2:00PM Water Cooler 6/1/2022

By Lambert Strether of Corrente

Bird Song of the Day

Lincoln’s Sparrow, and how we need one (hat tip, drumlin woodchuckles). This is Sparrow week at Naked Capitalism. Ontario, Canada. 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

Everything’s going according to plan:

When historians, a century from now — I’m being optimistic, here — want to mark the beginning of The Jackpot on a timeline, I think they’ll drop the pin at the Biden Administration.

* * *

“The War in Ukraine Can Be Over If the U.S. Wants It” [New York Magazine]. “The trouble with the seemingly bottomless pleas for more armaments for Ukraine is that with them a viable end to the war falls ever further out of reach. Though many American foreign-policy analysts and pundits believe the only acceptable outcome of the war is full freedom for Ukraine and a total repulsion of Russian forces, this remains highly unlikely and may put the world in further danger. That is Kissinger’s contention, and it’s one that must be heeded. If the American-backed military gains for Ukraine are fleeting and merely increase the odds of a more ruinous collision between NATO and Russia, should Ukraine keep receiving American missiles? This is the dilemma both Kissinger and Chomsky[(!!)] confront. The economic shocks of the war cannot be dismissed any longer. Skyrocketing energy prices across the globe are destabilizing for affluent and precarious nations alike. Mass starvation looms — Russia is trapping 20 million tons of grain in Ukraine, which has been one of the world’s great breadbaskets. Ordinarily, Russia and Ukraine account for one-quarter of the grain traded internationally. Even before the war, strains on the global food supply were emerging with the pandemic and ongoing droughts in North America and the Horn of Africa. Wheat prices are now surging. And there is the faint possibility, always to be taken seriously, of nuclear conflict. Kissinger is one of a vanishing number of men who worked in American government when nuclear war was a much-discussed existential threat to be averted at all costs. Russia is an enormous country that is going to play a role in global affairs for the rest of this century, just as it did in the past one. This fact cannot be hand-waved away…” • Hand-waving has had a lot of success so far. IMNSHO, the player most at existential threat is The Blob who got the war they wanted and planned for. What would a loss look like to them, if we mere citizens were allowed to see it? A “Banner of Victory #5” waving over the Odessa opera house?


* * *

TX: “Cuellar accuses political director for Texas Democratic Party of wrongfully accessing private voter database” [FOX]. “Henry Cuellar (D-Texas) has accused the Texas Democratic Party’s political director of viewing his private voter data without his consent before he ran for the 28th Congressional District in the Lone Star State…. Cuellar, in a Tuesday letter to the Texas Democratic Party’s co-executive directors, addressed “grave Concerns” and stated that Ryan Garcia, the state party’s political Director, accessed Ryan Garcia’s private account at NGP-VAN “without us authorization or consent” April 25, 2022…. According to the letter, the discovery of Garcia’s login to Cuellar’s VAN account was made on May 26, 2022 – two days after the primary runoff election.” Hmm. “After last week’s counting of ballots, Cuellar was just 177 votes ahead of his primary opponent Jessica Cisneros in the runoff contest.” • So that race is still not decided?

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.

* * *


Big if true:

I have not found a copy of the letter (there is no transcript of this Carlson show at FOX yet; here is a video). I made the rounds of Red State, Conservative Treehouse, etc., and none of them link to the letter either. Readers?

Realignment and Legitimacy

Cray cray elites:

I want to hoist a comment of my own here:

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.

Every NGO and every party member who’s funded by Soros is going to read that quote and wonder: “How can I work that into my next grant proposal?” And so it goes.


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.

* * *

• Rule #1, rule #2:

Readers, have you had the same experience?

• ”US airlines are so desperate for pilots they are dropping some requirements and considering cutting training hours to get more pilots flying sooner” [Business Insider]. “Because of the lack of pilots, carriers are considering changing long-standing requirements to get more pilots flying sooner, like nixing degree requirements, dropping the mandatory number of flight hours needed to be hired, and increasing the pilot retirement age.” • Oddly, the article never mentions the cause of the pilot shortage. I wonder what it could be?

• ”Relief, Reunions and Some Anxiety as Shanghai (Mostly) Reopens” [New York Times]. The lead: “They strolled and cycled through their own city like dazed tourists. They hopped onto ferries once again, crossing the Huangpu River, and crowded onto the famed Bund waterfront. They honked car horns and lit fireworks. As Shanghai eased one of the longest, toughest lockdowns anywhere since the pandemic began, many of its 25 million residents celebrated being free to move around.” Paragraph 25: “Mr. Xi and other Chinese officials maintain that their zero-tolerance strategy has spared the country the millions of deaths that the virus has inflicted in the United States, Europe and other richer countries.” “• Well, life is cheap in the Occident.

* * *

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.)

• Brain genius Wachter is at it again:

That’s only if you believe CDC’s case count….

• I have been muttering about BA.4 and BA.5 and wondering when they would make an appearance and carry us all to new heights, since we’ve given up any idea of screening people at airports, let alone quaranting them. And here we are–

• “Omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5 found in Santa Clara County’s wastewater as cases continue to climb” [Mercury-News]. From May 25; this is why I keep whinging that Biobot’s variant chart is slow to update. “Two highly contagious omicron subvariants that recently swept through South Africa and sparked a rapid rise in coronavirus cases in that country have been detected in Santa Clara County’s wastewater systems, according to public health officials. Health experts say the newly discovered subvariants — BA. 4 and BA.5 — are more transmissible than the nation’s current dominant variants — BA.2 and BA.2.12.1 — and have so far evaded immunity protection. This month, the European Centers for Disease Control recently classified the two strains as ‘variants of concern.’ Though the new subvariants account for about one percent of the total amount of COVID-19 measured in the county’s four wastewater sites, it remains to be seen whether it will become the dominant strain in Santa Clara County, said UC Berkeley epidemiologist Dr. John Swartzberg.. BA.4 and BA.5 has been present in the United States over the last couple of months and last week San Diego health officials announced that BA.4 was the source of a handful of infections.” • Oh, a handful. So that’s alright then. But from June 1–

• ““Battle Of Omicron” Being Won By New BA.4 And BA.5 Variants As Overlapping Covid Waves Hit U.S.” [Deadline]. “Estimates released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention today indicate that the share of cases tied to Omicron variants BA.4 and BA.5 increased 79% in the past week.That means, even as the more transmissible BA.2.12.1 Omicron subvariant became officially dominant in the U.S. last week, it’s already being pushed out by newcomers BA.4 and BA.5. The result would seem to be overlapping waves of Omicron. The CDC data released today show BA.4 and BA.5, which are folded into the B.1.1.529 designation but likely make up the vast majority of the new cases in that grouping, still with a modest 6.1% share of new cases analyzed at the end of last week. Compare that to 59% for BA.2.12.1 and 6.1% doesn’t seem like much, but the fact that BA.4 and BA.5 are making inroads at all is remarkable.” • Oh. Here is the CDC data:

• “SARS-CoV-2 Omicron BA.2.12.1, BA.4, and BA.5 subvariants evolved to extend antibody evasion” (preprint) [bioRxiv]. From the Abstract: ” BA.2.12.1 [currently dominant; see chart above] is only modestly (1.8-fold) more resistant to sera from vaccinated and boosted individuals than BA.2. On the other hand, BA.4/5 is substantially (4.2-fold) more resistant and thus more likely to lead to vaccine breakthrough infections… The Omicron lineage of SARS-CoV-2 continues to evolve, successively yielding subvariants that are not only more transmissible but also more evasive to antibodies.”

