2:00PM Water Cooler 6/2/2023

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Bird Song of the Day

Malagasy Turtle-Dove, Rd Along Coast Between Table Mtn And St. Augustin, Mangrove Bay, Toliara, Madagascar. “Singing from tree top.” At least this dove sounds like a dove!

* * *


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


I guess it’s time for the Countdown Clock!

* * *

“Otherwise appeared quite spry”:

“Casey DeSantis emerges as pivotal figure on 2024 campaign trail” [Reuters]. “On the trail in the early voting states, Casey DeSantis, 42, has combined a fierce defense of her husband’s record as governor with anecdotes about the challenges of raising their three children, ages 3, 5 and 6. Her remarks in the blue-collar New Hampshire city of Laconia elicited a mixture of laughter and applause. ‘He doesn’t cower. He never takes the path of least resistance. He always stands up for what’s right,’ she said, calling her husband her ‘better half.’ Some Republican voters said they viewed her personal story – she is a former TV broadcaster who overcame breast cancer – as uplifting and believed that she could help soften the perception of her husband, who has been criticized for being stiff and lacking charisma. ‘She just came across as very warm, very caring, very supportive, very intelligent,’ said Suzanne Nelson, president of a women’s club in New Hampshire that works to support Republican candidates. ‘I like what I heard from him, but I think she could make a difference.'”

2020 Post Mortem

“Georgia probe of Trump broadens to activities in other states” [WaPo]. “An Atlanta-area investigation of alleged election interference by former president Donald Trump and his allies has broadened to include activities in Washington, D.C., and several other states, according to two people with knowledge of the probe — a fresh sign that prosecutors may be building a sprawling case under Georgia’s racketeering laws. Fulton County District Attorney Fani T. Willis (D) launched an investigation more than two years ago to examine efforts by Trump and his allies to overturn his narrow 2020 defeat in Georgia. Along the way, she has signaled publicly that she may use Georgia’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) statute to allege that these efforts amounted to a far-reaching criminal scheme. In recent days, Willis has sought information related to the Trump campaign hiring two firms to find voter fraud across the United States and then burying their findings when they did not find it, allegations that reach beyond Georgia’s borders, said the two individuals, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to speak candidly about the investigation. At least one of the firms has been subpoenaed by Fulton County investigators.”

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.

* * *


“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).

Lambert here: Readers, thanks for the collective effort.

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 (dashboard; wastewater); NE (dashboard); NH (wastewater); NJ (dashboard); NM (dashboard); NV (dashboard; wastewater, Southern 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 (4), Gumbo, hop2it, JB, JEHR, JF, JL Joe, John, JM (9), JustAnotherVolunteer, JW, KatieBird, LL, Michael King, KF, LaRuse, mrsyk, MT, MT_Wild, otisyves, Petal (5), RK (2), RL, RM, Rod, square coats (11), tennesseewaltzer, Utah, Bob White (3).

Stay safe out there!

* * *

Look for the Helpers

It is possible to persuade people:

We have the tools!

If you’re from MA, you can stick to MGH on their anti-masking policy at the Attorney General’s website:

Stochastic eugenics is, I imagine, a human rights violation; I’d have to look into it.

“Being immunocompromised isolated them during COVID. This website is helping” [Fortune]. ” [T]he website COVID Meetups [is] a free service for anyone in the world who wants to socialize in a COVID-safe way. So far, it’s amassed almost 7,000 members across 63 countries, though the majority (68%) of its users live in the U.S. For people like Greg, the site is a lifeline. This environment allows for safe socialization, which is especially important for people who are immunocompromised because they are more likely to get very sick if infected with COVID. Vaccines also aren’t guaranteed to create enough—or any antibodies against COVID, like they do for healthy people. Adding to this sober reality, is the fact that as the virus mutates, COVID protections for immunocompromised people are dwindling.” • Note lack of agency in “are dwindling.” Still, this is good. Green shoots, is it were, like the “Clean Air Club” in Chicago yesterday. (I lean towards a club, paid membership, model because that’s how you can pay for HEPA filters, free masks, maybe speakers, and so on. And, well, organizing.)

Covid Is Airborne

“How to tackle the global indoor air crisis” [Quartz]. “Air. It’s everywhere. It’s invisible. And frequently it’s so full of germs and particles that some call air ‘the new poop.’ Indoors, it’s hard to quickly assess whether the air you’re breathing is clean or not. But determining that could have made people less sick during the pandemic. ‘The COVID-19 crisis is almost certainly an indoor air crisis; it is very likely a ventilation crisis,’ Yuguo Li, a professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Hong Kong, and his colleagues wrote in the journal Indoor Air in late 2021…. Among the low-hanging fruit in this field is the monitoring of carbon dioxide levels. These levels serve as a proxy for how frequently fresh air is pumped into a space to replace exhaled air. A room with lower CO2 readings poses lower risks of spreading germs, because any pathogen-laden air breathed out by an infected person is replaced more quickly with clean air than in a poorly ventilated room. Li wants to see governments mandate real-time monitoring and display of CO2 levels in public spaces and transportation. ‘That’s a first step the world should take,’ he said. ‘Without measurement, forget about discussion, you don’t know what’s going on.’ Displaying CO2 details also gives people more information with which to assess risks and adjust their behavior. Consider, for example, a diner walking into a restaurant, seeing a CO2 reading of 1,300 parts per million (ppm)—far above the 800 ppm level considered to represent good ventilation—and deciding to eat somewhere else. It is, in fact, possible to smell whether C02 levels are too high in a space you’ve just entered, said Li. Such spaces often feel stuffy or filled with odors. ‘If [the smell] is not so good, then you go away,’ he said. But for those with less acutely tuned olfactory senses, CO2 monitors can help.” • That’s a good tip on smell (assuming you can; funny that anosmia is yet another way that SARS-CoV-2 optimizes our bodies for its own reproduction. Also, encouraging to see this sort of article make the mainstream.

“FAR UV light system upgrades for wing” [Defense Visual Information Distribution Service]. Little Rock Air Force Base, AR, United States: “Due to the high success rate of the initial FAR UV installation throughout the Department of Defense, AFWERX recently awarded an additional $1M to the FAR UV company’s production program, enabling them to engineer an updated version of the FAR UV light system. The new system now features replaceable bulbs, motion sensing, built-in startup checks and end-of-life indicators. Over the past few years, UV lights have been installed throughout the Arkansas Air National Guard campus buildings as well as in the 19th Medical Group as another way to minimize the spread of COVID-19 and other viruses. In April, the 189th Airlift Wing and Joint Force Headquarters were included in the $1M contract to receive new light systems throughout their campuses, lowering sustainment costs for the lamps and decreasing the need for regular maintenance. The new bulbs last for 9,000 hours and auto shut off after 30 minutes of inactivity in a room. ‘From my perspective, as we lean forward in preparation for a peer-level conflict, we have to explore every option to keep our Airmen ready to fight,’ said Col. Seth Tolliver, the 189th Medical Group commander. ‘We won’t have the luxury of taking down time for forces to recover if we are called to arms.’ UV lights have been commonplace in mobile commercial settings such as ambulances and aircraft, but the wing is still in the beginning stages of this idea when applied to mobile assets. Tolliver mentioned the future use of mobile UV technology for troops and assets in a deployed or mobile environment, expressing the benefits of UV technology in the field.” • I would like very much to know how the “success rate” was measured. Readers? NOTE “as we lean forward in preparation for a peer-level conflict” is more suitable for Links than Water Cooler, but yikes!


