2:00PM Water Cooler 8/7/2023

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Bird Song of the Day

At the request of alert reader some guy:

Eastern Meadowlark (Eastern), Noelridge Park, Linn, Iowa, United States. Dated July 1, 2023. So summery.

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Look for the Helpers

Last Friday, I wrote:

I don’t want Water Cooler to be an exercise in doomscrolling. That’s why there are birds at the top, in the sky, and plants at the bottom, for the earth. That said, the world isn’t in the best shape, and we do have to report that clearly, especially in the face of denial, minimization, layers of impacted PMC bullshit. That said, “”if it bleeds, it leads,”” meaning that our famously free press has little incentive to report good news beyond clickbait-y heartwarming anecdotes. That’s one reason I invented, quoting Mr. Rogers, “”Look for the helpers”” in the Covid section; to relieve the bleakness. Let’s expand the principle!

Alert reader Maggie submitted this photo:

Favorite Helper Picture: Love this one capturing our Granddaughter Clara Kay helping feed the food processor. The upcoming generation…..

Links to stories about helpers are also good:

If readers wish to send me more links or photos of helpers in action, you can mail me with “”Helpers”” in the subject line. Can be any situation, not just Covid (though that’s where I got the idea). Even helpful animals!


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


Time for the Countdown Clock!

* * *

“How Donald Trump’s many legal troubles are all starting to intersect” [Politico]. “Potential trial schedules are starting to conflict. Even a lawyer representing Trump in one of his criminal indictments could be a witness against him in another. In some ways, the overlap is inevitable, if only because of the logistical difficulties of litigating so many criminal and civil matters across various jurisdictions. But in other ways, the connections are Trump’s own doing — and could provide advantages to his legal adversaries.” For example: “Take a recent dispute over a videotaped deposition that Trump gave as part of writer E. Jean Carroll’s lawsuit accusing him of rape and defamation…. On May 5, excerpts of that deposition became public after they were used as evidence during the trial (in which a jury sided with Carroll). Trump’s reactions to being questioned about Carroll’s accusations captured the attention of cable-news hosts and pundits across the country. But they weren’t the only ones watching. Across the street from the courthouse where the trial took place, prosecutors in the office of the Manhattan district attorney — who earlier this year brought the first-ever criminal charges against Trump — watched the deposition excerpts, too. And 10 days later, they subpoenaed the law firm representing Carroll in an effort to obtain the unreleased portions of the deposition, arguing in court filings that the full scope of his comments is relevant to their case, in which Trump is accused of falsifying business records to help cover up an affair with a porn star. On Thursday, a judge ruled the law firm can comply with the subpoena. Trump is facing a gauntlet of court dates over the next year at the same time that he is campaigning to return to the White House. He has five trials set to take place between October 2023 and May 2024: the Manhattan DA’s criminal trial, a federal criminal trial, a New York state civil fraud trial and two federal civil trials. A sixth trial in his newest criminal case — an indictment for trying to overturn the 2020 election — will be scheduled later this month. And he might soon face additional criminal charges in Fulton County, Georgia.” • Lawfare. And speaking of lawfare–

“Here’s the Intelligence Assessment of Donald Trump that the Government Can’t Write” [Donell Harvin*, Politico]. “[H]omeland security officials** are also trained to be apolitical [lol], so here’s what they can’t tell you: Donald J. Trump poses a significant threat to homeland security… I do not issue this assessment lightly. Such statements are considered blasphemy in domestic intelligence circles and will undoubtedly draw the ire of many both inside and outside of the profession. To name a political figure, or any prominent U.S. person, in a domestic intelligence assessment is taboo. Intelligence analysts and the agencies that oversee them are taught to not politicize threat assessments. To do so would potentially run afoul of civil rights and civil liberties and the First Amendment. But times have drastically changed since the Trump presidency began. Even as the homeland security profession has resisted involving itself in politics, politically motivated violence has emerged as a major threat to our homeland [“our democracy,” “our homeland”]. This has led to the rise of stochastic terrorism, which occurs when prominent figures demonize, marginalize or openly target a specific group or individual and violence ensues***. NOTES * The bio: “Donell Harvin is a homeland security expert and educator with over 30 years of public safety service. He oversaw the Fusion Intelligence Center for the District of Columbia on Jan. 6, 2021.” And what a success he had during his tenure; see above. Of the headline: For some definition of “government.” Once a spook, always a spook, say I. ** I don’t care whether Harvin’s desk is bought by the GSA or by a corporate purchasing department; he’s got the same job no matter which desk he sits at. *** Like… Russians and Russian Presidents, with whom we then go to war?

* * *

I’m continuing my close reading of United States of America v. Donald J. Trump (the “J6” indictment in DC. This is a searchable PDF version from the DOJ). I’m still working on getting my arms round the four elements of a conspiracy — I sorta expected a bulleted list of them in Smith’s indictment, but no joy — but in the meantime Smith’s structure is interesting: Count One is the enormous narrative, and Counts Two, Three, and Four are larded on top of the narrative in Count One. I don’t know of that’s the usual structure or not. Anyhow, one thing I tend to look for in good writing, including my own, is strong verbs. Smith’s verbs are weak. From item (a) of the “Manner and Means” section in Count One:

Get state legislators to” is weak. What does “get” even mean? What is the mechanism? It certainly doesn’t sound like legalese. Or anything lifted from a “Pattern Indictment” if indeed there is such a thing.

Similarly with item (e) of the same section:

Redoubling is weak. And not legalese. From what baseline? With what mechanism? (I know Smith would say that the baseline is high, but that’s not conveyed by the word he chose?

