Saturday 31 December 2022

Something fishy... (the leitmotif of 2022)

Wajahat Ali, columnist on the New York Times and Daily Beast has a go at Florida governor Ron DeSantis, in his charmingly headlined “DeSantis’ Death Squad is Pushing Vaccine Bullshit to Win Over GOP” at the Daily Beast

In which he links to: “Two Years of U.S. Covid-19 Vaccines Have Prevented Millions of Hospitalizations and Deaths” at the Commonwealth Fund website (“ComFund”). 


The killing argument: If you want to win an argument without having to make a case, just say your opponent  “wants to kill grandma”, or “kill thousands” or that his officials are “death squads”. Honestly, it’s powerful persuasion. Hard to argue against. You can use it for pretty much anything: “You want to go out -- so you plan on killing people with your car, then?” or: “you’re living, you’re breathing, you want to boil the earth with your CO2?”. It’s silly but powerful. 

The bullshit argument: “Vaccine bullshit”? I followed DeSantis through the pandemic, and he never was against vaccines. Florida is one of the highest in the country, in terms of vaccinated percentage. So that headline is itself “bullshit”.  *ADDED: See map of US vaccine % by state at the bottom.

Investigating vaccines: Wanting to have an investigation into vaccine roll out, and the role of the major Pharmas, strikes me as making sense. The pharmas have made billions, and need to be looked at, in terms of the connections with politics and what they did to get approvals. EG: the FDA in America, the body tasked with approving vaccines, gets nearly 90% of its operational funding from big pharma. Isn’t that something to look at? Also, what role did big pharma play in stopping the research into off-the-shelf medicines? Why is Ali against this? Because his paymasters, the New York Times, told him to be? 

The nonsense “study”: The “Study” Wajahat Ali links to is not a “study” but a blog post. I could just as well say that a blog post I did back in 2020, about the efficacy of lockdowns, was a “study”. It’s blog post! 

Circular data: Not only is the “study” just a blog post, but it connects to no outside source for data (at least my 2020 one did!). All the links at ConFund refer back to the very same blog post! This is extraordinary. It’s a sham. If the “findings” were the opposite of what the narrative requires (ie that vaccines are wonderful and effective), we can be sure that the criticisms of its procedural flaws would have been immediate and vicious. How do I know that? Because that was the section of Wajahat Ali and his fellow travellers, to research on off-label medicines. 

Take the fact that the “study” by the ComFund, a ludicrous, pathetic, false, self-referential, non-credible study, is quoted by Biden, by Fauci, by Colbert, by Ali, et. al. Shame on all of them. 

There’s a chart and a table on the site of the “study”. The reference link to both is:

This link brings you straight back to the blog site! The root of the link is “”, a “digital object identifier", a bit like It’s a farce! It’s purely circular! I mean, my flabber is gasted at that. 

So, the figures quoted in the supposed “study” have no reference. But we can do some reverse engineering. The chart from the Commonwealth Fund site is:

Unvaccinated cases max per 100k = 550

And here is the chart from Our World in Figures, by the Oxford based research group for the same dates:

Maximum cases per 100k = 237

The ComFund have assumed -- repeat: assumed (for there is no data given) -- that the deaths absent vaccines would have been 550 per 100k. In reality -- in actual, real reality --  they were 237 per 100k, when the vaccination rate was still low. Thus: the number of those that would have been infected absent the vaccine is far lower than ComFund state.

We know from Pfizer themselves that they never even tested whether the vaccines were effective in stopping the spread.  We know, now, that that effectiveness approaches zero. 

Therefore the number of infections, absent a vaccine, would not have been the absurdly high figure used by ComFund, but much lower. And therefore counterfactual hospitalisations and deaths would also have been lower. Their counterfactual would not have been as extreme, as claimed above. 

Moreover, the amount of money ComFund claim has been “saved” is ludicrous. Using ComFund figures, they are $US62,000 per patient. But with so many in hospital, the marginal cost of an extra patient approaches zero.  There is no way the savings were in the “Trillions”. 

I’m not at all anti-vaccine. My family and I are all fully vaccinated. 

