2:00PM Water Cooler 11/1/2021

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

I got wrapped around the axle today, and so there will be UPDATEs. –lambert UPDATE All done!

Bird Song of the Day

I’m really taken with the idea of a cuckoo in Homeric armor.

* * *


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:

Eesh. (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.)

58% of the US is fully vaccinated (CDC data. Mediocre by world standards, being just below Turkey, and just above Argentina in the Financial Times league tables as of this Monday). We are back to the stately 0.1% rise per day. I would bet that the stately rise = word of mouth from actual cases. However, as readers point out, every day those vaccinated become less protected, especially the earliest. So we are trying to outrun the virus…

Case count by United States regions:

I have drawn an anti-triumphalist black line showing today’s “Covid is on the retreat” peak (see NBC below) is higher than last August’s crisis peak, and equal to a smaller peak in May (that was followed by decline, and then by our second highest peak). Remember that this chart is a seven-day average, so changes in direction only show up when a train is really rolling. That said, I don’t think this is the surge some of us Bears have been waiting for (see the “tape watching” remarks below). It’s driven by cases widely distributed through inland California (see last Friday for maps). The local economy is heavily driven by outdoors-y tourism, but there are no major airports, so possibly cases are being spread by drivers. Beyond these speculations I cannot go.

* * *

“Why are Covid-19 cases dropping?” (video) [NBC]. From November 1, still germane. They’re not. Pay attention.

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). 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. Speculating freely: There is the possibility that acquired immunity is much, much greater than we have thought, although because this is America, our data is so bad we don’t know. 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:

Seems like a sine-wave pattern on the right. Why? And nothing like California yet.

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 25, 2021” (PDF), “Rapid Riser” counties:

Lots of red in Alabama.

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.)

The previous release:

Hospitalization (CDC Community Profile):

Finally some relief for the states of Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming, although I don’t understand why they they have the bad luck to be so stubbornly still red.

Death rate (Our World in Data):

Total: 766,312 763,784. Going down again, mercifully. 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). Still not updated ffs:

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. 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:

Look at Chile go! Also Portugal, which lifted restrictions about a month ago. 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

UPDATE It’s good America has two Presidents. While President Biden goes to Europe, President Manchin can handle domestic affairs:

And to think that all the leadership of the Party of Betrayal had to do was keep their word about how the Reconciliation bill was to be structured…

UPDATE “This week: Democrats prepare to try—again—on Biden’s economic package” [The Hill]. “House Democratic leadership initially hoped to be able to hold votes on both bills on Tuesday — the same day as the closely watched Virginia governor’s race — with the House Rules Committee expected to meet on Monday. ‘We’re going to pass those two bills you’ve been hearing about. We’re going to pass them. The vote’s been called for Tuesday. We’re gonna take this vote, and we’re going to pass them,’ House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) said at an event in Virginia over the weekend. But instead a House leadership aide said on Sunday that the plan had been delayed as Democrats continued to negotiate and draft the roughly $1.75 trillion social spending plan. Democrats say they are closing in on an agreement to include prescription drug negotiations in the final bill after it was left out of the framework, after a source told The Hill that an agreement reached between Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) and the White House didn’t yet have enough votes.” • So Pelosi’s aide undercut Clyburn, hilariously. “Pelosi initially indicated that she would bring the Senate bill to the floor on Thursday, but progressives warned that they wouldn’t support the bill without a commitment from Senate moderates on the details of the separate social spending legislation. ‘I think there has got to be a framework agreed upon in the Senate that all of us know is going to be implemented before the members of the House vote,’ Sanders told CNN.” • A framework sounds like bullet points to me, and I don’t like the Sanders is soft on this. Write the damn bill. These are legislators, after all. They’re supposed to know how to do that.

“Congress Decides to Learn Almost Nothing From the Pandemic” [Eric Levitz, New York Magazine]. “In September, the Biden White House unveiled a proposal for a ten-year, $65 billion investment in pandemic preparedness. And the administration asked Congress to include a $30 billion “downpayment” on that program as part of this year’s Build Back Better bill. As moderate Democrats demanded a massive reduction in that legislation’s top-line costs, the administration trimmed its request to $15 billion. In the version of Build Back Better unveiled Thursday, pandemic preparedness receives just $2.7 billion. And roughly half of that sum is dedicated to modernizing CDC laboratories, a vital endeavor, but not a core component of the administration’s preparedness agenda.” • As I’ve been saying, though not with the word of the day ☞ democidal elites are a parsimonious explanation. I hate to think that way, but there it is.

“Buttigieg twins dress as ‘twinfrastructure’ for Halloween” [The Hill]. • Good to see Buttigieg has time to be doing this in between his efforts to unf*ck the Port of Los Angeles and Long Beach. (It seems to me that the payback for stealing the Iowa Primary turned out to be rather pricey. Couldn’t we have made Buttigieg an Ambassador somewhere? Like Japan?)

UPDATE “COVID Gives Joe Biden A Permanent Excuse To Stay Hidden” [Michael Tracey]. “in 2020, public campaign rallies — once open to the general population as a matter of course — had been quasi-privatized on “safety” grounds. I reported on this at the time and few seemed to care, or otherwise stupidly misinterpreted the significance. Conservative commentators made the mistake of assuming that sparsely-attended Biden/Harris events were indicative of some concerted coverup to hide the fact that there was no enthusiasm for Biden and he could never win the election. But what they were really seeing was a deliberate privatization initiative — part of a political strategy that wasn’t so much a coverup, but an overt and unhidden example of how powerful factions were using COVID as a pretext to shrivel the public sphere and keep the undesirables away. While also conveniently insulating themselves from scrutiny and — gasp — perhaps even the occasional heckling. And so it has gone well into Biden’s first term, with a weird air of secrecy surrounding normal events of his that continue to follow this innovative quasi-privatized model. On October 25, Biden visited a New Jersey Transit maintenance facility in Kearny, NJ, which is about 10 minutes from where I live…. So I headed over to the maintenance facility, and the police officer guarding an entrance pretended not to know that the President of the United States was inside, telling me only that he heard ‘some dignitaries’ were on hand, and there was no chance in hell I was getting in. Attending a public event featuring the president (and governor) without submitting reams of paperwork ahead of time, and/or pulling some strings with your professional political network? Unfathomable…. A senior NJ Transit worker, who was absolutely adamant that he/she must not be identified because they could get in serious trouble for talking to the media, later told me that employees who ordinarily work in that maintenance facility were instructed by their higher-ups to stay home that day. No chance that they’d be allowed to attend this event, it was decreed, even though the event was taking place in their literal workplace — a public facility to boot. The justification? Who knows…. Watch the video of Biden at the NJ Transit event this week and it’s verging-on-creepy how few people are there in the room, other than the assembled “dignitaries” — members of Congress and municipal officials, plus a smattering of other Democratic Party hotshots with ‘insider’ access.” • So Tracey visited the facility. Material reality, what a concept.


Democrats en Deshabille

UPDATE “Florida Democrats anxious as DeSantis seems unbeatable” [Politico]. “A year before the Florida gubernatorial election, the Republican governor has nearly $60 million in the bank. The GOP is on the cusp of becoming the state’s majority party after erasing Democrats’ enormous voter registration advantage. The Democratic field is splintering and support for President Joe Biden has collapsed in the state. It’s a situation that has alarmed Democrats, who fear that Florida’s days as a battleground state are over and that national donors will write off their candidates.” • With a bench that includes players like Donna Shalala, I don’t see how this could have happened. I mean, she was was president of the Clinton Foundation from 2015 to 2017!

