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Notes from the day job.

Lisa Hay, Oregon’s federal public defender, said 34 of her office’s clients—offenders sentenced for federal crimes in Oregon—are scattered in eight private prisons in Texas, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Michigan.

“I’m concerned about our clients being held in private prisons because there seems to be no reporting on the level of coronavirus infections in those facilities,” Hay said.

“I don’t know if they are even testing inmates.”

The coronavirus, Hay said, has exposed how detention in private prisons may “result in unequal and inadequate treatment of inmates.”

Private Correctional Institutions.

Defiance!

I don’t know who needs to hear this, but “genre-defying” is by now not merely a genre all its own but an established turnkey manufacturing process with standardized supply-chain throughputs from pitch to page.

Genre-defying.

That gum you like is going to come back in style.

Lili Loofbourow manages to make me feel if not good about a Biden candidacy, at least, I mean, well, sort of better?

Two of Swords (reversed).

Light the candle, draw the card. (I’ve switched from the Bad Girl Tarot to the Carnival at the End of the World.) Tweak a sentence or two, by which I mean take a word out, then put it back. I’ve written five percent of the next first chapter is one way to put it, but another way is to point out most of those words are an opening I’ve discarded, or at least set aside to be repurposed later. Plunge the coffee. Log into the other machine, the work machine, and let the various databases and distance-working tools—overstressed by the demands of an entire segment of the national economy suddenly working from their couches—reset and resynch and restore themselves in the relative quiet calm of four in the morning. Update all the lists of everyone we’ve been able to find so far, folks who might just with patient bureaucratic chipping and exquisitely phrased arguments have a chance to be pried free from federal custody before the virus catches fire in this facility, or that. (It’s already caught fire.) Look up when the daughter’s alarm goes off (sweetly artificial birdsong) and start to think about what can be made into breakfast. Adjust another word. —There’s this, written a couple of weeks ago, but available now, which is something of a sequel to this; also, go and read Martin Jay on the racket society. I’ll be back in a bit.

Look, I saw this great opportunity to corner the market in Egyptian cotton.

That’s, ah, that’s normally how things work, right? So I’m not here to disrupt, ah, a supply chain, so, look. These distributors, these six distributors, six, seven, they have six to seven hundred warehouses. They have trucks that go to the hospital door every day. We’re bringing product in, they’re filling orders for hospitals, nursing homes, like normal. I’m putting volume into that system. I would say that, in—we have the data now, last—so we put together, this, ah, data element, over, the last, you know, what, thirteen days? Get the people in, look at the problem, build this—I am now seeing truth, about what’s in the supply chain? And I would say, um, there’s been some abnormal behavior? Okay?

The federal government—our federal government—is giving supplies from the national stockpile to six, or maybe seven distributors to then sell to the states, our states, us, at a healthy hollow laugh profit, and while we need to have everyone responsible drummed out of power, their money seized, their power and possessions nationalized, turned to some small public good, what we at the very least deserve is some sort of truth and reconciliation commission, where all involved admit to their wrong-doing and apologize and swear on whatever they hold holy never to do it again, even if they don’t ever actually have to pay anything meaningful for having done so, the best, the ever actual uttermost best we can ever hope for is maybe in ten years or so one of them decides to leverage some spare change from under their couch into a teevee show about some charmingly sharpish con artists Robin Hooding an entirely notional fortune or two from some thinly fictionalized versions of these fothermucking monsters, ah well, nevertheless.

Capitalism!

“This failure accounts for at least some of the tens of thousands of pending tests reflected in the state’s reported numbers. According to experts, it isn’t Quest’s fault that the company has so far been unable to meet the technical challenge of testing thousands of people every day. Setting up such “high throughput” operations is difficult. But Quest failed to come to terms with its ongoing problems, and it continued to accept specimens—and generate revenue—when other laboratories could have done some of the tests faster.”

Capitalism!

“I am not saying these universities shouldn’t do something charitable for their workers. They should, if only to maintain amicable relations within the university community itself. I am saying that their moral obligation to extend charity to those workers is not very strong. Had such charity been prioritized in the past, the US never would have developed and maintained top universities. Part of America’s greatness as a nation, and as an innovator, is its unwillingness to ask anew every day whether its elite accumulations of wealth should be torn down and rededicated to everyday purposes of a supposedly greater benevolence.”

