2:00PM Water Cooler 10/21/2021

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Bird Song of the Day

Sadly, there are no sound recordings of the Fearful Owl, asked for by DCBlogger. Perhaps it’s very fearful indeed! Here however is a Middle American Screech-Owl, which doesn’t sound all that screechy, if you ask me.

* * *


Patient readers, I have started to revise this section, partly to reduce my workload, but partly to focus more as an early warning, if that is possible. Hopefully I will have a variant tracker map soon. In the meantime, I added excess deaths.

Vaccination by region:

Coercion works? Or boosters? (I have also not said, because it’s too obvious, that if by Bubba we mean The South, then Bubba has done pretty well on vax.)

57.1% of the US is fully vaccinated (CDC data. Mediocre by world standards, being just below Czech Republic, and just above Turkey, as of this Monday). Same as yesterday, so the stately 0.1% rise per day is interrrupted.

Case count by United States regions:

Downward trend resumes.

Simply tape-watching, this descent is as steep as any of the three peaks in November–January. It’s also longer than the descent from any previous peak. We could get lucky, as we did with the steep drop after the second week in January, which nobody knows the reasons for, then or now. Today’s populations are different, though. This population is more vaccinated, and I would bet — I’ve never seen a study — that many small habits developed over the last year (not just masking). Speculating freely: There is the possibility that natural immunity is much, much greater than we have thought, although because this is America, our data is so bad we don’t know. Also, if the dosage from aerosols drops off by something like the inverse square law, not linearly, even an extra foot of social distance could be significant if adopted habitually by a large number of people. And if you believe in fomites, there’s a lot more hand-washing being done. On the other hand, Delta is much more transmissible. And although readers will recall that I have cautioned against cross-country comparisons, I’m still not understanding why we’re not seeing the same aggregates in schools that we’ve see in Canada and especially the UK, although we have plenty of anecdotes. Nothing I’ve read suggests that the schools, nation-wide, have handled Covid restrictions with any consistency at all. So what’s up with that?

Even if hospitalizations and the death rate are going down, that says nothing about Long Covid, the effect on children, etc. So the numbers, in my mind, are still “terrifying”, even if that most-favored word is not in the headlines any more, and one may be, at this point, inured.

MWRA (Boston-area) wastewater detection:

The Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA) service area includes 43 municipalities in and around Boston, including not only multiple school systems but several large universities. Since Boston is so very education-heavy, then, I think it could be a good leading indicator for Covid spread in schools generally.

From CDC: “Community Profile Report October 21, 2021” (PDF), “Rapid Riser” counties:

Yesterday: Flare-ups in New Mexico, Montana, California (and central Maine). Today: Those flare-ups disappeared mighty fast.

Speculating freely: One thing to consider is where the red is. If air travel hubs like New York City or Los Angeles (or Houston or Miami) go red that could mean (a) international travel and (b) the rest of the country goes red, as in April 2020 and following. But — for example — Minnesota is not a hub. If Minnesota goes red, who else does? Well, Wisconsin. As we see. 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. (Red means getting worse, green means bad but getting better.)

I guess I have to go back to showing the previous release:

Hospitalization (CDC Community Profile):

Death rate (Our World in Data):

Total: 751,834 748,827. The upward trend in death rate begins anew. We had approached the same death rate as our first peak last year. Which I found more than a little disturbing.

Excess deaths (total, not only from Covid), for which I should give a hat tip to an alert readers, but cannot find their mail. Take a bow in comments, whoever you are!

So how long does it take before 10% “excess” deaths becomes the new normal?

(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. Also adding: I like a death rate because it gives me a rough indication of my risk should I, heaven forfend, end up in a hospital. I should dig out the absolute numbers, too, now roughly 660,000, which is rather a lot.)

Covid cases in historic variant sources, with additions from the Brain Trust:

Chile and Peru rising. Chile especially not looking good. Remember this is a log scale. Sorry for the kerfuffle at the left. No matter how I tinker, it doesn’t go away.

* * *


“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 Mice de Talleyrand-Périgord

Biden Administration

A good question:

On the 1st of Never?

“Biden Scales Down $2 Trillion Climate Plan To Single Reusable Grocery Bag” [The Onion]. “‘For those members of the Democratic caucus who have demanded a more slimmed-down, manageable approach to the catastrophic effects of climate change, I believe we’ve finally reached a compromise in the form of this handy canvas tote bag, which should hold up through years of regular trips to the supermarket,’ Biden told reporters in the White House briefing room as he gestured toward a screen that displayed a cotton bag featuring an illustration of a woman and text that read ‘Jane Austen Is My Homegirl,’ an item administration sources confirmed was available from CafePress.”

“Manchinism can help the Democrats. Sinema’s politics are a dead end” [Matt Yglesias, WaPo]. “A reputation for independence, by itself, can have some electoral allure. But Manchin’s departure from the Democratic mainstream — however much it infuriates progressives — offers something of a road map for appealing to less-educated and rural voters, especially White ones, whom the party badly needs to win if it wants to hold future Senate majorities. Sinema, by contrast, offers little beyond vague fiscal conservatism. She chooses politically perverse topics on which to make a stand, blocking some of Biden’s most popular ideas, and offers nothing for the party to build on.” • Heaven forfend that concrete material benefits — like dental, ffs; have you see what meth does to people’s teeth? — should appeal to rural voters!

UPDATE “Calling Sinema an Obstacle to Progress, 5 Veterans Quit Her Advisory Council” [New York Times]. “Five veterans tapped to advise Senator Kyrsten Sinema, an Arizona Democrat, resigned from their posts on Thursday, publicly accusing her of ‘hanging your constituents out to dry.’ ‘You have become one of the principal obstacles to progress, answering to big donors rather than your own people,’ the veterans wrote in a letter that is to be featured in a new advertisement by Common Defense, a progressive veterans’ activist group that has targeted Ms. Sinema. ‘We shouldn’t have to buy representation from you, and your failure to stand by your people and see their urgent needs is alarming,’ they added.” • A sternly worded letter indeed!

UPDATE But is this really a math problem?

Hey, remember when Biden was gonna be the second FDR? Good times.

UPDATE “The Democrats Have a Lot of Cutting to Do” [New York Times]. Reports the Times with ill-concealed glee. “The Congressional Budget Office has said it is “unclear when” it will provide official estimates for the entire proposal written by the House last month. So we’ve turned to what several budget experts say are the best available estimates of the cost of everything in the bill, compiled by Don Schneider, an economist at Cornerstone Macro. The figures, detailed in the tables below, show that lawmakers’ starting point is far higher than the $3.5 trillion number they had used to describe the package initially.” Who runs the CBO? The Parliamentarian, right? More: “While these figures for the budget proposal exceed the original estimate by a lot, the Democrats who are trying to shrink the bill are working with the C.B.O. behind the scenes to gauge the costs of various options. That means they are unlikely to be surprised by the cost of their final package. But the public may have to wait to find out what lawmakers already know.” • Of course, of course.

UPDATE “Democrats’ months of dithering are sandbagging Biden’s popularity” [Ryan Cooper, The Week]. “When a political party confidently seizes the initiative to pass a strong agenda, its party rank and file is emboldened and encouraged, and it takes on an air of success and vision. Of course, it’s possible to go too far with bad ideas (see: the Trump tax cuts), but if the policy is good — like the ARP — a positive momentum begins to build. All that is doubly true in times of crisis, when the public is confused, afraid, and looking for leadership…. But if a party looks like a pack of feckless, timid cowards who can’t even agree if they want to do anything, let alone what to do precisely, the base is demoralized. The party takes on an air of weakness and failure…. If Biden’s approval numbers don’t improve, Democrats will be wiped out in the 2022 midterms. They’ll be locked out of power for a decade, at least. The quickest way to reverse the damage would be to stop screwing around and pass the Biden agenda, but it remains to be seen whether party leaders can manage it. Their weakness will self-perpetuate if it doesn’t end soon.” • I think Cooper needs to look on the bright side. When “Build Back Better” passes, and its a fifteen-foot ladder while voters are in a thirty-foot hole: (1) The “progressives” are put firmly in their place (see Parliamentary Labour), as are (2) their programs. while (3) liberal and “centrist” Democrats retain control of the party and (4) lose the midterms and then 2024 and don’t have to govern, (5) while still raking in the bucks. What’s not to like? (I’m not saying this is all a cunning plot, just that this is the way the various pieces of Democrat machinery interact to produce a result.) To be fair, a legacy of reporting every $600 transaction to the IRS is something every Democrat can feel proud of.

Trump Legacy

“Trump Creates “Free Speech Site” While Barring Criticism of the Site or Its Creators” [Jonathan Turley]. Well….

Many of us have called for free speech alternatives to social media given the expanding censorship programs on Twitter, Facebook, and other sites. Former President Donald Trump announced this week that he was supporting the creation of such an alternative site in TRUTH Social. Any alternative to the regulated speech found on social media is welcomed from a free speech perspective, but TRUTH Social contains a fatal flaw as a free speech site: it reserves the right to censor any criticism of itself. The inclusion of this reservation in the “Terms of Service” was not just hypocritical given the free speech premise of the site but self-destructive as the creators seek to roll out the site.

The “Terms of Service” also include a prohibition on the “excessive use of capital letters.” That rule seems a tad odd given the name of the site, which is fifty percent caps: “TRUTH Social.” Then there is President Trump’s own signature use of all caps writing.

However, the loss of all caps communications is hardly a major blow against free speech. What is far more concerning is this specific term for service:


You may not access or use the Site for any purpose other than that for which we make the Site available. The Site may not be used in connection with any commercial endeavors except those that are specifically endorsed or approved by us.