• “COVID State of Affairs: May 31” [Your Local Epidemiologist]. “Many eyes are on Portugal as BA.5 takes hold. Like South Africa, Portugal preceded their BA.4/5 wave with a huge BA.1 wave. So far, cases, hospitalizations, and deaths are all increasing and, in fact, are much higher than in South Africa. This only solidifies that a variant’s impact in one country will not necessarily be the same in another due to variability in demographics, environment, behaviors, and immunity…. The “battle of Omicron” is currently taking place in the U.S. After our first massive BA.1 wave, BA.2 tried to take hold only to be overtaken by BA.2.12.1. Now, BA.4 and BA.5 are gaining traction very quickly and seem to be easily outcompeting the rest. Given recent lab studies, though, this isn’t a surprise. BA.4/5 are particularly good at escaping antibodies and reinfecting people previously infected with Omicron, as well as boosted individuals. Once BA.4/5 account for the majority of cases in the U.S., we should expect another (or extended) case surge.” • ”Or extended” [lambert screams quietly].

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:

Fiddling and diddling, with South a little up, and North a little down. 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.

Cases lag wastewater data.

From Biobot Analytics:

I’m not liking is that big time lag with the variants. Still 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:

California better, Midwest, New York, New England, and Gulf Coast improving, Pennsylvania worse (why).

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. OTOH, a bit of Upstate New York has gone yellow.

Hospitalization (CDC Community Profile):

More green, more yellow, less orange. Very dynamic.

A new way for hospitals to game the data:

IM Doc writes: “I would guess with Omicron about 60% of the patients were on Dexamethasone – so no – not an adequate proxy” for hospitalization.

Just a reminder:

As with everything else, because the United States is not a serious country, our hospitalization data is bad. Here the baseilne is off:

Death rate (Our World in Data):

Total: 1,031,613 1,031,286. CDC found more death certificates in a drawer? 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

Employment Situation: “United States Job Openings” [Trading Economics]. “The number of job openings in the US was 11.400 million in April of 2022, down from a revised record high of 11.855 million in March, matching market expectations and suggesting firms continued to struggle to hire new workers.”

Manufacturing: “United States ISM Purchasing Managers Index (PMI)” [Trading Economics]. “The ISM Manufacturing PMI for the US unexpectedly rose to 56.1 in May of 2022 from 55.4 in April and beating market forecasts of 54.5. Faster increases were seen for new orders (55.1 vs 53.5), production (54.2 vs 53.6) and inventories (55.9 vs 51.6). Also, price pressures eased for a second month (82.2 vs 84.6) while employment contracted (49.6 vs 50.9), although companies improved their progress on addressing moderate-term labor shortages at all tiers of the supply chain. Meanwhile, business sentiment remained strongly optimistic regarding demand but supply chain and pricing issues remain the biggest concerns.”

* * *

The Economy: “Strippers say a recession is guaranteed because the strip clubs are suddenly empty” [Indy100 (mikel)]. “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.” • So she’s a stripper and a day trader?

* * *

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 24 Extreme Fear (previous close: 21 Extreme Fear) [CNN]. One week ago: 11 (Extreme Fear). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Jun 1 at 1:27 PM EDT.

Zeitgeist Watch

“Vibrating Pill Counters Constipation” [MedScape]. “A swallowable, vibrating capsule improved symptoms among patients with chronic idiopathic constipation in a phase 3 multicenter, randomized, controlled trial. The method represents a mechanical approach to the treatment of constipation. The swallowable pill acts by vibrating during passage through the gut, where it is thought to augment colonic biorhythm and peristalsis. Traditional treatments for constipation generally increase motility or secretion…. The sponsoring company, Vibrant Gastro, expects to obtain Food and Drug Administration approval by the end of 2022.” • I applaud the relief of human suffering (not ironically). And I love the company name, “Vibrant Gastro.”

Police State Watch

“Uvalde police, school district no longer cooperating with Texas probe of shooting: Sources” [ABC]. “The Uvalde Police Department and the Uvalde Independent School District police force are no longer cooperating with the Texas Department of Public Safety’s investigation into the massacre at Robb Elementary School and the state’s review of the law enforcement response, multiple law enforcement sources tell ABC News…. According to sources, the decision to stop cooperating occurred soon after the director of DPS, Col. Steven McCraw, held a news conference Friday during which he said the delayed police entry into the classroom was ‘the wrong decision’ and contrary to protocol.”

“Video captures moment in radio call of child saying ‘I got shot'” [CNN]. • Hard to believe a child hit shredded with an AR-15 would be able to speak, let alone call. Friendly fire?

News of the Wired

One for the personal risk assessment file:

Of course, one should do all these things. But why to I feel that any support for people doing these things will be withdrawn? For example, note the 495 road sign logo (top right) for “Plan Several Routes” (PMC: “Great! Homework!”). What about people who don’t own cars or don’t drive? Phone for an Uber?

* * *

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 Copeland:

Copeland writes: “This is Rhododendron ‘Capistrano’ – We painted our front door Sherwin Williams ‘Friendly Yellow’ and chose this Rhody to repeat the color, matches almost perfectly.”

* * *

Readers: Water Cooler is a standalone entity not covered by the recently concluded and — thank you! — successful annual NC fundraiser. So if you see a link you especially like, or an item you wouldn’t see anywhere else, please do not hesitate to express your appreciation in tangible form. Remember, a tip jar is for tipping! Regular positive feedback both makes me feel good and lets me know I’m on the right track with coverage. When I get no donations for five or ten days I get worried. More tangibly, a constant trickle of donations helps me with expenses, and I factor in that trickle when setting fundraising goals:

Here is the screen that will appear, which I have helpfully annotated:

If you hate PayPal, you can email me at lambert [UNDERSCORE] strether [DOT] corrente [AT] yahoo [DOT] com, and I will give you directions on how to send a check. Thank you!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
This entry was posted in Water Cooler on by .

About Lambert Strether

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



    Workers at legendary synth manufacturer Moog music are launching a unionization campaign, citing a lack of livable wages, especially given the premium price of the instruments, and retaliatory behavior from management. Noteworthy that the company does have an ESOP but workers argue that despite it management lacks transparency and workers have no level of control over the company.

    1. Robert Hahl

      The way I understand it, ESOP’s are a way for the company to sell shares to its employees at high prices. I learned this from Robert Kaiser’s book “So Damn Much Money,” which is excellent.

    2. hunkerdown

      According to le ‘pedia Moog Music is 49% employee-owned. IMO they ought to bid instead for the controlling 2%.

  2. Jason Boxman

    So at this point, we seem nearly back to the pre-vaccination (vaccines!!) days, but unlike then, when the other guy was president, liberal Democrats have thoroughly embraced COVID-parties and GBD. It’s almost as if they’re driven by some other factor than The Science ™ as their guiding star. I guess murderous neglect is a feature of both parties.

    I’m going to order my P100 filter mask today; We’ll see how that goes. It’s protective even in an era where most no longer wear ‘masks’. If only there was a better term for this? Mouth+nose covering never caught on. Too many words, I guess.

    Stay safe!

  3. noonespecial

    Re Lambert’s question on Ukraine/NY Mag article: “The Blob who got the war they wanted and planned for. What would a loss look like to them, if we mere citizens were allowed to see it?”

