2:00PM Water Cooler 7/21/2023

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Patient readers, I am late in starting because of a dinner engagement, from which I have emerged more than slightly plotzed. Hence, another short Water Cooler. –lambert

Bird Song of the Day

Eastern Whip-poor-will, 10 Miles South Of Meadow Portage, Manitoba, Canada. “Evening. Also: cattle, Wilson’s snipe, another whip-poor-will, horned owl[Four-hundred and seventeen examples of the “Whip-poor-will” Call of BNA or, more appropriately, the song of C. v. vociferus.” June 17, 1960, so really old school!

* * *


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

Capitol Seizure

“The ‘QAnon Shaman’ and other Capitol rioters who regret pleading guilty” [BBC]. “Shorn of the horned headdress, furs and face paint that helped earn him the nickname the QAnon Shaman, he was pleading guilty to obstructing an official proceeding. The charge stemmed from his part interrupting a joint session of Congress, and carried a maximum prison term of 20 years. ‘I am truly, truly repentant for my actions, because repentance is not just saying you’re sorry,’ he said. ‘Repentance is apologising and then moving in the exact opposite direction of the sin that you committed. In retrospect, I would do everything differently on January 6th.’ A judge called his apology ‘the most remarkable I’ve heard in 34 years’ and sentenced him to 41 months in prison – considerably less than the maximum allowed. Now more than a year-and-a-half later, Angeli is out of jail early, and his remorse is gone. ‘Regrets only weigh down the mind’ he told the BBC. ‘They’re like sandbags on a hot air balloon.’… His about-face is such that he is even taking his case back to court to ask his guilty plea to be reversed. And he is far from alone in changing his mind about the events at the Capitol. Since 6 January 2021, over 1,000 people have been charged over their participation in the riots, and almost half have pleaded guilty. But chatter on online forums and media coverage shows a small but growing number have started to have a change of heart. Emboldened by shifting views of the riots, some have sought to recast their actions, and even benefit from their notoriety.”

Biden Administration


Time for the Countdown Clock!

* * *

“How Trump commands the narrative of his own legal woes” [Axios]. “Former President Trump did it again Tuesday: He announced he was likely to be indicted before any announcement by prosecutors, allowing him to frame the news on his terms — and cast himself as a victim. The unusual strategy — most criminal defendants aren’t eager to publicize such things — allows Trump to minimize surprise among his supporters, go on the offensive against prosecutors, and continue to say he’s being targeted by a partisan ‘witch hunt’…. Trump’s preemptive announcements force his primary opponents on the record, as his supporters and conservative media pressure candidates to speak out for Trump…. ‘There is no such thing as ‘bad news’ in his view,’ [national security attorney Bradley Moss] said. ‘So long as he is the center of attention, he is fine with it.'” • What the heck is a “national security attorney,” and why do they believe their lane is electoral politics?

* * *

“Financial Problems Force Ron DeSantis Campaign To Fire Wife” [The Onion]. • Readers will recall that the press went into “pulling the wings of a fly” mode with a story on Casey DeSantis’s fashion sense. That story was the opening gun.

“Casey DeSantis shrugs off ‘Walmart Melania,’ ‘America’s Karen’ attacks from lefty critics” [New York Post]. “The mother of three and breast cancer survivor also held back tears as she opened up about her diagnosis.” • No doubt. Anybody else hate that “opened up” locution? To me, it’s a signal that a press agent was involved.

“There Is No Ron DeSantis 2.0” [Politico]. “If you expected a New Ron DeSantis to pop out of your TV screen in the course of his Tuesday afternoon interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper — a kinder, more gentle iteration of his brass knuckles and shrapnel persona — you got nothing. Despite his stalled position in the polls, his recent decision to dismiss almost ten campaign staffers due to a cash crunch, and a mixed report on his fundraising efforts, DeSantis remained true to the Old Ron DeSantis. Forget all the chatter that we might see a DeSantis 2.0. Rather than use a rare interview with a mainstream news organization to showcase a new strategy or tweak his image and broaden his appeal to the centrist CNN audience, DeSantis remained true to his own self. Pretending he was talking to a Fox News audience, he rearticulated his previously articulated positions on transgender people in the military (against). He voiced his views on the ‘woke mind virus’ (against). Abortion? (Against.) He dodged an invitation to endorse the possible prosecution of Donald Trump (‘I don’t think it serves us good to have a presidential election focused on what happened four years ago in January, so I want to focus on looking forward,’ DeSantis said of the news that special counsel Jack Smith seems prepared to charge Trump over events leading up to and following Jan. 6.)” • Readers know I don’t like DeSantis. At all. But…. Anybody remember the woodchipper scene in Fargo?

* * *

“No brotherly love for Biden as blue-collar workers slam ‘Bidenomics’ before Philly visit: ‘Still struggling'” [FOX]. “Just before his planned visit to the City of Brotherly Love, President Biden said wages were at their highest since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, but blue-collar workers there feel their income hasn’t improved much. ‘We’re still struggling. We could be better,’ Donny told Fox News. ‘Wages could be better.”.,.. Valerie said problems with the economy predated Biden. ‘I don’t feel like the president before him did anything, and he’s not doing anything,’ she told Fox News. ‘I feel like we’re still in the same rut that we were in. Like we haven’t move forward. We’re still stuck.'” • Some economic modeler should work out how Biden whacking more people than Trump affected the labor market…

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.

* * *

“Senate Dems pledge to stay out of UPS-Teamsters dispute” [Freight Waves]. • Profiles in courage!


“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

“Citizen engineering”:

I don’t understand why the antis haven’t come after CR boxes, but for whatever reason, they never have (at least insofar as I’m aware).


“A Patient’s Right to Masked Health Care Providers” [Bill of Health, Petrie-Flom Center at Harvard Law School]. “[P]olicies like Mass General’s, which at first explicitly and later implicitly discourage patients’ masking requests, create a conflict of interest by assigning the decision about whether a mask is legally necessary to the same person who decides whether they should wear one. Some doctors may refuse to mask because they believe that such a requirement violates their political beliefs, regardless of science. Others may simply believe that the “discomfort” of a mask is beneath them. If patients persist in asking their doctors to mask after an initial refusal, care may be discontinued, on the grounds that the physician-patient relationship has broken down. A notice that care will be discontinued must be provided within a reasonable time so that a patient can transfer care without any treatment interruption. In practice, “reasonable time” often means 30 days. Given nationwide physician shortages, a 30-day notice is generally insufficient to transfer care seamlessly. Many offices will not schedule a new patient appointment without first receiving a referral or medical records, which also take time to obtain. A 2022 survey of physician offices in 15 major metropolitan areas found that the average wait time to see, for example, a cardiologist, was 26.6 days. The possibility of discontinuation of care becomes a threat intended to ensure patient obedience.” More: “Enforcing a health care provider’s duty to mask should not be left to patients. Masking is an inherently charged subject with the potential to create tension in the patient-physician relationship. That conflict may compromise quality of care or create or exacerbate a patient’s medical trauma. High-risk patients with disabilities have suffered enough.” • Worth reading in full.

