2:00PM Water Cooler 8/15/2022

By Lambert Strether of Corrente

Patient readers, I am finishing up the dissection of yet another CDC debacle, this time on Monkeypox, so this Water Cooler will be an open thread. Talk amongst yourselves! –lambert

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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 EMM:

EMM writes: “This one is self-explanatory.” What’s that at the bottom? A lawn?

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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. Carla

    Now, Lambert. In limited areas, lawns have their uses. Our small one is filled with clover, plantain, ajuga and other “weeds” — all valuable pollinators. We only whack it back every two or three weeks. We set up folding chairs and hold “meet ‘n greets” for local candidates on our front lawn, so it’s a community builder. Hard to hold a “meet ‘n greet” in a flower bed or vegetable plot. Outdoor meetings have become de rigueur during the pandemic. Besides, other neighbors see a gathering, get curious and join us!

      1. Lunker Walleye

        The one year-old up the street gave me the Flower Sermon today as she pointed to a perfect large lavender hibiscus blossom and smiled.

    1. FreeMarketApologist

      Agreed. The kids have got to run around outside somewhere, and kids and dogs trampling the vegetable patch only makes mommy’s blood pressure unacceptably high. Is it a ‘lawn’ if it’s a half-size soccer/ baseball/ football field?

      1. Synoia

        My Definition: A heathy lawn ia one maintained by Goats (Or some other herbivore) and not by any poward mechanical instrument.

        Scythes and Cycles are allowed.

            1. thousand points of green

              Ahh . I like hand push mowers better for cutting a set area of grass to a set length.

    2. wol

      I have moss that looks a lot like that. Don’t encourage moss on the ground unless you love weeding.

    3. Samuel Conner

      I wonder whether “edible lawn” could become a thing. Dandelions are nutritious. Perennial Chamomile is used as a ground cover/lawn plant in some places. There may be varieties of herb Thyme that don’t get objectionably (from the neighbors’ perspective) high.

      There must be others; I welcome suggestions.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        > I wonder whether “edible lawn” could become a thing.

        Brilliant! (I’m tempted to say, “Yes, we call it a garden,” but I don’t think so. To me, a lawn is flat, and meant to be walked on, at least with paths. I don’t think one would play badminton on a bed of chamomile, however.

        1. thoughtful person

          Much of our lawn has been taken over by Violets, which we encourage. They are anti-viral and can be eaten in salads. Very pretty in spring.

          1. wilroncanada

            We still have a couple of walk-on patches of green, just a fraction of what was formerly lawn 12 years ago. The only weed we work to get rid of is buttercup. But we do practice non-violets.

        2. Samuel Conner

          Chamomile is not tough enough to tread on, I think, but it might make a very nice ground cover around paths marked by stepping stones. I started a modest amount of this, a few dozen plants (the seed is like dust; could have started hundreds/thousands had space and time permitted), and the single tray of plants remaining after distribution has a wonderful smell. No blossoms so far, but the foliage itself smells surprisingly strongly like chamomile tea. A mass planting of this would be wonderful to just stand next to and inhale. The plants are about 4-6″ high and sprawl in all directions. I think they would cover reasonably well if planted on 6-8″ centers.

          1. Samuel Conner

            to be clear — “Roman/English Chamomile.” German Chamomile is much taller, and is annual, though I think one could get 2 or 3 “crops” a year from self-seeding. But I think it’s too tall to be a “lawn” plant.

        3. Paddy Hickey

          What was known as Cabbagetown in Toronto, Canada was the Irish ghetto where the refugees from the 1845-1850 potato famine settled. I am sure they grew both potatoes and cabbage in both the front and back yards. My response to Russia’s expected response to the West’s long propaganda campaign against Russia is to stock a 90 day supply of bread flour, yeast and powdered milk. There is very little intelligence being displayed by both the US and EU gov’ts with Germany in particular being severely delusional.