Look on his works, ye mighty.

Credit where credit is due.

I mean, if we’re looking for a scapegoat.

Read all you want; we’ll make more.

I’ll be puzzling over this one for a spell.

Walmart.

Meanwhile, I’d suggest you check a copy out from the library, but even though they added ten more copies to keep up with demand, there’s still a waitlist. So if I might humbly suggest the source itself?

Capitalism!

“Steven Valiquette, a managing director at Barclays Investment Bank, last week peppered executives from Cardinal Health, a health care distributor of N95 masks, ventilators and pharmaceuticals, on whether the company would raise prices on a range of supplies. —Valiquette asked repeatedly about potential price increases on a variety of products. Could the company, he asked, ‘offset some of the risk of volume shortages’ on the ‘pricing side’?”

And on the pedestal these words appear:

Trump flu.

This business will get out of control.
It will get out of control and we’ll be lucky to live through it
.”

Caring responsibly.

The obsession of the Democrats—the ostensible left-wing! who are on our side! aren’t they?—with nickling and diming and means-testing the shit out of what should be a simple and immediate act of handing every person in the country a wad of money in this time when we’ve been asked to stop working for our own collective good—it’s explained, somewhat, by David Graeber’s notion of a war between administrators and care-givers, which did get stark real fast, didn’t it. (We can take some solace in the administrative bullshit that’s been so quickly swept away, that some small care might be given; we might well quail before the new heights of administrative bullshit to be scaled, even as those who supposedly can’t be helped set out to help themselves. —As for the Republicans, well, they in their cunning at least know enough to look like they’re in favor of what everyone wants, even as they bitterly oppose it.)

Everybody is paying attention.

“Who died on 9/11? It was front-line people and our passengers. Who suffered in the bankruptcies that followed? It was me and my friends. They took our pensions, they slashed our pay by more than 40 percent, diminished our health care, cut our jobs. They put it on our backs. For a lot of people, that meant real personal loss of our homes and cars and stressed marriages and divorces and the pain of telling our kids that they had to do without. We’ve seen this before, and we know exactly what didn’t work. We won’t stand for it again. We won’t let that happen to the rest of the country.” —Sara Nelson For President Now.

Threefold this.

Thing about putting energy out into the world is, all this time we’ve been aching for Fully Automated Luxury Gay Space Communism, we forgot we must also thereby conjure its dialectical shadow, Co-opted Slay-Witch Special Forces Gay Fascism.

Motherland!

Q. Have you ever been to Salem?

A. I have not. But I’ve done a lot of research around the city and I listened to a lot of, like, the local witch podcasts… I love that it’s a sacred place for many people for whom this stuff is very real. I’m kind of remiss in not having visited yet. Once the craziness dies down, I’m going to get myself out there.

Q. Are you going to reverse engineer this story at all? It feels like it could be a book.

A. Yes, ma’am. Because I’m a better writer now. I think I could tackle it. You know, I also tried to do it in a really tough way. I tried to do it as interlocking diary entries for the main three leads. I feel like if I had chosen sort of a more traditional third person, omniscient point of view, I might have been able to get it done. But now I really want to explore because it just seems like it’s a world where you can have so much fun. It’s a really, really good playground for the time we’re living in today.

Capitalism!

“Business Insider Italia explains that even though the original manufacturer was unable to supply the part, it refused to share the relevant 3D file with Fracassi to help him print the valve. It even went so far as to threaten him for patent infringement if he tried to do so on his own. Since lives were at stake, he went ahead anyway, creating the 3D file from scratch. According to the Metro article, he produced an initial batch of ten, and then 100 more, all for free. Fracassi admits that his 3D-printed versions might not be very durable or re-usable. But when it’s possible to make replacements so cheaply—each 3D-printed part costs just one euro, or roughly a dollar—that isn’t a problem. At least it wouldn’t be, except for that threat of legal action, which is also why Fracassi doesn’t dare share his 3D file with other hospitals, despite their desperate need for these valves.”

Capitalism!

“So, this SoftBank-owned patent troll, Fortress, bought up Theranos patents, and then set up this shell company, ‘Labrador Diagnostics,’ which decided that right in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic it was going to sue one of the companies making COVID-19 tests, saying that its test violates those Theranos patents, and literally demanding that the court bar the firm from making those COVID-19 tests.”