2:00PM Water Cooler 7/10/2023

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Bird Song of the Day

Magpie-lark, Casuarina Coastal Reserve–Dripstone Park, Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia.

* * *


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


Time for the Countdown Clock!

* * *

“Old yeller: Biden’s private fury” [Axios]. “Biden has such a quick-trigger temper that some aides try to avoid meeting alone with him. Some take a colleague, almost as a shield against a solo blast. The president’s admonitions include: ‘God dammit, how the f**k don’t you know this?!,’ ‘Don’t f**king bullsh*t me!’ and ‘Get the f**k out of here!’ — according to current and former Biden aides who have witnessed and been on the receiving end of such outbursts. The private eruptions paint a more complicated picture of Biden as a manager and president than his carefully cultivated image as a kindly uncle who loves Aviator sunglasses and ice cream.” • Many entertaining anecdotes. It was obvious to anyone who followed him closely that Biden had a temper; I don’t much like “body language,” but tightness around his mouth was always a sign, and his mouth was tight quite often. That said, the real question about this article — this sighting shot? This transition into “pull the wings off flies mode? — is “Why now?” War in Ukraine going even worse than we thought?

* * *

Too bad Trump can’t take advantage of this:

Or could he?

So why isn’t the sauce for Biden’s clusterbombs the same as the sauce for Trump’s classified documents?

* * *

“The Alternative Facts of Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.” (interview) [David Remnick, The New Yorker]. You’ve got to admire the picador work: “To prepare for the conversation, I listened to some of Kennedy’s podcast sessions with the likes of Bari Weiss, Jordan Peterson, Russell Brand, and Joe Rogan. I watched his marathon announcement speech and tuned in to all the hosannas he was getting from a peculiar amen corner that includes Steve Bannon, Jack Dorsey, and Tucker Carlson. In his 2021 book ‘The Real Anthony Fauci,’ Kennedy accuses Fauci, who was then [genuflects] the nation’s top infectious-disease doctor, of helping to carry out ‘2020’s historic coup d’état against Western democracy.'” He’s just not our kind! (And Fauci is genuinely evil, but you wouldn’t know it from Kennedy’s footnotes.) More: “Kennedy’s habits of mind are MAGA-adjacent, but his manner differs from that of his Republican doppelgänger. Donald Trump is a bully—rude, swaggering, out to flatten his questioner under an avalanche of lies and volume. Kennedy is not rude. Rather, he is serenely convinced of his virtue and his interlocutor’s pitiful susceptibility to conventional wisdom. The experience of interviewing him and listening to his previous interviews, I found, was like settling in for a long train ride with a seemingly amiable stranger in the next seat. You ask a straightforward question and, an hour later, as you race by Thirtieth Street Station, in Philadelphia, he is still going on about the fraud of covid vaccines and how he was unfairly ‘deplatformed’ for spouting conspiracy theories. By the time you’ve pulled into Wilmington, he might be talking about how drugs known as poppers helped cause the aids epidemic, or how ‘toxic chemicals’ might contribute to ‘sexual dysphoria’ in children. As you head south, he is talking about being ‘censored’ by Instagram, the F.B.I. [true], and the Biden White House. New technologies like 5G towers and digital currencies are totalitarian instruments that could ‘control our behavior.’ Wi-Fi causes ‘leaky brain.’ After a while, you begin to wonder why you bought a ticket. But it’s too late. You’re pinned into the window seat.” And now the zinger: “This conversation has been edited for length and clarity.” • Ouch! Thing is, Remnick and his stooge, Hendrik Hertzberg, were in so deep for Obama in 2008 that [insert joke here]. And then of course there’s the constant TDS reinfection; the virus is hiding out somewhere in The New Yorker’s editorial tissues, and the sequelae are bad. These people don’t get to pose as serene, brainworm-free representatives of Reason Against The Mob. Well, OK, they do, but if there were any justice in the world they would have been stopped by now, defenestration o f Prague-style. Also, the cartoons aren’t funny anymore. Rather like the entire New Yorker schtick, if it comes to that.

Marianne Williamson asks for my vote:

* * *

MI: “Hill Harper, ‘Good Doctor’ Actor, Enters Senate Race in Michigan” [New York Times]. “Hill Harper, an author and actor, on Monday entered Michigan’s 2024 Senate race, pledging to run to the left of Representative Elissa Slotkin, a moderate Democrat, in what is expected to be one of the most closely watched Democratic primary races in a 2024 presidential battleground state. Mr. Harper, a first-time candidate known for his roles on ‘CSI: NY’ and ‘The Good Doctor,’ began his campaign with a message focused on expanding Social Security and access to affordable health care, as well as tackling income inequality and student debt. In an interview, he said he planned to position himself as ‘the most progressive candidate’ in the race and would work to bring jaded and unheard voters back into the Democratic fold. ‘It became clear to me that folks across Michigan don’t feel like they are being represented in Washington, D.C.,’ he said, describing his conversations with people at farmers’ markets and union halls as he weighed his decision to run. The state’s Democratic leadership, which holds the governor’s office and both chambers of the Michigan Statehouse, he added, has ‘done a lot to move the state forward, but Washington is still broken.’ The Democratic primary is likely to be followed by a heated general election against a tense backdrop.” • Slotkin is, of course, a spook CIA Democrat, so I’m sure the Times will do all in its power to support her.

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.

