2:00PM Water Cooler 5/31/2022

By Lambert Strether of Corrente

Bird Song of the Day

This is Sparrow week at Naked Capitalism. New York, United States. If you’ve spotted any sparrow species, let me know!

“Sparrow ID Guides from Macaulay Library and Bird Academy” [The Cornell Lab of Ornithology]. Free downloads. “Sparrows are a challenge to birders of all skill levels because they’re often skulky and hard to see. At first they seem like dull brown birds, but when you get a good look, they show beautiful and intricate patterns on their feathers. Because many species are hard to see, they are sought after by avid listers and those who appreciate the beauty of birds. Whether you’re at home or out in the field, these helpful four-sheet sparrow reference guides have full-color photos of eastern, central, western and widespread sparrows.”

* * *


“But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature?” –James Madison, Federalist 51

“They had learned nothing, and forgotten nothing.” –Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord

“When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.” –Hunter Thompson

Biden Adminstration

“Inside a Biden White House adrift” [NBC]. “Faced with a worsening political predicament, President Joe Biden is pressing aides for a more compelling message and a sharper strategy while bristling at how they’ve tried to stifle the plain-speaking persona that has long been one of his most potent assets. Biden is rattled by his sinking approval ratings and is looking to regain voters’ confidence that he can provide the sure-handed leadership he promised during the campaign, people close to the president say…. Democratic leaders are at a loss about how he can revive his prospects by November, when midterm elections may cost his party control of Congress…. ‘They came in with the most daunting set of challenges arguably since Franklin D. Roosevelt, only to then be hit by a perfect storm of crises, from Ukraine to inflation to the supply chain to baby formula,’ said Chris Whipple, the author of a book about White House chiefs of staff who is now writing a book about the Biden presidency. ‘What’s next? Locusts?” • We don’t need locusts. We already have a plague. Anyhow, maybe a staff shake-up. That’s the ticket, a staff shake-up.

“Biden sees exodus of Black staffers and some frustration among those who remain” [Politico]. “At least 21 Black staffers have left the White House since late last year or are planning to leave soon. Some of those who remain say it’s no wonder why: They describe a work environment with little support from their superiors and fewer chances for promotion. The departures have been so pronounced that, according to one current and one former White House official, some Black aides have adopted a term for them: ‘Blaxit.'” Oof. “The reasons for the departures may vary. But the totality of them has not gone unnoticed within the ranks.” • Well, the revolving door has to revolve; Simone Sanders to MSNBC, for example. Pity about those left behind. (The article doesn’t say, but I wonder if the Black staffers who left Harris’s operation were more disgruntled than the rest. I’m guessing yes.)

“Plans To Forgive $10,000 In Student Debt Per Borrower Announced By Biden Administration” [Yahoo News]. “According to a report by The Washington Post, the Biden administration plans to cancel $10,000 in student debt per borrower. The move would be consistent with the President’s campaign promise in 2020 [lol]. With the new plan, there will be income limits. The Biden administration’s forgiveness plan would apply to Americans who earned less than $150,000 in the previous year or less than $300,000 for married couples filing jointly, two of the people told the Post. A study by New York Federal Reserve economists, forgiving $10,000 per student would amount to $321 billion of federal student loans and eliminate the entire balance for 11.8 million borrowers, or 31 percent.” • Well, that’s pathetic. Commentary:

“Inside Biden’s June pivot to the economy” [Politico]. “The Biden White House is rolling out a new monthlong economic campaign today to try to ‘communicate on our accomplishments to date on the economy,’ according to a White House official.” • Let me know how that works out.

“Biden pledges to meet with Congress on guns” [The Hill]. • Profile in courage.

“Exclusive: Supreme Court leak investigation heats up as clerks are asked for phone records in unprecedented move” [CNN]. • Why not the Justices too?


* * *

KS: I like the look, I like the ambition, and I like the platform:

At least he’s in there punching!


“Ranking the five Democrats most likely to win party nod if Biden doesn’t run” [The Hill]. • In order: Harris, Buttigieg, Warren, Sanders, Klobuchar.

Democrats en Déshabillé

I have moved my standing remarks on the Democrat Party (“the Democrat Party is a rotting corpse that can’t bury itself”) to a separate, back-dated post, to which I will periodically add material, summarizing the addition here in a “live” Water Cooler. (Hopefully, some Bourdieu.) It turns out that defining the Democrat Party is, in fact, a hard problem. I do think the paragraph that follows is on point all the way back to 2016, if not before:

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 is unreformable; if the Democrat Party did not exist, the PMC would have to invent it. If the Democrat Party fails to govern, that’s because the PMC lacks the capability to govern. (“PMC” modulo “class expatriates,” of course.) Second, all the working parts of the Party reinforce each other. Leave aside characterizing the relationships between elements of the Party (ka-ching, but not entirely) those elements comprise a network — a Flex Net? An iron octagon? — of funders, vendors, apparatchiks, electeds, NGOs, and miscellaneous mercenaries, with assets in the press and the intelligence community.

Note, of course, that the class power of the PMC both expresses and is limited by other classes; oligarchs and American gentry (see ‘industrial model’ of Ferguson, Jorgensen, and Jie) and the working class spring to mind. Suck up, kick down.

* * *


“Sussmann found not guilty in blow to John Durham’s investigation” [Washington Examiner]. “Following the “not guilty” verdict against Sussmann, it remains to be seen whether Durham will pursue further indictments.” • Read the whole story. While I’d like to wait for an actual lawyer to analyze the outcome and especially the prosecution strategy, there do appear to be reasons for the acquittal that have little to do with the evidence.

“Sussmann acquitted on charge brought by special counsel Durham” [Politico]. “Senior Justice Department officials have been vague about what level of supervision is in place over Durham’s probe, which former Attorney General Bill Barr gave special-counsel status a few weeks before the 2020 election. Attorney General Merrick Garland has said the department is adhering to regulations governing the special counsel’s autonomy, but has declined to elaborate.”

Realignment and Legitimacy

“Is America heading for civil war?” [Financial Times]. A topic that’s really coming up on the charts. “[A] clutch of recent books make an alarmingly persuasive case that the warning lights are flashing redder than at any point since 1861…. How would a 21st century US civil war actually happen? Nothing like the first time. Unlike the 1860s, when America was neatly split between the slave-owning confederates and the north, today’s separatist geography is marbled. Unlike then, America’s armed forces today cannot be outgunned. Even in a country that, uniquely, has more privately owned guns than people (at more than 400mn), many of which are military-grade, it would be no contest. Yet America, of all countries, knows that asymmetric warfare is unwinnable. Think of Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan. Think, also, of how America was born — its revolutionary army lost almost every encounter with Britain’s vastly better equipped redcoats. Yet, with the help of the French, America’s guerrilla forces prevailed. Now substitute today’s federal army for the redcoats. Armies have a terrible record of pacifying restive populations. Every casualty breeds 10 more rebels. ‘They will slip in and out of the shadows, communicating on message boards and encrypted networks,’ writes Walter. ‘They will meet in small groups in vacuum-repair shops along retail strips. In desert clearings along Arizona’s border, in public parks in southern California, or in the snowy woods of Michigan, where they will train to fight.'” • Leaving the jurisdictional issues aside, I don’t see how the Blue States could win. So they turn off the ATMs and NetFLix. Then the Red States turn off the the pipelines, the electrical grid, and trucks and trains. (Of course, the supply chain unions could turn off the supply chain, if you wanted a civil war on class lines. That seems unlikely. Oh, and my usual question: Who gets the nukes?

“2022.05.30 The Crazy Policies Are Going To Get (A Lot) Worse” (video) [Gonzalo Lira, YouTube]. • Starts with a wonderful riff that I was sure was going to be about Paul Pelosi, but wasn’t. Summarizing: Our elites have gone cray cray because they know what’s coming and don’t see how to stop it. So, gather ye rosebuds while ye may! Well worth a listen, because I think Lira has fought through to an important truth. or at least an aspect of it.

Guns are expensive. Lots of guns are even more expensive. These are American gentry:

On the bright side, these people aren’t going to be revolting over lack of food. They’ll be “protecting” the supermarkets and the trucks and trains from “looters.”

“Restorative Injustice: The Implosion Of A Democratic Socialist Campaign” [The Intercept]. • Discouraging.


Lambert here: I am but a humble tape-watcher, but if some trusting, non-realist soul tells you that “Covid is over,” you can tell them that cases are up, transmission is up, test positivity is up, and hospitalization is up. And this is all from data designed to support the narrative that “Covid is over,” and gamed within an inch of its life. So, if signals like that are flashing red, consider what the real signal must be like. (Note also this is all with BA.2 only, and with what the establishment considers an “immune wall” made from vaccination and prior infection. Since semper aliquid novi Africam adferre, and we’ve let ‘er rip at the airports…. Well, I just hope we get lucky with BA.4 and BA.5. “God has a special providence for fools, drunkards, and the United States of America.” –Otto von Bismarck.

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.

* * *

Not to preen [lambert preens] but NC readers are several weeks ahead of brain genius Bob Wachter:

Big if true:

Why hasn’t Pfizer done this already?

Fighting Covid as an engineering problem (i.e., no RCTs):

Note that in Yves’s post on the Covid outbreak at CalPERS headquarters, one employee advocated “deep cleaning.” Bad engineering! And an utterly tragic failure by the public health establishment and the CalPERS employees’ union. What about aerosol transmission and ventilation? (It would be interesting to know if the CalPERS headquarters was a “sick building.”

“When will we know if COVID is seasonal?” [ABC]. “While the virus has had some element of seasonality since it first came into the world more than 2 years ago, other factors — including variant evolution, population immunity, and behavioral changes — have made seasonality less apparent. The disease may fall into a more predictable rhythm once the population has more immunity and as people go back to their pre-pandemic lives, but this will likely take a few years, most experts agreed.” • Oh.

* * *

Case count by United States regions:

This looks like a three-day weekend reporting issue to me. Let’s see what happens later in the week when CDC digs itself out from under the reports. (I’m not drawing any lines on the chart because it would be pointless.)

I’ve been working on the assumption that cases are undercounted by a factor of six (or seven or eight, says Gottlieb). W-e-e-e-l-l-l-l…..

“The prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 infection and uptake of COVID-19 antiviral treatments during the BA.2/BA.2.12.1 surge, New York City, April-May 2022” (preprint) [medRxiv]. ” Objective: To determine the prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 infection during the Omicron BA.2/BA.2.12.1 surge in relation to official case counts, and to assess the epidemiology of infection and uptake of SARS-CoV-2 antivirals. Design: Cross-sectional survey of a representative sample of New York City (NYC) adult residents, conducted May 7-8, 2022….. Main Outcome(s) and Measure(s): Prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 infection during a 14-day period, weighted to represent the NYC adult population…. An estimated 22.1% (95%CI 17.9%-26.2%) of respondents had SARS-CoV-2 infection during the study period, corresponding to ~1.5 million adults (95%CI 1.3-1.8 million). Prevalence was estimated at 34.9% (95%CI 26.9%- 42.8%) among individuals with co-morbidities, 14.9% (95% CI 11.0%-18.8%) among those 65+ years, and 18.9% (95%CI 10.2%-27.5%) among unvaccinated persons.” • Seems like rather a lot.

“As summer begins, US COVID-19 cases six times higher than last year” [The Hill]. “As the US marks Memorial Day weekend and the unofficial start of summer, the seven-day average for COVID-19 cases in the U.S. are more than six times what they were a year ago.” • Everything’s going according to plan.

Here are cases for the last four weeks:

As above.

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. That the “green map” (which Topol calls a “capitulation” and a “deception”) is still up and being taken seriously verges on the criminal.

From the Walgreen’s test positivity tracker:

First signs of a peak? I’m leaving the corporate logo on as a slap to the goons at CDC.

MWRA wastewater data:


Down (for both north and south systems). Colleges and universities are finishing the semester, with commencements. We’ll see where the trend line ends up after summer school begins.

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.

Down, in another college town. Can any readers suggest a city with an influx of summer visitors that also tracks wastewater?

Cases lag wastewater data.