Then there is a First Amendment issue. From the Introduction to Count One:

Built on is weak. Certainly not legalese. And how is the highlighted portion different from, well, ordinary politics as practiced by everyday Americans doing RussiaGate? Or, for that matter, smearing RFK?

Finally, we have an absurd reading of history in the Introduction to Count One:

I would love to write an indictment with a Smithian narrative about RussiaGate, where the theory of the case would be that Democrats + the spooks + the press conspired together to deprive the American people of an essential Federal Government Function: A functioning chief executive. It wouldn’t be hard to write. At all. That would take care of the “orderly manner” of election 2016. Of course, there’s also election 2000. Nobody who saw Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11 can forget the spectacle of Al Gore gaveling the Congressional Black Caucus into silence as they sought to get George W. Bush’s theft of Florida into the record. “Orderly and peaceful” my Sweet Aunt Fanny. And of course there’s election 2004, but John Kerry — bless his heart — rolled over and widdled himself well before the certification stage. So that’sa alright then.

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“Democratic establishment fears RFK Jr. has a path to victory” [Washington Examiner]. “So does RFK Jr. actually have a viable path to victory? Ask yourself: If the DNC didn’t believe him to be a viable threat, why would they be wasting time and resources attacking him? But given the DNC’s successful rigging of the 2016 and 2020 primaries to prevent the nomination of Bernie Sanders at any cost, what chance does Kennedy stand when he is even more boxed out? Sanders, at least, was granted the opportunity of debating the anointed candidate, if only for appearance’s sake. The key difference is that, compared with RFK Jr., Sanders had relatively little appeal with the unaffiliated and independent voters that were the key to former President Donald Trump’s victory in 2016. These voters are now up for grabs, and they can vote in a lot of the early open primary states….. [RFK Jr.] is effectively making the case that he knows how to prevail where Trump so abjectly failed. This applies not just to effectively reforming the health bureaucracy but also to taming the out-of-control intelligence agencies, addressing spiraling crime and disorder in the cities, dealing with the humanitarian disaster at the southern border, fighting censorship, grappling with looming new methods of surveillance and control (such as the imposition of digital currency), and taking back foreign policy from the military-industrial complex. On every one of these issues that motivate his base, Trump has only divisive, impotent rhetoric, while RFK has a plan. If Kennedy can get these voters to support him in the early, open primary states, all bets are off.” • Well, the Democrat Party reminds me of the Russian entrenchments in Ukraine. RFK might breach the outer defenses (the “crumple zone” as it were). Then come multiple lines of fortification. The superdelegates are the dragon’s teeth, no doubt, but I’m sure the Democrats would prefer that matters not reach that point. With Democrat control of the commanding heights — press, spooks, Big Tech (social media) — that should not be too difficult. Still, you never know!

Clinton Legacy

“The Weaponization of Loneliness” [Hillary Clinton, The Atlantic]. Yeah, guess who’s doing it, ffs. Anyhow: “In May, Surgeon General Vivek Murthy published an advisory, warning that a growing “”epidemic of loneliness and isolation”” threatens Americans’ personal health and also the health of our democracy…. In 1996, I published It Takes a Village. As first lady, I was worried that American life had become frantic and fragmented for many people, especially stressed-out parents. Social, economic, and technological trends seemed to be pulling us apart rather than lifting us up. We were spending more time in our cars and in front of the television and less time engaging in our communities. … Nearly 30 years later, it’s clear that the problems I diagnosed in the 1990s ran deeper than I realized, and were more dire than I could have imagined…. Murthy cites the work of another Harvard researcher, Raj Chetty, who shows how the decline of social connections between people of different classes and backgrounds—the kinds of relationships that used to be formed in VFW halls, church basements, and PTA meetings—has significantly reduced economic mobility in America. The data show that diverse, robust social networks make the American dream possible. Without them, it fades.” • Ah, finally we get to the point. It’s not the oligarchs! It takes a village to stomp a weasel, my attitude. There’s more, much more. 

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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I’ve already linked to this Thomas Frank interview; Frank is an excellent form, which I’m happy to see. The whole interview is worth listening to, but I set the starting point for this posting:

Frank initially talks about hegemon-busting “social movements,” but the discussion segues into a discussion of the wonderful and brutal Listen, Liberal! (published March 15, 2016, that is before Trump was elected). Frank tells how he did a world tour on the strength of that book: France, New Zealand… And in the United States? Frank was blackballed by the press. No more MSNBC, no more Wall Street Journal. Frank was personal non grata. This shows that the liberal Democrat lust to censor was in full force at least seven years ago, even if that lust had not recruited the service providers among the spooks and social media that came to constitute the Censorship Industrial Complex. Frank held up a mirror. Democrats smashed the mirror, and ostracized Frank.


“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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Doublethink (1):

Doublethink (2):

“Aggressive Mask-Wearing”:

I wonder how long before some spook writes a think tank piece on how masks promote “stochastic terrorism.”

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DSA does the right thing:

Hawaii does the right thing:

Breaking through the doublethink:

And the trigger that “kicked in”?