But I do take exception to people like Wajahat Ali, claiming the high ground, claiming to be for “the science” and then quoting unscientific, unverified “studies” to attack political opponents. Doing so on the bogus claim that he, Ali, and the Dems, are the ones “following the science”. Ali is either hypocritical or ignorant. In either case I call him out. 

That’s my final post for this year of 2022. And it’s on the theme of “something fishy”. Which, sadly, has been the case with a lot of the so-called “science” this year. All a bit fishy. 

And then at the end of the year we learn from Twitter Files that the FBI, the CIA and various of the mainstream media have been bed with big tech, including Facebook, to massage the message. To make sure that the plebs don’t hear what the elites don’t want them to, or don’t think they ought to hear. And all that has been dismissed as “conspiracy theory” is actually true. That’s all fishy  

They’re the ones that made all this fishy. 

Next year, the year of the Rabbit. Soft, fluffy, down a burrow. Maybe that’s where I’ll go. Or others should go? Who knows...

A peek ahead at tomorrow’s saying on my Christmas present calendar: “The world belongs to those who let go” by Lao Zi.  Letting go. That’s Wu Wei....


Source: CDC via New York Times 

Friday 30 December 2022

“Fauci Leaves a Broken Agency for His Successor” | Newsweek

Fauci’s office: you’re supposed to dial back on this stuff, after a while
In Newsweek, a left wing magazine! Criticism of “Saint Fauci” 

The things I have against Anthony Fauci are not his flip-flopping on things like masks, or vaccines, or schools or lockdowns (on all of which he’s held opposite views at various times). 

No, not those, bad as they are. It’s that he led the mob to silence people like Jay Bhattacharya, and the Great Barrington Declaration, that had important things to say about how to handle the pandemic, things that may have saved countless lives. Yet for the sake of a narrative that took hold early -- the lockdown narrative -- were sidelined. Fauci did that.

And for his involvement in hiding the gain-of-function research being done at the Wuhan Institute of Virology with moneys approved by Dr Fauci, as head of the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases and its budget of $US47 billion he allocated. Fauci did that.

That’s why I despise the man. Because he (very probably) was instrumental in starting the pandemic and then (not probably, but certainly) took part in suppressing debate on how to control it. 

“First in, last out: why can’t Hong Kong move on from masks already?” | SCMP

Hong Kong was and remains the only city *in the world* with mask mandates both indoors and outdoors. 

Our son, visiting from US, says all his mates have been fined $HK 5,000 at some time for not wearing a mask or not wearing it properly. He found it very weird to see everyone wearing masks. 

Note: the comments are running 100% pro the Christopher Ip letter and against the ongoing mask mandates.

The need to disentangle from Chinese government bullying

There is a growing danger of malign Chinese government influence on the west via our universities. Largely via Confucius Institutes (CI) and the Chinese Students and Scholars Association (CSSA). I’ve worried about this for years and meant to write something. Seth Kaplan and Mohn Metz have done the work for me.

When the first CIs were founded, I welcomed them as a chance for foreigners to learn the wonders of Chinese language and culture. I rather like Confucius. I’ve studied his works in the original and done calligraphy of some of his Analects

hoped the CIs would not turn political. But I was not surprised when they did. They are political with a very nasty twist. Pressure on universities to hew to Chinese policy and the Chinese world view: eg on Xinjiang and Tibet. Punishing China’s overseas students who step out of line; punishing their families at home in China. Communal guilt: very fascist.

This is happening all over the west. The vehicle of transmission to the CIs and CSSAs is the China United Front Works Department, not mentioned in this article, but established during the revolutionary wars and since grown into the largest covert propaganda body in the world.

Professor# Kaplan and Metz give a good account of what’s going on:

Shortly before the Winter Olympics in Beijing this past February, students at George Washington University (GWU) put up posters criticizing the Chinese government’s policies. The posters decried the internment and cultural genocide of Uyghurs, the crackdown on freedoms in Hong Kong, and China’s lack of transparency during the early weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic. They were quickly removed and would have gone largely unnoticed had it not been for the firestorm ignited by the university’s response to a student petition.