From Biobot Analytics:

Now another enormous backward revision, this time for the South (a signal that had been doing on for weeks). I don’t like this at all, and maybe I should drop this chart. The other thing I’m not liking is that big time lag with the variants. May 11? Really? I want to know about BA.4 and BA.5 (dubbed “variants of concern” by The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) last week, but not WHO).

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

Status quo, though slight improvement along the Acela Corridor.

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:

East coast, West Coast, and Midwest are all red. Now New Hampshire is red again, after having been yellow.

Hospitalization (CDC Community Profile):

More yellow, less orange. Very dynamic.

Death rate (Our World in Data):

Total: 1,031,286 1,030,775. Now at the second-lowest “valley,” which is good. I have added an anti-triumphalist Fauci Line.

Covid cases in top us travel destinations (Statista):

More weird fluctuations. (Note the quality of these numbers varies wildly. For example, the UK is cutting back on testing data.

Stats Watch

Manufacturing: “United States Chicago PMII” [Trading Economics]. “The Chicago PMI in the United States increased to 60.3 in May of 2022 from a downwardly revised 56.4 in April and beating market forecasts of 55.”

Manufacturing: “United States Dallas Fed Manufacturing Index’ [Trading Economics]. “The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas’ general business activity index for manufacturing in Texas plunged to -7.3 in May of 2022 from 1.1 in March. It was the lowest reading since May of 2020, as the new orders index fell nine points to 3.2, and the growth rate of orders index plummeted 18 points and turned negative at -5.3. Both readings mark their lowest levels in about two years. Meanwhile, the production index, a key measure of state manufacturing conditions, rose from 10.8 to 18.8, signaling an acceleration in growth from April. Also, the capacity utilization and shipments indexes moved up to 19.8 and 13.1, respectively. Labor market measures indicated robust employment growth and longer workweeks.”

* * *

The Bezzle: “How Influencers Hype Crypto, Without Disclosing Their Financial Ties” [New York Times]. “Logan Paul had a message for his six million Twitter followers: He was ‘all in’ on a new cryptocurrency called Dink Doink. According to the project’s creator, Dink Doink investors would receive shares of a cartoon character, entitling them to a portion of the proceeds if the googly-eyed figure ever appeared in a TV show or movie. Last June, Mr. Paul, a 27-year-old boxer and social-media influencer, praised Dink Doink on Twitter and in a public Telegram chat, before endorsing it again on his podcast, ‘Impaulsive.’ But by mid-July, the price of Dink Doink had plummeted to a fraction of a cent, and Mr. Paul was facing an online backlash. In his endorsements, he had failed to mention some relevant information: He and the project’s creator were friends, and they had come up with the idea for the cryptocurrency together. He had also received a large allocation of Dink Doink coins when it launched.” • Pump and dump….

* * *

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 22 Extreme Fear (previous close: 21 Extreme Fear) [CNN]. One week ago: 13 (Extreme Fear). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated May 31 at 1:48 PM EDT.

Rapture Index: Closes unchanged [Rapture Ready]. Record High, October 10, 2016: 189. Current: 187. (Remember that bringing on the Rapture is good.)

Poetry Nook

Smiling once more:

These are acts of what David Graeber calls “everyday communism” (cf. Luke 11:11), and they all involve smiling, which is rapidly being weaponized by anti-masking goons, and commodified by facial recognition rent-seekers. Madness!

Book Nook

It’s been a long time since I’ve read Vonnegut. True then, true now:

The Gallery

France, 1894, well after the Impressionists:

Zeitgeist Watch

“What Chloe Fineman Can’t Live Without” [The Strategist]. The Strategist is a guilty pleasure of mine; I don’t generally like horror, but The Strategist goes down easily, perhaps because when I want to actually buy a consumer good (a rare event) their reviews are really good. Anyhow: “I’m a really dehydrated person, and this actually moisturizes my skin. I started using it last summer. I was working on a movie, Father of the Bride, and the makeup artist was always giving me shit for how dehydrated I was. Lovingly giving me shit — I don’t want to be mean to my makeup artist. But when I started using the Augustinus Bader, she was like, ‘Wow, you must be drinking so much more water.’ Which was a lie, so it must mean that the moisturizer was working.” • The make-up artist (the subaltern) may have been wrong, but Fineman (the talent), can’t know that the artist was lying; only the artist can know that. What mental process was at work in Fineman’s brain?

Our Famously Free Press


Police State Watch


Again, if we want to successfully militarize cops — not just whacking onesies and twosies, but essentially doing urban warfare, which is the bucket school shootings would need to be tossed into — then we need to given them literal basic training, and we need institutions like West Point, but for cops. Is that what we want? If not, we need to demilitarize the police, at the very least.

* * *

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 AG:

AG writes: “Burn season is pretty much over here in the California foothills at 2700 feet. Over the last five months we have chainsawed and burned eighty large trees that were felled or irreparably damaged by the December ‘Snowmaggedon’ — or the two periods of ferocious (60 m.p.h.+) winds that came along later. Over a hundred big burn piles, many cords of wood! Anyway, here’s a pic of one small patch of our garden right now, all native plants. We are happy that at long last we have some time to appreciate it! White Globe Lilies, Foothill Pretty Face, Sticky Cinquefoil, Mountain Misery, Firecracker Flower, Membranaceous Onion, Rough–leaved Aster (just the leaves, will flower in later summer), some tall native grass stems here and there.”

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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. Art_DogCT

        Maybe Lambert’s harvesting platelets, or plasma. A job is a job, and a man’s gotta eat.

    1. Old Sovietologist

      Were all cannon fodder. Just like the hapless tens of thousands Ukrainian throwaway soldiers being sent to a grisly fate when they should be nowhere near a battlefield. Were just numbers, like they are just numbers.

      One day the truth will come out but until it does more poor souls will continue to pay the price.

    2. Daryl

      One wonders when and how the cumulative cost will start becoming very visible, so much so that it can’t be ignored.

      Despite the fact that “iron lungs” were probably never very common, I still think of them as emblematic of an era. What’s the long-covid equivalent?

  1. petal

    I finally paid off my student loans 4 months ago after scrimping and sacrificing and busting my hump for the last 20 years, and so I get no help. Great. Thanks a bunch, JB.

    1. ambrit

      So now ‘Creepy Joe’ owes you a lot more than $600 USD.
      One hard and fast rule: Never take rain-cheques from politicians.
      Alas, “progressives” have never learned the ‘Golden Rule’ of politics; you either get it now, or never.

      1. Jason Boxman

        Heh, you can include the Democrats under Obama nuking subsidized graduate loans and raising all Stafford loan interest rates; All told, that cost me at least 5k in extra interest. I think I’ve gotten a tax cut under most Republican administrations, meanwhile. Funny, that. Not sure any of it adds up to 5k though.

      1. Verifyfirst

        You mean everything should clawed back, no? From the school’s endowments and administrators.

          1. Balakirev

            Good, very good! That’s a fine beginning. But we need a more logical, thought out plan if it’s going to get media exposure and public support. What about the people who in banks and government, came up with the horror that has become our student loan program? What do you think of flaying, *followed by salting*? Or why not soak them in turpentine, cover them in torn, decrepit paper cash, and set them on fire? Admittedly, it will also smell of The Mikado’s Song, but that just adds to the ironic value.

            In fact, a lot of similar punishments, administered judiciously, might just quickly reform government. If gerrymanderers are the problem, we might try drawing and quartering: a medieval classic. A study commissioned back in the 15th century by NPR discovered that no one ever drawed and quartered ever committed crimes while in government, again.

            Worth considering. /s

      2. petal

        If he goes through with this $10k thing, it’s going to p-ss off a lot of people, and may actually backfire.

        1. lyman alpha blob

          I’m ambivalent about it myself. It is unfair to those who already paid off their loans, and it isn’t nearly enough for many of those who haven’t.

          But one other way of looking at it is that those who have had debts forgiven can now use what they would have spent on monthly loan payments on something else, which may indirectly benefit those who don’t have their own loans forgiven. Maybe a used car dealership sells a few extra vehicles or local restaurants see an uptick in business. A rising tide lifts all boats.

          But even then, if that $321 billion in total relief figure is accurate, it’s unlikely to raise more than an old rudderless skiff and a couple dinghies – not enough to take people out of precarity.

          1. Fiery Hunt

            Don’t forget all those “responsible people” who didn’t even go to school because they knew they couldn’t afford it.

            In a society so skewed towarded the “elite”, those people, particularly poor WOMEN, who couldn’t imagine paying off $40 to $50,000 in college debt really have been “left behind”.

        2. marym

          I agree. As always, when Democrats pretend to care about dropping a few crumbs for anyone but the donor class, they do the smallest amount of good for the smallest number of people, while fomenting the greatest amount of resentment.

          1. Art_DogCT

            Well put. “To Do The Smallest Amount of Good for the Smallest Number of People, while Fomenting the Greatest Amount of Resentment” should be carved on the façades of all the outposts of the neoliberal bureaucratic state, i.e., DMVs, IRS buildings, HHS offices, etc. It should be tattooed as a necklace on every seated member of Congress.

            1. drumlin woodchuckles

              These ouposts predate the neoliberal bureaucratic state. Actually, the bureaucratic state isn’t “neoliberal”. It is a pre-neoliberal holdover. Which is why various flavors of neoliberal are trying so hard to destroy it. The neoliberals try their best to be a social/civilizational neutron bomb . . . . destroying all useful life inside these buildings while leaving the buildings themselves standing.

              I never did have a bad time at my local DMV office.

              1. Late Introvert

                I had a fruitful conversation yesterday with mom, dad, brother, none of them pay attention to any of this, like most people. I shouted how about $10,000 for EVERY debt? Medical! Mortgage! Education! Credit Cards! Car Payment! Rent! For anybody who has bills to pay, and for everyone, no requirements.

                They were cheering me on. Rich people won’t care, everyone else will.

          2. Lambert Strether Post author

            > they do the smallest amount of good for the smallest number of people

            “The smallest good for the smallest number.” Brilliant formulation. The Democrats are “disutilitarians,” philosophically. (They also think disutilitarianism is pragmatism, but in every way except financially for them, it’s not.)

        3. Lambert Strether Post author

          > If he goes through with this $10k thing, it’s going to p-ss off a lot of people, and may actually backfire.

          Benefits approximately 30% of the debtors, who are disproportionately not Black. On the bright side, it’s means-tested!

          Maybe some White House political operative has figured out there’s a disproportionate benefit in some battleground states and/or demographics, but I doubt it very much.

      3. Mikel

        They could at least attempt to bring back usury laws. That would be TOO much like right instead of a band-aid for one political season. Something LASTING.
        All that will happen now is rate jack ups on other credit cards and loans.

    2. Lou Anton

      Scroll down for the table by year:

      So we’re talking $18k for you (graduating in 2002), around $30k for someone from 2012 onwards.

      Both suck, recent debts suck more.

      I think Lambert’s brought this up before, but maybe everyone who ever had a loan should get something. You played by the rules, and you get nothing. And you and recent grads are in the same ballpark ($10k+), as opposed to people who had loans decades earlier.

      Guess I’m thinking you and people like you should also get $10k. And yours would actually be productive and enter the economy!

        1. Fiery Hunt

          I never graduated.
          Owed $9,000 when I quit in 1994.
          Filed for bankruptcy in 1997 ( for wife’s debts…bad bankruptcy attorney. Student loans went “dormant” for 7 years. Popped back up with interest. Thanks Joe Biden!)

          Went back to school in 2001.
          Quit with $50,000 in new loans in 2002. Architecture degree would’ve been nearly $250,000.

      1. Janie

        Table goes back to ’93. If it went back enough years, it would be a string of zeros. In the 50s and 60s you could earn enough in the summer to pay for your next year’s school.

        1. Late Introvert

          Ding, ding, ding! Correct answer. I didn’t need loans for a state school in the 80s. My nurse mom/Gerber salesman dad could easily afford it.

          My 16-year old? Not even close.

    3. WhoaMolly

      I vote JB forgives all debt by $10,000.

      Not just the debt of his likely voters.

