2:00PM Water Cooler 10/6/2022 | bare capitalism

By Lambert Strether of Corrente

Chook Track of the Day

Rufous-brown Solitaire, Nariño, Colombia.

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“However what’s authorities itself, however the biggest 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

“The logic of the insult and the logic of scientific classification symbolize the 2 excessive poles of what a classification could also be within the social world.” –Pierre Bourdieu, Classification Struggles

Biden Administration

“Disasters divert Biden’s fall agenda” [Politico]. • Wait. Biden had an agenda? I imply, past fomenting warfare with a nuclear energy and instituting eugenics because the baseline for public well being coverage?


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AZ: “Rep. Liz Cheney Says Arizona GOP Candidates Threaten Democracy” [HuffPo]. “Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney on Wednesday mentioned the Republican candidates for Arizona governor and secretary of state pose an enormous danger for democracy as a result of each say they’ll refuse to certify election outcomes in the event that they don’t just like the outcomes….Cheney additionally leveled broadsides as what she mentioned was a rising “Putin wing” of the Republican Celebration who need America to withdraw from the world stage and refuse to defend freedom in different international locations.”

NV: “Democrats’ Troubles in Nevada Are a Microcosm of Nationwide Headwinds” [New York Times]. “The Culinary Staff Union members who’re knocking on doorways to get out the vote are on the cursed-at entrance traces of the Democratic Celebration’s midterm battle. Most voters don’t open their doorways. And when some do reply, the canvassers may want they hadn’t. ‘You suppose I’m going to vote for these Democrats in any case they’ve accomplished to wreck the financial system?’ a voter shouted one night final week from her entryway in a working-class neighborhood of East Las Vegas. Miguel Gonzalez, a 55-year-old chef who described himself as a conservative Christian who has voted for Republicans for many of his life, was extra well mannered however no extra satisfied. ‘I don’t agree with something Democrats are doing in any respect,’ he mentioned after taking a fistful of fliers from the union canvassers. Those that know Nevada finest have at all times seen its blue-state standing as one thing befitting a desert: a sort of mirage. Democrats are literally a minority amongst registered voters, and a lot of the occasion’s victories within the final decade had been narrowly determined. However the state has lengthy been a symbolic linchpin for the occasion — important to its nationwide coalition and its maintain on the blue West. Now, Democrats in Nevada are going through potential losses up and down the poll in November and bracing for a seismic shift that would assist Republicans win management of each homes of Congress. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto stays one of the crucial weak Democratic incumbents within the nation. Gov. Steve Sisolak is preventing his most formidable challenger but. And the state’s three Home Democrats might all lose their seats.” • I suppose the intense aspect could be that the Reid machine will likely be cleaned out ultimately. However it’s extra doubtless it will likely be extra highly effective than ever.

Democrats en Déshabillé

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

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

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

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

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“Transcript of Speaker Pelosi’s Remarks at Weekly Press Convention” [Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House]. ” Proper now, the perfect factor that we are able to do for our financial system is to have complete immigration reform. We’ve a scarcity of staff in our nation, and also you see even in Florida among the farmers and the growers saying, ‘Why are you delivery these immigrants up north? We want them to select the crops down right here.’” • Oh.

Republican Funhouse

Trump Legacy

“Is There Something That Will Make the ‘Former Man’ Go Away?” [New York Times]. Betteridge’s Regulation applies. However, a dialog between Gail Collins and Bret Stephens: “[Bret:] My major downside with most G.O.P. hopefuls is that they’re what I’ve come to name ‘one-sheep Republicans.’ Undecided if I would like to elucidate — Gail: Oh, let your self go. Bret: It’s a reference to an outdated joke about an outdated man whose lifetime of fine deeds on behalf of his little village is undone on account of a single unlucky second of ardour with a woolly companion. The purpose is that a lot as I favor most Republican coverage proposals on stuff like regulation and taxes, the refusal to forthrightly settle for the outcomes of the final election is their sheep. Gail: Bret, every time I have a look at a Republican on TV, I’ll now see a little bit fluffy creature baa-ing softly within the nook. Thanks.” • Gotta respect the meme-age, however yikes.

