Sunday, 23 January 2022
And now we have it. This is not good.
Ta Kung Pao is now owned by the Liaison Office in Hong Kong, innocent-sounding name for the reps of China Communist Party. So it’s the voice of Beijing. No choice on the way we handle Covid. It’s Beijing’s. A skewering on One Country Two Systems.
I used to read and translate articles in the Ta Kung Pao back in the 70s, as part of Chinese language study. It was not then openly owned by Beijing but known to “reflect” China’s views and worth reading for that reason alone.
Saturday, 22 January 2022
Got around to discussing tests. All had RAT kits at home. All said “don’t use them!”. IOW, we have educated middle class folks, all saying “don’t test”.
If the result of a positive test were that you stayed at home for five days, people would test. If the result of a positive test is your whole apartment block locked down and you sent to Penny’s Bay Quarantine facility, well, who’s going to test?
And: Omicron peaked in all places it started >4 week ago. Australia is a strange case with eastern states over the hump, but WA still locked down. What happens when they open the borders?
All in the vid, with links given.
Friday, 21 January 2022
$US2 Billion ($A3 Billion) is quite a bit to invest, isn’t it? I mean, anywhere, right?
Thursday, 20 January 2022
Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor recently asked, ‘Don’t we all want to see over 90 per cent of people getting vaccinated, which would help resume normal life, and create better conditions for reopening borders in the future.
The bit circled: if you test positive, you and all your classmates and the teacher, or you and all your work colleagues, or you and all the other residents in your apartment block, all of you. will be sent off to quarantine in the Penny’s Bay facility. And it ain’t nice. So you gotta ask yourself what’s the incentive to self-test? I’ve got RAT kits, have tested once, negative. But I’m not going to again, unless forced to. Why would I? Why would anyone? If you’re triple-vaxxxed, Omicron is a minor threat to you and you are not a threat to others. (Testing would be done more readily if you were told to isolate at home if positive, instead of being immediately quarantined at Penny’s Bay).
I note the “Delta threat” in the headline. Whereas in other places Omicron is displacing Delta. Here it’s not being displaced coz Zero Covid policy. Meanwhile in other places, like US, UK, Omicron has spikd and case numbers are plunging. The figures at Our World in Data show hospitalisation and death rates at 10-20% what they were in the first Alpha and Delta waves. Australia is apparently stretched, bed-wise, but it’s a policy issue, mass testing, with positive RATs made to stay at home. Whereas the policy might be that the asymptomatic positives could be helping out in Covid wards.
Bottom headline, above: Cathay Pacific are being pummelled again. Made the scapegoat of the government’s ruinous policies. Pilots I speak to here in HK say they feel like the government is trying to shut it down. Even though 20% or so is owned by China Southern airways. Maybe. Or maybe it’s just collateral damage. Whatever, they’re currently losing billions a month. How long can that go on for? Our favourite-est airline, may sink, courtesy toughest quarantine in the world.
Wednesday, 19 January 2022
From tuition ban to Evergrande collapse, is China tripping over its chase for ‘common prosperity’? | SCMP
I’ve covered this a few times because it’s more than an anti-vax tennis champ being kicked out of Australia. It’s a story of deception, hubris, politics, schadenfreude.
One deception is of all the stories out there that Djokovic tried to enter Australia on false grounds, either without a visa, or that he lied in his visa application. Neither is true. And is in any case irrelevant to the ultimate reason the government gave for deporting him.
Djokovic had a visa issued by the Australian government after he was granted an exemption from vaccine -- by two Australian Medical Boards, as prescribed in the laws of our country -- because he had had Covid within the prescribed time, and so had natural immunity.
And the alleged lie, disputed by Djokovic, is in any case irrelevant. Indeed the Australian government acknowledged this in its deportation statement. It conceded that Djokovic both (1) “poses no threat to the Australian community” and (2) That he “has a valid visa issued by the Australian government”. So, in sum and to repeat: valid visa and no threat. But heaps of tweets and stories out there ignore or deny this. They are deceptive.
