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.
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Your humble blogger was a bit under the weather. Once in a while I get what I call stress hangovers. It’s like having a 75% strength migraine. Nothing serious but I really can’t work while one is on. So forgive me if these links wind up being short rations.
Millions of bees used in pollination die in airline shipping ABC News. Kevin W: “To go from California to Alaska you have to go through frikkin’ Georgia?”
The surprising afterlife of used hotel soap The Hustle
From seawater to drinking water, with the push of a button MIT News (David L)
Why does swearing make us stronger? Big Think (fk). Funny, I picked up the habit of the regular use of profanity when on Wall Street. The use of bad language outside contexts like that was less acceptable than now.
Breakthrough SARS-CoV-2 infections with the delta (B.1.617.2) variant in vaccinated patients with immune-mediated inflammatory diseases using immunosuppressants: a substudy of two prospective cohort studies Lancet (Kevin W)
Omicron sub-lineages BA.4/BA.5 escape BA.1 infection elicited neutralizing immunity Sigil. Manuscript, not even a preprint but getting attention on Twitter due to high caliber of authors.
Study tracks COVID-19 infection dynamics in adults MedicalXpress (David L)
Ask Amy: Brother insists vaccinated relatives take COVID tests before visit. Is that reasonable? Michigan Live (verifyfirst)
Under Lockdown in China New York Times
Is America in the Middle of an Invisible COVID Wave? Atlantic. Resilc: “Not if you look and read NC.”
Country-Level Warming Projections Berkeley Earth (resilc)
How China Will Dominate the Global Competition Over Data National Interest (RobertC)
Huawei defeats US chip ban to post record profits Asia Times (Kevin W)
China–Solomons deal ‘politically illiterate’ if Beijing wants better ties with Australia: Rudd Asia Strategist (RobertC)
China has a youth unemployment problem Asia Times (resilc)
Mild proposal for fortifying Japan, Taiwan air defenses Asia Times (Kevin W)
Europe’s Economy Slows to a Crawl as War and Inflation Take a Toll New York Times (Kevin W)
Paris suspends Bolloré electric buses after two catch fire France24 (furzy)
New Not-So-Cold War
EU prepares Russia oil embargo – media RT (Kevin W). I can’t even…
Ukrainians Suffer Gasoline Shortages After Russian Strikes on Fuel Infrastructure Wall Street Journal. Erm, we reported on this over two weeks ago, based on a report on a Ukrainian business site.
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“Not only would everybody be killed but it would probably be impossible for people to inhabit NYC for hundreds of years after a nuclear war. The life of Russia depends on stopping NATO from advancing to their borders.” — Col. Richard Black (Video Clip 17)https://t.co/EWGkJj7AAI pic.twitter.com/8Oys16VXZg
— ?pocalypsis ?pocalypseos ?? ?? ? (@apocalypseos) April 28, 2022
Ukraine and the Doomsday Machine Larry Wilkerson and Paul Jay (fk). Due to not feeling so hot, I have not tracked down what Scott Ritter said on this topic. It does not sound like Wilkerson read source material on Russian doctrine with respect to the use of nuclear weapons. Ritter as a UN former weapons inspector who reads Russian would have the correct take on this.
* * *
The New Turn in Ukraine: Putin’s War Becomes Biden’s War CounterPunch (resilc)
Biden Seeks to Rob Putin of His Top Scientists With Visa Lure Bloomberg. Um, I think a lot of Russians have worked out that they are now hated in the West. Even the Economist pointed it out in a recent story: There are many reports of hostility towards Russians in Germany. It added they were less badly treated in France and Italy…because the Russian diaspora was small.
$33B Request Will Help Ukraine Fight Russia In The ‘Longer Term,’ Biden Says Defense One (resilc). The dough only goes to the end of Sept.
Russian media today, 28 April 2022 Gilbert Doctorow. On US and Poland schemes for western Ukraine.
The Second Level Geopolitical War in Ukraine Takes Over CounterPunch. Note that commentators who recognize that Ukraine is losing the war (as reflected in the subdued and even selectively downbeat comments from UK officials and in the British press, a big shift from their former boosterism) depict the shift in narrative to “the goal is to weaken Russia” as an effort to divert attention. However the US is so propaganda-driven that we will now try to act on that. Resilc quotes:
What has been apparent to critics for some time is that Western diplomacy has become primarily committed to second level Geopolitical War even at the cost of greatly prolonging and aggravating the Ukrainian war on the ground and producing growing risks of a wider war. Only in the past few days has this priority been more or less acknowledged by high officials in the U.S. Government, most dramatically in the visit of Antony Blinken, Secretary of State, and Austin, Secretary of Defense to Ukraine and later to meeting in Europe with their NATO counterparts. What was revealed was that the number one policy goal of the U.S. was ‘the weakening of Russia’ made a viable undertaking by the unexpected resistance capabilities of Ukrainian armed forces bolstered by a show unified patriotic resolve.
Why Europe cannot understand Russia Pepe Escobar, The Cradle
Big Brother Is Watching You Watch
FBI Conducted Potentially Millions of Warrantless Searches of Americans’ Data Wall Street Journal
Imperial Collapse Watch
The Ukraine War Is Ballooning America’s Military Industrial Complex New Republic. Resilc: “Never ending love for a losing military.”
U.S. Army To Test Networked Drone Swarms Flying Magazine (David L). Um, how are networked drones any more resistant to Russia’s signal/GPS jamming? Seem like this might be fighting the last war.
FIRST ON CNN: US left behind $7 billion of military equipment in Afghanistan after 2021 withdrawal, Pentagon report says CNN. Resilc: “It’ allllll good, jobs for merikin workers.”
Joe Manchin’s Approach to Biden’s Presidency Is Paying Off in West Virginia Morning Consult (resilc)
Bernie Sanders Wants Democrats to Make Unions Their Biggest Message Vanity Fair (furzy). Over the party’s dead body.
Our No Longer Free Press
Nina Jamcowicz, head of the ‘disinformation bureau’ wrote a book called ‘how to be a woman online’ and her banner says ‘how to survive abuse and harassment and fight back’
This is ‘false flag feminism’.
She wants to censor you, but she will be framing herself as the victim. pic.twitter.com/LFVJrgSW8B
— Blue Moon (@bmrwshow) April 29, 2022
“This is This” James Howard Kunstler. Not sure about the Maoist reference unless he means the Cultural Revolution.
Musk told banks he will rein in Twitter pay, make money from tweets Reuters. Furzy correctly says this would represent the end of Twitter. Musk proposes charging for embedding tweets. They are now as you know used in a significant way even in mainstream media. I can’t imagine anyone will go along with this. This will reduce the interest of journalists in Twitter.
The problems with Elon Musk’s plan to open-source the Twitter algorithm MIT Technology Review (David L)
Judge Rejects Elon Musk’s Quest To Scrap Deal Over 2018 Tweets HuffPost (furzy)
Air France plane ‘went nuts’ as pilots pulled controls in opposite directions Telegraph (Kevin W)
— Abdullah (@KasaSaaz) April 29, 2022
College-Educated Workers Help Unionize Places Like Starbucks New York Times. Go class traitors! Or perhaps more accurately, people who were betrayed by their class and are not taking it sitting down.
Wages Went Up During the Covid Pandemic. Now We’re Back to the Crap-Job Economy. New Republic (resilc)
Antidote du jour:
And a bonus (furzy):
See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.