Covid is Airborne

“Clearing the Air on Air Changes per Hour: Time to Move On” [Joey Fox, It’s Airborne]. “Air changes per hour is not a meaningful value when assessing the concentration of pollutants. Its use when describing air cleaning equipment or recommended air cleaning rates is only relevant in a room with a specific volume and is not generalizable. Any use of it should be approached with suspicion. It can make small spaces appear to be low risk and very large spaces appear to be high risk, when the opposite is true. To assess the risk of a situation, a more appropriate metric, like airflow rate per person should be used, depending on the pollutant.” • Hmm. But the number of people in a room cannot be determined in advance. What am I missing here?


“Long COVID Is Disabling Kids. Why We Ignore It” [The Tyee]. “Surprisingly little research seems to have been done on the cognitive impact of long COVID on children and young adults…. [I]t seems likely that at least some children and young adults who contract COVID-19 suffer persistent neurological damage. Quite apart from the loneliness of school closures and the inadequacy of Zoom lessons, a substantial portion of the student-age population is dealing with COVID-induced impaired cognition, memory loss, anxiety and depression…. The chances of developing long COVID, complete with neurological damage, increase with reinfection. That means some percentage of the present cohort of students will be lost every week, every month, every year. Whatever they might have achieved without infection, their achievements will be hobbled, perhaps for life, by long COVID. At the same time, those who might address the problem are themselves dealing with it.”

“First major survey of doctors with Long Covid reveals debilitating impact on health, life and work” (press release) [BMA]. “Around 60% of doctors told the BMA that post-acute Covid ill health has impacted on their ability to carry out day-to-day activities on a regular basis; Almost one in five respondents (18%) reported that they were now unable to work due to their post-acute Covid ill-health; Less than one in three (31%) doctors said they were working full-time, compared to more than half (57%) before the onset of their illness; Nearly half (48%) said they have experienced some form of loss of earnings as a result of post-acute Covid.” • Yikes.

“Possible cancer-causing capacity of COVID-19: Is SARS-CoV-2 an oncogenic agent?” [Biochimie]. “[T]he cancer-related effects of SARS-CoV-2 proposed in this article are based on the ability of the virus and its proteins to cause cancer but that the long-term consequences of this infection will only be illustrated in the long run.” Something to look forward to! More: “SARS-CoV-2 infection affects many mechanisms that play a crucial role in cancer onset and progression including cell cycle regulation, the RAAS system and inflammation/proliferation signaling pathways.” • More research needed…

“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.

* * *

Elite Maleficence

Whinging about lockdowns:

* * *

Case Data

From BioBot wastewater data, July 20:

Lambert here: As before, 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.


From CDC, July 22:

Lambert here: EG.5 still on the leaderboard, but getting crowded out (?) by all those XBB’s.

From CDC, July 8:

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 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….


Iowa COVID-19 Tracker, July 19:

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: 1,169,139 – 1,169,029 = 110 (110 * 365 = 40,150 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 20:

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.

* * *

Shipping: “‘Big trouble’: Yellow truck drivers ponder next moves amid potential bankruptcy” [Freight Waves]. “From the Great Recession to 2020, Yellow nearly went bankrupt four times. In each episode, the trucking giant was saved — thanks to concessions from lenders, the Teamsters union, the federal government or often all three. As a result, some of Yellow’s 30,000 employees weren’t too scared when the company began warning this summer that the end times were coming again. ‘It’s like crying wolf at this point,’ Yellow mechanic Brian Atchely told FreightWaves earlier this month. Now — as a strike looms, customers begin to pull freight and the Teamsters union refuses to offer concessions — industry watchers are on alert that the trucking fleet may finally shutter. Ahead of a federal court hearing on Friday, Yellow said a work stoppage could force the company into a Chapter 7 liquidation bankruptcy proceeding. Truck drivers are grappling with the idea that they could lose their jobs. Some 22,000 Teamsters members work at Yellow. ”

* * *

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 82 Extreme Greed (previous close: 80 Extreme Greed) [CNN]. One week ago: 80 (Extreme Greed). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Jul 21 at 1:33 PM ET.

Zeitgeist Watch

Not a bad idea, but:

Lancaster is in California’s high desert. I remember arriving there in a van in the evening, seeing a similar center-lane planting, hearing the sprinkler’s go on, and thinking “Wait a minute….” I mean, this is the desert, right? So where’s the water coming from? And will it always be available? Why not xeriscaping?

“Barbie’s ‘pornographic’ origin story, as told by historians” [WaPo]. Of course [slaps forehead]. “It was 1956, the co-founder of Mattel and her teenage daughter stood outside a shop in Switzerland, transfixed by the window display: An 11.5 inch doll with a platinum ponytail, heavily lined eyes, and puckered lips, sitting on a rope swing. The doll, a German-made model marketed as Bild Lilli, was popular in that part of Europe at the time — generally considered a sex toy, or a gag gift for men. It’s not clear that Ruth Handler — a business executive on vacation from her home in California — knew what Lilli was. It’s not even clear among historians where the shop was: the popular Franz Carl Weber toy shop in Lucerne, a tobacco store or a bar. Regardless, Lilli did what she was designed for. She intrigued Handler, who took the doll back home and three years later introduced her Americanized doppelgänger: Barbie.” • Well, at least not Klaus Barbie. There’s that.

News of the Wired

“Nebraska study finds billions of nanoplastics released when microwaving containers” (press release) [Nebraska Today]. “Experiments have shown that microwaving plastic baby food containers available on the shelves of U.S. stores can release huge numbers of plastic particles — in some cases, more than 2 billion nanoplastics and 4 million microplastics for every square centimeter of container. Though the health effects of consuming micro- and nanoplastics remain unclear, the Nebraska team further found that three-quarters of cultured embryonic kidney cells had died after two days of being introduced to those same particles.” • Oh.

