Saturday 29 April 2023

I am never lost

One side tries to destroy the Other Side, consequence-free. The Other Side isn’t allowed to try

Referencing a link inside the Jesse Singal piece about a battle in the gender wars "That one side would like to destroy the other side seems significant, to me”.

This raises the question I've had for years. Why is it that we say we love freedom and democracy, that we heap scorn on one-party dictatorships, on places with no freedom of the press. But then we try to demolish the GOP? And try to silence— AOC tries to imprison— the only cable news voice that's not of the Left? 

How does that work?

I don't get it.

Jesse Singal is a strong voice on the common-sense centre. The heterodox, liberal centre. Where I stand. 

“Women: warriors of steel”

Click above for vid
Speaking out for truth and science. Brandugh, a 14-year old Irish young woman, speaks her poem: “I am not a dress”. Reference to Dylan Mulvaney, who plays girlie-woman, in his caricature of a young Audrey Hepburn, and we are supposed to supplicate in awe at “her” gorgeousness and “bravery”.

Well, no. Because Dylan’s right to his trans life crash headlong into the everyday rights of all women. At least this: there has to be an accommodation. Part of which is that we, the non-trans world have to be allowed to believe in the science. And not to have to support, let alone celebrate, a dysphoria. We can make room for all trans folks’ issues, except for the ones that will terminate women. On that, no. 

“Past experience helped China in its Sudan rescue” | SCMP

Okay… second time in a week saying something nice about China! To highlight again that the US evacuated only its Embassy people. It left around 16,000 American citizens behind. As they did in Afghanistan.

As far as I can tell they made no effort to evacuate them. China by contrast is evacuating ALL its citizens. 

What’s going on with the US? 

Thursday 27 April 2023

Central from our backyard

“Xi to send special envoy to Ukraine” | SCMP

If a tactical move: be seen to be working towards peace, while remaining quite happy that the US is bogged down in a proxy war with Russia.
If a strategic move: try to broker peace for the enormous kudos, aka "soft power" that would give.

“Dropping the ball” | Spectator

Sharron Davies brave speaker of truth on the trans women in sports issue.

Shame on the IOC. This is worse than their money corruption.

What is hate speech and should it be banned?

Click above for video
Elon Musk had a bit of a to-do with a BBC reporter, James Clayton, over the alleged increase in hate crime on Twitter, since Musk took over. Elon rather got the better of that debate. 

But he could have gone further. Namely: that hate speech is protected under the First Amendment (1A) of the US Constitution. And Elon is trying to run Twitter more along 1A line, that anything is ok, as long as it’s not illegal. 

The BBC guy couldn’t give a single example of more hate speech, when challenged by Elon. 

I came across this yesterday on my Twitter “For You” feed:

Totally random. Is it hate speech? Certainly. 

Should it be banned? If you’re of the left, yes. If you’re a 1A absolutist, no. If you’re SCOTUS, no. If you’re Elon, no. If you’re me, no. 

What’s better is to allow it, and let others can take it on. IOW, the answer to bad speech, hate speech, is more speech:


Wednesday 26 April 2023

Singapore on US woke culture

Sent from my iPad



"Bud Light SUFFERING STAGGERING Sales DROP From Anti-Woke Boycott...” | But follow the money on woke...

Greg Foreman says "follow the money" on why corporations are going woke (and not always broke). 

$60-70 TRILLION will be transferred from we Boomers to our kids and grandkids, Zoomers and Millennials, who are all super woke (well, nearly all -- we have Millennial relatives who are not) . 

Woke ➜ ESG. And then:

ESG ➜ ESG FUNDS ➜ Activist investors promoting ESG Funds ➜ Activist stakeholders ➜ Activist Boards ➜ Woke Corporations. 

The Bud Light imbroglio won't change this direction. This is far more deeply entrenched than just being a passing fad.

ADDED: “Woke” = being awake to (hence “woke”) to perceived injustices in society, race or gender related. Originally a term used by African Americans to refer to being awake to the injustices towards them. Its wider theory has origins in mid 1950s and 60s, mainly in France and Germany, from the post-modernist movement. In the US, it spread through academia and most recently to corporations. It is now being embedded via the ESG push in corporations across the west. 
The term “woke” has come to mean, on the right at least, a hyper or over-sensitivity to perceived injustices; often going too far for the conservative bent. Hence its now pejorative sense, at least on the right as applied to the left. 

