Wednesday 31 May 2023

Earth in a billion years

Click for the video
Professor David Kipping at Columbia University, speaks with passion and poetry.  His words at the end are so moving.

It also reminds me of a thought of Bertrand Russel that’s been on my mind for many years. From memory:
That all the labours of the ages,
All the inspiration, all the noonday brightness of human genius,
That the whole temple of man’s achievement,
is destined for destruction in the vast death of the solar system,
All these things, while by no means beyond dispute,
Are nonetheless so nearly certain that any philosophy that does not take them into account,
Cannot hope to stand.

I’ve just looked it up and the whole quote is here

What David Kipping says is that we may have many new goes at it.... But I don’t buy his suggestion that we’re an “infestation” on the earth. We are the only species -- that we know of -- which can apprehend the universe. There is intelligent life other than us on earth, and life that uses tools. But none that has ideas about what the rest of the universe is like. We may be the universe’s way of understanding itself. 

Tuesday 30 May 2023

Privileged white women lecture Black men on racism

And that blowhard, Joy Behar, on ABCs The View, has the gall, has the unmitigated racism, yes the racism, to say that he doesn't understand "systemic racism" in America! Blacks cannot succeed on their own! Heaven forfend! Unless, of course, they suckle on the Democratic teat. Remember Joe Biden to Charlemagne Tha God? "If you're black but don't vote Democrat, you ain't Black!"
Ex Dem, Natalie Jean Beisner says it better. America is living in a culture of victimhood. That's a key difference between the parties. Dems push grievance and victimhood. Scott, a GOP candidate, pushes "victory over victimhood". "Gratefulness over grievance". That's is surely a better formula for success for anyone, let alone Black culture.
Shame on all those who talk down progressing, working, achieving Blacks. And, like Behar, call them Uncle Toms. Shame. 

Ballymena, Northern Ireland, August 2019

Oranmore guest house, Ballymena, home of the Forsythes:

My Grandfather Andrew Forsythe was born on a farm near here: Tullybane, Dunlangly on 11 February 1876. Photos here

That’s the B&B we stayed at, in Balllymena, on 19 August 2019, during our clockwise trip around Ireland, Dublin to Dublin. Photos here

Book Burning Hong Kong style

This is really depressing. Though also kind of irrelevant, coz Amazon. 

Still, not nice to think of dour communist appartchicks, skulking around libraries looking for books to burn. Anything on Tiananmen, June 4th, also the HK Riots of 2019 appears to be taboo. And also good old favourites like 1984 and Animal Farm. But also Lu Xun?? That’s like getting rid of Charles Dickens. 

China’s “Grey rhinos”: Demography, Debt, Decoupling

Black Swans: very unlikely events that may have a great impact. Eg, a rogue asteroid hitting the earth; or a pandemic. 

Grey Rhino: nice neologism, based on the Black Swan = Very likely events, that also will have a great impact. And therefore more important than Black Swans. 

And for China, that’s the Demography, Debt and Decoupling trap. The three Grey Rhinos. Debt is something that has been on the worry list for decades. I guess we don’t hear more about it, or more about actual debt-fuelled disasters that have already happened, because China keeps it all under wraps. Censorship, don’t you know. The Demography one has hit the news recently. The drop in new births is precipitous. Decoupling, of course, started with Trump, continued with Biden and has been worsened by Xi Jinping’s actions. And Covid. 

Nordstream pipeline explosions: until we have more credible theory the best we have is Seymour Hirsch

Click for video 

I’ve read Seymour Hersh’s article describing how the U.S. blew up three of four Nordstream gas pipelines, with Norwegian support.

I agree with Jeffrey Sachs, above. Hersh’s is the best and most comprehensive theory we have. Especially since Joe Biden [Here] and State Department Ukraine boss, Victoria Nuland [Hereas much as admitted it before the pipelines were destroyed. An ex Polish Minister tweeted “Thank you, USA”. The US was the only one with both the ability and the motive to blow them up. The idea that it was Russia is absurd on its face. Poland and Ukraine had motive but not the ability. Germany had neither. 

Sachs also has a go at the New York Times. As a five-decades-long subscriber myself, I agree with his critique. We’re not getting the full story. On anything, especially Ukraine. Misinformation by omission, at the very least. 

