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2:00PM Water Cooler 4/4/2022 | naked capitalism

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Readers, thanks a lot for making the 2022 Water Cooler mini-fundraiser a powerful success! Amazingly, on the ultimate day you blew by way of the 350 goal I set — which I believed was a stretch aim — with 447 contributions, with the large surge approaching the second day. Your contributions actually take the sting off, and I’m very, very grateful. –lambert P.S. This isn’t a pitch! We’re completed now!

Once more at reader Lena’s suggestion, that is California Quail week at Bare Capitalism. Can this presumably be what they sound like?!

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

“That they had realized nothing, and forgotten nothing.” –Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord

I’ve moved my standing remarks on the Democrat Occasion (“the Democrat Occasion 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 Occasion is, actually, 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 Occasion is the political expression of the category energy of PMC, their base (lucidly defined by Thomas Frank in Pay attention, Liberal!). ; if the Democrat Occasion didn’t exist, the PMC must invent it. . (“PMC” modulo “class expatriates,” in fact.) Second, all of the working elements of the Occasion reinforce one another. Depart apart characterizing the relationships between components of the Occasion (ka-ching, however not solely) these components comprise a community — a Flex Web? An iron octagon? — of funders, distributors, apparatchiks, electeds, NGOs, and miscellaneous mercenaries, with belongings within the press and the intelligence neighborhood.

Word, in fact, that the category energy of the PMC each expresses and is restricted by different lessons; 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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I’ve been neglecting my Bourdieu recently, I want to suppose as a result of it’s laborious to kind in. However maybe there are different causes, as we will see. In any case, I’m now as much as web page 67 of Types of Capital:

I suggest to begin in the present day with a quick preamble on the which means of “understanding” for sociology [first by] quoting an announcement by Wittgenstein….”

What makes a topic obscure — whether it is important, vital — isn’t that some particular instruction about abstruse issues is important to know it. Relatively it’s the contract between the understanding of the topic and what most individuals need to see. Becaise of this the very issues which might be most blatant can turn out to be probably the most obscure. What must be overcome isn’t the issue of the mind however of the desire.

This very clear textual content expresses extraordinarily effectively what I usually say about sociology: working towards sociology wouldn’t be so troublesome if the desire to know weren’t so fraught:

(Keynes appears to have described one thing akin to this phenomena as effectively: “The method by which banks create cash is so easy that the thoughts is repelled.”) Right here is an instance of “the social object” in motion, if I perceive Bordieu’s ideas accurately (which I won’t):

How did such a catastrophe for democracy in America come to occur? And on a mass scale? Examples could possibly be multiplied (WMFs; Ukraine). I can’t give an account of this. (“Sheeple” is essentialist, not social.) Is my drawback lack of will?

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“Cuomo Sues Ethics Panel to Block It From Seizing E book Earnings” [New York Times]. “The go well with is the most recent instance of the seen and aggressive stance that Mr. Cuomo, who resigned as governor in August, has adopted since his return to public life in current months. Mr. Cuomo’s resignation got here after a report by the lawyer basic, Letitia James, discovered he had sexually harassed a number of girls, together with some who labored for him. Mr. Cuomo has denied any harassment. After a number of months in seclusion, Mr. Cuomo has re-emerged recently. He has spent a whole lot of hundreds of {dollars} on tv advertisements to advertise his accomplishments as governor, spoken at two church buildings and began to shift from speaking about his private points to broader political themes. The place he as soon as expressed contrition and mentioned he had been ‘too aware of folks,’ he now blames ‘cancel tradition’ for forcing his resignation.” • Since Cuomo wasn’t even slapped on the wrist for slaughtering hundreds of elders in nursing properties, we’ve to imagine that’s OK with the political class. Inspired, even.

“DCCC Celebrates Positive aspects In Numerous Hiring And Contracting” [HuffPo]. “Utilizing a system of self-identification, the DCCC discovered that 43% of its workers members are folks of coloration, 53% are girls, 25% are members of the LGBTQ neighborhood, 1% establish as a gender aside from man or lady, and 13% are folks with a incapacity. Amongst what the DCCC considers senior workers, 47% of individuals establish as folks of coloration, and 26% establish as members of the LGBTQ neighborhood. As well as, the DCCC’s spending on companies owned or run by folks of coloration has elevated dramatically. The DCCC says it spent $695,000 on contracts with distributors owned by folks of coloration in the course of the 2014 election cycle, the primary election cycle when it tracked such information.” • A various workers actually labored wonders for the Sanders marketing campaign in 2020. Though, to be truthful, I’d far somewhat have the subsequent Manchin characterize [insert favored identity here] and never [insert disfavored identity here]. I imply, take a look at the dividends variety paid with Sinema! ($695,000 is pocket change. As far as I do know, the billion-dollar budgets are nonetheless managed by the identical six consulting companies that introduced us 2016, various or no.)

