By Lambert Strether of Corrente.
Patient readers, I have some catching up to you from the enormous amount of links that build up when I have an open thread, like yesterday. Plus I had to do Cornel West. Plenty to read now, and do wait for the orts and scraps. –lambert
Bird Song of the Day
Peaceful Dove, Utopia Environment Reserve, Queensland, Australia. “Cut starts with tail up display then normal call from Peaceful Dove, lower calls from Bar-shouldered dove, subsequent tail up display calls from Peaceful.” I had no idea so many doves growled (“lower calls”). Neat!
“So many of the social reactions that strike us as psychological are in fact a rational management of symbolic capital.” –Pierre Bourdieu, Classification Struggles
“J6 Unmasked: Security footage shows Pelosi evacuating Hollywood-style from Capitol as daughter films” [Just the News]. “ormer House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has described having to evacuate a riotous Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021 as traumatic. But Capitol Police security footage obtained by Just the News shows the long-time Democrat leader exited Hollywood-style from the home of Congress that fateful day with her daughter filming her as security officers tried to guide her through a secret safe passage corridorThe footage, made available by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and aired for the first time on the Just the News, No Noise television show on Real America’s Voice on Thursday night, provides three different angles of Pelosi’s evacuation the afternoon of Jan. 6. Each show her daughter Alexandra roving around her mother’s delegation with a camera as they moved briskly through corridors, led by members of the Capitol Police protective detail. The video shows then-Speaker Pelosi was not in jeopardy after fleeing the breached Capitol chamber, because the footage shows no protesters or rioters penetrated the evacuation route. Capitol Police confirmed to Congress the woman holding the camera in the footage was Pelosi’s daughter, Alexandra.” • Performative down to their bones. And come on. Pelosi had her documentary-making daughter there, with camera, on the day?
I guess it’s time for the Countdown Clock!
* * *
“So what if Biden trips up? On the political stage his footwork is the fanciest seen in decades” [Guardian]. “Biden’s negotiating tactics were textbook. Publicly, he took seriously the threats of Kevin McCarthy, leader of the House of Representatives, to cut $4.5tn of spending over a decade, talking up the threat and flying back early from the G7 summit to negotiate, showing the depth of his concern. Privately, he knew the Republican would back off: cuts of that scale would mean that social programmes would be decimated, given that so much federal spending is on defence, which the Republicans did not want to touch. This was not 2011, when the Republicans used the same tactic and meant it, when their libertarian tax-cutting right were in control; now they are big spenders too. Biden read the mood swing well: he knows his opponents better than they know themselves. Taking over the key negotiations himself, I am told [by which single source?], he forced the realities home on McCarthy, who successively scaled back his demand to a headline cuts figure of $1.5tn, which helped him save face. But even that was vastly overstated because of a series of side, off-balance-sheet deals. Federal spending will end up by being reduced by 0.2%, if that, over the next 10 years, while all the huge spending programmes on chips, infrastructure and green investment that Biden has negotiated through are intact. A stunning victory.” • And the only price is kicking the poors. With Biden, I’m reminded of a story I’m too lazy to find, of a surgeon who lost all brain function after a terrible stroke. But put some thread in his hand, and he would automatically tie beautiful surgical knots; that tacit knowledge was so deep in his brainstem no stroke could dislodge it. Biden working DC is the surgeon tying those knots…
“Biden looking at big re-election fundraisers for the end of June” [Politico]. Ow! My eyes!!!
“‘Nothing Was Compromised’: Hunter Biden’s Art Dealer Says His Gallery Has Been Targeted by Hackers” [ArtNet]. The lead is buried. From the final paragraphs: “[Soho art dealer Georges Bergès] also confirmed to Artnet News that, his gallery had received a third letter from Kentucky representative James Comer (R-Ky.), chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability, this week. Comer is investigating the Biden family related to charges of influence-peddling. The dealer explained that the letter asks him to ‘turn over documents and communications the gallery has had with the White House and with Hunter and identify who the buyers [of Biden’s artworks are].’ He told Artnet News that he was leaving the question of how to handle the issue up to his attorneys.” • No doubt! Selling Hunter Biden’s artwork — dear Hunter! — is the most obvious money-laundering scheme I’ve ever seen.
