Dear patient readers,
Yves 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.
Pronounced loss of Amazon rainforest resilience since the early 2000s Nature. From the Abstract: “We find that more than three-quarters of the Amazon rainforest has been losing resilience since the early 2000s, consistent with the approach to a critical transition. Resilience is being lost faster in regions with less rainfall and in parts of the rainforest that are closer to human activity. We provide direct empirical evidence that the Amazon rainforest is losing resilience, risking dieback with profound implications for biodiversity, carbon storage and climate change at a global scale.”
Stretching California’s Rice Belt Modern Farmer
SARS-CoV-2 is associated with changes in brain structure in UK Biobank (accepted manuscript) Nature. n = 785, 401 infected. Two brain scans averaging 141 days apart. From the Abstract: “We identified significant longitudinal effects when comparing the two groups, including: (i) greater reduction in grey matter thickness and tissue-contrast in the orbitofrontal cortex and parahippocampal gyrus, (ii) greater changes in markers of tissue damage in regions functionally-connected to the primary olfactory cortex, and (iii) greater reduction in global brain size. The infected participants also showed on average larger cognitive decline between the two timepoints. Importantly, these imaging and cognitive longitudinal effects were still seen after excluding the 15 cases who had been hospitalised.” Let ‘er rip!
Adverse Reactions to COVID Vaccines I Have Come Across The Forgotten Side of Medicine
Mask mandates go away in schools, but parent worries persist AP. Note lack of agency in “go away.”
The Homemade Air Purifier That’s Been Saving Lives During the Covid-19 Pandemic Smithsonian. I loved the 60 Minutes segement where Walensky assembled a Corsi-Rosenthal box in minutes with the help of some cute kids. Great PR! Oh, wait….
Biden pursues China-containment in new Indo-Pacific strategy Responsible Statecraft
Xi Jinping seeks to strengthen laws that regulate military engagements with other nations South China Morning Post
Railway building in China. Fascinating stuff. pic.twitter.com/PDDIpxyVxP
— Thos Major (@ThosMajor) March 7, 2022
Reminds me of NASA’s crawler-transporters for Saturn rockets.
Myanmar junta cuts off internet access ‘indefinitely’ to resistance stronghold of Sagaing Myanmar. Meanwhile, back in Yangon:
It’s believed these will be used by soldiers as defence shelters in their fight against resistance forces pic.twitter.com/a9EntWx0Ss
— Leong Wai Kit (@LeongWaiKitCNA) March 7, 2022
Preparing for street warfare? Not good.
Offshore shell shockers Private Eye
New Not-So-Cold War
Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment, March 7 Institute for the Study of War. Handy map:
Is Putin’s end game the roll out of a domestic CBDC? The Blind Spot. CBDC = Central Bank Digital Currenciy. Most intriguing explanation for Russia’s seemingly relaxed operational tempo I’ve read….
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Russia’s $720m per day gas windfall – the lopsided economic war Adam Tooze, Chartbook
Wheat continues surge toward all-time high as Russian invasion of Ukraine shuts down exports MarketWatch. There is also the question of planting for next year’s harvest. A cursory search does not clarify whether Russia is anything like an autarky with respect to seeds, or not (see the FT and Seed World). Readers?
Stop financing Putin’s war machine. Cut off Russia’s oil and gas sales Simon Johnson and Oleg Ustenko, Los Angeles Times
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Symbol manipulation (1):
⚡️ Bellingcat investigator Christo Grozev says that #Russia has resources left for the war until Sunday, after which they will collapse.
Also next week, Russia is facing sanctions, the scale of which “we have not seen before”, and they will also affect Putin
— NEXTA (@nexta_tv) March 4, 2022
Tweet from March 4. Sunday was March 6. This is March 8. And “Bellingcat investigator” is oxymoronic.
Symbol manipulation (2):
🧵 I sat through an intel update this afternoon. While I can’t get specific, what I will say is that the view of the war that we are getting from expertly curated UKR IO is giving a lot of folks an impression of not only RUS incompetence but also UKR dominance. 1/6
— Strategy Badger (@ErrantStrategry) March 7, 2022
Symbol manipulation (3): Fifteen bad Ukraine narratives Paul Street, Canadian Dimension
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Insurgency? Yasha Levine. Commentary:
On the Biden admin's strategy in Ukraine:
"I do think the plan is to prolong the fighting… to complete the destruction of Ukraine by turning it into a quasi-Afghanistan." – Ret. US Army Col. Douglas Macgregor pic.twitter.com/6hNO744yB3
— Aaron Maté (@aaronjmate) March 8, 2022
For foreign fighters, Ukraine offers purpose, camaraderie and a cause Reuters. Wait ’til a US citizen gets whacked….
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Russian societal tensions are mirrored in Putin’s Orthodox church The Turbulent World of Middle East Soccer
Russia-Ukraine: Western media are acting as cheerleaders for war Middle East Eye
The Invasion of Ukraine Is Causing Crisis at Sea Foreign Policy
American Longshoremen Refuse To Work Russian Cargo Effective Immediately gCaptain. But using their muscle to get PPE for nurses? Apparently never thought of. Reminds me of the SPD voting war credits in 1914….
The Treasury Department has a new report out showing that monopolies cost U.S. workers between 15-25% of their wages. This is an astonishing finding, and there's a roundtable now. https://t.co/K0KFpFmhBR
— Matt Stoller (@matthewstoller) March 7, 2022
Antidote du Jour (via):
See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here