For readers in Europe, Asia and Africa, and night owls in the Americas: We will be doing a Roundtable with Gonzalo Lira tomorrow, February 24, at 2 AM EST. We will post it on the site so you don’t have to run around finding it. You will also be able to watch it later at your leisure.
Apologies for the lack of original posts. Yours truly and Lambert got wrapped around the axle of what to say about China’s newly-released Global Security Initiative Concept Paper. It’s a poorly written document (and this is unlikely to be an artifact of translation; Xi’s readouts, published by the same agency, are crisp and clear) and treats quite a few things as factual or givens that aren’t. It’s also exhortative, which comes off as “China bossy”. Having said that, it also contains some promising bits.
I had mistakenly assumed this was the China position paper promised for the week of the SMO anniversary. Alexander Mercouris made great hay over the freakout at the Munich Security Conference of various leaders over the idea that China would be presenting a peace proposal, when China had purportedly only spoken of a position paper.
Wellie, it looks like the Munich Security Conference type were right. From China’s English language organ, Global Times, today:
China to find peace plan for Russia-Ukraine conflict when West failed to mediate but only add fuel to fire
China’s peace proposal provides Ukraine an opportunity to increase its strategic autonomy
Russia and China didn’t discuss Beijing’s ‘peace plan’ – Moscow RT
So no point in dealing with the turgid Global Security Initiative Concept Paper, although it does sound as if some of its ideas will also show up in the peace scheme.
Meteorite crater discovered in French winery PhysOrg
World’s largest fog harvester produces water from fog.
🎥 Wasser Stiftung#engineering pic.twitter.com/tdIevMo8f0
— Interesting Engineering (@IntEngineering) February 23, 2023
‘Düsseldorf patient’ cured of HIV in Germany after stem cell transplant Washington Post (furzy)
Science Falls Behind as Syphilis Stages Another Comeback TheScientist (guurst)
Big Tobacco’s ‘harm reduction’: Is it for real, or a sham? STAT (Dr. Kevin)
Meet the people who literally feel no fear ZMEScience (Dr. Kevin)
Vibrating Pill for Constipation Now Available Medscape (Dr. Kevin)
There is a worrying amount of fraud in medical research Economist (Dr. Kevin). Gee, ya think?
Biden Thinks Oil Will Be Around For A Decade—It’ll Be Much Longer OilPrice
Alarming Toxic ‘Forever Chemicals’ Found in Animals’ Blood Guardian
Unpriced climate risk and the potential consequences of overvaluation in US housing markets Nature (Dr. Kevin)
Is artificial light poisoning the planet? New Yorker (Paul R)
Italy faces new drought alert as Venice canals run dry Reuters (resilc)
There’s a lot of ridiculous commentary these days on China’s relationship with Russia.
When you do not even attempt to understand China’s context, you obviously won’t understand its position.
Small 🧵 to put things back into context.
— Arnaud Bertrand (@RnaudBertrand) February 22, 2023
U.S. Considers Release of Intelligence on China’s Potential Arms Transfer to Russia Wall Street Journal. Thought crimes? Seriously? This will not score any points with the Global South, and the EU needs to trade with China. So where does the US think trying to interfere in China’s relations with Russia, which China said is none of America’s business, will go?
China Tells Big Tech Companies Not To Offer ChatGPT Services Nikkei
Rishi Sunak held hostage by Tory ‘malcontents’ on Northern Ireland, says Labour Financial Times (Kevin W)
Supermarkets ration fruit and veg as shelves empty in supply shortage: Asda restricts sales of some items to three per customer as UK farmers switch off greenhouses amid soaring energy costs and Europe is hit by ‘perfect storm’ of growing issues Daily Mail
South of the Border
Trial of Mexico’s Former Top Cop Neglected U.S. Role in War on Drugs Intercept. Resilc: “I like the Hillary photo.”
New Not-So-Cold War
Ukraine. Military Summary And Analysis 2023.02.23 (Part 1 – Morning) Military Summary (Martin Oline). This is a special extra show. Russian MoD made an announcement that they have intel that Ukraine is planning to stage a provocation in Moldova with troops wearing Russian uniforms to serve as a pretext for capturing warehouses with Soviet tanks and 155mm howitzer shells. Will Mr. Kinzhal pay a visit to these warehouses first?
See also Slavyangrad, which is solid on battlefield developments:
The Ukrainian Operational Command North has warned that the enemy is preparing provocations for the anniversary of the invasion.
In particular, the movement of military equipment without insignia with uniformed military similar to the Ukrainian one near the border with the Chernigov Region has been recorded.
“This is evidenced by intelligence data, where the movement of columns of military equipment near the border with Chernigov region without insignia and live forces dressed in pixel, similar to the uniform of the Armed Forces of Ukraine,” the report said.
As a reminder, the Russian Defence Ministry earlier issued a similar message, but in a different direction. They said that Kiev intended to stage an attack by Russian troops from the territory of Transnistria.
Russian forces are attacking across the entire breadth of the Oskil axis, from Lyman to the border of Belgorod Oblast.
