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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Hallelujah and Leonard Cohen’s ‘secret chord’ Financial Times
Artist Reimagines Cats as Royalty in Traditional Portraits of People My Modern Met (David L)
Freya the walrus: Did she have to be euthanised? BBC (David L)
Algorithms Can Now Mimic Any Artist. Some Artists Hate It Wired (David L)
Spine-like floating platform harnesses water wave energy YankoDesign (Kevin W)
Covid lockdown has affected each of us in our own unique little ways. pic.twitter.com/6JW4PSxYzV
— TG (@TG22110) August 20, 2022
SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern: spike protein mutational analysis and epitope for broad neutralization Nature. GM says this is off-base:
This is a pre-Omicron paper (note the initial submission date — December 7 2021) that was then somehow adapted to include some Omicron data, and in the end became a bit of a jumbled mess.
The ab6 monoclonal they are focusing on should be destroyed by the newer Omicron variants (notice how Epsilon escapes it the most, then Delta).
One should not place too much hope on exploiting “vulnerabilities”, conserved epitopes, etc. So far basically none of the variant-proof monoclonals has survived. And that is just within 2.5 years of evolution. Sotrovimab was supposed to be bulletproof because it came from a SARS1 patient, but then first BA.1 took a dent and BA.2 fully escaped it.
So monoclonals looks like they will be an endless thredmill.
Not that it matters much for most people — the days of Florida handing out free monoclonals like candy are over, and for most of the world there was never any access to begin with.
“A study from Houston Methodist found some #LongCovid patients aren't getting enough blood to their heart.. The ability of endothelial cells, which play a key role in dilating arteries.. was diminished by 20% among 101 long covid patients who participated”https://t.co/GGHqRly4mM
— charlos (@loscharlos) August 19, 2022
‘Most have thrown their hands up’: has the US forgotten about Covid? Guardian (resilc)
Amazing. We are 4% of the world’s population, 25% of global Covid deaths, 20-25% of Covid cases, 35% of MPX cases. American exceptionalism! https://t.co/wziBShXE9N
— Dr. Thrasher (@thrasherxy) August 20, 2022
King County declares public health emergency over monkeypox outbreak Seattle Times (furzy)
Scientists Think They’ve Found a Shockingly Simple Way to Degrade ‘Forever Chemicals’ ScienceAlert. Chuck L: “Could be big.”
Methane supercharges climate change. The U.S. has a new plan to slash it. National Geographic (David L)
UK Charging Infrastructure Is Struggling To Keep Up With Soaring EV Sales OilPrice. Resilc: “Auto induced brownouts ahead.”
This is the Loire, the longest river in France. It's gone now. It evaporated. That hasn't happened in at least 2000 years, and likely not at any time in recorded human history. pic.twitter.com/oqbKwBuzC5
— DCPetterson (@dcpetterson) August 19, 2022
China’s drills to change US military assumptions Asia Times (guurst)
China jails tycoon Xiao Jianhua for 13 years, slapping an unprecedented US$8 billion fine on his Tomorrow Group South China Morning Post (resilc). We featured the Bloomberg version yesterday.
Share of births outside marriage, by country Marginal Revolution (resilc). Lots of countries missing…
Revealed: Liz Truss personally supported cuts to NHS and doctors’ pay Guardian (Kevin W)
New Not-So-Cold War
John Mearsheimer’s latest article on Ukraine in “Foreign Affairs” – a critique Gilbert Doctorow (guurst). Important.
Self-explanatory. Andrei Martyanov (guurst). Kinzhals in Kaliningrad and other matters.
Ukraine war of attrition at inflection point Indian Punchline. Kevin W:
I would disagree with his idea that a war of attrition will leave Russia weakened. The last years of the US Civil War, the Union fought it as a war of attrition and emerged as a power house.
On Russian invasion, US intel got it right — but policymakers stumbled Responsible Statecraft. On the strategy failure but note also: Zelensky ignored the early 2022 warnings. Was it because he was committed to a March Donbass offensive and convinced himself that Russia was merely bristling to try to prevent it? Or was it because US intel had also warned of a spring offensive in 2021 that never came to pass?