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“Endemic” ≠ “safe”:


“Photodynamic nasal SARS-CoV-2 decolonization shortens infectivity and influences specific T-Cell responses” [Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology]. “Frontiers in.” Nevertheless, from the Discussion: “The primary endpoint of the trial (infectivity reduction) was achieved. We demonstrated a reduction of infectivity in mildly symptomatic, otherwise-healthy individuals with high viral load (Ct<27), when applied during the first days of the replication phase in the nasal mucosa. The treatment consisted of three consecutive day, 12 min-applications of methylene blue-based PDT. Because of the absence of prior literature in intranasal PDT treatment of SARS-CoV-2, we decided to adopt a repeated application protocol rather than the single- or double-applications tested in vitro. This was supported by the low toxicity of the technique, the expected high viral replication rate, the intracellular life of viruses and the interference of mucous layers, especially in patients with nasal congestion." "ASX Health Stocks: Firebrick achieves primary endpoint in Phase 2; Memphasys surges 20pc on Japan deal" [Stockhead]. “Firebrick Pharma (ASX:FRE) rose 8% this morning after announcing that its Phase 2 trial of Nasodine Nasal Spray in Covid-19 has achieved its primary endpoint. Results demonstrated that Nasodine significantly reduced viral shedding versus placebo, with 100% of Nasodine subjects clearing the virus after the completion of treatment. ‘To put this in perspective, the treatment regimen ran over two and a half days and then on the fourth day, 100% of the Nasodine subjects were clear of virus,’ said Firebrick executive chairman, Dr Peter Molloy.” • Big if true.


“Vaccine ‘accessory’ found to stop Covid infection in the nasal tract” [ETV Bharat]. “A nasal vaccine adjuvant, or a substance added to nasal vaccines to trigger a stronger immune response, was found to stop COVID-19 infection in both young and old mice. Several current vaccines contain adjuvants, which boost the effectiveness of a vaccine. While vaccines are known to offer protection against serious illness and death, vaccines can be improved in their ability to stop the spread of SARS-CoV-2 at the point of entry in the upper respiratory tract, the research led by the University of Michigan (U-M) and the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, US, said.Their vaccine protocol combines a nanoemulsion, similar to a tiny droplet of oil and water, and an RNA-based molecule, which is the adjuvant, recognised by the immune system. The RNA adjuvant triggers antiviral pathways inside the cell while the nanoemulsion carries it into the cell, the study published in the journal NPJ Vaccines said. This helps prevent the adjuvant from being cleared too quickly from inside the nasal passages, along with activating immune pathways complementary to the one triggered by the RNA adjuvant, it said.” • Also big if true.

“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.

* * *

“Scientists begin to untangle how COVID-19 affects brain cells” [The Francis Crick Institute]. “In this research, published this week in Journal of Neuroinflammation, brain cells and a 3D model of a blood-brain barrier were exposed to different strains of SARS-CoV-2: wild-type (the original variant from Wuhan), Alpha, Beta, Delta, Eta and Omicron. The brain cells investigated were pericytes, astrocytes, endothelial cells and microglia – cells that support nerve cells and control how permissible the blood-brain barrier is to allowing molecules and cells to cross. The researchers showed that all variants caused stress to brain cells, stopping them from working as well, but exactly which cells were affected depended on the variant. The wild-type virus killed all cell types except astrocytes, whereas Alpha and Beta only killed pericytes, and Omicron killed endothelial cells and pericytes. The researchers also looked at how well the variants crossed the model blood-brain barrier. The wild-type virus and to a lesser extent Omicron were able to disrupt the integrity of the barrier while the other variants could not.”


Elite Maleficence

“Actually, we can’t yet ‘ignore COVID'” [Boston Globe (MV)]. Letters in response to Jha’s horrid screed. For example: “By downplaying the prevalence and debilitating outcomes of even moderate long COVID, Jha is signing thousands of people up to the misery and despair with which I live every day.” Everything’s going according to plan!

“A Covid Positive Milestone” [Anthony J Leonardi, Easy Chair]. A takedown of Leonhardt’s horrid screed, the latest one. “The virus has not turned into an ordinary illness. Symptoms are familiar things, borne from the immune response and appreciated grossly, through amorphous metrics. (Think cough, chills, sore throat, trouble breathing, headache, fever.) Pathophysiology however, what the virus is actually doing to the body, tells a different tale of effects that SARS Cov 2 is able to do that ordinary illnesses do not. For example, even extreme lethal cases of flu do not send T cells into the brain.”

“The Concept of Classical Herd Immunity May Not Apply to COVID-19” [David M Morens, Gregory K Folkers, Anthony S Fauci, The Journal of Infectious Diseases]. From the Abtract: “However, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the virus that causes COVID-19, is so different from polio and measles that classical herd immunity may not readily apply to it. Important differences include the phenotypic stability of polio and measles viruses, and their ability to elicit long-term protective immunity, compared to SARS-CoV-2. For these and other reasons, controlling COVID-19 by increasing herd immunity may be an elusive goal.” • We ran this in March 2022. Interestingly, the weeks on either side of March 2022 are also the time when the Biden Administration “Let ‘er rip!” That’s when CDC’s “Green Map” came out.

Hospital Infection Control whacks more patients:

Handwashing as a Covid prophylactic. In 2023. I wish I were astonished.

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Case Data

From BioBot wastewater data, August 7:

Lambert here: We have now surpassed the second peak (#2), of the previous Covid pandemic infection peaks. I would like to congratulate the Biden administration and the public health establishment, the CDC especially, for this enormous and unprecedented achievement. And a tip of the ol’ Water Cooler hat to the Great Barrington goons, whose policies have been followed so assiduously! I wonder which of the previous peaks (#1, #3, or #4) we’ll surpass next. A curious fact: All of Biden’s peaks are all higher than Trump’s peaks. Shows you what public health can do when it’s firing on all eight cylinders! Musical interlude.

