2:00PM Water Cooler 7/2/2021

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Bird Song of the Day

What a chorus!

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At reader request, I’ve added this daily chart from 91-DIVOC. The data is the Johns Hopkins CSSE data. Here is the site.

I feel I’m engaging in a macabre form of tape-watching. I’ve been thinking of new charts to monitor to alert us to the next outbreak, assuming there is one, but for now, the data from the South means I’ll stick to the status quo.

Vaccination by region:

Now all rising together. Kamala did the trick? Hard to believe.

UPDATE “‘A tough slog’: White House struggles to increase vaccination rates as Delta variant surges” [Politico]. This ran last week, but I want to re-up it. “Top Biden administration health officials trying to slow the spread of the Covid-19 Delta variant have largely given up on the possibility of reinstating mask and social-distancing rules in favor of a grassroots vaccine education campaign…. Instead, the federal government will try to convince hesitant Americans to get vaccinated by working with state officials and trusted community members to communicate the benefits of the shots, the three senior officials said. The president’s team is not confident that the new campaign will change hearts and minds, the two officials said, but it is falling back on old messaging in part because top administration officials are unsure what other tactics will work… Over the last two weeks, officials from the CDC, HHS and the White House Covid-19 Task Force have formulated a plan to work with local officials, including mayors, to knock on doors in areas with low vaccination rates to talk with people about signing up for the shot.” • I have to give credit; it seems to be working.

Case count by United States regions:

I have added an anti-triumphalist red arrow to express my displeasure at the upward trend, even if we’re not seeing exponential growth.

Note that one of the narratives seems to be that there will only be pockets of cases in unvaccinated juridictions (i.e., blame the deplorables for a public health messaging, delivery, and performance debacle). Be that as it may, we can see the effects in this aggregate, in the aggregated data for Texas and Florida, and in the Top Ten states (all below). Nothing like the runaway train in the first days and weeks, but the train is rolling. It would certainly be nice if this trend isn’t signaling the changeover from Alpha to Delta.

NV: “Nevada now has higher COVID-19 case rate than any other state” [Las Vegas Review-Journal]. “Nevada’s case count continues to rise at a significant rate, and the state now has a higher seven-day case rate per 100,000 people than any other state in the country, according to data from the Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention. The state’s two-week positivity rate, which essentially tracks the percentage of people tested for COVID-19 who are found to be infected, increased sharply by 0.4 percentage points to 5.5 percent, according to state data. The rate has been increasing since it hit a recent low of 3.3 percent on June 9. It is now higher than the 5 percent threshold recommended by the World Health Organization to prevent the virus from spreading.”

Here are the case counts for the last four weeks in the South (as defined by the US Census: Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia):

Texas and Florida, capital of Latin America, neck and neck.

Covid cases top ten (hat tip, alert reader Lou Anton):

Tourist states disproportionately represented. Let’s hope it stays in Vegas.

Test positivity:

South bounces back.

Hospitalization (CDC):

Continued good news.

Deaths (Our World in Data):

Continued good news.

Covid cases worldwide:

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“But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature?” –James Madison, Federalist 51

“They had one weapon left and both knew it: treachery.” –Frank Herbert, Dune

“They had learned nothing, and forgotten nothing.” –Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord

Biden Administration

“Inside Biden’s new “domestic terrorism” strategy” [Off-Guardian]. “in an act of startling prescience, the incoming administration had been talking about a new ‘Domestic Terrorism Bill’ for well over three months before the “riot” happened. The media had been calling for one for at least six. Major universities were writing papers about it. It’s funny how often that happens, isn’t it?” • On Biden’s National Strategy for Countering Domestic Terrorism. A must-read.

UPDATE “As Western Wildfires Worsen, FEMA Is Denying Most People Who Ask For Help” [NPR]. “During last year’s fire season in Oregon, FEMA didn’t approve roughly 70% of claims. That’s after FEMA says it filtered out applications it had deemed potentially fraudulent. In California, FEMA didn’t approve 86% of claims. But FEMA hasn’t said, despite repeated requests, how many of those it believed were fraudulent or if the denial rates indicate people are being wrongly denied. The investigation also found that the very tools FEMA uses to screen out fraudulent claims are blocking people who did lose their homes from getting help. FEMA’s automated application-review system rejects applicants if it can’t verify a person’s identity or residence, for example. In essence, FEMA’s system tends to deny first and require applicants to appeal and try to undo the denial. Most people either give up or struggle to navigate the process.” • Everything’s going according to plan.

UPDATE “Joe Biden and the Age of Blaxhaustion” [Elie Mystal, The Nation]. “Black people delivered the presidency to Joe Biden…. Biden promised to remember who put him in power, and when it comes to how his administration looks, he more or less has. But when it comes to what his administration does, the results so far have been predictably underwhelming. The white, right, and mainstream media loves to tag Biden as some kind of secret socialist, quietly pushing an anti-cop agenda at the behest of Black Lives Matter and conducting critical race séances in the White House basement. But this administration is not radical, not anti-racist, and not moving nearly fast enough to advance actual policies that will secure the fundamental rights of the people who put it in charge.” • I hate to seem churlish, but perhaps the Black Misleadership Class — this is the real referent for Mystal’s “Black people” — have bad political judgment and backed the wrong horse, exactly as they did in 2016.

UPDATE “Scoop: Biden allies launch new advocacy group” [Axios]. “Allies who spent tens of millions to get Joe Biden elected are now launching a nonprofit advocacy group aimed at promoting the president’s legislative agenda, Axios has learned. Unite the Country Now will swell an already formidable stable of independent pro-Biden outfits trying to get his top policy goals past recalcitrant congressional Republicans and some tough-to-wrangle Democrats. It also will provide an avenue for Biden’s top financial supporters to step up with large contributions to a group dedicated to backing the president. Unite the Country Now is a nonprofit offshoot of the similarly named Unite the Country, a super PAC that dropped nearly $50 million supporting Biden’s 2020 campaign. Mark Doyle and Amanda Loveday, the Democratic operatives behind it, officially incorporated the sister nonprofit in D.C. last week.” • Grifters gotta grift.

Democrats en Deshabille

“Sen. Kyrsten Sinema’s former staffers detail a ‘demoralizing’ office environment where they were afraid to ‘mess up in any way’ while working for the Arizona Democrat” [Business Insider (dcblogger)]. • Sadly, this is paywalled, so I can’t get the detail. But it seems that Harris and Klobuchar are not the only ones.

UPDATE “New York’s Election Mess Is Not the Fault of Ranked-Choice Voting” [The Nation]. “In a nutshell what happened is this: One week after Election Day, the Board of Elections ran its first ranked tally of votes in the Democratic primary for mayor. Voters had been allowed to rank their top five choices. In cases where a voter’s first choices failed to gain traction, the recalculation process then redistributed votes to their next choices. It’s a simple process that is carried out on a regular basis in other cities (such as San Francisco), states (such as Maine), and nations (such as Australia and Ireland). But, in New York City, the Board of Elections screwed things up. Royally. And the board is repeating at least some of the mistakes it’s already made—guaranteeing even more chaos and controversy. On Tuesday afternoon, the board surprised election observers with an announcement that the nine-point lead enjoyed by Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams in the initial count had shrunk to two points. Civil rights lawyer Maya Wiley, who had been in second place, was now in third and listed as ‘eliminated.’ The new second-place candidate was former New York sanitation commissioner Kathryn Garcia, who on the basis of transferred votes had moved up from third. Savvy election watchers quickly noted, however, that the numbers didn’t add up. It looked as if an extra 140,000 votes had been added to the overall total. The board acknowledged that there was a ‘discrepancy’ and pulled the ‘results’ that had been posted hours earlier. Then, after a chaotic few more hours, the board acknowledged that ‘approximately 135,000 additional records’ had been included. The ‘additional records’ were test ballots that had not been cast by actual voters. In an epic screw-up, they had been included so-called ‘test ballots’—which were not cast by voters—with the more than 900,000 actual votes in the pool used for the ranked-choice voting calculation…. But, wait, there are still as many as 125,000 uncounted absentee ballots.” • By Hanlon’s razor, this is stupid and not evil. But in Maine, both political parties and the press absolutely hated RCV and tried multiple times to overturn it. I would be surprised if something similar wasn’t happening in New York, even if it’s just a matter of giving the incompetent enough rope.


“She predicted the blue wave — now she’s trying to prevent a big red one” [Salon]. Bitecofer: “There’s no media ecosystem that’s focused on how crazy the Republican Party is.” • That’s wrong, wrong to the level of hallucination.

“Rachel Bitecofer’s Approach Might Not Be Good for Winning Elections, But It Would Be Good for America” [No More Mister Nice Blog]. “I’m here for the message that Democrats need to do more messaging that says simply: We’re good. The other party is bad — and, in this moment especially, One reason to vote for us is that our opponents are crazy and dangerous.” • Maybe the memos I’ve been getting aren’t really from Democrats, but from some other party I’ve never heard of? Idea: Let’s call the Republicans stupid, too. That’s something Democrats don’t do nearly enough of.

Republican Funhouse

UPDATE “McConnell’s process approach to policy” [Axios]. “McConnell has yet to endorse the bipartisan deal. It’s unclear whether he even supports the underlying substance. If he doesn’t, then the process argument over the sequencing of the bills doesn’t matter.”

