2:00PM Water Cooler 11/14/2022 | bare capitalism


By Lambert Strether of Corrente

Hen Music of the Day

Ruddy-capped Nightingale-Thrush, Querétaro, Mexico. The spectrogram appears to be like a bit like cuneiform.

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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 assume; however Ahab by no means thinks; he solely feels, feels, feels” –Herman Melville, Moby Dick

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

Biden Administration

President Superspreader?

“Biden says Democrats won’t be able to cross abortion-rights laws” [NBC]. • That was quick. My goodness, I believed the Democrats have been nonetheless in energy till January?


The Home:

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“The 2022 Midterms Have been One of many Finest Elections the Left Has Had in Reminiscence” [Jacobin]. “The foremost top-line success for the Left this election is the addition of a number of new rebel candidates who, like “the Squad” of 2018, have been backed by progressive exterior teams — notably the Working Households Get together (WFP) and Justice Democrats — with little or no assist from established celebration networks. The entire of such members now rises to 12, after 4 such rebel candidates sailed to victory in protected blue seats for which they gained primaries earlier this 12 months. This 12 months’s crop is Summer season Lee (PA-12), Greg Casar (TX-35), Delia Ramirez (IL-03), and Maxwell Frost (FL-10). This group is notable, amongst different issues, for its seriousness commitments to left-wing coverage.” • Isn’t it fairly to assume so.

“This was the 12 months liberal democracy fought again” [Janan Ganesh, Financial Times]. • This can be a foolish column. Liberal so-called democracy actually fought again in 2020, when within the UK Labour electeds and bureaucrats, with the assistance of the press and the spooks, defenestrated Jeremy Corybyn on “baseless” expenses of anti-Semitism, and o the US liberal Democrat Barack Obama staged “the Night time of the Lengthy Knives,” and made certain that Bernie Sanders would by no means take the nomination.

“In Secretary of State Races, Election Deniers (Principally) Lose” [Bolts]. “All election deniers who ran for secretary of state in battleground states—buoyed by endorsements from Trump—misplaced on Tuesday, blocking main avenues for the previous president to control the subsequent election. Jim Marchant, the Republican nominee in Nevada, got here closest, shedding to Democrat Francisco Aguilar by two proportion factors. In Michigan, Minnesota, and New Mexico, incumbent Democratic secretaries of state crushed their far-right challengers Kristina Karamo, Kim Crockett, and Audrey Trujillo by margins starting from 9 to 14 proportion factors—all excess of Joe Biden’s margins of victory two years in the past. Mark Finchem, an Arizona lawmaker who has since 2020 championed proposals to decertify his personal state’s presidential outcomes, repeated simply this fall that the votes of Arizona’s two most populous counties ought to be “tossed out.” He misplaced his bid on Tuesday, trailing in each of those counties decisively. Election deniers additionally didn’t take over secretary of state workplaces in blue states like Massachusetts and Vermont, misplaced elections for governor in locations the place the winner can appoint a secretary of state, and fell quick for different workplaces from which they might have exerted vital if oblique affect on elections, reminiscent of Michigan’s legal professional basic or New Mexico’s supreme court docket.” • I’m actually of two minds in regards to the election denier bucket, since I’m certain there are gradations. Not solely that, election deniers are the one political faction demanding paper ballots, in my opinion righteous. So….)

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TX: “Texas governor requires investigation into Houston-area elections” [The Hill]. “Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) on Monday referred to as for an investigation into ‘widespread issues’ in Houston-area elections in the course of the midterms. ‘The allegations of election improprieties in our state’s largest county might outcome from something starting from malfeasance to blatant legal conduct. Voters in Harris County need to know what occurred. Integrity within the election course of is crucial. To attain that commonplace, an intensive investigation is warranted,’ Abbott stated in a assertion. The Republican governor, who defeated Democratic challenger Beto O’Rourke final week, referred to as on the Texas secretary of state, the state legal professional basic and the Texas Rangers “to provoke investigations into allegations of improprieties within the ay that the 2022 elections have been carried out in Harris County.’ A variety of polling places in Harris County allegedly didn’t open on time on Election Day, which spurred the Texas Civil Rights Challenge and the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas to file an emergency lawsuit — and the county’s 782 polling locations have been ordered to remain open an hour previous their typical closing time.”


