2:00PM Water Cooler 8/25/2021

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Bird Song of the Day

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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….

Vaccination by region:

South still fiddling and diddling.

51.6% of the US is fully vaccinated, a big moment, breaking the psychological 51% barrier. Every day, a tenth of a percentage point upward. However, as readers point out, every day those vaccinated become less protected, especially the earliest. So we are trying to outrun the virus… (I have also not said, because it’s too obvious, that if by Bubba we mean The South, then Bubba has done pretty well.)

Case count by United States regions:


I would say we’ve moved off the vertical a bit, much in the same way that a golf drive does approaching its peak, conforming to the drop in “Rapid Risers,” the drop in positivity, and the decrease in hospitalization in Florida and Texas. The South begins to slow, but other regions still rise. Still lots of momentum. As far as reaching the peak of January 8, 2021, with 295,257 cases per day … I’m not that pessimistic (modulo a new variant brought into the country by our ridiculously lax policies on international quarantines). What we might call, after Everest, the “First Step” (November 25, 2019) with 178,466 looks in striking distance, especially if the case count purple line continues go near vertical. If things go on as they are, we should hit the first step just in time for Labor Day. But what do I know, I’m just a tape-watcher.

Covid cases top ten states: for the last four weeks (hat tip, alert reader Lou Anton):

Cooking time for Florida’s data seems to have increased. Texas slows to meet California. Meanwhile, Georgia and Lousiana have diverged.

From CDC: “Community Profile Report August 23, 2021” (PDF), “Rapid Riser” counties, this release:

This looks slightly more pink, sadly. And South Dakota: Those red counties to the west look like Sturgis, to me. Remember, however, that this chart is about acceleration, not absolute numbers. This map, too, blows the “Blame Bubba” narrative out of the water. Not a (Deliverance-style) banjo to be heard. Previous release:

(Red means getting worse, green means bad but getting better. This chart updates Tuesdays and Fridays, presumbly by end-of-day.)

What happens in Sturgis stays in Sturgis:

And, of course, at birthday parties, dinners for donors, and so forth.

Test positivity:

The South is now fiddling and diddling at more or less the same level, and the enormous drop in the West persists. Could be reporting problems.

NEW Hospitalization (CDC): Dammit, this one’s gone dark. I wish CDC wouldn’t do this. Here the CDC’s hospitalization visualization, from the source above:

Yet more red states now, still in the South. Not good.

Florida and Texas are both red, but heading down.

Deaths (Our World in Data):

Deaths on trend rising. (Adding: I know the data is bad. This is the United States. But according to The Narrative, deaths shouldn’t have been going up at all. Directionally, this is quite concerning. Needless to see, this is a public health debacle. It’s the public health establishment to take care of public health, not the health of certain favored political factions.)

Covid cases worldwide:

Southeast Asia doing better, I presume because little-covered Indonesia is past a peak. US sphere of influence under the Monroe Doctrine not doing so well.

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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

I suppose this will play well with suburban Republicans:

I’m not sure how it played with the Vietnamese. There’s a “Protection Center” for the “Victims of Agent Orange” in Da Nang; perhaps Harris and her handlers might have given consideration to the idea of laying a wreath there.

Letting the cat out of the bag on the infrastructure bill:

And stuffing the cat back in:

One may hope.


UPDATE “The Democrats Are Freaking Out About the 2022 Midterms. Good!” [The New Republic]. “At that grave meeting, New York Representative Sean Patrick Maloney (pictured above), with ‘new polling that showed Democrats falling behind Republicans by a half-dozen points on a generic ballot in battleground districts’ in hand, called on Democrats to ‘course-correct’ before 2022 by better promoting of the Biden agenda (which, we’re told, ‘polls strongly’). Democrats plan to respond to these headwinds with a ‘messaging blitz’ that will highlight the White House’s ‘ambitious plans to juice the economy’ and ‘better explain what Democrats have been doing to help the Covid-ravaged’ country.” • Of course, The Blob’s hysteria about taking the L in Afghanistan is sucking all the oxygen out of every other discussion; which could be a blessing in disguise if the “national conversation” doesn’t turn to Covid before the reconciliation bill comes up.

Our Famously Free Press

A brutal thread:

Greenwald is absolutely right. The propaganda just now is so, so thick.

Democrats en Deshabille

UPDATE “Time is up for Gov. Gavin Newsom in California. Here’s why he deserves to be recalled” [Sacramento Bee]. “You name it, Newsom fouled it up. Republicans — aka the gang that couldn’t shoot straight — could never lay a glove on him. But COVID-19 sent him to the mat with one punch. Make that three punches. Newsom decimated the state’s restaurant industry; something he seemed unconcerned about while dining with lobbyists at Napa Valley’s French Laundry in November. He failed to overhaul the state’s pathetic Employment Development Department, overwhelmed with claims from jobless Californians who are still waiting for checks to pay their rent and buy groceries. And he never bonded with Latinos, taking for granted the support of the largest and most important ethnic group in the state. Newsom’s argument for saving the only job he seems to care about — his own — boils down to this: ‘I may be incompetent, but at least I’m not a Republican.’ That line only gets you so far. And Newsom has reached the end of the road.” • I dunno. Any bonding with Latinos going on over on the Republican side? Readers?

UPDATE “Gavin Newsom’s Recall Election Divides Silicon Valley’s Elite” [Wired]. “As of Tuesday, Newsom’s opponents have raised less than half the funding that his supporters have. Polling, however, shows that voters are mostly split on the decision to recall the governor. Those who seek to replace him bring wildly different ideas to the table. Among the governor’s challengers are a conservative talk show host, a reality TV star, and a YouTuber. If one is successful, the tech industry may have a new set of problems to contend with.” • No Schwarzeneggers there. You can’t beat something with nothing. Are California voters that determined to “throw the bum out”?

UPDATE “How Gavin Newsom’s Recall Fight Could Come Back To Haunt Democrats” [Vanity Fair]. “Surveys suggest an enthusiasm gap and a tight race in the final stretch of the vote. ‘Democrats have not had urgency, and that’s Newsom’s greatest challenge at this point,’ political consultant Michael Soneff told CNBC at the beginning of August. Newsom’s ‘ability to convince Democrats to return their ballot over the course of a month is going to make all the difference in whether or not he wins against the recall.’ Whether he’s able to do so has huge implications for Democrats, not only in California, but across the country. Seeking to simplify things, Newsom and his allies have run a just vote ‘no’ campaign, urging residents to vote no on the recall question and to basically ignore the second question on the ballot: ‘If Newsom is recalled, who should take his place?’ The strategy could consolidate support behind Newsom, ensuring the Democratic vote isn’t split between the governor and one of his intra-party challengers like YouTuber Kevin Paffrath. But it also makes it inevitable that Newsom would be replaced with a Republican should the recall vote go against him.” • Seems like a risky strategy for a candidate who’s not that strong as a campaigner or as an executive, I must say.

UPDATE “Democrats sweat turnout disaster in California without Trump to run against” [Politico]. “Donald Trump could swing the California governorship to a Republican. Merely by his absence. Democrats turned out in record numbers when they had Trump to vote against. But in one of the first, large-scale tests of voter enthusiasm for Democrats in the post-Trump era, California’s surprisingly close gubernatorial recall election is laying bare just how hard it may be for the party to motivate its base without Trump as a foil. Even in this bastion of progressive politics, ominous signs for the Democratic Party are everywhere. A CBS News-YouGov poll last week found voters who cast ballots for Joe Biden were less likely than Trump supporters to be very closely following the recall — and less motivated to vote. In a Berkeley-IGS survey, registered Democrats and independent voters were nearly 30 percentage points less likely than Republicans to express a high level of interest in voting in the election. The lack of enthusiasm is so concerning to Democrats that Gavin Newsom, the state’s Democratic governor, has been furiously working to yoke his main Republican opponent, Larry Elder, to Trump, while volunteers working with the progressive advocacy group Courage California texted voters a plea last week not to throw their mail ballots away. ‘Can Democrats win without having Trump as their foil? This is the challenge,’ said Gray Davis, the former California governor who was recalled in 2003.” • You can’t beat something with nothing cuts both ways. Why show up to vote against nothing? Whatever Larry Elder may be in his opinions, he’s nothing like Trump in his capabilities.

UPDATE “Who is Kevin Paffrath and what would he do as governor?” [CalMatters]. “In his first year, Paffrath said that he will clear California’s streets of unhoused people, pass a ‘large infrastructure package’ and introduce a pilot project for a new network of ‘future schools’ that would pay students $2,000 per month to learn trades. Paffrath’s five-year plan includes eliminating income taxes for households earning less than $250,000, legalizing gambling, reforming the state’s water and wildfire management systems and creating net-negative energy planned communities around the state. How would all of this be funded? Paffrath’s ideas include repurposing money for the state’s high-speed rail project, taxing casino proceeds and floating a bond — all of which would require voter or legislative approval. If any of that sounds far-fetched, Paffrath concedes ‘none of it is simple.’ But he views the main problem facing the state as elected leaders who offer ‘very small patchwork solutions for big problems.’ ‘We have the money…we have the super majority of Democrats…we just need the willpower.'” • Oh. More: “Paffrath has made homelessness his top priority. And true to form, his plan to tackle the problem is big and unconventional. His vision: The state would employ the National Guard to help shepherd unhoused Californians into 80 new emergency facilities. During the interview, Paffrath pulled up an image on his computer of the Javits Center in Manhattan, which was converted into a temporary field hospital during the early months of the pandemic. Paffrath said he would look to vacant malls and warehouses to replicate the model. These centers would provide meals, mental health, addiction and social service treatment — all for ‘ideally under $15, closer to $10 per day’ per person, he said.” • More palatable than simply giving the homeless houses, I suppose. And those costs are surely off by a decimal point or too. $10 a day for an all-inclusive package? I don’t think so.

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UPDATE ““I Don’t Think He Has the Capacity to Do Anything Differently”: Andrew Cuomo’s Political Career Ends (Maybe) with a Whimper” [Vanity Fair]. “New York governor Andrew Cuomo was reeling. The state’s attorney general, Letitia James, had released the results of a nearly five-month-long investigation into accusations of sexual harassment against him earlier than expected, catching the governor off guard. Worse, the results were damning… So the governor and top staffers met to craft a response—but also to vent their anger that Cuomo was the one who had been wronged. ‘The tone was, ‘I can’t believe Tish did this to us. She stabbed us in the back. It’s so unfair!” a Cuomo associate who was told of the discussion says, still incredulous three weeks later. ‘The king of backstabbing complaining about an attorney general undermining people? Let’s review when Cuomo was A.G.—what happened to Eliot Spitzer and David Paterson? It’s a total lack of self-awareness.'” • California and New York, the dominant Blue States, both have their governorships in overly dynamic situations. It’s very odd.


“Gov. Kathy Hochul’s daughter-in-law is top lobbyist at pharma firm that has sought to influence NY lawmakers” [CNBC]. • Well, naturally.

Stats Watch

Durable Goods: “Headline Durable Goods New Orders Marginally Slowed In July 2021” [Econintersect]. “The headlines say the durable goods new orders declined. Our analysis shows the rolling averages were little changed… In the adjusted data, the big weaknes was due to civilian aircraft.”

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Commodities: “Afghanistan minerals: a monkey trap for aspiring miners” [Financial Times]. “Positioned on the Tethyan belt, Afghanistan is well endowed with gold, copper, gems and lithium, prompting suggestions regime change will improve access. Some experts have seen the war-torn country as literally sitting on a gold mine, with total mineral deposits of $1tn — a 2010 figure dismissed by geologists and other less buccaneering types as hopelessly optimistic. In truth, any number is a shot in the dark. Much of the data hark back to the 1980s, based on exploration carried out under the Russians…. Estimates of the value of resources are deceptive, however. They leave out hefty production and shipping overheads. The cost of capital must also allow for political volatility. In Afghanistan, this has historically been off the scale. All the gold in the world is worth nothing if stuck under a land run by feuding warlords.” And then: “Problems dog even some of the most worthwhile projects. State-owned China Metallurgical Group and Jiangxi Copper Company secured the licence for Mes Aynak, one of the world’s biggest copper deposits, in 2018. Their latest issue is that the ore lies beneath a Unesco heritage site — which the miners can hardly bulldoze.” • Seems like China going to Afghanistan was like Japan going to Hollywood, another land run by feuding warlords.

