2:00PM Water Cooler 12/29/2021

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Patient readers, I will be taking a holiday breather, and running an abbreviated Water Cooler though January 3, 2022 (may it be a better year). Please consider this an open thread, and talk amongst yourselves. –lambert

Bird Song of the Day

From the media notes: “Calls and eventually crowing from a group of four hens and one rooster foraging in the shade at the edge of a field.” So, a bonus hen.

* * *

Here are a couple Covid charts. Case count by United States regions:

We’re gonna need a bigger chart. I have helpfully added an anti-triumphalist “Fauci Line.” Worth noting the case count is probably an undercount. Home tests don’t get counted, and not everybody can go get a test.

Because hospitalizations and deaths lag, we won’t have a complete picture for the United States population — which is different from South Africa’s, the UK’s, and indeed every country, both demographically, and with respect to vaccination and co-morbidities like obesity — for another two weeks or so. I would be happy indeed if we lucked out, and Omicron indeed did turn out to be “mild.” However, I’n brain-meltingly enraged at our political class, which allowed the notion that Omicron would be “mild” to take root and flourish before the evidence for the United States was in. It’s the very reverse of the Precautionary Principle, and insanely dangerous in the midst of a pandemic, at least to public health, if there is such a thing anymore. Couldn’t these purveyors of hot takes have waited two weeks?

Here are the CDC’s rapid riser counties as of 12/23/2021:

Thanks to the sharp eyes of alert reader ChrisFromGeorgia, I have helpfully dotted the major cities that are also rapid riser counties — in blue (plus Denver and Nashville). Looks like those Blue Cities have some sort of Enemy Within thing going on…. (Chicago isn’t red, but pink, so no dot.)


Today looks worse, especially in the lower Mississippi.

* * *

Looking on the bright side:

Quite right!

* * *

Contact information for plants: Readers, feel free to contact me at lambert [UNDERSCORE] strether [DOT] corrente [AT] yahoo [DOT] com, to (a) find out how to send me a check if you are allergic to PayPal and (b) 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 (KS):

KS writes: “Anghiari, Italy, Tuesday morning. There are plants.” There are indeed; it’s a lovely landscape.

* * *

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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. Samuel Conner

    > We’re gonna need a bigger chart.

    > Looking on the bright side:

    > The CDC shortening isolation time to 5 days

    Perhaps, in its own little way, CDC is trying to make the pie higher.


    perhaps it’s time to lay up store (channelling Denethor here; been watching LotR recently) of rice and beans in preparation for a siege.

      1. Jeremy Grimm

        Though caviar is wonderful, I am not sure how much was laid in to tide over the Hamptons. I would trust to my own hoardings. The Hampton hoardings may better serve amusement than need.

      2. drumlin woodchuckles

        Hungry zombies would merely besiege the next-door neighbors who have stored some beans and rice. The zombies will never go to the Hamptons even if you give them a map.

        If you decide to store some beans and rice, don’t tell anyone about it. If there are breadlines, make sure to be in them so no one suspects you have food. Make a point of visibly losing weight along with everyone else. Share the breadline bread with only those you discover can really truly be trusted to not sink ships.

        And at the micro-social stabilization scale, if your church or mosque or synagogue or secular civic group or club contains enough people who are smart enough to understand stockpiling, help your religious or secular group stockpile bunches of beans and rice on the civic group’s clubhouse property, for some very local membership foodsharing and maybe even some more general local inhabitant soup kitchening.

    1. Earl Erland

      Wheaton IL. Went to a store tonight to pick up some goodies for Salsa, so as to use Food Bank Romas. (Wait not waste not) Cilantro, a small red onion and Japalenoes.

      Went through the snot/poop/spill wipe aisle. Hoarding on. Limiting to 1 signs.

      I twice in five minutes heard a request for masking. The voice was not professional studio. It interrupted the corporate paid background noise.

      The store is Union, UFCW.

      On checkout I mentioned the loss of paper goods to the twenty something. He said: who needs toilet paper in the Apocalypse. I smiled(though he could not see it) and pointed to the Hostess Cupcakes in my bag.