“Lack of association between vaccination rates and excess mortality in Cyprus during the COVID-19 pandemic” [Vaccine]. “We examined whether all-cause mortality has actually increased in Cyprus during the first two pandemic years, and whether any increases are associated with vaccination rates…. 552 excess deaths were observed in Cyprus during the study period (95% CI: 508–597) as opposed to 1306 confirmed COVID-19 deaths. No association between excess deaths and vaccination rates was found overall and for any age group except 18–49 years, among whom 1.09 excess deaths (95% CI: 0.27–1.91) per 10,000 vaccinations were estimated during the first 8 weeks post-vaccination. However, detailed cause-of-death examination identified just two such deaths potentially linked to vaccination, therefore this association is spurious and attributable to random error. Excess mortality was moderately increased in Cyprus during the COVID-19 pandemic, primarily as a result of laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 deaths. No relationship was found between vaccination rates and all-cause mortality, demonstrating the excellent safety profile of COVID-19 vaccines.” • Interesting, though I’m leery about porting national data across national boundaries. (For example, we know that Covid is an endothelial and vascular disease; this layperson has often given consideration to the idea — I don’t know if there’s a study for this — that athletes and “physically fit” people in general are being punished by SARS-CoV-2 in some way for strengthening their vascular systems, maybe through increased microclotting. Pure speculation, but at least I sketched a mechanism. So the population of Cyprus would be quite different from the population in, say, Denver, CO (also high altitude, so more vascular effets)).

“Germany’s Health Minister changes tune on vaccine injuries” [Unherd]. From March, still germane. “[Karl Lauterbach, Germany’s Minister for Health claimed] — not only in a now-infamous tweet but also in several talk shows — that the Covid vaccines were ‘without side effects.’… Over the past two years, more than 300,000 cases of vaccine side effects have accumulated in the Ministry’s own system, and more and more people are lodging compensation claims against the state — which, based on the contracts signed by the EU with vaccine manufacturers, is liable for any vaccine-related damage. Meanwhile, the subject of vaccine injuries has begun to be openly discussed in the German mainstream media. All this has forced Lauterbach to make a spectacular U-turn. In a recent TV interview, he admitted that vaccine-induced injuries are a serious issue, and that his ministry was planning to launch a programme to investigate the negative consequences of Covid vaccination and improve care as soon as possible. Additionally, Lauterbach said that he hopes pharmaceutical companies will voluntarily help to compensate those harmed by the vaccines. ‘That’s because the profits have been exorbitant’, he said. Just a year ago he had said: ‘The pharmaceutical companies will not get rich with vaccines.'” • Maybe the Germans will actually have good data? Let’s wait and see.

“Health Shocker: Jamie Foxx Left ‘Paralyzed and Blind’ From ‘Blood Clot in His Brain’ After Receiving COVID-19 Vaccine, Source Claims” [OK! Magazine]. • That’s “source,” singular. Nevertheless. I could have filed this under celebrities, but I wanted to put it next to Lauterbach. This layperson’s view: It’s the spikes (and maybe the tentacles). SARS-CoV-2 spikes are bad, whether they come “naturally” from infection, or through vaccines. It seems reasonable to me that when we inject little spike factories into the body, as mRNA vaccines do, there are likely to be bad outcomes for some patients (probably more than killed virus vaccines). That’s why, Covid vaccines — very much unlike the children’s vaccination schedule for, e.g, measles — should never have been mandated. (We mandated what we should not have (vaccines) and did not mandate what we should have (non-pharmaceutical interventions). However — and this will make anti-vaxxers very unhappy, sorry not sorry — I think that, at the population level, the spike damage from “natural” infection vastly outweighs the spike damage from vaccines.


Gamers 1, PMC 0:

The PMC are so committed to the bit they’ll infect themselves. Not so gamers! More pointedly:

In British Columbia:

Take that, Bonnie Henry!

In Australia:

Another success story…

Celebrity Watch

“Taylor Swift fans are getting amnesia at her concerts due to a rare phenomenon” [Indy100]. “Taking to social media, many users have shared their inability to recall the events of the show, from small details to even significant parts of the concert. Some described having feelings of guilt after waiting so long to attend the show and leaving without explicit memories.” • How can this be happening? ‘Tis a mystery!

Scientific Communication

“On Covid, the past is being erased and the present ignored” (letters) [Guardian]. From the UK: “The past is being erased. The present is being ignored. Even though the pandemic is still with us, all protections, surveillance and data collections have been dismantled. Those millions still at the highest risk are reporting being told to take their masks off in hospitals. The roughly quarter of a million people who died from Covid are no longer even a number.” And: ” If the choices that the government makes result in a catastrophic number of preventable deaths, then the logical path to follow is to quieten, subdue and silence discussion about the dead, and deflect attention about who is accountable. Shamefully, that is what has happened, and is happening, in England and Wales right now.” And: “His last words, I’m sorry to say, were not something to treasure, but a furious ‘Get me out of here.’ I registered his death at the town hall, and found that Covid was not mentioned on the certificate – I was too exhausted to argue. But my husband read history at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, and would regard this as a small example of corruption of historical sources. Because I saw every step, I know that Covid, and the resulting NHS crisis, were among the causes of his death. I must be one of many who believe that their relative’s individual piece of historical evidence has been falsified to make the figures look less dire.” • The same across the Five Eyes — spooks are good at erasure — and in the West, too. Perhaps China also.


“The Great Imitator”:

Like so much else, we used to know how to fight airborne diseases:


Remember that the effects of Covid are cumulative:

So factor that into your “personal risk assessment”….


“The Effects of Ethyl Lauroyl Arginine Hydrochloride (ELAH) in Nasal Spray Formula on SAR-Cov-2” [Research Square]. “The aim of the study was to investigate the broad-spectrum antiviral effects of ethyl lauroyl arginine hydrochloride (ELAH) in in vitro and in vivo assays. Cell-based assays found that the pseudovirus VSV-SARS-CoV-2 was inhibited with an EC50 of 15 micrograms/ml, with complete inhibition achieved at 110 micrograms/ml. The effects were comparable to those observed with anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody neutralization assays against VSV-SARS-CoV-2. Intranasal administration of the Wuhan strain of SARS-CoV-2 treated in vitro with ELAH inhibited the disease symptoms caused by the virus in a Syrian hamster model compared to that caused by the same dose of virus treated in vitro with medium alone. Subgenomic RNA and total RNA viral load were concomitantly reduced in the treated animals compared with the control group. In cell-based studies, pretreatment of susceptible cells with 1-10 micrograms/ml ELAH inhibited the attachment of the virus to the cells, as measured by cytopathic and high-resolution scanning electron microscopy (SEM) effects, suggesting that the primary mode of ELAH action was due to preventing the attachment of the virus to the cells. Collectively, the data suggest that ELAH could be a promising agent for the prevention of SARS infection through nasopharyngeal surfaces.” • The product that implements ELAH is Covixyl, now available at Walmart. From their site:

The primary ingredient, ELAH (ethyl lauroyl arginate HCl), has been used for decades as a food preservative and in mouthwashes to prevent gingivitis. Testing shows ELAH blocks viral attachment in the nose as well.

