Tuesday, 17 May 2022

To Pool or not to Pool

Siena One, Discovery Bay, Hong Kong, looking East to Central
Our very lovely pool and beaches are open again. I’ve been swimming in the ocean, against government stipulations, all through the pandemic: my little bit of civil disobedience. The pool however is only really open now, yet I hesitate. Even though the weather is lovely, 22C and 50% humidity and clear skies.

Why?

Simple answer: because of the Vaccine Pass requirement to enter the Siena Club and pool.

[ADDED: I recognise how much of a “first world problem” this is. Worrying about where to swim. When, around the world people are struggling to live, to survive, to face war.... Still, we all have our quibbles, don’t we?]

I’m fully vaccinated, with three jabs, and have the required QR code on my iPhone. So it’s easy for me to comply. So why not comply?

1. Because it’s an arbitrary requirement, with no basis in science or experience in other countries. 

  1. Arbitrary” because it’s not a requirement to scan a QR code in places with high traffic like shopping malls, department stores and supermarkets. Whereas they are required in places with less traffic. This is bizarre and topsy-turvy. The biggest danger, such as it is, is in high-traffic environments, but that’s where there is no requirement to scan, purely because the logistics are too tough. Sure, that’s true. But it makes a nonsense of the rest of the policy. It ain’t science.
  2. Experience in other countries”: we have plenty now, from Europe, to Israel, to the US, where Vaccine passports were either considered and dropped, or, as in Israel, adopted then dropped because they were found to be ineffective in the main aim: to increase vaccine take-up.

2. Vaccine take up is now high in Hong Kong: over 90% fully vaccinated. And most of the people in the demographics of pool-goers will be close to 100%. So there is no need to require scans, based on the aim of increasing vax take-up.

3. It’s not my responsibility to protect the unvaccinated. Some will say it’s a “social duty” and that not doing it is “selfish”. But I’m not asked to refrain from driving a car because I may inadvertently harm someone. Same with vaccines. As the FAQs on the government website say: “... The Government has given the public sufficient time to get vaccinated”. But somehow it’s up to we vaxxed folks to be responsible for those that couldn’t be bothered? No.

4. The requirement is part of the government’s Zero Covid Policy. In that, it’s just following what it’s been laid down by Beijing. I’m not the only one to criticise Beijing’s ZCP. Even the WHO has said that it’s “unsustainable”. I don’t like to be a part of an ongoing deluded policy which is partly (largely?) to save Xi Jinping’s face. 

5. It’s government control gone wild. Which is part of our whole zero-Covid policy since 28 months ago. Always taking the path of most control and maximum panic. I’m just sick of it.

6. Government keeps records of where/when you’ve been. I don’t like this. And most people in other countries, ie, not the communist regimes like China, don’t like it either. Proof that the government keeps the records?:

When members of the public present their Vaccine Pass QR code for scanning, the “QR Code Verification Scanner” will record the partially masked number of personal identification document and name in an encrypted and hashed manner. When there are infection cases, the Contact Tracing Offices will require and authorise premises to upload the scanned record of the “QR Code Verification Scanner”. By comparing it with the hashed vaccination and other records registered by members of the public in the Government, close contacts and their contact methods can be identified in order to conduct contact tracing more accurately and quickly.

So I do my little bit of civic disobedience. I feel a letter to the editor coming up. Maybe this time the government will listen to me. They haven’t in the past, but you never know. 

ADDED: There was a Young Person’s debate on this recently, with Elaine Lai taking my position.

Monday, 16 May 2022

What a weird photo!

Front page of today’s South China Morning Post 
And a weird thing to get excited about! The first train on a new extension of our MTR Subway. When I first saw this photo, I thought it was a set up. But no, it’s real. 

Notes: all young boys. All masked. At 4:45 a.m. Many had waited overnight. Weird.

