Money Kills

I believe I hold anti-vaxxers in the same regard I do gun-worshippers.  It’s all ok until you put someone else at risk…which you do all the time.

What triggered this latest outburst of dismay and disdain? This Washington Post report on a new front in billionaire fuckery:

A wealthy Manhattan couple has emerged as significant financiers of the anti-vaccine movement, contributing more than $3 million in recent years to groups that stoke fears about immunizations online and at live events — including two forums this year at the epicenter of measles outbreaks in New York’s ultra-Orthodox Jewish community.

Of course the folks at the epicenter of this malicious nonsense are hedge fund MOTUs:

Hedge fund manager and philanthropist Bernard Selz and his wife, Lisa, have long donated to organizations focused on the arts, culture, education and the environment. But seven years ago, their private foundation embraced a very different cause: groups that question the safety and effectiveness of vaccines.

I don’t know what it is about the thrill of ultra-successful rent seeking, but somehow that much money gained so incommensurately with effort or social utility seems to convince those dancing in its golden shower that they are absolutely suited and even obligated to set the terms of social life for all of us. Which means they get to kill folks with impunity.

And I do mean kill, as in blood on their hands; in this case, often that of children.

Nine At least two reportable vaccine preventable deaths in the US in 2017, the last year for which I could easily find CDC data. Add to that the suffering (and expense) of all the non-fatal cases of vaccine-preventable diseases, including the record-breaking number of cases of measles in 2019 – 1044 as of June 13, more than any year since 1992, and thus the most since measles was briefly and optimistically declared eradicated from the US in 2000.

Oh those halcyon and innocent days when we thought that folks would rejoice at being released from a once epidemic reaper of children!

Why are these reckless rich pukes doing this? No one seems to know:

How the Selzes came to support anti-vaccine ideas is unknown, but their financial impact has been enormous. Their money has gone to a handful of determined individuals who have played an outsize role in spreading doubt and misinformation about vaccines and the diseases they prevent. The groups’ false claims linking vaccines to autism and other ailments, while downplaying the risks of measles, have led growing numbers of parents to shun the shots.

There is an increasingly direct line between such funding and the actual harm produced by anti-vax propaganda:

The Selz Foundation provides roughly three-fourths of the funding for the Informed Consent Action Network, a three-year-old charity that describes its mission as promoting drug and vaccine safety and parental choice in vaccine decisions.

Lisa Selz serves as the group’s president, but its public face and chief executive is Del Bigtree, a former daytime television show producer who draws big crowds to public events. Bigtree has no medical credentials but holds himself out as an expert on vaccine safety and promotes the idea that government officials have colluded with the pharmaceutical industry to cover up grievous harms from the drugs. In recent weeks, Bigtree has headlined forums in ultra-Orthodox Jewish communities in Brooklyn and Rockland County, N.Y., both areas confronting large measles outbreaks.

And here’s the quote that made me think Sing Sing is too comfortable for such folks:

“They should be allowed to have the measles if they want the measles,” Bigtree told reporters outside the Brooklyn meeting on June 4. “It’s crazy that there’s this level of intensity around a trivial childhood illness.”

I used to think we needed confiscatory estate taxes so that, for example, the Koch brothers would have had to go out and actually earn some scratch before they got to buy the US judiciary.  I still think that’s a necessary corrective to wealth inequality, but I’m now wondering if a pre-mortem levy might be necessary if we’re ever going to recapture the public space from the depredations the wealth-makes-me-smart crowd.

Oh, and one more thing: adults need vaccines too.  I realize I haven’t asked my PCP if I’m up to date in my last couple of check ups, and plan to correct that omission STAT. Free advice, worth what you paid for it…

Image:  attr. to Philippe de Champaigne, Portrait of a Dead Child, c. 1650.






72 replies
  1. 1
    trollhattan says:

    Monsters. Misguided or misanthropic I cannot guess, monsters either way.

    Heard today the anti-vaxx movement is tackling Europe to good success. Great partners with the nationalists I guess.

  2. 2
    HypershpericalCow says:

    Andrew Wakefield at least had a financial motive (he was working with a law firm that wanted to sue the vaccine makers). But in this case, I honestly do not understand why anyone would give away that much money to this kind of cause. Qui bono? It’s some kind of information prion disease, that just breaks people’s brains.