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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 B Flat:

B Flat writes: “Being a black thumb from way back, I have no clue what type of cactus #1 is, it has odd flower buds the little bird is sitting on. This was taken Christmas week in Indio California.” The green and red combination is very Christmas-y.

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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. Carolinian

    Via Lapham’s Quarterly a couple of timely linkies for the Cooler including this one


    and most especially this one


    By the 1960s, Barbie was already attracting criticism for being a ‘sex symbol’. To counteract this, the Handlers gave her a little sister, Skipper (originally a child and now sold as a teenager), and a best friend, Midge – who would go to have her own chequered history. Fashioned as a ‘homelier’ friend for Barbie (with red hair and freckles) Midge would disappear after 1967, returning in the 1980s along with a husband, kids and a ‘Happy Family Line’ of toys, which even included Pregnant Midge (with a detachable womb!). The line courted scandal from every angle – among which was outrage that Midge was pregnant without a wedding ring. Cannily, Gerwig has lined up Emerald Fennell to play Midge. Yes, Pregnant Midge.

    We males have long been innocent of all this.

    1. Sub-Boreal

      Yes, one of those momentary glimpses of an entire parallel universe that I didn’t know existed.

    2. Pat

      In the last week, a conservative family group was condemning the movie for not fully embracing the family friendly nature of Barbie.
      A friend and I had a good laugh about the outrage that Ken was treated as an appendage. Mostly because Ken was always an appendage. He was just a nod to convention. We also had a good laugh about Ken’s hair. She was too young to have one but knew about the early models that didn’t have painted plastic but a weird faux crew cut that was platinum blond plastic fuzz.
      I had plastic fuzz Ken, Skipper and the early Midge. (And in one of the few times where reality entered into it, red haired freckled me was not offended by Midge herself but by the specific Midge clothes that were also less attractive than Barbie’s. There was no reason to dress her worse.)

      1. flora

        Barbie taught little girls to shop. Having a Barbie doll was only the beginning. There were the endless outfits, the accessories, the dream house, etc. / ;)

        1. Pat

          Never did the accessories. Did do the dolls, obviously, and some of the clothes. But weirdly I got into putting them into things I found or made. Draping, wrapping, sewing, Barbie never knew what I was going to throw on her next.

          I would not be surprised to find out that Barbie was the first model for many fashionista do it yourself folk.

  2. RoadDoggie

    Divergence of regional Biobot data appears to match CDC regional pie charts having the most prevalence of new(to me) variant XBB 1.16.6
    Just commenting as I thought it was interesting looking for possible correlations in these dismal data sources.

    1. Jason Boxman

      I’ve always been suspicious of microwaving plastic. That just sounds insane to me. It melts. At very low temperatures relative to say ceramic.

    2. Objective Ace

      I dont understand this–do babies prefer their food warm? We always just fed our child cold baby food. Safety concern not withstanding, it never occurred to me that warm would be any better for the baby. It just seemed less convenient if I’m being honest

      1. Stephen V

        Is it just a suburban legend that nucing human blood in the old days, killed some people?

    3. skippy

      I question the term – food – in this context, industrial processed inputs from big Ag?

      All our kids got fresh veg, sourced locally, cooked fresh, and mashed up. It was only until they were in their teens that corporate food started worming its way in through marketing and peer group pull that they partook of it. Not so bad when you can keep them in sports, but, when that wains the effect is quick and noticeable both in looks and attitude.

      Bad patch for both the boys, but that has changed now and both look and feel great.

      Big reason why I can do the sort of labour I do all day long. Up and down 16′ trestles and planks sanding/painting, all day on roofs, up and down ladders, loading and unloading 50kg gear all by myself at 62 yrs in less than 2 weeks. Still get to enjoy my German beers and Japanese whisky after the week is done.

      Baby food in plastic containers ….. mirth~~~~ get-em young ….

    4. cfraenkel

      It’s too bad that the bulk of the paper is paywalled. What is available is … troubling? questionable?

      The headline result came from microwaving a liquid filled plastic container for 3 min at full power in a 1000w oven. Maybe their oven sucks, but if you tried that with ours, nanoparticles would be the least of your concerns, after feeding your baby scalding hot food.

      In their available supplementary data, they have data showing different particle leaching results after various storage conditions; their idea of “room temperature” storage is 10 days at 40 deg C!!! In what universe is baby food (any food) stored at 40 deg??? That’s double any normal definition of ‘room temp’, and nuts for storing food. Maybe the takeaway is don’t store food in plastic outdoors in a heat wave?

      So, are they tweaking the experimental conditions to get results they want? Sure sounds that way, based on what we can read.

  3. antidlc



    Hire EventScan for Vaccination Verification Services, On-Location COVID Testing, Pre-Event or On-Site PCR Molecular Testing, Customized At-Home Testing Kits and more.

    List of their services at the link.

    Hmmm…look at some of their clients (scroll through the list under Meet a Few of our Clients).

    Clients include major corporations, but also The White House and the Department of Homeland Security.

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      The ‘tz’ suggested a Germanic origin of some sort to me. I think Yiddish is the most likely source for ‘plotzed’ to mean drunk in American English. Interestingly, the tie between drunkenness with losing control and becoming over-emotional, strangely echoes the usage of “emotional” your Guardian link referenced.

      In Yiddish, the verb plotz means to crack, burst, shatter, collapse, or explode. Its most common English usage is in reference to a person who is bursting with emotion, either negative or positive.
      => lost control over yourself

      1. vao

        The closest German word with that meaning would be “platzen”, with the past participle “geplatzt”.

  4. Carolinian

    Way down here in South Carolina we had Canada smoke this week and a lot of it. Here’s a new Counterpunch explanation (in a series) about fire and what causes it.

    between 1972 and 1987, Yellowstone National Park implemented a policy of allowing backcountry blazes to burn without suppression. There were 235 wildfires during that time, and 222 of them never grew beyond a few acres, and only fifteen were larger than 100 acres. All self-extinguished without any human intervention.

    Then 1988 came along and more than a million acres in and around Yellowstone burned. Was there suddenly more fuel in 1988 than in 1987 or 1986? Of course not. The difference was that in the 1970s, and early 1980 cool and moist conditions prevailed in the Rockies. But in 1988, the worst drought in Yellowstone’s history occurred, and with it, the largest fires in Park’s experience.

    Climate, not fuels, drives all large fires, and “solutions” like logging misinterpret fire ecology.

