2:00PM Water Cooler 3/24/2023

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Patient readers, I’m sorry this went up a bit late; I had a household emergency to deal with. –lambert

Bird Song of the Day

Wood Thrush, Indian Springs WMA, two-track road, Washington, Maryland, United States. “Adult male Wood Thrush singing from elevated perch along the two-track road during the dawn chorus. A Northern Cardinal lands beside him and sings for a minute or so.”

Since birds are dinosaurs, did the OG dinosaurs see the earth’s magnetic field or not?

* * *


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

Biden Administration

“The Surreal Post-Trump Embrace of Mark Milley” [Politico]. “Like Anthony Fauci, another unelected public sector lifer who became a bete noire of the far right, Milley has become a cause celebre in Washington, an icon of guardrail-respecting professionalism — and a presence around town. A few nights after the party at the French residence, I saw him posing for other pictures at the white-tie Gridiron dinner, an annual to-do for a rather more venerable class of media bigwigs. Scan POLITICO’s Playbook newsletter and you’ll find mention of him at shindigs like a New Year’s Day brunch at the home of the philanthropist Adrienne Arsht. Where people outside the Pentagon ecosystem might not have been able to pick Milley’s immediate predecessors out of a lineup, Milley is the most famous Joint Chiefs chair since Colin Powell — and without an actual ongoing war to boost his profile. Like the politically savvy Powell, of course, he’s helped himself, especially when it comes to cultivating the folks who shape reputations. Reporters on the national security beat say he’s a blunt, intellectual and remarkably available source, particularly off the record. Veterans of the beat described Pentagon run-ins that turned into long, candid conversations. Beyond the Pentagon media, he’s also been a ubiquitous presence in books about the late days of the Trump administration, where his perspective on the dramatic events (if not his direct quotes) have been exhaustively presented, right down to the resignation letters he drafted but never sent.” • Oy.


“Advice for Alvin Bragg from Former Trump Prosecutors” [The New Yorker (Furzy Mouse)]. ” If Trump is acquitted, Bragg’s decision to prosecute the former President will be seen as a major debacle that could help Trump politically. Three former Justice Department officials who have been involved in investigating Trump or in prosecuting his allies predicted a protracted, ugly, and raucous legal and public battle ahead. Their advice, over all, was for the Manhattan District Attorney and his prosecutors to ignore Trump’s antics as much as possible and to hope that the former President sabotages himself legally.” • That’s it? That’s what these guys have going for them?

“What We Know About Trump’s Legal Troubles” [FiveThirtyEight]. The Stormy Daniels payoff (rotten subhead, since Bragg needs to make a Federal case with (presumbly) election law violations); Georgia election law allegations (I need to run this down; I think this is the one where a dead guy is a witness?); The 2020 election and Jan. 6 insurrection (insurrection being a crime). So far, I’ve been served very well by assuming that whenever the walls were “closing in” they were, in fact, not. So we’ll see how it goes. I mean, we’ve been working on all these cases for some time, and presumably with a degree of urgency. Maybe Trump’s background in real estate has given him some mad skillz regarding liability?

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.

* * *

“How Vallas Helped Wall Street Loot Chicago’s Schools” [The Lever]. “When he led the Chicago school system, mayoral candidate Paul Vallas took actions that resulted in more than $1.5 billion being transferred out of the city’s budget-strapped public schools and to some of the wealthiest individuals and banks on the planet, a new report shows. Now, Vallas is in an election runoff against Cook County Commissioner Brandon Johnson to lead the city of Chicago, with big support from wealthy investors and other corporate interests — including from executives at law firms and banks that benefited from the controversial financing methods he used as CEO of Chicago Public Schools from 1995 to 2001. With less than two weeks left before the April 4 election — which polls show is a tight race — Vallas has faced little scrutiny over his tenure as the Chicago Public Schools chief, even though he helped create a slow-moving financial disaster for America’s fourth-largest school system. With Vallas at the helm, Chicago Public Schools issued $666 million worth of so-called “payday loan” bonds, according to a report from the Action Center on Race and the Economy (ACRE). The interest payments on the bonds totaled $1.5 billion. A 2016 analysis from the Texas Comptroller’s office found that the type of bonds Vallas issued can be three times more expensive than traditional bonds — meaning that Chicago Public Schools could have faced up to $1 billion in additional interest payments above a normal rate. That $1 billion is almost exactly the budget shortfall that former Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, the current Ambassador to Japan, cited as justification to shutter 50 Chicago public schools a decade ago. Some of Emanuel’s largest donors, like Citadel hedge fund CEO Ken Griffin and executives at private equity firm Madison Dearborn Partners, are currently backing Vallas. ‘[Vallas] got Chicago Public Schools into really bad deals that we’re still paying for a quarter century after he left,’ said Saqib Bhatti, the co-director of ACRE. ‘And the fact that his strongest base of support comes from Wall Street should in and of itself be a big red flag.'”


“I am in earnest — I will not equivocate — I will not excuse — I will not retreat a single inch — AND I WILL BE HEARD.” –William Lloyd Garrison

Resources, United States (National): Transmission (CDC); Wastewater (CDC, Biobot; includes many counties); Variants (CDC; Walgreens); “Iowa COVID-19 Tracker” (in IA, but national data).

• Readers, thanks for the push. We are now up to 47/50 states (94%). I have helpfully added “______” to the states still missing data. We should list states that do not have Covid resources, or have stopped updating their sites, so others do not look fruitlessly. Could those of you in states not listed help out by either with dashboard/wastewater links, or ruling your state out definitively? Thank you!

Resources, United States (Local): AK (dashboard); AL (dashboard); AR (dashboard); AZ (dashboard); CA (dashboard; Marin); CO (dashboard; wastewater); CT (dashboard); DE (dashboard); FL (wastewater); GA (wastewater); HI (dashboard); IA (wastewater reports); ID (dashboard, Boise; dashboard, wastewater, Central Idaho; wastewater, Coeur d’Alene; dashboard, Spokane County); IL (wastewater); IN (dashboard); KS (dashboard; wastewater, Lawrence); KY (dashboard, Louisville); LA (dashboard); MA (wastewater); MD (dashboard); ME (dashboard); MI (wastewater; wastewater); MN (dashboard); MO (wastewater); MS (dashboard); MT (dashboard); NC (dashboard); ND (______); NE (______); NH (wastewater); NJ (dashboard); NM (dashboard); NV (______); NY (dashboard); OH (dashboard); OK (dashboard); OR (dashboard); PA (dashboard); RI (dashboard); SC (dashboard); SD (dashboard); TN (dashboard); TX (dashboard); UT (wastewater); VA (dashboard); VT (dashboard); WA (dashboard; dashboard); WI (wastewater); WV (wastewater); WY (wastewater).

Resources, Canada (National): Wastewater (Government of Canada).

