Thursday, June 20, 2024

2:00PM Water Cooler 8/31/2023 | bare capitalism

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Fowl Music of the Day

Jap Whip-poor-will, 10 Miles South Of Meadow Portage, Manitoba, Canada. From 1960, so extraordinarily old-school. “Recordist’s Notes: night. Additionally: cattle, Wilson’s snipe, one other whip-poor-will, horned owl. 4-hundred and seventeen examples of the ‘Whip-poor-will’ Name of BNA* or, extra appropriately, the track of C. v. vociferus.” NOTE * BNA = “Birds of North America.”

Affected person readers, I unnoticed the embed code. Sorry! Right here, then, is 7:30 of whip-poor-will, cattle, snipes, and many others.

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“So most of the social reactions that strike us as psychological are actually a rational administration of symbolic capital.” –Pierre Bourdieu, Classification Struggles

The Constitutional Order

Two households, each alike in dignity,
In truthful Verona, the place we lay our scene,
From historic grudge break to new mutiny,
The place civil blood makes civil arms unclean.
–William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet

Shakespeare says the 2 households are “alike” in dignity, however he doesn’t say how a lot dignity they really have. If Verona’s households are like our events, the reply is “not a lot.”

* * *

“The Sweep and Power of Part Three” [William Baude and Michael Stokes Paulsen, University of Pennsylvania Law Review]. I extremely suggest this piece (and the following dialogue at NC, beginning right here). As a former English main and a fan of shut studying, I’m not averse to “originalism,” of which Baude and Paulsen present a magisterial instance, within the sense that understanding the regulation as a textual content should start with understanding the plain, public which means of the phrases used when the textual content was written. That’s how I learn Shakespeare, or Joyce, so why not the Structure? Simply so long as understanding doesn’t finish there! In any case, I’m working via it. One factor I discover is that there do appear to have been moderately quite a lot of rebellions and insurrections, not simply the Civil Battle. To me, that is parallel to at least one lesson I drew from Mike Duncan’s Revolutions podcast (episode 1): There are moderately quite a lot of revolutions, too. Alert reader Pensions Man summarizes Baude and Paulsen as follows:]

The authors undergo an exhaustive textual and originalism evaluation of Part Three, and their Federalist Society leanings don’t deter them from reaching their conclusion that officers in each State who’re charged with figuring out candidate {qualifications} ought to conclude that Donald Trump is disqualified from being on ballots due to the oath he took on Inauguration Day 2017 and subsequently violated via his function within the riot that occurred on January 6, 2021.

Taking “riot” as learn (I must do extra studying), extra on my persevering with protection of Part Three.

* * *

“Liberal teams search to make use of the Structure’s riot clause to dam Trump from 2024 ballots” [Associated Press]. “Two liberal nonprofits pledge courtroom challenges ought to states’ election officers place Trump on the poll regardless of these objections. The hassle is more likely to set off a series of lawsuits and appeals throughout a number of states that in the end would result in the U.S. Supreme Courtroom, presumably within the midst of the 2024 major season. The matter provides much more potential authorized chaos to a nomination course of already roiled by the front-runner going through 4 prison trials…. ‘There’s a really actual prospect these circumstances shall be energetic in the course of the primaries,’ stated Gerard Magliocca, a regulation professor at Indiana College, warning that there could possibly be completely different outcomes in several states earlier than the Supreme Courtroom makes a last determination. ‘Think about you have got an opinion that claims he’s not eligible after which there’s one other major the place he’s on the poll.’ Although most litigation is unlikely to start till October, when states start to set their ballots for the upcoming major.” And: “In 2021, the nonprofit Free Speech For Folks despatched letters to the highest election official in all 50 states requesting Trump’s removing if he have been to run once more for the presidency. The group’s authorized director, Ron Fein, famous that after years of silence, officers are starting to debate the matter.” So Democrats have been working this for awhile; actually, for the reason that occasions of January 6, ariot instantly framed by them as “riot.” Extra: “It’s crucial that the excessive courtroom settle the difficulty earlier than the final election, stated Edward Foley, a regulation professor at The Ohio State College. His worry is that if Trump’s {qualifications} usually are not resolved and he wins, Democrats may attempt to block his ascension to the White Home on Jan. 6, 2025, triggering one other democratic disaster.” • Many examples of election officers contemplating this difficulty. 

“Donald Trump ineligible for presidency due to function in riot, new lawsuit claims” [Chicago Tribune]. “The lawsuit, citing Trump’s involvement within the Jan. 6, 2021, riot, desires the federal courts to implement the 14th Modification to the Structure, added after the Civil Battle to forestall individuals who engaged in revolt in opposition to the US from holding workplace once more…. ‘Realistically, it’s not a Hail Mary, nevertheless it’s simply tossing the ball up and hoping it lands in the correct place,’ stated Charles Zelden, a professor of historical past and authorized research who makes a speciality of politics and voting at Nova Southeastern College. ‘It’s hopefulness that we will make the issue that’s Trump merely go away. And I’m sorry, Trump is just too large an issue to easily go away. He’s an excessive amount of of a problem to the system.’ ‘It’s sort of a type of concepts that solely a regulation professor may love,’ Zelden stated.” • Right here is the case:


Time for the Countdown Clock!