ADDED: June 6 2023 article in WaPo says Ukrainians did it, and that the U.S. was advised as early as June 2022. If true, then the US ran cover for them by blaming Russia. I also wonder what this does to the Seymour Hersh theory above, given that he has a history of being right, of being able to suss out credible anonymous sources. I put weight on his theory — that U.S. deep sea explosion experts did it — because he’s Seymour Hersh. Maybe the U.S. guys worked with the Ukrainians. 

Monday 29 May 2023

Oh, I DO love this!

Lovely day at the pool


Just now, Club Siena, Discovery Bay, HK

Sunset last night

New Age Woo

I mean, it’s nonsense, really, isn’t it?

Dear BBC: please cancel “BBC Verify"

Dear BBC,

@BBCbreakfast informs us you are setting up “BBC Verity”, to tell us all about “disinformation”. 

Headed up by Marianna Spring, herself a prime purveyor thereof. 

She has said of Twitter “it’s unleashed a wave of hate”, which I say -- me, a daily Twitter user following several hundred of various persuasions -- is simply nonsense. It’s disinformation! And now she’s going to go “undercover” (!) to troll people! For disinformation? Which, btw, is against TOS of Social Media platforms, and may even be illegal. Puleeease!

Spring, gives us a presentation where the only disinformation is by the “Far right” and only by non-government non-legacy media. Nothing from the Left and nothing about the government lies (disinformation) about things like WMDs in Iraq. I remember those, and I remember how BBC went along with Blair and Colin Powell and didn’t look into it. Disinformation by omission. And, By the way, this could have been known at the time, by anyone, including even the BBC, had they wanted to. I saw it with my own eyes, when Powell made his presentation to the United Nations and thought it was nonsense. Where was the BBC? 

More recently, how many ways has the BBC misinformed us? Let me count the ways:

Multiple reports of “BBC fake news” in India. 

Failure to identify terrorist figures in the reinstalled Afghani Taliban government, 8 September 2021: "The corporation simply forgot' to mention that the selected ministers were on the US terror watch list. In fact, it did not even mention Pakistan or the ISI once in their profile. [Here]. Disinformation by omission. 

No mention by Ms Spring of the Twitter files, that revealed the extent of pre-Musk censorship, including from the government. Nothing of that, even from the “Disinformation expert”, Ms Spring, in her 21 March 2023 Panorama story about today’s Twitter. Disinformation by omission. [Here]

Telling us that the Lab Leak Theory was a conspiracy theory. It wasn’t. Disinformation by commission. 

Misinforming us about the size of anti lockdown demonstrations in the UK -- playing down their numbers and alleging -- without evidence -- that they were far-right. Ms Spring again. Misinformation by misdirection. 

Telling us there were whole wards full of children with Covid. Disinformation by commission. [Here]

Failing to report on the Hunter Biden laptop story in 2020 and failing to report on the intelligence community burying the story (it was clear at the time what was going on, if you wanted to know), and Joe Biden falsely quoting that it was Russian disinformiton during his debate.  Disinformation by omission.

Failing to report that the Russia Collusion was a hoax from the beginning and the extent of the FBI involvement (it was clear at the time).  Disinformation by omission

Failure to report on Hillary Clinton involvement in creating the Russia Hoax, that lasted six years to date (and hasn’t stopped her pushing the hoax, still, to this day). Again, this was known at the time, if you’d wanted to know.  Disinformation by omission.

This “disinformation expert” title is a made-up expertise, with no qualifications. It’s a nonsense.

Please give it up. Or pull the other leg. Honestly. 

Focus on providing information. No need to bother us with your views on “disinformation”. No need for you to Verify. No need for our own Nina Jankowicz. The unlamented “disinformation czarina” in the US. Follow their example and ditch the idea. Please. 


BBC Verify mocked by the lefties in the US

Laurie Wastell: "The BBC crusade for online censorship”. Includes lots of spicy info on Marianna Spring, head of this new BBC Verify disinformation wheeze. Eg: Wastell quotes Spring: "‘it is not about giving equal weight to views where one is false and one is true’. It seems that as long as Spring feels she has truth on her side, she feels she has no duty to air alternative perspectives."

