2:00PM Water Cooler 2/14/2023 | bare capitalism

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Glad Valentine’s Day to all! For those who pass over the business stuff, the expectations, and the rituals, it’s a fairly good concept! –lambert

Hen Music of the Day

In honor of the tool-using Cockatoo:

Blue-eyed Cockatoo, Cape Orford; Taintop Village, East New Britain, Papua New Guinea. This one seems like an alarm!

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“However what’s authorities itself, however the best of all reflections on human nature?” –James Madison, Federalist 51

“Right here’s meals for thought, had Ahab time to suppose; however Ahab by no means thinks; he solely feels, feels, feels.” –Herman Melville, Moby Dick

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

Biden Administration

“Ron Klain Seems Again on Biden’s First Two Years as President” [The New Yorker]. “Klain, at sixty-one, whirs with a low-key depth. Multiple of his friends within the White Home informed me that he had a helpfully ‘paranoid’ political radar, a catastrophic creativeness for second- and third-order penalties that may appear as distant as a worldwide pandemic as soon as did.” Like 700,000 deaths from Covid on Biden’s watch? Or is that fourth order? Klain says precisely two issues about Covid, and the squishy delicate New Yorker doesn’t press. First:

Clearly, my work on the covid response was extremely impacted by my work on the Ebola response, form of understanding how these companies work.


We paid for lots of covid therapies, together with Paxlovid—and that’s the reason, whenever you have a look at covid proper now, circumstances go up and down, however deaths keep like this [traces a horizontal line in the air]. That actually was the rock for lots of what we did that adopted.

That’s it. That’s the mindset. (I’d want a examine on Paxlovid, and “deaths keep like this” = “the excessive plateau” I preserve speaking about.

“Playbook: Plan B talks on debt restrict go underground” [Politico]. “MODS’ DEBT LIMIT DILEMMA — The most important subplot of the slowest-moving story in Washington — the partisan standoff over the federal debt ceiling — has to this point centered on whether or not, absent a deal between President Joe Biden and Speaker Kevin McCarthy, reasonable Home Republicans would possibly someway band along with Home Democrats to keep away from a catastrophic default. The hypothesis has gone far sufficient to prompt several explainers about the way it all would possibly work — whether or not by means of a discharge petition or different obscure Home procedures that might enable a bipartisan coalition to skirt conservatives’ spending-cut calls for. It’s gone to this point, we’re informed, that McCarthy has in current days despatched a message from on excessive to centrists who’ve overtly toyed with the thought: You’re killing my leverage with Biden. ‘Don’t discuss a discharge petition as a result of we completely weaken our hand and received’t get concessions when you do,’ mentioned one particular person aware of the interior conversations, summarizing the management message. On the identical time, centrists are getting assurances that McCarthy & Co. don’t have any intention of sparking a default, ‘however why don’t we get some concessions out of it?’ The message has been heard loud and clear. A few of those that had beforehand recommended they is perhaps open to a discharge petition or different workaround, similar to Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.), have publicly backed away. One particularly prime goal for Democrats, Rep. DON BACON (R-Neb.), mentioned the notion of sidelining McCarthy was ‘DOA.’ However whereas these conversations might need gone underground, we are able to report that they’re very a lot nonetheless alive. A number of folks concerned informed us final evening {that a} core group of bipartisan lawmakers have been texting, emailing and assembly a couple of potential backup plan ought to the McCarthy-Biden debt talks falter. It’s far too early to say what that might appear like, however the strains of communication are very a lot open.”


Petey speaks:

Solely eleven days. That’s not so unhealthy. In the meantime, let’s end the job, as Biden says:

Possibly announce an initiative? Go for a motorbike experience on the tracks? One thing?

“Might VP Kamala Harris get replaced in 2024? Democratic strategists weigh in” [FOX]. I do know that is FOX, however that video of Harris. If I’ve to hearken to that voice for 4 years…. “Harris will ‘play a crucial function in rallying key constituencies throughout the Democratic Celebration and Independents forward of 2024,’ Democratic strategist and Fox Information contributor, Kevin Walling mentioned. Jonathan Kott, a Democratic strategist and former aide to Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Chris Coons, D-Del., additionally got here to the protection of the vp telling Fox Information Digital that Harris has ‘been a key participant in essentially the most profitable first two years of any presidency in my lifetime.’” • No, and no.

