By Lambert Strether of Corrente.
Bird Song of the Day
Eurasian Jackdaw, Heidebos, Moerbeke, Oost-Vlaanderen Vlaamse Gewest, Belgium.
“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
Theatre, and bad theatre at that:
Air Raid Sirens 🚨 being to sound while Biden and Zelensky are walking outside in Kyiv 🇺🇦 pic.twitter.com/eDybNqeKfG
— Ukraine Battle Map (@ukraine_map) February 20, 2023
Does anybody think that the Russian’s couldn’t have rained real missiles on Kiev if they wanted to?
Kyiv has captured a part of my heart.
I knew I would be back. pic.twitter.com/5HYcoEL47Y
— President Biden (@POTUS) February 20, 2023
Probably the part of Scranton Joe’s heart that’s wondering what Big Z has on Hunter.
* * *
“Initial Proposals for Revising the Federal Race and Ethnicity Standards” [The White House]:
As we consider these recommendations, we want to hear directly from the American people. Input from non-governmental stakeholders and the public will help guide the Working Group as it continues to refine and finalize its recommendations. We encourage everyone to provide your personal thoughts and reactions on these proposals, including how you believe they may affect different communities, by April 12, 2023.
You can visit the Working Group’s new website, read the full Federal Register Notice, provide feedback on the Working Group’s initial proposals, and participate in one of the Working Group’s virtual, bi-monthly listening sessions or upcoming public virtual town halls to share your individual perspectives directly. You can provide as little or as much feedback as you’d like for the Federal Register Notice (e.g., just addressing one question posed or responding to all aspects). To schedule a listening session to offer your perspective, please send a brief email expressing interest to Statistical_Directives@omb.eop.gov. Additional details on the virtual town halls will be shared on the Working Group’s website. In all of our efforts to gather your valuable feedback, we will not be seeking consensus recommendations.
We are committed to a full, transparent revision process, guided by input from the American people. Your participation in this process will play a critical role in helping us improve the way Federal agencies safely and accurately collect and use information on the race and ethnicity of our diverse America. This is vital to ensure our programs and policies are effective across the Federal government—and we look forward to sharing additional updates in the months ahead. We are on track to reach the goal of completing these important revisions by the Summer of 2024.
Sounds great, but all vitiated by the absurdly short deadline. April 23? That’s only 62 days! Has anyone seen coverage of this? The very few links I can find over the last month are institutional, with one WaPo story, one Heritage Foundation screed, and something from the New Arab. Plus this Times mailer looks like the start of a propaganda campaign.
Nice of him to make it clear he doesn’t call Desantis ‘Meatball Ron.’ pic.twitter.com/tgILtTth0m
— Ron Filipkowski 🇺🇦 (@RonFilipkowski) February 18, 2023
“Trump to visit East Palestine in wake of train derailment” [The Hill]. “Former President Trump plans to visit the town of East Palestine, Ohio, where a train derailment led to the release of toxic chemicals, next week. Trump posted on Truth Social in response to a report that he was planning to make the trip that the residents of East Palestine are “Great people who need help, NOW!” He later posted that he will visit on Wednesday.” • C’mon, let’s be reasonable. How could Biden possibly visit East Palestine? He’s in Kiev!
“The DeSantis they know” [Washington Examiner]. Photo: DeSantis hugging a supporter. “DeSantis is chatting with his constituents along a walking trail in his hometown when Kimberly Baldwin catches sight of him standing on a pathway in a local park and is moved to tears when DeSantis stops talking midsentence to chat with her. ‘Hi, Kimberly. How are you doing?’ ‘Amazing, now that I’ve met you,’ Baldwin says. The two talk about her return to their mutual hometown of Dunedin after living in Miami. Her father, she says, is the deputy sheriff in nearby Land O’ Lakes, and she recently decided to go back to college. Then she timidly asks for a hug. DeSantis doesn’t hesitate, and Baldwin lists the two things she admires most about his governing: his decision to ‘act with conviction’ when reopening the state during the pandemic and his decisiveness in response last September to Hurricane Ian, one of the deadliest and most destructive storms to hit Florida in nearly 100 years. The encounter was one of the dozens with constituents and tourists amused to begin their Thursday morning randomly running into the governor.” • Hmm.