As a user of the Site, you agree not to:…disparage, tarnish, or otherwise harm, in our opinion, us and/or the Site.

While companies like Twitter have embraced biased and extensive censorship platforms, they do not censor criticism of their sites.

Strategically, this doesn’t seem like a bad move from Trump; but I can see the actual running of the site immediately becoming shambolic unless Trump makes some good hires and keeps his hands off it (which, give credit, he did with Operation Warp Speed).

Stats Watch

Employment Situation: “United States Initial Jobless Claims” [Trading Economics]. “The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell to 290 thousand in the week ending October 16th, the lowest level since March 2020 and below market expectations of 300 thousand as employers retain workers due to an acute labor shortage. Still, the number of new filings remains well above pre-pandemic trends of about 210 thousand while data from the US Labor Department showed recently there was a record 4.3 million people quitting their jobs in August and a near-record 10.4 million job openings, as workers try to find new jobs with better pay, working conditions, and flexibility.” • Good luck with that!

Manufacturing: “United States Philadelphia Fed Manufacturing Index” [Trading Economics]. “The Philadelphia Fed Manufacturing Index in the US fell to 23.8 in October of 2021 from 30.7 in September, pointing to a continuing expansion in manufacturing activity although slower than in the previous month. Both price indexes remained elevated and continue to suggest widespread increases in prices…. Future indexes suggest that firms remained generally optimistic about growth over the next six months.”

* * *

The Bezzle: “WeWork’s Adam Neumann Is Walking Away With a $2.3 Billion Fortune” [Bloomberg]. “It’s difficult to separate Adam Neumann from WeWork, the shared-workspace company he co-founded — despite how hard some investors have tried. As WeWork completes its second attempt to go public — this time through a SPAC valuing the combined company at $9 billion — Neumann’s name is peppered 197 times throughout the business combination filing, even though he’s no longer an employee or board member…. Outside of WeWork, Neumann, 42, is involved in startups through his family office, 166 2nd LLC. They include GoTo Global, a mobility company renting scooters, bikes and cars; loan servicer Valon Mortage; and Selina, which provides combined hotel and working spaces. His venture-capital portfolio is now worth as much as $2 billion in total, according to a person familiar with his finances, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. His real estate portfolio, mostly consisting of commercial investments, is worth about $1.5 billion excluding debt, according to the person.” • On Valon: “[Valon has] built a mobile-first servicer that will elegantly handle today’s reality (e.g., check your balance, understand your escrow account, present forbearance plans understandably) and scale for the complexity sure to come in the future (e.g., model new forbearance plans, incorporate new regulations, etc.). Valon recently became the first new servicer to obtain Fannie Mae licensing with a new proprietary system.” • “Model new forbearance plans.” Now, why would that be?

Labor Market: I can’t imagine why anybody would be reluctant to return to the office:

Supply Chain: “Biden Races Clock and Holds Few Tools in Supply-Chain Crisis” [Bloomberg]. Amazing nugget: “Trucking is an industry long beset by grueling hours and declining pay. Few know those hardships better than port truck drivers. Port truckers are typically independent contractors, without the benefits and protections of unionized transport sectors or even major companies with shipping divisions, like Amazon.com Inc. Their jobs require them to line up for hours to pick up cargo, and they’re paid only when they move it. ‘The port truck driver, for decades now, has basically been the slack adjuster in the whole system,” said Steve Viscelli, an economic sociologist with the University of Pennsylvania who studies labor markets and supply chains. The entire system, he said, is built around free labor from truck drivers as they wait for containers. The Teamsters union says Biden should try to encourage organization of port drivers so that they can bargain for better pay and benefits. But the president has instead focused on trying to produce new drivers by streamlining licensing. The White House says an average of 50,000 commercial drivers licenses and learners permits have been issued each month this year, 14% above 2019 and far above 2020 levels, when the pandemic shuttered training programs.” • And then the newly licensed drivers discover they have to work long hours for nothing, and move on, right?

The Fed: “The Next Recession Could Come Courtesy of the Fed” [Bloomberg]. “Central bankers are in a precarious spot in this chaotic pandemic economy. U.S. and U.K. consumers are grousing about rising prices and want some relief. But if government officials give it to them by raising interest rates, they may set back the recovery. It wouldn’t be the first time an errant move by a central bank triggered a recession.” • If indeed inflation is being caused by post-pandemic supply chain issues, it’s hard for me to see how raising interest rates will do anything other than silence a clamor to “Do something!” Perhaps we have an economics maven in the readership who can explain.

* * *

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 68 Greed (previous close: 67 Greed) [CNN]. One week ago: 39 (Fear). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Oct 21 at 12:52pm.

The 420

“A Guy Tried Mainlining Shrooms. Then They Grew in His Blood” [Vice]. “A man who injected magic mushroom tea ended up in intensive care after developing a life-threatening outbreak of fungi growing in his blood. In a case report released this week, a team of doctors and medical students from the Creighton University School of Medicine in Phoenix describe an incident in which a 30-year-old man with type 1 bipolar disorder stopped taking his medications and attempted to self-medicate with psilocybin instead. During a series of manic and depressive episodes, the man had read about the therapeutic effects of microdosing LSD and psilocybin, and decided to brew what he referred to as “mushroom tea” by boiling magic mushrooms down in water. He then “filtered” the concoction by drawing it through a cotton swab, and injected it intravenously.” • Don’t try this at home!

Book Nook

“The Radical Utopias of Ursula K. Le Guin” [Tribune]. “While neither The Dispossessed nor The Left Hand of Darkness are intended simply as playful satires, comparing them to The Lathe of Heaven opens up some possibilities for thinking about them as more than just classics of their time. For example, we might see the seemingly incongruous use of universal male pronouns in The Left Hand of Darkness as a deliberate exposure of the impossibility of narrating gender outside the binary to which our language has often limited us.”

Our Famously Free Press

“The tech billionaire aiding the Facebook whistleblower” [Politico]. “The Facebook whistleblower whose disclosures have shaken the world’s largest social network has drawn behind-the-scenes help from a big player in the online world: Pierre Omidyar, the billionaire tech critic who founded eBay. Omidyar’s financial support, which was previously unreported, offers one of the most striking examples yet of how Frances Haugen’s disclosures have generated enthusiasm among critics of U.S. tech giants — offering a potentially crucial boost as she takes on one of the world’s most powerful companies. This gives her an edge that many corporate whistleblowers lack as she warns lawmakers, regulators and media organizations on both sides of the Atlantic that Facebook is endangering society by putting ‘profits before people.'”… Haugen, who quit her post as a Facebook product manager in May, has distinguished herself from other Silicon Valley whistleblowers with her organized PR operation. It includes a collection of top Democratic operatives including Burton — whose firm Bryson Gillette is helping to run media relations for Haugen — and Ben Scott, a former tech adviser to Hillary Clinton who now works at Luminate.” • I hate to say this, but this seems a little whiffy to me. Obama hated whistleblowers, for starters.

Zeitgeist Watch

Commodities: “Magnet Fishing, a Pandemic Craze, Is Now Creating Trash Problems” (no paywall) [Wall Street Journal]. “Magnet fishing—using powerful magnets to pull metal out of bodies of water—has exploded in popularity in Europe. Thanks partly to YouTube videos posted by enthusiasts, it’s become such a craze that it’s created a problem: What to do with all the trash they find? The magnet fishers say it’s a win-win: They have fun discovering what’s hiding under the surface, and they are cleaning the environment by removing trash from the waterways. In the U.S., where magnet fishing is also growing, the pastime is largely accepted. But in Europe, where enthusiasts sometimes haul unexploded World War II ordnance from the water, local officials say magnet fishing is often illegal, a threat to archaeological sites, a source of litter and potentially dangerous…. While it’s banned in North Carolina and some municipalities, magnet fishing is unregulated in most of the country and hasn’t created the problems seen in Europe. With less ordnance in U.S. waters, the risks are smaller, and many hobbyists own large vehicles they can use to haul away their catch. ‘Most people here are pulling their pickup trucks to the dock, not walking over with a little bucket,’ Mr. Demchak said. ‘Leaving scrap is a big no-no.'” • No ordnance lying around… Now that’s imperial privilege!

Class Warfare

Let’s not get ahead of ourselves:

* * *

“Deere wins injunction against Davenport picketers. Deere official says it was needed to ‘provide safe entry and exit’ to Iowa plant” [North Platte Telegraph]. “Chief Judge Marlita Greve granted the injunction Wednesday, ordering the UAW to limit to four the number of picketers that can be “near” each gate of Davenport Works, banning the use of chairs and barrel fires by picketers and prohibiting harassment and intimidation tactics that at least five trucking companies have said they encountered. Paul Iversen, staff at the University of Iowa’s Labor Center, said it is unusual to see an injunction ban fire barrels and chairs. Typically, items that are banned have to be ‘disruptive’ and ‘intimidating.’ ‘The fact that you have something to keep you warm on a cold day is not usually the subject of an injunction over things that cause harm to Deere,’ Iversen said. ‘It’s hard to see how burn barrels and chairs would cause harm to the company.’ Iversen also said that the Deere injunction’s limitation on picketers is more restrictive than he usually sees. ‘Four is pretty low,’ Iversen said ‘Typically you’ll see six or eight.’ The injunction prohibits picketing or congregating ‘near the Contractor Gate [scab?] entrance,’ which is regarded a neutral gate that cannot be picketed, Deere’s documents state.” • What the [family blog] is a “neutral gate,” and how is it “neutral”?! Suggested workarounds:

“Amazon warehouse workers on Staten Island to file for union election” {CNBC]. “The Amazon Labor Union, an independent group of employees, said Thursday that more than 2,000 employees across four Amazon facilities in Staten Island have signed union authorization cards, following months of organizing. The group plans to file for a union election with the National Labor Relations Board on Oct. 25.”