Respiratory viruses primarily enter the body through the nose where they attach to nasal cells and begin to replicate. Covixyl™ creates a physical barrier in the nasopharynx which prevents airborne respiratory viruses from attaching to the cell walls, protecting the body from infection for up to six (6) hours per use. Our scanning-electron microscopy from the University of Wyoming demonstrated this effect. After treating cells with Covixyl™ , then rising the cells with virus, after an incubation period, the control group showed virions emerging from the cells, indicating infection and replication. The treated cells did not exhibit this behavior, indicating a lack of infection.

(I have to go find that Wyoming study. I’m chuffed to see another nasal spray on the market!

“Something Awful”

Lambert here: I’m getting the feeling that the “Something Awful” might be a sawtooth pattern — variant after variant — that averages out to a permanently high plateau. Lots of exceptionally nasty sequelae, most likely deriving from immune dysregulation (says this layperson). To which we might add brain damage, including personality changes therefrom.

* * *


Chaser: “Individuals with a COVID-19 history exhibit asymmetric gait patterns despite full recovery” [Journal of Biomechanics]. “Individuals with a history of mild-to-moderate COVID-19 showed more asymmetrical gait patterns than individuals without a disease history. Regardless of its severity, the multifaceted long-term effects of COVID-19 need to be examined and the scope of clinical follow-up should be detailed.” • Readers, have any of you spotted this?

Elite Maleficence

“COVID outbreak at homeless shelter leaves nonprofit struggling to help those most vulnerable” [WXYZ]. “Hope Shelters on Baldwin Avenue in Pontiac has done a lot of good for those who have found themselves homeless. And the nonprofit was able to manage COVID-19 so well that they didn’t have their first cases until December 2021…. ‘We’ve got 36 people as of today out with COVID, including four or five staff members,’ Hope Shelters Executive Director Brian Wright said. ‘We dropped the mask mandate. Somebody got sick and it spread throughout the shelter.’ To isolate their residents who tested positive for the virus, Hope Shelters paid to move them to hotels, staying two to a room. But the hotel stays for so many people has left Hope Shelters with unexpected costs that are into the thousands and growing as they are still having to isolate dozens of residents until they can return to the group setting.” • I don’t know if anecdotes like this shift the aggregate numbers, since the CDC has deliberately dismantled our data collection. But every such event is a tragedy, and there are many such event. So thanks for ending masking, CDC!

Hat tip, GBD:

* * *

Case Data

From BioBot wastewater data from May 30:

Lambert: Exhibiting what I don’t like about the Biobot data: The shape of the curve changes retrospectively.

Lambert here: Unless the United States is completely, er, exceptional, we should be seeing an increase here soon. UPDATE Still on the high plateau. Are we are the point in the global pandemic where national experiences really diverge?

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.

• New York a hotspot:

Note that we’re 11 days out, and “flying blind” (exactly as Eric Rubin says at NC here). How on earth are we to make our “personal risk assessments” when we know we’ve got a hot spot, but don’t know how hot it is? The precautionary principle, I suppose. (NOTE My priors on New York are airport spread, from 2020. I was wrong on that in 2022!)

• A useful map that went dark:

• “Is COVID back in NYC? Wastewater surveillance shows virus is rising.” [Gothamist]. “New Yorkers who’ve noticed more sniffles and coughs during their subway commutes aren’t imagining things. Wastewater monitoring is showing early signs of a coronavirus rebound in New York City and some surrounding suburbs. All 14 wastewater treatment plants across NYC are reporting high concentrations of SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, according to the dashboard run by NYS Wastewater Surveillance Network… The New York City health commissioner confirmed the wastewater uptick, but he and public health researchers said it’s too early to tell if the rise indicates the start of a full blown wave. The change could just be a blip caused by more people hanging out as the weather improves or due to a new version of omicron finding occasional places to thrive… The wastewater trend is noteworthy because similar signs have not appeared yet among confirmed cases — the classic way that people have followed COVID-19 patterns for the past three years. This metric depends on PCR testing, which labs and hospitals are no longer required to do, given rollbacks in recent months and the conclusion of COVID public health emergency in early May.” Flying blind. And: “Hospitalizations and deaths still provide faithful readouts given those are still reported to public health departments, but those signs can take weeks to show up once a surge is already underway.” • The public health establishment learned nothing. Nothing. Unless their goal was stochastic eugenics, in which case they learned quite a lot.


NOT UPDATED From CDC, May 27, 2023:

Lambert here: XBB.1.16 and XBB.1.9.1 still on the way up, eating into XBB.1.5. I sure hope the volunteers doing Pangolin, on which this chart depends, don’t all move on the green fields and pastures new (or have their access to facilities cut by administrators of ill intent).

CDC: “As of May 11, genomic surveillance data will be reported biweekly, based on the availability of positive test specimens.” “Biweeekly: 1. occurring every two weeks. 2. occurring twice a week; semiweekly.” Looks like CDC has chosen sense #1. In essence, they’re telling us variants are nothing to worry about. Time will tell. Looks like the Walgreens variants page isn’t updating.

Covid Emergency Room Visits

NOT UPDATED From CDC NCIRD Surveillance, from May 27:

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. 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.


NOT UPDATED From Walgreens, May 30:

-1.8%. Frequency down to once a week.


Death rate (Our World in Data), from May 31:

Lambert here: I’m happy the numbers are down, but zero they cannot be. Looks like some administrative minimizer at WHO put the worst intern in charge of the project. And thanks, Johns Hopkins of the $9.32 billion endowment, for abandoning this data feed and passing responsibility on to the clown car at WHO.

Total: 1,165,531 – 1,165,449 = 82 (82 * 365 = 29,930 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 Excess deaths (The Economist), published May 21:

Lambert here: Based on a machine-learning model. (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

“United States Unemployment Rate” [Trading Economics]. “The unemployment rate in the US increased to 3.7 percent in May 2023, the highest since October 2022 and above market expectations of 3.5 percent. Despite this uptick, the jobless rate remained historically low and suggested the labor market remained tight.”

* * *

The Bezzle: “Tesla Quietly Disconnecting Radar in Customer Cars During Service Visits” [The Drive]. “In 2021, Tesla made the decision to remove the radar sensor from its best-selling Model 3 and Y vehicles and decided shortly afterward that the luxury-oriented S and X should follow suit. Now, Tesla is going on the offensive for select vehicles that still have radar units installed and unplugging the sensors from customer cars during routine service appointments. The silent change was noticed by some eagle-eyed customers who found a no-cost line item on their service estimates, which must be approved prior to a Tesla Service Center performing work on a customer car. This means that if owners approve the work estimate for their car without reading through it ahead of time, the service techs may simply disconnect the radar during the service visit.”

