Links 9/25/22

Links 9/25/22 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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Opium Traces Found in 3,500-Year-Old Pottery Suggests the Ancient Canaanites Were the First Humans to Use Psychoactive Drugs Artnet

Fossil egg analysis in China adds to debate of what may have caused dinosaurs’ demise CNN

You’re not good at this. The Reformed Broker. Of the Fed.

The Great Bond Bubble Is ‘Poof, Gone’ in Worst Year Since 1949 Bloomberg

Investors pile into insurance against further market sell-offs FT

SPAC King Palihapitiya Shutters Two SPACs as Deal Hunt Fails Bloomberg

They Were Entitled to Free Care. Hospitals Hounded Them to Pay. NYT. The extremely wussy deck: “With the help of a consulting firm, the Providence hospital system trained staff to wring money out of patients, even those eligible for free care.” The “consulting firm” was — hold onto your hats, here, folks — McKinsey. Commentary:

This goes for a lot of projects. For example, this one–

The MiDAS Touch: Atuahene’s “Stategraft” and the Implications of Unregulated Artificial Intelligence UNM School of Law Research Paper No. 2022-21. From the Abstract:

[W]hen state agents have engaged in practices of transferring property from persons to the state in violation of the state’s own laws or basic human rights, it sits at the intersection of illegal behavior that generates public profit. Although these measures can be quantified in many other examples of state corruption, the criminality of state practice goes undetected and is compounded when the state uses artificial intelligence to illegally extract resources from people. This essay will apply stategraft to an algorithm implemented in Michigan that falsely accused unemployment benefit recipients of fraud and illegally took their resources.

The software, the Michigan Integrated Data Automated System (“MiDAS”), was supposed to detect unemployment fraud and automatically charge people with misrepresentation. The agency erroneously charged over 37,000 people, taking their tax refunds and garnishing wages. It would take years for the state to repay the people and it was often after disastrous fallout had happened due to the years of trying to clear their record and reclaim their money.


Limited climate change mitigation potential through forestation of the vast dryland regions Science

US installs record solar capacity as prices keep falling Ars Technica

The US wants to become a hydrogen production powerhouse The Verge (Re Silc).

Small communities could be buying, selling and saving money on electric power right now – here’s how The Conversation

Ancient Indian Caves Hold a Record of Historical Droughts across Asia The Swaddle


Pfizer’s chief executive tests positive for COVID-19 for second time in two months Sky News. The damage is cumulative

Covid Still Kills, but the Demographics of Its Victims Are Shifting KHN

WHO warns ability to identify new Covid variants is diminishing as testing declines CNBC


Former adviser sees influence by Chinese President Xi Jinping in Putin’s recent decisions Deutsche Welle


The Most Stinging Resignation Letter Ever Written The Atlantic

Mahsa Amini’s Death Spurs Iranian Women to Cut Their Hair, Burn Hijabs in Protest Teen Vogue. Thinly sourced, except for influencers.

Dear Old Blighty

Investors warn Kwarteng that fiscal plan threatens markets’ confidence in UK FT. But:

How an obscure intellligence-linked party fixed a second Brexit referendum and torpedoed Corbyn The Gray Zone

New Not-So-Cold War

Holding Ground, Losing War Douglas Macgregor, The American Conservative (RS). Six-day forecast for European weather:

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No snow yet, if that matters.

Prospects for guaranteeing the military campaign of 2023: the Ukrainian view (translation) Events in Ukraine. Original. Authors: Valery Zaluzhnyi, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, General, member of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, Mykhailo Zabrodsky, First Deputy Chairman of the the Verkhovna Rada Committee on National Security, Defense and Intelligence.

Peace in Ukraine or U.S. Hegemony? America Must Decide The National Interest

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Historic Context Of The Referenda In Ukraine Moon of Alabama

Why Ukraine referendum is a big deal Indian Punchline

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Putin’s Energy War Is Crushing Europe Foreign Policy

How war in Ukraine resembles past conflict in Yugoslavia Asia Times

Biden Administration

The Antitrust Shooting War Has Started Matt Stoller, BIG. Important.

We don’t have a hundred biases, we have the wrong model Works in Progress. Behavioral economics.


The seven Democrats most likely to run for president — if Biden bows out The Hill. Harris, Buttigieg, Whitmer, Newsom, Warren, Sanders, AOC. Yes, Pharoah Sanders should run, but sadly it’s too late.

The Memo: Unease about Trump’s legal woes spreads through GOP The Hill

2020 Post Mortem

Georgia voting equipment breach at center of tangled tale AP

‘Kraken’ Trump lawyer Sidney Powell was a no-show for Georgia special purpose grand jury: report Alternet

How soon we forget:


Durham insists Danchenko lies about ‘pee tape’ sourcing be evidence at trial Washington Examiner


State employees gear up for fight over cost-cutting Medicare Advantage plans VT Digger (MR). By “cost-cutting” we mean “privatized.” From the article: “Clarke Collins, deputy director of benefits and wellness for the state’s Department of Human Resources, said that … he believed that these particular plans would receive the same level of oversight from the state’s Department of Financial Regulation as is provided with retirees’ current plans” [nods vigorously].

Our Famously FreePress

Legal Journalism Is Broken Balls and Strikes

Supply Chain

Shipowner to blame, claims industry plaintiffs in latest Ever Given court case The Loadstar

Zeitgeist Watch

Guardians, eh?

There’s plenty of people I’d like to see in orange jumpsuits, no baseball players among them.

Realignment and Legitimacy

The rise and fall of the Oath Keepers, born in Las Vegas Las Vegas Review-Journal

Experts See Downside for Democracy in Patagonia Sale The Energy Mix

Imperial Collapse Watch

Grover Cleveland: One of the great anti-imperialist presidents Responsible Statecraft (Re Silc).

Class Warfare

Class Warfare Grinds On Counterpunch

Buckle up, America: The Fed plans to sharply boost unemployment CBS

What Canada’s Largest Art Heist Reveals about the Art World’s Shady Side The Walrus

This artist is dominating AI-generated art. And he’s not happy about it. MIT Technology Review

Did Neanderthals Make Art? Sapiens

In Memoriam: Pharoah Sanders, 1940-2022 Downbeat. Musical interlude:

Antidote du jour (via):

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See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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