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Links 9/17/2022

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Lambert and I, and many readers, agree that Ukraine has prompted the worst informational environment ever. We hope readers will collaborate in mitigating the fog of war — both real fog and stage fog — in comments. None of us need more cheerleading and link-free repetition of memes; there are platforms for that. Low-value, link-free pom pom-wavers will be summarily whacked.

And for those who are new here, this is not a mere polite request. We have written site Policies and those who comment have accepted those terms. To prevent having to resort to the nuclear option of shutting comments down entirely until more sanity prevails, as we did during the 2015 Greek bailout negotiations and shortly after the 2020 election, we are going to be ruthless about moderating and blacklisting offenders.

–Yves

P.S. Also, before further stressing our already stressed moderators, read our site policies:

Please do not write us to ask why a comment has not appeared. We do not have the bandwidth to investigate and reply. Using the comments section to complain about moderation decisions/tripwires earns that commenter troll points. Please don’t do it. Those comments will also be removed if we encounter them.

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Moose crash test dummies, constipated scorpions and the most optimal door knobs: Meet the 2022 Ig Nobel prize winners ZMEScience (Dr. Kevin)

Burning Man’s Black Rock City as seen from space Boing Boing (resilc)

Mushroom leather: How fungi became fashionable Quartz (furzy)

Chaos Researchers Can Now Predict Perilous Points of No Return Quanta (David L)

Chess player denies using sex toy to help him beat grand champion Evening Standard (Dr. Kevin)

Making an Enemy of Luxury Lapham’s Quarterly (Anthony L)

Gallup book: Global rise of unhappiness preceded COVID Axios (resilc)

#COVID-19

Science/Medicine

How Bill Gates and partners used their clout to control the global Covid response with little oversight Politico. Former conspiracy theory now confirmed.

Imagining COVID is ‘like the flu’ is cutting thousands of lives short. It’s time to wake up The Conversation (guurst). A little late for this messaging…

US

Hundreds of Americans Will Die From COVID Today Atlantic. Resilc: “No problem unless starting players for an NFL team”

Climate/Environment

Reviewing the Effects of Wildfires on Water Quality Aazocleantech (Kevin W)

Rising seas could submerge hundreds of thousands of buildings in the US by 2050 ZMEScience (Dr. Kevin)

From Kevin W. I can’t vet the specific claims but electronic vehicles require not only the use of a lot of environmentally costly materials but also the construction of new infrastructure. We’ve repeatedly said radical conservation is the only hope for limiting climate change

China?

China and the Lore of American Manufacturing New Yorker (resilc)

US Senate picks up where Pelosi left off on Taiwan Asia Times

Why Right-Wing Mayor Robert Ménard Is So Popular in France Der Spiegel (resilc)

Old Blighty

Pound hits 37-year low against dollar as UK recession fears mount Financial Times (Kevin W). I was working in London at the time. That low was brief. But sterling was generally cheap that entire summer, so many American tourists visits.

Trust In Institutions Is Eroding On Both Sides Of The Pond, And The Queen Was Not Exempt FiveThirtyEight (resilc)

Liz Truss is turbocharging bankers’ bonuses. What a gift for Labour Guardian

Operation Shamrock: How Sinn Féin was front and centre on King Charles’ visit to NI RTE. PlutoniumKun:

Just a link here to highlight just how good Sinn Fein are at outmanoevering the Unionists and how they even used the Queens death to their advantage. There have been pictures floating around social media the last few days showing the frostiness of the new King towards the DUP’s Jeffrey Donaldson and his friendliness to ex-IRA prisoner Alex Maskey. A real lesson in how to do politics from the radical left.

New Not-So-Cold War

Draft US Russia Sanctions Bill Risks Punishing African Continent – South African President Sputnik (Kevin W)

The EU brought to its knees by the Straussians Thierry Meyssan (Chuck L)

France makes grim prediction about European energy prices RT

‘Selfish’ Norway accused of Ukraine war-profiteering Politico (Kevin W)

Putin insists on lifting EU restrictions on Russian fertilizers for developing states Interfax (guurst)

Zelensky names terms for transport of Russian ammonia RT (Kevin W). Ammonia is an important part of many fertilizers.

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Video Reveals How Russian Mercenaries Recruit Inmates for Ukraine War New York Times (furzy). Grey Lady gets some credit for accurate signposting in headline. A lot of accounts have succeeded in giving the impression that this was recruiting for the regular army.