    From one of the Blob’s tanks – no transcript found for the video. Title: Russia’s War in Ukraine: How Does it End? https://www.cfr.org/event/russias-war-ukraine-how-does-it-end

    At around minute 13:00 of the presentation presided by CFR’s head, the panelists being to reel off some ideas as to what is success going to look like. (minute 13 thru minute 36)

    The first to speak, Stephen J. Hadley former National Security Advisor, includes the tidbit that US must ensure that Ukraine is preserved as a viable state. Another panelist Alina Polyakova (Atlantic Council vet) speaks to territorial integrity, but this point results in other panelists countering with something akin to, “Well, Midge that just means more gas on the fire.”

    So is this CFR chat a sign that the recent $40b was just an opening bet? because the word “stalemate” came up as one possible end. hmmm…

    1. Lee

      Last night a Blob member in good standing (can’t remember which one) on either PBS Newshour or Amanpour and Co., IIRC, scolded Kissinger because his opinion, however objectively accurate it might be, should have been voiced privately within the inner circles of power and not publicly. We tax-paying mushrooms must be kept in the dark and well fed on bull shit.

      1. JBird4049

        Treating us like mushrooms means it is more likely that the war will continue with the heighten chance of nuclear war. That is why they are unhappy with him. Henry Kissinger is an evil man who should be in Hell, but he also seems to be an adult, unlike the twits running our country. That a man like him is more concerned about nuclear annihilation than the Blob is giving me an upset stomach. .

  4. Samuel Conner

    > Oddly, the article never mentions the cause of the pilot shortage. I wonder what it could be?

    Perhaps depression. The cause of that? Maybe the same thing that has D elites feeling blue: post-COVID electile dysfunction.

    1. IM Doc

      I have 5 active airline pilots in my practice. Every one of them at a major airline – every one former military of some kind.

      They are all very healthy individuals. They are all over the age of 58.

      All 5 left the major airlines back in the fall of last year. All 5 because of the vaccine mandates. Back at the time, there was a feeling that the mandates would be coming for everyone eventually, so they were all leaving/retiring as fast as they could.

      None of them has been vaccinated yet. 3 of them officially retired. 2 of them are doing pilot work for non-commercial businesses. None of the 5 became ill in any way – they certainly did not have a winter of death as was being promised to the unvaccinated. All 5 are apparently being endlessly hounded by the same commercial airline companies to come back ASAP. The headhunters do not even mention vaccination status in these entreaties.

      Not one of them regrets their decision in any way.

      I can say the same for my truck driver patients although the numbers are not nearly as stark as the pilots. Many of the drivers just quit or retired.

      Although not the only cause of much of our current problems, I am fairly confident to assert the vaccine mandates and loss of employees is certainly a factor. I talked to a colleague yesterday in a big blue city. He is just a year older than me – but retiring in the next few months. Apparently, his corporate medical practice is doing the death spiral right now. This was greatly exacerbated by the fact that about 25% of their employees just walked out over a month’s time in SEP of last year during the YOUR JOB or YOUR ARM push. Many of them minorities who were uninterested in the jabs. His entire organization is now in total freefall. I am hearing similar tales from contacts all over the place.

      Although our news media is loathe to admit it, the vaccine mandate issue was likely one of the biggest “own-goal” disasters ever performed by politicians of either party. It was also an absolute flagrant violation of generations of collected wisdom in public health. We mandate vaccines for kids all the time – they are time tested, proven to work, and actually safe. The same cannot be said for COVID vaccines and what we knew about them then and even more so now. Mandating a non-sterilizing vaccine during an acute pandemic phase is still something I am trying to wrap my head around. I am still amazed at the breathtaking hubris that got us to this point.

      I am not certain there are quick answers to some of these sectors that have been gravely harmed. You just cannot invent pilots, truck drivers, medical assistants out of thin air.

      When at the same exact time you were pushing vaccine mandates you had world-recognized leaders in the vaccine area at the FDA resigning in protest, these companies really should have stopped and reassessed.

      History students of the future will be talking about the fact that the Biden Administration and our media and our social media platforms literally placed their lots with not just Big Pharma but Pfizer, one of the biggest moral zeroes in the whole sector.

      Again, the hubris is for the ages.

      1. Glen

        The other reason there is a shortage of pilots is because airlines have made it a very low paid crummy job for younger pilots. Ask those senior pilots you know if they would recommend being an airline pilot to a non ex-military pilot. Most of them I have polled say no. It’s gotten so bad that many of these younger pilots have to take second jobs to make ends meet. Not really something you want, the guy about to land the airplane after four hours of flying, but also after eight hours prior holding down the counter at the Qwicky Mart.

        1. jsn

          I’ve heard the same, but think of the poor CEOs!

          There exists a market mechanism to fix this, but it would divert so much tax subsidy away from shareholders and executives as to smack of communism!

          You can’t have the public subsidizing the working class, only the owner’s have earned (bribed legislators of negotiable policy) their subsidies.

          1. Librarian Guy

            I thought along the same lines as you, I imagined what Larry Summers’ riposte to the preceding would be– Likely, “Jane, you ignorant slut, don’t you see that just proves how wonderful the market is. Those pilots have maximized their human potential by also working in retail and should be grateful, during the next Recession (which we are currently summoning) these workers will be the ones who hold onto their cars, jobs, and (maybe) health care or even houses. How dare you $hit on the winners with such petty griping, ingrate!”

      2. Louis Fyne

        —I am fairly confident to assert the vaccine mandates and loss of employees is certainly a factor.—

        My hypothesis is that this is behind the seemingly very above normal rash of industrial accidents, particularly in the food sector: lots of institutional knowledge disappeared when long-time employees left without properly mentoring their replacements because of the swift implementation of vax mandates.

        1. TBellT

          long-time employees left without properly mentoring their replacements because of the swift implementation

          From my experience with the olds, many of them have no interest in training the next generation in the first place.

          It doesn’t matter how swift or drawn out it was, they’ll put in a half assed attempt when they are halfway out the door but that’s it. Even when they’re passing the role down to family.

          1. rowlf

            Usually this is due to managers being lazy and not understanding the work performed. Many do not require process manuals to be written but just rely on “The Guy”.

            (I am a former voluntold stupidviser and mismanager who fortunately got to see how to how old pros handled the job. They also treated union reps as cat toys instead of wetting themselves. We used to build stuff in the US, not just things but people.)

      3. Arizona Slim

        Doctor, you said what I was going to say, but you did so with much greater detail than I could have brought to the table. Thank you.

        BTW, I added this post to my collection of IM Doc’s Greatest Hits. Doctor, if you ever want to write a book, send a message to the NC powers-that-be and I’ll be happy to send you a copy of my collection. It was compiled in honor of your work for this community. Again, thank you.

    2. Ranger Rick

      From what I understand, becoming a pilot is about as expensive as, say, getting your average four year college degree. Maybe even with a graduate one on top. The “flight hours” referenced in the article are pretty much central to this, as a multitude of other costs flow from that requirement (avgas and FAA mandated maintenance prices are no joke).

      But if you think the problem we’re having now is new, you’d have to have been ignoring the news. Way back in 2016 they were projecting massive pilot shortages, both commercial and military. (The military one is particularly bad, because a lot of airline pilots are former service members.) That didn’t go away. In 2018 it was reiterated how bad the problem was going to be. The pandemic era wave of retirees certainly can’t have helped matters.

      1. rowlf

        Not having a voice for radio is a problem for people training to be Air Traffic Controllers. Jing jing. (Really, in Thai)

        (There are digital ATC text communication formats though that allow for communication with many airplanes without having audio transmissions stepping on each other or using up bandwidth.)