  3. 3
    TenguPhule says:

    How the Selzes came to support anti-vaccine ideas is unknown, but their financial impact has been enormous. Their money has gone to a handful of determined individuals who have played an outsize role in spreading doubt and misinformation about vaccines and the diseases they prevent.

    I assume they get their jollies from seeing stupid people kill their own children. 21st century Neros.

  4. 4
    TenguPhule says:

    Nuclear weapons: experts alarmed by new Pentagon ‘war-fighting’ doctrine

    The Pentagon believes using nuclear weapons could “create conditions for decisive results and the restoration of strategic stability”, according to a new nuclear doctrine adopted by the US joint chiefs of staff last week.

    The document, entitled Nuclear Operations, was published on 11 June, and was the first such doctrine paper for 14 years. Arms control experts say it marks a shift in US military thinking towards the idea of fighting and winning a nuclear war – which they believe is a highly dangerous mindset.

    “Using nuclear weapons could create conditions for decisive results and the restoration of strategic stability,” the joint chiefs’ document says. “Specifically, the use of a nuclear weapon will fundamentally change the scope of a battle and create conditions that affect how commanders will prevail in conflict.”

    I don’t like this live action remake of Doctor Strangelove.

  5. 5
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @HypershpericalCow: cui bono

    I feel like the $1,000+ the wife and I spent getting vaccinated before going to Africa was a total waste! Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to dump a couple of tons of styrofoam into a landfill.

  6. 6
    HypersphericalCow says:

    My nym should have been HypersphericalCow in the comment above. I missed the edit window.

    ETA: Thanks, Steve in the ATL, I forgot the spelling.

  7. 7
    scott (the other one) says:

    It is my dream to someday look one of these shitheels in the eye and say, “in twenty or thirty years, when the world is a wasteland largely due to the evil deeds of billionaires like you, my descendants are going to eat your descendants. And in case you think I’m speaking metaphorically…I’m not.”

  8. 8
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @TenguPhule: rendering large swaths of our planet inhospitable to human life is certainly decisive. We need a decider in Chief, don’t we? It worked so well from 2000-2008.

  9. 9
  10. 10
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @HypersphericalCow: if Hillary were president, we wouldn’t need to know the phrase at all….

  11. 11
    Citizen Alan says:

    I’m now wondering if a pre-mortem levy might be necessary if we’re ever going to recapture the public space from the depredations the wealth-makes-me-smart crowd.

    Welcome to the club. I’ve been arguing for years that the top marginal tax rate should be 90% on all income over $5 million a year. I don’t even care what we do with the money. We could put it in a big pile and light it on fire for all I care. I just want to disarm these billionaire psychopaths before they kill us all. At this point, I genuinely think that income over a certain amount makes people evil.

    Of course, Jesus said similar things, but it’s not like anyone in this “Christian nation” cares about that.

  12. 12
    TenguPhule says:

    @Steve in the ATL: We seem to be caught in some sort of ironic hell of every reconstructed parody of dystopia at the same time.

  13. 13
    trollhattan says:

    @TenguPhule:
    Moar simpler: “Idiocracy” is a documentary.

  14. 14
    debbie says:

    @TenguPhule:

    No doubt America-loving unicorns will swoop down and take away all of that pesky radiation.

    This is as stupid as that Project for a New Century.

  15. 15
    Just One More Canuck says:

    Why don’t they do what other rich but stupid people do – go buy a sports franchise and ruin it

  16. 16
    Derelict says:

    About 15 years ago when I was doing political consulting, the wife of a client offered me a minor boatload of money to ghostwrite a book about how dangerous–even lethal–vaccines are. She handed me her “research” in a couple of shopping bags and told me to get busy. I said I’d look it over and get back to her.

    As you might imagine, the “science” she was relying on was either complete fantasy, bullshit anecdata, or (the only sciency-thing she had) the now debunked and retracted report on vaccines causing autism. I spent a week digging through peer-review articles, CDC data, and a bunch of publicly accessible databases. I concluded that there was no possible way vaccines were harmful.

    So I declined the project. She offered more money. “Just write it,” she said. “We can split the royalties! And I will guarantee you a big advance plus a writing fee.” She was willing to put her money where he mouth was, but completely unwilling to look at any evidence that contradicted her now fervent beliefs.