Trump Legacy

“Column: In surprise upset, historians rule that Trump was not the worst president ever” [Michael Hiltzick, Los Angeles Times]. “This year, Trump failed to beat out a triumvirate of slavery-era presidents who have occupied the three bottom rankings in every survey: Franklin Pierce, Andrew Johnson and James Buchanan.”

Realignment and Legitimacy

Build back better?

Will we really be able to do that? Better in what sense and for whom?

“Learning to Love the Machine: Some Assembly Required” [Washington Socialist]. “What I hope to address here is what happens after we’ve beaten the machine. Whether you support realignment, a party surrogate, the dirty break or clean break, socialists of all stripes should reckon with the fact that we may need to rebuild, at the local level, the very thing we’ve been fighting for years if we want to retain and expand political power. The left needs to build our own political machines — ones that are fully active between elections, that can deliver real material gains for working people through mutual aid, protect our elected officials from new challengers, develop accountability to an organized base and promote an organizational loyalty that is only possible when you consistently show up for people over time. I view this as the only path forward for the left electoral project in this country that avoids co-optation (into the Democratic establishment) or alienation (from a material politics that can actually deliver results).”

“India Walton’s Historic Victory in Buffalo Needs Defending” [Jacobin]. “ast week, democratic socialist India Walton won the Democratic primary in Buffalo’s mayoral race. Socialists and progressives across the country celebrated Walton’s victory, which surprised many, as the former union nurse had never held political office when she defeated four-term incumbent Byron Brown. The Buffalo mayor’s office has been occupied by a Democrat without exception since 1966. Usually, winning the Democratic Party primary seals the deal, with the general election passing by unnoticed. But Byron Brown, the city’s longest-serving mayor, is refusing to accept defeat. Brown has now announced that he will run a write-in campaign against India Walton to preserve his office. The Left should take the challenge seriously, as Brown’s write-in campaign will have friends in high places, both within and beyond Buffalo city limits.” • I hope Brown didn’t steal all the money, like the Democrat loyalists in Nevada did.

Stats Watch

Employment Situation: “June 2021 BLS Jobs Situation – Job Gains Excellent” [Econintersect]. “The headline seasonally adjusted BLS job growth was on the high side of expectations, with the unemployment rate worsening from 5.8 % to 5.9 %…. The economically intuitive sectors were positive for economic growth. The rate of further recovery will be dependant on the coronavirus and the knock-on effects.”

Manufacturing: “United States Factory Orders” [Trading Economics]. “Factory orders in the US surged 1.7 percent month-over-month in May of 2021, following a downwardly revised 0.1 percent drop in the previous month and slightly higher than market forecasts of a 1.6 percent gain. Transportation equipment recorded the biggest rise (7.7 percent), namely ships and boats (88 percent) and nondefense aircraft and parts (27.9 percent). Orders for primary metals increased 2.2 percent while orders for computers and electronics (-0.3 percent) and fabricated metals (-1.4 percent) were lower.”

Trade: “May 2021 Trade Balance Worsens” [Econintersect]. “Trade data headlines show the trade balance worsened with imports rising faster than exports…. The data in this series wobbles and the 3-month rolling averages are the best way to look at this series. The 3-month average rate of growth improved for imports and exports.”

Rail: “Rail Week Ending 26 June 2021 – Continued Slowing In Intuitive Sectors” [Econintersect]. “Total rail traffic has two components – carloads and intermodal (containers or trailers on rail cars). This week again both carloads and intermodal continued in expansion year-over-year – with the rate of acceleration of growth slowing. We review this data set to understand the economy. The intuitive sectors (total carloads removing coal, grain, and petroleum) expanded 15.5 % year-over-year for this week. We primarily use rolling averages to analyze the intuitive data due to weekly volatility – and the 4 week rolling year-over-year average for the intuitive sectors slowed from +20.6 % to +16.0 % When rail contracts, it suggests a slowing of the economy.”

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Housing: “The Real Lender on Your Mortgage Could Be the Federal Reserve” [Bloomberg]. “Why, again, is the Federal Reserve adding $40 billion a month to its holdings of mortgage-backed securities when the mortgage market doesn’t seem to need any federal assistance? … Fed Chair Jerome Powell is trying to keep the Federal Open Market Committee united behind continuing to buy MBS and Treasuries as a way to hold down interest rates and promote economic growth. The recovery, he says, is incomplete. The U.S. still had 7 million fewer people employed this May than in February 2020, before the pandemic struck. But he hasn’t done a wonderful job of articulating why buying MBS is the right medicine for the economy. It is not, he says—not—a way to support the housing market…. Or something like that. A market intervention as big and enduring as the Fed’s in housing finance requires a strong and understandable justification.”

Retail: “Grocery stores are pulling perishable food, covering aisles in plastic sheets, and running sprinklers on their roofs as they battle a record heat wave” [Business Insider]. “Grocery stores in Washington have been forced to pull perishable goods from shelves and turn off entire refrigerated sections as the state experiences record-shattering temperatures…. The weather makes it difficult for refrigerators and freezers to maintain low temperatures. A reporter for a Fox affiliate in Seattle said the heat had caused refrigerators to malfunction at an Albertsons store in Mill Creek, Washington. The grocer was forced to pull several perishable goods from its shelves, including meats, lettuces, and dairy items, the reporter said, adding that the store posted signs telling customers it couldn’t provide several refrigerated foods and cordoned off the empty aisles. Other stores in the state have used similar tactics. Some Fred Meyer stores in Washington put plastic covers over refrigerated goods to keep in the cool air, dozens of posts on social media suggested. A Fred Meyer spokesperson was not immediately available to comment…. Two people said on social media that at least two Fred Meyer locations had turned on roof sprinklers to help maintain air-conditioning and freezer units. People in Washington posted pictures of grocery stores with empty freezer aisles and refrigerators wrapped in plastic. Some people said aisles of Gatorade and electrolyte drinks had been cleared out, while others said they’d seen crowds of shoppers trying to beat the heat.” • Ingenious….

Tech: “Northwest heat wave demonstrates world’s growing cooling needs” [Axios]. “What we’re watching: How much of the world’s growing global cooling needs will be met with highly efficient units and buildings, use of heat pumps, low-impact coolants and systems plugged into grids with high amounts of zero-carbon power remains to be seen. A separate IEA report last month, which models a global energy system that achieves “net-zero” emissions by 2050, finds it’s possible to massively expand cooling in an emissions-friendly way. In that scenario, the number of air conditioning units in emerging and developing economies specifically rises by 650 million by 2030 and another 2 billion by 2050. But under their hugely ambitious model — not a prediction! — a basket of clean technologies nonetheless helps to cut CO2 emissions from the world’s buildings by 95% by 2050.” And: “Cities that establish cooling centers, [Michael Oppenheimer, a climate scientist at Princeton University] said, may not be placing them in the most accessible areas. He noted that in Chicago, about one-third of cooling centers are located in police precincts. ‘Think about that in [the] context of the populations least likely to have air conditioning,’ he said.” • Wowsers, Chicago.

Tech: There’s a metaphor here:

Tech: Is Google run by MBAs?

Manufacturing: “Supply is a growing concern in a U.S. automotive sector that’s seeing no shortage of demand. Several car makers racked up double-digit sales gains in the second quarter…. and J.D. Power estimates new-vehicle sales in the first half of the year likely exceeded the pre-pandemic level of two years ago” [Wall Street Journal]. “But the rate of sales also slowed sharply at the end of the quarter, and analysts say that’s likely because inventories are withering as the global semiconductor shortage crimps production. Dealers started June with about 1.5 million vehicles on their lots or en route to stores, down 42% from the same time in 2020 and down 23% from the start of May. Association of American Railroads figures show shipments of cars and auto parts on U.S. railroads were off nearly 71,000 carloads, or 21.3%, from the same period in 2019.”

“The Economy”: “Seven Reasons to Be Extremely Optimistic About the Economy Right Now” [Slate]. “You might be wondering how it is that restaurant sales have recovered even though they’re employing so many fewer workers than in the Before Times. The answer likely lies partly in the QR codes you’ve been scanning every time you want to pull up a menu, instead of waiting for a server. The pandemic forced businesses to make do with fewer employees, leading many to invest heavily in new software to automate parts of their business. The result, as the Wall Street Journal’s Greg Ip recently observed, is that we seem to be “in a productivity boom.” By the end of the first quarter of 2021, output per hour was up 4.1 percent compared with a year earlier, the biggest increase in a decade. Part of the reason productivity jumped so much during 2020 was simply that businesses laid off so many workers in the service sector, where productivity tends to be lower. The startling thing, as Bloomberg Opinion’s Noah Smith has explained, is that productivity growth actually sped up at the beginning of 2021, just as many of those employees returned to work—the opposite of what you’d expect to happen. Investment in software also accelerated from January to March. That suggests a more fundamental shift is taking place: The crisis may have finally made some businesses move into the 21st century. Productivity growth is a crucial ingredient to a healthy, expanding economy. It’s how we learn to do more with less labor, freeing people to do other, more valuable jobs. It also allows businesses to raise wages without having to raise prices, since their employees generate more revenue. But despite the last decade’s worth of advances in tech, productivity was extremely sluggish in the years after the Great Recession. That’s what makes this recent burst so exciting; it’s not just the silver lining of a terrible year, but even, potentially, the end to a long period of relative stagnation.” • Hmm.

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Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 44 Fear (previous close: 45 Neutral) [CNN]. One week ago: 44 (Fear). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Jul 2 at 12:30pm.

