2:00PM Water Cooler 11/7/2022

By Lambert Strether of Corrente

Patient readers, I must finish up a post on voting systems, and so this is an open thread. Talk amongst yourselves! –lambert

Here, however, is an example, blessed by GM, of the rich bouillabaisse of Covid recombinations currently simmering in the New York area:

Although we have to wait and see, still the virus has form, and so far, it’s been smarter than we are.

* * *

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 RM:

RM writes: “I’ve been admiring this Devils Deadly Nightshade at a house in town and always brings me back to my younger days in San Francisco reading “The Teachings of Don Juan a Yakui way of life”. I never did try it especially after meeting a guy that had done the seeds and was very weird.”

* * *

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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. Roger Blakely

    Los Angeles County Public Health did not give its weekly press conference on Thursday. I was wondering why. Then I remembered a comment from a friend. He said that they won’t say anything until after the election, and even after the election, they will only recommend booster shots.

    Here are the interesting bits from Los Angeles County Public Health’s latest press release (Friday).

    “For the past month, LA County has been noting signals that the COVID-19 case rate may no longer be declining locally. The steady decline observed since July appeared to plateau in mid-October. This week, LA County is reporting a nearly 10% increase in the 7-day-average case from one week ago.”

    “Recently, Public Health added two additional descendant strains of BA.5 to weekly variant reporting: BQ.1 and BQ.1.1. Each of these sublineages account for 3.4% of sequenced specimens for the week ending October 15.”

    “However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that as of about two weeks ago, BQ.1 and BQ.1.1 combined, accounted for nearly 17% of cases across the country, up considerably from about 9% the week before.”

    “One thing that everyone can do to prepare is to make sure they have the updated COVID-19 Fall bivalent booster, available for people 5 years and older.”

    1. clarky90

      Re; “……the updated COVID-19 Fall bivalent booster, available for people 5 years and older.”

      J Clin Med. 2022 Apr 15

      The Incidence of Myocarditis and Pericarditis in Post COVID-19 Unvaccinated Patients-A Large Population-Based Study


      N = 196,992 adults after COVID-19 infection
      March 2020 to January 2021

      Myocarditis and pericarditis are potential post-acute cardiac sequelae of COVID-19 infection, arising from adaptive immune responses. We aimed to study the incidence of post-acute COVID-19 myocarditis and pericarditis. Retrospective cohort study of 196,992 adults after COVID-19 infection in Clalit Health Services members in Israel between March 2020 and January 2021. Inpatient myocarditis and pericarditis diagnoses were retrieved from day 10 after positive PCR. Follow-up was censored on 28 February 2021, with minimum observation of 18 days. The control cohort of 590,976 adults with at least one negative PCR and no positive PCR were age- and sex-matched. Since the Israeli vaccination program was initiated on 20 December 2020, the time-period matching of the control cohort was calculated backward from 15 December 2020. Nine post-COVID-19 patients developed myocarditis (0.0046%), and eleven patients were diagnosed with pericarditis (0.0056%). In the control cohort, 27 patients had myocarditis (0.0046%) and 52 had pericarditis (0.0088%). Age (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR] 0.96, 95% confidence interval [CI]; 0.93 to 1.00) and male sex (aHR 4.42; 95% CI, 1.64 to 11.96) were associated with myocarditis. Male sex (aHR 1.93; 95% CI 1.09 to 3.41) and peripheral vascular disease (aHR 4.20; 95% CI 1.50 to 11.72) were associated with pericarditis. Post COVID-19 infection was not associated with either myocarditis (aHR 1.08; 95% CI 0.45 to 2.56) or pericarditis (aHR 0.53; 95% CI 0.25 to 1.13). We did not observe an increased incidence of neither pericarditis nor myocarditis in adult patients recovering from COVID-19 infection.

        1. Objective Ace

          > Covid is gone. But people keep dying.

          Right–covid is gone. s/. Just because people don’t directly die from covid doesn’t mean it’s not a contributor. People aren’t dying directly from covid vaccines either, and yet the author has no problem blaming them for the excess deaths (he may be correct – I would even tend to agree with him for part of the excess. But this article is pure speculation with no data to back it up, of which there is plenty he could have used)

  2. Louis Fyne

    so I was in Arizona and you’d never know that there was an election going on….until you turned on the TV.

    and if one is a Democratic donor and wondering where your money is going…..your money may have helped buy a 30 second advert with production values worse than what’s possible in a high school AV club—of course with a healthy cut to the consultants and executives running the show.