I see you quiver with antici…. pation:

“DeSantis brushes off Trump assaults: ‘All that’s simply noise’” [The Hill]. DeSantis: “I believe what you study is, all that’s simply noise, and actually what issues is, are you main, are you getting in entrance of points, are you delivering outcomes for folks and are you standing up for folk? And in case you try this, then none of that stuff issues.”

“Why the midterms make me optimistic for America” [Noah Smith, Noahpinion]. “Solely just lately, Florida was thought of a extremely aggressive purple state. Obama gained it in 2012, and gubernatorial races there have often been very shut. However within the 2022 midterms, Ron DeSantis gained a crushing 20-point victory, and Republicans gained solidly just about in all places on the poll. Turning Florida right into a deep purple state is a significant coup for Republicans, they usually owe a whole lot of it to DeSantis. And DeSantis did it partially as a result of he gained over the state’s Hispanic voters. The much-talked-about Hispanic shift towards the GOP is continuing solely slowly on the nationwide degree, however in Florida it has been a significant shift (and not simply amongst Cubans both). DeSantis appears to have an virtually Reaganesque skill to stake out culture-war positions that drive elite liberals up the wall whereas failing to scare away the ethnic working class.”• I all the time get pleasure from reader reactions to Smith. Is he mistaken right here? (And the way on earth did a drained previous hack and former Republican like Crist get nominated?)

“Rupert Murdoch urges Donald Trump to not run in 2024, threatening to again a Democrat if he does” [iNews]. “One senior Information Corp supply advised i: “We’ve been clear with Donald. There have been conversations between them throughout which Rupert made it clear to Donald that we can not again one other run for the White Home.’ It’s also understood that Mr Murdoch’s son Lachlan, who’s co-chairman of Information Corp and chief government of Fox Information’ mum or dad firm Fox Company, has knowledgeable Florida Governor Ron DeSantis that the household’s media clout would get behind him ought to he run for the White Home, even when Mr Trump stands towards him and whether or not Joe Biden is the Democrat candidate or not.”

“Michelle Obama: Trump victory ‘nonetheless hurts’ after six years” [The Hill]. • That’s a rattling disgrace.

Democrats en Déshabillé

Affected person readers, evidently individuals are truly studying the back-dated submit! However I’ve not up to date it, and there are lots of updates. So I must try this. –lambert

I’ve moved my standing remarks on the Democrat Get together (“the Democrat Get together 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 “stay” Water Cooler. (Hopefully, some Bourdieu.) It seems that defining the Democrat Get together is, the truth is, a tough downside. I do assume the paragraph that follows is on level all the way in which again to 2016, if not earlier than:

The Democrat Get together is the political expression of the category energy of PMC, their base (lucidly defined by Thomas Frank in Hear, Liberal!). ; if the Democrat Get together didn’t exist, the PMC must invent it. . (“PMC” modulo “class expatriates,” after all.) Second, all of the working components of the Get together reinforce one another. Go away apart characterizing the relationships between parts of the Get together (ka-ching, however not fully) 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 group.

