By Lambert Strether of Corrente
Bird Song of the Day
Foxy Lark, Arusha, Tanzania.
“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
“Jan. 6 Panel to Sum Up Its Case Against Trump: Dereliction of Duty” [New York Times]. “The House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol plans to return to prime time on Thursday to deliver what amounts to a closing argument in the case it has made against former President Donald J. Trump, accusing the former commander in chief of dereliction of duty for failing to call off the assault carried out in his name. To do so, the panel will put two military veterans — Representative Elaine Luria, Democrat of Virginia and Representative Adam Kinzinger, Republican of Illinois — front and center in leading its presentation and questioning…. In an interview previewing the hearing, which is scheduled for 8 p.m. on July 21, Ms. Luria said the panel planned to document in great detail how Mr. Trump did nothing for more than three hours while his supporters stormed the Capitol, raising ethical, moral and legal questions around the former president. ‘The captain of a ship cannot sit there and watch the ship burned to the waterline and not do anything to stop it,’ Ms. Luria said, invoking her experience in the Navy, where she worked on nuclear reactors. ‘And that’s exactly what he did.'” • Burned to the waterline? Really?
“House GOP lawmakers applaud Pence for his role on Jan. 6” [The Hill]. “House Republican lawmakers applauded former Vice President Mike Pence for his actions on Jan. 6, 2021, giving him a warm reception as he spoke to members of the conservative Republican Study Committee on Capitol Hill on Wednesday. Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas) thanked Pence for showing courage that day, sources in the room said. ‘He was congratulated for showing the courage that he did on January 6, and frankly, everyone in the room clapped, myself included,’ said Rep. Dan Meuser (R-Pa.). ‘It was, of course, what he should have done. I mean, it was the constitutional thing to do.’ Pence’s ceremonial role presiding over the joint session of Congress on Jan. 6 to certify the Electoral College count from the 2020 election cemented President Biden’s win.”
“House Dems Move To Protect Contraception From Supreme Court” [Associated Press]. “The right to use contraceptives would be inscribed into law under a measure Democrats are pushing through the House, their latest campaign-season response to worries that a conservative Supreme Court that’s erased federal abortion rights could go further. The House planned to vote Thursday on the legislation and send it to the Senate, where its fate seemed uncertain.” • Gay marriage to be codified, contraception to be codified, abortion remains uncodified. Odd!
Biden’s physician, July 21, 2022:
Per President Biden's White House physician:
Mild symptoms: runny nose, fatigue and a dry cough that started yesterday. pic.twitter.com/fYoGnbX871
— Natasha Korecki (@natashakorecki) July 21, 2022
Mild, of course.
“Oh, No, Oh, No… I Love This Meme.” [Andrei Martyanov, Reminiscence of the Future…]. “Those creeps in DNC do not even understand that apart from abusing a truly mentally disabled man, however despicable Joe Biden and his clan are, they continue to humiliate the country. Leonid Brezhnev in his late years was an example of a coherent speech and mental clarity compared to Joe. It is a national shame and for any person who didn’t lose the remnants of his or her humanity and decency (District of Columbia doesn’t count–none to be found there) it is also painful to watch without cringing.”
Pelosi disses Biden on Taiwan:
Pelosi on Biden's remarks about her potential trip to Taiwan:
"I think what the president was saying was maybe the military was afraid our plane would get shot down or something, I don't know exactly."
She adds she hasn't seen his comments or heard directly from him on this
— Heather Caygle (@heatherscope) July 21, 2022
“Federal investigation of Hunter Biden reaches critical juncture, sources say” [CNN]. “The federal investigation into Hunter Biden’s business activities is nearing a critical juncture as investigators weigh possible charges and prosecutors confront Justice Department guidelines to generally avoid bringing politically sensitive cases close to an election, according to people briefed on the matter. While no final decision has been made on whether to bring charges against President Joe Biden’s son, sources say the probe has intensified in recent months along with discussions among Delaware-based prosecutors, investigators running the probe and officials at Justice Department headquarters. Discussions recently have centered around possibly bringing charges that could include alleged tax violations and making a false statement in connection with Biden’s purchase of a firearm at a time he would have been prohibited from doing so because of his acknowledged struggles with drug addiction.” • That’s it?
