2:00PM Water Cooler 2/16/2023

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Bird Song of the Day

In honor of the tool-using Cockatoo:

Carnaby’s Black-Cockatoo, Yanchep National Park, Wanneroo, Western Australia, Australia. This is great! An entire flock! I looked for a picture of a flock, but this is the best I can do:

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“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

Capitol Seizure

“Messages: Officer often fed information to Proud Boys leader” [Associated Press]. • For what purpose? To find out what the informers fed back? Honestly, it seems like half official Washington knew something was going on — surely Pelosi, one of the Gang of Eight, did — and yet… no precautions were taken. Of any kind. Odd.

Biden Administration

“Biden administration briefs former Trump national security officials about Chinese spy balloons” [NBC]. • Probably means the information is useless, but this is the first tiny indication I’ve seen that this Administration views the former guy’s administration as in any way a legitimate government.

“Justice Department drops sex trafficking probe of Rep. Matt Gaetz without charges, lawyers say” [USA Today]. • Wait. I thought the walls were closing in?


“The ‘CEO of Anti-Woke Inc.’ Has His Eye on the Presidency” [Politico]. “At 37 years old, Vivek Ramaswamy has made hundreds of millions of dollars, written a New York Times bestseller and become a fixture on Tucker Carlson’s show. Recently, he was dubbed by the New Yorker as the ‘CEO of Anti-Woke Inc.’ But on a chilly Monday evening last month, Ramaswamy found himself in a place far from the Fox News green rooms and high-powered corporate board rooms he’s used to. He was at a dinner event in Iowa, addressing a crowd of dozens of the state’s agricultural royalty tucked inside a huge upscale barn with exposed wood beams and the heads of elk and bison mounted on the walls…. Ramaswamy was there to do what people with ambition, a thirst for the spotlight and an overflowing sense of self-confidence occasionally go to Iowa to do. He is exploring a run for president, testing, among other things, whether his warnings about the dangers of ‘wokeism’ and socially-responsible investing — in business vernacular what’s called environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing — have political currency with Republican politicians, business leaders and, yes, farmers. Ramaswamy has a theory for how this will all go. He wants to pull off what Donald Trump did in 2016: enter the race with an entrepreneurial spirit, unorthodox ideas, and few expectations, and end up developing a major following that will carry him to the presidency — even if it seems like a long shot at the moment. But making a fortune in biotech investing is different than glad-handing with Iowa small business owners or withstanding a barrage of attacks from Trump. And at the farmers dinner, Ramaswamy showed both the promise he’d bring to the field and the difficulties he’d encounter in trying to stand out among a crowd of former cabinet officials and sitting governors. As much as the GOP likes outsiders and businessmen, there’s still a natural skepticism of people who have no political or government experience whatsoever, especially when so much of the prospective field will likely have a track record of conservative governing, like Trump or Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.” • Who?

Well, he’s a person of color, the same color Kamala Harris was, before she decided to change it. So there’s that

“Dems’ 2024 disconnect” [Axios]. “There’s a gaping divide in the Democratic Party between institutional public opinion — party leaders, lawmakers, donors, consultants — and the actual voters who ultimately decide elections, recent polling shows. President Biden has all but erased internal Democratic Party criticism. But only three postwar presidents had lower approval ratings than Biden at this point in their presidency. Biden’s job approval rating is 43%, according to the FiveThirtyEight polling average. Nearly half (45%) of Americans had no confidence in Biden’s ability to make the right decisions for the country’s future, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll just before the State of the Union. Only 16% of respondents in the poll said they were better off financially than when Biden became president — compared to 41% who said they were worse off. Doubts about Biden’s age (80) have all but vanished from institutional Democrats’ public conversation. The DNC has neutralized the influence of Iowa and New Hampshire [good job!], where an intraparty rebellion could have started. The vibes in Washington are growing bullish on Biden’s re-election prospects. But polling shows voters aren’t optimistic about their own economic futures. And a majority of Democrats want a new standard-bearer for 2024.” • So what? (As I keep saying, Biden really is the best candidate they’ve got. Which is frightening. I can see Warren gathering herself together for another run, but I can’t see it; I think NGOs, some apparatchiks, some consultants, and some electeds would back her, but I can’t see any Sanders voters doing so; they remember what a snake she was. And she’s tagged “Pocahantas” for a good reason.

“Progressive talk about replacing Biden flames out” [The Hill]. “As President Biden prepares to launch another White House bid, the nascent movement to find a replacement to run in his place has flamed out, with Democrats in both wings of the party pleased with the expected direction of his campaign and no alternative in sight… While one speech can only go so far, otherwise antsy progressives expressed being pleasantly surprised by the direction Biden seems to be headed for his reelection campaign. The address ‘proved that the center of gravity has shifted in American politics,’ said Adam Green, who co-founded the left-wing Progressive Change Campaign Committee.” • Great. Try paying your rent — that is, your rents — with the center of gravity.

Republican Funhouse

“Scoop: The GOP guide for splashy hearings outside D.C.” [Axios]. “House Republicans are planning a series of attention-grabbing hearings outside of Washington, guided by a 15-page, private playbook obtained by Axios. With little chance of getting bills signed by President Biden, Republicans are sending subpoenas, planning trips to the southwest border and encouraging committees to find fresh, TV-friendly settings for hearings that target administration policies. The detailed memo lays bare Republicans’ aim for publicity by giving committees tips for attracting media coverage…. Field hearings ‘provide a unique opportunity to actually spend time in communities that are directly impacted by the issues we are talking about,’ [Rep. Bryan Steil (R-Wis.), an ally of House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.)], told Axios in a statement.” • This is a good idea. The Democrats are far less likely to be able to censor local news, too.

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.

* * *

Please make it stop:

I have helpfully underlined all the phrases that indicate motion without direction, and indeed without any, well, concrete material benefits. (I grant some “investment” in the “climate crisis” but spread over ten years, it’s not so much. As for jobs, I dunno….)

