June 2021

Alzheimer’s Drug?

Allysia Finley opines in The Wall Street Journal on June 24 that the FDA was correct in its overriding of its Advisory Board’s recommendation to reject the application of Biogen’s drug aducanumab. The agency approved it for treatment of early Alzheimer’s disease. The drug is reputed to reduce amyloid plaque in the brain and reduce cognitive decline. As Ms. Finlay points out, the clinical trials were not perfect in their conclusions but there was some signal of benefit at high drug doses.

Iran’s Election–Sort Of

Iran is getting a new president. Ebrahim Raisi, a conservative hardliner hand picked by the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, will ascend to the presidency in six weeks as Hassan Rouhani, a more moderate leader, steps aside having had to withstand the onslaught that was Donald Trump’s treatment of Iran. Trump ripped up the 2015 Obama nuclear deal and squeezed the life out of the Iranian economy with sanctions he thought would get the Iranians to the negotiating table and force them into a better deal. It didn’t work.

What The Poor Vaccination Rate Says About America

It looks like the United States will fall short of President Biden’s goal of having 70% of Americans vaccinated against covid with at least one shot by July 4. Why?

The easiest explanation would be a lack of available vaccine. This is simply not the case. There are millions of doses unused as of now and there were whole parking lots devoted to rapid inoculation that remain empty. Despite this, about 177 million Americans have received at least one shot yet many states, especially in the South, have vaccination rates around 30%. That’s a disaster for the country and for those unvaccinated Americans.

If supply is not the problem for the low rates of vaccination then demand must be. It is.


I must be getting old. Wait! That’s not true. I am old. It has been weighing on me.

But what is so disappointing is that I am so out of touch as well. I really don’t understand culture any more.

Biden’s BATNA

BATNA: Best Alternative To A Negotiated Agreement.

What’s BATNA? It’s the point in a negotiation when one party to the talks determines that doing nothing is a better choice than any likely agreement.

Obviously, from President Biden’s behavior on June 16, he has not reached his BATNA with Putin, even if Putin has reached his with America.

Partisan Shots

William A. Galston makes a stunning series of observations in The Wall Street Journal on June 9. In a piece called “What Drives GOP Resistance to Vaccines?” he notes that the typical demographic of a Republican voter ought to predict that that voter would be vaccinated. It does not.

When Is Hacking An Act Of War?

I don’t understand why the federal government, and particularly the president, is so calm about the ransom ware attacks on American industry. First, the Colonial Pipeline’s software was hijacked and now a large meatpacker JBS was hacked and forced to shutdown operations for a day or two. Hospitals have been targets and so have many other businesses in the U.S.

Emergent Calm

I moved from an early age. A lot.

Home movies of me right after I learned to walk show me running. I ran for 65 years. I ran a marathon and many shorter races. I loved running, but I can’t run any more.

I also chased things. Gold stars mainly.