2:00PM Water Cooler 7/19/2023

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Bird Song of the Day

Mexican Whip-poor-will, Chloride Creek (Gila NF 226), Sierra, New Mexico, United States.

* * *


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

Biden Administration

“White House Says COVID Testing Protocols Still in Place After Israeli Delegation Members Test Positive” [C-SPAN]. Karine Jean-Pierre: “As you know, we have testing protocols any time somebody meet with the President.”

They know. They just don’t want you to know. Their lives and health matter. Yours don’t. It couldn’t be more clear.


Time for the Countdown Clock!

* * *

“Why is Joe Biden so unpopular?” [Yahoo News]. “At this point in his term — about 910 days in — Joe Biden is the second-most-unpopular president in modern U.S. history. As of July 18, Biden’s average job-approval rating, according to the poll aggregators at FiveThirtyEight, is a paltry 39.1%; his average disapproval rating is 55.4%. That means his ‘net approval rating’ is -16.3%, which is well ‘underwater,’ as pollsters like to say. Negative 16.3% is also really bad historically speaking. In fact, the only president with weaker numbers than Biden was Jimmy Carter, who hit -28.6% on day 910…. In the past, a president’s standing has tended to improve along with conditions in the country. Yet Biden’s numbers haven’t budged; since September 2022, his approval rating has remained mired around 40% while his disapproval rating has never broken out of the low to mid-50s. The question is why. Is it something systemic — the way Americans are increasingly stuck in their own partisan media bubbles and unwilling to give presidents of the opposing party any credit? Is it the economy — the way certain indicators (such as real wages and the cost of services) have yet to fully recover even as the overall picture brightens? Or is it Biden himself — his advanced age, his frequent gaffes, his ongoing family drama? And can the president turn things around in time for the 2024 election?” • Because Joe Biden owes me six hundred bucks.

* * *

“‘Here to help’: Pete Buttigieg, federal officials survey Vermont’s flood damage” [VT Digger]. • Next, East Palestine?

“Newsom’s mental health plan would take $700 million away from services, redirect money to housing homeless” [FOX]. • Taking money away from the NGOs, and giving it to the construction unions?

* * *

“If not DeSantis, who? Five alternatives to Trump for the GOP nomination” [The Hill]. • Scott, Haley, Ramaswamy, Christie, None of the above (Youngkin, Kemp, Pence). “Trump has to be buoyed by the lack of any one person who is really endangering his march toward the nomination.”

“Tim Scott-boosting super PAC drops $40 million in fall ad reservations”” [Politico]. “A super PAC aligned with Sen. Tim Scott is dropping $40 million in fall ad reservations, the largest buy of the presidential race so far… The new television and digital advertisements are set to start running Sept. 7 — just after the super PAC’s $7 million summer ad campaign winds down — and will go through January. The television ads will run in the early nominating states of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina — as well as on national cable networks — just as the primary debate season is underway. Scott remains locked in a slow-moving fight with a handful of other candidates for the No. 3 spot in the GOP primary. He is under pressure to boost his name recognition with voters to advance in the polls.”

“Youngkin administration halts teacher diversity grants legislators had funded” [Daily Progress]. “The Virginia Department of Education under the Youngkin administration halted the dissemination of grants intended to help provisionally licensed teachers of color receive their full teaching license, despite funding from the state legislature…. The administration has also made a point to roll back diversity efforts. One month after his inauguration, Youngkin’s new education department scrapped dozens of resources for schools on the department’s website aimed at promoting diversity and equity, calling them divisive and at times discriminatory. Virginia’s chief diversity official, Martin Brown, slammed diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) initiatives at a Virginia Military Institute event in April and said ‘DEI is dead.'” • Youngkin quietly getting boxes checked, with this and also with the next–

“Virginia Department of Education Releases Model Policies to Ensure Privacy, Dignity, and Respect for All Students and Parents in Virginia’s Public Schools” [Virginia Department of Education]. “After the 2021 Model Policies purposefully kept parents in the dark about their child’s health and wellbeing at school, the 2023 Model Policies restore parental rights in decision making about their child’s identity while protecting the safety and dignity of all students.”

* * *

“Barack Obama, in TikTok starring Kankakee Public Library staffers, launches drive against book bans” [Lynn Sweet, Chicago Sun-Times]. “Book bans are brewing as an issue that could energize voters — on the left and right — from local contests for library and school boards to the White House — heading into the 2024 election cycle. Texas, Florida, Missouri, Utah and South Carolina — all red states — are where book bans are most common. Blue Illinois in June became the first state in the nation to protect libraries from, according to the legislation, ‘attempts to ban, remove or otherwise restrict access to books or other materials.’ The new law, driven by Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulias and signed by Gov. J.B. Pritzker — both Democrats ahead of the curve on this — came as the Chicago-based American Library Association said that in 2022 in Illinois, there were 67 attempts to ban books.'” • Hmm.

Good for Williamson, especially since Jayapal just got kneecapped for a much milder statement:

2020 Post Mortem

“Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel Charges 16 ‘False Electors’ with Election Law and Forgery Felonies” (press release) [Michigan Department of Attorney General]. July 18:

These defendants are alleged to have met covertly in the basement of the Michigan Republican Party headquarters on December 14th, and signed their names to multiple certificates stating they were the “duly elected and qualified electors for President and Vice President of the United States of America for the State of Michigan.” These false documents were then transmitted to the United States Senate and National Archives in a coordinated effort to award the state’s electoral votes to the candidate of their choosing, in place of the candidates actually elected by the people of Michigan.

“The evidence will demonstrate there was no legal authority for the false electors to purport to act as ‘duly elected presidential electors’ and execute the false electoral documents,” Nessel continued. “Every serious challenge to the election had been denied, dismissed, or otherwise rejected by the time the false electors convened. There was no legitimate legal avenue or plausible use of such a document or an alternative slate of electors. There was only the desperate effort of these defendants, who we have charged with deliberately attempting to interfere with and overturn our free and fair election process, and along with it, the will of millions of Michigan voters. That the effort failed and democracy prevailed does not erase the crimes of those who enacted the false electors plot.”