        A lot of cans kicked down the road and chased chickens are piling up or coming home to roost. Who ever thought certificated people would be the limit for capitalist expansion?

  5. Louis Fyne

    dunno what happened in my neck of the woods… switch to summer gas? local refinery shutdown?

    gasoline jumped $0.40 to $0.50 per gallon overnight. everywhere. wowsers.

      1. The Rev Kev

        I’ll have you know that those are Freedom Molecules that you are putting into your gas tank. And the next time that you run out of gas out on the highways because you could not afford to put in any more gas, just say “Take that, Putin.”

    1. Lee

      Here in the SF bay area I just paid eighty-five bucks and change for 14 gallons of gas. Fortunately I’m retired and don’t have to drive very much, mostly just to the grocery store. Unfortunately I’m retired and living on a fixed income.

  6. Louis Fyne

    — Hard to believe a child hit shredded with an AR-15 would be able to speak, let alone call. Friendly fire?—

    could have been a ricochet, (macabre) bullet already went through another kid. depending on the distance a 9mm will do more damage than the 5.56 bullet.

    the US Army planning to replace the 5.56mm bullet as under some circumstances it is a lousy bullet to use in combat

    1. foghorn longhorn

      .223 is a horrible caliber, if you are trying to kill something.
      Bullet is light and doesn’t really have stopping power. It is moving so fast, it often just bores right thru the target, if it doesn’t hit bone mass.
      (Heard that is why the military uses them, a wounded soldier requires two more to assist him, a dead one not so much)
      I’ve seen steel jacketed bullets put a clean hole thru pine trees.
      A .38 special with hollow point lead bullets will cause tons more damage.

      1. albrt

        “Heard that is why the military uses them, a wounded soldier requires two more to assist him”

        That is what my drill sergeant told me at Fort Benning.

      2. Tom Stone

        Oh, for God’s sake it is not 1972.
        The 5.56×45 has gone through decades of development and that includes the bullets.
        It was a 52 grain bullet and a 1″ in 12″ or 1″ in 14″ twist Barrel, these days it’s a 68 to 72 grain bullet and a 1″ in 7″ or 1″ in 19″ twist barrel and the bullet construction is enormously better.
        You can find 3 or 4 year old video’s of professional hog hunters taking out a whole sounders of feral hogs with a 5.56 chambered AR.
        At night, at a range of 250-300 yards, almost all one shot kills.

        1. ambrit

          When I used to help Phyl’s Dad out at the “Gentleman’s Farm,” the best calibre for varmints, (think coyotes,) was the reliable .22-.250. Flat shooting out to several hundred yards, fast, and lethal. The people who cull foxes for sheep farmers in England and on the Continent during lambing time, (you wouldn’t believe how destructive foxes can be,) tend to prefer this “small” cartridge.
          The references to the wounding effects of the .223 miss the point that the ‘removal’ of those two extra soldiers needed to handle the wounded soldier, from the available and active ranks, even for a short time, is the preferred outcome.
          And for heaven’s sake, let’s not even go into the AR-15 to M-16 powder controversy. Stoner built his AR system using the hotter and cleaner burning IMR powder. The “geniuses” at the Ordinance Department changed that to a slower and dirtier burning Cap and Ball powder. That one decision resulted in increased jamming issues with the M-16, and subsequent dead soldiers out in the field.

  7. LaRuse

    Death Certs in Drawers – Yes. Looks like Illinois found a stack of death certificates in a crate somewhere. Reported nearly 1900 deaths yesterday.

  8. drumlin woodchuckles

    Here is a bunch of random sparrow images. A random few are images of bird guide plates of groups of sparrows. Unfortunately, unless they are buried way deeper in the collection, none of them are from the Peterson Guide to Birds of Eastern and Central North America, 1948 edition, which is the highest and best classical edition of this book. Millions were printed and sold in their day, and some still show up in used book stores. The 1948 edition is the best edition. Here is that bunch of sparrow images.

    It is “available” in a sneaky back-door way. Peterson brought out a ” Birds of Texas” which is really the Birds of Eastern and Central North America with some extra Texas-specific material added. ( Oh no! Peterson was bullied into “updating” Birds of Texas too!
    https://www.acornnaturalists.com/birds-of-texas-peterson-field-guider.html )

    I can only hope the classic-based Birds of Texas has not been taken out of print its own self.

    1. Judith

      I struggle with sparrows. A few are easy: Fox, Chipping, American Tree, Field, White-Throated. But the rest of them all manage to look alike to me as they quickly disappear into the shadows. And once again this spring I came upon a group of birders who had just a few minutes earlier had seen a Lincoln Sparrow, now gone.

      After describing the appearance of the Lincoln Sparrow, Pete Dunne (a delightful person and the author of various books, including the Essential Field Guide Companion) says:

      “All these marks seem distinctive enough – and they are when birds are seen close and well. But at a distance, some dark alchemy blends this sparrow’s traits into a bland uniformity that even discerning eyes skip right over; as a result, this species is often overlooked. There is no trick that could be offered here for making this identification. Only mindfulness will work.”

      Lambert, you might check out the Empidonax flycatchers, some of whom look so much alike that they can only be distinguished by their song.

      By the way, Peterson’s also publishes a separate Sparrow guide.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        Ah yes, the Empidonax flycatchers. When I see one, I just say ” Empidonax” and move on.

        Some other flycatchers are also very challenging. At this stage of life, I just say “challenging flycatcher” and move on.

      2. drumlin woodchuckles

        The lines on a Lincoln’s sparrow are sharp-pointed pencil-tip thin. The streaks on other sparrows are thicker than that. Every other sparrow with streaks can be thought of as having “streaks”. The Lincoln’s sparrow has very thin sharp lines.

        It skulks around in deep or thick brush close to ground level than some other sparrows. The space between the thin lines can be a slightly yellowish buffy type of color.

        Sometimes you get lucky and the Lincoln’s sparrow lets you see it pretty well for a minute or more.

  9. jr

    Breaking Points interviews Mick West, UFO skeptic and debunker:


    I respect Mick West, as he refuses to use smears and derision like others in his camp, although he is not afraid to point the finger at people he thinks are hucksters like Jeremy Corbell. (Regardless of the truth of UFO claims, I believe that a lot of those figures at the head of the “pro UFO” crowd such as Corbell, Elizondo, etc. are scammers; whether they are just totally making up stuff or if they are riding the wave of real events for their own profit and position remains to be seen.)

    However, I don’t find West’s arguments or his research deeply compelling. For example, in another video he produced when the “Nimitz encounter” videos were released, he went to great pains to demonstrate how he could simulate the images captured in those videos and how camera artifacts and processes could produce similar experiences. Nothing wrong with that, but simply because one can provide one explanation of the images doesn’t necessarily dismiss the fact that it could actually be something else. It’s just another explanation, it’s not damning.

    In the interview, he argues that if these things were really so strange why isn’t the government spending billions of dollars to investigate them? But that’s specious reasoning, for one thing how many bazillions of dollars are spent on “black” projects? Exactly, no one really knows, so the US may be dumping lots of money into this research for all we know. Another response is that the issue is really only starting to form a head of steam both in the minds of the public and government officials over the last few years. Never underestimate the power of ridicule and group pressure on the thoughts and actions of human beings.

    He often seems to ignore or downplay the context as it now stands: a LOT of people from all walks of life, from ordinary people walking along a forest path to jet fighter pilots in training spaces to nuclear missile officers at heavily guarded and remote sites have all stepped forward to say something strange is going on. Sober, reputable people with stuff to lose, people whose lives have been turned upside down in some instances, and despite the smears tossed around almost no one is making money or fame from it all. Except the hucksters mentioned above.