  17. 17
    syphonblue says:

    Hey, can you possibly use a different word from “gelt” (which is usually associated with Jews) in a pejorative sense in regards to a bunch of wealthy Jewish people trying to control the country in some form? It just looks kind of bad.

  18. 18
    Ohio Mom says:

    I saw that article earlier and it is frustrating to me that the Selzes’ motivation remains unknown. Part of me realizes it doesn’t matter what their “reasoning” is, but the other part of me keeps wondering what it is to them. Of all the causes in the world…

    I’m glad they are at least being called out in the press.

    I understood the roots of the vaccine panic among autism parents in the late 90s-early 2000s — I am an autism parent after all. A leader in our field (Bernie Rimland) questioned the mercury in vaccines, and then there was Wakefield and the MMR (which does not have mercury).

    But now the vaccine paranoia pops up in all sorts of places. A group from a Catholic high school in Northern Kentucky (just across the river from Cincinnati) refused two different vaccines because they are made using a cell line originally obtained from the lungs of a pair of aborted fetuses. There was a little justice in that the ring-leader recently came down with (IIRC) chicken pox.

    What is the thread connecting the ultra-wealthy Selzes, the Brooklyn Hasids, the Kentucky high school students? A sociologist would have a hard time finding anything else these groups have in common.

  19. 19

    @Ohio Mom: You would be surprised how much RWNJs of various religious persuasions have in common. Fear and paranoia of the outside world and a sense of victimhood, for starters.

  20. 20
    Jay says:

    I was reading a couple of days ago about Jenny McCarthy’s stalled “Charity Foundation” pushing Pro-Plague Policies, ( apparently undergoing a rebranding for over a year now).

    Over half the Board’s members major cash flow was selling “woo” to anti-vaxxers on the side.

    When you see Hedge Funders and Vulture Capitalists investing in the Pro-Plague Movement, keep in mind, it’s not always belief, or a Plutocratic Plot to Kill off the Proles,

    Quite often it’s just an investment in morons to generate a marks list for later fleecing. This is what much of Capitalism has become.

  21. 21
    AntiVaxIsAGreatGrift says:

    “Nine reportable vaccine preventable deaths in the US in 2017” — looked at the CDC link immediately after this sentence. Couldn’t find any deaths for 2017. Did I miss something?

    Actual deaths would be a useful number to wave in anti-vaxxers faces when they bemoan the terrible, terrible harm (zero deaths and not much else) done by severe reactions to vaccinations.

  22. 22
    Brachiator says:

    A CBS radio news story today was about the high level of anti vax sentiment in France.

    When asked whether vaccines are safe, one-third of the 1000 French respondents to the survey disagreed—far more than in other nations. (In the United States, 11% disagreed.) The mistrust didn’t vary much across age, gender, or education, according to the survey, conducted by the Gallup World Poll for the Wellcome Trust, a biomedical charity based in London.

    It’s becoming a global shit show.

    https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2019/06/france-most-skeptical-about-science-and-vaccines-global-survey-finds

  23. 23
    Jay says:

    Interesting thread:

    Just finished a thread on how closely rightwing and centrist outrage over @AOC's "concentration camp" remarks parallels radical white supremacist Holocaust denial discourse.If you're not nauseated and frightened by this shit, there's something wrong with you. https://t.co/jI6N5BJVI8— Gwen Snyder is uncivil (@gwensnyderPHL) June 19, 2019

  24. 24
    Annie says:

    Trivial? I had chicken pox as a child, before there was a vaccine.

    I missed 2 weeks of school. the itching was so severe I would scratch myself in my sleep. My great-grandmother had to sit up with me and hold my hands while I slept to stop it, but of course she had to sleep sometimes too. Some of the chicken pox sores became infected. That’s not trivial (not to mention having chicken pox means I’m now at risk for shingles).

    Why would anyone put a kid through that?

  25. 25
    Ohio Mom says:

    @schrodingers_cat: It is true that a large number of autism parents who were leaders in
    the vaccines-cause-autism movement were right-wingers. They had a particular thing for Hillary, who as First Lady, promoted a “vaccinate by two” campaign. I don’t know whether that bunch was particularly religious though.

    Then the mercury, which served as a preservative, was removed from childhood vaccines. Some took this as evidence that they’d been right, that this showed the vaciine manufacturers had been caught with their pants down. Else why would have they removed the mercury? (Answer: to remove the reason people weren’t vaccinating their kids.)

    Then they weren’t happy with the substitute preservatives.

