Links 5/6/2022 | naked capitalism

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.

–Yves

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.

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The Fed owes the American people some plain-speaking Gillian Tett, FT. The deck: “Chair Jay Powell must acknowledge that free money has made asset prices unsustainably high.”

Wall Street Isn’t Ready for the Crackdown Coming Its Way Bloomberg

A New York law to end to Wall Street’s pension ripoff Cory Doctorow, Pluralistic. With shout-out to NC.

The design of a data governance system Bank of International Settlements. Recommends India’s Data Empowerment Protection Architecture (DEPA).

Climate

A climate scientist on India and Pakistan’s horror heatwave, and the surprising consequences of better air quality The Conversation

This Plastic-Eating Enzyme Could ‘Supercharge’ Recycling Treehugger (Re Silc).

#COVID19

It ain’t over ’til it’s over Science. Important.

More freedom or more death: A pandemic quandary we have yet to solve Globe and Mail

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FDA Severely Limits Use of J&J COVID Shot MedPage Today

What ‘Pfizer Documents’ Release Reveals Newsweek. I don’t love Pfizer, but the tweet storm on the latest Pfizer document dump was…. not helpful. Here is a link to the documents.

A Southeast Asia Expert Review of Global Real-World Vaccine Effectiveness Against SARS-CoV-2 (preprint) ResearchSquare. A meta-study. Interpretation: “Our review of the robust real-world VE [vaccine efficacy] data collated through the IVAC VIEW-hub platform confirms that the most studied COVID-19 vaccines in this database provide consistently high (>90%) protection against serious clinical outcomes like hospitalisations and deaths, and regardless of variant. Additionally, our observation that this protection appears equivalent for mRNA vaccines and vector vaccines like AZD1222 [AstraZeneca] is supported by our analysis of local Asian and relevant international data, and by insights from SEA experts.”

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SARS-CoV-2 Omicron Variant is as Deadly as Previous Waves After Adjusting for Vaccinations, Demographics, and Comorbidities (preprint) Research Square. n = 130,000. “Although the unadjusted rates of hospital admission and mortality appeared to be higher in previous waves compared to the Omicron period, after adjusting for confounders including various demographics, Charlson comorbidity index scores, and vaccination status (and holding the healthcare utilization constant), we found that the risks of hospitalization and mortality were nearly identical between periods. Our analysis suggests that .” Commentary:

Does US really have world’s highest Covid death toll? BBC (Re Silc). Re Silc writes: “Our victory was fleeting, but still more time to claim the crown!”

China?

Xi Jinping says China’s Covid policies will ‘stand the test of time’ in Shanghai South China Morning Post

Standing Committee doubles down on “dynamic zero-Covid” and calls for struggle against doubters Sinocism.

Being on the wrong side of this issue now could, to be euphemistic, have a career-limiting impact.

The Shanghai Party Committee held an expanded meeting Thursday evening to transmit the spirit of the Standing Committee meeting. Party Secretary Li Qiang must be desperate to save his job and his political future, and so will now push incredibly hard to show Xi he gets it and can fix things. But someone has to be held accountable for the Shanghai disaster, and it will not be Xi unless there are much bigger changes coming.

What the Shanghai Lockdown Means for Luxury Jing Daily

Myanmar

Continued resistance against the military coup ACLED

Myanmar regime condemns Malaysia call for ASEAN to work with NUG Al Jazeera

India

‘Kindly don’t patronise us, we know what to do’, Ambassador Tirumurti’s curt reply to Dutch envoy’s tweet on Ukraine Tribune India

Facebook Deliberately Caused Havoc in Australia to Influence New Law, Whistleblowers Say WSJ

UK/EU

Defiant Boris brushes off London Tory bloodbath and rebukes leadership rivals as Labour LOSES votes outside capital with ‘Red Wall’ holding in local elections – but PM still faces fury over Partygate and Lib Dem threat in the shires Daily Mail

Would a Sinn Féin victory open the door to a united Ireland? FT

EU citizens may sue countries for health-damaging dirty air, top court adviser says Reuters

New Not-So-Cold War

Ukraine’s Forces Are Told To Hold The Line Where Russian Artillery Is Pulverizing Them Moon of Alabama. “Grinding” defined operationally. Well worth a read.