The other deception is the Australian government. They gave him a visa. Then kicked him out. Basis bogus reasoning, the hubris of “the law is the law” until “the law isn’t the law, coz we don’t like it”. Basis deceit, basic hubris and basic schadenfreude from those who want Djoko to suffer just as much as the rest of Australians have done, by blaming him, and not the government that led them to that suffering. Shame on ScoMo. Shame on the media who praise this authoritarian and deceptive ploy. Shame.
Greenwald is a left-wing human rights lawyer who broke the Edward Snowden papers. His voice takes a bit of getting used to. Over time I’ve come to appreciate his integrity. He hews to the truth as closest he can get to it. His intro to the vid above:
Note that the Australian government, in deporting Djokovic, did not contend that he posed a threat to the public health due to a risk of transmitting COVID. The opposite is true: the government acknowledged that he qualified for a legal exemption from the vaccine requirement to enter the country given that he just contracted COVID as reflected by a December 16 positive test, followed by a negative test on December 22, and therefore has high levels of natural immunity. That is why he received a legal visa to enter Australia despite being unvaccinated. The proffered justification from Immigration Minister Alex Hawke, who cancelled his visa and ordered him deported, was that Djokovic’s statements in April, 2020 implied that he was skeptical of vaccines, and the presence of someone in Australia who is viewed as an “icon” of personal choice would foster social disruption and “excite” anti-vaccine sentiments.
In other words, the principle just embraced by the Australian government and upheld by its judicial system (whose hands were largely tied due to the virtually absolute power vested in the government) is that anyone who has ever expressed any skepticism over vaccines in general, or the COVID vaccine in particular, can and should be denied entrance to the country and be prevented from pursuing their livelihood — even though the government admits they pose no threat to the public health by transmitting the virus to others. Immigration lawyers and civil liberties activists in the country are warning of the grave dangers posed to everyone from this precedent
Tuesday, 18 January 2022
Paul C.W. Chan dumps on Novak, Boris and Carrie. I’m on side with criticism of Boris and the HK pollies. Blatant hypocrisy. But the Djokovic case is misrepresented.
Phil C.W. Chan: The Australian government conceded Djokovic was "no risk" to the Austrlaian population and that he had a "valid visa" issued by itself, the government. They specifically conceded that. The reason they gave for deporting him was they didn't like one mildly questioning tweet from April 2020, pre-vaccines and said he had "an open mind". He is no anti-vax activist.
Australian immigration lawyers and Human Rights activists have voiced serious concern about the "chilling effect" of a government deporting people whose views hey may not like. I'm triple Vaxxxed, Australian, but appalled and ashamed of our government's capricious politically-driven actions. And shame on you, Chan, for egregiously misrepresenting that issue. (On Boris, btw, I agree…). 5m ago • Edited
Monday, 17 January 2022
Shellenberger's "San Fran-sicko" is on my table, ready to be read.
They’re looking forward to coming back to Hong Kong. Where they can be told what to do.
Meantime in Hong Kong, will vaccinating 5-yo be a “path out of the pandemic”: No it won’t. Because we’ve heard that numerous times before and the goal posts have been shifted again and again. Not to mention: why vaccinate 5 yo?
ADDED: Comments at the site are splitting 50/50 pro and con. The most popular at time of writing (17/1) is:
Sunday, 16 January 2022
Has the Left finally woken up to the devastating costs of implementing lockdowns? In its first edition of 2022, the Observer carried a surprisingly balanced interview with Professor Mark Woolhouse, a member of Sage whose new book — The Year the World Went Mad — argues that long lockdowns promoted more harm than good and failed to protect the vulnerable. Its favourable reception appears to herald a new direction in the critique of Covid measures and policies on the Left; for the first time, the question of what really represented the collective good in the Covid debate has been put on the table by a mainstream left-liberal publication. More… [Web Archive]
Saturday, 15 January 2022
As Chinese youth have become more pro their government and policies, so the West views of China have become more negative. Yet the Chinese youth believe the opposite: that the West has a positive view of China. Not so.
Both trends — Chinese yoof despising the West and the West hating on China — are pretty dangerous. Not just for the future, but, like, now. Xi Jinping’s government has fanned the anti-west feelings and is now incentivised to play to it, a nasty vicious circle. While what Trump started four years ago, seems to be working for Biden, Blinken & co.
