2:00PM Water Cooler 7/18/2022

By Lambert Strether of Corrente

Patient readers, I had to finish up a post on gig workers, and so this is a short version of Water Cooler. But there’s too much happening for me not to post, so please come back in a couple hours for a more complete version. Meanwhile, talk amongst yourselves! –lambert UPDATE Finished!

Bird Song of the Day

Gray’s Lark, Naukluft Park, Namibia. “Calls before dawn with full moon.” I don’t know what that soft whirring noise is. Courtship display?

* * *


“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

Capitol Seizure


Biden Administration

“Top Harris aide to leave administration next month” [The Hill]. “Rohini Kosoglu, who serves as domestic policy adviser to the vice president, is set to leave the job in August. Kosoglu was one of the few staffers Harris brought with her from the Senate to her unsuccessful presidential campaign to the office of the vice president. ‘She knew her better than anyone on staff,’ said one source in Harris World…. She told [WaPo] she wanted to spend more time with her family.” • BWA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA! Kosoglu wants to spend more time with her family because she doesn’t believe Harris will ever be President.


* * *

“The Cavernous Cash Gap in Senate Races” [Too Close to Call]. “[T]he striking element to the second quarter fundraising totals in marquee Senate races is the cavernous gap between Democrats and Republicans, even in second-tier contests like Ohio, where J.D. Vance still has to be slightly favored over Tim Ryan…. And yes, I take seriously the recent history of Democratic contenders — Cal Cunningham, Sara Gideon, Jaime Harrison — who blew the doors off fundraising walls only to wilt at the ballot box….. But put aside the Democratic hauls for a moment. With names like Oz, former N.F.L. star Herschel Walker, best-selling author Vance, Nevada legacy Adam Laxalt, Republicans should be seeing more money dropped into their own campaign kettles. These are not no name contenders. And these aren’t far-flung races in deep red states like Kentucky or South Carolina. They are the entire ballgame of the cycle. Pennsylvania, Georgia, Nevada — these are the states that will likely be decided by tens of thousands of votes. If the GOP doesn’t recapture the Senate in a year they should, it’ll likely because one or more of these candidates fell just short. Money might not have made the difference, but it will surely be cited as evidence of their vanquishment. On the other hand, if these candidates succeed being outspent by tens of millions, they’ll have fortified a new campaign model.”

“Have you considered that the Democrats aren’t actually doomed?” [The Hill]. “[T]here is an emerging counternarrative that isn’t making its way into written and TV commentary and deserves consideration. Plus, who doesn’t like a little game of devil’s advocate?… The generic congressional ballot has been the centerpiece of the ‘Democrats are doomed’ narrative…. [T]here have been 11 independent polls of the generic congressional ballot since Roe v. Wade ended, and the Democrats have led overall. They now hold a 2.2-point advantage in the post-Roe polling world. And if the election were held today, Republicans would gain seven House seats — enough to regain control of the House but far from a red wave…. If the drop in [gas] prices continues, we are on track to be under $4 a gallon by the middle of August… If you look at crucial Senate races in states such as Georgia, Ohio and Pennsylvania, Democratic candidates are outperforming Biden by huge margins…. [Abortion] has jumped to the fourth-most important issue overall in FiveThirtyEight polling, and 19 percent rank it as their leading concern, up from 9 percent in early June…. Biden’s ratings may be terrible, but he still beats Trump in a head-to-head match-up, 44 percent to 41 percent.” • And then, of course, there’s Biden’s handling of Ukraine, not to mention the J6 — ugh, do I have to say that? — Committee.

PA: “Columbia University Medical Center Cuts Ties with Dr. Oz” [WebMD]. “Columbia University Medical Center has cut public ties with Mehmet Oz, MD, the celebrity doctor who goes by “Dr. Oz” and is now a Senate candidate in Pennsylvania… What’s more, the outgoing message on the office voicemail for the phone number in the listing is old. It advertises audience tickets to his former daytime TV show and tells callers about medical services that he stopped providing 4 years ago, the [Daily Beast] reported.” • Lol, classy!

PA: No:

The comments are withering.

PA: When you’ve gained Dante Atkins:

PA: “A Running List of John Fetterman’s Very Best Burns of Dr. Oz” [Jezebel]. • I’m very happy this is how the chattering classes are occupying their minds (and I’m sure they all have very few Pennsylvania voters as readers). But at some point, Fetterman needs to hit the trail. Doesn’t he?

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.

* * *

“Democrats’ Problems Go Beyond Joe Manchin” [Ross Barkan, The Atlantic]. “[Manchin’s] clout, however, is a greater reminder of Democratic failure. It didn’t have to be this way. The 50-50 Senate could have been a 51-49 Democratic Senate or even 52-48. In the last two election cycles, Democrats lost winnable races with flawed candidates or struggled, in the case of Bill Nelson of Florida, to defend an incumbent in a blue-wave year. Manchin agita is better reserved for the disastrous campaign of Sara Gideon, the Maine Democrat who spent more than $63 million to lose to Susan Collins and still had almost $15 million left in her account after the election. Gideon’s 2020 loss was galling because Joe Biden ran strongly in Maine, beating Trump 53 to 44 percent. Collins, a moderate Republican, was one of the few candidates anywhere to manage an effective ticket-splitting bid, winning over many Biden voters. Gideon’s uninspiring and overtly nationalized campaign was an ill fit for Maine, emblematic of all the ways Democrats in D.C. have failed to connect in rural America. Beyond Maine, Democrats’ missed opportunities in Florida and North Carolina will probably haunt them for years to come. While Florida has become, since 2020, a foreboding state for left-of-center candidates, 2018 was a rare opportunity for Democrats to at least defend their gains. As Republican Ron DeSantis very narrowly defeated Andrew Gillum, Florida senator Bill Nelson fell to Governor Rick Scott, a GOP arch-conservative. Nelson lost by just 10,033 votes, an absurdly close margin…. Unlike Maine, North Carolina was not a Biden state in 2020: Trump won it by just a single percentage point. A strong Democratic contender, however, could have run ahead of the presidential ticket and won a slim victory. Roy Cooper, North Carolina’s Democratic governor, accomplished this twice. But the national Democrats’ choice of Cal Cunningham, a moderate former state senator, to take on Republican Thom Tillis would backfire when news of an extramarital affair broke shortly before Election Day. The affair, though, did not doom Tillis alone. The Cunningham campaign was a milquetoast, insipid endeavor, offering little in the way of a compelling policy or vision. Had Schumer and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee been more encouraging to a young, energetic state senator named Jeff Jackson, it’s possible Democrats would be holding the seat today. None of this should spare Manchin criticism. Rather, it’s a reminder for activists and ordinary Democratic voters that one senator from West Virginia does not encompass all that is wrong with the party.” • Brutal.