    1. Wukchumni

      I think we ought to call it the ‘Fauci Hop’ related to the Lindy Hop, but lets face it nobody dances anymore, except Anthony ‘Fremont’ Fauci around the truth.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        Doesn’t Fauci sound more and more like Alan Greenspan , if you listen carefully to all the words?

        1. rowlf

          A faster Friedman cycling?

          Cheese and rice, you’d think these folks would create a black hole with their irrelevance.

    2. Huey Long

      Very scary stuff :-(. This variant is burning through NYC like crazy and the city is slowing down big time.

      Normally it slows down a little between Xmas and New Years but nothing like this.

      For example, the Lincoln Tunnel exclusive bus lane shut down before 9am this morning because traffic was incredibly light. The park and ride had half as many cars in the lot than it did 2 weeks back when I was there last. On the bicycle portion of my commute I had no problem finding a bike at rush hour, across the street from the bus terminal and flew crosstown to my job near the UN. Normally I have to walk to Bryant Park for a bike.

      1. FreeM

        My employer (large foreign financial institution), after telling everybody in NYC and London to WFH from mid-Dec to the end of the year, has now said to not bother coming back to the office until after mid-Jan. And even then, they’ll probably extend that.

        I certainly saw a lot fewer people on the streets over the Thanksgiving / Christmas period than in years past (except for last year). The PMC workers are staying home, the foreign tourists are mostly staying home, and the local tourists (Long Island, CT, PA) are coming in a bit. Half the ads I hear for concerts and shows are to announce cancellations.

        My building (large co-op) sent out a note this morning reminding everybody that any workers they have coming in must be vaxxed, per the Mayor’s order.

        I think it’s going to be a long winter.

      2. drumlin woodchuckles

        People are providing themselves “leaderless mass leadership” in the absence of any pro-public-health leadership from the “leaders”. In fact, some people are providing themselves leaderless mass leadership in defiance of the “official leaders’s” deliberate efforts to lead us into getting more covid and spreading it around more.

        It is just a long step from there to general leaderless mass cultural rebellion and then mass cultural rejection of official authority leadership.

        And then what? Dare one hope that a hundred million or more Americans begin trying to figure out how to craft part-time subsistence survival-augmentation Free UnMarket BioPhysiconomies in rejection of the mainstream Forced Market Moneyconomy?

    3. LawnDart

      Like being stalled on the tracks in front of that speeding train: the moment of awe and wonder before the brain mumbles, “Aw s#!t…”

    4. Jason Boxman

      And with the CDC admission that they vastly overstated the prevalence of Omicron so far, this is so far very much a Delta spike. So what comes next? And this in the midst of what appears to be the 2022 theme of endemicity and “live with the virus”. I cannot wait. Does this mean we have to live with the stupidity of our betters as well? We’ve been living with that long enough.

        1. Ben Oldfield

          Fine but what if a good proportion are long Covid. I have seen an estimate, based on the latest data of over 50%

          1. jsn

            It’ll be mild long COVID, obviously.

            The mainstream cheering of own goals suggests team USA doesn’t know which net it’s supposed to be defending.

            1. chuck roast

              I think you have the zeitgeist down. I’m curious how they will characterize the flooding of Thames Street in 50 years. Maybe they will have “moon tide sales events” to excite locals to row down commercial street to purchase “solar powered cellar pumps.”

            2. Janet O'Toole

              Not necessarily. My daughter had a mild case if covid in June 2020 and still stuffers from long term covid….

          2. Pelham

            Yes, I’ve seen at least one similar estimate. At some point the absence of major media coverage of long Covid becomes highly suspect. In my estimation, that time has long since passed.

          1. juanholio

            The story goes that this is down to testing all people who are admitted into hospital, for any reason.

            If there is uncontrolled spread of COVID-19 in the catchment area of the hospital, it stands to reason that they’re going to be admitting a lot of folks who are coming in for something else, but also happen to have (possibly mild or asymptomatic) COVID-19.

            A new spin on the FOR/WITH question. “Were they admitted for COVID-19, or with it?”