“Sanders Files Amendment to Limit $76 Billion in ‘Corporate Welfare’ for Microchip Industry” [Common Dreams]. “Sen. Bernie Sanders on Tuesday introduced an amendment that would impose restrictions on the billions of dollars in federal subsidies and tax credits that Congress is poised to hand to the profitable U.S. microchip industry, which has been lobbying aggressively for the handouts. Sanders’ proposed changes to the CHIPS Act, which cleared a key procedural hurdle in the Senate Tuesday evening, would prohibit companies that receive subsidies under the bill from using the funds to buy back their own stock, offshore U.S. jobs, or crack down on unionization efforts. The senator argues that no-strings-attached giveaways to the microchip industry would amount to “corporate welfare.” … The latest version of the CHIPS Act, which now clocks in at 1,054 pages of legislative text, comes with an overall price tag of around $250 billion, tens of billions of which would be used to subsidize U.S. semiconductor manufacturing. Fresh tax language included in the bill increased the benefits to the microchip industry from around $52 billion to $76 billion.”
* * *
“Democrats spend millions on Republican primaries” [Open Secrets]. “Political groups and nonprofits aligned with the Democratic Party have spent nearly $44 million on advertising campaigns across five states’ Republican primaries to boost the profile of far-right candidates in California, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Illinois and Maryland. Democrats strategy is rooted in the belief that these candidates — many of whom spread unfounded claims that the 2020 presidential race was stolen from former President Donald Trump — will be easier to defeat in a general election. Democratic spending has helped secure Republican nominations for candidates in Illinois and Pennsylvania. In Maryland, Democrats are spending on a Republican gubernatorial primary that is still ongoing and is viewed as a tossup. But in California and Colorado, Democrats spent money elevating the profile of candidates who did not advance to the general election.” • It’s as if the Social Democrats were spending money on the Nazis. Amazing to see the Democrats doubling down on the Pied Piper strategy after it failed catastrophically in 2016. Perhaps they think their current candidates are a lot better than Clinton? Trust me, they’re not — at least not the candidates the brain geniuses at DNC are funding. Granted $44 million isn’t all that much, but it’s not nothing, especially in a primary.
“Seven endorsements that will test Trump’s influence” [The Hill]. “Trump’s endorsement has seen mixed results so far, though most of the major candidates he supported have won their races. Still, the former president’s endorsed candidates are facing some contentious final GOP primary battles. Here are seven Trump-endorsed candidates to watch as the primary season comes to a close.” • Blake Masters (AZ US Senate), Kari Lake (AZ Governor), Mark Finchem (AZ Secretary of State), David Farnsworth (AZ House), Kelly Tshibaka (AK US Senate), Sarah Palin (AK US House), and Harriet Hageman (WY US House).
PA: Shot, chaser:
I can’t stop laughing I’m going to hurt myself pic.twitter.com/1j56dr5JCj
— Laura Bassett (@LEBassett) July 20, 2022
Oh we have only just begun to find the weird, old Oz tweets. https://t.co/vkjC6MYKsU
— Lee 🖖 Carter (@carterforva) July 20, 2022
“Column: Why you shouldn’t underestimate Kamala Harris in all the speculation about a post-Biden 2024” [Los Angeles Times]. “The office of vice president might shrink its occupants in the public eye. But behind the scenes it offers a formidable platform to build a national campaign. (In recent decades, Biden, Al Gore, George H.W. Bush and Walter Mondale held the office before winning their party’s nomination.)…. Harris, who publicly shuns overt political activity, has nevertheless made moves that could serve her well, speaking at a major Democratic Party dinner in early-voting South Carolina and, as the administration point person on abortion rights, meeting state lawmakers and Democrats across the country…. It also helps a great deal that Harris is a pioneering Black woman in a party whose most loyal constituents are Black voters. Their support for Harris remains strong. In a Fox News poll released last month, the vice president’s overall approval rating was 41%. Among Black respondents, it was 73%.” Great. From the constituency that gave us Obama, Clinton, and Biden. And: “Today’s head-to-head polls are meaningless. In the fight to succeed Biden, his vice president remains the one to beat.” • Which says a lot, but not in the way the authors think.