    He tells us he has investigated a lot of the videos but he isn’t the only one doing so and others are coming to very different conclusions than he is. Surely he isn’t the only expert on video footage around. And after making some no doubt worthy points about other explanations, he goes to the “weather balloon, flights of birds, overactive imaginations” catch-all bucket that simply doesn’t work anymore given the data and testimony in hand.

    1. Pelham

      Thanks for this. I wouldn’t have looked up the interview otherwise. I’m definitely a UFO believer (solid objects moving weirdly through the skies, but no more than that), but sometimes the skeptics shed more light.

      One telling thing about Corbell: After the recent military testimony in Congress, he played up the presentation as a significant step in official confirmation. From what I could tell, it was anything but that. For instance, it was flat-out denied that the US has any UFO material in its possession — a big deal. Maybe that’s not true, but it was certainly deflating given all the years of speculation to the contrary. Corbell should have acknowledged this.

      1. jr

        I watched Rogan interview Corbell and Fravor a while back. Rogan obviously respected Fravor but clearly disliked and distrusted Corbell. My intuitions told me Corbell had tried to use Rogan in some manner, perhaps to promote a film. Rogan was dismissive of him while Corbell seemed obsequious in return.

        Corbell and that pack of clowns at the To the Stars! “academy” (?!) aren’t doing this topic any favors with their antics. For fu(ks sake, Tom DeLong claimed to be designing a UFO. Perhaps it’s powered by cocaine…

      2. Tom Stone

        There’s no shortage of hucksters and scammers when it comes to either UAP’s or the paranormal.
        However there is a LOT of credible eyewitness testimony about UAP’s
        I read “Project Blue Book” not long after it came out and also looked at the extant literature at the time.
        I became curious about the issue after hearing my Grandmother talk about the disc she watched land and take off, if you have ever seen “Brittania”depicted or read Plum Wodehouse you have a clue about her character.
        Later in life a friend who is a retired commercial airline pilot told me about being paced by 3 discs for 15 minutes in perfect visibility on a cargo flight from Seattle to LAX.
        I do not doubt the reality of UAP’s, the evidence is nearly as strong as finding a trout in the milk.
        From their demonstrated behavior the distinction between “Mechanical object” and “Living Creature” may not apply if they were created by a sentient species.
        And they may be living critters that naturally evolved in our strange and Wonderful Universe.

  10. Questa Nota

    That Russiagate FBI Perkins Coie item somehow meshes nicely with the Sussmann jury foreman quote:

    I don’t think it should have been prosecuted. There are bigger things that affect the nation than a possible lie to the FBI.

    The first supports, or ignites, the second, in that institutional corruption filters down to local citizens. Res Publica? Not so much.

    Your Congresscritters won’t address the matters directly. Their spokesholes will spin, deflect, ignore or otherwise decline to acknowledge what is plainly obvious to any rational observer, regardless of any party affiliation. In the end, have they no decency?

    1. The Rev Kev

      I heard YouTuber Alex Christoforou say that is has come out that you had Hillary Clinton activists that were on that jury – about three or four of them. So, why were they not weeded out in the selection process?

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        Perhaps to keep Clintonites-at-legal-risk protected in all times and all places.

      2. Tom Stone

        Rev, those jurors were kept on because of the Judge’s rulings.
        IIRC Juror’s can be dismissed for cause “Have you or anyone in your family been the victim of a violent crime?
        Do you know any alcoholics?
        Is another question I answered yes to before leaving with a smile.
        The JUDGE decided that being a Clinton Donor was not a problem…
        Sussman was about as likely to be convicted in that court, with that Judge as I am to win the Lotto.

  11. Nikela

    Oddly, the article never mentions the cause of the pilot shortage. I wonder what it could be?

    Try vaccination requirements.
    Same thing in health care and law enforcement.

    1. Mo's Bike Shop

      Do the mandates even mean squat anymore? Is anyone doing anything about them a few months on now? This administration seems to just shoot itself in the foot, and having shot, moves on.

      1. ambrit

        In a more cynical vein, those mandates are still useful tools for social engineering projects.
        Want to cut down on public social safety net outlays? Make mRNA vaccination a dismissal item for applicants. No jab, no cheque. Voila! Instant client list reduction!

  12. Mr Stevens

    Re: a stripper and a day trader, I interpreted it as when the market has a bad day, the would-be clientele doesn’t feel like spending money. I’ve observed exactly the same phenomenon cooking at small scale fine dining.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Years ago somebody made the observation that in economic bad times that the girls working in bars and clubs were prettier and in good times, less so as those pretty girls had a better chance of finding better work elsewhere.

      1. rowlf

        I have heard the same observation from a friend who was, well, consider Calvin from the Calvin and Hobbes cartoon grown up. An amazing person with a different viewpoint, and he could speak Russian thanks to USAF training.

        He also rented several mobile homes to exotic dancers in the neighborhood that Iggy Pop grew up in.

        1. Sardonia

          Iggy Pop stole my stripper girlfriend back in 1982!! No problem though – I loved Iggy at the time and stayed friends with my now ex-gf.

          But as far as strippers being day traders, oh yeah. I’ve had the pleasure (and displeasure) of having had several stripper girlfriends in my wilder years – and they and most of their friends did tons of day trading – mostly because they loved gambling and there are no casinos around here.

          One of them had more sense, and invested wisely for the long-term (bought real estate with her earnings) – but would read the WSJ from front to back daily and always pick my brain. Her friends would also pick my brain, but my general advice of diversification, etc. was always met with “I don’t care about that – I just care about momentum!”

    1. Samuel Conner

      Durability update: I have used both Aura 9205+ (blue rubber band for the dual around-back-of-head straps) and 9210+ (white elastic woven cloth). I got my first 9205+s from Home Depot; I have not seen the 9210+ there, perhaps because they are a bit more expensive (though I have not checked in months). I think that the 9210 and 9205 are identical except for the strap material. When I last compared (months ago), the 9210 was about $0.30 more per each.

      The 9210+ is much more durable both in terms of how much tension the straps retain after multiple uses (which is important for holding the thing tightly against your face) and how many uses you can get out of one before the strap snaps. I have had multiple 9205+ fail with a strap parting, but not yet one strap failure with 9210+, with many more uses of the 9210 than 9205. The 9210 straps do relax a bit with repeated use, but I still have a sense of a firm seal. When first opened, the 9210 strap may feel uncomfortably tight. Embrace that; it’s protecting you.

      If you can get the 9210+ (or similar; I think that the 3M Aura series has a bunch of models; I have seen 1870s that looked like they had the same elastic as the 9210) in preference to the 9205+, you will get much more value for $ as they will last a lot longer.

  13. bradford

    The Minneapolis/St. Paul metro wastewater stats have been breaking out BA.4/BA.5 in their weekly summary for a few weeks now. They show 11% of the samples as BA.4/BA.5 for the week of May 17-23, up from 7% the week before. As far as the rest goes, BA.2 ex BA.2.12.1 has probably peaked, and BA.2.12.1 is perhaps peaking. So, stay tuned.

    I don’t think that the stripper is necessarily a day trader; I think that the implication was that a good day for the day traders is followed by a good night for the strip clubs.

    (not all day traders, of course)

    1. Anthony G Stegman

      I makes sense for a stripper to day trade. The tips need to be put to work, and day trading allows for daily cash in case stripping tips decline.