“The Democrats’ Failure Is Complete” [Jonathan Chait, New York Magazine]. “Democrats needed to rise to the challenge of proving they had the capacity to use their limited powers in creative and productive ways. It is almost impossible to imagine now they will be able to say they succeeded.” • To be fair, antitrust. Not a vote-getter, apparently.

The new Black Misleadership Class:

More ice cream:


Realignment and Legitimacy

“Inflation and Political Instability Open Door to Unrest in U.S. and Around World” [Teen Vogue]. “It makes sense that after a surge in popular movements including the George Floyd rebellions, Occupy Wall Street, the Standing Rock protests, and a fight against fascism, we are experiencing a powerful backlash from those trying to cling to power. The hope lies in us. The hope is that we continue to maintain a culture of resistance. And that through direct actions and organizing we continue to develop that resistance to deal with the troubling times that lie before us. If we need encouragement we need only look at what’s happening in other countries around the world.” • Iskra this is not. But also, Tiger Beat this is not!

Sans culottes in DC?

Actively pursuing a state of non-bafflement:

The nice thing about contradictory premises is that you can reach any conclusion you want from them.


• ”Covid Nasal Vaccine’s Phase 3 Trials Completed, Says Bharat Biotech Chief” [NDTV]. “Dr Krishna Ella, Chairman and Managing Director of Bharat Biotech on Saturday said that the clinical phase III trials of the COVID-19 nasal vaccine have been completed and the company will submit its data with Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) next month. In an exclusive interview with ANI, Dr Ella said, ‘We just completed a clinical trial, a data analysis is going on. Next month, we will submit the data to the regulatory agency. If everything is okay, then we will get permission to launch and it will be the world’s first clinically proven nasal COVID-19 vaccine.'” • Well, let’s move this along, please.

* * *

• Maskstravaganza: Another natural experiment in schools, this one at scale in Alberta:

New sh*t has come to light:

• Maskstravaganza: Infecting one’s passengers is a novel business strategy, but leave it to the airlines to come up with it:

• Maskstravaganza: More airplane fun:

Ewwwww! (Seriously, though, I’d like to see more and more Aranet4 usage, made highly visible; it’s the sort of thing the Air Breathers Party would recommend, no? Also, as an example of industrial design, the Aranet4 is endearingly clunky; I like the visible circuit board on the front. I think this makes it less threatening, less, if you will, judge-y.)

• More metering fun:

A hopeful sign. Any sightings in the wild from readers?

• The people who keep saying “we have the tools” never center the tools that prevent airborne transmission:

• This sorry state of affairs persists across the board:

Covid is not the only disease where “Vax only” applies:

* * *

• Remember when life was going to be simple, and we wouldn’t be seeing gibberish like BA.5 and BA.2.7.5 on our timelines? Well, people are taking matters into their own hands:

(Actually, I don’t mind the gibberish too much; the variant names remind me idol group names like 2NE1 or AKB48 (BNK48 (JKT48 (SNH48))). Or Chanel No. 5, I suppose.

* * *

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

* * *

Case Count

Case count for the United States:

The train is still rolling. There was a weird, plateau-like “fiddling and diddling” stage before the Omicron explosion, too. This conjuncture feels the same. Under the hood the BA.4/BA.5 are making up a greater and greater proportion of cases. Remember that cases are undercounted, one source saying by a factor of six, Gottlieb thinking we only pick up one in seven or eight.) Hence, I take the case count and multiply it by six to approximate the real level of cases, and draw the DNC-blue “Biden Line” at that point. The previous count was ~125,200. Today, it’s ~135,400 and 135,400 * 6 = a Biden line at 812,400 per day. That’s rather a lot of cases per day, when you think about it. At least we have confirmation that the extraordinary mass of case anecdotes we’ve seen have a basis in reality. (Remember these data points are weekly averages, so daily fluctuations are smoothed out.) The black “Fauci Line” is a counter to triumphalism, since it compares current levels to past crises.

Regional case count for four weeks:

Now the South and West.

The South:

Florida and Texas, now neck and neck.

The West:

Whoa, Gavin!


From the Walgreen’s test positivity tracker:

0.4%. Down! (I wonder if there’s a Keynesian Beauty Contest effect, here; that is, if people encounter a sympotomatic person, whether in their social circle or in normal activity, they are more likely to get a test, because they believe, correctly, that it’s more likely they will be infected.) What we are seeing here is the steepest and largest acceleration of positivity on Walgreen’s chart.


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. Use the community transmission immediately below.

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. For June 30 – July 6:

Status quo, i.e. it’s a not-over pandemic.

Lambert here: After the move from the CDC to the laughingly named ‘https://healthdata.gov,” this notice appeared: “Effective June 22, 2022, the Community Profile Report will only be updated twice a week, on Wednesdays and Fridays.” So now the administration has belatedly come to the realization that we’re in a BA.5 surge, and yet essential data for making our personal risk assessment is only available twice a week. What’s the over/under on whether they actually deliver tomorrow?

NOT UPDATED Rapid Riser data, by county (CDC), July 14:

Texas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Alabama, Illinois all worse. California better, oddlly. I don’t like those little pink speckles in New York, because the Northeast has been quiet for some time (note slight rise in case data). What’s that all about

Previous Rapid Riser data:

NOT UPDATED Hospitalization data, by state (CDC), July 14:

Very volatile. Haven’t seen so little green (good) in quite some time.


Lambert here: It’s beyond frustrating how slow the variant data is. I looked for more charts: California doesn’t to a BA.4/BA.5 breakdown. New York does but it, too, is on a molasses-like two-week cycle. Does nobody in the public health establishment get a promotion for tracking variants? Are there no grants? Is there a single lab that does this work, and everybody gets the results from them? Additional sources from readers welcome [grinds teeth, bangs head on desk].

NOT UPDATED Variant data, national (Walgreens), June 30:

NOT UPDATED Variant data, national (CDC), June 25:

BA.5 moving along nicely.


