2:00PM Water Cooler 11/8/2021

This is Naked Capitalism fundraising week. 342 donors have already invested in our efforts to combat corruption and predatory conduct, particularly in the financial realm. Please join us and participate via our donation page, which shows how to give via check, credit card, debit card, or PayPal. Read about why we’re doing this fundraiser,, what we’ve accomplished in the last year,, and our current goal, supporting the commentariat.

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Patient readers, there will be no UPDATEs today. It is what it is. –lambert

Bird Song of the Day

Not exactly mellifluous!

* * *


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:

The numbers bounce back. (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.)

58.4% of the US is fully vaccinated (CDC data. Mediocre by world standards, being just below Estonia, and just above Turkey 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:

Fiddling and diddling (but not going down, and not going up, thanks to Bubba coming through). 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 the past rise 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.

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?

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 November 8, 2021” (PDF), “Rapid Riser” counties:

California recovering fast, as San Bernardino Country returns from Orange to Yellow, and Inyo goes green. Arizona not out of the woods. Alabama, lots of green. Maine, New Hampshire, Minnesota more red. Weird flare-ups, like flying coals in a forest fire. They land, catch, but — one hopes — sputter out.

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 an international 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: 775,218 772,421. A little blip up. 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):

My (incorrect) interpretation of a 0.0 – 0.0 excess death rate meant that the real numbers had not actually been calculated (CDC explains there are data lags). Hard to believe we have no excess deaths now, but very fortunate if so.

(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:

Chile slows down a bit. 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

Capitol Seizure

Biden Administration

“Infrastructure Bill Gives Biden Administration Greater Say Over Projects” [Wall Street Journal]. “Typically, transportation funds are allocated via a traditional formula to states based on their populations, gas-tax revenue and other factors. But pthe BIF] includes dozens of competitive grant programs—many of them new—in which the Transportation Department will pick recipients from applications by state and local governments. That means Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and other top officials will have a greater say in which projects get selected for funding than their predecessors…. All told, about $120 billion of the $550 billion in new spending in the legislation would come in the form of competitive transportation grants. The rest of the new transportation money would largely be allocated via the traditional formula system.” • Should be useful for 2022 and 2025, as long as the Biden Administration puts big BIF signs on the projects (Obama didn’t, so nobody could knew what his stimulus money was spent on, not that it wasn’t miserably inadequate.)

“Biden seeks course out of doldrums after US legislative victory” [Financial Times]. Hopefully not by invading Nicaragua. More: “Abigail Spanberger, a moderate Democratic congresswoman from Virginia, made headlines this week when she blamed the president for misjudging what the public put him in office to do. ‘Nobody elected him to be FDR, they elected him to be normal and stop the chaos,’ Spanberger told the New York Times, in a reference to Franklin D Roosevelt, the transformative Democratic president of the 1930s and 1940s whose big domestic reforms reshaped the US economy. Asked about the congresswoman’s comments, Biden told reporters on Saturday: ‘I don’t intend to be anybody but Joe Biden. That’s who I am.'” • Spanberger, although a CIA Democrat, is correct on this; if the Democrat Party had wanted a second FDR, they would have picked Sanders, not the “nothing fundamental will change” guy. The FDR hagiography was always bizarre, and seemed to have been generated by liberal pundits from wishful thinking (a lot like the months-long discussion in early 2009 about whether Obama’s heart was in the right place). Leaving open the question of what Spanberger thinks will stop the chaos — more clandestine agents? domestic operations? — or what exactly “normal” might be.

Democrats en Deshabille

“New York Democrats Keep Losing Ground with Hispanic and Asian Voters” [Vulgar Marxism]. “Eric Adams cruised to victory in New York City’s mayoral election, besting Republican nominee Curtis Sliwa by nearly 40 points – a commanding performance by any standard. But Adams’ margin wasn’t uniform throughout the city. In Queens, for example, he prevailed by only 22 points – five points fewer than Bill De Blasio’s margin here in 2017. Though Adams still made an impressive showing, New York Democrats shouldn’t pop the vegan wine just yet. Troubling demographic patterns are brewing just below the top-line numbers that could indicate tougher battles are yet to come. In August, I reported that Hispanic and Asian areas of Queens swung heavily toward Donald Trump in last year’s presidential election, powering the best performance by a Republican nominee in the World’s Borough since 2004. Precincts that are more than 75% Asian swung toward Trump by 16 points in 2020. Precincts that are more than 75% Hispanic saw an even more dramatic pro-Trump swing of 25 points. Now, an analysis of Tuesday night’s returns in combination with demographic data from the 2020 census reveals that these patterns are trickling down to local elections too. In 2017, Bill De Blasio won Queens precincts that are over 75% Asian by 34 points against Republican nominee Nicole Malliotakis. This week, Adams won them by just 20 points over Sliwa: a 14-point swing toward Republicans. De Blasio won Queens precincts that are over 75% Hispanic by a whopping 70 points over Malliotakis. Adams won them by 40 points over Sliwa: a 30-point swing toward Republicans.”

“A very important Dune explainer” [Matt Yglesias, Slow Boring]. “See, this is the difference between a Mentat’s calculations and a Kwisatz Haderach’s prescient visions…. [P]ersonally, I get bad vibes from the current state of the party. Not because I can see the future, but because I can see in the present a kind of paralysis about the fact that based on the way electoral politics works, you need to cater to existing public opinion. Instead, you get a lot of this kind of take that basically begs everyone to call the electorate racist and say there’s nothing to be done…. There’s no way to tell the future, but I think this is a widespread attitude in the present that makes it really hard for Democrats to be tactically or strategically adept. Everyone talks about how Trump and the GOP are a threat to ‘our democracy’ but when push comes to shove, there’s very little patience for things like Barack Obama’s habit of targeted pandering to culturally conservative voters. If you don’t try really hard to win, it’s going to be hard to win.” • If the Democrats really believed that “our democracy” was under threat — or that they could not take advantage of whatever threats there might be — then Obama would be going on Oprah to get H.R. 1 passed. Of course, he’s not, and the bill seems to be dead anyhow…


Why should they? Would you want to be “in touch” with people you hate? And, at some level, know that you’ve injured? More:

And Stoller:

Lambert here: Obviously, the Democrat Party is a rotting corpse that can’t bury itself. But nobody else has. Why is that? First, the Democrat Party is the political expression of the class power of PMC, their base (lucidly explained by Thomas Frank in Listen, Liberal!). It follows that the Democrat Party is as “unreformable” as the PMC itself is unreformable; if the Democrat Party did not exist, the PMC would have to invent it. (“PMC” modulo “class expatriates,” of course.) Second, the Democrat Party has more working parts than Stoller suggests, and they all reinforce each other. Leave aside characterizing the relationships between elements of the Party for now (ka-ching, but not entirely) those elements comprise a network of roles — a Flex Net? — for funders, vendors, apparatchiks, electeds, and NGOs, with assets in the press and the intelligence community, with individuals moving freely between roles. Whatever, if anything, that is to replace the Democrat Party needs to demonstrate the operational capability to contend with the Democrat base and the Party network. Sadly, I see nothing of the requisite scale and scope on the horizon, though I would love to be wrong. (As I said at the time: If Sanders had leaped nimbly from the electoral train to the strike wave train after conceding in 2020, instead of that weak charity sh*t he went with, things might be different today. I am not sure that was in him to do, and I’m not sure he had the staff to do it, although I believe such a pivot to a “war of movement” would have been very popular with his small donors. What a shame the app wasn’t two-way.) Ah well, nevertheless.

Stats Watch

Inflation: “United States Consumer Inflation Expectations” [Trading Economics]. “US inflation expectations for the year ahead increased by 0.4 percentage point to a new record high of 5.7% in October of 2021. Consumers expect inflation to rise for houses (5.6% vs 5.5% in September); gas (9.4% vs 5.9%); college education (7.4% 5.9%); food (9.1% vs 7%); and rent (10.1% vs 9.7%, a new series high). On the other hand, inflation expectations at the three-year horizon remained unchanged at 4.2%, after increasing for three consecutive months.”

