2:00PM Water Cooler 1/23/2023

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Bird Song of the Day

Wood Thrush, Parc du Sanctuaire, Drummond, Quebec, Canada. “Grive des bois, chant: ‘a-a-iola tzzziiii, a-a-ioli tzzziiii, a-a-iola tzzziiii.'” Oh, so that’s what they’re saying!

* * *


“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’s quote has already appeared in Links, but I feel that posting the video is a public duty. Here we see Biden exhibiting his famous “empathy,” the personal characteristic the political class loves and respects him for:

Naturally, Biden will not pay a political price for this extraordinary Kinsley gaffe, but I have questions: Did everybody in the White House “stop thinking” about a million deaths, or only Biden? If so, what did they do to prevent them? Not much, if you look at the record. And how many deaths does it take to get Biden to “think”? Apparently not a million. Ten million? A hundred million? A billion? This question will become increasingly relevant as The Blob talks itself into heaving some nukes at Russia to avoid defeat in Ukraine.

“NEW EMAILS: Biden White House Behind Facebook Censorship of The BMJ’s Pfizer Investigation” [Disinformation Chronicles]. “Late 2021, I wrote a bombshell BMJ investigation that found data integrity problems in Pfizer’s COVID-19 clinical trial, based on internal documents provided by an American whistleblower. As the investigation took off on social media, Facebook began censoring it, leading to a back and forth between The BMJ and Facebook, as well as coverage in multiple outlets over ‘fact checkers’ who check narratives—not facts. New emails released during litigation against the Biden administration now explain Facebook’s move to target The BMJ. Months prior to The BMJ’s investigation, a Facebook employee emailed White House officials Andy Slavitt and Rob Flaherty, detailing how the social media giant would reduce virality of vaccine stories that might discourage the administration’s vaccine policies even if they contained ‘true content.’ ‘As you know, in addition to removing vaccine misinformation, we have been focused on reducing virality of content discouraging vaccines that does not contain actionable misinformation,’ reads the Facebook email to White House officials Slavitt and Flaherty. “This is often-true content….”” • Oh.


Another story that’s not part of The Narrative:

Mayo Pete, a precious object that must be kept wrapped in tissue…

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

“What’s the Matter with Men?” [The Atlantic]. “Many social scientists agree that contemporary American men are mired in malaise, even as they disagree about the causes. In academic performance, boys are well behind girls in elementary school, high school, and college, where the sex ratio is approaching two female undergraduates for every one male. (It was an even split at the start of the nineteen-eighties.) Rage among self-designated ‘incels’ and other elements of the online ‘manosphere’ appears to be steering some impressionable teens toward misogyny. Men are increasingly dropping out of work during their prime working years, overdosing, drinking themselves to death, and generally dying earlier, including by suicide. And men are powering the new brand of reactionary Republican politics, premised on a return to better times, when America was great—and, unsubtly, when men could really be men. The question is what to make of the paroxysm. For the revanchist right, the plight of American men is existential. It is an affront to biological (and perhaps Biblical) determinism, a threat to an entire social order. Yet, for all the strides that women have made since gaining the right to vote, the highest echelons of power remain lopsidedly male. The detoxification of masculinity, progressives say, is a messy and necessary process; sore losers of undeserved privilege don’t merit much sympathy. Richard V. Reeves, a British American scholar of inequality and social mobility, and a self-described ‘conscientious objector in the culture wars,’ would like to skip past the moralizing and analyze men in the state that he finds them: beset by bewildering changes that they cannot adapt to. His latest book, ‘Of Boys and Men: Why the Modern Male Is Struggling, Why It Matters, and What to Do About It’ (Brookings), argues that the rapid liberation of women and the labor-market shift toward brains and away from brawn have left men bereft of what the sociologist David Morgan calls ‘ontological security.’ They now confront the prospect of ‘cultural redundancy,’ Reeves writes. He sees telltale signs in the way that boys are floundering at school and men are leaving work and failing to perform their paternal obligations.” • If by “the labor-market shift toward brains” is meant the hegemony of the credentialed PMC, I’m not sure that “brains” is the word I’d choose.

“Help! Help! There’s been a terrible accident!” seems broadly relevant:


Lambert here: I am but a humble tapewatcher, but unlike Eric Topol, I’m not calling a surge, because the last peak was Biden’s Omicron debacle, and after an Everest like that, what’s left? Topol’s view is the establishment view: Hospital-centric. Mine is infection-centric. I do not see the universal acceleration or doubling in cases that I would expect to see based on past surges.

I am calling a “Something Awful.” It’s gonna be bad, in some new way, and we don’t know how, yet (but see here for immune system dysregulation, which is looking pretty awful).

Stay safe out there!

* * *

• Droplet goons have a lot to answer for:

* * *

• Oddly, the rigorous application of the “Swiss Cheese Model” of layered Covid protection at Davos don’t seem to be part of The Narrative:

I guess they don’t want people getting ideas.

• Not at Google:

I tried various another keywords, but the result is more more or less the same.

WSWS and Slate are both worthy publications but of limited reach. Unlike, say, the Times:

But we’ll always have Boing Boing–

• “The #DavosStandard safe air should be for all of us” [Boing Boing]. “Folks who have long been advocating for similar safety measures for public spaces, schools, workplaces, and more are taking to Twitter to praise the measures in effect at the WEF, and to spread the news that we should all have access to safe places to work, gather, learn, and more…. We should all be asking the same question — shouldn’t we all be as protected from COVID-19 as the attendees at the World Economic Forum are?” • But we aren’t asking that question, are we? Given what we now know from The Twitter Files about about the Democrat Party, the intelligence community, and the press, you have to ask: Is there a reason, other laziness, stupidity, and the PMC hive mind, for this story to be getting no coverage at all? After all, hashtags often make it into the mainstream quite easily.

* * *

• Now this here is what they call a subtweet:

* * *

• A good question to keep asking:

Case Data

NOT UPDATED BioBot wastewater data from January 19:

Lambert here: For now, I’m going to use this wastewater data as the best proxy for case data (ignoring the clinical case data portion of this chart, which in my view “goes bad” after March 2022, for reasons as yet unexplained). At least we can spot trends, and compare current levels to equivalent past levels.