Realignment and Legitimacy

“A Dose of Rational Optimism” (evaluation) [Dissent]. Evaluate of Brad DeLong’s Slouching In direction of Utopia: An Financial Historical past of the Twentieth Century. “Humanity, the Berkeley economist argues, spent practically everything of its historical past condemned to poverty by an inadequate provide of energy and a chronically extreme beginning charge. However within the “lengthy twentieth century”—the interval between 1870 and 2010—an virtually miraculous transformation came about: increasingly folks lived longer, more healthy, extra affluent lives than ever earlier than. Arenas of mind and artistic expression that had been as soon as accessible solely to probably the most privileged of elites turned the frequent experiences of mass cultures. People didn’t discover utopia, DeLong argues, however we stumbled in its common route. Within the grim morass that has adopted the monetary disaster of 2008, it’s refreshing to obtain a dose of rational optimism—nonetheless tempered—from a critical mental analyzing our place within the grand scheme of historical past. DeLong doesn’t avert his readers’ eyes from the brutalities of imperial conquest, genocide, and revolution gone awry, which outline the political milieu of the period underneath his microscope. However his narrative is essentially hopeful: folks can accomplish superb issues on a colossal scale. Not that way back, we did so on a regular basis. This attitude is refreshing exactly as a result of everybody, DeLong included, is aware of that one thing has gone terribly incorrect.” • Possibly I not less than have to offer this e-book the random opening check.

“The commonest restaurant delicacies in each state, and a chain-restaurant thriller” [WaPo]. “When Clio Andris and Xiaofan Liang gave us early entry to the most recent replace of their pleasant knowledge on chain eating places, they already had recognized its most compelling thriller: Locations that help Donald Trump additionally are inclined to have probably the most franchise meals. However why? It seems ‘the foodscape may be very political,’ mentioned Liang, a PhD candidate at Georgia Tech’s Faculty of Metropolis & Regional Planning. ‘Locations with a excessive proportion of Trump voters have a better proportion of chains. We didn’t anticipate it.’ Chain eating places — these ubiquitous monuments to company consistency, from Applebee’s to Arby’s, Olive Backyard to Pizza Hut — are commonest in Kentucky, West Virginia and Alabama. They’re rarest in Vermont, Alaska and Hawaii. Maine, New York and D.C. additionally are inclined to have fewer chains.” • The map:

Half the nation!


Affected person readers: Holy moley, the Walgreens website got here alive once more! That makes me really feel so much much less mournful in regards to the state of our knowledge, since we now have some checks on CDC (variants and positivity).

Tomorrow, nonetheless, I do CDC’s Speedy Riser and Hospitalization charts for the final time, because the interagency hairball that publishes them goes to weekly publication on Friday, and I don’t suppose that’s frequent sufficient to be helpful. Too dangerous they couldn’t have waited till after vacation journey, however there we’re. The case counts are undercounts, however it appears to be they’re the perfect now we have. I’m not positive, nonetheless, that “the perfect now we have” is nice sufficient.

Since case counts, hospitalization, and deaths all correlate, I believe we are able to agree there was no back-to-school surge in September. Dropping positivity reinforces that. What worries me, nonetheless, is the emergence of a brand new, vaccine-escaping variant, earlier than or throughout the holidays. I’m reluctant to rely solely variant knowledge for this, since variant knowledge is basically laggy (not sufficient labwork quick sufficient). Wastewater knowledge helps right here, however CDC protection is basically patchy, and in any case I desire a verify on them. What worries me is that “consultants say” that what occurs within the UK occurs within the US a couple of month later; and the UK is having a surge. I’m open to strategies from readers on easy methods to deal with that, and for sources with which to revise this part (and, by the way, save myself a while so I can write extra in regards to the financial system underneath Stats, which is uncared for). Ought to I abandon case counts solely, for instance? Since Johns Hopkins is mumbling about reducing them again? Concentrate on extra native sources for wastewater? Readers, ideas?

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• “Lineage variety” is the dotted line:

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• Re-upping a particularly lengthy and helpful thread on superspreading occasions:

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• Hmm. One wonders why:

I went and checked:

December’s solely two months away, so why do something? Can readers touch upon whether or not this stinks as a lot because it appears to?

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• Bear in mind when children didn’t get Covid? Good instances:

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• “As soon as Recognized for Vaccine Skeptics, Marin Now Tells Them ‘You’re Not Welcome’” [New York Times]. The deck: “The rich California county simply north of San Francisco has one of many nation’s highest Covid-19 vaccination charges after years of being recognized for folks who opposed pictures for childhood illnesses.” • ”They had been careless folks, Tom and Daisy — they smashed up issues and creatures after which retreated again into their cash or their huge carelessness or no matter it was that saved them collectively, and let different folks clear up the mess they’d made.” — F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Nice Gatsby.

