd run amok, the groupthink of hatred, of awakening the Beast in Five Million Years to Earth.

Unless you have the gift of natural nobility, it takes conscious effort to free yourself from the Beast, while developing the capacity to interact in a positive way. Some people finish thoroughly socialized, while other acquire just the veneer. Though teens are in delicate flux,  many adults come undone. The evil peer, and groups of such, are just a click away. There have always been group minds; Facebook is the first  network cyborg, melding millions of minds by digital agency.

In 1942, Isaac Asimov anticipated a related trouble with the Three Laws of Robotics. But this was not anticipated: a cyborg of which we are the atomic parts. We had in mind Richard Brautigan’s 1967 poem All Watched Over By Machines Of Loving Grace, which could be retitled, “Hey Alexa!” Our predictions missed because in the old days, a computer was completely passive until you toggled a program, and hit the run button. Today, Facebook pushes your buttons, as you unknowingly contribute your synapses to the group mind.

All this came about with abandonment of Lippmann’s hierarchy of influencers. Now the world is full of lateral connections. Instead of asking someone who you think knows more than you, you ask someone who thinks like you. And he asks you; you ask”them”, they say to him…ad infinitum.

Facebook is a distributed computing entity with biologic and nonbiologic elements. If it were my machine, I’d pull the plug, wipe the disks, and take care there isn’t a hidden virus to resuscitate the monster on the next power-up. The murderous computer:  Kubrick’s 2001 Space Odyssey – Deactivation of Hal 9000.

Not likely; the mighty cyborg that is Facebook will break Asimov’s Laws to prevent it. So what else can we do? The amplification algorithm can be changed:

  • Amplification can be reduced by negative feedback.
  • The product of amplification can be softened by substituting from increasingly distant friends.
  • The output of the amplification algorithm can have random substitutions.
  • AI can drastically tighten content filters. The cost: false positives for objectionable material. It’s worth that cost.

In combination, this is a less user focused approach, which favors diversity.  Legal scholars should also consider the liability angle.

The stakes are so high. We’ve already seen a bit on January 6:

Five Million Years to Earth

 

 

 

 

 

 

China’s Taiwan Strategy: Beagle-Rabbit Hypnosis

(CNN) China could be ready to mount a ‘full-scale’ invasion of Taiwan by 2025, island’s defense minister says.

When I was a child, I had a dog, a collie-terrier mix.  Her sprint resembled a greyhound’s, a talent she used with ferocious terminal strategy to depopulate the local rodents.  She never caught a rabbit. Although she was faster, the combination of speed and awareness of the lagomorph could not be contested by her instinctual abilities.

The neighbors had a slow moving, short legged beagle, who consistently caught rabbits. Although the way a dog approaches prey is largely instinctual, her skill resembled a thoughtful strategy. To the human observer, she would simply walk slowly up to a rabbit that appeared paralyzed. She had some instinctual knowledge of how slowly she must move in order not to excite the flight instinct of the rabbit, a form of hypnosis.

Fables are fictitious. The above is true. It is instructive on how China might gain Taiwan without invasion.  Though China may exercise the rat-catcher option, destroying Taiwan to remove the threat of an adjacent, culturally compatible democracy, other options exist.

Beagle-rabbit-hypnosis  is made feasible by geographic proximity. In this scheme,

  • Military display has primarily psychological purpose, as misdirection, and to weaken the will.
  • Force is applied in measures below the threshold that would provoke a significant retaliation.
  • Repetition habituates the adversary, raising the response threshold.
  • The object is military investment of Taiwan, from which digestion can be completed by economic coercion.

In the military tactic of investment, an adversary position is surrounded, cut off, often left in the rear as the front line advances. The naval form of this, conceived in the  1921 war plan of Earl Hancock Ellis, was key to  U.S. strategy in the World War II Pacific theater, where it was called leapfrogging. A century later, military strategists on both sides are preoccupied with use of this strategy, and defense from it.

If there were another island beyond Taiwan that China could leapfrog to, the danger of investment would be obvious. With China’s proximity, a virtual form is possible, a zone surrounding Taiwan in which commercial  shipping is subject to coercion:

  • A few ships are damaged or sunk by deniable methods more sophisticated than Iranian attacks on shipping in the Persian Gulf and Arabian Sea.
  • Insurance becomes unaffordable, which U.S. naval escort cannot remedy.
  • China offers  “escort” in return for  hefty payments, which are not covered by insurance.  Shipping resumes.
  • In the next phase, China requires all shipping to and from Taiwan to transship through China. Initially, this is by reflagging vessels.
  • Tariffs, origin and material restrictions follow, accompanied with continuing military displays. Death by a thousand cuts is a Chinese invention.
  • In the darkest hour, China offers inducements.
  • Taiwan’s weary electorate concedes; absorption proceeds.
  • This is the theater of carrot and stick, which you are encouraged to embellish freely.