Wastewater data (CDC), Jun 28, 2022 – Jul 12, 2022:

Lots of orange, more red. Not good. This chart works a bit like rapid riser counties: “This metric shows whether SARS-CoV-2 levels at a site are currently higher or lower than past historical levels at the same site. 0% means levels are the lowest they have been at the site; 100% means levels are the highest they have been at the site.” So, there’s a bunch of red dots on the West Coast. That’s 100%, so that means “levels are the highest they’ve ever been.” Not broken down by variant, CDC, good job.

Lambert here: This page was loading so slowly that I began to wonder if this is how CDC had chosen to sabotage wastewater efforts. However, after some experimentation, I find I must turn off my VPN to get this page to load. Good job, CDC.


Death rate (Our World in Data):

Total: 1,048,843 1,048,232. I have added an anti-triumphalist Fauci Line. It’s nice that for deaths I have a nice, simple, daily chart that just keeps chugging along, unlike everything else CDC and the White House are screwing up or letting go dark, good job.

Stats Watch

There are no official statistics of interest today.

* * *

Commodities: “‘Dr Copper’ has a worrying message about the energy transition” [Financial Times]. “[Copper] is also nicknamed ‘Dr Copper’. Owing to its widespread use and its sensitivity to business cycles, its price has an uncanny ability to provide early warning of what’s ahead for the economy. The current fall in the price of copper is seen as a portent of slowdown or outright recession. But Dr Copper is now taking on a new role as the critical metal for net zero emissions. This “energy transition demand” adds to the traditional demand for the metal in construction, kitchen appliances, computers and the innards of your mobile phone. Many carmakers are pledging that all their new vehicles will be electric by the 2030s. The Biden administration in the US is targeting emissions-free electric generation by 2035, while the EU’s RePowerEU strategy pledges an accelerated switch to renewable power. The key point is that the technologies central to the energy transition — such as EVs, charging infrastructure, solar photovoltaics, wind turbines and batteries — all require much more copper than their conventional hydrocarbon-based counterparts. For instance, a battery-powered electric car requires at least two and a half times more copper than a conventional car; a medium-sized truck four times as much.”

The Bezzle: “Analysis: Clients of crypto lender Celsius face long wait over fate of their funds” [Reuters]. “Customers of crypto lender Celsius face a long and anxious wait to know how, when and even if they will get their money back after the company filed for bankruptcy, becoming one of the biggest victims of the collapse in crypto markets this year….. While major crypto firms have failed before, most notably the Japanese exchange Mt. Gox in 2014, there is little precedent for the treatment of customers at stricken crypto lenders, the lawyers said. ‘It is, at best, unknown how the bankruptcy code and bankruptcy courts will be treating cryptocurrency companies,’ said James Van Horn, partner at Barnes & Thornburg in Washington… While it is not clear how Celsius will classify its clients, it did warn customers it may treat them as unsecured creditors – and customers are likely to litigate over such a status, said Max Dilendorf, a lawyer in New York specialising in crypto.” • It has gone where the woodbine twineth….

The Bezzle: “Crypto collapse reverberates widely among black American investors” [FInancial Times]. “A quarter of black American investors owned cryptocurrencies at the start of the year, compared with only 15 per cent of white investors, according to a survey by Ariel Investments and Charles Schwab. Black Americans were more than twice as likely to purchase cryptocurrency as their first investment… Black Americans’ higher exposure to cryptocurrencies has left them more vulnerable to the financial downturn, even as their households on average hold less wealth….. The promise of cryptocurrencies as a wealth builder has been supercharged by celebrity endorsements, sponsorships and advertising. Prominent black Americans including the musicians Jay-Z and Snoop Dogg, the boxer Floyd Mayweather, the actor Jamie Foxx and the film-maker Spike Lee have promoted crypto to their communities.”

Tech: “Report: Apple and Jony Ive will no longer work together” [Ars Technica]. “In 2019, Ive departed the company to found an independent design firm, called LoveFrom, and Apple CEO Tim Cook announced his intention to work with Ive “long into the future” in a deal that was worth more than $100 million…. Now, ‘two people with knowledge of their contractual agreement” have told The New York Times that the design firm and Apple will no longer be working together.'” • Good. The new MacBook Pro, which is a solid, not to say chonky machine to which — hallelujah! — the MagSafe connector has returned, shows that Ives’ “thin at all costs” aesthetic was destructive of the hardware requirements that productive professionals have. His departure was, if anything, overdue.

* * *

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 28 Fear (previous close: 26 Fear) [CNN]. One week ago: 27 (Fear). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Jul 18 at 3:39 PM EDT.

Rapture Index: Closes down one on Oil Supply/Price. “Oil has dropped below $100 per barrel” [Rapture Ready]. Record High, October 10, 2016: 189. Current: 187. (Remember that bringing on the Rapture is good.) I’ve been waiting for the Rapture Index to hit the all time high again. Now it has. UPDATE And now it retreats again. Really?!


Butterfly counts:

In general, I think we should be counting more natural things (and fewer things in spreadsheets). Butterflies, CO2…

The Conservatory

Reel-to-reel scratching (!):

Zeitgeist Watch

“Three easy ways to find hidden cameras in hotels and rental homes” [CNBC]. “Nearly 60% of Americans said they were worried about hidden cameras in Airbnb homes in 2019. And 11% of vacation home renters said they had discovered a hidden camera during a stay, according to a survey by the real estate investment company IPX1031.” Many helpful hints for spotting the things, including: “Almost all covert cameras are concealed in household devices, such as lights, thermostats, and plugged clock radios, [Kenneth Bombace, CEO of intelligence firm Global Threat Solutions] said…. He said the first thing he does in a bedroom is unplug the clock radios and put them in a drawer.” • Who did this?

Class Warfare

“Boeing ‘disappointed’ union recommending rejection of contract offer” [Reuters]. • That’s a damn shame.

News of the Wired

“CP/M’s open-source status clarified after 21 years’ [The Register]. “CP/M first appeared in 1974, only one year after the first version of UNIX written in C. The difference is that even then, UNIX was rather complex, whereas CP/M is tiny…. Due to its tiny size and extreme simplicity, these days it’s fairly straightforward to hand-build your own Z80 computer from parts – on a breadboard, or from a kit, of which the RC2014 is a popular example. The RC2014 can run several ROMs and OSes, including RomWBW, which allows you to boot a choice of CP/M relatives: CP/M 2.2, ZSDOS 1.1, NZCOM, CP/M 3, and ZPM3, among others.” • Jackpot-ready!