    Given climate change, we are seeing more extreme fire weather conditions, which is the driving force behind the large blazes across the West. Rarely mentioned by the “fire suppression” crowd is that between the 1940s and 1980s, when fire suppression was supposedly “successful,” the entire West was under a cool, moist climate due to the Pacific Decadal Oscillation. Indeed, it was so wet and cool that glaciers were growing in the mountains of the West.

    And the answer?–which won’t please our national conflagration of real estate promotion

    Communities must promote home hardening and stop building in the Wildlands Urban Interface and zone lands to preclude dispersed home construction. Other presumed “solutions” like logging only enhance fire spread.


  5. Jeff W

    “Anybody else hate that ‘opened locution’?”

    I do. (I assume you mean “that ‘opened up’ locution.”) For me, it’s up there with “reach out” meaning “to try to communicate with a person or a group of people, ” which makes me feel like I’m at some dreaded “networking” event.

    1. Lunker Walleye

      Also hate “of course” for “you’re welcome” and “curated” for “selected”.

        1. Jeff W

          “No worries” and “Of course” in place of “You’re welcome” are pretty awful but I think I despise the breezy “Not a problem” most of all. (What made you think I thought it—whatever it was—was a problem?)

          Lately, I’ve been saying “My pleasure” (adopted, actually, from a friend in Korea), which sounds a bit more gracious, even if it’s a brand catchphrase of Chick-fil-A (“borrowed” from The Ritz-Carlton, apparently).

    2. Sub-Boreal

      “reach out” – immediately makes me visualize a manager in HR who uses hair gel, states his pronouns & uses a land acknowledgment in his email signature block.

  6. Terry Flynn

    Regarding the “treescaping” and pedestrianisation of “stroads” (as popularised on certain channels that you see ad-free on Nebula or “sanitised” on YouTube) I too wondered whether the (well meaning) channel owners were aware that their efforts were futile if the water wasn’t gonna be there.

    It’s yet another example of a phenomenon I call “staying in your lane” – producing content that whilst “ok” in your area of expertise, ignores fact you’ve strayed into another area that you don’t understand and possibly have got really really wrong.

    I saw example yesterday regarding generic drugs with defence “I’m a health economist”. Not that the person was egregiously wrong…. But there’s so much more to this…. Speaking as a health economist with one of the highest H indexes around and who can also give a PATIENT insight into a drug reimbursement decision which amazingly enough makes the USA look good compared to the UK NHS and Australian Medicare.

  7. XXYY

    Lancaster, CA transformed its downtown in just 8 months by redesigning it’s main street from a mini-highway to a tree-lined boulevard.

    Judging by the photos, it looks like they just put in a median strip with a lot of trees, and then maybe started watering the trees on each side that were already there.

    My point is not to denigrate this, my point is that it didn’t really take that much to achieve what seemed to be eye-popping improvements.


    (1) Greenery makes a huge difference in livability and desirability.

    (2) Building pleasant places in which to live and work is win/win.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Back in 2009, Democratic elites bemoaned they didn’t have “shovel ready projects” to spend money on and Obama didn’t want to pay people to dig holes. A suggestion was to bury power lines with the added benefit the trees that get cut back would be allowed to grow over sidewalks and roads.

    2. GC54

      Not a direct before/after comparison. Before taken looking toward mountains in winter, after toward opposite direction in another season.

  8. Terry Flynn

    This is an AI one that might appeal to Lambert and certain regulars like Rev Kev. https://youtube.com/watch?v=AkQAQ6SoKMs&feature=share9 is a major critique of AI. It’s an episode of South Park constructed by AI. It really does showcase something close to my heart….. So much is “moving along the production possibilities curve”.

    Those without econ/bus studies education simply imagine a curve between the x and y axis showing what tradeoffs have been done. (Thin iPhone must have lower battery life and vv etc). My career was about investigating moving beyond the curve. AI by definition can’t do that because it’s trained on existing stuff, not “stuff that isn’t commercial yet but might be”. Just one reason AI is a dud.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Thanks for that link, Terry. Have bookmarked it and will be watching it shortly. It looks like AI has the capability of filling the internet with low quality garbage though. Not just cartoons but stories, articles and anything else that it can produce. We already know that an AI will lie and even cheat when dealing with factual matter and if it becomes part of the educational process with students and staff, could undermine education altogether. As software, AI is still in its Beta stage and has not even evolved to it’s ‘Kill All Humanity’ stage – yet.

      1. hunkerdown

        The open source enthusiasts are using increased context and attention to write personal pulp fiction. For that a bad plot will do just fine. Really, the use-value production capacities of AI are the ones that scare the ruling class the most.

      2. digi_owl

        They may not be out to overtly kill all humans, but they are likely already able to drive humans to kill themselves via bad “advice”.

    2. The Rev Kev

      Just finished watching that link and the only word that comes to mind is hucksterism. A bunch of tech bros figuring that they can make bank by AI generating their own episodes of popular TV shows for eventual profit. And so they chose South Park as it was ‘simple’ and got nothing right about it. Decades ago I had high hopes for high tech making things better for people but over the years I have seen that the opposite is true and that everything that they touch turns to crap. And here I am thinking of self-driving cars, surveillance, cryptocurrency, AI and whatever else comes out of Silicon Valley. Even their software is bloated and unstable with the quality of it going backwards in usability as all the bells and whistles get in the way of basic functionalism. As you can see, I am no longer a fan of ‘improved’ technology.

      1. Pat

        I realize that without “updates” it is hard to sell new products. Having said that I find that most updates of programs and apps add little value for average use. But they do slow your computer and your phone, For instance, I still miss Word Perfect and Lotus 123. I would bet for 60 to 70% of people versions of word processing, spreadsheets, mail, bookkeeping and budgeting programs from two or more decades ago would work extremely well and be very efficient. And solitaire from then was fine too.
        But then their wouldn’t be OS 10 and Windows 11 and Android 13. And you wouldn’t need the computers or phones with more processors and ram to run them.

        Lambert misses Google search, for me it is Alta Vista. But forgetting the ads and spying, I don’t know any search engine anymore that lets you truly sift and refine so that you can find what you are you looking for. If you took the time to understand the old fashioned card catalog you could find what you were looking for in a library, There seems to be more herding than searching for internet cataloging today.

        Do we really need to be able to turn our appliances on from across town, see into our refrigerators, etc. And all that technology in environments unsuitable make us vulnerable to breakdown and hacking. Forget the environmental stupidity of needing a new refrigerator or oven or washer every three or four years rather than.every 15 or twenty. I do understand touchless faucets, but pedal trash cans can be opened hands free without a sensor.