Resources, Canada (Provincial): ON (wastewater); QC (les eaux usées); BC, Vancouver (wastewater).

Hat tips to helpful readers: Art_DogCT, B24S, CanCyn, ChiGal, Chuck L, Festoonic, FM, FreeMarketApologist (1), Gumbo, hop2it, JB, JEHR, JF, JL Joe, John, JM (6), JW, KatieBird, LL, Michael King, KF, LaRuse, mrsyk, MT, otisyves, Petal (5), RK (2), RL, RM, Rod, square coats (11), tennesseewaltzer, Utah, Bob White (3). (Readers, if you leave your link in comments, I credit you by your handle. If you send it to me via email, I use your initials (in the absence of a handle. 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 for readers to scan.)

• More like this, please! Total: 1 6 11 18 20 22 26 27 28 38 39 43 47/50 (94% of US states).

* * *

Look for the Helpers

Alert reader John Zelnicker’s Corsi-Rosenthal Box (he of the NC songbook):

Alert reader ambrit presents This Old House, where they make a Corsi-Rosenthal Box two years ago:

(I actually linked to this in a contemporaneous post, of which ambrit’s find reminded me.)

* * *

“Introducing: The Covid Underground” [Covid Underground]. The deck: “Welcome to The Covid Underground, a newsletter for the Covid-free movement and all of those who continue to avoid infection.” More: “True health is the ability to change. About 10-30% of the U.S. population has changed their lives in the light of the freeing revelations of 2020, and we keep changing. We are dynamically, creatively faithful to what was— briefly— plain to all: normal is a dangerous illusion.” • Worth a read.

“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.

Finding like-minded people on (sorry) Facebook:


“Efficacy of FFP3 respirators for prevention of SARS-CoV-2 infection in healthcare workers” [eLife]. From the Abstract: “Here, we use observational data and mathematical modelling to analyse infection rates amongst HCWs working on ‘red’ (coronavirus disease 2019, COVID-19) and ‘green’ (non-COVID-19) wards during the second wave of the pandemic, before and after the substitution of filtering face piece 3 (FFP3) respirators for FRSMs. Whilst using [fluid-resistant surgical mask (FRSMs)], HCWs working on red wards faced an approximately 31-fold (and at least fivefold) increased risk of direct, ward-based infection. Conversely, after changing to FFP3 respirators, this risk was significantly reduced (52–100% protection).” • Wait. It’s not an RCT? Forget about it!

Scientific Communication

Covid origins controversy:

This is where I am on the “racoon dog” controversy (one interesting fact I glean from the controversy is that the racoon dog map of the market doesn’t include the bathrooms, which were in the racoon dog stall area; fomite transmission in China’s er, facilities has always been a lurking fear of mine, though to my knowledge never documented. Regardless, it’s just one more aspect of motivated scientific communication from the natural origins crowd, starting this time around with leaking the story to the Atlantic before the paper and its data were ever published, thereby winning the day on narrative, yadda yadda yadda. Darwin doesn’t need this kind of defender!


Long Covid on a high plateau:

Science Is Popping

“Stealth Omicron: A Novel SARS-CoV-2 Variant That Is Insensitive to RT-qPCR Using the N1 and N2 Primer-Probes” [Cureus]. “In Osaka, the second biggest prefecture in Japan, we identified a novel SARS-CoV-2 variant from a coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patient that was detected by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) using E primers, but not by real-time quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) using the N1 and N2 primer-probe sets recommended by CDC…. This finding led us to affirm the importance of monitoring the genome sequence of the SARS-CoV-2 variants continuously.” • Lol, Covid is over, why monitor anything? We’ve got budgets to think of! (What makes me a little nervous about this study is not the variant itself, but the idea of SARS-CoV-2 evolving not to escape treatement but to escape testing. I mean, it would, wouldn’t it?

Elite Malfeasance

The World’s Greatest Public Health Agency™:

The CDC doesn’t think they need to. Why would they think anything else?

* * *

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!

Case Data

BioBot wastewater data from March 23:

Lambert here: Note that if we look at “the area under the curve,” more people have died after Biden declared that “Covid is over” than before.

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.

• Just because we are on a high plateau doesn’t mean everyone is:

Covid Emergency Room Visits

NOT UPDATED From CDC NCIRD Surveillance, from March 18:

NOTE “Charts and data provided by CDC, updates Wednesday by 8am. For the past year, using a rolling 52-week period.” So not the entire pandemic, FFS (the implicit message here being that Covid is “just like the flu,” which is why the seasonal “rolling 52-week period” is appropriate for bothMR SUBLIMINAL I hate these people so much. Anyhow, I added a grey “Fauci line” just to show that Covid wasn’t “over” when they started saying it was, and it’s not over now. Notice also that this chart shows, at least for its time period, that Covid is not seasonal, even though CDC is trying to get us to believe that it is, presumably so they can piggyback on the existing institutional apparatus for injections.


From the Walgreen’s test positivity tracker, published March 24:

-1.2%. Still high, but we’ve now reached a point lower than the low point of the last valley.


Death rate (Our World in Data):

Total: 1,153,526 – 1,152,525 = 1001 (1001 * 365 = 365,365 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).

Excess Deaths

NOT UPDATED (but updating). Excess deaths (The Economist), published March 7:

Lambert here: Based on a machine-learning model. Again, we see a high plateau. I”m not sure how often this updates, and if it doesn’t, I’ll remove it. (The CDC has an excess estimate too, but since it ran forever with a massive typo in the Legend, I figured nobody was really looking at it, so I got rid it.

Stats Watch

* * *

Manufacturing: “United States Durable Goods Orders” [Trading Economics]. “Durable goods orders in the US which measure the cost of orders received by manufacturers of goods meant to last at least three years, dropped 1% month-over-month in February of 2023, following an upwardly revised 5% plunge in January and compared to market forecasts of a 0.6% increase.”

Manufacturing: “[Global] Manufacturing PMI” [Trading Economics]. “The S&P Global US Manufacturing PMI increased to 49.1 in March of 2023 from 47.3 in February, beating forecasts of 47, preliminary estimates showed. The reading pointed to the smallest contraction in the current five-month sequence of falling factory activity, amid a renewed rise in production and a softer fall in new orders. Also, inflationary pressures softened amid less marked supplier price hikes and moderations in some raw material costs. There was also an unprecedented improvement in supplier delivery times which in turn led to a slower fall in input buying and a softer depletion of pre-production inventories. Lead times were reduced to the greatest extent on record, allowing firms to start replenishing stocks and process backlogs of work, which fell solidly.”