Word, after all, 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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“How Democrats Can Construct a John Fetterman 2.0” [Michael Sokolove, New York Times]. ” I talked to Mr. Fetterman’s marketing campaign supervisor, Brendan McPhillips, about what classes may be drawn from the marketing campaign. ‘It’s about embracing candidates for who they’re and never attempting to appoint the identical cookie-cutter folks or mildew them into one thing they’re not,’ he stated. ‘And you’ll’t attempt to slice off whole demographic classes and ignore them. It’s a recipe for failure.’ Ms. [Anat Shenker-Osorio, a Bay Area-based strategist for progressive candidates and organizations] advised me that the Democratic institution in Pennsylvania lined up within the spring major behind Mr. Fetterman’s opponent, Conor Lamb, a average congressman from a household with a deep historical past in Democratic politics. Mr. Fetterman ‘was deemed too lefty,’ she stated. ‘They desperately wished Lamb. So, as the 1st step, and recall that the center of the highway is the place you get run over.’” • I might have prefer to have had some interviews with panels of voters, as an alternative of yet one more emptied Rolodex. “Bay space strategist”? Actually? (That stated, sure, each county and social media, although Sololove doesn’t take the view, as I do, that Fetterman’s use of social media was a shiny bauble to distract the press, who in any other case would have gone into their “pull the wings off flies” mode properly earlier than the controversy.)

Realignment and Legitimacy


Lambert right here: I can’t name a winter surge, although we’ll actually have to attend for Thanksgiving journey. Nevertheless, excessive transmission (CDC), the elevation and continued improve in positivity (Walgreens), and the regular takeover of BQ.1* (CDC; Walgreens) are all slightly unsettling (as is the obvious proliferation of variants). Keep protected on the market! (So far as Thanksgiving journey goes, missing CDC’s “Fast Riser” counties function, one of the best we are able to do, I believe, is observe the information and have a look at wastewater. I might order threat from highest to lowest at JFK/LGA (New York), LAX (Los Angeles), ATL, Atlanta, and ORD (Chicago). Since New York — as of this writing, and naturally all the information is delayed, making private threat evaluation an effort in delusion, however I digress — is a BQ.1* hotbed, I’d attempt to use EWR (Newark) not JFK/LGA. My $0.02!

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• ”ASHRAE Positions on Infectious Aerosols Authorized by the ASHRAE Board of Administrators October 13, 2022″ (PDF) [ASHRAE]. ASHRAE = American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers. That is huge:

Now if any individual may simply inform these weasels at CDC and within the Biden administration that #CovidIsAirborne. Commentary:

Marr being an distinctive aerosol scientist, congratulations to her.

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• ”Why Do They *Assume* That?” [Essays you didn’t want to read]. A query you and I’ve been rumuninating on, which the submit partially solutions with a protracted clarification of cognitive heuristics, biases and fallacies, with examples. To me, this passage was key:

“Folks want to be seen (by themselves and others) as cheap. Due to this, when people attempt to resolve on a ‘rational’ response to an environmental menace, they usually have a look at the array of accessible threat mitigation choices and attempt to choose a proportion of those that’s neither an ‘under-response’ or an ‘over-response.’… Sadly, that’s not the way in which threat truly works; a menace is what it’s, and it isn’t going to barter with you concerning how a lot you need to do or what’s a ‘honest’ quantity of effort…. Sadly, US public well being leaders have been selling this framing of threat in relative (vs. absolute) phrases all through the pandemic. Their acknowledged purpose is that they consider they’d by no means get full compliance anyway, and that asking for it might solely set off reactant noncompliance. However when coverage makers are additionally clearly extra fascinated with financial heath than in public well being, I believe that argument is one thing of a dissonance-reducing rationalization on their half. Folks in lots of different societies have willingly accomplished way more to cut back threat than now we have right here. If US residents had been advised clearly why and the best way to scale back threat, and the federal government had made numerous instruments extra out there, we’d doubtless have seen each a bigger uptake in threat discount measures and a extra optimistic perspective towards that mitigation. (Do not forget that free N95s have been able to mail out to the entire nation, when Trump pulled the plug*.) Due to the illusory reality impact (which holds that statements usually tend to be accepted as true the extra usually they’re repeated), messaging from folks like Rochelle Walensky and Ashish Jha has created and endlessly strengthened the notions that ‘Mitigation is Laborious,’ ‘Folks Are Too Drained,’ ‘Earlier Mitigations Are No Longer Obligatory’ and ‘It’s Completely High-quality for Everybody if Everybody Does ‘You Do You.’’ Those that push again towards these messages are each violating group norms and reminding others of disagreeable truths they’ve been already assured they will cease enthusiastic about. It’s no surprise the sight of a masked face promotes resentment.