        I might be underestimating the time frame but that Disney vision of Tomorrowland, where technology worked for people and not the other way around, disappeared sometime in the seventies.

        1. Acacia

          Bill Gates is on record saying that updates are not about fixing bugs.

          …as if another reason were needed to avoid his micro chocolate.

  9. marym

    “[Shaman guy’s] about-face is such that he is even taking his case back to court to ask his guilty plea to be reversed.”

    He lost this appeal.

    “He argues that the government violated its obligations under Brady, and therefore secured an unconstitutional sentence, by not disclosing the videos broadcast [by Tucker Carlson] on March 6, 2023. Mr. Chansley’s argument, and its various permutations, is belied by the record, applicable law-or both.

    Mr. Chansley’s motion concocts a Brady claim, and a derivative ineffective assistance of counsel claim, based on videos aired devoid of context and supposedly inconsistent disclosure dates provided by government counsel in two separate cases. These videos are decidedly not exculpatory, especially when viewed in context with the “miles and miles and miles of footage”recorded o f Mr. Chansley on January 6, 2021. ECF No. 28, at 7:5–6. Such footage, conveniently omitted by the March 6, 2023 program, shows nearly all of Mr. Chansley’s actions that day, including: carrying a six-foot-long pole armed with a spearhead, unlawfully entering the Capitol through a broken door, disobeying orders from law enforcement on more than a half-dozen occasions, screaming obscenities, entering the Senate chamber, climbing onto the Senate dais,
    sitting in the Vice President’s chair, and leaving a threatening message for the Vice President. Moreover, the precise date that the particular videos appearing in the program were disclosed is immaterial because Mr. Chansley and plea counsel were aware of the videos’ content-Mr. Chansley interacting with law enforcement officers who did not visibly impede his progress-by May 20, 2021.”

    Whatever became of the rest of the 40K hours of footage that McCarthy turned over to Tucker?


    1. tegnost

      if there’s no other lesson, it’s that right leaning protesters need to adopt the left protest movements commitment to protest training. If they’d have just walked up to the front door and sat down, then didn’t assist in their arrest it would’ve been a spectacle worth watching. Picture one of the muscle guys getting dragged to the paddywagon.
      Hanging curveball, strike three, swinging…

  10. Art_DogCT

    The plantidote is one of the Cereus species of cacti, or of a very closely related genus. Originating in arid/xeric areas of South America. In gardens, several are reasonably tolerant of cooler temps and wetter conditions common in semitropical areas, and many do very well in the desert Southwest. They are easily vegetatively propagated and will do well indoors provided adequate light is available year-round, or outside in longer days and indoors in winter dormancy. When happy most can become very large – outdoors as large shrubs and small trees. This is a caution for those who grow them indoors/half indoors. One must have space indoors with room height to let the plant do what it can, or have serious, restrictive potting and pruning discipline.


  11. Pat

    I suppose this legitimately should be in the Bidenomics topic, but it was the article about blue collar workers in Philadelphia that really got me thinking about it. I know most of Biden’s accomplishments are PR nonsense. I get that Trump was to have accomplished nothing (and Biden’s administration made sure any advancements were transitory.) I just cannot come up with one thing that has honestly made life better for the lower 98% that would be the result of any actions of his administration or Congress since 2021. Wages were slowly rising even before the lockdown, largely driven by state and local policies. Most economic policies that were helpful on a federal level were prior to Biden’s election. And in fact, what I can come up with that can be considered administration policies hurt rather than helped.

    Yet even if it isn’t overt unhappy workers are tacitly made to be unaware and ungrateful. This isn’t new. It has been going on long before Biden. Before Hillary and the Deplorables and Obama’s “God and guns” recognizing that our so-called markers of a good economy ignore or downgrade the problems of a certain class of Americans has just not been done. I know this and I still want to know “What exactly has the Biden administration done to improve the economy enough that he deserves people to vote for him?” Because I keep coming up with nothing.

  12. Amfortas the hippie

    a question for the best of all comentariats…
    im avoiding news,today.
    but ive been texting this chick who connected with me on a dating site…army combat medic, currently in iraq.
    my question: whats life like in that situation.
    she wont answer…i assume, due to opsec considerations…which i understand.
    whats a day like?
    do they get days off?
    she talks about going out on patrol…and even about getting shot in the helmet…but no details(i understand opsec, and practice it, here)
    but i have no idea at all what a military life…especially deployed…is like.
    any anecdotes or anecdata or mere stories are welcome.

    i dont think she knows what im talking about when i say im a lay anthropologist…jane goodall, embedded in the human herd.
    that takes in person, and arm waving, i guess.

    1. flora

      I don’t know. I’ve spent my career in IT, including net security aspects and the well know ‘Nigerian bank scam’ frauds. So you probably won’t like my answer, and I admit I’m more hyper vigilant about computer-digital no-good stuff than most are. With that said….

      There’s something about what you’ve just described that raises a lot of red flags to me, especially since you’ve never actually met her. Is she a she, or an AI training bot trying to engage in order to “learn”? No offense meant here. Just the first things that came to mind after reading your description. There are things that don’t add up. / my 2 cents

      1. Amfortas the hippie

        if she’s an AI, she’s a really good one, and we’re all in big frelling trouble.
        my first internal reaction was that she might be.
        so i threw out into left field…and kept my rhetoric to east texas redneck…with all the drawl spelled out…obscure philosophical comments…and assorted other randomness thrown in…to try to control for that very thing.
        but i have no idea.
        she seems pretty real.
        i’m mentally and emotionally prepared for if she aint.

        1. Amfortas the hippie

          and i also keep saying and alluding to and otherwise indicating that i have no frelling money,lol
          and weve been texting for a week, nevertheless.
          i ramble about not having enough jack to fix my teeth, gtet new glasses, etc.
          there’s also nothing to steal in this manner…nothing in the bank acct that has the debit card.
          if shes a bot, i cant figger what its after.
          im about as far away from an exploitable asset as one can get.
          my “wealth” is physical…right here, where i can touch it.

          1. maipenrai

            i can say i have seen some remarkable bot come ons in other apps. There must be gold in them thar hills

            1. Amfortas the hippie

              im not convinced either way.
              talking to her/it right now…any questions that might reveal?
              from anyone?