Health Care

The vaccinated transmitting to the unvaccinated:

I confess that I can’t make head of tail of this diagram, which comes from this site (just shut down by the government of Singapore (!)). From that site:

I think what you are looking for is chains of transmission from green (2 doses) to yellow (1 dose) or grey (not vaccinated). I have outlined one such chain in red, so such transmission does exist.

The Biosphere

“Wildfires and the air quality inside your home” [Elliott Gall]. The basic concept is to create a “clean room.” “Step 5: Keep it simple. Air cleaning is essential to creating a clean room. Rely on proven approaches that remove harmful pollutants from air. For particles, fibrous filters (sometimes called just “filters” or “mechanical filters”) have a long track record of testing and study.¹⁰ Filters remove particles from air by collecting them on the fibers of the filter. You can read more about filtration and other air cleaning approaches via ASHRAE’s air cleaning position statement.¹⁰ Electronic, ionizing, chemical fogging, radical generating, or other “additive” air cleaners have not (to the author’s knowledge) demonstrated CADR or efficacy under wildfire conditions that would enable the type of predictions regarding intervention effectiveness made here.”

“What’s Up With Alaska’s Wild, Wondrous, ‘Warm-Blooded’ Bumblebees?” [Atlas Obscura]. “Of the nearly 50 bumblebee species documented throughout the United States, almost half can be found in Alaska, including four species found nowhere else in the country. Big-bodied and covered in thick, insulating hair (on a Zoom call, [Jessica Rykken, entomologist for Denali National Park and Preserve] holds up a board of fat, furry, pinned specimens, some the size of her thumb), the bumbles have other cold weather survival skills, including, well, twerking. While bees in general can rapidly vibrate their flight muscles, independent of flying, to generate warmth, bumblebees are particularly good at it. ‘They use those flight muscles to raise their body temperature 30 degrees in five minutes,’ says Rykken. That rapid rise in heat allows them to fly on cold, even snowy days, when other insects are grounded. And, while other social bees, including honeybees, will cluster to keep their queen, brood, and each other warm, bumblebees can survive solo. A Bombus queen can actually transfer the heat generated with its flight muscles into its abdomen to keep its eggs warm. ‘They thermoregulate quite amazingly,’ says entomologist Derek Sikes, curator of the insect collection at the University of Alaska Museum. Sikes says bumblebees are ‘actually warm-blooded: They generate heat, it’s just not constant, the way mammals do. But it is internal, not just from basking in the sun.'”

Our Famously Free Press

““I’m always skeptical”: Sixty news consumers discuss their mistrust in the news” [Columbia Journalism Review]. “Despite higher engagement, interviewees also expressed deep skepticism about the news. Many said it was impossible to fully trust any particular news source, because they felt that all journalists were biased, and the news they produced was reported—either deliberately or unintentionally—in ways that would best serve their political agendas. ‘It’s all slanted, in my opinion,’ one interviewee said. Participants’ sense that the news media is biased was a strike against all news outlets, including those they felt were biased in the same direction as their own political beliefs. … f news consumers do not feel they can wholly trust any particular news outlet, we wondered, then how do they determine the truth about what’s going on in the world? The answers we heard were consistent: interviewees pointed to their own thoughtfulness, critical thinking skills, and independent-mindedness as evidence that they were qualified to vet the news. This was true regardless of age, political affiliation, or education level. ‘I’m always skeptical,’ one person said. ‘If the journalists are asking for the right facts, then I’m okay. If the journalists aren’t asking for the right facts, I wonder why they’re not asking for the right facts.’ Our respondents viewed themselves as capable of piecing together ideologically slanted half-truths they noticed in the news. They also felt compelled to corroborate news reports themselves. ‘You shouldn’t take the article as gospel,’ one interviewee said. ‘You should still do some research and determine if what they’re saying is correc One person said he typically Googles facts on his iPad while watching the news. In other words, our respondents saw a need––and had faith in their own ability––to do journalists’ jobs for them.”

MOVE-class work from the LAPD, good job. Thread:

Groves of Academe

“The Battle for 1776” [New York Times]. “‘1776 really gets a pass,’ [Robert Parkinson, an associate professor at Binghamton University in New York, is the author of “Thirteen Clocks,” a recent study of how patriot leaders exploited fears of rebellious slaves and ‘merciless Indian savages’ (as the Declaration puts it) to rally colonists to the cause] said. ‘Race was at the center of how the founding actually happened.'” • “At the center” is doing a lot of work there. Are we really saying that if the property relation of chattel slavery had not been profitable — to many, North and South — the Revolution would have proceeded — or even been able to?

“1619 Project creator Nikole Hannah-Jones granted tenure after weeks of media furor” [WSWS]. “A review of the New York Times’ archive shows that Hannah-Jones has bylined just 23 articles for the newspaper since December 2014 and nothing since June of last year. It is not uncommon for professional journalists to produce one hundred or more articles in any given year. This is not limited to lower-level beat reporters, but includes well-known columnists and journalists who generally produce several columns per week…. A final note on the issue of tenure. The increasingly difficult conditions in academia are well known, with tens of thousands of graduate students and adjuncts toiling under immense pressure with little economic and job security. While tenure was once relatively common, reaching a peak of 57 percent of faculty in 1975, according to Tufts Magazine, the American Association of University Professors reports that only 21 percent of the academic workforce in the United States is currently tenured. The overwhelming majority of academic staff today are non-tenure track, often working paycheck to paycheck and from one contract to the next. It is rare for someone to enter academia with a tenured professorship position, since most universities require a years-long probationary period. This is all of little concern to Hannah-Jones, who has been offered a permanent position, not because of the quality of her journalistic output, but because of her celebrity and the political role of the racialist narrative that she promotes.”

Another astonishing grift, up with which Canada’s Carleton University seems all to willing to put. Thread:

Spoiler: Malette gets tenure.

Guillotine Watch

“The Cabin Porniest Cabin of All Cabins Is For Sale” [Curbed]. • Looks like a Thomas (“Painter of Light”) Kinkade painting come to life, if “life” is the word I want. Avert! Kill it with fire!

Class Warfare

“A History of ‘Americanitis,’ the Nervous Condition That Comes With Living in America” [Discourse Blog]. “The exact origins of the term “Americanitis” are a bit unclear, but the affliction was considered to be an extension of neurasthenia. That term was popularized by neurologist George Beard, who wrote an 1881 book called American Nervousness, which purported that humans have a limited natural supply of nervous energy, and that life in America was depleting it. The fast-paced hustle and bustle of urban life, industrialization, a population boom, and encroaching technology and noise levels were all to blame for a society that was overworked, underslept, and brimming with “excessive nervous tension.” As writer Elbert Hubbard succinctly put it, Americanitis was the result of ‘an intense desire to ‘git thar’ and an awful feeling that you cannot.’ Americanitis wasn’t just seen as a form of mental illness or a nervous condition, it was cited as a cause of adverse physical health effects including worsening eyesight, dizziness, headaches, impotence, lack of motivation, aches and pains, weight loss, high blood pressure, heart attack, fainting, irritability, depression, insanity, and somehow, both insomnia and fatigue…. In 2021, it often feels like we’re living in a particularly bad age of pricey wellness bullshit, but it really is a time-honored tradition in this country. The scam of turning these problems (some simply the byproducts of being alive, some very real mental and physical health issues, some a direct result of a failed social system) into consumer goods has been at work since time immemorial. First you name it, then you commodify it.” • A principle with broad application, and really, given the givens, how could things be otherwise?

“Midwestern Logistical Small Talk” [Plough]. “Most poignant to me is [Scott Beauchamp’s] discussion of what he calls ‘Midwestern Logistical Small Talk,’ in which the conversation revolves around basic logistical data – have you eaten? did you have a good flight? – making ‘language into a comfortable and familiar meeting place where facts beget facts and everyone has equal access,’ enabling ‘a pragmatic type of communion.’ But the shared world created by Midwestern Logistical Small Talk can’t be deployed amid the hipster-speak he encounters in Brooklyn, which back in the late 2000s was still the pivotal node of a slowly vanishing world of apolitical aestheticism (now replaced by an attachment to fashionable politics as earnest as the earlier attachment to MGMT and The Strokes). For this crowd, no amount of logistical data will explain Scott’s time in the Army. Partly this is a matter of geography, as Scott notes, but it’s also a matter of class. Around the time I left the service, the richest twenty percent of zip codes in America sent the smallest number of kids to the military (the poorest twenty percent were also underrepresented – recruiters claim the ravages of poverty make more poor kids ineligible). The conversations Scott so ably mocks are, undoubtedly, mostly with the children of privilege for whom America is supposed to be a land of opportunities (and in those years specifically opportunities for self-expression), not sacrifices.” • Read all the way to the end.

News of the Wired

A blow-by-blow tweet storm of the Battle of Gettysburg fought (appropriately enough) on what would today be called the Fourth of July weekend:

“In Praise of Painting; Dutch Masterpieces at The Met” [The Met]. “In a single year, 1566, Protestant iconoclasts destroyed an estimated ninety percent of art in the Netherlands. It was the beginning of the Dutch revolt against Spanish Catholic Rule. Suddenly, public spaces once full of art were stripped bare. Artists in this new Dutch Republic could no longer rely on church and court commissions. So painters experimented, developing genres new to European painting—like landscape and still life—and humanistic themes took center stage. Continue on to explore these innovations and how they still have tremendous impact on our view of art today.” • This is one of those stupid, mobile-friendly interactive posts, but it is interesting, and the paintings are lovely. Also, moar iconoclasm!