      2. HotFlash

        Mr Connor, suggestions coming right up! Edibles suitable for lawns, yards, and such include dandelion (greens, flowers, root), lambs’ quarters (chernopodium), nasturtium — the leaves taste like a peppery-er watercress and the flowers look great in salads as well as flowerbeds, calendula, day lilies (hemerocallis; you greens, buds, flowers, root), chameleon plant; walkables include chickweed, plantain, purslane, pineappleweed, and camomille; standard ornamentals that are edible include amaranth, sedum — all succulents are edible (not all tasty but none poisonous) although cacti such as opuntia are a lot of trouble to clean, milkweed, quince, service berry, kousa dogwood, American beautyberry, pyrocanthus, hostas, and bishop’s weed. All shelf fungi are edible (not all palatable, but none poisonous), so are redbud flowers, juniper berries, garlic mustard, and ostrich fern. Red leaf lettuce and other leafies can be planted discretely as ornamentals, as can scarlet runner beans. Oh, I forgot Rose of Sharon.

        For more info on city-friendly edibles, including what parts to eat and how to prepare them, I heartily recommend Backyard Foraging by Ellen Zachos (Storey Publishing).

        1. Stephen V

          This is all great! Started replacing my lawn with clover rye and whatever volunteers (Chicory!) inspired by a WC post a year ago.
          I LOVE THOSE NASTURTIUMS! They cover the coastal canyons in the Spring in San Diego. Can’t get them to grow here in flyover to save my life..

    4. Arcadia Mommy

      They also really cool things off, valuable in phoenix. Lawn and shade allows the kids to go outside and play in the pool during the hot part of the day.

      1. thousand points of green

        In a water-short place like Phoenix, is there a less water-intensive way to do that than the eastern and midwestern style lawn?

        Perhaps more dry tolerant grasses like perhaps buffalo grass? Perhaps mesquite trees for some shade?

        When the water runs out, the question will be forced.

        1. HotFlash

          Well, there’s Jake Mace, formerly The Vegan Athlete. As far as I can tell, he’s still vegan and an athlete, but there was a divorce and he lost the Tempe food forest he created, ditched the channel, and went a-WOOFing with his new lady, and then there was Covid. So, much continuity was lost. However, I submit this Mix from Jake. Current videos are kinda hard to figure out, looks like there are two streams now, Jake and Pamela? I am sure good info on both. Back in my day, the fights were over the chihuahua, now it’s over the youtube. Sigh, young people nowadays.

          Anyway, Jake (and maybe Pamela) grew/are growing amazing stuff in Tempe using falling-out-of-the-sky water. I could not locate the video where Jake, with much help from his martial arts students, build the underground water retaining pond and configure the garden, but if you are enthused, know that it is Out There Somewhere.

        2. Arcadia Mommy

          Buffalo grass? Um no. Totally invasive, messy, have sharp edges and are a fire hazard. Bermuda grass in the summer with careful irrigation, rye in the winter.

          Or keep the kids inside all summer.

          We have two big Torrey pines and seven citrus trees in the backyard that also give shade. The Torrey pines overshadow the mesquite trees. But the kids love climbing on the mesquites but they are getting a little old for that.

  2. Louis Fyne

    for whatever reason, I never planted zinnias. Planted them this year….wow, how can I have never planted them before? the monarch butterflies love zinnias more than anything else in the yard.

    If you’ve ignored zinnias, give them a chance!

    1. skk

      I grew them from seed under lights until they were 2 inches tall, then planted them outdoors in April in Socal. They and 4 other flower varieties shriveled and died. Wonder why ? Luckily, the seeds I REALLY needed the lights for, 50% survived the outdoor move, and have done well.

      1. Samuel Conner

        Direct planting in sunny conditions can be very stressful for indoor-started seedlings. It may be better to leave the plants in their starting trays while you acclimate them to outdoor conditions.

