Friday, 30 September 2022
It’s been decades in the making
A lot has been spent on trying to solve it.
A lot of money is committed to trying to solve it: 6% of the Cali budget, around $US 20 billion per year, or $500 for every man woman and child in the state.
What to do?
What do I know? Answer: nothing. What I do know is that there are different approaches. Some, the progressive ones, have been tried again and again, and have failed. At least so far. The measure of failure? That homelessness has gotten worse. Problem is data doesn’t matter. Same as with the response to “socialism has been tried and doesn’t work” which is: “well it hasn’t been tried properly”, we get the “we just have to try harder”. But getting ahead of myself. What are these main approaches to tackling the homelessness crisis in California?
Also known as: Systems vs Goals. Republicans think systems are better to deal with crises. Democrats think Goals are better. Also knows as “Shelter First” or “Housing First”.
“Shelter First” is: provide basic, clean bed and and chafed amenities. Work on mental health and drug addiction problems. Provide housing as a reward for steps forward.
“Housing First” is:provide a standalone, single-occupancy dwelling. Usually there is no follow up so high rate of people drop outs back to the streets to score. This is the policy being adopted now in California. But not the rest of America. So comparisons can be made. Shellenberger looks at the issues from all angles: the homeless, the carers, the non-profits, the parents, the kids.
Having been a progressive, environmental activist, Shellenberger is now a critic. As I said to Kenneth, well worth a read, no matter your politics. Even, ,synergies even especially, if you’re a self described progressive.
It’s only “progressive” if it progresses things. If it moves them forward. To a better place. The problem with treating the homeless crisis in Cali via progressive policies, is that they are no longer progressive. They’re doing the thing that Einstein warned about: trying the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. It’s like the Left’s view of socialism: “It’s only failed because it hasn’t been tried properly”.
I’ve been re-reading San Fransicko, coz researching the County Controller candidate Kenneth Meiji, yesterday. Who strikes me as a serious and committed young man. But driven by the same progressive policies that have captured Cali and captured the homeless issue -- aka “the homeless industrial complex”. IOW, don’t think it will work. And if so, what then? Surely young folks like him have to have some success to make it worth it for them. And to have success, he may need to look at and try some tough love, instead of puppy love.
Thursday, 29 September 2022
“Coronavirus: Chinese medicine may help relieve ‘long Covid’ symptoms such as fatigue, Hong Kong study shows”
Who is Kenneth Mejia? He’s the guy I referred to yesterday. In the post about Patrick Soon-Shiong.
And why do I care about him? Because I’d read that he said “defund the police town to the last dollar”. And this is a person going for be LA City Controller. Where we have family interests. Would you want someone like that in a city where crime is rising? We have family in LA. Hence the worry.
I delved into Kenneth. Did he really say that? Not so sure. Google him and he comes across as a fresh-faced young kid. Keen. Hard working. There’s nothing like “defund the police down to the last dollar.”
I do find reference to a website “mejiadangerous.com” but that is password-protected (?!). Mejia reports on money flowing to the LAPD, but not sure he wants to defund it “down the the last dollar”, which would be suicidal. He’s sure a leftie and a progressive. He’s photoed with Jane Fonda. She of “China Syndrome” which single-handedly enfeared the public against nuclear, so I’d label her as bigly responsible for our current carbon dioxide problems. But I doubt Kenneth even knows that. To him she’d just be a progressive icon.
Still I have hopes for the young lad. I emailed him. The book mentioned is “San Fransicko” which is a must-read for anyone interested in things Californian. Email:
Wednesday, 28 September 2022
Nika has forced the Times to endorse a radical socialist for the WeHo County Board. And as someone who has lived in an actual socialist country (China in the seventies) I have no time for socialism writ large. In my view, Patrick is doing harm to California by negligently allowing his crazy daughter to push her own extreme views through the West Coast’s “paper of record”. An early Guardian report.
Stick to bio-tech Patrick.
Tuesday, 27 September 2022
Monday, 26 September 2022
|There’s still all this PPE nonsense at our airport|
There’s still to be PCR testing at the airport, but apparently you won’t have to wait for the result. That’s a positive.
