¿¡Cuba Libré!?

The Founders™ are on their own this week, but even on a James-less week, the show must go on! First up, Rob and Peter discuss the tumult in Cuba, along with their personal attachments to our tragic seaside neighbor. Then, journalist David Adler joins as their guest to make his case on the particular triumph of Operation Warp Speed.  His article for American Affairs Journal is a deep dive on the details of the effort is –as they say in the business– a must read!

They also say their goodbyes to Boss Mongo. (Be sure to stop by dajoho’s post to add your own.)

Music: I Guess I Just Feel Like by John Mayer

Subscribe to Ricochet Podcast in Apple Podcasts (and leave a 5-star review, please!), or by RSS feed. For all our podcasts in one place, subscribe to the Ricochet Audio Network Superfeed in Apple Podcasts or by RSS feed.

Please Support Our Sponsors!

Quip

Startmail

X-Chair

Now become a Ricochet member for only $5.00 a month! Join and see what you’ve been missing.

There are 34 comments.

Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.
  1. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHill
    @EJHill

    In the alternative universe, the podcast art looks like this…

    • #1
  2. Rōnin Coolidge
    Rōnin
    @Ronin

    EJHill (View Comment):

    In the alternative universe, the podcast art looks like this…

    Is that Desi Arnaz that Rob is pitching a new sitcom to, and Peter with the look that he is not sure about the dress code?

    • #2
  3. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHill
    @EJHill

    Rōnin: Is that Desi Arnaz…

    That is Desi, Jr portraying his father in the 1992 movie The Mambo Kings

    • #3
  4. J Ro Member
    J Ro
    @JRo

    Rob’s scheme to sell American used cars in Cuba reminds me of my unwritten rule for Naval Aviators tasked with identifying merchant ships in the waters of East Asia: 

    If the decks are crammed with used automobiles, it is a homeward bound Russian ship. If the decks are crammed with trashed bicycles, it’s a homeward bound North Korean. 

    • #4
  5. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Is it just because James wasn’t there to push shepherd things along, that resulted in Peter and Rob having more time to dwell on different subjects and stories?  Or was it more because – for once in a rare time – neither of them had somewhere else they had to be, within an hour or less?

    If it was, indeed, mostly about James not being there cracking the whip, that allowed things to relax some, then maybe it isn’t such a bad thing if James takes a day off occasionally.

    • #5
  6. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Peter may be correct “on the margin” or something, about Big Tech not wanting to cooperate with The Military as such, but they don’t seem to mind cooperating with the Biden Administration and the Intelligence/Security areas when it comes to monitoring the American people etc.

    • #6
  7. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHill
    @EJHill

    kedavis: Is it just because James wasn’t there to push shepherd things along, that resulted in Peter and Rob having more time to dwell on different subjects and stories? 

    No, more likely because we only had one guest.

    • #7
  8. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    EJHill (View Comment):

    kedavis: Is it just because James wasn’t there to push shepherd things along, that resulted in Peter and Rob having more time to dwell on different subjects and stories?

    No, more likely because we only had one guest.

    I guess that could be part of it, along with an “audible illusion” resulting from 2 people talking rather than 3.

    • #8
  9. DonG (2+2=5. Say it!) Coolidge
    DonG (2+2=5. Say it!)
    @DonG

    Warp Speed was sort of a success, but using Ivermectin and HCQ would have made it unnecessary and saved 3 million lives and trillions of dollars.  But, yay for pharma-tech!!   I guess the sinking of the Titanic was a great day for the RMS Carpathia.

    • #9
  10. Henry Castaigne Member
    Henry Castaigne
    @HenryCastaigne

    DonG (2+2=5. Say it!) (View Comment):

    Warp Speed was sort of a success, but using Ivermectin and HCQ would have made it unnecessary and saved 3 million lives and trillions of dollars. But, yay for pharma-tech!! I guess the sinking of the Titanic was a great day for the RMS Carpathia.

    Then where is the country that used Ivermection and HCQ and saved absolutely everybody. 