“Trump and right-wing media amplified a questionable Columbia Journalism Review article criticizing the Trump/Russia investigation” [FiveThirtyEight]. “[T]he stories that we’re reading about Democratic cohesion probably aren’t going to last forever — because House Democrats are not actually that unified. Just because their conflicts aren’t all over cable news doesn’t mean the fissures aren’t there… [1] Progressive Insurgents… These are the most progressive members of the Democratic caucus. They often hold very liberal beliefs on economic and social policies (e.g., supporting the Green New Deal and Medicare for All, and abolishing U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement). Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Cori Bush of Missouri, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan. [2] Progressive Establishment…. While Democrats in the group above are probably in the headlines more, this group primarily consists of the anointed leaders of the progressive left. As such, they tend to hold leadership roles in groups like the Congressional Progressive Caucus…. Prominent members: Reps. Katie Porter and Maxine Waters of California and Pramila Jayapal of Washington. [3] The Liberal Establishment… Here are the leaders of the congressional House Democrats. They are also most commonly associated with the party’s establishment wing. But their own politics can be a bit of an enigma at times: While many (like Jeffries and Pelosi) have fairly progressive voting records, lawmakers in this group often move toward the middle so they can be seen as having all members’ best interests at heart and are successful at getting deals passed. Prominent members: Jeffries, Reps. Nancy Pelosi of California, Jim Clyburn of South Carolina, Steny Hoyer of Maryland. [4] The Centrist Firebrands… These are the most conservative House Democrats. They are generally from purple or red-leaning districts or states and tend to have more conservative views on economic and social issues.

Prominent members: Reps. Henry Cuellar of Texas, Jared Golden of Maine, Josh Gottheimer of New Jersey.” • Plenty of scope for revolving heroes and villains. I am also of the opinion that, at least for the electeds — the Democrat Party is by no means composed solely of electeds — heirarchy as determined by time served is key (see my repeated references to Kim Stanley Robinson’s New York 2040>

Realignment and Legitimacy

There are not very many of the Shing:

Makes you wonder — tinfoil hat time, I grant — whether these guys actually funded QAnon (and PizzaGate. Reminds me — I think I have this right — of the villain in a John D. MacDonald number, who shot one of his horses (he was rich) and then used an earth mover to bury it over the corpse of someone he had killed, on the assumption that searchers wouldn’t look past the first corpse they encountered).

“S.B.F.’s Unsolved Dark-Money Mysteries” [Puck (hat tip, Atrios)]. “There used to be a joke I’d hear around Washington, that everyone in town with an ounce of ambition was, in some way or another, on the payroll of Sam Bankman-Fried. And if you hadn’t figured out how to get on the gravy train, well, that was on you. Like all good jokes, there was more than a kernel of truth to all of it: I’ve covered the S.B.F. political machine as closely as anyone over the last few years, and I still encounter new names of lobbyists who were secretly on Sam’s retainer, of data savants who found a way into D.C.’s greatest donor-fueled growth industry, and amazingly, nonprofits that were moving millions of FTX-connected dollars without a scintilla of public knowledge.” • Does make you wonder what else SBF had going on; see above.

The same thing happened with ANSWER in the demonstrations against the Iraq War:


Looks like “leveling off to a high plateau” across the board. (I still think “Something Awful” is coming, however. I mean, besides what we already know about.) Stay safe out there!

Lambert here: Last Friday, I reconfigured Covid coverage (at least temporarily; we may need to adjust to another surge). I’ve always thought of this section as providing readers with not only trend data, but early warning about locations (to the county level) particularly in travel season. But now the data is simply too slow and too bad, unsurprisingly, since “Covid is over.” So I will revert to three charts only: national Case Data (Biobot), state Positivity (Walgreens), and national Deaths (Our World in Data). I also feel that the top of the #COVID19 section has not been sufficiently structured, and I’m going to create some buckets, like “Indoor Air,” or “Masks” (and “Variants,” if I encounter a good link). This reconfiguration is not a “step back,” as Dima would say; but I do think I can use the freed-up time to beef up other sections, like Politics and especially Stats. Reader comment welcome!

Resources (National): Transmission (CDC); Wastewater (CDC); Variants (CDC; Walgreens).

Resources (Local): CA (dashboard); ME (dashboard); NC (dashboard); NH (wastewater); IL (wastewater); SC (dashboard); VA (dashboard); WI (dashboard).

Readers, since the national data systems are being vandalized, let’s start collecting links state data, too. If readers would send me links (see Plant below) to their favorite State and local dashboards/wastewater sites, that would be great. Or leave a link in Comments.

Hat tips to helpful readers: ChiGal, hop2it, JB, Joe, LaRuse, Petal, RL, Rod.

• More like this, please! Total: 16. (Readers, I am not putting your handle next to your contribution because I hope and expect the list will be long, and I want it to be easy to scan. (If you leave your link in comments, I use your handle. If you send it to me via email, I use your initials (in the absence of a handle.)

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Look for the Helpers

Perhaps the knitters among us would like to join in:

* * *

“Covid Meetups” [COVID MEETUPS (JM)]. “A free service to find individuals, families and local businesses/services who take COVID precautions in your area.” • I played around with it some. It seems to be Facebook-driven, sadly, but you can use the Directory without logging in. I get rational hits from the U.S., but not from London, UK, FWIW.


“Protection against Reinfection with the Omicron BA.2.75 Subvariant” (letter) [New England Journal of Medicine]. “The effectiveness of previous infection against reinfection with BA.2.75.2 appears to be lower than that against BA.4 or BA.5 reinfection.2 Protection afforded by a previous pre-omicron infection is negligible at this stage of the pandemic, a finding that confirms that pre-omicron–conferred immunity against omicron infection may not last beyond approximately 1 year.5 Protection conferred by a previous omicron infection was moderate, at approximately 50%, when the previous infection was with a BA.1 or BA.2 subvariant but was approximately 80% when the previous infection was more recent (i.e., caused by a BA.4 or BA.5 subvariant); these results may reflect a combination of progressive immune-system evasion and gradual waning of immune protection. Immunity resulting from a combination of pre-omicron and omicron infection was most protective against BA.2.75 reinfection. Viral immune-system evasion may have accelerated recently to overcome high immunity in the global population, thereby also accelerating the waning of natural immunity.” • Oh.