* * *

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 TH:

TH writes: “Another lovely Roger’s Gardens specimen: A cheery Chinese Lantern (Alkekengi officinarum).”

* * *

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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. fresno dan

      to me, one of the very best things about being retired is being in total control of when I sleep. Had a very early dinner yesterday and drank too much. Went to bed around 9 pm and woke up at 2:30am – drinking too much upsets my sleeping. Anyway, I got up and perused the innertubes. Than went back to bed at 6am.
      Now I’ve just had a small meal and I think a nap to prepare for water cooler would be a good use of time…zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

        1. Pricknick

          There is no such thing as boredom as you age.
          There is too much to do that can’t be accomplished unless you bust your ass.
          Healthy eats.
          Healthy mind.
          Healthy life.
          It’s all work.
          And I’m happily healthy for now.

      1. Return of the Bride of Joe Biden

        I have similar sleep experiences as yours, although I’m long term unemployed, or unemployable, as I prefer to say.

    2. VT Digger

      All respect to my elders but is any who reads NC under 40 besides me? I feel like all youngsters are fully resorbed into the IDPOL goo.

      Reply below to give me hope for the future.

          1. Anthony Noel

            Well I’m 41 now but I’ve been reading the site since seeing Yves on an episode of Bill Moyers with Matt Tabbi.

            1. JohnM_in MN

              Ha! Exactly when I discovered the site! And sorry to disappoint Digger, but I’m 64.

      1. super extra

        I’m an old millennial (so just under 40) but I’ve been here for years. There are some youngs around!

        1. Swamp Yankee

          39 here, VT Digger.

          Yes, a lot have gone Idpol, in the professional classes, in terms of our age cohort. I do see a kind of waking up process among some of my former High School and college classmates. Realization that, post-Dobbs, the Dems and national government aren’t gonna rescue us (and maybe starting to realize that they never were).

          Locally, everyone our age I know, with some minor exceptions, supports preventing a large and vicious nuclear corporation from dumping irradiated wastewater into Cape Cod Bay. There are still some commonalities in terms of our Commons!

      2. JM

        Like Super Extra, I’m at the upper end of millennial, and have been mostly lurking here for 5+ years. I’m further heartened that my nephews which are in their 20s seem to be on the same wavelength.

      3. Adam

        Based on Naked Capitalism meetups I’ve attended, I’d say there’s a good chunk of readers under 40 (myself included).

      4. chris

        I started reading NC when I was in my 30s around the time of the Great Financial Crisis.

      5. Jonathan Holland Becnel

        37 Year Old Proud reader of NC for the past 9 years here!

        Took me 7 years of reading internet political news to find my safe haven with you crazy fs!!!

    3. Wukchumni

      Another cabin owner who is a year older than I who have a common bond in that we both went to different high schools together… often walk in the Sisyphus Alps in Mineral King, where on a previous dayhike we rolled our burden up over 3,000 feet in 13 total miles including 4 miles of off-trail in the bargain, and then tumbled down the mountain gracefully-giving it all back, and hoping our wrap job on the jalopy was sufficient to ward off a hit & wobble attack by the Marmot Cong in search of anti-freeze. ‘Coolvarines!’ was their battle call-which many assumed was a harmless whistle, when in fact, the ‘Cong were also forwarding makes and models of cars and license plate numbers left unawares in the trailhead parking lots in the guise of a shriller whistle than usual, right under our very noses.

      We were eating lunch @ our apogee and she said to me, ‘how many people our age could do this?’

      Not many…

      We’re both mad nappers, i’m good for a couple 2-3 hour stanzas a week, and loving it.

      But there’s hope in that to give you an idea of the popularity of the trail with young adults, we walked to Monarch Lake yesterday and i’d guestimate the average age was mid 20’s-early 30’s of nearly every backpacker we came across on the trail-a 60/40 mix of male/female, all coming back from the high country and happy as larks. I’m ecstatic to see things evolve, as as recently as a dozen years ago I did an 80 mile backpack and it was 80% male and over 40, like me.

      I saw African-Americans, Asian-Americans & Mexican-Americans backpacking yesterday, there’s room for everybody as we need advocates for the wilderness, and once you hook em’ on the goods, they’re lifers.

      Its a great way to get fit, and you’ll learn how little water you can make do with, i’d mentioned that an Arizonan uses 146 gallons of water a day, mine is closer to 2 when i’m in the High Sierra when on a backpack trip.

      The wilderness (YWMV) here is one of the last places where there is no connectivity, which in itself is a precious commodity…. Wanna get away?

      The lay of the land:


  1. Randy

    My name is Kaya. I am a cat. I loved it when my humans called me by my name, I loved my name. I loved my humans.

    I was born approximately 5/24/2005. Nobody knew my exact birthdate, well somebody did. My first humans didn’t want me so they dumped me on a country road and left me to fend for myself or die. As I was only about 10 weeks old when this happened odds are that I would have died.

    One Saturday I heard humans in the woods about 100 yards from the road. I ran toward the sound to introduce myself. I was starving. I needed help. These new humans took me home. They gave me food and water. They set up a temporary litter box. They took me to the vet for a checkup and I got some shots. I was very careful not to give anybody any guff because I needed a home. They took me home with the idea that if I didn’t work out I could be taken to the local no-kill shelter and adopted out.

    My aim in life was to be a good kitty that caused minimal problems for my humans and myself. I needed to show my humans that I loved them and I appreciated all that they did for me. I think I succeeded. They both cried when I crossed the rainbow bridge.

    One of my humans worked Tuesday through Saturday and the other worked Monday through Friday. I knew what day was what and I always got the correct human up for work on the proper day. I wasn’t like some other rude cats, I always sat on the floor, caught my humans eye and made sure I first got permission to climb up on a lap.

    I was a simple cat with simple pleasures.

    I loved fish pole toys. I had a nylon cube with springy poles for a frame. When my human hid my fish pole toy in the cube I would run full speed across the floor and somersault into the cube making it and me roll all the way across the living room floor. My humans would laugh so hard. I liked making my humans laugh.

    I really enjoyed “snuggling” with my male human. He let me lay in the crook of his arm. I would put my front paws and head on his shoulder and knead his shoulder until I fell asleep. He joked that when I died he was going to let a taxidermist make a fur hat out of me as he wore me so much when I was alive that he might as well wear me after I died.