        1. Tom Stone

          A video of Nancy Pelosi giving a lapdance to Donald Trump would be unforgettable.

  14. Duke of Prunes

    My recession indicator is a relative who paints houses. He has contacts around the local construction industry, mostly the small-time independent folks. First warning, he was ready to schedule some painting at my house. We’ve been waiting for about a year. As “family”, I get his time when he doesn’t have much other work. As he said “the phone just recently hasn’t been ringing as much”. Second warning, my wife was complaining about how hard it’s been to get our bathroom remodeled (rarely do contractors return calls, those that do are booked through next year, etc.). He said “wait a few months, and you’ll probably have multiple people vying for your business”. He’s hearing a lot of building/remodeling projects planned for later in the year that haven’t yet been started are being put on hold. I guess he picks up these tidbit while shooting the breeze at the paint store. He’s usually right… he’s can also forecast upturns when his phone starts ringing again. His typical customers are upper crust suburban Chicago folks.

    1. Tom Stone

      My friend the fencing contractor has had his demand flipflop from mostly wood to mostly metal in both fences and gates.
      People are upgrading their metal gates and since Mike’s crew removes the old gates and fences I have a chance to see what’s being replaced.
      And recycle it by calling people I know.
      a 6′ and a 12′ welded steel pipe gate are waiting to be picked up along with two 10′ 6″X6″‘s I pulled out of the disposal pile.
      I also pulled out a 13′ wide by 5’ tall aluminum gate in good condition,it needs power washing and mounting hardware.
      It is located in Sebastopol CA.
      If any readers here can use it you can find me through the California DRE, the price is a donation of any amount you choose to NC or your local food bank.

  15. jr

    A quick anecdote and a warning re: COVID. So last night I had to work with a group of people, a small group of people in a well-ventilated space part of the time and outdoors for the other part of it. I masked, gargled, and applied nose rinse before I went in. I was sure to gargle and flush my nose while I was at the meeting and afterwards as well.

    The thing was, I took my mask off for a period of time indoors, probably about an hour total. It wasn’t really a conscious thing, I took it off when I felt “safe” and just got into the flow of work and didn’t pay it much mind. Me, who lectures my partner and friends on the regular, who yells at my sister when she talks about how sick she is of masking, who comes on here screaming about the idiots around me. I got comfortable and distracted and brushed it off. No one else was masking cause it was all friends and all the usual stupid rationalizations.

    The point of this sorry tale is just to remind everyone to stay strong and resolute. For whatever that’s worth. It was a small group and there was air movement and I tried to stay away from getting close to people out of habit but now I have to spend, what, two weeks worrying even more than usual about this insanity. It’s easy to slip up.

  16. Val

    So very Bigly the Blob Loss is currently full open kimono, and of a scale and persistence that is difficult to obscure by standard Wurlitzering.

    Safe to assume new or repurposed anxiety objectz are in the pipeline, certainly a Kardashian recrudescence or Depp-type something, more large public operations and spectaculars with full virtue signal, glazed with hey look a squirrel etc. But no real housecleaning could be expected.

  17. kareninca

    I wish there were more info out there about Paxlovid. My 79 y.o. mom (vaccinated, one booster) tested positive for covid on Saturday. So far it has just been like a cold; an occasional cough and sinus congestion (I understand that she could still end up with really bad long term or permanent effects from such a “mild” case).

    She can pick up some Paxlovid if she wants. She really doesn’t want to. She feels as if she is going to be fine. Maybe she is right; what do I know??? I don’t know if there is a downside to taking Paxlovid. I don’t know if it will decrease (or increase) her risk of long covid.

    If she’s going to take it, she has to take it by tomorrow/Thursday morning.

    There must be a lot of people in this situation.

    1. Lunker Walleye

      My sister-in-law tested positive today and has phoned her physician about Paxlovid. They had a family gathering at their rural home for her side of the family. So far her symptoms are not bad. I’m worried about my brother who turns 75 very soon. Our community seems to be getting hit hard now among those who are vaccinated and over 65. Another friend has tested positive and I keep hearing about people who have been in gatherings/trips who are getting covid.

      1. kareninca

        I am going nuts because my mother hasn’t picked up her Paxlovid yet and she only has until tomorrow morning to take it. She is ambivalent. Also her doctor never did call her back about what meds she should stop before starting it. And now the pharmacy tech has told her that they’ll only fill half her prescription since they don’t know how much she should be taking (despite the doctor having called it in). It is really a mysterious situation for people who aren’t obvious candidates, and no-one seems to be acting competently or rationally; this is a big change since the medical professionals around her have always been extremely good.

        I hope your sister in law continues to be okay. And that your brother doesn’t catch it.

        1. Anthony G Stegman

          Be careful with Paxlovid. The drug can actually make Covid symptoms worse for some people. Paxlovid is among the pharmaceutical interventions that have been approved without the lengthy testing that was common pre-Covid.

          1. kareninca

            Yes, I am concerned about her using the stuff. It really isn’t clear whom it is good for and whom not. There just isn’t enough information.

        2. Lunker Walleye


          I’m sorry you have the burden on your shoulders and wish you and your mother the best. Hopefully my sis-in-law will get the OK from her doc to take Paxlovid and the pharmacy will comply. My other worry is my 85 year-old sis in FL with a pacemaker. She was with her granddaughter who came down with Covid about 4 days after they were together. Granddaughter had a temp of 104 but is doing better. All the worry is not doing any of us good.

          1. kareninca

            So it sounds like your sister-in-law figures she should take Paxlovid, even though her case is (so far) mild. Or maybe she just wants it on hand, in case she feels worse within the five day time frame?

            My mother’s instinct is the opposite; she feels that since she really doesn’t feel terrible, she shouldn’t bother. She is a living fossil CT Yankee. I pointed out to her that she has had this for 4 and a half days and she isn’t improving. That is creepy. Usually if you have some viral infection, you start to feel better. That is a vote for taking the stuff.

            That is scary re your 85 year old sister. That is getting up there. I hope she dodges it.

            I just got off of zoom worship/fellowship with my peace church. They have a small retirement home in Ohio. Everyone there is vaccinated and boosted, but right now eleven residents and seven staff members have tested positive. No-one seems to be all that sick (again, I know the long term is a separate question). So this is everywhere now.

            A church member at worship/fellowship this evening is the head of a branch of the public health department of a southern state. He looked really, really depressed.

            1. Lunker Walleye

              I replied to your comment but it somehow ended up elsewhere. Apologies. It currently shows up as the last entry on my screen.

  18. Carolinian

    Michael Tracey compares the zeal for gun control at home versus the zeal for weapon proliferation abroad (coming from the same voices). Sampler:

    I don’t bring up this aspect of the Bowling for Columbine thesis to assert that Moore is 100% correct — only to point out that the connection between US foreign policy and mass shooting events at least used to be commonly discussed, including by the most successful documentary-maker of all time. And yet today, if you even mention the US shipping high-powered rifles into Ukraine as a potentially relevant factor to consider when talking about gun control in the US, you’ll draw blank stares. And that’s if you’re lucky. More likely, you’ll draw angry reproaches from people who are indignant that you’d dare to “go there,” when the only place you should be going is to support the latest 10-point plan for gun control furnished by one of Mike Bloomberg’s lavishly funded advocacy groups.


    Those AR-15 sent to Ukraine come from the same company that made the Texas shooter gun.

    1. Tom Stone

      The US did not send AR-15’s to Ukraine, the US sent M16’s and M4’s which are select fire assault rifles.
      The AR-15 is an assault rifle in the same sense that Catsup is a vegetable.
      Which it is,legally, thanks to the fine lobbyists of Heinz.