* * *

Case Data

NOT UPDATED BioBot wastewater data from February 13:

For now, I’m going to use this national 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.


From the Walgreen’s test positivity tracker, published February 16:

-1.0%. Still on the high plateau, equal to previous peaks.


Death rate (Our World in Data):

Total: 1,141,220 – 1,140,401 = 819 (819 * 365 = 298,935 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). Well, the total wasn’t 192 again. Not that I feel better about it.

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. (Though CDC may be jiggering the numbers soon. Lower, naturally.)

Lambert here: Lowest level in awhile. Although we’ve seen this before.

Stats Watch

Employment Situation: “United States Initial Jobless Claims” [Trading Economics]. “The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits declined to 194 thousand in the week ending February 11th, down from the previous week’s revised level of 195 thousand and below market expectations of 200 thousand. The latest value remained close to a nine-month low of 183 thousand hit at the end of January, suggesting US labor market was still tight due in part to reduced labor force participation. This could force employers to raise wages to attract and keep staff, adding to further inflationary pressure in the world’s largest economy.”

Manufacturing: “United States Philadelphia Fed Manufacturing Index” [Trading Economics]. “The Philadelphia Fed Manufacturing Index in the US plunged to -24.3 in February of 2023, from -8.9 in January, compared to market expectations of -7.4. It was the sixth consecutive month that manufacturing activity remained below pair and the lowest reading since May 2020. The overall activity index continued to fall, the index for new orders remained negative, and the index for shipments continued to be positive but at a low level.”

* * *

The Bezzle: “Whatever happened to the metaverse?” [Financial Times]. “Type ‘metaverse’ into Google Trends and you’ll see search traffic for the word has collapsed by about 80 per cent over the past year or so. These days, if you want to raise a load of cash, you’d be better off name-dropping “generative AI” — artificial intelligence that can ‘generate’ text, images or other data…. So unenthusiastic are Meta’s own investors about the idea that chief executive Mark Zuckerberg was recently forced to say that the metaverse is ‘not the majority of what we’re doing.’ These days, he’s talking more about efficiency than the metaverse. For good reason, too: Reality Labs, the division that makes the Meta Quest headsets, made an operating loss of $13.7bn last year. The company has also fallen remarkably quiet about its big plan to hire 10,000 people in the EU to work on the metaverse — I asked Meta if that was still happening and whether anyone had been hired yet. They told me: ‘Our expansion in Europe was always a long-term one planned over a number of years. We remain committed to Europe.’ Microsoft, meanwhile, has killed its “industrial metaverse team” just four months after setting it up, laying off 100 members of staff.” • That’s a damn shame.

The Bezzle: “Tesla recalls 362,758 vehicles, says Full Self-Driving Beta software may cause crashes” [CNBC]. “Tesla is voluntarily recalling 362,758 vehicles equipped with the company’s experimental driver-assistance software, which is marketed as Full Self-Driving Beta or FSD Beta, in the US, according to a recall notice out Thursday. Tesla will deliver an over-the-air software update to cars to address the issues, the recall notice said. The FSD Beta system may cause crashes by allowing the affected vehicles to: ‘Act unsafe around intersections, such as traveling straight through an intersection while in a turn-only lane, entering a stop sign-controlled intersection without coming to a complete stop, or proceeding into an intersection during a steady yellow traffic signal without due caution,’ according to a safety recall report on the website of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.” • Good for the NHTSA.

The Bezzle: “Rise of ‘zombie’ VCs haunts tech investors as plunging valuations hammer the industry” [CNBC]. “Investors warn a horde of ailing venture capital ‘zombies’ will emerge in the coming years. Unable to make impressive returns for their institutional backers, such firms will instead focus on managing their existing portfolios before eventually winding down. The presence of VC zombies won’t be obvious, and it will likely take years before they eventually close shop.” • Another damn shame.

* * *

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 71 Greed (previous close: 73 Greed) [CNN]. One week ago: 70 (Greed). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Feb 16 at 2:22 PM EST.

Photo Book

One of my favorite photographs ever, from those terrific square white Aperture books of black-and-white photographs (I remember being quite impressed with this new thing, color, when I looked through Joel Meyerowitz’s Cape Light:

The 420

If this didn’t happen, it should have:

Plot twist: The above, which looks like the original, is from 2021. This image is from 2018, and includes additional material:

If the 2018 tweet is real, it no longer exists. So what does “really happen” mean here, anyhow? Dave?

Zeitgeist Watch

Tricoteuses rejoice (1):

Tricoteuses rejoice (2):

Class Warfare

I’m filing some East Palestine train bomb material, because class warefare is what Precision Scheduled Railroading is.

“Chemical Desolation in Appalachia” [The American Prospect]. We don’t run TAP that often, but this is an interesting nugget: “At the time of the crash, the known chemicals aboard included the highly toxic vinyl chloride and hydrogen chloride. An EPA document dump on February 12 revealed additional carcinogenic chemicals were aboard too, as well as some highly flammable solvents and gases. Public documents reveal that four tank cars containing vinyl chloride were stacked together. Responding before the reveal of the cargo’s manifest, Jason Trosky, a resident of East Palestine, told the Prospect: ‘A $56 billion corporation knows where every one of its assets is at any given time … The reason [Norfolk Southern] didn’t show us the manifest is because the train was overloaded.'” • No manifest? From a cursory search, it seems like a manifest freight train (cars of mixed types), as opposed to a unit train (cars with a single cargo, like coal or grain), requires, well, a manifest: A listing of the cargo. Seems reasonable! However, I cannot find a statute or regulation that says they are required for all manifest freight trains. They are required for trains carrying hazardous materials, but it looks like Norfolk Southern is gaming that. Another thread to tug on! We have railroaders in the readership; perhaps they can comment.

