2:00PM Water Cooler 4/25/2022

By Lambert Strether of Corrente

Patient readers, this Water Cooler is abbreviated because I must finish basting and roasting the Biden Administration on Covid once again. So this is an open thread. –lambert

Bird Song of the Day

I thought I would try for some warblers this week, since they might be showing up where people bird. OK, OK, this one’s from Tanzania, but it’s very pretty, and who is Mrs. Moreau?

* * *


If you missed it, here’s a post on my queasiness with CDC numbers, especially case count, which I (still) consider most important, despite what Walensky’s psychos at CDC who invented “community levels” think. But these are the numbers we have.

* * *

Case count by United States regions:

First decisive upward turn, so we’ll see how it goes. Remember, it’s 100% certain the cases numbers are significantly understated. They’ve always been gamed, but it’s worse than before. One source said they though cases might be undercounted by a factor of six. Gottlieb thinks we only pick up one in seven or eight. Yikes. But how do we know? Here are the cases for the last four weeks:

A little encouraging! (I do have priors, and worries, but even I wouldn’t wish a pandemic on a population to prove a point.)

NOTE I shall most certainly not be using the CDC’s new “Community Level” metric. Because CDC has combined a leading indicator (cases) with a lagging one (hospitalization) their new metric is a poor warning sign of a surge, and a poor way to assess personal risk. In addition, Covid is a disease you don’t want to get. Even if you are not hospitalized, you can suffer from Long Covid, vascular issues, and neurological issues. For these reasons, case counts — known to be underestimated, due to home test kits — deserve to stand alone as a number to be tracked, no matter how much the political operatives in CDC leadership would like to obfuscate it.

From the Walgreen’s test positivity tracker:

I’m leaving the corporate logo on as a slap to the goons at CDC.

MWRA (Boston-area) wastewater detection:

I’m encouraged, but as readers say, we’ll need to wait to week for the universitities and Easter weekend to unkink the data. (Both service areas turned down; I don’t think this is because the college semester has ended, either; readers please correct me.)

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 Biobot Analytics:

Also encouraging, in that the Northeast is flattening.

Cases lag wastewater data.

From CDC Community Profile Reports (PDFs), “Rapid Riser” counties:

California is improving as is the Northeast is improving, as confirmed by wastewater. The Midwest looks a little spotty. (Remember that these are rapid riser counties. A county that moves from red to green is not covid-free; the case count just isnt, well, rising rapidly.)

The previous release:

Here is CDC’s interactive map by county set to community transmission. This is the map CDC wants only hospitals to look at, not you:

The Northeast remains stubbornly and solidly red. Now California is red as well. (It looks like portions of Maine went from High (red) to Substantial (orange), but that part of Maine is the Unorganized Territories, where virtually nobody lives.

Hospitalization (CDC Community Profile):

if anybody tells you hospitalization is down, tell them “No, it very isn’t.” (Note trend, whether up or down, is marked by the arrow, at top. Admissions are presented in the graph, at the bottom. So it’s possible to have an upward trend, but from a very low baseline.)

Death rate (Our World in Data):

Total: 1,018,335 1,017,609. I have added an anti-triumphalist Fauci Line. Numbers still going down, still democidally high.

Covid cases in top us travel destinations (Statista):

Bumpy ride….

* * *

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. From AM:

AM writes: “Visiting my in laws in Naples, FL again and happy to see that the orchids are still thriving outside on their own.”

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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. LawnDart

    No. Oh god, please, just say no:

    Zimbabwean youths find cheap highs in used diapers, sanitary pads

    he and his friends have resorted to a far cheaper alternative – adding water to the white residue found in used diapers and boiling it.

    “After boiling, it forms a greyish substance and we drink the mixture,” Gundawo told Al Jazeera. “It’s semi-solid, it smells and tastes bad but we just drink. It helps us to get high [at] less cost.


      1. Wukchumni

        You’re always chasing that initial high after ingesting Kotex crack the first time…

        1. caucus99percenter

          Yecch! Now I know how Susie Derkins felt during lunch hour, you G.R.O.S.S. buncha Calvin understudies.