(Jamestown Foundation, 2020) Taiwan Opinion Polling on Unification with China, Figure 3, explains why this is possible. In Taiwan, unification is not a treasonous idea. Though unification has become a minority opinion,  it is a significant minority:

  • 32.04% under “ideal conditions”
  • 20.53% if “under attack.”

As long as unification remains part of Taiwan’s schizoid political dialog , Beagle-rabbit-hypnosis is viable for China. It hampers Taiwan’s attempt to show a deterrent face. The legacy of past Kuomintang repression shows in broad detestation of the self-defense forces. Unhappy conscripts train like boy scouts, with little or no weapons training. The idea that the youth of Taiwan will pick up the gun for national survival is somewhat speculative.

Schizoid sentiment has severely impacted U.S. arms sales. Security for advanced technology is considered impossible. Multiple pilots have defected with their planes. (Militarywatchmagazine) How Taiwanese Veteran Pilots Defected to China With Their American Jets. In 1992, the U.S. declined to sell the F-15, then the world best, but was willing to risk the F-16. (USC U.S. China Institute, 1992) Bush Announces Sale of F-16 Aircraft to Taiwan.

In 2018, Taiwan requested the F-35, which was denied, so Taiwan settled for 66 more F-16s, which rank much lower in relative capability than they did 30 years ago. The F-16 may be a viable option for Pakistan fighting India. It is not viable in a conflict with China, in which the kill ratio would approach zero.

The pattern repeats: inferior soldiers, airplanes, submarines. New projects to produce indigenous fighters and submarines will result in a tier of inferior weapons. Reasonable milestones of maturation to reliable mediocrity cannot be met by 2025;  it takes a decade or so. Yet this cannot be remedied by arms sales. The risk of transfer of U.S. weapons technology to China  via Taiwan is real.

The leverage of Beagle-rabbit-hypnosis  is additive to considerable interdependence:

If you want to replace the Taiwan electorate’s fatalism with optimism, it’s up to us to improve these figures.

This is an unpleasant sketch. Some part of Taiwan’s  culture is aligned with the Western democracies, while putting bread on the table is aligned with China. Which comes first, empty bellies or empty heads?

Whether China can be deterred is an open question. In any case, U.S. strategy, focusing on military defense of Taiwan while neglecting soft power, is misaligned to the threat of the sketch. Von Clausewitz wrote, “War is the continuation of politics by other means.” In recent years, the multifarious reciprocal has been observed of Russia and China:

Politics  is the continuation of war by other means.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leave 2500 troops in Afghanistan?

The weakness of the idea is disguised by the ability of the U.S. military to do more with less soldiers than any other force. But there are limits. Perhaps it would have been possible, with  round-the-clock support from B-52 delivered JDAM guided munitions, to maintain one huge firebase. The French Dien Bien Phu was such a base, though absent the equivalent of U.S. air power.

Power projection from such a base would have had extremely limited geographic scope.

You could read about the Siege of Khartoum, but that might be too much effort for those involved in congressional recriminations. So I ask for just 5 minutes and 31 seconds of your time:

KHARTOUM (1966) FINAL FIGHT

 

(CNN)Member of CIA chief’s team reported Havana syndrome symptoms on recent trip to India

(CNN) Member of CIA chief’s team reported Havana syndrome symptoms on recent trip to India.

Now we have two problems, the attacks themselves, and the possibility of espionage. My own impression, which is only a hunch, is  the possibility of very broad network penetration. There is also possible indication of a mole.

I’ve written extensively about the “sonic attacks”. See (CNN)’Sonic attacks’ suffered by US diplomats likely caused by microwave energy, government study says, where I dissent from the microwave theory.

By now, the victim should have been wearing a microwave dosimeter that was said to be under development by multiple agencies. If this wasn’t a government job, it would cost about five bucks. Parts list:

  • One nonresonant microwave antenna, electrically equivalent to a small “rubber duckie”, or several, for very wide bandwidth.
  • One microwave diode — or a few for multiple resonances.
  • A small capacitor to smooth.
  • A low leakage diode to preserve stored charge.
  • One small EDLC “supercapacitor”, to accumulate charge from rectified microwaves.
  • A plastic case in the shape of  a pen.

The CIA penchant for sophistication could be met by a version in the form of a pendant cross, which would cover all polarizations.

Each member of the team carries one of the above. A team is also equipped with one coulomb meter. Every day, or anomalous event, the dosimeter is read by discharging the supercapacitor.

 

 

Defending Australia; Nuclear Submarines & French Anger

(CNN) Biden and UK to help Australia acquire nuclear-powered submarines in new pushback on China, and America’s deal with UK and Australia leaves France bruised and Europe in the cold on China.