* * *
“Cornel West Announces Third-Party Bid For President In A Campaign Video” [BET]. “West is no stranger to third-party politics. He was a senior adviser to former New Jersey Sen. Bill Bradley’s 2000 presidential campaign against former Vice President Al Gore. West also worked closely with the Green Party’s 2000 presidential nominee Ralph Nader to seek a candidate willing to challenge President Barack Obama for the 2012 presidential election.” • Here is the video:
I am running for truth and justice as a presidential candidate for the People’s Party to reintroduce America to the best of itself – fighting to end poverty, mass incarceration, ending wars and ecological collapse, guaranteeing housing, health care, education and living wages for… pic.twitter.com/u3NYGUbG1S
— Cornel West (@CornelWest) June 5, 2023
“Princeton Professor Emeritus Cornel West *80 Is Running for President” [Princeton Alumni Weekly]. West: “‘Do we have what it takes?’ West asked in his campaign video. ‘We shall see. But some of us are going to go down fighting.’” • That is a sentiment with which many agree, and quite different from “fighting for.”
“Cornel West, Progressive Scholar, Announces Third-Party Bid for President” [New York Times]. “Cornel West, the progressive activist and professor, announced a presidential campaign on Monday with the People’s Party, a third party led by a former campaign staff member for Senator Bernie Sanders….. The People’s Party was founded by Nick Brana, who worked on Mr. Sanders’s campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016, but later broke away. The party tried to recruit Mr. Sanders after his 2016 campaign, but he declined to get involved and again sought the Democratic nomination in 2020.” • The People’s Party website is a little thin, though I like the platform. Where’s the plan to get ballot access?
“Cornel West Announces Presidential Bid … as a People’s Party Candidate” [The New Republic]. “Numerous sources have corroborated sexual harassment allegations against party founder Nick Brana. Last year, former party member Paula Jean Swearengin told journalists Eoin Higgins and Jordan Chariton that she had witnessed Brana try to force himself onto former party executive director Zana Day, who confirmed the allegations herself. Numerous party board members were apparently forced out for encouraging investigations into the allegations and questioning whether Brana was still fit to lead the party. ‘We were removed [from the board] because we were concerned about Nick remaining in his position,’ one former board member, Regina Clarke, said. ‘As the investigation went on, it was clear there was sexual harassment going on; for other alleged acts, there was debate on whether it was harassment or extended further.’ After the allegations were made public, the party’s social media accounts attacked and smeared those questioning the party leadership’s actions. Other former party volunteers and members have accused the party leadership of lacking democratic organizational processes, having opaque finances, and being generally disrespectful, manifesting sometimes in ableism and racism.” • Not different from Democrats, then? (Nevertheless, is West the candidate only, or is he also the party head? How is that relationship going to work?)
“DeSantis’s Revolutionary Defense of the Classics” [Cornel West and Jeremy Wayne Tate, Wall Street Journal]. “Gov. Ron DeSantis just gave a welcome boost to the classical-education movement. He signed legislation allowing high-school students to qualify for Bright Futures scholarships, a state fund for college education, by submitting scores from the Classic Learning Test instead of the SAT alone…. one of the virtues of the classics: They are a means of considering what is true without invoking the blind partisanship that encourages thoughtless action. There is nothing we need more today than the cultivation of reason and understanding. That’s why Mr. DeSantis’s support of classic education has universal merit that transcends partisanship. Education based on values, logic and discipline isn’t Republican—it’s timeless.” • Tate is founder and CEO of the Classic Learning Test.
“RFK Jr.’s presidential bid gains boost from Silicon Valley elite” [CNBC]. “Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s bid for the Democratic nomination for president has gained a boost from several Silicon Valley executives. CEO Jack Dorsey endorsed Kennedy on Twitter on Sunday, while Twitter owner Elon Musk invited the contender to a live audio discussion on the platform. That discussion is set for 2 p.m. ET on Twitter on Monday and will be moderated by venture capitalist David Sacks, another prominent name in Silicon Valley…. Dorsey, for his part, has a history of supporting underdog and nonmainstream candidates, including businessman Andrew Yang and former U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard.”