In the petition, which was sent directly to GWU’s president, Mark Wrighton, the Chinese Students and Scholars Association (CSSA) demanded that the university remove the posters, identify the students responsible, and “punish them severely” for “insult[ing] China.” In a leaked email response, Wrighton wrote that he was “personally offended” by the posters and promised to have them removed. Then, almost casually, he committed to “determin[ing] who [was] responsible.” There was a swift backlash both online, where freedom of expression advocates like the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression (FIRE) condemned the email, and among GWU students, who organized a protest in response. Within days, Wrighton issued a statement promising not to punish the students involved.

Given the freedoms typically touted on college campuses, GWU’s reactionary effort to limit student criticism of the Chinese government might stand out as unusual. But it is part of a larger pattern — one linked to a multipronged effort by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to influence and control its image abroad. That image is particularly vulnerable now because, as the U.S. Department of State and numerous other countries have concluded, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) is committing genocide against the Uyghur people, among other human rights abuses.[Read on…]

“Zero deaths from Covid” ~ Chinese government

“Zero deaths”. Sure
Burners” lining up in Beijing 

Thursday 29 December 2022

Circular arguments …



Today's joke comes from the prophet Mohammed himself as recorded in Sahih Bukhari 304, which I will transcribe here for your pleasure:

Once Allah's Messenger went out to the Musalla (to offer the prayer) of `Id-al-Adha or Al-Fitr prayer. Then he passed by the women and said, "O women! Give alms, as I have seen that the majority of the dwellers of Hell-fire were you (women)." They asked, "Why is it so, O Allah's Messenger?" He replied, "You curse frequently and are ungrateful to your husbands. I have not seen anyone more deficient in intelligence and religion than you. A cautious sensible man could be led astray by some of you." The women asked, "O Allah's Messenger! What is deficient in our intelligence and religion?" He said, "Is not the evidence of two women equal to the witness of one man?" They replied in the affirmative. He said, "This is the deficiency in her intelligence. Isn't it true that a woman can neither pray nor fast during her menses?" The women replied in the affirmative. He said, "This is the deficiency in her religion." 

Sum: “Women are stupid so we give them only half a vote. How do we know women are stupid? Because they only get half a vote”

“Australia is the world's largest lithium producer, so why are battery startups leaving?” | ABC Australia

I've seen this story so often. Australia has a world-level technology, but it goes  overseas. The "Tyranny of Distance".

Australia currently supplies 60 per cent of the world's lithium and boasts bountiful deposits of almost every raw material needed to create lithium-ion batteries.

But the majority of those materials are destined for International markets.

Australian startups are being lured overseas to capitalise on the booming electric vehicle market and are calling on the federal government to match other countries that are spending big to manufacture batteries domestically. Read the full story

“Why China’s selective Covid-19 data adds up to public distrust” | Josephine Ma, SCMP

More on the issue I raised yesterday — China’s nonsense Covid data. Why do it? Why be so patently wrong? When you could be more accurate and you get found out when you aren’t? Maybe the entropy of the bureaucracy? We’ve always hidden data from the masses; we always will.

By the way, this concealing of data and information goes all the way back to the beginnings of the pandemic. When news of the first cases was suppressed, doctors punished for exchanging information. Even though China was a signatory to requirements by the WHO for early reporting of new pathogens. A requirement mandated after he 2002 SARS epidemic, also originated in South China. 

Tuesday 27 December 2022

6 years ago, today

We had 30-odd folks over for this years Boxing Day party. Fussball World Cup was a scorcher, as exciting as France v Argentina! 

(Forgot to get a group pic 🤔)

Covid, Covid, nothing but Covid…

Covid covers all the front page of South China Morning Post 
And I’ve seen that there’s a new version of Covid, in China, similar to the original Wuhan virus, which they are calling “White lung” (白肺, Bái fèi). Blocking lungs, needing ventilators (again…). True or not I don’t know. It comes from reports inside China of X-rays posted by doctors. I can’t vouch for whether or not it’s misinformation, or a conspiracy theory. If true, it’s bad news. A highly contagious version with higher death toll than Omicron, and causing more hospitalisations. So I won’t be taking up the new China enticements of border reopening and no quarantine. 