    I enjoyed being warm. In winter I spent sunny days sleeping on the back of the couch in front of the south facing window. I fell off the couch a few times but my humans didn’t laugh at me because they knew that would insult my dignity. We pretended it didn’t happen and that nobody saw me fall. I spent winter nights camped out in front of the wood stove, when I wasn’t “snuggling”. I even slept in the sun on 90 degree days in our screened porch.

    My female human brushed me once a week. When I heard her get the brushes out I was there instantly no matter what I was doing beforehand. I loved getting brushed.

    When I got to be about 15 years old I started to get arthritis. That’s when things started to go downhill. I started pooping outside the litter box because it hurt to use it. I started getting an upset tummy and throwing up more and more as time went on. Eventually I started favoring my left front leg and then a back leg. I was showing signs of kidney disease. I started to pee on the floor. Then I started waking up in the middle of the night yowling loudly. My humans decided it was time.

    They took me to the vet on Thursday July 14, 2022. I knew what was happening but I didn’t put up a fuss because I was tired of the pain and my old body. My humans said I went with grace and dignity. I always placed great store in my dignity. My humans cried when they buried me. They miss me and I miss them.

    R.I.P. Kaya the Kitty Kat

    May 24?, 2005 – July 14, 2022

    1. Lex

      RIP Kaya. It sounds like your people made sure you had a good life and you returned the favor. That’s about all any of us, cats or people, can hope for in this world. I’m glad you got it. And I’ll make sure to give my 21.5 year old cat, Al some extra attention. (The big ole 11.5 year old dog, Tesla, will get some ear scritches in your name too.)

    2. Louis Fyne

      Rest in Peace.

      I don’t want to live in a universe where pets don’t have souls.

    3. kate

      Lately I tend to despair of political action, and the idea of mutual aid becomes more and more comforting. You and Kaya are a fine example of that. Look for people, animals, plants, places falling through the cracks, and connect. We can help each other make it through.

    4. EarthMagic

      This made me shed a tear!
      May Kaya receive full honors from Bastet!
      Animal friends are a reason to be on this planet.

    5. Pat

      Kaya, may you wait in peace and joy until you and your humans meet again. I am so glad you found your humans, and even happier that they recognized what a gift you were. And that your times together were filled with love and sunshine, cuddles and laughter.

      Randy thank you for sharing Kaya with us. Till you meet again…

      1. Joe Renter

        Kaya, if you run in another fellow cat named Tidder, will you say “hi” for me? He crossed over the rainbow bridge a long time ago, but I was not able to say goodbye as I was out of the house and all grown up.
        I am glad you had a good life and am no longer in any pain. I love your fellow cats more than a lot of humans.
        Wishing you all the catnip in heaven!

    6. Lunker Walleye

      Randy, That is one of the best remembrances I can recall reading. It made me teary-eyed to hear about the life of your special friend. She was loved and returned it. RIP, Kaya.

    7. Nikkikat

      God Bless you Randy, May each day bring the dancing light and joy of a life shared and fill your heart with love. Kaya Kat will send you another life to nurture and share until she can be with you again.

    8. nippersmom

      What a lovely tribute, It sounds like you and Kaya had a beautiful life together. It is always hard to say goodbye, even when you know it’s time.

    9. Randy

      Thank you all for your kind replies. My wife and I really appreciate your supportive thoughts and it really does help.

    10. Wyatt Powell

      …ok, mark me down for 2 bottles of wine tonight instead of the unsual 1 😭

      Beautiful remembrance.

  2. Mark Gisleson

    Some action regarding political spam was mentioned here last week. I’d been getting record amounts of it but for the last few days I am getting almost no spam at all and none of what I’m getting is political.

    Has anyone else seen a radical cutback in poltical spam?

      1. ChiGal

        I have proton mail and I get NO spam other than the substacks and other things I’ve subscribed to that I don’t want cluttering up my inbox and vendors I’ve bought from that I still want emails from.

        So in other words, no real spam, just a secondary inbox. I am about to sign up for Medicare and I receive junk snail mail solicitations every day and ZERO Medicare spam, that’s how good Proton is.

        1. Carla

          Just a note, ChiGal. I have Thunderbird mail with my own domain for the email address. I have never gotten any Medicare spam via email, either. Only daily snail mail crap from about July through Nov.

    1. JustAnotherVolunteer

      I can offer a couple of options on the “blue” side –

      Actblue allows you to opt out of remarketing by entering an email address here:

      And they define remarketing here:

      Kind of makes you want to always mail a check if you really want to donate.

      Action Network will also add you to a “global block list” on request but I can’t find the link. Report
      Enough of their mailing as spam and you’ll get added. Doesn’t work if you use the unsubscribe links in individual email.

      They do tell you how to get off the list which is less interesting

      1. notabanker

        They lie. Act Blue does not opt you out, if anything they pour it on. Never, ever, ever sign up for any Act Blue candidate unless you want to be constantly bombarded by every demo candidate alive.

  3. Hepativore

    Hey guys, I have an odd question here for the commentariat. I may or may not be able to have a home built for me in a few years if the housing market ever cools down slightly. Anyway…

    I have always liked brick homes and I live in an area known for high winds. The thing is, most brick and stone homes are basically a wooden frame with brick or stone facing rather than it playing any part in the foundation of the home itself. I want a home made out of structural brick for various reasons, but is this even possible from most residential construction companies now, as this is becoming a lost technique? This is still done in places like Europe, but I do not know why it is not done anymore in the US.

    If it is possible, would you be charged much more than what structural brick homes used to cost on account of it being a custom job?

    1. super extra

      I’ll leave the structural questions for the experts, but will share that I have been inside a US house with a brick facade exterior during a storm with ‘straight line winds’, the 60+mph storm downdrafts that can happen during severe thunderstorms. Bricks were blown out of the exterior wall, they sounded less dramatic than the branches in the wind on the windows as they flew out. I live in a place where storms like this are semi-normal and people still build with them but it is kind of a pain to constantly replace the facades so they tend to be replaced after a decade.

    2. Objective Ace

      Depending on where you live – you may be able to find niche some providers. You might try contacting some historical preservation societies or property managers who work with older houses. They often have large contact lists, and they do come across issues in older buildings that requires familiararity with the building techniques you are interested in.

    3. Louis Fyne

      structural brick is becoming a lost art, particularly as it is so labor intensive (and more expensive to properly insulate, especially if your area has stringent insulation regulations).

      in my neck of the wood fiber-cement board (Hardie) dominates the market share.

      Standard procurement guidelines: ask for recommendations, shop around.