“Michigan G.O.P. Installs Kristina Karamo, an Election Denier, as Leader” [New York Times]. “Michigan Republicans on Saturday picked Kristina Karamo to lead the party in the battleground state, fully embracing an election-denying Trump acolyte after her failed bid for statewide office, one in which she unsuccessfully sued to throw out mail-in votes in Detroit and refused to concede. Ms. Karamo won a majority of delegate votes at the state party’s convention in Lansing, the state capital, after three rounds of voting that — — went on hours longer than the period for which the party had originally rented the convention space.” • Not sure why an unhackable balloting process is a problem for the Times, but whatever.
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!). ; if the Democrat Party did not exist, the PMC would have to invent it. . (“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.
* * *
I dunno. What’s in it for me?
Maybe we have some direct mail mavens in the readership who can comment on this. Presumably Mothership Strategies keeps pumping out this bilge because it gets the results they want; but why on earth does it work?
Imagine if John Fetterman or any other Democrat showed leadership by ever once wearing a mask. Getting credit for acknowledging mental health while ignoring COVID is quite the swindle https://t.co/eWLFJXb3hH
— thomas 🛠 IATSE STRIKE! (@t_NYC) February 17, 2023
Our Famously Free Press
“The Nation Names New Columnists Spencer Ackerman, Adolph Reed Jr., and Jane McAlevey” [The Nation]. • Reed, excellent.
Realignment and Legitimacy
No, it’s not age:
If she had only retired four years ago, though, moments like this could have been avoided 👀pic.twitter.com/1Q8FhmSD9P
— Mehdi Hasan (@mehdirhasan) February 14, 2023
They’re all like this, in both parties.
“Organizing and Covid-19 (Part 1) (02/16/23)” (podcast) [Death Panel]. “In this two-part series, we speak to a few people engaged in organizing and political education projects about their experiences trying to incorporate covid protections into their existing organizing work, wins and losses they’ve encountered, and why it’s so important for the left to take covid seriously, even as the public health emergency comes to a close.” • The public health emergency coming to a close is not, of course, the same as the pandemic coming to a close. Absolutely stunning that we have a lethal airborne pathogen that disproportionately affects those non-labor aristocrats who cannot work from home — especially in service industries — and “the left” does nothing about it. It’s not even an issue. That goes for national union leadership as well as electeds, NGOs, etc.
Alert reader Michael.j makes this interesting comment:
IMHO the corruption at the national level is so endemic that there is no longer any hope at that level.
In Minnesota we tend to be very community oriented and that comes across with our leaders. What’s really fascinating, however, is that the really good ones left national politics and returned to lead in the state with very good results.
People like Governor (former Senator) Dayton, Governor (former Representative) Walz, and Attorney General (former Representative) Ellison all fled national politics and are very effective and appreciated back home.
For some definition of “good results.” Can readers think of examples of this phenomenon in other states? Or is this some weird by-product of “Minnesota Nice”?
These are not good numbers. At all:
This is an objectively good thing. It's an objectively good thing that so many people showed up to protest US proxy warfare and nuclear brinkmanship. If you disagree, you are simply wrong.
— Caitlin Johnstone (@caitoz) February 19, 2023
Of course, the enormous numbers of people participating, world-wide, in anti-Iraq War demonstrations had precisely zero effect on policy, so it’s not clear what a march would do today. Commentary:
LEFT: Weak anti-war movement that couldn't get a turnout because we excluded billions of LaRouchites and Oath Keepers
RIGHT: Massive big tent anti-war movement that's brought the world together pic.twitter.com/fGulbJooUK
— Carl Beijer (@CarlBeijer) February 19, 2023
I understand the point Beijer is making, but it seems a little… blinkered. So what if the march in 2003 was better organized, huge, “big tent,” whatever?
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!
• Readers, since the national data systems in the United States are being vandalized, let’s start collecting links to 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. Canadians, too! Or leave a link in Comments.
Resources, United States (Local): CA (dashboard); CO (wastewater); CT (dashboard); IL (wastewater); IN (dashboard); MA (wastewater); ME (dashboard); MI (wastewater; wastewater); MT (dashboard); NC (dashboard); NH (wastewater); NY (dashboard); OH (dashboard); SC (dashboard); TX (dashboard); VA (dashboard); WA (dashboard; dashboard); WI (wastewater).