China is no longer reporting Covid figures at a national level. The other day they reported 4,103 cases and zero deaths (!). But a Beijing based friend, tells us he is one of 70% of the city who has Omicron. Same day the Mayor of Qingdao, a city of 9 million, said his city alone had >500,000 cases and “thousands” of deaths. These actual on-the-ground figures made a nonsense of the official data, which were always patent nonsense. (A side note: YouTube rules around Covid are that you should quote info from the National Health Authorities. If you did that for China, you’d be promoting wild and monstrous misinformation).

Note: the surge in numbers predates the dropping of Zero Covid policy. The surge of Omicron (long predicted outside China)  led to the U-turn, not the other way around. People are now wondering what this means for the man most associated with ZCP, Xi Jinping. I just heard musings about this on Australia’s ABC Radio National. He staked a lot on the Zero Covid Policy, and Chinese netizens were encouraged to mock the west for “lying flat” (躺平,Tǎng píng). Mocking on the other side of their mouths, now, aren’t they?

Saturday 24 December 2022

Giardino Garibaldi, Palermo, Sicily, 28 May 2018

After the 2018 Mille Miglia

“Dana Rivers Is the Story the Media Doesn't Want You to Read” | Substack

Michfest was a long-running lesbian music festival, cancelled in 2015 because radical trans activism — which is to say natal men who identify as women — made it unsafe. 
This is just a part of the story of a murderous trans-woman (ie born male) Dana Rivers. Rather too much quoted from Rivers self-published porn for my taste, but still a saga of the dark side of sex self-identification. Which, by the way, has just become law in Spain and Scotland: you can now say you are the opposite sex just by stating it; from age 16. What could go wrong? 
Well… what could go wrong is what’s written about in this essay.
Solving trans-women’s issues by trouncing rights of natal women is not solving rights at all. 
Another lesbian Michfest-goer added, "Trans women were running through the woods showing festival-goers their junk and screaming at the gate. There were totally nude trans women in the showers, and women at the festival didn't want to shower or take children in there. There was also some incidents of people masturbating in public and screaming obscenities."
Like Rowling and Adichie, Vogel supports trans-identified rights. But nowhere, she sanely makes clear, should those rights ever include the right to destroy single-sex spaces. That is clearly and inherently an abusive demand. 

The essay by Mandy Stadtmiller at Rabbithole 

Friday 23 December 2022

Remembering “Suzanne"

Best watch the above before reading below
1969 in Canberra, Australia. 

I’m a uni student. Sharing a three bed house in Elder Street Braddon. Opposite the Ainslie Primary School, that I’d been to in 1958, a “new Australian”, put in the migrants’ class cause I couldn’t speak English, and now we live opposite it, we three friends, we old school friends, no harm having been done by being labelled “immigrant” at Ainslie Primary or even at being called “a wop” or a “dago” because I spoke Italian and was dark and chubby and Italian-looking. No harm done. And anyway I got back at them, as we went over every evening to pinch the unopened bottles of milk that kids had left, not wanting it. The left-over bottles were going to go to pigs anyway, so why not to us? 

We’re sitting there in 1969, in the autumn coolth, in Elder St, our house a mecca for mates, it’s our place, we live here, we pay rent and all that adult stuff, which was kinda new for us in our late teenage hood.  But wed run out of dope! I get the short straw. I was sent out to replenish our stash.

Rustle around for the cash for the stash. Thirty Oz dollars for an ounce in those days. I haven’t don’t the maths, but it’s not all that much and just the other day in Hong Kong, I was offered some at multiples of that price, even allowing for inflation. So we rustled together $30. It was around ten at night. They expected me back in an hour or less. 

Into my VW beetle, and off to see Brenda, living in the Civic Apartments. Canberra is such a land-prolific city that something like “apartments” is unusual. These were just three floors high, but  remarkable for Canberra.  

I knocked on the door. Come in. Opened into a smoky room with bodies. On the floor and beaning in bags. Brenda was somewhere in that smoke and she lazily bid me in. Something on the stereo. Leonard Cohen, I found out. My first taste. (by far not my last). 