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Readers, feel free to contact me at lambert [UNDERSCORE] strether [DOT] corrente [AT] yahoo [DOT] com, with (a) links, and even better (b) sources I should curate regularly, (c) how to send me a check if you are allergic to PayPal, and (d) to find out how to send me images of plants. Vegetables are fine! Fungi and coral are deemed to be honorary plants! If you want your handle to appear as a credit, please place it at the start of your mail in parentheses: (thus). Otherwise, I will anonymize by using your initials. See the previous Water Cooler (with plant) here. Today’s plant (DD):

DD writes: “Attached are from the Lake Wilderness Arboretum in Maple Valley, WA, a place I just discovered after living in the area for 24 years. I’m an ignoramus about flowers, but the helpful signs there identified these as Deciduous Western Azaleas. I didn’t even know deciduous flowers were a thing, but they sure are purdy.”

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If you hate PayPal, you can email me at lambert [UNDERSCORE] strether [DOT] corrente [AT] yahoo [DOT] com, and I will give you directions on how to send a check. Thank you!2:00PM Water Cooler 6/8/2021

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


  1. antidlc

    Eric Feigl-Ding:

    6) Also notice (4 o’clock position) that many of the unvaccinated-to-unvaccinated first initially started from a vaccinated-to-unvaccinated transmission chain!!! This demonstrates why vaccinated people still need to mask up damnit!

    So why is the CDC telling the vaccinated they can go maskless?

    Are they that incompetent or evil, or both?

    1. allan

      Also also notice that at 9 o’clock from Lambert’s 4 o’clock, there is a big ugly superspreading event,
      started by a vaccinated individual and consisting almost entirely of vaccinated.

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      > So why is the CDC telling the vaccinated they can go maskless?

      The only good faith reason I can think of — using “good faith” loosely — is that CDC has abandoned “public health” framing for “medical freedom” framing, and is nudging bribing the unvaccinated to get vaccinated by dangling the “freedom” of going maskless in front of them.

      1. antidlc

        I’m sorry, Lambert. I just don’t get it.

        What is the incentive for the unvaccinated to get vaccinated? The unvaccinated can walk around maskless. Surely, the CDC doesn’t expect the “honor system” to work.

        1. Jeremy Grimm

          One incentive for me to get vaccinated was the CDC polices that suddenly made it much more dangerous for me to get groceries. Going to any store meant being surrounded by more numerous people without masks.

          I felt like a lab animal taking part in a badly run experiment, but based on my age, getting vaccinated seemed a worrying risk but a slightly better risk than not. [I also had the previous experiences of my children and sister to temporarily ease my worries about side-effects.] The declaration of “Mission Accomplished” combined with my primary care physician’s extreme ‘reluctance’ about alternative prophylactics left me with few ready and viable alternatives to getting vaccinated. But find comfort knowing that I will continue to wear double masks and avoid shopping and all public gatherings as much as possible. A further strong motivation for getting vaccinated was that I needed to schedule some relatively minor out-patient surgeries. Now, before the Delta surge, seemed like the most opportune window I might see for a while.

          1. Lemmy Caution

            Jeremy, we are participating in a vast experiment. I’d call it a big Phase 3 trial, except that would mean rigorous, ongoing follow up with every single participant to assess outcomes. They ain’t doin’ that. I guess that makes this a fake Phase 3 trial. Sure, why not? Kind of a theme lately!

          2. jr

            I continue to do the same, as well as gargle with the Betadine rinse before/after “exposure events”. What terrifies me is that everyone around me thinks this is over, including friends and family. I literally have to gargle just to sit around my apartment. No one thinks Delta is a big deal or they act concerned then blow off basic precautions. A friend used the gargle for her to/from flights and uncle’s funeral in Florida but complained about how bad it tasted in a manner than indicated she probably wouldn’t use it again. If not for a flight, she definitely won’t use it when grocery shopping. Misinformation and wishful thinking abound.

          3. Objective Ace

            I just started wearing fitted n95s with vents in them when I’m out. I understand it doesnt protect others, but when they dont care about protecting me I’m no longer inclined to give a damn about them either.

            Thanks CDC for pitting us against each other even moreso then Capitalism was already doing

            1. saywhat?

              Well, iirc, Nature said unvented n95 masks were up to 90% effective = 10% ineffective. So 10% (exhaler) x 10% (inhaler) = 1% ineffective for both in series.

              So, at best, with everyone wearing unvented n95s, 1% of aerosols are getting pass both masks anyway.

              I don’t know how effective vented n95s are but if they are at least 99% effective then it’s a wash. Otoh, if they are more than 99% effective (i.e. less than 1% ineffective) then it’d be better if everyone wore a vented n95.

            2. saywhat?

              Thanks CDC for pitting us against each other even moreso then Capitalism was already doing Objective Ace

              Reminds me of this: “Under capitalism, man exploits man. Under communism, it’s just the opposite.” John Kenneth Galbraith

              Otoh, per the Bible, self-sufficiency is the ideal with no need to exploit others or to be exploited.

        2. hunkerdown

          Not dying from the virus being broadcast by the vaccinated is a carrot, I guess.

        3. Keith

          For me, it was my girlfriend nagging me. I was planning to rejoin the gym and she went off about it. So the path of least resistance was thru j&j.

          1. JTMcPhee

            Let us know if you are eschewing masks and other pubic health practices now that you are j&j’d. And let us know if you happen to acquire a dose of Covid. The data gathering is so spotty every anecdote counts.

            1. Keith

              I dropped the mask thing as soon as the CDC gave the ok awhile back, but I will let you know.

              Where I live the protocol were not taken very seriously in the first place.

      2. drumlin woodchuckles

        Why ascribe good faith to the CDC? Why not analyse their actions in light of a possible agenda to make the coronavid into a permanent endemic background disease on purpose?

        1. Cuibono

          Oh sure and you probably believe we were led in to the Vietnam war and the Iraq war on false evidence

          1. drumlin woodchuckles

            Well . . . . I do, actually.

            Is my tinfoil too tight?

            Am I wearing the tinfoil, or is the tinfoil wearing me?

        2. Nikkikat

          I have thought the same thing drumlin, what other conclusion can we come to here. But when I added in the fact that Biden will not do anything on a waiver for the vaccine. It just all seems to add up. I had also decided long ago that Fauci is a complete shill for big Pharma.

    3. Cuibono

      no wonder the MOH took the data down: they did not ant anyone to see just how incompetant they were in straying from the truth that vaccines block transmission 91%

  2. Carolinian

    The answers we heard were consistent: interviewees pointed to their own thoughtfulness, critical thinking skills, and independent-mindedness as evidence that they were qualified to vet the news

    Go sheeple!

    And re Nikole–she lawyered up with the implication of a messy lawsuit….not an option available to those who are not an nyt celebrity.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > she lawyered up with the implication of a messy lawsuit

      And she’s a walking lawsuit as it is. Should be entertaining. I wonder how long it takes her to try for department chair.

      1. Acacia

        Hannah-Jones becoming department chair is baked in, I’d say.

        Many academics don’t want to do it, as they’re allergic to administrative tasks and would much prefer to research, write, or teach, roughly in that order. In this way, the position of chair tends to fall to the more bureaucrat- or power-mongering types that you’d expect to find in the admin section of the university.

    2. ChiGal in Carolina

      We got sheeple!
      ‘If the journalists aren’t asking for the right facts, I wonder why they’re not asking for the right facts.’

      Hannah-Jones has bylined just 23 articles for the newspaper since December 2014 and nothing since June of last year. It is not uncommon for professional journalists to produce one hundred or more articles in any given year.

      Is quantity the correct metric here?

      …only 21 percent of the academic workforce in the United States is currently tenured…It is rare for someone to enter academia with a tenured professorship position, since most universities require a years-long probationary period.

      Yet per Wikipedia the previous two recipients of the chair she was awarded were in fact given tenure

      This is all of little concern to Hannah-Jones, who has been offered a permanent position, not because of the quality of her journalistic output, but because of her celebrity and the political role of the racialist narrative that she promotes.

      And yet she received a MacArthur genius award and a Pulitzer, and before the NYT worked at The Oregonian and Pro Publica, both perfectly respectable publishers.

      Not saying I am a fan of 1619 and I don’t like how it is being used to focus on race to the exclusion of class, but it isn’t the only thing she has done. The WSWS article is certainly slanted.

      1. Carolinian

        She got a Pulitzer for “commentary” rather than reporting. Also the Pulitzer is not unlike what the Oscars are to the movies–subject to the social trends of the moment.

        If still not convinced consider that Tom Friedman has won three Pulitzers.

        Perhaps she should have been hired for UNC’s Commentary School rather than one that purports to teach journalism.

  3. Carolinian

    Re 1776–if my history isn’t too hazy the Revolution actually started in the North and the South then came on board. So it seems hard to argue it was all about slavery although that may have been a factor. And while Northerners on the frontier did covet Indian lands to the west, the early battles were back around Boston, full of merchants and traders. It would be a lot more to the point to say the revolt was all about money first with liberty second. Part of that liberty, of course, was the liberty to own slaves. But this isn’t news to anyone. The pretense of the current revisionism is that it is news.

