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.
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Scientists discover ‘ghost’ fossils beneath a microscope CNN (Kevin W)
Bad therapy aeon
Genetic variants may help explain the variability in COVID-19 severity, study suggests News-medical.net (Kevin W)
“Reinfections are rare” 🚩
33.5% of daily infections in Quebec are reinfections. And 40% of those had already had covid between Dec ‘21 and April ‘22.
So we have 4700 to 7700 reinfections a day, of which 1900 to 3000 *a day* already had covid b/w Dec 21 and April 22.
Rare 🚩🙃 https://t.co/EtKBYF1KWX
— Dr. Lisa Iannattone (@lisa_iannattone) May 21, 2022
Putting this here because scientist GM remains convinced that the odds are very high the childhood hepatitis is Covid related but the officialdom cannot go there because Covid is supposed to be over:
U.S. reports 180 cases of unexplained hepatitis in children STAT (Kevin W)
GM seriously not happy about this: U.S. CDC says adenovirus leading hypothesis for severe hepatitis in children Reuters. Follow the Twitter discussion below to get an idea why:
This is the fulminant hepatitis teaching module from CDC. This tells you everything you need to know about the bias running deep within CDC, playing with very ill children’s lives.
— Farid Jalali MD (@farid__jalali) May 20, 2022
European airlines warn they’ll bypass Hong Kong if Covid travel curbs remain South China Morning Post (J-LS)
This is getting worse by the day
23 US states are now in the global top 50 for new cases per capita
That's a comparison of US states with 195 countries
Tell me again we're back to normal
— Philip Schellekens (@fibke) May 20, 2022
Concern grows as more countries detect monkeypox DW, YouTube. GM: “And the ‘mild’ rhetoric is already in play.”
Monkeypox is in the US news and now seems like the perfect time to tell this story of a human outbreak of Monkeypox in Cameroon in 2018 which highlights some of the many challenges researchers in low income countries face to publish and tell important stories.
— BK Titanji #IAmAScientist🇨🇲 (@Boghuma) July 18, 2021
The Annihilation of Florida: An Overlooked National Tragedy Current Affairs (guurst)
China seeks more island security pacts to boost clout in Pacific Financial Times
How China uses global media to spread its views — and misinformation Grid. Resilc: “Soooooooooo, USA USA would nevah do dat.”
The Australian election map has been lying to you ABC Australia
When Indian mangoes returned to the United States Hindustan Times (J-LS)
Sri Lanka could face food shortage from August, warns prime minister The Scroll (J-LS)
New Not-So-Cold War
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US experts skeptical of Finland, Sweden NATO bid Asia Times (resilc)
Nato Expansion and Turkey Craig Murray. Sadly Murray’s reading of how we got here is more proof of the depth of lack of understanding/vulnerability to propaganda of people in the West who style themselves as independent thinkers. Putin has not had designs on Ukraine. The proximate cause of the Maidan events was that Yanukovich wanted to sign an association agreement with the EU, when Russia had long had what amounted to a FTA with Ukraine, which included no tariffs. If Ukraine proceeded, it would mean EU goods could enter Russia tariff free via Ukraine, but not the reverse. Putin said to Ukraine, “You can do whatever you like but we aren’t going to pay for it” meaning the FTA would be cancelled if Ukraine stayed on course. Russia ALSO offered to negotiate with the EU and Ukraine to find a solution but the EU refused. Yanukovich paused, not nixed, moving forward on the EU deal. That led to the Maidan protests, which were peaceful until Right Sector and other muscle showed up. Oliver Stone’s documentary Ukraine on Fire provides a good overview of the Maidan coup.
Putin was opposed to the Donbass republics declaring independence. And Jacques Baud, who was in charge of NATO’s weapons containment program in 2014, said NATO found no evidence that Russia was supplying arms, that the Soviet materiel was due to the separatists capturing Ukrainian equipment, which was similar in type to Russian.
Russia may have supplied weapons later but the point is that claiming Russia ginned this conflict up “over a decade ago” out of expansionist desires is a fabrication. Russia also got the separatists to come to the negotiating table for the Minsk Accords, something they did not want to do, and accept a mere exemption from the anti-Russian language and other laws and practices designed to harass ethnic Russians, as opposed to independence.
I also believe Murray is wrong about Russia surrendering territory. Russia is likely to legitimate facts on the ground by holding referenda as they did in Crimea, building on the precedent the US used in Kosovo (I would assume the best path for Russia would be to construct an independent state or statelets, but who knows what happens next). The only way they might give territory back (and then it would have to be not strongly ethnic Russian; Putin and the leadership would face a lot of domestic opposition otherwise) would be for a big rollback of the economic sanctions, which I don’t see happening. The West will try screaming that the vote was fixed, but the fact that Russia can take cities like Mariupol in 1/4 or less the time it took the US to clear similar-sized cities like Mosul and Raqqa (when the buildings in those cities were also less sturdy and thus would have been somewhat less defensible) is indirect confirmation of significant local support.