* * *

Finance: “The natural rate of interest through a hall of mirrors” [Bank of International Settlements]. “We show that the natural interest rate can decline persistently even if there is no change in saving preferences or potential growth. The driving force is a positive learning feedback. The private sector interprets monetary policy easing as a signal from the central bank that the natural rate has fallen, leading to a lower aggregate demand than otherwise. The central bank interprets lower demand as a sign of falling r-star and cuts the policy interest rate, perpetuating the misperception. Both sides stare into a “hall of mirrors” and confuse the effects of their own actions with useful information. We calibrate the model and show that the hall of mirrors effect can explain most of the fall in real interest rates since the Great Financial Crisis.” • Perhaps a knowledgeable reader can explain what “r-star” is. Meanwhile, speaking of “confus[ing] the effects of their own actions with useful information:

Shipping: “New Photos Show the Full Extent of the Damage to the Ever Given” [Maritime Executive]. “Shipping scholar Sal Mercogliano, associate professor of history at Campbell University, has obtained photos from the Ever Given’s yard period showing the damage to the vessel in detail. The images show that the impact pushed the bottom of the bulbous bow upwards, inside the hull, folding the shell plating inwards. The repair plan is a full ‘nose job,’ cutting out and replacing the bulbous bow with newly-built steel sections – all the way back past the bow thrusters. The sections have already been pre-built in anticipation of the ship’s arrival. ”

Shipping: “Maersk is making an e-commerce play” [Freight Waves]. “A.P. Moller – Maersk further bolstered its position in the e-commerce space on Friday when it announced the acquisition of Visible Supply Chain Management (Visible SCM), a U.S.-based business-to-consumer, e-commerce logistics and parcel delivery company. Denmark-headquartered Maersk said the acquisition will allow its B2C segment to reach three-quarters of the U.S. direct-to-consumer market within 24 hours and 95% within 48 hours. ‘We have set out to build strong e-commerce logistics capabilities that complement our existing end-to-end supply chain offering,’ said Vincent Clerc, CEO of Maersk Ocean & Logistics. ‘Visible SCM’s operating model and value proposition will strengthen our customers’ e-commerce logistics, enabling them to sell through any sales channel, deliver in any way and manage their supply chains seamlessly.'”

Shipping: “A Simple Piece of Steel and Wheels Is Holding Up the Global Supply Chain” [Wall Street Journal]. “A decline in the supply of new frames is exacerbating the shortage, according to trucking and chassis executives. In May, the U.S. International Trade Commission imposed countervailing and antidumping duties totaling more than 200% on Chinese chassis producers that supplied the majority of frames to the U.S…. A coalition of U.S. chassis manufacturers that argued in favor of the ITC actions says duties haven’t contributed to the supply-chain congestion. Frank Katz, CEO of Cheetah Chassis, one of the largest domestic manufacturers, based in Berwick, Pa., said companies such as his are trying to ramp up production. Mr. Katz said the real issue is that the import surge has overwhelmed the domestic supply chain. ‘If we could double output, it wouldn’t make any difference at all,’ Mr. Katz said.” •

The Bezzle: “Facebook discovers there’s already a company named Meta” [The Hill]. “Last week, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that the company would be changing its name to Meta as part of a rebrand effort, but another company was one step ahead. An Arizona-based company that sells computers, laptops, tablets and tech software called Meta PC launched a little over a year ago, according to documents obtained by TMZ. In August, the company filed to trademark “Meta” in relation to any technological use — right within Facebook’s sphere. Meta PC’s trademark hasn’t yet been granted; however, co-founders Zack Shutt and Joe Darger told TMZ they won’t sell the name to Zuckerberg, if he pursues it, for less than $20 million.” • Twenty million seems…. unambitious. But isn’t this the sort of silly mistake a company of Facebook’s size isn’t supposed to make?

Health Care: “Investors are betting that Pfizer’s ‘game-changing’ antiviral pill will reduce demand for COVID vaccines” [Fortune].

On Monday, stocks of vaccine makers in Asia fell in the wake of U.S. pharmaceutical giant Pfizer’s announcement that its new antiviral pill called Paxlovid is 89% effective in reducing risk of hospitalization or death from COVID-19.” • See under “Health Care” for the actual study; but IMNSHO this is directionally correct; prophylaxis and treatment will reduce the value of vaccines over time.

Supply Chain: “S&P Global Market Intelligence estimates that goods-focused companies on the S&P 500, held 15% more inventory in the second quarter over the same period in 2019” [Wall Street Journal]. “Many companies are loathe to stray far from longheld just-in-time manufacturing strategies. They point to the costs of inventories and say they expect to return to pre-pandemic levels once supply-chain bottlenecks dissipate and pandemic imperatives fade.” • That should read “this pandemic’s imperatives fade.”

* * *

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 86 Extreme Greed (previous close: 85 Extreme Greed) [CNN]. One week ago: 77 (Extreme Greed). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Nov 8 at 11:46am.

Rapture Index: Closes unchanged, with Earthquakes up down (“The lack of activity has downgraded this category”) and Famine up one (“Three years of drought have triggered a famine in Madagascar”) [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 Biosphere

“Prescribed burns are key to reducing wildfire risk, but federal agencies are lagging” [Los Angeles Times]. “When wildfire burned through a federal research area in Klamath National Forest this summer, scientists were dismayed to see more than 20 years of work go up in smoke. But when they returned to the charred study area near California’s northern border, they realized they’d been given a unique opportunity. Although the scientists had set out to understand how the thinning and controlled burning of vegetation could help regrow large trees more quickly, they now had a chance to study another urgent question: Could these same treatments make forests more resilient to wildfire? Or more specifically, could they moderate fire behavior so that flames were less intense and firefighters would have a better chance of snuffing a blaze before it barreled into a populated area? The answer appeared to be a resounding yes.”

“Decarbonizing the U.S. Health Sector — A Call to Action” [NEJM]. “The U.S. health sector is responsible for an estimated 8.5% of national carbon emissions. These emissions stem directly from the operations of health care facilities…. and indirectly from both purchased sources of energy, heating, and cooling…. and the supply chain of health care services and goods…. Between 2010 and 2018, our sector’s greenhouse-gas emissions increased by 6%, reaching 1692 kg per capita — the highest rate among industrialized countries. Indeed, the U.S. health sector accounts for 25% of global health sector emissions — the highest proportion attributable to any individual country’s health sector.” •

Health Care

“Pfizer oral antiviral safe and effective against SARS-CoV-2” [Medical News Today]. “Pfizer has published a paper demonstrating that its candidate drug PAXLOVID is safe and has antiviral effects on SARS-CoV-2…. Now, Pfizer has published details of a phase 1 clinical and preclinical trial. The results show that its candidate drug PAXLOVID is safe in humans at concentrations that are effective against SARS-CoV-2 in laboratory tests. This is true both when the drug is used on its own and when it is used alongside ritonavir…. In a small trial of 18 healthy adults, researchers from Pfizer then tested the safety of 150 milligrams (mg) and 250 mg of PF-07321332 taken twice per day both with and without 100 mg of ritonavir. They found that the drug was safe and well-tolerated with and without ritonavir. The company is now carrying out phase 2 and 3 trials to determine whether or not PAXLOVID is effective in COVID-19 patients at risk of standard and severe illness. They also want to understand whether or not it prevents transmission of the disease in close contacts of people with COVID-19.” • N=18. Are you [family blogging] me? Here is a link to the original paper in Science, with lots and lots of Pfizer employees as authors. Needless to say, Pfizer has form (see NC here and here). So at some point when there’s real data, we’ll have to look at it carefully.

Groves of Academe

The publishing tournament:

Is a tournament really the best way to organize and distribute knowledge?

Zeitgeist Watch

The Man of Many Worlds” (podcast) [Hi-Phi]. Slate’s podcast on Philosophy (!). A four-part broadcast on David Lewis, metaphysician. If you want a philospher’s take on the Many Worlds Hypothesis — see William Gibson’s “stubs” in the soon-to-be trilogy beginning with the wonderful The Peripheral and continuing with the horrid Agency — this is the podcast for you. It’s actually very interesting!

Sports Desk

“A Progressive Perspective: What is going on with Rutgers Football?” [The Trentonian]. “[T]he athletic program (primarily football) has been bleeding scarlet ink since Rutgers joined the Big Ten Conference in July 2014. According to an extensive and detailed analysis of Rutgers Athletics’ finances conducted by The Record and NorthJersey.com, ‘ Rutgers Athletics currently faces approximately $265 million in outstanding debt, with nearly half being associated with operating costs from the Big Ten Conference.’ In an effort to cover some of these operating losses, Rutgers loaned the athletic department $84 million over a six-year period. That was reported as revenue, which at the time, was against University and NCAA guidelines. Loans were only permitted for capital projects. In addition, according to the aforementioned in-depth analysis, the athletic department also took out $48 million in loans from the Big Ten Conference. These practices were labeled ‘unsustainable’ by Rutgers’ new President Jonathan Holloway. Every indication is that the deficits have worsened this year as a result in no small part of the COVID-19 pandemic. Under the terms of the agreement that Rutgers entered into with the Big Ten back in 2014, they will receive their first full Big Ten distribution of $65.2 million in 2027. With the 2019-20 athletic budget at $114.2 million and assuming a very modest 3% annual increase in the athletic program’s annual budget, the Big Ten payment will cover less than half of the Rutgers’ future athletic budget. And this does not include the potential debt service on a football field house with an estimated cost of $150 million that was supposed to be built if the project reached a private funding commitment level of at least fifty percent of the total projected cost. Suffice to say, it appears that the football deficits will continue to grow ad infinitum and could ultimately do irreparable harm to the university and its academic priorities unless something dramatic is done. In a column I wrote on September 28th, I naively suggested that Rutgers should quickly hold a series of fully-transparent public hearings around the state to secure input from a broad range of sources regarding the deficit, the hidden loans and what should be done about it. I say naively because Rutgers has a long history of being anything but forthcoming regarding the financing of athletics at the university. There is nothing to suggest that they will voluntarily shed the light of day on what occurred.” • Rutgers in the Big Ten? Really? What brain genius administrator thought this was a good idea?