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“Trump Decries ‘Violent’ Fulton County Jail: ‘It’s Worse Than You Might Even Think about’” [The Messenger]. “In a fundraising e mail to supporters over the weekend, Trump described his time being booked in Fulton County, Georgia on Thursday. … ‘It’s violent. The constructing is falling aside. Inmates have dug their fingers into the crumbling partitions and ripped out chunks to style over 1,000 shanks,’ Trump wrote. ‘It’s worse than you possibly can even think about. Simply this 12 months alone, 7 inmates have died in that jail.’… The previous president stated the “third world state” of the jail additional motivated him to run in 2024.” • See Atlanta Journal’s “The actual behind the wall: A glance contained in the notorious, lethal Fulton County Jail” for many ugly element: “Final 12 months alone, the power endured 11 fires, 534 fights, 114 stabbings, and not less than two murders.” “Third World” is strictly corrent. (Scanning the checklist of Atlanta prisons — there are twelve — all of the jails moreover Fulton County are metropolis jails; however he’s not being charged by town.)

“Trump: They Need To Restart Covid Hysteria Forward Of 2024 Election, “We Will Not Comply’” (transcript) [RealClearPolitics]. From a video by Trump on Fact Social, quoted in full:

DONALD TRUMP: The left-wing lunatics are attempting to deliver again Covid lockdowns and mandates with all of their sudden fearmongering in regards to the new variants which might be coming.

Gee, whiz, you realize what else is coming? An election.

hey wish to restart the Covid hysteria to allow them to justify extra lockdowns, extra censorship, extra unlawful dropboxes, extra mail-in ballots, and trillions of {dollars} in payoffs to their political allies heading into the 2024 election. Does that sound acquainted?

These are unhealthy folks we’re coping with.

However to each Covid tyrant who desires to remove our freedom, hear these phrases: We won’t comply.

So don’t even give it some thought, we won’t shut down our faculties, we won’t settle for your lockdowns, we won’t abide by your masks mandates, and we won’t tolerate your vaccine mandates.

They rigged the 2020 election and now they’re making an attempt to do the identical factor yet again by rigging an important election within the historical past of our nation, the 2024 election. Even when it means making an attempt to deliver again Covid.

However they are going to fail as a result of we won’t let it occur. After I’m again within the White Home I’ll use each obtainable authority to chop federal funding to any faculty, school, airline, or public transportation system that imposes a masks mandate or a vaccine mandate. Thanks very a lot.

The destruction of public well being, and particularly non-pharmaceutical interventions, in favor of libertarian sociopathy is among the extra appalling developments in American political life. What’s simply as appalling, maybe moreso, is that when you strip away Trump’s crimson meat rhetoric (“we won’t comply”) Trump has described Biden’s coverage of mass an infection with out mitigation to a T. The PMC hated masks, and removed them. And the lockdowns the PMC orchestrated, by world requirements, have been essentially the most pissant and half-assed lockdowns possible; the conservative frothing and stamping in regards to the age-old and confirmed public well being measure of quarantine jogs my memory of an elephant’s panicked bellowing on the sight of a mouse. In the meantime, the “left wing lunatics” are themselves making an attempt to put off N95s in favor of “Saggy Blues,” and decrease an infection controls typically, in hospitals ffs, as we now have seen in our HICPAC protection, and the trouble is led by hospital an infection management apparatchiks from Mass Common, the Bluest metropolis in a Blue state. So that they’re developing with a kindler, gentler model of the eugenicist insurance policies that Trump, sadly, additionally helps [pounds head on desk].

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“Why Biden is now routinely taking the quick stairs as much as Air Power One” [NPR]. “It’s one of many iconic photos of the American presidency: the commander in chief, standing and waving to the cameras from the highest of the steps main into Air Power One. However lately, President Biden has been avoiding climbing up the sometimes-wobbly 18-foot staircase that’s trucked over to the aircraft’s higher door. Most of the time, he’s utilizing a a lot shorter and sturdier set of stairs that fold out from the stomach of the aircraft. Biden, 80, has discovered the tall stairs greater than as soon as. The quick stairs have the distinct benefit of shifting most of Biden’s ascent into Air Power One out of public view. However for individuals who have observed the shift, it additionally attracts consideration to one in every of Biden’s best political liabilities as he seeks reelection: his age. Biden had been utilizing the quick stairs every now and then since taking workplace, however an NPR assessment of two databases of stories pictures present that there’s been a dramatic change since June. That’s when Biden tripped over a sandbag and fell on stage on the U.S. Air Power Academy commencement.”