“Kaiser Permanente Pharmacy and Lab Workers Authorize Strike in Southern California” [Times of San Diego]. The union representing pharmacy and laboratory workers at Kaiser Permanente locations throughout Southern California said Wednesday members voted overwhelmingly to reject the company’s offer and authorize a strike if a new deal can’t be reached. Strike votes were taken by members of six United Food and Commercial Workers locals, including UFCW Local 135 in San Diego. …. Union officials said members overwhelmingly rejected the company’s offer of a 1% raise annually for a total of 3% over three years…. Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, hospitals across California have suffered from inadequate staffing, though pay also remains a key issue for union members.”

“Flight Attendants At American Airlines Subsidiary Threaten To Strike” [HuffPo]. “Three hundred flight attendants at American Airlines subsidiary Piedmont Airlines have voted to authorize a strike by an overwhelming margin, according to their union. The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA) said Thursday that 100% of workers who cast ballots approved of striking if Piedmont Airlines doesn’t offer them a satisfactory contract. The workers have been trying to secure a new collective bargaining agreement with the regional carrier for three years, with negotiations interrupted by the pandemic.”

“Overworked and Underpaid: Inside the Kellogg’s Strike” [The Progressive]. “n 2015, when the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers, and Grain Millers International Union (BCTGM) was negotiating its contract with Kellogg’s, the company threatened to close one of its four plants—either the factory in Omaha, Nebraska; Memphis, Tennessee; Lancaster, Pennsylvania; or Battle Creek, Michigan—if the union didn’t make concessions. With cereal sales declining, Kellogg’s wanted hourly workers to understand the need for compromise. Union members reluctantly agreed to the terms of the contract, which featured a two-tier system, where 30 percent of the workforce was considered transitional—with lower pay and fewer benefits—while the remaining 70 percent was designated as regular, full-time employees. By the time Kellogg’s contract with BCTGM expired in 2020, a lot had changed. Cereal, unlike in 2015, was on the rise. And with a booming cereal market, spurred by pandemic-era lockdowns, came an increased demand on Kellogg’s hourly employees to produce more of its products—including breakfast classics such as Rice Krispies, Frosted Flakes, and Froot Loops. In many cases, employees were pushed to work twelve-to-sixteen-hour days, seven days a week, with no holidays or vacation time. In the current contract negotiations, BCTGM aims to do away with the two-tier system, which the union calls a ‘devious way for employers to slowly, but surely, take power from union members, their contract, and their union.’ Transitional workers make roughly $12 less per hour than regular full-time employees, with higher insurance premiums, less vacation time, and no retirement benefits. When negotiations reached a standstill, nearly 1,400 hourly workers at the four Kellogg’s plants went on strike on October 5.” • Two-tier again.

“Netflix employees are staging a walkout as a fired organizer speaks out” [KRWG]. “The incident that incited the employee action may have been the company’s handling of Dave Chappelle’s new special, The Closer, which contains some jokes at the expense of transgender people. But B. Pagels-Minor says the dispute runs deeper. Pagels-Minor is the employee Netflix recently fired, alleging that they leaked “confidential, commercially sensitive information” outside the company. The company says that this data made its way into a Bloomberg article revealing data about various metrics and expenditures — details the notoriously tight-lipped company usually keeps under wraps. ‘I collected the data, but I did not leak the data,’ says Pagels-Minor, who spoke to NPR. They said they shared the information internally among co-workers, but not to anyone outside the company, and added that when they were terminated, they weren’t offered an opportunity to prove their case. ‘It was just like, ‘Hey, you’re the person. You’re gone,” Pagels-Minor says. In a statement, a Netflix spokesperson said that a discrepancy in Pagels-Minor’s account had gone unexplained and that Pagels-Minor had wiped their electronic devices, ‘making any further investigation impossible.’ Pagels-Minor — who started at Netflix as a senior data product manager for membership and finance engineering, before moving on to work at the company’s game launch department — says there wasn’t any investigation to begin with. Pagels-Minor co-led the employee resource group for transgender and nonbinary employees, known as Trans*, and was part of one for Black employees, known as Black@. They said the walkout began as a proposal for a day when trans and nonbinary employees would take paid time off as a result of the exhaustion incurred from the Chappelle news cycle, with any other employees invited to join in support. But then Pagels-Minor saw how executives weren’t engaging with questions about the controversy and started organizing a full-blown walkout, along with drafting a list of employee demands.”

News of the Wired

Hold my beer:

* * *

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 (SC):

SC writes:

This will be my last update on the Asclepias purpurascens propagation project until Spring 2022 when I know the results of my next round of germinations. I expect that to be successful as the “outdoor cold treatment” method seems to work really well. I’ll bring the trays indoors for warmth in early March rather than leaving them to germinate out of doors, which would delay seedling emergence until April and May. As there is reason to worry about contamination with A. syriaca genes in seeds from my seed seller, I’d like, if at all possible, to get blossoms out of the plants the first year so I can cull the ones that exhibit evidence of hybrid ancestry. It appears to me that with fertilizer pushing, A. purpurascens can be grown large enough to bloom the first year, so I’ll want early germination for a longer growing season.

The attached photo is a side-by-side comparison of a blossom of mostly or entirely Common milkweed, A. syriaca, with a blossom that is almost certainly un- or at worst lightly-contaminated A. purpurascens, Purple milkweed.

(Aside, in an early “purple problems” report, WC commenter ‘Brunches with Cats’ pointed to a really useful paper on Common/Purple hybridization and suggested that blossom features could distinguish true Purple from Purple/Common hybrids. BwC also suggested contacting the author, Prof Steven Broyles. Prof Broyles responded to my inquiries and provided identifications of the 3 plants that produced blossoms. Two of them are purple and one is Common — all from seeds sold as “Purple” by a reputable native plants seed seller. He also provided some helpful documents on taxonomical features and on hand-pollination. I will attempt hand pollination in 2022 in order to become self-sufficient in seed.)

The left half of the image is a “mostly Common” blossom from my colony of “mostly genetically Common” MW. The colony started from two plants grown from seed in 2017, and there is significant morphological diversity in the two halves of the colony. All the blossoms look like Common MW and the seed pods all are prickly, but one half of the colony has noticeably higher aspect ratio leaves and seed pods than the other, which suggests the possibility of greater Purple gene content in that half.

(Aside: hilariously, these “mostly Common” plants also came from seed sold as “Purple” — by an Etsy seller; my bad for seeking a rare plant at a lightly regulated marketplace. The most charitable interpretation is that this seller himself had hybrid plants and mistook them for Purple.)

The right half of the image is a “mostly or entirely Purple MW” blossom from one of the three “grown this year from seed” plants that bloomed.

The distinguishing feature, per the 2019 Broyles and Elkins article, clearly visible in this comparison, is the shape of the hood “lip” below the horn that projects out of the hood into the center. In Common MW and the Common/Purple hybrids studied by Broyles and Elkins, this “lip” is prominent; in Purple it is absent. In Figure 1 of the Broyles/Elkins paper, these features, labeled feature 6 in the micrographs, are called “hood teeth.” Another feature, visible only in the Common images, is the width of the “pedicel” or blossom stalk, which is thin in Common and robust in Purple.

So it looks like I have at least two probably mostly or maybe entirely Purple MW plants confirmed, and others that, based on leaf shape, are probably Purple. One plant from that seed batch is clearly Common, leaf and blossom, and I have removed it into my “sacrifice” Common colony, which will henceforth be annually decimated to contain its underground spread and the nascent blossoms removed to prevent it from crossing with the Purple colony. I’ll plant a load of pollinator plants in the midst of it to draw the butterflies away from the Purple colony. If I can become skilled at hand pollination, I can leave the Purple patch somewhat bare of other plants in order to reduce pollinator interest in it, which may help to reduce risk of contamination from any Common MW located on other properties in my neighborhood.

I have two seed pods on one of the two Purple MW plants, and at least one of these is from a blossom that did not overlap with potential contaminating blooms on the rogue Common plant in that lot. I’ll probably destroy the 2nd pod as that blossom may have crossed with the Common plant.

When I started this project back in 2017, I had in mind producing lots of seed, which could be sold or distributed gratis to people interested in this plant. From painful experience, I think it unwise to assume that I know what the seed is, even from my own plants, and instead I’ll grow plants from my own seed and not distribute them until I’m confident that they are not significantly genetically contaminated. Fortunately, the distinguishing blossom features are quite visible to my highly nearsighted eyes, so I can remove blossoms from “bad” plants as soon as they open enough to allow inspection.

A happy ending after all, which was not expected at the time of my “Eeek! Hood teeth” update. It turns out I was misled by a typo in the caption of Figure 1 of the Broyles/Elkins paper, and I misinterpreted which blossom feature was referenced by the term “hood teeth”. It took me a while to sort that out, and Prof Broyles’ feedback was indispensable. I would never have learned about him without NC/WC and its excellent commentariat.

This is a really awesome project, and I look forward to the Spring report. Also, the NC Commentariat is the best commentariat.

* * *

Readers: Water Cooler is a standalone entity not covered by the recently concluded and — thank you! — successful annual NC fundraiser. So if you see a link you especially like, or an item you wouldn’t see anywhere else, please do not hesitate to express your appreciation in tangible form. Remember, a tip jar is for tipping! Regular positive feedback both makes me feel good and lets me know I’m on the right track with coverage. When I get no donations for five or ten days I get worried. More tangibly, a constant trickle of donations helps me with expenses, and I factor in that trickle when setting fundraising goals:

Here is the screen that will appear, which I have helpfully annotated.