UPDATE “Illinois Dems carve up liberal giant-slayer’s district in new congressional map” [Politico]. “Illinois’ state legislature passed a new congressional map early Friday morning that likely secures Democrats’ control of 14 of the state’s 17 congressional districts — but it also condemned liberal freshman Rep. Marie Newman to an uncomfortable fate at the 11th hour. Newman, who rose to fame in 2020 after ousting a veteran conservative Democrat, Dan Lipinski, fell victim to last-minute changes by Springfield legislators plotting to both boost Democratic Rep. Sean Casten and create a new district where the Latino community could elect their candidate of choice. Now, Casten and Newman are set to clash in a primary next June.” • What liberal Democrats always do. Nevada, India Walton, Sanders… Learn nothing, forget nothing.

UPDATE “The Dems Must Define Themselves As A Party Fighting For Justice… Or Just A Lesser Evil Than Trump” [Down with Tyranny]. Well, let me know how that works out. Meanwhile: “Yesterday Blue Tent’s David Callahan wrote in his newsletter that “there’s been no sign of complacency among Democratic donors, including small donors. Quite the contrary. Beyond all the money flowing into the party committees, other evidence that donors remain on high alert has come recently from California, where Gov. Gavin Newsom raised more than $70 million to fight a recall effort, and from Virginia, where Terry McAuliffe has raised at least $45 million for his gubernatorial race. In both contests, Democrats have offered up a gusher of donations in the face of the possibility that a Trumpist candidate could win power in a key state.” • So the party’s doing fine. But it takes a lot of money to make people forget a howler like this: “I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach.” In fact, we have elected School Boards so we don’t have direct democracy write the curriculum, and we fund schools off the property tax, so income and influence over the curriculum correlate. Of course, for all sides, parents who are the right sort of person are the ones whose wishes should be controlling. So none of this is very edifying. But what a mess McAuliffe made for himself!

Republican Funhouse

“Why ‘Poopy Pants Biden’ Memes Trended After POTUS’ Meeting with Pope Francis” [News 18]. About page. Not as classy and subtle as “Let’s Go, Brandon!”, eh? I have to run this, in case it appears in comments. “The tweet that apparently set off the rumour mills spinning was by Amy Tarkanian, former Nevada Republican Party Chairwoman and wife of Republican Attorney Danny Tarkanian.” • So, a single-sourced story from a Republican operative ignites a memetic firestorm of Republican trolling (and all absolute bottom feeders, so far as I can tell). Well done, all. (I started noticing the word “poop” getting mainstreamed a couple of years ago, I think; it’s interesting because “poop” is so infantile (unlike “sh*t,” which could not appear in a headline). This is a zeitgeist thing, but I’m not sure why it’s happening. Do we suddenly need to talk about excrement more? If so, why?

UPDATE “The conservative effort to take over school boards reaches fever pitch in one Colorado district” [NBC News]. • Another way of seeing this is that conservatives are serious about their politics and liberals are not (and the left would be serious if they knew how). Why not — hear me out — go to the school boards and fight it out? Instead of signaling aghastitude?

Realignment and Legitimacy

“‘When do we get to use the guns?’ The life-or-death stakes of the Kyle Rittenhouse trial” [Will Bunch, Philadelphia Inquirer]. “This is a 55-gallon drum of highly flammable political rage — not something that you want to come anywhere near with a lighted match. Unfortunately, Monday marks the launch of a Wisconsin murder trial with the potential for exactly that. It’s not just that the hotly disputed case of Kyle Rittenhouse — the now 18-year-old Illinois teen who picked up an AR-15-style rifle to join vigilantes during the August 2020 unrest after a police shooting in Kenosha, Wisc., and then killed two people and wounded a third during a series of altercations — could lead to near-term unrest, although there is surely that potential…. The greater risk to the republic is that a successful self-defense argument from attorneys for Rittenhouse — already a cause célèbre for the Trumpian right, which raised the $2 million to release him on bail — will be interpreted by all of the worst people as a sign from the U.S. justice system that it’s not only OK but heroic for citizens to take up arms for their perceived — and in too many cases invented — grievances.”

“Covid’s campaign trail vanishing act” [Politico]. “While the pandemic is nowhere near over, Covid is fading as an issue that animates voters. It’s evident from recent polls in the off-year New Jersey and Virginia elections, where pre-pandemic concerns like taxes, the economy and schools now rank as the top voter priorities. Strategists of both parties are advising candidates to shift their focus ahead of the midterm elections in 2022. Already, political advertising related to the pandemic has fallen off sharply from earlier this year. ‘Everybody’s [who is anybody] just ready to move on,’ said Julie Roginsky, a former top adviser to Gov. Phil Murphy, the New Jersey Democrat who is favored to win reelection on Tuesday. ‘It’s been 18 months, and whether the science merits it or not, the public’s ready to move on. … They’ve reverted back to the issues they’ve always cared about, which had been put on pause for the past 18 months.’ The demise of the Covid-centric campaign is, in part, a natural reaction to improving conditions surrounding the pandemic, with deaths declining, schools and businesses reopening and vaccines available in abundance. But the political fallout may be severe, especially for Democrats who ran hard on the pandemic in 2020, capitalizing on public sentiment that largely favored their party’s management of the crisis. As interest in Covid fades, Democrats may lose one of their most compelling campaign planks a little more than a year before a critical midterm election in which the party is already facing headwinds.” • “Compelling campaign plank”? Really?

Stats Watch

Manufacturing: “United States Manufacturing PMI” [Trading Economics]. “The IHS Markit US Manufacturing PMI was revised lower to 58.4 in October 2021, from a preliminary estimate of 59.2 and down from September’s 60.7. The latest reading pointed to a sharp improvement in the health of the US manufacturing sector, although the pace of expansion slowed to the weakest for ten months due to smallest increase in production levels since July 2020 amid capacity constraints including material shortages. In addition, new orders rose the least in 10 months, while vendor performance continued to deteriorate sharply due to transportation delays and strong demand for inputs. Backlogs of work and employment increased at solid rates.”

Manufacturing: “United States ISM Purchasing Managers Index (PMI)” [Trading Economics]. “The ISM Manufacturing PMI in the United States edged down to 60.8 in October 2021, from 61.1 in the previous month but slightly above market consensus of 60.5. Production rose at a slower pace and new order growth eased to a 16-month low, as the world’s largest economy continued to struggle with supply constraints and rising prices.”

Construction: “United States Construction Spending” [Trading Economics]. “Construction spending in the US decreased 0.5 percent from the previous month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of USD 1.574 trillion in September of 2021, after a revised 0.1 percent gain in August and against market expectations of a 0.4 percent increase.”

* * *

Shipping: “U.S. toymaker looks beyond port logjams to the risk of gluts” [Reuters]. “Along with the supply-chain headaches everyone is fighting – from clogged ports to empty store shelves – Ryan Gunnigle is focused on the potential for the opposite problem: gluts. ‘Customers are just flinging crazy orders right now, so it’s hard to determine the real level of demand,’ said the chief executive of Kids2, the Atlanta-based toy company best known as the maker of Baby Einstein and other baby-oriented brands. Business always surges around the holidays, but this year has been turned on its head by the pandemic.” • It’s not clear to me when the supply chain will get unf*cked. But I don’t think we need to be worrying about gluts any time soon. Now, if we don’t know what “the real level of demand” is, that might have interesting knock-on effects on policy.

Tech: Tyrell Corporation still needs to fix The Zuckberg™’s hairline. The join still looks bad:

This is, apparently, the best Metaverse Zuckerberg can deliver. It looks really stupid and bad to me. Or am I just being a Luddite old codger, and the bright young things of today will flock to this platform? Readers?

