Links 7/8/2022

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.

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Shinzo Abe shot: Former Japan PM seen holding chest as he collapsed, was in ‘cardiopulmonary arrest’ before reaching hospital Indian Express. Live blog with updates. As of 1:18 AM, Politico effectively said he’s dead. Per their European newsletter, citing NHK, “showing no vital signs.” At 1:50, press is still saying Abe is in critical condition, but it would be very Japanese to meter out bad news. As of 4:00 AM, Twitter accounts state that Abe has received blood transfusions along side a report from Kyodo, that an ER official said Abe was showing no vital signs. Perhaps they’ve managed to chill his brain so as to minimize damage but his body does not seem to be responding.

And at 4:30 AM:

Unconfirmed, but close friend of Abe, Naoki Hyakuta, says former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has died after being shot.

— Jesse Johnson (@jljzen) July 8, 2022

And at 5:15 AM, it’s official. Abe has died.

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“It is unprecedented in Japanese history.”

Japan has some of the strictest gun laws and shootings are rare. Bloomberg’s @opinion columnist @GearoidReidy speaks after former Japanese PM Shinzo Abe was shot during a political event ( via @BloombergTV )

— Bloomberg (@business) July 8, 2022

Reader BC thinks the gun was bespoke, made to look like a camera with a long zoom so as to facilitate the shooter getting close. Later shots show the resemblance to a camera was pretty approximate but still proved to be adequate:

This seems to be a still image of the attacker, a middle aged man, aiming his shotgun at Abe, who is now in custody.

Two shots were fired. The first seemed to miss. The man did not flee; he just squatted down and waited to be arrested, as per NHK.

— Nick Kapur (@nick_kapur) July 8, 2022

No kidding: long-eared goat becomes media star in Pakistan Guardian (resilc)

Bristol longboarding group ‘a blessing’ during lockdown BBC (David L)

Using a Drone to Change a Light Bulb Core77 (resilc)

Re-analysis of a fossil finds it’s from the earliest vertebrate branch ars technica (Kevin W)


New paper with @matt_brundage_ and @SooSunYou1: “Selection Neglect and Political Beliefs.” It’s a review paper which identifies a common theme with many applications: people form beliefs as if what they experience is representative of wider populations.

— Andrew Little (@anthlittle) July 5, 2022

James Caan, Star of ‘The Godfather’ and ‘Misery,’ Dies at 82 Wall Street Journal.



COVID State of Affairs: July 7 Your Local Epidemiologist (Dr. Kevin)

Wastewater sequencing reveals early cryptic SARS-CoV-2 variant transmission Nature (Kevin W)

“.. the BA.2.12.1, BA.4, and BA.5 subvariants substantially escape neutralizing antibodies induced by both vaccination and infection.. the omicron variant has continued to evolve with increasing neutralization escape..”

We seem to be so defenseless now.

— Hiroshi Yasuda (保田浩志) (@Yash25571056) July 7, 2022


Data cover-up deepens as at least 3 children die of COVID every day in the US WSWS (guurst)

MorseLife, Florida nursing home, pays $1.75 million after giving donors early access to covid vaccines Washington Post (Dr. Kevin)


India’s Deadly Heatwave Will Soon Be a Global Reality Bloomberg (ma)

Here’s What Separating and Recycling an Entire Car Looks Like Core77 (resilc)

Chart: Education in Africa: Girls Gaining Ground on Boys Statista (Dr. Kevin)

Old Blighty

Race to replace Boris Johnson slow to take shape amid resignation chaos Guardian (J-LS, Kevin W)

JANET STREET-PORTER: Tory leadership candidates will flaunt assets like Love Island contestants Daily Mail (resilc)

What Brexit Did to Boris Johnson—And Britain Atlantic (resilc)

I was Boris Johnson’s boss: he is utterly unfit to be prime minister Guardian. J-LS: “This piece by Max Hastings is three years old. I’ve yet to read anything else that tops it.”

New Not-So-Cold War

Ukrainians began to sell NATO artillery to Russia at a discount Vzglyad (original here). Important. From the start of this article:

Russian troops managed to take French Caesar howitzers as a trophy in Ukraine. Moreover, these long-range self-propelled guns were simply bought at a discount from the corrupt Ukrainian military, the Bulgarian Military newspaper writes. Although the publication does not provide any confirmations, the scheme itself looks realistic – the soldiers of the Armed Forces of Ukraine used to regularly sell weapons to “separators”, from which they were then shot at.

The Bulgarian Military publication, citing its sources in the command of the French army and in Interpol, reported: the Russian military did not seize French 155-mm self-propelled howitzers CAESAR (“Caesar”) from the armed forces of Ukraine, as it was described earlier. However, the story about the capture of French self-propelled guns by our troops as trophies was refuted not in favor of the Ukrainian army. On the contrary, according to Bulgarian Military, Ukrainians themselves sold artillery systems for 120 thousand dollars apiece. This is despite the fact that the real cost of one CAESAR howitzer is about $ 7 million.

Ukraine’s military plans to limit free movement to make conscription easier Guardian (resilc)

Vladimir Putin is ‘not going to withdraw’ Sky News (Marshall). Features former advisor to US Secretary of Defense Colonel Douglas MacGregor.

Putin said that “Russia has not yet started anything seriously in Ukraine”.

“Today we hear that they want to defeat us on the battlefield, well, what can I say, let them try. We haven’t really started anything yet”.

— ТРУХА⚡️English (@TpyxaNews) July 7, 2022

Letter from a friend, an Average Russian Vineyard of the Saker (Chuck L). A forecast of the whacking up of Ukraine.