            1. drumlin woodchuckles

              Or did they get it in the waiting rooms? Or in the ER? Or did they get it post-admission within the hospital itself?

              This is a good time to delay any elective anything unless neglecting it makes it life or health threatening in a non-curable way.

              1. Redlife2017

                According to my friend who is a team manager of NHS statisticians, you should not go to a hospital (including A&E) if you can at all help it right now.

                We both have little people and are having to be a bit more overbearing parents by making sure they don’t break stuff whilst climbing on the park exercise equipment. Wait times at A&E are like 10 hours plus now due to staff shortages (according to him as well as anecdata), so even if you’re not worried about getting Covid (or have had it in the last month), you do not want to wait 10 hours plus to see someone. And they don’t let people stay with you either due to Covid rules…

        2. R

          Well, a lot of fairly objective analysts at the moment and NHS managers are saying that it *is* mild. No increased ICU demand or high oxygen flows.

          I don’t hold a candle for BoJo but it would appear to be mild.

          More worrying, NY has sequenced several samples with furin ckeavage site enhancement a la Delta, so get yer classic omicron while yer can….

        3. Martin Oline

          Regarding the “mild hospitalization”
          From Firesign Theater quiz show when the contestant defers the door prize choice and picks the bag the MC is holding:

          “Why this … why this is a bag of shit!”
          “Yes but it’s really good shit Mrs.Presky.”

  2. jefemt

    Italian landscape photo… life imitating art, fergoshsakes!

    Charts/ Testing: are the tests reliably accurate and indicative of status? I am starting to have no faith in anything….

    And it seems an overt policy is, We don’t need or want tests or data. Vax up and shaddup.

    1. Wukchumni

      I ventured into the pine barrens (completely barren of pines that is) of the CVBB yesterday for sustenance and about half of the people were naked from the neck up, with slightly more masked women than masked men, for those of you keeping score @ home.

      This in one of the hardest hit areas of the state prior to Omicron…

    2. Mantid

      Thank you. I read the article. it doesn’t include any info on if workers are/were vaccinated. Funny that. About as funny as a screen door in a submarine.

      1. Lee

        As New Variants Emerge, We Continue To Focus on the Safety and Well-Being of Our Associates Walmart

        “We’re pleased that more than 90% of our campus office associates have been fully vaccinated. While vaccines are not required at this time for frontline associates who work in our stores, clubs and supply chain facilities, we are paying them to roll up their sleeves. We recently reintroduced our vaccine incentive* for frontline associates to provide $150 after an associate becomes fully vaccinated.”

        1. Michael Ismoe

          How much will WalMart pay for one of their worker’s livers? Can you imagine Steve Jobs buying a WalMart liver? Would that have destroyed the brand?

          1. fajensen

            Dunno, they are “Associates”. I suspect that Wallmart would rather render them down for biofuel and “green” plastics – before paying for anything Associated with their Associates!

    3. Lee

      Wow! From one of the interviewees, “Everybody I know has Covid right now.” Three hour lines for testing. Things not looking good.

      1. polar donkey

        I am at work at Lakers game with 13,000 people. 80% no mask. Arena started the portable air scrapers again. Like that is going to help

  3. cocomaan

    I still believe that one of the long term outcomes of the Covid crisis is a reinvigorated labor movement. Too much of this can be seen by too many people as favoring the monied classes. People can smell the BS and the smell is getting ranker by the day.

      1. JohnnyGL

        The ability to impose an embargo on the entire PMC, is an interesting proposition.

        As lambert is wont to say, ‘perhaps there’s power laying in the street, waiting to be picked up and put to use?’

    1. Thistlebreath

      In terms of plagues, labor and insolent overlords, I did enjoy reading Ken Follett’s “Pillars of the Earth” series of historical novels. The underlying truths on which he overlaid his story were the die off of serfs and the rise of freeholders on the land and artisans for construction. Set during the 1350 era, the Black Plague and religious & political upheaval make for a trilogy that I liked.