    1. jr

      Read a story once on the Darwin Award site of poor youth in some Asian country who would insert air hoses up their rectums and inflate their bowels. It supposedly caused pleasure bordering on elation. One overenthusiastic fellow tried it with a hose for inflating tire trucks. The resulting “Pop!” led an old women nearby to start singing and dancing. She assumed it was a firework for a parade. I’m not kidding.

      1. LawnDart

        I was waiting for the jokes about good s#!t, but I guess those cr@pped-out.

        Yeah, this thread’s in bad taste, and I suppose it’s best to draw a line somewhere, like this guy does:



        If we want peace, we really need stoners in higher office– hunger for power replaced by cravings for Dorietos.

  2. jo6pac

    Now what?

    Oh the Amerikan govt. showed up at Z mans place to tell him the Amerikan tax payer will be happy to send arms because we citizens like being used by our corp. owned govt.

    Planted a cherry tomato & beefsteak. I also plant 2 mary jane plants a few days ago and one up already.

    That’s it for now because it’s time for ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ.

  3. Randall Flagg

    Open thread? Go get ‘em Lambert!
    Okay, how’s the weather in your neck of the woods?
    Sunny, breezy in the low 60’s, lovely spring day in the Upper Valley region the NH/VT. Grass is going green, spring buds are popping.
    Hope it is so wherever you may be.

    1. Carla

      Here a few miles from Lake Erie’s southern shore, it hit 87 degrees yesterday! I saw two bees this morning… wish I could say dozens instead. Over the weekend we had friends over to our patio for supper — first time having dinner with friends since last Oct. — lovely.

      1. Screwball

        Hello fellow Lake Erie southern shore (I’m probably further South). Yesterday was beautiful, and it was so nice to sit out in the sun. Loved it after this long winter and not so great spring.

        Today – not so much. Rain and clouds are back. But, summer is coming – and I can’t wait.

      2. jhg

        Hi Carla,

        I live on the east coast of Lake Huron up near the Bruce Peninsula. We hit 27 degrees C (80 degrees F). I saw bumble bees out and about as well. The flowers are coming up as well. Its been pretty wet but it is nice to have warm weather again.

        1. Thistlebreath

          Thanks for the prompt to recall childhood memories of vacations around Duntroon and Stainer.
          Draft horses were still being used by farmers, heard a kid up in the Blue Mntn’s speak Gaelic.

    2. johnnyme

      Looks like we topped out at a balmy 38F here in Minneapolis today and we just missed breaking the all-time lowest high temperature for the day. Adding insult to injury, I saw a few snowflakes flitter by this morning.

      No insects, barely any buds on the trees and very little green to be seen.

      Our never-ending March isn’t going to be over any time soon, either. Ugh.

  4. Martin Oline

    I was changing channels on cable last night and as I went by CNN the teleprompter-reader informed her public that the Covid death count had reached “nearly 1 million.” I had to dwell there a few minutes to look at the stats being screened at the side. I wanted to see what source was used or what the actual count was but it wasn’t one of the select data. Gosh, I might have to rethink my opinion about the Biden administration because CNN says he’s doing a good job. /s
    Thank you for posting the information and sources.

    1. The Rev Kev

      I was so worried about Twitter censoring all those free speakers. Thank heavens there is going to be a billionaire in charge now.

  5. Louis Fyne

    I had the symptoms of a minor vanilla common cold yesterday: headache, sneezing, minor arm aches presumably from gardening, no fever.

    I took a FlowFlex rapid covid test.

    faint positive (~1/3 the brightness of the control line). Thinking that this was a false positive, I took another test. Same. depending on the source, the internet says false positives are rare to extraordinarily high.

    Woke up today, feel perfectly normal. Too normal to go get a PCR test.

    Highly doubt that I had covid, but without the PCR, I guess I’ll never know barring an antibodies test.

    1. curlydan

      I hope you continue to feel good. FYI: On the at home test instructions I’ve seen (not FlowFlex), even a light second line supposedly means a positive.

      1. Louis Fyne

        mainly because the figures for the false positive rate for the lateral flow test are all over the place in the media. I can’t find an authoritative source for the real false positive rate.

        no one else in the house tested positive. and I presume I caught my cold from a friend’s toddler who sneezed in my face on Thursday.

        But yes, absolutely I understand where you’re coming from. Maybe I did have covid.

