2:00PM Water Cooler 11/11/2022

By Lambert Strether of Corrente

Patient readers, the Politics section is not nearly as robust as it could be, but I have matters to attend to, and so will have to provide a heaping offering on Monday. –lambert

Bird Song of the Day

Vinaceous Dove, Gambela Peoples, Ethiopia. “Song from a bird sitting at mid-height in a tall tree in a clearing surrounded by disturbed dry forest.”

* * *


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

“Here’s food for thought, had Ahab time to think; but Ahab never thinks; he only feels, feels, feels” –Herman Melville, Moby Dick

“So many of the social reactions that strike us as psychological are in fact a rational management of symbolic capital.” –Pierre Bourdieu, Classification Struggles

Biden Administration

“Biden touts ‘unprecedented’ U.S. actions at Egypt climate summit” [Politico]. “Those include his signing of the United States’ biggest-ever climate bill, a $100 million contribution to a global climate fund and new efforts announced Friday to reduce planet-warming pollution from the oil and gas industry. And, he noted, he rejoined the 2015 Paris climate agreement that former President Donald Trump had abandoned — “I apologize we ever pulled out of the agreement,” he said. The raft of ambitious climate actions is “going to shift the paradigm for the United States and the entire world,” Biden said. He added: “We’re proving a good climate policy is a good economic policy.” Despite those words, the U.S. has faced continued grumbling throughout this week’s conference about Washington’s stinginess in providing the hundreds of billions of dollars in climate aid that representatives of developing nations are demanding…. Other potential mood spoilers for Biden’s appearance include food and water shortages that have left conference attendees cranky, human rights and privacy violations by the Egyptian government, and fresh scientific evidence that all this climate diplomacy is failing to prevent catastrophic rises in temperatures.” • A hundred million? Really? Biden checking for loose change in the White House couches?


The Senate

The House:

Raining on the parade:

I guess winning the election while losing the popular vote is only bad when Republicans do it. Unsurprisingly.

* * *

NY: “Thursday’s Results Are In: New York Democrats Love to Lose” [Hellgate]. “Just 48 hours after a tense Election Day, it’s becoming clear that New York Democrats bungled both their chances of keeping the U.S. House of Representatives, and their own supermajorities in the state legislature. Democrat Max Rose would have won his challenge against Republican Nicole Malliotakis in Staten Island and South Brooklyn, had state Democrats not fucked up the chances to implement the redistricting maps they drew. Instead, they got greedy and their maps were vulnerable to a lawsuit funded by a Long Island billionaire who didn’t want an offshore wind farm near his property. (‘I just keep thinking of the old adage: Pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered,’ a Democratic strategist told Politico. ‘There was a way to draw those lines to make more Democratic seats and withstand a legal challenge. By overshooting, we’re now going to lose two or three more seats than we need to.’)” • That’s a good adage! Though apparently it doesn’t apply to Long Island squillionaires.

PA: “Big John Fetterman Can Save the Democratic Party — if the Democrats Let Him” (interview) [Rolling Stone]. Oh gawd, the headline. Let the hagiography begin. Can we, just this one time, separate tactics and strategy from the person employing them? Worth a read, because Fetterman has some interesting things to say: “Just this morning, I tweeted about the micro-dosing revolution. Pennsylvania is the mushroom capital of the world, quite literally. We produce more mushrooms than anybody. And we have this other plant, just a plant [marijuana], that could be an enormous boon from a health and welfare [perspective], from an industry [perspective], from all kinds of perspectives. And that’s another thing that we could get out in front of, quite frankly. It’s that libertarian thing where it’s like, “Where do you get off telling me what I am able to do or not do for my own well-being and health when these are things that I can grow in my backyard with tomatoes.” And I think everyone’s finally realizing how truly absurd this view is. And you don’t have to have an R [or a] D after your name to be disgusted by that kind of prohibitionist mindset.” • Well, great for Pennsylvania, but holy moley, I was I know people who were doing pyschedelics before “libertarianism” was even a word.