* * *
“TV networks battle for Republican debates” [Axios]. From June 2: ” Debates can make or break a presidential candidacy. And who hosts those debates can have a significant impact on which contenders chose to participate, and how they perform. Trump’s campaign believes his opponents need the primary debates more than he does because they’re behind him in polls. And Trump — feeling slighted by Fox News’ coverage of DeSantis, has indicated that he’s wary of the network hosting debates, two sources told Axios DeSantis, running second in GOP polling, has been pushing back against the Republican National Committee sanctioning a debate with CNN or NBC News, which are both salivating over the chance to host a 2024 primary debate, sources told Axios. And: “CNN boss Chris Licht has told the RNC that CNN would air the [Republican] debate not just on its linear feed, but also potentially on the linear networks of other Warner Bros. Discovery channels, two sources told Axios. By including those channels, Licht has argued, CNN could reach more conservatives than Fox, as well as independent voters.” • Also on June 2, The Atlantic drops its profile of Christ Licht, with subsequent dogpile. The PMC really do not want to lose control of another media property (the “commanding heights,” as Mr. Ulyanov called them).
“DeSantis Relied Heavily on Big Donors in Initial Money Haul” [New York Times]. “Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida made a splash when he announced that he had raised a record $8.2 million in his first 24 hours as a presidential candidate…. The DeSantis campaign said it had around 40,000 donors in May as ‘we raised over’ $8.2 million, according to text messages and emails to supporters asking for more donations. That works out to an average of more than $200 per donor — a figure far higher than is typical for a campaign heavily funded by grass-roots support….. Because of strict campaign contribution limits of $3,300 per person for the primary, campaigns that raise money chiefly from bigger contributors cannot return to those same donors again and again for support. Small contributors are particularly valuable because they can give $30 more than 100 times before bumping up against contribution caps. Tim Tagaris, a Democratic digital strategist who oversaw the Sanders fund-raising operation in 2020, called the number of DeSantis donors surprisingly small. Mr. Tagaris said that 40,000 ‘donations in a week for a leading presidential campaign is either a sign that they didn’t prepare well enough heading into the launch or there isn’t the kind of grass-roots support from regular people they had probably hoped for.’ He added, ‘.’” • Ouch!
“Dee-Santis or Deh-Santis? His team won’t say” [Axios]. • Press in full pulling-the-wings-of-flies mode here. Would you want to have a beer with somebody who pronounced his own name two different ways?
“DeSantis signs Bible, Pence hops on motorcycle at ‘Roast and Ride’ event in Iowa” [Associated Press]. “Amid plates of sliced pork, statement-making leather ensembles and piles of political T-shirts, eight Republican presidential hopefuls descended on Iowa to pitch themselves to voters and, in Mike Pence’s case, hop on a motorcycle….. Pence was the only White House hopeful who participated in a morning motorcycle ride for charity that is a staple of Ernst’s annual ‘Roast and Ride’ event. He wore jeans, boots and a leather vest with patches that said ‘Indiana’ and messages supportive of the military. The former Indiana governor, who has made frequent trips to Iowa over the past year, is expected to launch his long-anticipated campaign at an event in Des Moines on Wednesday.”
“Ukraine must make ‘major concessions’ to Russia so US can focus on China: Vivek Ramaswamy” [ABC]. “‘What I think we need to do is end the Ukraine war on peaceful terms that, yes, do make some major concessions to Russia, including freezing those current lines of control in a Korean-war style armistice agreement. … Which Ukraine wouldn’t want to do,’ he continued. ‘And also a permanent commitment not to allow Ukraine to enter NATO. But in return, Russia has to leave its treaty and its joint military agreement with China.’ Ramaswamy raised concerns of a future invasion of Taiwan, the self-governing island that Beijing views as a breakaway province. Stopping a war there ‘is a much higher priority,’ he said. ‘China’s bet is that they’re going to go for Taiwan, the U.S. won’t want to be in simultaneous conflict with two nuclear superpowers at the same time. But if Russia’s no longer at China’s back and vice versa, we’re in a stronger position,’ he said.”
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!). ; if the Democrat Party did not exist, the PMC would have to invent it. . (“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.
* * *
Not gonna sugar coat this—this is a bad look for incoming @CDCgov head Mandy Cohen.
When NC health Secretary—conferring w/ MA health secretary—”She was like, are you gonna let them have pro football? And I was like, no. And she’s like, OK neither are we.”pic.twitter.com/YQdw61y0Qr
— Eric Feigl-Ding (@DrEricDing) June 4, 2023
“Them” who? The Deplorables, of course! And Democrats wonder why they’re hated….