The entire submit is price a learn. NOTE * I don’t love Trump, however on this he would have been following WHO and CDC steerage.

* * *

• “Why Masks Nonetheless Matter” [Time]. “At the moment, the CDC doesn’t record masks underneath their steerage to Individuals for the best way to stop flu. And information has been blended previously with regard to what kind of masks would actually be wanted. A randomized trial inspecting whether or not use of N95 respirators versus medical masks in stopping influenza amongst healthcare staff discovered no vital distinction. Nevertheless, the examine was primarily carried out in outpatient clinic settings, that are notably totally different than inside a hospital, or inside a crowded public setting for longer intervals of time. In one other randomized trial, use of N95 masks was related to considerably decrease charges of respiratory sickness, and decrease charges of bacterial colonization of the respiratory tract. Moreover, COVID-19 mitigation efforts of the previous two seasons very doubtless contributed to exceptionally low flu transmission, as famous by the CDC. On condition that flu is much less transmissible than COVID-19, the degree of group masking wanted to blunt transmission would doubtless be decrease and extra simply achievable. With restricted but blended information, we’d be sensible to heed warning and err on the aspect of masking in excessive threat, indoor crowded public settings the place these ailments unfold most simply.” • Clearly, this submit confirms my priors, however to be honest I have no idea how the flu or RSV are transmitted (both the present dominant paradigm or regardless of the science truly says). In the meantime, the Brownstone Institute should really feel threatened, as a result of they’ve dropped a fantastic load:

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“Journal of Some Plague Years” [David Fisman, Dropbox]. • Though it is a slideshow, it’s price a learn for the timeline, public well being’s reign of error. This slide is beneficial on hegemonic PMC* failure:

NOTE The aerosol scientists are PMC too, allow us to not neglect. Clearly they’re not hegemonic; I name them distinctive for the private qualities and institutional assist required to assault the hegemonic paradigm.

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• That pernicious “immunity debt” meme:

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• Majestic Petri Dish docks in Sydney:

We study nothing….


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


NOT UPDATED From the Walgreen’s take a look at positivity tracker, printed November 12:

-0.1%. Down.


Wastewater information (CDC), November 11:

Lambert right here: An unlimited variety of counties have gone darkish (gray dot, no information) in West Virginia, Ohio, Indiana, Missouri, Colorado, and Oregon. I don’t know whether or not that’s as a result of they’ve dropped out of this system. or CDC butchered the information, or CDC’s contractor, Biobot, had issues. (Biobot’s information web page consists of the next disclaimers: “Not all places might have submitted current samples,” and “Biobot’s scheduled variant information replace is delayed.” Perhaps so.)

Lambert right here: Every dot on the map is a sewershed you could click on for information. In the present day, LAX (or quite, the humongous Los Angeles County, which incorporates LAX, within the Westchester neighborhood):

We already discovered elevated ranges (orange dot) in JFK/LGA’s county, Queen, We checked out ORD’s county, Cook dinner (one in every of two counties, truly), which was not elevated (blue dot). In the present day, CDC’s map says LAX’s county shouldn’t be elevated (blue dot) however we are able to see a slight rise in its chart. Heck, right here’s ATL (Cobb):

November 7:


Lambert right here: It’s past irritating how gradual the variant information is. 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 everyone will get the outcomes from them? [grinds teeth, bangs head on desk]. UPDATE Sure. See NC right here on Pango. Each Friday, a stately, educational tempo totally incompatible with defending your self towards a variant exhibiting doubling conduct.