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

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
This entry was posted in Guest Post, Water Cooler on by .

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. Wukchumni

    57.1% of the US is fully vaccinated (CDC data. Mediocre by world standards, being just below Czech Republic, and just above Turkey, as of this Monday). Same as yesterday, so the stately 0.1% rise per day is interrrupted.
    NZ has gone from 41% double vaxed 2 months ago, to 68.2% today.

    I think it’s largely on account of religion being a non-starter in En Zed-one of the least religious countries, because that’s where much of our issues are with in the USA, dogma calling the shots.

    1. clarky90

      Re; Godless New Zealand.

      “The carbon price is now high enough to change land-use sufficiently to blow away sheep and beef, but too low to significantly influence emission behaviours elsewhere”

      by Keith Woodford, former Professor of Farm Management and Agribusiness at Lincoln University


      “….From a land-owner perspective, in many situations it is now looking better to collect credits for the carbon, not just for the first 16 or so years under the new averaging system for production forests, but to let those credits run on, initially to 50 years, but then beyond for another 30 or so years to full maturity at perhaps 80 years. Forget about the harvest!

      Note that this situation pertains to new forests on land that has most recently been in pasture…….

      ….a carbon price of $100 per tonne would mean that carbon farming would blow away all significant agricultural land-uses apart from dairy and horticulture.... (The Government’s current advice is that a price as high as $110.15 would be acceptable in 2026)….

      …..Another issue is that land converted to carbon forestry is locked up permanently. Given the associated carbon liabilities attached to the land, there is unlikely to ever be a pathway for future generations back to agriculture…..” (Yikes!)

      New Zealand agriculture presently exports food to feed 40,000,000 (40 million!) people……. plus, feed the 5,000,000 people living here……

      1. BlakeFelix

        I feel like land can sequester carbon and still produce things. Harvesting timber for building or other forest products might even sequester more carbon than fallow land.

  2. Wukchumni

    Aussie Aussie Aussie, Oi Oi Oi

    It’s as if Candace has no idea what’s happening to the mental state of Americans…

    A conservative US commentator has suggested America should “invade” to liberate Australians from “tyrannical” Covid-19 restrictions, likening the country to the early stages of a dictatorship under Hitler or Stalin.

    Daily Wire host Candace Owens made the provocative comments in her Tuesday show, saying that her husband has family members in Australia, one of whom recently shared that “the mental state of everyone around her was in steep decline”.


    1. The Rev Kev

      The solution suggest itself. All those Americans that think that it is a great idea, headed by Candice Owens, should be loaded up aboard transports and sent towards Australia. They can bring their guns, their flack vets, their camos and anything else that they want to do the job. And as we all know, just because a ship leaves one port, there is no guarantee that it will ever reach its destination port at the other end. Things happen at sea. The main benefit is that it might quieten down things in America without these rabble-rousers.

      1. Anon

        Every time I hear someone saying we need to drop bombs for women’s rights or some such, I imagine dropping them instead. Maybe with a parachute, and some charts correlating feminist values with increased poppy harvests.

  3. IM Doc

    About inflation……..

    I was raised in a very large extended family on an ancestral family farm.

    As a kid, I listened to my grandparents and uncles tell stories of what it was like in the Great Depression. As I got older, my grandfather would pound into my head multiple things that happened to him as a young man that were harbingers of the bad times to come. That was deflation. As a child myself, my family lived through the oil shock and the stagflation of the 1970s. I think all of us over 50 have living experience with this type of thing.

    I will tell everyone here – my red alert signals planted by my elders deep in my brain have been going off full blast this entire year.

    I am unable to procure a windshield for my late model van. At any price. There are just none available.

    My neighbor’s Ford truck has been disabled since August and unusable because a small part is needed to fix it and is unavailable.

    There are multiple buildings all around in various stages of building that have just been abandoned for want of supplies or supplies that are now all of a sudden prohibitively expensive. Some have clearly been left to rot.

    We have kids in my kids’ school whose parents were already marginal financially whose children now just have no lunches to eat at these prices in the grocery store. And the school lunches have turned into a horrifying joke. My wife and multiple other parents are making extra for these kids every day.

    We have in our part of the country seen the cost of basic staples explode in price just in the past month – sometimes at a very scary rate.

    We are seeing large swaths of the local stores empty of many things. Large empty rows of things like canned vegetables, frozen vegetables, and just forget about large groups of various pre-processed foods ( our family does not eat this type of thing anyway). The sections with sodas ( yet another thing we do not use) are just empty most of the time except for the Coca Cola products which it seems everyone around my place are boycotting.

    And many essentials are non-existent, for example Kerr and Ball canning products.

    And like no time in my career, we in the office are having to juggle all kinds of medications and prescriptions. Many pharmaceuticals are just simply not available. Especially all the various types of long-acting insulin (Tresiba and Tuojeo are the worst), rheumatology drugs (Enbrel and Humira), asthma inhalers and many types of antibiotics.

    I am somewhat comforted that my wife and I saw the writing on the wall several years ago and moved to the vast expanse of rural America. We have just procured half a cow from our neighbor for example and have on our property chickens galore and abundant eggs every day. Just like my grandparents taught me to do – we have been canning and preparing all summer. Large containers of flour and sugar are stored and ready. We are about as prepared as anyone in our family.

    Yet – I never dreamed I would hear an American administration just so glibly blow off the entire situation – Psaki – “Everything is great – people are just buying a lot of stuff” and “Get over it, maybe no treadmill this year”. I just cannot believe what I am hearing. I know from talking to my patients that there are already lots of people already suffering – and this tripe is what is coming out of Washington? First we were blessed with the visage of an American president smiling with glee announcing that many millions of Americans were about to be fired – and now this? I truly no longer recognize my country. I have serious reservations that any of our leaders in either party have a clue or the will to do anything about this impeding situation.

      1. Return of the Bride of Joe Biden

        I just bought a new windshield for my 1967 Oldsmobile. It was installed less than a week after I called, in my my own driveway. It was $275 including install. I paid the guy with cash, he seemed pleased, although I didn’t speak his language. The only other guy in town who would deign to touch my jalopy wanted almost $600 bucks, and insisted it couldn’t be done for at least 3 weeks.

        PRO TIP: search out the underdogs; they’re nicer and do better work.

        I have ducks, but no chickens.

    1. Laughingsong

      IM, I always find a good few canning jars at places like St. Vinnies, Salvation Army. The lids are almost always rusty but I can usually find some I can deal with.

      Also I have noticed that the small mouth jars are usually easier to find because they are less popular.

      And of course anything I buy in a jar, the jar usually gets washed steamed and saved.

    2. Wukchumni

      There was really no money floating around in the Great Depression, whereas we’ve got more or less an endless supply unequally distributed now.

      In the book: The Great Depression-A Diary, the protagonist Benjamin Roth describes buying a bushel of apples for 25 Cents and there’s 125 apples in a bushel in the early 30’s, so an apple cost 1/5th of a Cent, talk about deflationary!

      I had the same experience as you IM Doc in the 70’s, with the first price shock coming early on when candy bars went from 5 to 10 Cents, but thankfully HFCS hadn’t been invented yet, so real sugar rotted out our teeth instead, a minor win in the scheme of things.

      We’re in uncharted territory where the inflation isn’t monetary based, it’s scarcity based. Can anybody remember such a situation where currencies were all relatively stable and yet inflation was burgeoning on the edge of out of control?

      1. flora

        Mom and Dad were children of the Great Depression. When I was a child growing up in a small town, every year for a few years, one or two men would drive into town, in old jalopies, selling bushels of apples on the street corner. Mom would send me with a couple dollars to buy a bushel, though she didn’t need the apples. I’d lug the bushel home wondering what we’d do with all the apples. We ate them or mom made pies. I think now an understanding arose during the Depression about supporting the people who were down and out and yet still trying to maintain themselves with dignity. I don’t know. This is a child’s memory.

      2. Procopius

        It’s kind of funny. In the ’30s there was widespread demand for the government to create inflation. Since the ’70s there has been absolute terror of inflation that hasn’t stopped, probably because deflation is so good for the rich.

    3. d w

      well, with the way business operates, which is just in time delivery of parts and materials, when you get a shock to the system (say a pandemic that kills 700K people), and to try to head that for a time, we go into lock down. which has the impact that manufacturers stop ordering them from suppliers, which leads to suppliers stopping production, and or changing to a new market when possible. then we open up, and then we find out that suppliers cant just go back producing parts and materials like they were, as they have changed their business, and no longer have a way produce them. course there is also problem getting the parts and materials from the ports to the manufacturers to use them. if you look at ports you will see lots of ships parked off shore, waiting to dock and offload what they brought. but unable to because truckers decided to quite working because of how the employers dealt with them. then there was that ship that blocked the suez canal for weeks on end. this entire mess is because US business has the just in time mandate, plus they sent a lot of work to LCC (low cost countries) that arent nearby, which attenuates the supply chain when ever shock hits it. now i would say, where were last year? that administration also blew off the mess. they just tried to ignore the pandemic, and the mess that was created, can give them props for getting vaccines in record time. but what exactly should the Feds do to address the problem? while having the national guard help with the the trucker shortage, how long they do that? and why is the government paying for that? this is a business mess, why arent they responsible to fix it? course some of the cause for this, is that in lock down consumers changed what they bought, just shows who is really in control in the market. its not business (though seem to think so). seems depending on the market to fix things like this, doesnt work

    4. Terry Flynn

      Similar things going on here in middle of UK. Shops being cunning in moving stuff around to disguise shortages but we know they’re there.

      Meds being delivered to pharmacies in 7 days rather than 1-2.