* * *

“Activists want to disqualify Trump from ballot in key states under 14th Amendment” [The Hill]. “The groups say secretaries of state are empowered by the 14th Amendment to bar Trump from running for office because of the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol insurrection. Starting Sunday, Mi Familia Vota and Free Speech for People will stage a week of rallies and banner drops outside the offices of the secretaries of state of California, Oregon, Colorado and Georgia. The groups also penned a letter to Nevada Secretary of State Cisco Aguilar last month, calling on him to block Trump under what’s known as the Insurrectionist Disqualification Clause. ‘We’re really focusing on Nevada and California and [Oregon, Colorado and Georgia] to make sure that they are taking a stand by disqualifying Trump in those spaces, which is something that the secretary of state can do,’ said Héctor Sánchez, executive director of Mi Familia Vota. The groups are calling their campaign ‘Trump is Disqualified,’ and are timing it to coincide with the 155th anniversary of the 14th Amendment.” • Oh, clever! I mean, better than the 154th or 156th, I suppose. I’m filing this under Democrats because it illustrates two things about the party. First, the cynical use of NGOs as party ringers. Second, the general Democrat practice of claiming a universal principle and then demonstrating the claim is in fact solely tactical “fighting for” it only in limited arenas. If indeed the 14th Amendment amendment disqualifies Trump, then that merits a 50 state campaign, not a campaign limited to three tactically important states. The Democrats did exactly the same thing in Florida 2000, when they called for recounts only in counties they thought they could win, which undermined any claim to the high ground on the election theft.

Obama Legacy



Realignment and Legitimacy

“Gay Nude Resort Must Allow Women, Judge Declares” [Advocate]. “A clothing-optional Florida resort catering to gay and bisexual men must open all areas to women, according to a June 30 ruling from a judge on the Florida Commission on Human Relations and reported by Metroweekly. The decision — which overruled a previous ruling stating the resort did not discriminate — affects Key West’s New Orleans House, though it’s not binding until the full commission weighs in. The resort is one of at least two nude resorts challenged by Amita Chaudhry, a 38-year-old cisgender woman who identifies as part of the LGBTQ+ community.” • Well, why not?


“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; Wastewater Scan, includes drilldown by zip); Variants (CDC; Walgreens); “Iowa COVID-19 Tracker” (in IA, but national data). “Infection Control, Emergency Management, Safety, and General Thoughts” (especially on hospitalization by city).

Lambert here: Readers, thanks for the collective effort. To update any entry, do feel free to contact me at the address given with the plants. Please put “COVID” in the subject line. Thank you!

Resources, United States (Local): AK (dashboard); AL (dashboard); AR (dashboard); AZ (dashboard); CA (dashboard; Marin, dashboard; Stanford, wastewater; Oakland, wastewater); 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: anon (2), Art_DogCT, B24S, CanCyn, ChiGal, Chuck L, Festoonic, FM, FreeMarketApologist (4), Gumbo, hop2it, JB, JEHR, JF, JL Joe, John, JM (10), JustAnotherVolunteer, JW, KatieBird, LL, Michael King, KF, LaRuse, mrsyk, MT, MT_Wild, otisyves, Petal (6), RK (2), RL, RM, Rod, square coats (11), tennesseewaltzer, Utah, Bob White (3).

Stay safe out there!

* * *

Testing and Tracking

“New Air Monitor Can Detect COVID-19, Flu, RSV, and Other Viruses in Real-Time” [SciTech Daily]. ” By combining recent advances in aerosol sampling technology and an ultrasensitive biosensing technique, researchers at Washington University in St. Louis have created a real-time monitor that can detect any of the SARS-CoV-2 virus variants in a room in about 5 minutes. The inexpensive, proof-of-concept device could be used in hospitals and health care facilities, schools, and public places to help detect CoV-2 and potentially monitor for other respiratory virus aerosols, such as influenza and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). Results of their work on the monitor, which they say is the most sensitive detector available, are published today (July 10) in the journal Nature Communications.” • Awesome. Finally, some really good news. I assume we’ll see rapid uptake, especially in medical facilities MR SUBLIMINAL Not!


Just to hammer on airline travel once more, requoting Taleb from Links last week:

Systemic Risk of Pandemic via Novel Pathogens – Coronavirus: A Note (PDF) Joseph Norman, Yaneer Bar-Yam, Nassim Nicholas Taleb. From 2020, explicated here at NC, still highly germane. “It will cost something to reduce mobility in the short term, but to fail do so will eventually cost everything—if not from this event, then one in the future.”

Truer words. Planes everywhere:

Carrying the virus everywhere:

Worth watching to see how this young person has been let down by literally every system in which she is enmeshed. At least she was lucky enough not to find blood and feces under her feet, like the Air France traveler yesterday:

“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.

* * *

“A Tsunami of Disability Is Coming as a Result of ‘Long COVID'” [Scientific American]. • Time to make the disability system even more dysfunctional than it already is, I suppose.

* * *

Case Data

From BioBot wastewater data, July 7:

Lambert here: Still a trend upward. Happy July 4! Absent a new variant to race though the dry tinder, I don’t see an oncoming debacle even with July 4 travel. But plenty of people will still get sick (again).

Regional data:

Regional variant data:

Whatever the cause of the uptick in the Northeast, it’s not EG.5 (the orange pie slice), which seems evenly distributed.



Lambert here: EG.5 moving like a bat out of hell, showing unactionable nature (uselessness) of these CDC two-week-lag charts (here, and in positivity, too). They’re not even performative!

From CDC, June 24:

Lambert here: Not sure what to make of this. I’m used to seeing a new variant take down the previously dominant variant. Here it looks like we have a “tag team,” all working together to cut XBB.1.5 down to size. 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.

Covid Emergency Room Visits

NOT UPDATED From CDC NCIRD Surveillance, July 1:

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.


From Walgreens, July 10:

5.7%. Going vertical, though the absolute numbers are still very small relative to June 2022, say. Interestingly, these do not correlate with the regional figures for wastewater.

NOT UPDATED From CDC, June 19:

Lambert here: This is the CDC’s “Traveler-Based Genomic Surveillance” data. They say “maps,” but I don’t see one….


