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.
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.
P.P.S. One of our mods is on holiday till the end of the month, so comment liberation may take longer than usual. We are very sorry! Please be patient.
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CRISPR: US biofirm plans to gene-edit cats so they don’t trigger allergies New Scientist (Dr. Kevin). Leave cats alone! There is the Rex for the allergic, although sadly they look like they belong in a cheesy sci-fi movie.
World’s Largest Wildlife Overpass Will Be Built Over 101 Freeway Near Los Angeles MyModernMet (David L)
Is the Salton Sea hiding enough lithium to power America? Freethink (Dr. Kevin)
Scientists think they can control the weather using chaos theory Next Web (David L)
A physician didn’t shower for 5 years. Here’s what he found out. Freethink (Dr. Kevin). Even though I am sure he is right, I just can’t imagine…
AN ASSESSMENT OF THE EVIDENCE FOR PSYCHIC FUNCTIONING Professor Jessica Utts, University of California, Davis (Dr. Kevin)
Passengers positive for COVID on cruise billed as ‘fully vaccinated’ USA Today (furzy). No surprise to regular readers.
Xinhua puts Xi Jinping’s stamp on China’s zero-Covid strategy South China Morning Post (J-LS)
A new wave and a new booster? Eric Topol (Dr. Kevin). Scientist GM reacts:
P.1 and B.1.351 were readily reinfecting with three new RBD mutations relative to wild type combined with 4-6 months having passed from the initial infections
Delta was doing the same with two RBD mutations combined with greatly enhanced replication
BA.2 has 6-7 RBD differences from BA.1 while BA.1 induced quite weak antibodies
But yeah, it is “extremely surprising” that BA.2 is causing another wave. And it should definitely not have gotten its own letter, it is the same Omicron as BA.1 [/sarc understood]
The hydrogen bombshell Protocol (David L)
To meet its clean energy goals, the US might go mining in the rainforest The Blaze (Kevin W)
Huawei: The Chinese tech giant Trump couldn’t kill Axios (resilc). I don’t think that was his intent, but he was at best naive about the fact that even if he gave Western firms the opportunity to gain ground, Huawei was too well entrenched for much of that to happen.
New Not-So-Cold War
Volodymyr Zelensky on why Ukraine must defeat Putin Economist. More personalization. And the subhead: “At his headquarters in Kyiv, Ukraine’s president speaks to The Economist about his country’s battle and the struggle of light over dark.”
Madeleine Albright would have been proud of Biden’s regime change ‘gaffe’ Responsible Statecraft (resilc)
Please read entire thread:
2/ Maneuver warfare is a good place to start. Understand Russia started its “special military operation” with a severe manpower deficit—200,000 attackers to some 600,000 defenders (or more). Classic attritional conflict was never an option. Russian victory required maneuver.
— Scott Ritter (@RealScottRitter) March 29, 2022
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Russian Crude Continues To Flow Despite Harsh Sanctions OilPrice (resilc)
The true cost of fracked US ′freedom gas′ DW (resilc)
You Will Pay In Rubles! No? Karl Denninger
Russian airlines ignored sanctions and withheld foreign planes Vedomosti via Yandex Translate. Original here. Subhead: “Now lessors can start hunting for the property of air carriers.” The lessees can hide a teeny bit behind, “Come and get your planes” which is na ga happen, but the owners can then go seize other assets.
Russia launches Eurobond rouble buyback offer on looming $2 bln bond payment Reuters (Kevin W). There’s a carveout in the US sanctions that allows banks to make Russian sovereign bond payments through the end of May. The Russian central bank issued payment instructions on the first set of payments due, which was also on the order of $2 billion, and the banks on the receiving end executed them. However, the process was extremely messy, with some of the many participants in this process hanging back out of fear they might be sanctioned. Note this section:
Analysts and investors said the move was likely designed to help Russian holders who now face restrictions in receiving dollar payments.
“This is a tender offer and not a final decision that these bonds will be paid in roubles. Perhaps, Russian authorities want to gauge investors’ willingness to accept payment in roubles?” said Seaport Global credit analyst Himanshu Porwal.
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Russia gas currency switch Press TV. Interview with Gilbert Doctorow. De facto blocked in the US, since at least your humble blogger can get to the site but the videos (remember this is TV network) won’t play, suggesting Someone has choked the bandwidth.
Speaking of censorship, or worse, Gonzalo Lira, who had been posting videos from Kharkiv, has been off the web for about two days. He had warned that if there was a more than 12 hour gap in his activity, that meant he had been captured by Ukraine security forces. Lira seemed fairly sound on Ukraine (despite occasional self-discrediting asides, such as on feminists). Not hard to tell when he was being hyperbolic for effect, and he typically indicated when he was reporting rumors and how often he had heard them. Daily Beast put a target on his back by calling the Ukraine government about him (as in confirming he had something of a following). His lost YouTube was on Victoria Nuland and has gotten 175,000 views.
Arab Coalition Command in Yemen Announces Suspension of Military Operations – State Media Sputnik. Kevin W: “So maybe that attack on that refinery while the F1 races were underway was what was needed.”
China’s diplomacy on a roll in Kabul Indian Punchline (Kevin W)
Former Obama and Biden Admin Envoy to Israel Quits Iran Team Foreign Desk (RobertC)
Biden Signs Bill to Make Lynching a Federal Crime New York Times (Kevin W)
Joe Biden fancies himself as a Great Communicator but his uncontrollable verbal ejaculations show his mouth dangerously outruns his mind, writes former Ronald Reagan speechwriter ARAM BAKSHIAN Daily Mail (Li). Ouch.
More ouch. One hates it when it’s Tucker Carlson who says the quiet part out loud: Tucker: Biden can’t regulate his emotions. One bit that Tucker has wrong and Gilbert Doctorow warned about: If Putin were eliminated, his likely successors are much more disinhibited about using nukes, even before you factor in a presumed assassination of a national leader.
Soaring Prices Are Changing the Way People Eat Bloomberg (J-LS). Yours truly has been stockpiling….
The Red Wedding for Rural Pharmacies Matt Stoller (Chuck L). Write your Congressman. Even if you aren’t affected now, you will be if this precedent sticks. This is PBMs refusing to accept any cut to their egregious grifting.
Winnebago RV and boat maker has a $4.4 billion backlog Business Insider (resilc)
Hackers steal more than $600 million from maker of Axie Infinity NBC. Furzy: “Lordy….can’t they track the hackers via the ethereum wallet, as it is part of a blockchain?”
The Workaday Life of the World’s Most Dangerous Ransomware Gang Wired (David L)
How Your Shadow Credit Score Could Decide Whether You Get an Apartment ProPublica (J-LS)
US yield curve inverts in possible recession signal Financial Times (Kevin W)
Chart: The One Percent’s Huge Carbon Footprint Statista (Dr. Kevin)
Cancer Patients Are at High Risk of Depression and Suicide, Studies Find New York Times. Resilc highlights this section:
Suicide rates among people with cancer were notably higher in the United States than in Europe, Asia or Australia, the study found. The authors speculated that the high cost of health care in the United States might have led some patients to forgo treatment to avoid bankrupting their families. They also wondered if easier access to firearms in the United States compared to countries in other world regions could have contributed to the higher suicide rates.
Antidote du jour (CV):
See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.