Regional data:

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

Regional variant data:

EG.5 (the orange pie slice) still seems evenly distributed.


NOT UPDATED From CDC, August 5:

Lambert here:  EG.5 at the top of the leaderboard (after waiting two weeks ffs). EG.5 is big in Japan:

From CDC, July 22:

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 29:

Lambert here: Increase is even more distinct. (The black line is “combined”, but it is easy to see that Covid, the red line, is driving everything.)

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 31:

3.2%. Interestingly, people are citing to this, too, as well as Biobot. Vertical, though the absolute numbers are still very small relative to June 2022, say. Interestingly, these do not correlate with the regional figures for wastewater. (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.)

From CDC, July 17:

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, August 2:

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: 1,170,781 – 1,169,999 = 782 (782 * 365 = 285,430 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). 

Lambert here: Big jump, even for over the weekend. Odd.

Excess Deaths

The Economist, August 6:

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

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Tech: “Google Maps has become an eyesore. 5 examples of how the app has lost its way” [Fast Company]. “Finally, Google Maps seems more intent today on showing bars, restaurants, ads, and work-from-home businesses than useful map-related features. Sometimes it doesn’t even show the most basic information anymore, including street names. Many times I just want to see the name of the street I’m standing on. So, I open Google Maps and zoom in on my current location. Yet no matter how far in I zoom in, Google Maps doesn’t always apply a label to the street I’m standing on. It just remains blank. Of course, business pins I have no interest in are still prominently displayed.  A workaround I’ve stumbled upon whenever this happens is to select a business pin on the next street over. When Google Maps centers on that, it for some reason will label the street I’m standing on. Among all the gripes on this list, I think this one is my biggest. If my ad-hoc workaround doesn’t work, I often have to open Apple Maps just to look up the name of the street I’m on.” • Yep.

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Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 71 Greed (previous close: 68 Greed) [CNN]. One week ago: 76 (Extreme Greed). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Aug 7 at 1:51 PM ETl.

Rapture Index: Closes up one on Oil Supply/Price. “Oil demand is up.” They got that one right! [Rapture Ready]. Record High, October 10, 2016: 189. Current: 183. (Remember that bringing on the Rapture is good.) NOTE on #42 Plagues: “The coronavirus pandemic has maxed out this category.” More honest than most! 

Feral Hog Watch

I suppose we would call it “Hog Many”:

Zeitgeist Watch

“Alabama Boat Brawl Video Explained in Detail: How Events Unfolded” [Newsweek]. “Videos showing a group of white men attacking a Black dock worker in Alabama have gone viral on social media. The incident took place after a pontoon boat blocked an area where a riverboat was parking near Montgomery Riverfront Park on Saturday evening, WFSA’s Jasmine Williams reported.” • Avoid shirtless men at all costs. 

Class Warfare

“Working Class Does not Equal White” [Ibram X. Kendi (!!), The Atlantic]. “That the words working class are synonymous in the minds of many Americans with white working class is the result of a political myth. As the award-winning historian Blair LM Kelley explains in her new book, Black Folk: The Roots of the Black Working Class, Black people are more likely to be working-class than white people are. Kelley’s Black Folk opens our minds up to Black workers, narrating their complex lives over 200 years of American history. Kelley looks at the history of her own working-class ancestors, as well as the laundresses, Pullman porters, domestic maids, and postal workers who made up the world of Black labor. Their joys. Their skills. Their challenges. She also offers historical context for the racist ideas about Black workers that endure in our time, while highlighting the ways that Black labor organizing has always helped to fight back against [wait for it….] bigotry.” • Not their, well, owners…..

“Google Takes a Page Out of Twitter’s Book: Invites Employees to Sleep ‘On Campus’ for a Fee” [Gizmodo]. • Why not go whole hog and set up a trailer park? Reinvent the company town!

News of the Wired

“Where communication breaks down for people with autism” [Spectrum]. “Communication is verbal and nonverbal — it includes the words we use and the order in which we place them, but also gestures, facial expressions, eye contact and so on. Depending on how you define it, ‘prosody’ contains elements of both. And it’s where many discussions about communication in autism begin. Put simply, prosody is the rhythm of speech, its rise and fall, energy and intonation. That rhythm does a tremendous amount of work. ‘[Prosody] is part of the way we perform with language,’ says Helen Tager-Flusberg, director of the Center for Autism Research Excellence at Boston University. Stressing one word over another, for instance, provides pragmatic information about importance, as in ‘I wanted blue socks’ versus ‘I wanted blue socks.’… Prosody has long been an obvious source of difficulty for individuals with autism.” • I just wanted to highlight “prosody,” but the whole article is insightful. (I don’t think I’m “on the spectrum,” so I’m not speaking from “lived experience” as we say.)

“Why homes often feel warmer than the thermostat suggests – and what to do about it” [The Conversation]. More personal risk assessment. “As a professor of architecture and building science, I believe today’s byzantine building codes and rental rules could be greatly improved for comfort by regulating mean radiant temperature rather than air temperature. Vast sections of code could be jettisoned by requiring that interior surfaces, which are easy to measure with an inexpensive infrared thermometer, be kept within a comfort range above 60 F (15.6 C) and below 85 F (29.4 C). For more comfortable buildings, architects and engineers can apply simple, established principles, such as natural ventilation, shading and the right insulation and windows for the climate. Keeping heat out in the first place means we don’t have to spend so much on energy for cooling. Research shows that these measures can also make us safer by keeping buildings cooler for longer in summer power outages. The happy result: homes and other buildings that are not only comfortable, but also safer and more affordable to operate.”