Here is CDC’s interactive map by county set to community transmission (the “red map,” which is the map CDC wants only hospitals to look at, not you.) The map is said to update Monday-Friday by 8 pm:

The previous map:

NOTE: I shall most certainly not be using the CDC’s new “Community Level” metric. Because CDC has combined a leading indicator (cases) with a lagging one (hospitalization) their new metric is a poor warning sign of a surge, and a poor way to assess personal risk. In addition, Covid is a disease you don’t want to get. Even if you are not hospitalized, you can suffer from Long Covid, vascular issues, and neurological issues. That the “green map” (which Topol calls a “capitulation” and a “deception”) is still up and being taken seriously verges on the criminal.


From the Walgreen’s test positivity tracker, published January 23:

-1.0.%. Still falling, but rate of decrease is slowing.


Wastewater data (CDC), January 17:

Easing off, though you do have to wonder what’s the point of a national system where half the country has gone dark.

January 16:

And MWRA data, January 19:

Lambert here: Still uptick in the north. However, only some the students are back; BU classes begin January 19; Harvard’s January 22.


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.

NOT UPDATED Variant data, national (Walgreens), January 9:

Lambert here: BQ.1* and XBB still dominate. However, CH.1.91 appears for the first time at 1.9%. That’s a little unsettling, because a Tweet in Links, January 11 from GM drew attention to it (“displays such a high relative growth advantage”) and in Water Cooler, January 18, from Nature: “CH.1.1 and CA.3.1 variants were highly resistant to both monovalent and bivalent mRNA vaccinations.” Now here is CH.1.1 in the Walgreens variant data. Let’s see what CDC does with it tomorrow. The Covid variant train always leaves on time, and there’s always another train coming!

Lambert here: Wierdly, the screen shot about has been replaced today by data from “10/7/2022.” (It’s clearly not current data; BQ.1* and XBB do not dominate.

NOT UPDATED Variant data, national (CDC), December 31 (Nowcast off):

BQ.1* takes first place. XBB coming up fast. CH.1, unlike the Walgreens chart, does not appear. (For BQ.1/XBB and vaccine escape, see here.) Here is Region 2, the Northeast, where both BQ.1* and XBB are said to be higher, and are:

Makes clear that Region 2 (New England) varies greatly from the national average. Wouldn’t it be interesting if we ended up with different variants dominating different parts of the country.

• As a check, since New York is a BQ.1* hotbed, New York hospitalization, updated January 19:

• Hospitalization data for Queens, updated January 20:


Death rate (Our World in Data):

Total: 1,128,807 – 1,128,330 = 477 (477 * 365 = 463,915 deaths per year, 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).

Lambert here: Deaths lag, and now we have some confirmation that whatever we just went through is decreasing.

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.

* * *

The Bezzle:

SEO types and marketers jumping on the ChatGPT bandwagon. That should tell you something.

Tech: “The Company That Controls Dating” [The Cut]. “Match Group, the company that helped start online dating in the ’90s… now owns most of the dating-app market. Match became a giant under the leadership of a billionaire entertainment mogul [Barry Diller], whose directive was to aggressively eat the competition: It bought OkCupid and Plenty of Fish in the 2010s, incubated Tinder, and purchased Hinge, the ‘anti-Tinder,’ in 2018. Today, Match is a dating-app conglomerate with millions of users and over 45 brands around the world. These brands use the same business model based on subscriptions and in-app features — like Hinge’s ‘roses’ and Tinder’s ‘super likes’ — that promise users a leg up in the dating game. ;When you send a rose, you have a far higher chance of getting a response and getting into a conversation than you don’t,’ says Amarnath Thombre, CEO of Match Group Americas. ‘We are constantly looking at ways to give users a way to enhance their chance at succeeding on the app,’ he adds. ‘That’s something that users are always willing to pay for.’ But while these ‘superpowers’ make Match Group a lot of money — in 2021, for example, Tinder earned $1.7 billion — users are wondering if they get them any closer to connecting with real-life people. ‘It seems like these apps are improving on taking our money and making us spend more time on their apps than they are matching us with people‘ said one dater. ‘Nothing has come from it at all,’ said another dater of spending hundreds of dollars on dating apps. ‘It’s like: Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, I need to get off this app.'” • Well, think about the incentives. Does Diller make more money if one of your dates “takes you off the market,” or not? Honestly, this is more disgusting than social media’s dopamine loop (though akin to it). Collecting rents from messing up people’s relationships!

* * *

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 66 Greed (previous close: 59 Greed) [CNN]. One week ago: 64 (Greed). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Jan 23 at 1:30 PM EST.

Rapture Index: Closes unchanged [Rapture Ready]. Record High, October 10, 2016: 189. Current: 186. (Remember that bringing on the Rapture is good.) NOTE on #42 Plagues: “The coronavirus pandemic has maxed out this category.” More honest than most!

The Gallery


The Conservatory

My favorite Beatle:

Now I grant Ringo’s drumming is not what Monosynapsis had in mind with this wonderful comment:

Seeing that there are quite a few knowledgeable pple and musicians(!) here I’ll try my best to be as succint and yet informative as I can.

Lets rigourously distinguish the theoretical metalayer (western notation(= deficient in this regard) XOR mathematical models(computational analysis(=>reductionism) from the rootsy practical layer (=> how it is played,learned) and internalised(!!).


binary and ternary grid present at the same time. The pulse (= ‘beat’) stays invariably the same. We arent concerned with the pulse but its *subdivisions*.

Binary subdivision in 16ths would be: 1e&a 2e&a 3e&a 4e&a (all events evenly spaced)

Ternary subdivision of the *same space* would be counted as: 1ea 2ea 3ea 4ea (all events evenly spaced)

These are the two grids. Both of them are present at all times.

Theoretically one could now place any musical event on any of these gridlines. This is well known and present to some degree in western classical music (triplets/quintuplets/septuplets etc.). But what is now african is to merge both of these grids dynamically, creating a new hybrid grid which reflects both some binary and some ternary aspects. So, for example the ‘e’ of the binary grid gets pushed a bit towards its ternary twin (= delayed), the & stays the same (middle/half of the beat) and the ‘a’ gets also pulled towards its ternary shadow (accelerated/anticipated), all this whilst playing binary 16ths, but now every second 16th note is either delayed or accelerated a bit. This is now the ‘new’ grid on which every musician in the group places musical events.