* * *
How Russia is dodging Western sanctions with gray-market imports DW. Resilc: “Gee, who wooda guessed??????”
The Squeeze on Russia Is Loosening Matthew C. Klein (resilc)
* * *
Russia to Halt Nord Stream Gas Flows to Europe, Citing Pipeline Maintenance Wall Street Journal. Funny how these articles never mention that Putin has repeatedly offered to supply Europe via Nord Stream 2.
Was ist #Ampel-Wahnsinn? Einen #Wirtschaftskrieg anfangen,der uns mehr schadet als Russland. Danach Verbraucher ua. mit #Gasumlage zur Kasse bitten, um damit teures&klimaschädliches #LNG-Gas von US-Konzernen zu kaufen, die dabei exorbitante Profite machen🙈https://t.co/XpqAzgVuW9
— Sahra Wagenknecht (@SWagenknecht) August 19, 2022
Germany Risks a Factory Exodus as Energy Prices Bite Hard Bloomberg (Kevin W)
France opposes Spain’s gas pipeline project – media RT (Kevin W)
The New World Energy Order: A Battle Of Attrition Forbes (resilc)
DEVELOPING: Details on new nuclear deal approved by Iran The Cradle (resilc)
🚨🚨Breaking: This morning, Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) raided Al-Haq’s office in Ramallah, confiscated items and shut down the main entrance with an iron plate leaving behind a military order declaring the organization unlawful 1/2 pic.twitter.com/Y8yqRdU4Db
— Al-Haq الحق (@alhaq_org) August 18, 2022
Big Brother Is Watching You Watch
Montana flagged bugs in cow app exploited in alleged China hack Al Jazeera (resilc). Cows need apps??? Wouldn’t cameras in and outside barns suffice?
Imperial Collapse Watch
US Air Force grounds Osprey fleet after dangerous clutch problem DefenseNews (resilc)
US bombs Somalia for the third time this summer Responsible Statecraft. Resilc: “A trillion a year wasted…….yet the biggest news is Liz Cheney.”
Court orders release of DOJ memo on Trump obstruction in Mueller probe Washington Post (Kevin W)
The Donald J. Trump Guide to Getting Away With Anything Atlantic. Resilc: “Why is this just Trump? It is all rich/powerful people in USA USA.”
Liz Cheney and Trump are the Two Faces of American Totalitarianism Richard (RJ) Eskow (furzy)
A BFD Dan Rather and Elliot Kirschner (furzy). Um, not when you look at spending per year.
Armed… auditors? The IRS becomes the latest target of GOP misinformation Guardian (resilc)
Judge: Prosecutors cannot enforce Michigan’s abortion ban Politico (Kevin W)
Without Roe v. Wade, what it means when miscarriage is a crime Washington Post (furzy)
HBO Max removes nearly 200 episodes of ‘Sesame Street’ Washington Post. Kevin W: “Because they were teaching kids about the letter ‘Z’?”
Physicians see spike in misbehavior, report says and Bad physician workplace behavior: What their colleagues are noticing Becker Review (Dr. Kevin)
Starbucks ordered to reinstate US workers fired amid union campaign Guardian (Kevin W)
If Everyone Is King Then No One Is Caitlin Johnstone (Kevin W)
The 2028 L.A. Olympics Are Already Creating a Housing Disaster New Republic (resilc)
Antidote du jour. Stephen T: “What the fashionable sheep will be wearing this fall…”:
And a bonus (Chuck L):
Huge pod of dolphins spotted off Laguna Beach in California pic.twitter.com/myjXuDkNzp
— Gabriele Corno (@Gabriele_Corno) August 19, 2022
A second bonus:
Responsible bear picks up fallen traffic cone pic.twitter.com/mA83uFHJpH
— Gabriele Corno (@Gabriele_Corno) August 19, 2022
See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.