NOT UPDATED Iowa COVID-19 Tracker, June 28:

Lambert here: The WHO data is worthless, so I replaced it with the Iowa Covid Data Tracker. Their method: “These data have been sourced, via the API from the CDC: https://data.cdc.gov/NCHS/Conditions-Contributing-to-COVID-19-Deaths-by-Stat/hk9y-quqm. This visualization updates on Wednesday evenings. Data are provisional and are adjusted weekly by the CDC.” I can’t seem to get a pop-up that shows a total of the three causes (top right). Readers?

Total: 1,168,502 – 1,168,485 – 1,168,414 = 17 (17 * 365 = 6,205 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

Excess deaths (The Economist), July 9:

Lambert here: This is now being updated daily. Odd. 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

There are no official statistics of interest today.

* * *

Tech: “A technophobe’s guide to AI chatbots” [Boston Globe]. The deck: “Systems like ChatGPT aren’t going anywhere. Are you ready to use them?” • Idea:

ChatGPT: “Mary had a little lamb.”

To fill in the blank, I completed the famous nursery rhyme with the word “lamb.” As an AI language model, I have been trained on a vast corpus of text, including nursery rhymes, literature, and common knowledge. This extensive training enables me to recognize and complete well-known phrases and sentences. The phrase “Mary had a little lamb” is one of the most recognized and widely known lines from nursery rhymes, making it easy for me to identify and complete the missing word.

Why don’t we outlaw the use of the first person in AI chat responses? The concept that there is an “I” there is, after all, bullshit, as is all the output of generative AI, inherently and without exception.

* * *

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 78 Extreme Greed (previous close: 78 Extreme Greed) [CNN]. One week ago: 79 (Extreme Greed). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Jul 10 at 1:33 PM ET.

Rapture Index: Closes unchanged [Rapture Ready]. Record High, October 10, 2016: 189. Current: 182. (Remember that bringing on the Rapture is good.) NOTE on #42 Plagues: “The coronavirus pandemic has maxed out this category.” More honest than most!

Poop Watch

“The poop knife” [Reddit (via)]. • I can’t possibly quote from this on a family blog. I advise you not to read it, and if you do, not to comment on it. And if you do comment on it, please use the most euphemistic terms possible.

The Jackpot

Everything is fine:

No, really!

Zeitgeist Watch

“New TikTok challenge to blame for 4 Alabama deaths” [WVTM]. “A social media challenge is at the center of the deaths of four people in Central Alabama. This deadly TikTok trend is called ‘#boatjumping.’ People are jumping off of moving boats at lakes like those in Shelby County. The TikTok challenge has rescue crews worried about people on the water this summer. In the last six months, they’ve seen four victims die from this boat jumping TikTok challenge. Capt. Jim Dennis with the Childersburg Rescue Squad said these deaths are people of all ages. ‘The four that we responded to when they jumped out of the boat, they literally broke their neck and, you know, basically an instant death,’ Dennis said.”

Class Warfare

“16-Year-Old Boy Dies After ‘Industrial Accident’ at Wisconsin Sawmill: ‘No Longer Suffering'” [People]. • Thanks, libertarians. On the bright side, that young man learned an important lesson!

News of the Wired

“Axios Finish Line: No time to run? Hug a loved one” [Axios]. “Americans are stressed out. While exercise is a proven way to support mental health — which made evolutionary sense for our ancestors — it’s not the only way to de-stress. There are other options we often overlook. Today, even the idea of exercising can be stressful.” Various hints, concluding: “Take a break outside. They call it nature therapy for a reason. Slow your breathing. Taking one minute to breathe in for a count of five, and then out for five, can help your body feel calmer, [Jennifer Taitz, clinical psychologist] told Axios. Of note: Stress isn’t all bad. It can help us meet deadlines, like the one for this story. ‘Changing your view of stress [is important] because stressing about stress is very stressful,’ Taitz said.” • Meta-verklemptitude…

* * *

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 JM:

JM writes: “I have been taking photos of this log, which is along a trail where I go bird watching, from time to time for many years. The hedgerow has a lot of weedy cherry flowering right now, in three different shades of pink.” What a great project! I keep recommending walks to readers; a project like this would be a fine addition to one’s constitutional; grab your camera or (even) your (smart)phone. I think you will be surprised at the depths in seemingly mundane objects if you photograph them repeatedly (Monet’s haystacks are an example (the repellent brainworm “Shake your Monet maker” just entered my mind; I apologize)).

* * *

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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. Samuel Conner

    > the virus is hiding out somewhere in The New Yorker’s editorial tissues, and the sequelae are bad

    I suppose one can derive some small comfort from the fact that the CV pandemic has, at least, provided us with new metaphors for dysfunction in the Fourth Estate.

    1. JTMcPhee

      Interesting acronym, “CV.” I just caught it out of the corner of my eye at first, and translated it “Curriculum Vitae.” Wonder why my covid-influenced brain (I’m one month after manifestation of symptoms, with fatigue, slowly returning sense of smell, still weird cold sweats and noticeable brain fog) would make that connection, since it’s a whole lot of Fokkers hiding behind CVs that have brought about the current state of public “health” degeneracy.

      Caught it from my wife, I believe, who went to Italy for daughter’s destination wedding celebration and got home two days before my symptoms started. Yuk.

      One prays there are special places in hell for those who facilitated this. And while i am kvetching, there’s some really nasty new strains of tuberculosis circulating in the Ukrainian trenches, soon coming to a commercial-airline-served destination population concentration near you. Along with the other miseries we humans are brewing up. Of course we need to draw a line under this, and look forward, not backward — am I right?

    1. Daryl

      > It’s not as if the Times has any moral standing to argue from a moral position.

      Perhaps it’s more of a sign that, as the NYT editorial board is not arguing this in good faith, that some powers are tired of pretending victory is imminent in the Ukraine and would rather save the ammo for something else.

  2. flora

    re: Marianne Williams – for those interested in her campaign.

    Williams was earlier interviewed townhall style by WMUR in NH for their Conversations with the Candidate series. They posted excerpts from the interview – enough to see most of it in segments on utube.

    Here the utube search link for the interview which returns all the segments.