This is now a new subdivion grid. The one I’ve described is very common in gnawa music from Morocco and with slight variations in Samba and Maracatu in Brazil.

See here for a nice theoretical approach/visualization => http://general-theory-of-rhythm.org/basic-principles/


In africa we have no theory. By this I mean that noone learns music by placing some MIDI notes on a grid, then moves them back or forth in a DAW by some mseconds, extrapolates it and then starts to compose. This is purely analytical and at best experimental. What you learn is the mircotiming grid of your geographical place and era by listening and playing with others. Like dialects. Nawlins second line push and pull, Memphis Drag, Mississipi Hill country shuffling, Nashville Train beats… these are all very precise regional microtiming patterns which can only be learned through exposure and absorbtion. Dialects. If we want to learn we need to listen and replicate. A million times over.

But practicing irregular (often called ‘irrational’ in western music theory (!!)) subdivision patterns in a methodical way (you pick some gnawa or maracatu 16ths) is a very good approach to get into it. Just programm your DAW and start counting in this new weird way for some time. Then play all the grooves you now on it and see what happens.

*****and then ****

and then these grids are elastic:

Tempo : as a rule of thumb, the faster it gets, the straighter it becomes (straight = binary)

the slower it gets the more dramatic the shifts between ternary and binary tend to become, more tension, more weirdness.

Lambert here: “The faster it gets, the straighter it becomes” reminds me of the finance catchphrase “in a crisis, things correlate” (applies to asset classes, but I’d say everything).

*****and more****

in a pop/rock setting (coming finally to Charlie Watts now) subtle hints of this push/pull interplay can (must) be introduced: playing on top of the beat, in front of it, or behind it by a subtle amount introduce hints of this polyrhythmic approach. Usually called ‘in the pocket’. Rock/Pop aint polyrhythmic, but a little pulling here and some pushing there manipulate the spacetime, creating what we call ‘the groove’.

Further Listening/reading from a US centered approach:

Quest Love (D’angelo)

Scott Kettner

Stanton Moore

Sorry if this is all obtuse and confused…it isnt easy at all to express.

Well… I do think that isolated track from Ringo is not at all what one would expect!

Zeitgeist Watch

“Scenes from Tampa’s ‘dead mall,’ alive with nostalgia” [Tampa Bay Times]. “If you haven’t been to the mall in a while, it’s striking how it not only triggers nostalgia, but trades in it. T-shirts on wall displays feature Nirvana and Snoop Dogg and Bob Ross, like it seems they always have. A photo booth sits ready to spit strips of portraits. The Look dine-in movie theater was preparing to show 1984′s ‘Gremlins’ that night. ‘Everything in this mall is really old, like a time capsule,’ the Spencer’s employee said. She described people visiting Hot Topic just to photograph the ‘goth gates,’ devilish metal barriers at the entrance with spider-web designs. ‘That’s the last Hot Topic in the country with the old goth gates.’ Hot Topic manager Micah Castro, over the screamy sounds of Children of Bodom’s ‘Are You Dead Yet,’ said he believes that is true. He said anime merch keeps his location going. Then he answered the landline phone, and explained that yes, they were open, and yes, still in the mall, which is also still open. ‘I get calls like that at least once a day,” he said. “People literally think this mall is decommissioned.'”

Class Warfare

Not wrong:

“The Intergenerational Transmission of Employers and the Earnings of Young Workers” (PDF) [Center for Equitable Growth]. From the Conclusion: “This paper combines survey and administrative data in order to investigate how the earnings of young workers are affected by the intergenerational transmission of employers. I start with a descriptive analysis, and find that 7% of individuals work for the employer of a parent at their first stable job and 29% do so at some point between the ages of 18 and 30. This tendency is best explained by parents playing a direct role in the hiring or job search process to help children who have limited options in the labor market. I then use an instrumental variables strategy, which exploits exogenous variation in the availability of jobs at the parent’s employer, and find that working for the employer of a parent increases earnings by 31%. These large earnings benefits are explained by parents providing access to higher-paying employers: Young workers who find their first stable job at the employer of a parent start their careers on a higher rung of the job ladder. Individuals with higher-earning parents are more likely to work for the employer of a parent, and benefit more conditional on doing so, and thus the intergenerational transmis- sion of employers increases the intergenerational persistence in earnings.” • Well, who doesn’t want the best for their children….

Trader Joe’s (1):

Trader Joe’s (2):

News of the Wired

“War on Empathy” [Peste Magazine]. “A recent series of media stories depicting individuals advocating for stronger COVID policies as unsympathetic characters on the fringes of society ignited a firestorm among [non-eugenicist] public health experts and grassroots advocates alike. To a public looking to change the channel on the long-running tragedy of the pandemic, these commentaries and the ensuing backlash may seem unremarkable. Yet these pieces not only ignore the ongoing toll of the pandemic, they also have material consequences. Taken together, these accounts can be read as warning shots in a broader war on empathy. Though the pandemic continues to claim losses on par with the September 11 attacks each week, it has prompted far less in the way of societal reckoning. Instead of calling for a national memorial to pay tribute to those lost or a commission to examine systemic failures in pandemic response, a growing chorus of prominent journalists and pundits have taken aim at another target—the proponents of a more vigorous public health response. A December story in the New York Times called such individuals ‘the last holdouts,’ depicting those attempting to avoid coronavirus infection as eccentric agoraphobes, paranoid contrarians, and social misfits. A recent essay in the New Yorker described the People’s CDC—a grassroots organization seeking to provide clear and actionable information about the pandemic—as a ‘ragtag coalition’ given to making ‘eye-popping statements’ about public health. A piece in The New Republic went even further, suggesting that Long COVID sufferers may be afflicted with a psychosomatic complaint, not a true medical diagnosis. Framing legitimate political critiques and demands for action as grudges held by an intractable out-group, these stories report the pandemic more as a trend piece than as hard news. Yet the desire for better COVID protections is not concentrated among the well-heeled, as these accounts have misleadingly suggested. Reflecting the pandemic’s sharply uneven impacts, Black and Hispanic Americans as well as individuals with a disability have consistently voiced greater concern about COVID and supported a stronger policy response. By suggesting that well-to-do ‘liberals’ are the vanguard of COVID mitigations, these stories shift attention away from the groups that have been most impacted and that remain at greatest risk.” • And of course the liberals make the story all about them. Also worth noting that mask usage is inversely correlated to income. Worth reading in full, though perhaps more moderate in tone than I would like.