• “CDC: Hold Household From Catching Your Covid By Isolating In A Separate Room” [Forbes]. Now they inform us. An “Editor’s Choose,” no much less. “A new CDC examine exhibits that isolating in separate rooms considerably decreased the percentages of SARS-CoV-2 transmission between family members. Isolating in separate rooms proved to be the best mitigation measure in opposition to onward SARS-CoV-2 virus transmission no matter age, gender, vaccination standing, and different danger elements. Whereas vaccination was discovered to cut back the danger of an infection, it didn’t seem to cut back transmission inside the family. Each vaccinated (major vaccination sequence) and unvaccinated adults and youngsters with various demographic elements had been discovered to transmit the virus at related charges. The examine serves as a reminder that we must always not ignore public well being and nonmedical interventions similar to masking and isolating, whilst mandates are dropping and far of the world is experiencing fatigue.” • Apparently, though the CDC examine linked to has many CDC authors, it was revealed at Open Discussion board Infectious Ailments, not at Morbidity and Mortality Weekly report.

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Case Depend

Case depend for the USA:

Circumstances are undercounted, one supply saying by an element of six, Gottlieb pondering we solely decide up one in seven or eight.) Therefore, I take the nominal case depend and multiply it by six to approximate the actual degree of circumstances, and draw the DNC-blue “Biden Line” at that time. The earlier depend was ~43,300. Right this moment, it’s ~40,721 and 40,721 * 6 = a Biden line at 244,326. (Bear in mind these knowledge factors are weekly averages, so each day fluctuations are smoothed out.) The black “Fauci Line” is a counter to triumphalism, because it compares present ranges to previous crises. For those who have a look at the Fauci line, you will note that regardless of the bleating and yammering about Covid being “over,” now we have solely only in the near past reached the (nominal) case degree of the primary surge in New York, within the spring of 2020 (after which the Instances printed the photographs of the 100,000 who died, contemplating that a big quantity, because it was on the time).

Regional case depend for 4 weeks:

The South:

Most likely it’s going to end up that every one Florida’s information had been destroyed by Hurricane Ian, what a disgrace.

The South (minus Texas and Florida):

Frankly. the regular drop amongst all this smallish Southern states collectively provides me extra hope than the rest.

The West:

This drop is the rationale the nationwide figures dropped. Each time there’s been a drop this huge, it’s been revised away.


Wastewater knowledge (CDC), October 2:

Lambert right here: I’m happy to see that there at the moment are some dwell websites in New York Metropolis.

For grins, September 1:

An alert reader urged having a look at the MWRA knowledge from the Boston space, and lo and behold:

Lambert right here: Each North and South sewer programs confirmed a slight drop.

It is a seven-day common, thoughts you, so the rise is not any fluke. (MRWA is split into north and south sewersheds. Each are rising.) Allow us to additionally keep in mind that the Boston space will not be solely the house of many, many college students, it’s additionally a PMC heart, and now we have already seen one ginormous superspreader occasion from the convention in Boston. Boston additionally has a significant worldwide airport, one other reason for unfold.


UPDATED From the Walgreen’s check positivity tracker, October 4:

0.4%. However encouraging.

Readers, please click on via on this, if in case you have a minute. Since Walgreens did the appropriate factor, let’s give this venture some stats.


NOTE: I shall most definitely not be utilizing the CDC’s new “Group Stage” metric. As a result of CDC has mixed a number one indicator (circumstances) with a lagging one (hospitalization) their new metric is a poor warning signal of a surge, and a poor solution to assess private danger. As well as, Covid is a illness you don’t wish 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 house check kits — deserve to face alone as a quantity to be tracked, regardless of how a lot the political operatives in CDC management wish to obfuscate it. That the “inexperienced map” (which Topol calls a “capitulation” and a “deception”) remains to be up and being taken severely verges on the legal. Use the neighborhood transmission instantly beneath.

Right here is CDC’s interactive map by county set to neighborhood transmission. (That is the map CDC needs solely hospitals to have a look at, not you.)

Lambert right here: I’ve to say, I’m seeing extra yellow and extra blue, which continues to please. However is the pandemic “over”? Nicely….

Speedy Riser knowledge, by county (CDC), October 4:

Earlier Speedy Riser knowledge:

Hospitalization knowledge, by state (CDC), October 4:

See the NOTE beneath. It’s mind-boggling that this report is being reduce at a time when hospitalization is rising within the Northeast. I imply, I assumed hospitalization was what these guys cared about?