Labor Market: “Five Things You Need to Know to Start Your Day” [Joe Weisenthal, Bloomberg]. “In the meantime, this is a really striking chart. The yellow line is the Conference Board’s Labor Differential index, which basically measures how the public feels about the job market. The white line is a separate survey of how the the public feels about the economy overall. For over a decade the job market *was* the economy. The two lines moved in tandem more or less. What’s new is the pronounced gap. Perceptions of the job market are at their highest level since 2000. Meanwhile perceptions of the broader economy have turned sharply lower. This dynamic is reflected in numerous surveys. In political polling, Democrats are getting clobbered by Republicans in terms of handling the economy.” • Here’s the chart:

Weisenthal continues: “Obviously one possible explanation for the divergence is inflation (particularly food and gas) as well as the stress on the supply chain. Regardless of what it is though, we’re in a different phase. The public perception of the economy goes beyond the job market. That’s new.” • I would bet that yellow line is a proxy for supply chain issues, which we are experiencing (and framing) as “inflation” now (which feeds into an austerity-driven Congress and political class, hurrah) but which will become painful, scandalous, and insoluble when there’s a breakdown that will really tear a hole in a consumerist reality — insulin shortages, for example. 2010, here we come!

Mr. Market: “The ‘policy mistake’ mistake” [Financial Times]. “Far and away the most traded equity options are those based on the S&P 500 index and on the ETF based on that index. The nominal outstanding value of those options is currently over $7bn. There is almost twice as much outstanding volume of Tesla options than there are of Nasdaq index options, and more volume in Tesla than in the next three biggest individual names (Amazon, Apple and Facebook) combined. This strikes me as wild.”

* * *

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 77 Greed (previous close: 72 Greed) [CNN]. One week ago: 71 (Greed). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Nov 1 at 12:37pm. Now that poor people won’t get dental, Mr. Market is in his happy space.

Rapture Index: Closes down one on Anti-Christian. “Christians have had fewer attacks in recent days” [Rapture Ready]. Record High, October 10, 2016: 189. Current: 186 (Remember that bringing on the rapture is a good thing, so higher is better.)

The 420

“Valley Bank unveils payments app for cannabis businesses” [Banking Dive]. “Valley Bank’s new payment platform will provide a solution to an industrywide cash issue plaguing the cannabis-related businesses it serves by allowing their customers access to a mobile wallet payment system, the bank’s chief digital product officer, Stuart Cook, told Banking Dive at the Money20/20 conference Tuesday. The $41 billion-asset nationally chartered bank, which has branches across New Jersey, New York, Florida and Alabama, serves five of the top 10 multistate cannabis-related business operators, Cook said. The platform, called Valley Pay, is expected to launch with a pilot program in the coming months. The mobile app operates similar to a reloadable Starbucks wallet gift card, Cook said.”

Screening Room

“The day Alec Baldwin shot Halyna Hutchins and Joel Souza” [Los Angeles Times]. “A Los Angeles Times reconstruction of the events leading up to Hutchins’ death has uncovered new details about that Thursday, and the days leading up to the shooting in that wooden church about 13 miles south of Santa Fe. As has been previously reported by The Times, the inexperience of the armorer had raised concerns from the first day on set, as did conflicts between the production managers and the camera crew. A cascade of bad decisions appeared to create a set chaotic even by its low-budget status. A set in which, against all production regulations, live bullets were not only present but several had been loaded into a prop gun.” • Working conditions were bad, bad, bad. Accidents waiting to happen. And then there’s this, albeit single sourced.

Halloween Post Mortem

Japanese ghosts:

Our Famously Free Press

This tweet is still up, so I have to assume that the Times social media does not feel it needs to be corrected:

“Cancel culture: Why do people cancel news subscriptions? We asked, they answered.” [Nieman Lab]. “The No. 1 reason people say they cancel a subscription is money… Nearly a third of respondents — 31% — cited money as the primary reason they canceled a subscription. Some people canceled when promotional rates expired; others were irritated that subscriptions auto-renewed or that news organizations weren’t transparent about price. Respondents cited a lack of funds, often due to the Covid-19 pandemic and related income loss, as another reason for cancelling subscription. Some of those were folks who had multiple subscriptions and had to choose to cut back on one or more publications to help make ends meet. Others will seek promotional offers to the end.”

Zeitgeist Watch


Harvard Prof and CNN shill on the “Let’s Go, Brandon!” Southwest pilot:

Love me, love me, love me, I’m a liberal….

Black Injustice Tipping Point

Paul Robeson v. Leontyne Price:

You can bet a similar winnowing process is going on among the woke, though possibly not driven by the same, er, agents.

Class Warfare

“Why some retirees are delaying Social Security” [Becker’s Hospital Review]. “The number of Americans retiring has increased, with retirement up 5 percent among workers ages 65 to 69…. But the number of workers applying for Social Security benefits has declined significantly in the last year, falling by 5 percent compared to 2020, and marking the largest drop in two decades…. Experts suggest that some retirees can make ends meet in the short-term because of federal stimulus assistance and unemployment insurance payments…. The longer someone delays claiming Social Security benefits, the higher the monthly check will be when a claim is made. A worker earning $60,000 annually who decides to retire at 65 would see a monthly payment increase from $1,418 to $1,550 by delaying a claim for benefits for a year. By managing to get by in the short-term on federal assistance and insurance payments, workers can delay claiming Social Security, boosting future payments. This suggests a better than expected outcome for older Americans in the wake of the pandemic.”

“Advancing Health Equity: A Guide to Language, Narrative, and Concepts” (PDF) [American Medical Association]. A target-rich environment. I thought I’d look at the Glossary. First, Class:

Now Race:

The two definitions seem to have been written by different authors, and never reconciled stylistically or conceptually by the editors. That’s a bad sign. And the glossary entry for Race isn’t really a definition, but a sloppy and discursive essay — including quotes and footnotes, yet! — including a grab bag of concepts. Meanwhile, the entry for Class Conflict includes the concept of capital, but the entry for Class does not. This is farcically bad, which no doubt ensures rave reactions from Successor Ideologues (snappier term needed). After all, from false premises one can prove anything, so the sloppiness is in fact useful.

News of the Wired

“The Men Of The Manosphere Who Want To Be Ghosts” [Mel Magazine]. “Somewhere along the way, the men of the manosphere decided ghosting should be a lifestyle. For them, living the ‘Ghostly Life’ is about cutting oneself off from all connection and communication — not only in relationships, but with society. According to Jessica Aiston, who studies male supremacy and the manosphere with Lancaster University’s MANTRaP research project, ‘going ghost’ is one of the multiple levels within the manosphere. ‘Men may start by avoiding all serious and long-term relationships with women, then avoiding short-term or casual relationships,’ Aiston tells me. ‘Eventually, they ‘go ghost’ and limit interactions or even withdraw from society altogether.’ The manosphere is made up of an array of ideologies based in male supremacism, and includes incels, adherents to the red-pill ideology and Men Going Their Own Way (or MGTOW), who desire to separate themselves from what they believe is a feminist-dominated society.” • I’m not sure how serious this all is in terms of numbers. The Korean analogue is apparently quite serious.

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About Lambert Strether

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


  1. Questa Nota

    Venn Diagram needed for ghosts, college-shunners, job market dropouts and other disappeared young XY.

    Is it still okay to call them that? Asking for a friend.

    1. Lee

      Tangentially related: heroic as opposed to toxic masculinity. TMZ

      I watched the discussion described in the brief article. Caitlin Flanagan was good against mealy mouthed Chris Coons.

      1. CitizenSissy

        Are you referring to their appearance on Bill Maher? He shut down her argument by defining heroism as a character aspiration rather than a gender cudgel.

    2. Hepativore

      Part of the problem is the tendency for various sources to lump them all in to one group as there is a lot of confusion, plus many of them do not agree each other. For instance, the MRAs, and MGTOW types hate traditional conservatives or “tradcons” as they call them, yet many people think they are one and the same.

      1. PKMKII

        It also doesn’t help that some of them will have the same fundamental worldview but come to different conclusions out of them. The incels and the pick-up artists both have the same underlying view of how inter-gender relationships work, the difference being the former think they are doomed by those workings to be single forever while the latter think they can manipulate the procedures of personal interactions to game their way into getting laid.