Another note: three years ago the same demographic— young boys — were trashing MTR stations in their “pro-democracy” protests and daubing them with graffiti like 黑铁 hei tie meaning “Black MTR” because it is government owned, and so represents the hated Beijing. 

Sunday, 15 May 2022

She’s a youngster really


She’s only 90, not 117!

I’d noted this yesterday and thought, wow! 117. And looked up, cause I thought, this must be the oldest person in the world right here in Hong Kong, but turns out that’s Lucile Randon, a French Nun, at 118.

In any case, she’s only 90! And my own mum is home there, rising 101.

Saturday, 14 May 2022

Monitoring the pandemic — sticking to the science. Not

 

Resolutely not following the science. Which in the UK “natural experiment” shows zero restrictions has better outcomes than zero covid policy. Oh no, we’ll do what Beijing says. Which it does to save face for Xi. And to show the “superiority of the socialist system”. Which, not. (I lived in China under socialism, in the 70s. Not good. To the extent that China has got out of poverty, it’s because of market forces, not because of socialism).

Underlined above: government adviser professor Yuen Kwok-young, says we can’t achieve zero-Covid. The collateral damage is too great. And let’s not focus on cases, but on deaths and hospitalisations. Hurrah! Only about a year later than the rest of the world found that out. Also one of the reasons our hospital system nearly collapsed was because every single case, whether or not symptomatic, was sent to hospital. That was always crazy. 

 But they don’t seem to be taking notice of professor Yuen. The headline tells us that. 

ADDED: Some of the collateral damage:



Friday, 13 May 2022

"Why are Asian-Americans being left out of diversity and equality initiatives?'

 

A paean to wokeness. Amy Wu, “a journalist based in New York and California”. Almost ’nuff said, right there. Another "oppressed" Asian woman living in comfort in the US. Writing an article that had the original headline: Still no seat at the table for nations “model minority”. Which looks like a headline they changed (to the one above) because it’s such arrant nonsense, as Amy Wu’s own experience shows. Anyhoo, here’s what I said at the site, and below I want to add to that a bit. 

My comment at the site: 

(1) "…shooting spree that killed six Asian women in Atlanta, Georgia.". This was shown to be an "anti-massage-girls" killing spree not a racial hate crime. It doesn't help Wu's case she gets basic facts wrong in the first para. 

(2) Hate crimes against Asian-Americans are overwhelmingly (data show) by Black Americans.

(3) Museum of Chinese in America "Responses": why highlight the discrimination, rather than the (obvious) successes, including that of Mx Wu...? 

(4) "… diversity, equity and inclusivity are more than just a job title". Yes! They are racist. They promote "race essentialism”. They have worsened race relations in America (data show) since this whole Woke movement overwhelmed us (A movement that Mx Wu, sadly but obviously, is in thrall to -- she clearly needs to be told how and what to think).

Weird isn't it? America is soooo raaacist that Asians perform at the TOP of the income ladder.…ADDED: "America … leading the world in really successful oppressed people” (@~5 mins)

Amy Wu’s two main points: (1) Asian Americans are are being “left out” of DIE initiatives, have “no seat at the table”. And (2) They’re subject to massive increases in Hate Crimes.

Re: The “no seat at the table” argument. No. They are getting more and more into areas they have an interest in: movies, politics, whatever. As even The Guardian shows. Mx Wu is behind the times. And/or the SCMP is.

Re the “massive increase in anti-Asian hate crimes”, here’s the facts:

That chart is from my own spreadsheet, using figures from FBI Crime Stats, generally recognised as the most authoritative source of US crime figures. 

Note that in her article Mx Wu only quotes percentage increases. Which sound scary. Like “300% increase in anti-asian crimes”. That hides when the increase is, say, from 2 cases to 8 cases, a 300% increase. But still to a small number of cases. That’s what’s happened above. There was an increase in anti-Asian hate crimes, but from a low base to a slightly less low base. Anti-Asian hate crimes are still very low, in the US. They are 73 times lower than anti-Jewish hate crimes. 