“Biden’s Secret Emails: President robinware456” [Wall Street Journal]. “The Southeastern Authorized Basis on Monday sued the Nationwide Archives and Data Administration (NARA) below the Freedom of Info Act, demanding entry to some 5,100 e mail messages during which then-Vice President Biden used a pseudonym for presidency enterprise. NARA has admitted having Joe Biden’s emails from,, and…. Senators Chuck Grassley and Ron Johnson first demanded entry to Joe Biden’s pseudonym emails in mid-2021, after Hunter Biden’s well-known laptop computer confirmed the veep’s workplace used personal or alias accounts to ship authorities data to Hunter. One e mail alerted Hunter to a name the Vice President made to then-Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko—on the identical time Hunter was on the board of Ukrainian fuel big Burisma. One other laptop computer entry reveals Hunter utilizing his enterprise e mail in 2014 to write down to his father’s ‘robinware’ account, asking the veep to name him earlier than making a particular authorities staffing determination. Joe replied: ‘Re Johnny name me immediately Dad.’ Why use e mail addresses designed to skirt searches of presidency information? With out the general public publicity of Hunter’s laptop computer by the New York Put up, no one would know an additional set of vice presidential communications existed below obscure addresses. The clandestine emails match a sample that GOP investigators are piecing collectively of a behind-the-scenes effort by Hunter to promote his father’s energy in Washington—during which Joe performed alongside. Mr. Comer on Wednesday additionally requested that NARA present all paperwork, communications and manifests associated to Vice President Biden’s use of Air Power Two and Marine Two, following a Fox Information report that Hunter traveled to not less than 15 international nations along with his father on official journeys. Authorities workers are discouraged from utilizing personal e mail to conduct authorities enterprise, and after they do they’re required to ahead all related paperwork to federal record-keepers. There’s no cause for the White Home to refuse disclosing these official, vice-presidential information—until it has one thing it desires to cover.” • Thought: Have Biden’s legal professionals go over all Biden’s emails and take away no matter they like. Then flip them over. That’s what Hillary Clinton did, in spite of everything.

“White Home warns GOP Biden impeachment will backfire” [The Hill]. • So why don’t the Republicans set up to have Biden “disqualified” from the poll below Part Three of the Fourteenth Modification? (I’ve to say I’m doubtful about impeachment, though the Home Operations committee has acquitted itself properly, not like the Benghazi hairball.)

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“‘Determined’ Democrats are urging Michelle Obama to run for president: Report” [WION]. “RadarOnline[dot]com has reported that secret back-channel talks have began throughout the Democratic Celebration to persuade former first girl Michelle Obama to run for president. The information report has stated that numbers counsel Michelle Obama would have higher approval scores (48 per cent) than Biden (36 per cent) if she declared proper now that she could be working for president. ‘If Michelle introduced, the election would go instantly from a hotly contested footrace to a landslide,’ a Democrat supply reportedly stated… . ‘Barack acknowledges the gravity of the scenario with Joe’s disappointing ballot numbers,’ stated a supply as quoted by RadarOnline. ‘He had hoped that the president would have rallied and are available into his personal at this level, however that clearly hasn’t occurred.’ ‘With 2024 rising nearer and nearer, he needed to act since he apparently fears Joe is getting too previous and frail to win.’ ‘Whereas Barack has already endorsed Biden, he’s reneged in personal and can publicly throw Joe overboard in a heartbeat if he thinks that the election is on the road,”” stated one other supply as quoted by RadarOnline.” • “… at his Washington DC workplace.” Ah sure, the shadow authorities offers consideration to one other President from Chicago, metropolis of broad shoulders, and all that.

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“Part Man Runs For President” [Josh Barro, Very Serious]. “When Vivek Ramaswamy and I have been undergraduates at Harvard,1 college students would generally discuss in regards to the scourge of ‘part man.’ ‘Part man’ wasn’t a particular particular person, however an archetype — that man in your dialogue part who adores the sound of his personal voice, who thinks he’s the neatest particular person on the planet with essentially the most attention-grabbing and beneficial interpretations of the course materials, and who won’t ever, ever, ever shut up. ‘Be good to that overeager Gov 20 part man, for like many on Congress’ present roster, he could sometime take the well-traveled highway from Harvard to the Hill,’ The Harvard Crimson warned in 2010, only a few years after we each graduated. Properly, now part man is working for president… I believe the primary distinction is that Trump has charisma that Vivek lacks — Trump is a showman, he looks as if he’s enjoyable at events, and when he lies to you it will probably even generally really feel such as you’re in on the joke. Vivek, in the meantime, has Ted Cruz’s overcaffeinated-ex-college-debater have an effect on, and looks as if somebody you’d desperately discover an excuse to sneak away from at a cocktail celebration. And that’s the reason I merely can not purchase Vivek as a profitable mini-Trump. Sure, not like different Republican candidates, he’s discovered what it even means to repeat Trump — interesting to the Trump base shouldn’t be about getting as far to the correct as doable, as Ron DeSantis seems to consider. As Vivek is aware of, it’s about giving voice to all their grievances with none regard for a way your ensuing statements relate to reality, ideology, or the practicalities of American authorities. He’s the primary candidate to develop into stuffed with sh*t in the identical method as the previous president, and I give him credit score for that. However I’ve all the time thought the opposite important aspect of the Trump mystique was likability. Trump’s followers don’t simply agree with him — they suppose he’s cool and badass. And simply as Ron DeSantis is just too awkward to succeed him, Vivek is just too annoying to take action. Part man can by no means win a presidential nomination.”