      1. JTMcPhee

        And for everyone not in debt, to improve the symmetry, they get a $10,600 check from Uncle Sam. Tax free. No complicated rules. Talk about a real stimulus… and maybe the asshats would bolster their chances of re-election to their looting gigs in “government…”

    4. Fiery Hunt

      Paid mine off last year after 22 years. Am I gonna get reimbursed?
      Of course not.
      Now Gen Z will have an advantage over me in house buying….

      Thanks Democrats!

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        Look on the bright side.

        Private Equity will own all the houses, so there won’t be any houses left for Gen Z to outcompete you for.

          1. drumlin woodchuckles

            And what comes after Gen Z? Gen Z + 1? And then Gen Z + 2?

            What will the new generations call themselves before the marketeers decide to give them a name?

            1. Fiery Hunt

              Oh, I’d be more inclined to go with Gen 0, Gen 0-1,etc.

              I think we’re past adding.

              Future generations are getting less than what previous generations had …from GenX on thru infinity..

      2. Janie

        Posted above comment about no debt from the 50s and 60s. That’s why we were able to buy a house when we got out of college. The state subsidies of the colleges in those days paid for themselves, I would imagine, in terms of the contribution the debt-free graduates’ to the economy. Maybe that’s also how the consumer debt economy got started, so does that make it a wash?

        1. Fiery Hunt

          Except those who never went or never got a degree.
          No benefits from the income increase and definite disadvantage from competing with the “credentialed” for housing and every other part of our commodified society.

          Hello, wealthy inequality gap widening.

        2. Rory

          Think not only of the contributions that debt-free college graduates could make to the economy, but also their contributions to society in general. I am thinking about the ability to take low wage or no wage jobs, whether for social justice reasons to make society better of simply to pursue one’s dreams, even if only temporarily. My cynical side thinks greater student debt was encouraged to take such enriching, but status quo challenging, options away from young graduates.

        1. Fiery Hunt

          Yeah, we Xers do know.

          And while I’d really rather not give a flying chit about money or who’s got what, it’d be really nice to just imagine retiring in a place we have some control over rather than hoping our landlord doesn’t sell our rental from under us.

          Yeah. Same ol, same ol.

          “Ain’t broke me yet.”
          -My personal motto but I’m pretty sure it’s a common sentiment amongst the Xers.

      3. Mikel

        “Now Gen Z will have an advantage over me in house buying…”

        Just go out and buy some dirty, filthy oil/refinery stocks.

        1. Fiery Hunt

          Yeah, like I own stocks, let alone oil stocks.


          Grateful, I didn’t breed.

      1. Fiery Hunt

        Look at it the other way…
        Current borrowers get help and everyone who got screwed before should just enjoy that others aren’t screwed as bad?

        Thin gruel.
        May I have another?

        1. rowlf

          Treat all the US residents as Ukrainians, screw the Calvinists, and just give the US residents money?

          It’s ok with me. Where is the harm in giving US residents money?

          1. JTMcPhee

            Of course only the Ukie oligarchs and mafia types, and US black money and PACs and politicians, will be getting any of that $53 billion, virtually none of it is appropriated for social welfare. Even the cannon fodder who are “fighting and dying nobly for Mother Ukraine” are not being paid. Most of it goes to the supranational war profiteers and to refill the military inventories of NATO countries who have sent all their MIC sh!t to Ukraine to be blown up by the Russians, and people like Saint Zelensky — https://eprimefeed.com/latest-news/zelensky-found-a-billion-dollars-and-a-villa-in-miami-2/20181/

          2. Fiery Hunt

            Yeah, I got not beef with stopping Ukrainian weapons gifting and giving that money to EVERY American citizens.

            No beef at all.

        2. Anthony Noel

          Yes, you should enjoy that others aren’t getting screwed as bad.

          Hell, I never got a 15 dollar minimum wage, why should these a**holes get it. I never got universal healthcare, why should these freeloaders get it. I didn’t get a 40 hour work week, so screw those lazy greatest generation slackers. I didn’t get the benefit of child labor laws, so get those kids back to work.

          Why should I be upset that someone else may not have to struggle as hard or suffer as much as I did? I paid back my student loans, it took me years. Why should I be anything but glad that someone else may have it slightly less shi**y then I did?

          1. Fiery Hunt

            Answer me this, Batman…
            Why should we be economically focused on 20 something year olds and not on 50 something year olds, huh?

          2. Fiery Hunt

            Got a better idea…
            How about those who managed to pay for a degree, or who graduated with grants or schlorships, how about they pay an extra 10 grand toward the debt of those with student loans?

            You good with that?
            You know, don’t want others suffering, right?

            1. Anthony Noel

              You already do, since I imagine someone like you didn’t attend university for the joy of learning, and went to increase your earning power, then yes since you earn more you’ll be taxed more, and that money will be used to provide aid to those who earn less or whose needs are greater then yours. Although I’m pretty sure you don’t like that idea that much.

              As for helping someone who is twenty rather then someone who is fifty, what makes you think you can’t do both. I hate to break it to you but crippling your labor replacements is not going to do you any good as a fifty year old, you’re just hobbling your society and it’s economy.

              If you’re 50 plus you better hope those twenty somethings don’t start thinking like you, since in your world they’re going to quickly come to the realization that an old man who can’t provide for himself is dead weight, why pay for your medicaid, why pay for your social security, why subsidize your drugs and housing. Why should they pay for your old broken down ass?

              And yes, I am good with that, that’s the whole point of society to make life better for those coming after us. Your way of thinking is the reason we’re f*cked. I didn’t get something so no one else can have it. And your damn right I don’t want someone else suffering, why the hell do you seem to want them too?

              1. Lambert Strether Post author

                > Your way of thinking is the reason we’re f*cked.

                This discussion shows why I think the entire system should be rolled back.

                Adding… That’s why a debt Jubilee (which, fascinatingly, is Biblically-based and so may have broader appeal than we think).

                1. Anthony Noel


                  This guy is wailing and gnashing his teeth because someone MIGHT be getting a 10,000 break on six figure debt. What do you think they’d do if you seriously floated the idea of just writing off all the debt?

    5. JTMcPhee

      So if the bank writes off your mortgage in exchange for a deed and there’s a “deficiency,” the amount of that “forgiven” deficiency under the tax code is presumed to be income that you will have to pay tax on.

      So if there’s “$10,000 forgiven,” is that going to imputed income subject to federal and/or state tax? “It depends,” apparently — more work for accountants and lawyers? https://finaid.org/loans/forgivenesstaxability/

      Asking for a friend, actually a lot of them…

      1. tegnost

        Yeah I have a friend who was asking that too, and wondering what the impact of this “forgiveness” will have on the distressed debt market…do the bondholders get 10k of juice from defaulted loans they could never collect on outside of garnishing meager social security payments? It would be just like the democratic leadership to come up with this as a pitch for donations since no regular person would give them any money… I think this paves the way nicely for the 10k reporting requirement, mostly because it rhymes, but also because you’ve gotta get those longhorns out of the bushes and into the corral if you’re going to sell them, pound of flesh and all…debtor on the hoof…

  2. Robert Hahl

    I believe guns tend to rise in price, they are an investment. It looks like that guy is making more in capital gains on the arsenal than the house.

    1. nippersdad

      Loved the picture of Jesus, replete with the bleeding heart, in the corner. I wonder if they ever think about that?

      1. jr

        I noticed two other things in addition to the picture of the Prince of Peace. The reminder that “Smiles begin with You” hanging on the wall is one. Secondly, the woman I assume to be his wife is literally in the background of the picture, by choice or not who knows, not even in the house, and the look on her face tells me he should be looking for a divorce attorney in the near future.

        All that and the ubiquitous Captain America t-shirt. I’m so freaking sick of comic book logos, Star Wars garbage, it’s absolutely everywhere. It’s so boring.

      2. scarnoc

        In my home we have an icon corner in front of which my family prays several times per day. We also own a lot of guns. I’m pretty sure all of my neighbors go to church on the regular, and own guns. I don’t think we are all thoughtless hypocrites that need to be told what our tradition actually teaches by non-Christians.

        1. nippersdad

          I have lots of icons as well; mostly antique ones. Our latest are Nineteenth century Italianate Russian and Greek ones of the Trinity. That said, my Wife of thirty six years is a practicing Roman Catholic that also thinks that arming oneself to the teeth, and proudly advertising the fact, makes one wonder what they were thinking.

          There are a lot of mixed signals there. Perhaps you would be the one to explain them to us. Interested people with icons are interested. What does your tradition actually teach you?

          1. scarnoc

            Christianity never teaches me not to own guns. I’m not to murder with them. I can hunt, or shoot, or use them in concert with others to scare criminals, the rich, and the government. Under certain circumstances, I can serve as a soldier, or defend my family. The highest virtue is to turn the other cheek absolutely: yet even the Incarnate God raised up a scourge. Alexander Nevsky or Constantine are no less Saints for having fought for the faith. The Holy Psalmist Asaph sings ‘Defend the poor and fatherless: do justice to the afflicted and needy. Deliver the poor and needy: rid them out of the hand of the wicked.’ Sometimes, that defense requires violence to meet violence. Christianity is a religion of peace, but not of pacifism.

            If the man in the tweet has murder in his heart, that is wrong. Since I don’t know his heart, I can’t judge him. I can only judge what he does. Having a lot of very expensive guns might be a waste of money best spent elsewhere, but the guns themselves are not an issue.

            1. nippersdad

              “Christianity is a religion of peace, but not of pacifism.”

              The tweet in question was a vulgar display of an arsenal meant to convey an implicit threat under a picture of the Prince of Peace. That is tacky on any level and is indicative of an inferiority complex. One who is confident in oneself need not publicize such things, and one strong in the faith does not sully it with unnecessary and boastful displays of weaponry.

              That Constantine found a parade to get in front of, or that Nevsky went to war to protect his own potential crown are not displays of religious fervor and render their sainthoods suspect. “Christian warriors” seldom have unadulterated motivations, and use of the faith to buttress their actions have left the church in disrepute. Much of the war in Ukraine right now can be traced to such political conveniences as the split between the Orthodox and Catholic churches centuries ago, and it might be an idea to stop using faith as a crutch for worldly aims under the guise of pretensions to Godliness.

              One’s religion is not supposed to be politically convenient; just ask Jesus. If one wants a rationale for shooting people then it might be an idea to find a closet and talk to God about it, but understand that it is by their actions that they shall be known.

            2. marym

              There is a segment of the right wing where dominionist religion, guns, white nationalism, and subordination of women intersect; and where those views are not just personal, but elements of a political and social agenda in the secular world.

              That doesn’t mean everyone who has a gun for hunting or professes Christianity shares that world view, and agenda. However, if they see those aspects of their personal lives as justification for others who are amassing an arsenal, posiing photos of their kids in the middle of it, refusing to consider any constraints on ownership, they have also taken a political and social stand, not just a personal one.

          1. scarnoc

            A bit stale of a reply here, as I have been out in the glorious sun with my hands in the dirt all day. Busy as you are, you will likely miss it. But I think it’s likely of some interest based on what you read and discuss here.

            Christianity is not a positivist set of statements that a person assents to believe. It is a way of living. The beatitudes, therefore, have a context within Christian tradition. That context allows for both Christ’s maximal dictum in that verse, as well as for the places scripture and tradition allow for and even celebrate violence. And, like all lifeways, Christianity is internally consistent to its own satisfaction. It knows itself fractally, from gross to superfine views. This is why Catholics and Orthodox have militant saints, or why the Protestant Bonhoeffer can justify retributive violence. Within the holism of the way of life, there is not deadly paradox or irrational contradiction, although there are mysteries with those appearances that are to be resolved through action, not through logic. I don’t care at all to make a philosophical defense of Christianity here – I’m supremely bored with proselytizers. That wasn’t why I made the objection to our friend nippersdad above. It’s that his accusation of hypocrisy, and your own citation of scripture, are fine examples of how Liberal modernity approaches all historical illiberalisms. I don’t say that with any accusation towards anyone, or with any moralism attached. It’s simply how we Liberal moderns think and talk about illiberalisms. Liberalism has freed our brains, so we have ideological transcendental objectivity, so we can peer into holistic illiberal lifeways, take samples, and then perform a Rhetoric about that lifeway for each other. We can even, like enlightened anthropologists, educate the illiberal subjects about their own confusion, through science and logic. Again, I stress, I am not accusing anyone of moral failures or ‘colonialism’ or whatever the post-modern ‘rearguard defense of Liberalism’ buzzword du jour is today.