      My dad bought huge quantities of raw materials from German and Spanish principal suppliers as they freely admitted they are probably about to go bust. Both pleaded with him to buy them out. Wait. UK company buying EU ones? Yeah. We really are upside-down.

    5. TheMog

      Regarding car part supply issues – I’m going through this with a couple of vehicles and some other work right now as well.

      1. Damaged an engine on one of my cars (pretty common Japanese brand). Sourcing a used replacement engine didn’t take that long, but getting it shipped 160 miles from the dismantler to me took almost a week due to trucker shortages. Getting all the “while we’re in there” parts took me almost two months, with random parts being out of stock with no ETA. Took me a good two months just to get all the parts together, and now the shop that’s putting the puzzle back together also has a few issues getting some common wear parts.

      2. My wife drives an older British SUV, and I ended up having to order repair parts for it from the UK because the usual suspects for parts in the US had a lot of “yeah, I think it might take several weeks to get these common wear items, but we can’t really guarantee any sort of delivery time frame at the moment”. At least I was able to get the parts across the Atlantic pretty quickly as I was willing to pay “how much?” for shipping. Still worked out cheaper that way.

      3. I need a new garage door, but can I find one that costs less than a whole garage from the local Amish shed people? Exactly.

      1. Wukchumni

        With the exception of occasional Mercedes Benz tv commercials, I haven’t seen any new car commercials when watching the NFL or MLB, which you think would be key markets-quite male oriented, but no.

        You can’t sell from an empty wagon!

        1. griffen

          Trucks. Always with the commercials for (insert brand of choice) accompanied by (insert musical accompaniment choice). GMC has a new Sierra model!

    6. EGrise

      Similar stories with keeping my washer and dryer going.

      Washer ground the teeth off the agitator (a big funnel-shaped plastic thing about two feet tall – it’s a design flaw, what’re ya gonna do) so I looked for a new one. Nothing. Anywhere. Online or locally. Been out of stock for months. I spoke to a local supplier and he said that they were having lots of problems like that: all the replacement parts are made in China, and for a variety of reasons they simply aren’t making it to the US.

      So I started going through salvagers. Finally found an independent repair guy in Canada who had not one, but two used ones for sale. After verifying they still had their “teeth” I bought ’em both, one to keep as a spare.

      The clothes dryer was a similar story: the blower wheel (essentially a drum-shaped fan blade, also plastic) was nowhere to be found. I eventually got one custom 3D printed, and it works pretty well.

      This is no way to run a “technologically advanced” society.

      1. Eudora Welty

        “I eventually got one custom 3D printed, and it works pretty well.”

        Another poster may have mentioned this already, but I feel we are in an opportune time for an explosion of 3D printing; especially by the younger generation; a really useful service.

    7. CanCyn

      A story that my husband remembers from the one and only economics course he took in college:
      A father and son run a hot dog stand. The son who has been studying economics and is paying attention to the economy and starts warming his Dad that the economy is going to tank. He advises his Dad to buy fewer supplies so that they don’t get stuck with over inventory when the slowdown hits and people stop buying hotdogs. As they run their supplies lower and lower people stop coming by because they don’t have much to sell. Eventually they have to close because they lose so many customers. Dad to son, “You we’re right kid, the economy really did get bad” as saw

    8. Jen

      I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that the monstrosity of a house near my office has become a jumping off point for really interesting conversations among my co-workers. People whom I would normally place in the “love me, love me, love me I’m a liberal” category are seriously pissed off.

      And now I’m seeing some of my co-workers, getting seriously pissed off about the role of venture capital in biotech, as well as some researchers who’ve been approached by these companies and are like “family blog it, let’s take these family bloggers for whatever we can get.” I despise the system we work in, and my advice to them is: don’t negotiate with yourselves.

      There are so many people who are struggling right now, and even those who aren’t are seeing that the system only really works for the super rich.

      1. Wukchumni


        It’s nice to see you here on NC expressing your opinion, and a bit refreshing to hear the White House called a monstrosity as an added bonus. Is Pete B pissed off too, or just faking it?

    9. flora

      And like no time in my career, we in the office are having to juggle all kinds of medications and prescriptions. Many pharmaceuticals are just simply not available.

      I’m really starting to wonder if China is doing a soft sanction (no overt declaration) on the US.

  4. zagonostra

    >Vaccine Mandates and the Left

    From WSWS:

    It is unavoidable that anyone who has access to a vaccine but refuses to get it cannot be allowed to work beside others. In such cases, the individual should be placed on furlough…

    To pose the problem as one of individual negligence, however, is fundamentally wrong. It is not workers who are responsible for the catastrophic spread of COVID-19, but the ruling class. A genuine change in public attitudes involving millions of people is possible only under conditions in which there is an industrial and political movement of the working class against the entire policy of the financial oligarchy in response to the pandemic.


    As for Jacobin:

    Measures like those France and New York City recently instituted are an appropriate tool for preventing impending and devastating mass death.


    I went over to Chris Hedges’ RT show whose articles against authoritarianism, imperialism, capitalism, the rot of the ruling class I have been reading for more years than I can remember and can’t find the subject even being broached, though admittedly he may have written on the subject elsewhere.

    I think it is fair to say that the “Left” – whatever that is, if it exists at all – is on board with vaccine mandates where consequences of rejecting vaccine is being fired from your job and taking away the ability to engage in various other social activities.

    The Democratic Party has failed miserably in passing what it ran on in 2020, you couple that with pent up anger over the VM and the final nail is, I fear, be driven into any future Left-leaning electoral political victories.

    1. Mason

      This has confused me for months on end. I don’t think your going to win the working class by promoting punitive measures and circling the wagons around the pharmaceutical companies.

      You might have some luck reading a leftist take on the vaccine by Charles Eisenstein.

      If this escalates, I’m breaking with the left and not sure where I’ll be politically.

        1. Silent Bob

          Rant lost in Moderation. Short of it, there is no Left. We are on our own. I will NEVER forget the Vaccine Mandates. Then I gave a nod to a comment here a few weeks ago: –Spit!–

      1. Carolinian

        I’d say politically it makes no sense at all unless, as suggested up in the Cooler, they want to lose as an excuse to do nothing. Kicking down probably appeals to their funders and therefore is more about keeping the club well funded rather than any particular political program. It’s all about factionalism.

      2. pjay

        This is a tremendously stressful issue for me. I have family members and friends who have been hard hit by COVID. As a medical issue, I take it very seriously. But the public discourse on (1) vaccines and (2) prophylactic treatment is so obviously biased and driven by economic (or other?) interests that, as these comments reflect, there seems to be no one left to talk to. Whether I “break with the left” depends on what “the left” means, I suppose. But it is a lonely feeling.

        This I do know. A vaccine “mandate” will drive another nail into the coffin of the Democratic Party. Get ready for Trump 2.0 (whether it’s the Orange One himself or someone even worse). This I also know: there is no “scientific” justification for such a mandate — not any more. So what the hell *is* the reason for pushing this?

        My wife and I are in our 60s. We are fully vaxxed. In our case the risk-benefit calculation makes sense. Same with our daughter and her husband (in their 40s). But if you are talking about forcing my 8 and 10 year old grandchildren to get the “jab,” you had better have more evidence than what I’ve seen. Apparently our President — and our Governor (I live in NY) — are headed in that direction. That will really piss me off. Am I wrong? Why? I’m willing to be convinced with a rational argument.

        1. Acacia

          You’re not wrong, and not alone. The Dims are playing with fire. Mandating a non-sterilizing vaccine for children to attend school is going to cross the line for many parents.

          1. Objective Ace

            Especially as the data starts turning into real life stories. The risks of mycarditis are low to be sure–but when applied to tens of millions there will be children (and adults) who die because of these mandates.

            There’s already been a 19 year old who died in the aftermath of myocarditis from the vaccine: https://noqreport.com/2021/06/15/19-year-old-college-freshman-dies-from-heart-problem-one-month-after-second-dose-of-moderna-vaccine/ Imagine the optics when its an 8 year old who was forced to get vaccinated to go to school

        2. neo-realist

          The courts have backed vaccine mandates, including the present day troglodytes in the supremes. A person’s individual liberty shouldn’t deny the right of others to be free of disease. Jacobson v. Massachusetts.



          1. Objective Ace

            But obviously this isnt taken to extreme. We dont force everyone to walk around in Hazmat suits to protect others and not infringe upon others freedom to be free of disease.

            The courts have backed mandates for vaccines that are sterilizing (or at least 99 percent sterilizing). This is an entirely different issue even if term “vaccine” initially suggests its the same

      3. LawnDart

        If this escalates, I’m breaking with the left and not sure where I’ll be politically.

        Anarchism might not be what you may think it is, and I invite you to look more closely.

        Welcome, fellow traveler.

          1. flora

            oh, but they’d never do that in the rich West. right? Also, gotta catch the children to mold the future. Or something. /sigh

          2. flora

            from the article:

            “Back in 2016, Bill Gates’ Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI), Microsoft, Accenture and the Rockefeller Foundation established a new consortium to provide digital ID certificates to infants when they receive their routine immunizations. They called it ID2020, incidentally naming it for the year that a global pandemic would be declared.”

            1. flora


              After Illinois became the first US state to forge a formal relationship between vaccine certifications and Experian, Illinois Congressman and financial industry darling Bill Foster introduced legislation that would foist a digital biometric ID onto the entire American population.

              “Once the government has [taken] those fairly serious biometrics from you – there will be huge opportunities for the commercial sector to leverage that,” he said. “And to try to get this all started, I introduced the ‘Improving Digital ID Act.’”