Commodities: “Guy on Rocks: Copper supply crunch ‘to end all supply crunches’ is coming” [Stockhead]. “here are some interesting statistics on copper showing declining grades (figure 4) and reserves (table 1). Looks like a supply crunch to end all supply crunches is on its way.” • FWIW:

Commodities: “The Farm Belt is withering under a drought and blistering heat that is cutting yields for key U.S. cash crops. Extreme temperatures are baking much of the Midwest and…. North Dakota and Minnesota are being particularly hard hit, with near-record lows in soil moisture. That has wilted many crops planted this spring” [Wall Street Journal]. “Federal forecasters are scaling back expectations for U.S. crop production, driving up prices and pushing stocks of corn, wheat and soybeans down to their lowest levels since 2013. The weather concern is spreading around the world, with forecasts for crop production in countries including Brazil and Russia also being slashed. Farm shipments in U.S. supply chains have been turning downward this summer, with agriculture loads on railroads down 8.5% in July and grain shipments tumbling at a double-digit pace so far this month, according to the Association of American Railroads.” • Soil isn’t meant to hold moisture; soil is meant to hold chemicals. What’s wrong with these people?

Commodities: “A Taste of Whiskey Acres: How Farmers Turned the Napa Valley of Corn into a Whiskey Wonderland” [Farm Journal]. “‘We’re nothing in DeKalb County, Ill., if not the Napa Valley of corn,’ Jamie says. DeKalb County, Ill., known as the birthplace of DeKalb corn seed, is known for its corn. Now, thanks to the Walters, it’s now known for its whiskey. One of the founding tenants with Whiskey Acres, versus most of the competition out there is that if we don’t grow it, we don’t make it,’ Jamie says. From whiskey, rye to even corn vodka, it was an untapped market that the Walters were able to serve up to customers. ‘I think it’s been a good diversification, we’ve certainly moved away from price taking to price making,’ Jim says.” • Takes me back to my childhood in the Midwest, DeKalb does:

I think they should make a deal and get that logo on their bottle.

Shipping: “China reopens world’s third busiest port after partial COVID-19 halt” [Channel News Asia]. “China reopened a key terminal at the world’s third-busiest cargo port on Wednesday (Aug 25), after a shutdown to control the coronavirus caused major backlogs elsewhere and worsened export already extended delays caused by the pandemic. The halt at the eastern Ningbo-Zhoushan port started two weeks ago, when a worker at its Meishan terminal tested positive for the disease. The terminal handles a fifth of the container volume at Ningbo-Zhoushan and the hold-up forced ships to other Chinese ports, which were left facing their worst levels of congestion in seven years, reported Chinese media outlet Caixin this week. The closure added stress to an already stretched global shipping network, with soaring demand for goods from Western consumers in the pandemic piling pressure on Chinese exporters who face strict domestic virus controls.”

Retail: “The retailer rush to restock is accelerating as competition for holiday sales looks likely to develop into a battle over inventory. Electronics retailer Best Buy says a concerted effort to refill depleted store shelves and distribution centers is working out… with inventories up sharply and the merchant claiming it’s ready for expected strong sales growth” [Wall Street Journal]. “Best Buy ended its most recent quarter with inventories up 23% over the pre-pandemic period two years ago. That’s a contrast with the broader retail sector, which has struggled to bring in goods amid production slowdowns and continuing supply-chain bottlenecks. Best Buy has been pulling forward orders this year and making adjustments at stores based on product availability.” • 23%? Not exactly “just in time.”

Apparel: “Covid-19 outbreaks in Vietnam and other parts of Southeast Asia are adding new challenges to strained international supply chains. Vietnam has become a major exporter of footwear to the U.S. as it has expanded manufacturing” [Wall Street Journal]. “Now, economists and supply-chain experts say Vietnam’s low vaccination rate has some companies reconsidering how much they can rely on the country. Footwear company Wolverine World Wide says it has already moved some production back to China amid a ‘really choppy supply chain situation.'”

Tech: “OnlyFans says it will no longer ban porn in stunning U-turn after user backlash” [CNBC]. “OnlyFans said Wednesday it has ‘suspended’ plans to ban pornography, in a stunning U-turn that came after fierce backlash from its users. A spokesperson for the online subscription platform told CNBC that the proposed changes were no longer required “due to banking partners’ assurances that OnlyFans can support all genres of creators.'” • Commentary:

Tech: “Google Says Staff Have No Right to Protest Its Choice of Clients” [Bloomberg]. “Federal labor law prohibits retaliating against employees for collective action related to their working conditions, but the exact scope of that protection has been debated for decades. Biden’s appointees have signaled they interpret the scope of what that covers much more broadly than their Trump-era predecessors. [Google’s attorney Al Latham] said he isn’t aware of any case in the labor board’s eight decades of existence in which it has held ‘an employer’s choice of customer’ to be an issue workers have a right to protest. ‘What we have here is a protest that does not seek to improve employees’ terms and conditions of employment,’ but rather ‘a purely political protest that sought to use Google’s government contracts, or potential government contracts, as leverage,’ he said. Google violated the law ‘to discourage employees from engaging in’ legally-protected activism, according to a July complaint issued by labor board prosecutors. Along with accessing information about and circulating a petition against Google’s work with U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the activities for which employees allegedly were punished included creating a Google form to help co-workers express concerns about working conditions; organizing a protest on company premises; and reviewing code for a pop-up message about labor law rights that would show up when workers visited certain sites online.” • Turn Google into a co-op?

Tech: “A Misused Microsoft Tool Leaked Troves of Data From 47 Organizations” [Gizmodo]. “New research shows that misconfigurations of a widely used web tool have led to the leaking of tens of millions of data records. Microsoft’s Power Apps, a popular development platform, allows organizations to quickly create web apps, replete with public facing websites and related backend data management. A lot of governments have used Power Apps to swiftly stand up covid-19 contact tracing interfaces, for instance. However, incorrect configurations of the product can leave large troves of data publicly exposed to the web—which is exactly what has been happening…. Researchers with cybersecurity firm UpGuard recently discovered that as many as 47 different entities—including governments, large companies, and Microsoft itself—had misconfigured their Power Apps to leave data exposed.” Exposed entities include “the state governments of Maryland and Indiana and public agencies for New York City, such as the MTA. Large private companies, including American Airlines and transportation and logistics firm J.B. Hunt, have also suffered leaks.” • Oops.

Manufacturing: “2022 Tesla Model S Plaid Review: A New 1,020-HP Chapter in American Luxury” [The Drive]. Apparently the luxury Tesla isn’t an unmitigated heap of junk plus a monitor piled on top of a battery and power train: “The quintessential American luxury cars were big, soft, powerful, and effortless to drive. Their guiding philosophy was to make transportation as easy and comfortable as possible. Air conditioning first appeared in American luxury cars, as did V8 engines that required fewer manual gear changes, and then automatic transmissions which required none at all. Rolls-Royce was forced to license production of the original Hydramatic from GM when it debuted in 1952—a sign of how low-effort driving was and still is a well-recognized sign of luxury. This Model S fundamentally understands that and embodies the next iteration of those aspects. Two-pedal driving is now one-pedal driving. Flat floors offer more space and more comfort, as do electric motors. The soft, distant rumble of a V8 in cars like Cadillac’s venerable Escalade is replaced by a gentle electric whirr when power is demanded. And when that power is demanded, it’s delivered in tremendous excess. And what is more American than sheer excess?” • Indeed.

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Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 43 Fear (previous close: 37 Fear) [CNN]. One week ago: 25 (Extreme Fear). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Aug 25 at 12:04pm.

Health Care

“Are We Jumping the Gun on COVID Boosters?” [MedPage Today]. “No matter what vaccine effectiveness is against preventing COVID-19 illness generally, the important question for boosters is whether they further lower the risk of severe disease or death. The only way to show this is through randomized controlled trials of the size and duration to measure that outcome. It is entirely possible that vaccine effectiveness is not perfect over time, or slightly lower than initial trials, but it’s also possible that boosters do not further reduce the risk of SARS-CoV-2. Only trials can answer this. While emerging data from Israel suggest boosters may diminish the risk for COVID-19 infection and severe illness in people 60 and older, the data are not based on the types of studies we need. Pfizer has only submitted early trial results to the FDA to support their boosters, with phase III trial data forthcoming. But again, the data may be insufficient if severe outcomes are not captured. Moreover, we have to consider the risk of new, compounding, and worse toxicity. Randomized trials and close observation will be needed to exclude worse safety signals, particularly increases in myocarditis and pericarditis. These rare adverse events are more common after the second mRNA dose — will they be even more common after dose three? In short, diminished vaccine effectiveness does not make the case for boosters. A reduction in severe outcomes makes the case for boosters, but we have no such data to date.” • Funny to see boosters hoist on the RCT petard…

“The Messiest Phase Of The Pandemic Yet” [The Atlantic]. “It’s time for a data-driven reset on the basic knowns and unknowns of this pandemic, a task that must be undertaken with great humility. The virus keeps changing, and so does our understanding of the social and biological components of the pandemic. But in exploring both the knowns and the unknowns, we can see how complex the pandemic has become—and that we’re still lacking crucial data because of the failings of state and federal government.” • We’re lacking crucial data on breakthrough infections because CDC actively refused to collect it, oddly not mentioned in the article.

“Holes in reporting of breakthrough Covid cases hamper CDC response” [Politico]. “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is using outdated and unreliable data on coronavirus breakthrough infections to help make major decisions, such as who gets booster shots, according to three officials with direct knowledge of the situation….

‘Nothing has changed since the pandemic began,’ one senior Biden health official said. ‘We’re still dealing with this patchwork system — and it continues to fail us.'” • Well, who’s responsible for that? (I remember very well the screeching when the Trump administration moved hospital data collection out of the CDC’s hands; now we see, over a year later, that this decision was completely justified.)

“Why Hospitals and Health Insurers Didn’t Want You to See Their Prices” [New York Times]. ” This year, the federal government ordered hospitals to begin publishing a prized secret: a complete list of the prices they negotiate with private insurers. The insurers’ trade association had called the rule unconstitutional and said it would ‘undermine competitive negotiations.’ Four hospital associations jointly sued the government to block it, and appealed when they lost. They lost again, and seven months later, many hospitals are simply ignoring the requirement and posting nothing.” Oh. More: “But data from the hospitals that have complied hints at why the powerful industries wanted this information to remain hidden.” Stoller:

“Geisinger rolls out AI-backed payment plans for out-of-pocket medical expenses” [Fierce Heatlh Care]. “Geisinger is teaming up with fintech startup PayZen to offer a new artificial-intelligence-backed medical billing tool that aims to make care more affordable for patients. Patients will have the option to pay their bills in a lump sum or over several months on a timeline that is customized to meet their personal financial needs, Geisinger said. If they choose the latter option, the payment plans include no interest or additional fees.” But the last sentence: “[Itzik Cohen, PayZen CEO and co-founder said] said the company is now working to get more health systems on board and to find ways to look even further upstream. The goal would be to ensure people enroll in payment options before they receive a service such as surgery to ensure they’re not passing on critical care due to cost.”

The Biosphere

“Concrete construction ‘offsets around one half’ of emissions caused by cement industry says IPCC” [Dezeen]. “Around half of the carbon emissions from cement production are reabsorbed by the material when used in buildings and infrastructure, according to the latest IPCC climate report. The ‘cement carbonation sink’ absorbs an estimated 20 million tonnes of carbon every year, according to an overlooked section of the report published earlier this month ahead of the Cop26 climate conference. ‘Direct CO2 emissions from carbonates in cement production are around four per cent of total fossil CO2 emissions,’ says the full version of the Sixth Assessment Report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. ‘The uptake of CO2 in cement infrastructure (carbonation) offsets about one half of the carbonate emissions from current cement production.'” • So do better.


“The incredible shrinking Colorado River” [High Country News]. “The Colorado River watershed is terminally ill. Two decades of climate change-induced drought and rising temperatures, combined with ever-growing demand, have put the entire water system — and the flora and fauna and more than 40 million people that rely on it — into serious trouble. Now local, state and federal water managers are being forced to reckon with a frightening reality: the incredible shrinking Colorado River system.” • Handy chart:

100% of the basin in drought…

Imperial Collapse Watch

From 2018, talking to old-timer sailors:


Readers, is this true? Or some version of true?