All this means easier for HK residents to travel and come back; not so sure it’ll be attractive enough to tourists. We’ll see. And travel to-fro the mainland has not improved as they have to do quarantine on the Chinese side, and by all accounts it can be pretty dire.
All other restrictions remain: limited numbers at restaurants and bars, limited opening times, vaccine passes mandated everywhere, masks mandated everywhere. So there’s all that that’s more restrictive than anywhere else in Asia.
|Depressing, to me, that nearly 40k people had Liked this|
by the time I had saw it today. Reich’s is a false narrative
|50% job losses after Reich’s NAFTA deal|
US Bureau of Labor Statistics figures
Sunday, 25 September 2022
|Click to enlarge|
To find todays cartoon funny, at some level you have to accept the notion that Trump is neo-Hitler. Looking back in his four years, Trump did some good things (Abraham Accords, First Steps Act) and some stupid things (Jan 6, et.seq.). But Hitlerian? I struggle to see anywhere anything like. If he was a would-be dictator, he was pretty bad at it. Those that hammer him for “election scepticism” — rebranded as “insurrection” — conveniently forget they spent four years and a whole independent investigation, the Mueller Report, to look at, and ultimately disprove, their obsession that 2016 was “illegitimate”. And continue to support Stacey Abrams’ bizarre and repeated claims that she “won” the 2018 election for governor of Georgia, despite having lost by over 50,000 votes,… four years ago! [Fact checked by WaPo]
Now, that’s funny.
Saturday, 24 September 2022
|Stromae, “Tous Les Mêmes”. Click for the vid. |
Quite one of his best
Stromae does the fantastic “Tous les Mêmes“, and also sings of the workers during Covid in Santé . The true heroes. Not the laptop class, but the working class. Good on him.
The pandemic was when we learnt we weren’t really all the same. There were those with their guaranteed incomes -- the "laptop class”: the media, the experts, the academics, the civil servants, the comfortable retirees -- and then there’s the “working class”, those out there making a living, making work for themselves and others, running pubs, making subs, manning checkouts, trucking orders, serving the laptop class. But heaven help them they dared complain, about being kept from their work -- then it was all “so you want to kill grandma” and how dare you, for “one death is too many”. Enough! For me that is.
Most of my friends and all of my family, me included, are members of the laptop class. All all either salaried or retired. I don’t know if they understand what the working class have gone through. Many, for sure, of the laptop class are oblivious. To the true suffering and for many the true disaster of this pandemic. Which for the laptop class was measured only in deaths. Not in lives ruined.
The reason I mention this now, at the fag-end (one hopes) of the pandemic, is that there’s a renewed push, I discern, to go back to days of lockdowns, because there’s yet another wave looming. And Long Covid. And children sickened. We can’t have that, so they say, so more lockdown. The working class, plus laptop class traitors like me, must resist. We must resist more lockdowns.
Me -- a laptop class member, retired and comfortable, but a traitor to my class -- I want us to ignore the looming waves. I’m right in its path of a wave, very vulnerable, as an elderly with comorbidities. But still, I don’t want the world to shut down again, for the sake of we vulnerable. Yet there are plenty who do. Especially doctors and experts. Who want us to contemplate and be afraid, of the horrid deaths from covid, of the fact that young ones do die of it, of the possibility of a new variant, of... whatever, of.... anything. Safetyism run riot.
ADDED: There’s another view, which maybe is also kind of in the space of Stromae. Adam Carolla talking to Michael Yo, about his thoughts on “chickthink”. Here.
Friday, 23 September 2022
Not a nice report in media freedom here in Hong Kong, with Lee issuing a lot of commie-speak pabulum: “Tell the Hong Kong story well…give correct information …carry on the tradition and forge ahead.…speak up against smearing by foreign forces.” Oh, those horrid “foreign forces”!
As we have dropped 60 places to 148 out of 160 on the global press freedom index. Gloom.
Thursday, 22 September 2022
|Baker Gardens, ACT. My proposed site for Australia’s first |
Small Modular Nuclear Reactor. (Google Maps)
"NIMBY OZ"I have an idea for Canberra. Install the latest nuclear technology, a Small Modular Reactor in a central suburb. And I know exactly where: Baker Gardens, Ainslie, Canberra, ACT. There’s an unused park in the middle of the Gardens that would be the perfect size and location. (see pic above).