      1. JBird4049

        Hmm, I have to make some connections, which easily could be overblown. I have seen a couple of recent articles where the point is that we (as Americans) are making too much of these “rights” we keep fighting over; these rights somehow, in someway, make dealing with racism impossible; the solution is weakening these impediments. Restated, having rights makes righting injustice impossible, so lets get rid of our rights.*

        The Constitution and the Bill of Rights comes out of the Revolution; the entire Bill of Rights was a reaction the Founders being the victim of the military as police, which used all the same tactics as the modern police and judiciary are using now. That is the reason why the loyal colonists went to war twelve years after The French and Indian War. People just angry at the abusive crackdown against their petitions and protests; it went from “we don’t want to pay any taxes” with representation being both an issue and an excuse to not to pay to “why are you searching without cause or sending me to Canada for trial, and is anyone going to listen to us?”

        The First Amendment is the only right that is mostly taking seriously by the courts nowadays. Free speech, which includes the right to protest and the right to debate, is the impediment to Racialism; It is being used to divide the people especially the poor and working classes from each other and, more importantly, both from the middle and upper, upper middle class from them as the bottom half is starting to demand economic reform.

        Per George, “Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.” Orwell. Much like how equity is being used to replace equality, equity could be used to replace rights like free speech. But to do that means, just as in the 1619 Project, to distort and deny the past by making the Revolution just or primarily about slavery and racism. From that an inference or accusation can be made that our rights, which are meant to protect the people from the government, the minority from the majority, or more bluntly, the weak from the strong, are just tools of the establishment to keep (Black) people down.

        *I would hunt down those links from somewhere, but my cat wants me. I’ll hunt them down later and post them in a second comment.

        1. JTMcPhee

          Missing a major “right,” there— the Second Amendment is the one I would say is most strenuously contended for and defended, or at least the gun crowd’s interpretation of it. “A well-regulated militia…” yeah, nope : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-PLHPmlRcmw But they got freedom of expression, okay?

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Its complicated, but one aspect of the Boston mob was the Demarcation Line of 1763. They were showing up in Boston instead of stealing land. There are other aspects too such as the scab labour (they still used the extra u then) situation. The British soldiers only had to work for a couple of hours in the morning. Boston was supposed to be an easy post, and they could get hired on at the docks. The British based merchants hired them on promises of regular work. The local traders like John Hancock couldn’t compete, and with the soldiers taking the jobs, the local laborers were of course getting cut out.

      The article is bs anyway because its framed around the Founding Fathers. The Philadelphia group was largely reactionary to local demands anyway.

    2. Jessica

      If the Revolution was a defense of slavery, why did the northern states began winding down slavery once the Revolution was won?

  4. drumlin woodchuckles

    ” “Inside Biden’s new “domestic terrorism” strategy” [Off-Guardian]. “in an act of startling prescience, the incoming administration had been talking about a new ‘Domestic Terrorism Bill’ for well over three months before the “riot” happened. The media had been calling for one for at least six. Major universities were writing papers about it. It’s funny how often that happens, isn’t it?” • On Biden’s National Strategy for Countering Domestic Terrorism. A must-read.”

    Am I over-interpreting this paragraph to be inviting us to suspect that the Capital Riot was pre-known-about and possibly planned by the Government-Industrial Complex in order to prepare the mass-mind ground for a pre-written Domestic Terrorism Bill?

    I wouldn’t object if that is a possible point of the paragraph, because it certainly seems plausible. However, if that is at least part of the point of the paragraph I copy-pasted from the post, it seems only fair by the same token to apply the same logic to the events preceding the writing and passage of the Patriot Act. It seems just as plausible to think that the Cheney(bush) Administration helped plan and execute the 9/11 attacks, or at the very least LIHOP-ed, HIHOP-ed and MIHO-ed as aggressively as it felt it could get away with, in order to get its Patriot Act passed. And the fact that a newspaper editor and then several Senators’ offices and other places were attacked with Military Grade anthrax which could only come from a government source, makes it seem very plausible indeed. EsPECially the anthrax attacks which were definitely carried out in order to shape the brain-war battlespace to the advantage of getting the Patriot Act passed and signed.

    1. dcblogger

      clearly Congress did not know because they would never have signed up to be the target. On the other hand, everyone paying attention to the Proud Boys/right wing demonstrations in November and December knew that a riot was on the horizon. There were numerous acts of vandalism, including attacks on churches and attacks on homeless people. The fact that there were no consequences for earlier acts of lawlessness set the stage for January 6.

    2. km

      I am not now, nor have I ever been, a 9/11 Truther. That said, 9/11 was hella convenient for the proponents of the so-called “Patriot Act”.

      On 9/10 such a bill would have gone nowhere (Biden had proposed similar legislation in the 1990s and it sank like a stone). On 9/12, Americans could not surrender their civil liberties quickly enough, and lo and behold, the “Patriot Act” was all ready for Congress to eagerly pass.

      Needless to say, 9/11 provides the well-worn playbook for 1/6. History rhymes and all that.

      1. John

        There is no need for a domestic terrorism bill just as there was no need for the patriot act. The closet authoritarians wanted it. This freedom and rights and such is just too too messy. have to trim things down. Fence them in. Get some fuzzy definitions on the statute books to interpret as needed. Perhaps calling it creeping fascism is too harsh, but so much around us fits many of the various definitions, even that on Bob Paxton.

    3. HotFlash

      My dear Drumlin-kun, I think we have a fortuitous intersection of LIHOP, HIHOP, and maybe not MIHOP but possibly/probably a bit of nudge. The event itself was seriously overhyped, it was not an ‘insurrection’ and only just barely a ‘riot’. I would characterize it as a road-trip with a Trump rally at the end only Trump didn’t show. Now, the Battle of Harper’s Ferry, that was a *real* insurrection with planning and dead people (who were killed on purpose) and wounded and everything. In the Jan 6 ‘event’ the only confirmed violent death was of an unarmed woman shot in the face by a cop. Mind you, cops shoot unarmed people all the time, but not often white women so perhaps she, unh, matters more? Seriously, we see more violence at Walmart on Black Friday (114 dead to date, for those keeping score). The cop supposedly clubbed to death with a fire extinguisher seems rather to have succumbed to pepper spray. It’s a pretty fair bet that there would be *some* kind of dust-up sooner or later and the legislation was (like the Patriot Act) all ready to go. I think they were expecting it to be BLM, but hey, never let a good crisis etc. and this had the twoofer value of being anti-Trump, who both establishments despise.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        I regard the Capitol Riot as a real thing, which Trump and various Trumpers-in-high-places instigated in hopes of creating enough “violent disorder” so as to “justify” calling out the relevant Army formations and placing the Capitol and then the Country under Martial Law. And setting aside the election results, of course. It turned out not to work the way Trump and the Trumpers-in-high-places hoped.

        But its seriousness should not be dismissed. It reveals what the Republicans are and what they stand for in their tens of millions. As Ian Welsh wrote in one of his articles, it shows the AmeriGov is ready for a Right Wing Fascismic takeover.

          1. drumlin woodchuckles

            I think such may emerge. Perhaps carefully seeded ” 1/6 Truthers” spreading the idea among the Trumpanons that ” Antifa diddit” in order to divert attention away from Trump and certain high Trumpists themselves.

        1. Michael Fiorillo

          There was no attempt to hold the Capitol, there was no call for reinforcements to aid the rioters, no transportation or communication hubs were seized and, with the exception of some clearly prepared and purposeful cadre (some of whom, if history is any guide, will turn out to have been FBI) the overwhelming majority of participants were tag-alongs, two of whom died from the over-exertion of turning off Fox News and getting up from their Barcaloungers.

          And there’s not been a peep from any of those “insurrectionists” since.

          It was a riot, and riots are scary/disturbing, but it fell far short of an insurrection or coup.

        1. John A

          Long ago I was less keen on kale. But then I bought Buvette, a cook book by Jody Williams, an American exile in France. I can recommend the book, and in particular, kale cooked very slowly with puy lentils. All the bitterness goes. Delicious, and I am a totally unreconstructed omnivore.

          1. drumlin woodchuckles

            I have heard that massaging and kneading fine-cut kale with lemon juice for a while before cooking it softens it up some. I haven’t tried it, though.

  5. Henry Moon Pie

    And I have no problem with your stretching the original point to include some considerable cynicism about the whole complex of dangerous threats that took place at the beginning of the millennium.

    What I find enlightening is just how successful such a conspiracy, if it existed, has been. Just whose position has been enhanced by the response to 9/11? Some people made some money, no doubt, but is it possible to argue that our elites are more secure in their power than they were twenty years ago? Obviously, the announced goals of that time have been a complete failure, but I don’t think the “private” goals have fared a lot better.

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      Well . . . the Deep State Nazi Embed government got its heightened oppression powers as per the Patriot Act. And the military-contractor industrial complex made money off the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. And the neo-conservatives got their extension of chaos and failed-stateness to Iraq.

    1. Terence Dodge

      South Dakota sir not the “North Dakota”, it will be interesting for many what “Ribbon” and or challenge coin will be offered for the PMC “efforts” and will it count toward their federal obligations.