And do you hear Jews moaning? 

The anti-Jewish hate crimes has been at the top of the list for ages, pretty much forever. You know what you don’t hear? Jews moaning about it. Maybe they make some jokes about it in their stand-up comedy. But moaning, like we now have the Mx Wu’s and the Mx Youngs of the world. They just don’t. So I’m inclined to say to the Asian-American community: give it up. Being a victim is not a good way forward. You are not “Oppressed” because someone suggested you adopt an English name. You are not “Oppressed” because for decades you, as a group, were not interested in politics, and so are underrepresented. Yet when you did show interest, you’ve quickly made a mark. Give up on the moaning victimhood thing. 

Statement of personal interest: I’m married to an Asian person, one born and raised in Beijing. She is also not a fan of this racial essentialism, doesn’t want to be known as “Asian-anything”, or as a “woman of colour” (as she was for a while, until Asians again became “White” or “white-adjacent”). 

UK Professor of epidemiology shows lockdowns were ineffective

And this in The Guardian! Who were staunch hawks on lockdowns — “sooner, harder, quicker” lockdowns, masking, social distancing, quarantines, was their mantra. So I say good on The Guardian for carrying this story: Ending England’s Covid restrictions was divisive – but the data shows we were right

Clinical epidemiologist Raghib Ali shows how England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland all pursuing different Covid strategies makes a perfect “natural experiment”. England had the least strict measures since July 2021 and since February 2022 has had no restrictions at all. Others, especially Scotland, were — and remain — far more strict. Yet it’s England that has performed the best in terms of hospitalisations, deaths and even excess deaths. 

This is as close to science as you’ll get, as these are similar countries, with similar climates, demographics, societies, etc… ie, we’re comparing apples 🍏 with apples 🍏. 

Though we say here in Hong Kong “follow the science” we don’t. Our government will ignore this or find ways to dispute it.

By the way same is true for masking. Mask-mandated Scotland did worse than non-mask-mandated England. I think an explanation for “the studies show masks work” vs the experience of the UK, is that all the studies, apart from the single large-scale Yale study, are laboratory studies, done with crash-test dummies breathing out smoke. That’s different than the real world. The Yale study showed a small percentage point increase [0.4%) in protection from masks (7.2% infections without, vs 6.8% with). US states had similar outcomes — eg Kentucky split 50/50 in counties with/without mask mandates. There was barely any discernible difference in Covid infections. 

Monitoring the pandemic : and now it’s Beijing

“… truck drivers trapped in highways, children …sent to quarantine without parents, and pets being killed by prevention amd control workers — have been reported across the country. 

While Shanghai is still in lockdown. Zero-Covid policy cannot be questioned in China not even by WHO. The oleaginous Zhao Lilian blasted WHO for saying “zero-Covid is unsustainable”. 

“Dissent is mounting…”.As is online censorship. 

Thursday, 12 May 2022

What will happen if all humans die?

Lex Fridman talks to Chris Mason
And entropy goggles: look around where you are and imagine it in 500 years, 1,000 years, 10,000 years. 

Our place will be under water. Or at least below sea level (they might build levees)

Xi was praising Mao Tse-tung yesterday

Brilliant thinking: Mao hated sparrows and instituted
a campaign to kill them all. Result: locust plagues
that led to famine and millions dead
To the Youth League of the Chinese Communist Party. And I was disgusted. Disgusted that this horrid, murderous, mendacious, slovenly tyrant should be praised. Just as I’m always disgusted when I’m in China and a cabbie has a swinging doll of Mao, hanging from the rear view mirror.

I get it why Xi does this.  He gains legitimacy from being linked to Mao. At least in China where Mao is still revered. 

Mao killed more human beings, intentionally and as side effects of his disastrous policies, than anyone ever. Hitler killed 6 million Jews. Stalin 20 million Kulaks. Mao? Around 100 million, in the Anti-Rightist campaign, the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution. And he didn’t care. A complete psychopath. 