“Vivek Ramaswamy, Political Efficiency Artist” [Karl Rove, Wall Street Journal]. Bizarre to see the person George Bush nicknamed “Turdblossom” mutate right into a stuffy, huffy Colonel Blimp. Anyhow, this: ” Throughout a New Hampshire Q&A in June, a voter claimed the Federal Reserve ‘is illegally taking cash out the again door, not via the correct channels, or including zeroes to financial institution accounts to the media or possibly your political opponents.’ He requested Mr. Ramaswamy, ‘How are you going to cease that unlawful under-the-table spending of cash from the Federal Reserve?’ With an indication behind him emblazoned with the phrase ‘Fact,’ Mr. Ramaswamy indulged the crank moderately than set him straight. ‘You’re appropriate to level out what only a few individuals are conscious of. Completely, that occurs.’” • Massive if true!

Republican Funhouse

“Why Is No person Doing Something About Mitch McConnell?” [Politico]. “For the second time in a few month, the heavy gears and winches that drive Senate Minority Chief Mitch McConnell’s mind seized up in entrance of stories cameras. Whereas taking questions from reporters on Wednesday in Covington, Ky., and requested about working for reelection in 2026, the highest Republican powered down for 30 seconds as if an unseen hand had eliminated the lithium ion battery from his chassis. Makes an attempt by an aide to reboot him appeared to succeed as he muttered, “”OK,”” and gave temporary solutions earlier than retiring from the scene… If McConnell have been a bus driver or broadcaster or instructor engaged in another occupation that, like serving as a legislative chief, calls for real-time responses, he would have been benched pending a medical examination. As an alternative, Mitch’s verbal stoppage has been met with paralysis by the political order, which appears incapacitated by his situation. …  Issues aren’t fantastic within the U.S. Senate. No person needs to be thought of irreplaceable, even when it causes a political mess. And the popular technique of departing the Senate shouldn’t be toes first. To insist in any other case is yet one more symptom of lightheadedness.” • Or post-Covid neurological injury?

Democrats en Déshabillé

Affected person readers, evidently individuals are really studying the back-dated submit! However I’ve not up to date it, and there are numerous updates. So I should do this. –lambert

I’ve moved my standing remarks on the Democrat Celebration (“the Democrat Celebration is a rotting corpse that may’t bury itself”) to a separate, back-dated submit, to which I’ll periodically add materials, summarizing the addition right here in a “reside” Water Cooler. (Hopefully, some Bourdieu.) It seems that defining the Democrat Celebration is, actually, a tough downside. I do suppose the paragraph that follows is on level all the best way again to 2016, if not earlier than:

The Democrat Celebration is the political expression of the category energy of PMC, their base (lucidly defined by Thomas Frank in Pay attention, Liberal!). ; if the Democrat Celebration didn’t exist, the PMC must invent it. . (“PMC” modulo “class expatriates,” after all.) Second, all of the working elements of the Celebration reinforce one another. Go away apart characterizing the relationships between parts of the Celebration (ka-ching, however not completely) these parts comprise a community — a Flex Web? An iron octagon? — of funders, distributors, apparatchiks, electeds, NGOs, and miscellaneous mercenaries, with property within the press and the intelligence neighborhood.

Notice, after all, that the category energy of the PMC each expresses and is proscribed by different courses; oligarchs and American gentry (see ‘industrial mannequin’ of Ferguson, Jorgensen, and Jie) and the working class spring to thoughts. Suck up, kick down.

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If that is true — and there’s no cause to suppose that it’s — then the Democrats are in horrible bother:

(First yellow spotlight theirs; second, mine.) I’ve, to my data, by no means answered a single one in every of their horrid surveys.

“One win, 17,000 defeats – life as a Washington Common” [BBC]. Lengthy-time political bloggers will recall the trope that the Republicans are the Harlem Globetrotters, and the Democrats the Washington Generals (although I’m unsure that’s true any extra). Right here is the origin of the trope: “Over greater than 50 years since, the Globetrotters have been ruthless in meting out their revenge. To the unmistakable melody of Candy Georgia Brown, they’ve showboated their option to victory on the expense of hapless Generals who’ve by no means once more crushed their illustrious opponents. In distinction to the common adulation loved by the Globetrotters, these sporting the Generals’ infamously unsuccessful inexperienced jerseys are booed, ridiculed, and dunked on throughout defeat, after defeat, after defeat. They’re the rarest of sporting commodities: the underdogs you’re not imagined to root for. So why would anybody wish to play for the Washington Generals?”

Realignment and Legitimacy

“American megachurches are thriving by poaching flocks” [The Economist]. “Welcome to Life.Church, one in every of America’s largest megachurches, headquartered close to Oklahoma Metropolis. Actually it’s a chain of church buildings, with 44 websites throughout 12 states. Each weekend round 80,000 folks attend one in every of 170 providers in particular person. Most watch a pre-recorded sermon by a senior pastor, Craig Groeschel; a junior pastor acts as an in-person mc and a worship band performs reside. The entire thing blends seamlessly, and it’s streamed on-line, too.” And the great factor is that the “senior pastor” is saved properly away from potential superspreading occasions! “Church buildings have closed because the proportion of People who name themselves Christian has fallen from 76% in 2010 to 64% in 2020. However most of America’s 1,750 megachurches—all Protestant and largely evangelical church buildings with not less than 2,000 worshippers—are thriving. Between 2015 and 2020 their congregations grew by a 3rd on common, turning youthful and extra multi-racial, in response to the Hartford Institute for Faith Analysis, a think-tank in Connecticut… Focus amongst church buildings accelerated as prices rose within the Seventies, notes Mark Chaves of Duke College. Smaller ones misplaced members… With extra money and extra arms, megachurches can innovate. Although they account for simply 0.5% of all church buildings and seven% of churchgoers, their affect is felt within the music performed elsewhere and the recognition of their ted-talk-style sermons, says Scott Thumma of the Hartford Institute. Practically all the highest modern worship songs between 2010 and 2020 got here from simply 4 megachurches.” • Holy Lord, one for Stoller:  “The reality is that the physique of Christ is consolidating.”