    3. ambrit

      Uh, am I alone in thinking that the University ‘project’ acronym, MANTRaP is more than a little suggestive?

  2. Glossolalia

    This is, apparently, the best Metaverse Zuckerberg can deliver. It looks really stupid and bad to me. Or am I just being a Luddite old codger, and the bright young things of today will flock to this platform? Readers?

    This was my thought. I’m not *that* old but I felt like everything about this has been seen and done before. After close to two years of “virtual” everything is anyone really looking for new ways to get together virtually?

    1. IM Doc

      I have had an Oculus headset on two times in my life for less than 30 minutes – both times I have had severe unrelenting nausea for hours. As in laying on the couch with a pillow over my head.

      I have also had some interesting patient encounters with young men who are interested in having anti-nausea pills so they can take them before they put the Oculus on and start gaming. Apparently, although I cannot confirm, it is common knowledge that a few puffs of THC take care of this problem if you do it right before starting your session.

      I do not think they quite have this technology down yet. It is hard to get consumers to bite when a good chunk of them are going to be throwing up their guts for hours after using your product.

      1. MK

        I have a second generation Oculus and an issue I run into is the lack of sensory input for what is around you. You can use it sitting down, but when you try using it more naturally standing up – watch out. Make sure there is nothing around you to crash into or fall onto.

    2. jr

      It’s all so tiresome, only kids could see promise in that because that’s all they have known for their entire, impoverished lives. Those illusions don’t sustain a person, there is no “there” there. Soon, Meta will just be another Zoom meeting you have to attend. I wonder if they have a setting to make your avatar look interested while you pick your nose or go Toobin in real life.

    3. nick

      As far as gaming: Beat Saber is a great game that all of us, across generations, in my household enjoy. But even if it’s well worth the cost of the game itself I don’t think it justifies the purchase of the platform (ours was a gift). And beyond beat saber the drop off is pretty steep. There are some nice, quiet puzzle games but the more frenetic offerings have left us variably dizzy, nervous, or surrounded by the shards of a broken lamp.

    4. urblintz

      here’s a take from the big bad world of crypto: https://www.coindesk.com/tech/2021/10/29/facebook-steals-another-crypto-idea-for-its-nonsensical-rebrand/

      It also doesn’t make sense because the price of hardware like a VR headset isn’t actually the limiting factor in adoption Zuck would like you to think it is. In technology, there’s this thing called an “adoption curve” where early tech enthusiasts spend a lot of money on weird things, then more people buy them as they get cheaper. The first part of that adoption curve still hasn’t really happened for VR, even during a pandemic when everyone was trapped at home. Making the headsets cheaper can’t solve for this clear lack of interest among the very hyper-engaged audience that’s not supposed to care about price.

      The metaverse Facebook is building, in short, is a digital version of hell. Hard to think of a more appropriate Charon to take us there than Mark Zuckerberg, who has already unleashed so many demons on the waking world.

    5. booze

      I use one just about daily. It’s a remarkable piece of technology.

      And I hate facebook as much as anyone. I don’t think this vision of the metaverse or whatever will come to be. But Google Street View in VR (via the Wander app) still amazes me, and I’ve had a Quest for 2 years. (I have a standing monthly “date” with an old friend in another state, where we both get on and travel someplace together. We’ve “walked” through Petra, gone down the Grand Canyon in a raft, tooled along the fjords in Norway, all while both on our couches). There’s a painting app we use at work every week. Games that are just plain worlds away from gaming on a TV. And fitness apps that are enough to get my HR up and distract me from the fact that I’m exercising.

      I’m not some shill. I’m an old guy who’s been gaming all my life. I’ve purchased and given away a bunch of these things because I find them so amazing.

      The nausea issue is real; but if you steer clear of “smooth locomotion” it goes a long way to keeping it at bay. Also people just get used to it over time (VR; not the nausea, they call it “getting your VR legs”. Still some games that will turn my stomach a bit; mostly flying).

      Certainly not for everyone; and I don’t see super wide scale adoption taking place. But if my 80-something year old mother can do it, and be amazed, so can most.

    6. Soredemos

      It has all been done before. It was called Second Life, and it was terrible the first time around.

      Also the CGI used in that Metaverse ad was terrible.

  3. Carolinian

    Re Baldwin–here’s a post from the other day on Pat Lang site that identifies the gun and includes a youtube of someone firing it. Unless modified it’s a type of gun where you have to cock it and then pull the trigger. My understanding of “cold gun” means no ammunition at all but perhaps that is incorrect since the AD admits seeing bullets in it.


    1. marku52

      Yup. Known as a single action revolver. Typical “Wild Wild West” gun of yore. That was common up until maybe the turn of the 20th century, when semiautomatics and double action revolvers came into being.

      A single action revolver has to have the hammer thumbed back (cocked before firing). With a double action, pulling the trigger can cock the hammer. Or you can thumb the hammer back for a lighter trigger pull. Hence, double action.

      1. Carolinian

        Fans of old Westerns are familiar with characters fanning the hammer for rapid fire.

        Since it was a rehearsal then the gun shouldn’t have been loaded with ammunition of any type and Baldwin’s “what just happened?” indicates he wasn’t expecting it to be. Clearly the “armourer” and assistant director are in big trouble and Baldwin as producer in civil suit trouble at the least.

        1. The Rev Kev

          Finding live rounds on site does lend credence to those stories of people borrowing those prop guns to fire them off for fun after work. And I agree with your take. That it is the armourer and that assistant director that will wear prime responsibility for this shooting.

          1. clarky90

            How could Alec have ever suspected, that there was real amunition on the set of the film, that he was producing and acting in. Live ammo in real guns is such a subtle, ephemeral…..will-o’-the-wisp phenomina.

            Alec’s wife, Hilaria, is deeply concerned that Alec may develope PTSD because of the unwarrented, relentless attention focused on this, really, run of the mill, movie accident.

            Please everybody, respect Alec’s privacy during these horrible attacks on his serenity and sense of self-worth!


        2. Darthbobber

          So the person in charge of the props was derelict. But under no circumstances would I take somebody else’s word that a gun I was about to handle was unloaded or contained blanks. I was taught that that’s my responsibility every time I handle a firearm. That means every time.

          Of course, as an antigun guy, Baldwin presumably never got basic firearm training, nor saw any reason to do so just because his job sometimes involved pointing real guns at people. Got gofers for that.

          1. John

            Am I being extreme to suggest that if you are going to be simulating live fire on a movie set, it would be a good idea to require those handling the weapons to have basic firearms training with emphasis on safety. I was taught that it was loaded until I checked myself that it was not.

            1. The Rev Kev

              I believe that on professional sets that this happens but ‘Rust’ was a low-budget film and too many safety corners were being cut. So here is an example on successful training from the 1987 film ‘Aliens’ where Ripley prepares for battle. From her performance, you would never know that Sigourney Weaver was heavily anti-guns back then so I would put this down to her being trained-

              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WIPBEIa_dX8 (2:30 mins)

          2. Betty

            I know it’s weird, but I grew up in the 1940s and 50s in a home where my dad kept a pistol in the basement (don’t ask, I don’t know). We were punished even for pointing a finger at someone or something, it was not allowed.

  4. IM Doc

    With regard to the hairline on Zuckerberg –

    I have internalized some comments I have heard in the past that he is going for the Augustus Caesar look. His hair does indeed resemble all the extant statuary I have ever seen of Augustus.
    Maybe Augustus is his hero? Or maybe Zuckerberg is trying to tell us something.

    Of note also are all the stories and comments (maybe from this site – I cannot remember) I read the past week out of Israel laughing out loud at the choice of the new Facebook name Meta. It apparently means “death” in Hebrew. You would think a company the size of Facebook would not make that kind of mistake with a language like that. It makes one wonder if instead it was done on purpose.

    Maybe he is trying to telegraph us all something with that word choice as well.

    1. Lee

      Not to mention, the brand name is already taken.