            As you have been reading him, perhaps you see connections with Bourdieu’s categories of social being, his critique of false objectivity, and his emphasis on reflection upon the scholastic’s position and method in what I’m saying here. The false objectivity problem exists for Liberals for everything, even for self-critique. This is why those of us who live in Liberal civilization have such trouble ‘getting meta’ as it were.

    2. Jack

      Guns are indeed an investment. Guns are a repository of value, like art or coins. There is a large active retail market throughout the country. It is possible to make quite a bit of money trading guns. Is there a System D economist interested in this?

    3. Tom Stone

      Most of those firearms are run of the mill and don’t look like they are part of a collection.
      Usually a collector will specialize in something like Jo-Lo-Ar pistols or Winchester lever actions, something with a theme.
      Some are quite expensive and one looks like it’s wearing a suppressor.
      This is a “That looks cool, I’ll buy it” bunch of guns.
      Not less than $30K, perhaps twice that.

      1. Synoia

        Nah – we had a real gun – A 155 mm gun.

        It came with many police and much excitement, at the height of the URA actions in the UK.

  3. Samuel Conner

    Perhaps the new seasonality will simply be the pattern of the successive COVID waves, every 4 to 5 months. Since the COVID “seasons” won’t correspond precisely to the familiar seasons, we’ll want another way of referring to them. Perhaps we can number them — we’re currently in season COVID 2022-2. There’s enough time left for one more wave/”season of COVID”, peaking some time in the Autumn. We might have three “COVID seasons” in 2023, too.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        That shows the CDC feels they have succeeded in their mission to make covid permanent.

  4. Mikel

    “Is America heading for civil war?” [Financial Times].

    If China invades Taiwan then, imagine the shock of people as they watch expected troops to defend from rebels being sent overseas.
    Or some other scenario.

    They will send troops to protect billionaires’ factories…wherever that may be.

    1. Pelham

      OTOH, if the US were to embroil itself with China — definitely a superpower in its own area — we would be hard-pressed to prevail, and the war with its accompanying nuclear threat might serve wonderfully to concentrate the public’s mind. The possibility of some kind of civil war then, I think, would just fade into the faint background.

      1. Gawr Gura

        If the US becomes embroiled in war with China, civil war becomes not just a possibility, but an absolute necessity. The psychopaths MBAs in charge of the country can’t be trusted with the bomb, least of all when they believe Raytheon’s hype that their missile shield will protect them while preventing all but the most acceptable collateral damage.

    2. SocalJimObjects

      If China were to invade Taiwan, I would imagine, they’ll wait till the US has exhausted itself.

      Didn’t Sun Tzu say something along: “To win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the acme of skill. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the acme of skill.”

      Once the US has collapsed, I imagine the Taiwanese will immediately send a delegation to China to talk terms.

  5. Matthew G. Saroff

    6 hours for Sussman to be acquitted?

    That is basically them rendering the verdict while moving to the deliberation room.

    Weak tea prosecution.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > Weak tea prosecution

      Why Barr appointed him; why Biden retained him. The jury looks awful and the judge was part of ClintonWorld, but it’s the prosecution’s job to deal with that, not accept it.

      I hope at least the jury got lunch.

      1. lyman alpha blob

        It’s funny to see people thinking Barr us somehow Trump’s guy just because he was appointed by him. Barr has been an establishment “fixer” for quite some time. If Garland felt any elites would be taken down by this investigation, Durham would have been shown the door a long time ago.

        The part I don’t understand is not pushing back harder on the Clintonites on the jury. Was that Durham getting the evidence out there to the point where most reasonable people can see the fraud perpetrated on the country by Clinton’s people, but throwing the case so no actual Blobites would get hurt, or was it a different faction of the DoJ tanking Durham?

        1. marym

          I also thought there was no way establishment insider Mueller was going to bring down a Republican president.

          As far as Sussman, he was charged with lying about whether he was acting on behalf of the campaign when he brought DNS logs to the FBI. Having studied this case on twitter for maybe a half hour through the years, I can’t see how acquittal or conviction on that charge would prove anyone was right or wrong about Mueller’s or Durham’s investigations, or about whatever else they think Trump, Clinton, and their cronies did.

          1. lyman alpha blob

            That’s the thing – even if Sussman were convicted, it would have been just for a minor fabrication, especially since the judge disallowed evidence showing the big secret about Alfa Bank that Sussman wanted to tell was complete baloney. It was a very narrow charge. To me the big revelation here was Robby Mook admitting Clinton OKed this. The rule of thumb is you don’t put a witness on the stand unless you know ahead of time what they’re going to say, and I think that admission is more important than whether Sussman got convicted or not, for the court of public opinion at least.

            1. marym

              True, Durham wanted Clinton/Russiagate to be aired in the court of public opinion, since he didn’t find anything to charge anyone with. Can’t totally blame the judge for not wanting to do that in the actual court. I don’t know whether any opinions pro- or anti-Clinton were changed much by trial.

              1. Lambert Strether Post author

                > he didn’t find anything to charge anyone with.

                I think if you read the Washington Examiner article completely, the charge is clear. Granted, it’s the Washington Examiner, but they’re not Breitbart, and most of it is common knowledge anyhow.

        2. Tom Stone

          Sussman was on the bubble, Not quite too powerful to prosecute (Petraeus, HRC, Etc) but powerful enough that the right Judge was assigned.
          Those Clintonite Jurors?
          It was the Judge’s decision to keep them on the Jury, also look at someof the evidence the Judge decided to exclude.
          Turley contrasted this with the Flynn case and in both cases the outcome certainly appears to have been predetermined.

          “First the Verdict, then the Trial” is pretty common, as Craig Murray, Julian Assange or Stephen Donziger can attest.

        3. the last D

          Do you think that barr was acting as an establishment fixer, when epstein was found dead in his cell? Curious, and curiouser.

        4. Lambert Strether Post author

          > It’s funny to see people thinking Barr us somehow Trump’s guy just because he was appointed by him.

          Barr clearly was not Trump’s guy, or else there would have been a Durham Report before the election.

      1. Art_DogCT

        It strikes me as Pre-Raphaelite influenced before anything else. And I see an echo of this painting in the later work of N.C. Wyeth, especially the work illustrating Treasure Island.

        I confess to never seeing what distinguishes ‘fauvism’ from other contemporary art movements to make it its own category, unless it’s as a historical precursor to expressionism and abstract expressionism. I tend to lump them together in any event. I’ll study ambrit’s linked essay (instead of just skimming) and see if I in turn see.

        1. Lunker Walleye

          It struck me as Neoclassical or Romantic at first and I thought of the theatrical style of an Ingres-like stage set — the sort of thing where the painter was trying to tick all of the Academy’s boxes for what he thought constituted a “good” piece. It seems also like Bouguerau’s work and has some elements of Gustave Moreau’s spirit-like figures. He certainly loved the female figure. Looks like it was painted about the same time the Fauves were painting and I will read ambrit’s link to try and understand.

      2. ambrit

        I’ll try. As an aside, we saw the original of the Derain painting when we visited Houston during the “Cancer Cure Follies Tour” several years ago. (M D Anderson Cancer Centre is in Houston.) It is a physically large canvas. Quite impressive close up.
        The Bussiere canvas has the thin, elongated trees reminiscent of Impressionist landscapes. Some of the contemporary work by Cezanne shows the technique.
        See: http://www.artshebang.com/famous-art/creative-work-in-the-forest-by-paul-ceanne-san-fransisco.html
        The horses in the centre background definitely resemble horses by Fauves. See Franz Marcs “Large Blue Horses” for example. The bulk and form of the horses in Bussiere is simplified almost to abstraction.
        See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_Horses
        The left background in the Bussiere canvas holds spirit horses with spirit riders, derived no doubt from the “rides” of the valkiries. These forms are both spectral and energetic. They carry their ghost riders in a surge of motion. But this is, as mentioned before, spectral, ghostly, almost subjective in effect. Just the gesture is portrayed. Mr Subliminal in paint.
        My main ‘connection’ between the Bussiere canvas and the Impressionists is the colour palette. Pale blues, greens, and browns predominate in the background. The figures in the foreground stand out with metallic silvers and blues. This does contrast with the “savage” colours favoured by the Fauves. I could be wrong in sugesting such a connexion. More cogitation is needed on this subject.
        The main composition forms a diagonal running from upper left descending to the lower right. The spectre rider in the left background holds up an arm holding a sword, beginning the ‘movement.’ Brunnhilde, left of centre continues the ‘movement’ with her almost awkwardly held sword, which points to the incestuous couple lying on the ground. Seigmund finalizes the ‘movement’ with his body posture, right lower foreground.
        I’m fairly convinced that the unburned fire log in the lower left foreground is there to complete a complimentary horizontal ‘movement,’ consisting of the aforementioned firelog, Seiglind’s horizontal arm, and her feet and the folds of her dress behind the figure of Seigmund.
        The tree trunks finalize the compositional “movement” with their upright rows. Brunnhilde echoes the trees with her almost rigid up and down stance. I would not characterize her as “noble,” or “stately” so much as ‘shocked’ and ‘saddened.’ (After all, the offspring of the incest is Seigfreid, and he had a, shall we say, ‘eventfull’ life.)
        The Impressionists were generally skilled draftsmen and women, so, formal compositions were no strangers to them.
        The details of the horses, carts, and the sunken road itself in the centre midground are very like those details used by Derain later in “The Turning Road” canvas.
        So, to sum up, perhaps not a Fauve canvas itself, but it prefigures, mayhaps, mirrors many of the details of the Fauve style.
        That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
        Stay safe all!

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          > My main ‘connection’ between the Bussiere canvas and the Impressionists is the colour palette. Pale blues, greens, and browns predominate in the background.

          Thank you, this is clarifying. When you mentioned the blue horses I saw what you meant at once. Five minutes with Wikipedia tells me that Gauguin is not a Fauvist but a Post-Impressionist who influenced the Fauvists — Matisse? Braque??! — but Gaugin is who I had in mind. Here’s a wild color palette:

          On composition, I’d need to know more. I’n not sure Schools have distinctive compositions (although Cubism just popped into my mind).

          I suppose I’m really asking the question: “Why on earth would anybody want to paint like this, with so many examples of greatness before them?” Playing, of course, my possibly vestigial role as PMC tastemaker, a role I am clearly not over-qualified for.

          1. ambrit

            I’ll go out on a rotten limb and suggest that “composition” is a constant in the visual arts.
            The Post-Impressionists and Abstract-Impressionists did not abandon a skill used for milennia. Some of the later Abstractionists supposedly “abandoned” the rules of composition. However, the old adage applies here; “You have to know the rules to break them.” Indeed, for many of the pure Abstractionists, the composition is the work. Keep in mind that, as Cezanne famously demonstrated, one can create a composition with the placement of patches of colour alone. Much of Cezanne’s landscape work is accomplished that way. Follow the progression of the hues of brown, green, and blue and you’ll see definite ‘movements’ designed to “nudge” the eye along a pre-determined path through the canvas. In this way, Cezanne is rightly considered the creative force behind the rise of Abstractionism.
            As for Cubism, look closely at some of the works of Bracque. Cubism can be called an aspect of Deconstructuionism, but this gives even more ‘weight’ to the compositional aspects of the work. The individual “pieces” of the subjects are related mainly through their compositional associations. The movement of the eye through the image defines the work. One does not so much ‘observe’ the work as collaberate with the artist to ‘create’ the work.
            As for your last querry; I guess that we must fall back on the idea that one is never “perfected.” Any honest artist will admit, even if only in a closet in an abandoned house after midnight, that he or she falls far short of competence, much less greatness. The glory and honour of art is in admitting one’s faults and so striving to improve, one work at a time.
            In reference to this, Cezanne, who most will agree was one of the premier artists of the last several centuries, was famous for going into a rage when a canvas did not fall into line, and destroying it.
            Another famous instance is the case of Bonnard, who was caught and arrested, with paints and brush trying to retouch one of his paintings hanging on the wall in the Louvre. He had seen where the work could be improved and was ready to do the work, anywhere, anytime.
            As I said, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

        2. Lunker Walleye

          Thank you for your explanation and links. I had never seen this painting before. Certain things were not clear on this small laptop and you “made me look”. Art history like we are taught in school, maybe of necessity, categorizes works of art. The categorization aids in comparing with other styles, yet many stories unfold upon further examination.