NOTE: From CDC: “Efficient September 23, 2022, the Group Profile Report will solely be up to date as soon as every week, on Fridays. We apologize for any inconvenience attributable to the delayed add for 09/30/2022.” At prime proper, the Obtain is labeled “Up to date: October 4, 2022.” The file identify: “Community_Profile_Report_20220929.pfd.” Even within the smallest issues, CDC simply lies and lies. To be honest, this file is basically produced by “an interagency crew with representatives from a number of companies and places of work (together with the USA Division of Well being and Human Providers, the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention, the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, and the Indian Well being Service. So that they’re all mendacity, not simply the CDC. “The way in which to manage and direct a mentat, Nefud, is thru his data. False data–false outcomes”. -Baron Harkonnen.


Lambert right here: It’s past irritating how sluggish the variant knowledge is. I seemed for extra charts: California doesn’t to a BA.4/BA.5 breakdown. New York does however it, too, is on a molasses-like two-week cycle. Does no person within the public well being institution get a promotion for monitoring variants? Are there no grants? Is there a single lab that does this work, and all people will get the outcomes from them? Further sources from readers welcome [grinds teeth, bangs head on desk].

UPDATED Variant knowledge, nationwide (Walgreens), September 24:

Nonetheless no signal of BA.2.75 at Walgreens, regardless of its look in CDC knowledge beneath.

Variant knowledge, nationwide (CDC), September 10 (Nowcast off):


Loss of life charge (Our World in Knowledge):

Whole: 1,086,685 – 1,085,366 = 1319 (1319 * 365 = 481,435, which is in the present day’s LivingWith™* quantity (fairly a bit greater than the minimizers would really like, although they will speak themselves into something. Fluctuates fairly a bit, however even the low numbers are dangerous). I’ve added an anti-triumphalist black Fauci Line.

It’s good that for deaths I’ve a easy, each day chart that simply retains chugging alongside, not like all the things else CDC and the White Home are screwing up or letting go darkish, good job.

• In the meantime in Australia:

Stats Watch

Employment Scenario: “” [Trading Economics]. “The variety of People submitting new claims for unemployment advantages rose by 29,000 to 219,000 within the week that ended October 1st, leaping from the five-month low hit within the prior week and sharply above expectations of 203,000, suggesting some loosening in labor market circumstances.”

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Retail: “Amazon debuts new procuring portal for purchasers on authorities help” [CNN]. “Amazon on Monday launched a brand new procuring portal referred to as Amazon Entry that’s designed for buyers receiving authorities help. The shopfront options SNAP EBT on Amazon, details about the Amazon Layaway program that every one buyers can use to pay for his or her orders over time and spotlights reductions and coupons for any buyer on important grocery objects. Amazon already provides some providers for low-income prospects, similar to discounted Amazon Prime membership. It additionally accepts Supplemental Diet Help Program or SNAP advantages for groceries bought via Amazon Grocery, Amazon Recent and Complete Meals. The corporate mentioned the brand new portal is supposed to be a centralized hub that places these particular person advantages multi function place. ‘Given the robust financial local weather with many going through rising prices on important wants, we would like our prospects to learn about all of the accessible choices out there on Amazon, regardless of their circumstances,’ mentioned Nancy Dalton, head of neighborhood partnerships for Amazon Entry. Amazon (AMZN) additionally introduced it has renamed its discounted Prime membership to Prime Entry. Eligible prospects can join the service on Amazon (AMZN) Entry.” • Entry. BWA-HA-HA-HA-HA!!!!

Tech: Why Google’s merchandise are as they’re:

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Right this moment’s Worry & Greed Index: 32 Worry (earlier shut: 30 Worry) [CNN]. One week in the past: 14 (Excessive Worry). (0 is Excessive Worry; 100 is Excessive Greed). Final up to date Oct 6 at 12:59 PM EDT.

Feral Hog Watch

This tweet went viral:

Two clickthroughs, and the story is attested, albeit from 2013: “Drunk and boarish: swigging pig hogs 18 beers at campsite” [Guardian].

Division of Feline Felicity

“The Case for Cats” [The Atlantic]. “If I’m being fully sincere, perhaps it’s the feline character that’s my private catnip. My cats are simply as cuddly as any canine I’ve ever had—in all probability extra. They’re affectionate and personable; they arrive operating after we name; they greet us on the door. And each cat I’ve met has been such a definite particular person, such a personality: bursting with sturdy opinions, clear-cut preferences, weird and memorable quirks. And people traits are steadfast. Whether or not they’re scared, completely happy, suspicious, or confused, Calvin and Hobbes are at all times Calvin and Hobbes. I get that cats can generally be contrarian. I get that their outer shell can generally be robust to crack. However for me, that makes all of them the extra fascinating. Their belief and affection is hard-won. So when it’s earned, it feels that rather more significant.” • I like my ruthlessly environment friendly little predator….

