• Today in Wokery: The only surprise about this story is that it took two weeks to happen:
The World Health Organization will officially rename monkeypox, in light of concerns about stigma and racism surrounding the virus that has infected over 1,600 people in more than two dozen countries. . .
More than 30 international scientists said last week that the monkeypox label is discriminatory and stigmatizing, and there’s an “urgent” need to rename it. The current name doesn’t fit with WHO guidelines that recommend avoiding geographic regions and animal names, a spokesperson said.
My old writing partner Ken Green has some suggestions (reader ideas welcome in comments):
• Bees may be fish in California, but at least elephants won’t have standing to sue in New York. The New York Post has the story:
New York’s highest court has ruled that Happy the elephant is not a “person” as it tossed a lawsuit seeking to free the animal from the Bronx Zoo.
The 5-2 decision likely marks the end of the line for an animal rights group that since at least 2018 has been seeking to spring the 50-year-old Asian pachyderm through habeas corpus – a legal principle used for challenging wrongful imprisonment.
But the state Court of Appeals on Monday rejected that argument, finding habeas corpus “has no applicability to Happy, a nonhuman animal who is not a ‘person’ subjected to illegal detention.”
Wesley Smith has more good thoughts here.
• With plain vanilla mortgage rates suddenly soaring above 6 percent, this is a good time to remind people that the Federal Reserve does not control interest rates: the market does. The Fed can only control very short-term interest rates (really just the overnight rates to member banks, etc), though it can have some effect on long-term rates through its direct purchasing of debt, as it did massively from 2008 through the day before yesterday.
The market is telling the Fed—raise interest rates now, or we’ll do it for you. Stand by for a 75 basis point hike this afternoon.
• Doesn’t “75 basis points” increase sound more benign than “.75%” increase? Or just more “scientific”?
• Virginia Postrel has a vivid recollection of the inflation of the late 1970s up on her Substack site, and one passage in particular reminds of something I tell students about from time to time about what life was like in the pre-scanner era:
In the late 1970s, Tom Noonan, then around 20 years old, worked in a Winn-Dixie supermarket in Louisville, Kentucky. His job was to change price tags a couple of times a week. He’d go through the store with a box cutter and a pricing gun, slicing off the old price stickers and applying the new, higher ones. It’s one of the 1970s memories that came pouring out of my Facebook friends when I asked about their experiences.
Not every store was so meticulous. Many just slapped the new prices on top of the old ones. “I half remember peeling off price labels to get a lower price (maybe on a book?), not even realizing that what I was doing was wrong or illegitimate,” confesses Mike Schiffer, a law school IT manager born in 1968, in the Facebook thread. “I don’t think I really understood how prices were set or changed at that point.”
I do recall seeing some peanut butter jars with three or four price stickers stacked on top of one another in 1979.