2:00PM Water Cooler 7/4/2023

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Bird Song of the Day

Blue Jay, James Webb Wildlife Management Area, Hampton, South Carolina, United States. Two jays calling two each other.

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

Biden Administration

“The National Science Foundation’s ‘Convergence Accelerator Track F’ Is Funding Domestic Censorship Superweapons” [Mike Benz, Foundation for Freedom Online]. Worth reading in full. “[W]ith NSF censorship grantees like WiseDex, the end users of the government-funded tech product are the social media platforms who actually delete the flagged posts. With other NSF censorship grantees, like the Orwellianly named project “Course Correct”, the end-users of the government-funded tech censorship tools are politically like-minded journalists and fact-checkers who flag posts to social media platforms for deletion or demotion. There, the censorship laundering process works as follows:

And: “But it’s more than just names of US citizens in a wrongthink database for ordinary opinions expressed online. The ‘dynamic dashboard’ will also reveal relationship dynamics about the US citizens, who communities they are a part of, and who they influence and are influenced by… On a closing note, we stress that the NSF’s Track F censorship projects are still largely in their early or infant stages. Only a handful of Track F project like Course Correct have qualified for the additional $5 million in federal funding to fast-track them to full-fledged censorship juggernauts.” • This is from January; it looks a lot like Taibbi and Shellenberger’s Censorship Industrial Complex. CAVEAT: Benz appears to be from the rightwing-o-sphere. As readers know, I came up as a Democrat, and Benz’s ground is not familiar to me. If there’s anything I should know about Benz or his projects, please leave word in comments.


I guess it’s time for the Countdown Clock!

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“The Numbers That Show Trump’s Strength” [Charles Cook, Cook Political Report]. “In reviewing the results of the NBC News poll released Sunday, I am reminded of how important it is to distinguish between wishful thinking and objective analysis, particularly when it comes to a figure as polarizing as former President Trump. These days we hear a lot of smart, experienced, and usually wise political pros predicting either that Trump will be overtaken in his bid to be the Republican presidential nominee next year, or that if nominated, Trump has no chance of winning a general election. In many cases, they have a thinly disguised, if disguised at all, personal animus to Trump, which, I think, colors their analysis. I disagree with both of these propositions regarding the nomination and general election. There are few if any meaningful signs that Trump’s grip on the GOP nomination is loosening. If the 45th president is nominated again, the case that he cannot win a general election seems to ignore both President Biden’s own vulnerabilities and the simple fact that the Democratic vote is so inefficiently spread out.”

“Trump Could Win Another Lesser-of-Two-Evils Election” [Ed Kilgore, New York Magazine]. “It’s pretty well known among attentive political observers that Donald Trump’s shocking 2016 victory over Hillary Clinton was driven by his solid win among the many voters who disliked both major candidates. Exit polls showed 18 percent of voters fell into this category, and Trump won them by 17 percent. It’s far less well known that despite losing in 2020, Trump won ‘I hate ‘em both’ voters once again, by about the same margin as in 2016. The big difference was that their share of the electorate dropped from 17 percent to three percent. Both Trump and Joe Biden had lower unfavorable ratings than either candidate did in 2016; but in general, Biden was significantly more popular than Clinton had been. Still, Trump’s showing among the haters, defying what most polls had been predicting, was one of the reasons he did better than expected. Now 2024 election polls suggest the pool of voters disgruntled with both candidates in a Biden-Trump rematch could be back at 2016 levels, if not higher, as CNN’s Harry Enten reported: ‘When you zoom in on those who [in a June CNN survey] were unfavorably inclined toward Biden and Trump (i.e., putting aside those who were unsure or were neutral), 22% of adults and 21% of registered voters had an unfavorable view of both men.'”

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“Ron DeSantis’ Campaign Is in Deep Trouble” [Newsweek]. “However, DeSantis has failed to take advantage of Trump getting indicted in both the New York falsifying business records case and Special Counsel Jack Smith’s classified documents investigation, where the former president has denied 37 charges respectively. DeSantis has not made any traction in the GOP primary polls while also seeing his favorabilty rating plummet.” Perhaps the number of Republican primary voters who are about Trump’s indictments is vanishingly small, in which case DeSantis was right to ignore the issue; we’ll see if Christie does better. More: “‘Our mission is very simple,’ DeSantis said. ‘We’re going to defeat Biden. We’re going to get all this stuff done for the American people. No more excuses. Republicans need to win elections again, and we need to actually bring all these important issues from the border to crime, to the economy, in for a landing,’ he added.” • “In for a landing”? What does that even mean?

“DeSantis is squeezing the sunshine out of Florida’s public records law, critics say” [NBC]. “As Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis campaigns for the White House, government accountability watchdogs are pointing to the long shadow of secrecy cast by his administration. In the four years since DeSantis took office, his administration has routinely stonewalled the release of public records, approved a slew of new legal exceptions aimed at keeping more information out of the public eye, and waged legal battles against open government advocates, the press and other watchdogs. DeSantis, a Harvard-educated lawyer and former U.S. attorney, is the only Florida governor known to use ‘executive privilege’ to keep records hidden, transparency advocates and experts said. His travel records, previously under scrutiny by the media, are now secret, thanks to a new legal exemption — one of a record number created in 2023 by the Republican-led Legislature and approved by the governor. DeSantis also has fought to conceal information about some of the most significant events during his tenure, including withholding Covid infection data and blocking release of records about the controversial relocation of dozens of migrants to Martha’s Vineyard, legal filings show.