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!). ; if the Democrat Party did not exist, the PMC would have to invent it. . (“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.
* * *
“Ocasio-Cortez pushes back on claims she ‘faked’ being handcuffed during arrest” [The Hill]. “‘Politics has become performative art,’ Rep. Nancy Mace (R-S.C.) tweeted on Wednesday. ‘So of course @aoc fakes being in handcuffs. Performance, not policy, is the name of the game up here.’ ‘No faking here,’ Ocasio-Cortez responded on Twitter a few minutes later. ‘Putting your hands behind your back is a best practice while detained, handcuffed or not, to avoid escalating charges like resisting arrest.'” • If you’re explaining, you’re losing. Anyhow, AOC is probably right, even if the question arises: What’s wrong with resisting arrrest? All in all, though, I’m irresistably reminded of the Democrat tendency toward auto-kinbaku-bi.
I shouldn’t run this and I apologize in advance for offense that will surely be given. Nevertheless:
As an autistic person with ADHD and sensory processing issues, I know what it’s like to not be able to read the room, understand what’s going on, or prioritize important tasks. That’s why this Disability Pride Month, I’m partnering with Congressional Democratic leadership
— ALJ Dredd (@UnionSaltBae) July 20, 2022
(A terrible category error, of course; parties are not persons, just as governments are not households. Nevertheless….)
This, however, should be entirely inoffensive:
You still think the Democratic Party can be reformed or taken over from inside? It can’t. Mission: Impossible.
— Turncoat Don (@TurncoatD) July 20, 2022
I love the credits at the end: “Written by Robert Reich / Directed by David Axelrod.”
Realignment and Legitimacy
If “fatal,” what then?
Truly remarkable numbers. In just under two years public approval of the US Supreme Court has fallen from 66% to 38%. Simply unprecedented in rapidity. This is what fatal loss of institutional legitimacy looks like. https://t.co/HJU0x0GtPp pic.twitter.com/PHWh8aw0k0
— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) July 20, 2022
“Grieving in a Pandemic” [New England Journal of Medicine]. “Suffering my own loss helped me to understand how much of grief is about losing our idea of the future. The woman whose parents were both hospitalized in the days before my sister and nephew died — she eventually lost both parents, days apart — feared the pain she would experience if the people she loved died. Perhaps she even feared that her life would no longer be livable. I had that fear, too. But we go on. A good friend who has been through loss put it this way: ‘My life will always be a little more bitter, a little bit tainted, a little less full.…But I do find happiness and joy and beauty.…With time they have returned.'” • I have been very lucky throughout the pandemic and have lost nobody close to me. My “idea of the fiuture” did, however, include a United States that could undertake challenging projects in the public interest, instead of giving up. That future seems to be gone.
“SARS-CoV-2 oral tablet vaccination induces neutralizing mucosal IgA in a phase 1 open label trial” (preprint) [medRxiv]. Methods: “We conducted a single-site, dose-ranging, open-label clinical trial of an oral SARS-CoV2 vaccine to determine safety and immunogenicity. This tablet vaccine is comprised of a non-replicating adenoviral vector expressing the SARS-CoV-2 Spike and Nucleocapsid genes and a double-stranded RNA adjuvant. 35 adult subjects meeting inclusion/exclusion criteria received a single low (1×1010 IU) or high (5×1010 IU) dose and 5 subjects received two low doses. Nasal, saliva and serum samples were assessed for the presence of IgA, IgG and surrogate neutralizing antibodies. Convalescent subjects between 1-8 months post infection were recruited to give nasal, saliva, and serum samples for comparison.” Results: “The vaccine was well tolerated without any dose-limiting toxicity observed. No serum neutralizing antibodies were observed, but modest IgA responses were seen in serum post immunization. The majority of vaccine recipients had an increase in mucosal secretory IgA which was highly cross-reactive against all coronaviruses tested and persisted up to 360 days. Furthermore, the nasal IgA induced by vaccination has superior neutralizing activity compared to convalescent nasal samples.” • Interesting.