A SMR of around 500MW capacity would generate enough power to provide for all of Canberra’s needs.
Thus, at one fell swoop, Canberra would become the Net Zero Capital of Australia. Perhaps the Net Zero capital of the world.
Imagine what a fillip this would be to our tired, our poor and huddled masses yearning to breathe a carbon-free future. Imagine a new Canberra Colussus!
“But, Peter”, I hear you object, “what about the waste?” Again, I have the answer.
When Michael Gibbon KC, counsel for Mermaids, was cross-examining Harris, he asked her to reflect on whether some people would understand “lesbian” to refer to something other than a natal female who is attracted to other natal females. Or, as he put it, would Harris consider whether some people would have a different understanding of “lesbian” from the understanding her organisation is based on?
Harris broke down into tears, asking: “That a lesbian can be a man with a penis?” After composing herself, she responded: “I’m going to speak for millions of lesbians around the world, who are lesbians because we love other women … We will not be erased and we will not have any man with a penis tell us he’s a lesbian because he feels he is.” [my emphasis]
|Four Men in a Voxy|
Joe, Gordie, your blogger PF, Rob. Outside the church where the Czar
and family were kept before being slaughtered by Lenin’s goons
a. So what? As in, t’were ever so. We’ve always done it. And they’ve always done it. It was China wot invented spy craft. As the Pentagon spokesman says above “It’s an aspect of warfare as old as warfare itself”.
b. In any case, the report says (though not the news item above) that open and official government Twitter posts get more Likes and Retweets than any of the fake ones; so…“so what?” even more.
c. Who does this help, this Stanford Report, other than enemies of the west? To answer my own question, no-one. Stanford University, the authors of the report, may think they are helping bring peace to the world, or adding to the sum of human knowledge. But they are achieving neither because a) we already knew w eeyhing they reported and b) they are giving more free ammunition to the anti-western cabal.
Note the underlined bit above:
…the accounts “consistently advanced narratives promoting the interests of the United States and its allies while opposing countries including Russia, China and Iran.”
Shocking! Can’t you just hear the disdain dripping off that sentence. To the authors, one feels, no aim is more ignoble than promoting the interests of the west. And, to them, it is good that this effort is “facing scrutiny”.
Well done, Stanford! Pinning your colours firmly to a mast of lovely countries, Russia, China, Iran. Just surprised they didn’t add North Korea and Cuba for good measure.
Wednesday, 21 September 2022
|Today South China Morning Post|
Tuesday, 20 September 2022
|The famous Richard Stone portrait. Click it for the full vid|
For a lifetime atheist like me, it’s weird to say “lay to rest”, but it seems a mark of respect for her quiet, unassuming faith. I’m happy to do it. The BBC was happy to do it. The BBC, btw, did an absolutely fabulous job throughout the ten days of mourning, and on this day, yesterday, of the funeral service and burial. The main commentator has the most silken voice. And he didn’t over-talk.
Andrew Sullivan, ex Brit now resident in the US, captures my own feelings best:
Part of the hard-to-explain grief I feel today is related to how staggeringly rare that level of self-restraint is today. Narcissism is everywhere. Every feeling we have is bound to be expressed. Self-revelation, transparency, authenticity — these are our values. The idea that we are firstly humans with duties to others that will require and demand the suppression of our own needs and feelings seems archaic. Elizabeth kept it alive simply by example.
With her death, it’s hard not to fear that so much she exemplified — restraint, duty, grace, reticence, persistence — are disappearing from the world. As long as she was there, they were at the center of an idea of Britishness that helped define the culture at its best. Perhaps the most famous woman in the world, she remained a sphinx, hard to decipher, impossible to label. She was not particularly beautiful or dashing or inspiring. She said nothing surprising. She was simply the Queen. She showed up. She got on with it. She was there. She was always there.
“An Icon, Not An Idol”, Andrew Sullivan.
Monday, 19 September 2022
The main point here is: you have to read / watch from the Red side, from the Blue side, and, for good measure, from the Green / middle as well.