NOT UPDATED Variant information, nationwide (Walgreens), October 25:

Lambert right here: BQ.1* shifting alongside fairly briskly.

NOT UPDATED Variant information, nationwide (CDC), October 22 (Nowcast off):

BQ.1* shifting alongside fairly briskly. New York/New Jersey (Area 2) numbers are greater:

NOT UPDATED As test, since New York is a BQ.1* hotbed, New York hospitalization, up to date November 11:

Lambert right here: For the primary time in awhile, an virtually imperceptible decline. Let’s wait and see.


Demise charge (Our World in Information):

Whole: 1,100,296 – 1,100,127 = 169 (169 * 365 = 61,685, which is as we speak’s YouGenicist™ quantity for “residing with” Covid (fairly a bit greater than the minimizers would really like, although they will speak themselves into something. If the YouGenicist™ metric retains chugging alongside like this, I could should resolve that is what the powers-that-be take into account “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, not like every little thing else CDC and the White Home are screwing up or letting go darkish, good job.

• Whole deaths within the US haven’t decreased as a lot as one would possibly assume:

• “Official mortality information for England reveal systematic undercounting of deaths occurring inside first two weeks of Covid-19 vaccination” (preprint) [ResearchGate]. “For each covid and non-covid deaths, the 2 weeks of submit first vaccination deaths seem to have been omitted from the ONS dataset. This sample is repeated in all age teams over 60. Quite a lot of components may have led to deaths within the first 14 days being omitted within the ONS dataset, together with miscategorisation, reporting lags and information dealing with or transcription errors. The dataset is due to this fact corrupted, making any inferences about vaccine efficacy or security which are reliant on the information, moot. Accordingly, the ONS ought to publicly withdraw their dataset and name for the retraction of any claims made by others which are based mostly upon it.” • Oh. From March 2022. Nonetheless germane? Readers?

Stats Watch

Inflation: “United States Producer Value Inflation MoM” [Trading Economics]. “The Producer Value Index for ultimate demand within the US rose 0.2% month-over-month in October of 2022, the identical as a downwardly revised 0.2% improve in September and under market forecasts of 0.4%. Items value went up 0.6%, the most important advance since a 2.2% rise in June, primarily pushed by a 5.7% leap in gasoline value. Costs for diesel gasoline, recent and dry greens, residential electrical energy, hen eggs, and oil area and fuel area equipment additionally superior. In distinction, the index for passenger vehicles declined 1.5%. In the meantime, providers value fell 0.1%, the primary decline since November of 2020. Costs for fuels and lubricants retailing have been down 7.7%…”

Manufacturing: “United States NY Empire State Manufacturing Index” [Trading Economics]. “The NY Empire State Manufacturing Index surged 13.6 factors to 4.5 in November 2022, in contrast with market expectations of -5.0 and pointing to the primary month of enchancment within the New York State’s enterprise exercise since July. New orders decreased barely, whereas shipments expanded modestly. Supply instances have been little modified, and inventories grew considerably. Labor market indicators pointed to a stable improve in employment and an extended common workweek.”

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Transport: “FedEx Freight to start driver furloughs subsequent month” [Freight Waves]. “FedEx Freight, the less-than-truckload arm of FedEx Corp. and the nation’s largest LTL service, stated Saturday it should furlough an undetermined variety of drivers beginning in early December… The motion was taken in response to slowing macroeconomic circumstances which have impacted LTL demand in current weeks, the unit stated. The LTL section, which has proven very sturdy development popping out of the pandemic, has seen volumes degree off just lately because of financial uncertainty attributable to excessive inflation and recession considerations.”