    Republican TV adverts were filled with the standard tropes too, but at least they had the production values that Lee Atwater would approve of.

    1. Mikel

      Turning on the tv or opening the mailbox….
      Junk mail (aka flyers) galore related to the elections in Cali.

      1. petal

        Tons of ads on YT, radio, and in the mailbox here in NH. So much political junk in the mailbox. Ugh!
        I did get a flier about an AP poll, so I just did that one. I screenshotted most of the questions if anyone is interested in them. Let me know and I can post them. I am supposed to get a $10 amazon gift card for filling it out.

    2. Arizona Slim

      Here in Tucson, the PMC neighborhoods are rocking the Democratic Party candidate signs like nobody’s business. Outside of those neighborhoods, hardly any signs.

      In the Arizona Slim Ranch neighborhood, there is exactly one house with a “Vote Democrat!” sign display in the yard. The rest of us, including Yours Truly, are refraining from signage.

      1. John Beech

        Same here in central Florida, go into the downtown neighborhoods and there are blue signs everywhere, but anywhere else in the county? Nope, no signs at all. And me, a county dweller? Nope, not me neither, but then again, I never put up signs of my voting propensities. Meanwhile, I’ve blocked maybe 50 pollsters this cycle on my mobile phone. Honestly? No clue who makes time to talk to them so I’d be careful with the prognosticator’s accuracy this time, once again.

      2. Screwball

        I used to have one (homemade) sign I would put out, in contrast to Ms. Ball’s many, who were all blue. Mine read;

        IF U R IN
        U R OUT

        She threw it away, then threw me away. I guess I should have voted blue no matter who. :-)

        1. Screwball

          Adding; small town NW Ohio. I don’t see near as many signs as I used to around here. One neighbor had a Vance sign, but it looks like someone stole it. The frame is still there, but the sign is gone.

          I don’t know if this a sign of apathy or not, but talking to people, they are not happy, so I don’t tend to think it is apathy. Fuel, heat, and grocery bills will do that.

          1. indices

            And do we remember the days when people would put all but impossible to remove bumper stickers on their cars advertising candidates and party affiliations?

    3. eg

      It really is an education in oppo-research driven campaigning whenever your US election cycle ads spill over our border courtesy of television ads.

      You have my sympathies.

  3. Jason Boxman

    Walgreens today shows 1.1% difference as of 11/6. Perhaps the rocket ship has reached lift-off again?

    NYITCOMResearch Report has BQ1.1 at 8.85% and BQ1 at 6.77% today. And XBB1 1.77%. Says it reports 15 day trends. Not sure about freshness, but trust it over any CDC data. Update date is 6 Nov. Looks like data through 31 Oct.

    Stay safe out there! Biden’s Winter of Death is fast approaching. Remember to smile lol. Just like that Angel episode Smile Time!

  4. NorD94

    Paxlovid effective in reducing risk of long COVID symptoms: study

    A recent preprint study found that Pfizer’s COVID-19 antiviral Paxlovid may be effective in reducing the risk of developing long COVID in patients recovering from coronavirus infections.

    The study, funded by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), looked through the VA’s health care databases and identified individuals who tested positive for COVID-19 between March and June 2022.

    Among the group that received no treatments, 9.43 per 100 persons reported developing long COVID at 90 days after diagnosis. People who received Paxlovid had an occurrence rate of 7.11 per 100 persons, indicating a 25 percent risk reduction for developing long COVID.

    The study found that the administration of Paxlovid was associated with a reduced risk of 10 out of the 12 post-COVID conditions that were identified. These conditions include fatigue, muscle pain, liver disease, shortness of breath and neurocognitive impairment.

    Nirmatrelvir and the Risk of Post-Acute Sequelae of COVID-19

    1. Roger Blakely

      It is interesting that, listening to Dr. Daniel Griffin on YouTube, the standard of care these days is to put anyone who might get into trouble on Paxlovid in the first week. This treatment is helping to the tune of 80%. Putting people on dexamethasone (to suppress the immune system) and oxygen in the second week is only helping to the tune of 18%.

    2. Objective Ace

      If I wanted to analyze this study like big pharma analyzes studies I would be jumping all over the fact that it’s not an RCT.

      It’s probably a fair assumption that those with access to Paxlovid may differ in many ways from the population that does not. This includes a litany of pre-existing conditions/medications for which Paxlovid cannot be prescribed with

  5. Keith Howard

    Re today’s plantidote: By all means do not taste or eat the pictured plant, which appears to be some version of Jimson Weed. It contains, among other compounds, strychnine. IIRC, all parts of the plan are poisonous.