Rep. Maxwell Frost (FL-10):
and btw, he killed it up there pic.twitter.com/WQuAlh8cM0
— jen (@YELYAHG00N) June 3, 2023
He is indeed; but I also remember a heart-lifting video of AOC as a BU student dancing joyously on a rooftop, and look how that turned out.
“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
Lambert here: Readers, thanks for the collective effort.
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Stay safe out there!
Look for the Helpers
“Have you had long COVID? The Denver Post wants to talk to you” [Denver Post]. “Reporter Meg Wingerter is working on an article about how people with long COVID are recovering, or not recovering, in the fourth year of the pandemic. If you’re interested in sharing your story, please fill out the information below.” • You could always throw some NC links Wingerter’s way!
A better world is possible:
Abrome’s year is finished. Four pandemic years in and not a single case of spread. In fact, to our knowledge not a single positive case has entered into our space. It’s possible to protect one another— it’s possible to protect kids in schools.
— Abrome (@AbromeEd) June 3, 2023
Every school could do the same:
These Corsi-Rosenthal boxes and SAFE boxes, coupled with HEPA purifiers not pictured, produced over 12 eACH in every room at Abrome. This was just our filtration portion of one layer of mitigation against C0V1D and other airborne diseases this year.#communitycare #cleanair pic.twitter.com/NRuX4UE3M9
— Abrome (@AbromeEd) June 5, 2023
A little thought, a little study, a little discipline…. A little caring….
Lots of masks:
NYC-DSA stands with UPS Teamsters in their fight for a fair contract ✊🔥🌹
— NYC-DSA 🌹 (@nycDSA) June 3, 2023
I’ve been reading a lot of trashing of left organizations for not masking (and not doing lots of other things, but that’s an issue for another day). Here we have a masked DSA meeting. Good!
Making do with the market:
Interestingly, as a physiotherapist who still wears an n95, runs HEPAs on high and monitors ventilation with an Aranet4, I’m starting to attract like-minded patients…AND I LOVE IT! 😷❤️
— Jaime Trick @firstname.lastname@example.org (@jaime_trick) June 5, 2023
Covid Is Airborne
Life’s little ironies:
— Elaine Carol (@ElaineCarol3) June 3, 2023
Aurora, CO | Cops killed a kid over allegedly-stolen vape cartridges and this is what they found suspicious.
“the Gang Intervention Unit (GIU) was on a routine patrol when they noticed several teenagers wearing medical masks and hooded sweatshirts” https://t.co/qMcVE43aVV
— nobody from nowhere (@OLAASM) June 2, 2023
If you get it….
[showing up to your house with a package of uncooked hot dogs] i thought you said hot grill summer
— erin chack (@ErinChack) May 27, 2023
Testing and Tracking
“Discontinuation of Universal Admission Testing for SARS-CoV-2 and Hospital-Onset COVID-19 Infections in England and Scotland” [JAMA]. “Stopping universal admission testing in the national health systems of 2 countries (England and Scotland) was associated with significant increases in hospital-onset SARS-CoV-2 infections relative to community-onset infections. Potential mechanisms include more unrecognized present-on-admission infections causing transmissions to other patients and health care workers, who in turn infected other patients.”
“Enteric nervous system as a target and source of SARS-CoV-2 and other viral infections” (PDF) [Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology]. “The imbalance of microbiota diversity, known as dysbiosis, is a possible pathological feature in inflammatory, neurodegenerative, and metabolic diseases, and it is a hot topic in COVID-19 research. In germ-free mice with their GI tract colonized by co-housing with conventional specific pathogen-free rats, the presence of the microbiota decreased the expression of ACE-2 (85). These results shed light on the possible role of the microbiota in the 362 regulation of SARS-CoV-2 infectivity…. Considering COVID-19 GI and neurological features, we believe that the [Enteric nervous system (ENS)] can be involved in more than one aspect of disease pathophysiology: (1) as a contributor to the severity of GI symptoms, (2) as a neuroimmune activation site and source of hyperinflammatory factors (3) under the influence of dysbiotic microbiota, and (4) a neuroinvasive pathway in the CNS (to infection and/or activation of the CNS).” • Interesting for fans of gut microbiota. Thought-provoking!