Maskstravaganza: “Can You Reuse a KN95 or N95 Mask? Experts Say Yes, but Follow These Steps” [Smithsonian]. “Virus particles trapped in the respirator will die off over the course of hours to days, so experts recommend letting an N95 or KN95 mask hang out in a cool, dry place for a day or two between outings. A simple method for implementing this resting period between uses is to put your mask in a brown paper bag for 24 to 48 hours before using it again. ‘The concern about wearing a mask in public, obviously, if you get particles on it, perhaps even the virus, but if you store it in a dry bag, you are essentially sanitizing again over a period of time,’ says Joe Gastaldo, an infectious disease expert at OhioHealth, to the Miami Herald’s Bailey Aldridge. Sabrina Assoumou, an infectious disease physician at Boston Medical Center, recommends having multiple masks in a rotation, so each mask can have a sanitation break between uses. Individuals can then label the bags accordingly to keep track of each mask.” • Just don’t use the same brown bags for tomatos.
Hey, I wonder what the Monkeypox case counts are? How’s the testing going? The vaccinations?
I predict the monkeypox breakout is going to be very ugly when it "suddenly" explodes into the general population when kids go back to school in August and September. It’s going to spread like wildfire from pre-k to college campuses. It’s going to be awful.
— AshleyStevens (@The_Acumen) July 21, 2022
Meanwhile, WHO has been working on a new name for monkeypox for five weeks now. How’s it going?
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.
Lambert here: The 91-Divoc chart’s case count legend reads “updated 07/21/2022.” The last “new confirmed cases” datapoint is 2020-07-18, count 129,243. Going to the source data from Johns Hopkins, the count of the latest, though undated, datapoint is 129,243. From which I deduce that the Johns Hopkins feed has stalled, for whatever reason. Watching all these data sources slowly decay from steady illumination to blinking, or winking out entirely, reminds me of a horror film. Or Philip K. Dick’s Ubik.
NOT UPDATED 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 ~135,400. Today, it’s ~125,900 and 135,400 * 6 = a Biden line at 755,400 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.
NOT UPDATED Regional case count for four weeks:
Now the South and West.
NOT UPDATED The South:
Florida and Texas, still neck and neck.
NOT UPDATED The West:
So, the national drop resolves to California.
• “With Tulsa’s COVID risk upgraded and cases rising, local ER leaders push precautions, vaccination” [Tulsa World]. “Tulsa County’s COVID-19 risk has been upgraded from the lowest to the highest level in recent weeks as cases have continued to rise across the state since the summer holidays began. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tracks community-level risk to help get public health recommendations to residents based on the most recently available local data.” That is absolutely not what CDC’s “community levels” do. More: “Most of those who spoke Friday offered similar guidance for anyone concerned about becoming infected: Go back to early-pandemic precautions, including social distance, masking, hand-washing and monitoring symptoms.” • Hand-washing. And no recommendations on poorly ventilated spaces. We’ve learned nothing.
1.1%. Up. (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.
Status quo, i.e. it’s a totally 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 19:
California worrse, Texas and Louisiana somewhat better, Illinois better, upstate New York worse.
Previous Rapid Riser data:
NOT UPDATED Hospitalization data, by state (CDC), July 19:
Lots of yellow. 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), July 2:
BA.5 moving along nicely.
Wastewater data (CDC), Jul 17:
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):
1,049,683 1,049,274. 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.
Employment Situation: “United States Initial Jobless Claims” [Trading Economics]. “The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits jumped by 9 thousand to 251,000 the week that ended July 16th, the highest since November 2021 and well above market expectations of 240,000, pointing a cooler labor market.”
Manufacturing: “United States Philadelphia Fed Manufacturing Index” [Trading Economics]. “The Philadelphia Fed Manufacturing Index in the US decreased for the fourth consecutive month to -12.3 in July of 2022, the lowest since May 2020 and well below forecasts pointing to a flat reading. The survey’s indicators for current general activity and new orders moved further into negative territory. The shipments index was positive and rose slightly, while the indexes for inventories and unfilled orders were negative. The employment indicators declined but remained positive. Both price indexes fell but remain elevated. The future indicators suggest that firms expect overall declines in activity and new orders but increases in shipments and employment over the next six months.”