    Begin with the clip titled: Marianne Williamson argues why she, not Joe Biden, should be Democrats’ choice for president | Co…

    She makes a lot of very good points, imo.

    1. Bruno

      What did she ever do to justify that pretension? Sure her name’s not Biden, but Trump and hundreds of millions of other americans can make the same argument. What other Demoncrud thinks she’s worth defaming and slandering? Would she dare to debate the serious challenger?

      1. Phenix

        Yes, she is all in unless her opinion changes this week.

        The only antiwar candidate in the Dem primary is RFK Jr.

    2. Acacia

      Only water carrying, war mongering, imperialists get chosen.

      DNC lawyers told voters to eff off.

      Meanwhile, voters carry on like they’re meaningful.


  3. antidlc

    RE: A Tsunami of Disability Is Coming as a Result of ‘Long COVID’

    That was from two years ago. Many cases since then.

  4. antidlc

    ““New Air Monitor Can Detect COVID-19, Flu, RSV, and Other Viruses in Real-Time””

    Thanks, Lambert. A glimmer of hope.

  5. Roger Blakely

    I picked up some more COVID. A five-minute conversation on the sidewalk with my next-door neighbor was all that it took. Her mother arrived from El Salvador last week for a two-week visit. Travelers pick it up in the airport or on the airplane. Now I have some Central American XBB.

    It is wrong to think that being outside automatically prevents transmission.

  6. hunkerdown

    re: “I”, it would be better to ban the “testifying” tone of voice entirely so as to prevent property rights and other emotional narratives from infecting material reality with their disingenuous emotions.

    Unless, unless your plan also immediately disallows corporations and servants to speak for their owners with a first person pronoun, and forbids them to use emotional speech on their behalf at all.

  7. Henry Moon Pie

    Biden’s biographer–

    The Axios article was hilarious. Whatever you do, don’t let that man have a cane.

    Chris Whipple was a familiar name. “Whip” was a roommate at Deerfield of a freshman roommate of mine at Harvard. Senior year, this former roommate of mine, his girlfriend, my girlfriend and I went on a Thanksgiving weekend trip to NYC. On the way there, we stayed overnight at Whip’s family’s place in Old Greenwich. There was a distant but clear view over the water of the Manhattan skyline from the bedroom. Whip’s dad was an editor at Time-Life at the time.

    America, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, class-wise and otherwise. Chris has had an amazing career as a writer on his own, but he remains an example of how things usually work in America.

  8. Amfortas the hippie

    Re: JM’s Log Study.
    that’s cool af.
    i love stuff like that.
    one of the benefits of stayin put for almost 3 decades is ive been able to watch such ecological succession over the whole 20 acres…plus the surrounding 2000(i have legit access to half of that,lol…the rest, due to chasing wayward animals(frelling goats…))
    from things like fallen trees, turning eventually into dirt…or a dead rabbit, doing the same, just much quicker…or the broader succession of the pastures: weeds to the willman lovegrass i spread around to stabilise and smother and build soil=> varied succession of native grasses i tossed out there eventually supplanting the lovegrass(i carry a bucket with me in the truck, and take dirt roads often, and in season can often be found picking grass seed on the side of a lonely dirt road)
    and various trees and shrubs(mom hates this part,lol…so untidy!) slowly but surely doing their thing, and it’ll eventually be a “sylvopasture”, and thus more robust and resilient.

    Ed Abbey and Gary Snyder, Wendell Berry and Robinson Jeffers, were my inspirations for all this(as well as a million others,lol)

    and the main character in “To a God Unknown”, which is my favorite Steinbeck.
    one can become a part of a place, thereby.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > JM’s Log Study. that’s cool af.

      That’s what I thought. I’ve done similar projects, returning to the same site again and again, but I never made them part of my daily routine (a liturgy, if you will, albeit secular).

    2. mrsyk

      I think JM’s log study is cool too. Richard Powers’ “The Overstory” has a similar study over a multi-generational timeline which he nimbly uses to emphasize a theme here and there.
      Now, if someone were to take a bunch of photos of their three cats on a daily basis, would that be considered similar? Asking for a friend.

  9. Carolinian

    Re 14th amendment–I believe Turley has said that for this misreading of the amendment to have a chance your target has to at least have been legally convicted of insurrection. The CA secretary of state can’t just put on his thinking cap and decide that it is true.

    Which seems kind of obvious to people who aren’t part of the Dem cult. Should be interesting in a faceplant sort of way.

    It never seems to occur that the obvious move for the Dems is to get rid of Biden and the Trump problem may take care of itself. And if it doesn’t then democracy has given us worse than Trump (i.e. Biden). Can’t they at least be consistent about anything? Democracy is their mantra.

    1. The Rev Kev

      ‘The CA secretary of state can’t just put on his thinking cap and decide that it is true.’

      What if Biden gives them a waiver to do so like he just did with the cluster bombs decision?

    2. Darthbobber

      The 14th amendment is national, not state, law. And it’s last clause specifies who enforces it. That would be congress, not secretaries of state.

      1. scott s.

        Also curious about that. In my state (Hawaii) state plays no role in party presidential nomination process except to provide for the naming of electors and alternates. In the actual election, it is electors who are voted for. Though maybe chief election officer (we don’t have a Sec of State) could refuse to put the party nominee’s name on the ballot. We just enacted Act 114 which requires electors to be party-certified and pledge to vote for party nominee, only exception being death of nominee. Failure of elector to vote for the nominee would require chief of elections to vacate that elector and move up the alternate.

  10. Jason Boxman

    The team tested the monitor in the apartments of two COVID-positive patients. The real-time PCR results of air samples from the bedrooms were compared with air samples collected from a virus-free control room. The devices detected RNA of the virus in the air samples from the bedrooms but did not detect any in the control air samples.