* * *
Russian rouble rallies to March 2018 level against dollar Reuters (resilc)
Four Ways to Understand the $54 Billion in U.S. Spending on Ukraine New York Times (furzy)
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Russian army takes control of Mariupol’s Azovstal steel plant Guardian (Kevin W)
Минобороны России заявило о полном освобождении территории «Азовстали» Izvestia. More on Azovstal. John Helmer sent me a translation, but Google Translate refuses to process the URL, so you will need to cut and paste the text into the translator of your choice if you can’t read the original.
* * *
Blinken Says Putin Is Using Food Shortages as a Weapon of War Vice. Resilc: “Like we have no skin in the blame?????????”
ATP, WTA over Russia, Belarus ban Metro (Kevin W)
Constantly on the verge of Collapse: How Palestinians became the Linchpin of Israeli Politics Juan Cole. Resilc cites:
Though the Israeli right has dominated the country’s politics for many years, especially since 1996, it remains fractious and opportunistic. The constant need to feed the insatiable appetite of the country’s powerful right-wing constituency keeps pushing Israel’s right-wing parties further to the right. They are merely united around such values as the racial and religious supremacy of Israeli Jews, their hate for Palestinians and Arabs, the desire to expand the illegal Jewish settlements and the rejection of any mediated solution that would provide Palestinians with their basic human rights.
Big Brother is Watching You Watch
FBI Provides Chicago Police With Fake Social Media Identities Intercept. Furzy hoists: “Internal documents also reveal that police can take over informants’ social media accounts and pose as them online.”
Imperial Collapse Watch
Tesla Asking Owners to Limit Charging During Texas Heatwave Isn’t a Good Sign The Drive (Kevin W)
Federal Judge Blocks Biden Administration From Ending Title 42 Wall Street Journal
2020 Census miscounted 14 states, survey reveals Washington Post (Kevin W)
CONGRESSIONAL BLACK CAUCUS ISSUES STATEMENT ON STUDENT LOAN DEBT CRISIS Congressional Black Caucus
Oh no. Is Jeff Bezos preparing to run for office? Guardian (J-LS)
Oklahoma Legislature Passes Bill Banning Almost All Abortions New York Times (Kevin W)
Our No Longer Free Press
Twitter To Ramp Up Censorship Of ‘Misinformation’ About The Ukraine War Caitlin Johnstone (Kevin W)
Misinformation About Misinformation Bryan Caplan (resilc)
UK pharmacists to offer alternatives to out of stock HRT products Guardian (Kevin W). Opaque as to why the supply is short.
As the American people struggle with rising gas prices & inflation, the permanent Washington establishment rushed to send $40B to Ukraine w/o defining what “winning” is & how this ends. They'd rather serve the interests of the military industrial complex than the American people.
— Tulsi Gabbard 🌺 (@TulsiGabbard) May 20, 2022
Tesla’s golden moment is over Unherd (resilc)
Just in case you happen to get a Uber/Lyft that's a Tesla people need to know if there's a emergency door release in the vehicle. https://t.co/bGxaXHybRc
— Alycia (@alyciadotj) May 21, 2022
Crypto Trades Raise Questions About Inside Knowledge Wall Street Journal
Lagarde Says Crypto Is ‘Worth Nothing’ and Should Be Regulated Bloomberg. She has the guts to say this only now?
Hannah Rector, Lindenwood Gymnastics alum (‘17) has been diagnosed with breast cancer at 26 💔. Her insurance won’t cover a majority of her treatment and she’s a resident physician(!). I’m heartbroken for her diagnosis and infuriated at our healthcare system. Her Venmo in 4th pic pic.twitter.com/MeXRlpXxmU
— KE (@KF_Edwards) May 20, 2022
GM who lived abroad as a child, added:
My mom was a nurse, and I practically grew up in the hospital.
It was unthinkable for the healthcare system to not take care of its own workers even during the darkest moments of the 90s, they always got priority treatment and usually without any payment even for things that others had to pay for.
But that has changed now there too, because we are following the enlightened lead of others. Thank you, America…
Court Throws Out Woman’s $300,000 Hospital Bill YouTube (HotFlash)
Antidote du jour. MarkT: “Catching a ride with mom.” Photo taken by family visiting Kruger National Park a few days back.
See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.