Our Famously Free Press

“Some heroes sit at a keyboard” [Pharyngula]. “Did you know that social media has a Nazi problem? Of course it does. But often it is subtle and requires expert scrutiny…. So [Ksenia Coffman] sat down and got to work, and started pointing out the lack of skepticism in so many Wiki articles…. Turn on the History Channel sometime: it’s the same thing. There’s a reason it’s called the Hitler channel, and it’s because it’s cheap and easy to grab WWII footage — often nothing but propaganda films which launder and present credulous versions of the story — and splice it into a story. Aren’t those Nazi uniforms stylish? Wow, those soldiers had to be brave and stalwart to stand up to a Russian winter. Gosh, so many tanks! Cool! Let’s not think about what those soldiers were trying to do. You can also see it on YouTube and in video games and the newspapers, always focusing on drama and spectacle without questioning what the hell those [glass bowls] were hoping to accomplish. It just takes a little effort to peel away the gosh-wow veneer to expose the rot beneath, but someone has to make the effort.”

“The Signpost” [Andreas Kolbe, Wikipedia]. (I didn’t know Wikipedia has a blog section. Apparently it does.) “For more than two years this Wikipedia article [on the Wikipedia biography of New York serial killer Nathaniel White] had as its lead image a police photograph of a quite different Nathaniel White, an African-American man resident in Florida whose picture has also, equally erroneously, been used in a Discovery Channel broadcast on the New York serial killer of the same name… Yet here we have a case where a very real black life was severely harmed, with Wikipedia playing a secondary, but still highly significant part in the sorry tale. The Wikimedia blog post contains no acknowledgement of this fact. Instead it is jubilant – jubilant that the Wikimedia Foundation was absolved of all responsibility for the fact that Mr. White was for over two years misrepresented as a serial killer on its flagship site, the result of a pseudonymous Wikimedian trusting a source that proved unreliable. Now we can shrug our shoulders and say, ‘This sort of thing will happen once in a while.’ Would we have accepted this sort of response from the police force in George Floyd’s case?…. There is also a deeper moral question here. What kind of bright new world is this we are building, in which it is presented to us as a cause for celebration that it was possible for a black man – a man, perhaps, not unlike George Floyd – to be defamed on our global top-20 website with absolute impunity, without his having any realistic hope of redress for what happened to him here?” • Publishing is hard. Content moderation is hard. That’s life on the content farm. WikiMedia as the Big House for the plantation workers of Wikipedia is not a good look. The story that triggered this post: “Man confused with ‘Robocop’ killer on national TV sues Discovery Channel for defamation” [Tallahassee Democrat].

The Gallery

This painting is so exactly true:

The way the sunlight strikes the road, and the slope of the road… This spot could only be in America, I think; not even Canada.

Book Nook

“Book Club: Get to know Nikole Hannah-Jones and ‘The 1619 Project’” (interview) [Los Angeles Times]. “Next project: All “1619 Project” all the time.” And: “The 1619 Project” arrives in bookstores on Nov. 16.” And: “What questions do you have for Nikole Hannah-Jones? Send questions and comments in advance of the Book Club/Ideas Exchange event in an email to bookclub@latimes.com.” • Perhaps ;….

Guillotine Watch

Class Warfare

“Food Choice Test” [IDRLabs] “Food has always been tied to class. Silvia Bellezza and Jonah Berger at the University of Pennsylvania now believe they have a way to identify a person’s social class based on how they feel about certain foods. The results are not always what you would expect. What do your food choices say about your social class? For each of the following dishes, indicate your feelings toward it below.” • I dunno about lobster and grits. Really? In any case, here are my results:

I reject the entire “middle class” construct, because class is about social relations, not a scale from Upper to Lower. That said, I certainly hope I’m a class traitor, although I’ve been thinking that term is a little harsh (and in any case, class, being a social relationship, is dynamic, and a traitor one day might be a hero the next). Perhaps “class expatriate” might be better.

“Capitalism-Loving Dad Doesn’t Get Why Things Aren’t Built to Last Anymore” [Reductress]. “‘At least as an American I’m free to make my own choices,’ [62-year-old, capitalism-loving dad Robert Schorn] says, ordering a replacement screen on Amazon after the frame of his last one broke after three weeks. ‘I used to get these at that little hardware store down the street, but, you know, they closed.'”

News of the Wired

For fans of the Romanovs:

* * *

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 (RH):

RH writes: “Mushroom uprooted lichens.”

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. MonkeyBusiness

    The crapification of the Macbook continues: https://www.macworld.com/article/549755/m1-macbook-app-memory-leaks-macos.html

    “It’s possible that macOS isn’t managing this unified memory structure properly, and will continue to allocate RAM beyond what is available without freeing up RAM that is no longer needed. This is commonly referred to as a “memory leak.” Performance gradually deteriorates until you need to either wait for the RAM to clear, force-quit the app, or restart the machine.”

    Anyone who’s been through a decent Computer Science education would know about memory leaks, so not sure how this never got caught during the QC cycle.

    1. Jason Boxman

      Heh. That’s why I’m sticking to my Intel-based Macs until they break, probably some time after Apple stops releasing updates for them. I’d hope they last at least as long as my 15 year old Dell XPS 1530m that’s still running Fedora, albeit too slowly these days for much beyond workout videos. (It shipped with Windows Vista and that hasn’t been supported for ages.)

      1. JCC

        I happen to have picked up a 15″ and 17″ macbook pro, 10 years old now and stopped updating at the Mojave level OS. Got them pretty cheap at the time from young students who were upset that they could no longer be get an upgraded OS. I’ve always thought macbook pros were outstanding as a laptop platform. I run Fedora on both, and they are faster than they ever were, and still as reliable as they ever were… and no noticeable memory leaks :-)

    2. Darius

      I have a 2018 vintage MacBook Pro. I realize I have too many apps open when it suddenly slows way down. If I catch it fast enough, I can close apps and let it fix itself. Otherwise I have to force quit. I didn’t upgrade to iOS 12. They offered 11.6. I did that and it seems to work better.

      1. Jason Boxman

        Have “Activity Monitor” in your launch bar. Occasionally, launch it and check “Memory” tab and look at the “Memory Pressure” graph. If it’s red or yellow, quit some apps you’ve had running for a while. Always works for me, and I have browsers up for weeks and only restart when there’s a new update if I can help it. (16GB MBP 2015)

    3. Acacia

      > The crapification of the Macbook continues

      Strictly speaking, this seems to be an OS issue. Indeed Apple should have caught it during QA, but the idea now seems to be release updates often and let users field test them.

      Probably this will get sorted in the near future. It’s another reason to wait on an OS upgrade.

    1. ambrit

      This architecture and colour scheme would fit right in with the North American Deep South. I have seen streets similar to this in Natchez, Meridian, McComb, and other southern Mississippi towns. Also reminds me of Granada, Mississippi and Gadsen, Alabama.
      The painting is evocative of the small town experience in North America, down to the partiallly obscured Ben Franklin variety store sign. (We had one still a working concern in Covington, Louisiana back in the late 1970s.)
      There is something totemic about the painting.
      Moms and Grandmoms of the rural and rural adjacent regions didn’t warn their young’ns about the wiles and snares of “The Big City” for nothing.

      1. j_b_c

        When I worked in Middlebury some years ago, I frequented the In the Alley used bookstore, which was located, if I recall correctly, directly across from the front entrance to the Edgewater Gallery (alley started near the green power meters depicted in the painting).