        My first attempt at a mass planting, half a decade ago, was frustrated/delayed by months because hundreds of indoor starts did not survive the transition outdoors, in spite of attempts to use existing shade for the “hardening off” process. I lost about 200 plants (six 36-cell trays of Salvia splendens) twice, and ~3 months total time, before I caved and purchased shade cloth, which has reduced my “hardening off” wastage to low levels.

        It’s not cheap given what it is, especially if you want a large piece, but it’s durable (my 2017 cloth has survived 5 years and does not appear to be significantly degraded by the UV exposure) and the time and effort it saves over multiple growing seasons may return the investment many times over.

        If you are trying to protect only a few trays at a time, a piece smaller than 10’x10′ would be sufficient and could be had for mid to low $$. Here’s an example:


        This is just a single example from a single seller. There is a wide range of “% shade” and piece sizes available. I like to use a lower % shade and fold the cloth over itself to get a denser shade level if that is needed. You can combine this with natural shade in the environment to control the # hours and intensity of direct sunlight and gradually acclimate your starts to the harsher conditions out of doors.

        This delays the goal of setting plants in soil by several days or a week or more, but can lead to much better results in terms of plant survival.

        1. skk

          Aha, leaving them in their starter trays for a little while! Okkk I’ll try that this next Jan.i have bought shade cloth now, so that’s the other thing I’ll do. It was out of stock last April!

  3. none

    I just saw something on “Power Lunch” about backlash against the ESG movement, and “anti-ESG” funds now being a thing. Idk if that’s good or bad, but either way it is interesting.

    1. griffen

      I’d call it a down with your high & haughty platitudes, primarily directed towards Mr. Fink of Blackrock. Early days yet. Seems like the set of opportunities to pursue either avenue, if one so chooses, could balance off one another. The death knell for energy and oil industry has been sounded before.

      As another aside, after all, are the jet set planning to stop traveling via Wheels Up or similar? I think not. Davos Man has a busy schedule after all. Worlds to conquer and poor proles which Davos Man persists to inflict pain and suffering. Healthcare. Ha. You’ll get access and like it.

  4. Michael Ismoe

    I’m still waiting for one Democrat to tell me a reason to vote for them without using the word “Trump”.

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      Save some tattered remnants of the Administrative State against the day when we get a better political party willing to really use it. Buy 4 more years of semi-peace to use for more community organizing and community culture building.

    2. griffen

      Thanks to our fearless leader and efforts to fight for you, we’ve kept inflation at historic levels. See, we got the inflation to show a “Zero!” for one whole month in July!

      Questions about supply and demand can be submitted to our inbox. Much like our founding fathers, we must find respite away from the heat of summer.

    3. Mildred Montana

      The last Democrat anyone REALLY wanted to vote for was Obama. That was 2008. He fooled many, he fooled me, although in my defense I was always somewhat suspicious of him. Turned out he was a shyster. The 2010 midterms pulled his pants down and showed that the American people recognized him for what he was, a glib fraud.

      His circle of hell is knowing (I hope) that he has let loose the dogs of Trump. He thought he could lie with impunity. He was wrong. Hillary paid the price in 2016. Dems will pay the price in 2022 and 2024.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        The only hell he would experience is if he were to lose all the money he has made. As long as he has all the beautiful money and is friends with all the beautiful people and is still welcome on the Rich side ( the White side) of Martha’s Vineyard where he owns a big beautiful house, he will just keep laughing all the way to the bank about those dogs of Trump.

        The dogs of Trump aren’t a threat to Obama’s beautiful beautiful money.

        Now, if millions of Bitter Berners could humiliate him in public every time he shows up there about how he was “never” a progressive, that might give him a little heartburn. Wasn’t there some video of a famous Black progressive professor whose name escapes my aging brain . . . saying Obama was never progressive? ( Not Adolph Reed, a more famous telegenic one . . . who went to Princeton and did a political rap song and stuff). And Obama got pissy. So run video of that on big screens wherever and whenever Obama shows up anywhere. Maybe the small yappy dogs of Sanders can get on Obama’s nerves.