    • #10
  11. Wolfsheim Member
    Wolfsheim
    @Wolfsheim

    Franco died in 1975, not 1976…Living in southern France in the mid-Sixties, I took occasional trips to Spain, where Franco was still very much El Caudillo. For the French, the Civil War had never quite ended. For all “right-thinking” people, Franco was an accursed fascist, and if anything would have “shocked” them, it would have been the fact that Franco wasn’t really a fascist (I wrote this before I heard Rob Long’s account of the interview with Franco) and that he made sure that he kept his distance from Hitler…I haven’t been in Spain in years, but I don’t know any Spaniards who would tolerate the vaguest hint that Franco was anything but evil. Bernie-Sanders-esque excuses for murderous Fidel, by way of contrast, won’t get one tossed out of the faculty lounge. Au contraire…

    An old friend of mine in Germany had a brother who died under mysterious circumstances in an East Berlin prison. One would think that he would be down on Communist regimes in general. But no, he and his friends and relatives have happily holidayed in Cuba. He excused himself by saying that it was a cheap excursion, but the fact is that it was also considered hip…

    Again, I wrote this (impatiently) before hearing Peter Robinson (rightly) say that Communism is a disease of the mind…I am showing my age here, but I belong to the generation that glorified Fidel Castro and Che Guevara—despite all of the readily available evidence that should have damned them.

    I once lived in South Korea, at a time when North Korea was considered an utterly evil puppet state—and when South Korea was a relatively poor police state. Now? South Korea is a prosperous democracy—which discourages criticism of the monstrous regime to the north. Among the well-heeled, those who have escaped that tyranny tend to be regarded as an embarrassment…One must never overestimate human rationality, especially among members of the “intellectual” classes.

    • #11
  12. Architectus Coolidge
    Architectus
    @Architectus

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    DonG (2+2=5. Say it!) (View Comment):

    Warp Speed was sort of a success, but using Ivermectin and HCQ would have made it unnecessary and saved 3 million lives and trillions of dollars. But, yay for pharma-tech!! I guess the sinking of the Titanic was a great day for the RMS Carpathia.

    Then where is the country that used Ivermection and HCQ and saved absolutely everybody.

    Is “saved absolutely everybody” the right requirement for this case?  Apart from that impossibly high bar, is the fact that a county that DID want to seriously try the use if Ivermectin and HCG and other possibilities, would necessarily have had to decidedly and publicly reject the intense influence of the WHO, the US CDC and international media to do so, at great cost to them in other arenas of economic relations.  We should not underestimate the blackmail-like tactics of even our own government in these cases. Plenty of history here, good and bad. 

    • #12
  13. DonG (2+2=5. Say it!) Coolidge
    DonG (2+2=5. Say it!)
    @DonG

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    DonG (2+2=5. Say it!) (View Comment):

    Warp Speed was sort of a success, but using Ivermectin and HCQ would have made it unnecessary and saved 3 million lives and trillions of dollars. But, yay for pharma-tech!! I guess the sinking of the Titanic was a great day for the RMS Carpathia.

    Then where is the country that used Ivermection and HCQ and saved absolutely everybody.

    Not everybody.   This study compared African countries with widespread use of Ivermectin for deworming with African countries without that deworming program.  Wuhan Flu deaths were about 1/10th the rate in the group of Ivermectin countries.  Lots of caveats for population differences, but the results are solid (p=.001).     I think African is the only place not influenced by our CDC.    Japan should be a good test case, since they invented Ivermectin, but I have not dug into that.

     

    • #13
  14. Peter Robinson Contributor
    Peter Robinson
    @PeterRobinson

    EJHill (View Comment):

    In the alternative universe, the podcast art looks like this…

    En verdad? Prefiero el universo alternativo. Pero gracias, Señor E.J., por los dos!

    • #14
  15. Peter Robinson Contributor
    Peter Robinson
    @PeterRobinson

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Peter may be correct “on the margin” or something, about Big Tech not wanting to cooperate with The Military as such, but they don’t seem to mind cooperating with the Biden Administration and the Intelligence/Security areas when it comes to monitoring the American people etc.

    Too entirely true.

    • #15
  16. Peter Robinson Contributor
    Peter Robinson
    @PeterRobinson

    Wolfsheim (View Comment):

    One must never overestimate human rationality, especially among members of the “intellectual” classes.

    Beautifully put.

    • #16
  17. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    It is obvious that four tech companies control the public square, Democrat politicians can lean on them, they mostly need Democrat policy out of Congress, and the constitution cannot function as intended because of this. I absolutely cannot see the other side of this argument. 

     

    • #17
  18. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHill
    @EJHill

    Peter Robinson: En verdad? Prefiero el universo alternativo. Pero gracias, Señor E.J., por los dos!

    Gracias.

    • #18
  19. CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill Coolidge
    CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill
    @CarolJoy

    DonG (2+2=5. Say it!) (View Comment):

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    DonG (2+2=5. Say it!) (View Comment):

    Warp Speed was sort of a success, but using Ivermectin and HCQ would have made it unnecessary and saved 3 million lives and trillions of dollars. But, yay for pharma-tech!! I guess the sinking of the Titanic was a great day for the RMS Carpathia.

    Then where is the country that used Ivermection and HCQ and saved absolutely everybody.