“Search Results: Type equal to ‘Timeline'” [David Rumsey Map Collection]. Here’s one for American political parties:

* * *

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 JB:

JB writes: “Saw these, thought of you, and took these photos whilst being attended
at Mayo Clinic earlier today. Sorry, no idea what they are . . . plants,
otherwise? No clue!” Readers? (And I am sure we all wish JB the best of luck.)

* * *

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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. petal

    Dollar General pilots mobile clinics as it targets a bigger presence in healthcare

    Snip:”Dollar General is expanding into healthcare services in what could be a competitive shot across the bow for drugstores and other retailers.

    The company is piloting mobile health clinics at three stores in Tennessee to provide customers with basic, preventive and urgent care services along with lab testing.

    The discount retailer teamed up with DocGo, a provider of mobile health and transportation services, to provide the medical services, which are set up in large vans in store parking lots.

    The two companies plan to evaluate customer response and determine the feasibility of expanding the mobile health clinic offering to additional stores, executives said in a press release. Customers can schedule appointments online or walk in without an appointment.”

    1. semper loquitur

      Dollar General providing healthcare inspires as much confidence as the money lender Rocket Loans…

      1. Questa Nota

        For every purse and purpose pickpocket!
        All saw how well General Motors, the company that used the original quote, fared.

        Since you mentioned rockets, I’m reminded of what various astronauts or others in the Mercury Program era were said to have uttered, and here is a fun paraphrase.

        Here I’m sitting atop 2,000,000 lbs of fuel, in a rocket and capsule containing 150,000 parts, each built by the low bidder.

      2. griffen

        Now I’m thinking about the quality of care one might encounter. What’s the joke about an MD who makes barely acceptable but passing grades…you call him an MD I guess. And in complete honesty I have used one of those “minute clinics” once before at a CVS I believe. It was not a horrible experience, but I was strictly compelled by a corporate healthcare mandate or suffer an unfortunate consequence. The consequence being a higher insurance premium.

        In the words of the film Demolition Man, “Be Well”.

        1. fresno dan

          So I went to one of those urgent care centers…oh, about a year or so ago. So many years ago, I had a kidney stone. So I woke up on a Sunday and recognized it as another kidney stone. The urgent care was quick and compared to the alternatives, relatively inexpensive. And the doctor there actually paid attention to what I told him and cured the problem.
          As far as medical quality in general, the other night I was watching Dr. G Medical Examiner about an 18 year old girl who died. So long story short is that this young woman went to an emergency room and her ectopic pregnancy was missed. Missing an ectopic pregnancy is grossly incompetent. For whatever reason the parents didn’t sue the doctor or hospital.
          And I often relate the story of when I had Hodgkin’s disease, the first two physicians I saw diagnosed it as mononucleosis.
          And while I worked at the FDA, I had access to the CDC’s MWRR (morbibity and mortality weekly report) and read it avidly, which pretty much gives one the idea that one is better off consulting witch doctors then licensed doctors…(so I did use real physicians)
          So I always advise people that you know your own body best of all – don’t trust credentials over your own gut. And don’t be afraid to fire your doctor and get a second opinion (or third or fourth) and find your own specialist.
          I think people should be skeptical of Dollar General physicians – I just don’t think they should be any LESS Skeptical of big hospital physicians.

    2. Henry Moon Pie

      We have a Dollar General a short walk away. It’s been open spotty hours since Covid hit. It could be hard for them to find shift managers. One of them was shot early on in the Covid Era when they requested a child to wear a mask. The child went home and got an adult who returned to the store and shot the manager.

      It’s definitely the kind of place you’d want to go for health care, right? Of course, you might just be walking by there and get caught in the crossfire and end up needing medical care.

      1. t

        Dollar General is extremely dangerous. Statistically.

        Should probably put in trauma centers for all the gunshot, stabbing, and battery victims.

      2. Wukchumni

        There was a ‘Another Dollar General Store Coming Soon’ corporate made sign they had plunked into the ground on the outskirts of Tiny Town about 5 years ago, and it had only been there a day or 2 when somebody had written ‘NOT in my town!’ in suggestive handwriting right below the self welcoming greetings.

        I guess the owner of the only possible place they could have set down roots here, decided to opt for the community instead and told them the property was not for sale to their kind, in not so many words.

        We’ve got Dollar Generals all around though in neighboring towns 15-20 miles away. They’re like a weed, and when one shows up, a check cashing place can’t be far behind, or other sitck em’ upstanding businesses.

        1. curlydan

          Dollar General wants to be in every tiny town as the main grocer. Counting Dollar Generals on a country road is like counting Home Depots and Walmarts on the interstate.

          Sounds like a good business model to me. Jack customers up with high fructose corn syrup then see them later in the clinic.

          1. Michael Fiorillo

            Years ago The Onion had an occasional feature where they did nothing but list the ingredients in a selection of “foods” bought at Dollar General. It was funny and horrifying, and your proposed business model is not exaggerated.

      3. Jason Boxman

        Where ever there is hopelessness and despair, Dollar General is there.

        We have three of them within a couple square miles of where I am. Since the Pandemic the hours are greatly reduced, and items haven’t always been stocked. The one down the street is short staffed for a year now and closes at 6.

        The robberies and violence directed at Dollar General staff I think at this point might be legendary. Not an ideal place to seek health care, or shop, or work!

    3. earthling

      Oh FFS. The company that routinely leaves ONE employee to tend a store, stocking, checking, etc. The company that routinely has stacks of boxes in aisles because skeleton staff can’t get to them. Which builds parking lots too teensy for their own trucks to get into. The company that made a fortune by underpaying people jack money on awful schedules, which creates massive turnover. Which routinely is just out of necessary items, because their logistics are, well, bad.

      Wants to offer us healthcare.

  2. Wukchumni

    For what its worth, failing upwards dept:

    Jeff Zients and Chris Hipkins were both in charge of Covid, and now the former is Biden’s chief of staff and the latter is NZ’s PM.

      1. Tom Doak

        Actually, she resigned last week, a few months before the next election. She said she didn’t have it in her to keep going through another cycle.