        1. Carla

          Cornel West is who I’m thinking of. When you say “famous telegenic” though I think of Henry Louis Gates, Jr. I’m sure Cornel West would say every day of the week that Obama was never progressive. It would surprise me if Henry Louis Gates said it, but maybe he did…

  5. jr

    re: I Don’t Even Know Where to Begin

    Are We Becoming Gods?




    Genetic modification to live forever. Digital immortality. All knowing because….the Internet and Big Data. Technology as the quintessence of purity as opposed to messy humanity. Redesigning the global ecosystem to alleviate suffering. Engineered Paradises. Human managed evolution. What could go wrong?

    No historical perspective, in that such developments will never be fairly distributed if all of human history has anything to say about it. Who decides what Paradise looks like? What organisms get to live and which get to die? Some techno-crat in his gleaming tower? It’s just narcissism married to anthropocentricism. Bozo post-humanist materialist pornography. No grasp of what the idea of God really entails. The lecturer points out, essentially, that all of this is just spiritual longing dressed up in silicone and metal.

    1. hunkerdown

      They aren’t materialists. Real materialists let the material world dictate the ideal. The managerialists are idealists of the highest order, and their ideal is C.B. MacPherson’s possessive individualism.

      1. jr

        Sorry, they aren’t remotely idealists, not in the ontological sense at least, not in the tradition of Kant, Schopenhauer, and now Kastrup.

      2. Daniil Adamov

        So real materialists just do nothing? The material world is already dictating all of our ideals, as far as can be scientifically determined anyway.

    2. Will

      I wonder if this is related/funded by “longtermists”, who happen to be utilitarian, so not concerned with distribution but very interested with such things as achieving the “full potential” of humanity via transhumanist projects.


      Elon Musk is reportedly a strong believer and funder of longtermism, which perhaps helps explain his fixation on things like colonizing Mars and neurolink technology.

      This movement is closely aligned with Effective Altruism, which is the subject of this article in yesterday’s Links. Effective Altruism gets a lot of money from crypto bros.


      1. jr

        Seems likely, although I think with Musk it’s long-con-ism as much as long-termism. They are all narcissistic lunatics. Their devotees are deluded f00ls.

    3. flora

      Search on utube for ” Jaron Lanier “. Watch any video that interests you. He was in at the beginning and is alarmed by the dystopian directions it’s taking.

      1. flora

        adding: his videos from 3-4 years ago are most relevant, imo. His newest sound like strained apologetics for what the big techs have become, ignoring much of what the big techs are doing. my 2 cents.

        1. jr

          Thanks, I’ve bumped into him before. I do like what he says about social media. I’m curious as to his current take on the nature of consciousness. I watched a bit of a talk and he seems a lot less confused than the interviewer.

  6. Jonathan King

    Am curious about the reaction of those convinced that Bucha was a Ukrainian propaganda operation to Masha Gessen’s piece about it in a recent New Yorker https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2022/08/08/the-prosecution-of-russian-war-crimes-in-ukraine.

    The certainty of some that it didn’t happen as Ukrainian and Western media reported was an early indication to me (an avid reader/lurker for the past year) that some peeps here, so rational and clear-sighted on so many crucial issues, are for their own purposes accepting of the obvious brutality of the Russian military … if not willfully blind to it. Too eager, it has seemed to me, to play the Whataboutism card if a Russian war crime can somehow be read to make Ukraine look worse than it already does. Genuinely hoping to learn from your responses, though I’ll look askance at any ad hominem attacks on Gessen’s longtime, principled anti-Putinism, so richly warranted on any number of counts unrelated to his geopolitical views. (Also hoping this non-troll doesn’t qualify for one of Yves’ weary “I hate having to spend time on this” corrections!)