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“Why Democrats Should Primary Biden” [Jack Shafer, Politico]. “President Joe Biden needs a tuneup. He’s a stiff when speaking at the lectern. When not a stiff, the 80-year-old can be a dolt, saying, as he did this week, that Russian President Vladimir Putin is ‘losing the war in Iraq’ when he meant Ukraine, or blurting out a senseless, ‘God save the Queen, man,’ at a gun control rally last week…. Biden has challengers, of course, but Marianne Williamson and Robert Kennedy Jr. aren’t the right ring partners to prepare him for what will be his last electoral contest…. If Biden can’t vanquish a worthy Democrat in primary season, he has no business entering the general. Who might that challenger be? …. Both Newsom and Buttigieg are going to run in 2028 anyway, so why not get going now? They would be doing him a favor by toughening him up.” • My view is that the Democrat hive mind would prefer to have Biden totter along until it’s too late for a real challenger to enter the race — say, after Super Tuesday — and then slip a cog (or even be helped to slip a cog). Then the Democrat hive mind could nominate a new front runner by acclamation — much as happened on the Night of the Long Knives, when Obama dispatched Sanders. The hive mind quite liked that, and wants more of it. No more pesky voting! We need to rid ourselves of the notion that, as a governing class, Democrats (electeds, apparatchiks, strategists, operatives, NGOs, etc.) look downward to the base, even the PMC base. No, the various fractions of the base (more precisely, the engineered hates and fears embedded in fractions of the base; RussiaGate comes to mind) are assets, to be owned by whoever can afford to manipulate them. No, the Democrats look upward to the ruling class, which collectively and through layers of fixers and intermediaries, provides them with the necessary funding to manage those assets (various governing class entities being items in the ruling class portolios).

“Can Bidenomics Turn Gloomy Views on the Economy Around?” [Amy Walter, Cook Political Report]. “White House senior officials Anita Dunn and Mike Donilon, noted in a recent memo that the ‘President, members of his Cabinet, and senior Administration officials will continue fanning out across the country to take the case for Bidenomics and the President’s Investing in America agenda directly to the American people, and to call out those who want to drag our country backward by returning to the failed trickle-down policies of the past.’ In other words, the White House is going to play offense on the economy and not allow Republicans to define the rules of engagement. This strategy suggests that the White House sees the challenge going into 2024 as a messaging problem. But I’d argue that there’s also a messenger problem. A poll released last week by NBC found that 68% of all voters say they have concerns about Biden having the necessary mental and physical health to be president, including 55% who say they have ‘major’ concerns.”

“Biden Can’t Hide From the Media Forever” [Walter Shapiro, The New Republic]. “[T]rying to replicate the 2020 pandemic-era campaign bunker in the coming presidential race will only foster conspiracy theories about Biden’s health. Ultimately the White House should trust in the president to make more off-the-cuff appearances because being unplugged was once the essence of Biden’s brand.”

“Powder that prompted brief evacuation at White House found to be cocaine” [The Hill]. “The discovery of the powder in a ‘work area’ [(!!)] caused a brief evacuation of the White House Sunday night followed by a visit from the D.C. fire department, the Secret Service said.” • Dear Hunter!

“Newsom hits the road to campaign for Biden in Idaho, building his own base in red states” [San Diego Union-Tribune]. “Saturday’s swing through Idaho didn’t just energize Biden’s much-neglected base in such a conservative corner of the West. It helped build a future one for Newsom. Many of the Democrats who flocked to hear Newsom speak in Idaho and at a separate fundraising event earlier that day in Bend, Ore., said they thought the 55-year-old liberal governor offered a glimpse into the future of their party, a bolder, more charismatic and younger potential heir of Biden’s legacy in the post-Trump years. ‘He looks like an incredible presidential candidate,’ said Russ Buschert, an Idaho Democratic Party trustee.” • Just so we’re clear on Newsome, see “How eight elite San Francisco families funded Gavin Newsom’s political ascent” [Los Angeles Times]. See also this handy chart, restricted solely to California oligarchs; the previous article includes, e.g., the Pritzkers:

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“RFK Jr vs the Democratic elites” [Spiked]. “[D]espite the efforts of the Democratic elites and their media allies to marginalise and even silence Kennedy, he is still getting a lot of attention. It’s clear that a portion of Americans – including Republicans and independents – are RFK-curious. This has allowed him to gain a foothold in the race to become the Democratic presidential nominee, and made it even more difficult for the Democratic elites to dismiss him. On average, polls now put his support for the nomination at 14 per cent. That’s still a long way behind Biden’s 64 per cent, but it’s far higher than expected…. Kennedy wasn’t always persona non grata. The media may currently be dismissing RFK Jr as a cranky outsider, but hitherto he had been treated as a serious Democratic player. John Kerry, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton all courted and then welcomed his support for their presidential campaigns. And after Obama’s election in 2008, he was considered a front-runner to head up the Environmental Protection Agency. Rolling Stone even named him one of its ‘100 Agents of Change‘ in 2009…. The attempts to sideline RFK Jr are now backfiring. So widespread is the distrust of the media and political establishment that the more it attempts to silence him, the more people think he must have something to say. As has often been said about Donald Trump, Kennedy has all of the right enemies.”

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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.

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“We predicted the books on Obama’s 2023 summer reading list” [WaPo]. • They didn’t, actually. In a normal universe, the headline would read “We predict,” because Obama’s summer reading list has not yet been released. But to WaPo, what WaPo predicts is news, so, “We predicted” is indeed the headline.