  6. Paleobotanist

    Hello Lambert

    I am deeply disappointed to see you reposting from Twitter attacking the Carleton University professor Sebastian Malette. I have read quite a bit of his work, “Songs upon the Rivers”, “The Eastern Métis: Chronicling and Reclaiming a Denied Past”, “Bois-Brulés: The Untold Story of the Métis of Western Quebec”, and “De Freemen à Métis”. He is a very careful award winning historian studying the Métis of Canada and US, expanding on the pioneering work of Olive Dickason. He is bilingual French and English and reads Latin allowing him to delve in Catholic Church records which are a rich archival source. The Métis in Canada form a distinct historical mixed population of Indigenous and settler background whose origins lie with the fur trade. They are listed in the 1982 Canada Constitution as among the Indigenous founding nations, and hence have legal status in Canada, unlike in the US. Prof Malette serves as an expert witness in many law cases. What you have posted appears to be a smear attempting to discredit him as an expert witness in one such case. I would suggest caution posting such material unless you are deeply conversant in Canadian history, archival data, law and know what you are getting into. I hold Naked Capitalism in the deepest respect (I have lurked here for years and recommend it to my friends and students) and I am disappointed in seeing it take part in a defaming Twitter pile-up.

    Sincerely Paleo

    1. lambert Post author

      Thanks for this comment. Clearly, I do have priors on this issue from Hannah-Jones. That said, from my interactions with the tribes in Maine, as well as the Cherokee genealogists in the Warren affair, I give what they have to say great weight. Is there a Canadian equivalent of the Chronicle of Higher Education that would cover this?

      1. Paleobotanist

        Hello Lambert

        I would suggest that you read Prof Malette’s work. I included several of his book titles, including 3 in English. I have spoken with him and I appreciate how careful he is in archival work. I have done alittle such work, enough to know how careful you have to be and how you have to be trilingual : French, English and Latin. Those who are attacking him are not. There is at least one court case that is working its way through the system for the past 20 years that is scheduled to come to a month long trial in Montreal next summer. I expect that it will go to the Supreme Court of Canada with more years of delay. Prof Malette is an expert witness here and this is what I suspect is causing the Twitter storm and personal attacks. I think that the court transcripts is where the evidence will be laid out dispassionately finally. The evidence for much of his work lies in French archives in Quebec. So if you want to attack his work, you have to be familiar with French archival data. Those attacking him rarely know any French, much less the archives which are challenging in what they both include and are missing.

        But you have to understand how in Canada, the Canadian government has long played a very effective game of divide and rule amongst Indigenous peoples here. To fight back poor, typically uneducated communities must fight decades long legal battles up to the Supreme Court.

        You must have my email if you wish to communicate further about this.

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          Hopefully somebody is ready to use all necessary violence to protect those archives from a “Courthouse fire”.

        2. John Emerson

          In the first Minnesota census in 1860, 5% of the population was listed as French, but others called them Indians. I’m pretty sure that they were Metis. One of the important Metis centers was at Pembina at the Canada-Minnesota border (later Canada-North Dakota-Minnesota border), and Louis Riel came to Minnesota in exile at one point.

          Growing up in MN there were always a few families with French names around. The ones I knew were a little rough and very countryish. I never heard anyone talk about them as Indians but a few were a little dark. A French-surnamed guy I knew from the town of Little Falls talked as though there was a “Frenchie” group there.

          1. drumlin woodchuckles

            How dark are some of the Mediterranean-coastal people of South France itself?

          2. The Rev Kev

            There was a Governor for Maine a few years ago – Paul LePage – that as a kid only spoke French when growing up. And he was born and raised in Maine.

            The fact that he grew up to be a total **** was all on him though.

      2. Sub-Boreal

        No, there isn’t a direct Canadian equivalent of CHE.

        Media coverage of post-secondary education (PSE) here is rather fragmented. Occasionally, larger papers have had reporters who made this their main beat, but this always rare species is now largely extinct.

        Instead, you have to piece together things from a mix of patchy press coverage, institutional house organs and specialty blogs written by academics or consultants who cater to the PSE sector. In the house organ category, there is “University Affairs” magazine ( https://www.universityaffairs.ca/ ) published by Universities Canada, the national voice of university presidents, and the “Bulletin” of CAUT (Canadian Association of University Teachers). I don’t read a lot of the blogs, mostly for lack of time, but certainly there is the mix of gossip, griping, and self-promotion that you’d expect. All of these sources can and do contain good stuff, but you need to be your own filter, rather than rely on the editorial apparatus of a trade paper. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it is more work.

        As an academic of the sciencey sort, I am totally a civilian bystander in the various idpol battles raging over how indigenous identity is defined and who decides. This is particularly fraught turf right now after exposés of writers, film industry personalities, and academics who may have been buffing their résumés. The Canadaland blog / podcast has been my main source for trying to make sense of these events, for example:

        Again, as an observer who is happy to be corrected by those who are more knowledgeable, it’s my impression that the questions of who and where the Métis are are especially controversial. There appear to be two main positions: the Métis were strictly the result of French-Indigenous mingling on the Prairies (especially Manitoba) OR they originated in multiple locations right across the country. Last year, “University Affairs” published a commentary ( https://www.universityaffairs.ca/news/news-article/researchers-examine-the-growing-phenomenon-of-self-indigenization/ ) and response ( https://www.universityaffairs.ca/opinion/in-my-opinion/we-need-a-wider-more-nuanced-view-of-metis-diversity/ ) which provide samples of the contending views.

        Of course, for more than a century, the Canadian state and its ecclesiastical and corporate accomplices never needed to agonize much over these questions – they always had a pretty clear idea of who needed to be assimilated, displaced, or exterminated.

  7. Toshiro_Mifune

    Sen. Kyrsten Sinema’s former staffers detail a ‘demoralizing’ office environment …..Sadly, this is paywalled

    Right click, ‘Save link as’ – save it to your desktop and you should be able to open and read…. a bit ugly on the formatting but readable

    1. Lost in OR

      Neat trick. That worked in Firefox. In Safari, use Download Linked File As… to desktop.

  8. enoughisenough

    “There’s no media ecosystem that’s focused on how crazy the Republican Party is.”

    lol. WHUT? Hallucination is right.

    They only ever talk about Republican insanity! It really helps to cover up and suck the air out of any room trying to discuss real life. Like trying to rein in corporations, etc. Focusing on personality conflict is the distraction of the decade. It prevents us from putting forward actual good ideas and implementing progressive policies.

    Everyone’s gotten completely unserious.

  9. Pelham

    Is the goal of the Biden administration to tamp down a Covid resurgence? Or is the goal to get more shots in arms? If it’s the former, wouldn’t they also be pushing like heck to ensure that supplies of ivermectin and other promising prophylactics are available?

    1. Mantid

      Pelham, tamping down Covid will not make Wall st., especially big tech and Amazon, big pharma, and the other corporate big players, any money.
      Keeping Covid around does many things. Separates vaxed and un-vaxed, rich & poor, black & white. It makes beaucoup money for Blackrock and their shills who are buying up real estate as if it’s going out of style, online purchases (which can be traced easier than cash) via amazon et al. It goes deep. It helps keep unemployment high so employers can pick and choose workers.

      I don’t think the people and corporations that really control the US want Covid to end.

  10. Otis B Driftwood

    Bitcofer has done some good research on the failures of the Democrats to win elections, but being a Biden Democrat, she foolishly concludes the solution to this is better messaging rather than better policy. Neoliberals never learn that being the lesser of two evils is NOT inspiring and voters will stay home in 2022.

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      The Democrats’s ” failure to win elections” . . . ? One might better regard it as the Democrats’s success at throwing elections while pretending to lose them.

      1. John

        Is there a reason to vote for anyone who runs as either a democrat or a republican? The pathologies may differ but none of them have the common good, the national interest at heart. If it cannot make a profit for someone, it dies. How is having everything for rent going to differ from serfdom?

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          There are still negative reasons in certain circumstances. I voted “for” Obama to prevent the evil McCain from getting elected and starting a major war with Iran. I voted “for” Trump to prevent the evil Clinton from getting elected and seeking conflict with Russia in various hot spots, highly risking a thermonuclear exchange with Russia. ( And secondarily because Clinton supported yet more Free Trade Treason agreements like TPP and TTIP, which had to be prevented).

          And this time around I voted “for” Biden to prevent Trump from getting another term to use for “deconstructing the Administrative State” all the way out of existence.

          Of course, when the election was Obama versus Romney, I voted for a Third Party candidate because neither Obama nor Romney would have been worse than the other. So I had the luxury of voting “for” someone/something.

          Eventually, fewer and fewer people will vote in Presidential elections when they are too worn out from the absolute negativity of only being offered something to vote “against” harder than voting “against” the other something.

      2. Mantid

        This, my friends, is a spot on comment. The monied interests control both parties. There is next to zero democracy as it used to be known.

  11. kareninca

    I know someone in his 70s who had covid early in the pandemic and who had a series of strokes due to it. I also know someone in her 70s who has not had covid and who was vaccinated as early as possible; she has just had a series of strokes. Neither person had a history of strokes him/herself, nor a family history of stokes; both were in exceptionally good physical and mental shape prior to the strokes. I know someone in his 30s who was extraordinarily healthy; he hasn’t had covid but he was vaccinated several months ago; last month he nearly died from appendicitis (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7521886/)(Increasing incidence of complicated appendicitis during COVID-19 pandemic).

    I am seeing lots of people around me decline cognitively – mostly people in their 50s and 60s. They are all vaccinated (this is Silicon Valley; vaccination rates are extremely high), so I don’t have a comparison point of how they would be doing if they weren’t vaccinated. Maybe worse; who knows. Maybe it is my imagination. I’m also noticing that companies that I deal with seem like they are being run by people who are declining cognitively. Well, again, maybe it is my imagination.