I couldn’t just come straight out and ask for the dope. Courtesy. Brenda was no dealer. Just a friend. “Just” a friend? A friend then, and courtesies had to be gone though. 

I draped myself on a bean bag. 

I noticed that Brenda was busy. Sitting on the floor, with a saucer between her legs, working away at something. 

She kept at it as we chatted. 

She reached into the saucer, took something and put it to her mouth, sucked smoothly. Passed the saucer to the next bean bagger. Then offered it me.

“What is it?” I ask.

“California Gold."

Acid, huh? I’d never had it, but had read about it and heard about it. So...

“Sure, why not”, I say. “But how much?”. “Oh, it’s free”, she says. How much to take? She looks at me, big bloke, does her mental calculations, like a doctor. Two half tablets, she thought. 

They alway say “the rest is history". Except it wasn’t. Except it was. My own history, that night, which I’ve never forgotten. That night. 

The rest was a night of delightful hallucinations. Leonard Cohen's Suzanne took me by the hand and led me down to her boats by the river, and I heard the boats go by and I spent the night beside her. I knew she was half-crazy, but that’s why I wanted to be there; I was more than half crazy.

She fed me tea and oranges that came all the way from China. I had no love to give her, but she got me on her wavelength, she let the river answer for her: “you’ve always been my lover".

I wanted to travel with her, down the Swiss mountain side, cows smiling, cows talking, cows mooing, cows moaning, mooning and moaning about their tough lives, their sensitive udders, their signifiant udders, and I wanted to travel blind, but Suzanne tells me she will trust me. That I'd touched her perfect body with my mind. 

Can that be Jesus there? A sailor? Walking on water? Could that be? How, when I’ve never believed in you? I struggle to recall: I’m hallucinating. But it’s tough. Hallucination is real. I might believe in him, as he watched from his lonely wooden tower.
He said all men will be sailors, until the sea shall free them, and we’ve been free to sail these South China Seas and other seas, and Oceans, though Jesus himself was broken long before the sky would open. Forsaken, almost human, he sank beneath his wisdom like a stone. I wanted to travel with him, to travel blind and maybe even trust him.
And now Suzanne returns takes my hand and leads me to the river. She’s wearing...
She's wearing rags and feathers from Salvation Army counters. 
The sun poured down like honey on our lady of the harbour. She showed me where to look among the garbage and the flowers. She showed me the heroes in the seaweed, the children in the morning, leaning out for love. She said "they will lean that way forever”.
While Suzanne holds the mirror...
And I do want to travel with her, and I do want to travel blindAnd then I know that I can trust herFor she's touched my broken body with her mind.

And then it’s morning, I walk to my car. I forgot to buy the dope from Brenda. I’ve just been with Suzanne and Leonard and on the river walks and sea trips, and trip trips. 
I arrive back at Elder St. All quiet. It’s morning. All have left. 
On the mirror above the mantlepiece, someone has written in lipstick: “Forsythe, where are you??”

“Sun and Water”

This is a sensible thing to do on dams everywhere that you don’t otherwise use for water sports. We do some of it here in Hong Kong. Cover them in solar panels. Added plus: reduces evaporation.

I’m also posting it because of Fukushima. The ancient seaside nuclear power station that was knocked out by a tsunami in 2011. Critics of nuclear power point to it as an example of its dangers. When you respond that only one person was killed, and that was by a non-nuclear explosion — following a once in a millennium earth quake —  they may point to the land surrounding Fukushima that had to be evacuated. That’s a huge area of land. Yes… but. Most was evacuated because of the ravages of the tsunami, not the radiation leakage, which in the event was minimal. And we recall that 50,000 people were killed by the tidal wave, not the power station damage. In sum, we nuclear folk might say, what the Fukushima accident reveals is not the danger of nuclear power but its safety! An old technology reactor, right by the sea, gets hammered by 60-foot waves never before experienced, which breached the highest tsunami walls, and all tha pt happened was a Vapor explosion which killed one person. Pretty good extreme test! More recently built nuclear stations are even safer, if not invulnerable to an equivalent natural event. 

The above photo in today’s South China Morning Post gives me another angle. 