“Hillary Clinton: Hand wringing is a part of the Democratic DNA” [The Hill]. “NBC’s ‘Meet the Press’ host Chuck Todd requested Clinton if she noticed any similarities between the state of the Democratic Occasion now and the way it was in early 90’s, noting that the get together was grappling with what Democrats stood for forward of the midterm elections through which they threat shedding management over the Home and Senate. Clinton answered that ‘hand wringing is a part of the Democratic DNA. That appears to be in model whether or not we’re in or out of energy.’ ‘We’re in energy and there nonetheless is hand wringing happening. From my perspective, President Biden is doing an excellent job,’ she added.” • The kiss of dying? Most likely not….

Unhappy information:

#COVID19

For those who missed it, right here final week’s publish on my queasiiness with CDC numbers, particularly case rely, which I (nonetheless) think about most vital, regardless of what Walensky’s psychos at CDC who invented “community levels” suppose. However these are the numbers we’ve. Extra dangerous information:

With a pathogen that multiplies geometrically, sure, gradual information is dangerous information.

Case rely by United States regions:

Fellow tapewatchers will word that “up like a rocket, down like a stick” part is completed with, and the case rely– similar to it’s — is now leveling out. At a degree that, a 12 months in the past, was thought of a disaster, however we’re “over” Covid now, so I suppose not. I’ve added a Fauci Line. Maybe this says extra about my temperament than it does concerning the information, however often I watch Japanese tsusami movies. The primary indicators, a minimum of within the movies I’ve watched, will not be roaring sounds or large waves, however unusual ripples within the water, boats rocking when they need to not, and so forth. And so, for these inclined to choose up on creepy little alerts, we appear to be getting somewhat quite a lot of them, even leaving Europe out of the equation.

NOTE I shall most actually not be utilizing the CDC’s new “Community Level” metric. As a result of CDC has mixed a number one indicator (instances) with a lagging one (hospitalization) their new metric is a poor warning signal of a surge, and a poor approach to assess private threat. As well as, Covid is a illness you don’t need to get. Even in case you are not hospitalized, you possibly can undergo from Lengthy Covid, vascular points, and neurological points. For these causes, case counts — recognized to be underestimated, because of residence check kits — deserve to face alone as a quantity to be tracked, regardless of how a lot the political operatives in CDC management want to obfuscate it.

MWRA (Boston-area) wastewater detection:

The MRWA is split into two sections, North and South. Each are distinctly up. This chart aggregates them. The mixture of the big Omicron spike conceals change, however change there’s.

This little blip is very uncomfortable, because it corresponds to Massachusetts’ sudden emergence onto each the Speedy Riser and the Hospitalization maps. (Word that Rhode Island, adjoining to the Southern MRWA catchment, and a school state to e-book, has simply seen its hospitalization go vertical. Possibly I can commit just a little time this week to seeing how Biobot’s county maps (incomplete although they’re) match as much as Speedy Riser counties.

The Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA) service space consists of 43 municipalities in and round Boston, together with not solely a number of college methods however a number of massive universities. Since Boston is so very education-heavy, then, I feel it could possibly be an excellent main indicator for Covid unfold in faculties usually.

From CDC Group Profile Reviews (PDFs), “Speedy Riser” counties:

On occasion I consider disposing of this chart, after which there’s one other flare-up. I bear in mind utilizing the metaphor of flying coals in a forest hearth — many land, however sputter out; a couple of catch, and the primary spreads. What I discover about this spherical of flare-up is that the “coals” are the dimensions of a number of counties, not, as beforehand, single ones. FWIW! (Do not forget that these are speedy riser counties. A county that strikes from crimson to inexperienced isn’t covid-free; the case rely simply isnt, effectively, rising quickly.)

The earlier launch:

Right here is CDC’s interactive map by county set to neighborhood transmission. That is the map CDC desires solely hospitals to take a look at, not you:

Persevering with gradual enchancment because the map shifts from principally crimson to principally yellow (assuming the numbers aren’t jiggered).