* * *

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 65 Greed (previous close: 67 Greed) [CNN]. One week ago: 66 (Greed). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Jun 2 at 1:55 PM ET.

The Gallery

“Danish Golden Age Painters Used Beer Leftovers to Prep Their Canvases” [Smithsonian]. “When researchers set out to study the canvas preparation practices of the Danish masters, they were searching for traces of proteins that indicated the use of animal-based glue—and in eight of the ten paintings they studied, that’s what they found. ‘Then, by surprise, we found something completely different,’ says study author Cecil Krarup Andersen, a paintings conservator at the Royal Danish Academy, to Maddie Burakoff of the Associated Press (AP). Seven of the paintings also contained the byproducts of brewing beer…. Researchers examined works made by Christoffer Wilhelm Eckersberg (sometimes called the ‘father of Danish painting’) and Christen Schiellerup Kobke during the Danish Golden Age, a time of cultural revitalization in the early 19th century when painters were known for creating realistic scenes with soft light. With scraps of canvas from the ten artworks as samples, the researchers conducted an analysis to determine which proteins they could detect. They found that seven of the works contained combinations of proteins from yeast, wheat, barley, buckwheat and rye—all telltale signs of a brew.” • Today, stems and seeds? From the Met:

A drawing, sorry, so no beer or soft light, but I thought this was the best Eckersberg I could find.

Zeitgeist Watch

Red flags on dating apps:

Eesh, what a hellscape. (And note that if we turn an AI loose on this dataset, it would generate even more awful results. I wonder if anyone’s done that.)

I love this account:

For why the joke’s on Matt Walsh, see here.

News of the Wired

“Stitches Shuttered as XRX Files for Bankruptcy” [Knitting]. Probably les tricoteuses among us already know this, but I thought I should register it (and I can’t bust the Bloomberg paywall). “Stitches Events has announced that its business is shut down after 40 plus years of publishing needlecrafting books and producing events… XRX put on large needlework events around the country several times a year before covid shut them down. The most recent in person event was Stitches West, held in March in Sacramento. The company also used to publish books under the XRX imprint, as well as Knitter’s Magazine, which ceased publication in 2016. The statement says the company is liquidating all business assets and the resulting trust account will be used to pay back creditors. It notes the business ‘can no longer survive in the present economic climate.'” • Hmm. Not sure if XRX going under is a harbinger of anything larger, but it’s a sad day,

* * *

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 SR:

SR writes: “Camas, belonging to the lily family, beginning to bud, Portland, Oregon, April 24, 2023. Indigenous people of the Northwest ate camas bulbs roasted or ground into flour.” I am big fan of rotting leaves, and I love this moment in the spring when the earth emerges from the snow, still wet, the grass appears, and all the plant matter that was frozen begins to disintegrate into the soil.

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About Lambert Strether

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


  1. Barbara

    Isn’t it about time to end the label anti-vaxxers? And why would any actual information make some people unhappy when we’re wandering around in the information desert as it is. Real info – not some cooked up stuff that carries “peer reviewed” and then you look at the peers and as Lambert likes to say – a feature not a bug.

      1. JBird4049

        I am starting to believe that being a vaxxer or an ant-vaxxer is more of a tribal signifier than anything decided by fact and reason; whether you live or die is decided by your affiliation rather than your knowledge or your thinking on it. This does explain why all those medical types are partying indoors in dense crowds.

        1. Tvc15

          Despite my role being 100% remote, I was being forced to get the covid “vaccine” as a work requirement for a new employer. I found the entire process disturbing and downright dystopian. Fortunately I found a doctor on the FLCCC website that provided an exemption. After a 15 minute telehealth call and $350 USD,(not too shabby for the doc and absolutely worth it to me) I had a well articulated exemption primarily focused on my personal risk/benefit analysis and history. It was odd and creepy speaking with my prospective employer about this personal health decision. Agree with your comment JB, when I mentioned I had a covid “vaccine” exemption to the person I would be reporting to, he immediately said, “oh, you must have voted for Trump!” Wrong, and actually the opposite but tribal signifiers corroboration indeed.

  2. OaklandMom

    Keeping track of the National EmbHarrisment…


    Press access often restricted

    As in previous administrations, the White House sets the rules for press access. Some are listed as “open press,” allowing multiple reporters to attend. A smaller share are listed as “closed press.”

    Events with open, closed or limited press
    /> />
    />56% 30% 15%

    “Often there are more complicated rules, such as only allowing photography or limiting the coverage to a small group that shares notes with the larger press corps. The Times has categorized these events as “limited.”

    1. Screwball

      A couple of more sandbag incidents for Twinkle Toes and she will be on TV every day. I can hardly wait.

      1. Bart Hansen

        Love to know how that black sandbag got there and which event person has been made to sleep with it for a few days.

          1. Late Introvert

            As a person who has used sandbags on video shoots in the past, they are a safety thing, but also easy to trip over as they are at ground level and sticking out in unexpected ways.

            I hate to defend a decrepit warmonger pedo, but I feel I must in this one case.

        1. Idaho_Randy

          According to California based media: (a) The sandbag was linked to a group of sandbags used on January 6th and (b) The sand in the sandbag was WHITE.

          So in sum, white supremacist network(s) working to sandbag the President.

    1. Judith

      Bernhard discussed his academic background a bit in that link. Interesting – an almost Phd in economics.

  3. Henry Moon Pie

    Hiltzik article re: Great Barrington Declaration–

    If the Gnostics don’t get you, the Propertarians will. We all know how it works. A billionaire or two create an “Institute” and hire some credentialed people without ethics who are pretty good liars. Then these lie factories start to put out as much manipulative, deceptive crap as their paid liars can produce.

    Where this approach works is in a policy area where uncomfortable realities are already being resisted by large parts of the public. Smokers would like to believe that smoking is more or less safe. Healthy people would like to believe they’re protected from a new disease without changing anything about their behavior. Consumers would like to believe that they can go on livin’ the good life with no adverse effect on their environment. The billionaires’ lie factories step up and deliver a rationale for us to believe that all is well, even better, all is normal.

    They played the Four Corners successfully for decades with tobacco. Their victory over a rational approach to Covid is complete. They have prevented real action on climate change until we now have a climate catastrophe unfolding that we cannot stop. Allowing well-funded institutional lying that begins with these “institutes” and then is happily spread by a corporate-owned media has created a society incapable of dealing with the realities that confront it.

    1. Late Introvert

      I don’t understand the current day reference to gnostics. I’m assuming it’s a grift on the ancients, but have not been following that thread. Are there any good links?

  4. griffen

    Did we put to rest the prevailing Sociopath of the Week award giving, honoring the particular executive, CEO or leadership class as$holery of the moment? I’m sure there are candidates for May to consider, and the recently departed director of the CDC.

    Seems like the people running that chatbot helper fiasco named as “Tessa” are candidates also.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > Did we put to rest the prevailing Sociopath of the Week award

      There are so many! I can’t be giving out an award every day. Do you have a candidate to propose?

