Tuesday, 28 February 2023
Monday, 27 February 2023
Covid’s lost years: Hong Kong children bear the cost of missing school, as more are diagnosed with learning problems | SCMP
Sunday, 26 February 2023
|From today’s South China Morning Post Magazine|
This is exactly how I came to give up Beyond Meat, the “meatless meat”. Also Impossible Meat. I looked at the nutrition label and realised that it was that per serving and compared with real meat, it has: more calories, more salt (5 times the sodium!), more carbs, more fat and more chemicals. Pretty much worse in every way than real meat.
At about the same time as I learned eating meat is actually just fine. Then there was the whole thing about forests being stripped to grow soy to make fake meats. And I’d thought I was eating green!
I presume the joke is that the Military would have attacked had the Jan 6 mob been Black. But FBI stats show that the police do not randomly attack Black folks; let alone the military, who say “the only colour we see is khaki”. So this is more calumny than satire. But it’s harmful because police tend to pull back when they are relentlessly attacked for imagined brutality to the Black population.
The narrative, the incorrect narrative, of random widespread uniformed forces attacks on the Black community is harmful to the Black community.
Saturday, 25 February 2023
The rest though, pretty much spot on and I don’t usually agree with Dodwell!
|Take the test here|
We have a dinner the other night, with a couple we haven’t seen since Covid. Brexit comes up for some reason; when I say that I was in favour, the guy -- let’s call him Alex -- is shocked. He grills me, seeming to suggest that a Brexit vote is the vote of a rube and a racist.... a “right-winger”!
Friday, 24 February 2023
Covid: Hong Kong health experts back mask mandate till March 8 amid flu season, but children’s groups lament development delays in young ones | LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Thursday, 23 February 2023
|Chinese ambassador to U.N. Zhang Jun|
- Russia had Means but no Motive or Opportunity.
- US had Motive, Means and Opportunity. And a whistleblower
China has called on the United Nations to investigate the explosions on the Nord Stream gas pipelines, describing the blasts as a "deliberate act" by state actors.More…
At a UN Security Council briefing on Tuesday, Chinese ambassador Zhang Jun said China shared the position of many countries in calling for an investigation "to uncover the truth and identify those responsible".
Wednesday, 22 February 2023
International Finance Centre, 108-stories, on the left. There’s a lovely Bar, Ozone, on the top floor.
Three towers of The Gateway, Harbour centre, where I lived for three years, on the right. The white thing sticking out is the Pacific Club, with a great restaurant at the end, and covered air-conditioned tennis courts on the roof. I was a member when I lived at the Gateway, then called Harbour City. Mornings, I walked along the harbour front to take a ferry to my office over in Wanchai. That was in the 90s. Yummy times.
The view from Ozone, looking SW to Central and
over The Peak to the South China Sea
|“Whenever the impossible has been eliminated |
whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth”
I listened to the link on your blog with the interview of Jeffrey Sachs. Comments as follows:
- Prof Sachs sounds like a younger version of Chromsky. The US is the source of all evil in the world. And the CIA is the tip of the spear.
- Sachs does support well the case by the writer alleging that the US was behind the blow up of the pipelines.
- Sachs ends with the statement that diplomacy must prevail. Don’t we all agree with that. But we also must be realistic here, which the good professor seems to ignore. We are dealing with an imperialistic dictator who, in my estimation, will only stop if 1) he gets what he wants or 2) is removed from power.
- However, in the end, I am still not convinced that the US did this, and refer you to the interesting podcast by Anders Puck Nielsen that I sent you the link to.
Would like to hear your thoughts.
Let’s have a look at the evidence.
- "It was Russia": Anders Puck Nielsen, Videos: (1) Nordstream sabotage, 5 Oct 2022. (2) Why is the West not reacting? 9 Feb 2023
- "It was the U.S.": (3) Seymore Hersh, How America Took Out The Nord Stream Pipeline, Substack, 8 Feb 2023. (4) Video with Democracy Now! 15 Feb 2023
Russia: according to Nielsen to foment a “hybrid war”. He says this is a tactic that is more often resorted to by someone who is losing, not one who is winning, per (1) above. Granted, but speculative. Moreover, it has failed, per Nielsen’s own assessment (2) above. That’s about the totality of Russia’s motive, according to Nielsen, as far as I understand.