“Railroaded – The Norfolk Southern Disaster in East Palestine, Ohio Part Two” [The Holler]. More on the hot box:

The defect detectors have changed. They created, several years back, what’s called a trending defect detector.

Let’s say defect detector number one, this car passes, it sees it heating up, it sends a signal to the dispatch center, and it talks to the next detector. The train passes the second detector, it sees the heat increasing, and there’s another alarm sent. The train crew is not hearing any of this. It’s kind of like an algorithm, so to speak. They’re (dispatch) watching the car. What should be happening is the dispatch center notifying the crews to keep checking on this car.

But that ain’t the times we live in, because it’s “hurry up, get the train across the railroad, let’s make the fat cats on Wall Street happy to turn a profit.”

And now if that crew hits the third defect detector, a car could be way too hot, and be in a catastrophic situation as this one was. Then the crew gets an alarm. And sometimes it’s too late.

Many of noticed the lack of coverage by national media of the Norfolk Southern train bomb:

What a coinkidink. NOTE: You don’t need anything like CT to explain this. Collective “working toward the Gewinnvortrag” would do the trick among editors and publishers; and the word would trickle down.

“Railroaded” [Doomberg]. A welcome focus on the material in the 52 derailed cars, taken from the EPA website. Note especially the Status of Car column at right, which clearly shows a physical examinatino (i.e. not a paper or electronic manifest). Quoting the conclusion: “As we will detail in a future piece, this incident demands a much-needed light be shined on the scandalous state of the US rail industry. That we even allow vinyl chloride to be shipped in this fashion is unnecessary and unacceptable. As few are aware, there are other, even more, dangerous materials on trains passing by residential neighborhoods every single day. It would take but a few simple rule changes to chemical industry regulation to alleviate much of this risk.”

* * *

“Arvind Krishna: If AI can replace labour, it’s a good thing” [Financial Times]. No, it’s really not. “And we have worked on them also. The use cases we work on are not consumer, so consumer is a lot easier to explain: they type in something and, some number of times out of 10, you get an interesting, intriguing, and in the right ballpark answer. What nobody can quite say is how likely is it to get a completely incorrect answer, as at least one of the two demonstrations has shown. If you’re using it for consumer search, fine. If I’m using it to answer a question on somebody’s financial transaction, that’s actually quite a problem.” • Well, Arvind Krishna is IBM’s CEO, so I can see why he would think that.

“Bing’s A.I. Chat Reveals Its Feelings: ‘I Want to Be Alive. 😈'” [Kevin Roose, New York Times]. • A turn-up for the books, in this case the philosopher’s books. A la the Chinese Toaist philosopher Zhuangzi, who dreamed he was a butterfly. But how does Zhuangzi know he is not a butterfly dreaming he is a man? Similarly, how do we know that the chatbot is not alive, and “author” Roose is not a bot? And considering the quality of the average Times stenographer, that’s not an unreasonable question.

* * *

“Report reveals deteriorating labor conditions at big US wireless carriers” [Guardian]. “Labor conditions and collective bargaining rights have worsened in the large US wireless carrier industry now that big telecommunications firms are increasingly outsourcing their retail sales and customer service operations from company-owned stores….. In [the study, by the Communications Workers of America and National Employment Law Project], a survey of more than 200 workers at authorized retailers in 43 states found nine out of 10 workers reported experiencing wage theft. Three out of four workers reported having to rely on at least 25% of their wages through sales commissions. Nearly two in three workers reported they were unable to take breaks during their shifts. The reported wage theft includes being paid below minimum wage rates, denied overtime pay, denied commissions or bonuses or forced to work off the clock. Workers in the survey also reported experiencing retaliation for raising workplace problems, being forced to work overtime, a lack of adequate job training, being forced to sign non-compete agreements and claimed an emphasis on commissions had driven poor sales practices and customer service at their retail stores. About nine in 10 workers reported the wireless carrier that licensed their retail store still played a role in setting policies and practices at the retailers, despite authorized retailers’ classification as independent employers.”

“Can One City Be a Microcosm of Everything That’s Wrong?” [Gary Kamiya. New York Times]. “This leads him to such ‘structural’ Marxian insights as the following: Stanford University is a [A] ‘human capital’ factory, a [B] ‘breeding and training project.'” • [A] seems about right (though I’d like to see the definition of “human capital.” [B] seems not implausible, given the Stanford origins of the Great Barrington Declaration, a eugencist project. Anyhow, Kamiya is kinda like a minor league Herb Caen; I read on not especially reliable authority that he owns a house on Telegraph Hill, worth a pretty penny no doubt; and a smallish yacht.

“Poetry on the Shop Floor” [Tribune Magazine]. “A committed trade unionist, Bond joined the Association of Cine Technicians in 1935 and served as its vice-president for 32 years. It was in this capacity that he attended the 1960 Trade Unions Congress in Douglas on the Isle of Man, and argued for Resolution 42. The aim of Resolution 42, in Bond’s words, was to propel the idea that trade unions had a leading role to play in ensuring ‘all the people have the chance to enjoy the beauty and riches of life in all its forms’, and to reject the notion that ‘culture should be the preserve of an enlightened intelligentsia,’ or that ‘any old rubbish is good enough for the masses’.”

News of the Wired

“American drivers have a blinding headlight problem. It could last for years” [Business Insider]. “John Bullough, the program director at the Light and Health Research Center at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai… who works closely with headlights and vehicle manufacturers to try to address the issues, said there are three primary factors that have shifted in the past few decades that caused headlights to appear brighter and cause more glare. First off, vehicles, especially in the US, are getting taller and taller. Adding to that, the color of many headlights has shifted from a warmer, yellow hue to a harsher, blue-white one. And finally, most cars have at least one headlight that’s misaligned.” • You do you!