FIRST FINNISH XA-180/185 PERSONNEL CARRIERS TRANSFERRED TO UKRAINE Bitchute. Note not yet confirmed, so treat as speculative.

Germany Military Must Become Europe’s ‘Best Equipped’: Scholz Defense Post (Kevin W). Germany as the new Greece: a newly poor country spending a disproportionate percentage of GDP on US hardware

Army Wants to Double Or Triple Some Arms Production As Ukraine War Continues Defense One (resilc)

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Chinese President Xi Jinping seeks to open doors in Central Asia as Ukraine war leaves Russia diminished South China Morning Post (resilc)

Contrast the above with Russia Encircles Bakhmut, Ukraine Offensives at Standstill; Samarkand Putin Meets Xi, Iran Joins SCO Alexander Mercouris, YouTube. The SCO part begins at 25:20. If nothing else, listen to the bit where Mercouris recounts long form how the recent and presumed-US-installed Pakistan prime minister verbally prostrated himself before Putin at 42:50 (you will see this characterization is not an exaggeration). Yes this is from a Kremlin readout, but it would be deadly to attribute words to a government leader that he didn’t actually say. Sad that some people just won’t stay bought.

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Härte und Kälte Overton (guurst):

At the funeral of Mikhail Gorbachev, the German government is conspicuous by its absence. A highly symbolic act: This government relies on military, confrontation. Goodbye diplomacy.

Hundreds of thousands sleeping in open after Pakistan floods Reuters. Resilc: “But it’s God save the King vs special masterzzzzz.”

Syraqistan

Iran’s new Fath 360 looks and acts like a HIMARS Asia Times (resilc)

Caucasus conflict highlights US hawks’ reckless support for Azerbaijan Responsible Statecraft

Kyrgyz-Tajik border conflict escalates with use of heavy weaponry Reuters. Resilc: “All of a sudden lots of love in that general area, on the Russian flankkkkkkkk.”

Pelosi going to Armenia amid renewed clashes with Azerbaijan Politico. Kevin W: “Because her trip to Taiwan was so successful.”

UN officials denounce Israel’s “illegal and unacceptable” war on Palestinian civil society Mondoweiss (guurst)

Imperial Collapse Watch

From resilc, subject line “Me on Amtrak”:

4 hours to go 35 miles
The engine broke
The new engine software broke after 5 miles
Backed up back to Albany
Doors broken
More money for Ukrainian freedom is needed
I blame Biden for settling strike
However I could still be stuck during ratification vote

Trump Raid

Breaking News: Justice Dept. asks appeals court to restore access to Trump raid documents Politico (Kevin C)

Justice Dept. Appeals Part of Special Master Review in Trump Case New York Times (furzy)

Biden

Top Biden aides quietly laying groundwork for a potential 2024 presidential campaign, a new report says Business Insider (Kevin W)

2022

Before Midterms, Election Officials Increase Security Over Threats New York Times

How Abortion and Inflation Will Affect the Midterms Atlantic (resilc)

Do Debates Really Matter in Senate Races? New York Magazine

L’affaire Martha’s Vineyard

GLORIA ROMERO: I’m a Latina Democrat – if libs think I’m appalled by DeSantis, they’re dead wrong! Daily Mail (BC)

Florida Boasts About Sending a Plane Full of Venezuelan Immigrants to Martha’s Vineyard Esquire (furzy)

Democrats en déshabillé

DNC changes bylaws so it can overrule convention Intercept (Paul R)

CalPERS approves $750m commitment to Blackstone Mileway entity Real Assetts (Kevin W)

FedEx is in serious damage control mode Quartz

Goldman Cuts US Growth Forecast for 2023 After Rate Path Change Bloomberg

The 2022 North American International Auto Show Was a Depressing Ghost Town Jalopnik (Kevin W)

Class Warfare

Important SMART-TD statement on the tentative agreement (Sept. 16, 2022) SMART Union. Lambert is apoplectic: “There is no contract, hence no agreement, hence no deal.” This is either to further muscle the members by pretending there’s one (as we’ve said, in negotiations, creating the perception of inevitability is important to preserving momentum) and/or drag things out so if there is a preliminary deal, the voting period extends beyond the midterms.

A US Rail Strike Was Averted—but the Crisis Is Far From Over Wired

Antidote du jour. Chet G: “Attached is my small contribution for fund-raising week: a very dynamic red squirrel going all out.”

And a bonus (guurst):

And another bonus of sorts (Tom H with “the human animal in one of its natural habitats”):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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