    But, to be honest, I’m becoming more worried, rather than less – in particular about blood clots. I’m using Ivermectin (vit. C, zinc in moderation, quercetin, aspirin) once a week rather than being vaccinated. But it has occurred to me that there are other ways to prevent blood clots – there are loads of article/studies about how alcohol consumption (not much!!! one to two drinks a day for women; more for men) cuts the risk of blood clots (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26519539/). I am sticking to my 4 oz. of red wine per day.

    1. The Rev Kev

      I can see why you are worried. All sorts of warning signs there with not enough information to explain what you are seeing. It sounds like you are taking a smart approach in dealing with it though. If what you are saying about how some companies are being run by people who have been badly effected is a real effect, it sounds like there will have to be an eventual shake-up as these people will have to be replaced sooner or later.

      1. Mantid

        Rev, I used to believe in an eventual “shake up” or a semblance of accountability, but I think that’s an ol’ school concept. It’s become so blatant that so few truly inept (often criminal) people face consequences. So many recent examples, Cosby being one. Screw up, move up – that’s been the mantra in the school district I have taught in for decades. I can’t think of any heads that rolled from the 2008 financial crisis for another example. Endless examples. But hey, at least Assange is still in jail for all the horrible things he did …. /s

        1. The Rev Kev

          Here I was talking about how some people had suffered a mental decline due to either the vaccines or the effects of the virus. But I agree with your sentiment. You see people like Cardinal Pell and Bill Cosby get out on technicalities but people like Assange remain in prison although this is actually against the law. I am beginning to wonder whether if Epstein had not been “suicided”, if in another year or two he would have been released on a technicality.

          1. kareninca

            There is a person where I volunteer who is the same age as me (mid 50s). He was vaccinated about two months ago. He really seems to have lost some mental capacities (he was really smart before). He just screwed up in a way that cost our organization a lot of money. He won’t be replaced; there will be no consequences. Admittedly he is a volunteer, but still – I think that people are just going to stop expecting that things work as they did before. Their expectations are dropping and dropping, and will drop more. There will be no shake out.

            This lowering of expectations is also a warning sign to me. I feel like there are a lot of warning signs.

            1. enoughisenough

              yeah, alcohol is a vasodilator, but can be damaging, like other such ones.

              red wine is def a friend, tho.

          2. drumlin woodchuckles

            It seems unlikely, given how many people in silent unseen power very much wanted Epstein very much dead. But it is possible. Perhaps whoever had Epstein suicided was afraid of that possibility.

  12. Pelham

    Re the surge in US productivity and this: Introducing new technology is “how we learn to do more with less labor, freeing people to do other, more valuable jobs.”

    I just read of a study — and now I can’t find it — that looked into this and found that, by and large, people displaced by technology DO NOT end up doing “other, more valuable jobs” but rather lower-paid and less-valuable jobs, which sounds to me like dead-end scut work.

    This shouldn’t be surprising, should it? The mantra that automation frees up workers for more engaging and lucrative occupations has never made much sense. Either the primary or secondary point of automation is to get rid of labor costs. Why would employers then turn around and pay workers more at some level, while also bearing the cost of introducing new tech?

    I suppose you could argue that a whopping technologically induced boost in productivity would cover the cost of new tech plus putting workers in pricier jobs. Nice in theory, but in practice it rarely pans out.

    1. saywhat?

      Phase 1: Unethical finance of automation, eg. explicit and implicit privileges for private banks.
      Phase 2: ?
      Phase 3: A just economic system.

      Get it?

    2. eg

      I think what’s actually going on here is an inappropriate time conflation on the part of the “automation frees up workers for more engaging and lucrative occupations” crowd. They talk as if the transition is instantaneous when it absolutely is NOT. It’s subsequent labour cohorts that benefit from the transition, while the current cohort is dumped into lower skill/lower pay occupations or abandoned by the labour market altogether.

  13. jr

    Re: Toast-la’s Self Immolating Car

    What is to stop some hacker from hijacking one of those, or six of those, and ramming them all into a fuel tanker on a busy highway? Or doing 100 mph through a shopping mall door? I’m willing to bet the security software is half-arsed. That picture is terrifying.

    1. The Rev Kev

      I saw this in the news yesterday. The car was almost brand new and as the guy was driving down the road, smoke started appearing so he bailed. Quickly the whole car became a raging inferno. Luckily two of the fire units called had received training in dealing with these sort of battery car fires but it still took hours to put out.

  14. Phillip Allen

    About today’s very beautiful plantidote, there are twelve deciduous North American native azalea species. They can be rare or common in the wild depending on where you live. Many are deliciously fragrant – something rarely offered by their evergreen relations. The evergreen group is highly favored in commerce. You can get a wide variety of cultivars at any big box home store but you have to seek out nurseries that carry plants in the deciduous group. Worth the effort!

    1. Harold

      Many of the deciduous group are very fragrant and come in lovely orange and yellow colors. Also they are native wild shrubs which the evergreen ones are usually not. The western plantadote one shown above is especially gorgeous. The eastern ones have smaller flowers and are less showy but are also very beautiful, Emerson wrote a poem about one species, the Rhodora.

  15. Wukchumni

    Sen. Kyrsten Sinema’s former staffers detail a ‘demoralizing’ office environment where they were afraid to ‘mess up in any way’ while working for the Arizona Democrat”

    1. ambrit

      She is an original Ow!teur. Hitchcock would have had real fun with a character like her. (She really has a ‘flair’ for the divine inspiration. Waters would love her as a character in a documentary. It’s a shame that Divine is gone. S/he would have made a wonderful impression as the Divine Democrat in a biopic.)

  16. Laughingsong

    “As Western Wildfires Worsen, FEMA Is Denying Most People Who Ask For Help”

    Yes, absolutely true. I work at the county where I live here in Oregon, and our county H&HS department has crisis workers to assist fire victims with getting available assistance and services.

    They were bitterly castigating FEMA last year, saying that it was requiring people to have receipts for everything they were trying to claim (hello? There was a fire; even if they had saved them, receipts are usually made of paper).

    One anecdote one of the workers told us was about a homeless woman; she was already homeless for a while before the fire, but had lived in the area most of her life, so she set up a nearby camp in the forest so that her two boys could keep attending their high school.

    The fire took everything. Not only was she denied for not having receipts, but because she was homeless, they claimed that she wasn’t really attached to the community…. Even though many in the community vouched for her.

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      One wonders whether Bush and Trump staffed FEMA with hateful people to do this precisely in order to get FEMA hated by its victims, and get people to extend that hatred to Administrative and Agency government in general.

  17. rowlf

    AJC Peachtree Road Race to have COVID-sniffing dogs

    To safely put on the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Peachtree Road Race, the Atlanta Track Club already made the decision to hold the Independence Day tradition across two days, July 3-4. Tuesday, track club officials introduced a furrier element of its efforts to stage the 10-kilometer road race free of COVID-19 – a frisky 14-month-old German shepherd named Lord.

    1. HotFlash

      1.) A couple we are acquaintances of had a Covid episode earlier this year. She, a kindergarten teacher (zoom classes at that time) had symptoms and tested positive. He, a TV roving cameraman, got tested and showed negative. One of their three dogs was lethargic and ‘just not right’ so they checked with the vet. Vet says, “Yes, dogs can and do get covid. The test is $150 but we don’t have treatment anyway,” so they decided to pass. Both Mme and dog recovered, when Mme was vaccinated she had a reaction the put her in bed for 3-4 days –b/c her immune system was already hip to that jive? Now, I don’t know how to ask these people who are not *that* close friends, but did all three dogs get heartworm medicine on a regular basis? Because the most common ones have Ivermectin as the active ingredient.

      2.) I remember Lambert saying that dogs don’t get covid, so covid-sniffing dogs seemed like a great idea. But what if they didn’t get covid b/c working dogs usually get good veterinary care and that includes monthly Heartgard(tm) or similar? Is no one paying attention to the signs? I swear it’s like those traffic direction arrows in the stores, I guess they are just there for decoration.

      I don’t have a dog (sorry) in this fight, but if any of her grade 9 Earth Science students had tried to pass off such sloppy work as science she would have given them an F.

  18. drumlin woodchuckles

    I wonder if subjecting every single person connected to Unite The Country ( the ” independent Biden support group”) would uncover links and ties to Third Way and No Labels.

  19. GF

    Retail: “Grocery stores are pulling perishable food, covering aisles in plastic sheets, and running sprinklers on their roofs as they battle a record heat wave” [Business Insider].

    In AZ we have the kind of heat the NW is experiencing for 5 months or longer each year and grocery stores don’t close or wrap their freezers in plastic or take any heat related precautions. Some stores even leave the front doors open. What gives? Are the stores lacking AC or is it shoddy building construction and ignored building codes.

    1. Michael Mck

      I suspect refer systems in Arizona are designed to deal with much more heat than those in BC. My neighborhood rarely freezes too hard and at least one cafe I know of needs to shut down when it does because it’s walk in freezer won’t work when it is too cold.

  20. flora

    Matt Taibbi’s latest. no paywall.

    A Case of “Intellectual Capture?” On YouTube’s Demonetization of Bret Weinstein

    YouTube’s use of government guidelines to regulate speech raises serious questions, both about the First Amendment and regulatory capture

    When I contacted YouTube about Weinstein two weeks ago, I was told, “In general, we rely on guidance from local and global health authorities (FDA, CDC, WHO, NHS, etc) in developing our COVID-19 misinformation policies.”