      1. Bart Hansen

        Blinken. He’s like elensky, traveling almost constantly to avoid being at home when the big one explodes inside the Beltway.

      2. griffen

        That building owner and landlord in that Iowa apartment that partially collapsed! Whatever his name was, he seemed like a real Montgomery Burns type of villain.

        I mean pay your rent or instead fall to a quick death is hardly a quality offer. Adding, I am loathe really to pile onto the workflow when other items are more in need of paying heed to. Call it a Friday afternoon time to quit working happy thought.

      3. Samuel Conner

        I’d like to propose a new heading related to “Something Awful”.

        When there is credible “Oh sh!t!” CV-related news to report, one could — on the theory that graveyard humor is useful and subversive — introduce it under the heading (inspired by the TV serial Red Dwarf) “Brown Trousers Time”

    2. LawnDart

      Senator Lindsey Graham has my vote (for Sociopath of the Week (or shouldn’t it really be “psychopath”?))

      I believe that it’s a useful feature, offering attribution and responsibility for wrongs and misdeeds, a record that may one day help to deliver a measure of accountability (ohhh, they really hate this word whenever someone dare suggest that it should apply to them!).

      It would be kinda neat to poll readers throughout the week, then to announce the winner on Sundays. Maybe December, of the 50-or-so selected, we can choose the “Psycho of the Year.” And put a bounty on the winner… fun, reader-contributed bounties, such as one of grandma’s famous apple pies, a thank-you picture drawn by your kindergardner, a chia-pet… not cash or cash-equivalents, but a gesture, a token of gratitude to the who puts the screws to ’em.

      …I’m probably already too carried-away with this, but I too miss “Sociopath of the Week.”

      1. Carolinian

        There are much bigger sociopaths than Lindsey who just likes to blow off his mouth. How much power does he have, really? Perhaps his essential unimportance is why he is such a yapping mutt.

        1. hunkerdown

          There are suggestions that ‘blowing off his mouth’ also included coercing/convincing Trump to attack Qasem Solemaini, which was widely regarded as a bad move.

          1. Carolinian

            The version I heard was that Pompeo convinced Trump to do that. I have heard Graham praising Trump. Not sure I’ve heard Trump praising Graham. Any links?

            Perhaps the real significance of Graham is that Biden says the same stuff. Example: Putin must go. And sadly our president does have the power to do extreme things like start wars and blow up Nordstream. We have a bipartisan policy of US aggression.

            1. Carolinian

              Just to add–I thnk Lindsey was rumored to have conviced Trump to hire Nikki Haley (much to his regret no doubt). So perhaps you have a point.

  5. Tom Stone

    At this point Covid is a mass disabling event, how soon will it turn into a mass casualty event?
    With Millions now having damaged immune systems it doesn’t take a particularly nasty strain of ‘flu to put them in the ICU or the ground.

    1. some guy

      It will probably be a slow-rolling mass casualty event. Life spans will be mass-shortened by the earlier onset of “unrelated” diseases thanks to compromised immune systems. For example, if I remember correctly what I have read here in the past, covid targets and disables the particular T-cells which patrol the body looking for little baby cancers and killing them in their cradles. Once tens of millions of people have no more anti-cancer T-cells, thanks to the covid they seemingly “recovered” from, those tens of millions of people will get cancers they otherwise would not have gotten. Opening up a whole new gold mine in the “war on cancer”. Profits and death rates both going up. And that’s just from the future waves of cancer which covid will give us.

      If my purely amateur science buff understanding is correct.

        1. LawnDart

          My mother is on cancer #2 for this year, one unrelated to the first: cancer does not run in our family. She’s been extremely mask-conscious and careful since the onset of the pandemic, and to her knowledge she has not had covid. She’s also vaxxed and boosted…

        2. JBird4049

          Well, the reason AIDS victims got all those weird or unusual diseases like Kaposi’s Sarcoma that would eventually kill them was the destruction of those T-cells. It is a reason why I get weird about Covid as it sounds like HIV/AIDS down to the suicidal, narcissistic morons who wanted to act like there was not at that time a 100% lethal disease. Seeing the walking dead is unpleasant. Knowing someone who you are know is dead, they just haven’t finished the process, is much worse. Then there were a few psychos who wanted or didn’t mind giving the disease although I do think that was really overblown because it was so sensationalistic and advertiser worthy.

          But each bit of Covid can be overlaid with HIV/AIDS. Uncaring medical and government people. Lethal disease. Often ineffective treatment. Mental and physical wasting away. Even the terrifying not knowing just what is sickening people at first with AIDS could be linked with all the allergy, cold, and flu sufferers although with AIDS for while truly nobody knew anything.

          However, once the medical community got their kick in the pants, it really did good including the CDC and always the local doctors. Which is what I am not seeing today.

        3. some guy

          As per the precautionary principle, I would consider it an active possibility and one well worth avoiding, just in case.

          So I will avoid every possible infection by covid, including Infection Number One, which I have so far avoided as far as I know.

    2. Jason Boxman

      I’ve been wondering this for years and, as luck would have it, we’re going to find out, because the policy is mass infection without mitigation. We really have no idea just what the true contours of this might be, and maybe will not for a decade or more. My bet is it taking at least a decade for us to begin to see what’s been wrought by our elite.

      I do wonder, though, if we went looking, what kinds of things we’d find from other viruses the infect people; do flu strains leave RNA bits in people’s brains? What about other viruses from the coronavirus family? Are we seeing these things because this is so transmissible, and so rapidly evolves to evade any temporary immunity, or is this unique to SARS-COV-2?

      Regardless, this is happening on such a huge scale, a population level effect is doubtless coming. I knew we were screwed when it was clear that a SARS-COV-2 infection caused micro-clotting, back in April or May 2020. And it manifests in quite a few other tissues. This can’t possibly be good.

      So we’re gonna be learning a lot in the coming years, given the scale of the population infected, multiple times, just here in the United States. But will there be any useful data on this? Will it all be anecdotal? So much might be a mystery for quite a while.

      But I suspect this will unfold over a very long time, and we aren’t going to see people drop dead in mass from this at some point in the future. Instead it’s going to get ugly in other ways, and collide with a shrinking health care force, while getting crushed by health care financialization, that’s left of bereft of much in the way of functional health care facilities in too many places already in rural communities, and minority communities, even in major cities. Witness the loss of that hospital in Philly, closed by a huge fund goon.

      All this intersects with worsening outcomes from climate change. There’s a reason it’s called The Jackpot.

      1. some guy

        It will be a slow-rolling population attrition, letting people keep working and paying their FICA tax for a few-couple decades to come, and then dying of something just before or shortly after going onto Social Security and Medicare. From a Ruling Class perspective, that’s the ideal way for ” we the infected” to die and stop clogging up their beautiful view.

        From a Ruled Class viewpoint, living longest is the best revenge.

  6. some guy

    Hmmm . . . . so air is ” the new poop”. That suggests various words and word-combinations which might take hold.

    Exhaled air as ” lung sewage” and filters/ corsi boxes, etc. as ” lung sewage treatment plants”. And if an entire building has corsi-quality de-covidized air thanks to whole building air filtration/ventilation/etc., that building could advertise itself as featuring ” disinfected air”. ” For your convenience and safety, this is a disinfected-air building”.