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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 MF:

MF writes: “This is a wild yellow pansy with purple wings that took root in our rock garden this spring.”

* * *

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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. nippersdad

    “Murthy cites the work of another Harvard researcher, Raj Chetty, who shows how the decline of social connections between people of different classes and backgrounds—the kinds of relationships that used to be formed in VFW halls, church basements, and PTA meetings—has significantly reduced economic mobility in America.”

    This might have something to do with it too.


    No Harvard professors necessary to understand this.

    1. hunkerdown

      “Economic mobility” is code for the deification of the “middle class” and a reification of capitalist relations, as would be expected from a PMC high priestess and the Protestant family.

      1. nippersdad

        Yep, Iron law of institutions.

        A quote from JFK that she might have remembered had she gotten away from the Goldwater Girls for a few minutes during her political initiation period:

        “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.”

        [Remarks on the first anniversary of the Alliance for Progress, 13 March 1962]”

        Now that she has done so much to help burn the village down she is now worried that the tumbrils might show up in Chappequa.

    2. nippersdad

      Like shooting fish in a barrel:

      “I also was concerned about the rise of right-wing politicians like Newt Gingrich and media personalities like Rush Limbaugh who were sowing division and alienation.”

      So the answer was to push through the telecommunications act of ’96 to deregulate media markets so that they would not have to make Murdoch divest himself of the excess properties he had helped himself to in against the prevailing monopoly laws of the time.

      She has the gall to mention Case Deaton, but no mention of NAFTA and all of the other “gold standard” trade bills she advocated for, before she was against them and subsequently for them again. Let’s see if she brings up Gilens and Page.

      “It’s not just the surgeon general who recognizes that social isolation saps the lifeblood of democracy. So do the ultra-right-wing billionaires, propagandists, and provocateurs who see authoritarianism as a source of power and profit.”


      “Still, I can’t help but think about where they and their friends and classmates will be soon, exposed hour after hour to whatever content some hidden algorithm decides to promote.

      Dude! Silicon Valley is one of your largest constituencies!

      “… the way our phones and social-media networks inject bullying, abuse, misinformation, outrage, and anger directly into our brains, is not something any of us could have foreseen just a few short decades ago.”

      Which brings us right back to the deregulation of the media conglomerates that Wikileaks showed you used to your advantage in ’16, or was it just my imagination that those people spreading kiddie porn on FB Sanders sites and calling us all “chair throwing Bernie Bro’s” were supporting you?

      “There have always been angry young men alienated from mainstream society and susceptible to the appeal of demagogues and hate-mongers. But modern technology has taken the danger to another level. This was Steve Bannon’s key insight.”

      Yeah, Hillary. Methinks you got there first. See above.

      “A recent study from the organization Informing Democracy identified more than 200 local officials across six battleground states who, like Judd, have taken antidemocratic actions. Many of them are in a position to administer or influence the 2024 elections. They’re county clerks and municipal election commissioners, state legislators and members of canvassing boards. They’re people you’ve probably never heard of who play vital roles in making our electoral system work.”


      “…Instead of nonpartisan volunteers and civic organizations like the League of Women Voters, we have MAGA election deniers and QAnon enthusiasts. There’s now a widespread shortage of poll workers because so many have faced harassment and abuse, just for doing their jobs and helping people vote.”

      Gee, I wonder why? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D5ugmNoanx8

      ” We need to defeat the demagogues and election deniers so convincingly that there’s no room for dirty tricks.”


      Ugh, ugh, ugh!

      Lambert, you weren’t joking. This thing is just full of it. There is not a paragraph in there that is not offensive.

      1. nippersmom

        Hillary is a perfect illustration of one of my favorite quotes:
        It is my considered opinion that a lot of people are breathing air worthier people could have and they owe an apology to trees for laboring to provide that air.

        In her case, I think a cockroach would qualify as one of the “worthier people”.

    3. britzklieg

      That BLM ultimately has been co-opted and lost its way does not diminish the courage of that very gutsy individual. The truth about the Clintons, fatuously considered defenders of racial justice (see Ricky Ray Rector and their celebration of the death penalty, see the whistling Dawg’s bragged about crime bill, see the end of welfare as we knew it – it’s a long and devastating list), helped to keep the anointed one out of the WH. Granted, she continues to thrive in the shadows and the gutters, her natural environment, where the disease continues to fester.

      Stone Mountain Moment – “Bill Clinton Has Always Been This Person”: https://www.currentaffairs.org/2016/04/bill-clinton-has-always-been-this-person

  2. Mikel

    “The Weaponization of Loneliness” [Hillary Clinton, The Atlantic].Ah, finally we get to the point. It’s not the oligarchs! It takes a village to stomp a weasel, my attitude. There’s more, much more…”

    Private Equity bought the village. It’s drowned in debt.

  3. Democracy Working Someday

    Google Maps has become an eyesore. 5 examples of how the app has lost its way.

    OMG I have several times recently found myself loudly cursing this very “not able to find name of street” enshittification symptom — while perturbed passengers object to me frantically zooming in and out on my phone screen while trying to figure out which exit to the airport the app is recommending. “Mom, you just have to go to the steps sub-menu to see it written out,” my daughter pointed out, to which I responded that I was SURE that I didn’t previously have to take that extra annoying step.

    1. Stephen V

      I hear I thought it’s because I live in podunk! Thanks for the strange comfort.
      (We have road names like CR1234 but still. C’mon man.)

    2. Fiery Hunt

      My personal pet peeve is that Google maps, no matter how much you zoom in, never INCREASES the size of the font of street names!