        1. Tom Doak

          Honestly I think it’s the other way around – there are a lot of false negatives (or faint positives that people dismiss), but that supports the result wanted by TPTB. So the narrative is only about the false positives.

    2. hemeantwell

      Louis, I know how you feel, literally. On Friday same symptoms, feared the worst but two negative rapid tests and a Walgreen’s NAAT test later it seemed I had the flu. Pretty much ok today, and the negative NAAT was quite natural high.

    3. jr

      Good to hear you are feeling better! Just found out our good friends darling 1.5 year old girl had it, she seems to be ok as well. Sigh.

      1. Louis Fyne

        yes I took 500% of rec. daily allowance of zinc, one vitamin C 10,000%, and one vitamin D, 500%, and two multivitamins for two days.

        Have zero idea if those pills made any difference, but I’m no worse for the wear. Placebo effect strikes again!

      2. jr

        My understanding is that for Vitamin D to be helpful, you have to have enough of it in your body when you get infected. They can administer a super dose of it at the hospital but that form is very expensive, like hundreds of dollars a bottle. I use the standard stuff but you have to start at least a week in advance and keep it up.

  6. Dave Connors

    If you donate blood with the Red Cross they will test your blood for covid and report the result back to you.

    1. bluegrapes

      Wanted to elaborate on this, they don’t test for an active infection, it’s an antibody test. But yes, I just donated whole blood last week and got my results already.

  7. flora

    Walgreen tracker:

    Very interesting graph on page 3 of that interactive pdf. Infection rates by vax status: none, 1,2,3,4. Not sure what it signals.

  8. jr

    re: The New Homophobia: cis-queers

    Wow, what a shocker. Apparently some queers aren’t queer enough:


    “It was time to make way for a new generation of “queer,” one that had very little to do with sex-based rights and more to do with abolishing the concepts of sex and sexuality altogether.”


    “But today I am equally fearful of the radical activists I once longed to emulate, activists who push a regressive, anti-liberal agenda that reifies gender stereotypes, downplays the seriousness of long-term medicalization and ultimately seeks to abolish my identity—for without biological sex, there is no homosexuality.”

    Women AND homosexuals’ identities are being disappeared. For women, I suspect it’s part of a bigger plan but for homosexuals it’s just a by-product of a cult mentality turning on it’s own in a quest for purity. It’s all about power. And Big Pharma selling life-long conversion treatments. This stuff is sickening and deeply dangerous.

    1. Carolinian

      We have experimental vaccines. Why not experimental sex change operations? /sarc

      But perhaps you link is saying trans is about no sex at all. Are there any simple dogmas that can apply to this? My understanding is that lots of trans–or some-are fully heterosexual. Given that some of us once regarded many of our public school teachers as teaching from the book bureaucrats one questions whether such complex matters should be turned over to that lot. Surely common sense alone says that school teachers should not be playing psychologists.

      As for adults, free choice is a thing. Also possible regrets.

      1. jr

        I think the “thinking” is that there is no such thing as sex, only the nebulous fairy stuff of gender. As a commenter recently and cogently noted, gender is merely a collection of subjective perceptions and beliefs about oneself and others. It truly is fluid, which is why the Woke practice of merely flipping stale gender stereotypes is so profoundly unreflective.

        But I don’t know that a majority of teachers are promulgating this none-sense. I would look to the administrators as the source of the infection, it seems that the bureaucrats in a number of fields are happy to wield a moralizing sword that is sure to tick off almost everyone with it’s bizarre claims and insidious power to trigger conflicts. Conflicts that then help to reinforce established authority.

        There is a loud and dedicated contingent of teachers all over Tik-Tok preachifying about it, the ones who feel compelled to explain their lifestyle to 4th graders. One I watched proclaimed that teaching is inherently political and rationalized her grooming as such. She fails to understand that the +act+ of teaching is inherently political. Bringing personal politics into the classroom is indoctrination and seems to me to be an example of Adorno’s (?) dictum that too radical is not radical enough. Which I think is exactly the point of whoever is driving this madness.