“Disentangling the Postacute Sequelae of SARS-CoV-2” [JAMA]. The editorial commenting on the NIH study on Long Covid reviewed at NC here. (Couldn’t the editors have gotten either “Long Covid” or “PASC” into the headline? “To optimize our understanding of the long-term impact of post–COVID-19 sequelae and to design and assess potential interventions, it is critically important to establish validated case definitions. Erroneous case definitions, and the resultant misclassification bias, could delay the correct diagnoses by clinicians, will decrease the likelihood of identifying the biological mechanisms underpinning these symptoms, might threaten the ability to demonstrate the efficacy of interventions, and could lead to misdirected, ineffective treatments. However, before developing a case definition for PASC, it is important to consider whether these sequelae represent a single pathophysiologic process or rather multiple different conditions triggered by antecedent SARS-CoV-2 infection.3 In addition, it is important to know whether they are direct sequelae of infection itself or are mediated by specific organ injury and dysfunction. For example, severe SARS-CoV-2 infection that requires intensive care unit admission can result in a well-described postintensive care syndrome with many features that overlap with postacute sequelae.4 Thus, it may be inaccurate to define PASC as a single syndrome classified by a score on a diagnostic algorithm. If these sequelae represent multiple different processes, each might require separate definitions and treatments.” • Fascinating to think of the NIH study as the outcome of a classification struggle (Bourdieu) but so it is! Dang, another post to write…
“Study finds 27% rate of long COVID in infected health workers” [Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy]. “A new case-control study of Brazilian healthcare workers (HCWs) suggests as many as 27% developed long COVID after infection, and multiple infections raised the risk. The findings were published today in Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology. Estimates of the prevalence of long COVID, defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as new, returning, or lasting symptoms persisting 4 or more weeks after initial COVID-19 infection vary, with some studies showing as many as 43% of infected people will have some lingering symptoms 1 month after COVID-19 confirmation. Because HCWs have occupational exposure to COVID-19 and were vulnerable to infections the pre-vaccination era of the pandemic, they may be uniquely primed for developing long COVID.”
“Significant increase in memory and concentration problems among adults” [National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (Netherlands)]. “In the first quarter of 2023, there was a 24% increase in GP visits related to memory and concentration problems among adults (age 25 years and older) compared to the same period in 2020. This is evidenced by the latest quarterly research update from the GOR Network. The increase in memory and concentration problems of adults seems to be a longer-term effect of the coronavirus measures as well as SARS-CoV-2 infections…. The source of this increase in memory and concentration problems is unclear. A possible explanation could be that COVID-19 measures caused accelerated cognitive decline among people who were starting to have problems with memory and concentration (66 years on average). Researchers at the Alzheimer’s Centre at Amsterdam UMC and others also saw a trend in the primary care data that they had already expected to occur at the beginning of the Covid-19 period: an increasing group of people who were suffering from mild memory and concentration problems. A supplementary explanation could be that some of these people have long-term symptoms after COVID-19. Various studies have shown that memory and concentration problems are common in post-COVID symptoms. Other infectious diseases, such as flu, can also cause these symptoms. However, recent studies have shown that long-term memory and concentration problems are much more common after COVID-19 than after flu. In addition, these symptoms are more common in older age groups.”
“Estimating the effects of non-pharmaceutical interventions on COVID-19 in Europe” [Nature] From 2020 (!). “Our model relies on fixed estimates of some epidemiological parameters (such as the infection fatality rate), does not include importation or subnational variation and assumes that changes in Rt are an immediate response to interventions rather than gradual changes in behaviour. Amidst the ongoing pandemic, we rely on death data that are incomplete, show systematic biases in reporting and are subject to future consolidation. We estimate that—for all of the countries we consider here—current interventions have been sufficient to drive Rt below 1 (probability Rt < 1.0 is greater than 99%) and achieve control of the epidemic. We estimate that across all 11 countries combined, between 12 and 15 million individuals were infected with SARS-CoV-2 up to 4 May 2020, representing between 3.2% and 4.0% of the population. Our results show that major non-pharmaceutical interventions—and lockdowns in particular—have had a large effect on reducing transmission. Continued intervention should be considered to keep transmission of SARS-CoV-2 under control." • Bad for business....
The AIDs struggle and the Covid struggle:
I’ve been educating myself more on how the AIDS/HIV epidemic was handled. It’s looking like it took between 7-9 years before the CDC started sharing their brochure “understanding AIDS” and putting an effort into educating the public. So we are likely only 1/3 the way with c🦠vid pic.twitter.com/DcBRBFA8th
— K3LLYB33N 😷 (@K3LLYB33N) June 5, 2023
I’m not sure we have that long….