        Sadly In the Alley closed back in 2007: Landmark Lefty Bookstore Closes up Shop in Middlebury https://www.sevendaysvt.com/vermont/landmark-lefty-bookstore-closes-up-shop-in-middlebury/Content?oid=2130374

    2. Opticon

      No, I went to college there and there aren’t any road junctions like that in the village of Middlebury. I wouldn’t be as quick as OFL to rule out Canada; the European-style “Do Not Enter” sign, while not unheard of in this country, is encountered much more frequently in Canada.

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          > unless you count this one.

          Ha ha, awesome. This one strikes me as much more New England. I’m not sure why. Perhaps its the railing along the sidewalk (so people don’t slip in the winter). Maybe the width of the road?

          I like the painting a lot better!

        2. Opticon

          Wow! That’s pretty close. And I do remember that angle from my college days (late 50s). But I still think the original isn’t in Middlebury.

    3. WhoaMolly

      If done in 2021 all the colors would be faded, the lawn would be dry, and there would be trash in the streets.
      Lovely painting. It reminds me of my childhood midwestern days.

  2. Samuel Conner

    > Seems like a sine-wave pattern on the right. Why?

    If the volume of water flowing through the system were to fluctuate, that would induce inverse fluctuations in the concentrations of suspended or dissolved materials whose absolute quantities were relatively stable. Not sure what would cause such flow volume fluctuations. The concentration oscillations are not apparent over much of the time series, though that might be attributed to low SNR.

    > Perhaps “class expatriate” might be better.

    perhaps “outcast” would fit, or a combination with “expatriate”, depending on the attitude of the group from which one has separated oneself.

    1. Hana M

      Huh. Interesting idea since we’ve had a hella lotta rain in the Boston area this year (56+ inches YTD, much of it late summer-early fall). I’m too lazy to do it but it might be possible to check the correlation w. actual MWRA and NWS data.

    2. NotThePilot

      Seems like a sine-wave pattern on the right. Why?

      It’s definitely an interesting puzzle. The few things that stand out to me are:

      1. Eyeballing it, it has a pretty regular frequency, about 2.5 cycles / 1.5 months. That would correspond to a very rough period of 3/5 of a month, or ~18 days

      2. Like you said, there could be some weird coincidence in how the water system works, or even when the data is dated, so you probably wouldn’t want to read anything into it 100%

      3. With that in mind, I suppose it’s always possible the overall viral load for an area can become a harmonic oscillator. The human tendency to be more vigilant when things seem worse & complacent when they’re better could provide the restoring force.

      4. Maybe the weirdest thing is that the oscillation appears to be dampening, but towards a steady viral load, not towards zero like you’d expect if it was something purely limiting the spread. Maybe people are converging on equilibrium / new normal behavior, and the infection rate has less influence on their behavior?

      1. NotThePilot

        Just to clarify too, there’s still some pattern if you look at the Northern & Southern district numbers separately on the page, but it’s not nearly as crisp.

        In particular, each district separately alternates between a larger & a smaller wave; when they’re drawn together, the two lines overlap to look like a more regular cycle.

        Each district definitely still has an overall period (more like ~40 days), but it’s not as reliable. If it keeps up through November & into December though, it’s probably a sign of something.

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          > it’s probably a sign of something.

          “Living with it,” maybe. The elevation on the right is starting to look pretty permanent, unlike the left, where it looks like they had it licked.

      2. megrim

        This could be totally out in left field but could the lunar tides have some sort of effect here? Perhaps the sewer system is affected by the bay? I haven’t lived in Boston for twenty years but IIRC it is right on the water.

      3. Hana M

        Point 1: Sounds probable, especially when coupled w. point 3. An 18 day cycle also fits with a possible pattern of local spread (a big house party) followed by a gradual 3-5 day start to symptomatic infection along with a few days of”friends-and-family-and coworkers” spread. Then that local outbreak is followed by a natural ramp-up of immune response thanks to vaccination and/or prior infection. Which is then followed by effective local suppression of viral replication by growing antibody levels in those locals..

        The cycle repeats with decreasing amplitude until something like localized natural immunity damps down viral replication with increasing effectiveness. .

      4. Greg

        The error bars they’ve calculated are quite broad, and its possible that many of those quite divergent appearing dots are roughly the same real value. We might be interpreting a pattern that doesnt actually exist.

        There’s also the interesting point on the site “Samples are taken 3-7 times a week”. Which they are then applying a 7-day rolling average to, not a 7-sample rolling average. If you look at the spacing of the dots, the rolling average is smoother when there are more samples, and gets into the waveform when they are back to sampling only 3 times a week.
        If there is a regular spike reading that then moves out of the weekly average and is followed by lower readings, that could give you your waveform shape I think. It does seem to me that when they start sampling more often, the wave collapses, and you get a shape that looks more like the pandemic curves we see in other data.

        A methodology variation maybe? I don’t know the physical context of the water authority and where they are sampling, is it always in the same place? Or do they rotate around the plant?
        Do specific regions flush different flow at different times of the week and this reflects a local hotspot within Boston?

  3. diptherio

    I haven’t read all of this yet (though I did take a (free) on-line course from the author several years ago that was pretty good), but it seems like the kind of thing MMT savvy NCers would be into.

    Money Makes the World Go Down, part 3

    Overall efficiencies that lead to reduction of resources or pollution per item produced has not reduced overall consumption of natural resources and pollution. Therefore, the Monetary Growth Imperative that arises from the nature of our banking and monetary systems means that a society will be prevented from effective climate change mitigation and regeneration without monetary reform. The current monetary system does not allow a steady-state economy that stays the same size with the same level of transactions. That compulsion to grow the economy also compromises the ability for us to adapt to disruptions, as there is a requirement for GDP to keep increasing to avoid the negative effects of the money becoming scarce. Unfortunately, the ‘degrowth movement’ has largely ignored or downplayed this aspect of the monetary system, and instead preferred to argue that all societies need is for our leaders to deprioritise their attention to GDP and the problem will go away. That could be an easier position to take for scholars and activists who imagine themselves as the educators of people, rather than recognise how we are engaged in a struggle against anti-democratic forces. A realisation of the latter, implies very different tactics than more nice conferences and books – tactics more in the realm of organising counter-veiling power to the banks, and preparing for the backlash.

    1. djrichard

      > The current monetary system does not allow a steady-state economy that stays the same size with the same level of transactions.

      Yes. With a debt-based currency, it’s not sufficient for the “float” to simply be at steady state. It needs to be perpetually increasing. No increase in the float would actually result in the equilibrium flipping to deflation – as interest payments would take their toll.

      So the whole rasion d’etre of economies with debt-based currencies is to increase private debt. For the creative minds in Wallstreet in particular to find new markets for debt.

      So I would think the banks are pretty excited by the green movements. It generates new opportunities for them: new markets for debt (private debt). I can imagine they want just enough Fed Gov spending to seed the market (reduce risk for the players). But not so much that it deprives the banks of their opportunities to finance the war-side of the whole thing: the war between the businesses that want to win in these spaces. In particular, financing the new entrants, the ones who a) have no cash flow and b) have the potential to be disruptive to the existing players.

      And that has the potential to be a never-ending war I think. Each generation of green technology will have to be displaced (creatively destructed) by the next generation of disruptive entrants, funded by the banks in concert with the Fed Gov seeding the way.

      I’m assuming in parallel that the war between businesses that want to win in the artificial intelligence space will pretty much result in all of our jobs being eliminated. Except for those that are in the creative destruction side of things. The rest of us will be on welfare.

      Personally I’d like for us to devolve, to simplify, to reject capitalism and debt-based currencies. But that’s not what the banks have in store for us.

        1. djrichard

          Hi Lambert, our currency is “printed” into existence when somebody takes out a private loan. It’s debt-based.

          I’m contrast to say if the Fed Gov spent it into existence, a la the Lincoln Greenback. Which is chartal-based or what some call asset-based.

      1. Robert Hahl

        I doubt the “…another day older and deeper in debt” system depends on any particular form of money but rather on slaves of one form or another all the way down. I would call this a protest song except nobody in the video seems oppressed, more like nostalgic for black lung.

        Tennessee Ernie Ford – 16 Tons

        1. Pat

          Most of the people in the video have never seen a coal mine, even Ford. The guy who wrote the song did have some experience, his father and brother were coal miners and much of his music chronicles the life and exploitation of them.

        2. djrichard

          Imagine no more Federal Reserve. So at least dial us back to pre-1914. Still had boom-and-busts, but at least bankruptcies were allowed to clear the decks. Get the bad debt out of the system quickly.

          But then imagine us being on something like the Lincoln Greenback. Immediately obviates the Federal Debt as an issue. Once the Federal Gov is unshackled, all kinds of opportunities such as jobs programs present themselves.