    Not everybody. This study compared African countries with widespread use of Ivermectin for deworming with African countries without that deworming program. Wuhan Flu deaths were about 1/10th the rate in the group of Ivermectin countries. Lots of caveats for population differences, but the results are solid (p=.001). I think African is the only place not influenced by our CDC. Japan should be a good test case, since they invented Ivermectin, but I have not dug into that.

     

    Japan had as of Nov 8th 2020 2/125ths the fatality rate of the USA. They continued to hold that status of much much lower fatality statistics after that date, but I usually cut off the discussion in Nov as otherwise some vax proponent tells me the vaccine is the reason.

    Also I thought ivermectin was discovered by a French man who then got a Nobel prize for his work, and not the Japanese.

    Anyway the Japanese combatted COVID with use of either HCQ protocol, or else favipiravir, a cheap asthma drug they used for the pandemic.

    In Vietnam, a nation of 97 million people, held their fatality count to under 100 people last year, with some people all that was used was aspirin. I question that though, as Vietnam most likely is a third world nation with HCQ being sold over the counter, due to the prevalence of malaria over there.

    Both those nations might have had an advantage Americans did not have – that their populations had experienced SARS at an earlier time which seems to have helped people by offering up some immunity to more serious cases of COVID.

     

     

    • #19
  20. CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill Coolidge
    CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill
    @CarolJoy

    RufusRJones (View Comment):

    It is obvious that four tech companies control the public square, Democrat politicians can lean on them, they mostly need Democrat policy out of Congress, and the constitution cannot function as intended because of this. I absolutely cannot see the other side of this argument.

     

    Neither does Donald Trump! 

     

    • #20
  21. JuliaBach Coolidge
    JuliaBach
    @JuliaBach

    This fall is the real test for the vaccines, since they were administered mostly after cases had already atarted to come down, and they were tested during the summer (not respiratory illness season).

    https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/rmv.2241

    It already doesn’t really look good, as Pfizer suggests boosters already.  Not a good sign.

    • #21
  22. Gazpacho Grande' Coolidge
    Gazpacho Grande'
    @ChrisCampion

    JuliaBach (View Comment):

    This fall is the real test for the vaccines, since they were administered mostly after cases had already atarted to come down, and they were tested during the summer (not respiratory illness season).

    https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/rmv.2241

    It already doesn’t really look good, as Pfizer suggests boosters already. Not a good sign.

    Or Pfizer will happily sell more doses.  Can’t tell me that’s not part of their math.  Considering the breakthrough infections that are happening now, not sure how more of the same fixes that problem.

    • #22
  23. Gazpacho Grande' Coolidge
    Gazpacho Grande'
    @ChrisCampion

    Nice outro, especially after the mention of Brendan’s passing.

    • #23
  24. FredGoodhue Coolidge
    FredGoodhue
    @FredGoodhue

    In crises, like the recent disease, and World War II, government directed industry can work.  The problem is clear, and people are motivated to fix it quickly.  But in regular times, it’s too prone to the usual corruption.  And most of the time the government is worse at figuring out the economic future than private interests.

    A lot of people look at global warming as a crisis that needs massive government control.  But the opportunities for corruption and waste are enormous.  It’s not enough of a clear and present danger to motivate honest fixes.

    • #24
  25. Gazpacho Grande' Coolidge
    Gazpacho Grande'
    @ChrisCampion

    Some comments about the DARPA portfolio of projects:

    This is pretty good stuff.  There is always a theoretical component to “over the horizon” views, technology roadmaps, future state, that kind of thing, so inevitably this needs to be looked at and invested in.  Private companies do this all the time, for obvious reasons.

    What was described in the pod today though was interesting.  Essentially DARPA does a lot of proof of concept projects (POCs), or pre-scales, with the intent on proving a certain technology is feasible (POC), could be scaled in production (pre-scales), and eventually into full blown production, but by someone other than DARPA.

    I’ve worked in roadmapping in my various jobs including one right now, and we look at communications capabilities during emergencies, what technologies are planned to be deployed and what new “stuff” might replace old, what are the constraints and risks for any technology deployed, timelines, and eventually cost.

    mRNA still has open issues, but this background on its early development was unknown to me.

    • #25
  26. Lois Lane Coolidge
    Lois Lane
    @LoisLane

    I found the conversation about Cuba very interesting.  I spent a little time there as a graduate student.  I had no illusions about the state of the country, though some of my fellow students romanticized too much, which I found very strange, since we often had to pay a CUC to get a square of toilet paper while out and about.  Even the people who were clearly government-endorsed guides tasked with the lucrative job of showing us around would make jokes about the abysmal state of crumbling buildings.  “We know you are not blind,” they’d say.  I do not think any of them could talk openly, however, about their feelings.  Or maybe they loved the place as they were clearly higher in status than some of their fellow comrades… 

    Regardless, I wonder about Rob’s dissident.  He had just come from being arrested.  Wouldn’t this temper his conversation with Rob in a place where there are always people listening?  I agree that many people want to hold onto the weight at the bottom of the pool, sure, but I also think there are many who simply don’t want to be pushed into the pool to drown. 