      Don’t be surprised at the $$$ numbers on the estimates, even for modest projects.

      Good luck, love brick!

    4. Fiery Hunt

      Are you looking at ciderblock for framing? Cheaper and more easily braced… Definitely makes for thicker walls and better insultaion.
      Can’t really build with brick here in CA; earthquakes and the need for lateral bracing makes it beaucoup expensive.

    5. JohnnySacks

      I’d do as much reading as possible on construction technique before even talking to a potential architect/contractor/engineer.
      Brick over studs is basically a masonry veneer relying on attachment to the underlying wall for rigidity.
      A single wythe wall without studs structurally would require internal reinforcement (rebar) and would have to be acceptable per your building code, but considering your context, would seem like a hack. You’re also relying on promises made by the masonry sub that reinforcement was in fact installed per specification.
      You’re looking for a double wythe wall, twice as much brick. No idea how much of a lost art it is in today’s market.
      I’d think a brick veneer over cinder block (CMU) would be more cost effective for material and labor and at least equally strong as a double wythe brick wall, especially if interior finish isn’t going to be brick.

    6. Samuel Conner

      This thought may be way “out of band”; if so please accept my apology.

      If you want brick for the sake of massive, thermal sink walls, there may be lower cost ways of getting that, for example monolithic stabilized earth, aka “rammed earth”.

      About a decade and a half ago I stumbled onto descriptions of this construction technique, and was intrigued by the potential for DIY construction. The homes can be very beautiful, for example (IIRC this book)


      A potential obstacle is that this technique may not be recognized in local building codes.

    7. Eric

      Some of the 1940’s built neighborhoods near me (Central, PA) have brick homes built in the manner you desire. From exterior to interior; they are brick, cinder block, furring strips, and plaster. The brick pattern resembles “English Bond” and every 3-4 courses, you see 1/2 bricks which are really full bricks laid perpendicular to tie into the cinder block.

      Instead of a new home, maybe you should look for an older home. You could check with your local codes official or a masonry contractor to see what is permissible nowadays. And with increased lumber prices of late, the cost difference between structural brick and brick veneer may be less than you might expect.

    8. Bruce F

      You might want to consider using Insulated Concrete Form (ICF) construction.

      Insulating concrete form or insulated concrete form (ICF) is a system of formwork for reinforced concrete usually made with a rigid thermal insulation that stays in place as a permanent interior and exterior substrate for walls, floors, and roofs. The forms are interlocking modular units that are dry-stacked (without mortar) and filled with concrete. The units lock together somewhat like Lego bricks and create a form for the structural walls or floors of a building. ICF construction has become commonplace for both low rise commercial and high performance residential construction as more stringent energy efficiency and natural disaster resistant building codes are adopted.

      You can finish off the exterior with a variety of materials.

      A good explanation of the process here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fbgiZ50xgO8

    9. IMOR

      Wasn’t there a link here in the last wekk to an article- or an exchange of comments (I’m thinking the latter) laying out the two or three masonry approaches to building brick structures? Where the brick was facade, perimeter load-bearing, or perimeter and interior load-bearing methofs were described/outlined? Damn, wish I could pull it up. Perhaps someone else here can.

    10. Steve in Maine

      Hopefully earthquakes are unknown where you plan to build. Not compatible with brick I think.

    11. jefemt

      We had the good fortune to be able to build our own home in the mid 90’s.

      It sounds like you are still accumulating savings and looking for optimal timing.

      I was fortunate to be living in Vancouver BC before we built, and I took intermodal 45-minute one-way public transportation to and from work. I read 65 books on home design, architecture, alternative building technologies, sustainability, energy systems, passive and active solar, materials, designing. It was SO worth the edification.

      Best book, by far and away, is ” A Pattern Language”, by Christopher Alexander et al. This is a treasure that should be read by and owned by ALL. Borrow a copy from the library, you will buy a copy.

      I learned of it from Helen and Scott Nearings “Living the Good Life”, the original book, and the re-published picture / coffee table book they published called building in our 70’s and 90’s. Those books are gems. The latter had quotes from other books on design, and technique, jaw dropping photos, and was a great source of additional reading based on the quotes they plucked.

      You can and should draw up plans on paper a million times and you won’t spend a penny doing that.
      I will not trash brick, or concrete, or rammed earth, adobe, slipformed stone, rammed slipformed straw-clay cob… there is a LOT of cool stuff out there. — even stick-built framed homes—no trashing any given building material.
      All have their benefits and drawbacks, their full life-cycle attributes and pitfalls. What exists near where you will build?

      I would open my heart and mind, avoid the dogma of , ‘it’s going to be a Brick home” Period. brick, straw bale, stucco, adobe, rasta block…. read, learn, go to workshops… the answer will come to you in its time.

      Mostly get started and HAVE FUN!!! And good luck!

    12. M Morrissey

      Consider SIP construction for the best insulation properties–far superior to all others.Use solar PV and heat pumps. Put any veneer on it. Ours is stucco, but we’re in the southwest.

    13. Danpaco

      It really depends on where you’re located and the design of the house.
      I’m a builder in Toronto. Here you would pay at least 30%-40% more for structural framing made of cement masonry block.

  4. Verifyfirst

    I have been thinking about Covid–my twitter feed reminds me that SARS 1 was found to be 100% fatal after 15 re-infections (in mice).

    What will it take, I wonder, for the humans to take Covid seriously? I can’t fathom. Polio was much less deadly, but we still act as if we’re concerned about that.

    About a year ago there was a flurry of news stories about Covid detectors (not just dogs, but those too). I tried to look online if there was anything new about those technologies–absent a sterilizing virus, the most useful thing might be a (wearable?) sensor that goes off when it detects Covid in the air. [It would also make for a hilarious party gag–lol–set it off and watch people scatter].

    Here are a couple of the last year stories, but I could not find anything new or actually available on that market.



  5. Glossolalia

    Has Yves posted her research yet about the best options for those looking to escape the US?

      1. super extra

        I am also very interested in this topic, and it would give me an excuse to share my research in the comments!

  6. jsn

    Reply to Hepativore @ 2:42, somehow landed in outerspace

    A structural brick house would be around twice as expensive as wood frame today. Maybe more.

    As Lous Fyne points out, it is very labor intensive. It is also very heavy which will require a significantly more expensive basement or whatever other foundation your local ground conditions require. Brick is also fairly brittle, so you want to know you’re well away from any seismic areas. Reinforcing and latex cements can ameliorate this issue but again at a cost.