Tech: “Adobe made an AI image generator — and says it didn’t steal artists’ work to do it” [The Verge]. “This is a big launch for Adobe. The company sits at the center of the creative app ecosystem, and over much of the past year, it’s stayed on the sidelines while newcomers to the creative space began to offer powerful tools for creating images, videos, and sound for next to nothing. At launch, Adobe is calling Firefly a beta, and it’ll only be available through a website. But eventually, Adobe plans to tightly integrate generative AI tools with its suite of creative apps, like Photoshop, Illustrator, and Premiere. ‘We’re not afraid of change, and we’re embracing this change,’ says Alexandru Costin, VP of generative AI and Sensei at Adobe. ‘We’re bringing these capabilities right into [our] products so [customers] don’t need to know if it’s generative or not.’” • So, a race to the bottom on pricing, then? Oh, and: “Costin says that Adobe plans to pay artists who contribute training data, too.” Scabs, too?

Tech: “UNIX co-creator Ken Thompson is a… what user now?” [The Register]. Thompson: “I have for most of my life – because I was sort of born into it – run Apple. Now recently, meaning within the last five years, I’ve become more and more and more depressed… And what Apple is doing to something that should allow you to work is just atrocious… But they are taking a lot of space and time to do it, so it’s okay. And I’ve come, within the last month or two, to say: even though I’ve invested a zillion years in Apple, I’m throwing it away, and I’m going to Linux. To Raspbian, in particular.” • Raspbian.

* * *

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 37 Fear (previous close: 36 Extreme Fear) [CNN]. One week ago: 24 (Extreme Fear). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Mar 23 at 2:01 PM ET.

Zeitgeist Watch

“Alex Bennett & Jordyn Woodruff: We Don’t Wash Our Hands” [Vendetta]. “Barstool’s attempt to replace the Call Her Daddy podcast is failing. Don’t worry, the Mean Girls featuring Alex Bennett and Jordyn Woodruff are pulling in viewers. They’re just repulsive humans and are getting attention for all the wrong reasons.” • This video is making the rounds, but divorced from its context, as here:

You have to know Bennett and Woodruff from their faces, which I of course do not. Lots of people heading for the fainting couch! Reminds me of some other public health issue…

Class Warfare

“Commercial determinants of health” (series) [The Lancet]. From the Executive Summary: “Commercial actors can contribute positively to health and society, and many do, providing essential products and services. However, a substantial group of commercial actors are escalating avoidable levels of ill health, planetary damage, and inequity—the commercial determinants of health. While policy solutions are available, they are not currently being implemented, and the costs of harm caused by some products and practices are coming at a great cost to individuals and society. A new Lancet Series on the commercial determinants of health provides recommendations and frameworks to foster a better understanding of the diversity of the commercial world, potential pathways to health harms or benefits, and the need for regulatory action and investment in enterprises that advance health, wellbeing, equity, and society.” • Um, I think it makes sense to look for common factors — profit and exploitation (Rules #1 and #2) — than bleat about “diversity.” I mean, I’m happy to have the subject broached, at least, but holy moley, this graphical abstract:

I mean. “Rebalancing this power dynamic requires coordinated efforts from multiple stakeholders groups,” as Frederick Douglass famously said. (Kidding. Douglass said that “Power concedes nothing without a demand.”) Who wrote this thing? Davos Man?

“Howard Schultz ends third stint as Starbucks CEO early” [Guardian]. “Starbucks’ chief executive, Howard Schultz, is ending his third stint as head of the coffee chain early as he faces growing scrutiny over the company’s labor practices. The company announced on Monday that Schultz had stepped down as interim chief executive, nearly two weeks earlier than expected. The new CEO, Lax Narasimhan, was slated to take over on 1 April…. Earlier this month, Schultz agreed to appear in front of a key Senate labor committee on 29 March after the committee nearly voted to subpoena him for testimony. ‘For nearly a year, I and many of my colleagues in the Senate have repeatedly asked Mr Schultz to respect the constitutional rights of workers at Starbucks to form a union and to stop violating federal labor laws,’ Senator Bernie Sanders, who chairs the committee, said in a statement at the time. Investors will also be voting on a shareholder proposal at the company’s next shareholder meeting on 23 March that could see the company undergoing an independent review of its labor practices.” • Meanwhile:

“U.S. Announces Plans To Reclassify Everyone’s Race Based On Net Worth” [The Onion]. “‘It is resolved by the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives that any American whose wealth exceeds $1 million shall be white,’ read the bipartisan legislation, which went on to state that citizens who were dissatisfied with the race they were assigned under the new criteria would be ‘free to pull themselves up by their bootstraps” in order to reach a racial category of greater privilege. ‘Now, regardless of the color of their skin, those who are rich will receive all the rights a wealthy person is entitled to in this country. Meanwhile, those with a net worth in the six figures, though they cannot be white, will still qualify as Asian, with the social scale moving downward from there to Latino and Black. This should go a long way toward making our racial stereotypes as accurate as possible.’ In an attempt to deal a final blow to the complications of intersectionality, Congress was reportedly taking up additional legislation to ensure everyone earning above the median income level was classified as a man, and everyone below it as a woman.”

More on hot boxes:

Liberal Democrats should really talk to workers occasionally. They might learn something.

News of the Wired

For the knitters among us:

And for the menders:

Not worth mending a much simpler $10 tee. Both threads are worth reading in full.

* * *

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 Bob White:

Bob White writes: “Attached is plant image…. obviously. It is a Satsuma in early bloom here in New Orleans, it is loving this warm weather – a record 77% of days this year (so far) above average.” How not wintry!

* * *

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

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

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

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

About Lambert Strether

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


  1. Samuel Conner

    > hope that the former President sabotages himself legally.” • That’s it? That’s what these guys have going for them?

    I recall from years ago, during the R-gate special counsel thingey, reading that DJT’s laywers were anxious to limit, or altogether avoid, his exposure to deposition as he was regarded to be an undisciplined witness who would, in the context of adversarial questioning, divulge things best left unspoken. This may be all “these guys” have going for them, but it might be plenty.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > an undisciplined witness

      It’s possible. But if, after all the hysteria, these guys are relying on Trump to blurt something out…. Can’t they build a case, instead of relying on the personal characteristics of their target? (In a way, though, that fits perfectly with how the Acela Corridor types think about everything; it’s like highs school, everything is personal. That’s certainly how they think about [makes warding sign] Putin. (I don’t think it’s a cynical display for the rubes; that is, I believe, how they genuinely think. No there there.)

      1. Henry Moon Pie

        The PMC’s evolving Axis of Evil: Putin, Xi and Trump. Jamal Bowman was very lonely speaking up against the bipartisan fun with Tik Tok’s CEO.

        They’re trying to put two of them in jail to solve their problems. When can we expect the indictment of Xi by the SF DA?

      2. pjay

        Yes. In the “advice” to the prosecutors there were no points made regarding actual evidence or legal strategy, just these suggestions about Trump’s lack of discipline as a possible “gotcha” mechanism. Also, though the author starts by advising the prosecutors to “ignore Trump’s antics as much as possible,” much of the discussion is precisely about using such “antics” against him with the jury and the media. To me it sounds more like strategizing for a PR campaign than for a trial – which, of course, is appropriate here.