Kathleen Stock: “The BBC’s phoney war on disinformation”.  Clip: "According to Spring, online disinformation and hate speech is getting worse, and it’s the responsibility of social media platforms to regulate it more heavily. Me to Spring: no, no, and no.

Frank Haviland: “Whos verifying BBC Verify? Quote: "The BBC reporting of Brexit was in fact so biased that even the BBC admitted they broke their own impartiality rules. And.... “BBC Verify has little to do with exposing misinformation, and more to do with discrediting truths (sorry, ‘conspiracy theories’) the establishment disapproves of.”

ADDED: If you enter BBC Verify to YouTube, all you get is mocking Vids. Theres not a single one thats positive. EG: RedactedGB News. TalkTV. Mahyar Tousi. Ezra Levant. Jimmy Dore. And it shouldnt be. This whole disinformation” thing is a nonsense, used to shut down what they don’t like, on the Left. There’s none of this push from the Right. At least AFAIK. 

So, even on censorship-friendly YouTube, theres not a single positive result for a search on "BBC Verify”.

Sunday 28 May 2023

It’s a cat’s life

“This is extremely dangerous to our democracy” !

World Development Report 2023: Migrants, Refugees, and Societies

Sent from my iPad

Glenn does Joe

Click for video 
It is indeed breathtaking how the DNC is anti-democratic while claiming it’s protecting democracy! i.e. not holding primaries when there are two other viable candidates. 

Remember: Glenn Greenwald is a leftie so far left he calls himself a socialist. Broke the Snowdon NSA citizen wiretapping story. 

There’s genuine concern as to whether Biden can even make it to 2024. He’s got so bad even CNN is worried! Glenn show the clip of Jake Tapper.

Ukrainian Kill List

This is amazing, and appears to be true -- A Ukranian website with a Kill List of people they don’t like. That is people who criticise the war. I went to the Ukrainian site,, and it’s surely there, the Kill List, helpfully in English and in Excel. 

Top right of the site is “Langley, VA, USA”, which is the address of the CIA. And this does appear to be funded by the CIA via its National Endowment for Democracy. And by NATO. And has on it such luminaries as Henry Kissinger, (who turned 100 today) and also left-wing “stoner comedian”, Jimmy Dore. Just to be sure it’s not a fake website, it’s here on Wiki

Amazing not just that they have a kill list of “mercenaries and terrorists”, like those in America who don’t agree with the whole of the war thing, but that it’s getting no coverage, other than by stoner comedians. Weird. 

Saturday 27 May 2023

China solar power installation booming

48 gigawatts of new solar power in four months is about 12 new nuclear power stations (accounting for solar efficiency of 25% and nuclear of 90+%). So good on China. There’s a catch in the last para highlighted above: that solar needs both storage and new grid. That makes it a lot more expensive than it seems if just looking at the cost of the panes. Still, what China’s doing in renewables is considerable. Just that they’re not also going along with the Greens’ views to immediately halt all fossil fuels. It’s not going to do that. 

German slow motion suicide

Prompted by neo-Malthusians who see Homo sapiens as a virus. We must appease Mother Earth by throwing virgins into the volcano. And so Germany continues its slide to deindustrialising 

Sad thing about this is that the worst affected by “DeGrowth” will be the poor people in Africa, Asia and South America. Over half the world will suffer. Who won’t suffer are the laptop class, the Apple iMac Air brigade, sitting comfortably here in Brussels, with their six figure tax free salaries. 

Hypocrites. Even if they are (maybe) well-meaning. 

Friday 26 May 2023

My Beautiful Beef Wellington (BBW)

Cooked to perfection, with new oven. Which has meat thermometer inside the oven which turns the oven off when you’ve reached the temp of the donenesss you like. In this case 48C, rare-ish. 

The oven also has steam, good for baking bread, fish, veges. Brill 

WTF with the YouTube algo?

All of a sudden I’m getting pages and pages of videos suggested by the algorithm that are in Spanish, Greek, Russian, Hungarian (but not Chinese, weirdly, given I do watch stuff in Chinese ). What’s with that? I have to keep telling the algo “don’t show me any more like this”, wondering how long before it comes to its senses.