    And other ideas that other people might come up with.

    We also have to make it un-cool and un-hip to breathe unfiltered lung-sewage. ” You breathe unfiltered lung-sewage? Ewwww! Do you shop at WalMart too?” That sounds nasty and snobby, but it feeds right in to Mark Ames’s concept of Elite versus Elitny. Breathing lung-sewage-free air must become an Elitny thing to do, something that all the kewl kidz do.

    Meanwhile, racial equity activists can make De-Covidized Air a Racial Justice issue. ” Do Black Lives Matter to you? If you say that Black Lives Matter, prove it by protecting Black Lives from covid.” NAACP could make it a Civil Rights issue. Shame and humiliate the Bidens and Faucis and Walenskys of the world with accusations of Virus Racism until they support Covid Prevention for Black people.

  7. kareninca

    There is a clinical epidemiologist at the University of London named Deepti Gurdasani. I don’t follow her tweets (I don’t follow anyone’s; I use nitter), but I have seen them occasionally. She is someone who understands that it is very bad to catch covid. But, despite being careful, she caught it three and a half months ago for the first time. And it is already clear to her that she has long covid. Here is her description:


    Her account is worth reading. She worked hard at getting better, and felt that every day and in every way she was improving and returning to her normal state. She had great mainstream medical care. But then two weeks ago it all went to sh** again. Surprise, surprise. She does not seem to understand that a lot of people don’t clear this virus, and people don’t typically seem to be “getting over” long covid.

    If you have started to think that maybe it is all over, or that people who are presently catching covid are not ending up with long covid, it would be a good idea to let this poor woman’s situation be a caution.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > If you have started to think that maybe it is all over, or that people who are presently catching covid are not ending up with long covid, it would be a good idea to let this poor woman’s situation be a caution.

      I follow this account, too, and yes.

    2. The Rev Kev

      That is pretty bad that. Can you imagine if she was a brain surgeon who had to perform delicate surgery on patients? Those surgeries go for hours so would they need breaks because of their brain fog or breathlessness? Not a confidence builder that.

    3. Lee

      Thanks for the link. Again I notice the similarities between symptoms of PACS and ME/CFS, which I’ve had following a respiratory infection in 2006. While the symptoms share many similarities, there is a vast difference in the number affected.

      ME/CFS sufferers have been relatively too few in number to generate the funding and attention that will be required to adequately address their post-acute sequalae. Perhaps this will now change. Ever the giddy optimist, me.

      1. kareninca

        Daniel Brittain Dugger (dbdugger, on nitter and twitter) thinks it is a deadly mistake to think that covid is like ME/CFS; he is a very long-time AIDS patient and activist and he thinks that that is the better comparison. He has a limited writing repertoire, but a good one; he is worth reading. I don’t know if he is right, but if he is we should all try to get on AIDS-treatment-style antivirals ASAP after a covid infection to keep it from forming reservoirs.

      2. some guy

        I wonder what will happen to people who get long covid and long Lyme Disease at the same time.

  8. tevhatch

    CO2 indoor
    I tried getting the local school board in Canada to look hard at improving students learning and test scores using fresh air. I showed them this link.

    You’d think it would be in their best interest to out-perform areas that cosh/sap their student’s brains. A repeated attempt after C-19 hit just got me painted as a nutcase. Anyway, up and out of Canada we went, but not for that reason.

  9. Matthew G. Saroff

    There is some stuff going around that, Casey Desantis mom, Jeanne Caponigrio Black, was Anthony “Tony Bananas” Caponigrio (Philly mob) niece and that Ron Desantis is related to “Big Mike” Desantis (Lucchese family).

    At this point, I’d put it down to Twitter silliness, but it does sound interesting.

    1. lambert strether

      Howie Klein posted on this but his sourcing is non-existent.

      I wonder who’s driving the oppo? Democrats, trying for Pied Pipet II? Trump? A second-tier Republican trying to clear a lane gor themselves?

      Adding, if true, it’s Geraldine Ferraro all over again.

      1. some guy

        If it is true, it should definitely be used. DeSantis deserves whatever political napalm and white phosphorus can be sprayed his way. And we deserve to be pre-emptlvely rendered safe from the “torture engineering consultant” of Camp Gitmo.

        I would be less afraid of a President Trump than of a President DeSantis.

        Assuming there is nothing to vote for in any primary on the DemParty side, perhaps people seeking the least awful Republican President for 2024 should invade the Republican primaries and vote for that nice young Senator from South Carolina whose name I don’t quite remember. ( Not Graham . . . . the Other One.)

        1. ashley

          i live in vermont, an open primary state, and i routinely vote on the republican primary ballot despite being far left politically. its strategic, i vote for the least crazy people. in the general i hold my nose and vote democrat, cursing as i do so about how this country is a facade of democracy.

          i wish all states were open primary, that plus some form of ranked choice voting system might get this country back on the right track. in blue states right wingers could vote for their least crazy democrat, and in red states left wingers could vote for their least crazy republican, and in the end the “centrists” end up winning due to this moderation.

      2. ashley

        i bet this is a trump job, since he likes to act like a mobster himself. the projection is there…

  10. LawnDart

    (Almost) Daily Derailment(s)

    We can finish the week with these two, one of which would have posted yesterday if Skynet wasn’t hungry for a snack:

    Grand Forks Herald
    Cleanup from derailed train near Lancaster, Minn., may take days; emergency manager reports ‘no leaking’

    Cleanup of a train derailment in extreme northwest Minnesota may take 10 days or more, but as of Thursday afternoon, there were no leaks of hazardous materials, according to a county emergency director.

    Canadian Pacific Kansas City crews spent Thursday at the site of the derailment, along Highway 59 about four miles south of Lancaster, Minnesota. The cause of the derailment is under investigation…


    Train derailment creates traffic, safety concerns for Waycross neighbors

    According to Ware County Emergency Management, eight train cars carrying rocks turned over early Thursday morning.

    [Now that’s what I call Rock&Roll!]


    1. flora

      Thanks for this. I’m following your “derailments du jour” comments with interest.

  11. JBird4049

    >>> Still, this is good. Green shoots, is it were, like the “Clean Air Club” in Chicago yesterday. (I lean towards a club, paid membership, model because that’s how you can pay for HEPA filters, free masks, maybe speakers, and so on. And, well, organizing.)

    It is strange how my mind works sometimes. I am reminded of those burial associations where you paid for someone’s possible future funeral especially for parents with small children. Very popular among the British poor in the Victorian Era. A form of insurance. Maybe it is the link to tuberculosis, aka the White Death, which killed so many people especially the poor and children even more.

  12. flora

    re: “A drawing, sorry, so no beer or soft light,”

    er, that’s called an ‘underpainting’ used to guide the artist’s final painting. Underpainting was largely put aside by the later Impressionist painters who favored ‘direct (to canvas) painting’. OK, I’ll stop now. / ;)

    1. flora

      adding for any painting students in the current realism school who are in the NC readership: you might want to check out David Hockney’s book “Secret Knowledge”. / ;)

  13. Hepativore

    The Supreme Court just ruled against the Teamsters in.the Glacier Northwest vs. Teamsters case in terms of companies being able to sue striking workers for lost profits.