    So this is exceptional, and what one would wish for is for this device to be used to try to determine where a ‘super’ (I loathe this 2010s word with a passion) spreader event occurs to track down those that have the propensity to shed lots of virus, so maybe we can find out why. To date, I haven’t seen any research that identifies what causes SARS-COV-2 to be over dispersed, a key characteristic along with asymptotic spread that makes it so pernicious.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > So this is exceptional, and what one would wish for is for this device to be used to try to determine where a ‘super’ (I loathe this 2010s word with a passion) spreader event occurs to track down those that have the propensity to shed lots of virus, so maybe we can find out why. To date, I haven’t seen any research that identifies what causes SARS-COV-2 to be over dispersed, a key characteristic along with asymptotic spread that makes it so pernicious.

      Presumably the sensor emits data, and the data, when charted, would spike [applauds].

      1. Jason Boxman

        And it needs to be portable. Then we can get these into hospitals and nail those infection control scumbags. Like a sting operation.

        1. rowlf

          Why not deploy them like the metal detectors used at federal buildings and airports? Any gathering point could have people walk through them.

  11. Bruno

    “ChatGPT: “Mary had a little lamb.”

    To fill in the blank, I completed the famous nursery rhyme with the word “lamb” As an AI language model…”

    Wake me when one of those BS things comes up with the line (remembered from a very long ago childhood) “Mary had a little lamb, string beans, and mashed potatos”

    1. marym

      Kids also considered the line “Mary had a little lamb, the doctor was surprised” pretty hilarious back in the day.

  12. Screwball

    Biden temper;

    PMC; Tell me again how out of touch Biden is… Those are all refreshing takes. All presidents are different but is show how he gets things done.

    Non-PMC; It’s also a sign of dementia.

    PMC; You are not a doctor, and besides, you need to reread some of Trump’s social media posts to determine his level of sanity.

    Always the “what about Trump” defense, along with nothing bad can be said about Joe. These people are just plain nuts, and I think Joe is too. Enough of these people.

    1. flora

      His temper seems to be getting worse and wildly out of place. An elderly relative of mine, slipping into dementia many years ago showed the same out of place hostility and aggression – completely out place from their earlier, life-long gentle and humorous character. That’s the first thing I think of when I see B attacking potential voters as ‘dog face pony soldiers’ or challenging them to pushups when the ask a question he doesn’t want to answer. And that was 2 years ago. When B was younger he was good at smoothly avoiding an asked question he wasn’t asked to get around the questioner’s question. A standard pol skill. He can’t seem to do that anymore. NOTE: it’s not age. It’s a seeming serious health issue, imo, which can strike people as young as 50. OK, I’ll stop now.

      No wait, one more thing: I’m very sorry for his failing and his family’s increased effort to protect him from himself. Been there, etc.
      That doesn’t mean I think the country should be tasked with protecting him from himself.

      OK, I really am stopping now.

      1. flora

        typos: When B was younger he was good at smoothly avoiding an asked question by answering a different question that he wasn’t asked to get around the questioner’s question.

        For example is earlier ability, utube, 3 minutes. Watch how well he answered the questions to his advantage back then.


      2. The Rev Kev

        When he tore strips of President Xi after Blinken’s return from China may have been a result of his foul temper. He got so mad that not only did he make those comments but he had them published on the White House site so that they could not be walked back. Seeing him at the Vilnius NATO Conference will be something as he finds out that most of them do not want to send their boots on the ground into NATO. He might get so mad that he might do something really stupid.

    2. ddt

      I just remind PMCs that he put Anita Hill on a rail and got Clarence Thomas on the SC. That shuts them up.

      1. Acacia

        And Biden refused to admit any of the other women who came forward as witnesses to testify against Clarence Thomas.

        1. flora

          He did admit a few, to which old Strom Thurmond – a Dixiecrat pol personified – dismissed with a courtly, “We thank these lovely ladies for coming today. They are very lovely and they brighten this chamber. We have no questions for them.” (paraphrasing)

  13. nippersdad

    It is wild how so many right wingers these days can be so on point about the war in Ukraine and then lose the plot as to how we got there. About half way through the usual diet of YT videos this morning, I came across Macgregor blaming globalism on the “international left.”


    He manages to discuss the social fall out from Viet Nam, but fails to mention that it was actual members of the left, like MLK, who were pointing out that the war was detrimental the the country and getting whacked for it. In my lifetime it has always been the left that was against wars of choice and people like MacGregor calling us traitors for it, so it is funny to hear that we are now the internationalist fifth column of Davos Men that they have always been up against.

    I don’t actually recall anyone from the Black Panthers to Jill Stein ever being invited to Bilderberg Group meetings. Maybe we should ask the Uhuru Movement how they liked the last CFR convention in Washington.

    He really does need to get out more….or maybe just stay in his lane. Joe Biden has always been indistinguishable from people like Elliott Abrams and it would be nice to see them recognize that anyone to the left of Biden still in the Democratic party is the kind of Reagan Democrat that such as he has conspired with to get here throughout his career. It has been, after all, people like AOC who have routinely been funding the wars he did like for years. They are always for it before they are against it so that they can be for it again after the next election. That is his “far left”, and it really does render anything else he may have to say other than whatever is going on in Ukraine ridiculous.

    1. Amfortas the hippie

      yes, this.
      a perpetual peeve of mine
      especially here of late, when so many on “the right” have been making lefty noises(gop’ers for unions, catholic intellectuals for universal healthcare, tighty righties against war and empire).
      but then they ruin it by talking about how its the “Far Left” who have done all this…like Woke Empire and Cancel Russia/China are communist tropes.
      its silly.
      i’ve called out a few for it..Dreher,Douthat, Kingsnorth,even…but never hear back.
      so much for the Red/Brown Coalition,lol.
      and i’ve been near ecstatic to find Russel Kirk style small c conservatives blooming in the desert…Front Porch Republic was my fave, but i could likely get along with people at …say Compact Magazine…until they lapse into the glossolalia of Far Left this, Communist that…
      50-100 years of total Mindf7ckery worked like a charm.
      and its like its a tic, or something…Trump recently(and others) calling for revocation of citizenship of socialists and communists….(come and get me, copper)
      makes me think that the recent good things these folks have supposedly come around to are just more focus group BS.