I will have to understand the actual case better. The first thing that strikes me is the age of the defendants: 55, 55, 56, 64, 65, 68, 69, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 75, 76, 81, and 82. This New Yorker puff-piece, in an unrelated incident, appeared July 17–

“How Gretchen Whitmer Made Michigan a Democratic Stronghold” [Benjamin Wallace-Wells, The New Yorker]. “She endured an armed mob at the state capitol and a plot by a group linked to a right-wing militia to kidnap and kill her. Last November, Whitmer tied her candidacy to a state constitutional amendment guaranteeing the right to abortion and won reëlection by ten points, sweeping the suburbs so convincingly that the Democrats gained control of both houses of the Michigan legislature for the first time in forty years. Since then, Whitmer’s Democratic majority has allocated more than a billion dollars to support the auto industry’s green transition; quintupled a tax credit for poor families; repealed a law that made Michigan a right-to-work state; and enacted new protections for L.G.B.T.Q. people. After a forty-three-year-old local man went on a shooting spree at Michigan State University, in February, killing three students, some modest, if hard-won, gun-control measures were put in place.” • About that “plot by a group linked to a right-wing militia to kidnap and kill her”: “We Shouldn’t Trust the FBI’s Narrative on the Gretchen Whitmer Kidnapping Scheme,” and “The FBI Allegedly Used At Least 12 Informants In The Michigan Kidnapping Case.” Amazing, or not, that Wallace-Wells erases that part (if indeed the erasure was his). So the spooks and the press love Whitmer. Good, right?

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.

* * *

“A new strategy to take on AIPAC: Actually take them on” [Ryan Grim]. “But contra the chilling effect AIPAC may be having nationwide, one challenger to an incumbent Democrat in Houston is taking the polar opposite approach. Pervez Agwan is running against the AIPAC-endorsed Rep. Lizzie Fletcher as an ‘unapologetically progressive Dem’ and criticizing Fletcher for taking money from AIPAC, hoping to turn any impending spending against him into a weakness for Fletcher. ‘To take money from a lobbying group that dictates your foreign policy, I think it’s completely unacceptable,’ Agwan told The Intercept in an interview. ‘I do not think it’s OK to take money from a group that openly keeps an apartheid system and an open-air prison where people’s rights are violated.'”


“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!

* * *

Look for the Helpers

Via MN, “super cool citizen science covid data effort”:

The whole thread is worth a read to see what they do; Iowa COVID-19 Tracker (above) has a similar approach and level of effort.

Censorship and Propaganda

I remain agnostic over whether “Proximal Origins” is how “science” is done at a high level, regardless of topic. What does seem clear is that Science‘s reporting on the matter — which, to be fair, would involved Science covering itself, and the press is never part of the story – was sub-optimal from a public health perspective:

However, to repeat what I said earlier today, Covid has shown how often people focus on what they can see; I do it too. In this case, what people can see is Anderson, Fauci, Collins, et al. So that’s where the story goes. What people do not see is, as it were, the negative space, which structures everything, as negative space will do: The unnamed “higher-ups,” and “intel” (the latter seemingly involved from jump). Hopefully we’ll get a little more insight into the unseeable, and the unsayable, as the story rumbles on.


“The Challenges of Defining, Understanding, and Addressing Long COVID” [Pfizer (!!)]. “7 Hypotheses on Long COVID’s Cause… 1. Viral Persistence; 2. Immune Dysregulation; 3. Latent virus reactivation; 4. Autoimmunity; 5. Microclots; 6. Dysfunctional Neurological Signaling; 7. Disruption of the Microbiome.” And: “After carefully considering each one, [Magdia De Jesus, PhD, Director of Scientific Strategy and Portfolio Lead in Pfizer’s Worldwide Medical and Safety Division] flags the two hypotheses that scientists seem to be addressing first: Viral Persistence and Immune Dysregulation, which have several ongoing clinical trials. Although the other hypotheses are being addressed, scientists are taking a stepwise approach to their research because of long COVID’s complexity.” • Good news, Long Covid is legit. Bad news, Pfizer did the legitimating. Commentary:


“Professor believes nasal spray invention prevented him getting Covid” [News.com]. “The spray’s key ingredient is the drug heparin, which is an anticoagulant — or blood thinner — that stops your blood from forming clots or making them bigger, according to the Cleveland Clinic…. According to Prof [Don] Campbell, health experts have known for 20 years the drug could also be used to block the proliferation of influenza in laboratory cultures. He thought a similar concept could work for blocking Covid…. After several unsuccessful attempts at securing funding, the researchers were finally able to secure $4.2 million from the Andrews government… The Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, University of Melbourne, Monash University and The Northern Hospital are looking for 400 families to trial the solution — but this has been a challenge…. Prof Campbell reassured the use of heparin is safe given it’s the second most widely used drug in the world that’s been used as an intravenous anticoagulant for eight decades. ‘If you’ve been using something for 80 years, and it’s the second most widely used drug on Earth, we know all about it,’ he said.” • Hmm.

“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.

* * *

* * *

Case Data

NOT UPDATED From BioBot wastewater data, July 17:

Lambert here: A distinct upward trend. Not seeing the upward slope of doubling behavior, but we are now — just scan the chart backward — at a level above every previous valley.

Regional data:

Interestingly, the upswing begins before July 4, which neither accelerates nor retards it.

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

From CDC NCIRD Surveillance, July 15:

Lambert here: Notice the slight increase.

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, July 17:

1.1%. Going up, though the absolute numbers are still very small relative to June 2022, say. Interestingly, these do not correlate with the regional figures for wastewater. (It would be interesting to survey this population generally; these are people who, despite a tsunami of official propaganda and enormous peer pressure, went and got tested anyhow.)

NOT UPDATED From CDC, June 26:

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, July 12:

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: 1,168,944 – 1,168,9141,168,414 = 30 (30 * 365 = 10950 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

The Economist, July 19:

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.

* * *

The Bezzle: “Nasdaq pauses crypto custody plans citing the ‘shifting’ regulatory climate” [CNBC]. “Nasdaq is pausing its plans to release a crypto custody business, CEO Adena Friedman said on the company’s earnings call Wednesday. ‘Considering the shifting business and regulatory environment in the US, we’ve made the decision to halt our launch of the U.S. digital assets custodian business and our related efforts to pursue a relevant license,’ she said. ‘However, we continue to build and deliver technology capabilities that position Nasdaq as a leading digital asset software solutions provider to the broader global industry.’ Nasdaq still provides the company listing for Coinbase and filed the paperwork for recent bitcoin ETF applications from BlackRock and others.”

* * *

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 84 Extreme Greed (previous close: 82 Extreme Greed) [CNN]. One week ago: 80 (Extreme Greed). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Jul 19 at 1:31 PM ET.