Let’s assume that instead of a nuclear power station in Fukushima, Japan had decided to use solar instead to generate the same amount of electricity, in the same location. The nuclear power station capacity was 3 Gw. That’s 15 times the size of the above array, which is 202 Mw. Look at the picture, scale given by the men at the bottom. Imagine fifteen times the size of that array, marching into the distance. It comes to an area greater than the land evacuated post tsunami. Which became reusable five years ago, while the land for the solar is constantly in use.

Not that I’m against Solar. I’m not. We have a solar array in our rooftop here in Hong Kong. We nuclear folks are “Solar, Wind and Nuclear”. The opposition are “Solar and Wind only”. Not because of a valid scientific objection. But because of fear

U.S. hate on China trumps its support for Hong Kong

Online here
Hong Kong has autonomy. Not independence, but autonomy. “Hong Kong people ruling Hong Kong” (港人治港, Gǎngrén Zhì Gǎng). One Country, Two Systems (一国两制, Yīguóliǎngzhì). This means separate memberships in the WTO, in the International Postal Union, in the Olympics and Asian Games, and so on. 

This means “Made in Hong Kong” on goods made here. 

The US is making us use “Made in China”. So that they are caught in US sanctions against China. They hate on China more than they love on us. I doubt they care one jot about our autonomy. Shame on them.

“50 years after Gough Whitlam established diplomatic relations with China, what has changed?"

Gough Whitlam gets close and personal with the Whispering Wall. Soon-to-be
Ambassador, Steve FitzGerald, looks on.
Click above to go the article at The Conversation
With thanks to an Occasional Reader for sending this. I’d been meaning to note the golden anniversary of Australia China relations. Seems not much is being done in Oz to celebrate, though it’s nice that Penny Wong and Wang Yi seem to have eased some of the trade tensions that have arisen from the Chinese trade sanctions on Australia. 
I was partner for seven years of that man labelled above, Steve Fitz Gerald. He accompanied Gough Whitlam on that 1971 trip and was to be named Australia’s first Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China in 1972. He was ambassador until 1977. I arrived at the Embassy in Peking -- as it was then in English -- in 1976, and served some time with Steve. When I came back to Australia in 1981, worked a bit for the Office of National Assessments as an intel analyst, until Steve made me an offer to join him in his firm, doing consulting on the then nascent Australian business involvement with China, focussing on investment and projects rather than straight trade. I was with Steve until 1990, when the fall-out from the Tiananmen massacres destroyed out business. I took an offer of the Australian government to go back to China as a Trade Commissioner, first to Shanghai then to Beijing, though that got short circuited by a revamp of Austrade and I ended up in Hong Kong as the regional boss, as Executive General Manager, East Asia. 
I knew Tony Walker, the author this piece when he was in Peking at the same time as me. That’d be around 1980-ish. We had quite a lot to do with each other, diplomat and journo, swapping stories, leads and scraps of intel. I admired Tony for his grit and determination to get a story, to get it right and to respect confidences.
He says that noone predicted the massive rise in China’s economy and Australia’s engagement with it. That’s mostly true. Though I do recall that Steve wrote several linked Ambassadorial Despatches which caused a ruckus in Canberra, in the Department of Foreign Affairs. Because he was predicting a rapid rise in China’s economy, opening of the Cultural sphere and huge opportunities for Australia. Most at aussie’s Foggy Bottom, pretty much all of it, thought he was over-egging. But it turned out his predictions actually under-estimated the history-crushing changes China was to go through. And out engagement with it. TL;DR of Tony’s figures: China’s economy in 1972 was twice as large as Australia’s; in 2020 it was 13 times as large. 
Tony concludes saying “ it would be foolish to bet against China”. And while I’ve also been saying that for pretty much four or five decades as well, I’m no longer so sure. There are some very serious problems on the ground in China -- debt overhang, failure of the consumer-led GDP to replace investment-led growth, unemployments, ageing population -- which might mean it’s had its apotheosis already. 

Thursday 22 December 2022

Wong and Wang make it right?