Idpol clang birds:

Realignment and Legitimacy

“Soros Foundation to Cut Staff by 40%” [Wall Street Journal]. “George Soros’s $25 billion nonprofit, Open Society Foundations, will cut its staff by about 40% while reorganizing various senior roles, according to a spokeswoman for the foundation. The foundation, one of the biggest backers of progressive causes, is now led by Soros’s 37-year-old son, Alex…. Behind the move, which was earlier reported by Bloomberg, is a view that Open Society Foundations has become too large and unwieldy. As a result, it takes too long for it to make decisions, the people said. OSF sends about $1.5 billion a year to groups such as those backing human rights and helping build democracies and has offices around the globe. Part of the goal is to streamline the organization. OSF isn’t expected to reduce its activity or backing of various causes.” • Looks like Alex is going to do for the NGO world what Elon did for Silicon Valley: Slash headlcount, and get away with it.


“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!

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Look for the Helpers

Alert reader Josh throws this over the transom:

I also generally do not eat indoors because of COVID but someone recommended a Chinese restaurant (in Kennett Square, PA) that had put filters in their indoor space. They have Fujitsu filters that resemble Corsi-Rosenthal boxes all over the ceiling. I was eating with a slight breeze at all times. Pretty cool.


I can’t vouch for the filtration/ACH of the Fujitsu. That said, moving air, especially air moved in from outside, is good. Unbelievably, there are four Chinese restaurants in Kennett Square, PA, so I don’t know which one to single out for praise!

A thread on CO2 testing (at a school where the principal is an “ally”):

“Aggressively Wrong: What Sellout Scientists Did to Public Health, and Who’s Actually Going to Fix It” [Jessica Wildfire, OK Doomer]. “[T]here’s a class of real heroes. They’ve thanklessly advocated for masks and clean air for three years now. They’ve educated and informed. They’ve championed and persevered. They’ve given up comforts and conveniences. They’ve endured ridicule and persecution. They’ve taken it upon themselves to develop their scientific and medical literacy. They’ve donated masks and air purifiers. They’ve made Corsi-Rosenthal boxes for others. They’ve spent their own personal time, money, and energy going out of their way to protect the people they care about, at an even greater cost to their emotional and mental health. They’re the real heroes. They’re the compassionate ones. They deserve far better than what they’re getting. They don’t need some elitist medical quack lecturing them on the state of public health. They’re the ones who are going to fix things, and they’re not doing it for awards or book reviews. They’re doing it because nobody else will. Who are these heroes? They’re you.” • 100%.

Covid is Airborne

“ASHRAE 241 Control of Infectious Aerosols Part 1 — The History of the Standard” [Joey Fox, It’s Airborne]. “It was not sustainable to be lacking a standard for controlling infectious aerosols. This desperately needed requirement, which was missing throughout the pandemic, had to be part of a long term plan to avoid this occurring again. As described here by ASHRAE president Farooq Mehboob, the White House COVID-19 Response Team asked ASHRAE to develop a standard for control of infectious aerosols.” • Important!

“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.

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Elite Maleficence

Hospital Infection Control whacking more patients:

It’s not that Hospital Infection Control doesn’t believe in aerosol transmission; it’s that they actively oppose it, and sabotage mitigation when they implement it. It’s as if they joined clean water and sewage lines in the sinks for their precious handwashing (ok, ok, handwashing is good. But it doesn’t help with aerosol transmission, and Covid is not transmitted by fomites).

* * *

Case Data

NOT UPDATED From BioBot wastewater data from June 29:

Lambert here: Slight uptrend, confirmed by airport wastewater (and local wastewater samples in California). Absent a new variant to race though the dry tinder, I don’t see an oncoming debacle even with July 4 travel. But plenty of people will still get sick (again).=


NOT UPDATED From CDC, June 24:

Lambert here: Not sure what to make of this. I’m used to seeing a new variant take down the previously dominant variant. Here it looks like we have a “tag team,” all working together to cut XBB.1.5 down to size. I sure hope the volunteers doing Pangolin, on which this chart depends, don’t all move on the green fields and pastures new (or have their access to facilities cut by administrators of ill intent).

CDC: “As of May 11, genomic surveillance data will be reported biweekly, based on the availability of positive test specimens.” “Biweeekly: 1. occurring every two weeks. 2. occurring twice a week; semiweekly.” Looks like CDC has chosen sense #1. In essence, they’re telling us variants are nothing to worry about. Time will tell.

Covid Emergency Room Visits

NOT UPDATED From CDC NCIRD Surveillance, from June 24:

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, June 26:

-1.5%. Still chugging along, though the absolute numbers are still very small relative to June 2022, say.


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


NOT UPDATED Iowa COVID-19 Tracker, June 28:

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

Total: 1,168,113 – 1,168,100 = 13 (13 * 365 = 4,745 deaths per year, today’s YouGenicist™ number for “living with” Covid (quite a bit higher than the minimizers would like, though they can talk themselves into anything. If the YouGenicist™ metric keeps chugging along like this, I may just have to decide this is what the powers-that-be consider “mission accomplished” for this particular tranche of death and disease).

Excess Deaths

Excess deaths (The Economist), published July 4:

Lambert here: Still some encouragement! Not sure why this was updated so rapidly; it used to take weeks. The little blip upward? 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. )

• A useful thread on excess deaths:

Stats Watch

Manufacturing: “United States Factory Orders” [Trading Economics]. “New orders for manufactured goods in the US increased by 0.4% from the previous month in April of 2023 amid strong defense spending, but slowing from the downwardly revised 0.6% increase in the prior month and missing market forecasts of a 0.8% jump. Albeit slower, considerable order growth was noted for transportation equipment (3.7% vs 9.8% in March), carried by defense aircraft and parts (32.7% vs 26.9%), while demand for machinery rebounded (1.6% vs -0.1%).”