    1. Wukchumni

      In this age of truly awful drugs, you’d think Datura would be a perfect fit, in that here its all over the place and won’t cost you a penny, all you’d like.

      1. Michaelmas

        In this age of truly awful drugs, nothing will ever surpass Krokodil —

        ‘The name crocodile is believed to be derived from the infections around the injection areas where the skin turns green and dies. The scaly green condition spreads to the rest of the body and the toxic drug also effects bone tissue, eating away at users from the inside. Amputations are sometimes necessary, but users usually don’t live for more than two to three years after starting to use this highly addictive drug.’


    2. AndrewJ

      As an old friend in Colorado put it, a user of Datura goes off to a different planet… but they’re not the same person that comes back.
      I did thumb open a book in a bookshop once, and found a page with an anecdote of Native treatment for a girl with schizophrenia. Nothing worked well until a medicine man administered datura, only once, if I’m remembering correctly. If my friend’s description is correct, it’s a fascinating idea. You’d have to be really desperate to try it, though.
      I wish I could remember what that book was…

      1. Wukchumni

        A friend with some experience in the matter mentioned that if you breathe deep into the trumpet shaped flower… it’ll do the trick, and thanks but no thanks, i’m out.

  6. JustAnotherVolunteer

    On voting systems – I’m a voter in all mail Oregon and my County elections office was put up a nice document explaining the entire handling process for received ballots (either mail in or drop off) along with a live video feed of the process in action at the elections office.

    Not quite hand counted in public but close –

    See: https://wholecommunity.news/2022/11/04/lane-county-offers-ballot-count-livestream/

    And the explainer with the YouTube link is mentioned in the post.

      1. John

        I prefer the single day, but would compromise to allow for example Monday and Tuesday with Tuesday being the paid holiday. The “system” how is not so much accommodations as it is indulgences. It could easily be simplified if the parties and political operatives actually wanted to fix it so voting for all was made straightforward. The many means by which the “unwanted” are hindered is nothing more than a slightly more ‘genteel’ version of Poll Taxes, literacy tests, overly complex registration, etc.

        But since the folks elected pay zero attention to what the mass of the people consider important issues while bending the knee to the oligopoly and the billionaires it keeps spitting out, has voting become a null exercise insisted upon to maintain the illusion of people power and keep the “pitchforks” in the tool shed?

    1. Late Introvert

      Iowa seems to have an OK system, based on paper ballots.
      Iowa’s Elections Are Safe And Secure Top State Offical Says

      According to the article:

      Iowans vote on paper ballots.

      His office conducts preelection audits on every vote-counting machine and postelection audits, both of which are open to the public.

      Past postelection hand-count audits have yielded the exact same vote counts as the vote-counting machines.

      The state is requiring two postelection hand-count audits this year, instead of the usual one.

      The vote-counting machines are not connected to the internet.

      State laws require an identification while voting and when requesting and submitting an absentee ballot.

      1. Big River Bandido

        I just voted in Iowa and it was not a paper ballot. Well, I marked the paper ballot. But then it got scanned into a machine.

  7. Mark Gisleson

    New video uploaded to YouTube today is both a tribute to Leonard Cohen and a gloomy video editorial all in one. Six minutes of non-Western European finger-pointing from Laibach.

    1. Geo

      Thanks for this! A cover of a favorite song by another favorite band… beautiful! Love the simple stock footage and clip art in black and white approach. Not fancy but effective.

      In this music realm: Recently was listening to some KMFDM (hadn’t in years) and gotta say their song WWIII is still incredible and sadly more relevant than ever.

      Currently working on a music video for a band that did an incredible cover of Dio’s “Kill the King” and weaving some of these themes into it. Empire collapsing, wars over uninhabitable lands, etc. Hopefully I finish it before reality hits that tipping point. :)

  8. KLG

    Apropos of something, perhaps? Twice over the past 10 days I have driven cross-country (no Interstates) across Middle-South Georgia. Hundreds of GOP signs, primarily Brian Kemp (Gov) and Herschel Walker (US Senate). I did not need all my fingers to count the number of Stacey Abrams (Gov) and Raphael Warnock (US Senate) signs. Early voting has been high. We could be looking at a rout, not unlike (figuratively, of course) Crazy Horse and Gall versus the Son of the Morning Star at Little Big Horn. But YMMV.