As for the Martha’s Vineyard Mess, aka the Martha’s Vineyard Hypocrisy, the below grey area is about it: all agree it was a stunt. It was a pretty good one. Got the political class looking at the issue, that of illegal immigration, that till now they’ve studiously ignored or simply denied.
|Click for the video, 14:00|
Kyle Hill looks like a bit of a retro hippie, but he’s a bona fide science educator and knows whereof he speaks.
Which is the simple message I’ve been banging on for ages: Nuclear is safe; nuclear is secure; nuclear is cheap and nuclear is clean.
We are letting fear of nuclear stop what’s the simplest path forward to substantial, carbon free baseload power. Fear of fission trumping fear of climate change.
Shame on us. Shame on the Greens. As the Germans commit national suicide because of the German Greens influence. Mad Mutti Merkel has herself a lot to answer for. Closing nuclear after Fukushima! Which made no sense then and even less now. Truly shocking is: the Minster of Industry in Germany appears to give not a single hoot that his closing nuclear stations is going to shutter industries. And his Food Industry collegue doesn’t give a single hoot that his cutting fertiliser production will lead to hunger. “Criminals for a thousand years” as the Chinese would say. Crimes against humanity, in the sake of ideology.
|Sign in shopfront, Main St, Martha’s Vineyard. Similar lawn signs|
are all over the island
This is about the progressives of that chic holiday isle of Martha’s Vineyard. Home to rich Democrats. It’s about what they say they believe and what they actually do, when they’re faced with the reality of their own principles. This has come to sharp focus with the arrival of a small group of illegal immigrants. Sent to their cute, swank, liberal little town by the horrid monster in charge of Florida, Ron DeSantis.
What do the liberal folks of Martha’s Vineyard say? What do they say they believe?
Well, it’s all in the yard sign. The one above that’s on a window of a shop of Main St, Martha’s Vineyard. Lots of fine sentiments, including, re immigration: “We stand with immigrants, with refugees”, and “All are welcome here”.
What do the liberal folks of Martha’s Vineyard actually do? What do they actually believe?
When a few -- just 50, that’s a 5 and a zero -- immigrants actually land on their doorstep, and the locals realise what’s going on, they don’t say “You are welcome here”. No, they say: “you can’t stay here, we don’t have the room”. Really. They really said that. Right on the main street. And they said it on TV. They are unabashed. I gotta say, it’s truly shocking.
This “we don’t have the room” on an island that currently has 120,000 vacant rooms (per AirBnB). Because the season is over and those rooms are going to be vacant for six months. But no-one in town could find 25 rooms? Not one of these good folks who say “all are welcome here”? Not one of these good folks who trumpet themselves as so tolerant, can find just a few rooms, just a few? It beggars belief.
If you want to know what these fine and tolerant folks really think of the illegals, below is a tweet from Max Lefeld, a Martha’s Vineyard resident and head of a local charity, the Casa Venezuela Dallas foundation, which helps recent refugees. But still, according to Max, they’re just rubbish. They’re like Trash being tossed about. Talking of Ron DeSantis giving plane tickets to immigrants who were free to accept them or not, and who, on arrival, professed themselves “very happy”, to the few non-CNN journalist there, Max, our noted local philanthropist says it’s like....
Comparing the immigrants to trash. Mad Max.
You want to know what hypocrisy looks like, progressives? look in the mirror. Stare into it good and hard. This, in my life of 70+ years, is the most monstrous, the most cruel, the most hideous, the most... I dunno, just the most, MOST, horrid example of hypocrisy I’ve ever seen. Not a bigger one I’ve seen. If there is, please tell me. Till then, this is the worst. The most egregious.
“Martha’s Vineyard” ought to become the byword for Hypocrisy. It’s hypocrisy writ large.
Sunday, 18 September 2022
New York Times criticising it’s own liberal readership. Now that’s a unicorn!
Damning evidence of how NIMBYism flourishes. Makes inequality worse. Worse in Blue states than Red. Worse where the government is progressive than where it’s conservative.
|Martha’s Vineyard over 24 hours. Exactly|
"Republican governors slammed for migrant stunt". Bloomberg in SCMP.
It’s like internment:
It’s the same as slavery: Reverse Freedom Ride (on Takei’s twitter)
"It’s like the holocaust.” John Bernin on CNN. (The holocaust?? Really??!)
"DeSantis is a ‘bonehead’. These are actual real people you’re playing with here”. Whoopi Goldberg.