Tech: “Minecraft and NFTs” [Minecraft]. “NFTs, however, can create models of scarcity and exclusion that conflict with our Guidelines and the spirit of Minecraft. To ensure that Minecraft players have a safe and inclusive experience, blockchain technologies are not permitted to be integrated inside our client and server applications, nor may Minecraft in-game content such as worlds, skins, persona items, or other mods, be utilized by blockchain technology to create a scarce digital asset. Our reasons follow. Some companies have recently launched NFT implementations that are associated with Minecraft world files and skin packs. Other examples of how NFTs and blockchain could be utilized with Minecraft include creating Minecraft collectible NFTs, allowing players to earn NFTs through activities performed on a server, or earning Minecraft NFT rewards for activities outside the game. Each of these uses of NFTs and other blockchain technologies creates digital ownership based on scarcity and exclusion, which does not align with Minecraft values of creative inclusion and playing together. NFTs are not inclusive of all our community and create a scenario of the haves and the have-nots. The speculative pricing and investment mentality around NFTs takes the focus away from playing the game and encourages profiteering, which we think is inconsistent with the long-term joy and success of our players.”
Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 41 Fear (previous close: 33 Fear) [CNN]. One week ago: 23 (Extreme Fear). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Jul 21 at 1:47 PM EDT.
Abandoned America isn’t so much ruin pr0n as ruin erotica:
— Abandoned America / Matthew Christopher (@abandonedameric) July 21, 2022
“The New Numbers on Music Consumption Are Very Ugly” [The Honest Broker]. “It seems impossible—after all, billions of dollars are spent every year by entertainment corporations in their quest for market dominance. Yet, despite this constant spending spree, almost every week brings a new sign of cultural stagnation. The latest news comes today from market research outfit Luminate, who tell us that the share of new music continues to shrink in the face of competition from old songs. I wrote about this a few months ago, and the numbers were already ugly back then. But they have gotten worse. The latest report shows that the consumption of old music grew another 14% during the first half of 2022, while demand for new music declined an additional 1.4%. These old tunes now represent a staggering 72% of the market.”
Our Famously Free Press
Defense of free speech:
“Hi New York Times, my boss fired me for free speech.”
“Hmm, very concerning! We’ll get you a column. Was this speech pro-race science? Being a terf? Pro-apartheid?”
“No I said we should have a union.”
[dial tone] https://t.co/Al3ppqEHME
— Tristan Schweiger (@tjschweiger) July 20, 2022
“Notes on Our Tasteless Era” [Culture: An Owner’s Manual]. “Kissick calls NFTs the “most tasteless aesthetic phenomenon in history” — but NFT culture is tasteless in a different way than camp tackiness. There is another reliable way to produce tasteless things besides the intentional negation of good taste: Creators can also lack knowledge about what constitutes good taste. Kissick writes, “I don’t think the artists behind the most popular PFP series have much interest in aesthetic judgments of any sort” — there is no knowing tackiness, just “listless, enervated garishness, and saccharine vacancy.” NFTs are tasteless because they are ersatz art.” The NFTs I have seen have been uniformly ugly and stupid; I’m glad to see I am not alone in my opinion. More: ” To put a slightly more optimistic spin on the future: Tastelessness will quickly invite its own tasteful backlash. And perhaps this is the moment we’ll figure out how to revitalize and rehabilitate the notion of taste to work for us in the internet era.” • Could be!
“The Haves and the Have-Yachts” [The New Yorker]. “On the docks, brokers parse the crowd according to a taxonomy of potential. Guests asking for tours face a gantlet of greeters, trained to distinguish ‘superrich clients’ from ‘ineligible visitors,’ in the words of Emma Spence, a former greeter at the Palm Beach show. Spence looked for promising clues (the right shoes, jewelry, pets) as well as for red flags (cameras, ornate business cards, clothes with pop-culture references). For greeters from elsewhere, Palm Beach is a challenging assignment. Unlike in Europe, where money can still produce some visible tells—Hunter Wellies, a Barbour jacket—the habits of wealth in Florida offer little that’s reliable. One colleague resorted to binoculars, to spot a passerby with a hundred-thousand-dollar watch. According to Spence, people judged to have insufficient buying power are quietly marked for ‘dissuasion.’ For the uninitiated, a pleasure boat the length of a football field can be bewildering.”
News of the Wired
Unwired once more!
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The life cycle of the blackberry:
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