Economic Optimism: “United States IBD/TIPP Economic Optimism Index” [Trading Economics]. “The IBD/TIPP Economic Optimism Index in the US edged slightly higher to 41.7 in June of 2023 from 41.6 in May, but remained well below the 50 benchmark to indicate optimism and market forecasts of 45.2. Americans’ six-month outlook declined 0.3% to 34.5, the lowest since November. 51% of the respondents think the economy is in a recession, the least since May 2022, but only 25% see it improving.”

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Tech: “Microsoft, OpenAI sued for $3B after allegedly trampling privacy with ChatGPT” [The Register]. “Microsoft and OpenAI were sued on Wednesday by sixteen pseudonymous individuals who claim the companies’ AI products based on ChatGPT collected and divulged their personal information without adequate notice or consent. The complaint [PDF], filed in federal court in San Francisco, California, alleges the two businesses ignored the legal means of obtaining data for their AI models and chose to gather it without paying for it. ‘Despite established protocols for the purchase and use of personal information, Defendants took a different approach: theft,’ the complaint says. ‘They systematically scraped 300 billion words from the internet, ‘books, articles, websites and posts – including personal information obtained without consent.’ OpenAI did so in secret, and without registering as a data broker as it was required to do under applicable law.’ Through their AI products, its claimed, the two companies ‘collect, store, track, share, and disclose’ the personal information of millions of people, including product details, account information, names, contact details, login credentials, emails, payment information, transaction records, browser data, social media information, chat logs, usage data, analytics, cookies, searches, and other online activity. The complaint contends Microsoft and OpenAI have embedded into their AI products the personal information of millions of people, reflecting hobbies, religious beliefs, political views, voting records, social and support group membership, sexual orientations and gender identities, work histories, family photos, friends, and other data arising from online interactions.”

Tech: “Goodreads was the future of book reviews. Then Amazon bought it” [WaPo]. “Former employees said Amazon seemed happy to mine Goodreads for its user-generated data and otherwise let it limp along with limited resources. In Amazon’s more than 20-year history, the company has made dozens of acquisitions, and it is not unusual for it to try to cheaply acquire properties in markets that it wants to dominate, only to let them languish. Until recently, Amazon owned Book Depository and camera-enthusiast favorite DPReview, and it still operates discount marketplace Woot, collectibles website AbeBooks and movie database IMDb. Goodreads ‘hasn’t been all that well maintained, or updated, or kept up with what you would expect from social communities or apps in 2023,’ said Jane Friedman, a publishing industry consultant. ‘It does feel like Amazon bought it and then abandoned it.’ Amazon spokesperson Ashely Vanicek said that “By joining Amazon, Goodreads has accelerated their mission to delight customers with the help of Amazon’s resources and technology.'” • Both Book Depository and DPReview were great, but Amazon killed them. I’m sure they would kill IMDB if they could. Perhaps they’re not done torturing it.

Labor Market: “Labor Market Headfake? Key Report Could Be Overestimating Job Growth” [Walll Street Journal]. “The monthly jobs report, usually published the first Friday of each month and watched closely by investors, policy makers and businesses, consists of two surveys. The payroll survey is based on a sample of more than 122,000 businesses and government agencies covering around 42 million workers—about 28% of formal employment. The household survey is based on a sample of 60,000 households. The payroll survey showed a gain of 339,000 jobs, while the household survey showed employment falling 310,000 and the number of unemployed leaping 440,000 to its highest level since February 2022. The two surveys often diverge because of statistical noise or because they define employment differently. For example, the self-employed are counted by the household survey but not the payroll survey, and their numbers fell sharply in May. Historically, economists consider the payroll survey a more reliable indicator of labor market health, except at turning points in the economy…. For example, from 2007 to 2010, a period dominated by recession and a weak recovery, the payroll survey overstated jobs by a cumulative 1.7 million, as shown by subsequent, more comprehensive tax data. A major cause of such overestimates is related to jobs created by startups and lost by business closures. The survey has no way of capturing businesses it doesn’t yet know exist, or whether a company that doesn’t respond to the survey is ghosting it, or has closed, until many quarters later, when tax data become available.”

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Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 79 Extreme Greed (previous close: 78 Greed) [CNN]. One week ago: 76 (Extreme Greed). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Jul 3 at 8:59 PM ET.

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

The 420

“Colorado rides cresting wave of psychedelic medicine as state prepares to roll out regulation” [Colorado Sun]. “As powerful drugs are pulled out of decades in a deep freeze, researchers are exploring the possibilities of psychotropic medicines, business folk are scheming a new world of ceremonial healing centers, and underground practitioners are basking in a new light as state and federal lawmakers and regulators warily eye a tidal wave of new ideas flooding the mental health space. In the middle of the maelstrom of medicine, mental health, business and regulations are traditional practitioners — especially Native Americans — who are wary that the end result could ruin the magic of the medicine.”