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“The Actual Motive Trump Is Calling DeSantis ‘Meatball Ron’” [Daily Beast]. Nicely, DeSantis is kinda roly-poly. “One concept argued that our attention spans are getting shorter and shorter, and Trump understood learn how to succinctly seize essentially the most unfavorable framing of an individual’s fundamental nature…. The excellent news for DeSantis is that this particular approach just isn’t at present getting used on him (keep tuned for ‘Groomin’ Ron’). However what does ‘meatball’ even imply? The New York Instances calls it ‘an obvious dig at [DeSantis’s] look,’ which I take to counsel a shorter, pudgier body—whereas hinting at a lock of social grace. However ‘meatball’ can be a slur towards Italian-People (all eight of DeSantis’ great-grandparents got here right here from Italy). Someplace, Don Rickles should be considering that if he had been born 30 years later, he might need been president. It’s not like DeSantis can complain or cry foul about this. It’s laborious to think about the present governor of Florida making an attempt to curry sympathy from a Republican citizens that couldn’t get sufficient of it when Trump referred to as Elizabeth Warren ‘Pocohontas.’” • Which Warren totally, totally earned. I’m unsure how severe “Meatball” is as a slur; for instance, in the reality TV show “Jersey Shore,” “meatball” was “a means of describing a girl who was brief, cumbersome and liked to get together.” So I’m not gonna clutch my pearls over this. Meatball additionally has one other which means, although it’s laborious to think about Trump poring over WikiPedia to search out it: “A baseball time period for a simple pitch to hit — down the center of the plate.” So, DeSantis = Son of Jebbie?

“Ron DeSantis Backs Down From A Struggle” [Jonathan Chait, New York Magazine]. “Biden might be going to run — his efficiency was vigorous sufficient to at the least barely alleviate doubts about his age — and his marketing campaign is prone to concentrate on a protection of Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Safety…. This dynamic clicked into place for me once I noticed two items of reporting about Ron DeSantis, the conservative Institution’s choice to exchange Donald Trump because the presidential nominee. First, Josh Barro famous that, as a member of the Home in 2013 and 2014, DeSantis not solely voted for Paul Ryan’s plan to show Medicare into vouchers but in addition supported an much more radical plan that ‘would have raised the retirement ages for each Social Safety and Medicare to 70…. The subsequent day, Andrew Kaczynski and Em Steck reported for CNN that DeSantis had endorsed privatizing each Medicare and Social Safety. ‘I might embrace proposals like [Rep.] Paul Ryan supplied… What is probably much more telling is the response from DeSantis: nothing. DeSantis has constructed an id as a fearless pugilist. Considered one of his advertisements actually boasts that DeSantis will ‘by no means, ever again down from a struggle.’ And but, even after the media reported these damaging tales, and even after Biden traveled to Florida to present a speech attacking him for denying well being protection to 1,000,000 Floridians by boycotting Medicaid growth, DeSantis didn’t reply.” • I’m positive DeSantis understands the Streisand Impact, and he’s below no obligation to deign to answer the puling of liberal Democrat home organs, whether or not what they are saying be proper or flawed. That mentioned, I feel Chait recognized a helpful dynamic to look at for. What occurs when an actual brawler throws a punch? How does DeSantis reply?

“Nikki Haley takes on Donald Trump for 2024 U.S. Republican nomination” [Reuters]. • Weighing in at 3.9%:

“Choose to launch components of Georgia particular grand jury report” [Associated Press]. “— A Georgia choose on Monday ordered the partial launch later this week of a report by a particular grand jury that investigated efforts by former President Donald Trump and his allies to overturn his 2020 election loss…. There was ‘very restricted due course of’ for folks for whom the grand jurors really helpful fees, [Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney] wrote. Some could not have had the chance to look earlier than the panel, and people who did seem didn’t have the correct to have their legal professionals current or to supply any rebuttal. For that cause, the choose concluded, it’s not acceptable to launch the total report presently.” • Lol.