        1. jsn

          And that “lack of discipline” has gotten him everything he’s ever got.

          It a narcissistic discipline that’s counter to the narcissistic discipline of the PMC so they assume it’s “stupid”, and this from the experts in “failing up.”

          It’s their very substance, but in a form that repels them. Until they know themselves, they’ll never suspect what they’re up against.

    2. fresno dan

      If Trump devulges anything, its the United States that should worry about Trump saying things that should best be left unspoken.
      I would not be surprised if the Feds have ordered the Manhattan prosecutor not to ask certain questions, lest Trump answer them truthfully….

  2. Roger Blakely

    Government-sponsored COVID-19 testing has shut down. In Los Angeles County there were county-run testing sites spaced about ten miles apart. The program involved the federal government (DoD), state government, and county government. All of those testing sites are now gone. You’re on your own. Well, actually, you can get tested though LA County Public Health, but they would rather that you were on your own.

    1. Angie Neer

      Ugh. Here in the Seattle area we’ve been blessed with a number of convenient and well-run testing sites, but they, too, are shrinking. The one I’ve used numerous times is shrinking–not sure how long until it closes.

  3. hemeantwell

    There is absolutely nothing surreal about the embrace of Mark Milley. His elevation, and that of all the other authority-infused apparatchiks of the national security state reflects a Bonapartist political impulse that’s becoming more and more salient. There’s a widespread sense that social divisions, for very good reasons, are becoming less amenable to containment within some form of social truce. So we’re treated to an ongoing succession of displacements of an imposed wish for a 21st version of the guy on the white horse of Marx’s day. It’s worth considering whether one reason we here find the idea of AI-generated decisions so disturbing is that we can see them as eventually becoming a ruling class option to try to justify the justice of decisions. Apres the Market, apres the Fed, and apres AI, le deluge. .

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > There is absolutely nothing surreal about the embrace of Mark Milley

      Hopefully Milley isn’t having his mistress write his biography, like Petraeus. And then:

      a blunt, intellectual and remarkably available source, particularly off the record.

      Oh, remarkably! Good thing my diabetes isn’t acting up today….

      1. ambrit

        “Good thing my diabetes isn’t acting up today….”
        Poor Lambert. Discommoded by a saccharin panegyric.
        Instead of a ‘hagiography,’ how about a “harmiography?” [I was going to type “hermiography,” but that would have been too limiting.]

  4. Judith

    There is an approach to mending clothes with holes or stains called Visible Mending, Inspired by Japanese techniques of sashiko and boro. My mom taught me to knit and sew when I was a kid and I still make some of my own clothes. I recently repaired holes in one of my favorite sweaters with elbow patches and colorful embroidery.

    Here are some links:



    1. Kelly

      Have been patching clothes for decades. A sewing machine is ideal to lap or fold the material over to create a fray proof edge, then the patch is sewn onto the outside of the pants or elbow whatever. The only problem is how to get the crotch of men’s Levi’s under the machine needle, too much material.

      FLORA COLLINGSWOOD-NORRIS, is she in Burke’s Peerage?
      Three names is uber pretentious.

      1. c_heale

        Why is three names uber pretentious? Some people have three names due to their family situation – which may involve parental separation and other issues.

      2. JBird4049

        Has anyone noticed a cheapening of the patches?

        I use to use those iron on patches on my jeans especially before the jeans themselves were cheapened as did my Mom.

        They were never as good as needle and thread, but as a child they were good enough. Today, they tend not to stay on for even length of time, not to mention that the pants’ fabric even of jeans tends to not be strong enough even for a large patch covering undamaged fabric.

        If the original fabric unstressed fabric around the hole or tear is too weak for iron ons, I would think thread would strain the fabric even more. And this is a reason for not repairing t-shirts. Even the “quality” shirts of today are not as thick, certainly not as durable, as the ones that were repairable in the past.

        When I look for clothing made today that is anywhere as good as clothing of the past, the costs, especially for anything American made, makes buying them almost impossible. Yes, I know that in the past people wore own fewer pieces of more expensive clothes, but I think it is like housing. People paid have not matched the rise in housing costs. More, quality clothes are made in smaller amounts driving up the cost to make each item. Then add the niche nature of such clothes which further drives up the costs.

        Finally, the places that would repair clothes if you did not have the time or the skills are rare. So, I find and buy a suit that is likely not as good as a suit from fifty years ago for which I cannot get unless I want to pay over a thousand dollars. The places for which I can get them repaired are slowly going away. If I buy footwear, around five hundred is the very least I can expect to pay for something that can be resoled, if I can find a place that will sell them and a place that will resole them.

        There is a gap between the five hundred dollars for garbage suit, shoes, and other accoutrements and the minimum of twenty-five hundred for a outfit that will last over a decade of regular use in rotation,especially if repairable. And a good mens suit will always be, if not fashionable, presentable for at least a decade, maybe two. Unless you are looking at the 70s leisure suits, ick.

    2. MaryLand

      I belong to a clothing upcycling group on Facebook. There are plenty of people still mending including Japanese visible mending. Lots of upcyclers for other things too. The mending of jeans crotches is usually done with hand sewing rather than machine sewing. There are some very creative people taking old clothing and combining them with other pieces to make some amazing garments. Of course the great majority of people do not have the time nor the desire to do this.

    3. MT_Wild

      I can handle buttons, but take other repairs to a seamstress.

      Probably in and out of her shop 6 times a year. Outdoor clothes (coveralls, shells, waders, etc) are still in the 100s of dollar range and worth repairing.

      We had a cobbler until recently, now I have to ship boots overseas to be resoled.

    4. OwlishSprite

      I can do this now that I am retired. It would never have flown at work. I was pulled aside at one job (law firm) and told my clothes were ‘too ethnic’ and were upsetting the clients.

      1. ambrit

        What’s wrong with a formal kilt and sporran for work wear? The effrontery of those people!

        1. The Rev Kev

          ‘Hoot, man. Is anything worn underneath your kilt?’

          Nay, man. It’s all in perfect working order.’

        2. hunkerdown

          Nothing. Cargo kilts are particularly popular at the SFF fandom × sysadmin intersection for clear and unclear reasons.

          1. ambrit

            No! Please! You don’t mean, the Cargo Kiltests!?
            “What’s the sporran for?”
            “It’s where I store the goodies mate.”
            I was told they were a sub-sub-faction of the Dreaded Furries. (At least those who did not shave their legs.)

    5. Lunker Walleye

      Thank you for those links.

      Mother taught me how to mend clothing and I’m grateful to have some simple skills. When I was about 16, I brought home two dresses from the local dept. store for a total of about $70.00 (today a little over $600). Mother had entrusted me with her “charge plate” and was outraged at the high cost. The dresses were made in USA and were beautifully sewn.