    1. Yves Smith

      Scott Ritter went through this at length. He’s seen lots of dead bodies in war zones. I’m not reading Gessen, I’m not about to raise my blood pressure.

      You can watch the short version here:


      Longer version here: https://scheerpost.com/2022/04/14/scott-ritter-twitter-wars-my-personal-experience-in-twitters-ongoing-assault-on-free-speech/

      The timelines are completely bogus.

      Remember Russia has left cell phone and internet service on all over Ukraine. So everyone can take pictures and send e-mails and leave social media messages.

      Russia leaves March 30.

      Mayor confirms Russians gone March 31. Says things OK.

      On April 1, there are two separate announcements for people to stay in their homes.

      Late April 1, suddenly images of clearly fresh bodies (all sorts of tells) and outrage.

      Also many bodies had fresh white armbands (citizens friendly to Russia or neutral often wore white arm or leg bands) and/or Russian food packs (Russians were trading them to get fresh food like eggs and cheese).

      We are to believe that Bucha was full of dead bodies that were left undisturbed (major disrespect to the dead) and still looked nice and clean and no one made a single phone call, e-mailed or posted on social media an image of the dead bodies for nearly 72 hours?

      And why would Russia kill people as they were leaving? That makes zero sense. While it makes total sense for Ukraine to kill collaborators.

  7. Starry Gordon

    Well, as for the Flower Sermon, the Buddha held up one flower; but the natural world holds up countless multitudes of them, all with the same message.

    1. Bsn

      One of my favorite flowers over the last couple of years is Borage. Beautiful colors, bees are crazy about it and it spreads easily, but is easily extracted of you need to. Flowers taste a bit like cucumber and are beautiful on a salad. Some health benefits from the oil of the leaves a well. Good for a vegetable garden. Inch by inch, row by row……

    2. wol

      Seems like a good place to leave this:

      You carry Mother Earth within you. She is not outside of you. Realize you are the Earth and your consciousness is also the consciousness of the Earth. Not to cut the tree, not to pollute the water, that is not enough. — Thich Nhat Hanh

  8. pjay

    There is a nice shout out to NC and Lambert for his piece on the Marine Corps Gazette article at MoA. Discusses the article and other related issues. Worth checking out.

  9. TomDority

    Just throwing out as what a possible outcome of all these investigations and FBI “raid” breathless and “unprecedented” actions are headed.
    This “unprecedented” claim is all huff as I am reminded of Nixon where “the grand jury was ready to name Richard Nixon as a coconspirator until advised by the special prosecutor that the Constitution would permit him to be named only as “unindicted” coconspirator so long as he held office.” The Grand Jury the use and abuse of political power by Leroy D Clark.
    Also, as a reminder that high crimes and misdemeanors are called “High” because they are committed by high positions in government and not because they need to be super high bars to be met in order to be found guilty. In fact, officials are to be held to a higher standard of conduct because of their positions. So as I heard by some republicans who say that these unprecedented actions need to meet some unprecedented level of proof or propriety is as well poppycock.
    With that in mind, maybe the aim is to create such division in politics and threat of civil war so as Biden – being such a great man of high principals and character–cough cough gag gag — and being run like a marionette by state and the financial interests who pay him for his fidelity to their cause – will pardon the con-man Trump in effort to create some vision of national unity to rally support around neoliberalism and it’s cause to be the real decider and political force – Free for the rentiers market forever.
    How about a bunch of campaign finance reform which now corrupts the constitution and nation down to the very foundations.
    Just seems like another script run through.
    He isn’t really a big time crook unless you must let him alone to prevent the loss of public confidence.
    “A state of war only serves as an excuse for domestic tyranny.” -Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
    “America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.” – Abraham Lincoln