    For structural brick you’ll need three wythes, that is walls 3 bricks thick, so in the US about a foot of brick. Inside that you’ll need several inches of insulation and furring for your interior finishes so the thicker walls make you build a bigger house, also adding cost.

    I live in a 200 year old structural brick house. It is only 2 wythes but so well put together it’s in excellent shape. It has wood lath and plaster for the interior finishes and is bloody expensive to heat in the winter despite the R60 insulation in the attic. It will be expensive to open all the walls and insulate, but I’ll probably have to do so shortly.

    1. hunkerdown

      The PMC really do think we want to die for their displays of social creativity, don’t they.

      God some of our expats are such entitled children. If you live in Shanghai- you have a legitimate grievance. If you complain about Shenzhen sorry but you’re an entitled child. “Yes millions of Chinese might die but you don’t understand- it’s VERY INCONVENIENT FOR ME”.


        1. hunkerdown

          The latter. I fought with the cancel reply button, missed checking my work due to a particularly untimely call. D’oh…

  7. Deidre

    Re. Military recruiting videos. We.Are.So.Screwed.
    It’s up to Americans to form well regulated militias at home.
    Buy weapons while you still can.

    Pavel: Here’s a couple of choice comments:

    “The worst thing is that Emma probably joined because she couldn’t pay off her $100,000 debt from her lesbian dance theory degree 😂

    “We sleep peacefully in our beds at night because Corporal Emma has two mothers.” 🇺🇸 -Sun Tzu”

    1. Will

      re your question about seeing CO2 monitors used in public

      No, I haven’t seen it myself since I’ve been avoiding public indoor spaces but was very pleased to discover that monitors are now available to borrow from the Toronto Public Library.


      The article itself is somewhat frustrating since they don’t explicitly say until almost the end that better indoor air quality reduces the risk of being infected with Covid. Then again, the library on its website announcing the new program doesn’t mention Covid at all, so all credit to whoever wrote this (no byline) for getting this out there.


      The article quotes an ER doctor for the air quality and Covid link. The doc is also planning on launching an app in a few weeks to crowd source CO2 readings from around Toronto. If only it were possible to do that sort of thing on a wider scale and comprehensively…

    1. 430 MLK

      I’ll be voting for Young, a longtime thorn in the side of the KY Dem establishment. In his primary, he won all the rural counties and lost only in Fayette County (home of the University of Kentucky).

      1. Pat

        I am jealous of you. Where I am, I do not have an incumbent in my upcoming primary and not one of the unusually numerous candidates is half as on the money as Young.

  8. digi_owl

    Speaking of chonky laptops. Was watching someone unpack a Lambo branded laptop from the XP-VIsta era recently, and the number of ports, easy access to storage and ram, never mind actual install media for all drivers and software bundled, nearly brought a tear to my eye. How the F did we allow computers to become oversized phones?!

      1. digi_owl

        If only. Phones have long been far too locked down to be truly considered a computer.

        And personal computers are going the same way, based on what Microsoft et al is up to these days.

        Windows 11 will badger you into creating a cloud account on first boot, and tie that account to full disk encryption. So should MS ever cancel that account, your local data is SOL.

        1. c_heale

          Apple does the same. I would avoid full disk encryption like the plague, since I had an acquaintance lose access to all his data (Apple couldn’t help), when the computer fell on the floor and locked up. He had forgotten the disk encryption password.

    1. Louis Fyne

      blame Apple and its relentless effort to make everything skinny with a screen interact-able with a swipe gesture, and then blame the PC companies/Microsoft who wanted to copy the Apple ecosystem.

      1. digi_owl

        For the most part i blame the companies for losing their will to innovate.

        Before Apple pivoted to consumer electronics, most of the world didn’t care what they were up to. The only reason they stuck around so long was that they had become the “safe choice” for media companies thanks to being the platform were desktop publishing started. Thus most of the “graybeards” of the industry knew that system by rote repetition.

  9. steve

    Re Today’s plant, not a Chinese Lantern but an Abutilon or Flowering Maple.
    Nice picture tho.

  10. LawnDart

    Not bad news– if your retirement plan already consists of rope, pills, or a bullet behind the ear.

    File this under Covid-19/holy-shit:

    COVID infection doubles risk of mental health and financial problems in older adults

    After taking into account sociodemographic characteristics, health-related factors, and pre-pandemic data, the results showed that 49% of older adults with a probable COVID-19 infection had clinically significant depressive symptoms, compared with 22% of those without infection, between June and July 2020.

    Meanwhile, 12% of people with probable infection were identified as having anxiety, compared with 6% of those without infection.

    These adverse effects lasted for up to six months after the presumed start of infection and appeared to worsen…


    Personally, I have not flown since pre-covid. And I have changed my career-path to avoid doing so in the future, in part, thanks to the info found on NC.

  11. aleph_0

    Thanks for the reel to reel scratching video. What a joy to watch that kind of talent. No headphones, no mixer, just raw will and esoteric skill. The whole 6 min set’s on youtube and worth a watch.

    1. hunkerdown

      If you’re in the mood for something just a little more produced, I suggest Ei Wada and his project Open Reel Ensemble: Magnetik Phunk (YouTube)

      His other project, Electronicos Fantasticos, makes and plays musical instruments from bar code scanners, CRT monitors, and even rotary fans.

      1. aleph_0


        Electronicos Fantasticos repurposing CRTs and such reminds me of [The User], who made a couple of classical symphonies for dot matrix printers (I like #2) and also played some abandoned grain silos like wine glasses to make a neat ambient album called abandon.

        1. hu

          That symphony is a lot of fun. It’s more melodic than I expected from a dot matrix printer. I’ll try to find Abandon, it sounds fun. But, to my knowledge, nobody has yet made an electric screwdriver play the Dr. Who theme song.

  12. Kurtismayfield

    Re: Democratic failure

    Why are all these pundits calling the actions of Manchin and Biden a failure?? This is a total success for them. They took a situation where we have a global pandemic, loss of purchasing power for the average US citizen, and a brutal housing market and did absolutely nothing! They are a blazing success in their role of the pawl against the forever rightward ratchet of our Overton Window swirling towards a proto fascist state. They are doing exactly what they wanted.

    Heckajob Machine!