The Conservatory

“‘It’s Tight Like That'” [JSTOR]. “This type of blues, however, has a long tradition. It came to be known as “hokum” blues, Schwartz explains, and it had a formula: ‘humorous and suggestive lyrics, moderate to fast tempos, dance rhythms, and evocations of both rural and urban styles of African American music, usually in twelve-bar verse and refrain form,’ with roots in vaudeville and even earlier. For example, the 1920s song ‘I Want a Hot Dog for My Roll’ was considered so raunchy that the label refused to release it. But a specific song, Schwartz writes, ‘is often identified as the root cause of this ‘corruption'”: ‘It’s Tight Like That,’ recorded by Thomas A. Dorsey and Tampa Red in 1928…. For gospel fans, one of the those names may seem out-of-place—that of Thomas Dorsey. Often credited as the father of gospel music, it’s hard to imagine that the same person who wrote ‘Walk Over God’s Heaven’ and ‘Take My Hand, Precious Lord’ was a part of this movement, but we all contain multitudes. One of the many layers of Dorsey’s life was as a piano player at juke joints in Atlanta.”

The Gallery

The F ar Side:

News of the Wired

“What To the Slave Is the Fourth of July?” [Frederick Douglass, University of Rochester]. I should have put this in Links this morning, but herewith: “Fellow citizens; above your national, tumultuous joy, I hear the mournful wail of millions! whose chains, heavy and grievous yesterday, are, today, rendered more intolerable by the jubilee shouts that reach them. If I do forget, if I do not faithfully remember those bleeding children of sorrow this day, “may my right hand forget her cunning, and may my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth!” To forget them, to pass lightly over their wrongs, and to chime in with the popular theme, would be treason most scandalous and shocking, and would make me a reproach before God and the world. My subject, then, fellow-citizens, is AMERICAN SLAVERY. I shall see, this day, and its popular characteristics, from the slave’s point of view. Standing, there, identified with the American bondman, making his wrongs mine, I do not hesitate to declare, with all my soul, that the character and conduct of this nation never looked blacker to me than on this 4th of July! Whether we turn to the declarations of the past, or to the profes sions of the present, the conduct of the nation seems equally hideous and revolting. America is false to the past, false to the present, and solemnly binds herself to be false to the future. Standing with God and the crushed and bleeding slave on this occasion, I will, in the name of humanity which is outraged, in the name of liberty which is fettered, in the name of the constitution and the Bible, which are disregarded and trampled upon, dare to call in question and to denounce, with all the emphasis I can command, everything that serves to perpetuate slavery–the great sin and shame of America! “I will not equivocate; I will not excuse;” I will use the severest language I can command; and yet not one word shall escape me that any man, whose judgment is not blinded by prejudice, or who is not at heart a slaveholder, shall not confess to be right and just.”

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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 AM:

AM writes: “Wild blue violets in Roger Williams Park in Providence, RI. I think they may be invasive but still are nice to look at. Sometimes it’s good to look down too.” I am here for invasive plants! The more the merrier. Let them duke it out!

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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. square coats

    I’ve been wondering a lot recently about cat food and feeding cats diets that are more natural, less processed, less vulnerable to supply chain woes, less likely to contribute to harmful other animal practices, etc.

    My cat got urinary stones a few years ago and since then over time I was able to work out a diet that keeps her digestion happy but requires two different kinds of prescription cat food, one of which became dangerously scarce for awhile last year.

    I’m wondering if anyone here has any thoughts/recommendations of things I could try to learn more about for potentially easing her into a different diet? since there’s so many people in the commentariat who are knowledgeable about food &/ agriculture and also so many cat lovers.

    Not asking for any advice that I will automatically consider as superseding the advice of a vet and I fully intend to research anything extensively and proceed with absolute caution in any case.

    One example of something I tried that worked okay but wasn’t perfect, was initially just feeding her one kind of prescription food along with organic pumpkin puree, as the food solved the stones but caused other digestive issues, which the pumpkin puree in turn solved more or less. This at least made me very optimistic that there are dietary solutions out there that could make her a happy and healthy cat while also meeting the criteria I put forth above.

    1. JBird4049

      I really don’t know much except to recommend not having any cat food with grain. The cats I have had have all done better with that as cats are obligate carnivores unlike humans and to a lesser extent dogs. However, it seems that most cat food have them.

    2. Pat

      Most of my experience is with diabetic issues. I can tell you that those doing the most work on this are big advocates of producing your own cat food. And there are some rather extensive lists of both carbohydrate and potassium levels in canned cat food. (Dry food is a no go for diabetic cats and largely isn’t recommended for any cat.)

      I’ll see if I can find my old notes and bookmarks. It has been a few years. While it might not be exactly the information you need, it would not surprise me if some of it is helpful and groups involved might know where else to look.

    3. BRetty

      Lots of exhaustive information about cat psychology here:


      Some diet takeaways include: microwaving or heating wet food; cats are very receptive to food smells; cats are obligatory carnivores so plant-only diets fail, etc.

    4. anonymous

      For general information, the Mark Morris Institute has the text Small Animal Clinical Nutrition available for free online – look for the download under publications. There are sections on nutrition for healthy cats and on feline urinary tract disease. If the site asks you to register to read, I had no problem doing so years ago without being in the veterinary field. Mark Morris Sr. and Jr., DVMs, founded Prescription Diet and Science Diet, so the book compares and suggests commercial dog foods, including brands other than Hills. You might be looking for fresher food, but the book will give you a tremendous amount of background information. Under the resources section of the website, there is a directory of veterinary nutritionists.

      The Science Dog has an online course for a fee on feline nutrition for the general public. I do not know how good that particular course is, but the website host/instructor Linda Case BS MS was one of several authors of a canine and feline nutrition book for professionals, and she has written dog food books and good blog posts about the science of dog food and training.