    1. IM Doc


      In a neighboring Congressional district to where we live, there is a Dem incumbent. The GOP, in their primary, had a run of the mill GOP politico up against an opponent that makes Marjorie Taylor Green look moderate.

      Of course, the largest donor by far to this challenger in the GOP primary was the DNC.

      Now when you drive through there, as we did this past week, there is not a Dem sign to be seen. The GOP signs are everywhere. I can see now that the race is predicted online to be won by the GOP. Looking around, I do not think it will even be close. They look poised to oust their Dem incumbent with this far right-winger.

      I really do not understand this strategy. Can someone explain to me how the DNC can fund all of these GOP pied-pipers IN THIS CURRENT ENVIRONMENT and then with a straight face tell us all that the very future of our democracy is on the ballot?

      1. Geo

        Very good question. Don’t have an answer other than “Doing the same thing over and over expecting different results” seems to be the Dem motto.

        As their new resistance hero once eloquently said: “Fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can’t get fooled again.”

      2. Screwball

        I really do not understand this strategy. Can someone explain to me how the DNC can fund all of these GOP pied-pipers IN THIS CURRENT ENVIRONMENT and then with a straight face tell us all that the very future of our democracy is on the ballot?

        I’m not the sharpest pencil in the bag, but this didn’t even pass my smell test.

        What troubles me more is so many actually believe this. I’m glad I’m old.

      3. JBird4049

        >>>I really do not understand this strategy. Can someone explain to me how the DNC can fund all of these GOP pied-pipers IN THIS CURRENT ENVIRONMENT and then with a straight face tell us all that the very future of our democracy is on the ballot?

        Yes, this time it is going to hurt them. “Vote for Us. We’re the Lesser Evil!” has been a very effective strategy for the Democratic Party national leadership especially as they have destroyed the party’s local infrastructure by taking all the money. The same thing has happened to the Republicans as well, but to a lesser extent.

        For forty years, it has allowed them to run elections on the cheap as a way to ensure that the grift is very lucrative for the cabal and its minions as well as increasing their ability to aid their constituents, the people with the money; this time the leadership has not only misjudged just how evil their party is considered, they have ignored all their Cassandras without any help from the Gods.

  9. lyman alpha blob

    Mentioned this earlier on yesterday’s post about Twitter and liberal aghastitude. Never used social media at all due to my experience with an early form of it – daily kos.

    That website has a “trusted user” system of content moderation although it quickly becomes apparent that some users are more trusted than others. The whole website is a cesspool of vitriol and invective where the worst of it can be hidden from public view.

    Pretty sure quite a few NCers have experience with that execrable moderation system. I stopped posting at the inferior orange website at about the same time social media started to rise. Although I don’t use social media, from what I can tell from the complaints of those who do, those sites have adopted a similar content moderation system as daily kos with the “likes” and “hates” or whatever they’re called, except even more arbitrary with even less accountability on the part of the “moderators”.

    I much prefer the system here where there are no likes or upvotes or downgrades and posts are judged by on their merit. I also appreciate knowing who is really doing the moderating.

    1. ambrit

      Yep. Fully agree that Biden’s spokesmodel is a purveyor of Russian propaganda.
      Could it be that we are selling them the rope that……?

    1. lyman alpha blob

      Well given that I also saw some newly minted Pfizer ads saying that you should get another booster and then you can go out and start tongue kissing strangers with insouciance, I’m guessing the answer is sometime around the 32nd of Never.

  10. zagonostra

    Right on cue, day before elections:

    Small sample

    Russian oligarch Yevgeny Prigozhin appears to admit to US election interference
    4 hours ago

    The New York Times
    Yevgeny Prigozhin Says Russia Is Interfering in the US Midterm Elections
    42 minutes ago

    The Guardian
    Putin ally Yevgeny Prigozhin admits interfering in US elections
    1 hour ago

    Fox News
    ‘Putin’s chef’ claims to have interfered in US elections: report
    4 hours ago
    From Twitter
    Russia’s Prigozhin admits interfering in U.S. elections
    4 hours ago

    Al Jazeera English
    Russia’s Wagner Group founder admits to US election interference
    14 hours ago

    The Hill
    Russian oligarch linked to Putin says he interfered in US elections
    2 hours ago

    The Washington Post
    Putin ally boasts he ‘interfered’ in U.S. midterm elections
    28 minutes ago

    The Seattle Times
    Putin-linked businessman admits to US election meddling
    6 hours ago

    Close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin admits to interfering in U.S. elections
    3 hours ago