“Actual people”, yes indeed they are. Which is why we want to stop them being trafficked at the border, by cartels, then trucked around the country in the mid of night by Biden buses. And forgotten. -- or left to die in locked containers. Until a “bonehead” like DeSantis decides to make progressives face the reality of their very own policies, and flies a few to the most luxurious holiday resort in America. To make a point. Via a stunt. Or, else, it's exactly like the holocaust.
Illegal immigrants interviewed during this brouhaha say they are happy with their treatment. They’ve been treated better in the US than anywhere along their path to the US. They had a choice to go to Martha’s Vineyard or other sanctuary cities. They found the trip good and are happy with where they needed up. It’s “nice”. They make clear they came because they believed the borders were “Open”:
“We were told the border was open. It is open. And yes, we have entered illegally; still, the border is open”.
-- Illegal immigrant speaking outside the DC home of VP Harris who had said on that very day that “the border is secure”.
To see more of the outrage on the Left about the DeStantis “stunt", there's the MSM like CNN, NBC, ABC, PBS.
To see the take on it that is more “reality based" you’d need to hold your nose (if you’re on the Left) and go to the takes of Carlson and Shapiro. I’ve got my leanings, so I think they’re good takes. Do have a look, even you’re progressive Left.
Then I stumbled on another vid I’d seen last year, which is so relevant to today. The New York Times, no less, discussing the issue of NIMBYism in progressive circles. Those who say “I care for these people, but please, not here”. This is such a good vid and 14 minutes well spent: "Liberal Hypocrisy is Fueling American Inequality"
Meantime, a reminder of what this is all about: a tenfold increase in illegal immigration since Biden, which is impacting poor border state communities. And is ignored or denied until there’s a “stunt” like DeSantis’. Note the low illegals number under Barack Obama. He was all for secure borders, as I’ve noted before. Now he’s silent, which is his own hypocrisy. I think. Or has he really changed his mind? Oh, also forgot to mention: Joe Biden is quoted saying “Illegal immigrants are a gift”. Hmmm... this famous resident of Martha’s Vineyard not so sure about that gift now.
|US Border Patrol Stats, which I have updated with the |
latest, the red bar on the right. The jump under Biden is huge and shocking
Note that under Obama numbers continued the decline. As did Trump
Saturday, 17 September 2022
|My letter published today in the South China Morning Post|
Click to enlarge and clarify
Same day, today, front page is about how our HK Marathon has been cancelled! As well as the November Trailwalker. Oh dear. This is indeed depressing — even last year the Marathon went ahead. As I report in my letter above, Oz has been playing football in front of crowds up to 100,000 for months with no superspreader events. Here and scroll down.
Commenters are aghast. Some say that it’s Xi Jinping laying down the law to us. I’m not so sure, given that we’re already hermetically sealed off from the mainland. Our bureaucrats are quite capable themselves of making this lily-livered decision. Pusillanimous jerks.
BTW, there’s debate in government between (a) top officials and (b) their nominated “experts”: about whether Omicron is much more deadly than influenza, the views of (a) or only as deadly as the flu, the views of (b).
Top official Secretary of Health Lo Chung-mau: claims Covid is way more deadly than the flu — and therefore we need to “remain cautious”, etc. He comes to this conclusion by measuring the total deaths during the whole pandemic by the total infections. The experts note that Omicron death rates are way lower and that it’s more relevant to look at recent deaths vs recent infections.
Lo retorts: this is the fallacy of “range selection”. Which is often true: you can manipulate range, for example, to make it look like global temperatures are going up, down or sideways, depending on which range you choose. Agreed. [*] But this is a pandemic, not a long-term temperature series; infection rates and death rates have dropped sharply, and I think the argument is with (b) the experts. They say, given recent lower numbers, the death rates — the Infection Fatality Rate — is more like 0.098%. Which makes it more like the flu at 0.1%. That’s infectious disease experts talking, not me.
Given all that, it’s clear that the likes of Lo et.al. with their super-cautious mindsets are able, all on their own, to keep us locked down. We don’t need a Xi to put us in jail.
Meantime, a rather different headline in today’s paper: “Singapore is roaring back, with a series of high-profile events”.