Hat tips to helpful readers: Art_DogCT, CanCyn, ChiGal, Gumbo, hop2it, JB, Joe, John, JM (2), JW, Michael King, LaRuse, otisyves, Petal (5), RL, RM, Rod. (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.)
• More like this, please! Total:
1 6 11 18/50 (36%). Can anyone find RI or VT? Perhaps not all states have Covid resources….
Look for the Helpers
“Welcome to The John Snow Project” [The John Snow Project]. “The world is entering its fourth year of living with COVID-19, the disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Nearly everyone has had personal experience of catching the virus and many people are living with the lingering effects of illness. Governments around the world have abandoned national policies to curb transmission and have left the management of risks to the individual. “Learn to live with it” and “you do you” individual responsibility are the dominant mantras. This individualistic approach to an airborne virus relies on people being armed with knowledge to understand the risks they face and the tools that help mitigate those risks. Many governments initially responded to the COVID-19 pandemic by holding official briefings, communicating the risks the disease poses and implementing emergency measures to minimize transmission. Three years on the pandemic is still with us but official communication and consequent media coverage has been reduced so that many people have resumed their 2019 lifestyles, largely oblivious to the ongoing risks posed by COVID-19. This information gap comes just as the scientific and medical community is learning more and more about the detrimental long-term effects of SARS-CoV-2 infections. The John Snow Project was started by individuals who grew concerned by the lack of attention being given to a virus that has killed tens of millions, and even after the deployment of vaccines and widespread convalescence, is still killing tens of thousands of people around the world every week and debilitating many more. The objective of the John Snow Project is to provide easily digestible information for the general public and policymakers to help them understand the risks posed by the disease and how to best manage those risks.” • Little known fact: After the cholera epidemic died down, <em>The authorities replaced the pump handle.
I spent so much energy last year trying to push for protections at work with studiously cited facts and practicable, plain-language recommendations. The main result was angering and alienating management.
It was not a waste of time. (1/6)
— Indehisce (@indehisce) February 18, 2023
If the cumulative benefits of the above have thwarted even one infection, or bought even one person down that thwarted transmission chain more time with a loved one, it’s been worthwhile. (4/6)
— Indehisce (@indehisce) February 18, 2023
I don’t understand the mentality that says: “Everybody will get Covid, so why not get it over with?” I say, “Why not postpone as long as possible?” Why not break as many chains of transmission as you can?
* * *
“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.
Covid Is Airborne
“Opinion: Treating kids as invulnerable is treating them as disposable” [Calgary Herald]. “The solutions for protecting kids can be gleaned from behaviours of wealthy elites, and they involve layering protections to create clean indoor air. The recent World Economic Forum in Davos used the following safety systems: mandatory daily PCR testing with ID-badge access linked to results, new ‘state-of-the-art ventilation systems‘, HEPA purifiers everywhere, various levels of masking and, it appeared, virus-killing UV lighting systems. Our children deserve these protections, in their schools and elsewhere. These measures, along with boosters, are in fact the only currently existing ways of reducing the public health need for universal indoor masking. By treating children as invulnerable we are actually treating them as disposable. But they are everything — to our lives and to our future. Their long-term health is at risk and we need to protect them.”
A history lesson:
Note to minimizer docs who keep saying that the human immune system evolved over millions of years of interaction with respiratory viruses.
Modern Homo sapiens have existed for 300,000 years. Regular respiratory viral infections are a post-agriculture phenomenon (<13,000 years).
— T. Ryan Gregory (@TRyanGregory) February 17, 2023
One more reason to regard agriculture as one big mistake?
If you can get your Corsi-Rosenthal Box in the Dean’s Office (!!), you’ve got it made:
Huge kudos to this co-worker. 13 months and over 3,000 hours of operation. Cost = 4 cents per day per colleague in @UCDavisCOE dean’s suite for a signif’ benefit wrt reduction in inhalation dose of aerosol particles. Not rocket science, folks. Just do it! pic.twitter.com/oYayPrjM0Z
— Richard Corsi, PhD, PE (Texas) (@CorsIAQ) February 18, 2023
An effective strategy for those of you in academe….
School assembly line for Corsi-Rosenthal boxes with computer fans from kits:
California Elementary students love it! pic.twitter.com/nofvO2dPCz
— Clean Air Kits @zeroes.ca (@cleanairkits) February 18, 2023
I never would have thought computer fans would be so powerful. I guess we have crypto, or gaming, to thank?