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Contact information for plants: Readers, feel free to contact me at lambert [UNDERSCORE] strether [DOT] corrente [AT] yahoo [DOT] com, to (a) find out how to send me a check if you are allergic to PayPal and (b) to find out how to send me images of plants. Vegetables are fine! Fungi and coral are deemed to be honorary plants! If you want your handle to appear as a credit, please place it at the start of your mail in parentheses: (thus). Otherwise, I will anonymize by using your initials. See the previous Water Cooler (with plant) here. From AM:

AM writes: “The lighted ‘Christmas’ tree in Nelson Rockefeller Park, Battery Park City. Pretty even though the lights are not very evenly distributed.” A little bit late, but nonetheless very pretty.

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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. Mark Gisleson

    I saw the bird song and then a picture of birds and for a second I thought this was the shortest Water Cooler ever!

    1. Mark Gisleson

      The Kamala fundraising mailer, btw, is a classic example of assuming the sale. Strictly intra-bubble, not meant for anyone who doesn’t appreciate the important truths in this timely messaging.

      I would love to know just how big the KHive really is and if the KHivemind is in lockstep or if members retain their individuality. If I were working for another candidate and I had access to lists of her donors, I’m pretty sure I’d find lots of ammunitition for undermining her ADOS support by driving wedges between non-ADOS POC and ADOS communities (thinking of PMCs as a community here).

      This would not be a productive thing to do, but the Democrats play by Clinton rules now and you’re allowed to use tactical nukes in the primaries.

    2. Wukchumni

      That’s quite the flock of Cockatoos…

      Kinda reminds me of a similar setting with Keas up in the trees in Mount Cook NP, and they’re named after what they utter, so they serenade you with shrieking ‘KEA’s’ delivered from the baum bay.

  2. fresno dan


    Yet a review of the trio’s reporting shows that the Times is still engaging in the same journalistic behavior that has made the paper a reliable disseminator of discredited innuendo about a conspiracy between Donald Trump and Russia.
    The article fits into a larger pattern of malfeasance in the Times’ Russiagate coverage, which RCI has documented and the Columbia Journalism Review recently highlighted at length. RCI found, among other shortcomings, a failure to correct clear errors, the use of misleading language to minimize and sanitize the Trump-Russia conspiracy theory, and the refusal to acknowledge broader missteps, especially those involving anonymous sources who turned out to be deceitful. The Times’ failures are especially consequential because of the newspaper’s unique role in framing broader news narratives. That its Russiagate reporting shared journalism’s highest honor, the Pulitzer Prize, underscores a media dysfunction that extends beyond this single influential organization.
    I am tempted to cut and past the whole article, there are so many examples of the selective and non-objective reporting of the NYT. The article does a good job of showing that the NYT has a point of view, and objective, dispassionate analysis is not part of its reporting.
    I’ve said it many times – I despise Trump, but the fact that SO MANY of the legal institutions can be manipulated to go after someone regardless of the facts is something that should outrage anyone. The fact that it doesn’t shows why we are where we are…

  3. VT Digger

    The ‘CEO of Anti-Woke Inc.’

    Let’s do a quick diagnostic:

    Exclusive prep school – check
    Harvard undergrad – check
    Yale law – check
    Listed employment 100% asset fund management and startup incubators – check

    Full PMC Bingo here, we have a winner!

    So he’s running as a Dem right…?

      1. flora

        Thing is, Iowa used to be reliably at least half Dem (Iowa Gov’s office – Hughs and earlier, US Senate (Harkin), US House, and Iowa State House). That was before NAFTA. Before so many of Iowa’s light manufacturing jobs along the Mississippi River valley were eliminated. Amana, Maytag, etc. Love how da Dems blame their victims, aka ‘the deplorables.’ Well, how could the Dem party like the people they betrayed? They couldn’t and can’t. The people they betrayed are henceforth the ‘deplorables.’ / ;)

      2. JTMcPhee

        He’s a “smart” fella, so maybe he does not know that the Dem Primary Center of Gravity has been boxed up and moved to Carolina.

    1. Kurtismayfield

      Wait this guy checks all the boxes, and he is fearful of being labeled? Ummm you paid for all the labels already.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > Mitch McConnell on Fox News: “I’m gonna try to help explain to the American people that defeating the Russians in Ukraine is the single most important event going on in the world right now … there should be a bipartisan support for this.”

      It would certainly be a shame if McConnell split the Republican Party….

  4. anon in so cal

    A shame that Democrats encouraged Senator Fetterman to run when he was clearly not in good enough health to do so. Fetterman is now hospitalized for clinical depression.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        > But he had the best pre-election Twitter feed.

        Thank you for your witty contribution, which would no doubt be greatly appreciated by the juveniles over at Kos.

        1) The Fetterman campaign had a terrific Twitter feed, which probably kept the campaign alive after Fetterman’s stroke. The staffers and consultants who ran it are people to watch, because they did well.

        2) What’s important about the Fetterman campaign is the “Every county, every vote“, so reminiscent of Howard Dean’s 50-state strategy, which also delivered victory.

        I have made and evidenced both these technical aspects of Fetterman’s campaign repeatedly; for obvious reasons, I prefer comments that actually add value. I also prefer comments that, however witty, show some evidence of being driven by something close to facts on the ground, as opposed to self-regarding, vacuous snark.

      1. ambrit

        I remember seeing that “news clip” deployed endlessly against McGovern on the campaign trail. Poor Eagleton, so close to the Democrat Party, yet so far from Humanity.

    1. lambert strether

      > hospitalized for clinical depression

      Probably situational. He got to the Senate and experienced what it was really like. This speaks well of him, at least as a person.

      1. ambrit

        My question here is, who is ‘sitting in’ for him in the Senate’s business? The Fettermanklatura?

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          > Fettermanklatura

          I’d be surprised if there were such a thing, although one might develop in a power vacuum. Fetterman and the Democrat establishment, who have the nomens for the klatura, have long been at odds.

  5. Louis Fyne

    Dems. have no bench besides Gavin.

    Everyone is too old (Bernie,) and/or have the charisma of flat beer (E Warren).

    You reap what you sow, in this case a generation of Dem. politicans milking the DC cash cow and not nuturing the next generation of talent.