The defense of Australia is difficult. To understand why, consult the map. The Nine Dotted Line dips south to the north shore of Borneo, 1500 miles from Australia. The entire southern demarcation of the Line consists of states that are members of the Non-Aligned Movement, formed in the 1950’s in rejection of the Cold War power blocs.

For the purpose of military alliance, these states placed themselves out-of-bounds. Member countries in conflict areas, Africa, and Austronesia,  exploited the craving of the superpowers to break the mold, extracting arms and expensive aid programs.  Both superpowers spent heavily and received nothing in return. India, the world’s largest democracy, which supposedly implies simpatico interests, has remained tantalizingly immune to the U.S. touch.  The other nonaligned states that form the southern border of the Line are culturally remote compared to India, offering even less promise.

On the west, the line is bordered by Vietnam. Though a mixed economy, government is still vested in the Communist Party of Vietnam. Nonaligned, it is an economic vassal of China. To the north is mainland China.

The eastern boundary, the Philippines, is the crux of the problem. Formerly a staunch U.S. ally, the drift began with the closing of the Subic Bay naval base in 1992. In 2017, Duterte announced intent to withdraw from the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement. He rescinded withdrawal, with renewed threats to withdraw made in 2/21. Duterte is deeply anti-American, unforgiving of the U.S. role in the colonial past. Even  China’s annexation  of bits of offshore territory  hasn’t dented his perspective. China tempts with the lure of alleviation of domestic poverty. In effect the Philippines is a non-aligned, hopeful vassal.

The Nine-Dotted-Line is an almost closed region, bounded by non-aligned vassals, vulnerable to area denial. Although Mike Pompeo put on some high mileage in this area, he was unable to recruit a single non-aligned state, for bases, even to base a few spy planes: (Reuters) Exclusive: Indonesia rejected U.S. request to host spy planes – officials.

The U.S. has three widely dispersed allies capable of limited force projection. Japan, South Korea, and Australia, separated by immense distances from the U.S.,  present a severe logistical challenge. Yet the water  offers potential strategic equalization not possible for land conflict. It was formerly the uncontested domain of the aircraft carrier. In years to come, survival of surface combatants will be increasingly in peril.

This is why the number of commissioned submarines has high budget priority. The chief weakness of the submarine is reduced situational awareness,  alleviated by space and airborne assets. The chief asset is stealth, though there are caveats. The Brits recently claimed tracking of a Virginia class sub, the most silent U.S. boat. At what speed, I might ask?

Contrary to recent press, nuclear submarines are not the most silent. Nuclear propulsion involves steam, which makes noise. Arduous noise isolation results in a very quiet sub. But the utmost in silence is provided by some types of AIP, (air-independent propulsion), which relies on a variety of chemical reactions that do not require atmospheric air.

  • The oldest and most limited form of AIP is the electric motor, powered by batteries recharged by diesel engines in surface operation.
  • The French system has a burner, with stored oxygen to make steam. This choice allowed design of  the Barracuda class with a propulsion core that could be swapped for nuclear. This form of AIP is not quieter than nuclear. Exhaust gas bubbles may compromise stealth.
  • The German Type 212 submarines, which have electric motors powered by fuel cells, are the most quiet submarines in the world, no tell-tale exhaust, deadly in ambush.

The major, deal-breaking problem with AIP is speed. These subs are not fast enough to keep up with a surface fleet. All U.S. surface naval combatants, excepting landing ships/helicopter carriers, are capable of 30+ knots = 35 mph. The AIP Barracuda offered to Australia is rated at 20 knots. It may have a higher sprint speed that burns an unsustainable amount of fuel. And exhaust gas bubbles ruin stealth.

(Politico) Why Australia wanted out of its French submarine deal gives reasons besides the inferiority of the weapon, yet France blames the U.S. in an emotional display.  The CNN articles, written in political style, obscure the essential differences of the U.S. and French viewpoints. To the French, there is no threat; weapon systems are foreign exchange. With historic burden of responsibility, we paid attention to:

Xi exhorts preparation for war. This is not the China we used to know and love. When a world leader spoke in this tone, it got our serious attention.  It served as a reminder of the U.S. role of principal defender of the free world. We prepare to defend.

The former European colonial powers remember the loss of empires as painful lessons not to be repeated as engagement for lost causes. The small populations of the EU countries limit their roles to auxiliaries in other than small conflicts. France has been exemplary in 19 interventions in Francophone states of Africa.

Small interventions against primitive opponents are not the ultimate tests of weapon systems, in which only the best prevail. As a weapon system, the AIP Barracuda is of middle rank.  Sufficing for coastal defence, it is inadequate as a fleet submarine, incapable of operation in concert with surface forces.