    2. JohnnyGL

      Oh it’s underway, the question is how much steam does it gather? And how does it organize and get expressed?

      But, yes, the context has shifted and the lower working class is looking more empowered than it has been in decades.

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          This might be a good time for the lower working classmembers to try learning and practicing what they can about Jackpot Resistant Survival lifestyling, so they can at least reduce their die-off to being no-more-proportionally than the die-off among other classes.

          This might be a good project for those Democratic Socialists of America action teams . . . to learn and then spread Jackpot Survival Knowledge. They might even call themselves the Barefoot Doctors of Survivalism.

      1. caucus99percenter

        Did the fact that other countries exist ever, in any way, deter Americans from believing they are exceptional and the only indispensable nation?

  4. Robert Hahl

    A musical interlude – Covers

    Photo of the Beatles watching Jimmy Hendrix play Sgt. Pepper

    Jimi Hendrix opens the set with Stg. Pepper which had been released three days before.

    Isaac Guillory – Taboo
    Guillery is widely ignored in the U.S. because he lives in Europe.

    Sam Cook – Blowing in the Wind

    The Neville Brothers – Congo Square

    1. ambrit

      Somehow I’m guessing that these mandates will be as rigourously enforced as are the wages provisions of the local laws concerning said menials.
      We have reached the point where we must consider further adherence to the “vaxvaxvax” policy as being actively evil. There is enough evidence in the public sphere for a rational and reasonable person to know that the “vaxvaxvax” policy is both wrong and dangerous to the public health.

        1. C.O.

          Thank you for recommending this link, it was a real breath of fresh air in terms of Canada’s dubious media bubble, and also an interesting summary of the generally available information with respect to COVID therapeutics, immunity questions and so on here.

  5. LadyXoc

    I like a tweet I saw yesterday: “Nobody talks about ‘Long Polio.'” That is, millions were infected with the polio virus, but the modern mass perception only encompasses those that suffered death, paralysis, and/or life-long sequelae. Parallels with Covid obviously. Talk about straining the resources…

    1. Wukchumni

      My 96 1/2 year old mom (the halves matter when you’re almost 9 or into your 90’s) told me that Polio was the most feared thing in that you never knew when it was going to hit and if somebody in school came down with it, they’d close up the school for a week to 10 days. It was a scourge for which there was no protective measures to speak of, and everybody knew somebody ensconced in an iron lung-for life.

      This threat went on for her first 30 years, here we are caterwauling about heading into a 2nd year of what could be a life sentence,

      ‘Wouldn’t work in an iron lung’… Aussie slang for an extremely lazy person

    2. floyd

      No worries. Long Covid will be wrapped into something nebulous like Chronic Fatigue Syndrome The public will be educated that the those patients are nuts and there will be a cottage industry of “experts” that will make some bank spewing nonsense. Any criticism will portrayed as attacks on “noble scientists”. Easy peasy.

      1. The Rev Kev

        That ploy has a long history behind it such as with Agent Orange from the Vietnam War, Gulf War Syndrome from the 90s and even the 9/11 responders who were initially denied their claims. Mostly it was just delay delay, delay until a large portion of the victims were in the ground and out of the way.

    1. CoryP

      “Critical Sports Studies” I love it!

      Poe’s Law seems to apply here, but I don’t think this guy is trolling.

  6. Tommy S

    I liked that tweet about long lasting general strikes. I mean if, there was a real bottom up base, which I think is here, that organized such….it would be ‘our’, the working class’ decision….. Funny how as some of his replies mirror, people think that a mass general strike would not be decided upon, by the masses, that choose to go on a long strike, with all the obvious hardships that would entail…… Leadership worship is deeply embedded here….I mean how could you have a long general strike, without majority of those involved saying ‘yes’. Weird, that people auto reply like it would be some top down dictate…like there are huge Leninist or maoist parties with mind control going on here. Absolutely no contact with the working class of all colors here…..people are ready…but the real left structure is not being built…

  7. Larry Y

    Wonder if NJ is the COVID canary again. Remember, NJ still has the third highest per capita COVID death rate.