      Joe Biden is closer to Jack Chick or the dude who started the John Birch Society, than he is to even Bernie….let alone Mao.
      and frelling Hillary is even worse.
      Fie and Fie and Fie!
      i shall remain unrepresented, i guess.

  14. shinola

    Re: “New TtikTok challenge to blame for 4 Alabama deaths” (jumping out of moving boats)

    The article has been corrected – there have been no deaths directly attributed to this (none-too-bright) fad.
    I wondered about this because my brother & I were avid water skiers when we were in our teens & early 20’s. We took many falls at speeds well over 30 mph and off of 4 ft ski jumps with no fatalities (or injuries worse than an aching back or a mild ankle sprain). Of course, we always wore USCG approved ski vests…

    1. mrsyk

      Not that I disagree with you, but I wager both you and your brother knew/know how to fall.

  15. DJG, Reality Czar

    The poop knife. Well, of course, I had to read it after the way Lambert Strether warned us off.

    La gioia di disobbedienza.

    Also: Is there anything funnier than bodily functions (and malfunctions)? We are laid low by the only possession that matters.

    Suffice it to say that in my family, when I was growing up, there was a joke about a pizza scissors that went a-wandering.

    1. John

      First I heard of this was from my next door neighbor. Thier son, about 5 at the time, apparently had quite the talent and the mother had to keep plastic knives in the medicine cabinet lol. Still hilarious.

    2. griffen

      The bane of small and low flow toilets everywhere is the giant or larger than usual, er, deposit. Stories from the throne room are rarely that darn funny.

      “Dropping the kids at the pool…” \sarc

  16. LawnDart

    (Almost) Daily Derailment(s):

    Newest derailment raises more questions about Norfolk Southern train safety, union says

    In recent years, Norfolk Southern has relied on fewer trains carrying more cars to save money — a practice union leaders say is dangerous for everyone involved.

    The union that represents locomotive engineers says a Thursday night coal train derailment in Virginia is renewing questions about Norfolk Southern’s safety practices.


    Martin County Fire Rescue

    Our crews responded to Indiantown just after noon for reports of a train derailment on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr Drive.

    Traffic was blocked off as first responders worked the scene. Thankfully, there have been no injuries or hazards reported.

    FEC investigators are involved.


      1. Amfortas the hippie

        yes, thanks LD.
        i grew up by the railroad…country neighborhood north of houston.
        had a rail line running alongside it, with a side track and everything.
        so of course, we rode the damned things at every opportunity…and otherwise messed around down there.
        stealing pronmags and thermite and road flares..
        i remember several derailments in the 20 or so years we lived there…always at a certain place about 5 miles south, where the track curved a little too much.
        only remember one hazmat situation…some kind of solvent.
        but our line was mostly coal and grain, due to the direction it ran…the bad stuff…benzene, ammonia, etc…was up and down the coast…and it seemed like that stuff and worse was mostly transported on barges on the intracoastal(grandad had a house on that canal, at Matagorda…so i saw plenty of that crap).
        between the refineries and the plants.
        this was all in the 80’s…so who knows, now…

        1. Screwball

          Small town NW Ohio I call cornhole. About 18k. Littered with small manufacturing plants that don’t pay much, and a couple of colleges. Will never grow – too far from major highways and the trains only pass through (over a river too). The city passed some laws and made a deal with the railroad to redo crossings to create a “no horn” town.

          Six crossings got a facelift, so now the trains go through and never blow the horn. At a recent council meeting they tell us they need to replace one of the crossings and it will cost the city 5 grand for some sort of sensor, as I understand it.

          I started down that rabbit hole and ran away quickly. Our Mayor made drapes, and we are a rounding error on CSX balance sheets.

          East Palestine still sounds like a crime scene and ignored. After 50 years in my hood I’ve witnessed 3 derailments – a long par 5 away from where I live. I don’t want to see another one.


          P.S. Ditto on thanks to LawnDart

  17. vao

    An interesting touch regarding the riots in France. Last week, the police arrested 9 youngsters (aged 16 to 21) who, on the night of the 1st-2nd of July, were attempting to plunder a shopping centre after planning their coup via social networks.

    The preliminary results are reported in a newspaper article entitled “Les pillards du centre commercial Vélizy 2 venaient des beaux quartiers”, i.e. “The looters of the shopping centre Vélizy 2 came from the comfortable neighbourhoods” (my translation):

    “There is little doubt as to their participation in the riots: most of them are clad in black, masked or hooded. Some are equipped with a crowbar or a hammer.


    Their profile is rather unexpected. These young men hail from the posh municipalities of the sector: Jouy-en-Josas and Viroflay in the Yvelines, Saclay and Bièvres in the Essonne, Meudon and Sèvres in the Hauts-de-Seine… They are in high school, university students, or wage earners.”

    Reflecting on why people who have no need to plunder would undertake such actions, I dare make a connection with a series of substack articles written by Aurelien, in which he identifies shameless “extraction” as the defining characteristic of our aging liberal world.

    If we consider looting as the most basic form of extraction (just taking away what others possess or have produced), such incidents seem to indicate that our societies, and the French one in this particular case, are in an advanced state of deliquescence.

  18. Lex

    Biden being an ass is common knowledge. I read this as early campaign propaganda because it so often went to him wanting things explained in “common” language or because he’s so well-informed that he’s poking holes in the briefing.

    None of that is true. He’s convinced he’s a genius but he’s also an egotistical liar and a bully. He’s also not at all smart. He’s just an ass. And those old clips from his first presidential run when he got into an argument with a random guy about how smart he was and then off-the-cuff lied about his entire educational history should have, as the TV talking heads suggested then, ended his political career forever.