    1. TomDority

      As an add ,, within The Grand Jury the use and abuse of political power by Leroy D Clark.
      a quote from Justice Douglas
      “The story of the Pentagon Papers is a chronicle of suppression of vital decisions to protect the reputations and political hides of men who worked an amazingly successful scheme of deception on the American people. They were successful not because they were astute but because the press had become a frieghtened, regimented, submissive instrument, fattening on favors from those in power and forgetting the great tradition of reporting. To Allow the press further to be cowed by grand jury inquiries and prosecution is to carry the concept of “abridging” the press to frightening proportions”
      The above only needs slight change to fit the different things going on domestically and internationally.
      And the last paragraph of the book –
      “One can only hope that we as a people give up our adolescence (and nostalgic attempts to recapture it) and face the reality of our self deception. Our shock and exhaustion from recent events should turn not to cynicism but to a renewed commitment to demanding high purpose and humanity from those who lead us.”
      I will add that applies to all politicians

    2. Carolinian

      The latest Turley


      He says with the murky precedents surrounding presidential power to declassify there’s no there there at least at the moment. And even if Trump was convicted of such a thing it still wouldn’t bar him from running (not murky).

      And I’ll just add that if the Dems really and surely want to reelect Trump putting him on trial may be the way to do it.

  10. Bsn

    Just reading the the CEO of Pfizer has Covid. Does anyone have some Ivermectin they can share with the poor fellow?

  11. LawnDart

    Memorial Day is coming up quickly, and I think that this article/review should be shared:

    Meet the veterans who chose ‘paths of dissent’

    They sacrificed for their country in Iraq and Afghanistan but these individuals want you to reconsider whether they ever should have.

    “The entire U.S. government, including our military, intelligence, and diplomatic corps, was — and is — full of people who don’t believe in America’s endless wars, don’t believe in our supposed reasons for fighting them, and don’t believe that the sacrifices and costs are worthwhile.”


      1. LawnDart

        In SERE we learned to flick their heads with a fingernail– they’d still wriggle a bit, but at least if not dead they’d be stunned and not crawling anywhere, except maybe in your intestines a few hours later.

        [Edit: grasshoppers are gross, even roasted over a Bic lighter (crunchy, yet squishy, and taste as I’d imagine a cow’s cud would– like grass in a “special sauce” you wouldn’t want to know the details of. Ants haf a pleasant, lemony-flavor, but required too much yime and effort.]

  12. Lex

    I’m not against lawns. They provide a nice contrast to plantings. However, I’m not going to put much effort into them beyond water (where I live there is no need to save water). Keep it long, mixed with plenty of white clover. Gives the dogs a place to run and, again, contrast for the landscape beds. A half gallon of gas per summer and 20ish minutes of mowing every 10 days or so is my lawn input. The bees like the clover, but I always have plenty of things floating before the clover or the dandelions.

  13. Carolinian

    Definitely worth a look.

    A news outlet pulling a report because their own government didn’t like it would be a scandalous breach of journalistic ethics. A news outlet pulling a report because a foreign government didn’t like it is even more so.

    We’ve already seen that the western media will uncritically report literally any claim made by the government of Ukraine in bizarre instances like the recent report that Russia was firing rockets at a nuclear power plant it had already captured, or its regurgitation of claims that Russians are raping babies to death from a Ukrainian official who ended up getting fired for promoting unevidenced claims about rape. Now not only will western media outlets uncritically report any claim the Ukrainian government makes, they will also retract claims of their own when the Ukrainian government tells them to.


  14. Wukchumni

    The Marmot Cong have turned into REMF’s once monsoon season came around and hit & waddle attacks on 4 wheels good are pretty much over for the season, although maybe 20% of jalopies in trailhead parking lots in Mineral King look like car burritos festooned in a festive tarp wrap still. They didn’t get the memo.

    Thanks to the internet and word of modem, the Sawtooth parking lot is always pretty much full along with vehicles parked up and down the road on account of it being the trailhead for the Mineral King Loop, a 4 to 6 day backpack trip.