Republican Funhouse

“Mike Gallagher: A New Chilly Warrior” [RealClearPolitics]. “The West is unprepared for all the pieces all of sudden…. Nicely, at the least that’s what Rep. Mike Gallagher together with a staff of teachers and generals needed to think about after they poured over what regarded like essentially the most sophisticated “Threat” board ever assembled. It was solely a battle recreation, an train hosted final Might by the Middle for a New American Safety…. If the U.S. and China go to battle, the Wisconsin Republican mentioned in a ‘Meet the Press’ interview, ‘lots of people are going to lose their lives.’ The lesson: ‘We would like deterrence to really work.’ That can be the mission assertion, in so many phrases, of the Home Choose Committee on China which Gallagher now chairs, a mammoth enterprise to look at not simply the army danger but in addition the ideological and financial threats offered by the Chinese language Communist Celebration. It’s severe enterprise. And Gallagher, a 38-year-old former U.S. Marine, is a severe man. Everybody says so. There’s a feeling in Congress that the trouble would possibly simply rise above the conventional self-importance of Capitol Hill. ‘The phrase ‘severe’ has been tossed round about this committee as a result of that’s the need,’ mentioned Rep. Mikie Sherrill. Confronting an existential risk, the New Jersey Democrat informed RealClearPolitics, shouldn’t be one thing members ‘do for private edification or partisan means.’ And that’s what had Gallagher ‘frightened’ when he pulled her apart. The 2 have served on committees collectively, and so they teamed up within the CNAS battle recreation. A U.S. Navy pilot earlier than getting into politics, Sherrill mentioned throughout that train she appreciated the Marine’s ‘information of floor operations.’ His query on the Home ground, between votes earlier this 12 months, didn’t need to do with ways or grand technique. Who would the Democrats seat on his committee?” • Sherrill is, of course, a CIA Democrat. “Know your enemy and know your self.” Can anyone within the nationwide safety establisment meet these two standards? Bueller? Bueller? Bueller?

Democrats en Déshabillé

Affected person readers, plainly persons are truly studying the back-dated put up! However I’ve not up to date it, and there are lots of updates. So I should try 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 post, to which I’ll periodically add materials, summarizing the addition right here in a “stay” Water Cooler. (Hopefully, some Bourdieu.) It seems that defining the Democrat Celebration is, in reality, a tough drawback. 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,” in fact.) Second, all of the working components of the Celebration reinforce one another. Depart apart characterizing the relationships between parts of the Celebration (ka-ching, however not solely) 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 group.

Observe, in fact, that the category energy of the PMC each expresses and is restricted 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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Realignment and Legitimacy

“The Sudden Dominance of the Variety Industrial Complicated” [Real Clear Investigations]. “Seemingly in unison, and with virtually no debate, practically each main American establishment – together with federal, state, and native governments, universities and public faculties, hospitals, insurance coverage, media and know-how firms and main retail manufacturers – has agreed that the DEI infrastructure is important to the nation’s correct functioning. From Amazon to Walmart, most main companies have created and staffed DEI workplaces inside their human sources paperwork. So have sanitation departments, police departments, physics departments, and the departments of agriculture, commerce, protection, training and vitality. Organizations that when argued towards DEI now really feel compelled to institute DEI coaching and rent DEI officers. So have organizations which might be already richly numerous, such because the Nationwide Basketball Affiliation and the Nationwide Soccer League. Many of those workplaces in flip work with a sprawling community of DEI consulting companies, coaching outfits, commerce organizations and accrediting associations that help their efforts. ‘5 years in the past, when you mentioned ‘DEI,’ folks would’ve thought you had been speaking concerning the Digital Training Initiative,’ Robert Sellers, College of Michigan’s first chief variety officer, mentioned in 2020. ‘5 years in the past, when you mentioned DEI was a core worth of this establishment, you’ll have an argument.’” • Hmm. 5 years in the past. That’s 2022 – 5 = 2017, one 12 months after Trump received and the PMC misplaced their minds and declared the State of Exception below which we stay right now. Coincidence? You be the choose.