Hospitalization (CDC Group Profile):

Once more, I don’t just like the sudden effloresence of yellow and orange. I don’t care that the baseline is low. From the perspective of our hospital-centric well being care system, inexperienced all over the place means the emergency is over (and to be truthful, that is bolstered by case rely and wastewater). Nevertheless, neighborhood transmission remains to be pervasive, which signifies that lengthy Covid, plus persevering with vascular harm, are not over. (Word development, whether or not up or down, is marked by the arrow, at high. Admissions are offered within the graph, on the backside. So it’s doable to have an upward development, however from a really low baseline.)

Dying fee (Our World in Data):

Total: 1,008,198 1,007,320. We did it. Get away the Victory Gin. An unlucky upward blip. I’ve added an anti-triumphalist Fauci Line.

Covid instances in top us travel destinations (Statista):

Stats Watch

Manufacturing: “United States Manufacturing unit Orders” [Trading Economics]. “Manufacturing unit orders within the US declined by 0.5% month-over-month to $542 billion in February of 2022, the primary decline since April final 12 months as provide constraints and shortages of supplies proceed to weigh whereas client demand has been shifting from items to providers. Figures got here according to market forecasts.”

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The Bezzle: “After a $625 million hack, the get together should go on” [CNN]. Why? Extra: “There was the branded swag, the free drinks and the mingling. However one thing was amiss on the Axie Infinity meet-up at Sample Bar in Downtown LA. Earlier within the day, Axie Infinity, the play-to-earn crypto recreation through which gamers acquire digital pets often known as “Axies,” had introduced that the Ronin Community, the crypto community that helps energy the sport, was the sufferer of a hack of $625 million — a monumental quantity, even within the period of mega crypto heists. The Ronin Community was developed by Axie Infinity writer Sky Mavis. Even worse, March 29, the day of the hack’s announcement, was presupposed to be a banner day for the favored crypto firm. When requested in the event that they had been involved about their investments, lots of the the assembled Axie crowd had been zen about their holdings. ‘I’m an optimist,’ mentioned Chris, who declined to present his final title, with a shrug. ‘I feel they’re going to get well,’ mentioned Vince Zolezzi, who advised me {that a} quarter of his portfolio is within the Ronin community. ;I feel they’re going to discover a approach to get it again or if there’s insurance coverage on it. I’m not personally frightened about it. It’s going to be okay. … I’ve religion. They’ve gotten the place they’ve for a motive.’” • They’ve, nevertheless it’s not the explanation you suppose.

The Bezzle: “The nice NFT sell-off: has the digital collectibles craze hit its peak?” [Financial Times]. From March, nonetheless germane. “Digital objects often known as non-fungible tokens burst into mainstream tradition final 12 months, as a number of animal collections together with Bored Ape Yacht Membership, Cool Cats and Pudgy Penguins spiked in price, aided by superstar endorsements and social media hype. By the top of 2021, practically $41bn had been spent on NFTs — making the market nearly as useful as the worldwide artwork market. However nearly as quickly, massive parts of the market have begun to deteriorate, leaving novice traders with large losses and elevating questions on the long run outlook for NFTs. The common promoting worth of an NFT has dropped greater than 48 per cent since a November peak to round $2,500 over the previous two weeks, in keeping with information from the web site NonFungible. Each day buying and selling volumes on OpenSea, the most important market for NFTs, have plummeted 80 per cent to roughly $50mn in March, only a month after they reached a document peak of $248mn in February.” • That’s a rattling disgrace.

Tech: “Elon Musk buys 9.2% stake in Twitter, making him the biggest shareholder” [CNN]. “‘On condition that Twitter serves because the de facto public city sq., failing to stick to free speech rules basically undermines democracy,’ Musk tweeted final month. ‘What must be completed?’ Any time an investor buys 5% or extra of an organization’s shares, they have to disclose the acquisition in filings with the Securities and Trade Fee. Though a stake of lower than 10% in an organization is taken into account ‘passive’ within the eyes of Wall Avenue, it may sign an effort by Musk to take a extra energetic position in how Twitter is run. That is among the elements prompting different traders to purchase shares and drive up the value early Monday. ‘I feel he intends to go energetic and power change at Twitter,’ mentioned Dan Ives, tech analyst as Wedbush Securities. ‘This can be a shot throughout the bow at Twitter’s board and administration workforce to begin discussions.’”

* * *

At the moment’s Worry & Greed Index: 51 Impartial (earlier shut: 49 Impartial) [CNN]. One week in the past: 49 (Impartial). (0 is Excessive Worry; 100 is Excessive Greed). Final up to date Apr 4 at 1:19pm.