Another artbot:

Under the Influence

The Kleedashians:

Groves of Academe

“My University Mandates Exposure to the Virus but Does Not Mandate Vaccination: Part I” [Academe Blog]. Part II. Lots of horrid examples of university administrators in action: “My title comes directly from a Facebook posting by a colleague who wishes not to be identified. He teaches at Louisiana State University, where vaccination is not required of any campus employees, students, or visitors. Last year, the university instituted a policy of social distancing for classes of over one hundred students, regardless of the capacity of the classroom in which they were held. This year, even this minimally responsible policy has been discontinued. Whereas last year faculty officially taught in person, the administration did not insist on it; this fall, despite the fact that they are now going to be exposed to the even more virulent delta variant, faculty must be physically present. Only with ADA accommodations – for which the committee reading applications is currently running at a three-week delay – may instructors be exempted from in-person teaching. As the policy stands, if a student can’t show vaccination (or recent recovery from infection), they have to get tested once a month, far less often than the CDC recommends. Not only is this testing regime essentially meaningless, but further, there appears to be no corresponding enforcement or accountability mechanism. Courses requiring group transportation in close quarters (i.e., in vans) to research sites put faculty and students especially at risk. Although there is a mask mandate, the lack of social distancing or vaccination protocols means that the fall semester looks hazardous for everyone, but especially for those with underlying health conditions or with immunosuppressed loved ones or young children in their care.” • The point on vans is especially good. Absolute ignorance of the conditions under which the work is actually done.

Zeitgeist Watch


Oh for pity’s sake:

Class Warfare

Always be loathing:

News of the Wired

I’m afraid this is the best I can do today:

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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 (TH):

TH writes: “We recently discovered that along our 3 hour drive from Westminster to Trona, is a park (Mojave Narrows Regional) out there in the middle of the desert (Victorville), that’s sort of like an oasis, with honest-to-goodness greenery, and even couple of tule lined lakes-complete with Canadian Geese.”

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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. jo6pac

    Well remember the money that Amerika will save because joe b. is bring the troops home. It looks like they have spent it already and they’re going to need Amerikas citizens cough more $$$$$$$.


    I’m sure peace is just around the corner:-(

      1. Alex Cox

        Remember 2001? The orbiting space platforms we see at the start of act 2 are all nuclear weapons, pointed at earth. Perceptive of Stanley and Arthur!

  2. Terry Flynn

    Re birdsong. Much as I appreciate the birds, cats and other natural things here there is a bird near our house with a song that is driving me insane since we need windows open here in muggy blighty. Think a single octave of piano in key of c major. AEFG AEFG AEFG…..ON AND ON AND ON. I don’t know if it’s because I know the notes and am musical but……argh!

    Though generally I agree with mum that I’m glad our kitty can’t or won’t hunt birds, there are times my strength of will wavers….

  3. Mikel

    “OnlyFans says it will no longer ban porn in stunning U-turn after user backlash” [CNBC]

    This had the most effect on the change of heart.

    Top Seven Alternatives to OnlyFans in 2021


    And their PR is doing a good job. No mention in the CNBC article about any of the competition.

    1. The Rev Kev

      I really find this whole fracas about OnlyFans stunning. I mean that all these banks invested in OnlyFans wanting to make a lot of money which is fair enough. But they must have known what they were investing in and I bet that a lot of those bankers are regular visitors which gave them the idea in the first place. So why then go all Puritan and say that they cannot be seen investing in mild pron? That’s like me giving a donation to the Vatican and suddenly getting frantic at the thought that it might be used for religious services so want the Vatican to cease all such practices. It makes no sense. And it only when those banks investments in OnlyFans started tanking that they must have backed off. Unfortunately for OnlyFans, trust has been broken and that will be a long time repairing that – if ever.

      1. Soredemos

        >mild pron

        This makes me think of something. I’m positive I’m not the first person to think this, but isn’t there a degree of stolen valor going on when OnlyFans users claim to be ‘sex workers’? It might be literally true, but there really seems to be some unscrupulous leveling going on. Taking that label implies selling softcore pics and videos is in any way similar to selling yourself to a John, and there’s clearly a huge degree of difference between those two things.

        Now you might say “yeah, probably, but who cares?”, but I think this does matter. Because it’s fashionable in certain progressive quarters now to be all ‘sex work positive’, and they do this by putting most of the focus on the (supposedly) happy side of things like OnlyFans. The uglier, darker sides of sex work go ignored.

        I’m not at all against sex work. I have yet to hear a compelling argument for why something that is legal to do for free should be illegal to do for money. I’ve seen some lefties attempt to take a stab at arguing how in a true socialist economy prostitution would be banned because it wouldn’t constitute truly socially beneficial labor, to which my response is a loud Jimmy Dore-style “HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH”.

        But that so many people are apparently turning to things like OnlyFans and Pornhub out of economic desperation mostly goes unexamined by the sex work positivity types. We’re just supposed to be happy and ‘sex positive’ about it all. I’m pretty confident that about 99% (okay, maybe more like 95%) of humans would not willingly engage in sexual activities in exchange for money if they felt they had a viable alternative. People are mostly coerced into sex work, whether literally at gun point or because they see no other solution. Whether it’s someone who lost their job and who is selling feet pics to pay the rent, or the stripper who does it to pay her way through law school but secretly hates it (such cliches really do exist), or someone kidnapped and sold into sex slavery, most people doing sex work don’t really want to be doing it.

      2. notabanker

        Or maybe the whole thing was orchestrated by a cunning PR firm to gaslight the issue and drive accceptance. I’ve seen the due diligence that goes into these investment decisions. I find it incomprehensible that this subject never came up and they were all caught with their pants down, pun intended.

        1. The Rev Kev

          Lost it now but I saw a quick mention that JP Morgan has a major stake in a company that accounts for most of the pron sites about. So this may have been a play to cut down traffic to a site that was a competitor to their own sites.

  4. SD

    A popular YouTube car reviewer named Doug DeMuro reviewed the Tesla Plaid a few days ago and pointed out some serious quality problems, including malfunctioning door handles and paint splatters on chromed bits like the trim on the side view mirrors. He also described generally poor fit and finish on the interior. The worst part of the Plaid though has got to be the “yoke” steering apparatus instead of a traditional steering wheel. American luxury indeed.

      1. Darius

        Liz Franczak and Brace Belden recently did a True Anon podcast series giving the depressing rundown of how Tesla is a scam mainly aimed, like so much of American business today, at elevating the stock price, not producing a decent product. It’s all smoke and mirrors, yet valued way above legacy automakers, who know how to make cars by the 100s of thousands, including functioning EVs, and actually do it. Tesla is a hype machine enabled by a credible, or propagandistic press.

    1. MonkeyBusiness

      Yeah, but Doug still thinks it’s the best luxury sedan ever made. Better than the BMW M5!!!

      I don’t care either way, since I don’t drive, but hei if you have money and likes powerful acceleration, then its a buy according to Doug.

      1. SD

        I know! That didn’t surprise me too much because Doug is a speed queen. The best car reviews on YouTube are by the Savage Geese guys, all of whom have experience in the auto industry either as engineers or mechanics.

        1. Darius

          Apparently, he doesn’t care if the quarter panels fall off, you can’t take it through a carwash without getting soaked, or the wheels are whampy.

    2. BrianC - PDX

      No, the worst part is that they let Software Engineers design a UI for a car. I find things like turning the headlights on by mucking with a menu on the screen to be a *huge* safety issue.

      I have always, with every car I have ever owned, learned to operate all of the controls in the car without having to take my eyes off the road. That includes stereo, heater, haz lights, turn signals, 4X4 engage/disengage, ham equipment.[1] Everything.

      I watched the intro to that where he sat in the front seat and went over some of the changes and wanted to puke.

      [1] The basic stuff like keying the mic and moving up down through programmed channels. Everything else you pull over in a safe place and stop. Then you fiddle with your cell phone or radio.

    3. Soredemos

      I remember when people were making a compelling claim that Tesla’s are possibly the worst built mass production cars in the US today. The defense from the Muskrats was that “that’s an outdated talking point. It might have been true like five years ago, but it isn’t accurate now”.

      So much for that defense.

      Also, reminder that Tesla has never turned a genuine profit. It’s a money pit for dumb investors. if you buy one, just be aware that even if you get lucky and get one that is put together properly there’s no reason to trust that the company will still exist to honor your warranty or manage servicing in two or three years.

  5. Wukchumni

    Of all the things Kamala could find a place to lay flowers on, she zeroes in on a failed pilot in a failed war, coming off a failed war plot.

      1. Michael Ismoe

        If she’s gonna lay a wreath at every place that old warmonger crashed a plane, she’s gonna need a lot more wreathes.

    1. Nikkikat

      Being that she was my Senator and she was more awful than even Diane Feinstein, I find her loathsome. I find the hideous John McCain and his legacy even more loathsome. I went to school with a girl who’s father was a Vietnam POW. His name escapes me but they were from Orange County Ca. This family insisted that McCain cooperated with the Vietcong and received all kinds of perks. The other POWs suffered immensely while John enjoyed good treatment. It figures that the numb skull Kamala put on a show Most likely giggling at an inappropriate time and saying something equally stupid. Kamala=vapid.

      1. The Rev Kev

        He did more that that. All those hundreds of American MIAs at the end of the war? Read an article saying that he was the one responsible for helping drop their cause down a memory hole thus helping him on his way in the Washington establishment. he proved himself a team player.

        1. rowlf

          Very anti labor while R (America West Airlines) senator. There was a time in the late 1990’s where labor was harshing the free market boys mellow and eating their lunch.

    2. Dandelion

      Wish she would have just thrown rose petals and hundred dollar bills into the Han River. My father, also a pilot, died of Agent Orange-related prostate cancer from poisoned water taken directly from that river to reconstitute powdered milk in the mess hall. How many others, American and Vietnamese both, were so poisoned? One of the last things he said to me was: I always expected I’d die for my country, but I never expected my country would kill me.

      I will add that he never supported McCain. Having endured SERE training, it was his belief no one could go through what a POW goes through and remain emotionally stable enough to hold high political office.

      Every US war in my lifetime has begun with a lie.

      1. Alex Cox

        McCain was heroically on his way to bomb a light bulb factory when he got shot down. USA! USA!

    3. The Rev Kev

      Turns out that it wasn’t a John McCain monument but a war memorial for shooting down a bomber that he was the pilot of-


      Supposing that he had been killed that day, I do have to wonder how it would have altered the course of history and how many people would still be alive today because he never survived that crash.

      1. VietnamVet

        The Imperial Media is hysterically trying to scuttle the negotiated withdrawal from Afghanistan with USA’s last century’s proxy forces that helped take down the Soviet Empire. At the same time it is interesting that VP Kamala Harris laid a wreath at the memorial of the shooting down of John McCain. The clueless incompetence of an American Globalist and her staff is there for all to see but hidden by the corporate press.

        The 1972 Christmas Bombings when 16 B-52s and 12 tactical aircraft were shot down by North Vietnam arguably got the POWs and John McCain released from prison. But in the end they were just as pointless like the rest of the war when Saigon fell in 1975 and forgotten except for families of the dead and the war’s veterans.

        The way things are going downhill, in fifty years, I doubt there will be an United States of America Vice President to lay a wreath at the founding memorial of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.

  6. Lee

    If you are among the few if any here who have yet to become disabused of the notion that we shall in our lifetimes return to pre-Covid normality, I recommend a reality check by listening to Ed Yong being interviewed on our local NPR station’s program Forum, which is often a cut above regular NPR programming, that to my mind is further devolving toward dreck and, adding insult to injury, filling the airwaves with the voices of young women croaking in fry tones. Is this affectation meant to convey gravitas or is it something else? I don’t get it.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > Is this affectation meant to convey gravitas or is it something else?

      I think vocal fry is just a generational thing that’s working its way through the demographic. It seems to fade out below a certain age. Fortunately.

      1. Lee

        Are you implying that generations do have agency in this one regard at least? If so, it should be taken away from them.