      1. Carolinian

        Guess you didn’t read the article

        Does McFaul know that this would also halt the production of AR-15 shipments to the Ukraine government? Because they get their rifles from the same place the Uvalde shooter did: Daniel Defense. The Ukraine Border Guard — which has been on the front-line of some of the war’s most fierce fighting — revealed as much in a statement announcing their conversion from shoddy old Kalashnikovs to a new modern rifle called the “UAR-15.” The parts for these new rifles come straight from the US, they proudly revealed: “The barrel and the trigger mechanism, on which the accuracy of firing directly depends, are made in the USA by the Daniel Defense company,” the statement reads.

        Photos posted on the subreddit dedicated to fans of Daniel Defense purportedly show unidentified pro-Ukraine fighters posing on the battlefield with the exact same model that the Uvalde shooter used[…]

        A website for Special Ops impresarios describes the fancy new Ukraine rifle as such: “The new addition to the small arms inventory of the Ukrainian Armed Forces is a UAR-15 (Zbroyar Z-15), which, as you can easily guess, is one of the many clones of the AR-15.” The site further notes that “American company Daniel Defense obtained the license” on behalf of a Ukrainian company “to produce weapons based on the worldwide AR-15 and AR-10 systems.” Daniel Defense, it would seem, is critical to this ongoing campaign to “Defend Democracy”!

        And it’s not just this one newly-reviled company. A smaller manufacturer, Adams Arms, has been celebrated for delivering “more than 1,000 piston driven, semi-automatic AR-15 style rifles into Ukraine for civilian use” since the war started. They even put out press releases touting these shipments, indicating that they thought their pro-Ukraine disposition would be good for business — and were showered with laudatory media coverage for their efforts. Is McFaul saying he wants to shut down Adams Arms, thereby preventing them from continuing to ship rifles into Ukraine?.

        Tracey’s point is that we are delivering assault rifles to Ukraine with even fewer controls than the sales of these weapons in the United States. More terrorist blowback from US policy? Or just more violence for the long suffering ordinary people of Ukraine?

  19. fresno dan

    The Economy: “Strippers say a recession is guaranteed because the strip clubs are suddenly empty” [Indy100 (mikel)]. • So she’s a stripper and a day trader?
    Well, and this is a limited sample or 6 or 7… thousand (mind you, just as an academic exercise), but every stripper I ever met was also a college student.

    1. griffen

      Ah for certain, the stripper with that heart of gold just vying for the college degree. They are going into education…or the law…for sure.

      I take the indicator as just that, discretionary income for such visits has started to dry up. Maybe the crypto “bros” just are not having quite as much fun lately.

  20. drumlin woodchuckles

    I remember decades ago when I was in the Pharmacy Technology program at Washtenaw Community College, that somewhere in there Wynn Schuman ( chief of the program) said that the amount of churnover or not in a large hospital pharmacy technician force was a leading indicator of recession on the way.

    Because normally the techforce is always churning over a little bit. Many young people become pharmacy technicians as an early step in worklife on the way to “something better or at least different”. So if the techforce suddenly stops churning and zero people start leaving for a while, it signals an early if unformed level of fear and/or inability to find other work, and signals a recession on the way.

    Right now my academic hospital’s ( no names please) techforce is still churning at the normal rate. If there is a recession coming, it isn’t deep enough to freeze all the technicians right here in place, if this observation is really a reliable indicator theory.

  21. drumlin woodchuckles

    It takes time to learn. It took me steady years of reading and practice. One only does that much reading, re-reading, re-re-reading of the guides if one really enjoys birds that much and is kind of obsessed with watching and knowing them.

    There is no reason to try being so if one really isn’t. It should be about the fun, and should stop if/where it becomes a chore and a bore.

    That said, I have found the 1948 edition ( and its many reprints) of Peterson’s Guide to Birds of Eastern and Central North America to be the very best I have seen. I learned my birds on that edition. Clear text with enough information but not extraneous detail. The color plates were very true-to-average-life schematic diagram portraits of what all these birds, even the sparrows, really look like. Looking at the plates enough times over the years slowly imprinted “search images” into my brain which often kicked in to tell me what bird I was looking at in the field.

    Peterson was kind of bullied into retiring his high classic bird guide and bringing out newer more artistically arty versions with more painterly bird portraits/ plates which just lack some of the true-life insta-click accuracy of the 1948 plates.

    So if one really wants to learn the sparrows, getting a copy of the 1948 edition seems a crucial first step to me.

    That said, some of the sparrows are hard and always will be. I remember being part of a bird-tourist multi-day trip to Northern Lower Michigan to see the Kirtland’s Warbler and other birds of the region. Somewhere in all that, we worked real hard to see a Henslow’s Sparrow out in a huge moist field. I eventually saw it. What a sad dingy gray olive featureless little sparrow. Its on my life list and I don’t feel the slightest urge to ever even try seeing the Henslow’s Sparrow ever again.
    It is truly the ” fall female orange-crowned warbler” of sparrows.

    These images do not do justice to the gray dingy drabitude of this bird.

    ( This was supposed to nest as a reply to Judith’s comment about the difficulty of sparrows).

    1. Judith

      Thanks. I am obsessed. I bird every weekend. Heard my first Alder flycatcher on Sunday. I don’t find guides with photos very helpful. Illustrations that show the essence of the field marks are most useful.

  22. Mikel


    “On the employment front, job openings remained near record levels in April, with 11.4 million positions open, the Labor Department reported on Wednesday. Recently, there have been about 1.9 openings for every unemployed person, according to 22V Research. That’s the type of dynamic markets want to see go away. Businesses, eager to hire, are having to pay higher wages, which then forces them to lift prices, contributing to overall inflation…”

    Basically, if they can fill the crapiest jobs and get some others filled cheaper, then more stocks will go up.

    (Mission Impossible theme)

    Your mission, should you choose to stay invested, is to be able to hold out long enough for those jobs to be filled.

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      Here is something which “could” help people fulfill that mission, if they have the diffuse but real help of particular people who know them.

      Those who have jobs they can tolerate, at pay they can live on, might pool together to find a worthy person they know whom they can help just-survive without any job at all. That person can go couch surfing among this circle of supporters, one supporter at a time, and eat all meals with the supporter and/or supporter’s family. Hopefully such a “supported person” would be useful around the house, and around the yard, if there is one. They could do some serious gardening for the supporters’ benefit, if the supporters cannot do their own gardening.

      If millions of “support circles” could help several million job-worthy people keep themselves off the job market until the “job providers” were tortured into improving the pay and conditions of the jobs they were offering to provide, this could be a widespread hard-to-suppress, leaderless mass movement to force the down-crapification of jobs.

      1. Mikel

        That could happen.

        But really, they may even increase the pay and make them better jobs and they still remain unfilled because algorithms have crapified job search. Many suspect that and death and illness to be as BIG a contributer to the job market issues.

  23. chris

    Lambert, sharing this link because it wasn’t included in the “to-do list” HW tweet you posted. FEMA has free resources to help people make safe rooms in their houses or community centers to help protect people in the event of hurricane or tornado. A lot of this was developed with the help from the engineering school at Texas Tech. It’s good advice.

  24. Steve D

    When historians, a century from now — I’m being optimistic, here — want to mark the beginning of The Jackpot on a timeline, I think they’ll drop the pin at the Biden Administration.

    I’ve been thinking the same. It seems inevitable, to be honest.

