Links 8/29/2022

Links 8/29/2022 1

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.

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Watch live: NASA launching Artemis 1 moon mission today Space.come

NASA builds for keeps: Voyager mission still going after 45 years The Register

When Fireflies Await a Night That Never Comes NYT

The Double Life of an American Lake Monster Wired

Will the cloud kill the data centre? Jim Chanos thinks so FT


Water shortages must be placed on the climate-change agenda. This is why World Economic Forum

Comment: To tackle the global water crisis, companies must be made to reveal their water impacts Reuters

Frozen MIT Technology Review

Chipmaking’s Next Big Thing Guzzles as Much Power as Entire Countries Bloomberg

This Farm Cracked the Code #1: Water Wizard of Oregon (video) YouTube. Permaculture water systems.


COVID vaccines slash risk of spreading Omicron — and so does prior infection Nature. The deck: “But the benefit of vaccines in reducing Omicron transmission doesn’t last for long.” Summarizes a preprint. Prison study, n = 22,000:

The team found that among individuals with COVID-19, those who received at least one vaccine shot were 24% less likely to infect close contacts— in this case cellmates — compared with unvaccinated prisoners. People who had been infected before were 21% less likely to infect others compared with prisoners with no prior infection, and those who had been both vaccinated and previously infected were 41% less likely to pass on the virus compared with unvaccinated individuals without a previous infection.

[Nathan Lo, an infectious-disease researcher at the University of California, San Francisco] says he is surprised at the dose–response relationships; each vaccine dose a person has had reduced the risk of passing on the virus by a further 12%, on average. How recently people had been vaccinated was also important. For every 5 weeks that passed since a person’s last vaccine dose, the risk of transmitting the infection to a close contact increased by 6%.

Fit-Tested N95 Masks Combined With Portable High-Efficiency Particulate Air Filtration Can Protect Against High Aerosolized Viral Loads Over Prolonged Periods at Close Range Journal of Infectious Diseases (dougiedd). From the Abstract: “Healthcare workers (HCWs) are at risk from aerosol transmission of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2…. N95 masks that have passed a quantitative fit-test combined with HEPA filtration protects against high virus aerosol loads at close range and for prolonged periods of time.” NOTE: “in combination with face shield, gown, and disposable gloves,” this being an HCW environment. On the fit-testing: “Quantitative fit testing was performed via TSI PortaCount Fit Tester Model 8048, which measures the concentration of particles in the ambient air relative to within a respirator to calculate a fit factor.” For fit-testing, here is something you can try at home. Thread:

Reducing SARS-CoV-2 in Shared Indoor Air JAMA. From June, still germane:

Through the American Rescue Plan, Congress has appropriated nearly a half trillion dollars ($350 billion to state, local, and tribal governments and $122 billion to schools), roughly half of which remains available to support indoor air quality improvements in small businesses, industrial settings, commercial buildings, low-income housing, transportation hubs, and schools. To ensure that maximum benefit is realized from these resources and to protect the public from ineffective or potentially harmful technologies, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently issued guidance for building owners and operators as part of the agency’s Clean Air in Buildings challenge.5 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance likewise highlights proven interventions to improve ventilation and filtration in buildings.

Apparently, Biden wouild rather that American Rescue Plan money was spent on cops. So here we are.


Shenzhen shuts world’s biggest electronics wholesale market Huaqiangbei for 4 days as city steps up Covid-19 control South China Morning Post. Commentary:

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(Wu is from Shenzen.)

China’s Fragile Economy Is Being Hammered by Driest Riverbeds Since 1865 Bloomberg

Why Kennan’s containment won’t work on China Asia Times

The past is not dead:

Cambodia, some interesting speculation:

Pakistan flooding deaths pass 1,000 in ‘climate catastrophe’ AP


In a first, India refers to ‘militarisation’ of Taiwan Strait by China The Hindu


From the Politico Brussels Playbook email:

EU JUDGES SUE TO FREEZE CASH FOR POLAND: Four organizations representing European judges on Sunday sued the Council of the EU in an unprecedented case that seeks stronger action against Warsaw’s attacks on the rule of law.

Appeasement:The judges are taking aim at the Council’s decision to greenlight EU recovery funds for Poland, even though Warsaw has not met conditions set out by the European Court of Justice to re-establish the independence of its judiciary. The judges’ groups argue that the Council’s approval of the recovery plan harms both Polish judges and the European judiciary system.