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          No, I’m not. I don’t think choices were made, any more than they were in (say) the Great Vowel Shift in English. Thank heavens vocal fry seems to have been temporary, is all I can say.

      2. paintedjaguar

        I haven’t noticed any lessening of the VF plague. What I really want to know however is where did it spring from exactly? I’ve been wondering for years.

  7. urblintz

    It’s outdated, but I needed a good laugh just now and remembered this as a highlight of the potus primary clown act. Double down on the levity as Heilemann clearly projects his tweet through the prism of partisan approval, against which embarrassment doesn’t stand a chance. Ladies and gentlemen: the real Pete Buttigieg!


    1. JTMcPhee

      Nice to know that the little weasel is trainable. “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery,” or so I have read…

      I still marvel at the means by which the people that own us, rule us…

      1. urblintz

        little weasel… that mewling mouth, looks like he’s always chewin’ on something when he talks.

        (btw – south st. pete here}

  8. Larry Y

    Is it me or my weird browser config? Under “Imperial Collapse Watch”, I see the Paul Klee art tweet twice.

    1. Jeff W

      I guess there’s some connection between “Imperial Collapse” and Paul Klee’s mom falling drunk into a chair but maybe I’m a bit too dense to get it.

      In any case, if old-timer sailors were prescient enough in 2018 to refer to some tweet that occurred two days ago, I’d like to think it fits some version of true, at least one of those tweets anyway.

  9. Lambert Strether Post author

    If you can read this, you will notice that I went a little bit crazy on the California recall and added a bunch of material.

    I hope California readers will weigh in. It’s very hard for me to believe that even Newsom could lose this thing, given the quality of his opposition, but it seems uncomfortably close, not least because Newsom can’t run on his charisma, his principled stands on the issues, his performance, or the “state of the State” generally. And if the Democrats think they can win by inflating Larry Elder to Trumpian dimensions… I don’t think that’s on. Readers?

    1. Wukchumni

      Its an odd pickle to be in, nobody’s all that enthralled or repulsed by Newsom, and yet a right supremacist shock jock somehow might become our elder statesman, when equal opportunity knocked and he opened the door.

    2. Grant

      I live in southern California. I don’t think most understand what could happen if he loses. If it was a two person race, Elder and him in a regular election and if Elder were honest about his positions, he would get destroyed. I do not like the governor, but I don’t want a far right lunatic like Elder as governor, although the state government would still be solidly held by Democrats. So, they could make it very hard for him to do much. But, I think the right is highly motivated and that could be a major problem. If Elder wins and moves forward with his horrible policies he could face massive opposition. My guess is that this mess is going to result in large changes as to how recalls are done moving forward.

      1. Darthbobber

        Well, the Democrats cunningly put all their chips on defeating the recall, and having a recognizable Democrat on the replacement ballot was seen as unduly mixing the message. Having a slate of fruitcakes as the only options was seen as the clincher against the recall. And to date the official line is that Democrats should vote only on the recall question and not vote for any replacement. Which turns the replacement part of the vote into a Republican primary, basically. Last aggregate polling I saw from 538 showed no leading only 48.8 to 47.6, not exactly anyone’s comfort zone. And not what you’d expect for a politico whose constituency had any great enthusiasm for him.

        1. Grant

          I don’t like the governor what so ever, but Elder’s views are horrific and I don’t personally agree that there is no difference between the two. Things are already really bad as far as national politics, there are multiple crises the state is facing and Elder’s policies would make things worse, and I have major health issues. But, I also get that people are sick of the Democrats and their rich, out of touch candidates, I am too. This political system and these parties are rotten.

          Regardless, they have to change the recall process. I mean, anyone experience the Davis recall? First time I heard of Stormy Daniels. She ran for governor then. It turns into a circus, but maybe that is fitting.

    3. harrybothered

      Hi, Lambert. CA voter here. I decided to sit this one out. The governor’s race was left blank by me on the last ballot, and I don’t really care if he stays or goes. I really didn’t want to decide on yes or no and there were no replacements that were appealing (and there were many to choose from!) – although the “Stylist” whose name I can’t remember might have been fun.

      I don’t have much expectation that anyone I actually like will be allowed anywhere near an office here in CA and the whole thing seems like a big waste of time and energy. Yes, I am very pessimistic, how could you tell? :)

    4. Blue Duck

      California voter here. I can’t speak to my fellow CA voters, but my guess is Newsome is out. The reason for that is it falls into the “punish the elite candidate” category that has dominated elections since 2008. Further more, the recall election will occur/is occurring as the delta variant starts to rip and the status of the schools becomes precious. Finally, my beautiful Golden State is also 2020’s Bernie Sanders State.

      Personally, I’ve already voted to recall Gavin. I’m of the opinion that politics in a nation state like California doesn’t matter much. The elite is too firmly in control. All I can do as a voter is to punish this one rich creep and hopefully ruin his career in the process.

      1. harrybothered

        >I’m of the opinion that politics in a nation state like California doesn’t matter much.

        Yep, you said it much more succinctly than I.

        I thought about going ahead and voting to recall but none of the replacements were appealing, or even really known to me. I’m fine with letting those who really care about the issue decide – even if they’re Republicans.

      2. JBird4049

        >>>More palatable than simply giving the homeless houses, I suppose. And those costs are surely off by a decimal point or too. $10 a day for an all-inclusive package? I don’t think so.

        See, this is why I might vote (With apologies to Molly Ivins) to dump Governor Gavin “Good-Hair” Newsom. Like our Beloved Vice President “Shark-tooth” Kamala Harris, he has the appropriate California PMC plasticized appearance. He also has the appropriate Calspeak without Harris’ underlying cruelty. However, like all our governors of the past forty years, he apparently doesn’t have any real compassion, concern, or care about the homeless, which has only been increasing during that entire forty years.

        The economy gets worse, it increases. The economy gets better, it still increases. Decade after decade with the PMC’s politicos and NGOs just spouting, often with just the right amount of feigned outrage, words of shocked concern, perhaps with a wad of cash that never seems to go to building or housing anyone. The homeless aren’t people to them. Rather, they are props and background images for the advertisements.

        Much of our homeless have jobs, but just cannot pay for their extremely overpriced shelter. Mr. Paffrath might be sincere in his belief that warehousing them is the right solution, but it is just only somewhat less dehumanizing then what our current bunch of well groomed, psychopathic grifters are doing.

        What might, maybe, possibly stop me is that the current Californian Republican Party is even more conservative (and the California Democratic Party is economically conservative) and crazy as well as cruel.

        So, just who do I vote for? The conservative corrupt, self serving, Democratic grifters or the corrupt, self serving, insane Republicans?

        1. Dandelion

          California voter here, voting to recall and leaving the choice blank on the basis that you can only throw out the bums you have, not the bums you don’t have. That’s what elections are now: throwing out one alternative and then the other. Because we’re never given anything to vote FOR, only against.

        2. Nikkikat

          I agree with you jbird, California Dem or Repub not much difference to me. I hope someone stops their Health insurance scam. No one should be forced to buy those crappy plans. To me none is better than what is offered here. Mr Plastic man probably loses.

        1. JBird4049

          Honestly, just like the last presidential election, it’s a choice of bad, awful, and worse. Like I said, the only thing that might stop me from voting yes, is that somehow California’s branch of the John Birch Society might get the governorship. In comparison, those people make the current Republicans in D.C. look balanced, sane, and clear eyed.

        2. Young

          Voting yes to recall so that the next governer has a chance to stop Shumer, if and when DiFi decides to meet her maker.

    5. skk

      I signed the recall petition but I won’t vote. I’ve seen one yard sign so far – for Elder; on my daily walk in the neighborhood the usual old right-wing couple have tried to engage with me – their latest attempt was with ‘did you know you can print your own ballots’.
      yeah they tell me to vote Elder – I fob them off with my 80’s slogan: “If voting really mattered, they’d ban it” and walk hurriedly past – well I can outrun them too, he needs a stick after all.

    6. Raymond Sim

      If he wins, we lose. If he loses, we lose. Whatever happens, it’ll be the excuse for everything they’re not going to do.

      Gavin must surely represent the evolutionary apogee of California liberalism. Wine cave man.

    7. Reader_In_Cali

      CA voter here, in The Bay Area.

      I really cannot impress upon the NC community how absurdly close this thing is. As a tape watcher, I think it’s 50/50 as to whether or not homeboy is out. Let’s explore some of the reasons why, shall we?

      #1 NEWSOM (and the KHive braintrust who is running his recall campaign) IS SEVERELY INCOMPETENT and decided it isn’t really that important to campaign! They are approaching this with such hubris, that it is breathtaking. By my informal account, they didn’t start doing anything (primarily phone calls) en masse until about the second week in August. For an election happening 9/14!!!! Additionally to the part about incompetence, his KHive campaign staff effed up the paperwork and he isn’t even listed as a Democrat on the ballot. *face palm* A large part of their strategy in the Bay is going hat in hand to all of the left/progressive political clubs and asking them to help out by calling and texting their friends and associates. Help me.

      #2 Newsom & Co. are in such a bubble that they truly believe that not many people actually want him gone, thus, #1. But as you can see by others’ comments in this thread, not so. They have wholly internalized the PMC’s belief in their right to rule.

      Personally, I don’t bang with Gavin but I will be voting “no” on the recall because the Governor of CA has near total say over setting the state’s budget, with the legislature only being able to make small, slight tweaks. And a lot of damage could be done in just a year, even though Newsom’s replacement would be facing a re-election campaign next year. And a fool you know is better than a fool you don’t know.

      The only silver lining in this whole debacle is that if Newsom gets recalled, maybe this will prompt the CA Dem party to finally pursue recall reform (since they apparently didn’t think it would ever happen again after Schwarzenegger).

      This is such a comedy of errors.

      1. newcatty

        Since you brought up Schwarzenegger, a hollywood actor and a Republican, who was a CA governor, how would you compare a Republican shock jock, Elder? The state that also gave us Ronnie. No grief on CA. Family there and a place facing fire and drought.

      2. Some Californian

        CA voter here, also in the SF Bay Area, where you’d think Newsom would have massive support as a local boy made good. Not that I can see. Motivated voters among my acquaintances are Bernie voters, with a smattering of aging Hilaristas and pussy hat wearers among our parents. Gavin gets a big shrug from both groups, and that’s even before people dimly recall what an elitist tool he’s been – and been seen to be, which is even more important – during the pandemic. PMC types think he’s got this thing in the bag because they literally haven’t been outside their bubble for a year and a half, not even for a sight of those weird water war billboards in the Central Valley or a quaint Great State of Jefferson sign. Republicans and Libertarians in this state were pissed before. Now, with the pandemic and its various impacts, they are on fire.

        If Newsom loses this, and he really might, it will be down to complacency among urban “blue” voters who couldn’t even be bothered to fill out a mail-in ballot. The “little people” aren’t going to come through this time. Students are sitting this one out en masse due to the calendar. The working class and small business have been burned and then some by the EDD. No real left groups are making a vigorous case for Newsom, and why would they?

        The joke on all of us is that if question 1 comes up Yes, the governorship goes to whichever occupant of the clown car gets the most votes out of all of them. Recall reform is sorely needed indeed!

      3. Duke of Prunes

        Maybe the D’s are confident because the “fix” is in… it’s not like there’s any known way to game mail in ballots.

      4. JBird4049

        Reader_In_Cali, they might not have Governor Newsom among the 46(!) candidates but they do have Kaitlyn Jenner. My, of the two Greens, one is a hairstylist and the other is a defense attorney. Not to pick on Heather Collins, but I think Dan Kapelovitz is more likely to get my vote.

        I have almost sworn that I would never vote Republican again, but I will check on Kevin Faulconer. From the very little I know of him, he looks promising, I suppose.

        39 or 38 million Californians, eighth largest economy on the planet, and we have this. Fudge.

    8. Michael

      Please note the LA Times endorsed Kevin Falconer, former Mayor of San Diego and a moderate R. They also suggested people vote No on the recall, which is question 1. Steering the ship of state to calmer water?

      KF served with a lot of Dems here in SD so he is a familiar face to many in Sacramento. Toni Atkins D-SD, is Senate Pro Tem, Sec of State Shirley Weber is a former Congress person from SD also.

      So its Newsome’s to lose like Gore, Clinton and other Dems before him.