“Biden’s Lost Marbles” [National Review]. “n the first day of November, President Biden visited the OB Johnson Park and community center in Hallandale Beach, Fla., to deliver remarks on ‘protecting Social Security and Medicare and lowering prescription drug costs,’ as the White House described the event. Unsurprisingly, Biden departed from the main topic, and in the middle of his remarks he executed the rare double-cringer: ‘Inflation is a worldwide problem right now because of a war in Iraq. . . . Excuse me, the war in Ukraine. I’m thinking of Iraq because that’s where my son died.’ This was the second time in a month that the president inaccurately claimed that his son Beau died in Iraq. Beau Biden was deployed in Iraq from October 2008 to October 2009, and in 2013 he had a ‘small lesion’ removed from his brain and was diagnosed with brain cancer. In 2015, Beau Biden passed away from that cancer. President Biden has contended several times, without medical proof, that his son’s brain cancer was caused by burn pits used on military bases in Iraq. As the New York Times’ chief White House correspondent, Peter Baker, gently put it, Biden’s ‘misstatements have become more pronounced, and more noticed, now that he has the spotlight of the presidency constantly on him.'”

Democrats en Déshabillé

Patient readers, it seems that people are actually reading the back-dated post! But I have not updated it, and there are many updates. So I will have to do that. –lambert

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.

* * *

Realignment and Legitimacy

“Increasing prosocial behavior and decreasing selfishness in the lab and everyday life” [Nature]. The Abstract: “The tension between selfishness and prosocial behavior is crucial to understanding many social interactions and conflicts. Currently little is known how to promote prosocial behaviors, especially in naturally occurring relationships outside the laboratory. We examined whether a psychological micro-intervention would promote prosocial behaviors in couples. Across two studies, we randomized dyads of couples to a micro-intervention (15 min), which increased prosocial behaviors by 28% and decreased selfish behaviors by 35% a week later in behavioral games in a dose–response manner.” • Interesting result. I cannot dredge up the link, but I seem to recall that increased “prosocial behavior” was recently recommended by one of the groups doing Covid post-mortems. In any case, I went looking for the micro-intervention. Here it is:

The micro-intervention trained skills previously shown to promote psychological flexibility34. The micro-intervention took on average 15 min. In a first step, participants were instructed to describe struggles and stress they are currently experiencing within their daily life. In a second, they were asked about people, activities, and other things in their lives that are genuinely important to them (i.e., values). Using an experiential metaphorical exercise, participants were asked to experience how their struggles interfered with the things they valued. Then, skills of present moment awareness and acceptance were practiced with the goal of experiencing more flexibility to make room for the things with which they struggle. Thereafter, the relation to their values was once again probed. The overarching goal of the short exercise was to experience that pushing away, avoiding, and struggling with stress makes it more difficult to interact with meaningful individuals and do meaningful activities. The introduced skills aimed to help participants be aware of this, choose whether to use acceptance, and to consciously focus on meaningful people and activities.

This flexibility training was written down including practice instructions within a dairy that was given between T1 and T2. Participants were instructed to practice the exercises once a day. The skills included in the diary were the same as in the exercise and included present moment awareness (via an audio file), thinking about their personal values, acceptance, contemplating how to engage more with their values, as well as reflecting about barriers to implementing valued orientated behavior.

This intervention doesn’t strike me as that “micro.” OTOH, it is something that could easily become part of one’s daily routine. It’s also the very reverse of what one does on social media. It also strikes me that “pro-social” = “increase social capital accumulation” (value neutral, importantly).

Social capital in churches:


Lambert here: I can’t call a winter surge, though we’ll really have to wait for Thanksgiving travel. However, high transmission (CDC), the elevation and continued increase in positivity (Walgreens), and the steady takeover of BQ.1* (CDC; Walgreens) are all a little unsettling (as is the apparent proliferation of variants). Stay safe out there!

* * *

• Speculation on “immune exhaustion”:

Not implausible.

* * *

• The office:

* * *


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.)

Contrast CDC’s infamous “green map” (above). Don’t use it!


From the Walgreen’s test positivity tracker, published November 11:

1.2%. Increase.


Wastewater data (CDC), November 7:

Lambert here: Each dot is a sewershed that you can click for data. Since yesterday we found elevated levels in JFK/LGA’s county, Queens, I looked today at ORD’s county, Cook (one of two counties, actually). Not elevated, which is good news, all the more because Illinois ‘runs hot” compared to most other states.

November 6:


Lambert here: It’s beyond frustrating how slow the variant data is. 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? [grinds teeth, bangs head on desk]. UPDATE Yes. See NC here on Pango. Every Friday, a stately, academic pace utterly incompatible with protecting yourself against a variant exhibiting doubling behavior.

