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Peter Forsythe in Hong Kong
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Do we believe these figures? Do I believe them? That 91% of Chinese tell the IPSOS Global Happiness Survey pollsters that they’re happy? Well, yes, on the whole and based just on my trips to China, where I always make a point of chatting to folks. All I talk to are happy, optimistic. Then again, I find that about the States, too, despite all the sturm und drang we see on the news. And most place, tbf. Except Russia, when we went across it in 2017, everyone seemed as sour as the borscht.
But Saudi Arabia at 86% happy? Huh? I’ve been there and I find it grim. Perhaps it’s because most Saudis haven’t been outside. Netherlands at 85%? Yes, believe, kind of… though there’s plenty of farmers who aren’t too happy with the government that wants to take away their farms because …”climate crisis”.
I wonder where Australia is. Hong Kong is fairly down the list.
ADDED: Australia is on 80%, quite high, but 4% down on the last survey. Hong Kong is not covered. Here.
|Early onboard. More folks turned up later!|
We see the playing out of the battle between highly-credentialed scientists on opposite sides of an issue. That’s science. Never settled. Redfield v Fauci on lab leak v zoonotic origin of Covid.
Update from Matt Ridley on the latest story about Racoon Dogs as a spreader. Word doc here.
A mate here in Hong Kong, a man I’ve known and loved for years and who I’ve always thought sound, says that he’s a full-on Biden supporter because, he says, Biden is a “steady pair of hands”.
Now here goes. And here goes — please to note — from a non-Trump person. Just I’m a Biden Bear big time. Joining other Democrats who criticise the man. As the late-night comedians used to do to any administration, part of the deal, to keep the powerful to account. But who now to a man are simply Biden boosters. Enough.
Off the top of the head, re Biden as a “safe pair of hands”. Nothing Googled:
“A steady pair of hands?”
A man who screwed up handling Covid, with unnecessary mandates and lockdowns — many that continue to this day. With zero sense and less science.
That locked down the economy, ruining mom-and-pop stores nationwide. That closed schools. When told Europe kept their schools open, said “that’s Europe, this is the US”. Science, right?
That pumped Trillions— with a “T” — of US dollars into the economy, to make up for his lockdown damage and when told this will lead to inflation said “no, it won’t”.
And when did lead to inflation was told it would lead to increase in interest rates, and said “no, it won’t”.
And when it did lead to increased interest rates, we have banking collapses, and stagflation — high interest rates, high inflation and high unemployment.
Which is where we are now.
And that’s just domestically. (And far from a full accounting of the domestic damage from Joe’s “steady hands”. E.G. the whole Title IX stuff, room for a book).
Afghanistan which he abandoned, even though he didn’t have to, that was just “steady hand Joe”. Which handed the Taliban not just the country, and all its women to suppress, but also hundreds of billions of latest American armaments. All unnecessary and so, so sad, for the abandoned people of Afghanistan.
And then have the green light for Putin to invade Ukraine, by letting him know the US would do nothing if they “just” invaded the East, the Donbas region. And so: Ukraine war.
And then bombed the Nordstream gas pipeline, to punish Germany for being too close to Russia, and lied about it, even as we know he did it — you could only believe he didn’t do it, if you’re the person that believes he’s a “steady pair of hands” — that’s an act of war on an ally.
And none of this to even mention his dealings with spies in China, with crooks in Ukraine, the money he made from them, all recorded by his crackhead son, on Hunter’s laptop, which the MSM assiduously ignores, because … well, “steady hands Joe.”
And not to mention — how can we?— that he shat in his pants in Germany. That he farted in front of the Queen. Well, she did laugh, so there’s that.
We have in Joe Biden a President who shits on the world, literally and figuratively, who farts in the face of royalty. Who screws up his own nation. And this man, this senile, this flatulent, this incompetent, this corrupt, this pathetic old man is …
“Steady hands Joe.”
BIDEN SUPPORTERS: give me the counter!
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She is a women’s rights activist. Saying “anti-trans” is wrong. As you’ll see from the long-form interview above.
She speaks for women’s rights in the face of intrusions by some in the trans community and Radical Trans Activists (TRA), many of whom are left wing and not at all trans!
Nazis turned up. Who knows why. Spoiling for a fight maybe? Or could they have been a Fifth Column? Sent in by TRAs to make Kellie-Jay look bad? So that bad across like the Victoria Premier Dan Andrews can call her a merchant of “hate speech”?
What she actually talks about is:
And yet when I look at Dan Andrews’ tweets, in all he talks as if the Nazis and Kellie-Jay Keen’s “Let Women Speak” were made to sound ine and the same. I’ve seen Keen in several long-form podcasts and she is in no way a Nazi and would have been horrified by Nazis intruding her get together, a gathering of women who are speaking up against the erosion of rights that were hard win over the last half century. Shame on Andrews, and all the MSM that you read if you Google “Kelly Jay Keen in Melbourne”.
ADDED: Kellie-Jay Keen on Wikipedia says she’s an “anti-trans activist”. If you look at what that means, she is none of it. She is only concerned with protecting the rights of women in the face of challenges by radical trans activists to overtake women’s spaces. Imagine young girls and women in female spaces being confronted by biological males, with full kit (around 95% of trans women have not removed their male genitalia). Women and girls don’t like it. Understandably. So where are the trans women to go? Answer: in the men’s room or in gender-neutral places (or ok in women’s room for the 5% who are post-operative, I presume). The answer to the sensitivity of some, can’t be to ignore the sensitivity of many.