Risk assessment and risk management has been turned on its head.
— tern (@1goodtern) February 17, 2023
Can readers confirm that indeed some airlines have such a policy? Policies seem to vary. To me, airline peanuts are no great loss, but the difference in the way we handle allergens vs. pathogens is pretty stunning.
How I ride. pic.twitter.com/2TtW7rfNNX
— Polite proponent of Health & Safety 😷🍃🪟🌬💉 (@emmaandollie) February 17, 2023
More like this, please.
“Acute and postacute sequelae associated with SARS-CoV-2 reinfection” [Nature]. We ran this when if first appeared. From the Abstract: “Here we used the US Department of Veterans Affairs’ national healthcare database to build a cohort of individuals with one SARS-CoV-2 infection (n = 443,588), reinfection (two or more infections, n = 40,947) and a noninfected control (n = 5,334,729)…. Compared to noninfected controls, cumulative risks and burdens of repeat infection increased according to the number of infections. Limitations included a cohort of mostly white males. The evidence shows that reinfection further increases risks of death, hospitalization and sequelae in multiple organ systems in the acute and postacute phase. Reducing overall burden of death and disease due to SARS-CoV-2 will require strategies for reinfection prevention.” • “Mostly white males” seems to have led to some agita:
There is a long section in the manuscript outlining all the covariates used. It is incredibly comprehensive. Nature peer review is no joke. In lay terms, the results of the study account for the various demographic and health characteristics of the participants. pic.twitter.com/bqZDUAU3gt
— Blake Murdoch (@BlakeMMurdoch) February 17, 2023
The statistics in the paper are above my paygrade; perhaps someone expert will comment. That said, Tufecki was great on aerosols and ventilation. Then she joined the New York Times, and changed her beat to immunology and infectious diseases, where in my view she’s a bit out of her depth; or it’s just that when she joined the Times, she went rancid, as so many do. A shame. As for example (ignore intermediate vitriol):
— T. Ryan Gregory (@TRyanGregory) February 19, 2023
See “Dengue Fever: A repeat infection is more dangerous than the first.” There is no “of course” about it.
Science Is Popping
“”Common Names” for Notable SARS-CoV-2 Variants: Proposal for a Transparent and Consistent Nicknaming Process to Aid Communication” [World Health Network]. Doing WHO’s job: “Efforts to communicate about the evolution, diversity, and importance of SARS-CoV-2 variants has become increasingly challenging as the number of variants has expanded dramatically, especially since mid-2022. Formal naming systems that are currently in place — namely Greek letters assigned by the World Health Organization (WHO), technical Phylogenetic Assignment of Named Global Outbreak (PANGO) labels, and Nextstrain clades — do not provide options for communication that is both sufficiently high resolution easily accessible outside of technical discussions. Here, we summarize the basis of existing nomenclature systems and propose a complementary option based on informal “common names” or “nicknames” that can be used in general scientific communication about variants…. For the revised system proposed here, it is suggested that names be drawn from astronomy (constellations, stars, moons, asteroids, exoplanets). The list of possible names should be filtered to be consistent with the guiding principles and be compiled and sorted into a usable sequence (e.g., alternating first letters).” • Commentary:
XBB.1.9.1 (Hyperion) still on the lead but EG.1 (XBB.1.9.2+N:219F+S:Q613H) is there, likely a bit faster than it.
Behind them the only XBB.1.5 that seems to catch up are EK.1 (S:N417S) XBB.1.5.10 (S:F456L) XBB.1.5.12 (S:T323I)
These are the leaders
— Federico Gueli (@siamosolocani) February 20, 2023
This is the only example I can find. Naming conventions are extremely hard. It’s also hard to be a naming authority (absent funding and/or licensing). This seems like a well-thought-out proposal. I hope it gets traction.
“Mommy, why was Kamala trying to infect me?”
— Support Independent Media (@BarrettWilson6) February 19, 2023
“Doesn’t she care about people like us?”
“Here’s why you should make a habit of having more fun” [National Public Radio]. “A lot of us are still recovering from antisocial habits formed in the pandemic.” • “Anti-social” like… choosing not to infect other people with an airborne pathogen whose neurological and vascular sequelae are cumulative? What is wrong with these people?