UPDATED Variant data, national (Walgreens), published November 11:

Lambert here: BQ.1* moving along quite briskly.

Lambert here: Moving to the date at bottom left; the date in the notes section is off, just as the date in the positivity chart was off.

UPDATED Variant data, national (CDC), October 22 (Nowcast off):

BQ.1* moving along quite briskly. New York/New Jersey (Region 2) numbers are higher:

UPDATED And as a check, since New York is a BQ.1* hotbed, New York hospitalization continues to increase, updated November 10:

Lambert here: Continued rise.

• Meanwhile:

Even CDC’s infamous “Green Map” (which includes hospitalization as a lagging indicator) says New York City is in trouble….


Death rate (Our World in Data):

Total: 1,099,856 – 1,099,494 = 362 (362 * 365 = 132,130, which is today’s YouGenicist™ number for “living with” Covid (quite a bit higher than the minimizers would like, though they can talk themselves into anything. If the YouGenicist™ metric keeps chugging along like this, I may just have to decide this is what the powers-that-be consider “mission accomplished” for this particular tranche of death and disease).

It’s nice that for deaths I have a 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.

* * *

NOTE: Readers, I am filing the FTX meltdown material under “Guillotine Watch” instead of here, under “The Bezzle,” because that’s obviously where it goes.

Tech: “Inside Elon Musk’s first meeting with Twitter employees” (transcript) [The Verge]. Good scoop for the Verge. One interesting angle:

I think there’s this transformative opportunity in payments. And payments really are just the exchange of information. From an information standpoint, not a huge difference between, say, just sending a direct message and sending a payment. They are basically the same thing. In principle, you can use a direct messaging stack for payments. And so that’s definitely a direction we’re going to go in, enabling people on Twitter to be able to send money anywhere in the world instantly and in real time. We just want to make it as useful as possible.

This would be useful, especially to “creators” (horrid word) like writers, artists, photographers. It would also give PayPal, a ginormous monopoly, a competitor (looking at you, Matt Stoller). I will say Musk has brass ones.

Tech: The Twitter:

Tech: The Twitter:

I don’t love Musk. But the current Twitter dogpile looks to me like our organs of state security + the upper reaches of the PMC in the media being really ticked off they’ve lost control over a major platform and can’t censor their political opponents anymore. (Reckless as usual, they’re ignoring that if they bring Twitter down, they’ll hurt people who use Twitter as the public utility it should be, and evaporate a lot of social capital for dull normals like aerosol scientists, masking communities, and writers.)

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 63 Greed (previous close: 52 Neutral) [CNN]. One week ago: 54 (Neutral). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Nov 10 at 12:36 PM EST.

Guillotine Watch

Readers, I didn’t think I needed to waste a lot of time looking deeply into what SBF was doing, after writing “Mothers, Lock Up Your Sons So They Don’t Practice “Yield Farming” in Crypto” (based on this article by Bloomberg, “Sam Bankman-Fried Described Yield Farming and Left Matt Levine Stunned“). Indeed, it was only a matter of time.

“Sam Bankman-Fried steps down as FTX CEO as his crypto exchange files for bankruptcy” [CNBC]. • “FFS, put him on the next flight to Venezuela!” (For future reference, SBF = Sam Bankman-Fried.)

From the heart of the PMC:

Stoller untangles the scam that is crypto:

SBF’s cuddle puddle:

Big if true, and yes, the FTX org chart I printed in Links this morning was, indeed, obfuscatory:

What a shame, “effective altruism” goes belly-up:

Presumably because effective altruism is a money-laundering/virtue-cleansing scam.

* * *

And here an amusing article from the crypto press, which I never link to, since they’re obviously in the business of roping in the marks:

“From Billionaire to Nearly Homeless: The Tale of 3 Crypto CEOs” [BeInCrypto]. • That’s a damn shame.

The Gallery

Bonnard can draw!