          1. ambrit

            Made me think there.
            Agreed that “art” defines the ‘subjective’ in individual perception. As you say, ‘categories’ are just intellectual tools to help in understanding, not necessarily actual, self contained “things.”
            Returning to the original theme, compositions are “flows” in one’s perception of a canvas. The dramatic arts would call them ‘story arcs.’ Music refers to a piece of music explicitly as a “composition.”
            Phyl points out that the background of the Bussiere canvas is almost a copy of some of Cezanne’s landscapes, particularly his series of Provence paintings, such as the Mont St Vitoire canvases. The colour palette, the trees, and the rocky outcrops all point in that direction. In this, Bussiere is not so much ‘stealing’ from Cezanne as ‘learning’ from him. Someone, somewhen once said that; “If you are going to steal, steal from the masters.”
            Cezanne landscape: https://fineartamerica.com/featured/aqueduct-1887-paul-cezanne.html
            This eventually became works like Bracque and the Posts.

  6. hamstak

    On the MissMenace101 tweet regarding COVID — I believe, Lambert, you meant “Not big if true”.

  7. Harold

    I think guns are definitely an investment for people who for one reason or another (prison record, for example?) can’t get credit. I have seen this in the rural (or formerly rural) areas of Maryland which I periodically visit. Also when someone is going to a gun show, all the neighbors put in orders, it seems.

    1. ambrit

      My wonder here is that guns are machines. As such, they require periodic cleaning and maintenance. Do these “virtuous signallers” hire someone to carry out these tasks? Roughly, guns are like pets. They own you as much as you own them.

  8. Screwball

    “Sussmann found not guilty in blow to John Durham’s investigation”

    Sigh. I expected this but it still ticks me off. It sounds like it was a kangaroo court with a stuffed jury. As soon as this hit the wires, the PMC started yapping about how they were right about Russiagate for this entire time and this proves it. Mueller is still a saint and Durham is a fake. Sickening, even more so knowing the fact the slime known as Hillary gets away with it again.

    Then there is Pelosi’s husband DUI case. The timeline and facts are hard to come by, but it seems they waited quite some time before giving him a breath test. I can’t verify this but that was stated somewhere I read. So he too will likely get off with much less than the normal Joe who did the same thing. Imagine that squared.

    There are no laws for the elites who control the world, only us serfs trying to make ends meet and survive. And let’s not forget NOBODY in the Epstein/Maxwell universe were charged or brought to justice other than Maxwell.

    We are at the point they are just rubbing our nose in it.

    1. Elizabeth

      Exactly. There’s been precious little coverage of Durham’s prosecution of Sussman. Today suddenly the headlines are screaming not guilty. I expected it, but was really hoping to. read ” guilty.” Such is “justice” for the elites. As far as Maxwell, she’ll never go to jail or otherwise be punished for her crimes. I keep wondering who ended up with all those videos/tapes made in Jeffrey’s various mansions. My thought is the FBI.

      1. GramSci

        The question is, who in the FBI wound up with those tapes. I guess we’ll get a clue when the next President appoints the next Director of the FBI.

    2. Duke of Prunes

      At least it looks like Pelosi might have spent the night in the drunk tank. There’s some pleasure in that… unless he was given a special cell since he’s a special person.

      1. Michael Ismoe

        Wouldn’t the spouse of the third in line for the presidency have Secret Service protection? Capitol Police protection? Especially after “an insurrection” where the Speaker’s life was “at risk”?

  9. LawnDart

    Re; Bird Song of the Day

    Fire kills tens of thousands of chickens at Wright County farm

    A Saturday night fire destroyed a poultry building at Forsman Farms. A farm spokesperson says at least tens of thousands of chickens were killed in the fire.


    What is the difference between organic fried chicken and GMO fried chicken?

    It’s CRISPR.

    Song suggestions?

  10. John

    “Ranking the five Democrats most likely to win party nod if Biden doesn’t run” [The Hill]. • In order: Harris, Buttigieg, Warren, Sanders, Klobuchar.

    This is pathetic. I would have voted for Sanders in 2016 when he was a boy of 75. He will be 83 in November 2024. The others: only when hell freezes over and pigs fly. … and I have reasons for each.

    This is the best the democrats can do?

    1. Screwball

      Not to worry, if need be, Hillary will ride in on her white horse to save the party.

      1. ambrit

        Make that “..ride in on her broom..” and I’ll throw in a few bob for kindling for her Auto-da-fe.

    2. Fiery Hunt

      I figured it was more of an inverse list…which Democratic candidate would lose the bigly most!
      Kamala’s certainly first on that list…

      1. curlydan

        At this point, Klobuchar looks like the best choice. 4-8 years ago, I wouldn’t believe that I’d be saying that now.

        1. Balakirev

          I’m opting for an embalmed JFK. Let’s face it, all character flaws to one side, and ignoring the fact that he’s, well, dead, his corpse would do far less harm to the office of the president than any of the top 5 horrors now on display. And his example, while living, would put them all to shame.

    3. lyman alpha blob

      In the streaming age where there is always new “content” (god how I hate that word), they’re really going to make us watch reruns?

      This may just be lack of imagination in The Hill’s part, or maybe it’s a signal of who will be allowed to run by the Blob types, democracy be damned.

      1. wol

        Michele Obama could come up on the outside at the stretch run. I’ll not vote for any of them.

    4. Pelham

      Why are no governors included on this list — and others I’ve seen? Jay Inslee might be an obvious choice. As for Klobuchar: Hah!

        1. Michael Ismoe

          Kathy Hochul?

          Rings all the right demographic bells, no long record and she is a prodigious fund-raiser

        2. converger

          Inslee was a good US Rep. He’s the best Governor Washington has had in 40 years. He’s the real deal as a state politician. Presidential timber… …second tier. But head, shoulders, and belly button better than an empty suit like Newsom or Buttigeig.

          This is depressing.

        3. drumlin woodchuckles

          It sounds to me like WEF tries backing every single horse in hopes of controlling the whole field no matter what emerges.

          What would WEF do if one of its Junior Leaders took command of something and then went rogue?

          1. Lambert Strether Post author

            > It sounds to me like WEF tries backing every single horse in hopes of controlling the whole field no matter what emerges.

            Yes. Every individual member of the 1% has a personal portfolio (composed of “horses”). Some have massive portfolios (Soros), some have small ones or none (some obscure family offices). The twists and turns of the moneyflow from the portfolio to party/NGO is Ferguson et al. territory.

            “It’s called the ruling class because it rules.” –Arthur Silber

            1. Robert Gray

              > “It’s called the ruling class because it rules.” –Arthur Silber

              Speaking of whom, has anyone heard anything from or about Arthur lately? It’s almost three years ! since his last blog post and he was in perilous circumstances at that time. Some months ago I spent some time looking high and low on the ‘net for an obituary or any mention at all; nada.

    1. Henry Moon Pie

      Americans are a very optimistic people on average. I thought some time ago that we had left the tracks entirely. I’m thinking of that train wreck at the beginning of “Fugitive.” Pretty decent metaphor for our situation. I know there are times I feel like Ford trying to get out of the way with ankle restraints on.

  11. foghorn longhorn

    In what world has joe ever been ‘a steady hand at the wheel’.
    Just in the last two weeks, he has threatened to engage Russia AND China in war, at the same effing time apparently.
    That’s some pretty steady shiznit right there.
    Somebody needs to adjust the old boys meds.

    1. WhoaMolly

      Re: Somebody needs to adjust the old boys meds.

      Watching JB speak publicly feels to me like watching a demented nursing home patient work himself into a spittle-spraying rage as he rants at imaginary people.

      Not sure there are any meds that could help.

      1. Samuel Conner

        I would think that a powerful sedative would make him drowsy, which might be an improvement.

    2. nippersdad

      They may only bring him out of his induced coma when he is needed for public appearances, to keep him fresh until the next election. It looks like Blinken, Nuland, Price and Sullivan are in charge right now.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        > It looks like Blinken, Nuland, Price and Sullivan are in charge right now.

        If that were true, there’d be NATO troops on the front line now, and Ukraine would have those rockets.

    3. Dr. John Carpenter

      I like that it’s on his staff “to regain voters’ confidence that he can provide the sure-handed leadership he promised during the campaign” when he’s had two f’ing years to demonstrate said leadership and has done the opposite. As usual with the Dems, it’s all ” we need better messaging” and never “we need to actually deliver on a thing.”

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        Better messaging won’t help when the dogs won’t eat the better messaging.

    4. Andy tonti

      Know what you mean. I think he’s being carefully handled. He just about sez what he feels but his policies are carefully redacted by the Dems and Deep State bozos

  12. Soredemos

    Feels like I should say this somewhere.

    RIP my mother, 5-1-1950 to 5-30-2022.

    I went to a thing in the morning, and while I was there it kept gnawing at me that she’d been acting weird and displaying multiple symptoms of a stroke that morning. After a couple hours at the thing I left early to go check on her, intending to call 911 if she hadn’t improved at all. Came home to find her dead in her chair.

    1. amechania

      We hear you. Truely.

      Doing care alone is more than taxing. I have been co-raising a child and whenever one of us is gone, even if for three hours the other one melts right down. Truely doing it alone is heroic and bless you. I too know what its like to ask yourself if you can afford to leave a loved one alone long enough just to shower.

      That’s enough about me. I dont recall the loved one referenced in comments years ago, but I do remember it. People tend to choose to die alone, and often for romantic reasons. My grandfather heard he could never walk again, which meant to him that he could never go to sea again.
      He died in peace very soon after. Deaths spike after holidays and such, so we can tell that people really do get to choose their time. Don’t beat yourself up. People know themselves and death tends to come when no one is looking. It is not your fault, dear friend. People slip away in quiet dignity. It is okay.

      A comedian did a skit last month I quite liked, uh, ‘we need to stop digging up mummies’ where he talked about the darkness inside when someone died on his flight. They were very old, and they died without even making a sound. I haven’t been that close to death myself, but they just gave up the ghost without any warning among 300 strangers. You did all you could, and probably more than you *should* It is okay. You did your part in this crazy life we all live.

      Not sure where I was going. Bless you and bless us all.

      1. Anthony G Stegman

        Not just humans prefer to die alone. A neighborhood cat curled up among the shrubs beneath my kitchen window and died there. Find a protected spot and die quietly. Death doesn’t get better than that.

    2. Earthling

      Oh, no! What a thing to discover on what was a routine morning. I don’t know what to say. I think we all would offer you a virtual hug, and hope you have people around you to sympathize on this very sad day.

    3. John Zelnicker

      Soredemos – My deepest sympathies on the loss of your mother.

      May her memory be for a blessing. zi’iv

    4. no one

      So sorry. It’s hard to find comfort at times like this, but many of us share your pain and sorrow.

    5. Glen

      I am sorry. And it matters:

      No Man Is an Island

      No man is an island,

      Entire of itself;

      Every man is a piece of the continent,

      A part of the main.

      If a clod be washed away by the sea,

      Europe is the less,

      As well as if a promontory were:

      As well as if a manor of thy friend’s

      Or of thine own were.

      Any man’s death diminishes me,

      Because I am involved in mankind.

      And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls;

      It tolls for thee.

      Please look after yourself!

    6. Pat

      My deepest sympathy. Holding you in my thoughts. I just wish that anything other than time provided some real comfort.

    7. Janie

      What a horrific experience for you! It sounds as if she went peacefully, and that is a blessing.

    8. IM Doc

      When I was a little kid, they used to sing a hymn in church in the setting of sudden tragedies –

      Farther along we’ll know all about it.
      Farther along, we’ll understand why….