    There is always a different reason.

  26. 26
    Bill Arnold says:

    This (quoting the WaPo article) is straight-forward mass murder, in the fullness of time.

    Tommey said she is now focused on the upcoming release of a sequel to “Vaxxed” that will include information about Gardasil, a vaccine that protects against several strains of the human papillomavirus. Wakefield, meanwhile, has launched another public charity to fund educational film projects, according to tax filings.

    Not even orders of magnitude close to the losses of human life (and other biological life) that will be caused by fossil-fuel billionaires, but still mass murder.

    @scott (the other one):

    “in twenty or thirty years, when the world is a wasteland largely due to the evil deeds of billionaires like you, my descendants are going to eat your descendants.”

    Such billionaires should be wondering now how exactly the human population will respond to the dystopia that said billionaires created. (Hint: walled communities won’t protect them. Maybe islands or underground bunkers, for a while.)

  27. 27
    EthylEster says:

    This is a really long link. It has affected placement fo reply button on Firefox.

    Link to Idiot who thinks measles fights cancer

  28. 28
    Ruviana says:

    @Ohio Mom: What SC said, and to elaborate, all closed groups that trust group members more than outsiders and don’t get much in the way of push-back or alternative information. None of the groups in question hold extreme beliefs about medical care generally (like, for instance Christian Scientists). In the Kentucky case the dad of one of the vaccine-boycotting kids said that he knew better tham the pope that the vaccine was sinful.

  29. 29
    Mai Naem mobile says:

    This family needs to be parachuted into the DRC or wherever they have an outbreak of Ebola. Just with the clothes on their back. Darwin awardees.

  30. 30
    Bill Arnold says:

    Here’s another Darla Shine link (EthylEster @27 with broken reply button)
    Wife of White House communications chief goes on anti-vaccine tirade – Former TV producer Darla Shine spreads conspiracy theories about measles outbreak on Twitter

    I am unable to listen politely to climate change deniers or anti-vaxxers. (ETA that’s not a complete list…)

  31. 31
    NotMax says:

    Currently on a conference call town hall with Sen. Brian Schatz. No both siderism, no pussyfooting, he didn’t shirk from ripping John Bolton a new one in his answer to someone’s question.

  32. 32
    Jay says:

    @Bill Arnold:

    Problem is, walled communities, underground bunkers, islands won’t protect them, because they still need the proles for security and the scut work.

    I guess none of them ever read Lord of the Flies all the way through.

  33. 33
    Ohio Mom says:

    @Ruviana: That is definitely part of it, but look at the study from France. That showed a heterogenous group.

    And the autism parents were also a mixed bunch, even if a good number were right-wingers.

    It’s just weird to me that the belief that vaccines are harmful, is always looking for a reason. And finding them.

    Maybe I was traumatized by being buttonholed at an autism workshop ten years ago by a mother who was sure it was the aluminum! They’re putting aluminum in our kids! (one of the mercury substitutes).

  34. 34
    TenguPhule says:

    @NotMax:

    Currently on a conference call town hall with Sen. Brian Schatz. No both siderism, no pussyfooting, he didn’t shirk from ripping John Bolton a new one in his answer to someone’s question.

    Our Senators do us proud.

  35. 35
    VOR says:

    @Annie: My brother had chicken pox his freshman year in college. He missed weeks of school. He ran a 104+ F fever for days, to the point his doctor was worried about whether he would be able to have children. No thank you.

    My wife’s step sister neglected to tell us her daughter had chicken pox and exposed us. I had a very, very light dose as a child, so I went to my clinic and had a check for the antibodies. Chicken pox as an adult is seriously bad news.

  36. 36
    Bill Arnold says:

    @Jay:

    I guess none of them ever read Lord of the Flies all the way through.

    (Thinking assassin operations would be more likely.)
    I’m drawing on substantial emergency reserves of optimism ATM. There are still paths available to turn things around with a fight, but +4C at least, probably much more, is already baked in, without geoengineering (needing a continued tech civilization) to partially counteract all the bad geoengineering done with GHGs.

  37. 37
    trollhattan says:

    @Annie:
    Not to mention if you didn’t get chicken pox you won’t get shingles and shingles can be phenomenally debilitating.

    Grrrr.