“I’m in earnest — I can’t equivocate — I can’t excuse — I can’t retreat a single inch — AND I WILL BE HEARD.” –William Lloyd Garrison

Sources, United States (Nationwide): Transmission (CDC); Wastewater (CDC, Biobot; consists of many counties; Wastewater Scan, consists of drilldown by zip); Variants (CDC; Walgreens); “Iowa COVID-19 Tracker” (in IA, however nationwide information). “An infection Management, Emergency Administration, Security, and Common Ideas” (particularly on hospitalization by metropolis).

Lambert right here: Readers, thanks for the collective effort. To replace any entry, do be happy to contact me on the handle given with the crops. Please put “COVID” within the topic line. Thanks!

Sources, United States (Native): 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 studies); 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).

Sources, Canada (Nationwide): Wastewater (Authorities of Canada).

Sources, Canada (Provincial): ON (wastewater); QC (les eaux usées); BC, Vancouver (wastewater).

Hat tricks to useful 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, sq. coats (11), tennesseewaltzer, Utah, Bob White (3). 

Keep protected on the market!

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Covid is Airborne

“We Want a Revolution in Clear Indoor Air” [The Tyee]. “1000’s of engineers and physicists who perceive air chemistry now assist higher indoor air filtration and air flow as our manner out of relentless viral waves and continual hospitalizations. One environmental engineer, Richard Corsi, who has spent his life making an attempt to enhance indoor air high quality, even designed a $60 field fan that attracts circulating air via filters as a pandemic fighter. 1000’s of residents have constructed them. And sure they work.” They do. Extra: “Sadly, the prescription to cleaner air has been overshadowed by an excessive amount of religion in medication and the fast improvement of vaccines (a historic first) because the true manner out of the pandemic. There isn’t any doubt that vaccines, significantly boosters, have dramatically lowered the dying toll, however they haven’t stopped viral transmission, viral evolution, waning immunity or vaccine hesitancy. However on the subject of pandemics, historical past reveals that they largely carry out as a backup squad. Dramatically reducing transmissions stays a key aim due to the knowledge that some who contract and survive the virus can have debilitating lengthy COVID, and permitting the virus to flow into freely speeds its mutation. Past cholera, extra historic examples aren’t exhausting to seek out.” And: “. Examples given are yellow fever, typhus, and the Black Plague. Speculative, however attention-grabbing: “The Black Demise began reshaping Europe within the 1300s and confirmed up each decade or so after over the subsequent 300 years. So why did lethal outbreaks attributable to a bacterium carried by fleas, lice and black rats roll on for 3 centuries? Historians are nonetheless debating the plague’s demise however engineering could have made a key contribution. Quarantines and isolation most likely performed an vital function in addition to modifications in local weather, clothes and human vitamin. However society additionally modified the character of house building. A 14th century dwelling was usually lined by a thatched roof which supplied excellent residing circumstances for black rats and fleas. Finally, after a wave of monstrous fires visited many European cities within the seventeenth century, houses of that kind have been changed by brick constructions and slate roofs. On the identical time an invasion of brown rats, which desire sewer residing, displaced Europe’s black rats. So most likely introduced an finish to the Black Demise by eradicating its most fertile circumstances.” • Vax-only has been such a debacle (until you consider, as I’d speculate a big proportion of capital does, that society is a teardown and there’s no level investing in it. Rents from vax > well being from engineering). Anyhow, the article is properly price a learn. The Tyee cites to this text–

“Public Well being is a Job for Engineers” (abtract) [Mechanical Engineering]. The deck: “Physicians Can Remedy Ailments, however Mechanical Engineers Construct Defenses To Ward Off Pathogens Defore They Infect.” The Summary: “As an alternative of ready to combat ailments contained in the human physique, engineering can set up strains of protection additional out by both intercepting and neutralizing the pathogens earlier than they attain people or diluting them a lot that they will’t construct up an infective load.


“CDC Assesses Threat From BA.2.86, Extremely Mutated COVID-19 Variant” [JAMA]. “The company’s evaluation famous that in contrast with different latest circulating SARS-CoV-2 variants, the brand new variant could also be extra able to inflicting breakthrough infections in individuals who have been beforehand contaminated or vaccinated. To date, it has not been discovered to trigger extra extreme sickness. However the restricted variety of circumstances means it’s too quickly to know whether or not it causes extra extreme COVID-19 or is extra transmissible than different variants, the CDC stated. ‘Detection throughout a number of continents suggests a point of transmissibility,’ the company stated. ‘That is notable since scientists haven’t detected transmission of most different extremely diverged lineages, which might come up in immunocompromised individuals with extended infections.’” • Here’s a map displaying BA.2.86 unfold (keep in mind, absolutely the numbers are low):

Positive appears to be like like air journey to me!