  13. Wukchumni

    The Bezzle: “Crypto collapse reverberates widely among black American investors” [FInancial Times]. “A quarter of black American investors owned cryptocurrencies at the start of the year, compared with only 15 per cent of white investors, according to a survey by Ariel Investments and Charles Schwab. Black Americans were more than twice as likely to purchase cryptocurrency as their first investment… Black Americans’ higher exposure to cryptocurrencies has left them more vulnerable to the financial downturn, even as their households on average hold less wealth….. The promise of cryptocurrencies as a wealth builder has been supercharged by celebrity endorsements, sponsorships and advertising. Prominent black Americans including the musicians Jay-Z and Snoop Dogg, the boxer Floyd Mayweather, the actor Jamie Foxx and the film-maker Spike Lee have promoted crypto to their communities.”

    I tend to think of crypto as primarily a young person’s game, more generational than along anything else. I’d be curious how many Asian-Americans are into it?

    1. JBird4049

      “A quarter of black American investors owned cryptocurrencies at the start of the year, compared with only 15 per cent of white investors, according to a survey by Ariel Investments and Charles Schwab. Black

      (Desperate people are more vulnerable to exploitation and the poorest you are the more desperate you tend to be.)

      Baltimore. Does anyone find it odd that Black ppl are 12, 13 percent of the population and are being priced out of every major city while the mayors of most major cities are Black & pro-cop?

      (The second quote is from the twitter thread on the Black Misleadership Class)

      We are ruled by malignant thieves and back stabbers. When I read stuff like this, I sometimes think about MLK’s Poor People’s Campaign. The one that was starting just before he got lead poisoning. Then I sometimes I think about the quote from his I Have a Dream Speech while reading about the latest Identity Politics nonsense and veer from wanting to cry in bleak despair to wanting to have to have words with those who sold it (and us) down the river for their bits of silver.

  14. dcblogger

    But at some point, Fetterman needs to hit the trail. Doesn’t he?

    why? FDR never did.

  15. Wukchumni

    Ode to Oz

    Travelling down the Turnpike
    heading for the shore
    A thought just then occurred to me
    I never thought before
    I’ve been a lot of places
    Seen pictures of the rest
    But of all the places I can think of
    I like Jersey best.

    Betting halls, shopping malls,
    good old Rutgers U,
    47 shoes stores line Route 22
    The Meadowlands, the root beer stands
    Main Street Hackensack;
    I may be carpetbagging in Pennsylvania
    But I’m always coming back.

    The Pinelands and the Vinelands
    Seaside Heights Margate
    You can have Miami
    I love the Garden State
    I’ve been a lot of places
    Seen pictures of the rest
    But of all the places I claim residency
    I like Jersey best.

    We have horses, Princeton courses,
    Gas stations we have scores
    Trenton, Hopewell, Lake Hopatcong,
    Mantoloking Shores;
    Some states have their rock stars,
    But Springsteen beats them all —
    And our beautiful arena has
    Brendan Byrne carved on the wall.

    Lots of dineries, oil refineries,
    Our highways make you cough,
    But Spring Lake Heights and Belmar
    Are places to get off.
    Drinking spots and used car lots
    Make the place just grand,
    If you want to pay a visit coming back from Philly,
    Newark Airport’s where you land.


  16. The Rev Kev

    ‘What’s puzzling to me is this: we literally learned the past 2 years that these wintertime respiratory outbreaks (flu, pneumo, rsv) can actually be made to DISAPPEAR with non-pharmaceutical measures.’

    Got that right. Here in Oz when everybody had to mask up and social distance, the regular winter flu were just about wiped out which freed up beds and medical resources to treat other sick people. Then a year ago they threw the country wide open and now we have a nasty strain of flu that is knocking down people as fast as the Coronavirus is. Maybe this is why mask-wearing is so common in Asian countries.

    Re the Pandemic. The medical authorities are now telling us they guessed wrong with their models and thought that this third wave would be milder than the previous one (Jesus f****** Christ) because maybe they forgot that the virus might mutate? Meanwhile, the cruise liner industry was desperate to start up again and I see a second ocean liner has pulled into Sydney in the past week with yet another hundred sick people aboard so I would guess that there would actually be triple that number. Meanwhile our hospitals are being slammed and thousands of medical people are out sick and ambulances are stacking outside their doors.

    And this is what ‘living with the virus’ looks like.

  17. Mikel

    Re: Respirator / Mask not allowed on plane

    It’s hard for those in denial to pretend Covid is over or under control with people wearing respirator masks.
    The guy was messing up their ignorant fantasy.

    Maybe it’s time for the people that want masks back on the plane to act like fools on the plane and scare the airlines. They apparently only respond to fools.

  18. The Rev Kev

    Russian pranksters Vovan and Lexus have struck again. This time it was Stephen King and they were pretending that it was Zelensky phoning him-

    ‘When “Zelensky” asked King to write “some kind of a scenario” in which Russian soldiers “rape” an Azov Battalion commander, the author said “we’ll do everything we can”, noting that he will “see” what he can personally do.’

    And then it got worse when “Zelensky” was talking about Bandera-

    King said ‘You can always find things about people to pull them down. Washington and Jefferson were slave owners – that doesn’t mean they didn’t do many good things to the United States of America. There are always people who have flaws, we are humans,” King said. “On the whole, I think Bandera is a great man, and you’re a great man, and Viva Ukraine!’


    And yesterday I saw the Rolling Stones with a Ukrainian choir to support the cause. Groan! Never meet your heroes.

    1. Glen

      Well, let’s try and redeem the Rolling Stones; maybe they were a bit less IDPol when they were … a bit younger?

      The Rolling Stones – You Can’t Always Get What You Want

      And too be honest, the collective “West” could use a bit of kick in the head. It has lost it’s way, but I’m hoping … praying actually, that there is much that can be saved if we just get what we need.

  19. The Rev Kev

    Something lighter to think about. ‘Average Faces of Women in 40 Countries Around the World. The portraits were created by psychologists at the University of Glasgow in Scotland by taking photographs of women in 40 different countries and averaging them with Face Research software.’


    By opening it in another tab or downloading it, you can get a larger version.

    1. hunkerdown

      It’s reddit, and the post is that particular combination of performative political tropes (appeals to professionalism and credentialism, “moderate” libertarian politics, indignant anaphora shading into petulance) and introspection as “field work” that the liberal-Puritan middle class is so fond of. They’re trying to reestablish moral authority before the midterms after putting their thumb on the scale for Cuellar. It’s probably just the usual PMC kabuki.

Comments are closed.