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:
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Shipping’s Decarbonization: A Real Prisoner’s Dilemma Hellenic Shipping News
Who Will Be Held Accountable for CDC Dishonesty? RealClearPolitics
Rate of SARS-CoV-2 Reinfection During an Omicron Wave in Iceland JAMA. The Discussion:
In this population-based cohort study, a substantial proportion of persons experienced SARS-CoV-2 reinfection during the first 74 days of the Omicron wave in Iceland, with rates as high 15.1% among those aged 18 to 29 years. Longer time from initial infection was associated with a higher probability of reinfection, although the difference was smaller than expected. Surprisingly, 2 or more doses of vaccine were associated with a slightly higher probability of reinfection compared with 1 dose or less. This finding should be interpreted with caution because of limitations of our study, which include the inability to adjust for the complex relationships among prior infection, vaccine eligibility, and underlying conditions. Importantly, by December 1, 2021, all persons aged 12 years and older were eligible for 2 or more vaccine doses free of charge, and 71.1% of the Icelandic population had been vaccinated,5 compared with only 25.5% of our cohort of previously infected persons. Our results suggest that reinfection is more common than previously thought. Now the key question is whether infection with the Omicron variant will produce better protection against Omicron reinfection, compared with other variants.
“We highlight the European red fox and brown rat, as they have established interactions with potentially contaminated urban waste and sewage, which provides a mechanism for potential spillback. We anticipate that our results will enable targeted active surveillance of potential spillback event, to minimise risk of the virus becoming endemic in these regions. Our results also indicate the potential of domesticated cats and dogs (latter now confirmed) being susceptible to monkeypox virus, and hence support many health organisations’ advice for infected humans to avoid physical interaction with pets.”
Why Beijing’s war games risk pushing Asean neighbours into the arms of the US South China Morning Post (Furzy Mouse).
Which Asian Countries Support China in the Taiwan Strait Crisis – and Which Don’t? The Diplomat. Handy chart:
There’s your balance-of-power/containment policy right there, if the United States has the diplomatic and strategic skills to carry it out, a dubious proposition.
* * *
Interpreting or misinterpreting China’s success Global Inequality
The Pretence of Democracy In Kashmir Madras Courier
Taking from Afghanistan’s poor Felix Salmon, Axios
New Not-So-Cold Cold War
Ukraine has telegraphed its big counteroffensive for months So where is it?. Politico. It is gone where the woodbine twineth. Meanwhile, attrition?
Ksenia Hutsulka from Verkhovyna is a machine gunner in the Ukrainian army
She is the only woman in a platoon in a company of the 72nd Separate Mechanized Brigade. Now, on an equal footing with men, she's fighting against the Russian invaders in Donetsk Oblast! pic.twitter.com/jQejjGs4Jn
— The New Voice of Ukraine (@NewVoiceUkraine) August 16, 2022
Besides, the whole mishegoss is polling badly:
53% of voters said they support the United States pursuing negotiations to end the war in Ukraine as soon as possible, even if it means making some compromises with Russia. https://t.co/MWiDM4ZyRS pic.twitter.com/ZykXIjMlfS
— Quincy Institute (@QuincyInst) August 15, 2022
Ukraine Strikes Again in Crimea, Challenging Russian Hold on Peninsula NYT. No substitute for the offensive we kept hearing about.
Sweeps Week on FBI TV! Matt Taibbi, TK News. Excellent timeline on shifting rationales leaked by the organs of state security:
The timeline of leaked explanations of the raid is mind-boggling. Anonymous officials started by telling us the case was linked to Trump having “delayed returning 15 boxes of material requested by… the National Archives,” then it was “classified documents relating to nuclear weapons,” then it was fear Trump could reveal “sources and methods,” then it was possible Espionage Act violations. By Saturday, former “national security prosecutor” Barb McQuade went on MSNBC to explain the “brilliant tactical move” of using the Espionage Act, since it doesn’t “require the documents to be classified” (we’d been told all week this was about classified material). The next day, CBS published news of a joint FBI/DHS bulletin warning of “armed rebellion,” “civil war,” and a “dirty bomb attack,” and the day after that, we were told FBI “filter agents” did, then didn’t seize, then did again seize Donald Trump’s passports, but returned them in the end.
We’ve seen this movie before.
Alex Mashinsky took control of Celsius trading strategy months before bankruptcy FT. “At the start of the year, Celsius had the outward confidence of a business that had just completed a $600mn equity fundraising round led by two big investors, and US investment group WestCap.” Oh.
Losses from crypto hacks surged 60% to $1.9 billion from January to July, Chainalysis says Reuters (Furzy Mouse).
Realignment and Legitimacy
The New Era of Political Violence Is Here The Atlantic
Imperial Collapse Watch
Doctrine for Diplomacy: To Remain Relevant, the U.S. State Department Needs a New Statecraft War on the Rocks. Or statecraft, period, instead of moralizing and then doubling down [rinse, repeat].
our interest is conflict of interest bad cattitude. Light at the end of the tunnel:
"One of the things we've spent a lot of time thinking about in the last many months…is getting us out of that acute emergency phase where the US government is buying the vaccines, buying the treatments, buying the diagnostic tests," Jha said https://t.co/jtmty3uri9 pic.twitter.com/FFi0NO0ogF
— wsbgnl (@wsbgnl) August 17, 2022
“We’ve spent a lot of time thinking….” No doubt. So have we all. But who is “we” to Jha?
In Tribute to Lance Taylor (5/25/1940 – 8/15/2022) Institute for New Economic Thinking. Taylor attended a pre-Covid NC meetup on Bailey Island. Here is one of his papers.
Antidote du jour (via):
Elephant gives birth in the Masai Mara reserve in Kenya pic.twitter.com/S2fgl8fm5K
— Gabriele Corno (@Gabriele_Corno) August 15, 2022
The entire herd crowds round….
See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.