      The website Pet Diets has inexpensive automated recipes or expensive custom nutrition consults by veterinary nutritionists and has a Q&A section. It also has sourcing for supplements.

      Balance It, from a veterinary nutritionist, uses a computer program to create free recipes based on starting ingredients you choose and sells supplements to balance the recipes. For certain medical conditions, you need your vet’s okay to obtain the recipe, and the site has a listing of veterinary nutritionists for cases that need an actual consult. The American College of Veterinary Nutritionists (ACVN) itself also has a diplomate directory online.

      The NRC, FEDIAF (European pet food), and AAFCO all have tables of nutrients for dogs and cats. The FEDIAF 98-pg download is nicely done, but it does not give recommendations for medical conditions. Using NRC guidelines, a website called Pet Diet Designer has a program that can be downloaded to formulate recipes for a balanced fresh food diet. Right now, it only has a beta version for healthy animals, but versions for the public for a single health condition and versions for professional nutritionists and veterinarians are in development, so that might be something to watch.

  2. kareninca

    I just received an email from my husband’s cousin; she is in her 70s. Her granddaughter, who is age 10, presently has covid for the third time. She is having “mild symptoms.” The kid has had both of the regular covid shots, and two bivalent booster shots. It would be much worse without those shots, right?

    The mother is a college professor; it seems the PMC really does believe in “vax and relax.” Too bad about this study re imprinting that rintrah just linked and discussed: https://academic.oup.com/jid/advance-article/doi/10.1093/infdis/jiad230/7209041?login=true. Well, we’re not hamsters, so all is good.

    1. tegnost

      I just received a report of a positive also, this one a probable first timer.
      I just went through seattle and there was more masking than in san diego where it’s practically non existent, including myself, but once travelling I reverted to my previous cautious behavior, thankfully as it turns out as the positive case is in seattle. All my flights were full, the usual tidal flood on the light rail, buses maybe slightly less hazardous, seattle drivers all masked, not so much in the outlying areas to the north, passengers approaching 50% masked, and good air flow with lots of open windows this time of year.

  3. Harold

    Anyone who has had the privilege of seeing flocks and flocks of beautiful orange fritillary butterflies flying about in July will be forever grateful to the aggressively spreading (in the lawn & garden) American wild violet, the host plant for these and other insects. I saw them while visiting a friend who had a property in the Hudson Valley near Kingston which was right next to a huge experimental organic farm, owned by one of the children of billionaire Waren Buffet, if I am not mistaken. I feel sure that the presence of so many butterflies was not unconnected with the chemical-free practices of the adjacent farm. I will never again look at the wild violets in the same way and will always bless them. https://www.nababutterfly.com/violet.html

    1. Late Introvert

      Our yard is full of wild Violets. Not so sure about the invasive thing, but they hold their own along various other ground covers. When we moved here it was some grass, Creeping Charlie and Violets, but we got rid of the Creeping Charlie.

      Oh, and our daughter is named Violet.

      p.s. this went to moderation???

  4. Carolinian

    Re “no more pesky voting”–yes, that’s exactly what they want.

    and re Trump’s numbers–maybe it wasn’t the reported 50,000, but tens of thousands came to see Trump last Saturday in Pickens, SC, pop. 3000. When his jet with ‘Trump’ blazoned on the side flew overhead they cheered. Mumbling Joe has no chance against this. Dem divide and conquer doesn’t work if the other side is bigger.

    1. Acacia

      It’s still a long ways off, but the election is starting to look a bit like the middle-finger vote vs. TDS.

      1. The Rev Kev

        The difference is that they never thought that Trump had a chance of winning back in 2016. That is why Hillary pushed for him to lead the Republicans, But now they know that he can do it so they will pull every trick out of the book to knee-cap him and all the lawfare challenges that we have seen are just the start.

        1. Pat

          That’s worked so well so far.

          The more they do, the more they look like the gang that couldn’t shoot straight.
          Most of it is that they are so insulated they have no real clue why anyone would vote for Trump. So they go after him on the wrong things. They also don’t realize the politically motivated prosecutions might even alienate people enough that it might motivate people to vote for Trump. At this rate I wouldn’t be surprised if whatever else they come up with next puts him over the top.

    2. tevhatch

      Washington was a man of little imagination, besides being a grafter who used the Whiskey Rebellion as an opportunity to use troops to move farmers off land that became his by the mere act of surveying it. He feared that political parties would bring about democratization, making the many a force against property.

  5. Sub-Boreal

    Thank you for including the thread from T. Ryan Gregory, one of the COVID good guys whose tweets I enjoyed back in the Before Times, i.e. a week ago, when I could lurk on Twitter as needed.

  6. KD

    Powder that prompted brief evacuation at White House found to be cocaine

    Gawd save the Queen. Man!

  7. Hepativore

    Happy 4th of July.


    I always thought that Scott Joplin should be considered our national composer.


    I am not one of these people that hates our country, just that it is being slowly destroyed from the inside out in a process that has been going on for decades, and as I was born in 1984, neoliberalism is all Millennials like myself have ever known. I compare it to being invited to a massive, hyped up party, only to be told the wrong starting time and showing up as things are winding down.

    I look at the 4th of July as celebrating the idea of America, and trying to imagine it as it was.

    We are basically where China was in the waning days of the Qing dynasty.

  8. JBird4049

    >>>Here’s Jen Psaki claiming the only reason Muslim Americans object to trans dogma in schools is because white conservatives are manipulating them into it:

    Honestly, the woman is a tool, who seems to believe, along with the rest of her class, that anyone not of their milieu are all helpless, ignorant children. In other words, they are ever so much better than at least 95% of current humanity, not to mention everyone recognizably of the human tree for the past three million years of our collective existence. The astonishing ignorance caused folly shown by these people ruling our collective lives is horrifying.