But China has never been able to come to terms with the man. He’s revered for establishing the “Peoples Republic” in 1949. Had he not it would have been Chiang Kai-shek, head of the Kuomintang. More corrupt (arguably) but would have been better for China in the long term. We’d now be dealing with a Democratic China. Not a buffoon of a Winnie the Pooh, who blunders around the region causing mayhem 

Not the Good news: ex-bishop of Hong Kong jailed

 

The 50-cent army is out in force in the comments at the story online. Beijing unleashes them whenever they think what they’re doing is — like this arresting a 90- year old Cardinal — a bit dodgy and likely not viewed well outside the communist party. So unleash the paid trolls! (And also any time it’s China-Oz relations, they get let out to smear Australia).

 Curse them! Some of the things they say are outright racist.

Wednesday, 11 May 2022

Crazy stats

Here's the best argument against the dopey case put forward by that young lady (Blacks are 38% of the prison population, but only 13% of the country population). Here it is:

Men and women are about 50/50 of the population. But the jail population is 92% male. Why is that?

Is it because of misandry

No.  (Obvs)

The actual reason is: because men commit more crimes than women. That's why there are more of them in jail than women. 

Ditto for the Black/White disparity in incarceration rates. Blacks, in America, commit more crimes, per capita, than whites. (and, btw, than Asians).

That clearly indoctrinated young lady raises as evidence the difference in sentencing between selling crack cocaine (which is mostly a Black thing) and selling powder cocaine (which is more of a white thing). But that disparity was due to a crime bill put forward by Senator Joe Biden back in 1984. For which he later apologised. And was never meant to mean more Blacks jailed. Just happened that Blacks dealt more in crack coke than powder coke. Joe was -- then as now -- clueless. But still, not institutional.  And it's been fixed. 

Charlie Kirk says there's more crime in the black community because of the breakdown of the Black family. It's true. Jason Riley (a Black man) discusses the death of the Black family

The young lady storms off. Saying "you haven't answered my questions". But what's really happened is that Charlie and co have not confirmed her priors. 

Monitoring the pandemic | more easing of lockdown

 


Tuesday, 10 May 2022

“Specious reasons” for zero-Covid

 

“Subdivided units” are a uniquely (perhaps) Hong Kong thing. Already small apartments, 30 to 80 sq. m. (300-800 sq ft) are subdivided into tiny units maybe 10 sq m.  TBF I don’t know how it’s even legal. I’ve been to a couple and I wouldn’t want our dog, Basil, to live there. They are for the poorest in our city.

Why on earth the government imagines people travelling internationally then coming back to a subdivided flat is a fair question, James Watkins. Hence calling out the “specious” bullshit.

In the “gee, d’ya think” category

 


Monday, 9 May 2022

What’s in a name? Oppression, victimhood and cultural imperialism

 Behold, the Oppression! Aria Young, the oppressed…
“What’s in a name? Oppression, victimhood and cultural imperialism”…If you’re newly woke, that is.

Young Yang Qinyue (杨沁樂) arrived in the US from her native Shanghai five years ago and promptly adopted an anglicised name, Aria Young. Wise move you’d think. Her friends suggested it would be easier for people. And it would. “Yang” and “Qin” will be commonly mispronounced. Aria/Qinyue was fine with that until now: newly woke, she finds it “confuses her cultural identity” that her anglicised name is “cultural imperialism” and she has to “go back to her cultural roots”.

Yikes!

I was in exactly the same situation in reverse, in 1976 when I arrived to study in China. For me it wasn’t even my choice.. I was just given a Chinese name 傅赛思 Fu Saisi by my Chinese teacher. A name I maintain to this day. I’m fine with it. I was fine with the fact that it was done for the convenience of the Chinese around me. For them “Forsythe” is almost impossible to say. (Just as Aria’s “Qin” is going to be mispronounced by most Americans). Here in Hong Kong, when giving my name over the phone, I often use “Lee” because that’s easier for Hongkongers. (By the way, here in Hong Kong it’s almost universal to have a mixed Chinese-English name).