The Conservatory

“Where Johnny Cash Came From” [Humanities]. “Cash’s roots were humble. He grew up on government-granted land in the Arkansas Delta, and that hardscrabble world of poor farmers helped define his musical career. During his early years as a musician, he performed for small audiences like the Merigold High School junior class in Merigold, Mississippi, a Delta town with a population of 664. In 1955, the class planned a fund-raiser to support their trip to Washington and invited Elvis Presley to perform at the event. Their classmate Larry Speakes—who later served as White House press secretary during the Ronald Reagan administration—and his band had recently played on the same stage with Elvis at Ellis Auditorium in Memphis, where he met Bob Neal, Presley’s manager at the time. Speakes phoned Neal, who told him that Presley’s fee to do the show would be $85, which Speakes said they could not afford. Neal then offered to send both Johnny Cash and Carl Perkins for $35, and Speakes readily accepted. The legendary concert was in the school gymnasium, which was built by the New Deal Works Progress Administration in 1938. It drew a sellout audience of 400, and tickets sold for 60 cents each.” • Musical interlude:

The Gallery



The second portrait, to me, is the only that only Degas could have painted. Not a grey area at all…

Zeitgeist Watch

Pool report:

“Skater Girls Are Having All The Fun” [Byline]. “When I was 6 years old, there was nothing I wanted more than to be a skater boy. I loved every part of the skateboarding culture, from the busted boards and sticker-covered helmets to the 00s punk music that blared from boomboxes at the skatepark and the ever-present bottles of Mountain Dew and Monster. My dream never really came true. Sure, I learned how to get up on a board and push off, and I managed to steer myself cautiously around the flat parts of the park while my older brother yelled, “Faster! You have to go faster!” But I never skated the way I saw all the older boys skating—plunging into the bowl, grinding rails, speeding down the sidewalk, and wiping out spectacularly after a wheel ran over an unseen pebble.” • Since “wiping out spectacularly” involves crashing into impermeable surfaces like concrete, the whole enterprise strikes me as just as nutty as, say, skiiing. Then again, I lived in Philly of Love Park fame, the whole enterprise strikes me as harmless, and actually rather sweet. And then again: “‘I was skating alone constantly and wanted women to join, not only because of the constant unwanted male attention you get as a woman on a skateboard but because it was something I loved so deeply and wished I could share with other women,’ Osinski told Amadeus Magazine. ‘Thanks to my lucky stars, after a few months of recruiting random women for group skates, I finally met the most magical women who all loved skating and wanted to create a movement of empowering women through skate just as much as I did.'” • So perhaps not so sweet. Still, “empowering women” through skateboarding? Some, I suppose….

News of the Wired

“Welcome to BookWyrm” [BookWyrm]. “BookWyrm is a social network for tracking your reading, talking about books, writing reviews, and discovering what to read next. Federation allows BookWyrm users to join small, trusted communities that can connect with one another, and with other ActivityPub services like Mastodon and Pleroma.” • Interesting?

* * *

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 Paul Riche:

Paul Riche writes: “Beautiful ‘Queen of the Night’ in my neighbor’s garden this morning.”

* * *

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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. antidlc


    “the two hypotheses that scientists seem to be addressing first: Viral Persistence and Immune Dysregulation”

    From the article:

    Immune Dysregulation
    Studies looking at immune dysregulation, which occurs when the body can’t control an immune response,10 in individuals with long COVID have found T-cell alterations, including exhausted T cells and reduced CD4+ central memory cells.11 Studies have also reported “highly activated innate immune cells,” but a lack of naive T and B cells.12 These cells all play an important role in helping the immune system fight off current and future infections.12</blockquote>

    (bold mine)

    1. Terry Flynn

      Both of those two phenomena are being investigated in my case. There are huge auto-immune type things going on…..but simultaneously a suspicion that my body simply hasn’t cleared an infection or has allowed reactivation of an infection like EPV*. Indeed around 2010, shortly after I moved down under, I got a persistent virus that wouldn’t clear. They refused to rule out re-activation of EPV. Which was news to me when then asked when I’d had glandular fever.

      “Never”. “Errr, you have the antibody, and we’re fairly sure this isn’t a recent infection”. Then I joined dots about an illness I never saw doc about in my 20s and realised I’d had it, but never got clinical confirmation.

      * All the usual suspects have been ruled out but my white blood cells strongly suggest they’re in constant battle with something. I’m only now getting to stage where specialists are beginning to suggest the kind of tests mentioned here to get a more detailed picture as to what on earth is going on.

    2. Raymond Sim

      I have been puzzled as to why dysautonomia and cognitive dysfunction seem to be linked to immune dysregulation.

      But I’ve recently learned that the immune system is involved in regulation of bloodflow in the brain, an autonomous function which, of course, has direct influence on cognitive functioning.

      As bad as “immune dysregulation” sounds, its ramifications may be wider than one might intuit, and the dangers of the phenomena Leonardi’s been warning of consequently that much greater. : )

  2. Mark Gisleson

    In 1979, American labor union hair was on fire over Carter’s unpopularity, inflation, and Carter’s weak presidency in general. The party closed ranks around Carter (ignoring his all but certain defeat at the hands of DONALD FREAKING TRUMP er, I mean Ronald Reagan, and they have never stopped closing ranks. Being a party Democrat is a careerist career choice now; volunteers should just shut up, grab a sign and stand on their assigned street corner.

    1. pretzelattack

      you mean by helping cover up the October Surprise, or using the New York Times to destabilize the Carter presidency? that’s closing ranks around Carter?

    2. Henry Moon Pie

      And then there was the price of gas. (Poorly presented chart IMHO, but the data is there.) Iran started to fall apart in 1977, something I remember personally. My spouse and I would meet on lower Connecticut Ave. and take the bus that went up Mass Ave. Most evenings, it was slowed down because of demonstrations at the Iranian embassy along the way.

      Those Iranian troubles led to cuts in Iranian output and a rise in gas prices. Those were the days of the 55 MPH speed limit, Bandit and that cute Sally Field, and a lot of unhappiness in Happy Motoring America.

    3. Watt4Bob

      Someone has to answer the disingenuous question; “Why is Biden so unpopular?”

      There’s a lot of folks who remember all Biden’s nasty history, how he treated Anita Hill, paving the way for Clarence, carrying water for the efforts of the FIRE sector’s takeover of our country, Bankruptcy ‘reform‘, including the inability of those laboring under the burden of Student Loans to find relief in bankruptcy.

      Then there is the way Biden was foisted on the electorate by the crooked efforts of the DNC et al, cheating us of the only real choice we’ve ever been offered in my life time, Bernie Sanders.

