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.
Celebrating Rachel: Jackie Robinson’s widow and her impact beyond the game ESPN (Another Scott). 100 years old!!! An an activist and an accomplished professional when hardly any women, let alone black women, had serious careers.
‘Stray’ — the videogame where you play as a cat — is breaking the internet MarketWatch. Kevin W: “Also has tweeted videos of cat reactions to game.” Google the headline if you hit a paywall. The subject cat is derived from three real cats and came out looking a bit like an Aby, particularly the color.
Hidden ancient Roman ‘Bridge of Nero’ emerges from the Tiber during severe drought Live Science (furzy)
Should We Worry About Artificial Intelligence? Wall Street Journal (David L)
Retraction with honor Sociobiology (Dr. Kevin)
“Nap Box” for sleeping upright at the office Boing Boing (resilc). Coming soon to airlines…
Thailand introduces new ‘non-stinky’ variety of polarising durian fruit South China Morning Post Resilc: “Now this IS big news in SE Asia.”
The Schoolteacher Who Saved Her Students From the Nazis Smithsonian (Chuck L)
Settling in for the long haul Crooked Timber (ChiGal). On long Covid as a life-altering event.
"Vaccinated individuals had significantly lower levels of neutralizing antibody against D614G, Delta and Omicron BA.1.1 in the BAL (bronchoalveolar lavage fluid) compared to COVID-19 convalescents.. "
I'm in a significantly lower mood hearing this..https://t.co/xhSSeqMIkq
— Hiroshi Yasuda (保田浩志) (@Yash25571056) July 20, 2022
Japan’s cases are exploding. What changed is the virus. Notice that the Hill number (grey) tends to peak a few weeks before a new variant stabilizes, and it has not peaked yet. pic.twitter.com/aMBEOBxQZu
— Diego Bassani, PhD (@DGBassani) July 19, 2022
DPS is adding air monitors in all of its schools Denverite (AM)
Horrific heat descends upon Western Europe: 104°F in London Yale Climate Connections
CHART OF THE DAY: The impact of the heat-wave and low nuclear availability (plus muted wind): French day-ahead baseload electricity surges to a fresh record high of €630 per MWh | #EnergyCrisis #France #EDF pic.twitter.com/OFvi8hajbE
— Javier Blas (@JavierBlas) July 19, 2022
Greenland Threatens Counterpunch
If Pelosi goes to Taiwan, it will be a huge historic mistake for Washington Global Times editorial. Recall Global Times is a state organ. The language here is even more acid than China has used in the past, which is a difficult feat. One consequences of her visit to Taiwan would be that she would go on the sanctions list and her husband’s assets in China would be frozen. After pointing out that the last three visits by US officials to Taiwan led to PLA crackdowns, the article concludes:
Unlike Washington’s opportunistic probing, all options are clearly on the table for the Chinese mainland. The noose around the neck of the “Taiwan independence” secessionist forces is tightening, and Pelosi has one foot on the stool of the gallows. If Pelosi, who has always been fond of playing tough on China, wants to insist on this way, we will definitely prepare sufficient “consequences” for her.
‘Fake news’: China denies that President Xi Jinping invited European leaders for meeting in Beijing WION. The report that Xi’s invite to EU leaders was ignored came from the normally reputable South China Morning Post: Exclusive | China asks European leaders to meet Xi in November. But will they accept?. The version now up looks to have been rewritten from the original, see the first Bloomberg headline per Google: Xi’s Beijing Invite Unanswered by Top Europe Leaders, SCMP Reports versus the one at that link now: China Disputes Report Xi Invited Europe Heads to Beijing Meeting
France to pay $10 billion to take full control of EDF Reuters (Brunches with Cats)
New Not-So-Cold War
Ukraine’s ‘Great Game’ surfaces in Transcaucasia Indian Punchline (Kevin W). Today’s must read.
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Alfons Mais: “Russia has resources that are almost inexhaustible” Handelsblatt. Original here.