  3. Mikel

    Re: Rythm/drumming
    “…But practicing irregular (often called ‘irrational’ in western music theory (!!)) subdivision patterns in a methodical way (you pick some gnawa or maracatu 16ths) is a very good approach to get into it. Just programm your DAW and start counting in this new weird way for some time. Then play all the grooves you now on it and see what happens…”

    Another quick way to get into the natural swing of things is to not use the quantize functions in the DAWs.

      1. Mikel

        Everybody can’t have a live orchestra or band in a studio. So if the DAW is the tool they have to record with, not using quantizing allows for the more natural expression and timing to come through – with whatever ability the system or the performer can manage.

      2. Michael Fiorillo

        Ah, the great and under-appreciated Ray Nance! Violinist, trumpeter, dancer, singer – the “doo wah, doo wah, doo wah, doo wah” thing in It Don’t Mean a Thing was supposedly improvised by him – who is sadly almost forgotten today.

        1. Bsn

          I didn’t forget him. He was a “Monster”, as we say. As far as rhythm, learn the basics, then “play”. It’s not real complicated. In the west it all starts with 1,2, me then you. However in many African musics they don’t start counting with the one. People make music too complicated, intellectually.

      3. c_heale

        I’m learning the cajón from a drummer (whose real forte is the djembe), and he’s teaching me by counting. Swinging is easy to theorize and to hear and do, if you have the basics in counting down. If each beat is divided into 2, you divide those beats into 3 and play the first and the third of these subdivisions. That’s the basis of swinging. If you play some straight and some with the swing you can get to all kinds of music very quickly. It’s actually very natural, but you have to learn each rhythm properly. It’s a easier said than done of course.

      1. John Beech

        Thanks for the thoughts, nothing ‘urgent’ just the long accumulation of injuries over time to lower back and shoulders. Means 2023 won’t be exactly fun but as long as I don’t die immediately afterwards, should be very rewarding in future as I get around in less (zero?) pain. Put another way, and as Bette Davis said, ‘Getting old ain’t for sissies.’

      2. Art_DogCT

        The Broms are notorious for the freedom with which they cross-pollenate both between species and between genera within subfamilies (there are three – Bromelioidiae, Tillandsioidea, and Pitcairnioidea, in order of the number of genera within each). When I was actively studying and growing bromeliads I recall some debate whether inter-subfamily hybridization is possible. Not sure whether that question had been resolved.

        The pictured plant is a bromeliad hybrid common in horticulture, used extensively in commercial indoor plantings and a standard offering in nurseries, big box store garden departments, even grocery stores with a florist. I probably used to know it’s name, but get an internal Error Code 404 when I try to grasp it.

        “We get a little bit older and a little bit slow.”

        from The Beatles, White Album, Revolution 9; sampled phrases included in the track.

  4. Wukchumni

    I guess I should’ve known
    By the way you parked your car sideways
    That the full term wouldn’t last
    See, you’re the kinda person that believes in abbreviation
    Love ’em and leave ’em fast

    I guess I must be dumb
    ‘Cause you had a bankers box full
    Secret docs and some of them used
    But it was Vice Presidential right, I guess that makes it all right
    And you say, “What have I got to lose?”

    And honey, I say
    Little box of documents near the Corvette
    Baby, you’re in trouble fast (Oh, oh)
    Little box of documents near the Corvette
    You need a lawyer that’s gonna go to bat

    I guess I should’ve closed my eyes
    When you drove us to the place where the Donkey Show runs free
    ‘Cause I felt a little ill when I saw all the pictures
    Of the classified docs that were there before me

    Believe it or not, I started to worry
    I wondered if Joey’s lawyer had enough class
    But it was now Presidential right, I guess that makes it all right
    And you say: “Baby, can you appease the public by lowering the price of gas?”
    Oh yeah

    Little box of documents near the Corvette
    Baby, you’re in trouble fast
    Yes, you are
    Little box of documents near the Corvette
    You need to find a lawyer who’s gonna kick ass
    Oh oh

    Little Red Corvette, by Prince


  5. Lunker Walleye

    Cezanne. That is a very early painting. Maybe from his early 20’s. The muse did kiss him.

    1. ambrit

      Agree. To break the rules, one must first know them.
      The painting shown has distinct echoes of the Pre-Raphaelite Movement style. Cezanne did his apprenticeship.

    2. Lunker Walleye

      Cézanne — can one imagine the discipline it took to achieve what he did? Five decades later I truly appreciate John Canady’s Mainstream of Modern Art for his thoughts on the artist.

      “No person in his right mind with more than a nodding
      acquaintance with the art of Cézanne approaches an explanation of it without the assumption that anything like a total and specific explanation is impossible. . .”

      and then I recall my wonderful art history prof’s discussion about him and wish it would be possible to talk to him as a more mature observer.

  6. DJG, Reality Czar

    Cezanne, Kiss of the Muse, 1860. Well, he was born n 1839, so this was something he was working on when he was 20 or 21. Not bad.

    One call tell it is Cezanne: Note how he has broken the plane of the table and distorted its perspective with the sleeve of the artist and that sheet of paper dangling over the edge. Tables with broken planes run through his work:


    In the list, note paintings 1, 2, and 4, 5.

    I suppose the question is: why?

      1. ambrit

        Cezanne was known for his rigorous analysis of his works. He utilized a quite complex ‘Colour Wheel’ to great effect.
        See Colour Wheel: https://shop.decoart.com/blog/color-theory-basics-the-color-wheel/
        I realize that the above is a commercial site, but it does explain the concept well.
        Cezanne’s split plane table tops are credited with engendering the later Cubism movement.
        One old joke concerns one of Duchamp’s lesser known works: ‘Cezanne Descending a Staircase.’

    1. lambert strether

      > he has broken the plane of the table

      Thanks, great stuff

      “Tables with broken planes” <– "Balance sheets I gave known"

    1. John Beech

      Four thoughts from the perspective of a life-long love of the beastly things (cars).

      First, if you need one, buy it.
      Second, don’t buy a new one.
      Third, pick the best example (most expensive, usually) of whatever (used) car.
      Fourth, if you don’t ‘need’ a car, the crude adage holds true . . .

      If it floats, flies, or fucks? Rent it!