Class Warfare

“Pittsburgh newspaper workers go on strike over unfair labor practice” [Guardian]. “More than 100 workers represented by five labor unions at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette are currently on an unfair labor practice strike, including production, distribution, advertising and accounts receivable staff. The strike initially began after the newspaper’s management, Block Communications owned by the Block family, cut off health insurance for employees on 1 October after refusing to pay an additional $19 a week per employee to maintain the existing coverage. ‘Having health insurance is one of the most important parts of the middle class. It was the final straw for us – we were able to say this was an unfair labor practice and we walked off the job,’ said Kitsy Higgins, an advertising representative who’s been at the Post-Gazette for one year. Higgins said the newspaper’s management had tried to get workers to accept a healthcare plan with a $14,000 deductible that they rejected because it was unaffordable to use.”

News of the Wired

“Reclaiming (Mobile) Privacy with GrapheneOS” [マリウス]. This is extremely nerdy, useful for the sort of person who installs their own OS on their cellphone. Here’s a useful nugget, however: “In addition there’s also a network permission toggle that’s exclusive to GrapheneOS. This toggle shows as a checkbox on the ‘Install app’ popup that appears when a user opens an APK. Unchecking network permissions would prohibit the specific app from directly and indirectly accessing any of the available networks. That’s a handy feature for apps that won’t need network access anyway – e.g. a gallery or a launcher – to make sure they won’t do shady things.” •

Oh noes:

“Mastodon.” So, I have to get at least two names? One with initial caps, the other camel-cased? Or three? If I do, can I alias one account to the other? Like “toot” for “tweet,” who thought this was a good idea?


* * *

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 AM:

AM writes: “October tomatoes.” A nice crop, and a good reminder that you don’t necessarily need to own or rent land to have a garden.” Not a lot of garden photos this year, so far. No reason to hesitate about sending them in before the snow flies!

* * *

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

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

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

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

About Lambert Strether

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


  1. Karla2

    Biden-‘Inflation is a worldwide problem right now because of a war in Iraq.

    No, it’s because you and the other Neoconartists, have subjugated Europeans and Americans to the food, material and energy sanctions that you and the Neocons chose to impose on us for interests that do not benefit the American people.

    “For as long as it takes-to and including the half life of nuclear war radiation winding down to the point where our descendants, if there are any, can crawl out of caves and restore human civilization.”

  2. fresno dan

    Matt Stoller
    The crypto scam was always:
    1) Print fake money.
    2) Use fake money to buy political power.
    3) Use political power to exchange fake money for real money.
    Why do I think that the REAL scam is what has been going on since the banks and martgage companies got bailed out?

    1. Mikel

      The financial sector is doubling down on scams and telling people it’s “innovation.”
      Meanwhile, any real innovation is soon crapified by the same economic system.

    2. britzklieg

      Bankman-Fried was a darling of the Democrats, their second largest donor (40 million) after Soros.


      “…potentially awkward for Democrats, who have drawn huge donations from crypto figures while taking tentative steps toward regulating the space this year. Bankman-Fried was a major donor to President Joe Biden in the 2020 election and is the primary donor to the Protect Our Future PAC, the political action committee which endorsed Democratic candidates such as Peter Welch, who this week won his bid to become Vermont’s next senator, and Robert J. Menendez of New Jersey, who secured a House seat.

      Some Democrats are weighing in on the problems at FTX.

      White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said that “prudent regulation of cryptocurrencies is indeed needed” and the Biden admin and relevant government agencies will monitor the situation as it develops, adding that cryptocurrencies affect everyday Americans.”

      Yet I can think of too many other issues which “affect everyday Americans” so much more.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        > Bankman-Fried was a darling of the Democrats

        Yes, how odd. Ritchie Torres, a New York Democrat, apparently took point on this:

        And A liberal case for cryptocurrency Ritchie Torres, New York Daily News, from March:

        The New York Department of Financial Services (DFS) has the dubious distinction of being the single worst regulator of crypto in the country. The process for obtaining a Bit License from DFS is cumbersome. It takes up to three years to get a license and only 30 companies have been approved for one. From June to January, not a single license was granted.

        Looks like New York regulators were doing a great job. And New York Democrats have a lot to answer for, not just on this, but screwing the pooch on the midterms: Democrats had a surprisingly good midterms — but not in New York. Here’s what happened. Vox. Well, it’s not like an extremely powerful New York Democrat runs the Senate, or anything….