This tweet is a traditional instance of why “racing” is a inform. The story is all the time in regards to the race, and by no means in regards to the causes of the race:

So now, with no testing and tracing — not even at airports — we “race” to determine what’s occurring. (I hate that “what to know” formulation, too; I don’t know if it’s new, or I solely simply observed it. I’ll resolve what I must know, thanks very a lot.)

Elite Maleficence

“Expensive Public Officers: Cease falling for the parable of an irrational incompetent panicked public” [Chloe Humbert] “Officers typically fail to warn the general public correctly, and really impede residents from really responding in an emergency when the officers develop into extra involved with controlling folks’s potential reactions than really serving to folks and offering clear communication. Some folks in cost have ridiculously patronizing and mistaken concepts about how different folks will react in an emergency. They consider in pseudoscience and outdated paranoid notions of ‘mobs’ panicking on a hair-trigger, seemingly based mostly on ridiculous tropes in monster motion pictures they watched as youngsters, however which might be fiction and unrepresentative of actuality. It’s time for folks in cost to coach themselves in regards to the true downside: Elite Panic! That is the phenomenon described by James B. Meigs in an article from Could 2020: ‘When authorities consider their very own residents will develop into harmful, they start to deal with controlling the general public, moderately than on addressing the catastrophe itself.’ Or as described within the 2002 documentary Poisonous Sludge is Good for You, the company tradition is such that PR companies promote disaster administration the place the ‘first transfer is to not cope with the precise downside, however to handle the unfavorable notion attributable to that downside.’ Lee Clarke factors out within the article ‘panic: fantasy or actuality?’ that blaming panic is a manner of blaming the sufferer when issues go mistaken due to structural or administration failures, and that folks acknowledge this and be taught to distrust those that deflect this manner. The article ends with the assertion: ‘Our leaders would do properly to see us as companions in restoration moderately than as a “”constituency”” to be dealt with.’” • Plenty of linky goodness right here, and on the accompanying podcast web page.

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Case Knowledge

From BioBot wastewater information, August 31:

Lambert right here: Completely happy recollections of tape-watching days! Resuming our upward climb, at a slower tempo.

Regional information. As we will see, the nationwide flattening was as a result of Midwest downward swoop:

Yesterday’s Water Cooler was stuffed with charts that confirmed why I used to be doubtful in regards to the Midwest downward swoop, which now appears to be reversing itself, I don’t know whether or not as a result of information, backward revisions, or what.


NOT UPDATED From CDC, August 19:

Lambert right here: Prime of the leaderboard: EG.5 (“Eris“). I’m not highlighting the BA.2’s as a result of the interactive model reveals that these BA.2’s been hanging round at a low stage for months.

From CDC, August 5:

Lambert right here: Unsure what to make of this. I’m used to seeing a brand new variant take down the beforehand dominant variant. Right here it appears to be like like we now have a “tag group,” all working collectively to chop XBB.1.5 right down to measurement. I positive hope the volunteers doing Pangolin, on which this chart relies upon, don’t all transfer on the inexperienced fields and pastures new (or have their entry to amenities lower by directors of unwell intent).

CDC: “As of Could 11, genomic surveillance information shall be reported biweekly, based mostly on the provision of constructive take a look at specimens.” “Biweeekly: 1. occurring each two weeks. 2. occurring twice every week; semiweekly.” Seems like CDC has chosen sense #1. In essence, they’re telling us variants are nothing to fret about. Time will inform.

Covid Emergency Room Visits

NOT UPDATED From CDC NCIRD Surveillance, August 26:

Lambert right here: I modified this ER chart to a Covid-only chart damaged down by age. Notice the highlighting.

NOTE “Charts and information supplied by CDC, updates Wednesday by 8am. For the previous 12 months, utilizing a rolling 52-week interval.” So not the whole pandemic, FFS (the implicit message right here being that Covid is “similar to the flu,” which is why the seasonal “rolling 52-week interval” is suitable for eachMR SUBLIMINAL I hate these folks a lot. Discover additionally that this chart reveals, not less than for its time interval, that Covid is not seasonal, though CDC is making an attempt to get us to consider that it’s, presumably to allow them to piggyback on the prevailing institutional equipment for injections.


Bellwether New York Metropolis, information as of August 31:

Nonetheless getting worse. However how a lot worse? I hate this metric as a result of the lag makes it misleading.

NOT UPDATED Right here is CDC’s map…. “In Previous Week,” as a result of there’s no [family blogging date]:

Orange = “substantial improve” (greater than 20%). The cadence: “Maps, charts, and information supplied by CDC, updates Mondays and Thursdays by 8 p.m. ET.” So apparently, on Friday, I’ve to match the map right here with the one on the CDC web site to see if the replace has, actually, been carried out. Why are they making me suppose?