    We really must find a way to fire their collective a—-.

    1. Screwball

      Well said. I really don’t understand why people would want to hear anything she has to say. The American version of Baghdad Bob is her resume.

      Funny, today is the 4th. I don’t see much to celebrate. Lets hope the only booms are the safe ones (and now we get Elliot Abrams?) given there are no functioning adults in DC and the war department seems hungry for more.

      I’m 66, and I’m as worried now as I’ve ever been about where this country it going.

  9. Mark Gisleson

    Looks like Alex is going to do for the NGO world what Elon did for Silicon Valley: Slash headlcount, and get away with it.

    As with Silicon Valley, I suspect the heads that roll will be the cronies and nepos and other soft hires. This is a cycle we’ve seen before when deregulation meant monopolies no longer needed entire floors of surplus veeps to inflate costs so as to generate larger profits.

    The real tell will be when the oligarchs are exposed by name and so to divert the mob they will fire all the c-suiters and replace them with promoted-from-within managers respected by the workers. Egalitarianly not paying anyone too much will be the last concession, all future communication will be through a Pinkerton spokes-AI.

    Listening to symphonic movie metal from Byelorus today with the speakers cranked. Very heavy metal-ish, neighbors nodding in approval. It’s the 4th of July, I do what I can to get along. Tomorrow when they’re hung over, that’s when I’ll crank up the qwaali : )

  10. Jason Boxman

    There’s so little data now, and we know the CDC actively lies, that it’s hard to trust wastewater data without any confirmation. I can only assume every day is more dangerous and act accordingly. Walgreens continues to have shockingly high positivity, but very small sample size. The variants are marching on, but no increase in cases? Seems so, but really? I worry new variants shed less in wastewater. But we have no check on this so who knows. Sad..

    I guess you never expect this to be your life. But you never wake up.

  11. Jason Boxman

    Something more upbeat. My parents hang a hummingbird feeder. They were out of town for most of the year, and the hummingbirds still came back, sans feeder. But the feeder is now restored. And when they arrive they stop and feast again. Impressive memories over the years. Just saw a little one, tiny. That one might come here for ages. Can’t tag it to be sure.

    Down at the lake they keep a butterfly garden which is now thick with flowering plans, and butterflies hopefully soon. I’ve started seeing fireflies again.

  12. petal

    After being at 0/undetectable for a few testings, our level has gone up to the 300s and supposedly 18 new cases. There was graduation where people flew in from all over(June 11th), then reunions the week after(again more coming in from all over).
    I think a couple of Bernie’s F35s may have flown over earlier today. Was about to grab the dog and run outside because it sounded like a jetliner was about to hit the house. Terrifying. Thought we were toast.

  13. The Rev Kev

    “Why Democrats Should Primary Biden”

    There has been talk of having Newsom be the candidate for the Democrats. There might be some background in Californian political in-fighting there. Newsom represents the older faction there – think Getty money. But Kamala Harris represents the newer factor there – think Willy Brown. So I would expect there to be some sort of fighting between the two factions here as a reflection of Californian politics.

    1. Millard

      Noteworthy that California has no oil extraction tax.

      Nice payback to the Gettys and Armand Hammer of Occidental Oil, big donors to Govenors Pat and later Jerry Brown and now Newsom.

      Even oil friendly Texas collects taxes on fossil fuel extraction.

  14. Henry Moon Pie

    “We’re noticing the reemergence of an old ploy straight from the GOP playbook”

    So will the Dems hire Andy Reid to add some cool plays to their playbook? You’d think MSDNC could come up with some new memes and metaphors every twenty years of so.

    I’m enjoying the thought of the West Wing scrambling around thinking VVP had slipped some anthrax in the WH, then finding it was coke, which is even worse. I’m not rushing to blame Hunter. Maybe Jake needs a little pick-me-up after what happened to the Ukrainian 47th. Maybe Neera is feeling a need after the latest polls. It’s all pretty funny.

  15. Steve H.

    > Which hurricane models should you trust in 2023? [Yale Climate Connections]

    >> Over the past 30 years, one- to three-day track forecast errors have been reduced by about 75%; over the past 20 years, four-day and five-day track forecast errors by 50 – 60%. Those numbers amount to an extraordinary accomplishment, one undoubtedly leading to huge savings in lives, damage, and emotional angst. The improvement in track forecast accuracy has slowed down in recent years, however, suggesting that forecasts may be nearing their limit in accuracy because of the chaotic nature of the atmosphere.

    I often rip into assumptions built into models, with the self-referencing of AI/LLM being the latest iteration. Let me give an ovation for weather modelling. It’s an environment where models are tested against reality and against each other. I find the increase in quality even more impressive considering the increasing destabilization of the climate. To get increased accuracy as variance is also increasing in time is not just an achievement, it’s a beacon of hope in a world of proprietary silos (lookin at you Royal Dutch Shell) and captured tools (Chicago School).