      Seems pretty frickin’ basic to increase font size as you zoom in but noooo….

      My kingdom for an old Thomas guide.

  4. edwin

    A rather interesting set of charts and tables for Canada. At he provincial and country level, so unless you live in Prince Edward Island you are not going to get a local picture. Includes information on excess deaths, cost of hospitalization, and current risk assessment. Comparisons on expected vs reported deaths from Omicron. Big on masking.


  5. Harold

    I have been trying to get wild pansies (viola tricolor for pedants, aka ‘Johnny Jump-Ups’), to naturalize in my garden, as they are more perennial (and floriferous, if smaller flowered) than cultivated ones, but the sparrows love to eat them. They also die off in hot weather. Sigh.

      1. Harold

        I already have those! If you have room, they are the host plant for the larvae of the magnificent Fritillary butterflies that fly about in gorgeous flocks, but my postage-sized urban plot is too small for that.

      2. marieann

        For the love of God don’t ever plant violets in your yard. I ‘took” one plant from a park just once and it has punished me for years…..it grows everywhere…..and I curse that one wee plant every time I am in the garden.

    1. FreeMarketApologist

      When I had a back yard in Brooklyn (yes, a tree grew there as well), I planted wild pansies in several spots, and after a couple of years, was pulling them out from all sorts of undesired places. They got dappled sun and reasonable amounts of water, and clearly wanted to take over. Maybe mine were a cultivar with more Brooklyn attitude?

      1. Bugs

        Nice thing about them is they’re edible and look great in a salad or as garnish. I wish I could get them to come back every year but I guess my tiny corner of Normandy isn’t the right microclimate.

  6. Chris Smith

    Dr. Kendi and his disciples did a lot to create the implication that ‘working class’ means white working class. Yet no admission or acknowledgment of this in his article. Shame on him.

    1. Michael Fiorillo


      Expert sniffer of political winds and opportunist that he is, I find it interestIng that he has discovered the the Black working class, and wonder if it might portend even greater efforts by him and his ilk to (further) racialize labor campaigns and labor politics.

  7. Mark Gisleson

    Lambert above:

    Well, the Democrat Party reminds me of the Russian entrenchments in Ukraine. RFK might breach the outer defenses (the “crumple zone” as it were). Then come multiple lines of fortification. The superdelegates are the dragon’s teeth, no doubt, but I’m sure the Democrats would prefer that matters not reach that point. With Democrat control of the commanding heights — press, spooks, Big Tech (social media) — that should not be too difficult.

    Very well put but just to clarify, you’re calling out the “press, spooks, Big Tech” as the party’s “artillery”? That’s a great call as artillery hits you from all sides, is relentless and the people on the receiving end have no recourse (running just redirects the bombardment).

    I think it’s time for me to automatically insert phrases like “cowardly attack” and “punching down” into my social media again. I forget how it was spun, but the D’s actually mounted a counter-offensive against “punching down” some time back as it was proving inconvenient after Biden’s election.

    As the curtain gets pulled back, we can but marvel at how many people have been standing behind it relentlessly punching down.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > Very well put but just to clarify, you’re calling out the “press, spooks, Big Tech” as the party’s “artillery”?

      That’s a very good question. My metaphor (violating my own principles!) is not that tight. press, spooks, Big Tech, Democrats are the forces that control the “commanding heights,” not the weaponry.

      1. Mark Gisleson

        Glad I clicked, definitely had not been grasping the correct meaning of commanding heights.

  8. Carolinian

    Hillary feels our pain.

    And Turley calls the latest Smith a “speaking indictment” in that it’s all about creating a narrative even if legally dubious. And BTW Turley says that in his opinion presidents, sitting or former, can be indicted but this indictment unlikely to survive a SC appeal on free speech grounds.

    Maybe like in Gore Vidal’s Best Man all this mud slinging will result in neither Biden nor Trump becoming president. But couldn’t they have spared the country by making that decision to begin with? The duopoly have become a Frankenstein and this election is their monster.

    1. The Rev Kev

      This isn’t going to be like the Mueller investigations, is it? Remember them? Two years of waffle and insinuations plus the devotional candles only to end in a fizzle with a doddering, forgetful Meuller delivering the final report in public. The media right now, like with Meuller back then, is all over Smith in how wonderful and athletic he is while not pointing out how bad it looks for a sitting President trying to jail his likely main political opponent in an upcoming Presidential election.

  9. Tom Stone

    It’s going to be an interesting next few Months and Years.
    The Sonoma County Fair will be going on through the 13th and the Gravenstein Apple Parade and Fair starts when that ends.
    My oldest friend has Covid for the first time (65 years and counting), my friend the fence contractor had two of his three three man crews off for a week with a “Really bad Summer Cold” Two are still out sick.
    I expect we’ll see a lot more absences from work this coming fall and meanwhile the virus keep mutating rapidly inn every host, Human and Animal.
    An unscientific wild as guess would be roughly 100,000,000 Humans with Covid at any given time…
    The other SARS viruses are much more lethal during the acute stage.
    If you spin the cylinder enough times a live round will show up.

    1. Raymond Sim

      Just yesterday I was contemplating an unappealing apple my wife brought home from the store, and then I brightened up thinking “It’s almost Gravenstein time!” And then my brain reminded me there will likely be one or more Gravenstein-related superspreading events. Sigh.

    2. Fiery Hunt

      My better half just talked to old friends…
      They travel to Austraila every year for 2 months (!) and this year they included Thailand and New York on their itinerary travelling back to CA.