NOT UPDATED Walgreens, August 28:

So, Walgreens is again within the sport (and how on earth did that debacle occur? We breathlessly await the information protection). The share of positives is the very best ever, although absolute numbers are nonetheless small relative to previous surges.

NOT UPDATED Cleveland Clinic, August 26:

Lambert right here: I do know that is simply Ohio, however the Cleveland Clinic is sweet, and we’re starved for information, so…. 

NOT UPDATED From CDC, August 7:

Lambert right here: That is the CDC’s “Traveler-Primarily based Genomic Surveillance” information, confirming the present surge, solely two weeks late. Positive could be helpful to know if there have been any BA.2.86 in these samples, although!


NOT UPDATED Iowa COVID-19 Tracker, August 23:

Lambert right here: The WHO information is nugatory, so I changed it with the Iowa Covid Knowledge Tracker. Their methodology: “These information have been sourced, through the API from the CDC: This visualization updates on Wednesday evenings. Knowledge are provisional and are adjusted weekly by the CDC.” I can’t appear to get a pop-up that reveals a complete of the three causes (prime proper). Readers?

Whole: 1,173,593  – 1,173,448 – 1,173,422 – 1,173,081 =  145. 145 * 365 = 52,925 deaths per 12 months, immediately’s YouGenicist™ quantity for “residing with” Covid (fairly a bit larger than the minimizers would really like, although they will discuss themselves into something.–> If the YouGenicist™ metric retains chugging alongside like this, I may should resolve that is what the powers-that-be contemplate “mission completed” for this specific tranche of dying and illness). 

Extra Deaths

The Economist, August 31:

Lambert right here:  Again to nearly each day. Odd when it’s, odd when it stops. Primarily based on a machine-learning mannequin. (The CDC has an extra estimate too, however because it ran perpetually with an enormous typo within the Legend, I figured no one was actually it, so I acquired rid it. )

Stats Watch

Employment State of affairs: “United States Challenger Job Cuts” [Trading Economics]. “US-based employers introduced that 75,151 jobs have been lower in August of 2023, essentially the most in three months, and rebounding 217% from the 11-month low of 23,697 cuts within the earlier month, in response to a report by Challenger, Grey & Christmas, Inc. The end result pointed to a different interval of softening within the US labor market, suggesting that the Federal Reserve’s aggressive rate of interest hikes are being transmitted at a higher extent in the course of the third quarter.” • However see beneath–

Employment State of affairs: “United States Preliminary Jobless Claims” [Trading Economics]. “The variety of People submitting for unemployment advantages edged down by 4,000 from the prior week’s upwardly revised worth to 228,000 on the week ending August twenty sixth, defying market expectations of 235,000 and underlying the nonetheless tight US labour market.” • However see above!

Manufacturing: “United States Chicago PMI” [Trading Economics]. “The Chicago Enterprise Barometer, often known as the Chicago PMI, rose to 48.7 in August of 2023 from 42.8 in July, and properly above market forecasts of 44.1. The studying marked the twelfth consecutive month of contraction in enterprise exercise within the Chicago area however the smallest within the present sequence that started in September 2022.”

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The Bezzle: “Crypto Scores Landmark US Authorized Win With Grayscale ETF Ruling” [Bloomberg]. “Grayscale Investments LLC gained a key authorized combat in its push to launch a Bitcoin exchange-traded fund, bringing the crypto trade to the precipice of tapping billions of {dollars} from on a regular basis traders. The agency’s courtroom victory over the US Securities and Change Fee in a three-judge appeals panel in Washington represents a watershed second for the most important cryptocurrency. Advocates say an ETF based mostly on spot Bitcoin costs would end in a gush of retail money. The SEC, which has to this point solely allowed crypto ETFs based mostly on futures as a result of it says they’re safer, is reviewing the choice. The company may nonetheless combat the ruling, both by asking a full slate of judges on the DC Circuit Courtroom of Appeals, or the US Supreme Courtroom to assessment the choice. In the meantime, the choice injects vital momentum into Grayscale’s yearslong push. It’s additionally a stinging rebuke of Chair Gary Gensler’s bid to clamp down on the trade. Buyers welcomed the information. The Grayscale Bitcoin Belief rallied as a lot as 21% and Bitcoin surged by as a lot as 8.3%. Grayscale has stated changing to an ETF would assist it unlock billions of {dollars} in worth for traders in its $16.2 billion belief by making it simpler to create and redeem shares. The belief’s closed-end construction doesn’t permit for traders to redeem shares when costs fall, inflicting it to commerce at steep reductions to its underlying Bitcoin. As an ETF, it may create and redeem shares to maintain up with altering demand. Tuesday’s ruling is the second latest high-profile courtroom defeat for the SEC over its stance on crypto. The company is combating a federal decide’s ruling that choices of Ripple Labs’ XRP token weren’t securities when bought to most people. Grayscale’s win could have essentially the most sweeping affect but. A few of the greatest and most established names in finance have lately filed functions with the SEC to launch Bitcoin ETFs.” • Uh oh.