    2. Silent Bob

      No kidding. Waiting to hear about my religious exemption from VA. Found out today the better half is now in danger of losing her job, mandate again. “Left” my ass. We are on our own. I will NEVER vote Democrat again. To be fair, i decided to give up voting altogether a few years back. Dipped my toes in to vote to recall that sumbitch Gavin and now am fairly certain i will hold my nose and vote straight Republican for the rest of my life. To paraphrase a Comment I saw here a few weeks back. i will NEVER forget the Vaccine Mandates! –Spit!–

      1. LawnDart

        Don’t support the duopoly: a vote, any vote you cast, is support for the status quo.

        Lay down your hand, get up from your chair, and kick the goddamn table over– the game is crooked, and the dealers are cheats.

      2. Michael McK

        I long ago gave up on the Dems as a whole though I still support their outcasts on occasion. I do not, however, conflate Left with Democrat and always vote for the most left alternative if there is one. While Leftists change their spots or are opportunists and show their spots eventually (former Green Sinema for example) Republicans and the right are what the Democrats keep abandoning us for. Not blindly trusting Governments or Corporations at all and taking responsibility for your future are hallmarks of historical Left movements,so no need to become a Republican. I have left a blank here and there for an unopposed from the left machine democrat shoo-in to save County staff the work of going through unqualified write-ins but please don’t drink Republican Kool-aid.

    3. d w

      so you watch Russia Today?
      well if you dont want the vaccine, and dont want to mask up (or do it so badly that it cant work), you do risk any one you get in contact with. the virus today, 1000X more effective at effecting us (basically there is more virus coming from an infected pension with the new version than before. while vaccines work, they just dnt work so well when the amount of virus in the air is so high.
      if you dont want to have mandates, then i suppose you have some other way to stop or at least slow down the virus (other wise many more will die, and many will have long term health condition (breathing among others). so other than mandates, how do you plan to slow the virus down enough to keep in check. since some seem so opposed to doing any thing that actually does work, the best choice with this is to keep separate those who want go back to normal, before the virus has been defeated, from those who have more severe risks than the average person, and those who were vaccinated, because they wanted to be free, but safe also. while the democrats have failed, so have the repubs too. none of tjem will tell the hard truth, that you have 2 choices with the virus, surrender (do nothing that works), or do things that do work, if even imperfectly. the virus only cares about thing (if it could think) replicate it self as much as possible, and it needs our help to that

      1. pjay

        If the vaccinated can still (1) get the virus and (2) spread it to others, then what is the justification for a *mandate*, especially if the vaccinated themselves are protected? The current “vaccines” seem to provide protection to the recipients for a (limited) period of time, especially for vulnerable groups. But clearly they are not able to provide community immunity like the treatments most of us think of when we hear the word ‘vaccine.’

        There are some other “hard truths” — about the vaccines, the pandemic, and treatment for COVID, that I think need to be discussed more openly as well. But I don’t really want to get into those here; the question at hand is the mandate. Apart for its medical or “scientific” justification, I would agree that as a political issue it is tremendously divisive and will probably further the demise of the Democrats if they insist on hitching their wagon to that star.

      2. zagonostra

        I’m not sure if your questions where rhetorical. But if you are serious about answers based on science coming from a biologist, one who put his job and life on the line, view some of Dr. JC Couey’s video’s. He needs our help too, help educating people on the biology of immunology.


      3. Big River Bandido

        Starting out with the equivalent of an ad hom (Russia Russia Russia), and then you jumped from one unsupported claim to another.

        This comment is a disaster.

  5. Reader_In_Cali

    New Thomas Frank interview alert: https://twitter.com/thomasfrank_/status/1450476129312256004?s=20

    Pretty interesting to hear the research he did into the history of populist healthcare that is in the new afterword of the latest paperback run of “The People, No!”. Am I the only one who didn’t know that the Canadian healthcare system has its roots in the American populist movement?? Mind blowing!

    And part of what radicalized him was his first experience engaging the wage relation as a teenager. In the words of Yves, “Quelle surprise!”

    1. d w

      hm. seems like NHS (UK) and Canadian health began,,,,in the late 1940s. maybe just maybe it was because so many were in the military and got used to having free health care

      course those system seem to produce better results as far living longer (pretty much the gold standard, people living longer tend to have fewer health issues).
      and they are cheaper

      instead we have the system seems to create the most profit for those involved. not always to be the best for us pesky humans.

      1. Procopius

        An explanation I read many years ago of why America could not have anything like the NHS, during the Blitz the British government had to pay for treatment of everybody who was injured by German bombs (which was a lot of people). Basically, by the end of the war, the government owned all the hospitals (I don’t know if this is correct) and employed all the doctors on salary (I don’t know if this is true, either). Given this situation, it was not hard for them to make the situation permanent. America had no government owned hospitals (really? none?) and the only government salaried doctors worked for the Veterans’ Administration, so “socialized medicine.” The explanation made sense to me. I know nothing about the origin of the Canadian health system.

  6. JeffC

    “Minnesota is not a hub.”

    Actually, the Minneapolis–Saint Paul International Airport (MSP) is a major hub for Delta Airlines.

      1. JeffC

        By number of passengers boarded, JFK is #13 in the US, EWR is #16, and MSP is #17, FWIW.

        I definitely have no dog in this one, but I lived for a few years in an upper-midwest location from which flying through MSP was pretty much the only way in or out, as I was a four-hour drive from the nearest interstate highway. Got to see its level of busy all up close and personal.

        busiest US airports

          1. RockHard

            Saw a news article that said Denver is #3 in the US. DIA is absolutely insane. Lines of cars over a mile long parked on the shoulder going to arrivals. Huge crowds inside. Supposedly last weekend the wait to get through TSA was a couple hours. And that’s before you get through security, not counting passengers just stopping on the way elsewhere. Ski season has barely started yet, the tourists will start coming around Thanksgiving.

            Add to that the ongoing construction at the airport, it’s just hard to get around the place now and exacerbates the crowding. Who knows why a 25 year old airport needed renovations, but that’s beside the point.

            Colorado numbers are rising. My kid’s school announced that they’re eating lunch outside as long as the weather holds due to the rising number of cases in the school. This is a very upper-middle class, solidly Democratic neighborhood, not a lot of vax holdouts or anti-maskers around.

      1. JeffC

        Courage? No, Pinot Noir, trying to settle down after IM Doc’s inflation comment earlier!

        Notice Yves’s comment about ATL. Nonsoutherners don’t always realize how large ATL, DFW, and even CLT are. They move a LOT of people.

  7. Wukchumni

    The Fed has unveiled new rules regarding officials trading, and henceforth such activities will only be allowed on Tuesdays, Fridays, Mondays, Thursdays, Wednesdays and Saturday, but never on Sunday.

    1. griffen

      I caught part of an interview with Al Michaels today on a CNBC mid-day show. In addition to his excellent work as a commentator on NFL and other sports endeavors, he is an avid follower of the markets.

      I think he brought up IBM. Apparently IBM has been playing dead possum since 2012 or 2013 with investor money. And in this market, that takes some doing to go nowhere!

      No one asked if Al “believed in miracles” for his holding / remaining long of “Big Blue” shares.

      1. d w

        not sure why there so focus on ‘the Market’. the stock market doesnt really represent the economy. and for the most parts its rigged any way. and i suspect that there are many companies in the 2010s, that basically did nothing but hit the targets traders looked for in a stock. never mind those supposed targets were not in anyway shape or form, good for the company in question. the only real market is the productive economy.

        just a thought, why it that stock traders get paid so much? most of their work doesnt help the economy much (if not hinder it. and some of what they do trashes more companies than a recession or depression would).

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          We cut capital gains taxes. I mean “Trading Places” is a good example of it always being a farce (only two years into the Reagan Revolution), but higher taxes would make reliable long term returns sexier choices than short term quarterly returns when one could clean up.

    1. John

      For me, new rule of thumb: If something is being vigorously promoted as really really really important, avoid it if you cannot ignore it. Like a mackerel in the moonlight, it stinks and shines and stinks and shines (With apologies to John Randolph of Roanoke)

    2. The Rev Kev

      Real whistleblowers get fired. They are punished. The media totally ignores them and will only cover their story under duress. They have only limited social media presence which takes years to build up. They have police show up on their doorstep and point guns at their partners and their kids. They are ignored by anybody with power and establishment insiders.

      Is any of this true of Frances Haugen?

  8. RockHard

    Another link for the pile: Paul Tudor Jones on inflation

    I particularly liked this quote:

    There is $3.5 trillion just sitting in liquid deposits that could go into stocks, or crypto, or real estate, or be consumed. That’s a huge amount of dry powder, which is why inflation’s not going to be transitory.

    I just can’t believe anyone can say “transitory” with a straight face. This really feels like it needs a meme treatment with Mandy Patinkin’s Inigo Montoya character telling Powell “You keep on saying that word… I do not think it means what you think it means.”

    1. MonkeyBusiness

      The thing is there’s always going to be cash on the sidelines. In every transaction there is a buyer and a seller. Sure there are other arrangements like pay in kind, but say person A sells a stock to person B, the seller i.e. person A will receive …. CASH or some liquid instrument.

      1. Objective Ace

        Try telling a German in 1922 that sellers always receive cash so they need not worry how much cash is out there in the economy.

        The fact that sellers always receive cash is hardly relevant to how large the money supply is. If you want to argue that the money supply is not relevant to the economy I welcome that arguement, but I think you have your work cut out for you

    2. curlydan

      I’m certainly worried about inflation and don’t think it’s transitory, but Mr. Jones also said this:
      “The USA is the most dominant economic power in the world because we unleash our individual entrepreneurialism and creativity. You’re seeing China doing the exact opposite. That place is, economically, on a slow boat to the South Pole.”