    I knew that the striking and unions would eventually be outlawed in the US, and it is going to be killed by inches, ruling by ruling with the cheering of both parties along the way.

    1. spud

      the supreme court has no enforcement mechanism that i know of. they should be ignored, and restored to just over seeing lower courts.

      1. some guy

        That would require a broad and extensive Cold Rebellion on the part of a hundred million people at least . . . targeted against obeying or even respecting the Soopreem Kort in most of what it does.

        1. spud

          the court has little respect in deplorable land i suspect. the PMC will revolt however, but that might not be enough.

  14. Jason Boxman

    It’s amazing to me that our premier public health officials, from the CDC, are such complete morons, they’ll happily infect themselves; but Davos Man knows the truth, and no expense is spared, as we saw in many photos in tweets of that event.

    One group doesn’t know the game, it seems. Which, do you surmise, might it be?

    1. The Rev Kev

      The fun and games begin when Davos Man realizes that the doctors he is visiting tend to have a cough just like his staff has.

    2. some guy

      This is an interesting point. The CDC and WHO and etc. people who hold big conferences and parties are rich enough to make those conferences and parties Davos Safe. But they don’t do it. Why is that? Are they really Darwin Award quality people?

  15. Jason Boxman

    So it just occurred to me; If we follow our public health debacle on COVID to its logical conclusion, we should also shutdown all police forces. Period. Instead, each of us has the tools, like access to firearms, and two eyes and two ears, to make personal risk assessments about crime in any particular area, and to act accordingly. Each citizen’s personal safety is instead entirely a personal affair.

    Because America is a shared suicide pact.

    1. hunkerdown

      Bad analogy. Respirators don’t kill people at random every single day as sacred servants of bourgeois order.

      1. flora

        Well no. they don’t. On the other hand, if you asked about old people put on ventilators in hospitals, and the extra moneys hospitals would get for same, and the outcomes for patients so treated….

        No, let’s don’t talk about that. (Hey, they were old, wha’da’ya expect.)

      2. Jason Boxman

        Is it? it’s an abdication of civil society. So is ignoring SARS-COV-2 and leaving citizens to the wolves with no information.

  16. The Rev Kev

    ‘Tom Cruise’s Shoe Lifts
    There are a lot of young women that follow me and I know the under 25 crowd often meet on various apps so I will put together a short encyclopedia of phrases used by men that are immediate red flags. Run like hell if you hear these, baby. (This will be an ongoing thread.)’

    A lot of what she says sounds like it would be true. Having said that, I wonder what she is bringing to the table exactly. She may very well be looking for the perfect instead of the good but I hope she realizes that men have their own thoughts on red flags and that she may be raising her own.

    1. hunkerdown

      Self-entitlement and a commitment to the aristocratic lifestyle. That’s all the future scorned society wives of r/femaledatingstrategy have got.

      1. Lee

        I like Cormac McCarthy’s dictum that a woman who finds herself with a man unwilling to kill in order to save her will ultimately find him to be of little use. Or something to that effect. I guess I’m a bit old fashioned in that regard.

        1. hunkerdown

          I might say the same about any woman I find myself with, frankly. Call that old-fashioned in the first-wave feminist, Old Libertarian sense, I suppose, but it’s adaptive.

        2. anahuna

          Reminds me of a woman friend who was, back in the late 60s, living with a Vietnam vet somewhere on the fringes of the Lower East Side before it became the East Village. They left their apartment one day, after having various forms of sex in front of an open window, and were accosted by a roofer who had been spying on them from the street. He sneered at the vet (not to be too graphic, for a sexual act he considered unmanly), the vet slugged him, and he and the roofer both ended up, bloody, at the nearby police station.
          Reader, she married him.
          But that’s not the end of the story.
          She divorced him after a few years and later took up with a gentle soul who was probably incapable of killing or even punching another human being, but spent years caring for her tenderly after she developed a rare cancer that eventually killed her.
          There’s a parable of sorts here, somewhere.

      2. Roger Blakely

        Bit by bit we are chipping away at Lambert’s blue pill wall. Mentioning the Reddit for femaledatingstrategy is what we need to be doing right now.

        1. ashley


          btw, as a lesbian, i looked through her very long twitter thread, and for most of it, its applicable to all romantic relationships, not just risks in dating straight men. particularly the tweet about “i dont do drama” being a red flag. every single person who puts that in their dating profile is a bundle of drama, including women. its a huge red flag to me, and i date women. a lot of red flags are universal, like talking about chipping away at a blue pill wall… insinuating one will be red pilled about women. yikes.

    2. some guy

      It sounds like a total catalog of Red Flags all around would be a good thing. Let the love-lorn and lonely of all genders be informed. ” Eight-warned is Eight-armed, as one octopus said to the other”.

      Now, there is always the danger that Red Flag Boy and Red Flag Girl will read these sites and learn, at least at a superficial level, the Red Flags to avoid waving. Which will simply force the Red Flag Watchers to become more alert at deeper levels. And we will have a behioral evolutionary arms race under way.

      By the way, I once read an interesting article called ” Schrödinger’s Rapist And The Threat Of Violence Against Women”. I wondered what would happen if potential rapists read that article and learned to disguise themselves for a while.
      Anyway,here is the link: https://www.theodysseyonline.com/schrodingers-rapist-and-the-threat-of-violence-against-women

  17. hunkerdown

    Recently I stumbled across this essay on the “post-autistic” performative self growing out of transparency culture, and noted Lambert’s favorite term in the title. The author cites Jung, Lacan, Blaga, and other philosophers of mystery; semper might enjoy this too.

    The Private-Public Self – an ‘Inside Out’ persona in the post-autistic era of transparency, and how ‘cold feeling’ and ‘hot thinking’ are invading politics and our intimate lives (Lastrevio)

    Fortuitously, in light of the short people shoes Karen from Twitter, the author offers a critique of dating apps drawing from Baidou, Lacan, and others. Excerpt:

    We are not becoming “too open” about mental health and sexuality, like conservatives say, or “not open enough”, like progressives say. We are doing both simultaneously. We are becoming more and more open about them in certain digital contexts – only at the level of “cold” transfer of knowledge and information.

    The TV and the internet are today’s big Other. It provides a “protective filter” that allows us to directly tell the big Other (i.e.: ‘everyone’) about our private life, and then everyone else taking the necessary information out of it. If you talk one-on-one to someone, questions regarding intentionality start to arise – “why are they telling me out of all people?” If you tell the entire world at once, in a paradoxical way, you are telling no one.

    Dating apps and websites are the perfect example of this. In most real-life contexts, details about yourself are revealed gradually, as you get closer to the person, and transparency becomes a linear function of time. The meme “never ask a woman her age, a man his salary…” applies in real-life. It is usually considered rude to directly ask a person from the first conversation details about their age, salary, height, relationship status, etc. Dating apps have created a virtual context in which not only is it socially appropriate to do so, it is an imperative. What is polite or not to say depends on context. The internet gives people the freedom to create from scratch an empty context where almost anything goes. It is the death of culture and the rise of what Byung-Chul Han calls “hyperculture”6.