          And the thing about a Lincoln Greenback is that it can’t be printed by private banks. Therefore private banking is limited to 100% reserve lending, akin to Savings and Loans. Puts a lid on indebting the citizenry.

    2. Odysseus

      Currently the way governments create the money that they need additional to taxes is by selling bonds, which are bought by banks that actually create the money in the process.

      This statement is not aligned with MMT.

  4. TMR

    Re: Rutgers in Big Ten – it was all about television sets in the Tri-State, to boost the size of the conference’s TV contract.

    1. jo6pac

      I don’t watch college sports but I do love the fact that coaches make more money than any other jobs on campus. What strange education system we have in Amerika.

      1. Milton

        There’s a map showing the highest paid state employees. Almost all of them are either college football or college basketball coaches.

          1. Milton

            I had a link to a nice map but it got swallowed up. Doesn’t matter, there’s a myriad of them online.

    2. Lost in OR

      In 1975, at a ski lodge in Quebec, I was standing in line at the single shower stall with a towel around my waist. In walks the Rutgers front four, taking positions behind me. At 6’2″ (though pretty skinny at the time), I’ve never felt so puny.

    3. griffen

      They agreed to a distribution deal with the devil, I mean the Big 10. Not receiving a full distribution of conference money until 2027, just basing that on the article, is a ludicrous reason to join any “power 5” conferences. Notably, the Big 10 generates more revenue than any single conference not named the SEC.

      Winning at college football, and also mens college basketball, does incredibly well for the administrative/AD and the athletic program head coaches. Based on something I saw last week, available on ESPN, losing at college football/mens college hoops also pays incredibly well. I love UNC-CH athletics, but the money poured upon college sports is insane.

  5. Mikel

    “Facebook discovers there’s already a company named Meta”

    And Apple didn’t know there was a company already called Apple that was created by one of the biggest bands in the world.
    And Facebook, on top of that, didn’t learn from Apple’s mistake.

    But we’re talking about regulations here and they thumb their noses at those as “something for thee, but not for me”, so it was bound to be ignored.

    1. Dr. John Carpenter

      Steve Jobs was a Beatles fan. The naming was intentional, not accidental. In fact, Apple Corp., the Beatles company, had a deal with Apple Computers and they had no problem so long as they stayed out of the record biz. Things only became an issue when Apple opened the iTunes store and started selling music. Even then, they worked out an agreement relatively quickly, as far as these things go.

      1. Mo's Bike Shop

        Legend has it that that was the impetus behind the ‘Sosumi’ chime sound they had in their notification tone library.

  6. Wukchumni

    “Some heroes sit at a keyboard” [Pharyngula]. “Did you know that social media has a Nazi problem? Of course it does. But often it is subtle and requires expert scrutiny…. So [Ksenia Coffman] sat down and got to work, and started pointing out the lack of skepticism in so many Wiki articles…. Turn on the History Channel sometime: it’s the same thing. There’s a reason it’s called the Hitler channel, and it’s because it’s cheap and easy to grab WWII footage — often nothing but propaganda films which launder and present credulous versions of the story — and splice it into a story.
    The channel with a steady diet of Nazi stuff is the American Heroes Channel, which my better half calls the ‘Adolf Hitler Channel’ as that’s about half of their offerings, and strangely enough another big chunk is featuring American mobsters mostly, heroes eh?

    It’s fascinating our infatuation with Nazis, if you were to compare values of WW2 collectibles of any of the Allied or even Italian or Japanese countries, nothing comes close to what Nazi stuff is worth, and they only nabbed the bronze medal in the intermural games.

    I found this youtube channel to be a nice remedy for the usual awful tv channels when it comes to WW2 history…

    001 -The Polish-German War – WW2 – September 1, 1939


    1. Mo's Bike Shop

      The Utube history community is fantastic. Pity about the platform. The algos are terrible to anything interesting.

      As a result, I’ve watched more ‘TV’ in the last year than the previous decade.

    2. Anthony Noel

      The irony of PZ Myers taking anyone or thing to task for a lack or proper skepticism and relying on cheap drama to drive audience engagement is truly priceless.

        1. Anthony Noel

          Off the top of my head…

          Atheism Plus, Rebecca Watson, leveling false rape accusations against Michael Shermer…

  7. NotThePilot

    Re: The natural rate of interest through a hall of mirrors

    Perhaps a knowledgeable reader can explain what “r-star” is

    Definitely wouldn’t claim to be knowledgeable about the finance side of it specifically, but my guess is r* is just short-hand for the real (but unknown) natural interest rate.

    In any sort of models or formulas, they may use plain r for a known, current interest rate. And if they use the model conventions I’m familiar with, there may also be a r^ (“r-hat”) which represents the model estimate of r*

    1. Objective Ace

      I’m not sure if this obvious to others or not, but the natural interest rate theoretically occurs when the US economy is also at Full Employment and Potential GDP.

      In reality, we never really know what FE and Potential GDP are. CBO is constantly retroactively changing what they historically have been estimated. This is not inconsistent with the theoretical underpinning, it just goes to show how useless the concepts are. The Fed doesn’t know what they actually are until well after they’ve implemented policy, and as the article notes, they themselves can influence the metrics.

    2. John Zelnicker

      The Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco defines r* (r-star) as:

      “the real natural rate of interest—that is, the inflation-adjusted short-term interest rate expected to prevail when the economy is operating at its full potential, or r* (r-star) for short”, so, Milton, you are correct, except for missing the condition of operating at full potential.

      It is unobservable and is based on many assumptions used to define “operating at full potential”.

      The context for these models and formulas is that they are all part of neoclassical economics.

      Commentator Sound of the Suburbs expounds on this from time to time.

      There is no empirical evidence that such a rate exists because, in part, there is no consensus on what operating at full potential means, e.g., at what level of unemployment are we at “full potential”. It’s not the Non-accelerating Inflation Rate of Unemployment (NAIRU), which is also a neoclassical concept which is unobservable and changes often depending on the state of the economy.

      Sadly, mainstream economics today is mostly neoclassical economics with a few ad hoc additions that try, but fail, to make formulas fit the data.

      1. Yves Smith

        I wish Lambert had not run that link.

        The natural rate of interest is based on the loanable funds theory, that there is a pre-existing pool of savings and there is a rate of interest at which it all gets loaned out. Keynes and others have debunked it, but it’s a foundational part of neoclassical economics and refused to die.

  8. flora

    re: Groves of Academe

    There’s a strong relationship between academic grants received and papers published, and the reverse, papers publishes and grants received. Colleges and unis depend on grant funding in some large part for their operating funds, and make these part of the academic’s job review process. Is this a chicken-and-egg question? / ;)

    1. Duke of Prunes

      I really don’t understand this tweet.

      It tells me that a whole bunch of people are sick with Covid-like symptoms, but testing negative, but, if I’m reading this correctly, the good Dr is convinced they all have Covid. I realize that testing is not 100% accurate, but I guess I was looking for some kind of evidence beyond “I think it is so”. Aside from loss of taste/smell, Covid symptoms are pretty much like most colds I’ve ever had… and if you read down in the thread, there’s mention that a lot of them have not lost their taste or smell…. it seems like stretch to conclude they all have Covid.

      My wife and I recently had colds with Covid like symptoms (but no loss of taste or smell). We got tested 3 times (2 home tests and a PCR each). All negative. I’m going to conclude, we didn’t have Covid. What’s the probability of all 6 tests being wrong? Why is it so hard to believe there are other bugs in circulation?

    2. IM Doc

      He should be testing them for RSV and Coronavirus OC43 – both of which have very similar presenting symptoms as COVID.

      But the problem there is the test is actually a panel test. (I do believe that you can do RSV by itself – but that often does not cross the doc’s mind in adult patients. It should this year however.). These panel tests are often 20 or so viral tests at once – and can cost up to 2000 dollars – maybe more. The cost of which is almost universally bounced by insurance companies as being un-needed. Therefore I am very hesitant to order these tests on people who I know cannot afford them. That includes most everyone under Medicare age on our current crappy insurance. ( Never had any issues ordering these tests and having them covered until Obamacare and its insane deductibles came around). Now, if I feel it is essential and really important not to miss, I have a sit down talk with the patient about the cost. ( Yet another thing I am doing so many times weekly that I never had to do before Obamacare.).

      Here is the thing – the RSV wave has struck very very early this year. Usually a DEC-MAR event – it has been horrific here and in all kinds of places in the middle of the summer. Very unusual. Happening in adults all the time as well. I have now had more positive OC43 patients in the past 3 months that literally triple my lifetime numbers from 3 decades. It too is usually a winter thing – and very uncommon for people to be sick enough to seek medical attention. But not this year.