I don’t get it.

“Future response must not be more of the same” | My Letter to SCMP

My letter submission — on how we performed handling Covid and how to handle the next pandemic — was fact-checked by the SCMP.. Like it was a peer-reviewed scientific paper, not just a letter from Grumpy McGrumph!
I note that the US had a bipartisan “Covid Commission” to do a post mortem and “what we can learn” but Jay Bhattarachaya reckons it was a “whitewash”. I fear any similar investigation here is going to be similar, more so, even, as in “we did a pretty good job” and plan more of the same in the next pandemic. 
So I’m kind of whistling in the wind here, I fear… 
ADDED: Fact-checking email corro with the SCMP below the fold.
(Note Tse Chueen’s use of pronouns!) 

Jay Bhattacharya on Lockdowns and the Great Barrington Declaration

Click above for video 
Stanford Public Health professor Jay Bhattacharya interviewed by Peter Robinson at the Hoover Institute. The man who was lead co-author of the Great Barrington Declaration, which in August 2020 suggested that a better approach would be Focused Protection. Thousands of scientists signed the Declaration. I signed it. 

It turns out he was correct. At the very least, I would say he was more correct, the Barrington Declaration was more correct, than the policy of Fauci and Collins. At the very least. More like: it was way more correct. And we would have been much better off had we followed Focused Protection. 

In the US they’ve had a Covid Commission which Jay says was a Whitewash. If we have something similar in Hong Kong, I fear that we too will be a whitewash. There is simply too much invested in what was already done: the massive intervention by government, to lock people down, to lock down a people who welcomed being locked down. For that is that sad thing, folks. In the  UK polls show that the majority of people thing lockdowns were just fine and would expect them to be implemented again, if there’s another pandemic. Same here in Hong Kong. Same in Australia. Same in a lot of places. Despite the fact that the evidence shows that these lockdowns had zero to no effect. As I showed yesterday. I’ve given up hoping that data will influence people; that the Science will really be what people follow. No, it’s emotions. And people feel nice being locked down. They’re “doing something”. Like signing a petition. 

Thursday 25 May 2023

Covid: the only thing that made any difference was vaccines. All the other lockdown stuff, masks, distancing, didn’t help

Florida was lambasted during Covid, for "being so lax". In the end
Florida performed better than California.
Florida deaths: 313/100k. California 418/100k
From a new study in the Lancet, based on the 50 US States. This is the best comparison, because they are all on one continent, all keep good records, and all have a Federal government oversight of their health systems. 

The conclusion: the only thing that really helped keep Covid deaths per 100,000 down was the rate of vaccination. The other measures didn’t help. Whether or not you locked down; closed or didn’t close schools; closed or kept open the beaches; let bars and restaurants open or forced them to close. The whole lot of all that stuff, all those Non Pharmaceutical Interventions, didn’t amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world. The data are in

I suggest only looking the death rates and not the infection rates. Because deaths are carefully registered whereas infection rates depend on how much you test. You could have two places with the same infection rate; one tests a lot and finds a lot of infections, one doesn’t test a lot and finds few infections. Deaths per 100,000 are a more reliable measure of how well your pandemic policies worked. 

On that measure, the only thing that had an unequivocal effect was vaccination rates. All the rest: closing bars, closing restaurants, closing schools, stay-at-home orders, mask mandates, social distancing mandates, the whole panoply of what became known as NPI -- non-pharmaceutical interventions -- had zero to little effect. Yet they had massive negative effects on livelihoods; on the economy; on mental health; on kids’ education levels. 

And those effects were worst for the least privileged. The laptop class simply didn’t care for the working class. 

Laptop class”: This needs to be a much more widely talked about category. Those who live with and by their laptop, who can be anywhere, live anywhere, make their living anywhere and don’t suffer if they are told to stay at home. Indeed, who love to stay at home. And be waited on by the gig-economy people. To be Ubered everywhere, to be Amazoned for books and other junk, who are Deliveroo’d each day their daily bread: but I’m sorry I can’t forgive them their trespasses. For they never cared for them, the untemencsch who serve them. 

Bitter, o bitter, is my feeling to the Laptop Class. 