Seems like “leveling off to a excessive plateau” throughout the board. (I nonetheless suppose “One thing Terrible” is coming, nonetheless. I imply, moreover what we already find out about.) Keep secure on the market!

Lambert right here: Final Friday, I reconfigured Covid protection (at the least briefly; we might have to regulate to a different surge). I’ve all the time considered this part as offering readers with not solely pattern information, however early warning about places (to the county degree) significantly in journey season. However now the info is just too gradual and too unhealthy, unsurprisingly, since “Covid is over.” So I’ll revert to a few charts solely: nationwide Case Knowledge (Biobot), state Positivity (Walgreens), and nationwide Deaths (Our World in Knowledge). I additionally really feel that the highest of the #COVID19 part has not been sufficiently structured, and I’m going to create some buckets, like “Indoor Air,” or “Masks” (and “Variants,” if I encounter a superb hyperlink). This reconfiguration just isn’t a “step again,” as Dima would say; however I do suppose I can use the freed-up time to beef up different sections, like Politics and particularly Stats. Reader remark welcome!

Assets (Nationwide): Transmission (CDC); Wastewater (CDC); Variants (CDC; Walgreens).

Assets (Native): NC (Dashboard).

• Because the nationwide information methods are being vandalized, let’s begin gathering hyperlinks state information, too. If readers would ship me hyperlinks (see Plant beneath) to their favourite State and native dashboards/wastewater websites, that will be nice. Or depart a hyperlink in Feedback. Hat tip to JB for the NC dashboard.

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Search for the Helpers

Right here is the knowledge that alert reader Bob promised to ship on Corsi-Rosenthal (CR) Field stands:

Connected 6 images of Corsi-Rosenthal bins and PVC stands each angled and upright. Additionally connected is checklist of PVC components I purchased the third time to make and modify the workplace PVC stand so that there’s an angle. Right here is hyperlink to put the place I bought the furnishings grade PVC. I may have used Dwelling Depot PVC however I opted to keep away from the whole industrial look the place there’s blue lettering on the HD PVC and that PVC is uninteresting matte wanting.


I discovered the place straightforward to work with as they had been extremely good on the telephone coping with my admittedly novice questions. Delivery was quick however then I stay in CT and they’re in NJ. I went with white as the coloured PVC was costlier and neither my spouse nor I care concerning the body shade as mainly you don’t actually ever discover it.

The way in which you make an angle for the CR field is clear whenever you have a look at both PVC body beneath. The “entrance” has a raised bar. You management the angle by having totally different size PVC up-right items – two are wanted one for all sides. To alter the angle you narrow longer or shorter items with a hacksaw and utilizing a rubber mallet knock aside that part of the PVC body. Insert two new size items and bang again collectively. Prompt unique approach.

Observe that the angled frames have two further cross items. Two causes. First the two further cross items strengthens your entire body. Second the again of the CR field then rests between the 2 cross items. With out that cross piece the CR field will slowly however certainly migrate down after which fall off the body if the CR field is angled. Little bit of added resistance then prevents the migration. The complete fan and field will fall off the body when you depart this cross piece out to save lots of a greenback thirty 5. Takes about 5 days for it to lastly fall off – normally in the course of the evening to scare the hell of you. INTRUDERS!

I didn’t glue any joints because the CR bins are so gentle and the fan mainly provides no actual weight. Zip vibration. And I get to experiment with totally different lengths.

And right here is the components checklist:

Bob was very type to doc his challenge and ship in photos. Please be at liberty to comply with his instance. Possibly a CR field embellished for Valentine’ day? Additionally, what do cats consider CR bins?

“Covid Meetups” [COVID MEETUPS (JM)]. “A free service to search out people, households and native companies/providers who take COVID precautions in your space.” • I performed round with it some. It appears to be Fb-driven, sadly, however you should use the Directory with out logging in. I get rational hits from the U.S., however not from London, UK, FWIW.