Zelensky Orders Troops to Hold Siversk Despite Heavy Losses, Purges More Officials; Putin in Tehran Alexander Mercouris. Note in particular starting at 10:10, Mercouris reports that DPR official Eduard Barsurin has stated that Ukraine has received the 300 km missiles for the HIMARS. Ukraine has made clear it intends to hit targets in Crimea, which Russia regards as Russian territory, particularly the Kerch bridge. Mercouris thinks it would take an awful lot of missiles to do that, as in more than Ukraine has now, but any strikes at Crimea would lead to very forceful retaliation by Russia. Ukraine is smoking something strong if it thinks that will lead the West to do meaningfully more for Ukraine than it is doing now.
This is a rumor but it follows credible reports on sites that watch daily action like Military Summary of a marked increase in the already-high levels of losses to Ukraine forces:
This circulate on a lot of Russian Telegram Channels:
Read it with reserve👇👇
🇵🇱On the assessment by the Polish special services of the situation in Ukraine
The Intelligence Agency (AW) of the Republic of Poland has prepared a report analyzing the current situation in Ukraine
— AZ 🛰🌏🌍🌎 (@AZmilitary1) July 19, 2022
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Putin warns of Nord Stream 1 gas capacity cuts over equipment repairs Reuters. Oddly this account does not mention, as others do, that Putin offered to open Nord Stream 2 to assure supply. Also S&P issued an odd note on the 18th which gives the strong impression that the status of the notorious part that was stuck in Canada is still up in the air.
Coordinated actions across Europe are essential to prevent a major gas crunch: Here are 5 immediate measures IEA (guurst). Help me. Given the urgency, the lead time for implementing the first idea, “Introduce auction platforms,” puts in in the category of “Assume a can opener.”
German energy rationing debate pits consumers against industry Financial Times (Kevin W)
Sinking Germany New Left Review. Anthony L: “Apart from vacuous first paragraph or two, interesting case for Germany as Loser.”
German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser warns of "radical protests" resulting from high energy prices and recession triggered by her govt's leading role in the economic war on Russia.
Faeser invokes Germany's protests against Covid lockdowns as pretext for the coming repression. https://t.co/PZKGIhXBtq
— Max Blumenthal (@MaxBlumenthal) July 20, 2022
Biden’s Brief Middle East Pivot Won’t Last Foreign Policy
In The Multipolar World Iran Will No Longer Fear U.S. Sanctions Moon of Alabama
Imperial Collapse Watch
GOP Clown Car
Um, the belief that being allied with Trump is detrimental is at best premature: Dan Cox Wins GOP Primary for Governor in Maryland Wall Street Journal
Democrats en déshabillé
AOC pretending to be arrested and handcuffed is the most AOC moment of her career pic.twitter.com/Hc19LUWCtl
— Doctor Fishbones (@DoctorFishbones) July 19, 2022
What Pregnancy and Childbirth Do to the Bodies of Young Girls New York Times (Dr. Kevin)
Bystander Killed Gunman 2 Minutes Into Indiana Mall Shooting New York Times. Resilc: “Fox News hero 24 7 365…….and future GOP candidate.”
The Cause of the Crime Wave Is Hiding in Plain Sight Atlantic (resilc)
WATCH: Massive Explosion Rocks Hoover Dam in Nevada Sputnik (Kevin W)
Tesla may have to write down all that bitcoin Boing Boing (resilc)
Celsius lawyers claim users gave up legal rights to their crypto Cointelegraph (Kevin W)
Intel Begs For A Bailout The Lever
Good News: Economy Sucks, You’re Screwed, and It’s All Your Fault, Economists Say CNBC. Resilc: “CNBC, your plantation-centric news channel.”
Antidote du jour. Stephen T:
Here’s a potential antidote, one a little off the cat-beaten path. I saw this critter on the window/wall of the convenience store behind my house. I had to do a double-take, because at first I thought it was just a leaf that was stuck to the surface. A closer look revealed that it was a moth, one with a very clever bit of camouflage that just made it look like an old leaf. Impressive stuff.
And a bonus (Mark T). Since you liked Emmanuel so much:
It’s not just Emmanuel…meet Regina pic.twitter.com/cMVniNnRqh
— Naofumi Iwatani (@ShieldHero85) July 16, 2022
A second bonus:
— Video of Animals🐾📽️ (@videoofanimals) July 15, 2022
See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.