    6. The Rev Kev

      It should be mentioned how the quality of clothes has changed. In the olden days, you actually passed down your clothes when you passed away and they were mentioned in wills. We had a neighbour from northern England who brought with her when she came out a lot of clothing material as it was all good quality. And now? It seems that clothes are more shoddy and will only last about one season. Harder to repair clothing that is of cheap quality and is more easier to just replace. I have also noticed the colours available in clothing are often restricted to a narrow range to the point that I use to call them ‘poor people’s colours.’

      1. Polar Socialist

        Mrs. Polar Socialist was involved in project to reprint a book from the beginning of the last century about how to make the traditional garments. To her amusement the instructions were mostly about the weaving patterns – the writers assumed the reader would understand all the rest from the simple pictures provided. Because people knew this stuff at the time.

        Me, I was taught by my father how to cook, bake and mend my own clothing. He once said in jest that the best way to live with a woman is to know how to live without a woman. In reality he learned all that with his father after his mother died when he was still a young kid.

        1. ambrit

          That’s another aspect of ‘The Jackpot’ that is not being talked about much; the rise in maternal deaths in childbirth now after a century of medical improvements in maternal care.
          So many women died in childbirth “back in the day,” that widowers with children were “a thing” then. So many second and third, etc. marriages included children from former partners that it was considered “normal.”
          Real feminists should be outraged at the so called American “Left’s” willful bungling of the women’s reproductive health issues. “Fighting for you” does “you” no good if you are dead.

      2. JohnA

        And furniture was passed down, unlike today’s IKEA age.
        One of the most famous political putdowns in the Conservative party in England was by Alan Clark, of diaries fame, who snobbishly dismissed Michael Heseltine, a one-time challenger to M Thatcher and viewed as an arriviste by the Old Guard, as ‘the kind of person who bought his own furniture’.

    7. eg

      I lack the skills to mend my own, but my wife can do some and I take more complex jobs to a mending place in our local mall. In part the habit is generational and class-based, I think.

  5. some guy

    That photo and mention of New Orleans brings to mind an event from many years ago.

    We have a big Summer Art Fair every July in my University City. It is ( or was before covid) one of the big ones which artists/ craftspeople from all states came to.

    I was talking to an artist from New Orleans at her booth. I don’t remember all the conversation but eventually it drifted around to live oaks. She said the live oaks were indeed part of New Orleans’s visible cultural heritage. I noted how the ongoing warmup of NOLA-area winters meant that there were not the same sort of killfrosts per winter as there had used to be. Which means that an introduced termite, the Asian Tiger Termite, was not frost killed each year the way it had used to be. Which means that the Asian Tiger Termite would be able to eat the heartwood out from inside the Live Oaks’s main limbs, causing them to fall off under their own weight. So that the Asian Tiger Termite would eventually kill all the Live Oak trees in and around New Orleans by amputating them to death one slow limb at a time. And it was burning coal, gas and oil which raised the CO2 levels in the air enough to retain enough heat through the winter that the Asian Tiger Termite could survive. Which meant that a key component of Louisiana’s economy would destroy a key component of Louisiana’s cultural heritage. Then I said . . . ” Well, I guess that’s just one of life’s little ironies”.

    She just looked at me.

    1. Fiery Hunt

      Yeah, not gonna get many people dark enough to laugh at those kinds of observations.
      Got a smirk outta me though.

      It’s just elephants all the way down, my friend.

    2. Bob White

      I tried looking up the Asian Tiger Termite, to no avail… as we have many oak trees around our property here in NOLA. (and many termites all over the city)
      Was able to find the Asian Tiger Mosquito, and the Formosan Termite from East Asia.
      Those Formosans are quite voracious, and are freeze resistant. Maybe that is the one you are referring to?

      The Asian Tiger Mosquito has been able to maintain it’s presence by the lack of freezes as you described. It can carry Dengue Fever, Yellow Fever, Zika Virus, West Nile Virus, and Encephalitis. Although, we did have a short freeze this winter, which killed out our Mirlitons, and knocked back our banana plants – they will come back.

  6. Ranger Rick

    That Ken Thompson quote is a reminder that Apple, shall we say, has form. When Apple ditched Intel (and didn’t even consider its competitor, AMD), it chose a different, and incompatible, processor architecture (ARM). They can decide at any moment to completely remove the ability of Macs to use code that was not built for ARM processors. It’s done via a compatibility utility known as Rosetta, and its continued existence on Apple’s good graces is a sort of Sword of Damocles hanging over the heads of developers worldwide.

    1. digi_owl

      Apple has a long history of that. I seem to recall Jobs throwing a hissy fit over Adobe sticking to Apple’s Carbon transition library while Apple wanted to get rid of it.

      Thing is that Adobe basically sold the Mac back in the day, and made Apple products the default for the publishing industry, same as visicalc sold the AppleII.

      Frankly the only two companies i can think of that takes backwards compatibility seriously is IBM and Microsoft, and that is reflected in their continued usage in various industries.

  7. marym

    > Georgia election law allegations

    “Based on the witness list, it appears the Grand Jury is focused on the phone call from then President Trump to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, the appointment of what some call “fake electors,” efforts to pressure a Fulton County poll worker to falsely claim she committed election fraud, and an election data breach in Coffee County in Southeast Georgia.”

    In the few pages that were unsealed Thursday, the grand jury said it received evidence involving more than 75 witnesses, most of which was delivered in person and under oath.

    “The report noted that the panel’s extensive witness list included poll workers, investigators, technical experts and state officials, as well as “persons still claiming that such fraud took place.””

    1. Carolinian

      So a trial revolving around Trump’s state of mind and intentions–isn’t this the same thing as the Bragg effort? Also one of the Gerorgia Grand Jury members is an anti-Trump activist who has been boasting about the proceedings, itself against Grand Jury secrecy laws.

      Perhaps the best and most honest way for Dems to neutralize Trump would be to nominate someone other than Biden. It’s like they are determined to force this old man down the public’s throat for another four years. Why it almost makes Trump’s charges of manipulative intentions seem true.

      A plague on both their houses I say.

  8. Wukchumni

    Late in the game before the Communism curtain call, there was something known as the Sinatra Doctrine…

    The Sinatra Doctrine was a Soviet foreign policy under Mikhail Gorbachev for allowing member states of the Warsaw Pact to determine their own internal affairs. The name jokingly alluded to the song My Way popularized by Frank Sinatra

    I’ve been searching for a Bizarro World collape parallel and think SVB/Signature might be it, in that they were able to determine their own internal affairs-abrogating the Feds, right?


    My Way, performed by Frank Sinatra


    1. Carolinian

      I thought the Sinatra doctrine was New York, New York–a song beloved by Times Square revelers until eternity seemingly. Curses on Scorsese and his stupid movie that spawned it.