      The reason Biden is unpopular, is that he represents in total, as much as any one human being possibly could, the total history of American politics capture by the 1%, and their subsequent destruction of anything resembling government involvement in material benefits for the 99%.

      Biden is unpopular because he’s a drag, a well known drag, and anyone asking that question is most likely a drag, and part of the ‘problem‘.

      1. Acacia

        Just all-around nasty.

        …to which everybody I know replies: “b-b-ut Trump !!!!”


          1. Acacia

            Heh. I would love to say that, but I would be unfriended by many.

            It’s already happened once, and more recently I was actually “put on notice” by another friend, that I would be sh*tlisted forever if I voted for the evil Orange Man. Of course, I have no such intention, but the prevailing attitude amongst left-libs seems to have morphed into a total intolerance for any “questioning” of the matter.

            Am fairly sure I’m not alone, and something similar is playing out across the land, as the non-media-addled collide with those who are struggling with PTDS (a.k.a. post-TDS).

          2. Not Qualified to Comment

            A nation that has to choose between Biden or Trump deserves what it gets.

      2. Henry Moon Pie

        We’re not doing lesser of two evils this time. It jumped the shark long ago.

        This time, we’re doing lesser of two nightmares.

        1. JBird4049

          But they don’t believe that Biden is a nightmare, which is the problem.

          It’s like when Joseph Stalin was transmogrified into good old Uncle Joe Stalin with the true believers refusing to accept the Great Purge or the Gulags. I am not saying that Biden is that bad, but his worshippers reminds me of this.

      3. Michael Fiorillo

        I consider Obama a chameleon-like confidence man, and share your feelings about Uncle Joe, but how was Obama’s convincing Klobuchar and Buttigieg to drop out (and presumably Warren to remain in, splitting the “Progressive” vote) cheating, and not basic political arithmetic and interest-serving, i.e. typical politics?

        If the Sanders campaign didn’t have the political juice to anticipate and counteract that inevitable ganging-up, that suggests a failure of strategy and/or an insufficient political base. Cheating, per se, had nothing to do with that particular episode.

        If you think those D primaries were “cheating,” just imagine what they’d have done to Sanders in the unlikely event he’d been elected President. Why, they might have even accused him of being a Russian asset…

        1. ambrit

          I can hear the smears now; “Sanders comes from right next door to the People’s Republic of Quebec!” Etc.
          Sanders is a nice guy, but American national politics requires a bit more in the ‘assertive assets’ category than he has shown. He should have reminded himself that he works in the District of Colombia. If he wanted a “good friend,” he should have gotten a dog. (Not that “Creepy” Joe Biden doesn’t display all the attributes of an “Old Hound Dog.” He is often caught ‘sniffing’ around the young girls, like any old hound would.)
          It won’t happen, but I’ll bet that “Creepy” Joe could check off the boxes for the invocation of the 25th Amendment. [That Kamala hasn’t tried yet tells us something interesting.]
          Stay safe, run ‘parallel.’

        2. Acacia

          a failure of strategy and/or an insufficient political base

          Or it could have been plain ole sheepdogging.

      4. Darthbobber

        I love their assumption that things are spiffy in the nation. 2014-2016 we got a lot of “why isn’t Obama getting more credit for this great economy?” articles. About 2018 we were treated to a few about why Trump wasn’t more popular, given the same wonderful economy. Now we hear that Biden is doing badly despite the booming economy.

        Perhaps the aggregated numbers they like to interpret as “folks” doing well don’t actually measure anything of the kind? Maybe the exaggerated claims about being more transformative than the New Deal set the administration up to fail, since it was never going to be that? Maybe the measurable worsening of everything from climate change to reproductive rights figures into how people evaluate the state of the nation?

        With about 70% believing the country’s headed in the wrong direction, it would be odd if the helmsman were popular.

        1. Jonathan King

          Thank you for completing George Harrison’s line from A Hard Day’s Night. It was ringing in my ears.

      5. ChrisPacific

        My list would go in rough priority order:

        1. Endless escalation with Russia with no off ramp, possibly all the way to World War 3 (he has at least resisted throwing NATO in officially but like Russia says, they aren’t fooling anybody)
        2. Blocking Medicare for All in the middle of a pandemic
        3. Making only the barest of token efforts to codify Roe vs. Wade in response to the court decision
        4. “Nothing will fundamentally change”
        5. Tinkering around the edges on student loans and failing, rather than tackling the real problem of higher education funding generally
        6. Class embodiment of the types who ask why a president might possibly be unpopular given how swimmingly everything is going, and appear to mean it

        Feel free to add to the list.

        1. griffen

          adding on to the excellent points above

          7. Inflation at record levels not seen in 40 years. It’s not entirely fair to blame all on Biden, but his energy policy was a joke upon entering office. End fossil fuels oh wait a sec…
          8. Continuing to tout the jobs growth as all due his Admin ( no other factor at play )
          9. Joe owes us all $600 inflation adjusted
          10. While stock market returns impact more than the wealthy, Retirees and Pensioners felt the mark of a horrid year of investment returns in 2022. Not entirely Joe’s fault but nonetheless worth a mention

    4. Darthbobber

      Though first a lot of them backed Kennedy’s primary campaign. The Machinist delegates, among others, staged a walkout for Carter’s renomination.

      1. Mark Gisleson

        Yet the head of the Machinists union in Iowa was one of Kennedy in ’80’s strongest backers.

        Until that election I didn’t realize the Democrats were more than just the people who came to county meetings. When the folks at the national level weighed in, we were made to feel like we were desecrating the temple…

        1. Darthbobber

          The IAM president, Winpisinger, was a DSOC/DSA guy. Wimpy was his nickname. I was still living in Wichita and when he came in to address the lodge of the Boeing, Raytheon and Cessna workers we arranged to have him speak over at Wichita State’s college of business administration. Kiddies looked at him like he had three heads. Great one liners like “workin’ stiffs never got nuthin’ we didn’t have to break the law to get.” He was big on pushing economic conversion of defense industries to civilian purposes, and funded several studies demonstrating that military Keynesianism was no longer a job creator.

          1. Mark Gisleson

            Wimpy was one of my heroes. Albert Shanker too. That era ended way too long ago, we’re overdue for a revival. Maybe we can set his life to music and put it on Broadway: Winpisinger!

        2. rowlf

          As a former sprocket head member (International Association of Machinists) at Cobra Airlines, too militant for Frank Lorenzo to go after, we thought the union was bought and paid for.

          We dumped them in the late 1990s for another union.