      META® delivers previously unachievable performance, across a range of applications, by inventing, designing, developing, and manufacturing sustainable, highly functional materials.”

      1. Alex Morfesis

        There can literally be dozens of registered trademarks with the same name but different categories…

    2. clarky90

      Re; USA “insulin shortages…..” referenced two days ago by IM Doc

      The documentary movie directed by Sergiy Bukovsky – The Life (“Живі”). English Subtitles


      Director: Sergiy Bukovsky

      Debuted on November 21st, 2008 in Kyiv’s “Budynok Kino”.

      Silver Apricot on Yerevan International Film Festival
      Grand Prix Geneva-2009 on International Forum MEDIAS in Geneva
      Special Jury Prize on International Art House Movie Festival in Batumi, Georgia

      “They were children when their parents lost everything. It was taken.
      Villagers, who lived and worked on the most productive soil in the World, were starved to a slow and painful death. The ones who managed to live, were put into slavery. Survivors tell their stories; about their parents living for “A better future” (Build Back Better?), about confiscation, about starvation, about how they managed to survive……..

      The situation in USSR was also worsened by the government’s policy against any national identity movements across the country, but particularly in Ukraine……

      Many world leaders were ignorant to the situation, even though the truth was well documented.

      This doco integrates survivors’ stories, with Gareth Jones’ (“Mr Jones”, Netflix) diary entries; written during his visit to Ukraine in March, 1933.

    3. hunkerdown

      It’s all a big trick to prevent us from “going meta” in discussions without paying his due.

  5. TimH

    “live bullets were not only present”

    This is kinda like misuse of the apostrophe to me… the bullet is the part that fires out of the barrel. The cartridge is the container for the propellant and holds the bullet.

    There can be a live cartridge (meaning primer and propellant present), but not a live bullet (unless we mean a new species). And a live cartridge can be a blank (wad but no bullet).

    1. JBird4049

      True, and if one was going write a book or do a presentation, it would be wrong, but for the average reader, saying live bullets is a quick way to distinguish between prop bullets for show, blank cartridges for effect, and a real, fully functional, live combination of cartridge with bullet whose function is to destroy. The writer was trying to be informative first, and probably not letting strict accuracy get in the way of that.

  6. Zephyrum

    My liberal friends are celebrating reports of 50% higher occurrence of COVID deaths in “red” counties vs. “blue”, which they attribute to a reduced vaccination rate. This has been a theme since the pandemic began, though social distancing was the reason before vaccines were available. However there are also reports that the death rate is more than 100% higher for annual incomes below $75K, which I would think is much more common in “red” counties. So I wonder if the higher COVID death rates are actually due (at least in part) to income disparity?

    1. saywhat?

      reports of 50% higher occurrence of COVID deaths

      Since dead is dead, deaths from all causes is more informative and includes deaths from the current vaccines without them necessarily being so attributed.

    2. Hepativore

      I see you have been to Balloon Juice. Everybody there is cheering that COVID is wiping out “Trump-supporters” who are apparently getting what they deserve in their eyes for not voting for Hillary in 2016.

      1. Lee

        So too at Daily Kos, with his nibs, Markos Moulitsas leading the charge of the schadenfreudenistas. He is a truly despicable fellow.

        1. Hepativore

          Yes, and Balloon Juice Thought Leader, Annie Laurie is quite the rabid Clintonite and she whips up her fellow Hillary cultists into a frenzy at the slightest disagreement in the Balloon Juice commentariat.

          1. Riverboat Grambler

            Balloon Juice is the worst. Last time I read a post there was an anti-M4A screed that seemed more concerned about what would happen to all the nice people who work for insurance companies than anything else. They can learn to code or perhaps commit ritual suicide for all I care.

        2. Nikkikat

          Argh! Had not thought of the desperate creature Marcos M. In a while. Thought he had slipped off the radar. I remember him filling Nancy Pelosi’s office with hundreds of roses after she was reinstalled in the Speakers office. What a creep!

    3. Dan

      More like cigarette and obese sugar slobs destroying their bodies and priming them for Covid.

      You will find a strong correlation between bodily self abuse and Covid, look at southern states, for example.

      1. outside observer

        I suspect we can lump several of the high risk conditions into one: poverty is a huge comorbidity. But we largely see it parsed out into obese, black, hispanic. It’s very difficult to take good care of your body when living in poverty.

      2. PHLDenizen

        “Bodily self abuse” inclusive of:

        – Injuries accumulated while working in Amazon warehouses to ensure you get next day delivery of that copy of The Notebook you swear you need in 24 hours or your life will be ruined.

        – Shoulder-to-shoulder inside the abattoirs that keep your belly full of beef, chicken, pork while you take a leisurely stroll around the market, liking tweets whose sentiment is “Let’s dance a jig because all those Trumpers are dead!” Sharp knives, repetitive motion, sadistically paced lines. Then there’s the scalding hot water and disinfectants used to decontaminate them. Nothing like inhaling aerosolized bleach to keep your lungs nice and healthy.

        – Catastrophic and frequent injuries in logging and commercial fishing operations to ensure you have sticks to build your deck and king crab on your plate. I’ve seen what a tree that falls the wrong way can do to a man. Chainsaws, too. You?

        I could keep going, but keep in mind that all of these, like the things you put in your body, are all choices and all of them are self-abuse. That is, free markets kettling disproportionately vulnerable people like poor democrats and illegal immigrants into jobs where “self-abuse” is a prerequisite to not being homeless. And to live with injury because healthcare isn’t remotely affordable to them.

        So much for democrats taking care of their “base”. And these are all necessary to keep liberals comfortable in their aspirations to ape the wealthy. But it’s not politically virtuous enough to make mention of. Why confront class erasure when you can simply wish genocide on them?

        Maybe you can hand out laptops, pamphlets on “My Pronouns and You”, and a bushel of apples to help these people a) learn to code, b) appease your identitarianism, and c) disabuse “those people” of their “self-abuse”.

        And, having done your civic duty, you can scoot off in your BMW and jockey for a great spot at Whole Foods while calling Jayapal a terrorist who’s secretly a Trump agent.

    4. Carolinian

      Some friends.

      Psaki just got it despite beng vaxxed. And quite a few vaxxed are dying of it in England, Israel. The CDC says infected vaxxed are just as potentially transmissable. Which might not matter to your friends except they are transmitting to the vaxxed as well and possibly even more so since the vaxxed assume they can’t and aren’t distancing, wearing masks.

      Wheras the unvaxxed that are still observing last year’s precautions may ironically be less infectious.

  7. ambrit

    I had to laugh at the “Becker’s Hospital Review” article on delaying Social Security sign up. I am strictly lower-middle to working class. I never came anywhere close to making $60,000 a year. I know almost no-one who managed that. Indeed, such a salary range would have classed one as Management level by itself.
    This strikes me as an example of the “bubble thinking” our PMCs are engaging in. How can the issues plaguing the working classes be addressed when those tasked with so addressing such have absolutely no idea what those problems are? This is top down management. We need bottom up guidance to deal properly with such issues. Unless, of course, (my cynical sub-personality whispers in my sinister ear,) not understanding and thus failing to solve such issues is part of the design.

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      It is. It is part of the design. On purpose.

      A strictly lower-class Party might be able to run candidates based on attacking that. I wonder if such a Party would need to demand proof of lowness-of-income as a condition for permission to join, as a way of slowing the rate of infiltration by Clintonites and DLC agents.

    2. Martin Oline

      My older brother has delayed applying for SS to maximize his benefits while my twin brother urged me to sign up at 62, saying “it’s free money, man!” He didn’t make much over his life (self-employed) and his benefits were quite low, about $400 a month. They told him he could still work and make up to $15,000 a year without affecting his benefits. When he told his wife she said, “Gee honey, that’s great. You won’t have to work any harder than you’ve ever worked.”
      Doing my own calculations, I found I had to live to age 68 before I made a dime more in total payout by deferring. My own expectations aren’t that great. My twin died at 70 and as far as I know my older brother is still dreaming of future riches.