The U.S.: according to many observers and as recounted by Hersh in his essay, (3), the motives are clear and powerful. A selection from Hersh:
President Joseph Biden saw the pipelines as a vehicle for Vladimir Putin to weaponize natural gas for his political and territorial ambitions....
From its earliest days, Nord Stream 1 was seen by Washington and its anti-Russian NATO partners as a threat to western dominance....
... state gas and oil revenues were estimated in some years to amount to as much as 45 percent of Russia’s annual budget.
America’s political fears were real: Putin would now have an additional and much-needed major source of income, and Germany and the rest of Western Europe would become addicted to low-cost natural gas supplied by Russia—while diminishing European reliance on America. In fact, that’s exactly what happened. Many Germans saw Nord Stream 1 as part of the deliverance of former Chancellor Willy Brandt’s famed Ostpolitik theory, which would enable postwar Germany to rehabilitate itself and other European nations destroyed in World War II by, among other initiatives, utilizing cheap Russian gas to fuel a prosperous Western European market and trading economy....
As long as Europe remained dependent on the pipelines for cheap natural gas, Washington was afraid that countries like Germany would be reluctant to supply Ukraine with the money and weapons it needed to defeat Russia.
Asked at a press conference last September about the consequences of the worsening energy crisis in Western Europe, Blinken described the moment as a potentially good one:
“It’s a tremendous opportunity to once and for all remove the dependence on Russian energy and thus to take away from Vladimir Putin the weaponization of energy as a means of advancing his imperial designs. That’s very significant and that offers tremendous strategic opportunity for the years to come, but meanwhile we’re determined to do everything we possibly can to make sure the consequences of all of this are not borne by citizens in our countries or, for that matter, around the world.”
More recently, Victoria Nuland expressed satisfaction at the demise of the newest of the pipelines. Testifying at a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing in late January she told Senator Ted Cruz, “Like you, I am, and I think the Administration is, very gratified to know that Nord Stream 2 is now, as you like to say, a hunk of metal at the bottom of the sea.”
Means and Opportunity:
Russia: Nielsen doesn’t go into this, though I guess we can assume Russia has the Means. Did it have the Opportunity, though? Not so clear, given how closely NATO partners follow what the Russian are up to in the Baltic and that the explosions took place in shallow water off an island near both Sweden and Denmark. Without being seen? I class this as unlikely.
U.S.: The United States had both the Means and the Opportunity. The Means was the US Navy’s Mining corps and the Opportunity was the joint Nato exercises in and around the region, which made it easy to hide their activity. Hersh sets this out in detail in (3), above, and talks about it in (4).
1. President Biden and Victoria Nuland, Under-Secretary of State, both said that the US would close down the Nordstream pipelines if Russia invaded Ukraine. That’s in Hersh (3). Nielsen dismisses this outright, for reasons that I can’t fathom. It’s like dismissing a murder suspects comments “I’m going to kill that dude”, when he later stands over the dead body of said dude. In particular, Biden’s smirk as he says “I promise we will be able to do that [bring an end to the pipeline]” is pretty much probative!
2. The Russians have tried to repair the pipeline, as reported in the New York Times. Why would they do that, if they had just deliberately bombed it? And why does Nielsen say nothing about that?
3. In his second video (2) Nielsen refers to the Hersh Substack essay, but only to say that it’s “not credible”, without explaining why. It’s best not to address it, I guess, when you’ve made a clear case for its being Russia (1), some months before.
4. The U.S. has made no obvious efforts to find out who it was, if it was not them. They could easily send a submersible to the seabed to collect debris and to test it for the explosive type, which would quickly identify who did it. They had not done that.
So, on the one hand we have Anders Puck Nielsen, a Danish military strategy teacher, impressive in his videos, but no deep connections inside the US military as far as I can see. And on the other we have Seymore Hersh, of whom the New Yorker magazine, a magazine of the elite left, famed for its reportage, said:
Seymour M. Hersh wrote his first piece for The New Yorker in 1971 and has been a regular contributor to the magazine since 1993. His journalism and publishing awards include a Pulitzer Prize, five George Polk Awards, two National Magazine Awards, and more than a dozen other prizes for investigative reporting. As a staff writer, Hersh won a National Magazine Award for Public Interest for his 2003 articles “Lunch with the Chairman,” “Selective Intelligence,” and “The Stovepipe.” In 2004, Hersh exposed the Abu Ghraib prison scandal in a series of pieces in the magazine; in 2005, he again received a National Magazine Award for Public Interest, an Overseas Press Club Award, the National Press Foundation’s Kiplinger Distinguished Contributions to Journalism Award, and his fifth George Polk Award, making him that award’s most honored laureate.