          The Democratic party doesn’t represent labor, just like they do not represent reproductive rights.

  3. Carolinian

    Why is Biden unpopular…if you have to ask you probably won’t like the answer.

    And reviews are out for Oppenheimer. This one is pretty good.


    For those who prefer the non IMAX version the goto book is Richard Rhodes’ The Making of the Atomic Bomb. Rhodes picks Leo Szilard as his main character. Oppenheimer supervised the design of the bombs themselves but there were many other moving parts.

    Szilard visited my town and implored Jimmy Byrnes to stop Truman from dropping the bomb. Hitler had been defeated. Byrnes turned him down since he and Truman saw Russia as the new public enemy.

    And maybe Japan would have kept on fighting. Or maybe not. An old guy I knew who flew off carriers in the Pacific said Truman saved his life.

    1. griffen

      I’m looking forward to this film, primarily because of several reviews and also what Nolan might be able to achieve with the material. Throw in a list of serious acting talent as well.

      Yeah we tend to have them debates every so often. Always wish that I asked my grandfather questions about Iwo Jima, or perhaps Okinawa, as I am not certain where he would have been with the Navy.

      1. Carolinian

        I’m a bit of an a-bomb buff and have been to both Los Alamos (not too interesting but there’s a museum) and Oak Ridge (ditto but you can go in a historic reactor buiding). I’m not sure you can go to Hanford but St. Clair and his co-editor did go by it in a rubber boat. When i was in high school I was part of a group that went to Savannah River Site near Aiken. They made tritium for the H-bomb. Think it’s now inactive. Had to put on a radiation badge but not Sat. Night Live’s yellow booties.

        So for some of us this is a pretty familiar topic and while I have nothing against Nolan I wonder what his bravura technique brings to the table. To me the interesting thing about the story of the bomb is the making of it. That part is truly worth telling but maybe not so cinematic.

  4. Terry Flynn

    Bookwym sounds interesting. I’ll try to check it out. I’m curious as to whether it “keeps recommendations siloed according to one type of book you read” (e.g. for me, a lot of the non-fiction stuff on economics/politics etc as one group, fiction which might have social commentary like Terry Pratchett as another, and finally crime fiction that I only really came into in last few years as a 3rd)…OR….whether the federated structure can go aginst type and accommodate an algorithm that “links me with people who cross similar siloes, or even just some of them”.

    NC certainly shows lots of people who cross some of these siloes (Rev Kev springs to mind) so it’s natural to wonder (perhaps in line with some concerns Lambert has expressed over the siloisation of Mastodon compared to the broadness of Twitter) to what extent algorithms can “be more flexible”. Thanks for the suggestion.

    1. Martin Oline

      I may also check it out. I would like to recommend a site for those who read called literature-map.com. They are now calling it The Tourist Map To Literature, whatever that means. It is a very simple site where you enter an author’s name and when you hit enter it surrounds the name with others authors. It kind of looks like a snow globe until the names stop moving around. Their proximity to the name entered are authors that are most similar in style to the input author. I have often used it when I reach a dry hole in my reading. https://www.literature-map.com/

      1. aletheia33

        i’ve discovered this too. i continue to use it. have found really good writers i’d never heard of.

      2. Orlon Depitts

        I tend to read a lot of history. Most of the good books have a bibliography that leads to more subjects and authors.

    2. Robert Hahl

      The New York Review Books Classics series provides a lot of good novels. https://www.nyrb.com/collections/classics

      I have read at least six of these and liked them all, most recently: “A Month in the Country,” by J.L. Carr, about a WW I veteran uncovering a medieval church mural. This is the only novel by J.L. Carr republished by NY Review Classics, so very selective.

      “Nora Webster” by Colm Toibin, about an Irish widow.


      “Don’t Sleep There Are Snakes,” by Daniel Everett, a linguist missionary living with a tribe in the Brazilian Amazon.

      “The Possessed: Adventures with Russian Books and the People Who Read Them” by Elif Batuman, about getting a lit Ph.D.

      Coincidentally, both of the last two make fun of Noam Chomsky as a linguist.

      1. aletheia33

        this is a great series. unfortunately they have not kept them all in print. wonderful novels by writers around the world. mostly better than almost all USA fiction.

  5. Tom Stone

    I’ve been thinking a bit about bonehead mistakes, cackling Kamala and long Covid.
    Several instances of bonehead mistakes made by usually competent people have recently affected me ( Caught in time, luckily) and two people I know have mentioned similar instances recently without prompting.
    I’ve also listened to several recent clips of Ms Harris speaking and “Word Salad” is a good description, she is not coherent.
    And doesn’t seem to realize it.
    This is a Woman who went from polling at less than 2% in her home State to the Vice Presidency in a matter of Months.
    Willie Brown’s prize political protege.
    SF DA, Attorney General of California, US Senator, Vice President…A career typified by her uninhibited lust for power, hard work and a complete lack of ethics or morals.
    She was not a stupid Woman.
    Was not.
    We do know that she has had Covid and we do know that these days she is literally incoherent at times.
    Long Covid?
    It seems more likely than not.

    1. Arizona Slim

      People, be careful with this stuff.

      During just the first half of this year, I’ve had two notable cases of digestive upset, one of which was clearly caused by raw milk that had gone bad well before the sell-by date on the jug. The other? Let’s say that I have my suspicions.

      Slim is now firmly in the pasteurization camp when consuming dairy products.

      1. Terry Flynn

        Yeah I was puzzled by the strong defenders of it. Not that it is bad *per se*. It is that I really wouldn’t trust practically anybody these days to have maintained the extremely high standards required to ensure no nasties have got into the milk and are quietly growing. Crapification, as Yves would say.

        Thus I don’t want to be portrayed as “natural milk automatically bad”. However, I simply feel that society today is so broken that being sure of it being properly sourced/stored/etc is Russian Roulette. Farmer’s market near me (since we literally live 100 metres in front of a farm) has staff with stakes in the farm and who genuinely want to “do the right thing” but who can’t vouch for everything.

        1. chris

          Which I find fascinating given that people like the French have long standing processes involving raw milk and do not have issues with the resulting products. Are we really saying we can’t do what they’ve done for hundreds of years?

            1. chris

              Best Kountry EVAR(TM) for the win!

              I understand that’s what is being claimed, but I call BS on it. This literally isn’t an issue in much of the world. The French not only use raw milk, they don’t homogenize it either. But we can’t make that work? They were doing this before germ theory was a thing and we can’t make it work with all our tech and world class dairy farms? I don’t believe it.