      1. Martin Oline

        Sorry, I messed up editing this before the bell, but my brother lived to 68 and I have to live to 72 to make more $$$.

    3. Wukchumni

      I’m about 777 (a sure Jackpot sign if there ever was one) days away from having them show me the money, that is if 65 isn’t the new 62 by then, hopefully not pushed to 69 by the time i’m almost 65, still waiting for that first installment on the entitlement which I contributed $XXX,XXX.xx into over the course of my life. At that point I acquiesce and agree to 1/14th of a Bitcoin and a pied-à-terre in Port-au-Prince as a lump sum .

  8. CanCyn

    “This is, apparently, the best Metaverse Zuckerberg can deliver. It looks really stupid and bad to me.“
    Reminds me of a slightly better looking Second Life – which I saw no point in. I may be old and curmudgeonly too but I don’t understand why I need to build an avatar and learn how to control it in order to meet with others online. I suppose it makes sense for game playing but just to have a meeting or chat with far away friends or relatives? Why? I’d much rather see their real selves than their avatars.
    While I am no more interested in Metaverse than I am FB, I will say that to be fair, the experience would no doubt be better using the virtual immersion equipment. I don’t think that watching that teaser really provides a good ‘taste’ of what it is like.
    I have some young nieces and nephews who already don’t use FB (snap chat, what’s app, tiktok and Instagram are their platforms of choice) so I will be watching to see if they engage with Metaverse.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Facebook is just simply a branded version of the electronic bulletin board. So I think this is potentially the brand death cycle combined with Zuck not giving up on his dreams of being Octavian 2.

      1. Rodeo Clownfish

        Since he won’t achieve personal imperial dominion over his known world, the way Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus did, perhaps the new fake universe is one that Zuckerberg can conquer and rule.

        1. jr

          That’s a really interesting point. When I played EVE, I knew people who put more stock in owning a virtual space station than anything in their real lives. I could easily see that psychopath reveling in a virtual empire.


    2. drumlin woodchuckles

      I forget which of those other things ( snap chat etc.) are owned by Facebook, but I know that some of them are. So any data gathered by using them goes straight to the Mother Hive with Old Mother Zucker in charge of it all. How do your nieces and nephews feel about that?

      1. CanCyn

        Oh they don’t avoid FB on any kind of principal, they just go where their friends are. I think they see FB as something for older folks.

    3. Dan

      So if people can choose an identity, like the robot that talks and follows their movements, and create any environment, could one for example, become Heinrich Himmler and march the Sacklers, Epstein and other malfactors into the a metaverse gas chamber to the cheer of hundreds?

      1. Return of the Bride of Joe Biden

        When I briefly played Second Life when it came out, I would create the most hideous, misshapen, mutant, “For the love of God; look away!” characters that I could manage, and then wander around the environment asking other people if I could borrow bus money to get home.

        I think that’s called “griefing,” now-a-days, but I don’t really know.

        At the time, my kids thought it was funny.

        1. Amfortas the hippie

          i have rarely played video games in my time…and my video gaming experience is almost totally limited to arcades…like at Mr Gatti’s…where my boys, when they were smaller, would whine and coerce me into giving them $5 in quarters each to “win” some crap prizes.
          I’d bide my time in the driving game…racecars, etc…where you sit there with a steering wheel and a gas pedal.
          invariably, i’d turn around and drive backwards on the track, avoiding the oncoming traffic.
          it amazed me that this was even possible…some programmer had anticipated this anti-social behaviour(i was likely already on a number of lists)
          boys were amazed that i would even think of this…and even more amazed that i took the game so unseriously…didn’t even try to “win”, etc.
          i reckoned(and reckon) that it was an important and subtle lesson to them.
          their sports viewing habits, today, indicate that it was perhaps too subtle.

          i admit that i did enjoy the couple of real, immersive flight simulator games i’ve happened across…the kind you hafta climb down into, and that shake when you bank yer plane…and shudder somewhat violently when you crash.

    4. Arizona Slim

      Hate to break the news to those young nieces and nephews, but I will: Instagram is owned by the Faceborg.

      1. Arizona Slim

        Oops. ‘Scuse me.

        (Cue up the referee’s whistle.)

        Double post penalty! Five yards and loss of down!

        When I first posted the above two comments, they vanished. I thought that the Post Eater had gotten them.

  9. fresno dan

    Our illustrius medical system #8
    So again the hospital calls me about Covid testing… and I have to explain that I tested positive at their lab (September 10), by their technicians, and it was reported to their doctors. (I was vaccinated and had no symptoms) I have been admited to that hospital twice in the last 4 months, and will be admitted again on Wednesday. No wonder the medical system costs so much – if you pay someone to ask the same question, to which you have the answer, over, and over, and over again and again, which is of no use what so ever, its a big waste of money.

    1. Lee

      I get the same thing whenever I see a new doctor at Stanford. I fill out the same lengthy questionnaire each time, using as my reference my medical records, generated by them, that they have filed and are available to them and me at their website. Then, prior to my appointment, I’m asked many of them again by a physicians’ assistant, and often then again by the doctor.

      1. flora

        It’s almost like the Dr. and PA know they have to double-check with you the electronic health record for it’s accuracy. Considering computer data entry snafus, database snafus, code snafus, double-checking the EHR data with you is probably a good idea, though annoying. imo.

        1. Lee

          Speaking of which, I recently had to fill out the same questionnaire three times because a website glitch disappeared my first two efforts.

      2. IM Doc

        Let me explain this phenomenon at least partially –

        This has all come from the advent of EMR and the documentation changes started about the same time as Obamacare.
        You may not be aware of it – but your physician has to write a document in your chart even for the simplest visit that is basically a 1040 form and 8-10 pages long.

        Yes, all of your data is already in their system. But it would require a human brain to go through all the previous notes and data arrays and pull it out and put it in the new note. It is so much easier for the patient to sit in the waiting room and do all that work for them. All of that data you are entering goes into the note from that day’s visit – and is critically important for the level of care and the reimbursement that your doctor’s non-profit corporation gets from that visit to fund the multimillion dollar salaries the MBA CEO on the golf course is getting.

        It is a completely malevolent process. I despise it in every way. I fought this shit for years – and got nowhere.. This is a huge reason why I now make my home in Green Acres far far away from any kind of “non-profit” corporation.

        I will repeat again – the EMR, evidence-based medicine, and corporate owned health care are the three things that have most destroyed my profession. All 3 are demons from hell. I would give anything to go back in time to when the nuns were running our hospitals. It was not perfect for sure – but at least patient care was a top priority.

        1. Lee

          I sometimes get the feeling that my healthcare providers are more interested in creating billable events than figuring out what’s wrong with me and properly addressing problem. I’m in the midst of one such situation at the moment. I won’t comment further at this time, as I may be wrong, and am for now giving them the benefit of the doubt.

          1. Betty

            I wonder if you can do a few printouts of your current record and then attach it to the various forms for the various providers during your visit?

            I also heard a horrible story from a friend who was in a critical state, and the front office
            (function) kept saying, looking at him collapsing, that he had something minor (can’t remember what diagnosis). It turned out that the mega well-respected hospital system (many offices and a few buildings scattered about the city) could NOT ACCESS RECORDS that were filled out across on another site!!!!

    2. Lee Bronock

      You take care of yourself and try and go ‘stressfree.’ I’ve had the procedure and I can testify to it’s seriousness. (Of course, you went a step above last year.)
      Concentrate on the people actually doing the work and forget the rest, no matter how much they importune you. They are only important in their own minds.
      Oh, and we’ll wait a few days for news from you. Rest and recover afterwards, first and foremost.