      Ah, American exceptionalism. IMNSHO, China is playing the long game. We’re playing the short game and on a fast boat to… somewhere not good.

      1. Procopius

        Traditional Chinese history is seven or eight thousand years. Granted, even they know about five thousand years of that is mythical, they have about three thousand years of continuity. It doesn’t seem strange to me that they tend to take the long view.

  9. marku52

    “I have serious reservations that any of our leaders in either party have a clue or the will to do anything about this impeding situation.”

    I’m afraid you are correct. They all got where they are by going to the right schools and knowing the right people and have never once in their lives been faced with a situation where being correct, really, really, mattered. They might be shoved off to the side for 6 months or so after a PR disaster, then moved back in into an even higher position.

    In my corporate world, this was called the “Penalty Box”. In corporate speak, it was “He’s working on special projects.” And they always came right back eventually. No real consequences, no matter the damage done

    1. BrianC - PDX

      It was called getting assigned to a “window seat” in the tech companies I worked for. If you got a “window seat” everyone knew you were marked as useless.

      You have to understand the organization class layers as they pertain to firing:

      1. Blue collar mfg workers and techs are just flat out fired. They have no money to sue, so they’ll just take it and move on.
      2. Professionals and mid-level managers are different. Can’t fire them, they might fight it or make a stink. You can purge them during layoffs if you do it right, but if it’s a one off, you get rid of them by “burning” their resume. You give them “special projects” and “market research tasks”. Or you assign them to do things they will never be successful doing, so you can get them into a PIP (Personal Improvement Plan). They get the message they aren’t going anywhere, and are incentivized to go somewhere else…
      3. Once you get “above the anti-gravity line” where the normal rules are reversed, you get rid of people by buying them off with a Golden Parachute. So they can “spend time with the family” or “pursue a new venture”. Because in that crowd there is always a buddy that can find them a place to sit, so they never lose out.

      Yeah, I am cynical.

  10. TheMog

    I thought that Obama was supposed to be the second FDR?

    So hard to keep track of this these days.

    Looks like we’ll end up getting the usual Democratic “this is the best we can do” damp squib. Reminds me of a German saying that roughly translates as “The mountain birthed, and it gave birth to a mouse” – sorry for butchering English here (the original is “Der Berg kreiste, und er gebar eine Maus”). Basically, lots of pomp & circumstance, and the you’ll need a microscope to see the results.

    I’m guessing getting relected wasn’t a necessity as long as the usual suspects can stay glued to their seats in Congress and the Senate.

  11. griffen

    From the cheap seats, a sports desk commentary. A prominent college football team out of the PAC-12 dismissed the head coach and 4 assistant coaches earlier in the week. The state of Washington had a Monday deadline for state employees to receive their vaccinations; the above football coaches had remained unvaccinated. Washington State athletic director should not expect a seasonal card of holiday joy this year from this set of coaches.

    Lawyers will be taking out upon each other in a court of law instead of a field of green grass/turf/synthetic grass substance.


  12. Objective Ace

    >If indeed inflation is being caused by post-pandemic supply chain issues, it’s hard for me to see how raising interest rates will do anything other than silence a clamor to “Do something!”

    Inflation can be caused by both supply chain issues and Fed quantitive easing. For the longest time Fed QE was hidden from inflation numbers because the things rich people (the benefactors of QE) do with their money doesnt factor into inflation calculations. (At least not the current CPI methodology). But housing prices (and land, factories, etc) are related to the rest of the economy. Their prices can be pushed up only so far before the effects downstream appear in inflation numbers. If a house or factory now costs 10 percent more, that acts as a signal to landlords, companies, farmers that they need to raise their prices higher to maintain the same price/earnings ratio*. (Depending on the elasticity of goods in that sector they may not actually be able to raise prices)

    I’m not saying this is happening. Rents aren’t really increasing that fast. But it certainly could be happening. Presumably the Fed is investigating the link

    *this assumes calculating the price to earnings ratio using the current opportunity cost not the actual historic price.

  13. Eloined

    Re: port truckers

    The entire system, he said, is built around free labor from truck drivers as they wait for containers.

    To be sure, port / drayage truckers have long gotten the short end of the stick — unpaid wait time, crappy truck financing terms, bad air, etc. They’re also bound to a local market ripe for rate-setting by cartels.

    But the “entire system” of moving containers in and out ports and in trucking in general has physical and other inefficiencies. For instance, hiring and scheduling practices of unionized California port yard truck operators — often the link in the chain before the drayage truckers — are not optimized for current conditions! Nor are the terminal roadways, check-in / check-out procedures, warehouse space and turnover, etc.

    Beyond the ports, the trucking industry’s (e.g. big carriers’) main proposals to increase trucker availability include making 18-20 year-olds eligible to drive (!!) and, in my interpretation of industry research, somehow walking a line between supporting strong drug-testing measures and enabling ‘responsible’ / well-hidden marijuana users to drive.

    Strong bargaining power among drayage truckers would be great — mainly for them, which is reason enough to support it — but would scarcely touch the “entire system” of local and regionally-networked inefficiencies. I would think Viscelli recognizes as much but he does, commendably, tend to focus on labor power issues without necessarily seeing how flawed the infrastructure and technology (e.g. interoperability) pieces.

    1. d w

      seems i have heard that younger folks can drive a big rig…oh year the UK

      does any one really feel like its a good idea to 18-20 years old drive an 80,000 IB vehicle is safe ???

      and there is really a system to run the port? its seems like at best we have one party be a conductor, which just attempts to keep things moving. then there are all of the private companies, that actually moves imports from ships to trucks and where ever they are going.
      i wonder why is that trains arent used to get products to inland locations for truckers to transport.

      course the main reason this is a problem, is that businesses everywhere created the just in time system of work, leading all sorts of problem, when a shock to the transport system happened. starts with the pandemic, going to many loosing jobs (seems like that was several million a month…also reduces potential customers…which of feeds to businesses…who then buy less…and seel less…leading to suppliers cutting production…finally move new products…which makes it really hard to restart the whole system back up)

      1. rowlf

        does any one really feel like its a good idea to 18-20 years old drive an 80,000 IB vehicle is safe ???

        Maybe check with the military? They seem to think so.

        1. LifelongLib

          According to military historian John Keegan, military traffic accidents are commonplace, in part the result of young men being in charge of powerful vehicles. He claims there were times in the Vietnam War when more Americans in Vietnam died from traffic accidents than combat.

  14. Left in Wisconsin

    Hey, remember when Biden was gonna be the second FDR? Good times.

    Spit my coffee up on this one. Quote of the Day. Congrats.

    1. Michael Ismoe

      OK. Would you buy Biden as the new Benjamin Harrison? He was the last guy to serve in-between non-consecutive presidential terms.

      1. John

        Harrison the younger was the only person to serve between non-consecutive presidential terms and it should remain so.

  15. griffen

    Magnet fishing becomes hobby with a social media channel devoted to young German teens sharing their technique and resulting haul of…worthless junk you can’t even trade as scrap….it mentions the practice is banned in North Carolina but I could not determine why that is so.

    Here I thought that streaming anything, or near anything I guess, from your chosen service was the pandemic craze. I guess that tiger king phase lasted more than 15 minutes.

    1. NotThePilot

      I’ve never done the magnet fishing in water, but I once ordered one of those magnets to help clean out ye olde trashe in a wilder section of some family land.

      They’re pretty insane, the sort of thing you can have a lot of fun with until you crush an appendage. So I get the appeal. I think the one I had was relatively low-powered, and it would still take my full body weight (on dry land) or prying to get off a flat surface.

      I’d definitely recommend one if you find yourself dealing with a lot of heavy objects or metal scrap. Just be safe; it also helps a lot if you keep it in a padded, non-ferrous container until it’s business time.

  16. saywhat?

    57.1% of the US is fully vaccinated (CDC data. Mediocre by world standards, … Lambert

    This pdf may give you severe pause wrt using “mediocre” in that context: Covid-19 The Sparticus Letter

    Btw, this is, by far, the most comprehensive discussion of Covid and the vaccines I’ve ever read – imo at least on par with GM’s comments, which I always read with interest.

    1. The Rev Kev

      If people in the US stop getting boosters, then you might see that 57.1% start to go backwards.

  17. flora

    Glad Apple is returning to its roots of listening to what users need and expect.

    HP tried creating a new standard for centronic connections for printer parallel interfaces several years ago. That did not go well. Glad Apple is finally realizing they can’t force users to a new standard when legacy and relatively new user hardware is already purchased and in use.

    1. Hepativore

      Tell that to Microsoft with its rollout of Windows 11. It looks to be basically Windows 10 with even more malware/bloatware from Microsoft yet fewer features and user freedom as well as huge restrictions on what hardware it can be used with. The latter seems to be some sort of planned obsolescence strategy. Microsoft says that they will support Windows 10 until 2024, but I would not be surprised if they forcibly “upgrade” people’s computers without their consent like they did with Windows 10 which then bricks people’s older computers because of the strict new hardware requirements.

      I wish antitrust regulations were still enforced, because Microsoft has been a defacto monopoly for decades because of the massive barriers to entry for any PC OS to challenge its dominance in the marketshare in any significant fashion.

      1. flora

        Many MS disaffected are moving to Linux. After all, the virtual programs like VM Virtual Box let people run MS programs on Linux with no almost no loss in performance.

        Shorter: the personal computer world isn’t what it was 30 years ago, back when personal computers were a new thing. There are multiple ways now to break the stovepipe model the bigs used for their business planning in the old days. Heck, even Windows is moving to Linux adjacent software compatibility. / ;)

        1. NotThePilot

          I’m definitely not the most ideological person about it, but this is exactly what gave me the final nudge to jump to Linux years ago. Vista was already clunky enough in ways, though it bothered me less than many apparently, except for that obnoxious access prompt.