              Now, if the answer is, we don’t know how do it and make enough money, OK. That I’ll accept.

            2. Amfortas the hippie

              with the caveat to Know Yer Farmer.
              produce is one thing…even cheese…but raw milk or meat?
              circumspection…and inspection if possible.
              Raw Milk Lady around here is as trustworthy as they come.
              but in Texas, she must pasturise for any off farm sales.
              (this she’ll go on and on about,lol)
              and, re: Inspection, above…she’ll happily show you around, and explain at great length what she does and why…after making you stand in bleach solution first.

              edited to add…her milk is the absolute best milk ive ever tasted…as is her butter(actual wooden churn for herself and her family)….all that butterfat in my mustache,lol
              i didnt care for the combucha…and her cheese was sort of bland(cheddar…i suggested trying cooler varieties…like Brie or Camembert(my faves))…but she admitted readily to being new to the cheesemaking at the time

              1. jhallc

                My uncle ran the family dairy farm in Western NY and always kept a pitcher of raw milk in the fridge straight out of the milk tank. It was probably loaded with butter fat but, I was a kid and it was yummy. Of course my uncle had a triple bypass in his 40’s so not sure how that worked for him.

        2. Pat

          Drinking no, but I would love to see some more movement where cheese production is concerned. The process itself can produce some decent protection, but it also is helpful in the good bacteria area when talking about artisanal cheeses. And it can be soooooo good.

        1. Mark Gisleson

          OK, I’ll say it for the whole group:


          Lowest form of humor, etc. but kudos for the three-syllable perfection.

          (next time use the ‘quote’ button for your pun, it gives management a chance to delete before publication ; )

      2. Raymond Sim

        When you were young did your family by any chance buy the raw milk from Llanduey Farm? Mine did. It really was delicious.

        I worked there after high school. I can say with confidence that there was virtually no chance of anyone ever contracting TB or similar ‘headline’ diseases from that milk. The boss was also absolutely scrupulous about keeping antibiotics out of the milk. However, we didn’t have a clue about Bovine Coronavirus. In retrospect it was probably one of the main challenges I faced trying to keep the calves healthy, and in light of recent reading I’ve done, I would prefer my family not be exposed to it.

        1. Arizona Slim

          No, we didn’t.

          The Slim family got delivery from Eachus Dairy, and then, after my mother started teaching school, she’d buy grocery store milk for my dad. Of the three of us, he was the main milk drinker.

          Nowadays, I’m a whole milk drinker and I like Strauss milk, which is sold at our local food co-op.

      3. Objective Ace

        While pasteurization has its obvious benefits I don’t understand the benefit of homogenatiom, from a consumers point of view at least. I wish more attention was given to that

      4. Acacia

        Slim is now firmly in the pasteurization camp when consuming dairy products.

        Dunno if you can find this around you, Slim, but there is also low temp pasteurized milk (usual process is 66°C for 30 mins). It won’t have all the goodness of raw milk, but certainly has some of it.

        On this subject, heard an illuminating anecdote from a Japanese guy who milks cows as a side job. Nationally, the #1 brand is the heavily-advertised “Meiji Oishii Gyunyu”, but before I knew better and used to buy that stuff, I started to wonder why it just never seems to spoil (kinda like those lait UHT “briques” you can find in the EU, that don’t even need to be refrigerated). According to my acquaintance, the Japanese companies that produce the low temp pasteurized milk do extensive testing, and if they get a batch that still contains bacteria above a certain threshold, they don’t use those batches, but instead sell them to Meiji, which then runs the milk through the usual pasteurization process again… yielding daburu-pasteurized “oishiii” milk that pretty much never spoils lol.

    2. hemeantwell

      I was helping a fellow working on our house, we were having a nice, light chat-while-you-work convo, and then somehow raw milk came up. Suddenly I was a word bag being filled to the brim. “You can put a spoon in it and it will keep standing!” Not much chatting after that.

  6. griffen

    If not DeSantis, is there anyone available to knock Donald Trump off that pedestal? Hello can anyone rid us of this classless, short fingered vulgarian!! ( Sarc )

    I’m not seeing much from those already in the race. Tim Scott has a background story that translates, the best I can tell. And then dear Nikki, bless her is all I can add. I was circling around to the notion of Pence but realize in recent interviews he makes drywall look charismatic and colorful. Dullard. So it’s shaping up to be, an old geezer vs another (somewhat less old) but still a geezer. No offense intended to those in that age territory, the offense is to the D and to the R leading lights for 2024.

    1. flora

      Tucker at the Turning Points convention reduced most of the field to “the seven dwarfs.” He asked each direct simple questions and let the candidate answer for as long as they liked. / my 2 cents.

      1. Mark Gisleson

        And I withdraw the marker I laid down earlier. Tucker may have helped Vivi[I’ll learn how to spell it when he hits 15% in the polls] but like most summer political events, this droplet has vanished into a sea of indifference. Nobody was made or broken by Tucker Carlson other than perhaps the news media debate moderator industry.

        Now thinking that the real challenge of 2024 might be in getting people to vote, period.

        1. Amfortas the hippie

          my Eldest(21, male, construction trades) gets his news from tiktok and podcasts as near as i can tell(ie: by listening in earbuds, not reading)…and he likes the Indian Guy(ill learn to say and spell it, too…and by your criteria).
          i made him watch a few vids of Cornell and RFK,jr, for balance.
          i havent taken the time to investigate the Indian Guy’s policies, if any…my bad,lol…but Eldest seems to like his economics.
          and remember, my son has been raised by one rabid new dealer and a Momma that ended up there.
          so ill hafta look into it….there has been a sort of trend within GOPland towards new dealish things, of late…altho i still remain skeptical of all that.
          a while back, Eldest came to me talking abt Jordan Frelling Peterson of all things…and i steered him away with reminders of Marcus Aurelius and other parts of the catechism he received at Amfortas’ Knee.

          1. Mark Gisleson

            A friend’s kid got sucked into Qwhatever and was upset but I told them not to be. Being interested in politics is what counts. Making bad choices is an excellent incentive for paying more attention in the future.

            Just make sure you share timely tips on how gaslighting works (and maybe focus on some of Jordan Peterson’s tactics without mentioning him by name). And yes, I would have been a terrible parent. I’m currently skinnerboxing myself, can’t begin to imagine the experiments I would have conducted on smaller versions of me. (of the two candidates, which one looks more in focus? click. Now which one?)

