Berlin Hotel’s Huge Aquarium Bursts, With 1,500 Fish Inside New York Times (see also Giant aquarium bursts in Germany, killing 1,500 tropical fish and spilling 1 million litres of water ABC Australia, hat tip Kevin W). BC: “Some engineering feats are more complicated than originally assumed.”
Pentagon Has Received ‘Several Hundreds’ of New UFO Reports Associated Press
Airport security 100ml liquid rule to be scrapped BBC (furzy). Weirdly, the Birmingham airport has those better scanners but not LGA.
What Would Plato Say About ChatGPT? New York Times (David L)
The Illustrated Transformer Jay Alammar (David L)
Almost 8,000 US shootings attributed to unseasonable heat – study Guardian (Dr. Kevin)
The rise and fall of peer review: Why the greatest scientific experiment in history failed, and why that’s a great thing Adam Mastroianni (Chuck L). Today’s must read.
Beijing Crematorium’s Death Surge Points to Rising Covid Toll in China Wall Street Journal (Dr. Kevin)
COVID has again surged through aged care homes, with weekly deaths in residential facilities eight times higher than at the end of the previous wave.#COVID19Aus #agedcare @AnikaWells @Mark_Butler_MP @AlboMP
— Denis – The COVID info guy – (@BigBadDenis) December 12, 2022
Virginia schools can require masking for peers and teachers of 12 students with disabilities, settlement states CNN. ma: “Glad I don’t have to administer this!”
The fentanyl wars: China, Mexico and the US Asia Times (Kevin W)
Chinese fighter jets’ South American hopes grounded as Argentina pulls purchase plan South China Morning Post
The US ambassador in Peru, Lisa Kenna, worked for the CIA for 9 years, and the Pentagon
2 days before the coup against elected left-wing President Pedro Castillo, Kenna met with Peru’s defense minister
He then ordered the military to oppose Castillohttps://t.co/zoZccmZ8KZ
— Ben Norton (@BenjaminNorton) December 15, 2022
>UK weather: More warnings of severe cold, ice and snow before blizzards sweep in Sky
They are laughing and treating the tax payer as their own personal ATM.
Your financial system, your money wasted on treacherous scoundrels desperately trying but failing to prop up Brexit
David Frost handed £26,000 after quitting as UK’s Brexit negotiator https://t.co/CqhocFIUZ5
— EuropeanPowell (@EuropeanPowell) December 17, 2022
Polish police chief, Jaroslaw Szymczyk injured after gift explosion New York Post. “Polish authorities have asked Ukrainian officials to “provide relevant explanations” as to why the gift exploded.”
“When I was rearranging the used grenade launchers, which were gifts from Ukrainians, an explosion occurred,” Szymczyk said.
— AZ 🛰🌏🌍🌎 (@AZgeopolitics) December 17, 2022
New Not-So-Cold War
Russia pounds Ukrainian infrastructure in ‘biggest attacks’ since invasion Financial Times. This was the day after the biggest attacks on Donetsk city. The Russians have been making big strikes on at least an every-other-week basis. If this one was meant to be in part retaliatory, the Western press is pointedly not taking notice. BTW Rybar disagrees:
Although the missile attack cannot be called the most massive in recent months, the number of missiles fired and the geography of targets are still impressive.
* * *
How to avoid another world war Henry Kissinger, Spectator. Kevin W: “Henry has gone senile going by his assumptions in this article.”
Diplomacy Watch: Is the Overton window of the Ukraine war’s end game shifting? Responsible Statecraft. Less deluded is still deluded.
America’s New Sanctions Strategy Foreign Affairs
Meloni fully supporting NATO’s war in Ukraine Defend Democracy
* * *
Volodymyr Zelensky and his generals explain why the war hangs in the balance Economist. Despite my allergy for this sort of thing, this is important, despite the rah rah set-up and the usual blather from Zelensky. The interviews with Generals Zaluzhny and Syrsky contain many admissions against interest. Contrast this with the statements from the British MoD: Western Hysteria Ramps Up Larry Johnson
How Putin’s technocrats saved the economy to fight a war they opposed Financial Times. Late to this, partly because it was obvious where it was going. Alexander Mercouris is right, the article is openly angry over the fact that Putin’s seen-as-liberal economics team didn’t turn on him. But it does not establish whether they opposed the recognition of the breakaway republics simply on economic grounds (the clear belief that the West would crush Russia with sanctions) or also because they opposed a war in Ukraine on political/moral grounds. The article presumes they are (or should have been) but relies on disapproving statements from outsiders or the few officials who did leave.
Also notice the image of Putin meeting with his advisers. Boy, did he NOT want to get Covid! Recall he skipped the 2021 G20 over professed Covid concerns. There are more recent shots and staged events with him sitting pretty close to individual officials. More confidence in Sputnik? Super ventilated offices? More risk tolerance?
* * *
What are they now talking about on Russian talk shows? Gilbert Doctorow
Moscow welcomes Turkey’s call for trilateral Syria diplomacy Middle East Online. Turkey finally mad enough about NATO provocations via Greece to join forces with Assad v. Americans.
Imperial Collapse Watch
We spent $1.7 trillion on this pic.twitter.com/1AG6RkdQ0n
— Secular Talk🎙 (@KyleKulinski) December 15, 2022
Shocking Video Shows Man Overboard Incident on Hospital Ship USNS Comfort QCaptain (guurst). For a degree-of-difficulty comparison, cruise ships do this maneuver all the time with that size or bigger tenders in ports where the ship is too big to cokc.
Our No Longer Free Press
From the Twitter Files: Twitter, The FBI Subsidiary Matt Taibbi (Chuck L)
Here’s the FBI just a month ago asking Twitter for *location* information on a bunch of Twitter users, including the conservative news site @RSBNetwork. The FBI asks Twitter to “voluntarily provide” info and helpfully suggests these users violated Terms of Service. https://t.co/dMSTO5TrWh
— Lee Fang (@lhfang) December 16, 2022
Twitter’s suspension of journalists sets ‘dangerous precedent’, UN warns Guardian. Kevin W: “Exclusion of independent journalists is still OK however.”
Most people defending @elonmusk’s new policy against live Tweeting flight data would have agreed with him if he had said the opposite and that live flight data is free speech.
Simping is a hell of a drug.
— Peter McCormack🏴☠️ (@PeterMcCormack) December 16, 2022
Linette Lopez is a good writer who mostly focused on Tesla and financial scams. Think what you will of this ban. https://t.co/VTkIaffXhB
— Matt Stoller (@matthewstoller) December 16, 2022
US ‘peak’ inflation talk misses the China point Asia Times (Kevin W)
Biden administration set to start refilling oil reserve Politico (Kevin W)
Democrats Plan To Return Over $1 Million From FTX Founder Sam Bankman-Fried The Verge. A small fraction of what it is known even now that they received.
Can Child Care Be a Big Business? Private Equity Thinks So. New York Times. fk: “Child care tollbooths?”
Goldman Sachs prepares to lay off almost 4,000 employees Financial Times
Antidote du jour (CV):
And a bonus:
Rudolph running late for Christmas.. 😂 pic.twitter.com/haDlM6OZcl
— Buitengebieden (@buitengebieden) December 17, 2022
See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.