      1. Foy

        Looks real. SBF’s mum Barbara Fried was a leader of the Democrat Donor Group ‘Mind the Gap’ according to a Vox article in 2020: “In 2018, Mind the Gap pitched donors on a statistical model that tried to assess the precise impact of each additional dollar on the chance that Democrats would win the House of Representatives — as opposed to funding the easiest seats to flip. It’s an approach one donor called the “Moneyball of politics.”

        “Mind the Gap, a network formed less than two years ago, has been quietly routing millions of dollars to Democratic candidates and groups across the country in the 2018 and 2020 election cycles, emerging as a new power center in the Silicon Valley political scene. It’s just that so far, it has avoided public detection.”

        “The group’s leaders are a pair of Stanford law professors: Barbara Fried, who has no apparent campaign experience, and Paul Brest, the former president of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation”

        ‘Moneyball’. Sounds like the same sort of BS that the son was running with, must run in the family.


        Edit: I understand that this is the same Barbara Fried that is SBF’s mother. Don’t think there are two Barbara Fried Standford Law Professors.

  3. Wukchumni

    Make believe, why can’t you be true?
    Oh, make believe, why can’t you be true?
    Your done doing the things you used to do

    As I was motivatin’ online
    I saw make believe disappear in no time
    A market maker in the starring role
    Nothin’ will out-trade FTX’s goal
    The stock price was doin’ ’bout 85
    Seller to buyer, tradin’ side by side

    Make believe, why can’t you be true?
    Oh, make believe, why can’t you be true?
    Your done doin’ the things you used to do

    The stock pulled up and went in a flat spin
    Interest wasn’t so hot and a lack of, did them in
    Withdrawals got heavy and bankruptcy came
    Its the same old something for nothing game
    The CEO blowin; out of the hood
    I knew that wasn’t doin’ the numismatrix any good

    Make believe, why can’t you be true?
    Oh, make believe, why can’t you be true?
    Your done doin’ the things you used to do

    Maybeline, by Chuck Berry


  4. Mark Gisleson

    Deep State’s search engine algos tried to credit Mark Cuban with, “Pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered,” but I also found ample earlier attributions to Molly Ivins. It would not surprise me to hear it’s much older than that.

    The remark doesn’t really make any sense from a farmer’s point of view. Pigs get fattened expressedly for slaughter. Hogs is a collective term for the adult sows and boars altho it’s used pretty loosely. After the sows can’t bear litters and the boar stops producing or just gets old they also get slaughtered and that’s the meat they put on frozen pizzas.

  5. Jason Boxman

    I try to avoid the Twitter in general, but it thought a recent tweet by Biden about liberal Democrats capping out of pocket costs for seniors at 2k or whatever was great!

    My first response was, holy s**t, how are seniors on fixed income supposed to come up with as much as 2k for medical care? What a disgrace! What small ball liberal Democrats play.

    1. CanCyn

      And some more:
      Email controversy over what she knew and what she said publicly (I’m reminded ofHRC talking to the bankers) https://www.capitaldaily.ca/news/henry-stanwick-covid-school-exposures-emails

      Maskless selfies https://www.prpeak.com/opinion/opinion-dr-henry-gets-rightfully-roasted-for-no-mask-selfies-at-bc-lions-game-4240671

      N95 masks ‘most likely not necessary: https://www.narcity.com/vancouver/bonnie-henry-has-some-honest-answers-on-whether-you-should-be-wearing-an-n95-mask

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      My working hypothesis is that Henry is the paradigmatic PMC eugenicist because she concentrates the public health establishment, bad science, corruption, AND impunity all in her own person. (In Canada sometimes it’s easier to see things, because Canada is more small scale than the US.)


  6. fresno dan

    Four years later, in May 2003, a jury found Folbigg guilty of murdering three of her children — Patrick, Sarah and Laura — and of the manslaughter of her first son, Caleb. Because there were no physical signs of foul play in any of the deaths, the case had rested entirely on circumstantial evidence, including the unlikelihood of four unexplained deaths occurring in one household. Lightning doesn’t strike the same person four times, the prosecutor told the jury.
    The inquiry will have to grapple with how science weighs the evidence for genetic causes of disease, and how that fits with the legal system’s concept of reasonable doubt. But it will have help. Thomas Bathurst, the retired judge leading the inquiry who will decide Folbigg’s fate, has granted permission for the Australian Academy of Science in Canberra to act as an independent scientific adviser. The academy will recommend experts to give evidence, and will look at questions asked of those experts to ensure their scientific accuracy.