"An oil chief heading COP28? Fossil fuel industry’s climate change schizophrenia is on full display” | David Dodwell


Click above for the article
Selected screenshots with my comments below

Tuesday 25 April 2023

Happy Anzac Day! and “Ways to be fooled..."


Can’t resist:

What isn’t true: sex is a spectrum
What is true: humans are sexually dimorphic

Fox is doomed …

… I’m calling it.

Tucker Carlson just been fired. Highest rating show in cable. More Democrats watched him than watched Rachael Maddow on CNBC (RM salary $30 million a year). Tucker was a main draw in Fox. Highest prime time ratings of any cable show.

This may be the beginning of the end for Fox. Don’t celebrate! They are the only  non-mainstream view. Don’t we want a two-party system? A contrary view? A second opinion? 

ALMOST a sideline: Don Lemon fired at CNN.

Ex colleague Megyn Kelly talks about it.

“Chinese nationals in Sudan evacuated” | SCMP

While the Biden administration leaves 16,000 Americans behind, as it evacuates only embassy personnel. Shades of Afghanistan.

Meme world

Monday 24 April 2023

The case against WHO pandemic treaty

The debate begins in the U.K. 

I suspect my own country, Australia, will happily go along with the proposed treaty. In the UK at least, there is the beginnings of a debate. Here Mr Danny Kruger makes the case for “subsidiarity” decisions made as close as possible to the people affected. “Power to the people!”

I give this post the tag “the road to hell…” as I’m sure people pushing this WHO Treaty idea have (largely) good intentions. But outcomes may be worse. I do not see anything that happened during Covid that was better because global efforts. As Kruger notes, even vaccines were developed quickly only because of competition between countries and companies. 

Biden told intelligence officials to lie about son’s laptop

"Biden and Trump Are Both Wrong: Ron DeSantis Had a Strong COVID Performance” | Newsweek

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis was criticized and pressured by federal officials, such as President Joe Biden and public health czar Anthony Fauci, to back draconian restrictions. Now, criticism is coming from the opposite direction: Former President Donald Trump claims DeSantis's policies were too severe, and that "Florida was closed for a long period of time." I coauthored a Paragon Health Institute studythat shows both criticisms are wrong. Florida implemented sensible COVID policies and its COVID performance was among the very best in the nation. [More...]
Newsweek is not known as a paper of the right. It’s of the left, really. Which is why the above is so unusual. Saying something nice about a Republican governor, here Ron De Santis of Florida. I followed what was happening in Florida in real time, at the time, and it was obvious that it was performing at pretty much the average, even though it had much less stringent anti-covid measures, like lockdowns, masking, mandates, and so on. 

The commenters have gone crazy. They can’t stand that someone is setting out the facts of the case -- as opposed to the likes of the New York Times, at the time, which did everything it could to throw shade on De Santis. Oh well....

Sunday 23 April 2023

Surfing, Business, Family, Asia | James O’Donnell

An inspiring story. A young Aussie follows a passion, but also sets up business and makes a family. Well done, James! 

The rest below the fold 

Has China just finalised the world’s first hyperloop destinations? | SCMP

 China is likely to build its first hyperloop train line between Shanghai and Hangzhou, according to the nation's top engineering and rail design institutes. The 150km-long (93-mile) in-vacuum tunnel will allow maglev trains to travel at speeds of up to 1,000km/h (621mph). More …

November 2021 Club-covid time

Russia--Ukraine: What would Trump have done?

Stanford History professor Niall Ferguson on counter-factual history. Which he loves. “What would have happened if...?”.

If Trump had been in power after 2020, we may well not have had a Russian invasion of Ukraine. Because he was operating on the “Nixon madman theory: if they think you’re a bit crazy they will be deterred”. 

Vs, the Biden signals, which were “if you take just a bit of Ukraine, that’s fine”. And “if you go further, we won’t fight, but we’ll sanction you”. Ferguson’s point: sanctions punish; they don’t deter. 

The whole interview is good. Click above takes you to the bit about Trump and counterfactual history.  

Saturday 22 April 2023

Censoring on behalf of the security state: Stacey Plaskett vs Matt Taibbi

Click above for video

Oh boy.... Threatening jail for a typo.