        As I’ve noted before, I think this is part of a bigger plan. Wokey-ism seems to be coming from all directions these days: the mainstream media, the corporate world, academia, the military (which still blows my mind), and contingents in education. There are billionaires involved, Big Pharma is there, and Tucker Carlson has traced a line of influence from the vile Taylor Lorenz’s $hit-lib gatekeeping attack on “Libs of Tik-Tok”, which features lots of Woke teachers blathering on, to an organization called the “Prototype Fund” who in turn gets it’s money from the German Ministry of Education! (Nod to flora here.):


        Something really, really weird is going on here.

        1. Carolinian

          As Groucho once sang: “Whatever you’re for I’m against it.” It’s enough that DeSantis etc to be opposed for them to feel vindicated–not to mention victimized. IMO any elementary school employee acting as self-appointed child psychologist should be fired immediately. Adults in positions of authority saying things to impressionable children do not fall under the category of “free speech” unless practicing medicine without a license can also be defended as free speech. I had at least one teacher in high school who was a true a**hole and on a personal level and I’ve never forgotten it. Of course teachers get a lot of crap coming the other way from students and parents but they are in positions of responsibility and should be required to take their own “first do no harm” oath.

          1. jr

            I agree that teachers should teach. These days, though, they find the roles of parent, therapist, cop, social worker and advocate thrust upon them. The one’s I know are stretched to their limits. This is by design.

            These groomers are another beast entirely. They are choosing to insert their ideology into their classrooms. They need to be removed and investigated for child endangerment.

            I’m sorry for your experience. I too had a teacher, a Mrs. Gable, whose cruelty scarred me. She was my fourth grade math teacher. I have always struggled with math and she enjoyed mocking me publicly.

            I got her but good, though. Word came in one morning that her husband was seriously ill and another teacher addressed the class, asking us to be well behaved that day. When she left, I went to the board and wrote “THINK NEGATIVE NOT POSITIVE!” on it. Mrs. Gable came in and immediately broke into sobs then ran out. I still savor that moment.

    2. flora

      Here’s Heather and Brett on DarkHorse talking about this new gender identity politics, especially in the public schools. Youtube starts at the point she’s discussing this, around the :50 minute mark. The Gender Identity segment ends at around the ~1:07 minute mark.


      This is the 4wavenow website she mentions: https://4thwavenow.com
      and their twit account she mentions: https://twitter.com/4th_WaveNow

      1. jr

        I think they are whatever is going to generate controversy. I think that’s the point, to strike at people’s beliefs no matter what they are. Then, when there is pushback, you have an excuse to clamp down.

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          One has to learn to use their own kind of language against them. For example, if someone calls you a heteronormative homophobe, call them a homonormative heterophobe.

          If someone calls you a cis-gender-privileged transphobe, call them a trans-gender-privileged cisphobe.

          etc. etc.

    3. lyman alpha blob

      “…reifies gender stereotypes…” is a really good way of putting it. The radical types today do really seem to me to be rolling back much of what the earlier feminist and gay movements had gained – one thing being that you could be a man or a woman without the need to conform to what larger society deems a man or woman to be.

      That article mirrored an hilarious gin fueled dinner conversation my better half and I had last year with her older 60ish gay cousin and a younger millennial trans curious female cousin. She brought up how she thought it was great that 10 year old kids could express their real gender and he was just not having it and let her know about it.

      My daughter recently told us of a 13 year old classmate of hers who in the last year or two has gone from wanting to be called a girl, to boy, to non binary, to girl again, and now posting uber feminine inappropriate selfies on the facetubes. I don’t know much about the kid, but my first impression is that she’s looking for some attention more than anything, which is not at all uncommon, especially at that age.

      When people like the author above or Martina Navratilova, etc. start being demonized for their “phobias”, well I think we can admit that’s taking it a little too far, if we’re being Phranc.

    4. The Rev Kev

      So, does that mean that the ultimate aim of the LGBTQ movement has been hijacked to bring about the new ideal – androgyny? Tough luck if you are lesbian or homosexual as they are now dinosaurs. And of course Star Trek foresaw how this works out in an episode called “The Outcast” where they found a society where ‘the expression of any sort of male or female gender, and especially sexual liaisons, as a sexual perversion’ and those ‘who view themselves as possessing gender are ridiculed, outcast, and forced to undergo “psychotectic therapy” – a form of conversion therapy meant to remediate gender-specificity and allow acceptance back into () society.’ Oh brave new world…

    5. TBellT

      This is just another middle aged gay coping with turning 40 and no longer being cool. Some can do it more gracefully. Some turn into Andrew Sullivan.