    This will probably present the science more accurately than at the original trial, says Jason Chin, a legal academic at the University of Sydney who studies the way science is used in courts. And this case could have implications for how Australian legal proceedings consider scientific evidence in other cases, says Chin.
    The legal system using dualing experts (or dualing sides) to address complex multi faceted circumstances reeks of market thinking in addressing a problem. Maybe committees will not always see things more objectively than certain individuals, but it is ridiculous to ignore that people getting paid have a tendency to see or not see what there boss wants them to see or not see.

    1. JTMcPhee

      And there are businesses whose model is to locate “expert witnesses” in any field, who will give opinions favorable to whichever side is paying them for the opinion. https://www.expertwitnesslocators.com/ A well-funded litigation attorney or her corporate principal will of course “prophlactically” put “on retainer” any experts likely to have opinions contrary to the one you want presented to the court…

    2. chris

      FD and JTM…regarding experts serving the legal field, it really doesn’t work as you’re suggesting. In the US, and in other countries, there a multiple ways to bounce an expert if the expert is lying or has no basis for their opinions. A Daubert motion being the most popular option these days, but other motions in limine are common too. So if you think that you can opine on something without a good scientific basis for that opinion, you’re not likely to get much work. I’m not saying there aren’t hacks out there. But the law really does have ways of limiting their effect on any case.

      For what it’s worth, as someone who has done engineering for legal support purposes, the good clients want you to tell them the bad news. They’d rather find out before trial that they don’t have a good case. That does make collecting the bill afterwards a delicate procedure at times but most good clients pay.

  7. Stephen V

    11/11 and the world hasn’t ended yet. Re: ” Creators”, I’ll take that over “influencers.” A few years ago I had a kill me now moment when a 6th grade teacher friend told me her kids wanted to be ‘influencers’ when they grow up.
    While I’m dishing on the Youth, last week my Hispanic construction client told me the teenagers who are now coming up from MX on work visas want good-paying jobs but they don’t want to w o r k. If this is true everywhere and not just in Arkyland, we are well and truly (bleeped).

    1. CanCyn

      Also creators has is used in libraryland as an overarching term that includes writers, photographers, filmmakers, composers, etc. really anyone responsible for making something that can be catalogued for a library collection.

  8. Wukchumni

    I’m proud to introduce ContagionCoin, whose value goes up inverse to other cryptocurrencies losses. It could go viral.

    1. ambrit

      Is this another “Amazing” product from the “Spike” Pro Team?
      One thing we olde tyme geezers dislike about the Crypto field is that it tends to puncture our equilibrium. We’re more ‘rockers’ rather than ‘swingers.’

          1. The Rev Kev

            Just yesterday I slipped on one of the ones that I had lost. :)

            Anyway, I am only on my second coffee for the morning.

          2. ambrit

            Mr. Frieze he is. Cold as a mackerel and twice as smart! It’s a shame we couldn’t send him over to Greece as a consolation prize.

    1. Quentin

      Yes. But let’s not forget that right up to the very last second before that fateful hour men were still being killed. Miserable world. Thank you flora for commemorating the dead of that horrific war that sent the world into a tailspin it seems not yet to have recovered from, as if it ever will.

      As an irrelevant aside: my father was born on the 11th day of the eleventh month in the 11th year of the previous century. I have no information about the hour. Of course the connection is no more than a quirky turn of mine.

      1. flora

        “…let’s not forget that right up to the very last second before that fateful hour men were still being killed.”


        “All Quiet on the Western Front: A Novel”
        Book 1 of 2: All Quiet on the Western Front | by Erich Maria Remarque and A W. Wheen

        “All Quiet” makes exactly your point. The hero is killed one second before the hour bell tolls.

        1. flora

          adding: there are many horrific WWI photos of trench warfare and death in the trenches on both sides. Those photos are much like Matthew Brady’s US Civil War photos of the war dead.

    2. flora

      A quote attributed to Talleyrand about the Bourbons:

      “They had learned nothing and forgotten nothing.”

      The most interesting part for me is they had “forgotten nothing.” The Bourbon’s in France kept hold of power for generations. It’s important to remember.

