Links 3/13/2022

Links 3/13/2022 1

Dear patient readers,

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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Road to table: Wyoming’s got a new app for claiming roadkill ABC

Cryptocurrencies: The Power of Memes Research Affiliates

Tax the land Vox. On a land tax, see e..g. Michael Hudson at NC here.

Climate

Jo Handelsman, “A World Without Soil: The Past, Present, and Precarious Future of the Earth Beneath Our Feet” (Yale UP, 2021) (podcast) New Books Network

#COVID19

The Epidemic of Covid Complacency Eric Topol. Commentary:

Further commentary:

That’s not a bug. It’s a feature.

How Millions of Lives Might Have Been Saved From Covid-19 Zeynep Tufecki, NYT

Covid has slipped from the headlines – but with restrictions eased, cases are rising Guardian. Commentary:

So, your ability to concentrate is shot? Welcome to the club Brisbane Times

China?

Beijing weighs nickel rescue deal for billionaire owner of Tsingshan FT

The Koreas

Incels Vote Too The American Conservative

Philippines Willing to Open Bases to US if Ukraine Conflict Spreads Benar News

Syraqistan

Missiles From Iran Struck in Vicinity of U.S. Consulate in Northern Iraq, Officials Say WSJ

Mysterious Drone Crash Leaves Croatia Baffled Balkan Insight. What with India launching — accidentally, it seems — a rocket that hit Pakistan the other day, there seems to be a lot of random hardware up in the sky.

UK/EU

The Johnson-Lebedev Letters A Back-Channel To Vladimir Putin? Byline Times

The Caribbean

Crisis & Critique: Venezuela and the New Latin American Left Monthly Review

Lula Gains Access To US/Lava Jato Partnership Info Brasilwire

New Not-So-Cold War

Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment, March 12 Institute for the Study of War. Not including the ISW’s map because it’s status quo with yesterday. A map is not the same as the territory, of course, and this may simply be the message the Kagans wish to send. Recall my standard for visuals in war reporting (soon to apply, or not, in Mariupol).

On maps wars and hate-filled mobs “canceling Russia” The Saker

Lots of think pieces for the weekend:

Has Russia’s invasion stalled? Meduza

Day Sixteen of the Russian-Ukrainian War: Changing Realities, Changing Mood Gilbert Doctoropw

Eastern Ukraine has almost completely fallen, but Putin now needs a peace, fast Intellinews. Very level-headed and well worth a read.

The Russian Military’s Debacle in Ukraine Isaac Chotiner, The New Yorker. The walls are closing in?

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Zelensky’s comedy series Servant of the People is as funny as it is heartbreaking FT. “It will make you laugh as it simultaneously breaks your heart” [grabs tissue]. Oddly, two phrases do not appear: The network on which Servant of the People appeared, 1+1, or that network’s owner, banderite Fascist Azov Battalion funder and billionaire, Igor Kolomoyskyi. (See NC here on Kolomoisky, 1+1, and Zelensky.) Propaganda works:

More clarity from Gonzalo Lira:

Short and sweet. LIra also cleaned up his language. I know caring about that makes me an old fuddy duddy, but the time is long past when I regarded profanity as a sign of authenticity, and in any case Lira’s videos are probably easier to distribute widely this way.

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Illusion Warfare Report: The Road to Ukraine (thread) Lez LuTHOR. Purportedly from the ground, though I don’t see how to test that. I will say that I have seen other little incongruities even in the mainstream: The coiffed BBC interviewee, speaking from her well-apppointed apartment — obviously with Internet, power, and heat — while the city is being reduced to rubble outside her window.

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Inside Putin’s circle — the real Russian elite FT

Ukraine Presidential Adviser Says Only China Benefits From the War WSJ

The Biden administration’s terrifying gamble Responsible Statecraft

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What role has the US played in the Ukraine crisis? KCRW

Raging Toward the Abyss with Russia The National Interest

Russian footholds in Mideast, Africa raise threat to NATO AP. Oh good. A world war.

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How a Playground for the Rich Could Undermine Sanctions on Oligarchs NYT. Not Manhattan or London, one hastens to add.

Russia’s Arctic gas is funding the war in Ukraine Cryopolitics

Supply Chain

Russia’s Invasion Is About to Make the World’s Chip Shortage Way Worse Gizmodo

Oil workers on foreign-flagged ships are at the mercy of corporations The Lens

Russia-Ukraine War Won’t Affect Pharmaceutical Sales, but It Could Disrupt Trials, Companies Say Barron’s

Democrats en Déshabillé

House Democrats Push Biden to Build a Better Midterm Message NYT. “[Pelosi,] who has long been fond of pithy, made-for-bumper-sticker mantras, offered a suggestion she had heard from members: Democrats deliver.” They do? What? Ice cream?

Rep. DeLauro tests positive for COVID-19 following House Dems retreat The Hilll. Oh.

Police State Watch

Law enforcement for profit:

The whole thread is worth reading; plenty of people saying this has happened to them.

Health Care

Rat Out Your Doctor: Biden’s Surgeon General Calls on Informants to Report Use of Generic Drugs Michael Capuzzo, Rescue

Our Famously Free Press

Twitter is censoring reporting on Ukrainian Nazis on the pretext of “abusive behavior” Asa Winstanley

Content Moderation as Administration (PDF) Harvard Law Review. Commentary:

Imperial Collapse Watch

Is The West Laissez-Faire About Economic Warfare? War on the Rocks. “Western states that painstakingly rebuilt a liberal economic order after World War II are increasingly dependent on an economic weapon that fundamentally undermines that order.” As it turns out, the PMC’s Vewy First War has turned Apple Pay, social media, and the [genuflects] almighty dollar into mere power projection; like NGOs or aircraft carriers, but intimate and ubiquitous. And hard power, not soft. Well and good, but it seems reasonable to me that some people, and some nations, would want to get out from under this.

“The casualties of empire.” Patrick Lawrence, The Scrum

In Search of Troy Smithsonian

Class Warfare

‘Insidious and seductive’: Uber funds new lobbying group to deny rights for gig workers Guardian (PR).

Top reasons why U.S. workers left a job in 2021: Low pay, no advancement opportunities Pew Research Center. The headline is deceptive; see this chart:

Links 3/13/2022 2

Thieves in the Night: A Vast Burglary Ring from Chile Has Been Targeting Wealthy U.S. Households Vanity Fair

‘We’re having way better sex than our kids!’ The seventysomethings hitting their kinky, blissed-out peak Guardian

A Poem (and a Painting) About the Suffering That Hides in Plain Sight NYT. Auden’s Musée des Beaux Arts. I thought this would get sloppy, but it’s a fine close reading. Sadly, one of those swipe-friendly articles meant to be read on a tablet or phone but worth the effort on a laptop.

Wynton at Harvard, Chapter 12: How the Rhythm Section Swings Harvard University. From 2011, still germane:

Antidote du Jour (via):

Links 3/13/2022 3

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here

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