    The question is, how active is that “guidance”? Is YouTube acting in consultation with those bodies in developing those moderation policies? As Weinstein notes, an answer in the affirmative would likely make theirs a true First Amendment problem, with an agency like the CDC not only setting public health policy but also effectively setting guidelines for private discussion about those policies. “If it is in consultation with the government,” he says, “it’s an entirely different issue.”


    1. Carolinian

      Of course none of this is such an issue to the extent that Youtube has meaningful competition.

      So perhaps that is the real issue. Another issue would be that the MSM refuse to do their job and investigate things they used to investigate. Ironically their defense for this is often “you can always find other views on the web.”

      I’m not sure that Youtube doesn’t have a case that they have the right to run their platform as they see fit. It is not exactly the same as the Fairness Doctrine days and the argument that limited spectrum and government ownership of the airwaves meant that broadcasters had to be regulated for free speech.

      But they may well flunk the monopoly test which makes it foolish to take sides in politcal disputes including our current politicized medicine.,

    2. HotFlash

      Private corporations are unilaterally taking on the role of government, creating ‘laws’ governing citizens’ activities, speech, association, privacy, on and on, even ‘legitimate’ violence, without regard to the Constitution nor any pretense of representation. Would this be a definition of fascism?

  21. Amfortas the hippie

    “…In essence, FEMA’s system tends to deny first and require applicants to appeal and try to undo the denial. Most people either give up or struggle to navigate the process.”

    so, it’s now working just like medicaid, foodstamps and disability have worked(sic) for decades.
    petty bourgeoisie become the poor they despise.

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      The bed you make for poor people is the bed you lie in when you get poor.

      The bed you make for suspects is the bed you lie in when you get suspected.

      The bed you make for people under arrest is the bed you lie in when you get arrested.

      and so on.

      People who are ready to really believe that might eventually be ready to join a Lower Class Majority Party, if someone were to start such a party with exactly that name. People would have to admit they are lower class in order to bring themselves to join it.

      1. Nikkikat

        Good advice Drumlin, My city council should read it. They were particularly awful this week.
        Agenda item #1 They voted to close Mary’s kitchen which provides meals, clothing etc to the homeless, because giving food to homeless people “just encourages people to be homeless”.
        Agenda item #2 Voted in a new City policy that no flags other than the US Flag could be flown at the City plaza, this was due to a “controversy” at a previous public meeting regarding flying the rainbow flag, which most local cities flew for pride week.
        On this issue they “Were very worried that even though they personally would fly it, if it was just them, but there are people that wouldn’t agree and it would be unfair to them”.
        So okay, according to them people are homeless because bologna sandwiches cause people to sleep on the sidewalk. And the Handful of bigots that complained about the flag deserve to be catered to because you know they are bigots.
        Every time the homeless issue comes up they complain that the homeless are
        here because people give them food! A local Paster gives the invocation prayer before every meeting

  22. Larry

    Regarding where the soldier class comes from, it’s no surprise of the economic composition. Being a soldier is dangerous and thankless work. Soldiers and the military in general are held in high regard and offer what can be a solid career if played correctly. But the danger and lack of control over your life is quite real. Are we surprised that the top 20% doesn’t mine coal or deep sea fish?

    1. JTMcPhee

      For some small portion of the military, the work is dangerous and thankless.” The vast majority are clerks and drivers and supply personnel and a big overhead of useless senior officers compared to the Vietnam era, even fewer of the troops who are supposedly protecting us from the savage hajjis and Commyanists ever see any kind of hazardous duty. Other, maybe, than having to tend burn pits and shit like that. Here’s some facts: https://www.midwestdisability.com/blog/2019/12/what-percentage-of-soldiers-see-combat/ Guess which cohort Pete The Neat Buttigieg fits into?

      For extra credit, one might read this: https://www.wearethemighty.com/articles/this-is-how-the-us-military-would-put-down-an-armed-rebellion/

  23. The Rev Kev

    That’s a good link to Angry Staff Officer and the Battle of Gettysburg. A bit of context for the events in that tweet. The Confederates by rights should have been able to occupy the heights at Gettysburg and inflict yet one more defeat on the Union. Except for Union General Buford who deployed his cavalry brigade into a defense in depth to stop the Confederates doing so. By the time that brigade was done, Union infantry came up in support and the battle was well and truly on. Although the Union troops initially lost, they retreated to the heights where they were able to defeat the Confederate onslaughts in the following days concluding in Pickett’s Charge. Here is a clip from the film “Gettysburg” where Buford is deciding what to do

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nD42HP-cn8M (5:43 mins)

    1. ambrit

      And then there is the serious controversy about Longstreet’s advice to Lee to just bypass Gettysburg and drive on towards the District of Columbia – Baltimore region. Lee fought tactically like the earlier doctrines of Jomini, a very influential French military thinker. The idea of concentrating for a mass attack was “standard” practice for the time. Lee, when attacking the hills violated a primary rule of grand strategy; never let the oponent chose the ground for a battle. Both Lee and “Stonewall” Jackson, when in their prime, used maneuver to great advantage. A head on assault up a hill was the very last thing Lee should have done. Longstreet told him so, was overruled, turned out to have been right, and was never forgiven afterward by the Confederate veterans.
      History is full of “what ifs.”
      Our present history however, seems to be filled with “what the f’s.”

      1. The Rev Kev

        Lee vs Longstreet. Yeah, here is another significant clip from that movie that tells so much-

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_GOhMhedJbA (2:40 mins)

        Lee let his pride get the better of him. Just to add to that clip, Meade guessed that Lee would do this stunt and so massed his forces in the center and waited for him.

        Your last line was a killer by the way.

  24. The Rev Kev

    ‘Adam H. Johnson
    A copaganda all timer. The LAPD botched blowing up confiscated fireworks in a largely black and brown neighborhood injuring 17 people and this is the headline.’

    Los Angeles Police Department Parody
    Everybody is mad that we blew up one city block, but what about all the blocks we didn’t blow up? You never hear about those.

  25. VietnamVet

    This winter could be a perfect storm hitting the USA.

    Clearly the CDC and FDA, are bought and incompetent. This is not the time to stop masking and social distancing with the proven transmission of coronavirus from the vaccinated to the unvaccinated and even other vaccinated persons. Public Health has become an oxymoron.

    A cat bouncing is not a rebound. From truck drivers to new cars to video cards, there are shortages. Profiteering is exploding without jailing of the white collar criminals.

    Saigon II, the sequel, has started. Bagram airbase is being looted right now. CIA and WaPo (the Empire) will try to repeat Watergate on Joe Biden for the audacity to withdraw from Afghanistan.

    There are all sorts of new health issues that need to be dealt with; long-COVID, vaccine side effects, and the isolation. The breakdown of community. I have cabin fever insomnia. I know it but it is still is totally frustrating to keep tossing and turning for hours every night.

    Wildfire season in the West is just starting and the Lava Fire already cut the main railroad between Oregon and California. Lytton BC at the junction of the Fraser and Thompson Rivers that both Canadian national railroads pass through that reached 121.2 °F Tuesday was destroyed by a wildfire yesterday.

    The worry, stress, loss of sleep, hunger, displacement, toxic air, illness, grief and anger, unaddressed by government in their glee to enrich Insiders, assure an explosion to come.

  26. enoughisenough

    Are people following the Stop Line 3 actions? Democracy Now is covering it, not sure if any msm is. I’m sure it’ll be no big deal if the whole Mississippi river is poisoned, right.

    Meanwhile, a pipeline in the Gulf of Mexico set the ocean on fire, the hubris of everything. I don’t know what Gov. Walz thinks he’s doing, nor Biden. what feckless, useless tools.

    1. John A

      Biden has signed off for the holiday weekend. Refused to answer any non prescripted questions at last presser. No doubt he is basking in the knowledge that every family can now spend 16 cents less on their 4 July bbq.

      1. The Rev Kev

        And when asked about Afghanistan, said-

        “I want to talk about happy things,” Biden said as a reporter asked a third question about the winding-down of America’s longest war.
        “I’m not going to answer any more questions about Afghanistan,” Biden said later after detailing his drawdown plans, his hopes for the embattled civilian Afghan government and his view of US air support.

        “Look, It’s the Fourth of July,” Biden said, gesturing with his hands in exasperation. “I’m concerned that you guys are asking me questions that I’ll answer next week. This is a holiday weekend, I’m going to celebrate it. There’s great things happening.”


        On a side note, it is Julian Assange’s 50th birthday today.

  27. drumlin woodchuckles

    About various Boat-Person Americans and Boat-Person Canadians LARPing as Indigenous Native people . . . . maybe some of them at least just find their own Boat-Person Americanadian identities to be too ungroovy, unhip and uncool to bear. And they seek the escape into grooviness, hipness and coolness which they think a successful Native Makeover can provide.

    Maybe it is all just working a racket. But maybe some of it is trying to fill some deep inner bottomless pit of the soul. Perhaps like what at least partially motivated Rachel Dolezal to try Blackwashing herself.

  28. Helix

    Re: “I have added an anti-triumphalist red arrow to express my displeasure at the upward trend, even if we’re not seeing exponential growth [in Covid-19 cases].”

    And yet deaths and hospitalizations continue to decline. Could it be the 40-cycle PCR tests really do result in false positives?

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