Infection Control whacking more people:
I was speaking to an Infection Control practitioner this week at the IPAC conference – unmasked like 99% of others.
She’s spending a fair bit of time looking after her grandchild these days because mom has Long COVID & just got COVID for the 3rd time.
— Barry Hunt – #DavosSafe (@BarryHunt008) June 4, 2023
Birth rate going down too:
If you can look at this chart of life expectancy falling on every continent on Earth and still convince yourself covid was overblown, that’s your brain on coping mechanism mode pic.twitter.com/b8itBk36aP
— Nate Bear (@NateB_Panic) June 5, 2023
Good for the planet, I suppose….
From BioBot wastewater data from June 5:
For now, I’m going to use this national wastewater data as the best proxy for case data (ignoring the clinical case data portion of this chart, which in my view “goes bad” after March 2022, for reasons as yet unexplained). At least we can spot trends, and compare current levels to equivalent past levels.
• It would be irresponsible not to speculate:
Somehow, despite their mutational advantage on paper, we’ve slowed transmission of XBBs in people. And nobody seems to have a clue why, or even reslise it tbh. The only explanation i have is that it might not replicate well in the upper respiratory tract. @GuptaR_lab @jbloom
— Ted Brautigan (@T_Brautigan) June 5, 2023
NOT UPDATED From CDC, May 27, 2023:
Lambert here: XBB.1.16 and XBB.1.9.1 still on the way up, eating into XBB.1.5. 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. Looks like the Walgreens variants page isn’t updating.
Covid Emergency Room Visits
NOT UPDATED From CDC NCIRD Surveillance, from May 27:
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.
From Walgreens, June 5:
0.4%. Frequency down to once a week.
Death rate (Our World in Data), from May 31:
Lambert here: I’m happy the numbers are down, but zero they cannot be. Looks like some administrative minimizer at WHO put the worst intern in charge of the project. And thanks, Johns Hopkins of the $9.32 billion endowment, for abandoning this data feed and passing responsibility on to the clown car at WHO.
Total: 1,166,043 –
1,165,531 = 512 (512 * 365 = 186,880 deaths per year, today’s YouGenicist™ number for “living with” Covid (quite a bit higher than the minimizers would like, though they can talk themselves into anything. If the YouGenicist™ metric keeps chugging along like this, I may just have to decide this is what the powers-that-be consider “mission accomplished” for this particular tranche of death and disease).
Excess deaths (The Economist), published June 5:
Lambert here: Actually some encouragement!
Lambert here: 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. )
Supply Chain: “United States LMI Logistics Managers Index Current” [Trading Economics]. “The Logistics Manager’s Index hit a record low for a third straight month of 47.3 in May 2023, compared to 50.9 in April. The reading also pointed to the first contraction in the logistic sector in nearly 7 years of history, mainly due to continued softening of the freight market.” • Hmm.
The Bezzle: “Binance suit could ease Washington’s crypto crackdown” [Axios].
Tech: “Apple reveals its Vision Pro mixed-reality headset, starting at $3,499” [Engadget]. Leaving out the specs, which sound pretty neat (especially that people can see your eyes through the headset). “Finally, to ensure the Vision Pro adheres to Apple’s security goals, the headset is getting a new Optic ID authentication system that users a person’s iris for unlocking and signing on to the device. In addition, Apple claims Optic ID data is both fully encrypted and only stored locally, while info regarding where a user looks will not be shared with any third-party apps or websites.” • Big if true.
Tech: “5 takeaways from Apple’s biggest product event in years” [CNN]. “According to Apple, once a user puts on the device, they’re able to see apps directly projected in front of them. At the event, Apple showed off a range of unique experiences with the product, including apps for medicine, productivity and entertainment. Disney CEO Bob Iger also joined the Apple event to discuss how Disney will create content for the new Vision Pro headset. Unlike other headsets, the new mixed reality headset will display the eyes of its users on the outside, so ‘you’re never isolated from the people around you, you can see them and they can see you,” said Alan Dye, vice president of human interface.’” • Disney, yech. But I can see the surgeon use case. High end manufacturing. Aircraft repair. Perhaps piloting, this being the ultimate heads-up display. Maybe ditch that stupid F-35 helmet?