    Today was a daily record of 20,483 COVID-19 cases. NJ hospitalizations more than tripled from last month to > 3,000. For comparison, > 3,800 last winter and > 8,000 at the beginning of the pandemic. This is with the 74% eligible vaccination rate.


    1. Lee

      We’re >80% vaccinated here in Alameda County, CA. Just looked at the chart “cases by vaccination status“. Although there are twice as many cases among the 20% unvaccinated, both categories look to be rising at about the same rate, that is like a rocket on its way into the inky void. Hospitalizations up a tad, ICU remains low. But then here we’re a little late to the Omicron party.

  8. North Star

    The iconic world junior hockey tournament, in Edmonton this year, is about to be cancelled this afternoon due to a spread of covid through most teams. The organizers had tried to keep it alive as long as they could with extensive isolation and testing procedures to no avail.

    1. chuck roast

      Total bummer. I love the Juniors. I’m thinking that I may never see another live hockey game. These days you gotta’ be a real knucklehead to sit in a frozen barn for two+ hours with a few thousand other chattering, yelling fans. Left to check out the Utube highlights every morning. More Connor McDavid please!

    2. eg

      People who enter hockey arenas (especially of the small town variety) during a respiratory pandemic are likely terribly informed about risk factors. Their ventilation is poor at best, and the lack of humidity isn’t exactly favourable either.

      Of course, in Canada hockey means money, so …

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      I stopped watching You-Tube long ago. A little more information about what you are [?] crowing about might be nice.

  9. allan

    Has anyone ever seen Jeff Zients and Jared Kushner in the same room at the same time?

    White House won’t sign deal to mass-mail COVID tests until ‘late next week’ [NY Post]

    White House coronavirus response coordinator Jeff Zients admitted Wednesday that the Biden administration won’t ink contracts to mass-mail 500 million COVID-19 rapid tests until “late next week” — despite a record-smashing wave of new US infections and a shortage of tests.

    The timeframe means it will take the White House nearly three weeks to start the process of making tests available after previewing the plan to combat the highly contagious Omicron variant Dec. 20. …

    “That means that the first deliveries from manufacturers will start in January. We’ll set up a free and easy system, including a new website, to get these tests out to Americans,” he added. “We’re actively working to finalize that distribution mechanism, which includes a website where people will be able to order tests for free.” …

    On the bright side, at least he didn’t say an app.

  10. Tom Stone

    So isolation is cut to 5 days and testing isn’t required before you go back to work, even for nurses.
    Because we can’t have “The Economy” falter.

    So what happens to the economy when 5%-10% of the populace is out sick with Covid at the same time?

    1. BeliTsari

      Or, be Hochul-ed into working sick as a dog and terrified, with “mildly” hospitalized kids and more chronic PASC damage, shrugged off during video visits to out-of-network replacement doctors, in Sri Lanka? When mass walk-outs (riots), strikes (looting) or protests (insurrection) are beat down by OathKeeper cops & Boogaloo Boi company thugs I’m pretty sure most of us were infected by (presumably) asymptomatic 1099 gig-workers, who have absolutely NO say in any of this. So, I’m noticing no anosmia or fever, this time. But, man, no WAY I’d be able to teach or operate a MTA train during this “mild” Omicron gnawing at my PASC screwed-up epithelium. We need a frigging comet just now? Pfizer’s Paxlovid & Merck’s Molnupiravir sales up?

    2. The Rev Kev

      I think that we are already beginning to see this right now with so many people out. And is there really a manager or a human resources department that wants a coughing worker standing in front of them explaining that they still feel sick? Maybe those firms that opted to keep work from home going may be less susceptible to going into crisis mode.

    3. eg

      This failure to recognize that there is no economy without a healthy populace is as staggering an indictment of “our betters” as is imaginable. Have these people no familiarity whatsoever with Maslow’s hierarchy of needs?