      Got Covid TWICE.
      Very sick in Asia, sick enough in NY.
      None of it stopped them from getting on planes.

      I’d be surprised if they even wore masks.

      There’s just no way to combat selfishness and stupidity.
      There just isn’t.

      1. Samuel Conner

        > There’s just no way to combat selfishness and stupidity.
        There just isn’t.

        Patience. Long COVID will take care of it.

        Of course, by then, we’ll be living in a very different economy.

    3. aletheia33

      thank you, tom.

      a great plague can cause severe labor shortage, which can upset the classes’ “order” and “change the course of human history,” as they say, e.g. the Black Death, whose impact in Europe everyone on this site must be familiar with.

      my favorite “meme” of that event is an illustration from that period that shows those who had ruled the peasants from the manor toiling in the fields, as there was no one left whom they could induce (by any methods) to do it for them.
      for those laborers who did survive, the plague would have in a sense turned out to be their friend. what a strange situation.

      it seems to me that our current plague, particularly if it recurs in waves over decades as the Black Plague did before dying out, may ultimately have as powerful an impact. and combined with climate change, it’s clear that “the course of human history” is going to “change” in the coming decades. dystopian/post-collapse/apocalyptic dramas/fiction don’t interest me or capture it for me at all. my imagination is not up to conceiving it.

      some reliable reporting on the situation in the wild by reliable witnesses would certainly help. but there is so little information available, we are all stumbling forward in the dark. just as they were in the Middle Ages–depending on rumor, superstition, and invention. here we are, already.

      NC helps.

  10. Carla

    Re: today’s plantidote. I had first learned the name “Johnny Jump-Up” for these charming flowers, but then heard “Heart’s Ease” which I like better. Wikipedia lists many more names:

    “Viola tricolor is a common European wild flower, growing as an annual or short-lived perennial. The species is also known as wild pansy, Johnny Jump up (though this name is also applied to similar species such as the yellow pansy), heartsease, heart’s ease, heart’s delight, tickle-my-fancy, Jack-jump-up-and-kiss-me, come-and-cuddle-me, three faces in a hood, love-in-idleness, and pink of my john.”

    1. Fried

      In German they’re called “little stepmother”, whyever that may be. I used to have them in my garden, but they’ve long since gone.

  11. britzklieg

    An “RNA molecule” as adjuvant to a more effective nasal vaccine is something I could get behind if positive results are shown in people. It’s the “m” part of the current vaccine (Moderna = Modified RNA) and modifying the very spike protein at the center of the scourge that should be questioned, imo… Moderna failed for decades to find a successful use for its frankenstein polymeric molecules. 2 1/2 years and 5 to 6 jabs later, covid continues to evolve, be transmitted and cause illness and death. Some call that success , I don’t. To suggest the current vax “stops” anything, especially when considering the changing nature of both the virus and its symptoms (not to mention being consistently based on viral strains that are no longer relevant) is not unsimilar to proving a negative. Whatever the benefits, they have been hyped and marketed beyond reason. IMO.

  12. notabanker

    The Donell Harvin article is perhaps the most disturbing thing I’ve read on NC, and that is saying a lot.

    We have Homeland Security saying a legitimately elected sitting, and now former, President is a threat to National Security. In a national publication. This is a former President who is the current front runner to re-take the Presidency in the next election. This is treason in a rational country, and a clear and overt attempted coup of the government.

    Homeland Security does not decide who the next President will be, the citizens decide via an election. In fact, there is not a Homeland Security in the US Constitution, and authors of it warned about having one. And claims about being apolitical are a complete family blog joke. Homeland Security was complicit in censoring critical public information that could have dramatically changed the election results of 2020.

    I just can’t believe this has been published. The guy was Commander in Chief. We started no new wars and had a robust economy under him, now he is being labeled as a domestic terrorist. The writing is on the wall, and this is not going to end well. And I’m not rooting for Donell.

  13. Dezert Dog, Rex

    I really like the young lady processing her food. So much nicer, and real, than plucking a box off the shelf at the grocery store.

  14. Mark K

    Re: Google Maps has become an eyesore. 

    My go-to online map for when I want to look at, you know, a map, with street names and distance bars and mappy things like that, is openstreetmap.org. Also, no ads.

    1. Carolinian

      Osmand is a great implementation of open street maps on Android devices. They try to charge for the state maps or you can just look them up on a repostitory and download the.obf for free. This app has been around for a long time but lately has become much more sophisticated. If your device has gps it will integrate and route.

      1. jsn

        Yes, whenever I can.

        I find I can still read them where there’s no cell coverage.

        For some reason, wherever I’m going is always on a fold, which a quarter into the digital century also generally means a tear.

      2. aletheia33

        i do.
        i think GPS rots one’s brain.
        and changes/distorts one’s experience of the world/reality in not a good way.
        plus i am a map lover from childhood:
        the joy of the USGS map for exploring the countryside on foot (see: walking)!

      3. griffen

        Not exactly in the same vein, older sibling hikes and frequently carries foldable maps of the hiking sections we are in, at least for regional hiking in Western NC and Upstate SC. In fact on a recent hike near Brevard, NC, after a particularly long day ( drive, hike a bit, more driving,etc..) I provided encouragement to utilize google Maps as opposed to his memory for waterfall locations. I submit to being in a “hangry mood” when doing so, but an 8:00pm meal was an hour too late. This individual owns a smartphone but seemingly will avoid any app install, no matter the usefulness. Google Maps does have some benefit on searches for general locations, in such undertakings.