      As has been the case for 18 months, strange things are happening.

      But – no – the answer is not to just to assume every negative test is wrong and that your patient has COVID. That comes from the fear and panic and crazy that has been going on the past 2 years. Some of them are probably falsely negative for sure – but most – absolutely not. It is a very bad habit I have seen being picked up by HCW everywhere – BLAME EVERYTHING ON COVID.

      1. Greg

        RSV seems to be suddenly a big thing across the western world – we got hit with big waves earlier this year in both NZ and Oz. It seems to be diserpsed like covid, by rich travellers, but from there it spreads further via childcare.

  9. Hana M

    I confess I’m a big fan of the Faberge eggs. The Bay Tree egg #4 and the Lillies of the Valley egg #10 practically rank as plantidotes :)

      1. Hana M

        Yes! The Rose Trellis was lovely. I’m no Romanov fan but they left a lot of pretty stuff behind….in contrast to the McMansion Hellscape which our one percent prefer.

  10. Di Modica's Dumb Steer

    That food choice test only reliably points out that I am an irredeemable fat ass who will consume just about anything, usually gleefully.

  11. Pat

    While it may be more presentation stand than egg, there is still an egg there.

    The fail is not Fabrege’s but charlemagne the gourd’s.

    Fabrege eggs are not everyone’s cup of tea, but they are very much masterful works of various skills. I don’t like all of them either, but having wandered over to the exhibit of the Forbes collection before it was scattered, I can say that photographs do not do justice to them and the enamel and jewelry skills employed on them.

  12. Wukchumni

    Inflation: “United States Consumer Inflation Expectations” [Trading Economics]. “US inflation expectations for the year ahead increased by 0.4 percentage point to a new record high of 5.7% in October of 2021. Consumers expect inflation to rise for houses (5.6% vs 5.5% in September); gas (9.4% vs 5.9%); college education (7.4% 5.9%); food (9.1% vs 7%); and rent (10.1% vs 9.7%, a new series high).
    I started watching a youtube channel named ‘Ice Age Farmer’, and there’s quite a whiff of inflation when it comes to inputs, er, fertilizer. We ain’t talking no mamby pamby single digit inflation either, try 30-100% inflation on fertilizer, that is if you can find any.

    China not allowing any phosphates to be exported is kind of similar in a fashion to us cutting off the Japanese from our oil in July 1941. 6 months later came Pearl Harbor.

    In terms of what i’ve seen, we have a supermarket here called WinCo and it has kind of a Mormon food stockpiling feel to it unlike any other supermarket i’ve ever been in. They’ve got binned bulk food-probably 100 different types, and as recently as a few months ago you could buy 20 or 25 pound bags of rice and 25 pound bags of say 6 different kinds of dry beans, but not anymore.

    I was shocked last week by the prices I paid for foodstuffs versus just a few weeks earlier. Everything and I mean the whole kit and caboodle was 10 to 25% higher across the board.

    Farmers Panic, Can’t Get Supplies to Grow Food


    1. Carla

      “foodstuffs…the whole kit and caboodle was 10 to 25% higher across the board.”

      Yep. I have noticed price increases here and there. Then today my total for a half-bag of groceries was $35. Up at least 20%, and maybe 25%. That was shopping the “specials” wherever possible, which is what I customarily do.

      People are going to be starving if this keeps up.

  13. flora

    re: Finance

    “…and as a sign of falling r-star and cuts the policy interest rate, perpetuating the misperception. Both sides stare into a “hall of mirrors” and confuse the effects of their own actions with useful information. We calibrate the model and show that the hall of mirrors effect can explain most of the fall in real interest rates since the Great Financial Crisis.” -BIS

    The BIS just stuck a fork in the neoliberal ideology about “The Market’s” infallibility:

    “(2) “The market” is an information processor, and the most efficient one possible”

    Maybe neoliberalism’s ideology is only a hall of mirrors, like a computer AI program that goes into an endless iteration loop followed and regression. / ;)

    1. griffen

      Is it really so difficult to write natural rate of interest, or the real (inflation adjusted) rate of interest? Okay it does create a cleaner, or uncluttered phrasing opportunity for the lengthy terminology* which usually follows it. Very low to ultra low yields have really become the albatross around the necks of central bank policy makers. Others here may offer better, and deeply held opinions. I failed to surpass the first level of a CFA exam 20 years ago. Sad sack is me, lol.

      Somewhere in the universe, the trolls in charge of all corporate short naming and acronyms smile widely!

        1. griffen

          Okay, just to be clear I pulled that exact phrasing from an excerpt, which was found online. I believe that came from the FRB San Fransisco 11th district. Not my wording per se.

          That paper was dated from 2017.

  14. Fiery Hunt

    Re: Food

    Almost exact proportions of lower class (79%), lower middle class (85.7%) middle class (80%), with some upper middle class (60%) and upper class (15%).

    So what exactly is the distinction between lower and middle class?

    Seems like nonsense to me.

    1. Wukchumni

      i’m allergic to fish-be it fish sticks or caviar, so it skewed me in the lower class-lower middle class-middle class troika in terms of tucker.

    2. Jen

      Hot dogs and potato chips if I had to guess. Or perhaps you prefer good old Kraft dinner to “truffle Mac & cheese” or “lobster Mac & cheese?

    3. Martin Oline

      I’ll eat almost anything but 24 carat gold so my final score was fairly balanced. I suspect much of the selections were culled from restaurant menus and cooking shows and would not be typical fare from the kitchen.

    4. philman

      I found it pretty amazing that almost all the dishes were basically some sort of meat or sweets. As a vegetarian who does not like sweets, there was not much to actually choose from (potato chips, baked potato, and frozen pizza). Sigh. It did say I was in the lower middle class for what ever that is worth…

      1. John Anthony La Pietra

        Thank you! I saw the link and wondered how far off the test would be for vegetarians, vegans, those with allergies (or strong early bad associations), those with strong ethnic/family food traditions, et alia.

    5. NotThePilot

      Yeah, I think if anything this might be an interesting lesson in how much the measure can obscure the real story.

      I was ranked primarily middle & lower class, but probably the simplest explanation for most of my choices was “doesn’t eat pork, meh on beef & bivalves”.

    6. Amfortas the hippie

      somehow, they pegged me at lower middle class… i don’t care for hot dogs(floor sweepings)…
      other than that, the only things i panned were eating gold and the raw meat dishes.
      so i don’t know how they arrived at me so accurately,lol…i’ll eat lobster on my grits, sure…if you bring the lobster.
      i was a chef, and a gourmand, and introduced grub other than chicken fried steak and hamburger to this area…because i enjoy adventurous eating.
      our one grocer carries olive oil because of me.
      the one time i had caviar(the real thing…as the help for an oil company soiree), i found it salty and unpleasant…and petit fours are for simps,lol.
      and the gold covered ice is just pretentious bullshit…the rich can keep all that….and choke on it.

      1. Harold

        When I took the test they said my social class couldn’t be determined. That’s because I like hot dogs and also caviar — but not together. I don’t believe in gilding the lily.

        I don’t eat hot dogs anymore, because they are said to be unhealthy, but I used to serve them once a week. I love them with pickles and onions and sauerkraut.

        I don’t eat caviar because I can’t afford it. (Though my daughter brought some for last New Years, which we celebrated several weeks late, because she was getting over COVID).

        The only thing that strikes me as an abomination are monstrous hybrids like is a “foie gras hamburgers.” Hamburgers properly made are delicious, especially if made of beef ground the day they are cooked. It’s a revelation. My mother also used to put a bit of tarragon in the center of the burger, and a dash of worcestershire sauce and if the meat was too lean she would wrap the edges in bacon held on by toothpicks before cooking them on the charcoal grill. She used to grind the meat herself.

        The problem today is processed and stale food that has been sitting around for weeks before you buy it. My father said after the invention of plastic wrap, bread became inedible. I won’t even mention industrial agriculture and the embalming of food with preservatives.

    7. John Zelnicker

      Much to my surprise, I’m 100% Middle Class.

      It’s not the middles class part that’s surprising, it’s the 100% (I know I’m middle class, always have been, always will be). I’ll eat almost anything, except gold and eggplant (which wasn’t on the test). I’d guess it has to do with the degree of Agree or Disagree, or Neutral.

    8. HotFlash

      per Fiery Hunt: Seems like nonsense to me.

      Gotta agree. I didn’t get very far, b/c they just weren’t specific and there were a *ton* of ads. Is this a fund-raiser? Doesn’t UPenn (or whoever they were) get bucks to have a tiny website?