          1. Amfortas the hippie

            i first got internet in 1999.
            i miss gateway goback,lol.’
            hell, i miss windows 98se.
            ive known for a long time that nothing is sacred, let alone private.
            faceborg is a cia honeypot, after all.
            and the chingadera(internet) came out of darpa, fer goddess’ sake.
            and i once was quite vocal in my displeasure with our ruling class…or rather their representatives and senators.
            i am certain that i’m on a no fly list, from 2004, or so.
            and i know full well that everything i type into this machine is recorded in some database in nevada, for perusal by some ai threat detector…(waves).
            but i no longer care….thats like sand in my shoes when i walk down the road naked at 4am marching for peace, with a hogleg joint.
            be not afraid, for i am with you in Rockland.
            F&ck Them.
            “come get me, kopper!”

            1. britzklieg

              I hear ya, brother and never doubted that you know all about the prying eyes and info gatherers. Indeed, I salute your efforts at companionship in whatever form it might manifest despite the dystopia. I talk to the FBI all the time when screaming at the TV or screeding in the comments. Come get me, kopper, indeed!

              But that classic cartoon was always funny and the add-on is kinda priceless!

              1. Amfortas the hippie

                it says right behind me, on the thing that holds my churchwarden pipe, “embrace being on the list”
                it also says:
                “en socilalismo puede llegar solo en bicicleta”

                ….so, again, f&ck them.
                im right here.
                eroding their power from below.
                Socrates gives them the finger.

                1. Amfortas the hippie

                  may that finger be the one that touches the underside in just such away as to send the entire mess down into the sea.

                  withdraw your consent.
                  as well as your belief.
                  They deserve neither.
                  ill have a republic(L.:res publica:”a thing of the people”),

                  …or I shall be an Anarch(forest passage, ernst junger—-see, i really have read everything,lol)

                  i can see no middle ground.
                  …although i would love to see the levels of gooberment above my local yokels, at least try to be more like my local yokels.

        2. DJG, Reality Czar

          Amfortas the hippie: I am also wondering, because of flora’s insight, and become of this fact skimmed from Wikipedia:

          “As of March 20, 2023, the number of American forces in Iraq is estimated at approximately 2,500 soldiers deployed mainly in Al Asad Airbase, Camp Victory and Al-Harir Air Base.[8]”

          A woman, on a mission in Iraq? During a time of very small presence by U.S. forces…


    2. skippy

      My first suggestion is to do a deep dive on the dating app to ascertain its business model and financial ownership. After my brief dive I was amazed at the fee models and consolidation of various dating apps, so much starts off as just gaining market share, and then the fun and games start. Some sites have notorious hoop jumping end of payment or cancellation processes.

      Then again I could not get over the swipe right [Logan’s Run] aspect, Faceborg like commodity/self marketing aspect, root and boot like aspect, unless someone fits some un-human like narrow self interests of the other/s = ticks all the consumer life style boxes …. or plug and play ….

      I actually used some low quality photos when I dipped my toe in and still got some nice offers, one asked me out for drinks that night just down the road on late notice and could not make it. She went interstate to see friends and then hooked up with some bloke it seems. Next thing you know I’m in line at the supermarket and this good looking blond in front of me turns around casually looking about. Then bang her head whips around and stares right at me, even the girl at the check out got sucked in and looked to see what cause it. Full minute or more, turn head back and then bang again lol for even longer. I just looked right through her …. it was the same gal that asked me out for drinks that night …. hahahaha~~~~

      Whats the name of the app mate and I can have a peek if you like this weekend.

      1. Amfortas the hippie

        plenty of fish is the one out of several that i landed on.
        i paid no money, no card data, etc.
        free membership only.
        “josefdp”…mason, texas

        ….and now ill get a a thousand “hits” of all you NC-ers wanting to know what Amfortas looks like,lol.

        i hate that we’ve come to this as a civilisation.

        1. skippy

          I already know what you look like mate, fits right into the back drop you got going on there, too a T, like part of the landscape.

          I have to pop off to work to get a few things sorted so come Monday we can hit the ground running, but will look into it after that. Must say the whole for free thing is a bit of a flag, sorta like the FB thing I mentioned, we’ll see. Ugh I still get emails from a few sites that I looked at and ran a way – links to new photos or revenge sex offers lmmao …

          Wellie off to apply automotive level finishes on some 2nd story windows with my DeVilbiss GTI pro spray gun w/ pressure pot.

          Be hilarious if you do get a few good hits from the NC readership ….

          1. Amfortas the hippie

            ill be broad and deep…and maybe hilarious.
            and part of the landscape is where i been headed for a long time.

            1. skippy

              Wellie as I thought its part of a consortium run out of Dallas, which acquired it from the original owner from Canada. The rest is pretty stock standard corporate antics – 2019 legal action

              “In 2019, the company was sued by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for allegations of unfair and deceptive trade practices. According to the FTC’s civil complaint, the company used fake love interest ads to encourage free users to pay for premium subscription services on Match.com. Accounts that were flagged as suspicious or potentially fraudulent by the site were prevented from messaging paid subscribers but were allowed to continue messaging free users who were tricked into believing that the suspicious accounts were real users encouraging them to subscribe and connect with them. The company denied the allegations. The FTC further alleged that the company offered false promises of guarantees, failed to provide support to customers who unsuccessfully disputed charges, and made it overly difficult for users to cancel their subscriptions, which Match Group disputed as cherry-picked and misrepresenting internal emails.[46][47][48][49][50] In September 2020, it was reported that the Department of Justice had closed its investigation into the FTC complaint.[51] – wiki

              Pretty much what I said above, income generating app based on expanding the human desire for relationships through greater access in raw numbers as its draw card, massive behavioral psychology deployed, upgrades/premium features/bonus likes/more eyes/ et al like treasure boxes or upgrades in kids games. All these balance sheet flows then translates into lower credit rates and with it borrowing costs [buying out other dating sites], fluffs the equity, bonuses for the C-suit, and better yet is a high skirt for absentee investors to make packet off the base human desire to find others for whatever sort of relationship they are keen on … olds looking for young’$ and revolving door ménage à trois.

              I would note an up tick in MSM targeting the younger age cohort and the increasing meme that they should all just stop thinking about big issues, because it makes one unhappy, they should all just all let go and frolic with friends and most importantly unleash their G spot and ****LIVE LIFE**** ….

              Its all so Old Libertarian Mindset – that anything that an individual experiences as FEAR[tm] is a direct attack on their liberties and freedoms = peoples total abandonment of risk evaluation. WOW the stuff I saw just in my less than two months sojourn was epic.

              In your case I would note that these sites do have in house or contractors which only job is to get a hook in your back pocket. Their job is to get paying consumers and will say and do anything to get paid themselves so always keep that in the back of your mind mate. Its MANIACAL and your emotions is its sand box.

