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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Climate Change Is Making Pathogens Worse MedPage Today
Estimating the environmental impacts of 57,000 food products PNAS. Not just food; food-like substances.
The imminent BA.5 vaccine booster Eric Topol, Ground Truths. Just in time for BA2.75. The table at the beginning of the article is a real dash of cold water on any triumphalism.
Incubation Period of COVID-19 Caused by Unique SARS-CoV-2 Strains JAMA. Systematic review and meta-analysis. “The incubation periods of COVID-19 caused by the Alpha, Beta, Delta, and Omicron variants were 5.00, 4.50, 4.41, and 3.42 days, respectively.”
Tracking viruses can be tricky. NYT. The deck: “Here’s how a scrappy team of scientists, public health experts and plumbers is embracing wastewater surveillance as the future of disease tracking.” A “scrappy team” is another way of saying there has been no OWS-style public investment in a key data gathering system to prevent transmission, because preventing transmission is not a priority.
The Hidden Crisis in the Times of COVID-19: Critical Shortages of Medical Laboratory Professionals in Clinical Microbiology Journal of Clinical Microbiology. “80% of microbiology laboratories have vacant positions and that filling these positions is challenging for a number of reasons, including a lack of qualified applicants.” Given the givens, it would be nice if the American Society for Microbiology didn’t follow the lead of The International Society for Microbial Ecology, and turn its conferences into superspreader events.
Polio Is Back in the US and UK. Here’s How That Happened Wired (Re Silc).
Treating Monkeypox: Q&A with the CDC’s John T. Brooks, MD (interview) MedPage
FluTracking Australia Winter Update (charts) FluTracking Australia (Vandemonian).
Xi Jinping looks to take China beyond Deng Xiaoping’s ‘get rich’ era with historic third term South China Morning Post
I’m not over the moon about mooncakes – in my reality, everybody hates them. So why are we still eating these Mid-Autumn Festival gifts? South China Morning Post. Useful for paperweights!
Myanmar Mid-Year Update ACLED
Rohingya refugees still desperate, five years after a genocide Globe_. The world as NGOs see it.
US media ignored major anti-US military protest in South Korea Responsible Statecraft
Macron warns ‘sacrifices’ ahead after ‘end of abundance’ France24. But Ukraine is worth it, totally. (To be fair, Europe has been the sick man of Europe since the Great Financial Crash, but how in the name of all that is holy did it produce such an unimpressive political class? Scholz, Macron, BoJo (Truss),
Draghi[insert Italian word here for whoever 🤷]…. James Buchanan would be head boy, here. Ditto Vichy.)
New Not-So-Cold Cold War
Why is Pink Floyd’s bassist on a Ukrainian website’s ‘kill list’? Daily Dot. Myrotvorets. Interestingly, recently whacked Darya Dugina was on the Myrotvorets list:
Darya Dugina was on the #Myrotvorets hit list since 06.07.2022. Now it says "liquidated" on her face.
The terrorist Myrotvorets center claims to be based in Langley, Virginia and Warsaw, Poland. (See upper right corner.)
Was NATO a party to this terrorist attack, not just SBU? pic.twitter.com/betJUHJkGU
— René (@thisisnotarose) August 21, 2022
(Along with Waters, John Mearshimer, Tulsi Gabbard, and other luminaries). On its site, Myrotvorets claims an address in Langley, VA. I don’t know what that might mean, but what is clear is that Myrotvorets’ logo is served by NATO:
(natocdn.net is owned by NATO; see also here.) It’s not clear to me why NATO would put its infrastructure at the service of a hit list including American academics. Perhaps somebody could ask the State Department about this.
Five predictions for the next six months in the war in Ukraine Guardian. The conventional wisdom seems to be congealing around the twin ideas that the front is in stalemate and winter will not be a fighting season; including, interestingly, certainly not Russia-unfriendly Military Summary. If I were counter-suggestible, I’d turn conventional wisdom 180° on both counts.
A ‘Drop in the Bucket’ for Many: Let’s Put Biden’s Student Loan Relief in Perspective Jezebel. Various commentary. Biden callls it “breathing room”:
In keeping with my campaign promise, my Administration is announcing a plan to give working and middle class families breathing room as they prepare to resume federal student loan payments in January 2023.
I'll have more details this afternoon. pic.twitter.com/kuZNqoMe4I
— President Biden (@POTUS) August 24, 2022
“Breathing room,” like when somebody’s got their boot on my windpipe and eases off a little?
If the government wanted 34 year olds to pay their student loans back, they shouldn’t have let the labor market be fucked from 2008-2015
— Jason Dean (@_Jason_Dean_) August 23, 2022
The takeaway from the news stories about the PPP forgiveness & the student loan plan is that we should have taken out PPP loans & paid our student loans with that money.
— Mikki Kendall (@Karnythia) August 24, 2022
“The first thing we do….”
Good news for thousands of my former students. I’m grateful on their behalf, Mr. President. https://t.co/FzmvcQNkli
— Laurence Tribe (@tribelaw) August 24, 2022
The Hillary and Chelsea Clinton docu-series of your wildest dreams The Spectator. I can’t even.
Groves of Academe
University Title Generator FiatFlux (github). “Deputy Coordinator of the Committee on Strategic Community Planning.” $86,096 seems low.
Imperial Collapse Watch
Is America Overextending Itself? Foreign Policy. Author is editor of FP.
Ailing Empire Blues The Baffler
“To inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup, and one neighborhood at a time.” —Starbucks Mission Statement
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What is the Relationship between Class and the Left? Class Unity (AL). Well worth a read.
How a Hacked Tractor Added Fuel to the Right-to-Repair Movement (transcript) Wired. Interesting!
Antidote du jour (via):
Donkey nannies are donkeys used to carry newborn lambs down the mountains for seasonal grazing.
Mother: This is the last time I show you how to go down..
— Buitengebieden (@buitengebieden) August 17, 2022
See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.