    It’s a fabulous walk and take a traipse through the gorgeous photos in the link below.

    The first one is in Lost Canyon, a magical spot with a misnomer of a name.


    1. Carolinian

      I’m a map nut and a couple of weeks ago I looked you up on my Open Street Maps computer map (it even shows where mailboxes are). Wkipedia says your skinny road has over 300 curves. Didn’t get around to the satellite imagery but if I see you out with your cats I’ll let you know.

      Surveillance Valley–it’s for everyone these days.

      1. Wukchumni

        There’s actually 698 significant curves on Mineral King road in 25 miles, many of them of the blind variety.

        …i’ve driven it so many times that I feel confident I could pull it off blindfolded

        1. Carolinian

          Well I have been to Sequoia some years back and believe I came in from the north and then departed to the south. Think I would have remembered the 700 curves. Was Disney planning a four lane?

  15. Jason Boxman

    I’m renewing my vehicle (ugh) registration in NC online. It uses a chat bot. That says “awesome”. god help me. What is this world that I live in? Why can’t we just use a web page? Man, these days, I’m impressed when I’m not blasted all day long every day. Will everything be a “chat bot” in 5 years? Ugh.

    And auto insurance companies won’t send you ID cards anymore. You have to insist, and then you get a cheap paper print out, that you can cut out. I do it every time, just to force that cost onto them. Ugh.

  16. chris

    I saw this article in the Guardian about Ms. Griner and found it amazing that it didn’t mention the reason she was originally detained or the charges she plead guilty to.

    This seems like “play a stupid game win a stupid prize” territory. She chose to play in Russia in the off season to supplement her $200k+ WNBA income. She chose to bring vape cartridges with cannabis in them to a foreign country, through the airport no less. She chose to plead guilty. The decision of the Russian court was 9 years. Harsh? Definitely. Unfair? Certainly. Anything we can do about it? Not really. Anything we should do about it? Not really. I fail to see what benefit including her in a prisoner exchange gives the US. I can’t see how this is an identity politics angle that requires DEI gate keepers to be falling all over themselves to write articles about it.

    1. Yves Smith

      No, the sentence is not unfair or harsh. In fact, giving her a break would be unfair.

      Russia is a civil law system. That means rulings are by statute. From Polar Socialist:

      The article 229.1 of Russian Criminal Code says that transporting narcotics* over the border of the Russian Federation is punishable by 5 to 10 years of imprisonment and up to 1 million rubles of fines. In case the amount of narcotics is large, the imprisonment can be from 10 to 20 years.

      And Russia indeed has civil law system, so after she admitted, it’s basically “them’s the rules, here’s your sentence, you may appeal to a higher court. Next!”

      * the Ministry of Justice of Russian Federation keeps an up-to-date list of banned narcotics and psychotropic substances with apparently three thresholds of amount. Cannabis/hash oil has been on the list at least for 10 years.

      Now you could try arguing she should have gotten a sentence on the short end, given her MD’s note, but that bears no role in guilt. I guarantee that a foreigner caught with GHB (a Schedule 1 drug) which is better than any sleeping pill on the market, produced a doctor’s note from back home saying they prescribed it and it was medically necessary because reasons, that would be ignored too.

      The sentence being on the longer end of the recommended range could be due to the quantity, or her producing the MD’s note being taken as an admission that she’d brought this sort of oil into Russia before.

    2. Robert Gray

      > She chose to play in Russia in the off season to supplement her $200k+ WNBA income.

      Can she / did she use the cannabis vapes during the WNBA season? Don’t they have ‘drugs testing’ in professional sports? (Steroids are monitored, aren’t they? Haven’t there been recent scandals in baseball?) Or is there some kind of sliding scale — cannabis is OK but, for example, methamphetamine is not? (Can you imagine some of those basketball players, or pro football players, doing their thing whilst cranked up on speed?!?)

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