      I believe he and Liza Minelli were a thing–the only excuse.

      1. ambrit

        There is no excuse for that film.
        As for Mz Minnelli, well, it can all be charged to her Zeta Reticulan reptilian blood admixture.
        A better Minnelli film analog to the City of New York would be Cabaret. Somebody tell me that Sally Bowles wouldn’t fit right in to the 42nd Street crowd. I dare ya.
        I mean, Minnelli as Sally Bowles off off Broadway with Klaus Nomi as the Emcee.

  9. flora

    re: “Liberal Democrats should really talk to workers occasionally. They might learn something.”

    Yes. But sadly, I know many liberal Dems who are workers, but think they’re better than those workers. (And they call themselves ‘smart’. / ;)

  10. Rob Urie

    ‘Liberal Democrats should really talk to workers occasionally.’

    The liberal Democrats I know speak with workers all of the time.

    They’re called ‘the help.’

      1. ambrit

        I have often encountered that personally when doing repair plumbing.
        In service work, the cardinal sin is answering back to stupid demands. The optimal response to such exhortations is the “Chinese Strategy.” Agree to anything and everything and then promptly forget it all and do the job as you see fit.

  11. DJG, Reality Czar

    The article about Paul Vallas, soon to be mayor of Chicago, ends with a critique by Rep. Brad Miller:

    “Vallas thought he was in the small circle of sophisticates who understood the deals and the emperor’s new clothes were beautiful. When the deals went to hell, the Wall Street banks told everybody that the deals were great but they just got unlucky, and Vallas believed that too.”

    No. The elites like Rahm Emanuel, the clueless Lori Lightfoot, and Vallas didn’t “believe that too.” They simply didn’t give a shit. I had a reliable second-hand report that Rahm and cronies spent their time planning to destroy the school system. Yes, it is an anecdote, but it also aligns with what went on in Chicago.

    I was then living near Trumbull School, the school in the “white” neighborhood that was ritually sacrificed for the sake of “equity.” The other fifty schools were in black neighborhoods.

    Chicago’s venomous politics are mainly for fleeing from: The rapacious elites are self-righteous and have no interest in solving the problems of the city.

    1. DJG, Reality Czar

      The reason I’d bet that Vallas will win is that Chicagoans, when given a choice between an authoritarian and even the whispiest chance of détente and freedom, will choose the authoritarian. This explains Lightfoot defeating Preckwinkel, Rahm against everyone else, the Daley years.

      Harold Washington’s term, evidently, was just too much freedom. Crawling back into the hole is so much more comforting.

      Which is why the trumpeting about World-Class City gets a tad rich after a while.

      1. some guy

        Washington did get re-elected. So he didn’t appear to offer too much freedom to Chicagoans at the time.

        But almost immediately after his re-election, he died of a massive heart attack.

        He might have made a very good America’s First Black President. We will never know.

    2. Duke of Prunes

      My wife went to Trumbull in the late 60s. She and her brother got put into Catholic school after a boy showed her brother a knife (3rd grade, I think). Eventually fled the city for the suburbs. Trumbull is now a fancy private school.

      1. DJG, Reality Czar

        Duke of Prunes. Did they put them in Saint Gregory’s? (Also now gone. Replaced by a charter school with terrible relations with its teachers.)

        The saga of Trumbull as it was decommissioned was an education: Condo proposals. Wheeling and dealing.

        It ended up as the Waldorf School. In the community meeting about Waldorf’s takeover, I asked if local kids would be given consideration and scholarships, given that tuition some seven years ago was 17,000 dollars. I was assured that there were scholarships–and of course I believed that.

    3. notabanker

      That article is an incredible read. You don’t sell a billion of swaps to Wall St for $11K in campaign cash. He’s got coffers stashed away somewhere.

  12. Carolinian

    Re Milley–may hurl.

    My brother says he saw Vietnam General Westmoreland walking on a Charleston street years ago and had to resist the urge to floor the accelerator.

    Westy was a Carolinian.

      1. JBird4049

        In other news, Hilary Clinton’s “guru,” His Malign Darkness Henry Kissinger, is still alive.

        That a man that destroyed not only so many in my parents’ generation, but entire nations more severely that Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria as well as serving the needs of the corporations against the poor for generations is still alive sickens me.

        1. ambrit

          Some of us often wonder just when Henry sold his soul to His Infernal Majesty. (Why is the Devil always portrayed as male? If I remember correctly, Angels, both Elevated and Fallen, are sexless.)

    1. Tom_Doak

      I actually had dinner with Mr and Mrs Westmoreland once, about twenty years ago, at a golf club in Charleston where they were members. By that point he had a bit of dementia, from appearances. The whole dinner, I kept thinking how many people I knew that would want to kill the guy.

    1. skippy

      Smiles are a marketing tool just like sex is …. see endless road to sexualizing younger and younger kids. This goes back to old studies on kids perceptions/responses to photos of adults and quick choice between good or bad person. Per se Christian Bale aka Patrick Bateman would be instantly seen as good+ and and anyone poor but highly ethical/charitable but worn by time and trouble instantly bad … loser ….

      It also reminds me of the last Curtis doco where blackrock having bought out a picturesque Oregon town for its server farm and the young girl talking about psych meds and being happy e.g. were all getting better and happy … I’m happy …

      My concern is they are playing a hard game with some very basic human emotional and cognitive processes and flying blind, but are driven by incentives to push it as hard as they can, some point it will break.

      Coke and a Smile made serious packet …

  13. fresno dan


    “The entire leadership team is different than the one from the alleged case,” said the official, who asked not to be identified speaking in connection with the recent litigation. Since 2020, the FBI’s legal office has been headed by Jason Jones, a former federal prosecutor who was later a partner at King & Spalding, the Atlanta-based law firm that FBI Director Christopher Wray hails from.*

    Notes from a meeting the day after that interview show Baker gaming out whether Flynn could or should be prosecuted for lying even though the FBI internally predicated the interview on a flimsy, untested statute. “How do you assess Sec. 1001 when you wouldn’t prosecute underlying crime?” Baker asked.

    Baker also served as a point of contact at the FBI in 2016 for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee, as those entities struggled to respond to hacking incidents that the U.S. government has blamed on Russia.
    Despite producing evidence of discord at the FBI’s legal office in the years leading up to the Trump-Russia probe, the recent trial does not fit neatly into Trump’s view of a bureau driven by political vendettas.
    Clinesmith — who was hired in July 2015 for the general counsel’s office’s national security branch — pleaded guilty in 2020 to altering an email relied on for an application to surveil Carter Page, an energy analyst who was briefly an adviser to Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign. Trump claimed Clinesmith acted out of political bias, but the Office of General Counsel attorney said he was simply trying to save himself work when he tweaked the language.**
    Two things about the article – the FBI is screwed up and is screwed up. And the writers believe in mythology, e.g., to believe that the FBI did not act against Trump consistently is…unbieveable.