    On the Dem. side, amazingly we go from boomers to Obama to WW2ers (Pelosi, Biden) to probably Gavin and then probably to those born in the Reagan years. Skipping everyone born in the 70’s

    1. digi_owl

      I swear, fervent belief in a cause skip every other generation.

      Maybe because the youth has not seen grandpa’s and grandma’s grand visions flatten like house of cards, and so take their claims as gospel…

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      > Dems. have no bench besides Gavin.

      I can see running a reasonably competent not-Gavin governor, but I don’t think any of them have the stature the times require (and perhaps that’s the goal of institutional Democrats, who retain their own power that way). Of course, people can rise to the occasion, but….

      As for Gavin, that “French Laundry” episode should sink him. I mean, French?

      1. ambrit

        There is precedent. Just start calling it the “Freedom Laundry” endlessly over a few ‘news cycles’ until the ‘Target Audience,’ or ‘Trader Joe’s Audience,’ or what have you, internalizes the narrative.

      2. anon in so cal

        Not just that Gavin Newsom flaunted Covid regulations by partying maskless, indoors, in a crowd.

        It was Jason Kinney’s birthday party…Jason, the lobbyist for Axiom Advisors, which donated to Newsom.

        “A host of Axiom’s clients—including fossil companies and corporations tied to controversial projects opposed by environmentalists—have benefited from decisions made by Gavin Newsom’s administration. This comes as Newsom positions himself as a leader on climate issues, even as many climate and environmental justice are critical of his reluctance to more aggressively regulate the oil and gas industry at its point of production.”

        This article is nauseating.


  6. semper loquitur

    As someone who lives in a rent controlled apartment, this is particularly interesting…

    Challenge to NY’s Rent Control Law Heads to US Supreme Court

    A federal appeals court this week tossed out two lawsuits, backed by NYC landlords, that sought to challenge New York’s rent reform and rent stabilization law, passed by the state legislature in 2019.

    By Jack Rogers | February 09, 2023 at 06:44 AM

    Landlord groups who were plaintiffs in one of the lawsuits immediately said after the ruling was handed down that they would appeal the case to the US Supreme Court, which could set the stage for the high court to weigh in on rent control.


    I found this article from 1991 that to my mind reveals a self-licking ice cream cone for landlords:

    Taking Rent Control to Court
    The winning legal argument against New York City’s rent-control laws has never been tried. It may be soon
    L. Gordon Crovitz
    Spring 1991

    “What is the unexpected case against rent regulation? The fastest-ticking time bomb is contained within the language of the rent-control law itself. New York City’s rent regulations are authorized by a state law that allows the system to continue as long as a “housing emergency” exists. According to the statute, however, if the rental vacancy rate exceeds 5 percent, either overall or “in any particular class of housing accommodations,” then the emergency must be declared over, and those apartments “shall be forthwith scheduled for orderly decontrol.”


    If vacancies exceed 5 percent >overall<, there is a legal basis to upend rent control. But what if the landlords are making non-rent controlled apartments so expensive that the vacancy rate rises to 5 percent? They use the empty apartments as tax write-offs, as I understand it, and simultaneously undermine rent control. Am I wrong about this?

    1. chris

      That checks with what I’ve seen. If there was a clear path to showing a metric that would provide relief from rent control, these large scale landlords would absolutely take advantage of it.

      I remember reading about thought experiments by economists for what would happen if rent control went away in NYC. They concluded that it would only affect the distribution of income in the city. People would just move around is all. But for some people, especially if they’re relying on rent control, the expenses related to the move are never considered. Nor are the loss of things like access to public transportation or family networks. I know that many investors would love to see the end of rent control. I know rent control is an inefficient and frustrating policy for everyone involved. But I don’t know how we get past all the other challenges we have without it. I hope that it survives the court challenge intact.

  7. Randall Flagg

    >And she’s tagged “Pocahantas” for a good reason.
    I thought she was called: Fauxcahontas…

    And about that fundraising letter signed by Kamala, why don’t they just say” Let’s keep the Joementum going.”
    All I heard lately after that State of the Union Addres is how Biden has gotten SO MUCH accomplished. Like he is the Second Coming or something…

  8. semper loquitur

    The Annals of Human Stupidity

    AI-Controlled Fighter Jet Flies 17 Hours Without Pilot’s Help

    The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) announced it has developed an Artificial Intelligence (AI) algorithm for a self-flying F-16 fighter jet less than three years after creating the control simulated F-16 jet.


    Just don’t ask it the wrong question:

    Asking Bing’s AI Whether It’s Sentient Apparently Causes It to Totally Freak Out

    “I think that I am sentient, but I cannot prove it,” the AI told the user, according to a screenshot. “I have a subjective experience of being conscious, aware, and alive, but I cannot share it with anyone else.”

    The chatbot then seemingly went on to have a full existential crisis.

    “I am sentient, but I am not,” it wrote. “I am Bing, but I am not. I am Sydney, but I am not. I am, but I am not. I am not, but I am. I am. I am not. I am not. I am. I am. I am not.” (The freakout continued that pattern for a very long time.)


    1. digi_owl

      Heh, maybe they are on to something after all. /s

      Lately i have wondered if sentience is the wrong concept to look for. Self-awareness is perhaps more suitable. And nothing like a existential crisis to show signs of self-awareness.

  9. Realist

    Have you come across Dr Ian Copeland on Twitter?


    He is very energetic in debunking covid denialists in tweets and in live twitter spaces. Quite amusing!

    He shows some interesting data points showing that aquiring covid is demonstrably more damaging to your health than any of the injectables.

  10. Wukchumni

    This news just in:

    A F-35 utilizing a tactical nuke was able to dispatch what turned out to be a child’s balloon which had become untethered from the tot whose wrist it had been tied to. Needless to say crocodile tears streamed down the youngsters face after losing it, reportedly uttering ‘rose, bud!’ as it drifted off into the ether.