  9. 4paul

    Airplane Mask anecdote:

    Last week I flew LGA > ATL for work, down on Wednesday, back on Friday.

    At least 80%, probably >90% mask wearing, except First Class;
    1C is 16 seats on a Scarebus320 Delta livery; 2 seats empty (when I boarded), 5 masks, 9 no mask.
    Both airports were surprisingly empty, LGA everyone masked, ATL 50%+ masked.

    Scarebus320 Delta livery, 157 seats
    1C 2kids, 9 masked, 5 not masked.
    steerage: 70 masked, 53 not masked (I didn’t count everyone, didn’t want to double count) = 57% masked
    cabin crew of 4 split 2mask/2not.
    didn’t see cockpit crew of 2.
    There were of course crew members flying to work (I still can’t believe Delta uses revenue-generating seats for commuting!!!), none (3) wore a mask.

    ATL I tried to count in the long snaking security line but I couldn’t keep track of whom I counted; certainly less than 50%, whether it was 33% or 40% or 25% I’m not sure, but definitely less than half. LGA still everyone in the terminal airside, Baggage Claim masks coming off.

    Just an anecdote, non-scientific, yaddayaddayadda … mask wearing dropped a third in two days.
    Suddenly more than a couple people in the NYC subways aren’t wearing masks; until now it was >80%, until last fall it was >95%.

    I am still stunned that The Smart Kids make no mention of “population density” or “ventilation” or anything meaningful, the bromide “social distance” was all we got, and now that’s swept under the rug.
    And So It Goes.

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      The plan is to spread covid everywhere to everyone. Over and over and over again.

      The best you can do is to not fall for the plan, and protect yourself and other covid realists as best you-all can from the must-spread-covid agenda.

      1. Betty

        Yes, even to us who haven’t gotten it (e.g, vaccinated 2 shots). Murmurs on how we’re going to get REALLY sick. It feel like a campaign to get you to get the virus, then you’ll be safe.

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          Maybe that’s how they will sell you on getting the virus . . . that then you’ll be safe.

          But the real (secret) goal is to stealth-destroy your “margin of health” so that you stay seemingly healthy enough to work long enough to pay all your FICA taxes, and then helpfully die when you are just old enough to go onto Social Security.

  10. jr

    Studies in Solipsism: “The Limits of Lived Experience”

    Ah, the idiotic language of the Woke. “Lived experience”, as opposed to the unlived type lichs, ghosts and vampires experience. Yes, I know what it is supposed to mean but if one is looking for intellectual standing, well, words have power no? Or perhaps it doesn’t matter when your mentality has it’s head shoved up it’s own a$$ and therefore cannot see there are other ways of interpreting things. I’ve said it before, I’m saying it now: identity politics is solipsistic brain-rot. This writer agrees:


    “Indeed, the appeal to lived experience has polarised (sic) modern society into two warring camps: the in-group, whose experiences enable them to comprehend everything about their condition; and the out-group, who lack the experience to be able to understand the conditions facing the in-group.”


    “In addition, lived experiences are profoundly subjective and people are susceptible to biases that may distort their picture of the social world—as when people see racism in everything, for example.”

    I would quibble and say utterly subjective. The other day I watched a video of a young white boxer being interviewed by two black women. He had recently fought a black man and knocked the guy out cold, according to the ladies the guy was asleep before he hit the mat. One of them asked him, in all seriousness, if this was a racist act.

    The young man looked totally confused. He said he couldn’t understand how it could possibly be seen as such but the ladies seemed to think it was. The take-away: these women didn’t understand the meaning of the word “racist”. As with so much Woke babble, the word had lost it’s meaning because in their minds it meant pretty much whatever they wanted it to.

  11. caucus99percenter

    Izieu (Ain), a French village with a memorial for 44 Jewish children sent to Auschwitz, casts 51% of its 138 votes for the extreme right [that is, for Le Pen]. Cause for alarm? Failure to teach history? No. Distressing as it is, says the memorial’s director, it should only be taken as a protest by thoroughly decent rural folk — particularly the young — pained by loss of purchasing power and fearful about their future.