      1. barefoot charley

        Well, the Bourbons got back on the throne in 1815, lost it to their cousins in 1830, who lost it to a republic in 1848, which lost it to nephew-Napoleon a few years later, who lost his empire to Bismarck. Being stupid wasn’t enough.

        1. caucus99percenter

          The Bourbons have returned to the throne — in Spain in the modern era, after the death of the fascist dictator Franco — in the persons of Juan Carlos I of Spain (king 1975–2014) and the current King Felipe VI.

          Counts as a comeback, I would think. Tenacious clan, that.

    3. CanCyn

      I agree that is important not to forget but I have forgone Remembrance Day services for many years now. They are entirely too warmonger-y and celebratory for my tastes. I want to remember war for the horrors and to be reminded to seek peace, not to glorify war heroes and fighting.
      Don’t know if the poem In Flanders Fields is as well known in the US of A as it is here in Canada. Written by a Canadian WWI soldier, John McCrae

      In Flanders fields the poppies blow
      Between the crosses, row on row,
      That mark our place; and in the sky
      The larks, still bravely singing, fly
      Scarce heard amid the guns below.

      We are the Dead. Short days ago
      We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
      Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
      In Flanders fields.

      Take up our quarrel with the foe:
      To you from failing hands we throw
      The torch; be yours to hold it high.
      If ye break faith with us who die
      We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
      In Flanders fields.

      There was a time in the peace loving 70’s when it wasn’t used on November 11 or if it was, the last verse was not recited. But I understand that it has now been set to music and is being sung by children’s choirs. I remember talking about how it was a call to continue the fighting and recognizing that while it may have made sense to those soldiers to ask that the fight go on, that perhaps seeking peace was also a good way to honour their sacrifice. It wasn’t called the War to end all Wars for nothing. We studied both World Wars in high school but it was until university that I learned about conscientious objectors and shell shock and poets like Owen and Sassoon. For a really good fictionalization of the lives of those poets and more, I can highly recommend Pat Barker’s novels known collectively as the Regeneration trilogy. Good reading for this time of year.

      1. You're soaking in it!

        The old lie, they tell it still

        Dulce et Decorum Est

        Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
        Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
        Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs,
        And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
        Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots,
        But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
        Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
        Of gas-shells dropping softly behind.

        Gas! GAS! Quick, boys!—An ecstasy of fumbling
        Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time,
        But someone still was yelling out and stumbling
        And flound’ring like a man in fire or lime.—
        Dim through the misty panes and thick green light,
        As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.

        In all my dreams before my helpless sight,
        He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.

        If in some smothering dreams, you too could pace
        Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
        And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
        His hanging face, like a devil’s sick of sin;
        If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
        Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
        Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
        Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,—
        My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
        To children ardent for some desperate glory,
        The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
        Pro patria mori.

        – Wilfred Owen

      2. chris

        I always liked this one…

        I knew a simple soldier boy,
        Who grinned at life in empty joy,
        Slept soundly through the lonesome dark,
        And whistled early with the lark.

        In winter trenches, cowed and glum,
        With crumps and lice and lack of rum,
        He put a bullet through his brain.
        No one spoke of him again.

        You smug-faced crowds with kindling eye
        Who cheer when soldier lads march by,
        Sneak home and pray you’ll never know
        The hell where youth and laughter go.

        -Siegfried Sassoon, 1917

  9. diptherio

    I’m pretty sure Musk’s first big payday was due to his early involvement in Paypal. I don’t remember the details, but True Anon did a three part series on him that covered it extensively.

  10. Tom Stone

    A new Realtorspeak euphemism !
    A $2.5 MM house in Yountville with….”A Spacious Main Ensuite”.
    My favorite was from Ms Cathy Wilde…
    “Twenty five minutes West of Reality”.

  11. Gregorio

    Wow! $100,000,000 donation to the global climate fund. That will surely make a huge difference, it’s almost as much as we’re spending everyday to fight to the last Ukrainian.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Heard about that. By that lineup, there is a bit of continuity working here. You have a past war criminal – Bush – and then you have a present war criminal – Zelensky – with a potential future war criminal – Tsai Ing-wen – all in one place. One thing I find hard to fathom. After seeing what has been done to the Ukraine, what in god’s earth convinced Tsai say to himself ‘Oh yeah, I’ve gotta get myself some of that.’ Unlike the Ukraine, there will be no truck runs of supplies to Taiwan in case things go south.

Comments are closed.