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      Well . . . . they might regard the government’s studied indifference to opoid mass-death out in the countryside and small towns and cities as Jackpot getting underway.

      Ramping up to Full Metal Jackpot is more of a gradient than a discrete beginning. Different people will drop the pin at different places.

      Perhaps there is an element of pre-Jackpot planning and facilitation in the studied indifference to Big Feedlot and Big Chicken Prison using mass quantities of antibiotics and breeding up antibiotic immune bacteria which can infect people incurably.

      Perhaps the deep establishment indifference to the speedup of carbon skyflooding and its attendant global warming is a part of Jackpot Design Engineering killbox-shaping.

      The Georgia Guidestones were carved and erected many years before the appearance of covid.

  25. Librarian Guy

    Regarding the Soros quote, I just listened to a Chapo Trap House piece from a couple days’ ago where they’re talking about an article noting that Joe Biden is very angry at his staff over his unpopularity (he now polls below Trump at his lowest) & how he “can’t catch a break,” people don’t realize all the “good things” he’s done (other than Manchin, Sinema and the donors, I assume?) The Soros plaint sounds like the same slop, as the Chapo guys noted, including Clyburn as well: “You got everything you wanted, & now it’s not good enough?” I find it hilarious that they have to create such a level of cognitive dissonance to somehow convince themselves, as their rigid hands are frantically gripping the levers of power, that the Results have nothing to do with them!!

  26. Tom Stone

    About the kid who was shot by a 5.56×45 AR15 and still able to talk, it’s a centerfire .22 that evolved from the .223 Remington, a cartridge designed for animals no larger than a coyote .
    The damage it does to a Human body depends on what particular bullet is used, where it hits, the velocity with which it strikes and the barriers (Clothing, etc) worn by the shootee.Unless you hit the cortex it can take anywhere from several seconds ( Direct hit on the heart) to several minutes to die from bullet wounds and by no means are all wounds fatal given reasonably prompt and competent care.
    And the 9MM has greater penetration than the 5.56 at short range due to precession or yaw on the part of the 5.56 bullet, once it stabilizes it is a different matter.

    1. rowlf

      Usually .223 Remington or 5.56 NATO is too small for legal deer hunting (unless you are in Canada and a member of a First Nations tribe. Canada has some contorted firearms restrictions that get applied, repealed and reapplied. Canada does allow easier firearms importing than the US.).

      Deer weigh how much?

      1. Tom Stone

        No .22 cartridge is legal for Deer in California, with some exceptions for professional hunters or IIRC when depredation permits are involved.
        The preferred choice among Professional Hog Hunters is a highly accurate AR-15 with a suppressor using night vision and a high quality Bipod, 72 grain bullets and a 1″ in 7″twist barrel.
        They take 350 to 400 pound hogs at ranges of 200 to 250 yards.
        You still need hearing protection, that rifle is still loud enough to cause permanent hearing damage.

  27. thoughtfulperson

    Apologies if mentioned previously, looking at CDC variant numbers:

    “The CDC data released today show BA.4 and BA.5, which are folded into the B.1.1.529 designation but likely make up the vast majority of the new cases in that grouping,”

    Thiis is intentional obfuscation! Like deaths, hospitalizations and cases, attempts here are trying to obfuscate, Not enlighten!

    1. Why can’t the CDC use the ba4 and ba5 terms like the rest of the world?

    2. Why has the graph, and the graphic precidence been alterred, to new variants at the top instead of the bottom of the graph, as it has been for months/ years?

    Ok, CDC trying to obfuscate but SAfrican BA4 and 5 are here, as expected, more virulent and more infectious.

    Prediction: current highly infectious variant ba2.12etc will be replaced by ba4/5 in 6 to 8 weeks. Likely many symptomatic cases and hospitalizations, eventually deaths.

    1. Mikel

      I saw a co-worker recently. A big strong man who is now looking frail. Said he had two bouts with Covid and one was “asymptomatic”…but looking at dude…whew…

  28. Lunker Walleye

    “She is a living fossil CT Yankee.” That reminds me of my older relatives, even though they are Great Plains people. I don’t know what my sister-in-law is thinking how she might/might not use the drug because I’ve only spoken to my brother about her situation. Also appreciate Ms. Stegman’s point of view about Paxlovid safety. I’ve read adverse comments about it. Well, we have to hope for the best outcome! Peace.

  29. Noone from Nowheresville

    4 killed in shooting at Tulsa medical building; shooter dead
    By SEAN MURPHY and TERRY WALLACE24 minutes ago AP News


    Four people were killed Wednesday in a shooting at a Tulsa medical building on a hospital campus, a police captain said.

    Tulsa Police Department Deputy Chief Eric Dalgleish confirmed the number of dead and said the shooter also was dead, apparently from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. The incident is the latest in a wave of gun violence occurring across the country.

    It was unclear what prompted the deadly assault. However, the unidentified gunman carried both a handgun and a rifle during the attack, Dalgleish said.

  30. Carolinian

    About that Biden Times op-ed


    This is good

    In the Times op-Ed, Biden thinks Biden makes a personal gesture toward Putin by promising that he “will not try to bring about his ouster in Moscow.” Yet, Putin’s rating in his country is around 80 percent, while Biden’s is less than half of that — 36%!

    Herein lies the predicament of the Biden Administration. The US is groping in the dark about the Russian intentions in Ukraine. It keeps improvising and updating its narrative to cope with emergent realities that keep coming as nasty surprises.

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      At the social level, try to figure out what an “anti-Jackpot” political party/movement would “look like” and “stand for” in order to try slowing down and then reversing the Jackpot. And spend a small amount of effort-per-person in trying to create and advance such a party-movement and figure out how to conquer power with it.

      At the community and personal level, try to think about all the long and slow processes of mass stealth death which can be plausibly spun as being a slow-rolling accident. View them as Darwin filters which we may be forced to pass through. Try to figure out how to improve personal and/or community health enough to be able to withstand passage through those Darwin filters. Also, try to figure out how to evade or sneak around various Darwin filters, if possible.

      The government wants everyone to get covid. If you can stay covid-free in defiance of government wishes and policy that you get covid, that is a Darwin filter that you will have evaded, for example. So what steps can you take to dodge and evade the government’s efforts to give you covid? And how can you improve your baseline health and immune function so that if you get covid the way the government wants you to, you get “less” sick rather than “more” sick.

      That’s the kind of thinking and preparation involved in passing through the Age of Jackpot.

  31. Jason Boxman

    Biden continues to fail at even high profile challenges:

    But data from companies that track the supply of consumer goods suggest that the president’s efforts have not significantly changed the situation for parents.

    Seventy percent of formula products nationwide were listed as out-of-stock for the week ending May 21, according to the retail software company Datasembly. That is an increase from 45 percent for the week that ended May 8, and 31 percent earlier, in April.

    According to Datasembly, almost 75 percent of the baby formula supply is out of stock in Atlanta; 80 percent in Des Moines; and 90 percent in Houston. Consumers are having better luck in Indianapolis, where only 48 percent of formula is listed as out of stock, and Chicago, where the figure is only 57 percent.


    Meanwhile, no one at Abbott is probably going to jail. Or the FDA. Nothing fundamental will change.

  32. drumlin woodchuckles

    When I listen to the Lincoln’s sparrow audio, I can hear very faintly in the distance singing some white throated sparrows. Here is a link to a video of singing white throated sparrow in case anyone wants to listen and then go back to the Lincoln’s sparrow audio and listen for the faint white throated sparrows in the far background.


Comments are closed.