Also: The thing that gets me about these sorts of hearings is how rude the congress people, especially Stacey Plaskett, are to the witnesses. Also: their self-righteousness: calling Matt Taibbi and Michael Shellenberger “so-called” journalists, and the other dude insinuating they’re of the “tin-foil hat” brigade. Crazy, dat.

Sensitivity of trans-women > sensitivity of women

Mark Takano is a Democratic member of the Education Committee, here quoting sex-based organisations saying: “Non-descrimination laws do not allow men to go into  women’s rest rooms, period. The claim that allowing transgender people to use the facilities that match the gender they live every day allows men into women’s bathrooms is based either on (a) a flawed understanding of what it means to be transgender, or (b) a misinterpretation of the law”. 

Well, no, it doesn’t. (a) what it means to be transgender is to have a condition that has been known for decades as “gender dysphoria”. It is a belief that one is not in the “correct” body, and wishes live as the opposite sex. It does not, however, by any science known to homo sapiens, mean that the person suffering from gender dysphoria is indeed the opposite sex (with or without hormone medicines or surgery). Just as I’m not a black man, by putting on black make up. Nor do we consider allowing someone suffering from anorexia to attend a diet program. The man remains a man, no matter his feelings. Which the world can sympathise with and accommodate -- just not when that accommodation bumps up against the feelings and sensitivities of natal women. 

Later on in the video here, Takano claims that a woman beating a trans-woman (ie a man) in a competition, “proves” that there’s no need for professional sports women to worry about trans-women in sports (!). This is stupid. It makes no more sense than if you believed that a particular individual woman being taller than a man “proves” that the bell curve of average heights showing men are on average taller than women, is somehow not correct. This is sloppy, lazy, thinking from the congressman. 

This whole, suddenly fraught, issue is because of two sensitivities -- two human rights -- bumping against each other. In ways that appear irreconcilable. 

The sensitivities and rights of trans-women vs the sensitivities and rights of women. Till recently there were no issues, as people just got on with it. I’m sure trans women went into women’s bathrooms with no particular hassle. Now it’s fraught because (a) there are many more people identifying as trans, for reasons not fully understood, (b) they are much more militant in pressing their rights and sensitivies (c) people of good will want to show them tolerance and kindness, but (d) in so doing are bumping up against the genuine worries and concerns of the sensitivities of women. It’s not just changing rooms, but in prisons, where there is plenty of evidence that increasing numbers of men charged with a crime are identifying as women so they can get into women’s prisons, and that this is leading to a documented rise in sexual assaults in women prisons. The Scottish leader Nicola Sturgeon was toppled over this very issue. Takano is flat out wrong to say that there are no cases of assault on women by trans women in what till now have been women-only spaces. There are many documented cases, in both bathrooms and prisons, and his ignorance of them, or dismissal of them, is not going to help soothe matters. 

It’s an issue that has to be faced. And a good dose of reality, of “the science” wouldn’t go astray. Women’s groups have put forward suggested solutions. But the “trans lobby”, that is the radical elements of the trans movement, don’t accept the solutions, because they demand the full-on acceptance that “trans women are women”. That is, they demand we accept the refutation of science. 

"Allowing biological men to compete against women is demoralizing, anti-woman, and physically threatening to the safety of women and girls. When athletes with male genitalia are allowed to use women’s changerooms, it affects the mood of the entire team by taking the focus off competition and comradery.... The entire structure and integrity of women’s sports are destroyed when we deny science to adopt policies that are fundamentally anti-woman."

MCENANY, MIMS And CAMPANA: Trans Athletes Are Turning The Dream Of Title IX Into A Nightmare 

And: “Science says transgender-women have advantage"



Trees down on our road. Not typhoon, just storms from up north. More here 

Friday 21 April 2023

Bare Feet

Surely the earth does not delight in these horrors:

Democrats criticise voting machines: “they can flip votes”

Fox has just paid $787 million to Dominion Voting Machine company for having guests on who question the reliability of voting machines. 