Trade Ministers: Penny Wong and Wang Yi.
What’s with the masks? Click above for article 
China backs off its trade sanctions on Australia. Reset. Why? 
My guess: 
(1) Change of Aussie government to Labor gives chance for China to ease back on their extreme Australia-bashing trade sanctions without losing too much face.
(2) Things not going so well in China. Zero Covid policy was ruinous and now the 180-degree turnaround is having its own impact. Beijing has to do something to help its economy. Enter Australia. Important middle-level power and major in the region.

ADDED: China trade-sanctioned Australia because Beijing didn’t like that Australia had demanded an international study of the source of Covid-19.  The sanctions were to “punish” Australia, and to scare off others. How dare Australia seek to find out the actual, real, source of the world’s most destructive pandemic in over a century? (More evidence, by the way, that China has something to hide, isn’t it? Something like a lab leak?). 
Beijing made the now notorious “14 Demands”, which expected Australia to kowtow to the dragon, before they would consider lifting the sanctions. We didn’t kowtow. Beijing blinked.
Some points:
1. The sanctions also harm Chinese companies and consumers. Chinese steel mills don’t import Australian iron ore and coking coal to do us a favour. They import our ores and our coal because they are the best, also the closest and the cheapest. Chinese consumers don’t eat Australian lobsters and drink our wine to do us a favour, but because they like them. Yum! And they are cheap compared to their European or US equivalents. Chinese steel miles and Shanghainese consumers, all got cranky with the government for the “punishment” of Australia. “You’re punishing us too!”.
2. Australia doesn’t rely on China as much as people think. Sure it’s important, mainly as a resources importer and source of students and tourists. But the Australian GNP is only 8.2% based on exports. China is less than half of that. Impact, yes, but not existential threat. 
3. The “14 Demands” reflect badly in Beijing. When they went globally viral, they were seen — correctly — as crass bullying. Australia, rightly, rejected them all. We said we’re not going to negotiate under threat. It seems China blinked first. 
4. China’s Oz trade sanctions flout WTO rules. (Need to double check)
5. Data tells the story, Australian historical and projected GDP:
Note that Australia experienced GDP drops a decade ago, little to do with China, and yet far greater than the marginal impact of China’s recent sanctions.

Yunnan, Dali 15 September 2014


Hong Kong’s biggest White Elephant?

Click above for article 
This is planned for just to our east, reclaimed from islands we’ve sailed around often. The cost will rise, they always do, to more than $US 100 billion. To build something that today some demographers and economists warn will be wasted. Because our population is declining; not increasing. 
It does seem as though the government has not taken that into account at all. At least they never mention it. Weird


If you’re not with us you’re against us…

Wednesday 21 December 2022

“City seeks to build a sense of belonging for young people”

A government App. Telling youth about a youth network. And the Basic Law. That’ll do it. That’ll make them happy with government and China. Sure. One thing youth really love is studying the Chinese constitution. That’ll make them “love the country” for sure.

Governments everywhere can’t seem to shake the delusion that they can lead by diktats from on high.

Tuesday 20 December 2022

Wintry HK backyard | Snowy?

Urging Australia to take the knee to China. No thanks.

Sameer Basha
accuses Australia of "Adventurism" and gives four examples, all of which I think were justified. My comment at the SCMP site:
(1) "…bans Huawei from 5G". Correct. It's a Security issue. China would not allow the equivalent in its country. 
(2) "Presssures China on Covid origins". Correct. Pressure is being kept up by WHO and internationally. [Added: this is an important issue and China should be shamed for not being more open]
(3) has "Torn up Victorian government MOU...". Correct. Because State governments don't have jurisdiction over foreign policy, same as in China. 
(4) has "Blocked Chinese takeover bids...". Correct when national security at stake, again same as in China.
Overall Basha's "analysis" is pro-Beijing propaganda, and ad hominem.

Monday 19 December 2022

Talking school lockdowns

Click above for vid. 41:45
An amazing interview. Jimmy Dore and Jennifer Sey. Important to point out, both are people of the left. Both registered Democrats, Jennifer having voted for Elizabeth Warren, which puts her at the left of the Democrats. Jimmy, the comedian with his own podcast. Jennifer ex of Levi’s, in line for the CEO position. 