“It’s not about saving Ukrainian lives, it’s about saving political face here at home” (video) Scott Ritter. “A false sense of capability.” Well worth a listen, and only seven minutes.

Russia Threatens NATO Convoys With Submarine Strike Reuters

‘A second Afghanistan’: Doubts over Russia’s war prosecution Al Jazeera

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Hungary: 9 other EU countries have opened accounts in Russian Banks Al Mayadeen

Unity on Ukraine is crumbling in Eastern Europe Unherd

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Tell us how this war in Ukraine ends Responsible Statecraft

What If the War in Ukraine Doesn’t End? Foreign Affairs

The key challenge resides not so much in the nature of support for Ukraine. It resides in the nature of support for the war within the countries that are backing Ukraine. In an age of social media and of image-driven emotionality, public opinion can be fickle. For Ukraine to succeed, global public opinion will have to hold strong on its behalf. This will depend, more than anything, on adept and patient political leadership.

So the war in Ukraine is like the Clinton campaign: You’ve got to keep pumping hot air into the balloon to keep it aloft.

Possibility of talks between Zelenskyy and Putin came to a halt after Johnson’s visit – UP sources Ukrainska Pravda (!).

Biden Administration

Amazon Gets Huge Contract Despite Biden’s Union Pledge The Lever

Supremes

How the leak might have happened SCOTUSblog

Ben Franklin Put an Abortion Recipe in His Math Textbook Slate (Furzy Mouse). “Deeply rooted.”

The Intelligence Community

C.I.A. Captive Was Too Small for Waterboard, Interrogator Testifies NYT

Damage Control: CIA Told Bolsonaro “Not To Mess” With Brazil Election, US Government Sources Claim BrasilWire

Tech

Smartphones Are Killing Kids The American Conservative. As Silicon Valley squillionaires know.

OPT: Open Pre-trained Transformer Language Models (preprint) (PDF) Meta AI. Commentary:

And:

And:

Ugly.

Here We Are Again!—How Joseph Grimaldi Invented the Creepy Clown JSTOR Daily

Supply Chain

Sea-Intelligence reports increased blanking activity on Asia-North Europe Container News. “A blank sailing is a sailing that has been canceled by the carrier, which may mean one port is being skipped, or the entire string is canceled.”

Trash Mountain Could Burst Into Flames Any Minute Manufacturing.net.

The county relies on trains with empty shipping containers to move the garbage from the railyard to a nearby landfill. But staffing shortages and likely supply chain disruptions have limited the amount of shipping containers that can be transferred over to the railyard. On top of that, the Burlington Northern railway also has staffing shortages.

I wonder if the same thing is happening at other landfills.

Shortages

The nationwide baby formula shortage is getting worse CBS

Boeing

HOTR: Boeing moving HQ to Washington, DC, was obvious to those looking Leeham News and Analysis

‘Buy now, pay later’ is sending the TikTok generation spiraling into debt, popularized by San Francisco tech firms SFGate

Class Warfare

Starbucks plans wage increases that won’t apply to unionized workers. NYT

Pondering the Bits That Build Space-Time and Brains Quanta

Antidote du jour (via):

Bonus antidote (Tristan):

Tristan writes: “[Here is a] little lamb birthed on my farm I thought your readers might enjoy. Here I had brought him in on a particularly cold day about a month ago, and he is modeling a fancy Yorkshire Terrier coat I modified to fit him. His name is Pinkman, age 1 week in this picture.”

See yesterday’s Antidote du Jour and Links here.

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