Covid misinformation from the CDC
Some might look at Vinay Prasad, MD, and think crazy hairy man. 
But he knows whereof he speaks. 
Sent from my iPad

“Why I changed my mind about nuclear power” | Michael Shellenberger

Click above for the video
Five years ago but still relevant. 
Especially about Germany, which is the most along the renewables road amongst advanced economies, but has higher electricity prices in Europe and higher Carbon Dioxide emissions. Michael Shellenberger explains why. Large part of it is that they closed all their nuclear power stations, which had been operating just fine. Today is the day the last one was closed, to “celebrations” from the Greens. Amazing. 
German nuclear lunacy.
Michael Shellenberger is an environmentalist, named Time Magazine “Hero of the Environment”, now become a major proponent for nuclear power. 
For which a couple of sides:

A thing I don’t get is how much people are anti nuclear. When you can read the real risks and the way waste is handled, and how safe it is and yet.... “It’s hard to convince someone smart. It’s impossible to convince someone stupid”. Is that it? Surely not. Just that when you’re invested in an anti-nuclear stance, changing that is as consequential as changing your mind on, say, abortion. Or guns. 

Thursday 20 April 2023

“Perfection is the enemy of action”.

Click above for video 
That’s a life lesson. And a lesson from Game 7 of the Chess World Championship at Almaty. It was 3-3 going into game 7. World number 2, Ian Nepomniachtchi, with White and world number 3, Ding Liren with Black. (world number 1, Magnus Carlsen had decided not to defend his title after holding it for over a decade).

It was a to-and-fro game, very dynamic, very interesting, looking like Ding, with Black, had a chance to win in the middle game. Then came the Big Freeze. Ding froze. The clock ticked down, 8 minutes. 5 minutes, 43 seconds! He crashed right into  the time limit (40 moves in 120 minutes). Ding spent so much time trying to find the “perfect move” that he failed to make a move at all. Till with seconds left, he made a blunder. There were plenty of moves — at least one or two! — that he could have  made, that even I could’ve made — safe moves or “good enough” moves, to get him to move 40, and the extra time allotment. But instead he froze. It was shocking to watch in real time. As I did.

Perfection is the enemy of action.  Chess lesson, Ding! Life lesson, kids!

I had this motto in my mind when I built my little boat in the backyard, ten years ago. I knew that I wasn’t doing a perfect job. That proper boatbuilders would raise their eyebrows and tut-tut. But I pushed on. Knowing that if I didn’t , I’d never finish.

ADDED: “Ding’s collapse

 The woke revolution does not simply aim to remedy past injustice. 

‘The only remedy to racist discrimination,’ writes Kendi, ‘is antiracist discrimination.’ The idea is some groups by virtue of their history of marginalisation and exploitation are wiser and more moral than others. The belief that racism is not confined to intentional acts of discrimination but woven into the DNA of society implies white people are automatically guilty of harbouring racist thoughts and seeing the world through racist eyes. 

Racial minorities inevitably enjoy a higher moral status than whites but they also enjoy something equally important – greater access to understanding and moral wisdom. This is why the woke habitually invoke ‘lived experience’ and ‘my truth’. Conversely, white people are guilty of original sin until they do what the kulaks were supposed to do and abolish themselves as a class. ‘Abolish whiteness!’ says Cambridge academic Priyamvada Gopal. ‘White lives don’t matter. As white lives.’

These race-based arguments bring with them the exhumation of the pre-modern habit of judging people based on group characteristics rather than individual achievement. History is repeating itself as both tragedy and farce at the same time. More...

Wednesday 19 April 2023

“Show me the man and I’ll show you the crime” | Lavrentiy Beria

To assert flatly that Trump never committed a serious crime is to assert confidence in his never having violated the law in any of the ways shown in bold above. It’s to assert that he didn’t do any of the crimes that multiple investigators at the federal and local level reportedly believe he might have committed. Many Republicans, though, just wave it all away. More...

Yeah, right and I could have committed a murder, maybe, and how do you know I didn’t. 

Get that: “reportedly”, “believe” “might have committed”. Huh! That much qualification I ain’t never seen never no way! And this, form WaPo, we’re supposed to take as reason to believe that indeed the man is the worst criminal. Just haven’t found the crime yet. 

“Show me the man and I’ll show you the crime”, Lavrentiy Beria said to Joseph Stalin. You can always find a crime if you want to put someone away. Rummage in  the statutes. It’s no wonder that Trump supporters don’t believe the charges, because Trump enemies have been going at this for seven years, including a full-on investigation via the Mueller Report (which came up zip), and investigations into private dealings, that came up with... misusing a company car.... Goodness me!