            1. ambrit

              “I’m currently skinnerboxing myself.” As in Skinner’s Raisin Bran? Or as in the original Sociological Quantum Personality experiments? [That would be a Skinner Schrodinger box. Is there a functional personality in the box or not? You won’t know until you open the box. Then the experiment is over, period! Live with it.]

              1. Amfortas the hippie

                see:Walden 2.
                i knew at 14 or so that it was a bad idea.
                ive done the Socratic Method with the boys since they could speak.
                worked out pretty well.
                both dont really read, but thats an artifact of the current version of post-post modernism, i reckon…the soup they swim in.
                eldest read tacitus, both julius caesar’s and herodatus before the fondleslab got him.
                youngest has read the short stories of Jack London and Hemingway(a clean, well lighted place)…and both have read Marcus Aurelius…under pain of starvation,lol.
                as well as Jonathan Livingston Seagull.
                so i reckon they had a better start than their peers, who have…to my knowledge…read nothing at all(save one kid, who is interested in philosophy(due to all the Delphic Aphorisms sticking out of the foliage around here)…he’s even borrowed books from my Library)

              2. Mark Gisleson

                Skinnerboxing myself as in designing my house so as to force me to use the stairs constantly and then parking my car for the pandemic so I have to walk everywhere. Not for everyone (OK, not for hardly anyone) but works for me and has been working. Workouts can be skipped but I have to read Naked Capitalism every morning and that gets me up those stairs. This workout can be maximized by drinking lots of fluids, preferably diuretics (black tea for me).

                Didn’t really mean to rat myself out and say outright that NC is the cheese at the end of my maze but yeah, this site is my exercise plan.

                1. ambrit

                  Synchronicity at work. A two layered ‘exercise’ plan. Layer one is the physical body, and layer two is the mind. Since an exercised body promotes physical brain health, (all that fresh blood coursing through the grey matter,) the mind has a better chance of attaining ‘peak’ efficiency and longevity.
                  I try to walk everywhere as well, but wonder at the distances you are comfortable with. For me, anything over two or two and a half miles each way prompts me to get the bicycle out. Balancing a backpack of items from the grocery while riding along adds balance training.
                  Anyway you look at it, a very positive plan.
                  Hydration is a problem here in the North American Deep South now that summer is fully here. I find that tea dries me out. Juices seem to get the sweat dripping off of me better than the tea. I still have a problem with drinking plain water. Why? Probably because I was spoiled as a kid. Sugary sweet gunk was ubiquitous. Even the breakfast cereals bragged about the ‘sweet’ factor.
                  Stay safe and healthy.

                  1. Mark Gisleson

                    I don’t do distance walking as it wasn’t good for me. My stores are just half a mile away. I get my exercise by ordering large cans of tomatoes a case at a time and then carrying them home. It’s amazing what that has done for my posture!

                    There are only [ominous music] thirteen steps to my staircase. Still not running up and downstairs, not even for my first helping of NC in the morning ; )

                    Oh, and every time IM Doctor shares a health tip, I take notes.

      2. The Rev Kev

        Came across a Jimmy Dore video where he was featuring Tucker Carlson interviewing Tim Scott. That “The Hill” article liked him but that video segment revealed him to be a real warwonger whose views would fit nicely between Victoria Nuland and Antony Blinken-

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5xUjIlibHB0 (13:29 mins)

        Almost as bad as Mike “That’s Not My Concern” Pence’s performance.

  7. flora

    B’s polling numbers.

    “In the past, a president’s standing has tended to improve along with conditions in the country. ”

    The article just answered its own question, but seems not to realize it. The writer needs to get out of their bubble and take a look around. / ;)

  8. Val

    From here, “Proximal Origins” was never science, but comedy in the classical sense: the actors are installed as functionally fixed objects and no one on the stage understands or learns anything. The only difference being that in the classical sense the audience is expected to learn something from the spectacle, and in our era the audience is prevented–or admonished for– trying to learn or know anything.

    So, we have now the ancient script. What have we learned?

    1. chris

      An interesting question that I have heard from the likes of Bret Weinstein and others, is if the virus was entirely zoonotic in origin than where is the population of intermediate reservoir mammals with nervous dysfunction like humans experienced? Where are the civets and monkeys and rats who can’t smell or taste in the wild, and therefore have suffered additional deaths because they can’t hunt or verify what they eating is good? Because one environment where such a problem would not be an issue to an animal is a lab. Regular supervised feedings would make issues with hunting and feeding largely irrelevant. Meaning this feature could evolve and the hosts wouldn’t have killed themselves in the process. Now, the science and selection behind all that is beyond me. But I find the question something that is so common sense that even if it isn’t relevant you’d need to explain why it doesn’t apply.

      I still say that the the burden of proof for a pure lab leak is high and hasn’t been met. But was the virus found in the wild, tweaked, and then accidentally escaped? Was it maybe known about in advance? Is there more to the story than we’ve been told? And will all the information needed to completely discredit US funding of the Wuhan lab and EcoHealth grants be conveniently lost? Yeah… all of that.

  9. ambrit

    I se the shift in the “Narrative” towards the dethroning of Fauci et. al., but nowhere do I see an attempt to disestablish the ‘Eco Health Alliance,’ the insular entity that directs a lot of the “questionable” funding. If the Ukraine bio-labs story pans out, then we have an ever morphing cloud of multiple entities and facilities where the Dark Lords do their evil works.
    I hope that Fauci learns to like it under the bus.

    1. flora

      What a career: propelled to medical stardom during the AIDS crisis and his refusal to allow an inexpensive working treatment, pushing the ineffective, expensive, AZT drug instead; and ending on the pandemic crisis.

      1. Art_DogCT

        I do not recall an ‘inexpensive working treatment’ for HIV that was available around the time of the introduction of AZT. There were endless treatments discussed and tried in those years, but I do not recall any that were a ‘working treatment’. My lack of recall may be an artifact of my drain bamage. In any event, what treatment are you speaking of, please?

        This is genuine curiosity, not a round-about attempt to deflect criticism of Fauci or AZT. (AZT was my first antiretroviral, luckily prescribed after it was realized the original strict 400mg every four hours regimen was 1) toxic, and 2) hellish.)

  10. CanCyn

    “Barack Obama, in TikTok starring Kankakee Public Library staffers…” As a librarian, albeit retired, it makes me want to hurl that fellow librarians would cozy up to Obama, no matter how worthy the cause. Blech!

  11. nippersdad

    So I have been wondering where the line between criticism of the Israeli state converges with antisemitism in the Venn Diagram, and Herzog as a very helpful answer to that question:

    “He warned of the line between criticism and antisemitism.