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Right now’s Concern & Greed Index: 52 Impartial (earlier shut: 50 Concern) [CNN]. One week in the past: 50 (Impartial). (0 is Excessive Concern; 100 is Excessive Greed). Final up to date Aug 30 at 2:02 PM ET. C’mon, Mr. Market! Somehow!

Police State Watch

“Why Money Seizures Backfire on Oklahoma Police” [RealClearPolicy]. “Police recruits be part of the drive to assist others and combat crime. Analysis confirms it. However priorities modified when sheriff’s deputies detained Eh Wah in Muskogee County, Oklahoma, and located greater than $53,000 in his automobile. Legislation enforcement coaching kicked in, and the aim of the site visitors cease switched from public security to elevating income. The deputies seized the money and spent the subsequent six hours interrogating Eh Wah, searching for any excuse to justify civil forfeiture, a course of that enables the federal government to take and hold money, automobiles and different property with out a prison conviction…. What occurred to Eh Wah undercuts this narrative. He was not a drug lord or perhaps a low-level vendor. He was a volunteer supervisor for a Christian rock band, elevating cash for Thai orphans and Burmese refugees. A few of the money belonged to Eh Wah and the band members, following a monthslong tour throughout a number of states. The remaining got here from live performance donations and belonged to the orphans and refugees. Carrying money is authorized. The cash within the automobile was authentic. And none of it associated to a damaged taillight — the rationale for the 2016 site visitors cease on U.S. Route 69. Eh Wah, who neither smokes nor drinks, had nothing unlawful in his car. Apart from driving with a burned out bulb, he did nothing mistaken. The deputies pounced anyway, placing civil forfeiture in movement.” • Like Medicaid property restoration, civil asset forfeiture is a cash-grabbing abomination that has gone unchecked for years.

Class Warfare

“Studio CEOs Set To Meet Right now Amid Inner Tensions; No Finish In Sight To Strikes” [Deadline]. “Amid rising hypothesis of inner divisions throughout the C-suites and a scarcity of any obvious path ahead to finish the writers and actors strikes, the chiefs of Hollywood’s greatest studios are set to assemble immediately…. ‘Nearly everyone seems to be searching for somebody responsible,’ one other insider says of the backbiting among the many core CEOs. ‘They’re paralyzed, even because the clock is ticking, and it’s Ted’s fault, Iger’s fault, even Tony Vinciquerra’s fault, relying on who you ask,’ the supply added, name-checking the Netflix co-CEO, the Disney CEO and the Sony Footage chair and CEO. ‘It’s not serving to the scenario, or anybody.’”

Information of the Wired

“What Can Historic Clothes Reveal That Different Sources Can’t?” [History Today]. “In late 2022, two pairs of extraordinarily previous denims bought for record-breaking costs. A wax-covered and patched pair of Levi’s, courting from the Eighteen Eighties and found in an previous mineshaft, have been bought in New Mexico for $76,000 in October. Two months later, that charge could be smashed by a good older pair of trousers. Pulled from a sunken trunk of an 1857 shipwreck off the coast of North Carolina, these denims have been auctioned for $114,000. These work trousers have been on an ill-fated voyage from San Francisco and are an early precursor to modern-day blue denims…. The heavy-duty work trousers bought in December 2022 have been salvaged from the wreck of the SS Central America, which sank with the lack of 425 lives and from which tens of tens of millions of {dollars} of gold have been recovered. These miner’s work trousers are inextricably linked to the mid-Nineteenth-century Californian Gold Rush. The opposite patched-up and cut-off pair from the Eighteen Eighties have been worn threadbare by exhausting labour, with the wax splatters giving a clue to their proprietor toiling by candlelight. These trousers are clearly labelled Levi Strauss, together with an imprint that claims: ‘Made by White Labour’ – a bigoted boast to attraction to shoppers after Congress handed the Chinese language Exclusion Act of 1882. Each pairs bore witness to vital moments in American historical past.”

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Contact data for crops: Readers, be happy to contact me at lambert [UNDERSCORE] strether [DOT] corrente [AT] yahoo [DOT] com, to (a) learn how to ship me a verify if you’re allergic to PayPal and (b) to learn how to ship me photos of crops. Greens are fantastic! Fungi and coral are deemed to be honorary crops! If you’d like your deal with to seem as a credit score, please place it at first of your mail in parentheses: (thus). In any other case, I’ll anonymize through the use of your initials. See the earlier Water Cooler (with plant) right here. From CC:

CC writes: “Water lilies at Giverny, in Normandy, France.”

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Readers: Water Cooler is a standalone entity not lined by the annual NC fundraiser. So when you see a hyperlink you particularly like, or an merchandise you wouldn’t see wherever else, please don’t hesitate to specific your appreciation in tangible type. Bear in mind, a tip jar is for tipping! Common constructive suggestions each makes me really feel good and lets me know I’m heading in the right direction with protection. After I get no donations for 5 or ten days I get anxious. Extra tangibly, a relentless trickle of donations helps me with bills, and I consider that trickle when setting fundraising objectives:

Right here is the display screen that can seem, which I’ve helpfully annotated:

In the event you hate PayPal, you possibly can e mail me at lambert [UNDERSCORE] strether [DOT] corrente [AT] yahoo [DOT] com, and I gives you instructions on the best way to ship a verify. Thanks!

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