But Ms Young has become woke. And that means you have to find some social injustice to fix. For her, it’s the horrid oppression of an English name. Forget that people around you find “Aria” easier than “Qinyue”. It’s oppression! It’s also self-righteous, self-indulgent nonsense. You can see just how oppressed she is in the photo above. Which makes it very hard to avoid saying, and I’m not going say, “if you don’t like it, how about heading back to China?”. Where Aria / Qinyue will find it impossible to air the opinions she now does on her “award-winning” podcast in America. 

Lord save us from wokeism.

ADDED: “Help! Help! I’m being repressed!” (Amazing how well Monty Python holds up after All these years)

ADDED: From David Thompson:

PF: Have a look at a young lady traumatised by a name change

Someone should tell Ms Qinyue that chippy, pretentious bint is not a great way to go through life. 

Somewhat related

And of course this

Why, it’s almost a pattern

I could do this all day.


China-Australia relations: threat of war, race-baiting feature in campaigning ahead of May 21 election

Some of the rhetoric in Oz, over this election campaign strikes me as silly or unhelpful. Like the one above. But is it “racist”. Not that one, though it’s called racist in this article. You could say the same about a Russia and Putin. Would that too be “racist”. Clearly not. 
There are proper worries about China’s influence in the Australia body politic, via its United Front Work Department, an arm of the CCP. We’re rightly worried about that. It’s nothing to do with racism. The “racism” tag is a lazy way of shutting down discussion. In this case about the malign influence of the Chinese Communist Party, especially on Australian Universities. (I say “malign” because, having experienced it first hand, I find Chinese socialism, China’s Leninist government, malign).

Surprise of the week — the lone candidate is elected!

They tried to get us ordinary folk to vote yesterday. For the single candidate for Hong Kong top gun, John Lee. But what was the point?  He won!

ADDED: An inside story tells us the vote was 99.2% in favour…. Gee! Even better than North Korea!

ADDED: Comments at the site, references to the Emperor’s new clothes:

Saturday, 7 May 2022

Monitoring the pandemic: first hints of dissention?

Couple comments:

Xi Jinping “pledged to fight any attempt to ‘distort, question and challenge’ the country’s [Zero covid] policies”.  PF: “distorting” is misinformation, so fair cop. But “questioning and challenging” is what everything should be about. 

Further down we’re told “China rightly maintains that human life is worth protecting…”. Well, excuse me! Like we don’t?! 

The editors say “dynamic Zero-Covid does nothing to raise hopes for an early reopening of the [Chinese] border with Hong Kong”. And the new administration has to “strike a balance to restore [infernatiinal] connectivity fundamental to Hong Kong’s standing.” 

That’s the first time in ages the Editorial in South China Morning Post — which I’ve said is the Voice of Beijing — has taken issue (“questioned”!) us following Beijing’s Zero Covid policy.

Friday, 6 May 2022

This is considered normal now?!

Apparently it’s quite acceptable now, the “new normal”, to call for Covid testing-forever, quarantine with ankle brackets, fines of $10,000 and jail for a year for non-compliance? And this is “the beauty of the system”? And this is considered “welcoming people back”?!

We have truly gone mad when this is mainstream and okay to promote. Shame on Douglas Wilson. Shame on our government and shame on all of us who’ve allowed the bizarre and unscientific lockdown policies.

Thursday, 5 May 2022

The damage from our Hong Kong lockdowns

 

Over the last twenty or so years, our average yearly GDP increase was 2.5%. So minus 4% is a 6.5% drop from the long-term average. That’s all due to lockdown policies, mainly consisting of what they call “Non pharmaceutical interventions” (NPIs). That is, social distancing, masks to be worn everywhere, pubs, clubs, gyms, hair salons, all closed, beaches and pools closed as well, maximum two to a table, and so on and so on and so, stupidly, on....