    9. Tom Stone

      I voted for the recall and for the Green Candidate who has a small but real chance of winning.
      Newsome is an empty suit, but it’s a very well tailored suit.
      I suspect he’ll win a squeaker.

      1. JBird4049

        Maybe I will vote Green myself. If the Greens take a state like California, that would really be a pleasant surprise. It would help take the sting from Bernie Sanders having the election stolen from him. Don’t think it would get either major party from doing some soul searching, but one can always hope.

    10. VietnamVet

      If I was a Californian, I would vote for Gov. Gavin Newsom’s recall and the Green Party candidate. In 2003 after the invasion of Iraq I vowed never again for a Republican. In 2021 after ending masking and social distancing and the failure to prevent the Delta Variant outbreak, I’ve vowed to never vote for an incumbent Democrat.

  10. EastTexasGentry

    I don’t know that many East Texas Cowboys, but I do know about six I can talk to at the grocery. I live in the City of Houston and run into them when I visit my place in Anderson County. For years, they have been offering me ivermectin as a prophylactic against influenza. Among the subset of cowboys I know, this is common knowledge. I know one cowboy who has been doing this for a decade. They have recently expanded this use to combating Covid, citing a low incidence of Covid among Africans treated with ivermectin. The drug they use is Privermectin drench for sheep 0.08% solution. The original dose recommendation was three drops. This has changed to 1 mL, which I think is about the same. The frequency is three drops once a week for four weeks with followup doses of three drops once a month. They swear that this works for influenza and claim that nobody who has taken it has contracted Covid. It is common for cowboys to take veterinary medicine for their treatments. They say the veterinary medicine is of higher quality because the manufacturers fear something getting into the food supply more than Chinese manufacturers fear poisoning American consumers.

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      I am a ( bi-weekly wage) pharmacy technician in a big MidWestern Academic Medicine hospital. In our practice of pharmacy, ” 1 drop” has been defined as ” 1/20th of 1 mL.. It is considered to require ” 20 drops” to equal 1 mL. I believe that is standard throughout IV-making pharmacy.

      If the cowboys you are talking to use a different size of drop, that would be good to know. Or if they are using the same size of drop as has been fixed by convention in the field of IV pharmacy as being 1/20th of 1 mL, that would be good to know, too. One really does want to know what fraction of an mL one “is” taking, and how much one “should be” taking.

  11. drumlin woodchuckles

    ” Extreme temperatures are baking much of the Midwest and…. North Dakota and Minnesota are being particularly hard hit, with near-record lows in soil moisture. That has wilted many crops planted this spring” )

    North Dakota? Minnesota? The famous Gabe Brown does his farming in North Dakota. The nearly-as-famous Gary Zimmer does his farming in Wisconsin, which is not so very far from Minnesota. ( Is it as drought-stricken?)

    This will be a real-life stress-test of the water-conservation/retention effectiveness of Brown’s agri-methods. Hopefully we will hear what has happened by this November, one way or the other.

    1. coyotemint

      Was also wondering, so searched and came up with this on cbc from 3 days ago:
      “He said his farm in North Dakota was hit hard by this year’s drought, but it was still out-performing his neighbours and others around him due to his soil quality.”
      It’s hard to hide what’s happening on a farm.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        One hopes that all kinds of facts and figures are being gathered and preserved about that. If it turns out that Farmer Brown finishes the year with more money made than spent, and certainly more money made per acre than his neighbors made, that should be documentedly publicised loud and proud, and maybe it will be.

        It might even be written about in a relevant future issue of Acres USA.

        It would also be interesting to see, from a behavioral psychology standpoint, how his neighbors will react if he makes money and they lose money. ( Though if they have bought anti-drought crop insurance, they will make money from the insurance payout, so why would they care if they lose money on the droughted crop?)

  12. zagonostra

    >Delta steps up pressure on employees to get vaccinated. – NYT

    Is this even legal? You can cut out a sub-group of workers who are similarly situated with respect to their work role and seniority to discriminate them on compensation because of a personal health-related decision? First they came for the unvaccinated, then…

    On Sept. 30, unvaccinated workers will lose pay protection for employees who test positive for the virus and miss work while having to quarantine. Finally, starting on Nov. 1, any employee who remains unvaccinated will have to pay an additional $200 per month to remain on the company’s health care plan.

    “This surcharge will be necessary to address the financial risk the decision to not vaccinate is creating for our company,” Mr. Bastian said. “In recent weeks since the rise of the B.1.617.2 variant, all Delta employees who have been hospitalized with Covid were not fully vaccinated.”


      1. petal

        Never let a crisis go to waste. I just started reading The Shock Doctrine a couple days ago. Probably not the best choice right now, but whatever.

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          You know what they say . . . . the best time to have started reading The Shock Doctrine was twenty years ago. The second best time is today.

      2. JBird4049

        If I squint real hard, I can almost, sorta, maybe, perhaps see this as a sensible thing, if it was being done by the government. In the United States, some of the actions by the government can be and have been hard when it comes to infectious diseases. Smallpox for instance.

        But that is its job, the public welfare or the common good.Some business wanting to save money by having their employees take a vaccine which can health problems of their own, not so much. All of the vaccines have had breakthroughs too. Should Delta charge higher premiums on the chance the sick might develop Long Covid after being vaccinated?

    1. curlydan

      My employer has been charging higher health care rates for smokers for years. Of course, I’ve often wondered what employee would self identify as a smoker, but in terms of legality, I bet they can get away with it.

    2. rowlf

      You may be missing another side to the story. The radio and tv news media around Atlanta is all over this so any holdouts from picking up their possible Dixie cups are probably getting a frying pan waved at them when they get home. Pretty clever on the company’s side, and they may not even have to implement the charge, just let the news do all the work.

    3. PHLDenizen

      Given ‘Murica’s love of all things pro sports, maybe it’s time to have weekly weigh-ins like you were going out for wrestling or football. If you don’t make weight, you sit on the sidelines of getting paid.

  13. Glossolalia

    I’m not sure how I feel about the Nirvana baby suing. $2.5 million is a pretty modest sum. It’s not clear to me what the original arrangement was, but if it were my naked baby self on the cover of one of the best selling and most iconic albums of all time I might think I deserved some updated compensation, too.

      1. Mildred Montana


        1. Who were the parents, where are the parents now, what consideration were they given for the photo, and why isn’t it they who are suing? Since 4-month-old Sheldon was under the age of majority at the time (obviously) and unable to negotiate for himself, what did they get?

        2. If the parents gave away the photo (perhaps for the notoriety of having their infant on a Nirvana album cover), well then so be it. One cannot give away something or sell it cheap and then re-negotiate later.

        3. You’re right, the lawyer’s argument is bad, which is probably why he’s falling back on the canards of child sexual exploitation/pornography and Sheldon’s “life-long damages”. Trendy accusations no doubt, but will they fly in court? I guess with a couple of mil and a bunch of deep pockets in play, it’s worth a shot for both Sheldon and his lawyer.

        1. ChrisPacific

          I don’t buy the argument that every naked child picture is pornographic. Yes, we are more careful about that kind of thing now and it would probably not be an album cover today, but it fails the “know it when I see it” test for me (admittedly not a useful legal standard).

          I remember being less worried about the nudity and more about the idea of a baby floating underwater for any length of time. Obviously it doesn’t seem to have done him any harm. I hope it didn’t require too many takes though.

          1. ambrit

            My middle sister was a lifeguard at Flamingo Park Pool back in the ‘long ago.’ She said that they used to have baby swimming lessons. It is based on the observation that babies naturally swim when thrown into the water. (Yes. Literally thrown in some cases.) It is said that a baby “taught” to swim that way will not panic later in life in the water and thus have a much lower chance of drowning. So, that money chasing baby was probably completely safe.
            See, a family friendly source: https://www.parents.com/baby/care/american-baby-how-tos/introduce-baby-to-swimming/
            Also: https://survival-swim.com/how-do-i-teach-my-baby-how-to-swim/

          2. John Emerson

            My family has our famous Bathtub Pictures’ of me and my 2 sisters aged 1, 3, and 5. The youngest of us is 72 now, but I’d still be afraid to post them. My sisters have consented.

            We also have the Mud Girls of my two nieces, 5 and 3, stark naked and covered with mud, with big smiles on their faces. I have their consent too (they’re 23 and 25 or thereabouts), but I wouldn’t dare.

        1. ambrit

          Right about that. The girl does remind me strongly of Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin. Must be the hair. It was the ‘sixties. The envelope was being pushed to infinity, and beyond.

        2. Antagonist Muscles

          Blind Faith’s decision to place a topless 11 year old girl holding a phallic toy spaceship on their eponymous album cover was certainly dubious. Nonetheless, Blind Faith made a great album that I still listen to. I recommend the deluxe 2 CD version, where the second CD has the band jamming for four songs, each of which is approximately 15 minutes long. Great stuff, especially if you dig instrumental rock.

          On the other hand, I view Nirvana’s album, Nevermind, with great distaste, but this is just my subjective opinion. I hope I don’t offend anybody, considering how popular Nirvana is. The hallmark of grunge music is the over the top distortion. The music from Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains, etc. was pretty good, though not necessarily the kind of music I enjoy listening to. But Nirvana’s sound was just vulgar to me. They killed the guitar solo – which, of course, I enjoy a great deal – and downplayed the music itself. The focus was instead on the angry, apathetic, and garbled lyrics. (Make sure you check out Weird Al’s parody.)

          There is something very dissonant about combining anger and apathy in music. A protest song’s purpose is to rile up anger (or at least opposition) and get the listener to act. What exactly is Kurt Cobain’s purpose in telling an audience about being angry and then apathetically not doing anything about it?

          Furthermore, conspiracy theorists like to point out that Cobain was non-violent and therefore would never commit suicide with a gun. Oh yeah? Let me quote four popular Nirvana songs.

          Smells Like Teen Spirit

          Load up on guns, bring your friends
          It’s fun to lose and to pretend

          Come As You Are

          And I swear that I don’t have a gun
          No, I don’t have a gun
          No, I don’t have a gun

          In Bloom

          And he likes to sing along and he likes to shoot his gun
          But he knows not what it means
          Knows not what it mean


          I love you, I’m not gonna crack
          I killed you, I’m not gonna crack

          I foolishly visited YouTube to watch Nirvana music videos. I regret it now because my ears literally (and I do mean literally and not figuratively) hurt, and I am also apathetically angry.

          1. Joe Well

            >>What exactly is Kurt Cobain’s purpose in telling an audience about being angry and then apathetically not doing anything about it?

            The purpose is self evident. It’s the music of clinical depression.

          2. Late Introvert

            You are way too literal in your interpretation. #1 he is describing the knuckleheads he grew up around, #2 is just lyrics that sound good, #3 is the same as #1, #4 is about mental illness

            Come on, man! Kurt was a troubled guy, and wrote a lot of great rock songs about it.

      1. Isotope_C14

        That podcast made me cringe on multiple levels.

        At least their over-rated band list didn’t include Fugazi or GWAR. I wouldn’t have even listened to it if they had bashed fun music.

        I saw Nirvana in probably 1991/2 in either the Riviera or Cab Metro in Chicago. It was a heckuva show. You can find me in a picture that was in the Chicago Tribune, though it’s difficult to see me in the mediocre mosh-pit as it was very packed. They had a distinctly non-midwest sound, so that was new to us at the time – though I love my midwestern punk music. Naked Raygun was amazing, and their cover of Suspect Device was a homage to the past with a focus on the future of excellent music. Suspect Device might need to be the anthem of the 2020’s – feel free to interpret the lyrics as you will.

        I also had that T-shirt with the baby in the pool for some reason, and the deans of the high-school made me put a piece of tape over the pee-pee – that told me everything I needed to know about “authority”.

        I get that audiophiles are obsessed with composition and aesthetics, but sometimes the event is far more fun, regardless of quality of music. Fugazi not included, theatrical music with angst is very relaxing to some as a source of frustration relief. GWAR put on some of the best shows I’ve ever seen. They always loved Halloween in Chicago, and I’m very happy for that. Saw them at least 2-3 times there, and once in Aurora more recently. Rammstein was incredible 10 years ago at the Rosemount Horizon, I refuse to call that venue that horrible corporate name.