      “Pulled Pork S’wich” — yes, but not that overstuffed greasy thing they showed.
      “Chicken Noodle Soup” — yes if mine, no if Campbell’s

      I didn’t finish the ‘test’ b/c of the repellent pictures and the really obnoxious ads. Mostly I wouldn’t eat any of that stuff.

    9. Soredemos

      Years ago I saw an Onion (I think it was) piece about how ‘middle-class just poor people with more stuff’.

      The United States doesn’t really understand the whole concept of economic classes.

      In Marxist terms, basically, the upper-class are the landed gentry; they own a bunch of land and live off of the rents. The middle-class are mostly university educated professionals. They usually have specialist jobs that require a degree, and often run small businesses. They earn enough to also invest some of their money in stocks and other investments, and live off a combination of income and dividends. And finally the working-class are forced to live entirely paycheck to paycheck. They have nothing else to fall back on.

      In the US your class is viewed simply as how much money you have. The aspects of how the money is made and the relation to the means of production have been erased. So upper-class = $$$. Middle-class = $$. Lower-class = $. And that’s it.

      Who counts as upper-class is self-evident, but things get really hazy, really fast, when you see politicians or economists try to concretely define who in the US is middle-class and who is working-class.

  15. Lee

    “I certainly hope I’m a class traitor, although I’ve been thinking that term is a little harsh…”

    “Class dysphoric”, perhaps?

  16. pjay

    Re the Pfizer Miracle Pill

    Lambert: “N=18. Are you [family blogging] me? Here is a link to the original paper in Science, with lots and lots of Pfizer employees as authors…”

    Yes, 44 authors (near as I could tell) in a “study” with 18 subjects. But I guess only about 40 of them were Pfizer employees, so no biggie. From the disclosures at the end of the Science article:

    “Competing interests: DRO, CMNA, ASA, LA, MA, SB, BB, RDC, AC, KJC, AD, LD, HE, RF, KSG, SEG, EPK, ASK, JCL, JL, WL, SN, RSO, KO, NCP, DKR, MRR, MFS, JGS, RPS, CMS, AS, JBT, LU, PRV, LW, QY, YZ are employees of Pfizer and some of the authors are shareholders in Pfizer Inc. SWM, JJN, MP were employees of Pfizer Inc. during part of this study.”

    Compare the reception of this news with the massive repression/disinformation/smear campaign against the much more impressive preliminary evidence concerning ivermectin, or even hydroxychloriquine, by medical professionals who often had impressive credentials and a lot to lose in their advocacy. Yes, they are [family blogging] us. Because they can, and we can’t do [family blog] about it.

  17. Lee

    “Decarbonizing the U.S. Health Sector — A Call to Action” [NEJM]. “The U.S. health sector is responsible for an estimated 8.5% of national carbon emissions.”

    “The new findings show that more than a third—34%—of all man-made greenhouse gas emissions are generated by food systems. They also show that food generates an average of 2 tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) emissions per person annually.” Forbes

    For more detail see: Environmental impacts of food production at Our World in Data

    1. clarky90

      Re; more phony performative “Aktion” (imo) “Decarbonizing the U.S. Health Sector…..”

      in conjunction with…….

      Re: Nazis.. “….It just takes a little effort to peel away the gosh-wow veneer to expose the rot beneath…”

      In Die Falle mit dem grünen Zaun (In the Trap with a Green Fence: Survival in Treblinka, 1995)


      “Richard Glazar recorded his camp experiences as an Arbeitsjude (work Jew) in Treblinka, the largest of five Nazi camps devoted exclusively to extermination (some 900,000 Jews were murdered there). ….. The title refers to the green leafy fence that greeted the unsuspecting transports as they stepped out of the trains. There, surrounded by such harmless bucolic accoutrements as a tractor and signposts, they would wait in line to be taken directly to the gas chamber: “The narrow strips of grass along the barracks are supposed to have a soothing effect on the passerby. The deep rich green of the fence contrasts with the bright pastel green of the grassy embankment.”

      Centering around Glazar’s 10-month stay as a sorter of the death transports’ clothes—from October 1942 until the armed inmate uprising of 2 August—the book is unique for its objectivity. Glazar dispassionately recounts the camp’s extermination operations…….”

    2. drumlin woodchuckles

      Most of the energy used in health care is electricity. To decarbonize health care, you will have to decarbonize the electricity.

      Just stop using electricity? Try doing an X-ray without electricity. Or an ultrasound. Or a Cat Scan. Or an NMR.

  18. steve

    Re plantidote, the lichen appear to be Deer Moss. Edible with proper preparation and dried makes an excellent fire starter.

  19. Wukchumni

    Rapture Index: Closes unchanged, with Earthquakes up down (“The lack of activity has downgraded this category”)
    Please don’t incite the temblor gods with such loose talk {just felt a 1.543!} in regards to one of the few climatic events we really have no advance warning.

    That said, no biggie here in an area with not much in the way of faults…

    1. Greg

      We’ve been getting quite a bit of warning via the google panopticon – the 5.4 mag 127km away the other day gave me a good minute and a half’s heads up via an android notification before it got wobbly where I am.

      Not enough warning to do much more than stop your tea spilling and get the kids near a structural beam, but better than nothing.

  20. petal

    The food quiz thing was interesting. I am mostly middle class and lower class(equal amount) with some lower middle class. I am assuming it ended up that way because I find seafood disgusting(grew up near a marina where the fisherman brought in their fish-the stench was horrendous and makes me gag to this day), and I can’t eat soft ice cream(so that counts out the gold covered concoction).

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      I took the test. It said I was middle class. I was willing or strongly willing to eat almost everything. I had my doubts about the caviar. I would want to sample one or two little eggs first. I rejected the 24 carat gold whatever.

      I see one can take the test over and over and over again. I think I will have some fun seeing what kind of answers get what kind of result.

      I am on the see food diet, mostly. If I see food, I eat it, mostly.

      1. Jen

        I played around with it and rating things like caviar, raw food, gold plated ice cream, pretentious mac and cheese and foie gras burgers (really? this is a thing?) tilted me in to “Upper class/Upper middle class.”

        In real life, you couldn’t pay me to eat any of it.

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          Playing around with this test is going to be a few minutes of good fun. Now I “know” how the test “works”.

          I could strongly disagree with every choice except one, and take the test 35 times with a different single choice strongly agreed with each time. But I don’t feel like spending that kind of time.

          So I will try guessing what class is assigned to each different food. Its a game of ” Guess! My! Class! “

          1. drumlin woodchuckles

            So okay. I took the test a few more times. Each time I tried to second-guess what the creators of this concept would think the various classes would choose. A Keynesian regression, almost. Trying to guess what people think the public thinks people want.

            So approaching it on that second-guessing basis . . . . what would the authors think is whatever-class, I tried to pick the foods which would get me assigned to a particular class on this test.

            By second-guess picking upper middle-class foods, I tested 100% upper-middle class.

            Doing the same for “lower middle class foods”, I tested 85.71% lower middle class.

            Doing the same for “lower class foods”, I tested 82.14% lower class.

            So I am a pretty good amateur social class chameleon.

            The psycho-cultural reality here is class as style-and-status. And the hierarchy of style and status respectability. Paul Fussell wrote a book about that called Class: A Guide Through The American Status System.

            I suspect he got the idea from an article in Esquire? Vanity Fair? called ” Q and unQ” or something like that. I can’t find any traces of it through search engines. it might be something like Lowbrow, Middlebrow, Highbrow but more detailed.

            Once again, I would actually eat almost anything on this test, except the gold-leaf whatever and the raw oysters. Especially if someone else was paying for it.

      2. Mantid

        Jen, I somehow missed this “test” or survey and am guessing it’s in the links. In any case, I (personally) never take tests, surveys, et al on line. They are often used as a vehicle to extract yet more data points about the person. f’book does this all the time. They have enough of my data. One could use TOR or end/end encryption for safety if they really wanted to take a survey. Like mom said, there are no free lunches.

    2. drumlin woodchuckles

      First time I took the test, choosing what I like, it called me 82.4% middle class.

      I took the test again. I strongly agreed with every food choice. It called me unassignable. I filled every color field. I was Every Class. I was Beyond Class. I was Class Itself.

      I will try it again disagreeing strongly with every choice and see what class it calls me.

      1. Mantid

        Yep, I missed it at the water cooler. I was likely on my break, out back in the van. In any case, I skimmed their privacy policy and found this: “Nor is any personally identifiable information about you obtained by this site through social media sharing. Since we do not ask you to log in with Facebook or Twitter in order to use our tests, we don’t actually get access to information about you.”
        No info via social media sites? They don’t need it because they have your ISP address (your computer’s address). “we don’t actually get access to information about you” – false. Again, they obtain your data via your computer address (and router). If you are using a VPN, TOR or other cloaking system, it’s more difficult for them. As mom said, there is no free lunch.