      1. fresno dan

        Lee Bronock
        November 1, 2021 at 3:15 pm
        Your exactly right – and thank you for the support. The only thing that annoys me (well, other than the whole thing) is that I’m digging a long trench in the front yard so that I can amend the soil – my soil holds no moisture what so ever, and in Fresno that is lethal to trying to grow anything well. So I will have to wait about 2 weeks to get back to any strennuous digging….
        So if I survive I hope to have a front yard full of CA golden poppies in the spring. And if I can find them, some Mexican bird of paradise.

        1. Wukchumni

          I feel for you and your assorted health travails in our 5th largest city in the state, and golden poppies are something to look forward to… may your front yard shimmer in them come the spring.

      1. ambrit

        Yes, the dreaded “three night rule.” I’m convinced that this provision was included in the Medicare rule book specifically to make money for the Medical Industrial Complex, with a side hustle by the Insurance Cabal.
        I don’t know how far off the procedure is, but have you looked into “banking” your own blood beforehand? This seriously lowers the rate charged for blood used in any procedure. (At least, it used to.)
        Oh, and you might want to consider waiting longer than two weeks after the procedure before you do anything strenuous with your legs. Remember where that incision is going to be.
        Seriously stay safe.
        And, at the risk of being censured by the admins, have you considered pre-dosing with “the drug that must not be named,” (starts with an ‘I’.) So far, I have read positive to neutral things about the prophylactic properties of that substance. If such would not interfere with your blood flow, it might be appropriate.
        I’ll shut up now.

  10. Lee

    Not to mention, the brand name is already taken.

    META® delivers previously unachievable performance, across a range of applications, by inventing, designing, developing, and manufacturing sustainable, highly functional materials.”

  11. drumlin woodchuckles

    If Buttigieg’s big failure on port functionality leads to Buttigieg being forever exiled from public and political life, then it is a good thing even though not equal in value to the counter-value of Buttigieg’s failure on port functionality.

    1. Wukchumni

      I prefer to think back of Pete as that fellow who lapsed into pidgin Norwegian when it suited him, even if the farmer in Minnesota whose heritage was Scandahoovian had no idea what he was saying, finally a polyglot politician in our midst. Imagine Pete riding his bike from Lomita to the Port of LA and sounding like C.W. McCall…

      What He Worry?

    2. Michael Ismoe

      Everyone mocks me but I think Biden will do more for the Democratic Party than any of his predecessors. So far he has destroyed the careers of Sanders, Klobuchar, Kamala Harris, Manchin, Sinema, AOC and now Pete Buttigieg. The amount of young blood that can fill the vacuum will be refreshing.

      Just like Trump’s presidency was a total disaster, the bright side is that it sidelined Hillary right out of the Oval Office.

      1. The Rev Kev

        You bring up an interesting point. Did he unintentionally destroy their careers? Or did put them in positions where they were revealed for who they were which destroyed their own careers? As an example, Buttigieg was being primed by the establishment for future greatness so they put him in a job where it was mostly safe for him – transport. But with the present supply chaos, Buttigieg has shown himself to be totally incompetent and this will be an albatross forever hung around his neck.

        1. Duke of Prunes

          I’m afraid you are much too of optimistic. Mayo Pete might have to keep a low profile for a few years, but he’ll be back. Look at all the “rehabilitated” family bloggers currently in positions of power. Has any government official ever suffered any negative consequences for poor job performance in the last 20 years? For example, Cuomo kills millions of old folks, but only got in trouble for “inappropriate touching”.

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            Cuomo held elected office. Where exactly is Pete going? He’s not HRC where her celebrity could win a state with a dozen or so realistic candidates existed and couldn’t compete with her celebrity.

            What Congress critter or State Senator in waiting is going to get out of the way for Ratboy? Pete is an afterthought at most. The only reason he is even out there is the rat tried “parental leave” as a cabinet secretary.

  12. hamstak

    Do we suddenly need to talk about excrement more?

    With crapification all around us, I am afraid so.

    1. rowlf

      To paraphrase Firesign Theater: Uh—why—why this is a bag of crap! – But it’s really great crap, Mrs. Presky.

      Which circles back to Hunter Thompson’s observation that the US is a nation of used car salesmen.

    2. chuck roast

      Which brings us to “The Manosphere”. Holy mackerel, I had no idea. This explains it all for me. I feel ever so much better with my personal space/relationships after this informative analysis. Here we have a woman who has invented a new male paradigm out of thin air. She apparently has repeated intercourse (ahem) with any number of male ghosts and has developed a “theory” to explain their antisocial/asocial (which is it?) behavior/lack of behavior. I’ll be thinking about this all day tomorrow while I read, listen to music, feed my cats and engage in the seemingly illicit activity of minding my own business. I walk by the police station every day. Tomorrow I’ll turn myself in.

      1. Helena

        Did she get a research grant based on this proposal I wonder? That is often how these things get crapped out. I think you are a wise person. You make minding your own business sound like a very rewarding pastime. Don’t confuse the police by turning yourself in. I will continue to enjoy minding my own business also,

        1. John

          Manosphere? as in mano a mano? Two guys fighting it out to reach the exit inside a transparent sphere which has a limited oxygen supply. As the winner twists the handle and escapes, and the scene is blacked out, we, the audience, do not know what happened to the other guy. Great game.

          Sort of like cage fighting. That kind of Manosphere?

  13. Mikel

    “Why are Covid-19 cases dropping?” (video) [NBC]. From November 1, still germane. They’re not. Pay attention.

    And how about things like this that prevent people from going to the hospital – where most of the stats that are quoted come from:


    “Fox 5 in Atlanta saw a copy of her past due notice for $688.35, as well as an email that she received from an Emory Healthcare patient financial services employee that read, “You get charged before you are seen. Not for being seen.”

    If they don’t go the hospital, cases can drop (wink, wink).

    1. JBird4049

      So, this is like pre-crime? Being pre-charged before being pre-(not)served?

      Refusing to give people any medical care, which is what a seven hour wait in an emergency room is, but charging them anyways must be mighty profitable.

      Amazing. Seems more like modern American best practices in business. And sounds like the American shipping industry. Nothing gets done, but somebody certainly gets paid for (not) doing that!

  14. hemeantwell

    Re the definitions of class and race, what stands out for me is how their definition of class can blur in with their definition of race in the sense that both emphasize the mutability of the construct. Divisions proliferate and there you are looking at Lukacs’ beef with Weber. However, if you go directly to their definition of class conflict suddenly the ownership of the means of production becomes definitive. It’s as though the idea that during an economic crisis the tendency for class conflict to become more salient is expressed over their course of their effort.

  15. Samuel Conner

    re: ‘Poopy Pants Biden’

    I think it could have been predicted that that odd 2020 live video of JB and something wet-noisy happening would come back to bite him in the … something.

  16. Pavel

    “Terry McAwful” as the Repubs are calling him doubled down on his education gaffe this weekend — apparently on Sunday’s “Meet The Press” he claimed he and his wife were proud to have brought up five kids in VA… only for critics to point out that he had sent four of them to private schools where tuition was as high as $45,000 per year.

    Not a good look. Predictit now has him losing after having a 10 point lead a few weeks back.

  17. Wukchumni

    It was a Monday in a room somewhere when Joe Friday from OCPD showed up in uniform requesting the youth leave so he could search for abnormal behavior, a teenage boy’s perfectly kept bedroom, how was that ever possible?

    That video was stasi-light …’go on with the plan, it’s easy to look for contraband!’

    1. The Rev Kev

      God, that was so ****** in the head that clip. That is like those parents that put secret cameras in their kids room to see what they are up to. A lot of kids will work out pretty quick what is happening and take evasive action. They will use self-deleting messages apps on their mobiles and other privacy apps. But as far as trust is concerned? Forget it. And you can tell that was a staged room. If it was real, you would not be able to see the carpet through all the dropped clothes.