Covid Is Airborne

“The historical past and science behind airborne infections and using ultraviolet irradiation for disinfecting indoor air Half One [WSWS]. Part two. That is super-interesting; kudos to WSWS for placing it collectively. This can be a good entry level to the “Far UV” dialogue. A tiny excerpt: “[W]e’re utilizing Far UV—some folks don’t just like the time period—to refer particularly to 222-nanometer (nm) or 206 nm wavelengths. Whereas what was used a 100 years in the past, in fact, was all UVC, however at 254 nm, which was the pure output of mercury lamps.” • Clearly, I’ve sturdy priors on filters. In an ideal world, Far UV and filters like HEPA and CR Bins would work collectively. There are two limitations to this. One is that the “Far UV” and “Filters/Aerosols” verticals are institutionally separated; Colorado’s J.J. Gonzales, for instance, is simply now reviewing Far UV. This can be a drawback that may be solved with good will; neither vertical is, in any case, hegemonic. (The sequence is a superb instance of people doing science; I extremely suggest it.) My extra severe objection is that that is the stupidest timeline. I can simply envision a future the place folks stick a blue gentle in a socket and name it finished, vitiating alll air flow efforts.

No marvel Listerine is nice towards Covid (hat tip alert reader Blitzkreig for initiating the dialogue):

“Air Filters, Air pollution, and Pupil Achievement” (summary solely) [The Journal of Human Resources]. Fascinating pure experiment: “This paper identifies the influence of putting in air filters in school rooms for the primary time. To take action, I leverage a novel setting arising from the most important gasoline leak in U.S. historical past, whereby the offending gasoline firm put in air filters in each classroom inside 5 miles of the leak (however not past). Utilizing a spatial regression discontinuity design, I discover substantial enhancements in pupil efficiency: air filters raised take a look at scores by 0.1-0.2σ. Pure gasoline was not detected inside faculties, implying that the filters improved air high quality by eradicating widespread pollution and so these outcomes ought to prolong to different settings.”

Science Is Popping

“Botanical inhibitors of SARS-CoV-2 viral entry: a phylogenetic perspective” [Nature]. The Summary: “All through the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, using botanical dietary dietary supplements in the US has elevated, but their security and efficacy towards COVID-19 stays underexplored. The Quave Pure Product Library is a phylogenetically numerous assortment of botanical and fungal pure product extracts together with widespread complement substances. Analysis of 1867 extracts and 18 compounds for virus spike protein binding to host cell ACE2 receptors in a SARS-CoV-2 pseudotyped virus system recognized 310 extracts derived from 188 species throughout 76 households (3 fungi, 73 vegetation) that exhibited ≥ 50% viral entry inhibition exercise at 20 µg/mL. Extracts exhibiting mammalian cytotoxicity > 15% and people containing cardiotoxic cardiac glycosides had been eradicated. Three extracts had been chosen for additional testing towards 4 pseudotyped variants and infectious SARS-CoV-2 and had been then additional chemically characterised, revealing the potent (EC50 < 5 µg/mL) antiviral exercise of Solidago altissima L. (Asteraceae) flowers and Pteridium aquilinum (L.) Kuhn (Dennstaedtiaceae) rhizomes.” • Fascinating! Do not go making an attempt your personal tinctures, although; the concentrations are large.

Elite Malfeasance

“Interregnum – on the lockdown ‘sceptics’” (podcast) [Politics Theory Other]. From the UK. “Richard Seymour discusses his current blogpost on the so-called lockdown sceptics, and particularly the work of Toby Inexperienced and his ebook ‘The Covid Consensus: The World Assault on Democracy and the Poor—A Critique from the Left’. We talked concerning the straw man arguments, factual inaccuracies and conspiratorial considering that characterise the ebook and the lockdown sceptic literature extra usually. We additionally talked about why components of the left have been receptive to a few of this work and likewise what to make of the alliance between some self-styled anti-woke leftists and non secular conservatives.” • Seymour will get fairly cranky towards the tip; justifiably so. Lockdowns as scapegoating by, nicely, the enemies of human freedom:

I haven’t heard this viewpoint expressed. Might imply it’s legitimate!