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China never bought Australian coking coal, steaming coal, iron ore, lithium, seafood and wines as a favour to Australia. It did it because they needed and wanted these things. The only people they hurt were Chinese. Australia meanwhile quickly pivoted and found other markets. If you look at the historical GDP charts for this period for Australia, as I did a while back, you can hardly see a blip from the Chinese thuggery.
China deserves to suffer for this thuggish act. They still are.
Cochrane Library: Physical interventions to interrupt or reduce the spread of respiratory viruses. The WebArchive version is here.
Lead author Tom Jefferson comes with impressive resume. He digs deep into data. For example, in 2012 he was lead researcher on a study into oseltamivir (Tamiflu). According to Wikipedia:
In 2012, Jefferson was the lead author of another Cochrane review of this data which concluded that oseltamivir [Tamiflu] did not reduce the number of hospitalizations caused by influenza. Jefferson said that this review also found no evidence that oseltamivir stopped complications from the disease. The review is considered a landmark and is posted on the James Lind Library website which illustrates the development of fair tests of healthcare. [my emphasis]
The critics of the Study: abc News here, Conversations, here, New York Times, here (with critique here and here), The Guardian, here (with critique here). The Washington Post, here (with critique here)
The critics of the critics of the Study: Vinay Prasad* MD, MPH, here, here and here. Kevin Bass, here. Kyle Lamb, here. Paul D. Thacker, here. Rod Liddle, here.
The sum of all the critics of the study is: the study doesn’t show masks don’t work. It shows that there is no evidence that they do. IOW “the absence of evidence is not evidence of absence”, which is taken apart by Dr Prasad in his pieces above, where he says the Cochrane study is simply following the same standards used for the study of all other medicines and non-medical interventions. Masks ought not be treated differently.
Then: “it’s apples and oranges” comparison, a critique by both the Conversations criticism and The Guardian, so seems they’ve cribbed off each other. In any case, it’s a fact that’s acknowledged by the Cochrane study authors themselves. They worked with what data they had. And that data was mixed. In total data from 78 RCTs, 11 of which were post the start of Covid. They acknowledge this is not enough and we need more. A question might be asked: why has the CDC or UK equivalents not done so? Especially in relation to masking by children, on which there’s not a single RCT?
Their criticism seems to be: you’re measuring people as they actually use masks, not how they should be used. Well, exactly. Because how people use masks is how people use masks. You can’t force compliance with some correct way of wearing masks. I know that from here in Hong Kong, where we had a very compliant and obedient population, but after a while masks were below noses and on chins. That’s just the reality. And that’s also the reality of population-wide mandates. People just get sick of them. It’s even the way with doctors and nurses who all say that they never wear the mask the whole day. It’s just too unconformable to be worn non-stop.
(ADDED: quite a while back I thought there might be a difference in how masks work in a laboratory and how the work in the Real World. And it turns out that’s true.)
Agenda: what would be the agenda of people saying “masks don’t work”? What skin in the game do they have?? Shorting mask-making stocks? Whereas C. Raina MacIntyre, lead author of the Conversation piece reveals in her Disclosure statement that she works for a mask manufacturer. Not that I’m saying that may have influenced her views in any way. Just sayin’. To repeat: there can be no agenda for finding against masks, for what’s the gain?
Bottom line: Cochrane Library is the best collection of data on mask effectives that we have to date. It’s the best we know on the available evidence. If you don’t like it, then have other studies go at it. The authors of the Cochrane study suggest this themselves. Even taking into account the critics, the most we can say, the most mask-friendly thing we can say is that the study doesn’t show that they definitely don’t work. At the very best that’s inconclusive. And it’s not the extraordinary evidence we need for the extraordinary demands that are made by mandates. As I said in my letter to the editor, here.
End of the day, mask wearing or not became one remains tribal. If you’re of the mask wearing tribe, you’ll look at the headlines in the critics of the Cochrane study and conclude that masks do work. And if you’re in the anti mask-mandate tribe, you’ll take comfort from the Cocharane study and keep on leaving your face open to the fresh air. And you’d be more right about that. Because you’d be following The Science. As far we know it today. Science might change conclusions. But for now, it’s Cochrane.
And, on this I think I’m done. Till next time. Mask you later!
*Vinay Prasad MD MPH Hematologist Oncologist. Associate Professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics. www.vinayakkprasad.com
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This year the boats are all enclosed. In the past they were out in the open with cold waves crashing over them and the deck. I doubt we’ll see that again in round-the-world boats. This is the way for racing round the world. Carbon-light, foils, enclosed decks.
These are IMOCA 60 -- International Monohull Offshore Class Association, 60 feet long. They are all the same. So the first there is there winner. Scoring: first gets the most points, last the least (opposite of all the racing we’ve done in IRC boats, where the first gets one point, second two points, etc, and the aim is the least points. In the One-Class format, the aim is the most points).
Holcim has a handy lead at the half-way mark)
Why did Silicon Valley Bank go bust? Because its assets were eroded. Why that? Because it bought US Treasuries. Why that? Because “it’s gilt”, because the government encouraged them to do so — copper-bottomed blue-chip! But which then plunged in value. Why that? Because inflation >> higher interest rates. Higher interest rates >> lower bond price. Because that’s the iron law, the first thing I learned in 1969 in Eco 101, bond prices and interest rates are inversely correlated. Why inflation up? Because US government firehosed cash into the economy 2020-22. Why that? Because lockdowns, coz Covid. People needed money to make up for lost business. Why lockdowns? GOOD question! At the time there were other options, mainly the a great Barrington Declaration. But it was snuffed out because government had its own agenda: lockdowns are the only way. They were not. We knew then, but were ignored and vilified. We still know now.
To blame this on anything other than government mishandling is Silicon Valley BUNK.
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