Friday, 14 January 2022
The Guardian on this issue. Pointing out the danger and opaqueness of the government’s deportation order.
*ADDED: The article is headed “baffling defence of Djokovic”, when it’s not at all baffling. Macca is calling out the hypocrisy of the Oz government. Admitting he poses “negligible risk” to the Australian public (pretty much zero) but that he might “stir anti-vax sentiment”?? That’s how fragile we are now? At over 80% vaxxed already? Give me a break? Pure politics at play here.
*Or maybe not. I’ve seen reports that 80% of the Australian public think Djoko should have been kicked out. Cause “no one is above the game”. But they seem happy for an Oz Minister to be above the law by exercising an arbitrary right of deportation over its own Federal Court
Meantime Novak’s tennis playmates have thrown him under the bus. Preferring to criticise him, rather than a capricious government in no way “following the science”
Thursday, 13 January 2022
Man, oh man. It’s what I’ve said in this blog for over a year now. That school closures are a bad idea, and that both “the science” and experience prove it.
Collin Levy quotes some truly startling studies — from the World Bank, UNESCO and UNICEF no less — that school closures will cost $US 17 TRILLION in lifetime earnings. Poorer countries like Bangladesh, Philippines and Panama are going to suffer worse and fall even further behind. Lockdowns are exacerbating inequality. (ADDED: School closures a disaster)
Hong Kong should not be closing schools again. We only are because we are slaves to Beijing’s draconian Zero-Covid strategy.
The is playing out in Hong Kong, and children again have a starring role. On Tuesday, Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor that all kindergartens and primary schools will be closed for on-campus learning until after the Lunar New Year. With experience as a guide, it will be much longer than that.
The decision was made in pursuit of the city’s , in an effort to please Beijing, where the party leadership is using any means necessary to keep coronavirus cases low in the and the later this year.
Wednesday, 12 January 2022
Tuesday, 11 January 2022
- All disasters: $US 130 billion per year
- Climate-related disasters only: $US 94 billion per year
- 2019 World GDP: $US 88,000 billion
- Climate-related disaster costs per year as percent of world GDP = 0.107%
|Hong Kong closes the outdoors. Click to enlarge|
Monday, 10 January 2022
|Click above for vid|
With Webb we — humankind, Homo sapiens, the only species we know that can apprehend the universe — will learn more about the very beginnings of our universe, right back to the Big Bang. And also maybe find life on other planets. Big stuff. Exciting Science. Happening right now, right in front of us, and with the expertise of people like Dr Becky to explain it all to us, we the unwashed. What a privilege!
Cosmos Lab, 11 January
Sunday, 9 January 2022
Saturday, 8 January 2022
…the positives [of zero-Covid policy] are crowded out by thoughts of how much long-term disruption the city’s zero-Covid policy has brought to our lives. Restaurants that are one thing, but the zero-Covid-driven quarantine regime for travellers is a much more serious matter. It has cut deep into the fabric of the city and our lives.
We’ve been all but hermetically sealed off from the world for the past two years in support of zero-Covid. Who wants to spend as the cost of a holiday, a family visit or a business trip?
A catalyst seems to have been lacking for Hong Kong to rethink its zero-Covid strategy. The emergence of the may have changed that. The impracticality of sealing the city off from this highly infectious Covid-19 variant is becoming increasing evident.
The authorities need look no further than their own increasingly frantic actions to see that their ability to keep out Covid-19 is being stretched to breaking point. It’s time to reconsider the city’s approach.
Agree. (As I have done for a while!)
Friday, 7 January 2022
We’re not just vaxed, or vaxxed. We are Vaxxxed. Some are Vaxxxxed. And my letter on vaccination in HK
That’s so obvious, if lame, that it must’ve been said before. Double jabbed you’re VaXXed. Triple jabbed, like us, and you’re VaXXXed. Some people are even VaXXXXed.
Meantime Hong Kong continues to freak out …
“Gripped by fear”?? Get a grip SCMP. Images of the Joker, the Penguin, other Batman nemeses. They grip us with fear. Not Omicron. At least not me.
ADDED: my letter published today’s SCMP. Why can’t we be more like Australia? (In Vaccines, at least):