Alan Dershowitz is a liberal Democrat lawyer, always voted Democrat, is not a Trump supporter. Yet he writes “Get Trump” as an indictment of how Trump haters have become the neo MacCarthy-ites, this time from the Left. Out to get Trump, no matter the damage to the Constitution. Dershowitz says their crimes against the Constitution are graver than any of the crimes alleged against Trump. 

Tuesday 18 April 2023

Elon Musk on the dangers of AI

Click above for video. Longer version here
This -- a conversation with the world’s richest man and one its smartest men -- about Artificial Intelligence and its dangers, is not one you’ll see anywhere but Fox. Not because Elon Musk wouldn’t go on CNN, or MSNBC, CBC, or whatever, but because they won’t invite him, so angry are they that he’s stopped censoring ideas they don’t like. So it’s Fox, and Tucker Carlson.

Note how much more thoughtful Carlson is than the BBC guy, James Clayton, who interviewed Elon the other day. Clayton's questions were puerile and shockingly underprepared. Trivial. 

Tucker, by contrast, gets into very weighty issues: what the danger to humanity from Artificial Intelligence? What’s the future of Twitter? (A place where the world talks to itself).  What have government agencies done within Twitter to quash opinions?  Twitter might turn out well, says Elon; it’s a toss up. 

Elon knows AI well -- he founded what is now ChatGPT. 

He talks of an evening at the house of his then friend, Sergey Brin, the founder of Google, where they discussed AI. Google at the time having 95% of the world’s brightest brains in AI, and a “ton of money”. Imagine that! Imagine that room, which had other Silicon Valley heavyweights there. And we get to hear of it, and Elon being called a “specist” by Sergey, for wanting to care fro humanity (“guilty” says Musk). And talks of how he thinks the government should set rules for the development of AI, which rather goes against the view of Musk as a libertarian. 

We hear all this consequential stuff, not from the mainstream media, but on Fox. I’m sometimes given a hard time for watching Fox and specifically watching Tucker Carlson. But to me it’s just broadening the river of info that’s coming down the hill. There’s plenty I get from the BBC, ABC, MSNBC, CBC and the others. Fox gives a different slant, and it’s the only one to do so. And if you think that’s because its slant is not worth watching, I’d ask: can it be that one side has the monopoly on the truth? On what the relevant news is? Surely not.  I recommend Occasional Readers who are of the Left, to add it to their stream of information, to make the stream into a river. 

China aid vs US aid

Click above for video 
Posted without comment.

Except for a memory. Of when we drove all the way across Africa south to north. Cape Town to Cairo. The best roads we drove on -- the multi-lane highways -- were Chinese-built. And we stayed in Chinese hotels. And went on Chinese railways. Stopped at a Chinese port. So that’s all true -- what’s said in the video -- by mine own eyes. 

Can Sam Harris Pull Back From The Brink Of Covid Misinformation?

Sam, dear Sam, was for so many years my hero. Sam Harris. A man of reason. A man of logic. 

Then he went kind of crazy. Was broken by Trump. Serious TDS. He denies it. But it’s observably true. I’d stopped paying for his Waking Up podcast because of some crazy stuff he’d said about the SCOTUS nominee Bret Kavanaugh Senate hearings, stuff that bore no resemblance to due process, innocent until proven guilty, of taking the word of jezebels and their alleged of long-ago shenanigans, which later they retracted, all that did it for me. But still I came back and listened to him for three hours on Lex Fridman the other day, then for another hour with Megyn Kelly here and he’s got not one jot of self reflection or one iota of thought that maybe the reason so many people are pissed off with him is... his fault!

Here we have Rav Arora giving a full take down of Sam and his Covid mistakes

It was Sam wot revealed the true nature of the Democrats when he talked to the Triggernometry guys (short clip). He said that “it doesn’t matter” what you do about stopping Trump, even up to suppressing negative info about Biden, because Trump is “so dangerous”, it’s like an asteroid hurtling to the earth. His crimes -- he specifically mentioned Trump University’s failure -- make anything the Biden did like “a firefly to the sun”. I mean...