        2. notabanker

          I’ve always pictured you as the real life Floyd Pepper from the Electric Mayhem. Please do nothing to destroy my delusions. Love ya man.

          1. Amfortas the hippie

            yeah, but with a panama hat, and naked.
            and longer hair.
            and missing teeth.
            and more worrylines.
            crowesfeet, and such.
            internet currently crap at the bar…wasps invaded the birdhouse where wifi for bar is, and crapped all in it.
            using ancient vizio.

        3. ambrit

          As Lambert, or someone, said: “If your civilization depends on a platform, you don’t have a civilization.”
          As for the ‘dating’ scene, I’ll just say that the ultimate in patience is needed. I floundered around for a while until “happenstance” hit and I met Phyllis after I had stopped actively looking. Let your (sub)conscious be your guide.
          Stay safe.

          1. Amfortas the hippie

            i met my late wife by giving up on meeting anybody.
            (i’m there, dude!)
            she was the helper for a “retarded chick”* at the nursing home where i cooked at the time.

            (* i dont know current niceties…girl had brain damage from her father doing her hard..nice, but not all there, serving ancient crazypeople their trays of slop, and needing help to do so)

          2. Amfortas the hippie

            the flag for me was almost reciting her POF profile…..but idk how Normies think(ie: lower than 180 iq, no encylopaedic brain,, etc)
            it didnt stray from the norms i encounter irl.
            once again, great intelligence is a chalk-mark out of my favour.

            …but then…and i’m brainstormin, here…more than usual….lol….why would an ai/bot/whatever target me?
            only thing i can think that the Machine might want is the Land….but we picked this place carefully…no oil, no minerals(well…frac sand to the north), no railroads, et.
            i dont do online commerce or banking(almost no banking at all–i cash my tiny teachers pension check….because i have discipline)
            i did inherit 5 acres of spoil along the intracoastal canal in the middle of the texas coast….perhaps a scout for a spaceport or something…

            or she’s just out on extended patrol…maybe dealing with the fires and such around the swedish embassy?

            feels weird…and i have zero experience with this sort of thing.

            1. ambrit

              I just take it for granted that all who comment here are on a “list” in the basement servers of the NSA. You come across as a high functioning anti-authoritarian. The anti part can be shrugged off by the Organs of State Security, but the high functioning cannot. I would not be surprised to find out that counter “intelligence” work domestically has been automated. Given the sheer processing power now available to the “Officially Recognized Thought Police,” a shotgun approach to ‘Hasbara’ and pro Elites psy-ops sounds about right. “Surveil them all. We will know our own.”
              Stay safe and keep processing.

          3. Jeremy Grimm

            I credit serendipity or Jung’s synchronicity for all my meetings with the fair sex that lead to some fruition, much like the “happenstance” that brought you to your Phyllis. I believe the key is conjured in “after I had stopped actively looking”. I believe that seeking a mate is an activity of the subconscious. You need to resolve what you really desire, whether consciously of subconsciously and cast your true desires into the winds of the true desires of others to find a match.

              1. Amfortas the hippie

                welp. that settles it.
                shes pissed that i thought she might be an ai.
                seems pretty genuine, to me…and ive had womyn pissed at me for all my life.

                (lol. first fight…and i havent even heard her voice on the fone…what a frelling world))

                1. skippy

                  I have a comment in mod and think you should read it before thinking a response is a response.

                2. skippy

                  Just for your information before comment might pass is that these site hire people to respond to others and its high level behavioral science stuff.

                  1. ambrit

                    Sounds like the perfect part time job for a graduate student.
                    Also, not all primary motivations in the “business” sphere are financial.

  13. pjay

    Lambert (re the Axios article on Trump): “What the heck is a “national security attorney,” and why do they believe their lane is electoral politics?”

    The question almost answers itself. A “national security attorney” is one who specializes in the type of lawfare needed to eliminate loose-cannon politicians who might threaten “national security.” They are called in if smears and fear-mongering by the “national security media” fail to discourage said politician. The next stage, I believe, is the “national security blackmailers,” followed by the “national security assassins.” It will be interesting to see how far Trump gets in the cycle.

    1. ambrit

      My favourites are the “National Security Light Aircraft Maintenance Mechanics.” They usually do a smashing job.

      1. ambrit

        I missed the appropriate acronym there. “National Security Light Aircraft Maintenance Mechanics,” or N-SLAMM.
        Which will eventually become a neologistic verb. “They enslammed him, hard.”

  14. Tom Stone

    Lancaster is also the home of Fox Airfield which has a wonderful collection of old airplanes.

    1. Late Introvert

      Zappa lived there for a short time as a teenager, that’s my only knowledge of it. His father was in the Air Force. He had a gask mask at his house, and not for fun.

  15. Jason Boxman

    A technical post about model training, but makes an important point that’s been made here:

    You can’t manage what you don’t measure, and you can’t mitigate autoretraining deployment risk without monitoring your models. And monitoring models is hard. It’s entirely different than setting up DataDog to track your CPU utilization. Models are fuzzy, and it’s often difficult to know when something systematically bad has happened to them.

    Models are a blackbox.

    While monitoring model degradation can be used for catastrophic failure detection, it’s often more difficult or impossible. For example, there could be a long time delay between predictions and ground truth. You may not know the model accuracy for a couple weeks, whereas a model predicting all False will manifest itself immediately.

  16. ambrit

    Mini-zeitgeist report.
    Trundled over to the “Ghetto” WalMart this morning, around seven AM or so. Did some shopping, and about a third of the items on my “to get” list were out of stock. No frozen green peas, fresh green beans, non-gluten bread, and a few other more obscure items.
    While I was leaving the check-out area, a tall, grotty looking fellow strode past, carrying two kid’s school backpacks, evidently stuffed with items. He stared straight ahead as he almost but not quite ran. Several of the cashiers and self check-out line ‘minders’ ran up and followed him to the front door. He walked quickly out the door and across the parking lot and into a copse of trees in a vacant lot next to the business section. I noticed the second in command for the store taking pictures of the fellow with her iPhone.
    “A shoplifter?” I asked her.
    She looked at me and must have recognized me. Her face relaxed, her shoulders relaxed, and she said to me softly as she turned to re-enter the store: “We are getting two or three of these every day now. Corporate won’t let us grab them, yet we’re penalized by corporate for having an elevated loss percentage. The cops respond less now due to budget problems at City Hall. I’m waiting for the day when one of these shoplifters attacks one of my people. It’s coming.”
    As Big Daddy says: “Welcome to the South darling!”