    (reposted as top-level comment, hope it works this time)

  18. The Rev Kev

    “On Covid, the past is being erased and the present ignored”

    The corruption of historical sources is unforgivable. No doubt it is a matter of political expediency to make our political masters look not so bad but it is going to muddy the efforts of scientists for generations to come. Imagine if Dr. John Snow had to depend on government data for his analysis of the origins of a cholera outbreak but the politicians were wiping data points so that they would not look bad. This is exactly the same. In an age of paper these records were available somewhere and could be eventually collected. But in the age of computers, such data can simply be not collected or even deleted in a “system upgrade” or just deleted as taking up “too much space.” Or maybe an algorithm is used to cull the data creatively. But there will be a catastrophic price to pay down the track.

    1. Lee

      Speaking of the endurance and potential effects of paper records you might find this Radiolab story compelling. It’s how Mau Mau activists and other Kenyan victims of horrific British atrocities successfully sued the British government.

      1. BRetty

        “Mau Mau” is the perfect term for all the performers of cancel culture and progressive groupthink.

        While “Mau Mau activists” were loudly demanding things like reparations, and shaming Kenyan and British politicians by taking their case to the media (which I assume to be maybe three journalists with actual film cameras, this was Africa in the 1950’s), they were providing cover for the far more numerous Mau Mau soldiers, who were doing some “ethnic cleansing” by murdering political apponents and settling scores with other tribes. Wikipedia estimates 60,000-80,000 murders.

        This is exactly what would happen if “Defund the Police” went through and local peace ambassadors like the Crips were put in charge of public safety in South LA.

    2. some guy

      How can the Ruling Class keep their Jackpot rolling merrily along if counter-Jackpot data are allowed to remain in existence for any meddlesome scientist to analyze and foil the Ruling Class’s ” Long Jackpot” plans with?

      From a Ruling Class standpoint, data erasure is the smart thing to do. And such data erasure is a sign of what is meant when people speak of this time we are living in as being the Digital Dark Ages. So much information will be erased or destroyed or simply die along with the internet and most computers over the next hundred years that survivors in the Far Future will regard our time as being an even darker Dark Ages than the pre-Medieval post-Antiquity period regarded as the Dark Ages today.

      ” In the kingdom of the witless, the half-wit man is king.”

  19. chris

    Re: shuffling gait

    I spend a lot of time inspecting HVAC and other devices in grocery stores. I end up doing the work at odd hours mostly because it is such an inconvenience to the store operations. But for some reason, the inspections I’ve been scheduled to do lately have been during normal hours (11 AM – 3 PM) so I’ve been able to see the normal crowd. It’s not so noticeable in well off places inside the Beltway of the MD/DC/VA area. But once you get outside that, west towards West Virginia or the poor places in Maryland, the population of damaged and disabled people are very noticeable.

    Yes, you see a lot of shuffling. Yes, you see a lot of coughing. Yes, you see people staring at something for a long time as if they don’t know what to do. Yes, you see young people who have to stop and catch their breath when it’s too humid and they’re walking. You see lines of people of all ages waiting for the powered assistance carts. Lots of hair loss. It doesn’t seem drug related. They don’t have that type of energy to their movements.

    The people in places like Cumberland, to take one city that’s been ground under in the last 50 years, they just look grey. It’s hard for me to look at these people and not think about how they’ve been failed. It’s hard for me to look at these people and not question whether I may have some responsibility in the systems that failed them. These are only one hour away from the Capitol. But they all as well be further than Mars. They are ignored and bypassed. So they shuffle around in places like Dollar General and Sav-A-Lot because that’s where they can afford to shop. The clerks in those places don’t look much different from the shoppers. And if you do what I do, which often involves using a camera to document things, they think you’re with the police, or that a crime occurred.

    1. griffen

      That’s an interesting observation. Only adding to this thought because of that allusion to shoppers in a local Dollar General and similar, I found the earnings release this week from DG to be somewhat interesting. You would think their just announced earnings were horrible to non-existent. It’s that they sounded a cautious tone to the remainder of 2023. Things are looking up? Yeah I think not so much; not sure that a change of WH resident in 2024 alters the course that much, honestly.

      I visit a local DG maybe once per week. My biggest gripe is their occasional empty shelf, and lackluster staffing at the front to check out. But, that is no longer really confined to a DG.


    2. some guy

      Back when John Michael Greer was writing as the Arch Druid, he claimed to be living in Cumberland, Maryland. He referred to Cumberland as an example of the post-collapse future and felt that Cumberlanders, and those who prepared ahead of time to live exactly like Cumberlanders, would be among the Last Survivors in America.

  20. SocalJimObjects

    Dating apps. One of my female friends told me that anyone using a picture of himself taking a selfie as the profile picture is an immediate turnoff because that means that he has no friends to take pictures of him.

    As to that list, I am not sure why that’s unique to dating apps, say you were to go on a date with a person introduced by a friend, I mean what’s a guy supposed to say when asked about his preferences? You might think that you are a good judge of character and will be able to tell if someone’s lying to you face to face, but IMHO, that could be a hit or miss situation because there are very good liars out there.

    1. Jason Boxman

      I found a tripod and a remote useful in these situations, before COVID. Now I shall die alone. I guess we’ll see. With COVID it’s never clear how long I might have to wait. Possibly not that much longer.

  21. Jason Boxman

    Oddly these nasal sprays, if effective, could mark the beginning of a counteroffensive, if our elite had any executive function at all. Combined with universal masking, real contact tracing, sniffing dogs, and enforced quarantines for international travel, this could truly have been the beginning of the end of this mass catastrophe. ’tis a shame that it is not.

    Stay safe out there!

  22. Late Introvert

    Is there a guide to the latest symptoms of the latest variants? Asking for a friend.

  23. Late Introvert

    I can’t finish the Meet The New Twitter article, what a pig frak.

    This is the para that did me in.

    Whether or not you agree with Walsh, it’s hard to imagine Twitter found a legitimate pretext to suppress What is a Woman? in the movie itself. Moreover, not even old Twitter announced the mechanics of “visibility filtering” in such unapologetic detail as was proudly done under the new “speech not reach” banner, where Daily Wire producers were told “limiting” the movie meant “our own followers would not be able to see it in their feeds.” Such frank de-amplification can be worse than removal, as it results in users not knowing their information landscape has been altered, warping the sense of reality for everyone, not just those interested in this topic.

    I have not seen the movie. Matt Walsh came to my college town and there was a protest as there always is, and it got press. There was also a march of kids from the high school, and a scattering of “Take Care of Trans Kids” signs around town. This is in a red state in the Midwest, but a liberal outpost, with all of the attending hypocrisies and arrogance of the local PMC.

    My comment is on the term information landscape. The idea that people are now arguing over this and trying to force others to conform. I like Matt Taibbi, but I don’t “follow” him or let him or anyone else shape my information landscape.

    Tell Matt to read NC, and stop following twit feeds.

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