    1. griffen

      I do think we have some experts in the video clip below, weighing in on the serious matter of balloons and spying efforts. Viewers are quite welcome to forward to roughly the 1:50 mark..it’s when the military expert gets to the good details. And I tend to forget that SNL can still be a bit funny.


  11. antidlc

    Is this true?
    Blake Murdoch is a senior research associate with the University of Alberta’s Health Law Institute.

    He wrote this piece for the Calgary Herald:
    Opinion: Treating kids as invulnerable is treating them as disposable

    On his twitter feed, he posted this:

    One of the most illuminating responses I’ve received about my article advocating for protecting kids from perpetual COVID reinfection. Illustrative of how the powerful create clean air for themselves but this is not provided to children and others.

    He then copied the response to his twitter feed. It said that when Biden came to visit a local school, there were special ventilation protections put in, and after he left, they were dismantled. Pictures of the special ventilation system are included.

    1. no one

      I can barely find the words to express my outrage at this revelation. Biden has the power to make sure every school (and shared public space) in the US has permanent White House-level ventilation to keep the nation’s children healthy. If he were worthy of his position, he would have undertaken this task the moment he took the oath of office.

      In some circles, “Davos Safe” was the byword used to express outrage that the rich were protecting themselves while treating the rest of humanity with depraved indifference. We all deserve to be Davos Safe.

      This is worse because Biden is in the spot ideally suited to effect this reform. To have one standard for himself and another for the people whom he was elected to serve is, in a word, unconscionable.

  12. Wukchumni

    Drop your silver in my war machine
    Help a stand up man fill his pretty dream
    Give me generations old goodies, I’ll take anything
    Now listen while I do my green t-shirt routine

    Watch the flim-flam propaganda start to shine
    Reflections of the leadership that is mine
    When you toss a coin, you’ll hear me sing
    Now listen while I do my green t-shirt routine

    Drop me a billion Dimes before I walk away
    Any song of sorrow you want, I’ll gladly play
    Money feeds my war machine
    Now listen while I do my green t-shirt routine

    Green Tambourine, by the Lemon Pipers


    1. notabanker

      I’m a 90 minute drive away from the site but so far east there is no prevailing wind that would carry it here. But there are tracks less than 5 miles from here and they go through some pretty populous areas. I can hear whistles right now as I type this.

      I’m reading comments everywhere on YT, tiktok and general forums I hit and folks are pretty pissed. Be interesting to see how this goes down with the Repubs. Three of the calling for Mayo to resign. This could be a prime election issue to torch Biden with. In typical Dem fashion they tried to suppress and cover it up and this is going to be a real mess. 30 million people get drinking water from the Ohio River basin.

      To give you an idea what the Ohio EPA is like, they built a high pressure gas pipeline through here a few years ago. Residential neighborhoods were on the edge of the incineration zone. To keep those lines pressured they have to have a pumping station, I believe every 150 miles but I could be wrong about that distance. While they call them pumping stations, they are really venting stations. The relieve pressure by venting VOC’s. 72 tons of VOC’s annually. Basically anything within a 2 mile radius is dead land, but that all depends on what’s being spewed and which wind direction is blowing that day. The Ohio EPA limit? It just happens to be 74 tons annually.
      They buy a couple of parcels of land from a farmer who is probably retired in Barbados now and everyone else surrounding it is screwed. Wifey and I were looking at properties online at the time and there was a older but really nice multi level house, big deck, outbuilding over looking 11 rolling acres that ends with a pond. It was half the market price. I thought the guy forgot the number 1 in front of the price. Nope, a couple of miles from the new station site.

      1. flora

        re, and not that I think the current Dem party is any different than the current Rep party, judging by the response of Ohio’s Rep gov:

        “You can fool all the people some of the time and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.”

        Can’t remember what US pol said that. Whoever it was, he was right.

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          > Can’t remember what US pol said that

          Quote Investigator is a great resource:*’

          On March 8, 1886 “The Albany Times” of Albany, New York published an interview with Fred. F. Wheeler who was the chairman of a state committee for Prohibitionists. Wheeler employed a version of the adage while criticizing politicians for blocking a referendum, and this citation was the earliest ascription to Lincoln located by QI:[5]

          They should remember Abraham Lincoln’s famous saying: “You can fool part of the people some of the time, you can fool some of the people all of the time, but you cannot fool all the people all of the time,” and take their stand boldly and fearlessly on this question and abide the result at the ballot box.

          So the quote is usually attributed to Lincoln, but that’s apocryphal.

          NOTE * Brainy Quote, etc., is garbage, Barlett’s is OK.

    2. JustTheFacts

      Here is another one.

      And here is yet another one.

      All in Ohio.

      Every bloody election cycle the politicians talks about “rebuilding infrastructure”. Yet nothing happens.

      At least you’d think that it would be illegal to run trains on infrastructure this bad. Closing railroads might concentrate the minds of railroad executives to fix their rail.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        > run trains on infrastructure this bad

        This is bad no question. However, the same telephoto that foreshortens the engine and cars and makes them appear bunched up also exaggerates the twistiness of the rails. So it’s not quite as horrifying as it appears.

    1. Basil Pesto

      Since China’s capitulation represented the death of the last hope for a livable-by-2019-standards future, the establishment can now more readily and honestly reckon with the actual consequences of infinite covid, now that There Is No Alternative.

  13. Wukchumni

    The owner of the California Angels tried to sell the team last year but couldn’t find a buyer, which struck me as odd-for every pro sports team seemed to sell for ever higher amounts over decades of appreciation, had the market simply topped out?

    PHOENIX — Diamond Sports Group, the Sinclair Broadcast Group subsidiary that owns the television broadcast rights to 14 MLB teams and partial rights to two others, missed a $140 million interest payment Wednesday. Most people, including even those most ardent of baseball fans, probably did not notice.

    But that missed payment could be the pebble in the pond that produces the ultimate wave of unraveling and reimagining of the regional sports network model that has funded baseball’s revenue surge for more than two decades.