      Cheer up my brother, live in the sunshine.
      We’ll know about it all bye and bye.


      In this video is basically every important figure in the entirety of 20th Century Southern Gospel. I know that this is viewed by huge numbers in our society today as holy rollers or wackjobs. However, as a young kid, it was foundational for me to see my elders who had survived the deprivations and loss of loved ones of the Depression and WW2 weeping with joy with this tune and many others. Those experiences have helped me more than anyone will know to get through the past 2 years.

      We do not understand now at all, but farther along, we will know all about it.

      May God bless you and your family.

    9. ambrit

      That is more than sad. I hope she ‘drifted off’ peacefully. Let yourself grieve.

    10. Lambert Strether Post author

      I’m very sorry. My mother went more or less the same way — in minutes. Feel free to keep us posted; one of the many ways in which the United States leaves you on your own making personal risk assessments is a death in the family. Many hard decisions to make, at the worse possible time, with little support.

    11. swangeese

      I’m so very sorry for your loss.

      If it helps, I know exactly how you feel. I lost my mom in February due to sepsis. Unfortunately my mom had a habit of hiding/minimizing illnesses and it was too late when she couldn’t hide it anymore.

      You’ll drive yourself crazy second guessing your decisions and it won’t change the outcome. So my advice is to not beat yourself up.

      It’s just so very hard. I just hope you have people IRL to talk to.

  13. drumlin woodchuckles

    . . . ” Biden promised to cancel ALL student debt for HBCU graduates making under 125k. ”

    How about cancelling ALL student debt for EVERY graduate of EVERY college making under 125k?

    How come Biden didn’t promise THAT? And how come this particular tweet-writer herself doesn’t think of THAT?

    If someone were to recommend cancelling ALL student debt for EVERY graduate of EVERY college making under 125k, inCLUding those students who went to HBCUs, I would support that. If this tweet-writer thinks that ONLY students who went to HBCUs should get student debt forgiveness, then I reply that THOSE students should not get any debt forgiveness either.

    Either forgive everyone’s debt or no one’s debt.

    That concept should not upset anyone who isn’t in it for the Racial Guiltmail, Racial Extortion and the special assertion of Black Privilege. Anyone who IS upset by “either everyone or no one” reveals what they really are for the whole world to see.

    1. Mikel

      As I said to Lambert, they could pass some usury laws and not only tackle current problems but future rip-offs as well.
      For some banks, all that debt is going to be collected in higher interest rates on loans and credit cards elsewhere.

    2. Mikel

      And the gov’t loan system can use taxes to make up for the loss. Somebody is paying. Sleepy Joe is their boy.

      1. chris

        To think of everything that could happen if we had a debt jubilee… sigh. I think we might see a bizarre bastardized version of it still. Like some crazy Trumping iteration where all black citizens have their federal income taxes zeroed out.

      2. Clark

        Maybe some commenters have mentioned this, but an alternative to “cancelling debt” is repealing the bankruptcy act of, IIRC, 2005, that made student loans non-dischargeable except in extreme circumstances that almost no one could meet. (Or would want to be in.) In other words, return to the status quo ante. Before JB shepherded through the current giveaway to student loan lenders.

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          A ” New Deal Revival” Party could run on that among other things.

          1. Lambert Strether Post author

            I think the days of a New Deal are past; I’m not sure we have the operational capacity for it. Whatever is to come will be new, but not necessarily a “New Deal.” I regret this deeply, because a return to the days of FDR — i.e., to what remained (much) of the New Deal in the days of my childhood — had been my default setting for a minimal baseline on left policy for some time. But we can’t even do Medicare for All, after two Democrat Administrations.

  14. jr

    “Inside a Biden White House adrift” [NBC]. “Faced with a worsening political predicament, President Joe Biden is pressing aides for a more compelling message and a sharper strategy while bristling at how they’ve tried to stifle the plain-speaking persona that has long been one of his most potent assets. Biden is rattled by his sinking approval ratings and is looking to regain voters’ confidence that he can provide the sure-handed leadership he promised during the campaign, people close to the president say…. Democratic leaders are at a loss about how he can revive his prospects by November, when midterm elections may cost his party control of Congress…. ‘They came in with the most daunting set of challenges arguably since Franklin D. Roosevelt, only to then be hit by a perfect storm of crises, from Ukraine to inflation to the supply chain to baby formula,’ said Chris Whipple, the author of a book about White House chiefs of staff who is now writing a book about the Biden presidency. ‘What’s next? Locusts?’”

    Poor old Doh!-Joe doesn’t realize that not letting him be himself IS his aides’ attempts at sharpening his strategy and polishing his image. Why they even have the Easter Bunny lending a hand and that nearly startled him to death. Perhaps everyone will dress up as a Girl Scout for the White House Halloween party so as to avoid a bad rattling. Although there is blood pressure to consider.

    He’s rattled by a lot of things these days, I’d guess: Harris’s impromptu giggling in his ear, walking into closets, sinking poll numbers, Russia’s ascendency in Uruguay, arguing with Beau at the dinner table. I’d say you would need a copy of the Necronomicon to revive his party’s chances for November. He isn’t getting mine!

    And can you pick a better name than “Whipple” for a professional sycophant? I picture a giant jar of marshmallow whip with “Beta-Boy” round glasses and glistening wet lips bowing obsequiously as Joe enters the room. Although, if Biden keeps pushing Russia and China at the same time, things truly may get Biblical. At least if it’s locusts, we can eat them.

    1. Samuel Conner

      There was a well-reputed 20th century American astronomer named “Whipple”. There’s a comet named after him. For me, the name evokes a bucolic image; it might have served well as a family name in The Shire.

      1. Revenant

        The Shire is pure Wessex. The Wh sound is pure Norse. He would be from Rohan….

        Whipple was also a famous surgeon who pioneered a radical resection of the small intestine for malignancies. Ripping the Dems guts out….

    2. Jason Boxman

      The Biden administration is an abject failure on virtually every measure. They’ve killed more Americans than Trump did, just for starters, and that’s with the vaccines!! that liberal Democrats are so in love with. Indeed, the Biden administration is a failure on its own terms. No Build Back Better (lol), no student debt cancellations, incompetent action on vaccine distribution, on Paxlavoid distribution, on public health messaging, for those that care, managing withdrawal from Afghanistan, I guess that’s just part of the short list.

      Meanwhile, a large employer I’m familiar with just dropped all vaccination mandates, even for in-office work, but still recommends them. After the winter debacle of requiring them and certainly some people being forced to resign over it. Well done, Biden administration, with that steady hand!

      And if liberal Democrats lose the midterms, if Biden loses reelection or someone else runs, whatever happens, liberal Democrat consultants are gonna keep cashing checks, so it’s irrelevant.

      The joke, as always, is on the American public; We’re all unwittingly part of a great American suicide pact.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        Let’s give Trump some due share of the credit for covid deaths. The Trumpists made ” wearing masks” a symbol of liberal cowardice. “Real men don’t wear masks”. Trump made a point of that by refusing to wear a mask on his tour at a Ford plant.

        So the Trumpists helped get the covid epidemic spreading so fast and furious that only a very serious follow-on administration could have slowed it down. The Biden Administration was not that Administration.

        ( And of course the Trumpists had help from eager junior mass-murderers like Andy “Rat Face” Cuomo).

        1. Jason Boxman

          True enough. Although as if by magic COVID would disappear, said Trump. Meanwhile Biden did actually run on confronting this directly, and with the science. So with Trump we got what we’d expect. With Biden we got lies and death and mismanagement from the supposed adults.

          So in the end we all come to the same place: Let it ride.

          1. drumlin woodchuckles

            Well, except that Biden has brought us to a worse place where almost no one trusts anyone for any kind of facts or advice on anything.

            Every President we have had since Carter has been worse than the President before it. I think every future President will be even worse for a while yet.

        2. Lambert Strether Post author

          > only a very serious follow-on administration could have slowed it down.

          Or a serious Democrat opposition and/or a serious public health establishment. Let’s also remember that the door to anti-masking was opened by WHO, CDC, and Fauci (“noble lies”).

          Let’s also remember that “the former guy” gave Biden an enormous gift: The vaccines, which at the very least would have bought time for NPIs and treatments. And even bigger gift than the vaccines was the business model for Operation Warp Speed. Both these gifts were — and this is putting it charitably — were squandered by the Biden Administration.

          To put this even more pointedly: For all its many faults, the Trump Administration made a good faith effort to protect the American people from Covid: Operation Warp Speed. The Biden Administration made no such effort.

    3. Darthbobber

      I especially like the way they treat things like the Ukraine war, among others, as the equivalent of bad weather that just blew in from nowhere. As if the administration didn’t deliberately choose a diplomatic- and I use that word loosely- path, that had war as a likely outcome. And didn’t then actively choose the response most likely to turn it into a crisis for the United States.

      And much the same could be said of several of the other pieces of “bad luck” that they bemoan.

    1. Basil Pesto

      my own detail photo of the top painting (‘Mme Kupka in Verticals’) was my desktop wallpaper for a while. Saw it at MoMA once iirc. Wonderful

    2. Acacia

      The story I heard about Kupka is that he was p.o.e.d. that Kandinsky was named the first painter of non-objective art, not Kupka, who felt that HE himself deserved this honor.

      So, he decided to do something about it — to set the historical record straight, ya know — and was subsequently busted whilst trying to retouch and change the date on one of his own paintings that was on public display.

  15. Mikel

    “These are acts of what David Graeber calls “everyday communism” (cf. Luke 11:11), and they all involve smiling, which is rapidly being weaponized by anti-masking goons, and commodified by facial recognition rent-seekers. Madness!”

    I’ll be wearing a mask as a form of protest against the death cult economy in all its forms. From school shootings to pandemic let ‘er rip. It’s my personal “F your normal.”

  16. Skippy

    Militarizing the Po[lice thingy …

    The gear itself is a psychological tool not unlike some ancient talisman its wearer believes imbues them with special powers, same goes for the military grade weapons, that all translates into a change in perception and thought about oneself vs others.

    Years after leaving the military a fellow discharge and I decided on a whim and short notice to gear up for a Halloween outing in L.A. South Beach area. Just dawning the gear on had an immediate effect and threw me back to the environmental mindset of that past – just the feel of it. This was heightened by the response by others around us anywhere we went.

    At least I knew about this condition and was cognate about it and was not beguiled by it, can’t say the same for others, just the opposite – its a drug.

    1. Tom Stone

      The Military and the police have VERY different jobs.
      The job of the Military is to kill people and break things.
      The job of the Police is to maintain public order with enough tact to avoid sparking an armed rebellion.

      Mixing the two is not a good idea.
      Oddly enough when 12 cops in full armor with M16’s ride an armored vehicle into a residential area in order to serve a warrant on a 16 year old at his Mom’s house they certainly do look like an occupying Army.
      But they were looking mighty cool in that front page Pic in the Santa Rosa Press Democrat.

      1. Synoia

        The job of the military is to hold the status quo until the enemy’s economy collapses.

        General Napier Crookenden.

      2. Skippy

        The militarization of the Police Force started with that bank robbery gone wrong in Calif. almost a few decades ago – running gun battle from shopping center parking lot to suburbs. This is when the burgeoning SWAT teams got a huge up grade in the force. I did train some on a military base back in the late 70s, weapons and room clearing stuff aka given the nick name bug eaters for their weekend warrior attitudes.

        This then all became a self fulfilling prophecy with regards to socioeconomic dramas front running criminal gang, financial flows through drug money laundering, increased criminal penalties necessitating more prisons, prisons run by PE mobs having contracts for X% occupancy or you pay for empty space and might make investors sad, less we forget the Occupy dynamic, which all at this stage in the story has become a dog and pony show for Police districts to show off their paramilitary capacity in front of locals [presumably/sold as saving lives] and making investors of all this gear happy campers in their gated communities/faraway homes.

        Seriously … people need to remember Reagan and Co were fully aware of the coke trade in Florida back in the day, but were hands off because the financial flows were the only thing stopping Florida from going into a recession and how that would play out with elections. It was only the in your face national MSM reporting on their shoot out/ambush at a shopping mall in broad day light that forced them to respond. Best bit is previously it was all run/administrated by mostly white collar or the 20s/30s year olds of previous white collar kids that industrialized that industry through networks/contacts/business knowledge.