Rapture Index: Closes down one on Oil Provide/Value. “Oil costs are down.” [Rapture Ready]. Report Excessive, October 10, 2016: 189. Present: 187. (Do not forget that bringing on the rapture is a good factor, so increased is healthier.)

Sports activities Desk

If solely we had Presidents like Nixon lately:

The Conservatory

“The Most Underrated and Spontaneous of the Police, Based on Stewart Copeland” [New York Magazine]. Copeland: “The hi-hat is the higher degree of the rhythm. There’s two layers of rhythm: One is the Sixteenth-notes, or the quick notes, which you’ll usually hear on the cymbals or hi-hat. The opposite half of the rhythm is the backbeat and kick relationship, or the downbeat and the backbeat. The snare and the kick drum work together to create the meat of the rhythm. However the higher degree, the hi-hat and the cymbals doing these Sixteenth-notes — the quicker patterns — are the connective tissue for the meat and potatoes of kick snare. It’s the interplay of these components that make a rhythm what it’s. The hi-hat contributes to the higher degree. It’s a very helpful instrument as a result of it’s two cymbals pressed collectively, and the way tightly they’re pressed collectively is managed by your left foot. For those who launch your foot just a little bit, it opens it up fully. So your left foot is controlling the feel of that upper-level rhythm with a excessive diploma of expression. There’s an entire form of vocabulary that you would be able to put into that higher degree of the rhythms.” • Not a giant Police fan, however nonetheless an attention-grabbing interview. Hello-hat followers rejoice!

The Gallery

I’d not have thought this was Monet, and I don’t suppose that is Leicester Sq.:

Guillotine Watch

I’m so outdated I bear in mind “bending the curve”:

On reflection, “bend the curve” was certainly framed as a collective responsbility, however the advantages went to hospitals. (To not trash all of the medical staff, nurses, docs, and everybody else. They’re trapped in a vile system like everybody else.) As quickly because the hospitals had been within the clear — that’s to say, the PMC in these establishments had been within the clear — collective accountability was out the window, together with non-pharmaceutical interventions usually.

Class Warfare

“Meet Christian Smalls and Derrick Palmer, the DIY Duo Behind the Amazon Labor Union’s Guerrilla Bid to Make Historical past” [The City]. Written earlier than the Union victory: “Tall and slender, with a brief cropped beard, Smalls is eerily calm concerning the union vote that runs by way of Wednesday on the JFK8 achievement heart. ‘I’ve been coping with this machine for therefore a few years, nearly seven years now,’ he mentioned. ‘For those who’re wired and on edge, you’re gonna make the fallacious choices. So that you simply gotta preserve the cool, calm and picked up route,’ he mentioned in an interview earlier this month. Smalls, who lives in Newark, cuts an unlikely determine for a union boss. His black ALU stamped face masks slipped as he talked with THE CITY earlier this month, revealing a set of gold grills. He’s received tattoos on his neck — ‘Daniel,’ his center title, is on one aspect, and a music scale with some notes on the opposite. He’s misplaced rely of what number of tattoos he has, nevertheless it’s “fairly a couple of, my youngsters’ names and stuff now. It’s quite a bit completely different now. Now I’ve a motive to get them.’ … When he first emerged as a pacesetter of the 2020 COVID security protests, Amazon administration tried to make use of his street-casual demeanor as a approach to discredit him. In a leaked memo of a gathering, Amazon executives, together with CEO Jeff Bezos, mentioned Smalls was ‘not good, or articulate,’ and sought to create a media narrative round Smalls to make him ‘the face of all the union/organizing motion.’ The memo sparked one thing in Smalls, who in actuality is comfortable spoken and meticulous about his phrases. ‘Sarcastically, he mentioned to make me the face of the entire unionizing effort, so I mentioned, ‘OK, that’s a good suggestion.’: • Ha! Seven years! Commentary:

$120,000? That wouldn’t cowl the standard NGO’s espresso price range….

Information of the Wired

I gotta get extra wired…

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Contact info for vegetation: Readers, be happy to contact me at lambert [UNDERSCORE] strether [DOT] corrente [AT] yahoo [DOT] com, to (a) learn how to ship me a examine in case you are allergic to PayPal and (b) to learn how to ship me photographs of vegetation. Greens are wonderful! Fungi and coral are deemed to be honorary vegetation! In order for you your deal with to look as a credit score, please place it initially 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. Through SK:

SK: “Right here’s the primary flowers of decorative quince, SF Bay Space.”

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