        1. PHLDenizen

          The Smashing Pumpkins are from Chicago and have a decidedly non-Midwestern sound. In the midst of all the grunge, it was cool to hear them flying that 70s psychedelic vibe with huge guitars. Corgan is an incredibly good guitar player and Jimmy Chamberlin is easily one of the best drummers to show up in the last 30 years.

          Gish and Siamese Dream are two of my favorite rock records.

          And then there was all that cool, weird industrial Wax Trax stuff out of Chicago, too. Ministry, Thrill Kill Kult, Front 242, RevCo, Pailhead. Even if it’s not quite your scene, Industrial Accident is still a top tier music docu. If you like music, definitely check it out.

      2. lyman alpha blob

        My 13 old kid says Nirvana t-shirts are all the rage these days.

        For those of us who were subjected to an overdose of 80s buttrock hair bands in the radio every day, Nirvana and the like were a breath of fresh air. Or remembering the shows back in the 90s, a breath of really smoky air that smelled like stale beer. I think it will be at least another generation until they’re forgotten, if ever.

        Much like the Beatles, they were not great musicians, but they had that something.

        1. curlydan

          and they only had 3 studio albums–one of which was on a indie label. So I don’t think we should judge them harshly. I definitely think they had a whole lotta something.

        2. newcatty

          The “fine arts” have their snobbery about what’s “art “. Tiring and boring. Applying snobbery to who are great musicians , especially for rock, is just as much. Nirvana was ” a breath of fresh air”. My then teenaged daughter and friends were thrilled when the first album was released. We, her parents, enjoyed it. Love most Beatles. One Christmas I wandered into an independent music shop to buy our daughter a gift. A lone clerk was working and I told him I wanted to buy an album for a gift. My daughter is into Nirvana. He grinned and nodded yes. Can you recommend something for her? He whipped out Pearl Jam. He said, think she will dig this. Christmas morning she was surprised and happy. Soon on the telephone ( how quaint) and “bragging ” about her good fortune. Her friends went through their Pink Floyd ” phase”, as she put it. They combed through our collection, often. No worries: kids respected the records and always returned them safe and sound.

      3. Mildred Montana

        @Joe Well

        I happen to enjoy some of Nirvana’s music and I’m pushing 70. I read a biography of Kurt Cobain (“Heavier Than Heaven”) and came away with the impression that he was a complicated, tortured genius and a very artistic guy. According to the book, one of the reasons he committed suicide was that he wanted to experiment with new sounds but his concert fans insisted on the hits. And he was just tired of playing them.

        So what’s on the playlists and radio today? I listen a bit and all I hear are computerized drums and bass and rhythm guitar and divas emoting for a (preferably danceable) three minutes. Not my cup of pekoe.

        The art of playing an instrument well seems to have disappeared along with Nirvana.

      4. Big River Bandido

        At the time I figured Oasis would take the award for most overrated. But as it turned out, they were quickly and deservedly forgotten. Yeah, Nirvana probably wins it.

        1. Joe Well

          If you can remember the early 1990s, Nirvana was hailed everywhere as High Art, especially immediately after Cobain’s death, which was briefly treated like a major national tragedy.

          Oasis never got put on that kind of pedestal, at least not in the US. Anyway, they were annoying, not depressing.

      5. QuicksilverMessenger

        Joe Well- so wrong. My 8 year old daughter knows Nirvana (as does my 80 year old mom!) and you see teenagers with Nirvana shirts all over the place. Very popular with the youngsters. Probably more relevant now in a way. And also, if you’re interested, Cobain was pretty much a melodic and harmonic genius. The estimable Rick Beato discusses Kurt and Nirvana on his youtube channel quite a bit. He calls Cobain one of the greatest melody writers of all time and Mr Beato is no slouch in the music world. He breaks down a number of Cobain’s songs in this video.


      6. neo-realist

        I will say this. Having seen the likes of the Dead Boys and the Plasmatics as well as some of the early 80’s punk, e.g., Black Flag, Bad Brains, I can say that Nirvana to my ears sounded like Barry Manilow with loud guitars. Pop music with the sheen of punk, but safe enough for mom, dad and the grandparents.

      7. Kevin

        Absolutely 100% wrong on that score. I was living in Seattle at the time. People love to hate on Nirvana, but genuine art it was, and music. To walk into one of their shows, I mean. Man. Pearl Jam, Chris Cornell, a genuine enema to the East Coast Corporate music that had so dominated music for so long. Along with Joe Strummer, Kurt deserves to be amongst the living. Hopefully he is :)

  14. wmkohler

    Hey Lambert, not sure if someone’s mentioned this already, but the CDC hospitalization data doesn’t appear to have gone dark. On my end, the only recent change is there’s now a disclaimer that you have to click through to see the hospitalizations graph.

    1. Lemmy Caution

      The CDC hospitalization graph isn’t national — it only includes 14 states.

      Lumping the 14 states’ hospitalization rates into one graph conceals the fact that what we have going on now appears to be many micro-pandemics.

      For example, in Ohio, the hospitalization rate for those 65 and over has plummeted to 1.7 per 100,000 population.

      A few states over in Iowa, on the other hand, the hospitalization rate for those 65 and over has skyrocketed to 58.4 per 100,000, more than doubling in just one week.

      The 14-state average hospitalization rate of 14.1 per 100,000 for those 65 and older tells only some of the story.

  15. wmkohler

    Also, I think you may have inadvertently shared the Paul Klee tweet three times, including twice in the “Imperial Collapse Watch” where the context seems to indicate you may have had different tweets in mind. Unless I’m somehow missing the point or joke entirely.

    1. Objective Ace

      The fact that such a big deal is being made about Ivermectin from the media and CDC should be a giant red flag. Since when did they start caring about medical procedures that “may cause serious harm”. It took hundreds of thousands of deaths for them to finally raise the specter of opioids and I dont think even then the vocalness was this loud

    2. lordkoos

      A lefty gal I follow on twitter was on a tear today, asking how she could report a gynecologist who was offering Ivermectin prescriptions to people. I mean she was outraged… I mentioned that I didn’t think physicians could be punished for prescribing a relatively safe drug off-label.

  16. Screwball

    My Facebook page is lit up with people talking about last nights (apparently it was last night) Rachel Maddow Show. She was talking about all the deplorables in Mississippi who are taking “horse paste.” The comments were entertaining to say the least. As you may guess, they were not good, and were all about how stupid and bad Americans are and look.

    Rachel family blog Maddow? Mrs. Russia under my bed and in every broom closet Maddow. The same Maddow the courts determined was BS and not news?

    The irony is off the charts.

    I almost, but didn’t…

    The world is a difficult place for those of us skeptical and cynical. At least Maddow was inline with the CDC or whoever it was featured here yesterday about the same topic.

    Berneys would be proud.

    1. urblintz

      One can hope the virulently dismissive pushback against ivm emitting from the pie holes of approved pundits reflects an increased awareness by a skeptical public of the need for something more than the available vaccines.

      …and tomorrow night the cult of maddow will likely be talking about her next performance.

      “the worst are full of passionate intensity”

    2. IM Doc

      Rachel Maddow was the big instigator of the “fish tank cleaner” Arizona death last year in the very early part of the pandemic.

      This was of course regarding the use of Plaquenil ( hydroxychloroquine) for the use of COVID. Yet another repurposed drug like ivermectin or fluvoxamine. The initial study about this drug and its use in COVID had all kinds of scandal associated with it – all of which came out some months later. But the damage had already been done – and the media had already done the dirty work. Multiple other non-USA studies have shown it does have some benefit. I have used this drug safely for decades. I currently have multiple dozens of little old ladies on it without problems for their rheumatoid arthritis. But to hear Rachel and her fellow travelers talk – it was as if the person was using cyanide. Like so many things, the dosing and use of the drug should be monitored by a physician – it is what I have done for 30 years. I have never, not once, had a complication with this drug.

      But if you remember, the Trump supporter had ingested fish tank cleaner thinking it was full of hydroxychloroquine – and his subsequent death was all Trump’s fault for pushing it. That is when this previous liberal started to really question anything coming out of that lying Rachel mouth.

      It did turn out later ( and I have not looked for months at any resolution to the story ) that the guy’s wife actually poisoned him with the fish tank cleaner in a murder attempt. But did Rachel say a word about her gross error – of course not. It is all fun and games to these people. And will be – until the pitchforks with their names on them start to arrive. The level of anger and bitterness I am seeing in my patients, both Dem and GOP, toward these clowns is rising every day and the boiling point will soon be here. I am trying to give a warning – just do not know that anyone is listening.

        1. IM Doc

          I have missed being here – but things are still very very busy – I will be checking in as best I can.

            1. Tom Stone

              I had a teleconference with my Cardiologist yesterday and referred him to the FLCCC website without mentioning the drug which can not be named.
              Just that there was a lot of information about Covid treatment protocols and studies…

      1. urblintz

        Thanks for speaking out so clearly, Doc, when doing so could result in much harm to you personally and professionally given the witch hunt these people are on.

      2. Raymond Sim

        “That is when this previous liberal started to really question anything coming out of that lying Rachel mouth.”

        “I am trying to give a warning – just do not know that anyone is listening.”

        I’m not usually the one to try and dispense optimisim, but from my point of view, you being an obviously intelligent man, of wide experience, if it took recent events for you to catch on to Maddow, you were probably a pretty hard case. But you did catch on. And you’re not just listening, you’re passing it on.

        I hope I don’t sound like I’m adopting a superior tone here. I’m a guy who was willing to be convinced that Obama making Biden his veep was a canny move, and not the bad bad bad bad bad sign my heart knew it had to be.

      3. ambrit

        There are a lot of us ‘out here’ who see the same process happening in the public at large. We are listening to you and the others who take the time to report on ‘reality,’ versus the “Official Version” being mandated by the Elites.
        The Pandemic and responses to it have become hyper-politicized. Pandemics being, at root, public events, leads to an acceptance of the fact that the “Official” response needs must be political. However, in well governed systems, those political actions are made in support of the commonality. Today’s political response looks to be orientated in favour of private gain. The Public can be imagined to be somewhat cynical about the public sphere. Some corruption has always been tolerated, as long as the basic public meeds are met. Today, it is manifest that the public needs are not being considered, much less met. The Elites have forfeited the Public’s trust and support, either active or passive. Now comes the hard part, harnessing the public’s anger to useful ends. Events can go either way. Alas, I see that the forces of reaction are much better organized than the forces of progress. In general, the Government itself is captured by self serving groups and individuals. I wish I knew an answer to it all.
        Full disclosure; I am not a crowd psychologist, but do wonder when the threshold of the “social chaos event horizon” will be passed. (That boundary may already have been transgressed.)
        Stay safe!

        1. rowlf

          I have a family member and several friends who were on the other side of the Iron Curtain when the Chernobyl disaster occurred and I hear echos now of their search to find truth in the available news at that time. One friend, a doctor from Czechoslovakia, talked about everyone searching for Iodine to take to protect their thyroid glands. My family member developed thyroid cancer from being downwind of the event.

          1. ambrit

            Ouch! Thyroid cancer from industrial pollution. Now there’s a clear case of socializing the losses.
            We have a vial each of Potassium Iodide for “just in case.” We live on the edge of the potential worst case scenario outcome from a melt down at the Grand Gulf Nuclear plant.
            See: https://www.entergy-nuclear.com/nuclear-sites/grand-gulf/
            A consistant feature of all bureaucratically ‘managed’ disasters is opacity.
            Stay safe!

            1. rowlf

              Supposedly doctors collecting data on thyroid cancer patients downwind of US above ground nuclear weapons tests had their records confiscated for security reasons. Similar to the Michigan State Police seizing records in the 1970s when fire retardant was mixed accidentally with cattle feed and polluted the milk supply.

              1. ambrit

                That would not surprise me in the least. For example, where are Tesla’s papers which were seized by the FBI after he died in 1943?
                There was a good science fiction short story from about the 1950’s (?) that dealt with a visit to the very private “Museum of Suppressed Inventions.” The author had a lot of fun with the idea that all of the Conspiracy Theories about things being hidden and destroyed to preserve the status quo were true.

          2. The Rev Kev

            Hey, supposing a catastrophic nuclear melt-down in the US, would be see doctors insisting that iodine is of no benefit for people in that zone and may even be harmful? I mean that CDC will say that they use it for a dye and as well as an animal feed supplement, y’all!