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          Well, one can take it over and over and over again, giving different answers each time. Fun for the taker, maybe giving the eavesdropper a puff of data smog hard to interpret.

    3. drumlin woodchuckles

      Well, I took the test a third time and strongly disagreed with every choice. It again said it could not assign me a class and there were no colors anywhere on the class color wheel.

      I am below Class. I am beneath Class. I am Class Invisible. I have no Class at all, of any kind.

  21. fresno dan


    The former president has a long, RINO-esque history of supporting big-government spending. He is also wont, while out of office, to make public statements that contradict positions and actions he took while in office. That history suggests that he’d have been more in sync with the Republican “retirees, losers, and haters” (to quote our MBD) who helped Democrats get BIF across the finish line than with Republicans who opposed more borrowing and spending by a government whose addiction to spending borrowed money surged at historic levels during the Trump presidency.
    How is it that it is NOT what you DO, but what you SAY, that people believe? Fox can’t point out that Trump is a HISTORIC deficit spender, for obvious reasons (of course, Trump CAN’T acknowledge what a historic deficit spender he is either). But CNN can’t acknowledge all the deficit spending Trump does EITHER, cause it exposes how paltry the dem “stimulas” is.
    Its like both tribes don’t REALLY believe in their “principles” only what their leaders say, no matter how divorced from reality. And its like out MSM can’t expose the facts, because it would contradict their narrative.
    Groucho Marx – those are my principles, and if don’t like them….well, I have others.
    How did we ever get to where we are so estranged from reality?

    1. Mo's Bike Shop

      How did we ever get to where we are so estranged from reality?

      Our elites have found reality wanting and therefore moved to a happier locale.

  22. drumlin woodchuckles

    About Book Nook . . . Nichole Hannah Jones . . . . question-answer event with the questions pre-screened in advance.

    The advance screening is to weed out and exclude any inconvenient questions. Most of the questions allowed will actually be statements of high praise disguised as questions . . . ” How do you explain the incredible genius of your ground-breaking historical analysis?” ” Why do you think you are the very first person to be smarter than tens of thousands of historians?” . . . that sort of thing.

    Also allowed will be questions from guilty White Sensitives parading their racial shame and begging for racial absolution and forgiveness of their Original Racial Sin of White Privilege.

    How to sneak in questions designed to trip Jones up and expose her duplicity and de-credibilize the racket she is running? I am not sure in detail.

    Different people should try different methods and questions. The goal is to make her self-expose the internal contradiction traps in her thinking by tricking her into stepping on them in public. And that can only happen if the question actually passes the screeners and gets asked in the event.

    The screeners are very smart. The trick is to word the question so it gets past the censors, who are probably at least as smart as the best censors of the High Classical Communist Civilizations were/are. If you can get such a step-on-it-and-blow-yourself-up landmine question past the censors, Jones will probably step on it and blow herself up. The trick is how to disguise the question so artfully that you can get it past the censors and the screeners.

    Jones herself is probably not as smart as she thinks she is. She is a typical One Schtick Phony, like Tucker Carlson and David Brooks. If someone can just get a hand-grenade question lobbed into her lap, good results will follow.

  23. anon y'mouse

    re: the Food-Class test

    you’re a snob, Lambert. get over it!

    it’s good to be snobbish about some things, maybe. as long as one realizes it and as long as one realizes their preferences are simply that and tries not to be too oppressive about them.

    1. Janie

      Shrimp and grits is an ordinary southern dish. (I’d say “common” but that has an additional connotation.)

      1. anon y'mouse

        the huge problem with that quiz is that they didn’t give any space to vegetarians, people with allergies, religious food restrictions and high end CA cuisine, where throwing baby beets on top of arugula with some romano cheese grated over it robs your wallet of $30. for that matter, regional cuisines weren’t dealt with at all really.
        much less the complications that would arise due to ethnic foods in this country. how can i tell if pra ram long song, malai kofta, or momos and yak butter tea puts me in the high or low class eating category? i guess just knowing what those are indicates something.

  24. Watt4Bob

    Minnesota is not an international hub.

    I don’t know the definition of a ‘hub’ but 10 international flights landed here today. (there’s been a pandemic travel ban for the last year and a half.)

    In 2019 there were 35 international flights per day.

    I think we had refugees from Afghanistan landing today.

    They’re hoping restrictions on flights from Seoul, London and Tokyo can resume soon.

    Seems plausible that we could have cases coming in, lower than NYC, or LA, but doing our part.

  25. enoughisenough

    re. papers not being cited: sometimes scholarship is not always *on trend*, or is ahead of its time.
    Current popularity is not an assurance of quality, nor does it mean it won’t be very very useful a couple of generations from now.

    That’s the ideal of the enlightenment, that knowledge can be built on and discovered and explored into the future.

    That’s why archaeologists document their findings, even if it seems pointless and boring – that knowledge may be used later.

    I do think, however, that there is a feedback loop, of people citing the same bad scholarship all the time, and that is due to the pressure put on scholars, who are overworked (corporate u/austerity) and don’t have the time to read and research thoroughly, as they did in the past.

  26. Laura in So Cal

    re: The Food-Class Test

    I’m a vegetarian so most of the foods were “nope”. Apparently, I’m lower class because I don’t eat meat or fish.

  27. Carla

    Health Care: “Investors are betting that Pfizer’s ‘game-changing’ antiviral pill will reduce demand for COVID vaccines” [Fortune].

    Everything that’s wrong with health care right there.

  28. chuck roast

    “Infrastructure Bill Gives Biden Administration Greater Say Over Projects”

    In the past, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), the poor step-sister in the Department of Transportation has required “means testing” of both major (New Starts) and minor (Small Starts) transit projects. Proposed heavy rail (not to be confused with interstate), light rail and bus rapid transit projects have had many hoops to jump through before they get a full funding grant agreement – the holy grail for local transit agencies. Many of these projects were crap and remain crap today, but they were required to demonstrate any number of efficiencies including meeting strenuous ridership requirements. Meanwhile the lazy bloated sisters in the Federal Highway Administration couldn’t shower enough cash on any roadway you cared to put in your local transportation plan…no means testing…just ask! I can hear the chuckles in the FTA from my lounge-a-rama.

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      Wasn’t that to get more people driving cars? By keeping strangled the growth of non-car alternatives?

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          And put some caviar on top of it.

          Or as Dr. Zoidberg once said to somebody on Futurama . . . . ” Run out to the dumpster and get me a ham sandwhich. And leave the maggots on it! “

  29. Wukchumni

    Ordered some Topo Chico from a big box store and for a $40 score, they are going to ship almost 40 pounds of sparkly* water to my door on the house, as everybody selling online got into the ‘free shipping’ gambit, and the practice must work-although you wonder how?

    * on the label it states:

    Handle with care, product has high carbonation

  30. maria gostrey

    well, i cant say im a fan of the romanovs, but since mr. strether brought it up, i thought i would see if someone can point me in the right direction. some yrs ago i read a book abt the men who were guarding the romanovs when they were held in tobolsk. i would very much like to read that book again but, as i can remember neither title nor author, i cant find it. does any one here know what book this might be?

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      OK. Just give me the verbiage to express the idea that Minneapolis is not an an enormous chip on somebody’s shoulder international hub on the scale of LAX or JFK/EWR and I’ll go quietly, jfc. (I already ran the comparison of international flights per day, since it’s the comparison that matters, not absolute numbers, but I’m not going to go dig it out, since it didn’t do any good.)

      1. Left in Wisconsin

        I think the issue, beyond the gut reaction of flyover defensiveness, which I admit I have come to fully share even though I grew up out east – Mpls is a notable airport hub for a wide swath of the midwest, though nowhere close to O’hare – is the word “hub.” Unless the Covid is entering the community via travelers that are only passing through the airport, the issue isn’t really who is passing through but who is leaving the airport and actually entering the community, in which terms Mpls is, as you note, a minor player in the grand scheme of things.

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          >the issue isn’t really who is passing through but who is leaving the airport and actually entering the community, in which terms Mpls is, as you note, a minor player in the grand scheme of things.

          Of course, as we saw from the initial spread in the New York City area.

          “Minnesota is not an international hub on the scale of LAX or JFK/EWR” jfc.

      2. lance ringquist

        its actually large enough to goose covid. never said it was equal, just that it “AIN’T” no backwater either.

Comments are closed.