        The big change came with the ethnic groups from Cuba [lots of ex cons], and various sorts from Central/South America post the machinations of Iran/Contra. So again a result of past deeds came home to roost.

        Yet ***too a fault*** during this decades long period none of the conservatives [team red&blue] never ever ever sought to fix the underlining socioeconomic factors which fueled all this, more so they poured petrol on it and when that does not fix it double down on it because the narrative is sacred above all else.

    2. super extra

      it will be interesting if it is formalized, I recall one thing my fellow english speakers and I struggled with when learning Russian was the difference between полиция (police) and милиция “military police” see there isn’t even a good word for it in english because ‘militia’ has such a disassociated context in due to all the various gun-related issues in the country. anyway my larger point was that ‘militarized police’ is one of those things that ‘isn’t supposed to happen here’, it’s a caudillo or kingdom thing. so making it formalized might paradoxically be the first step in making the overall situation better, in the sense that you have to name a problem correctly before it can be described and resolved.

      ETA: the difference is “police” do stuff like parking tickets and “militsya” or militarized police do SWAT-like stuff. obvious to anyone but a room of americans

      1. Skippy

        To me the first thing is the entrance exam, everything is a result of that, no different to my military exam. I was originally offered a MOS of missile systems, very la te da for the day [mid 70s], but had steeled my mind for Rangers. That eventuated in a one on one with a master sgt in a sound proof room where I was offered a piece of paper, that said, if I signed, it I would instantly be moved from the facility to somewhere unknown and no one would be informed of what had occurred – poof. I was 17 at the time.

        I actually pondered it, yet at the end of the day I did request Rangers which for whatever reasons necessitated the master sgt to get a waver from his full bird colonel superior.

        Long story short … testing is a a bit like Temple Grandin goal seeking where those being tested really have no idea of what the desires are of those that construct such tests, yet, ***emotionally feel*** compelled to win by passing them regardless of the future outcomes for themselves or others. E.g. if some don’t like the qualities of the police one has to start at the entrance level testing, everything else is a foregone conclusion regardless of the gear.

      2. Revenant

        UK refuses that distinction too. Policing by consent. Now subverted by firearms officers etc but the model is still the official one.

        Broken countries have multiple police forces. Look at Italy with the Carabinieri (the carbine or rifle men) as the local jokes then the Guardia as the next rung. The Guardia Finanzera are the most feared: armed tax inspectors, dealing with Mob a la Capone, and actually effective.

  17. jr

    Courtesy phone for Walter Kronkite!

    Jimmy Dore on the WaPo article on a Ukrainian unit commander who is refusing to fight. Video included. The “180” proceeds apace:


    Some highlights:

    1. They have no radios.

    2. They have no heavy support, no “rear”.

    3. Ammo is in short supply.

    4. When they do have tanks behind them, the Russians bomb the $hit out of everything and kill them too.

    5. Some of them received a +half hour’s+ worth of training before being sent to their deaths.

    I’ve noticed that that arm chair general on Youtube that I mentioned a week back or so, the guy with videos like “Why is Russia losing so many jets?” and “Why is Russia losing so many tanks?” is now pushing videos about how cool F-16s are and how artillery pieces work. Pivoting, I guess, can’t sell war porn when your side is getting annihilated. I pity the poor guys in those bunkers, dying for a Western marketing ploy.

    1. Henry Moon Pie

      “dying for a Western marketing ploy.”

      Plus Victoria Nuland’s post-doc project.

  18. Pelham

    Re Lira’s take on the onrushing series of crises: OK, I’ll sort of buy it.

    But I like to think there’s some deeper intelligence and strategy at work here. At least it’s fun to speculate on it. Maybe there’s only a seeming recklessness whose objective is to more firmly knit together a phalanx of US allies by riling Russia and China and transforming them into existential threats. The objective would be to secure Washington’s hegemony globally while also rallying an otherwise fractious American public that’s increasingly inclined toward some kind of civil war.

    This would all address two stupendous errors of the past 30 or so years: Opening China for unlimited trade and offshoring and the advent of Big Tech in the form of unchecked social media and a single dominant search engine.

    As for Biden, things looks shaky now, but if matters get bad enough, the calculation in the White House may be that a frightened populace will rally round the only guy they’ve got: Joe Biden.

    1. chris

      I think he’s got something there. I would like to believe there’s some greater intelligence at work but I think its a lower former of cunning than most would like to believe. Like the sort that is trying to profit off of climate change because that means an easier route through the Arctic ocean. I don’t think they have any idea how screwed we all are. I also don’t think they have any idea how bad things could get.

      If you’ve watched the latest season of “Love Death + Robots” that’s the future I can believe in – the billionaire seasteaders all die and the cats make it to Mars :)

        1. chris

          You should try LD+R, they’re all sci-fi inspired shorts on various themes involving the 3 main topics of Love, Death, and Robots. Each season has one short with the 3 robots as returning characters exploring earth after the apocalypse. It’s a beautiful and sarcastically funny option for those who find Black Mirror too dark.

  19. Samuel Conner

    > All it took was one of their 21 year old friends to say he has post covid erectile disfunction

    After writing this morning to some friends who have relaxed their precautions, warning them about long COVID and pointing to the example of someone they know of who has CV-induced anosmia, …

    the thought occurred that from the perspectives of wise public health policy and public uptake of protective measures, it’s a terrible shame that the original CV strain’s effect on ‘sensation’ was commonly loss of olfactory sensation and not loss of sexual sensation (is there a term for that? “anhedonia”?). I think that, in that counterfactual scenario, there would have been much more compliance with — indeed insistence on — lockdown measures and the public would not have grown tired of the restrictions or complacent about them.

    Of course, this might still happen, since the virus is still evolving. Perhaps it’s something to hope for, for the sake of wiser health policy. It might over the longer term help with the resource depletion problem, too.

  20. Tom Stone

    Very few people whose Rice Bowl doesn’t depend on JB is going to rally around him.
    HRC arouses passion much of it irrational
    Not so much.
    Maybe a little less than that…
    What is there to rally around in that hollowest of hollow Men?

  21. Tom Stone

    I see that 6.6 Million refugee’s have left Ukraine,a country with a very high incidence of multiple drug resistant strains of TB.
    I wonder if they are being tested before entry into the EU or UK?

  22. scarnoc

    Whenever we subdivide the working class (sells their labor, doesn’t own capital) into ‘gentry’, PMCs, ‘working class aristocracy’ or whatever label, things get dicey. Everyone knows they exist, but the limits and borders of who they are and how they exist is kind of a mess. The most vulgar and useless thing is to use some fairly arbitrary income limit (although I do that myself sometimes. Saves time.). The gun tweet about gentry got me thinking a little about these categories and labels, and how to apply them. Like, do PMC’s own $50,000 of guns and ammo? Not usually. Do gentry? Sometimes. Put another way, isn’t a liberal attorney who sells her labor for $280,000 annually plus a bonus a ‘PMC’, while a Christian Conservative Pastor who sells his labor to a megachurch for $280,000 plus a bonus, ‘gentry’? What’s the role of culture and vibe here?

    I do know some working class non-aristos who have amassed sizeable arsenals overtime. Even a family with a $80,000 income can dispose of some of that on guns if that matters to them. Especially with credit!

    1. The Rev Kev

      Guns are like toilets. Trying to use more than one at a time doesn’t end well.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        I remember once reading where Kurt Saxon coined a clever little saying to rebuke those “survivalists” who felt they needed great big personal arsenals.

        ” A .38 under the pillow, a shotgun beside the door.
        A 30.08 for reaching out, you don’t need anything more.”

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      > Like, do PMC’s own $50,000 of guns and ammo?

      It is messy. To begin with, our categories are too crude (PMCs certainly differ by geography). And the boundaries are also fuzzy. (There is such a thing as a “fuzzy set” and perhaps some math maven can simplify it for us.)

      This quotation from Rex Stout (!!) may be a propos:

      The left is that son: Green. And distracted by ill-chosen companions (liberals).

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        Fuzzy set clarification . . . . perhaps it can be imagined visually. The “core set” is like a big central circle. And a lot of little other sets overlap it around the edges. A kind of Venn Diagram solar system.
        And the fuzziness is where the little orbiting sets overlap with the edges of the “core set” under consideration.

        It may be one of those things that can’t be defined verbally, but has to be illustrated with a diagram.
        Maybe . . . or maybe not . . .

    3. Revenant

      Gentry have land. That’s the definition. They are the minor branches of aristocratic families. They fill local establishment roles. In the UK they would have had a manor house and a few hundred acres, been master of the local hunt, probably an officer, maybe a vicar or a civil servant if they had not been good on a horse.

      You can generalise to capital, owning a car dealership etc. but you lose something when you conflate enterprise with being a rentier and sinecure holder. The merchant class is a thing in itself.

  23. kareninca

    My 79 y.o. mother in eastern CT came down with covid symptoms on Saturday morning. Her cleaning lady (and friend; they hang out together for hours on end, unmasked and yakking) then phoned her and told her that she had herself tested positive. I insisted to my mom that she go to the ER; she did. Her blood oxygen was fine, and they sent her home. As she pulled in the driveway they called to say she had tested positive.

    So far the symptoms are not so bad; just an occasional cough and sinus congestion. The main worry presently is any long term damage. However, in case things get worse between now and Thursday morning, we are working on getting her some Paxlovid.

    The Paxlovid-getting process has been strange. She was told by the PA who saw her in the ER on Saturday morning that they were not prescribing it because it was in terribly short supply and they were only giving it to cancer patients. Huh?

    Despite the holiday weekend, we managed to get her a phone appointment on Sunday with a nurse, and then her GP called in a prescription right away today (Tuesday morning). She is on several meds that badly conflict with it (including a statin). I told her to stop her statin as soon as she got her positive test result, but I was unsure about her other meds. She did talk with the GP’s nurse about stopping the statin (and had stopped it at my recommendation), but the nurse was also unsure about the other meds. But we have heard nothing from the GP about the other meds. She will have the Paxlovid long before she can talk with the GP about this.
    (note: we just found out that the GP’s office has screwed up and not actually called in Paxlovid prescription)

    But that is not what I am freaked out by. Instead, it is my mother’s new case of pancreatic insufficiency. She had a gurgling stomach after meals for a year (and didn’t tell me) but ignored it since, well, it was just stomach gurgles. Then for the past month she also had diarrhea. Not horrible diarrhea; just once a day. But she did have tests done. And it turns out that her pancreas is not producing enzymes. She has been started on a $900/month (out of pocket until the $3,000/yearly donut hole is filled) pharma enzyme supplement.

    She has been vaccinated with one booster. She has never had covid (until now).

    I was just talking with a vaccinated/boosted friend. She has never had covid (that she knows). I mentioned the stomach gurgles. There was a silence, and then she told me that she’d had stomach gurgles for the past month after each meal.

    I guess covid attacks organs. The pancreas is an organ. Is this a coincidence? I wonder if digestive enzyme are going to be the next shortage.

  24. scarnoc

    RE: Civil War – The terrain is blue city vs red everywhere else. The Cities cannot sustain themselves. If Americans start killing each other in a serious manner, the military won’t act as a single entity with a single purpose. Class always matters, even when it’s subterranean or hidden as it often is in religious or right wing radical movements. The truckers could shut everything down and demand material fixes for all that ails us. Ottawa went so aggro on the Canadian right-wing trucker protest (not even a strike yet) in order to destroy any inkling that those sorts of actions can work. The elites really are terrified of us, and hate and fear us. Hope is far from lost. Power is always in the street, waiting to be picked up.

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      The blue cities should start concentrating on buying as much food as possible from as close-as-possible right around the blue cities. If a whole new class of peri-urban microfarmers emerged around every blue city, making their living by provisioning their blue city with all its food, they might come to see their survival-interest allied with the survival interest of the blue cities themselves.

      That is how blue cities can transform themselves into blue city-states. Blue city-states will be bigger than blue strictly-cities. Maybe there is still enough time to begin and then complete that evolution.