      1. flora

        You’re right. He was never a “kindly old man.” The MSM used to have great fun pointing that out. This clip is from his 1980’s run for pres when he plagiarized the UK’s Neil Kinnock speech. From the old Johnny Carson show. (When did the US MSM turn in it’s “oysters”?)

        Johnny Carson – Joe Biden joke (September 16th 1987)


      2. Bart Hansen

        Don’t forget that Thomas’ hearings Sherpa was Senator John (of the preacher’s voice) Danforth.

        1. flora

          Yeah, I’ve never forgotten Missouri’s Sen. John Danforth, (or forgotten Kit Bond for that matter. Pity about Mel Carnahan.) Danforth started out well enough, and then…. What the H* happens to our D.C. pols? / ;)

      1. flora

        “So why write the article now?” I assume that’s a rhetorical question. / ;)

        But if not, maybe what I can only call his (imo) unusually high level (even for a politician) of “sleeze factor” in addition to the obvious mental decline has the Dem estab worried about 2024. / my 2 cents.

      2. nippersdad

        This is just the latest thing; death by a thousand cuts. At what point did anyone ever think that the Secret Service would actively try to embarrass the President they serve over something as small as a dime bag of coke left lying around in the West Wing?

        I feel like he is being shoved toward the exits.

        1. Amfortas the hippie

          “I feel like he is being shoved toward the exits.”

          yes, me too.
          its rather subtle, so far…and i see nobody on the horizon to step in…altho Kamala has had a few puff pieces ive come across this week, about how her nasally voice is not a good reason to not like her(adjacent to the thing from the Advocate)…and a few others that feel like something bubbling up from the depths.
          a trial eruption, perhaps.
          they’ve got maybe a year to find someone to take his place.
          but yeah…even the deep state reckons its time for him to go.
          expect Newsome (sp-2) to be suddenly all over the place.
          of course…speaking of having form…i wouldnt put it past the monstrance to elevate Schiff…in their utter blindness,lol.

          1. nippersdad

            I got an unsolicited fundraising e-mail from Schiff’s office a while back. In the process of unsuscribing I told them that Schiff was precisely the kind of pol that made me DemExit ten years ago. Their tone deafness is such that it wouldn’t surprise me in the least were they to run him. That guy is just radioactive. I agree. I think it will be Noisome Newsom.

            I wonder how they are going to get rid of Kamala, though. What excuse can they use for her wanting to spend more time with her family?

            1. Amfortas the hippie

              well, a video of her doing bong hits on the porch of the naval observatory might be effective.

              i admit that ive always been conflicted about her…she reminds me…laugh, voice, even face…of a milf i bar crawled and rolled in hay with when i was 20(said milf was 30 something).
              that said, neither her…nor my milf…should ever be anywhere near power.

              and to fill out the mini-confessional: i have something of a crush on Maria Zakharova,lol.
              reminds me of yet another milf from long ago…and the arid wit…sigh.

              1. nippersdad

                You are not alone in that. Zakharova is wonderful. I cannot hear her name without remembering when she said that the Biden Admin needed to tell her when they were going to invade so that she could set her vacation schedule up…


                …and then we get stuck with Victoria Nuland types. The world just isn’t fair.

                1. The Rev Kev

                  The Russians promote people like Maria Zakharove to be their spokesperson. The White House comes up with people like Jen Psaki and Karine Jean-Pierre and Ned Price.

                  1. flora

                    Oh, yer just a fanboy of a lady who speaks in complete sentences and argues in complete paragraphs. fie. / ;)

                    1. The Rev Kev

                      Never been a fan of “dolly birds” (like in that tweet of that girl with Covid going to Japan aboard a jet) but have always liked one that have an edge of maturity to them. ‘Tis a weakness to be sure. And Zakharove is a bit of a babe after all. :)

                2. flora

                  Victoria Nuland, et al. All passion, all PR, all moral demand, no brains as regards the US’s global strength and welbeing. imo.

        2. Robert Most

          They need to avoid an impeachment over JoJo’s extortion, when he was VPOTUS and Viceroy of Ukraine, to rid himself of the honest Ukrainian prosecutor. It would illuminate the money laundering over more than 2 decades.

          Prosecute Joey B, and it implicates the entire State Department of 2013 – 16: Amb. Masha Y, Pyatt, Nuland (who may not be on the take, since she appears to be motivated by her insane ideology and the joy of hatred), various Atlantic Council apparatchiks, and of course the Kerry and Pelosi boys, McCain of the Arizona Mafia, and even Debbie Birx (HIV funding).

      3. NotTimothyGeithner

        Psaki tries to make it put like it’s cute and the article mentions Zients getting promoted despite his gross incompetence. Either they know they won’t control Biden for much longer or the stories are going to break.

        My gut is this is turd polishing especially before supporters start to see Biden on the trail.

    1. flora

      Yes. But now, more than simply being an ass, he is unable to distinguish, imo, the potential outcomes for the US of the various foreign policy suggestions shown him. He is, imo, the perfect WH tool for the neocons who seem to yell the loudest. /oy

  19. Carolinian

    Thanks for reading Remnick so we don’t have to. Remnick’s views are so predictable he seems like an early candidate for AI replacement. To get his job back he’d have to start writing more original columns to prove it’s not a computer. So, a win all around.

    Alternately how about Lewis Lapham as Remnick’s replacement since Lapham seems to have more of the old New Yorker spirit. Comments here put me onto his Lapham’s Quarterly and here’s a recently featured book excerpt about a less stressed out Dale Carnegie America.


    1. flora

      Remnick is imo similar to Perlstein. When I read Perlstein’s “Nixonland”, which I bought in hardback cover, I was entire sympathetic to Perlstein’s starting point of view based on the early reviews when I purchased the book. However, as I read “Nixonland” I realized Perlstein was cheating; he was making stuff up to make a point; he was entirely setting aside what really happened whenever it suited his larger narrative. I wound up hating the book for its inaccuracies and ended up crossing Perlstein off my list of trustworthy history writers.