  38. 38

    Why are these reckless rich pukes doing this? No one seems to know

    Occam’s Razor says they’re doing it for the same reason the rest of the anti-vaxxers are doing it: they’re true believers who have bought into the bullshit. Rich people can be just as pig ignorant as anyone else. I sometimes think they’re more prone to being sucked into this kind of bullshit because they’ve accepted their own bullshit about wealth being proof that they’re smart.

  39. 39
    Tom Levenson says:

    @AntiVaxIsAGreatGrift: A) I made an error — misreading the form. It was two definitively established such deaths — from Varicella — in 2017, which you can see in the bottom row of the form. Likely there were more, as the reporting on Hepatitis A and B hasn’t caught up.

  40. 40
    Tom Levenson says:

    @syphonblue: Sure. I was aiming for the alliteration, but if it bugs you, happy to shift.

  41. 41
    Steve in the ATL says:

    Tom, your “golden shower” may be an improvement on Tom Wolfe’s “golden crumbs” from his cake metaphor in “the bonfire of the vanities”.

    It’s rare to top a W&L man, so kudos.

    Well, unless that man is Lewis Powell, Pat Robertson, Mike Allen, or Matt Bevin.

  42. 42

    @Ohio Mom:

    It’s just weird to me that the belief that vaccines are harmful, is always looking for a reason. And finding them.

    This is pretty common for conspiracy theories. Once the theory gets out there, it can survive for a long time even after the original theory is debunked.

  43. 43
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Jay:

    More like “Masque of the Red Death.” Rich people try to avoid a plague, but plague finds a way.

  44. 44
    NotMax says:

    @Tom Levenson

    Alliteration? “That much moola made.”

  45. 45
    Wilson Heath says:

    @trollhattan:
    Right. Not philanthropists. Misanthropists.

  46. 46
    Tom Levenson says:

    @NotMax: cash crushes common care.

  47. 47
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Roger Moore: I heard that it was the Freemasons.

  48. 48
    JPL says:

    Do anti-vaxxers believe in climate change? Are they anti-science or just selective anti-science?

  49. 49
    Jay says:

    From a year ago:

    I’ve seen several tweets comparing this to Nazis / The Holocaust and saying things like “this is how it begins”. I teach Holocaust Literature so let me be clear – this ISN’T how it began. This is already several stages along the way.#NeverAgainIsNow https://t.co/HaYTrVyOGr— Dr Aviva Dautch (@AvivaDautch) June 19, 2018

  50. 50
    Jay says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Yup, tough call, plague inside the walls, or the proles inside the walls figuring out that at that stage of societal collapse, the Billionaire and his Posse are dead weight.

  51. 51
    JPL says:

    @Jay: Read the Death of Democracy about the rise of Hitler. Although there are only a few things you might learn, you will see interesting parallels with rallies. BTW Buy lots of tums before you start to read it.

  52. 52
    leeleeFL says:

    @TenguPhule: We are so FUCKED! I am too angry, disgusted and sad to bother with dashes! WHAT THE actual FUCK? Sorry I am yelling, but I am picturing the world my GrandChildren are going to live in and and am in a blind fury!

  53. 53
    Jay says:

    @Bill Arnold:

    I don’t think geoengineering is going to be much help. We’ve seen Climate Refugees for over a decade now, Northern India is becoming uninhabitable and the permafrost is melthing 70 years ahead of the projected schedule.

    There are existing solutions to the problem but we are stuck politically, more than a decade behind the times.

  54. 54
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Jay: are you sure? It worked pretty well in SimCity.

  55. 55
    Jay says:

    @Steve in the ATL:

    Wellhead and refinery carbon capture experiments in Alberta, despite no lack of funding, have been abandoned over the past two years, because they don’t work.

    Funny thing is, getting rid of feedlots and changing the pasture forage profile of livestock reduces methane emissions by over 90%.

  56. 56
    Steeplejack says:

    @EthylEster:

    A long link doesn’t affect the Reply button. Failing to close the link after you enter the URL captures the Reply button.

    1. Position your cursor at the beginning of the text in your comment that you want to be highlighted for the link.

    2. Press “link”.

    3. Enter the URL (overwriting the existing http://) and click OK.

    4. Move your cursor to the end of the text that you want to be highlighted for the link.

    5. Click “/link” to close the hyperlink.

  57. 57
    Searcher says:

    The flu last year killed approximately 80,000 people in the US according the CDC. Naive statistics suggest that around one in six of us or so on this blog know someone who died of the flu last year.