            1. ambrit

              One big item in every prepper’s medicine kit is Potassium Iodide crystals to protect the thyroid from taking up radioactive iodine from the fallout. The fun is in seeing the Authorities put out definite untruths as “Official Dogma.” Speculating as to why they do this is a deep dive into group dynamics.
              Stay safe!

          3. Henry Moon Pie

            Some of the best material on Netflix are German productions about German history from the Weimar (“Babylon Berlin”) to WW II (“Charite at War”) to the late GDR (“1983”). The Germans were scrambling to figure out what dose they were getting as well. It’s very similar to our situation. Will it contribute to the same outcome?

      4. FluffytheObeseCat

        It did turn out later ( and I have not looked for months at any resolution to the story ) that the guy’s wife actually poisoned him with the fish tank cleaner in a murder attempt.

        Irrespective of the value of either hydroxychloroquine or ivermectin as Covid prophylactics or therapies, my current understanding is that this wife was charged with attempted murder, but not convicted. When I last was able to read about the event, the article suggested she simply screwed up on dosing, and there was an implication that the charges against her may have been prompted by notoriety…. rather than compelling evidence for murder.*

        His death was very convenient for the Maddow elite, who despise simple, inexpensive, off the shelf solutions to health problems. The charges against her are similarly very convenient for their right wing, ‘Heartland’ equivalents. Who are happy to quietly receive monoclonal antibody infusions when ill themselves, but who rant about “elite solutions” at the top of their lungs in more public venues. The most high profile of these self-proclaimed Real American Patriots – Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham – attended New England universities when young, and are both scions of pre-WWII elite families.

        My regard for all 3 of these modern aristocrats is quite low.

        *(It’s been memoryholed. The top 3 Google returns as of 6 pm PDT 08/25/2021 on this “crime” all date back to spring 2020, and do not indicate if the charges ever resulted in a trial, a plea bargain…….or a fade away into nothing. The complete absence of any follow up suggests the latter. )

      5. Hiroyuki

        the largest trials used doses that were pretty clearly going to be toxic and offered it very late. I have no idea if it works or not, but that was a huge red flag.

    3. The Rev Kev

      I hope that people here are not worried about Rachel Maddow. Alex Jones got the boot off the net for spreading conspiracy theories while Rachel Maddow, who also spread conspiracy theories, gets a lucrative deal to run a production company pumping out “books, documentaries, movies, TV series and podcasts.”-


      It’s OK when we do it. And now she goes the Obama route.

    4. PHLDenizen

      “Horse paste” is reminiscent of “pink slime” — BPI’s “lean, finely textured beef”: excess, fatty trimmings from butchered cows, which are then mechanically separated to remove fat and treated with ammonia.

      We don’t eat horse here, but we do eat cows. So maybe Rachel was told to avoid “cow paste”, as it might remind their viewership that such an abomination already exists.

  17. Dr. R.k. Barkhi

    While the commentator discusses many useful concepts I feel that these discussions of c[r]apitalism* (the reality) as if it was Capitalism (the theory) are misleading and confusing. The theory isnt causing the awful effects,the people operating a perverted misuse of it (incorrectly,imo, called capitalism) are the cause and are known as c[r]apitalists. Pointing fingers at an economic theory is , in effect,providing cover for the actual unamed perpetrators .

    The other problem i see is that every conversation like the above acts as if imperialism,colonialism,extractive policies et al came about due to c[r]apitalism. History details the many pre industrial imperialist empires who conquered and enslaved whole populations and then extracted every valuable asset while taxing the subjugated people into the deepest poverty. Assertions above about poverty caused by c[r]apitolists ,while true,ignores the long history of human poverty,mostly caused by extractive rulers and conquering empires.

    Btw-This is not a defense of any economic theory eg Capitalism or its misnamed sociopathic modern construct.

    * more accurately called Profitism (my term) as its links to any actual economic theory are tenuous at best.

    1. Darthbobber

      Capitalism predates theories of it. The theories (possibly excluding extremely idealized models like Hayek’s) purported to explain it, not to BE it. Smith had a theory. Ricardo had a theory. Marx, for my money, had the best theory (for explanatory rather than apologetic purposes).

    2. hunkerdown

      What commentator are you addressing with this “real capitalism has never been tried” form letter? Property isn’t sacred.

  18. Wukchumni

    “The incredible shrinking Colorado River” [High Country News].
    Another Colorado River issue plaguing San Diego in particular has been the arrival of Quagga mussels on vacation from the Great Lakes about 15 years ago, which are now spread throughout the delivery system, with SD being last man charlie. All of the reservoirs in SD & Riverside are riddled with them, along with the pipes that bring the underwater swingers that breed like rabid rabbits to where it’ll eventually be a troubles with tribbles gig, albeit under the surface.

    This is what Zebra & Quagga mussels do to pipes:


    1. John Emerson

      Way back in 1987 the Colorado was already in trouble. (Cadillac Desert) — drained dry before it reached the sea, Plenty of people then saw the problem, but no one who made any difference cared.

  19. jo6pac

    newsome losses and di-fi dies and then trumpseter gov. appoints another trumpseter senator. Thanks demodogs. The federal govt. goes down even faster with biden at the helm.

    I’m going long on popcorn and really dark sunglasses

  20. Amfortas the hippie

    when my dad took his Captain Classed with the Coast Guard, years ago, he learned how to use a sexton.
    but i don’t know if it was required or even a regular part of the class, or just him hooking up with somebody who knew how to use the antique brass contraption he got from somewhere.
    that was one of the few personal items i wanted from his estate, but i doubt i’ll ever see it.

    1. RMO

      Military satellite navigation systems first appeared in the 1960s in limited form. The first GPS satellite was launched in 1978 but the full, 24 satellite system didn’t come online until 1993. The satellites were limited to military use until the late 80s. People planning to sail offshore still regularly take celestial navigation courses and the training is common in military and civil areas where having the backup in case of satellite navigation problems is a concern. The vast majority of recreational and coastal commercial seafaring never bothered with celestial navigation in the first place as various forms of radio navigation, lights, markers, landmarks, use of bearing compasses, log/lead/lookout are far more useful. Getting a good solid position with sextant, chronometer and tables is challenging under the best of circumstances and there’s wide variability in talent at the task. Then there are all the days where you can’t even get a reading because of overcast so without other means of determining a position you’re back to dead reckoning from compass heading, estimates of wind and current, boatspeed from the log and hope you get something remotely accurate out of that mess.

      Considering all that plus the way subsequent posts in the thread seem to bemoan the abandonment of the gold standard… well, I wouldn’t put too much credence in anything said there.

      1. jhg

        A good navigator should be able to get a celestial fix to within 1 nautical mile. One navigation instructor told me that if you are thinking of going off-shore you should be able to use celestial as you may lose your electronics. They don’t well when they have been submerged in salt water. When Ernest Shackelton set sail in 1916 from Elephant Island to South Georgia in an open boat, Frank Worsley made only 4 celestial fixes from the sun during their 800 mile journey and still found the west coast of South Georgia.

      2. John Steinbach

        From 1965 to 1967, I was stationed aboard the USCGC Chautauqua to of Honolulu. Our primary mission, along with 3 other cutters, was to serve as Ocean Station Victor in the North
        pacific, west of the Aleutians & off Kamchatqua. OSV was part of the Long Range Aids to Navigation system (LORAN) & ship traffic used our signals to triangulate position. We also carried USGS weathermen who released 60′ stratospheric weather balloons every few days to help predict long range weather. With the advent of GPS, the old LORAN stations were terminated.

    2. Duke of Prunes

      The C-130 transport has a window in the roof of the cockpit to allow for celestial navigation. It was designed before GPS, but they never took the window away even after many iterations and updates. I do not know if the USAF trains personnel on old fashion navigation. I’m willing to bet they do, but not willing to place a lot of $$ on this bet.

    3. The Rev Kev

      They are worried that their ships will be lost at sea if the GPS network was shut down and unable to find their way home but what about all those people who rely on it if they take their car out further than the end of the block?

  21. Wukchumni


    I don’t get it, who intentionally goes to Trona?

    Lush photo though, who knew that existed in Victorville-adjacent!

    1. rowlf

      Jeez, like we never had astronavigation computers before… Automatic Astro Compass Type MD-1

      Used on B-52 bombers. FB-111s bombers and RC-135 signal intelligence airplanes had similar systems. Sextants needed a good operator on WW II propeller airplanes and the faster jet aircraft made them more challenging to use. After nav aid spoofing in WW II SAC wanted to rely on internal navigation so the astro, radar and initial navigation systems were developed.

  22. PHLDenizen

    RE: Nevermind cover

    I’d hope that the dude suing is trolling Apple. He wins the suit, it ends up in one of the CSAM repositories Apple is using for exemplars, and then their on-device perceptual hashing finds every iPhone owning Nirvana aficionado guilty.

    Pack the CSAM databases like the Supreme Court in the name of privacy.

    1. Late Introvert

      I think you are onto something PHLD. Poll*te the internet with doctored images of Iwo Jima and Presidents Johnson to Biden with CSAM. Tag every tweet with #CSAM also.

      As Fripp says, the greater the seeming disadvantage, the greater the possible advantage.

      p.s. this would have to be done with the hashes, not the actual images, just to clarify

  23. EGrise

    Re: sextant training, I don’t know about the Coasties but in the Navy I know that a major effort to improve shiphandling and navigation has been underway (no pun intended) since at least 2017, and started picking up steam (no pun intended*) in 2019.

    The satellite shootdown thing is the official reason, and they started retraining officers on astral navigation in 2016, at least according to NPR.

    But the current emphasis was the enormous embarrassment the USN suffered after the Fitzgerald and the John S. McCain collisions in 2017, and I am here to tell you that nothing on Earth motivates the Navy like embarrassment.

    * = Well, maybe a little.

    1. Blue Duck

      We live in SoCo where this is happening. Per the article, the way to deal with this company is clear. The owner lives in Napa and is clearly worried about his perception within the cloistered world of Napa county. If we get wind of this “start up” being in our neighborhood, we’ll just make sure we embarrass him publicly where he wines and dines in Napa.

  24. urblintz



    “Japan’s health ministry said Thursday it has received reports from multiple mass vaccination centers in the country that some portion of the unused doses of Moderna Inc.’s COVID-19 vaccine have been found to contain foreign materials.

    Japanese drugmaker Takeda Pharmaceutical Co., which is in charge of sales and distribution of the Moderna vaccine in Japan, said it is suspending the use of 1.63 million doses as a precaution.

    The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare and the company said they have yet to see any reports of safety concerns over the issue.”

    1. Hiroyuki

      foreign materials? visible ? what does that mean? Likely just some manufacturing goof up but still. People wonder why there are people hesitant here?

    1. Duke of Prunes

      If you read the entire article, it says the students are “on summer vacation with their families”. It’s not a school trip.

    2. Mikel

      Did you check the part where the DOD said they “are considered allies”?

      None of that story makes sense. More ???? quotes about this trip can be found in the San Diego press about the story.

      Some have family there in Afghanistan, but somehow word didn’t get out about what was going on.
      Hence, the bizarre comment from the DOD that they “are considered allies.”

  25. curlydan

    first it was a yearly booster, then 8 months, now 6 months, in 30 days …. [fill in the blank] months


    “U.S. health regulators could approve a third COVID-19 shot for adults beginning at least six months after full vaccination, instead of the previously announced eight-month gap, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday.”

    trust the evolving science

    1. Mikel

      It’s QUARTERLY profits they are concerned with, not YEARLY profits.
      I can almost hear their paymasters in big pharma and lobbyists yelling this.

    2. Mikel

      The articles are here on NC from earlier in the year, when they had the machine rolling and thought they were going to get a 70% vax rate, when they were claiming up to 1 year protection or possibly more…”who knows” they said. Wink-wink.
      That was also the time when they were GLADLY letting people run thinking and claiming that they had a sterilizing vaccination – that they couldn’t get infected. No grand effort was made on the part of any of these “authorities” to disavow people of that wrong-headed belief.

    3. Lupana

      Has the safety of three doses been tested at all? And is there a long term plan anywhere to wean ourselves off of these vaccines at some point? I’m just wondering if the first two didn’t last that long, why would the next one be any better?