    1. Michael Ismoe

      Anne Applebaum needs to come with a warning label. He husband is even worse.

      Applebaum has been a vocal critic of Western conduct regarding the Russian military intervention in Ukraine. In an article in The Washington Post on March 5, 2014, she maintained that the US and its allies should not continue to enable “the existence of a corrupt Russian regime that is destabilizing Europe”, noting that the actions of President Vladimir Putin had violated “a series of international treaties”.[46] On March 7, in another Telegraph article, discussing an information war, Applebaum argued that “a robust campaign to tell the truth about Crimea is needed to counter Moscow’s lies”.[47] At the end of August, she asked whether Ukraine should prepare for “total war” with Russia and whether central Europeans should join them.[48]


      1. The Rev Kev

        Well she is also a Polish citizen and so is talking also talking her Polish heritage. Just like the Vindman twins who worked on behalf of their Ukrainian heritage. Decades ago I met young American travelers out of college in Europe and to each other they would say that they were Polish or Bulgarian because of their family heritage. I remember thinking at the time that this could prove to be trouble as time went by. And here we are.

        1. Safety First

          To be clear, she was born in Washington D.C. And the Wiki states it was her ancestors, so presumably not quite her parents, who had emigrated to the US, which leads me to suspect they were from the early 20th century wave of Jewish immigration from the Russian Empire-controlled areas (Poland, Belarus, Ukraine) and that would make her at least a second generation American…

          So I think it’s less the citizenship or the ethnicity thing, but rather that she’d literally spent her entire adult life writing about the evil Soviets and the evil Russians for a living. I remember her stuff being printed in the Washington Post in the 1990s, and it was pretty boiler plate propaganda then. The years have not improved her writing much, especially as after 2014 she went all-in on flogging various pro-Ukrainian narratives, even wrote an entire book on the “Holodomor” thing. [One of these days I shall find a copy in a used-book store for $1 and 00 cents, just to take a look at how atrocious her sourcing and evidentiary base must be…]

    1. Paradan

      “It looks like your trying to achieve a fascist global hegemony. Would you like help with that?”
      Operation Paper Clippy

    2. jr

      Inclusive language that excludes vast swathes of humanity. Double think, anyone? See my posting above. This is really, really weird stuff. It cannot all be just jumping on the band wagon. Someone is pushing it from above.

      1. Mikel

        It would go down better as a concept if it was something people could run like spellcheck. It can be turned on/off or for scanning a document after it is written (if that’s the choice). Call it “PC Check”.

        But they go straight to “prompt”. That’s what raises the eyebrow.

  12. John D.

    Hi, everyone.

    It’s been a while since I’ve posted here…not that I was ever really much of a contributor to start with. I’ve been mostly avoiding political sites since the pandemic began, finding politics just too horribly depressing to deal with, but now find myself dipping my toe in once again, if not quite to the extent I used to. (I’m still avoiding most of the people I once regularly followed on Twitter, and Elon Musk sinking his claws into it hasn’t exactly encouraged me to give them another look.) But now that I’m back, I thought I’d share a story I always toyed with mentioning here back in the day, but I could never find the right subject thread for it. Seeing as this is an open thread, and a couple of posts above mention the Woke jackasses – who just so happen to be the subject of my little tale – this seems as good a time as any to bring it up. Anyway…

    I’m a fat old git in my late 50’s now, but back when I was a lad in my 20s, I once accompanied a friend to a meeting of Queer Nation. Anyone remember them? I suppose they were a fairly typical example of their kind of protest group; I wouldn’t know, having only attended the one meeting, which turned out to be anything but typical. I’m not much of an activist. Marching, attending rallies, etc. really isn’t my thing. But QN was a fairly new phenomenon at this point, and having heard a lot about them, I was curious. So when my buddy, who was far more politically active than I was, asked me if I’d be interested in checking them out, I agreed to tag along. The meeting was at a local Starbucks in Toronto’s gay neighborhood. We shoved a few tables together in one corner and sat down. There were something like 20 people there for it, with a lot of familiar faces present. These weren’t people I actually knew, but men and women I recognized because I’d seen them around the neighborhood over the preceding years. Also present were a duo I’d never seen before in my life, one guy, one girl. They were where the problems lay.