      Well, I guess that’s how it goes. But what of younger readers who don’t remember the actual events, who “weren’t there”? What will they be left believing?

  20. marym

    There doesn’t seem to be anything in the twitter thread indicating the source for a four year time frame for M4A. The original M4A bill (HR 676 – 2003-2018) had a 1-year implementation. The Jayapal 2019 re-write and the current (5/2023) bill have a 2 year implementation, unless I’m missing something in trying to read through those re-writes.

    Not at all to dispute the failures of Biden and the Democrats, but the pandemic plan illustrated in the tweet was for people without insurance, not a universal single payer plan. The Trump administration “stood up” the plan, along with other accommodations like Medicaid eligibility, in accordance with requirements and appropriations passed by Congress.

    Knowing how to do all this, having (a flawed patchwork of) existing programs in place to provide some infrastructure, and getting it done was the work of the federal workforce, which we can only hope – despite what Trump says about it – will still be there for any more ambitious expansion of public services that he may claim to support

  21. Creedmore

    Lex, worse, his V.P.

    Kamala Harris was the D.A. in San Francisco, 2004-2012 when she went out of her way to shield drug dealers from deportation.

    Sent them to a summer camp from which they walked away to sell more drugs.

    Now it’s multigenerational. Hundreds of local deaths from their product.
    Thanks Kamala.

    Excellent series from the San Francisco Chronicle:

    A housing boom in one area of Honduras, rooted in migration to the U.S., is being fueled by drug sales in San Francisco


    The article never mentions her once.

  22. Old Sarum

    “The poop knife”:

    In my contorted mindset this anecdote (sorta) constitutes one of the funniest arguments against home-schooling and why people who make the big decisions should have extensive experience of different cultures (and perhaps learn at least one foreign language to some degree) so that they can appreciate that things can be done differently .

    On the serious side it is always worth remembering Philip Larkin’s famous lines which I have bowdlerized:

    They BLEEP you up, your mum and dad. They may not mean to, but they do. And add some extra, just for you. And half at one another’s throats.


  23. Acacia

    Sharks circling, and they aren’t the ones that Nooners was fretting over.

    Two lawsuits against OpenAI reported in less than a week:

    Authors file a lawsuit against OpenAI for unlawfully ‘ingesting’ their books

    Sarah Silverman sues OpenAI and Meta claiming AI training infringed copyright

    In the first article, this paragraph is interesting:

    OpenAI has become “increasingly secretive” about its training data, said Saveri and Butterick. In papers released alongside early iterations of ChatGPT, OpenAI gave some clues as to the size of the “internet-based books corpora” it used as training material, which it called only “Books2”. The lawyers deduce that the size of this dataset – estimated to contain 294,000 titles – means the books could only be drawn from shadow libraries such as Library Genesis (LibGen) and Z-Library, through which books can be secured in bulk via torrent systems.

    If one of these cases goes into discovery, the contents of ‘Books2’ are revealed, and it turns out that OpenAI got material from LibGen or Z-Library, that could sink their ship.

    World’s tiniest violin plays as S.S. OpenAI hits an iceberg.

  24. CanCyn

    With regard to not trusting the airlines ….”If they can’t clean up bloody feces, why assume they took the shrink wrap off HEPA filters?” That was my thought exactly when I heard about the Air France incident, I would add, why trust them to change the filters when they’re supposed to be changed? Given the airlines’ untrustworthiness and the people inevitably travelling while sick, everyone really should be masking while travelling by plane, train, bus or boat. Surely travel is the one of if not the major way to catch COVID (or some other airborne virus). I have taken exactly 2 domestic flights since the pandemic started and I have masked up and forgone food and water for the duration of those flights. My sister is a traveller and throughout her life almost always come home from a trip by air travel with a cold or flu. Thanks to that I was leery of plane travel long before COVID struck.

  25. The Rev Kev

    Listening to what Obama had to say to his daughter, I began to wonder if that conversation ever took place. Certainly I thought of him boasting how he cause oil production to boom – which Lambert linked to below – and if his daughter actually knew that. But I saw that Obama was a true Democrat here with his two mentioned pieces of advice – just ‘keep on fighting’ and using the power of incrementalism.

    1. marcyincny

      It was odd. I kept thinking he was making it up as he went along.

      Still in the end it’s a rather frightening demonstration of the fundamentally sociopathic attitude so many people have regarding global warming, a pandemic, war…

      1. petal

        It’s been hairy. Listened to the area dispatcher last night-it covers a lot of towns and a decent chunk of area. A cop or FF came on and said “Bridge washed away at 16:37” and I thought “Going to be a rough night”. Lots of washouts and roads under water, flooded basements, trees and lines down. Not even going to get into the dam situations. A friend’s son was kayaking in his yard over in Woodstock. We’ve had 13″ of rain since June 1st and it’s rained nearly every day. Ground is saturated. Then this system came along.

  26. Darthbobber

    An amusing bit of Remnick silliness from the Kennedy hit piece.
    “Experience of attending conventions and being around politics is not the same as being involved in the making of policy, either as an executive or as a legislator or as a governor. Are you saying that that kind of experience is not necessary to be President of the United States? The one President I can think of who hasn’t had any experience at that level is Donald Trump.”
    I can think immediately of presidents Taylor, Grant, and Eisenhower.

  27. britzklieg

    I never thought of using a knife, and don’t think I ever would have. Too close for comfort that.

  28. Pat

    In all the news fit to print news NY Times shutters sports department
    It was probably planned for a while. They haven’t been replacing staff per USA Today. They also bought a sports web site “The Athletic”, to which they will be sending readers.
    Not a fan of The NY Times, but every instinct I have tells me this is just going to accelerate its decline.

Comments are closed.