      It is truly “full re****”

      1. ChrisRUEcon

        #CovidOmicronAnalogy #InterNetworking

        Can’t resist this as an internetworking person. Just as large networks deploy inspection devices to detect virus signatures and drop packets bearing them, so too was this the proper approach to our biological virus problem – essentially #CovidZero. China, New Zealand and a few other did this, and got to reap the benefits. The US, UK and much of west chose not to, and now are suffering the equivalent of getting DDoS’d by Omicron from within. Just like a company that suddenly finds itself with multiple infected hosts behind their firewalls, the US now has to deal with reduced operational capacity due to infection.

        Will the criminally negligent US leadership learn? Based on Biden’s about-face on federal responsibility, the horrible answer is “no”.

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          The more covid now, the more long-covid Jackpot later. The agenda remains to spread covid to every person if possible now, so as to create more long-covid slow-rolling dieoff later. Social shutdown now is a risk the OverClass is willing to take.

    1. The Rev Kev

      If she’s lucky, old Joe will give her a full pardon on the way out the door for ‘services rendered.’

    2. drumlin woodchuckles

      I notice that somewhat into the article it says . . . ” Epstein died in federal custody while awaiting his own sex-trafficking trial. ”

      Did the article-writer merely forget to say that Epstein “committed suicide” . . . ? Or did the article-writer make a pointed point of deliberately not saying that?

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      Huh? I feel left out. What am I missing here?

      I hate, HATE, acronyms. KA? and what Main Street bruhahah?

      Sorry but I am old and obscurity challenged.
      [If far far from base … please accept my apologies.]
      (Corrected and with nose-rubbed-in-it I might apologize further.)

      1. ChrisRUEcon

        New to me as well, but I’m guessing KA refers to Kamala Harris … ;-)

        As for Main Street, in Political/Econ slang/parlance, the opposite of Wall Street metaphorically, as in:

        Wall Street = Capital, Plutocrats, The 1%
        Main Street = Labor, The Working Class, The 99%

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          It would be good if we could viralize some snappy version of . . .

          The top 1%,
          The next 9%,
          The lower 90% at the bottom.

          If we could viralize that, then we would have a basis for universal understanding of the question when we asked the 9% . . . ” which side are you on?”

        2. ambrit

          I have seen Kamala Harris referred to by the initials KY for some obscure reason. Perhaps it’s because of how slippery a Politica she is.

      2. jo6pac

        Sadly I don’t care what you hate because my spelling is so baaaaaaaad that you won’t have even read it in the first place. Enjoy

        1. The Rev Kev

          Who amongst us has not made a spulling error from time to time? I sometimes think that I need a poof reader myself.

      3. CoryP

        I understand your complaint. However I was able to glean the context from the headline contained within the link’s web address/URL (Uniform Resource Locator)

  11. fresno dan

    he Henderson County Sheriff’s Office announced the 3-year-old girl who accidentally shot herself on Christmas day has passed away.
    Deputies said they were sent to Spicer Cove Road around 2:25 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 25 for an accidental shooting.
    The 911 caller said they had a visitor who had a gun in their car, which they didn’t know about. The caller said the child picked up the gun and it went off.
    North Carolina police officer accidentally shot and seriously injured his 15-year-old son Monday night, a report said.
    The teen was struck in the head in the shooting at a home in Onslow County, WCNT reported, citing authorities.
    “This is a tragic event, and this matter remains under investigation by the Onslow County Sheriff’s Office,” District Attorney Ernie Lee said in a statement.
    The boy remained hospitalized at Vidant Medical Center in Greenville on Tuesday.
    The teen’s father is an officer with North Carolina’s Jacksonville Police Department.
    Guns don’t kill people….guns in N. Carolina kill people

  12. Eustachedesaintpierre

    A report from Old Blighty that might be of interest.

    The Christmas ringing up of old friends & a couple of relatives included a cousin, who is he states back on the barricades. DBL vaxxed – he’s 68 & has been protesting in London against Covid restrictions, attending Assange demos & just generally hanging around mainly at Speakers Corner – He is a veteran of many years back to the 80’s – Poll Tax demos, Brixton riots etc.