Background: In June, the Council signed off on a plan that paves the way for Poland to access billions in coronavirus recovery funds if it meets a set of conciliatory “milestones,” including reforming a controversial disciplinary regime for judges. And while Warsaw has yet to receive funds under the plan, the blueprint itself is now being challenged.

Disharmony: As Playbook first reported, a number of European commissioners protested against that decision over fears the milestones weren’t solid enough, while the approval of the plan sent the wrong signal to Warsaw, which has not yet complied with CJEU rulings.

The 4 organizations suing the Council— the European Association of Judges, the Association of European Administrative Judges, Judges for Judges and MEDEL, an association representing European judges and prosecutors — said the plan’s targets are problematic. “These milestones fall short of what is required to ensure effective protection of the independence of judges and the judiciary and disregard the judgments of the CJEU on the matter,” the groups wrote in a statement.

The Court of Justice, the organizations note, “has ruled that the Polish judges affected by unlawful disciplinary procedures should be reinstated at once, without delay or a procedure, while the third milestone would introduce a procedure of more than a year with an uncertain outcome.”

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Households could get 25% discount on energy bills if they back local fracking plans Daily Mail. Ingenious!

Solar power is booming in Germany as Russia turns down the gas CNN

England’s gardeners to be banned from using peat-based compost Guardian (Furzy Mouse). Good.

‘Missed opportunity’: No agreement in latest UN high seas talks Al Jazeera

New Not-So-Cold War

Live: IAEA mission departs for Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant Agence France Presse

EU set to suspend visa travel agreement with Russia FT. Trapping dissidents and cosmpolitan PMCs in Russia permanently, good job. And how come the Baltic puppy is wagging the EU dog?

Russia divestment promises by US states largely unfulfilled AP

Why was the Soviet Union created? Branko Milanovic, Global Inequality

Lula and Bolsonaro land blows in heated Brazilian presidential debate FT

Biden Administration

Government to pause free at-home COVID tests by Sept. 2 Axios. Seems legit. It’s not like we’re in the midst of a pandemic or anything. Auto-kinbaku-bi.

Fall Vaccination Campaign Will Bring New Shots, Worse Access NYT. The deck: “Updated Covid vaccines, expected soon after Labor Day, were designed to thwart Omicron variants. But money to distribute them has dried up.” Commentary:

More auto-kinbaku-bi.

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How a Corporate Law Firm Led a Political Revolution NYT. Jones Day.


Intelligence Officials Will Assess Security Risks From Mar-a-Lago Documents New York Times. No doubt.

‘Make a TON of money’: How 2 Floridians tried to cash in on Joe Biden’s daughter’s diary McClatchy

Supply Chain

Long Beach sets record but East, Gulf Coast ports’ gains bigger Freight Waves

Big Brother Is Watching You Watch

Class-Action Lawsuit Accuses Oracle of Tracking 5 Billion People PC Magazine

Imperial Collapse Watch

We’ve isolated them all!

China and Russia join forces for Vostok military exercises FT

Iran and Russia Are Cementing an Alliance With Grain, Drones and Satellites WSJ

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UK’s biggest warship, HMS Prince of Wales, breaks down off south coast shortly after setting sail for US Sky News. “An emerging mechanical issue.”

A Holy British Island, Where the Reckless Try to Outrace the Tide NYT

Guillotine Watch

Everyone pays the cost as the rich keep spending FT

Private Jets to Ibiza, Paris Surge as Rich Evade Travel Chaos Bloomberg (Furzy Mouse).

Luxury Residential Community at Sea Storylines. “Averaging three days in each port, you have ample time and options to explore the cultures and customs beyond our ports-of-call.”

Class Warfare

MLBPA sends out union authorization cards in first step toward unionizing minor leaguers ESPN

Measuring Intergenerational Exposure to the U.S. Justice System: Evidence from Longitudinal Links between Survey and Administrative Data (PDF) University of Michigan. From the Abstract: “We find substantially larger prevalences of intergenerational exposure to the criminal justice system than previously reported: 9% of children born between 1999–2005 were intergenerationally exposed to prison, 18% to a felony conviction, and 39% to any criminal charge; charge exposure rates reach as high as 62% for Black children.”

Book publishers just spent 3 weeks in court arguing they have no idea what they’re doing Vox (dk).

Antidote du jour (via):

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Bonus antidote:

Double bonus antidote:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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