      1. Objective Ace

        I’m not sure traditional adages can be applied to todays wonky market. If you can afford to wait 3 months to a year for delivery its often actually cheaper to buy new rather then used at the moment. I dont believe anyone is getting the value of used cars right now that they were 5 or 10 years ago

    2. notabanker

      Very good video on EV’s as well. They are in no way more economical than gas cars, and over their life likely a multiple of 2 or more expensive. And it’s dubious that they contribute one iota of carbon benefit. Good to see the gangstorations are already in on the charging fees. What a racket.

      1. cnchal

        Sobering. EVs are going to end up ridiculously expensive to run when all costs are considered, and one of the costs that Scotty forgot was that EV’s chew up tires. Or I missed that if he said it. Also, lets not forget the little old ladies that buy an EV are going to end up driving through plate glass windows, running stuff and people over and smacking the corners when the sudden acceleration surprises them.

        I read it all the time, EV motors have soooo many fewer moving parts they just have to be cheaper to build and last forever. That might be true but I see no price drop because its an EV and the rest of the car or truck around it will deteriorate just as quickly if not maintained and changing the battery is not going to made easy, deliberately so.

        As moar of them hit the road, they will end up hitting each other and when the inevitable EV pileup occurs, expect a city block to burn up with them. Firemen and women will love the overtime.

        Let those with the high paying bullshit jawbs go ahead and dangle themselves while smugly proclaiming their virtue. I will steer clear of them. I’m not interested in crash protection. I’m interested in crash avoidance.

      2. Bsn

        to Notabanker. Do you have any stats or links to back up your theory? We’ve had electric cars for about 8-9 years now. Not one tune up, oil change, tranny re-build (as my hubby used to do), clutch job, fluid change – not even a grease gun. Me thinks you exagerate.

        1. notabanker

          Very glad you are having a good experience with it and hope you continue to. You are coming up on those batteries being EOL, which means big $$ to replace them, and where do the old ones go?

          I have a 8 year old 28mpg 6 cyl with 80K miles that will likely go for many more years. Oil changes and tires are the only maintenance items. It is a four door with leather seats and all the fixings that cost me $25K brand new.

          We had a Toyota that we drove for 10 years with two kids we sold with 180K miles to a retired couple who then drove it for another 10 years and finally retired it at 314K miles. Oil changes, tires and engine belt at 120K miles.

          We also live in the north with temps regularly below freezing and a ton of snow. Not so sure how an EV will cope with that.

  7. Val

    It is worth noting that BMJ is the only major medical pub that maintained its function and utility as an actual scientific journal throughout the most instrumentalized portion of the covid operations.

    I learn today that I am not the only one who arrived at that conclusion in real time.

  8. Mo

    “What’s the Matter with Men?” OMFG. Could you write an uglier more ignorant smug blame-the-victim argument if you really tried. And I’m thinking these talent limited people aren’t even trying.

    Dear God I’d love to force them out onto any kind of jobsite are even a sandwich shop at lunch hour and watch them fail miserably. Maybe Romania and the other communist countries were onto something by forcing all these itellectual assholes to do real work a week or two a year.

  9. Samuel Conner

    > There are no official statistics of interest today.

    and the thought occurs that the CV death statistics are, at present, still of no interest to officials.

    I was encouraged by the mention in the AM links that a European official has drawn attention to the evidence of immune dysregulation after CV infection. People may start noticing, and perhaps “officials” will get anxious when the entire world is angry with them.

    1. fresno dan

      I presume the British Medical Journal
      Also from the link:
      Facebook’s new policy came after the White House had pressured them to control information that might harm Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine policy. Months after agreeing to aid the administration, Facebook’s fact checker faulted The BMJ for “missing context” although they found no factual errors.
      The problem with “context” is that these “fact checkers” have an agenda, and their context almost always is nothing but excuses for democratic malfeasence and exaggeration of republican bad conduct.

        1. John

          Initials as identifiers are about as common as ticks and often no more welcome in and of themselves. Would it not be good manners to spell it out at least on first usage?

          1. Anonymous 2

            The problem is knowing which acronyms are unfamiliar, Growing up in a medical household, I think I have known the meaning of ‘the BMJ’ for about 60 years now!

          2. Jeff W

            “Would it not be good manners to spell it out at least on first usage?”

            I don’t think it’s really a matter of “good manners,” although it might also be good manners to do so. I’d say it’s more a matter of style.

            That said, specifically about cases like “The BMJ,” i.e., “orphan initialisms.” Orphan initialisms, by definition, don’t stand for anything and can be, as in the case of The BMJ, the official name, but it’s not like, for those reasons, it might not be a good practice to spell out the former full name or that there is no recommended way to do so.

            The St Petersburg Times style book (from 2005), in fact, said “If one has changed recently [presumably, if a regular old initialism has become an official “orphan initialism”], inserting the former full name is a good idea”—with the recommended style here being “The BMJ, formerly the British Medical Journal.” (Given that The BMJ abandoned the full name in 1988, becoming the anarthrous “BMJ” before adopting “The BMJ,” one can argue about whether that falls within the criterion of “recently.”) Obviously, as with these things, it’s a matter of style and one could adopt a different rule (e.g., if the official name is an orphan initialism, just use that).

            1. Angie Neer

              A magazine I used to enjoy (when it still existed) decided they should get with the latest style (this was at least a decade ago) and started printing just the initials on the cover, but without changing the official name (the one printed on the masthead and registered with the post office). But my librarian wife said that in her business, the name is what’s printed on the cover. So this magazine got moved a few slots out of the alphabetical sorting order that one might expect. Of course, alphabetizing is a dying craft anyway, in this age of automated searching.

  10. fresno dan

    “NEW EMAILS: Biden White House Behind Facebook Censorship of The BMJ’s Pfizer Investigation” [Disinformation Chronicles]. “Late 2021, I wrote a bombshell BMJ investigation that found data integrity problems in Pfizer’s COVID-19 clinical trial, based on internal documents provided by an American whistleblower. As the investigation took off on social media, Facebook began censoring it, leading to a back and forth between The BMJ and Facebook, as well as coverage in multiple outlets over ‘fact checkers’ who check narratives—not facts.
    …. a Facebook employee emailed White House officials Andy Slavitt and Rob Flaherty, detailing how the social media giant would reduce virality of vaccine stories that might discourage the administration’s vaccine policies even if they contained ‘true content.’ ‘As you know, in addition to removing vaccine misinformation, we have been focused on reducing virality of content discouraging vaccines that does not contain actionable misinformation,’ reads the Facebook email to White House officials Slavitt and Flaherty. “This is often-true content….”” • Oh.
    As my own bete noire is that the media dissembles by leaving relevant information out, I think this confirms that (not that there hasn’t been BILLIONS of examples). But it also shows that these people don’t believe in simple, plain facts. No, these are people who believe in higher truth – Biden must be a better person than Trump, and any facts that suggest otherwise are misleading and therefore must be suppressed in the interest of the higher truth. The dems must be more honest than the repubs.
    When the world ends in a nuclear holocaust, the final NYT headline will be it must be Russia’s fault…

    1. John Beech

      As told by RA Heinlein in Time Enough For Love . . .