— Big Serge ☦️🇺🇸🇷🇺 (@witte_sergei) February 22, 2023
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German Lawmaker Calls for Nord Stream Probe Consortium News (furzy)
🇩🇪🇺🇦🇷🇺”The foreign minister[Baerbock] should watch what she says,verbal escalation can lead to an escalation of violence. We are helping Ukraine, but Germany is not at war with Russia. Mr. Scholz, stop Baerbock with her sloppy statements,” Söder said on Die Welt TV channel
— AZ 🛰🌏🌍🌎 (@AZgeopolitics) February 22, 2023
Zelensky Is Challenged by Return of Domestic Political Troubles Wall Street Journal. Wonder if this is narrative hedging for what happens when it eventually become impossible to hide Ukraine losses of men and important battles from its citizens.
* * *
West probes potential sanctions busting as exports to Russia’s neighbours surge Financial Times. Lead story.
* * *
PRESIDENT VLADIMIR PUTIN SIGNED SAFE CONDUCT FOR PRESIDENT JOSEPH BIDEN, ONE RETURN PRZEMYSL RAIL PASS, 24-HOUR LEAVE PASS FOR KIEV, IN “COVERT” MISSION TO FOOL NEW YORK TIMES, LONDON TIMES, FINANCIAL TIMES (AND IT DID) John Helmer. Demonstrating that Russia has air superiority even in western Ukraine.
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How The U.S. (And UK) Sabotaged Peace In Ukraine Moon of Alabama (Chuck L, Kevin W)
Russia Did The Right Thing At The Right Time By Suspending Participation In The New START Andrew Korybko (Chuck L)
“Navalny,” documentary nominated for March 12th Oscar, is disinformation Lucy Komisar. So Bellingcat has gone into the documentary business.
Sen. Bernie Sanders, “Embarrassed” by “racist” Israeli Government, Threatens to Withhold Aid Juan Cole (resilc)
A brutal Israeli raid in the occupied West Bank city of Nablus has left at least 10 Palestinians dead and over 100 injured. pic.twitter.com/2tJf1NwxIe
— The Cradle (@TheCradleMedia) February 22, 2023
Big Brother is Watching You Watch
Supreme Court not interested in hearing about NSA’s super-snoop schemes The Register
Samsung Says Users Will Be Able To Clone Their Voice To Respond To Calls The Verge. hope this will kill financial institutions trying to use voiceprints as ID.
Imperial Collapse Watch
Cuba and Vietnam: What’s the Difference? The Future of Freedom Foundation (resilc)
State Department explains cutting ties with Soros-funded group RT (Kevin W).
If you’ve got billions to spend it will be spent https://t.co/SoH2a8TabU
— chinahand (@chinahand) February 23, 2023
Supreme Court rules 9-0 that bankruptcy filers can’t avoid debt incurred by another’s fraud CNBC (Kevin W)
Supreme Court Rejects Ohio Man’s Bid To Sue Police Over Arrest of Facebook Parody NBC
Norfolk Southern Chemical Bomb
This was an extremely tough interview. What folks in East Palestine are going through is beyond words. The decisions they are needing to make are impossible. https://t.co/BAPdY86MnN
— Louis DeAngelis (@louisd217) February 22, 2023
Buttigieg Bashing Over Response to Ohio Derailment Turns Bipartisan Bloomberg (resilc)
Rail Unions Warned Us: Greed is Dangerous CounterPunch (resilc)
Gov. Tate Reeves unsure whether providing mothers health care would help their health Mississippi Today (Paul R). Only in America….
Governors form Reproductive Freedom Alliance to guard abortion rights USA Today (furzy)
L’affaire Jeffrey Epstein
EXCLUSIVE: Arkansas cops rule suicide in death of Clinton aide linked to Jeffrey Epstein – who was found shot and tied to a tree with an electrical cord around his neck – despite no sign of weapon Daily Mail (resilc)
Our No Longer Free Press
PATRICK LAWRENCE: Totalized Censorship Consortium News (furzy). Important.
Alabama star Miller delivered gun used in killing of young mother, police say Guardian (resilc)
AI-Created Images Lose US Copyrights In Test For New Technology Reuters
AI porn raises flags over deepfakes, consent and harassment of women Washington Post (resilc)
AI is Useful for Capitalists but Probably Terrible for Anyone Else Matthew Eric Bassett (Paul R)
Mormon church fined over scheme to hide $32 billion investment fund behind shell companies NBC (resilc)
Tuition Revenue Has Fallen at 61% of Colleges During the Pandemic Chronicle of Higher Education (resilc)
The college-age population is about to crash. It will change higher education forever. Vox (resilc)
US Housing Market Is Overvalued by Billions Due to Ignored Flood Risk Bloomberg (resilc)
Electric Vehicles Are a Status Symbol Now Atlantic (resilc)
How Much Money Do Pediatricians Really Make From Vaccines? Wellness and Equality (Kevin W)
McDonald’s locations in Pennsylvania broke child labor laws, with kids under 16 operating deep fryers, Labor Department says Business Insider (Kevin W)
Seattle becomes first US city to ban caste discrimination BBC (resilc)
Amazon Corporate Workers Face Pay Reduction After Shares Slip Wall Street Journal
Antidote du jour. A vintage pic taken by Marc B that has been marinading in my inbox. Please send images!
See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.