    The Guardian
    We shouldn’t take Prigozhin’s admission of US election interference at face value
    2 hours ago

    Honolulu Star-Advertiser
    Putin-linked businessman admits to U.S. election meddling
    2 hours ago

    The Wall Street Journal
    Russian Businessman Yevgeny Prigozhin Appears to Admit Interference in U.S. Elections
    5 hours ago

    Putin-Linked Businessman Admits to US Election Meddling
    4 hours ago

    The Independent
    Ukraine news – live: Putin ally admits Russian meddling in US elections
    25 minutes ago

    The Telegraph
    Russia’s Yevgeny Prigozhin claims he is meddling in US midterm elections
    5 hours ago

    New York Post
    Russian oligarch Yevgeny Prigozhin admits interfering in US elections — and promises to do it again
    3 hours ago

    Top Putin lieutenant brags “we are interfering and will continue to interfere” in US elections
    2 hours ago

    Press Herald
    Putin-linked businessman admits to U.S. election meddling, says he’ll keep doing it
    1 hour ago

    KSAT San Antonio
    Putin-linked businessman admits to US election meddling
    50 minutes ago

    ‘We have interfered and will continue to interfere’: ‘Putin’s chef’ admits Russian meddling in US elections
    5 hours ago

    KOMO News
    ‘Putin’s chef’ admits to interfering in U.S. elections
    4 hours ago

    The Mercury News
    Putin ally admits to meddling in US elections
    2 hours ago

    UPI News
    Russian businessman Prigozhin admits to interference in U.S. elections
    2 hours ago

    The Independent
    Key Putin ally admits Russia is interfering in US elections and ‘will continue to interfere’
    4 hours ago

    Daily Mail
    Russian billionaire known as ‘Putin’s chef’ ADMITS to interfering in US elections
    3 hours ago

    Star Tribune
    Putin-linked businessman admits to US election meddling
    1 hour ago

    CBC News
    ‘Putin’s chef’ Yevgeny Prigozhin admits interfering in U.S. elections
    7 hours ago

    Prensa Latina
    Russia rejects accusations of interfering in U.S. elections
    2 hours ago

    White House not surprised by Russian comments on election interference
    59 minutes ago

    U.S. News & World Report
    White House Not Surprised by Russian Comments on Election Interference
    1 hour ago

    Boston Herald
    ‘Putin’s chef’ admits to interfering in U.S. elections
    4 hours ago

    CTV News
    Russia’s Prigozhin admits interfering in U.S. elections
    6 hours ago

    ‘Putin’s chef’ admits to interfering in U.S. elections
    23 minutes ago

    ABC 6 News KAAL TV
    Putin-linked businessman admits to US election meddling
    8 hours ago
    Greenwich Time
    Greenwich Time
    Putin-linked businessman admits to US election meddling
    4 hours ago

    Beatrice Daily Sun
    Putin-linked businessman admits to US election meddling
    4 hours ago

    Tampa Bay Times
    ‘Putin’s chef’ admits to interfering in US elections and pledges to do it again
    3 hours ago

    CBS News
    Russian oligarch Yevgeny Prigozhin, “Putin’s chef,” admits interference in U.S. elections
    4 hours ago

    Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty
    On Eve Of Voting, ‘Putin’s Chef’ Prigozhin Admits To U.S. Election Interference
    6 hours ago

    Yahoo! Voices
    White House not surprised by Russian comments on election interference
    1 hour ago

    Putin-linked businessman admits to US election meddling
    4 hours ago

    Putin ally says Russia ‘will continue to interfere’ in U.S. elections
    3 hours ago

    Yahoo Entertainment
    After Years of Trump-Russia Denials, Putin’s Enforcer Admits Election Interference
    4 hours ago

    Yahoo News
    Key Putin ally admits Russia is interfering in US elections and ‘will continue to interfere’
    5 hours ago

  11. truly

    I put this question in comments a week ago, but too late in comments to get much feedback. Yves had referred to (IIRC) “the myth of the Petro dollar”. I had always thought the Petro dollar was a real thing. Debateable as to just how meaningful, but a real thing. Can someone point me to more comments from Yves or others this issue. Not looking for an argument. Looking to learn. Thanks.

      1. Greg

        Ditto. I think I must be quite confused in my reading of Dr Hudson’s stuff, where I thought he placed quite a lot of importance on the effects of the petrodollar.