Simply ask youself: What would Weyland-Yutani do?


Affected person readers: I can’t with this garbage Cochrane review; I’ll have a takedown within the close to future.

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Case Knowledge

NOT UPDATED BioBot wastewater data from February 13:

For now, I’m going to make use of this nationwide wastewater information as the most effective proxy for case information (ignoring the scientific case information portion of this chart, which in my opinion “goes unhealthy” after March 2022, for causes as but unexplained). Not less than we are able to spot traits, and evaluate present ranges to equal previous ranges.

• This chart doesn’t look significantly seasonal. Leaving it up for a bit to make the purpose:

So Covid just isn’t like “the flu,” making the plan to combine flu and Covid pictures much more surrealistic than it already is.


From the Walgreen’s test positivity tracker, printed February 14:

0.3%. Nonetheless on the excessive plateau, equal to earlier peaks.


Loss of life charge (Our World in Data):

Total: 1,140,209 – 1,140,017 = 192 (192 * 365 = 70,080 deaths per 12 months, right now’s YouGenicist™ quantity for “dwelling with” Covid (fairly a bit increased than the minimizers would really like, although they will discuss themselves into something. If the YouGenicist™ metric retains chugging alongside like this, I may need to determine that is what the powers-that-be contemplate “mission completed” for this specific tranche of loss of life and illness).

It’s good that for deaths I’ve a easy, each day chart that simply retains chugging alongside, in contrast to all the pieces else CDC and the White Home are screwing up or letting go darkish, good job. (Although CDC could also be jiggering the numbers quickly. Decrease, naturally.)

Hen Flu (H5N1)

Nail within the coffin on the putative Houston case:

Oopsie. Here is the reaction from FluTrackers (“Thanks to Dr. Tiffany for the trouble”). One of many positives of the episode is that I discovered abot FluTrackers, which is a extremely nice web site.

Stats Watch

Inflation: “United States Client Value Index (CPI)” [Trading Economics]. “The annual inflation charge within the US slowed solely barely to six.4% in January of 2023 from 6.5% in December, lower than market forecasts of 6.2%. Nonetheless, it’s the lowest studying since October of 2021, with vitality costs rising 8.7% whereas meals value went up 10.1%. ”

Enterprise Optimism: “United States NFIB Enterprise Optimism Index” [Trading Economics]. “The NFIB Small Enterprise Optimism Index in the US went as much as 90.3 in January of 2023 from a six-month low of 89.9 in December however nonetheless remained beneath its 49-year common of 98. The proportion of homeowners anticipating higher enterprise circumstances over the subsequent six months elevated (up 6 factors to -45%). Nonetheless, 26% of homeowners see inflation as their single most essential drawback (down 6 factors) and about 42% of homeowners raised common promoting costs (down 1 level). Additionally, 45% p.c of homeowners mentioned job openings had been laborious to fill (up 4 factors) and the expectations for actual gross sales to be increased worsened by 4 factors to -14%. ‘Whereas inflation is beginning to ease for small companies, house owners stay cynical about future enterprise circumstances’.” • “Cynical”?

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Tech: “Opera’s constructing ChatGPT into its sidebar” [The Verge]. “Opera’s including a ChatGPT-powered device to its sidebar that generates temporary summaries of webpages and articles. The function, referred to as ‘shorten,’ is a part of the corporate’s broader plans to combine AI instruments into its browser, much like what Microsoft’s doing with Edge.” • Oh good.

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At this time’s Concern & Greed Index: 72 Greed (earlier shut: 70 Greed) [CNN]. One week in the past: 78 (Excessive Greed). (0 is Excessive Concern; 100 is Excessive Greed). Final up to date Feb 14 at 1:32 PM EST.