      1. chris

        No, because too many of the city dwellers refuse to do the work that is required to keep a city working.

        I used to work night shifts during outages at all kinds of processing and power generation facilities as an engineer. When friends would ask what I did and I told them about it their look would be shock mixed with pity. “But, didn’t you go to college?” was a common question. As if someone without a college degree plus a lot of experience could manage people during night shift evolutions at a power plant while answering questions related to the technical basis for operations at a plant at 3 AM. And then do whatever analysis and calculations that needed to be done to approve emergency repairs. But none of my friends or friends of friends would volunteer to work like that. Fewer still know how to do what it takes to operate facilities like water treatment plants or recycling centers or power plants. Unless they make a drastic decision to outlaw a lot of the creative class jobs that are a marker of their status in a city so that people have to take those positions they will go unfilled. Same for plumbing, trash collection, etc. It’s the “telephone sanitizers” problem on steroids.

        The easy way to do this is the city folk stop treating everyone else like crap and realize that they need them to make things work. I have little confidence that will occur.

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          Well, there are enough city dwellers to where several million each could apply the two separate theories.

          Several million city dwellers could work to create around their cities their own peri-urban foodshed.

          Several million city dwellers could work on “treating everyone else better”.

          The two Theories Of Change ( TOCs) could be applied and pursued in parallel at the same time without interfering with eachother. And see what goes where.

    2. Noone from Nowheresville

      Cities aren’t really cities, they are regional metropolitan areas. e.g. Off the top of my head, the Twin Cities include Minneapolis, St. Paul, Roseville, Bloomington, Anoka, Fridley, Brooklyn Center, Brooklyn Park, Plymouth, Wayzata, Inver Grove Heights, Burnsville, Apple Valley, Maple Grove, Stillwater, White Bear Lake, Savage, Excelsior, Shoreview, etc., etc., etc., etc. It’s a long list over a large area of land divided by rivers, wetlands, interstates, etc. Some would include Hudson, WI and a few other Wisconsin towns in the Twin Cities metropolitan area. Then throw in the people living in the built up freeway corridors to other cities like St. Cloud or Forest Lake.

      At best the Metropolitan area swings purple with some very safe true blue and true red voting districts.

      If society fell, it would be complicated and potentially ugly. County government vs. City government vs. State government vs. corporate government. Corporations like Cargill, Medtronic, 3M, Pillsbury, Target, etc., etc., etc. are located within its borders. Plus the state’s bureaucracy in St. Paul. As well as a bunch of public & private universities and big churches.

      Police forces are city, county, state. National guard quasi military because competing state v. national command structures.

      Would the Twin Cities speak with one voice or break into cooperative vs. competitive area groupings? Would corporate leadership try to usurp local government leadership?

      All of which is only to say it’s not blue v. red anything. It’s who or what would fill the power vacuum left if society fell. Luck will play a role.

  25. Joe Renter

    And which side will the militarized police side with? It does not look pretty for all possible scenarios with a civil war.

  26. Mikel


    British Columbia is taking a critical step toward reducing the shame and fear associated with substance use as the federal Minister of Mental Health and Addictions and Associate Minister of Health announced the granting of a three-year exemption under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA) to remove criminal penalties for people who possess a small amount of certain illicit substances for personal use.

    This exemption will be in effect from Jan. 31, 2023 to Jan. 31, 2026, throughout British Columbia. The Province will work with a broad range of partners to implement this policy change, including the federal government, health authorities, law enforcement, people with lived and living experience, Indigenous partners and community organizations to establish the public health and public safety indicators in order to monitor and evaluate the outcomes of this exemption in real time…”

  27. Mikel

    “The Federal Reserve’s almost $9 trillion portfolio is about to be reduced starting on Wednesday,
    in a process intended to supplement rate hikes and buttress the central bank’s fight against inflation..
    While the precise impact of “quantitative tightening” in financial markets is still up for debate…”

    Up for debate…LOL. Greed knows no bounds…if they can sell a bit higher, more bagholders is deflationary, I guess.

  28. Mikel

    “A baseless conspiracy theory blaming the US for creating monkeypox in a lab is spreading on Chinese social media amid the global outbreak of the disease.

    Conversations about monkeypox have trended on the Weibo social messaging platform for multiple days in a row, with more than 51m views…”

    What goes around, comes around.

    The Chinese could have picked a better documented thing to latch onto and have fun with. Remember this?:

    “AN escape of lab monkeys on a Pennsylvania highway has sparked fears of a virus outbreak after a woman who came into contact with them later fell ill.

    Michelle Fallon stopped to help after a truck carrying 100 cynomolgus macaques crashed on Interstate 80, spilling animal crates across the tarmac….’

    Just spitballin’….

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      Well, that’s just more Great NaziHan hypernationalist blood-libel propaganda. Its just one more sign of the deeper reason why America should pursue a policy of Zero Economic Contact between China and America.
      But America would have to kill thousands or hundreds of thousands of American Free Trade Supporters and Operatives before America would be free to pursue a Zero Economic Contact with China policy.

  29. Mikel

    Where’s IM Doc?
    He went into the wrong life saving business in the wrong location:

    The auditors at OpenTheBooks.com found:

    -98 L.A. lifeguards earned at least $200,000 including benefits last year,
    -20 L.A. lifeguards made between $300,000 and $510,283 (but only two were women).
    -37 lifeguards made between $50,000 and $247,000 in overtime alone.
    Also, working at the beach pays way more than working at the pool, with a pool lifeguard earning a little over $45,000.

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      Perhaps there should be organizations and stuff for ciswomens’ sports. And then also organizations and stuff for transwomens’ sports. That would prevent unfair competition between members of the two grouploads of athletes and yet preserve the fact and spirit of equal competition within the two separate grouploads of athletes.

      But that won’t really fly unless/until there arises a massive ciswoman’s rights movement willing to call itself that in public. If that were to happen, it would signal that leftard wokenism has become so loathed and despised that it has lost its power to intimidate those who wish to be acknowledged as “progressive”.

      1. chris

        I refuse to use cis and trans in that context. It suggests male and female are opposed in reflective positions instead of taking into account that females are fundamentally different from males. Not worse or better, but different. Default for females includes organs males don’t have just for starters. So how can we use cis and trans in the way that we do? If you’re talking about chirally opposed molecules like in stereochemistry? Sure. But to employ the words as we use them commonly today is masking poor thinking with something that sounds scientific.

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          Well, I use the words the way everyone uses them. If you can get (a) new and better word(s) into the language for this subject, that will be a valuable impact on the language and the discussion.

          Till then, I will keep using the current language of today the way everyone uses it. I don’t have the energy to try inventing and launching the new improved words you would like to see.

          So that is your mission, should you decide to accept it.

  30. Skippy

    I think I stated in the recent past how bloody minded the Russians can be and its not hamstrung by a bunch of billionaires seeking packet in perpetuity nor mentally flummoxed by some ideology cut out of whole cloth [neoliberalism] to beguile the unwashed to self flagellate for moral superiority.

    Gezz if I had to pick a side to fight on regardless of anything else but to do the job right I’d pick the Russians, just don’t screw around with power point presentations for future rank up grades or industry board posts or investor sediments.

    Best bit is how they have others paying for gas in Rubles that in turn funds the weaponry opposed to the West.

  31. drumlin woodchuckles

    I used to be a much more active birdwatcher than what I am now. And so I used to spot many more sparrow species than what I spot nowadays. Nowadays, my effort to “see” sparrows is so leisurely and low energy that I detect more species by sound than by sight.

    So . . . the song sparrows are singing at this time. Also the chipping sparrows. If I am in somewhat broadly expansive grassy areas with some brush around, I will hear field sparrows. ( Of course I see English sparrows also too as well, but those are not in the ” fringillid new world sparrow” group. Those are in the Afro-Eurasian “weaver finch” group).

    When I was a more active migration-season birder, a most uncommon sparrow everyone hoped to see once during each migration was the Lincoln’s sparrow. They are an interesting little sparrow.

  32. Mikel

    Finally, some real world economic news – from earlier this month:

    “Some strippers on Twitter said they think recession is guaranteed – because the strip clubs are suddenly empty.

    On Thursday (9 May), a woman who goes by @botticellibimbo on the platform said the following about the clubs: “The strip club is sadly a leading indicator, and I can promise y’all we r in a recession, lmao.”

    “Me getting stock alerts just to decide whether it’s worth it to go to work,” she further wrote in a subsequent tweet.

    People took to the comment section of her post to confirm her sentiments about the strip clubs, as well as their own experiences in other industries that seemed to be declining….”

    more in article

  33. drumlin woodchuckles

    Beau of the Fifth Column has a newest video up called . . . ” Let’s talk about disbanding Uvalde departments . . . ” it is shorter than most of his videos. The two departments he recommends disbanding immediately and soonest are the Uvalde police department and the Uvalde schools’ own school police department. He says they have shown themselves to be completely lawless outlaw organizations and if they are not disbanded immediately, the Uvalde will be at the power and mercy of two completely unaccountable above-the-law outlaw gangs. He says why that is in the video. He appears to be not very happy. I don’t know how much impact his video will have on people in Uvalde if even one single Uvaldian even sees it. ( And I myself wonder if the habit of worshipful community deferrence to police departments goes so deep that the Uvaldians would rather gnaw their own feet off than disband their police departments ) But here is the link.


  34. katty

    And which side will the militarized police side with? It does not look pretty for all possible scenarios with a civil war.

  35. JBird4049

    >>>Again, if we want to successfully militarize cops — not just whacking onesies and twosies, but essentially doing urban warfare, which is the bucket school shootings would need to be tossed into — then we need to given them literal basic training, and we need institutions like West Point, but for cops. Is that what we want? If not, we need to demilitarize the police, at the very least.

    This might be off subject, but we would have to reduce the fear in our society to demilitarize the police, I think. We must reduce the unthinking fear and despair that seems to have soaked our society before reforming the police.

    Aside from the airports and the TSA, everything from the courthouse, city hall, to my high school have become fortresses. Sometimes just finding the entrance is an adventure itself. High school and college have both become ghost towns even when school is in session. There is like a hundred and forty thousand schools and colleges in the United States with all of them seemly remade into a combination prison and fear factory. I think there have been just under a hundred mass shootings with just under two thousand dead and wounded combined everywhere in the United States in the past twenty years; the only solutions being offered is fear more and we need even greater fortifying (minefields? barbed wire? automated killer flame-throwing drones? bar coded and microchipped students and teachers for the automatic bombproof doors? what???)

    Having an average of a hundred dead and wounded a year is bad, but we are living in a country with over three hundred million people and hundreds of thousands of schools, courthouses, city halls, and other public buildings. So we have gone from almost everything wide open, with lines having at most a single metal detector and an unarmed guard to whatever this massive “security” we have. Police, multi kinds of scanners, some with rifles, barriers, cameras, car barriers, and God knows what else.

    The problem is getting worse, but it still means that just 1/3,300,000 of the population could be casualties each year. If I ever get back to swimming in the ocean off California, I am probably more likely to get munched on by a Great White than be a victim in a mass shooting. For comparison, from what I can read, about two hundred completely unarmed Americans are killed each year by the police. That probably means around four hundred, maybe more unarmed Americans become casualties of the police. Keep in mind that many of the other eight hundred plus are sometimes completely innocent, usually not charge with crime, and are often “armed” with rocks, sticks, flashlights, pen knives and other deadly weapons, and the guns are often holstered or stored away.

    So, that is four thousand unarmed people killed or injured over twenty years. Yearly, two hundred casualties in mass shootings against four hundred by the police. Or we can look at deaths with the combined numbers of murders in the United States from all weapons being ~21,000, which means the average person has 1/20 of being killed by the police. Meanwhile suicide by gun is around thirty thousand a year. More people die from despair than from homicide, I think, but that does not get the breathless headlines. Of course, many of the mass shooters were probably driven a bit insane by our society.

    When ever something bad happens, there is always screaming for more guns, more cops, and even harsher laws, but never for anything that might actually help. But reducing the fear, the terror to something more reasonable would mean reducing all this fortifying and how do we do that? That would also mean making a living much, much easier, but where is the profit in that for the elites?

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