NOT UPDATED BioBot wastewater data from February 16:
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 20:
-0.5%. Still on the high plateau, equal to previous peaks.
Death rate (Our World in Data):
Total: 1,142,595 –
1,141,862 = 733 (733 * 365 = 267,545 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.
There are no official statistics of interest today.
The Bezzle: “Meta to test monthly subscription service priced at $11.99” [Reuters]. “Meta Platforms on Sunday announced that it is testing a monthly subscription service, called Meta Verified, which will let users verify their accounts using a government ID and get a blue badge, as it looks to help content creators grow and build communities. The subscription bundle for Instagram and Facebook, to be launched later this week, also includes extra protection against impersonation and will be priced starting at $11.99 per month on the web or $14.99 a month on Apple’s iOS system and Android.” • Giving your government ID to Faceborg sounds like an absolutely great idea (and I also thought that Facebook was pretty strong on you using your real identity anyhow). Also, “creators.” How I hate that word. It’s like “leaders”: gormless mush.
The Bezzle: “1 big thing: When a savings account is very risky” [Felix Salmon, Axios]. “Compound Banc pays an eye-popping 7% on deposits — or at least things that look and feel a lot like deposits. But it’s not a bank, and the deposits — technically, they’re risky bonds — are not insured by the FDIC or anybody else. The product is aimed at very small investors: The minimum investment is just $10. People looking for improbably high interest rates on their money have learned the hard way to avoid crypto. That’s created an opening for dollar-denominated products taking advantage of various regulatory loopholes — and of the fact that Americans are increasingly comfortable handing over their money to digital institutions. Compound Banc’s product is marketed as a high-yield digital account. Savings start compounding immediately at a 7% APY (annual percentage yield); savers can withdraw their money at any time without any fees or penalties. ‘No if and or buts about it,’ says the homepage. Compound Banc is neither a bank nor a brokerage, and its savings bonds, if you read its SEC filings, are characterized by “a high degree of risk.” Accounts at Compound Banc are not insured by the FDIC, the SIPC, or any other government regulator. ‘,’ notes Compound on page 7 of its offering circular.” Eesh. Preying on the absolute weakest. And: “The fact that Compound Banc has managed to go live without any real regulatory oversight — they say they have already issued some $1.5 million in bonds — demonstrates the limits of America’s existing regulatory infrastructure.” • Dry. Very dry.
Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 66 Greed (previous close: 69 Greed) [CNN]. One week ago: 69 (Greed). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Feb 17 at 12:40 PM ET.
Rapture Index: Closes unchanged [Rapture Ready]. Record High, October 10, 2016: 189. Current: 187. (Remember that bringing on the Rapture is good.) NOTE on #42 Plagues: “The coronavirus pandemic has maxed out this category.” More honest than most!
Feral Hog Watch
“Population Explosion of Canadian “Super Pigs” Could Spread Into the Northern U.S.” [Field and Stream (semper loquitur)]. “The U.S. may soon have a new wild pig problem. Until now, the invasive species has largely proliferated in warm places like the southeast, Texas, and California. But in recent years, invasive pigs have started thriving in Canada and may spread into North Dakota, Montana, Michigan, and Minnesota…. According to [Dr. Ryan Brook, who leads the University of Saskatchewan’s Canadian Wild Pig Research Project], the hybridization resulted in bigger ‘super pigs’ that could survive in cold climates. ‘For surviving in cold winters, one of the rules of ecology is: the bigger the better,’ he says. ‘Larger body animals survive the cold better and have better reproduction in those conditions.'” • My gawd. Feral Hogs have a Canadian variant. What would WHO name it, I wonder?
The stupidest timeline:
— Incunabula (@incunabula) February 18, 2023
Note that in erasing Kipling — I would never erase Kipling, although I might slap him around a little bit — these nitwit Bowdlerizers also erased the entire mostly non-white and colonized subcontinent of India and replaced it with 35% white California, a colonizer’s state within a colonizer nation. How come nobody in the cancel brigade is coming after these people? Oh, wait. California’s Blue. So that’s alright then.