  12. kson onair

    Just saw an article from Foreign Policy warning us that China’s now meddling in US elections too

    Oh no

    1. Jason Boxman

      Gotta admit, if our institutions are so weak that this actually moves the needle, this country has big problems indeed.

  13. The Rev Kev

    Readers might remember comedian Kathy Griffin who achieved notoriety by posing with a severed Trump’s head back in 2017 because all the ‘good people’ hated Trump. Well she launched a parody Elon Musk account on Twitter – without labeling it as such – and got it cancelled as Musk is against such accounts unless they label themselves as parody. Griffin called him out on this because that was the plan but Musk said that she was not cancelled because she was imitating him. She was cancelled because she was imitating a comedian. Ouch!

    1. JustAnotherVolunteer

      Twitter names and Twitter handles serve different ends and figuring out where to indicate intent (parody or otherwise) can be confusing.

      Twitters own site says that your up to 50 character name (left side identifier) can be playful but gives no further rules. The handle (right side identifier starting with @) must be at least 3 characters and unique to Twitter.

      See: https://help.twitter.com/en/managing-your-account/change-twitter-handle

      I think there is room here for lots of shenanigans and confusion – and Mr. Musk is on a rapid learning curve with trust, user invention, and the use of identifiers.


      May have fired a few folk prematurely.

      1. notabanker

        How could breaking twitter possibly be a bad thing? And by firing half of the workforce, he has definitely broken twitter.

        At least it won’t be banging off of people as it motors down the street.

        The blue checkmark brigade is upset because splintering off into new platforms, or “ecosystems” or “communities” lowers the volume of their amplifiers. Cry me a river.

  14. kareninca

    At my (ultra ultra liberal) zoom church service on Sunday, a middle aged Chinese guy who is resident here in the U.S. told us during “sharing” about the terrible suffering that people he knows in China are enduring due to the zero covid policy. He told of of areas cordoned off, of people dying because they can’t get out to get medical care, and of 80+ year olds having to drag themselves out every day to be tested, with dire consequences if the don’t.

    The thing is, the 90+ y.o. grandparent of a friend of mine in CT just died of covid. This Chinese guy at my church is being sold a bill of goods about how things are going here. I am sure he was not lying about the China situation, but I think he has no real clue about the U.S. situation, or the bloodbath of elders they would have in China if they opened up.

    I also know someone on zoom church whose 30ish y.o. (American) son and (Asian) daughter in law just left China for Thailand; they would have preferred the U.S. but that was not an option for some reason involving visas. They left because zero covid was making them deeply miserable.

    One by one, the “careful” people I know are deciding to not be careful. Will there be consequences? How could I know? A virus that just keeps worsening your immune function, will cause older people to die of something that elderly people die of typically. Just sooner. And then it will move on to GenX and so on, but it will all take time. It is nauseating to watch.

    And my ultra ultra liberal church still requires vaccinations for entry, but no masks, and most attenders are not wearing masks now. They’re mostly old. Not being vaccinated, and wishing to retain some white blood cells, I won’t be joining them in person.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > zero covid was making them deeply miserable

      That China, too, is not acting on the basis that #CovidIsAirborne is tragic (and weird, since according to Woodward’s book Xi told Trump it was). They will never succeed in Zero Covid without a theory of transmission!

  15. The Rev Kev

    I bet that a lot of people will be glad when these midterms are over and can get on with other things. But as one person said-

    ‘If Dems lose, they’ll blame Putin, Trump, Jimmy Dore, Susan Sarandon, Leftists in general, Jan 6, and the unvaxxed, but not their own abysmal failures.’


    The analysis of the results of this election will be well worth picking over however.

    1. Acacia

      Indeed (grabs popcorn). It would be interesting to know the breakdown of how many Biden or Dem voters bailed on the Donkey Show and pulled the trigger for some “horrible” GOP candidate.

      Kinda like those 9 million Obama-Trump voters that the Dems don’t want to talk about.

  16. hpschd

    I was looking at a video of a model train layout, lots of detail. It was in Germany. A scene depicted in miniature (HO) was of a medical emergency. There was a round pad on the ground with an injured person and two EMS workers. Curious about the pad. In real life size it would be 2 meters in diameter. Is this a first responder thing in Europe?

      1. SocalJimObjects

        I am a bit confused after reading that article. Says there that mild cases will result in T Cell exhaustion. The vaccines don’t prevent infection, as it is they only prevent hospitalization a.k.a they ensure that most cases are mild. So basically if you get infected after taking the vaccine, your T Cells will be exhausted?

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