    “Questioning the Jewish people’s right to self-determination is not legitimate diplomacy, it is antisemitisim. Vilifying and attacking Jews, whether in Israel, in the United States, or anywhere in the world is antisemitism,” he said. “Antisemitism is a disgrace in every form, and I commend President Joe Biden for laying out the United States’ first-ever national strategy to combat antisemitism.”


    So, never. I’m glad he cleared that up for us. It was starting to get very confusing. Israel reserving unto itself the right to colonize the entire world without fear of criticism simplifies the issue considerably.

    1. britzklieg

      Alexander Cockburn once said that charges of antisemitism rise in direct proportion to the amount of slaughter Israel visits on the Palestinians.

    2. ambrit

      The subject of anti-semitism is a teachable moment in the arts of propaganda. Both in the promulgation of the animus against the “Chosen People,” and the counter propaganda of the “chosen people” theory itself.
      What few mention is that the present troubles in the Middle East stem from a power struggle between two theocracies; Wahhabism and Zionism. Add to that the still destructive effects of the Colonial Era state borders and we have the perfect mess.

      1. Carolinian

        My theocracy is better than your theocracy. I’d say we should be willing to accept lectures on antisemitism as long as the lecturers accept lectures on philosemitism. Believing that everyone of a certain race or religion is bad is no more prejudiced or dumb than believing that everyone of a particular race or religion is good or, if you will, “chosen.” Both are bad models of reality where humans are infinitely different and yet biologically much the same. Some of us would contend that Christianity gets closer to the reality mark with the “all are sinners” theme. Conceding that you aren’t perfect allows criticism.

        1. ambrit

          Given the degree to which ego sets the boundaries of discourse, conceding anything will be perceived as a sign of weakness and thus engender further aggressions.
          As we have seen lately in several venues, the old method of ‘fitting’ the model to “reality” has been inverted into fitting ‘reality’ to the “model.”
          People never seem to apprehend the dangers of “magical thinking” until doom overtakes them.

        2. hunkerdown

          No, Neoplatonism isn’t “reality”, it’s another slave ideology. To bend lives to live in someone else’s half-finished fictional drama is positively deranged.

    3. LifelongLib

      IIRC it was Woodrow Wilson who came up with the “right to self-determination” idea. Somebody else at the time said that idea would come back to bite us in the a__ (or more high-falutin’ words to the same effect). Think the latter guy had it right.

  12. Jason Boxman

    Welcome to BookWyrm

    Immediately to be used by the spooks to surveil readings of inappropriate books.

  13. Raymond Sim

    Back in 2020, using data from China. I reckoned that if overall incidence hit 2% then an hour of breathing the air in someplace like a grocery store would give you a 50/50 chance of infection. Within a week or so household transmission would start to dominate and there’d be a dramatic spike in reported cases.

    Subsequent events here in California, where I was following the reporting closely, seemed to validate this picture of transmission.

    The 1-in-55 and 1-in-57 numbers Cat in the Hat estimates for England and Wales are pretty darned close to 2%. If we’re looking at some novel immune evasion then I would expect England and Wales will soon see big spikes.

  14. Raymond Sim

    I see Stanford’s president has had to resign.

    I can’t claim gnosis, but I fear ‘Proximal Origins’ does not diverge from the normal conduct of high-level science nearly as much as I wish it did.

  15. Amfortas the hippie

    from the yahoo ‘why dont they love the Husk?” thing:
    ” Is it the economy — the way certain indicators (such as real wages and the cost of services) have yet to fully recover even as the overall picture brightens?”

    real wages,lol
    cost of services?
    “are the lumpen really worried about those old things? they should just look at their investment portfolio…”
    why did they leave out what i see at the grocery store?
    “we jess caint figger it out…”

    no mention of how we’re Winning in Ukraine, either…

    and, altho i havent read it(fixin to, bc im curious) right below this article is a link to one about how Fran Drescher(who?) is the Voice of Labor…a real Norma Jean!….but with one of the most annoying voices in a sitcom in my life…almost Urkle-Bad.
    so, yeah.
    what a time to be alive.

    1. ambrit

      Hey now. It’s like too many celluloid heroes have proclaimed right before performing mighty deeds of derring-do; “You want to live forever?”

  16. SG

    Since “wiping out spectacularly” involves crashing into impermeable surfaces like concrete, the whole enterprise strikes me as just as nutty as, say, skiiing.

    I realize things may be different in your neck of the woods, Lambert, but here in God’s Country snow is not an “impermeable surface”. ;-)

  17. ChrisRUEcon


    Don’t discount Tim Scott as Trump’s potential running mate. I remember well the 2020 RNC. Tim Scott gave a prominent speech on a night when Trump leaned in hard for the African American male vote – I think Senator Scott was one of at least three African American men who had highlighted roles that evening.

    1. ChrisRUEcon

      #COVID19 #Prevention #Heparin

      I am really into nasal spray interventions. I think they are right up there with masking to a certain degree. That Cell article with the graphic showing how COVID-19 infects the epithelial cells over the first six to 24 hours sold me. Look forward to the Heparin developments! Thanks for sharing!

  18. petal

    Lambert, just sent you my notes from the talk. I don’t know what to do with them. Sorry, they are very rough.
    I think I need a shower. Yuck.

    1. ChrisRUEcon

      This is what we have to kill …

      Bloomberg reported on an economist’s estimate in early June that “South Africa stands to lose as much as $32.4 billion in export revenue, almost a 10th of its gross domestic product, should some of its main trading partners retaliate against its unwillingness to take a stance against Russia’s war in Ukraine.” Although no Western country conveyed an intent to impose sanctions against South Africa if it doesn’t arrest President Putin, at least to the best of the public’s knowledge, the threat still remains in theory.

      … and this is why you hear all sorts of western liberal screeching about China in Africa.

  19. Randall Flagg

    “‘Here to help’: Pete Buttigieg, federal officials survey Vermont’s flood damage” [VT Digger]. • Next, East Palestine?

    Of course, what could be safer for Buttigeg than going to one of the bluest of blue states? Especially as the carnage in the Green Mountains is of the Mother Nature variety (setting aside for the moment man’s hand in contributing to the growing climate change events)

    Buttigeg going to East Palestine? That derailment is truly a man made disaster and deal with it would also lead to asking a lot questions about how it came to be. Questions leading down many paths to causes and answers that I speculate the administration does not want to go down. He would probably be taking a tremendous amount of heat from the locals if he goes there. A bad look.

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