And as a palate cleanser, a long thread about how to read Finnegans Wake:
4. Thankfully, Roland McHugh has done this in his ANNOTATIONS TO FINNEGANS WAKE. This book is non-optional if you want to read FW. It has a page for every page of the Wake and translates ALL of the non-English words + glosses the allusions. pic.twitter.com/YJQZ3M7N7C
— Aaron Gwyn (@AmericanGwyn) February 20, 2023
That McHugh book sounds interesting. I’m not certain I’d read it all — the account recommends one page a day, taking two years to finish the work — but I love beautifully printed books with dense scholarly apparatus. (If anybody wants to have a go at Ulyssess, I recommend Hugh Kenner‘s Ulysses for a fine close reading.)
L’Affaire Joffrey Epstein
“Isn’t Anyone Curious” [Eschaton]. “Personally I can get a bit drawn to conspiracy theories not because of the answers, which are often bullshit, but because of the questions. Or more specifically, that others who should be asking the questions aren’t. The questions can be bullshit, too, in that sometimes they have actually been asked and answered. But sometimes not! Like there is a remarkable lack of curiosity about Epstein’s client list! Not that going on cable TV and speculating about who might be a pedo would be productive, but doesn’t really seem like anyone tried very hard to figure it out!” • The other list running around is the list of people SBF gave money to. There doesn’t seem to be much curiousity about that either. This is very Bourdeusian: Lists which which exist, but whose items can only be witnessed by a (self-)appointed few.
“Jeffrey Epstein’s long shadow falls on JPMorgan and Barclays once more” [Financial Times]. “The lawsuit alleges that [former Barclays CEO Jes] Staley used his work email to exchange 1,200 emails with Epstein and received what the lawsuit describes as ‘photos of young women in seductive poses’ from the financier. It also alleges Epstein used JPMorgan accounts to pay more than $1mn to at least 20 victims of sexual crime. In 2009, Staley wrote to Epstein of their ‘profound’ friendship and ‘heartfelt hug.’ A year later he emailed: ‘Say hi to Snow White.’ When Epstein responded: “[W]hat character would you like next?’ Staley replied, ‘Beauty and the Beast.'” • Nice people. Again, as Atrios asks, where’s Epstein’s client list?
Hard-core stuff. 65 books in a month. Nevertheless:
We've fulfilled requests from most states, but there are still a few to fill in. Hundreds of people across the US and the world want to learn more about Marxism-Leninism. pic.twitter.com/lDpltAkTNt
— Marxist-Leninist Reading Hub (@MLReadingHub) February 19, 2023
Can’t say much for the sample size. Nevertheless, the distribution across states is interesting.
Nobody said you couldn’t have your own algo:
Each time we don't get an inflation equaling pay rise, I do the percentage difference less work. I now spend just over 2 hours a day watching Netflix instead of actual work up. No one has noticed yet.
— Fesshole 🧻 (@fesshole) February 20, 2023
News of the Wired
“The Case for Hanging Out” [Slate]. “It was not because I thought her book was interesting that I had reached out to Liming. It was because I passionately believed that her book was right. ‘I’ve become an accidental witness to a growing crisis,’ she writes in Hanging Out: The Radical Power of Killing Time. ‘People struggling to hang out, or else voicing concern and anxiety about how to hang out.’ I, too, see a crisis brewing, among not only people my age but among the peers of my teenage children and the college students I teach. Pushed further into isolation by the pandemic, we’re all losing the ability to engage in what I view as the pinnacle of human interaction: sitting around with friends and talking shit. I agree with Liming that no one is down to hang out anymore, and agree with her that it’s a ‘quiet catastrophe.'” • Fine. Become a ventilation advocate and practice what you preach. Otherwise, “killing time” is a little too on-the-nose.
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 CM:
CM writes: “Taken on the east coast of Lake Superior.” Does it glow in the dark?
Readers: Water Cooler is a standalone entity not covered by the annual NC fundraiser. So if you see a link you especially like, or an item you wouldn’t see anywhere else, please do not hesitate to express your appreciation in tangible form. Remember, a tip jar is for tipping! Regular positive feedback both makes me feel good and lets me know I’m on the right track with coverage. When I get no donations for five or ten days I get worried. More tangibly, a constant trickle of donations helps me with expenses, and I factor in that trickle when setting fundraising goals:
Here is the screen that will appear, which I have helpfully annotated:
If you hate PayPal, you can email me at lambert [UNDERSCORE] strether [DOT] corrente [AT] yahoo [DOT] com, and I will give you directions on how to send a check. Thank you!