      “It’s not enough to be able to lie with a straight face; anybody with enough gall to raise on a busted flush can do that. The first way to lie artistically is to tell the truth — but not all of it. The second way involves telling the truth, too, but is harder: Tell the exact truth and maybe all of it…but tell it so unconvincingly that your listener is sure you are lying.”

  11. Lightningclap

    Thanks for reviving the drum thread from the other day I missed. Fascinating how “feel” is so integral to music that machines needed the “swing” knob to sound natural. I must pick up the J Dilla book. Though not a drummer, his rhythms caused a revolutionary change in popular music.

    I revere all the drummers mentioned, but above all Carlton Barrett of The Wailers. He had a weird high-hat pattern that seemed to float behind everything.

    1. lambert strether

      Bob Marley and the Wailers Live! (197*) is a spectacular album — remember those? — by a band at the height of its powers. Tightest in the world…. I don’t know how to describe their rhythm, though; perhaps a musical reader can help.

  12. fresno dan

    • “The #DavosStandard safe air should be for all of us” [Boing Boing]. “Folks who have long been advocating for similar safety measures for public spaces, schools, workplaces, and more are taking to Twitter to praise the measures in effect at the WEF, and to spread the news that we should all have access to safe places to work, gather, learn, and more…. We should all be asking the same question — shouldn’t we all be as protected from COVID-19 as the attendees at the World Economic Forum are?
    Well, I have believed in HEPA filtration for a long, long time. Its not done because it costs too much money to the people who decide how much money a human llife is worth…to the people who don’t want to reduce there billion dollar wealth by 1%. But I have this idea – granted, it is RADICAL, perhaps even socilistic, possibly communism in fact. How about the same health care as Davos attendees, for….now please be sitting when you read this…everyone? And the same amount of healthy food as Davos attendees??? And maybe enough income to have access to a real, legal abode???
    I kinda think that will happen when we have real superheros…

    1. Objective Ace

      Because we have destroyed the envirnment there is no possible way to give every one the same healthy food. One of the many examples is the recently linked to stat about fresh fish containing the equivelent in forever chemicals of months worth of toxic water. The elite, however, they can have the few remaining wild salmon from Alaska shipped to them at a moments notice

  13. Carolinian

    What’s the matter with magazines that have headlines like “What’s the Matter With Men”? There, fixed it.

    The Atlantic might want to dial their clickbait categories a little smaller.

      1. digi_owl

        Because classrooms are not a favorable environment for boys.

        Being overly interested in the history of technology, i once read a claim as for why telephone operators were young ladies.

        Thing is that the telegraph network, the forerunner of the telephone, often employed the town’s young boys as messengers.

        Once a message was received, the telegraphist would pop outside, where a group of boys would hang around, and ask one of them to run the message over to whoever it was for, in exchange for a coin or two.

        This arrangement worked well for all involved.

        So when the telephone started up, the companies tried to hire boys to operate the switchboards. It was a complete disaster. The boys, when bored, would constantly prank callers in various ways.

        So instead they tried hiring young ladies. Worked much better. When they were bored they would instead listen in on calls, and gossip among themselves about what they overheard. Made for far more reliable service for the customers.

        Also, i have read the claim that teachers are inclined to give girls a better grade than boys.

    1. Not Again

      And men are powering the new brand of reactionary Republican politics, premised on a return to better times, when America was great—and, unsubtly, when men could really be men.

      Or men could get a job that could support a family even without incurring a quarter million dollars in non-dischargeable debt? You know, like their fathers did when they had union jobs that manufactured gas stoves.

      1. Harold

        And that was before rich widows, like Mizz Jobs,could spend their husband’s money on hobby magazine mouthpieces for their rancid feminism.

        Imagine SBF, or Maddoff, or Larry Summers, or any of the other parasites on our economy, the mortgage hustlers and other tricksters, trying to do what they do say in 1952, after the Korean War.
        They’d at best, be religated to selling used cars, or at worst, meet a high velocity bullet from a deer rifle or, end up lynched.
        That’s why the Powers That Be must emasculate American men and boys, so they can take over and financialize our country without any real resistance.

      2. earthling

        It’s no accident that men are ‘failing’ to live up to whatever standards the experts want to see. Men sense more intensely than women that the individual no longer has any control over his town, his work, his country, or his fate.

        And the ‘solution’ is not for them to be good little submissive boys who are ‘well-adjusted’, but for a return to human dignity and self-determination.

        1. c_heale

          Everyone knows it, not just men (saying otherwise is just sexist). Why do you think most people think politicians don’t give a rat’s ass about anyone else and are just in it for the money power and prestige. Because it’s true.

          1. earthling

            I said men sense it more intensely, not that women can’t, let’s not make this another football for the SJW. And no, not ‘everyone knows it’, lots of people don’t realize we are losing our freedom to be ourselves and determine our own fate. They think it’s fine to be led around by the nose by technology or The State. But many men still want to be their own, well, man. Which makes them misfits in our brave new world.

  14. Wukchumni

    Trader Joe’s and the occasional concert (saw CSN & Y in 2007 RIP) are my draws to Fresno, and if only Visalia rated by having a 4 year university or college, we’d get one too-but no dice as there is only a 2 year college here, and that’s how TJ’s goes about putting their stores.

    I’ve been shopping there for about 45 years and back then the product changed all the time, whereas now with the exception of a few new items, everything is the same, and I know what I want and its always there and I go away happy.

    I much prefer going to Grocery Outlet to shop for food, as it reminds me of Trader Joe’s back in the day, a movable feast-get it while you can with great deals, there’ll be something different in its place next time on about half of what they sell.

    Bought a box of 30x of those Danish dark chocolate little bottles filled with 6 different kinds of single malt scotch for $17.99 last month @ the GO. sweet deal.