The downsides are never discussed. But here they are in stark. That damage, just to the GDP alone -- not counting mental health issues, increases in suicide rates, livelihoods lost due to bankruptcies, non-Covid deaths due to NPI policies and jamming hospitals full of asymptomatic Covid patients -- comes, annualised to 6.5% of our annual GDP of $US 350 billion, ie, $US 22.8 billion. To repeat: that’s a minimum. ADDED: In China it’s a loss of 3%, or $US 420 Billion annualised. Loss. Minimum. From lockdown. And $280Bn per year in testing. ADDED: While criticism of Zero Covid is censored.

There has to be a reckoning of this. Of the horrid, huge, costs of these NPIs. Which I’ve argued all along -- with the data to prove it -- have been ineffective. Or at best, somewhat effective; but surely not worth the cost. Not even -- and I dare to say it -- if there had been a few more deaths. We can’t go on living with the “if it saves on life, it’s worth it” philosophy. That’s not how we ever lived life before, and god help us if that’s where we end up.

I’m just back from a bike ride and even though there’s been some relaxation, as of today, of masking rules for outdoors, most people are out in the park, in a fresh easterly breeze, in the sun, alone or in couples, and all, all masked (save your’s truly, of course). I’ve yet to write my opus on masking, but will shortly. Short point is they are of limited use, always were of limited use, and outside they are of no use. Maybe even negative, for you don’t get as much sun. There we are, though. That’s how people have become habituated. I’ll bet there are plenty of them that don’t feel comfortable to not wear a mask. And what about little kids who’ve been wearing masks for maybe half their lives? How do they feel if told they don’t need to? Allora, e basta cosi.

I forgot to mention: pools were supposed to open today. Then our genius Chief Executive Carrie Lam announce that there’d be a delay of nine days, so pools could sanitise and tidy up. Huh? That’s just so incompetent that even the editorial in today’s SCMP called it a “pool fiasco”.

The Shocking Supreme Court Leak

Click for Bari Weiss at Substack
Now, everything seems to have been turned upside down, and the outrage, the uncontrollable or unslakable partisan fury, seems to have overtaken everything. Our sense of history, our respect for the institution, for norms, for even more basic human things: like trust, devotion, privacy, integrity. Jonathan Turley put it this way late last night: "There appears no ethical rule or institutional interest that can withstand this age of rage."

To the jaded and hardened who have already crossed over into this new age—an age in which power and winning are the only tests of virtue, and the old ideas, like civility and respect, now seem twee—the leak might seem normal or even necessary. But it is nothing more than the most recent salvo in our race to the bottom. [The rest...]

Wednesday, 4 May 2022

The world best predator — dragonflies on our couch

I’m a huge fan of dragonflies. They have 94% success when they attack prey. Lions and cheetahs have maybe 10%. They’re clever fliers, that we humans have no idea still how to mimic. I love to see them circling above our Koi Carp pond, zapping mosquitos and sand flies.

Deagonflies are the king predators. And my second favourite animal. My top favourite is the penguin.

Why penguins? I saw zillions in Antarctica. They are tough. They’re loyal. They’re monogamous. They’re good parents. They’re graceful swimmers. On land they’re Charlie Chaplin comedians. A wonderful, all round good animal. And no, not all animals are “good”. At least in our anthropomorphic view. Think mosquitos. Or cats.

Chronicling the pandemic in Hong Kong


More proof, in the red box, that all the masking and social distancing (aka NPIs) of the last three months were ineffective. Or at the very least not nearly as effective as the government’s  “we’re at WAR with the virus” narrative would have you believe. Some might say that the government’s position is unfalsifiable, because we can’t know what would have happened if we’d not had NPIs. Well, no. Because we have the experience around the world. All of which went through omicron waves, earlier than us, all remarkably similar in shape and duration, no matter strict NPIs or zero NPIs. I’ve shown that with WHO data.