The Bezzle: “prosecution futures,” good name from 2017 (!):


The Financial system: “About 37% of small companies, which between them make use of virtually half of all Individuals working within the non-public sector, have been unable to pay their lease in full in October” [Unusual Whales]. n = 4789. “Hire delinquency charges amongst US small companies elevated considerably [in October], a brand new report exhibits. About 37% of small companies, which between them make use of virtually half of all Individuals working within the non-public sector, have been unable to pay their lease in full in October. That’s based on a survey from Boston-based Alignable, a community of seven million small enterprise members. It’s up seven proportion factors from final month and is now on the highest tempo this 12 months, the survey confirmed.”

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In the present day’s Concern & Greed Index: 69 Greed (earlier shut: 63 Greed) [CNN]. One week in the past: 58 (Greed). (0 is Excessive Concern; 100 is Excessive Greed). Final up to date Nov 15 at 1:02 PM EST. Holy moley! Shifting alongside fairly properly to Excessive Greed!

The Gallery

“Highlight: Canadian Summary Expressionist Jean-Paul Riopelle’s Work Takes Heart Stage in His Native Quebec” [ArtNet]. “Using a wide selection of media, together with aerosol paint, stencils, and collage, alongside conventional supplies like lithography and acrylic paint, Riopelle’s signature fashion is marked by experimentation, coloration acuity, and dense compositions.” • I’m an enormous fan of Quebec Summary Expressionism, which I believe can stand with the extra well-known New York faculty, and has the extra benefit, AFAIK, of not being funded by spooks.

Zeitgeist Watch

“Everlasting Jewellery Locks In Clients, Units Off Steel Detectors” [Wall Street Journal]. “Persons are getting hooked on everlasting jewellery that requires a particular instrument or scissors to take away. Followers of the welded, soldered or securely fixed jewellery say they love not having to consider shedding costly items or twiddling with finicky clasps.” • Searching for permanence the place there may be none available?

Class Warfare

“Boilermakers’ union turns into third to reject tentative contract deal” [Trains]. “The boilermakers’ union that represents 300 railroad staff has rejected their tentative settlement with the U.S. Class I programs, changing into the third labor group to provide a brand new contract a thumbs down…. However the two largest unions — the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen, and the SMART-TD that represents conductors — gained’t announce their poll outcomes till Nov. 21. Trade observers consider BLET and SMART-TD are prone to vote down their agreements, organising the prospect of the primary nationwide railroad strike since one which led to a quick lockout in 1992.”

Inflation and actual wages:

Information of the Wired

“Please Don’t Put Your Suitcase on the Mattress, Ever” [Pocket]. • The wheels are filthy!

Jogs my memory of Gibson and Sterling’s The Distinction Engine:

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Contact info for crops: Readers, be happy to contact me at lambert [UNDERSCORE] strether [DOT] corrente [AT] yahoo [DOT] com, to (a) learn how to ship me a test if you’re allergic to PayPal and (b) to learn how to ship me photos of crops. Greens are wonderful! Fungi and coral are deemed to be honorary crops! If you’d like 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) right here. From ChetG:

ChetG writes: “Connected are two autumn photographs. The primary is considerably flat however an fascinating autumn sample; the second is my favourite, combining coloration and the sense of distance. Each come from the bordering sport land and are taken as we speak, on largely non-hunting Sunday.”

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Readers: Water Cooler is a standalone entity not lined by the annual NC fundraiser. So in case you see a hyperlink you particularly like, or an merchandise you wouldn’t see anyplace else, please don’t hesitate to precise your appreciation in tangible kind. Bear in mind, a tip jar is for tipping! Common optimistic suggestions each makes me really feel good and lets me know I’m heading in the right direction with protection. Once I get no donations for 5 or ten days I get nervous. Extra tangibly, a continuing trickle of donations helps me with bills, and I think about that trickle when setting fundraising targets:

Right here is the display screen that can seem, which I’ve helpfully annotated:

When you hate PayPal, you’ll be able to e mail me at lambert [UNDERSCORE] strether [DOT] corrente [AT] yahoo [DOT] com, and I gives you instructions on the best way to ship a test. Thanks!

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