“Extra Clues into ME/CFS Found in Intestine Microbiome” [NIH Director’s Blog]. “As a result of ME/CFS has many attainable causes, it doesn’t have an effect on everyone in the identical means. That’s made finding out the illness particularly difficult. However NIH is now supporting specialised analysis facilities on ME/CFS within the hope that higher collaboration amongst scientists will minimize by means of the organic complexity and reveal solutions for folks with ME/CFS and their households. So, I’m happy to share some progress on this analysis entrance from two NIH-funded ME/CFS Collaborative Analysis Facilities. The findings, printed in two papers from the newest subject of the journal Cell Host & Microbe, add additional proof connecting ME/CFS to distinctive disruptions within the trillions of microbes that naturally stay in our gastrointestinal tracts, referred to as the intestine microbiome [1,2]. Proper now, the proof establishes an affiliation, not direct causation, which means extra work is required to nail down this lead. But it surely’s a strong lead, suggesting that imbalances in sure bacterial species inhabiting the intestine may very well be used as measurable biomarkers to help within the correct and well timed analysis of ME/CFS. It additionally factors to a attainable therapeutic goal to discover.” • I had hoped to pair this with a paper on the neurological results of Covid, suggesting that the mind and the intestine won’t be the unbiased standalone methods we predict they’re, however sadly the neurological paper is gone the place the woodbine twineth.

Zeitgeist Watch

Is there some form of catch?

Our Famously Free Press

From numerous liberal sources, I preserve listening to that the issue with the Norfolk Southern practice that derailed in East Palestine was brakes. However none of them cite to a supply. In contrast, the union guys say it’s a hot box, and there’s evidence for that:

The brakes factor feels non-organic, and from members of my staff, or folks I’d like to think about adjoining to my staff. So what’s up with that?

Class Warfare

“Extraordinary People are counting the price of thriving” [Financial Times]. “In 1985, an American man working the everyday full-time job may help a household of 4 on 40 weeks of earnings, and be capable to afford a variety of nutritious meals, a three-bedroom home, a complete medical insurance plan, a household automotive, even saving to place each children by means of the state college. In 2022, paying for all that will require 62 weeks of his earnings, which is an issue, there being solely 52 weeks in a 12 months. These figures come from the Value-of-Thriving Index (Coti), which compares the speed at which wages are rising to the speed of value will increase for middle-class staples. They present starkly the impact on family budgets of a decades-long stretch wherein housing costs [rents], medical insurance premiums [rents], faculty tuition [rents], and extra [rents] skyrocketed a lot quicker than wages.”

Information of the Wired

“Aphrodisiacs of the Aztec and Inca” [JSTOR Daily]. “Aztecs attributed aphrodisiac properties to many plant-based meals, together with the chocolate beverage atextli. … Different Aztec aphrodisiacs had been medicines with psychoactive properties, together with the morning glory and sure mushrooms. One form of mushroom, teonanácatl (now often known as pajarito in Spanish) was related to prostitutes, although it’s unclear whether or not they or their purchasers consumed it, or what the particular desired results had been. A plant often known as cutiriqui was used not only for whetting sexual appetites however for rekindling the love of a married couple. Nonetheless, [ethnobotanist Jan G. R. Elferink] writes, essentially the most potent aphrodisiacs for the Aztecs appear to have come from animals. Part of the mazacoatl, or deersnake, was thought-about extraordinarily potent, to the purpose of hazard. The Florentine Codex, written by Spanish Franciscan friar Bernardino de Sahagún within the sixteenth century, warned {that a} man who drank an excessive amount of of a tincture constituted of mazacoatl ‘frequently erects his virile member and consistently ejects his semen, and dies of lasciviousness.’ Additionally harmful was the temolin, a big beetle, which can have contained cantharidin, the identical toxin discovered within the infamous “Spanish fly.’” • Information you should use!

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Contact info for vegetation: Readers, be at liberty to contact me at lambert [UNDERSCORE] strether [DOT] corrente [AT] yahoo [DOT] com, to (a) learn the way to ship me a verify if you’re allergic to PayPal and (b) to learn the way to ship me photos of vegetation. Greens are advantageous! Fungi and coral are deemed to be honorary vegetation! If you need your deal with to look 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) here. From SD:

SD writes: “Wall of orchids, Longwood Gardens, PA.”

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