    Vaccinating for the flu is harder than for other diseases because you basically have to hit everyone every year and it is so communicable … but the anti-vaccination movement isn’t helping.

  58. 58
    JeanneT says:

    My son and his wife just brought home their firstborn. You bet they made sure that all grandparents were up to date on our TDAP vaccinations. I’m proud to be part of the herd immunity to protect this new little one from whooping cough.

  59. 59
    TomatoQueen says:

    @JeanneT: ohhhh welcome in new grandbaby and congratulations to the new mom and dad–and well done to all the adults, best possible thing to do.

  60. 60
    Bill Arnold says:

    @TenguPhule:
    The actual language from the pdf about that is this. Bold mine:

    Integration of nuclear weapons into a theater of operations requires the consideration of multiple variables. Using nuclear weapons could create conditions for decisive results and the restoration of strategic stability. Specifically, the use of a nuclear weapon will fundamentally change the scope of a battle and create conditions that affect how commanders will prevail in conflict. Weapons, platforms, weather conditions, and planning requirements are unique in the case of nuclear weapons due to their prompt and sustained effects. As such, careful deliberation of nuclear weapons use includes their impact on future operations throughout the operational environment.

    The penalty for writing like that (without a hint of sarcasm/snark) should be severe, like oh the amputation of a random finger at a random joint. //s
    I am very much reminded of Sex and Death in the Rational World of Defense Intellectuals (1987 paper by Carol Cohn, linked by Cheryl previously.)

  61. 61
    Karen says:

    I wonder if any of the geniuses have vaccines.

    I believe that in the not so distant future, people without vaccines will be separated. They won’t be allowed to participate in public social things like school, movie theaters and restaurants.

  62. 62
    Bonnie says:

    I had all my vaccines redone at 18. It was recommended by the family doctor before I went off to college. I think I have had two other updates since then. I am 73 and pretty free of many health problems (knock on wood). I seldom ever get the flu or a cold (kow, again).. But, I am still missing my cat and in great need of another cat.

  63. 63
    Tim in SF says:

    “Of course the folks at the epicenter of this malicious nonsense are hedge fund MOTUs:”

    At risk of sounding cranky:

    When grading papers, I would knock points off whenever someone used an acronym in this manner: unknown, unexplained, no context clues, un-google-able.

    What the fuck is a MOTU?

  64. 64
    NotMax says:

    @Tim in SF

    MOTU = master of the universe.

    Always used sardonically.

  65. 65
    Searcher says:

    @NotMax: For some reason, I always here “princes of the universe” instead of MOTU.

  66. 66
    Kattails says:

    @Bonnie: If you go to your local shelter, I’m sure there will be a cat there that will pick you. For the last many years I’ve gone for the ones that have been there the longest, maybe a bit older. One of my current felines had been in the shelter for a full year. She was so stressed for a couple of months upon getting home that she licked her flanks naked (stress alopecia) but is fine now. Bugging me to get offline and come play.
    Lots of shelters now are doing seniors for seniors, adopt an older cat for free or really reduced rates. So many wonderful kitties are in great need of you!! Dreaming of scritches and head butts, visiting you in the bathroom, taking up their half of the bed. I’ve never had a problem adopting an older cat, they’re more settled and you can get a much better feel for who they really are. Kittens are adorable but buttheads. But whatever you want and need, you surely will have the full and total support of the BJ crowd. Now I’d better get to playtime…

  67. 67
    Steeplejack says:

    @Kattails:

    Good advice.

  68. 68
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Bill Arnold: On the bright side, the mass plague deaths caused by anti-vaccinationism will help mitigate global warming.

  69. 69
    Another Scott says:

    @NotMax: Famously used in Tom Wolfe’s Bonfire of the Vanities – it’s the title of chapter one. Amazon’s “Search Inside” doesn’t list the initialism though.

    Cheers,
    Scott.
    (Who can’t believe it’s not in the B-J Lexicon, either!)

  70. 70
    Tim in SF says:

    @NotMax:

    Thanks, NotMax. I feel like I should have known that. Oh well.

  71. 71
    low-tech cyclist says:

    Stuff like this is why I’m increasingly finding myself in agreement with the “every billionaire is a policy failure” meme.

  72. 72
    Luciamia says:

    That painting is heartbreaking.

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