One should not argue a case on the basis of authority, but... it’s hard not to note that one of these has access to the US establishment and the other does not.
One has given us a few videos, the other has given us a detailed essay, with time, place, method, as well as powerful motive. All from a whistleblower involved in the planning and execution of the plot. We can only dismiss the whistleblower if either (a0 we think Hersh is lying. I don’t find that in the least credible. or (b) if Hersh was lied to. Maybe. But he’s been around the paddock quite a few times. I doubt he would be lied to and believe it. On the other side, what about the denials from the Biden administration? I count those for nothing. Not only have they done that time and again to Hersh’s reporting which has been found to be truthful and accurate; but we have seen in recent months, courtesy the Twitter files, just how much officials and the intelligence community has lied to us.
If it’s a vote: I go for the Hersh case. Overall, US: 90%. Russia: 6%. Anyone else: 4%.
Tuesday, 21 February 2023
|Sweet Gum Woods in Tai Lam Country Park, |
in the northwest New Territories of Hong Kong.
I lived years in the centre of Hong Kong before I became aware of the beautiful country parks around us. I’ve now hiked most of them, and done all of the most famous, like the 100km McLehose Trail, the Hong Kong Trail, the Wilson Trail and the Lantau Trail. They are some of the most beautiful in Asia and now the magnet for all sorts of trail racing for folks around the world. At this time of year, with temperatures maxing around 22C they’re perfect walking trails.
|“Thousand Islands Lake”, Tai Tam|
|Click above for video|
Monday, 20 February 2023
|Click above for article. My comments on it below|
(1) The WHO were late in declaring a "pandemic", because of Chinese pressure.
(2) The WHO were late in admitting there was human-to-human transmission of Covid, because of Chinese pressure.
(3) The WHO did not criticise China for its failure to give early warning of the virus, as they were obliged to do under protocols established (and agreed by China) post-SARS, because of Chinese pressure.
(4) The WHO spoke glowingly (early 2020) of the Wuhan lockdowns — which was instrumental in convincing western governments to do the same, lockdowns which have in many cases been harmful.
(5) The WHO failed to give early advice to close borders to travel from Wuhan/Hubei.
(6) The WHO whitewashed an official investigation to the origins of Covid, agreeing -- under Chinese pressure -- to say a lab leak was "extremely unlikely" (I don't think it is, and neither, I believe, does the majority of expert opinion). The WHO have since said they will abandon the second phase of the investigation into Covid-19 origins. Great.
(7)The WHO had nothing to do with the development of vaccines. They confined their involvement to berating western governments for “lack of equity” in their distribution.
(8) Along the way, the WHO failed to support the Great Barrington Declaration of “Focussed Protection”, failing even to give a chance for it to be debated. Focussed protection is now agreed to be the better way to handle a pandemic as opposed to global lockdowns.
(9) I also seem to remember, but I’m not so sure, that the WHO failed to tell us early enough that Covid is aerosol-borne and not spread by fomites (droplets). Handling of each type is dramatically different.
(10) Masks: the WHO gave conflicting advice. Though, TBF, so did everyone. Then again, you’d expect the WHO to have it right, if anyone would, wouldn’t you? And they could have tried to resolve the issue with RCTs on effectiveness of mask usage IRL, outside the laboratory, but failed to do so.
Meantime the EU — that most close-knit of regional organisations — immediately as Covid struck, reverted to handling of lockdowns, of vaccines, of the whole panoply of Covid responses, medical and NPI, on a national level — not as a unified Europe. If the EU can’t do it, how do we expect the WHO, this failure of an international body, to do it globally?
Yet the WHO — with David Dodwell dutifully cheering it on — wants us to give it *hundreds of billions* of dollars — perennially! — to pursue an international pandemic *Treaty*?? To develop a “global system” of pandemic handling that experience shows us will crumple at the first encounter with reality?
Pull the other one, David!
|Click above for video|
I’d be one of the few occasional readers of this blog who has actually been to North Korea, several times in the 1980s and 1990s. We knew the stories then. We know them now. They haven’t changed much and they are consistent with each other. The brutal oppression, the lack of any rights, the human trafficking, the multi-generational punishments. Some of which we now do in the west.