      1. Henry Moon Pie

        Most likely if you were to graph vaccine effectiveness over time, including the boosters in perpetuity that will be recommended, the curve will look like a declining S-curve, i.e. like the cross section of a roller coaster.

  26. Howard Beale IV

    Re: hospital pricing: A new outpatient radiology center opened up in my neck of the woods and they published on their website pricing for all of the services they offer – none of them, especially for MRI’s are over $1,000, which will impact the local hospital’s radiology department.

    1. Henry Moon Pie

      The problem is that if you were to go use that radiology center and hear that you needed hospitalization for treatment, whatever hospital you choose will require that the radiology work be redone by their facility.

      So you’ll get to pay for it twice.

      1. Yves Smith

        No, not true. I had MRIs done for my hips before I got my surgery that showed they were shot. I had a standard pre-surgery workup at the Hospital for Special Surgery, tops in the US. They did their own imaging but it did not duplicate the imaging I had done before. All X-rays (special machines so I got a top to bottom side and front X-ray standing and then seated). No MRIs.

        If you pay cash, you get a big discount. The rack rate for my hip MRI here in supposedly cheap Alabama was $2250. I was charged only $500 because I paid at the time of treatment. You then get the lab to give you a record (you need their procedure code, their address, their TIN or provider #) and a diagnosis code from your MD, and then your insurer will reimburse you.

      2. Medbh

        That happened to me. I was required to repeat Xrays when I broke my foot. I asked if they could be emailed or faxed from the original emergency department, but they said no because of incompatible IT systems. I had to pay twice (not full price, but my 20% copay). Maybe the person I talked to was being dishonest, but they insisted it wasn’t an option.

  27. Mikel

    Re: Newsome Recall

    Did any of you SEE the names on the ballot? I did. It’s like a deliberate attempt at increasing chaos – in one of the world’s top 10 economies.

    But while I’m on the subject of the state I’m living in. This:
    “…At least 24 students from the Cajon Valley Union School District in El Cajon and 16 parents are stranded in Afghanistan after taking a summer trip abroad…”

    But wait…then I read this part:
    “Miyashiro (Cajon Valley Supt.)said that the families are on special visas for U.S. military service and that the Department of Defense considers them allies….”

    “He said the missing students attend different schools in the 28-school district in eastern San Diego County….”

    So I read “considers them allies” and automatically wondered why wouldn’t they be?
    Then, I hop over to a San Diego paper and read:

    “…Cajon Valley Superintendent David Miyashiro and Mike Serban, the district’s director of Family And Community Engagement (FACE), said the children range from preschoolers to high school students. They said the students went there on summer break with their families to visit extended family members.

    “We have a long summer break, and nobody knew the extent of what was going to happen, nobody knew what was coming,” Serban said. “Their extended family is in Afghanistan, and they wanted to see their family. They went back, likely before the troops left, so they could say hello or goodbye one more time. What wouldn’t you do to go see your family one more time, let alone know you have only a window of time to go see them?”

    So nobody knew the extent of what was going to happen, but these people felt the urgent need to to go back to say “hello” OR “goodbye” one more time. Nobody knew anything, but they knew they only had a window of time…huh?


  28. Wukchumni

    My Kevin and yours truly have a relationship going for over a dozen years, and he’s got the looks & I have the brains. Yeah, there are times when he embarrasses me in public when i’m with him as a constituent, by still being a Teetotalitarian’s whet dream and/or lackey, but I wouldn’t have it any other way not having the votes to get a divorce.

  29. Cas

    I live in San Francisco and have seen Newsom as a supervisor, mayor, lt. governor and governor. Although I never voted for him, I did vote no on the recall. Anyone who thinks any of the clown car of alternatives would be better is deceiving himself. I believe only 3? on the list have held elective office, the rest wouldn’t know how to govern at all and would be run by lobbyists even more so than your typical politician. And much to my surprise Newsom has been a better governor than I expected. SF will vote heavily against the recall. The big question is how will LA go.

    1. Sardonia

      Sorry, as another San Franciscan, I know Gavin best as a drunk who was banging the wife of his campaign manager.

      I’ll take the clown I don’t know over the clown I do. Just on principle.

      1. Mikel

        All 40 something of those other choices never banged another person’s spouse?
        I don’t think that is really the principle you are making your decision based on.

        An election comes every 4 years to change governors. You could have plenty of time to find and vet a new clown.
        So this is about something else.

        1. PHLDenizen

          Democrats’ purpose isn’t to govern, it’s to celebrate themselves. Once you understand that, everything else falls into place.

          And people are getting fed up with the smug narcissism.

          Gavin’s French Laundry outing during Covid epitomized Democrat self-love. And it was the antithesis of governing well. Right up there with Pelosi’s mugging in front of her high-end freezer while everyone went broke and homeless. Boutique chocolate and ice cream smeared all over her puss like a toddler. Both are unctuous, horrid creatures.

          It’s not hard to understand why people want the Governor from Getty Oil out of their lives. Whatever figment of meaningful change he’s grudgingly allowed happen, he and his party are still arsonists in the lives of most people in that state.

          1. Mikel

            The 2022 California gubernatorial election will take place on November 8, 2022, to elect the Governor of California.
            That’s not that long from now.

            And Larry Elder and Caitlyn Jenner were doing what during Covid?

            You don’t even know what any of these people were doing and they could campaign for next year. Like him or not, what are any of these people going to do in a year?

            So I ask again, what is REALLY so urgent?

  30. Cas

    I thought I should add some examples of why I said Newsom has been better than I expected: he put a moratorium on the death penalty and is supporting death row inmate Kevin Cooper in his bid to be exonerated; he expanded Medi-Cal to include all low-income residents 50 yrs old and above, including undocumented residents; he signed an executive order requiring all passenger vehicles to be zero-emission by 2035; and banned fracking by 2024. No republican would have done these things.
    I have no illusions about Newsom. He is ambition incarnate, wants to be president. When he legalized gay marriage the Dem establishment was furious with him, but it got him fame and worked in his favor in the long run. I think he learned from that that bold moves, get ahead of the parade and call yourself a leader, can work. He’s one politician who wants power more than money.

  31. Andrew Watts

    The US Navy tried to abolish their school for celestial navigation around 2005/6. The military blogosphere and other less savory places of the internet were up in arms over it. Everybody then proceeded to harass and bully the Navy into keeping the art of navigating by the sky gods alive. The Chinese would blow up their first satellite a year or so later in ’07.

    Online bullying works against the US military folks and it wouldn’t be the last time that happened.

  32. allan

    Comparing SARS-CoV-2 natural immunity to vaccine-induced immunity:
    reinfections versus breakthrough infections
    [medRxiv preprint]

    … Conclusions: This study demonstrated that natural immunity confers longer lasting and stronger protection against infection, symptomatic disease and hospitalization caused by the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2, compared to the BNT162b2 two-dose vaccine-induced immunity. Individuals who were both previously infected with SARS-CoV-2 and given a single dose of the vaccine gained additional protection against the Delta variant. …

    On the day that PFE applied for booster approval. Awkward.

    In the future, everyone will go to Sturgis or P-town. For 15 minutes.

  33. jr

    I haven’t read anything from TIRED in a while but their discussion of Newsom’s recall is totally batty. I know that you know that they don’t know that the statement “Silicon Valley is a famously left-leaning place.” is a children’s nap-time fantasy but it will always be jarring to see it written out. Occasionally paying some taxes, fighting the good fight for the segments of the population currently in fashion, and “…eradicating homelessness” which is undefined but sounds like a task for an autocannon. Wow, real Commies we have here, look out!

    Then it get’s goofier:

    “wealthy entrepreneurs tend to be progressive and cosmopolitan, advancing issues like gay marriage, gun control, and free trade”

    Why is the word “cosmopolitan” in this sentence? Are we discussing their outfits? Oh wait, I see, it’s a self-conscious attempt to distinguish the writer, as well as her masters, from the hoi-polloi. Onanism. I’ll pass over the use of the word “progressive” and the idiot’s clutter of issues she lists as they are too obvious to this audience to wring any juice from.

    And then it gets sociopathic:

    “A lot of tech entrepreneurs love that, and now they want to move to Austin or to Miami.” (On the other hand, the governors of Texas and Florida are currently facing a surge of Covid hospitalizations.)”

    Well, let me drag out my scale here and weigh the whims and greedy motives of billionaires who want to dodge taxes versus the large scale human suffering caused by luring them to any particular city. Oh wait, I don’t have to. How does this person write this without slumping over their keyboard in despair?

    and finally, some Vonnegutian surrealism:

    “Those who seek to replace him bring wildly different ideas to the table. Among the governor’s challengers are a conservative talk show host, a reality TV star, and a YouTuber. If one is successful, the tech industry may have a new set of problems to contend with.”

    If that second sentence doesn’t make you wince, you’re brain dead. Their ideas, no matter how disparate, share the common thread of being the product of cretins. If this list of political quacks, hustlers, and confidence men is any indication:


    all of California will have a new set of problems to contend with. Thank goodness I live in NY where we only allow hand-picked dynastic political operatives to run for governor.

    1. Carolinian

      Fans of HBO’s Silicon Valley saw the place depicted as a struggle between idealism and greed with greed mostly winning. Show creator Mike Judge once worked there.

      Perhaps they are lifestyle left.

    1. poopinator

      I think I’d still have an easier time trying to convince a doctor in the US to give me IVM by claiming that I was a centaur. The media campaign in the past week has been horrendous. I feel bad for doctors and medical professionals who have to explain the history of the drug to the PMCs that base their ‘Science’ on twitter headlines. Anyway, nice find. At least it makes me feel like I’m not crazy.

      1. rowlf

        James Cole: Oh, wouldn’t it be great if I was crazy? Then the world would be okay.
        12 Monkeys (2014)

    2. Duke of Prunes

      Thank goodness there are at least some “civilized” countries willing to go “off script”. It’s easy for us superior ‘mericans to discount things that happen in India and Africa, because, well, it’s India and Africa (wink-nod). Hopefully, this news from Japan can get some traction for IVM in the west.

  34. Mishegoss

    I work at a community college in Southern California, just outside LA county. From January 2021 up until the CDC said, “go mask-free, the vaccine is magic” the plan was to return to campus in 50% split shifts with two days a week of fully remote work. They immediately switched the plan to full staff back on campus (except faculty, only 30% of classes are in-person) with no masks for the vaxxed, and special colored bracelets, masks, and monthly tests (!?!?) for the unvaxxed.

    The week before we went back the CDC finally admitted the vaccinated could transmit the virus so the school decided everyone has to wear masks but we were still doing full staff. They also abandoned giving different colored bracelets to the vaxxed and unvaxxed and bumped it up to weekly testing.

    When you enter campus they hope you stop at one of the several check-in stations. You have to answer some questions to receive a campus pass. Do you have COVID? Symptoms? Been around anyone with COVID? If you say no to those you get a bracelet and are told to scan a QR code whenever you enter a building. There is absolutely no enforcement of this. I have yet to see anyone besides the occasional staff memeber comply.

    The very first day back there were no signs anywhere so of course people came on campus, walked right pass the check-in, and into our old, unventilated building from the 60s. I guess enough people complained as they added signs and some stations throughout the building with surgical masks, gloves, and disinfectant wipes. Seems like a weird thing to miss.

    The second week back another department received an email from a student stating they had COVID and they were in the office for several hours the previous day. This apparently triggered about two dozen campus passes to turn from “all cleared” to “not allowed on campus”. I imagine more people were exposed but because the QR codes/contact tracing is not enforced they have no way of knowing. The staff member who helped the student asked their boss what the protocol was at this point. Maybe take a test? If you want. They asked if they were suppose to mark they’d been exposed to someone with COVID on the campus pass the next day. Nope, if you are vaccinated you do not need to mark that you were exposed.

    People are not happy here; so much so that they scheduled a Work From Home Forum next week. They conducted a survey of students too: 60% said they were somewhat to very scared of COVID, 50% said they wanted student services like Admissions & Records and FinAid to remain online. The Board of Trustees also mandated vaccines for all students and staff by October 15th (pre-FDA approval). We’ll see how it goes. Continued luck everyone!

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