Links 9/26/22

Links 9/26/22 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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Natural Inspiration Science. “Far from being passive vessels at the mercy of their circumstances, organisms can influence evolution directly.”

Nasa’s Dart probe to smash into asteroid in first Earth defence test Guardian

Ravi Menon: Critical economic uncertainties Bank of International Settlements. Menon is Managing Director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

Beware the ‘Cover Curse:’ How to Tell When a Market Meltdown Is Overdone Bloomberg

Crypto industry is not as ethical as private equity, says buyout billionaire FT. Holy moley!


Exxon’s Long-Shot Embrace of Carbon Capture in the Houston Area Just Got Massive Support from Congress Inside Climate News

Salmon are nosing at the riverbanks trying to escape the Klamath River High Country News


‘The tools are getting picked off’: An ever-mutating mix of COVID variants means fewer and less effective treatments this fall Fortune

Why Omicron Might Stick Around NYT. Next two from this article–

Omicron sublineage BA.2.75.2 exhibits extensive escape from neutralising antibodies (preprint) bioRxiv. From the Abstract: “In recent serum samples from blood donors in Stockholm, Sweden, BA.2.75.2 was neutralised, on average, at titers approximately 6.5-times lower than BA.5, making BA.2.75.2 the most neutralisation resistant variant evaluated to date. These data raise concerns that BA.2.75.2 may effectively evade humoral immunity in the population.” Note the Competing Interest statement.

Imprinted SARS-CoV-2 humoral immunity induces convergent Omicron RBD evolution (preprint) bioRxiv. “The interaction between convergent evolution of escaping variants and less diversified antibody repertoire would ultimately lead to a highly escapable variants, posing a great challenge to current vaccines and antibody drugs. It could even be worse that infection with the predicted final convergent evolution variants may lead to increased disease severity due to the limited number of neutralizing antibodies elicited immediately after infection. … [O]ur results suggest herd immunity established by natural infection could hardly stop [Receptor Binding Domain (RBD)] evolution and end the pandemic, and vaccine boosters using BA.5 may not provide sufficiently broad protection against emerging subvariants harboring convergent mutations.” I’d be interested to hear what the Brain Trust thinks of these three links.

Vancouver mother lodges regulatory complaint against school district over ventilation CBC. For more on school ventilation, see NC here.


Xi’s Core Status Reaffirmed as Party Unveils Congress Invitees Bloomberg

About those rumors of a “coup” Sinocism. I believe this New York-based account was the epicenter of the rumors, which were all over my Twitter feed for a day or so:

I thought this was the funniest take:

Not sure about Falun Gong, though.

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What is China really doing in the Global South? The China Project

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Here to stay? China’s cityscapes transformed by thousands of COVID test booths Reuters. Well, that’s the approach a serious country would take.

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Here’s the strategy to prevent China from taking Taiwan The Hill. RAND and Brookings.

Defeat China’s Navy, Defeat China’s War Plan War on the Rocks

The Defence Strategic Review: China is not a military threat Pearls and Irritations. Australia.

The Koreas

Presidential Election Through the Lens of Participation and Cynicism The Blue Roof

Sophisticated scams lure job seekers into South-East Asia’s lawless corners The Star


18 men rescued in Kolkata as police bust interstate job racket Hindustan Times


Hundreds of protesters clash with riot police across London over death of woman, 22, arrested in Iran for breaking country’s hijab laws: At least five cops wounded in demos outside Islamic centres and embassy in UK capital as global fury turns violent Daily Mail

The Exiled Dissident Fuelling the Hijab Protests in Iran Dexter Filkins, The New Yorker. I must say that I’m very dubious when convenient narratives suddenly appear, especially when the evidence is mostly video, especially when we have form with regard to the Axis of Evil, and especially when the narratives confirm the priors of an important Democrat constituency, PMC women. Sadly, however, reverse engineering the truth out of bullshit is very, very difficult. That said, the deck: “Since 2014, Masih Alinejad has published videos of Iranian women removing their head scarves. When a twenty-two-year-old died last week in the morality police’s custody, the country exploded.” Alinejad’s funding over the years:

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Alinejad is a vendor for Voice of America, US Agency for Global Media, etc. Apparently the vaunted New Yorker fact-checking department missed this detail when the article was first posted, as the correction at the end of the article shows.

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Libyan Held at Guantánamo Bay Is Approved for Transfer NYT. The deck: “The move continues the Biden administration’s efforts to reduce the population of the wartime prison and find nations willing to take in the detainees.”

European Disunion

Italy on track to elect most right-wing government since Mussolini Politico. Commentary:

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The EU is sleepwalking into anarchy Unherd

European industry buckles under weight of soaring energy prices Irish Examiner

Germany Secures Just One Tanker of Gas During Scholz’s Gulf Tour Bloomberg

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Berlin Has a Surprising Soft Spot for Its Soviet Memorials Bloomberg

Dear Old Blighty

Can “It” (1976) Happen Again? Stephanie Kelton, The Lens. A sterling crisis.

Grief Totalitarianism (podcast) London Review of Books

New Not-So-Cold War

In Ukraine, the US is dragging us towards war with Russia John Pilger, Guardian. From 2014, still germane.

Putin just escalated his war in Ukraine. Here’s your expert guide to what’s coming next. Atlantic Council

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Ukrainians scared by Russia’s preordained referendums AP. Not sure I like the house-to-house balloting much. But I like the prospect of Azovs blowing up a few polling locations even less. And as I’ve said, I’m flabbergasted that Ukraine’s tactic of shelling the Donbas hasn’t proved to be a vote-getter, at least in the Donbas. ‘Tis a puzzlement!

Kazakhstan snubs Russia, says it won’t recognise referendums in Ukraine Hindustan Times

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In Ukraine’s South, Fierce Fighting and Deadly Costs NYT. “The Ukrainian government does not usually disclose casualty figures, but the soldiers and commanders interviewed in the past week portrayed the battlefield losses as ‘high’ and ‘massive.’ They described large offensives in which columns of Ukrainian tanks and armored vehicles tried to cross open fields only to be pounded mercilessly by Russian artillery and blown up by Russian mines.”

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News from the home front: Russia under conditions of partial mobilization Gilbert Doctorow

Military briefing: How will Russia’s mobilisation affect the war in Ukraine? FT

All the Tsar’s Men Foreign Affairs

Biden Administration

Wildly Popular And Under Attack: The Political Battle Over America’s Public Lands HuffPo

Supply Chain

Ukraine ports have shipped around 4.7mn tonnes of food under grain deal Hellenic Shipping News

Police State Watch

FBI misled judge who signed warrant for Beverly Hills seizure of $86 million in cash LA Times. The FBI? Surely not.

Woman seriously hurt after Colorado police car she was placed in is hit by a train NBC

Imperial Collapse Watch

Why trade couldn’t buy peace FT

Nimitz Drinking Water Contaminated With Jet Fuel, Navy Acknowledges

Class Warfare

U.S. rail agreement was presented as a done deal. Now that they’ve seen it, workers disagree Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Two biggest rail unions won’t tally contract votes until the middle of November Trains. Mission accomplished!

I tried replacing Google with TikTok, and it worked better than I thought The Verge. I just installed it. I will say that the onboarding is very easy (and you can search and watch right away easily). I did a search on “N95” and found 3M Aura videos right away, along with fit-testing some duckbills. The results pages wasn’t crapped up with ads, either. OTOH, the short video world is alien to me. But maybe I need to give up the unequal battle….

Antidote du Jour (via):

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Bonus Antidote. Sound up:

Double Bonus Antidote:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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