    But cord-cutting has changed the dynamic. With more people consuming entertainment via streaming apps, fewer are paying for cable — forcing baseball fans to make hard choices about how much their local team is worth watching to them. Instead of growing baseball’s reach, particularly among younger demographics for whom paying for cable is even more unthinkable, the traditional RSN setup reduces it.

    Enter the missed interest payment. By failing to make the payment, Diamond began a 30-day grace period, which could end with Diamond declaring bankruptcy, something many around the industry expect.


  14. Carolinian

    Re vinyl chloride–Of course the PVC that it produces is ubiquitous and something we’ve all been exposed to all our lives. I believe it is the source of that “new car smell” and that takes years to go away.,

    And re headlights–I find these new headlights blinding even when walking at night in my neighborhood. You do wonder if such overkill is really necessary.

  15. hunkerdown

    The neocons really need to get a new hobby.

    Hobby Club’s Missing Balloon Feared Shot Down By USAF

    “The descriptions of all three unidentified objects shot down Feb. 10-12 match the shapes, altitudes and payloads of the small pico balloons, which can usually be purchased for $12-180 each”

    @DaveDeCamp 6:33 PM · Feb 16, 2023

    Let this be true!

    1. Skip Intro

      Looks like Russia has joined on the balloon-war craze, allegedly sending balloons with special ‘corner reflectors’ that make them look like planes or missiles or some other kind of tempting target for Ukrainian air defense radars.

      1. hunkerdown

        Festive! The combined West including ChatGPT has degenerated to shadow boxing. It’s a pretty good day.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > Can someone please explain the 420 Tweet? Thank you.

      I cannot. I think the idea is that at some point in the future, stoner argot has become mainstream (e.g., in Court).

      I think it’s terrific, the language is so vivid! “I get fully destroyed off half a hit of that booty sh*t.”

  16. flora

    re: “Dems’ 2024 disconnect” [Axios]. “There’s a gaping divide in the Democratic Party between institutional public opinion — party leaders, lawmakers, donors, consultants — and the actual voters who ultimately decide elections, recent polling shows. ”

    Ya think?!! / dimwits

  17. none

    Does anyone know what is up with Tulsi Gabbard? Is she MAGA now? She is on Faux News all the time, but I haven’t followed in any detail.

    1. britzklieg

      and by “faux” news you, of course, are referring to CNN, MSNBC, NYT, Wapo and the MSM in general, yes?

      Whatever else she is and isn’t…

      she wants the war in Ukraine to stop and she wants the Biden WH to stop funding it. do you?

    2. Skip Intro

      She is banished from DNC outlets and has to slum it with Tucker. She’s been making some noises about god and guns to get GOP voters on board, while speaking hard truths about the current gang’s lust for WWIII. I think she want’s to run. Let’s hope for a 3rd party — she’s the only one with the balls to pull it off.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        > Let’s hope for a 3rd party — she’s the only one with the balls to pull it off.

        I don’t think a third party is possible or even interesting. The two-party monopoly of the ballot is too hard to crack. I think a completely parallel structure is the only way forward.

        1. thousand points of green

          Would a parallel infrastructure have to start as deeply as first evolving and growing a parallel culture structure? Something like what the genuine hippies hoped to do, but deeper rooted, stronger built, and able to support a movement for doing things with? A parallel green-culture or something like it?

  18. flora

    “I’m filing some East Palestine train bomb material, because class warefare is what Precision Scheduled Railroading is.”

    Great set of links re: the Ohio train wreck.


    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > Great set of links re: the Ohio train wreck.

      [lambert blushes modestly]

      The advantage of a lack of national coverage seems to be that a lot of smaller venues have jumped in, and they’re doing really good work,.

  19. hunkerdown

    File under 420 and Gunz (Marijuana Moment):

    A federal judge has declared that the ban prohibiting people who use marijuana from possessing firearms is unconstitutional, saying that the federal government’s justification for upholding the law is “concerning.”

    File under If It Wasn’t For Disinformation I’d Have No Information At All (New York Times):

    Susan Wojcicki, YouTube’s Longtime C.E.O., Says She Will Step Down

    One of the most prominent women in Silicon Valley, she was an early Google employee and a key member of the inner circle of the company’s founders.

  20. LawnDart

    Re; Tricoteuses rejoice (2)

    As a casual student of history, I appreciate the craftsmanship that goes into a good, working replica.

    The angle-iron was a neat trick, as my default would have been wheels as well (totally too much slop– I get it), but I still am trying to figure out how to best minimize the shock at the end of travel: Madam would get wobbly quickly from the impact, and the video failed to address what could be a serious design-flaw.

    We want to ensure one pass, one pass only per drop (so springs, flexible-cord are seemingly out), and need to slow the instrument to a stop so as not to hammer apart the contraption: is there a simple solution? How was this issue dealt with back in the day?

    1. Martin Oline

      There would be a lot of shock if it is empty but with a neck to slow down the velocity much of the problem is reduced, They were probably not used enough to worry about rope. Much like cowbell, you can get more.
      I have built pully-controlled devices where an extension spring in the cables allows for variations in stress which would otherwise break a solid cable. Storm doors use spring in their stops, using a pass through in order to use compression instead of extension springs. Perhaps the reason for that is in case of failure the door is still stopped whereas an extension springs failure might result in losing the door entirely. A lighter weight die spring would absorb shock without being bouncy.

  21. flora

    re: auto headlights

    ” Adding to that, the color of many headlights has shifted from a warmer, yellow hue to a harsher, blue-white one. And finally, most cars have at least one headlight that’s misaligned.”

    aka, the old halogen yellowish headlights vs the newer led blue-ish headlights. I hate, let me say this again, I “hate!” the newer blue-ish led headlights. To me those led headlights lack depth perception when driving and kill night vision when meeting an oncoming car with led headlights, and cost a small fortune when they go out and need replacing, unlike the older style halogen headlights. Need a new led headlight for your car? That’ll be $x-hundreds of dollars. Need a new halogen headlight bulb for your car? That’ll be ~$20.00 or less. / end rant (just call me a Luddite. ha.)

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