  16. Amfortas the hippie

    Damn, Lambert:
    “My view is that the Democrat hive mind would prefer to have Biden totter along until it’s too late for a real challenger to enter the race — say, after Super Tuesday — and then slip a cog (or even be helped to slip a cog). Then the Democrat hive mind could nominate a new front runner by acclamation — much as happened on the Night of the Long Knives, when Obama dispatched Sanders. The hive mind quite liked that, and wants more of it. No more pesky voting! We need to rid ourselves of the notion that, as a governing class, Democrats (electeds, apparatchiks, strategists, operatives, NGOs, etc.) look downward to the base, even the PMC base. No, the various fractions of the base (more precisely, the engineered hates and fears embedded in fractions of the base; RussiaGate comes to mind) are assets, to be owned by whoever can afford to manipulate them. No, the Democrats look upward to the ruling class, which collectively and through layers of fixers and intermediaries, provides them with the necessary funding to manage those assets (various governing class entities being items in the ruling class portolios).”

    this must needs to be included in your eventual update on the PMC/Blue Check?Demparty “postdated” thing.
    get crackin’, man!

    the myriad and disparate hates as assets to be transactioned(?) is brilliant.
    look at Robb’s swarm idea for this, as well.
    looks like a new thing to me…and Robb’s recent thing on a twitterswarm driving foreign policy was one of the most scary things ive ever read.

    i say we take all the people working on AI right now, and bury them up to their necks in ukranian mud.
    just in case.
    and everybody within the current staff of the state department along with them.
    (and, of course, smash the cia, et alia into a thousand tiny pieces)

    1. SocalJimObjects

      One thing I’ve noticed after living in Taiwan for sometime is that BBQ and hotpot restaurants here tend to be well ventilated, so kinda similar to the one shown in that Twitter post. Customers obviously benefit from it, but then again these are the kinds of places where many people would gather to eat and talk, so you gain some and lose some?

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        I don’t have time to dig it out, but Naomi Wu had a tweet about small restaurant hoods over individual Korean BBQ tables. (I think the tables had their own cooking surfaces, so even more aerosol-y than hot pots.)

  17. VietnamVet

    Happy 4th. Neighborhood firecrackers are tapering off.

    I’ve been following the COVID deaths in America chart here religiously but now it is gone. The total weekly deaths in US by year above is very interesting if true. So far this year excess deaths are identical to the projected excess deaths in 2020 with no pandemic. Today’s corporate nonchalant headline that maternal deaths in the USA have doubled in the last decade and the documented deaths from despair must be included in the 2020 and 2023 excess death numbers.

    Anyway, I broke down and was forced to go to the VA Medical Center yesterday. The pandemic is over. Donald Trump’s picture in the lobby was replaced by Joe Biden’s and I have no idea who the VA Administrator is hanging next to the President. There was no crowd of patients but masking was haphazard and no air filters or obvious UV lights. Just worn out plastic screens for the clerical staff.

    Another week of being on pins and needles to see if I was infected. I made more appointments that I had put off.

    Is this going to be the pattern in the future? What’s next — Illness, a world war, famine, extreme weather? Staying the same seems unlikely.

  18. George Phillies, N3F President

    With respect to indirect press manipulation, note a recent Federal Court decision
    giving a preliminary injunction on the topic of Federal direct and indirect press censorship. If the decision was noted above, I did not find it.

    The list of defendants: Defendants consist of President Joseph R Biden (“President Biden”), Jr, Karine Jean-Pierre (“Jean-Pierre”), Vivek H Murthy (“Murthy”), Xavier Becerra (“Becerra”), Dept of Health & Human Services (“HHS”), Dr. Hugh Auchincloss (“Auchincloss”), National Institute of Allergy & Infectious Diseases (“NIAID”), Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (“CDC”), Alejandro Mayorkas (“Mayorkas”), Dept of Homeland Security (“DHS”), Jen Easterly (“Easterly”), Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (“CISA”), Carol Crawford (“Crawford”), United States Census Bureau (“Census Bureau”), U. S. Dept of Commerce (“Commerce”), Robert Silvers (“Silvers”), Samantha Vinograd (“Vinograd”), Ali Zaidi (“Zaidi”), Rob Flaherty (“Flaherty”), Dori Salcido (“Salcido”), Stuart F.
    Delery (“Delery”), Aisha Shah (“Shah”), Sarah Beran (“Beran”), Mina Hsiang (“Hsiang”), U. S. Dept of Justice (“DOJ”), Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), Laura Dehmlow (“Dehmlow”), Elvis M. Chan (“Chan”), Jay Dempsey (“Dempsey”), Kate Galatas (“Galatas”), Katharine Dealy (“Dealy”), Yolanda Byrd (“Byrd”), Christy Choi (“Choi”), Ashley Morse (“Morse”), Joshua Peck (“Peck”), Kym Wyman (“Wyman”), Lauren Protentis (“Protentis”), Geoffrey Hale (“Hale”), Allison Snell (“Snell”), Brian Scully (“Scully”), Jennifer Shopkorn (“Shopkorn”), U. S. Food & Drug Administration (“FDA”), Erica Jefferson (“Jefferson”), Michael Murray (“Murray”), Brad Kimberly (“Kimberly”), U. S. Dept of State (“State”), Leah Bray (“Bray”), Alexis Frisbie (“Frisbie”), Daniel Kimmage (“Kimmage”), U. S. Dept of Treasury (“Treasury”), Wally Adeyemo (“Adeyemo”), U. S. Election Assistance Commission (“EAC”), Steven Frid (“Frid”), and Kristen Muthig (“Muthig”)

    The judge wrote: “If the allegations made by Plaintiffs are true, the present case arguably involves the most massive attack against free speech in United States’ history. In their attempts to suppress alleged disinformation, the Federal Government, and particularly the Defendants named here, are alleged to have blatantly ignored the First Amendment’s right to free speech”

    I will hope that readers with more comfort with the law to discuss the matter in more detail.

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