[*] ADDED. Range fallacy example. (A) is long-term trend, which is UP. (B) is choosing a different range, trend DOWN. Not all cases are so obvious. Range choice can be put to all sorts of mischief.
Friday, 16 September 2022
|Kamala Harris: “The border is secure”|
Migrants: “We’ve been told the border is open; that’s why we’re climbing these walls”
BBC reported the above, kind of, and the reactions of those sanctuary cities, the ones being asked to house some - a tiny fraction - of those coming over the southern borders as a result of their policies. It reported their reactions and push back.
BBC did not note the Brobdingnagian Hypocrisy of those “sanctuary cities”. Not the tiniest hint. That is, the Biden Admin effectively opens the borders; millions flood in to border states which are forced to handle them, border states which oppose open border policies. Which then make a point by sending a few of these undocumented migrants to those cities that supported open border policies and which had declared themselves as “sanctuaries”. Who promptly howl indignantly. That is mass hypocrisy right there. But strangely unnoticed by the BBC.
BBC did not report that illegal immigrants interviewed said they had crossed the border, because “we heard the border was open, that’s why we came”. This from multiple migrants interviewed both at the border and at the “sanctuary cities”, to which they’d been flown or bussed. (In comfort, by the way, contra the charges of “cruelty”)
BBC did not report that Kamala Harris, the Biden-appointed “Border Czar”, has not been to visit the border. The Border Czar has not visited the border. Contemplate that.
BBC did not report that in her latest interview with Chuck Todd on NBC, Harris stated “the border is secure”. Which is at best... how does one put this?… “misspoken”; or more plainly, “a lie”. The border has seen a nearly ten fold increase in the illegal (“undocumented”) daily crossing since Biden took office. Annualised 2.6 million in 2022, vs 300k in 2018. This is the highest number of illegal border crossing, ever. And all Harris can do is tell Chuck "we need a pathway to citizenship”.
Now, you could be in favour of open borders, but if so you need to say so. The Democrats do not say this, because they know it’s not a winner (75% of Americans don’t want open borders). The odd thing is that it used to be the Democrats who were for legal immigration but against illegal immigration. The likes of Barack Obama and Bernie Samders said so quite explicitly. Now it’s the Republicans who are (also) for legal immigration but also for secure borders. For which they are simultaneously demonised and expected to bear all the consequences at Red border states while listening to the howls of anguish from Hypocrisy States when they’re made to face the consequences of their own policies.
Thus we’ve ended up in America with a kind of weird inversion. Democrats who are both for open borders and against them, and especially when they, the elites, are affected. For example...
Democrats in Martha’s Vineyard tell journalists they can’t handle a single busload of 50 migrants. Yet they expect border states to handle 200,000 a month. Again, hypocrisy, much?
I don’t know if the BBC is aware of all I’ve said above. If not, shame on them, because I’m aware of it, sitting on my bum here in Hong Kong. If they do know, but choose not to report, then also shame on them. They are either fools or knaves.In either case shame on them. For they should be reporting this.
Especially the interviews with migrants, speaking pitch-perfect English, and stating clearly and unequivocally: “We’ve been told the border is open. That’s why we came”.
|How one becomes “right”. From Colin Wright.|
The Overton Window shifts left.
Click here for Colin's talk with the Triggernometry lads
I came across the Institute for Strategic Dialogue (“powering solutions to extremism, hate and disinformation”) the other day. Seems pretty heavy hitting, financed by the Gates Foundation, George Soros, the WEF, various governments, etc. It’s aim is to "counter hate and disinformation". So I guessed I’d see measured, robust info on it. Silly me. Like many other -- increasing numbers -- organisations in the west, it’s been captured by today’s woke ideology, to an extreme and surprising extent.
The very first article I came to was something about trans issues. Which I happen to have been following for years. Bitching about “trans haters” and “trans disinformation” it is full of hate and disinformation itself. And quite clearly of the Left leaning Far Left.
See "Analyst Aoife Gallagher challenges anti-trans rhetoric in op-ed”, and then see my email comments to author Aoife Gallagher
MY EMAIL to firstname.lastname@example.org
TO: Please pass to: AOIFE GALLAGHER. RE: "Analyst Aoife Gallagher challenges anti-trans rhetoric in op-ed"