  18. Baby Gerald

    Re: Do you know how to properly search your child’s room?

    Sgt. Gunsolley is late to the party. NYC’s mayoral candidate [and presumed victor] Eric Adams starred in his own version of a ‘case you kid’s bedroom’ how-to video ten years ago. The ratio on this tweet gives me hope for humanity, though.

    1. Helena

      They are both way late to that party. My Dad was always going through our stuff. He even made me a desk with a ‘secret compartment’ so he’d know where to look. LOL. Of course, all this was so he would not actually have to talk to us about anything, you know, like fellow human beings. I see a lot of young Dads playing with their kids at the playground on the Green these days, and they seem to be doing a wonderful job–enough with this ‘policing’ your children crap, it’s old world.

      1. Amfortas the hippie

        my mom spied on me relentlessly…and i learned stealth and obfuscation as a result…and haven’t trusted her since i was 13.

        i endeavored to do better…and told the boys from the jump that they could tell me absolutely anything…and ask me absolutely anything.
        they’re pretty secretive about girls…but with everything else, it’s open doors.
        of course, this is a very lightly populated place…where we know literally everybody(wife is related, in some way, to most of the 45% of the pop that’s hispanic)…so we often know of any shenanigans right quick, any way,lol…which is, i’m sure, quite frustrating for the boys.
        and if there’s a real problem, they come out with it.

        i’ll attest that my methods are far superior to my mom’s.
        if you have to spy on your kids, i reckon you’ve pretty much failed as a parent….because without trust and unconditional support, what is there?

        of course, i’m not a fool,lol…when eldest has buddies out for a campfire(and young women)…first under the Big Oak…now, at the Wilderness Bar….I’ll unobtrusively wander down the dirt road, to make sure the fire isn’t out of hand and whatnot…but even that unobtrusiveness is unnecessary, and none of them seem to mind if i come hang out by the fire for a bit….because of that trust thing.

    1. Daryl

      By the end of this all, it’ll be a bill to give someone a 20% bed bath and beyond coupon. Means tested of course.

      Time for the D party to end.

  19. dcblogger

    A Brutal List of Ingredients and Products Restaurants Can’t Find or Afford
    Chefs and restaurateurs are pleading for patience and flexibility as they square off against supply chain problems.

    this is Washington, DC, so this will affect the power structure. DC restaurants are often owned and operated by refugees from failed states, so they have the right skills for this situation.

  20. jr

    Breaking Points on “Let’s Go Brandon”:


    Apparently there are four rap versions at the top of iTunes. The $hit-libs are all aflutter. The best is NPR’s insight that the slogan actually isn’t about Brandon but rather it’s a “vulgar” swipe at Biden.

    Let’s Go Brandon!

    1. Late Introvert

      It has been hilarious from the start but now that the outrage is being ramped up by the brunch class it has schadenfruede now too. The clowns forget how they trashed not only Trump but HIS VOTERS TOO in the most “vulgar” ways. Payback is a b@stard and a b1tch.

  21. Felix_47

    Whoever………can we just get Assange out of prison? I thought Trump would do it since A delivered the election for him. Problem is Trump has no brain. All would have had to do is pardon Assange and he would have won the election.

  22. Jorge

    Now that the elite are being affected by lack of staff, shortages of luxuries and delays, it has become a “crisis.” Before it was just a marketing opportunity and rationale to loot the U.S. treasury and our children’s future.

    Making our lists of the local apparatchiks for the truly privileged. Don’t forget to wet the stone or oil it when finishing off the cutting edge.

  23. jr

    Some here have expressed concern for Buttigeek’s future with his current role, or lack thereof, as secretary of transportation not panning out. Well, according to Krystal Ball the donor class has big plans for him in ‘24, as Harris is proving to somehow be more problematic than he:


    1. John

      First, define more problematic. And is it not true, at minimum quite likely, that the donor class only has big plans for that which they own?

      1. jr

        I would define “more problematic” as Harris has done a scant handful of things and screwed them up big time while Buttigieg has done almost nothing and therefore has somewhat less egg on his face. Not my reasoning though, that’s their owners deep thinking.

        And yes, I agree that the donors only make plans for those they own, as you have crystallized out of this. Hard to imagine them caring about those they don’t, except maybe as targets.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          There was an article about Obama collecting former Clinton donors who switched because Hillary didn’t jump when they made phone calls. Obama had lunch with one donor! This is what they consider to be problematic. The donors in the article were the dumbest, most shallow people alive.

          Touching “glory” and winning ambassadorships is the game. I’m reminded of Ted Cruz’s sugar daddy who spent a fortune to get Cruz elected President as if that would ever happen.

    1. Helena

      My take: Private Equity and hedge funds suck for employees and the labor market.

      Only he calls it ‘common ownership’ so that confused me for a few moments.

  24. CitizenSissy

    Are you referring to their appearance on Bill Maher? He shut down her argument by defining heroism as a character aspiration rather than a gender cudgel.

  25. The Rev Kev

    ‘It’s good America has two Presidents. While President Biden goes to Europe, President Manchin can handle domestic affairs’

    Well that setup worked for Sparta. They had two Kings so that one could undertake missions abroad while the second ruled at home. If the first King got the chop, there was still continuity at home. So for example, when King Leonidas I of Sparta was killed at the Battle of Thermopylae the other king at home – King Leotychidas – continued to rule while a choice was made who was to be the replacement second King which turned out to be Pleistarchus, Leonidas I’s son.

    Made a comment a very long time ago suggesting that America elect two Presidents. One to be sent overseas to rule the far-flung American empire with its thousand bases on behalf of the establishment while the second President stayed home and looked after domestic rule. It could work as I don’t think most Americans care much about what happens overseas as there is more than enough to deal with at home. Of course if things get out of hand in the mainland, the second President could come home with his Legions, errrr, brigades to lend military support to put trouble makers down.

    1. jr

      Does Biden really count as a full president? Is he really running things? On all pistons? A commenter on Youtube pointed out recently that the only reason he compares himself to FDR is because that is the last president he remembers…

    2. Hepativore

      Actually, Biden is so ineffectual that we could save ourselves and White House staffers a lot of trouble if we just had a cardboard cutout of Biden or a makeshift figurine like Mr. Bill from Saturday Night Live sit in the Oval Office as a sort of symbolic presidential effigy.

      As things have largely continued with or without Biden and previous presidential administrations have been following the same neoliberal playbook since the 1980’s, we really do not need a president at all anymore as Washington bureaucratic inertia continues regardless of who sits in the Presidential chair. We could also play pre-recorded platitudes as soundbytes while showing random pictures of Americana and nostalgia on cable news.

      Why not just put an actual mindless automaton in the President’s chair to serve as the figurehead instead of a person who provides cover while he mindlessly protects the interests of the donor class like a robot?

  26. Carolinian

    Here’s an interesting Dune review although the offered judgment on the Villeneuve movie in particular is, quite rightly, a ‘jury’s still out.’

    It does say that three films are planned with the last based on a later Herbert book.

    1. Late Introvert

      I myself read way too many later Herbert books before I realized that was a mistake. It makes me reluctant to re-read Dune even though I loved it at the time (age 14).

  27. marym

    ” Write the damn bill. These are legislators, after all. They’re supposed to know how to have the lobbyists do that.”


  28. ambrit

    Something pertinent to the Banking Dive electronic payments stsyem for the cannabis trade.
    The Feds don’t care about State laws. they will get at that money any way they can. Civil asset seizure is a money making scam for the police, and what better source to ‘tap’ then the “legal” cannabis business.
    This is actually a step further up the food chain than might be apparent. The Feds are targeting legal businesses here, and literally stealing cash.
    Cannabis legalization must be nationwide, or it will be ‘victimized’ by malign actors at all levels.
    Read: https://apnews.com/article/business-health-colorado-marijuana-medical-marijuana-6d41f1053f142075b735464107e3b0d5

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