    1. fresno dan

      There was a Traders Joe at Barstow and Blackstone, pretty close where I used to and now currently live, but they closed that store and opened one in the far north of Fresno (probably pretty close to Alaska now) and I just don’t have the inclination to drive all the way up there.

      1. Wukchumni

        Torn between having to go to Alaska-adjacent and the other TJ’s in Bakersfield, it’d have to go with A-a, edge Fresno.

  15. Pelham

    Re the Atlantic piece on men and this observation, that “sore losers of undeserved privilege don’t merit much sympathy”: First off, who says male privilege was undeserved? Men have pretty much always constituted just less than half of the global population. If men achieved superior status vis a vis the other equally capable gender, they obviously deserved it. The same goes for women today. Secondly: If, OTOH, we concede for the sake of argument that men throughout the centuries did NOT deserve their superior status, it has nothing to do with men today. Unless you want to apply the supposed principle of punishing sons for the past sins of their fathers. In that case, there’s a very long list of past injustices that people today should be clobbered for.

    1. The Rev Kev

      I’m just imagining the Atlantic coming out with an article headed “What’s the Matter with Women?” Yeah, that’s not really going to happen.

  16. fresno dan

    “Scenes from Tampa’s ‘dead mall,’ alive with nostalgia” [Tampa Bay Times].
    I read articles about the death of malls all the time. I don’t know if Fresno is an outlier, or all the death of mall stories are fake news.
    Fashion Fair is the Fresno Mall I am most familiar with. I can remember when dinosaurs lumbered across the wide expanse of the Drive in Movie theatre which became the mall (in 1970). I peripheraly worked at Fashion fair in about 1980 as a part time security guard in the Macy’s site when the Macy’s was being built. It was a union job and I think it paid around 5$ an hour – big money for a college student back then and well above minimum wage. Maybe other malls are dying, but I know on the rare Sunday or weekday that I visit a steakhouse located in the outer perimeter of the mall parking lot, that finding a parking space, even an hour before the mall closes on a Sunday, can be challenging. I go in the mall itself rarely, but over the Christmas season it seemed to be thriving.

    1. Carolinian

      We still have a mall. Can’t remember the last time I was in it. Our nearby, and larger, sister city has a much bigger mall that still does well as I think most of the “destination malls” do. It’s the smaller malls that can’t make it.

  17. kareninca

    I’ve noticed something strange about google search. It seems to think that I live in Britain. Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve found that if I google “died suddenly” I get loads and loads and LOADS of articles about people in Britain who died suddenly. I get this even if I google “died suddenly U.S.”. There are almost no articles about such deaths in the U.S.. I guess we don’t have that problem!!!!

  18. KD

    Yet, for all the strides that women have made since gaining the right to vote, the highest echelons of power remain lopsidedly male.

    Right to Vote in US was 1920.

    “Good old days” when I was in a course with James Q. Wilson was definitely California circa 1950’s, so a generation later (also I think there are elements of this in George Lucas’s early films).

    Males were at parity with females in college ~1980’s. Another generation. Further, you have had all the Civil Rights/Title IX stuff since the 60’s, sexual harassment regulations came on line in the 70’s, so its hard to claim this is some kind of result of civil rights legislation empowering women in the workplace a generation+ later..

    Incel/Deaths of Despair/rest of it follows Bill Clinton’s NAFTO/China WTO job export policies and the Financial Crisis. Its not some reactionary return, its the loss of decent (traditionally male-ish) manufacturing jobs. Its also not some triumph of female empowerment, I sure that females would appreciate having some males around that worked and brought home a decent income.

    Further, nothing surprising to me that you have a system that rewards winners (1%), that overwhelmingly keeps male winners (1%) at the top of power hierarchies, and screws the 99%, and then tries to pretend all the chuff about the 99% male population that can’t get real jobs and ends up living under a bridge shooting fentanyl is just some reactionaries pissed off that women can vote.

    Obama ran on a message of “Hope and Change”–and when he let the den of thieves on Wall Street get away without indictment, bailed them out, and let them pay themselves bonuses from the bail out money, people internalized a sense of no hope, and no change is possible. That’s why so many people voted for Trump. People are paralyzed, I see lots of opportunities–not as many as in the past–but people are almost comatose, they don’t even try.

    1. Jason Boxman

      The FDA said the immunization schedule proposal is influenced by emerging evidence that hybrid immunity provides significant protection against COVID-19, acknowledging that there are some inconsistencies and data gaps.

      Lol. Whut. I think the data belies that claim. Unless they mean protection against hospitalization, but even that is less true that it once was. And regardless, “hybrid” immunity does not protect against immune exhaustion and other physiological damage. Just wishful thinking on the part of the FDA.

  19. semper loquitur

    Missing from the article about men falling behind women in various metrics is the knock-on effect on women. It’s great that Mom is making more money. But if Dad is couch surfing 24/7, in an era where three jobs are necessary for some households, Mom is going to be sorely tried: The author presents it as a kind of competition between the sexes. Funny, that…

  20. fresno dan

    The company announced the feminist-forward candy wrappers Thursday, saying it will exclusively display M&M’s female characters: the green, brown and most recently introduced purple M&M.

    In addition to featuring the three female M&M’s on the wrappers, each package in this limited run will only include the corresponding green, brown and purple candy-coated chocolates.
    I am so old, I remember when m&m’s didn’t wear shoes. And they didn’t have a sex…
    And they didn’t have purple. This being a family blog, I won’t get into the implications of limiting yourself to only eating certain colors…

  21. Carolinian

    Alert the media. An actual war protest is going to take place in DC next month.


    Nick Brana, a lead organizer of the protest. Brana was National Coordinator of the Bernie Sanders 2016 campaign, but has turned his back on the Democrats in disgust over the failure progressive Democratic pols to fight for the promises they made. Among the speakers at the Party’s founding convention in 2020 were Cornel West, Chris Hedges, Jimmy Dore and Nina Turner (co-chair of the Sanders 2020 campaign).

  22. Synoia

    The Ukrainian government on Tuesday confirmed the resignation of multiple high ranking officials amid large-scale corruption allegations, in what’s being called the biggest mass resignation and graft scandal since the Russian invasion began.

    Aided and abetted by whom? (Hint: A well known Blob)

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