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Japan’s Kishida steps on Russian oil slick Indian Punchline (Kevin W)

🇩🇪German Economy Minister Robert Habeck “with a heavy heart” asked Canada to release Siemens gas pumping units stuck there after repairs due to sanctions, writes Bloomberg. He clarified that he was asking Canada to send the units not to Russia, but to Germany.

— Dagny Taggart (@DagnyTaggart369) July 7, 2022

BREAKING: German benchmark 1-year forward electricity contract surges to an all-time high above €340 per MWh. At current price levels, German manufacturing is going to crumble.

Last week’s @opinion column warning about the crisis: #Germany 🇩🇪🔌🪫

— Javier Blas (@JavierBlas) July 6, 2022

Germany dims the lights to cope with Russia gas supply crunch Financial Times

EU country slams gas sharing plan as ‘communism’ RT (Kevin W)

1/2 Bravo! Some light at end of tunnel, finally! Head of German Bundestag’s Committee on Energy Klaus Ernst in interview with Rheinishche Post: “If necessary, put Nord Stream 2 into operation for a limited period of time if gas supply cannot be guaranteed otherwise.

— M. K. Bhadrakumar (@BhadraPunchline) July 7, 2022

Putin Dodges Worst of Economic Pain as Oil Eases Sanctions Bloomberg

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Video Investigation: Russia Is Using a Secret Network to Steal Ukraine Grain Wall Street Journal. The media is working hard and successfully at making the public stupider. As I sputtered to some correspondents:

I can’t stand this nonsense. Ukraine does not own the grain. Its farmers do. If the farmers are being paid, it isn’t stealing. I haven’t read the piece (because annoyance) but I doubt Russia would do that, it’s trying to build good relations with the locals. And we also have this little issue of the DPR and the LPR having declared independence….

John Helmer replied:

Murdoch media have failed again. The Kiev regime (and US) persuaded the Turks to check title to the grain cargo, consignment papers, and title to the vessel (Kazakh) and contract of carriage. The Turks have released the vessel and cargo.

Reaching the Greater New York audience with common sense on Ukraine Gilbert Doctorow

EU Bureaucracy Seen Blocking 1.5 Billion-Euro Loan to Ukraine Bloomberg


Ben & Jerry’s Sues Parent Company Unilever to Block Israel Sale AntiWar (resilc)

Occupied Yemeni island could host part of US-led missile defense system Responsible Statecraft. Resilc cites: “‘It’s just so blatant,’” Jumaan said. ‘Without the U.S. this would not be possible.’

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

The Shanghai police data heist grows more insane: Experts say the database of nearly 1b Chinese citizens was not hacked—it simply had no password, allowing the thief to waltz in, wipe the data & leave a ransom note: “contact_for_your_data…recovery10btc.”

— Karen Hao 郝珂灵 (@_KarenHao) July 6, 2022

Imperial Collapse Watch

The Death of the British Imperial State Craig Murray (Anthony L)

The agony of the West Thierry Meyssan, Voltaire Net (Chuck L). A good piece but incorrectly says the dollar has fallen. It’s up against all major currencies, including the renminbi. The exception is the rouble. Now one can posit it is destined to fall but we are not there yet.

Minotaur rocket explodes shortly after launching on test mission for US military Space


MAGA Group Reportedly Hosting Figures Named In Jan. 6 Probe YouTube (furzy). “One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter.”


Getting Rid of Joe Biden-Possible Scenarios Larry Johnson (Chuck L). Some important issues regarding replacing the VP after becoming President.

Biden’s court commission appointees: We told you so on expanding the court Politico

Democrats en déshabillé

Bernie Sanders Endorses Balint in Vermont’s U.S. House Race Seven Days. Resilc: “Not the DNC pick.”

Christians strip down at a South Texas nudist community Associated Press (resilc)

GOP Clown Car

IRS in political storm over Trump-era audits The Hill. Tax maven points out: “McCabe got a slug of cash in a GoFundMe-type campaign to pay his legal bills.”

Lindsey Graham ‘Desperate’ Not to Self-Incriminate in Georgia: Kirschner Newsweek (furzy). As written this is nonsense. Grand jury testimony is sealed. The issue is whether the case advances to trial and they call Graham again. Hence this is about the precedent, whether Graham can be compelled to testify on this matter.

Lindsey Graham Doesn’t Want to Testify in Georgia Probe Charles Pierce, Esquire (furzy)

Winklevoss Twins Team Up With Peter Thiel To Support Arizona Senate Candidate Blake Masters Forbes.

NYPD makes fitness tests easier after increased retirements New York Post

‘Truly disgusting’: University of Michigan regent’s 8-hour Delta flight goes without water Detroit News. Paywalled, but ma flags: “‘At first, I was just happy a UM Regent was on board…….’ But wait–what’s this? ‘….a scheduling program glitch on July 2 that resulted in more than 12,000 flights leaving without two pilots on board.’ I thought they could not fly without two pilots??!!”

Two new fatal Tesla crashes are being examined by US investigators The Verge (Kevin W)

Elon Musk’s deal to buy Twitter is in peril Washington Post. Non-paywalled retelling: It’s looking more like Elon Musk could bail on buying Twitter The Verge

Hospitals and for-profit PBMs are diverting billions in 340B savings STAT (Dr. Kevin). The people involved should burn in hell. Americans die due to medical grifting.

US job creation set to slow as red-hot labour demand levels off Financial Times

Private equity may be heading for a fall Economist (Paul R)

Class Warfare

Ride-Hailing Drivers Revolt Vietnam Weekly (JTM)

Nursing home robots dance, sing and watch for signs of trouble MPR News

Antidote du jour. Tracie H:

This little lizard showed up yesterday at the cat food dishes! We were just happy he was there to consume their food and not them!

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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Yves Smith