Yeonmi Park speaks well and movingly. Most damning of the cowardice of current western culture are her reflections of study at the Ivy League Columbia University, the deep desire of the woke not to know, not to recognise, not to understand that there are real oppressions out there, rather more serious than using the wrong pronouns.
Support Yeonmi by buying her book.
Sunday, 19 February 2023
|Click above for the video|
Saturday, 18 February 2023
Of course we want the HQ here in Hong Kong. More jobs for da boyz, innit.
Dr David Gorski reminds me of a study that I’d seen a few weeks ago and had meant to write about because I thought it misleading. Gorski uses it to cudgel fellow medics, those who don’t agree with his hyper vax policy, those he calls “not anti vaxxers” but not pro enough for him. And the study gives him ammunition because it shows, he says, that Covid is a “leading cause of death amongst children”. I don’t agree, for reasons I’ll set out.
Friday, 17 February 2023
|Click above for video|
I also don’t get: why lefties hated Brexit but love Scoxit. How does that square?
Leo doesn’t focus on that so much as on her batty push for radical gender bending in Scotland. He tells the story pretty well, I reckon. A story that led to her resignation this week. Good riddance.
I took the photo above as is sit in the warm winter sun here in Discovery Bay, HK. A random photo with random stuff. Can I see anything that doesn’t involve a fossil fuel?
What about the wood? Looks like Douglas Fir from Canada. Likely from a plantation. Which involves lots of machinery to plant, to harvest and to turn into lumber. Now those machines could be electrified, for sure. But they’re made of steel and steel needs coking coal. Electric blast furnaces have been around for years but aren’t viable at scale. Coking coal is a must for steel and steel is a must for modern society. Then the lumber has to be shipped to China — more steel, more ships and more petroleum-based fuels for the ships — which are not going electric or sail any time soon.
The aluminium tube for the umbrella needs mining by machines — more steel — and shipping — more steel — and fabrication, which uses big lumps of electricity. Electricity, hooray! That can be RE. Yes, but… , but competing with the increasing demands we’re putting on electricity from electric cars and all those lumber-logging electric vehicles we’ll be producing.…
What else? The iPad has heaps made from petroleum products including the plastic bits and the steel bits and the aluminium bits and lots in the electronics, including copper which will be competing for the ever greater needs we’ll have for Cu from electric vehicles and batteries. While copper resources are declining.
What about the flowers? Well, I’d grant those. Though I suspect, this being Hong Kong, that they use fertilisers to grow them, chemical, made from fossil fuels.
This is not to suggest that the move to RE is doomed. But to point out that “Net Zero” is near as damn it impossible, especially the ones set for ten or twenty years. Stretch goals are good. But not impossible ones.
Mark Mills on the Net Zero dream.
|👋👋 Hong Kong ?|
Hong Kong’s population has dropped for a third straight year, with a net outflow of 60,000 residents contributing to a decline of nearly 1 per cent in 2022.
According to official figures released on Thursday, the city’s population dipped 0.9 per cent from the year before to 7,333,200 in 2022, while births plunged to a record low of 32,500. The overall population drop was deeper than the previous year’s 0.3 per cent decrease.
About 62,100 deaths were recorded last year, outweighing births by 29,600. It was the third consecutive year that there were more deaths than births in Hong Kong, after the city recorded its first ever negative natural population growth in 2020. [More…]
Thursday, 16 February 2023
Virginia Democrats have hit a new low in their battle to keep Gov. Glenn Youngkin from making good on his promise to give parents more say over their children's education. On Tuesday the Democratic Senate voted to reject the Governor's nominee for the state board of education amid nasty racial insinuations.
Click above for the embedded video at the linkMr. Youngkin's nominee is Suparna Dutta, an India-born woman who confounded the parents group at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology. That group accused the high school of abandoning its merit-based admissions standards to reduce the number of Asian-Americans admitted. Ms. Dutta is an engineer and advocate for STEM education. Democrats say she is unqualified to serve on the board because she has no background in education.
What they mean is she dissents from progressive orthodoxy. The vote to kill her nomination came a week after a heated dispute with board member Anne Holton, Sen. Tim Kaine’s wife. Among Ms. Dutta’s “controversial” remarks was her criticism of socialism and defending the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Never mind that Ms. Dutta lived under socialism in India. More…
|Today’s South China Morning Post and the |
bemusing news that we’ll be given free-to-air
|Click above for video|
Wednesday, 15 February 2023