Then there’s the supporting evidence from our very own omicron wave. Consider what our “Chief Executive” Carrie Lam says in the red box above.

Lam says: “The government was worried first stage relaxation … would cause a rebound in cases”. Nota Bene: you’re “worried” about a rebound only if you believed the NPIs were effective in the first place. And that therefore relaxing them would must lead to a rebound. We weren’t worried in this blog, because, as we argued, the wave was doing what it did. Whether or not we had strict NPIs. Because that was the case world-wide. Carrie was “worried”; now she’s not. But neither she nor her experts draw the obvious conclusion from that. Which ought to be a an independent enquiry into the pros and cons of our specific strict NPIs. (We’ve also been pushing vaccines, and now, somewhat belatedly, have high rates. Except, still, amongst the elderly, who are most in need and who ought to have been a focus from early on. Instead of spending millions sending us little “pandemic kits” with Traditional Chinese medicine. Really). While our “experts” can’t even agree if what we have is a pandemic or an epidemi

As I’ve noted before, The first indication of lack of effectiveness of Hong Kong NPIs was the upward trajectory of our omicron wave, back in Feb-March. We had NPIs from 6 January. Cases did not peak until 6 March, fully two months later. If the NPIs were effective, the cases would have started to ease at latest around 16 January, six or seven weeks before they actually did. A counter argument might be: “had we not had the masking, social distancing, etc, the cases would have been even higher”. Well, no. We already recorded the highest cases and deaths per million than anywhere else in the world. The highest. How many more do we think we might have had if we’d had strict NPIs? My guess is somewhere between “zero” and “bugger all”. After all, there wasn’t much room to get worse at the top of the curve. 

Here endeth my nerdy lesson.

Tuesday, 3 May 2022

Musk. Making funny faces at the Met (aka, making fun of the red carpet brigade)

Elon and Mummy Musk. Click for vid
Musk haters are saying this is him being "socially awkward". No it's not. It's him making fun of the glitterati on the red carpet. Trolling the elite. And aren’t the elite rather disgusting?! For a party that claims to care for the needy?!

ADDED: for the record. Kamala Harris speech on space, set to bongos

China in Europe

Watching a BBC story about Chinese companies doing the “Belt and Road” in Europe. 

One, in Croatia, in construction, has Labour contracts that are cut-and-paste from Middle East contracts. If an employee steals, their hand is amputated. If they kill someone, even accidentally, they are beheaded. Nice, right? 

Labourers are brought in from poorer countries like Vietnam and treated as indentured labourers. IOW, slaves.

BBC asked Five Chinese ambassadors in Europe to comment. All declined.

Shame on China. Slave driver!

(China has been doing the same in Africa, as we saw when we did our Cape go Cairo Africa car trip in 2011. Rampant oppression of local labour).

Monday, 2 May 2022

Musk and Moderation

This is a good article. It’s amazing -- though it shouldn’t be surprising, -- the amount of strawmannirg on the Left about Musk’s purchase of Twitter. Like the “death of democracy” type, by the reliably dopey Elizabeth Warren. Like that Musk is going to allow a “free-for-all” (no he’s not) that will allow hate speech and “literally” kill people. 

Well, no. Not if you see what Musk himself has said. Eg at his recent TED interview

Here, Jim Rutt analyses the issues from a point of actually understanding them. Differences between “Decorum moderation” and “point-of-view moderation”. 

Snip:

For over 40 years, I have been involved with moderating online communities, designing community software, and operating online community businesses. I have also been a power user in every generation of online community platforms from 1981 to today. With that experience in mind, I would like to offer a more nuanced look at the nature of moderation, and to suggest that Musk’s acquisition of Twitter could be a good thing. [More]

A leftie warms to Trump