          But when they said you’d have to pay to upgrade to 7 after just a few years, that was the moment: “Wrong, Bill Gates! I have options!” A couple little things didn’t work 100%, and the learning curve was noticeable for a few months.

          But once you get over that hump, and especially once you get comfortable with the shell a bit, it really opens up a lot of options. And that was going on a decade ago so while it’s still not as polished as the corporate OSes, it’s only become more accessible since then.

  18. Donald

    I am not a Biden fan, but unless people have an alternative workable strategy for passing the 3.5 trillion dollar version I don’t get the point of blaming him. So what is the plan he should be following? Because it seems to me that right now, mainstream liberals are correct in blaming the Republicans, Sinema, Manchin, and the press. What can you do with people who are openly corrupt like Sinema and Manchin? What would LBJ do in Biden’s shoes and would that work today?

    I am more than happy to blame Biden where he is clearly at fault. He has basically failed to reinstate the Iran nuclear deal. He continues to support the war in Yemen. He continues sanctioning Syria, Iran and other places, which hurts ordinary people. These are his decisions. And Blinken who he picked supported the war in Yemen back when it started.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Revoke Manchin’s corporate charters. Introduce his daughter to the DoJ. Executive orders against coal. OSHA inspections. He runs a coal mine. Go to West Virginia and thank Manchin for his support of the 4 trillion package and list what is in it. Let Manchin explain the cuts directly. Oh wow, the IRS has to audit vineyards. Oh no.

      LBJ would go through what he could do. People believed him. Biden let Sinema and Manchin pull stunts months ago, and now, they are doing what ever they want because they know Biden will sit there.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Spare me tradition. This is the big leagues. End the filibuster. Make Manchin vote against individual bills. Announce what he is denying West Virginia. Move military bases.

        1. Donald

          Thanks. That was clarifying. Ideas like that along with any others people might have are what we should be discussing. On foreign policy it is pretty straightforward— the critics say what we should be doing ( we should stop killing people). On this issue most of the time I just see vague angry statements from the far left and from others, including mainstream liberals, a lot of talk about how the Constitution hobbles us. Well, yes it does, but if we can’t pass a bill how does anyone think we are going to amend the Constitution?

      2. Dr. John Carpenter

        I still like Lambert’s suggestion that they make Manchin do the cutting himself.

        All your suggestions are excellent as well. There is plenty that Biden has well within his power to do that he is choosing not to do. And he’s been around far to long to be so naive about this. LBJ definitely wouldn’t have put up with this sh1t.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          To me, Manchin as crossed a line and now it’s time for holy hell fire. An example needs to be set. I’m not an eye for an eye guy. Manchin needs to understand that finishing his term without the spectre of financial calamity or prison is his goal which can only be achieved by being a toady backbencher.

          1. Dr. John Carpenter

            If we are to take all this at face value, I would agree. As far as I am concerned, to not do so only confirms what many of us are saying; that this is all kabuki and Manchin is just playing his part.

  19. Wukchumni

    Bonhomme Richard fire burned unabated for 2 hours, Navy finds, blaming top officers and crew

    The Navy’s investigator, Vice Adm. Scott Conn, pointed to 36 officials whose action — or inaction — contributed to the loss of the ship. Their cases will be reviewed by the Pacific Fleet admiral for further discipline, said Adm. William Lescher, the vice chief of naval operations, during a conference call with reporters Wednesday.


  20. John Beech

    Went by the hydraulic hose shop Friday. Oldest son working the counter and I said, “Bobby in back?”, as I prepared to go through to say hello (been since before the pandemic since I last saw him in person – they came and collected a fork lift for repair and dropped it back off without my presence because covid19.

    So Robby responds, ‘Dad died on the 4th (about two weeks ago). Got the ‘rona and after 9 days at home went to the hospital. Fought it good for six weeks.’ Continued with, ‘Kyle’s in back with Larry.’ (elder brother and lathe operator who’s been with Bobby more than 20 years).

    Could have knocked me over with a feather, but also not horribly surprised. Central FL business owner, predictable politics. Good guy. He’ll be missed. Two of Lynn’s 1st cousins have passed of it. Donna in August a year ago and Cathy in March. Alone and intubated is an ugly way to go. Y’all be careful.

    1. Lunker Walleye

      Husband has been in Central California for a week where there’s a high level of virus. He’s vaccinated but i ask him to get tested when he came home. He spent night in hotel and went for testing this a.m. Still no results. Went to a friend’s vacant apt. tonight. Feeling guilty.

      1. ambrit

        You are just being safe. The “precautionary principle” that you are honouring here used to be a basic aspect of medical practice.
        If he has been in California, then a course of “brain bleach” might also be in order.

  21. Objective Ace

    Per the Netflix controversy.. what exactly is the controversy? “They [Trans activists] said the walkout began as a proposal for a day when trans and nonbinary employees would take paid time off as a result of the exhaustion incurred from the Chappelle news cycle.”

    Sounds like their issue is with the media, not Netflix. I’m thoroughly confused why they are seemingly fighting with their employer. Maybe they have a good reason?.. if so they need to work on their public relations

      1. Objective Ace

        If thats the case the Trans/nonbinary activists would seem to be trying to have their cake and eat it too. They dont want to actually come out and say/demand someone else recant a scientifically correct statement while at the same time pressuring others to forsake science.

        I imagine this is likely to backfire eventually even if they get some short-term wins like Netflix removing Chappelle. Good for Chappele for sticking his neck out. I thought his special was really moving and he obviously cares for LGQBT individuals and has no ill will

        1. JBird4049

          There plenty of non-Western societies that have multiple social genders. Gender is a cultural creation. I do not know of any society anywhere at anytime that recognized more than two biological sexes.

          Just what are people trying to do here? If they are advocating more than two genders, fine. Just state what you think they should be. We can look at other societies for examples and have a discussion on the issue. Shouting people down with the righteous rage of a hundred suns is so unproductive

          1. ambrit

            Unproductive perhaps, but also politically useful. This could be an example of someone trying to exploit the “squeaky wheel” phenomenon.

        2. CanCyn

          OA – you posted as I was still writing – totally agree, Chapelle has no ill will. It makes me sad that Chapelle and so many other comedians have to explain their humour. This woke stuff so damned divisive. People like MLK and Malcom X saw the truth that banding together to fight inequality is truly the way to go.
          I wonder if Chapelle will really stick to his vow not to do any more LGBTQ jokes and where he will go next with his humour.

    1. CanCyn

      I have to guess that the LGBTQ Netflix employees have not actually seen Chapelle’s special. I have seen it. He is not transphobic, he is a comedian who makes fun of all kinds of people. If anyone should be offended by this particular special, it is Jewish people. Sigh. You may not like his humour, that’s fine, no one is forcing you to see him work. As he points out in the special, his comedy, at its heart, is about racism.
      Like many comedians, he is tired of the woke crowd and he claims that he will stop telling trans jokes. I believe that what he is really saying is that from the perspective of bigotry, black and trans people have more in common than many seem to think. He jokes about being jealous of gay people and how much more progress they’ve made than black people in their fight for equality and recognition. I may not have the line exactly right, but at one point he says, “In America, it is more acceptable to shoot and kill a black man than it is to hurt a gay man’s feelings”.

  22. sharron

    Hood County in Texas, right next to my county, was red on the Areas of Concern yesterday. Local hospital has zero ICU beds and 83% occupancy. The vaxx rate is very low with almost no public masking and a county government full of Promise Keepers. Hope it doesn’t impact my county too much. I am now having to go to a different HEB in another county for groceries.

  23. jr

    Am I correct in reading Matty Iggles advice as being Manchin can become a better Democrat by becoming a Republican?

  24. griffen

    Reading the article about WeWork, and the co-founder whom I suppose is not really disgraced after all. Mr Neumann caught a really sweet deal and can likely spend his remaining days becoming an angel investor. Maybe he’ll own a fleet of Tesla vehicles, and label each one with “GRFTNG”* as a personalized tag.

    I recall reading a few columns leading up to and after their hastily pulled IPO 2 years ago, and then it all just quickly crumbled. The lead venture fund that invested in WeWork, Softbank, quite possibly printed the worse quarterly return in their fund’s existence.

    *Grift is a very rationale means to describe how he continued to retain his wealth.

    1. NotThePilot

      I’m not sure what that fellow’s trying to get into. The sign at the very beginning has katakana (I think it says “Karl”) so it’s probably in Japan somewhere.

      I’m definitely a raccoon fan though, even if they dig at my potted plants sometimes.

  25. Brunches with Cats

    Superbly done, Mr. Conner (today’s plant). Not only is this project citizen science at its best, but it is a wonderful example of how initial failures in scientific research can lead to greater discovery and success. What you ended up with is a very sophisticated experiment, with results on a level with academic research. Plus, your report has got to be one of the most informative on the Internet for lay readers interested in purple milkweed.

    It was particularly gratifying to read that you contacted Prof. Broyles and that he was so helpful. He had to have been very pleased that someone was using his paper to propagate this disappearing milkweed species.

    Apologies for the late comment, was out all day from 1 p.m. on and am just now catching up. There’ much more I’d like to say, but it’ll have to wait. The only thing I’ll add for now is that the second pod could still be useful scattered to the four winds — just WAY far away from your plant biology lab. Yes, it likely will hybridize, but why is that bad? It’s a native plant, and as we now know, it hybridizes naturally, on its own.

  26. eg

    I can’t be the only one who sees Trump’s TRUTH and is immediately reminded of Pravda?

    (no Russia, Russia, Russia — just comical)

Comments are closed.