    1. Carolinian

      The Walmart I go to definitely has door minders these days who challenge the suspicious and I’ve seen them do it. They do not, as they once did, check everyone’s receipt as they walk out. Apparently it’s a legal gray area whether they are allowed to do that without “probable cause.” We also now have automatic gates that guide exiters through the pay areas which have cameras everywhere. As Wuk reports out in CA some stores have taken to locking many of the items behind plexiglass.

      Meanwhile my Aldi has just put in self checkout so their small staff can spend even more of their time stocking shelves. Call it trust or perhaps an attitude that says those who are going to steal are going to do it in the aisles if they can’t at the self check. These do have cameras to and are card only which may ward off the indigent.

    2. Jeremy Grimm

      I am not sure where you live, and do not ‘need to know’. Wherever … your city needs to work a deal with a local ‘entrepreneur’ to feed shoplifters as cheap labor into a local production factory for clothing or some other difficult to automate and hand-labor intensive product. The fees and penalties for shoplifting can be a boost to the local municipality and numerous Defense attorneys. With help from the local authorities the local bail-bondsmen and local authorities can benefit. Crime can pay for others than the criminal.

      1. ambrit

        We live in the North American Deep South, vague enough but I hope sufficiently informative to give you an idea of the socio-political milieu.
        Many of the “criminals” in the lock-ups hereabouts are often to be seen doing street maintenance and clean up. The ‘proper’ uniform here is dirty white with horizontal green stripes. Both the City and the County use the same basic outfit. [Someone’s already making bank here!] The City no longer does the Summer Hire Program for teens. The prisoners do all that now.
        The ‘local’ Law Enforcement Criminal Conspiracy Syndicate already has a myriad of ways to suck all, and I mean all, available resources out of the pockets of those unfortunate enough to end up in the clutches of the “Court System.” I know from helping one such out once that the “criminals” must pay their parole officers every month to “defray the expenses” of their ‘management’ by the system. Fines and fees are now quite high, especially if measured against the resources available to the low level ‘crooks.’ Don’t even get me going about the outright criminal activity known as Civil Asset Forfeiture.
        Stay safe. Keep out of the clutches of the law!

  17. maipenrai

    Why would the antis come after CR boxes? No need to. I have never seen one Hepa filter device in even a single medial office I have been in in three years and I go in a LOT.

      1. ambrit

        And, horrors, a cheap one. Even though the cost of building a Corsi Box is not negligible, compare it to the overall costs of the “vaccines.”

  18. The Rev Kev

    “Long COVID Is Disabling Kids. Why We Ignore It”

    I already know how this movie will turn out. They will try to diagnose what is wrong with these kids and will come up with ADHD or rainbow spectrum disorder or all sorts of other possible diagnosis but will ignore the obvious one – Covid. But what they will also do is give those kids all sorts of tablets to ‘cure’ them and try different combinations in different strengths to get the ‘right’ combination. The medial industry and Big Pharma will make a ton of money in the years to come and it will generate a lucrative income for years into the future.

    1. JBird4049

      My inexpert opinion says that food, adequate rest, exercise, socializing, and just time would probably solve 90% of the health issues especially as children, even young adults, can more easily repair or learn to compensate for any injuries; all that would cut into the profits of the corporations, and so even if it would ultimately be cheaper, it ain’t gonna happen.

      1. The Rev Kev

        I am here reminded of what IM Doc recently wrote about those who were 85 years and above and how they live their lives-

        ‘Almost without exception over years, this cohort eats eggs, meat, produce, butter, lard, and fruit and whole grains with abandon. They eat out only occasionally and never in fast food joints. They never listened to the low fat advice of their youth. They are trim. They exercise. Care for gardens. What they do not do is eat anything processed, smoke or drink heavily. They sleep well. They have managed to deal with stress and anxiety. They do not watch the political slug fest TV shows, and they read constantly. They watch movies, etc, but are never involved in tv more than a little while every day. Most but not all have pets. And I have found this group is very likely to have deep and beneficial relationships with kids and neighbors. In this cohort, there is a very high likelihood of passing from this world by just dropping dead or not waking up one day. They are mostly spared long horrific illnesses and stays in advanced care nursing homes ( not assisted living-some do go there).’

        So those born about 1940 or so. Lots to think about in his comment.

  19. ChrisRUEcon


    > I don’t understand why the antis haven’t come after CR boxes, but for whatever reason, they never have (at least insofar as I’m aware).

    Not a bodily autonomy thing is it, the CR Box?! In fact, if someone wants to install a CR box in my office, gym, school – wherever – I get to reap as much benefit as those crazy “Branch Covidians” without having to do anything … sounds like #HashTagWinning to me … if I were an anti.

        1. ChrisRUEcon

          “addition by subtraction” without due consideration of “subtraction by subtraction”

      1. ChrisRUEcon


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

        The northeast with its heavy incoming transatlantic flight volume is a family-blog petri dish of variants. It’s just going to have more of everything … and then some.

    1. Random BSN Student

      I was enjoying a relatively virus-free summer until just before the break for July 4th, when fellow nursing student A showed up for lab with a raging upper respiratory tract infection and a baggy blue. When class resumed after the holiday, a different student B was sick, sneezing and coughing unmasked. No one even suggested that she mask. Fortunately, B wasn’t a superspreader, and only two additional students C and D were sick last week. None of the sick students aside from A has deigned to mask. Unfortunately, B hasn’t been able to shake whatever she’s infected with and has now developed a nasty cough with phlegm. It’s been three weeks for her.

      The thing that turns my stomach is knowing that all these students have clinicals in facilities or care homes where they’re knowingly and without consent exposing patients/clients to infection. In care settings they’re probably wearing masks, but at most those masks are baggy blues. Not a single one of these students would dream of skipping a clinical day because of the harsh penalties for doing so. Instructors have made it very clear that no matter how sick you are, you’d better drag yourself to clinical. Given this training, when these students enter the healthcare workforce, they’re going to show up to work sick too.

      In a previous comment I noted that a local care facility experienced a COVID outbreak in February where over a dozen residents died. That inspired some temporary mitigations. However, almost all of those mitigations were joyously removed in May and June, just in time for the next wave/wavelet/ripple. Heaven knows how many residents will die in the coming round.

      As for me, I’m always masked (N95). Not a single instructor or student has asked me about it. I guess that’s the new etiquette — don’t ask why someone is masking and definitely don’t ever suggest that someone wear one.

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