She spoke out about the school lockdowns. About the damage being done to low income kids,mostly black and brown kids. About the hypocrisy of the elite sending kids to private schools which remained open, while public schools were closed and they supported that! 

Sunday 18 December 2022

“Lessons for Hong Kong from its futile, drawn-out pursuit of zero-Covid” | SCMP


Click to enlarge and clarify 
I’m just leaving this here.

“Shuang Q very much” and other Chinese slang

The top one is a Chinese transliteration of the English “Thank you”. Top ten online Chinese slang terms:

Shuān Q: “thank you” 栓Q
The Mandarin pronunciation of Shuan Q is similar to that of English for thank you. As well as being used to show gratitude, the term is often adopted by Chinese internet users when they feel speechless or fed up.
2 CPU/KTV/PPT/ICU: replacement for PUA
These English abbreviations are used as a substitute for another English term, PUA, or online pick-up artist, which describes how such online abusers sow self-doubt and confusion in the minds of their victims. Once, the abbreviation CPU was mistakenly used instead of PUA, sparking a craze to use other well-known abbreviations instead of PUA.
Yuān zhǒng or Da Yuan Zhong: silly or unlucky guy. 冤种
This is a colloquial term in northeastern China which originally described people who were in low spirits as a result of being wrongly treated. After being used by vloggers from northeastern China to mock themselves, the term became viral. Netizens use it to describe themselves or their close friends when they feel something is funny but also feel a bit sorry about it.

More here.

Saturday 17 December 2022

Nuclear Physicist REVIEWS Memes - Germany...


Nuclear physicist Elena Charatsidou with a particular focus on Germany. Because it was always weird that Gernamny decided to shut down its nuclear stations in response to Fukushima. When Gernamny had none of the geological risks of north-east Japan.

West Kowloon to Central 23 July 2019

From ‘Ozone’ 108th floor, IFC Tower, West Kowloon
overlooking Central, The Peak, South China Sea

“Now controversy strikes in baseball clip” | HK keeps pounding that Streisand effect

Online here
The HK government and its lackeys keep on bumbling and stumbling. Keeping on with the Streisand effect in something I’ve written about before. It’s hard to believe they’re still going on about this. Shows deep insecurity. 

“Controversy”? Really? In their minds, I think. Most people are laughing at the HK government, the police and the HK Baseball Association. 

Don’t they realise anyone can make a mash-up YouTube clip? It’s all over the internet. You can’t stop it. Good luck trying to prosecute the YouTuber “Free Bird @leeabel”. 

Related: Google won’t change search results for “Hong Kong anthem”. Part of the problem may be in translation. “Anthem” is translated as 国歌, Guógē, which back-translates to National Anthem. In English an “anthem” can be a song associated with any group, a football team, a city. There are anthems to New York, to Sydney, to the Yankees. In English it only becomes the National Anthem, when the word “national” is added in front, not the case with the Chinese version. In that sense HK has (or had) an anthem, a city anthem, as well as a national anthem (the one for China). Different songs for different times. Yet our government has so got its knickers in a twist that a teenager is in jail for posting about it. (Comments at that site are nearly all critical, bemoaning impedance of free speech and the legal system).

It’s always “foreign forces” involved when things go off-script in China

And so it is with the recent China-wide anti lockdown demonstrations. One wonders: who are they, these “foreign forces”? Not on the ground in China, for sure: (1) China has been shut down for three years and (2) the demos were all over the place; how could these evil “foreign forces” be everywhere? So we assume it’s internet stuff. People around the world covering and commenting. Which they do. These evil folk…

Asked repeatedly who they were, these “foreign forces”, ambassador Lu Shaye didn’t answer. Hmmm…

Friday 16 December 2022

“Chinese massive spread”

Click above for video 
Early in the pandemic virus experts told us zero Covid was impossible. I believed them. And so it has proven. China ignored that wisdom for three years. And now they have reversed. Numbers will skyrocket. We won’t know the real figures because we have not had realistic Covid data from the beginning. 

John Campbell with the news.

And WHO leaves the lab-leak theory of Covid origins right there on the table. They definitely suspect…