Well being Care

Medicare for All? Why?

I used to be on the periphery of the final main push for single payer, the place “Medicare for All” turned the speaking level as a result of (it was felt) “single payer” was too technical, and on reflection I believe the rebranding was a mistake. Too many individuals have had dangerous experiences with Medicare having been crapified, and in any case Medicare Benefit is hollowing out Medicare correct from the within. After which the “For All” half, meant to suggest enchancment, obtained misplaced within the shuffle. After which the liberal Democrats obtained Joe Biden in, and he anesthetized all the things. So it goes.

Groves of Academe


I would wish to verify Taleb’s writings rigorously, but when “contagion” is a metaphor, like “hive thoughts,” as an alternative of a mechanism, I’d be disillusioned.

Zeitgeist Watch

“At Topeka Gun & Knife Present, merciless ironies fester amid aisles of weapons” [Kansas Reflector]. On the Topeka Gun & Knife Present: “I step out of the present as an alternative, previous a cheerful blonde with a U.S. flag and a poster that claims, “Register to vote.” Subsequent to her, a uniformed police officer is posted, and I acknowledge her. She typically gives safety at our church, which makes me consider a time — not that way back — when none of us frightened about shooters storming into worship providers with semi-automatic weapons that fireplace as much as 60 bullets a minute, exploding organs. How unusual to see her right here now, offering safety for gun consumers in a middle named for a hospital. On the exit, I as soon as once more move the small sq. indicators that present crossed-out handguns, and I understand that the final time I used to be right here, a dozen hard-working nurses had been receiving the group, retaining the COVID-19 vaccine syringes going, ensuring we had been all safer and fewer prone to die.”

Class Warfare

“Alabama Paper Mill Staff Need Their Lives Again — And They’re Giving Up $30,000 To Get It” [The Real News]. “Within the morning of Oct. 1, after a 50-hour voting interval, virtually 500 union members from three United Metal Staff (USW) locals at WestRock’s Mahrt Mill paper mill in Cottonton, Alabama, voted to reject a second contract provide from the corporate. The refusal to ratify WestRock’s ‘final, finest, and remaining’ provide got here on account of the corporate insisting on eradicating contract language pertaining to what the employees there name ‘penalties’ for lengthy hours. Members resoundingly rejected this contract, regardless that it included an unheard-of $28,000 ratification bonus—elevated from an already staggering provide of $20,000, which staff already rejected on Sept. 21. Members resoundingly rejected this contract, regardless that it included an unheard-of $28,000 ratification bonus—elevated from an already staggering provide of $20,000, which staff already rejected on Sept. 21. The penalties in query embrace time-and-a-half pay on Sundays (which turns into double time if an worker was already at or above 40 hours for the week), and time-and-a-half pay retroactively utilized for one’s complete shift if mentioned shift goes over 16 hours (what’s generally known as ‘Hog Regulation’ within the business).” • Not simply the signing bonus; time-and-a-half (!). Commentary:

“Why are we so afraid to control?” [Worcester Sucks and I Love It]. “The vocabulary itself is a buffer in opposition to reform. So if I precisely described the demand The Worcester Collectively Reasonably priced Housing Coalition made at a rally Wednesday—to change a draft inclusionary zoning ordinance in order that the required 10 p.c of income-restricted items in new developments could be set to accommodate households making 60 p.c of the world median earnings as an alternative of 80 p.c, because it’s at the moment written—it seems like I’m talking in some kind of overseas language. The individuals who stand to achieve from the established order this language perpetuates are fairly fluent—the builders, the hedge fund managers, the attorneys and the Metropolis Corridor individuals who work with (for?) them. They know what I’m saying! Alternatively, the individuals who stand to lose—actually, anybody who lives right here and makes lower than $100,000 a yr—couldn’t be blamed for having no concept what any of which means. For those who’re not a housing advocate or work in public coverage or a bizarre nerd (me), why the hell would you trouble to study this impossibly boring language? Sensible insurance policies that will have actual fashionable enchantment are thus buried behind a fog of inscrutability. It’s simply so onerous to craft a compelling message. So I suppose one of the simplest ways to kick off my try at such a message is to cite the one individual in historical past to give you one: Jimmy McMillan, who famously mentioned in no unsure phrases that the lease is simply too rattling excessive.”

Information of the Wired

I’m not feeling wired in the present day.

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

TF writes: “Sphinx feeding on Cestrum.”

Readers, I might nonetheless use extra plant pictures (and honorary plant pictures, like fungi or coral). Fall colours, backyard yield, no matter you’ve obtained!

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