    The situation reminds him of the bad old days when the SPG ( Special patrol group police ) were big into intimidation & violence. They were disbanded & replaced by the TSG ( Territorial support group police ) who are known as the muscle of the Met ( Metropolitan police ). Back to the future as he puts it with plenty of cop violence & harassment of demonstrators which include Assange demos & those puttin the world to rights at Speakers Corner. In his opinion over the last few months the tide has turned & at the increasingly large anti vax, covid, restrictions or however they are labelled demos, the cops are increasingly on the back foot after having run rampage previous to that.

    He told me to checkout a youtube channel called Resistance GB & all the kind of stuff he told me about is available there with much else he didn’t mention, like cops arresting Pier’s Corbyn for basically nothing & footage of PC being thrown out by heavies at a Q&A given by London Mayor Sadig Khan. Cuz is of the opinion that things could blow up pretty badly as a growing resentment to the general state of things & increasing hatred towards the cops grows.

    According to him the demonstrators are mainly ordinary people of all ethnic groups who are not another incarnation of the infamous London Mob – who even William Blake got caught up with when they burned down the much hated Newgate Prison. He does however believe that old ghost is always there as potential with it’s own stewing grievances in places like Brixton, Hackney etc last seen in action according to him after Mark Duggan was murdered who was raised in the Broadwater Housing Estate being another potential flashpoint, as since the murder of PC Blakelock in the 80’s the cops have consistently given the place a hard time.

    Omicron he thinks could be a factor if the now stretched thin blue lines are reduced further due to isolating, as is already the case with the ambulance service, something that could result in a loss of order, which in turn might lead to the mob smelling a weakness. Anyhow, just conjecture on our part & maybe the Fat Controller would bring in the Army either before or after, but a new video I saw earlier illustrated for me how crazy it’s getting. It featured a group of very ordinary people from a town / City further North of London attacking & vandalising a Covid testing centre in Milton Keynes, which is something I could never have previously imagined.

    Happy New Year !!!

  13. The Rev Kev

    Meanwhile, in Oz-

    ‘State leaders are bidding against each other in the global market to secure tens of millions of rapid antigen tests in the absence of a federal plan on at-home testing, after Australians were urged to avoid getting a PCR test unless symptomatic.’

    This reminds me of how Trump would pull back on federal authority and would have all 50 States have biding wars against each other for medical supplies. Then again, maybe the States here in Oz don’t trust Scotty’s government. When New South Wales decided to let the virus rip, Scotty secretly took vaccines off the other States and sent them down to Sydney because he neglected to stockpile them there when he had them open up. So maybe the States now don’t trust the feds here to do the same with rapid antigen tests-


    Then again, Scotty seems to be following Biden’s example these days in many ways.

    1. Vandemonian

      Our son and his husband are heading down from Sydney for a visit on Monday. They each need a negative Rapid Antigen Test before they board the flight. Unfortunately, no RATs to be had in Sydney for love nor money.

      Solution? We sent them a couple of test kits by Express Post this afternoon. Should be with them tomorrow. (no DeJoy in Australia – yet)

  14. allan

    Delta Air Lines cuts COVID-19 quarantine time for employees after CDC’s new guidance [Seattle Times]

    Delta Air Lines has updated its policies for workers who get sick with the coronavirus, soon after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shortened its recommended isolation period for Americans infected with COVID-19. …

    The airline’s new policy, dated Tuesday, provides five days of paid leave for workers who test positive for the coronavirus to isolate, according to an internal communication to company leaders obtained by The New York Times. And it encourages, but does not require, a coronavirus test to go back to work, going a step further than the CDC guidance, which does not include a recommendation for additional testing. Delta’s new protocols make no mention of whether returning employees should have improving symptoms, as suggested by the CDC.

    `Improving symptoms’ would be a subjective standard,
    so you can’t blame the C-suite for wanting to follow the science. /s

    Positivity – keep climbing.

  15. Jason Boxman

    We’ve now hit an all time record number of cases. Congratulations, President Biden! You’ve shown us it’s possible to govern worse than Trump, no small feat.

    1. Late Introvert

      DemRats will respond “are you a Republican?” unless you’re black and then they’ll tell you you’re not.

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