    These two were both young (college student aged), and very striking to gaze upon; they were the same height, and were physically quite attractive, an extremely good looking pair. They looked similar enough to be brother and sister, possibly even twins. Shades of Nancy Pelosi’s stupid kente cloth stunt from a while back, they were both outfitted in trendy African style clothing. But they took it a step farther than Pelosi ever would have dared: They both had extremely long, lush, luxurious blond hair, which reached down past their shoulders, and which they had braided in dreadlocks, Rastafarian style. And needless to say, they were both lily white.

    The meeting began, and we went around the circle, people taking turns to address topics they found noteworthy. When it was the Aryan Rasta Brats’ turn, they stood up and proceeded to denounce the entire group as racist because there were no visible minorities present. The regulars seemed pretty taken aback, and small wonder; there was a hard-eyed arrogance to the pair, and they were forceful in their stated position, which wasn’t that it was unfortunate we were such a homogenized crowd. No, it was that we were a bunch of stone cold racists, and they weren’t, and they were our moral superiors because of that. Their spiel eventually ended, the woman acting as chairperson that week politely thanked them and said their concerns would be taken into account, and the meeting continued…or it would have, if the two didn’t keep interrupting, barging in on other peoples’ comments and being all-around deliberately disruptive. It soon became apparent – if it wasn’t obvious right from the start – that they weren’t even remotely acting in good faith. Whatever else their agenda really was, it was definitely an ego trip. They simply would not shut up, repeatedly making their “point” that we were a bunch of f*ckin’ racists and they weren’t, and they were better than us, etc. etc. As I said, they were deliberately disruptive, to the point where the meeting had to be called off early. It’s not like they could be tossed out, it being a public place. I had the distinct impression nobody there had ever dealt with such an occurrence before. This was years before the term “Cultural Appropriation” came into being, so that wasn’t thrown in their faces, as it damn well ought to have been. Certainly I found myself thinking something along the lines of “Who appointed you two nitwits to speak on anyone’s behalf?” But I didn’t feel it my place to say anything, and none of the regulars appeared to have the wherewithal to tell these arrogant punks to sit down and shut up. That’s probably the most disappointing thing about the entire ridiculous episode. As my friend and I departed, the twits were arguing with a few of the younger attendees out on the sidewalk, and that was the last I ever saw of them. The end.

    With the rise of the horrid Woke “culture” over the last several years, I’ve occasionally pondered that whole stupid incident, and wondered what on earth those two thought they were accomplishing. Were they sincere, if misguided? Was it just an ego trip for them? Were they part of some right wing campus group sent to troll the perverts’ Godless meeting? If the latter, I’ll give them props for commitment; getting their hair like that (and just for a “prank,” no less) couldn’t have been quick or easy. And if they were sincere, do they ever think back on that incident with any embarrassment? Who the hell knows? Anyway, that’s my story. Hope y’all liked it. I apologize for the length.

    1. Dr. John Carpenter

      Biden has to be the first US president to be a lame duck not even two years in. If I didn’t know what kind of person he was, I’d feel sorry for him.

  13. Larry

    Regarding the MWRA wastewater data, Easter weekend also kicks off a week of school vacation for public schools in Massachusetts. That may skew the data. I’m not in the MWRA district, but my whole family left the state for the week.

  14. LawnDart

    Dream in digital (kill me now):

    Rise of never-aging young women in Korea

    South Korea’s entertainment and commercial fields have seen a rise of beautiful, multi-talented young women capable of doing almost everything — from acting to fashion design. Despite being in their early 20s, they display impeccable skills and give performances that exceed human expectations. They have no stress, no sleep and no scandals. Though they are labeled as perfect human beings, they have their own limits. They are not actual people, but virtual humans produced by cutting-edge computer graphics and who exist only in the virtual world.


    The implications…

    1. skippy

      A guy that just got bailed for 20B by govenment is the guy anyone listens to about China or freedoms, ask his workers at Amazon how that works out, starts in the morning with the love my boss to death log in questionnaire.

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