From the perspective of France, an important business deal has been disrupted. U.S. engagement has another, more pure motive.

We Defend.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FDA advisers consider Covid-19 booster shots Friday

(CNN) Expect a bumpy ride this week when FDA advisers consider Covid-19 booster shots.

The two FDA scientists who intend to resign, Dr. Philip Krause and Marion Gruber, are authors on the Lancet article, Considerations in boosting COVID-19 vaccine immune responses, which details objections to the Biden booster plan.

Before we turn the microscope on this, two easy points:

  • The Lancet authors, Paul Offit, et al., note that the vaccines, particularly Pfizer and Moderna, greatly exceed the anticipated protection. They use this to justify holding off on boosters. The original protection goal should not be considered acceptable, when better is possible.
  • Offit has said he would want to see more serious outcomes, including death, to justify a booster. This is not callousness; there is a fear for the safety of more shots. Safety issues have not been observed with the Israeli Pfizer booster.  And Delta is bad to the bone. Enhanced mortality can be anticipated in advance of fact, without the human cost of waiting for the event.

Microscope. The authors fear increased vaccine reactions with a third dose, “such as myocarditis, which is more common after the second dose of some mRNA vaccines, or Guillain-Barre syndrome, which has been associated with adenovirus-vectored COVID-19 vaccines.”

The article modestly presents a meta-study of prior observational studies of vaccine effectiveness, with appropriate cautioning about the quality of these studies. The aggregate provides “a partial but useful snapshot of the changing situation, and some clear findings emerge.” In the main, that the aggregate of three vaccines is still effective against severe disease. Although there are breakout graphs, the presentation of an aggregate  statistic is troubling, since no one receives an aggregate vaccine. You get one of Pfizer, Moderna, or J&J.

In contradiction to Lancet doubts,  the Israeli study, BNT162b2 vaccine booster dose protection: A nationwide study from Israel , provides what many feel is high quality justification for a Pfizer booster.

Corona_two-dose-vaccination-data (Hebrew/English) is reference 11 of the Lancet paper, which picks a nit: “Of interest, reported effectiveness against severe disease in Israel was lower among people vaccinated either in January or April than in those vaccinated in February or March.” This discrepancy could be discounted by a variety of uncontrolled factors.

The Lancet article picks another nit with A nationwide study: “Mean follow-up was, however, only about 7 person-days (less than expected based on the apparent study design); perhaps more importantly, a very short-term protective effect would not necessarily imply worthwhile long-term benefit.” Rebuttal:

Every study is a synthesis of data. The Israeli study monitored a period of only 3 weeks, for two groups: those who received a booster in this time frame, and those who did not. It employs valid statistical techniques to get the result.  The Lancet authors prefer a less aggressive synthesis, entailing a longer study. Nevertheless, it is pretty convincing,  appropriate to the time-urgency of Delta.

The short study period of three weeks has an advantage. It reduces  the confounding effect of varying levels of COVID community presence, and seasonal factors. So it tends to isolate measurement of vaccine effectiveness. While studies that measure breakthrough over months use comparisons with the unvaccinated, a short study period is an extra bit of isolation.

The Lancet article objects to the use of antibody titers as proxies for immunity. “Even if humoral immunity appears to wane, reductions in neutralising antibody titre do not necessarily predict reductions in vaccine efficacy over time…” This has not yet been established as a fact for  COVID, so the objection is a form of professional judgement.

A booster can be justified in an entirely different way that has nothing to do with titers. (Medical News Today) Longer gap between COVID-19 vaccine doses may increase immune response. Quoting an AstraZenca study, “A gap of up to 45 weeks actually led to a stronger immune response compared with the recommended interval.” This is generally true for many immunizations. (CDC) Recommended and minimum ages and intervals between vaccine doses. A booster shot is plausible as an optimally timed second dose.

If details are too much, paradox. Israel conducted a national study with 1,144,690  participants. Although it is an observational study, the uniformity of the study environment approaches control. Israeli scientific culture is rigorous and critical. The Lancet article is based on a large number of less rigorous studies. For Pfizer, A nationwide study… overpowers Lancet.

So why the resistance? FDA/CDC are constituted to render decisions of the kind that A nationwide study… presents fact in the state of Israel. Nothing in the FDA/CDC charters permit rubber-stamping the authority of another national establishment, even one as competent as Israel.

Yet it might be the right course for Pfizer, the only subject of the Israeli study.  Two shots of Moderna, which has about 3X more mRNA than Pfizer, produce more durable immunity, so a booster is not quite as crucial. It depends on safety profile, which, it is to be hoped, is in process.

J&J is left to someone else.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Intel9's world view

Intel9