      4. Nikkikat

        Yes to foldable paper maps. Drove across the country last year with our auto club maps. Everything was great! Even well mapped construction zones.

    1. Pat

      Well I only made it about a page in, but unfortunately I don’t know how much this will cost him. Bluster sells. I do appreciate the sympathy, I also think we need it.

      The good news is there have been a few indications that the state’s PTB are quietly rescinding their early declarations of him as the second coming of NY Democratic politics, and IMHO everyone outside of NY is probably safe, I don’t think he can sell his brand elsewhere. (Not so on Goldman, he could go national.)

    1. The Rev Kev

      It’s because they don’t have US & NATO troops protecting those crops so that they can be processed and loaded aboard US military aircraft for transport – or so went the rumour. Come to think of it, Air America was just a rumour too during the Vietnam war.

  15. Jay Ess

    Regarding Nasodine, from the company’s site:

    “The Company is not planning further COVID-19 studies or intending to pursue regulatory approval for Nasodine use in COVID-19.”

  16. Matthew G. Saroff

    Is Granddaughter Clara Kay making borscht? If so, I want the recipe. I love borscht.

  17. flora

    Thanks for the Thomas Frank video.
    I have one quibble with his confidence in social movements: these days banks will shut down bank accounts of those the ruling powers find objectionable. They will send IRS agents to harass those they find objectionable. Those financial tactics are two mighty obstacles social movements must be ready to overcome, imo. I’m not saying social movements can’t overcome these obstacles, but I think it’s harder now. (Just imagine the financial power CBDCs would give the status quo.)

    1. NoFreeWill

      the FBI conduct no-knock raids on even mild environmental activists, so a bank account being shut down is a bit surprising to consider the final straw. That said digital money means it’s harder to rob banks to finance the revolution.

  18. Mark Gisleson

    On a dark impulse I consulted a rhyme dictionary to see what kind of trouble Vivek Ramaswamy might be in if things get nasty. No rhymes for Ramaswamy, of course, but swamy rhymes with balmy, commie, and mommy. OK, somewhat infantile but in the event Vivek ticks off Trump, pastrami may be in play.

    And if it ends up being Trump-Ramaswamy, keep the word tsunami in mind ; )

    1. InquiringMind


      “Rama-smarty” pronounced with contempt for a Harvard-Yale combo grad.

      But who are we kidding trying to compete with the best playground bully to ever emerge from Queens.

  19. The Rev Kev

    “Google Takes a Page Out of Twitter’s Book: Invites Employees to Sleep ‘On Campus’ for a Fee”

    They have got to be joking. Imagine your boss coming to you and saying –

    ‘Hey, you can sleep at work here – and I’ll charge you only 100 bucks a night for you to do so. Don’t mind the cameras watching every movement that you make and who’s zooming who. And if I need you for a job in the middle of the night, I know exactly where to find you. And considering what we pay you, you can afford to pay me back $3,000 a month, right? And forget about partners and children. If we wanted you to have them, we would have sold you some.’

    1. griffen

      I’ve commented here before on remote work, but I’ve been fully remote since early in 2022. Not sure I will ever go back to a full time role, in office 5 days a week ever again. In fact, many at this employer are fully remote with a more recent requirement to be in office 2 days per week and the office attendance. I don’t think it’s a heavy hand commandment, but it is encouraged. Added that my role, is practically designed to be doable online and fully remote. I’m benefiting from technology, yes, and also from 20+ years of performative but mostly meaningful work in an office ( I am not missing life in a cubicle necessarily ).

      Comments to that article were taking shots, and Google is taking a page from the Jamie Dimon rule book. You like your nice job and all the perks, but need the incentive to return to an office? Don’t like this option, go drive an Uber! ( sarc )

  20. Carolinian

    Good Caitlin on David Brooks and others


    There are other factors at play with regard to elite education. The number of journalists with college degrees skyrocketed from 58 percent in 1971 to 92 percent in 2013; if your wealthy parents aren’t paying that off for you then you’ve got crushing student debt that you need to pay off yourself, which you can only do in the field you studied in by making a decent amount of money, which you can only do by acting as a dependable propagandist for the imperial establishment.

    Of course back in the blue collar days the profession had many more journalism jobs to fill. So in that sense perhaps you can blame part of it on the internet which seems to have killed off so many newspapers.

    I’d say the real complaint is less the Ivy League but how lame those NYT shills are. They don’t seem to know anything and believe their own bs.

  21. maipenrai

    No sure if Greg Travis knows, but SarsCov2 and Rabies share almost nothing in common. Yes, both are viruses. One, the vaccine leads to sterilizing immunity. the other none. one results in death nearly 100% of the time. the other less than .3%. One the vaccine lasts a lifetime. The other, weeks.

    1. kareninca

      Dogs in CA are required to have the rabies shot once every three years. Our last dog had a rabies shot as a puppy, at age 3, and at age 6. After that, since she had IBD, we just had her blood titred, and the county let us send proof of that instead. She didn’t need further shots; she was still protected from rabies by her early shots until she passed away at age 13. I have never heard of a dog getting a rabies shot annually.

  22. some guy

    I miss the Eastern meadowlarks of my childhood and youth. I remember this short-string of stacatto-churs call. They would often make it when close to landing after having flown for a little while. I don’t remember when else they made it. It was so long ago.

    I have heard their song more recently, the most recent time about 10 years ago and maybe one time 10 years before that. I sometimes wonder whether the Western meadowlark could live in the Eastern landscape as it now is. If it discovers it can, it may well fill the vacuum left by the departing Eastern meadowlark.

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