    I am praying for Cuba on any count.  That is something that I believe matters, if there is a God, and there certainly is.  So there you go.  Patria y vida.  (Pray for those artists as well.  It is my understanding some have been disappeared.)

    Also, I thought it was very nice to mention Boss Mongo at the end.  I only called him “Boss.”  I did not know him in person, though I felt like I knew him.  He was very, very generous per comments on what I have written on Ricochet as well as  per giving advice to a mother with a child in the Army.  He was endlessly funny, smart, and good-humored.  I cannot imagine what his family is feeling.  Again, I pray for his eternal soul and for his family.   Those left behind must be suffering terribly.   I mean, I feel sad, and I did not even know his real name.  This website, not to mention this world, will be less colorful and interesting without him.  

    • #26
  27. Architectus Coolidge
    Architectus
    @Architectus

    Gazpacho Grande' (View Comment):

    JuliaBach (View Comment):

    This fall is the real test for the vaccines, since they were administered mostly after cases had already atarted to come down, and they were tested during the summer (not respiratory illness season).

    https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/rmv.2241

    It already doesn’t really look good, as Pfizer suggests boosters already. Not a good sign.

    Or Pfizer will happily sell more doses. Can’t tell me that’s not part of their math. Considering the breakthrough infections that are happening now, not sure how more of the same fixes that problem.

    Regarding booster shots, I believe that these should be primarily considered “financial boosters”, for the vaccine industry: Will boosters be required?  They certainly will be, if . . . Moderna is to maintain their current levels of profitability.  Remember, we all need to pitch in, and work together to make sure that . . . Pfizer meets their quarterly projections.  We are in this together!  Do your part! (or else…)

    • #27
  28. Arnold Falk Member
    Arnold Falk
    @acfalk

    Regarding David Adler’s Inside Operation Warp Speed…

    Mr. Adler’s piece is compelling, but is missing a key issue about returning manufacturing to the USA

    To anyone like me who grew up in the USA during the late 1940s to mid-1960s, this is obvious:  our trade schools are no longer there.  The skills to feed a manufacturing economy have been in decline, because of unlimited free trade, since that period.  Letting the PRC into the WTO in 2001 was sort of a coup de grace.  I recall very clearly the discussions I had with my dad over the question:  Should I pick a trade and therefore the trade school/apprenticeship route to a livelihood, or go to university?  Those discussions were in the late 1950s.  I went to engineering school at UT-Austin, and I am glad I did, but the option was a seriously considered  one.  Today, thanks to major US manufacturers, with the help of Wall Street, shutting down most of the US manufacturing capacity, young men and women coming out of high school don’t have that option.  Today, not only are there few trade schools to teach a person to be an electrician, welder, plumber or the like, the young high school graduate may be only marginally literate.  Most certainly, his/her overall education as a high school graduate is at a lower level than that of his/her grandparents.

    But, Mr. Adler is on to something in his central point about going from R&D to a marketed product.  History tells us the British had the same problem earlier than the USA started to experience it. 

    We have to address two really big problems:  Reforming education to include the trade schools, and getting away from telling all young people that they aren’t worth much if they don’t graduate from college.  Secondly, we have to have some legal limits on Wall Street in what they can lend to authoritarian regimes like China.  I personally would like to see an outright ban on support of Chinese IPOs and loans to their companies for at least a twenty-year period, and until we can recover our manufacturing sector.

    Arnold Falk

      

    • #28
  29. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    Arnold Falk (View Comment):
    getting away from telling all young people that they aren’t worth much if they don’t graduate from college.

    Higher education is a scam because of the accreditation system.

    You are only doing two things with higher education: Developing human capital generally, teaching technical skills, or helping somebody pass a certification. Right now they overcharge for all of that and you get a bunch of dangerous indoctrination.

    Trading with the Chinese mafia was a huge mistake.

    Automation and globalized trade create deflation through better purchasing power. Better living through purchasing power. This is deflation. It creates wage deflation and job destruction. You can’t have a central bank creating inflation through this process. All of the bad things that would happen, happen faster and more unevenly than they should. It’s insane. The problem is, the government and the financial system require it. We should have been working on this 30 years ago.

    • #29
  30. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    This is a good thread.

     

     

     

    • #30