Tech: “Apple Vision Pro vs. Meta Quest 3: What’s the Difference?” [Decrypt]. “The Apple Vision Pro will sell for $3,499, which is even higher than the rumored $2,000-$3,000 price target. It’s a price point that will ensure that only tech-savvy early adopters jump in early, but that’s hardly an unusual approach for Apple. Meta, on the other hand, is sticking to its consumer target for the main Quest line. The Quest 3 will start at $500, or one-seventh the price of the Vision Pro. Currently, the Quest 2 sells for just $300. The more powerful Quest Pro, perhaps a closer analog to the Vision Pro, currently sells for $1,000 after dropping from its $1,500 launch price last fall.”
Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 74 Greed (previous close: 73 Greed) [CNN]. One week ago: 66 (Greed). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Jun 6 at 1:39 PM ET.
Rapture Index: Closes unchanged [Rapture Ready]. Record High, October 10, 2016: 189. Current: 184. (Remember that bringing on the Rapture is good.) NOTE on #42 Plagues: “The coronavirus pandemic has maxed out this category.” More honest than most!
“Spanish Flu: how the deadly pandemic impacted musicians” [Classical Music]. “Perhaps because the Spanish flu was suffered largely in private, there were no grand choral requiems or symphonic laments for the victims of the virus. More characteristic were the seemingly indirect responses, such as The Love for Three Oranges, Prokofiev’s 1919 opera that centres on a hypochondriac prince.” • More:
An extrovert’s lament….
Police State Watch
“‘Cop City’ vote: Atlanta City Council approves funding for controversial project” [ABC]. “The council members voted 11-4 to approve $31 million in public funds for the construction of the Atlanta Public Safety Training Center, as well as a provision that requires the city to pay $36 million — $1.2 million a year over 30 years — for using the facility, according to The Associated Press. Prior to the highly anticipated vote, hundreds of residents and activists packed into Atlanta City Hall and spoke before the council for roughly 14 hours. A vast majority of them opposed the project that they have dubbed ‘Cop City.’” • I don’t know why Atlanta cops need their own city. It looks like they’ve already got one:
BREAKING: Military-style police in Atlanta invade a house to lock up 3 people in charge of a legal fund that helps “Cop City” protesters get bailed out of jail. This is a brazen assault on the US Constitution.
The real crime here is being committed by the police. pic.twitter.com/NWMEFfl05i
— Steven Donziger (@SDonziger) June 3, 2023
Is “enfilading fire” the phrase I’m looking for?
News of the Wired
“Octopuses, crabs and lobsters to be recognised as sentient beings under UK law following LSE report findings” [London School of Economics]. “Dr Jonathan Birch, Associate Professor at LSE’s Centre for Philosophy of Natural and Social Science and Principal Investigator on the Foundations of Animal Sentience project, said: ‘I’m pleased to see the government implementing a central recommendation of my team’s report. After reviewing over 300 scientific studies, we concluded that cephalopod molluscs and decapod crustaceans should be regarded as sentient, and should therefore be included within the scope of animal welfare law.’ ‘The amendment will also help remove a major inconsistency: octopuses and other cephalopods have been protected in science for years, but have not received any protection outside science until now. One way the UK can lead on animal welfare is by protecting these invertebrate animals that humans have often completely disregarded.’ The review also evaluated the potential welfare implications of current commercial practices involving these animals. It recommends against declawing, nicking, eyestalk ablation, the sale of live decapod crustaceans to untrained, non-expert handlers, and extreme slaughter methods such as live boiling without stunning. It also includes suggestions for best practices for transport, stunning and slaughter.” • OK, but what about homo sapiens?
Contact information for plants: Readers, feel free to contact me at lambert [UNDERSCORE] strether [DOT] corrente [AT] yahoo [DOT] com, to (a) find out how to send me a check if you are allergic to PayPal and (b) to find out how to send me images of plants. Vegetables are fine! Fungi and coral are deemed to be honorary plants! If you want your handle to appear as a credit, please place it at the start of your mail in parentheses: (thus). Otherwise, I will anonymize by using your initials. See the previous Water Cooler (with plant) here. From AM:
AM writes: “Apple blossoms in Roger Williams Park. They smelled lovely too, reminding me of the ones in the backyard of the house in Hulls Cove, ME where I grew up.” Big apple blossoms fan here!
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