    * I can understand hiring a collegue (crony) but it probably does little to assure objective, dispassionate decision making.
    ** I don’t think anyone with an active brain cell would believe that. It confirms my view that the US legal system will not hold police or prosecutors accountable. Despite all the yammering about the Constitution and how free we are, the very definition of tyranny is government officials acting with impunity.

  14. Jason Boxman

    We’ve had desktop Linux for something like 40 years now. And for 40 years it’s been an exercise in having to debug your own bizarre issues, which always arise. Say what you will about Apple, but I’ve never had to deal with a bizarre kernel bug where muting and unmuting my audio leads to MAX volume with headphones on, for example, which is actually a risk for hearing damage. No idea the cause, gave up trying to figure it out, switched from Ubuntu and Fedora and it went away.

    That was almost ten years ago. Meanwhile, minor issues abound all the time. KDE’s UI seems to get worse over time, not better. I think KDE 3 might have been the hay-day of decent UI for it. Since 2016 I’ve spent a fraction of the time debugging OS X nonsense than I ever did debugging “Linux” issues, which could really run the gamut from a distro specific implementation issue to an actual kernel bug to a driver bug or proprietary driver issue to bad UX to any number of things. And I “do” computers for a living, so best of luck to anyone that doesn’t have that particular intuition that those in IT develop over the years when dealing with technology.

    Granted, Apple has its stupid issues to. I can’t scan documents from my iPhone to my MBP for some reason. Why? Who knows. You’re not supposed to pair it via BT, it’s supposed to work magically, but if you did pair it, it seems to break this magic paring. And you need WiFi on. And you need BT on. And you need to be using the same Apple ID. And I don’t even remember what else, but it did finally start working. So Apple’s “handoff” stuff seems halve baked.

    But day to day stuff basically just works, never any oopses or weird surprises. But that’s just my experience. Meanwhile Windows is basically 100% spyware these days. Never ever running Windows again. Ever.

    1. hunkerdown

      Desktop Linux for a not-so-diverse device ecosystem like a Raspberry Pi won’t be subject to so many edge cases bumping against each other. Like iPhones, installations will be very alike, and they’ll have similar problems under similar conditions, leading to them being fixed more quickly by a community more likely to possess matching hardware to reproduce the problem. (Most of those problems, in fact, are caused by unreliable power from whatever random charger a user pulled out of their e-waste bucket.)

      1. OwlishSprite

        I love my Raspberyy Pi. Linux Mint was OK too. Running Linux on older, Windows machines was not great though.

    2. ambrit

      That’s why I trundle along with my Win 8.1 so far.
      I have noticed several YouTube videos about debugging Windows 11. The question is, does the system revert to Default every time it is updated? No clear answers yet.

    3. Angie Neer

      I’ve used them all for decades now, and I still find MacOS best overall in usability and reliability. It really does “just work” with few exceptions for me. Windows 10 (I haven’t tried 11 yet) is a pretty successful imitation of Mac in many respects, but suffers from “everything for everybody” disease (the Creeping Feature Creature). Linux is the next step on the continuum: weaker user experience, and a thinner veneer separating the user from grisly details. Of course there are many flavors of Linux, if one likes to experiment. I like to experiment with lots of things, but not so much with appliances such as computers. Of course, Mac is the most expensive by far, and I am a tightwad. But I’m still getting along pretty well with 2012 Mac Minis that I bought used.

    4. FredW

      For what it’s worth and just a side comment, I’ve been using “Puppy Linux” in it’s various developments for decades as my main desktop system. It certainly has a bit of a learning curve, and glitches, but it can exist on the same drive as Windows, only uses a base 200mb of memory, although it can grow to several gigabytes as you add applications, and runs entirely in RAM. It’s free and obscure enough that probably few crooks would waste time on hacking it. Every once in a while I feel the need to boot into Windows, but do so less and less as time goes by.

    5. c_heale

      I have used desktop Linux a lot. Have had very few problems with it. The only major problem has been that it wouldn’t run one or two programs I use a lot (they are windows and mac only).

      Recently purchased an old mac. Big Sur (the latest it can run) is pretty bad given all the hype about osx. Completely non-intuitive which was a surprise.

      Windows. It’s terrible. It was better around XP/7 time but it’s just rehashing the same old stuff every time a new version comes out. I have no idea why they can’t make a fast version, without a lot of the garbage they pre-install. For example, Paint. What is it? A useless program. And there are many more examples like this.

      Basically the big two operating systems (Win and Mac) are living in the past.

  15. John Zelnicker

    Lambert – Thanks for posting the picture of my Corsi-Rosenthal box. Including the link to the songbook is very kind of you.

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      [And Biggest thank you first to Yves and Lambert et al.] Thank you for your efforts.

  16. OwlishSprite

    ‘Liberal Democrats should really talk to workers occasionally.’

    My congressional reps speak to the workers these days, telling them to just shut up about whatever they disagree about re policy. I never thought I would see this.

    And, “Powell and Yellen Say the Banking System Is Sound as Another Global Bank Teeters”

    This week, the shorts have found another easy new global bank target to try to take down after making a bundle of money betting against Credit Suisse, which was taken over for 82 cents a share on Sunday by its Swiss competitor, UBS.

    (Pam and Russ Martens)

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      Perhaps someone might suggest that Powell and Yellen make their statements subject to later resignation statements should they prove wrong … .
      Of course, the reluctance of Congress and any other responsible body of the Treasury to assume responsibility might dull this suggestion.

  17. fresno dan

    Trump wrote: “What kind of person can charge another person, in this case, a former President of the United States, who got more votes than any sitting President in history, and leading candidate (by far!) for the Republican Party nomination, with a Crime, when it is known by all that NO Crime has been committed, & also known that potential death & destruction in such a false charge could be catastrophic for our Country?”
    I guarantee you, if something horrible happens, Trump will not bail them out of jail. He will not pay their legal expenses. They will be on the hook for their foolish loyalty to a narcissistic old man.

    Trump must stop his escalating rhetoric. He’s in a stressful position but he is encouraging the press coverage. He thrives on being the center of attention, even when that attention is the wrong kind. If he wants to be treated with respect as a former president, he has to act like a former president. I’m not saying he should sit down and shut up. He should, however, take a breath and put out a better message.
    Maybe Trump is frustrated that his calls for protests and taking back the country on his behalf are falling on deaf ears. There has been little response to his first pitch to loyalists. Maybe he thinks that by getting more aggressive in his calls for support, those so inclined will respond. What I don’t think he understands is how the riot on January 6 is playing out and how that affects future protests on Trump’s behalf. A lot of people are sitting in jail under very sketchy circumstances after that riot. Instead of calling for more chaos, Trump should be working on getting those people legal assistance. Trump expected loyalty from others yet he offers none in exchange.
    Hot Air by its own account is conservative/republican, but no Trump fan.
    The link in the article takes me to a Washington Post article. I can’t find anything on Truth Social, but I am not signed up to Truth Social, so I don’t know if that prevents me from finding everything Trump has posted on the Truth Social site.

    What Trump has included in his post, potential death and destruction is unwise. I think one could say that Trump is merely stating the outcome of what could happen from indicting him (Trump) but that Trump is not actually advocating death and destruction.
    We will see how this plays out. I think it will marginally diminish the number of Trump primary voters, as repubs are not about violent protest. I don’t think it helps him in gettingthe nomination, but I don’t know if enough to prevent Trump from getting the nomination.
    Also, from what I can tell from the number of comments on conservative or right sites, I think Trump is just getting to be old news. There are a lot of Trump supporters who protested for him now sitting in jail – Trump doesn’t seem to have much to say about them…

  18. JM

    UNIX creator and Raspian: unless he’s tossing his Apple and replacing it with some Raspberry Pi, that choice makes no sense to me. I’m going to assume it’s a joke, like the “troll” about a backdoor in C the article mentioned from several years ago. Caveat: I didn’t watch the video, it might be clear from context.

    If he was actually going to Linux, I’d expect either a more flexible distro like Arch, Debian, or Gentoo, or something more mainstream like RedHat or Ubuntu. This said as a Gentoo user for something like 15 years.

    1. Polar Socialist

      Long story short, I think he’s trolling, since Raspbian (the distro) was kinda sorta renamed to Raspberry Pi OS in April 2020. If he’s really switching to that, he should know.

    2. hunkerdown

      Raspbian is mainstream. It’s the raspberry Pi’s factory distro. As the name suggests, it’s basically a Debian build for the Broadcom systems-on-chip and the armhf architecture. In the event he wants to plug cheap Chinese hardware boards into the GPIO ports and have them driven by the kernel, there’s nothing in Raspbian stopping him from sudoing whatever he wants to the device tree.

      Then again, if he really wanted to tinker, he could eat his own dogfood.

    3. digi_owl

      Nah, from elsewhere i understand that he has a pile of RPis around the house. And likely he spend most of his days tinkering with code in a terminal, and thus do not need much horse power beyond the compile time on his projects.

      Thing people seem to overlook is that Apple got a big uptick in academia because OSX was an off the shelf unix system just as Linux was picking up steam in compute clusters and web development.

      But in recent years Apple has made it ever more annoying to actually make use of the unix side of OSX/MacOS, as seem to barely update the related software that come bundled.

      So the people that adopted Apple products because of the unix part is becoming increasingly dissatisfied with Apple’s direction.

  19. Jeremy Grimm

    I believe the Romans living in the times near the Fall, inscribed their drinking cups with slogans that they felt best portrayed their times. I believe we are living through the second great Fall. I am questing for a slogan for our times. Here is my own notion for a most fitting slogan and epitaph for the current times:

    I’ll Be Gone. You’ll Be Gone.
    So … Dance, Dance, Dance til the music stops.

    Any other ideas? [I would like to translate this slogan to Latin. Roman drinking cups from the 4th and 5th Centuries often used Greek for many of their inscriptions.]

    1. John k

      That slogan is pretty good if our decrepit leaders finally get us into ww3, but in that case, who will remember a great slogan?
      What I hope is more likely is we will closely emulate Rome. As power declines we shift from uni to multi, as Rome did do by sharing numero uno with Istanbul (former Constantinople), and then Rome steadily declined until Rome itself was deserted… cities are unlivable without inputs of at least food. In our case multi means Russia/China/us, but then what? Self sufficient in food and fuel is good, but dependent on them for mfg and most commodities not so much. what will we trade for those things? Can’t expect them to endlessly take and hold $. Not sure demand for us pricey weapons will be sustained if Russia prevails in Ukraine.
      And others have been invited to ignore odious debts, so interest income is suspect over time. we do get patent and copyright income… that might also go away if we annoy them too much.
      How about ‘they are the champions…’

  20. Raymond Sim

    “Stealth Omicron: A Novel SARS-CoV-2 Variant That Is Insensitive to RT-qPCR Using the N1 and N2 Primer-Probes”

    My wife’s a plant virologist with lots of relevant PCR experience. Her comment on the article: “Extremely predictable.” From her point of view, that’s PCR for you – if it’s all you’re using, then sooner or later you’ll be missing something.

    1. Raymond Sim

      I should add that in her view this is the Japanese researchers calling out CDC and WHO for shoddy practices. She says that if you’re not constantly testing for sequences your tests might miss, then you’re not really monitoring.

      She reminds me that the UCD lab she worked at made that mistake once, and gave some guy at Berkeley a foothold in the Napa Valley grape leafroll racket.

  21. The Rev Kev

    ‘When I first posted this sweet photo of a young knitter (ca. 1939) from the Shetland Museum and Archives of Scotland, a lot of people voiced skepticism about whether a girl her age could be knitting like that.’

    My own mother always told me that she picked up knitting from a very young age by just watching her own mother and then trying it herself. It was a common thing and girls would pick up skills like that along with cooking, how to clean effectively, etc. so that as they grew to adulthood, they could take care of themselves and their own families. Young boys would learn work skills and how to fix things. These sort of skills are not really being passed on anymore. My own wife knows how to crotchet and is presently making baby wear for a soon to be expected newborn. It’s beautiful work but most girls simply don’t know how and would rather just do social media.

    1. petal

      I can sew. As a child I learned from my mother. She was very good at it, including smocking. She picked sewing up from her mother who made clothing without using a pattern. I have had multiple people attempt to teach me how to knit and crochet, and for whatever reason, I can’t seem to pick it up. It just does not click in my brain. I mend my clothing, even though it is cheapy stuff from GAP Outlet. If I can make it last longer, good for me and good for the world.

      1. albrt

        I mend my cheap jeans, but t-shirts not so much. I need the old t-shirts as rags for the bicycle shop.

      2. ambrit

        I patch my work clothes endlessly. Phyl kids me that I look like the Scarecrow from some old film she likes. Hand sewing since my machine skills are sub-par. My Mom knits, has since childhood in London.
        Relevant to this subject is the comment my Dad once made about the difference between 1960s America and a somewhat older England.
        “Back in England, materials were the most expensive part of any job. In America, it’s labour that costs the most. It’s hard to adjust one’s thinking sometimes.”
        I can see the era of cheap materials in America coming to a close pretty soon.

      3. c_heale

        Thought the article and the examples shown are completely fantastic. I can’t knit but have been invisibly mending clothes for a long time. I may start visibly mending them instead. Inspiring.

Comments are closed.