(Of which, btw, I of course am one. And of which almost all my friends and family are part)

Wednesday 24 May 2023

China simulates destruction of US carrier group

Thoughts & Questions:

1. If I’m reading this in the South China Morning Post, I’m going to assume the US armed forces know it as well.

2. That being so, I wonder what the counter is. Better protection? Preventive strikes to take out the hypersonic missile sites? What? What is the US doing to protect its carrier groups against hypersonic missiles? Presumably they aren’t advertising that in the SCMP.

3. How often have war games scenarios got it right?  Genuine question; I don’t know.

4. Is this allowed to be published, as a warning to the US? After all, had this been published without specific permission by the Party, by a journalist based in China, it would have been “spying” and you’d be in the slammer.

5. Given the US presumably knows all this, is there any point to a “warning”?  Or is it to soften up we the public? To throw into the public square the idea that the US better not, or you get your comeuppance. That that then becomes a theme in the narrative. 

Tuesday 23 May 2023

“There is nothing to grasp”

Reminds the late media tycoon, Kerry Packer, who had a heart attack and flatlined for a while. Saved by the ambulance folks. 
When recovered he said: "I've been to the other side and there ain't fucking nothing there!"
Still, he was so grateful to St John's Ambulance that he donated several hundred million to them.

“G7 nations burying their heads in the sand with ‘temporary’ gas supplies” | SCMP


The US pulled out of the Paris Accord (PA) then developed its own natural gas supplies, including by fracking. It lowered its carbon emissions -- more than any other of the PA signatories.

Why do we have to make "perfection the enemy of the good"? Gas is a dense source of energy, quick, easy and cheap to deploy. It's not the best; but it's pretty good.

If you're after the "perfection" route, look where that's got Germany. $538 billion spent on renewables since 2012, plus closing nuclear stations (!) -- resulting  in the most expensive and least reliable energy in Europe. (And shuttering of businesses and people dying of cold). Climate alarmism is having tragic real-world consequences today, let alone in fifty or a hundred years. 

The "experts" are activists. Wedded to a catastrophist narrative. We have to stop listening to them. Or at least balance their views with a dose of common sense.

Elon Musk and remote work

My response to a letter in SCMP, link below :
Gleb Tsipursky: you say Musk is a leap into the past? Because you don't like his views on staff actually turning up to the office?
This Musk, a man who has created a space rocket company, who dreams of Homo sapiens being multi-planetary; who has built the largest and best electric car company in the world; who founded Boring Co to make tunnels for future underground travel; who owns the Neuralink a company to interface the human brain with computers; who bought Twitter to enlarge the space for free speech -- and THIS is the man you chose to vilify?? Because he expects his staff to appear in the office, each workaday morning? Get a grip, man.
If it's a choice between a "Disaster consultant" and an entrepreneur employing hundreds of thousands in cutting edge jobs, I go with the latter. If Elon expects his staff to be at their desk during office hours, they better be there. No matter what a Disaster Avoidance guy thinks!


Above didn’t appear, got moderated out of existence. So I edited and reposted just now (4:55PM 25 May):

Gleb Tsipursky: you say Musk is a leap into the past?
Because you don't like his views on staff actually turning up to the office?  Musk has created a space rocket company; he dreams of Homo sapiens being multi-planetary species; he has built the largest electric car company in the world; he founded Boring Co to make tunnels for future underground travel; he owns Neuralink a company to interface the human brain with computers; he bought Twitter to enlarge the space for free speech -- and THIS is the man you chose to vilify?? Because he expects his staff to appear in the office each morning? 
If Elon expects his staff to be at their desk during office hours, they better be there, is my take on this.
Peter F.
I have commented TWICE on the Musk letter. Why on earth have you moderated me out of existence???? Peter Forsythe 93080799 

Peter F.
Commenting on the SCMP site has become fraught. What will the mods allow? What will they banish? I don't know.  I've read the "commenting guidelines". Don't help. I'm thinking I'll have to cancel my sub. Not worth it, when they can't take something just a touch spicy

Monday 22 May 2023

Harris-Harvard poll on public attitudes

Now it’s Foreign Policy by Vox Pop? | China and full-scale,war on Taiwan

A few random thoughts, since here in Hong Kong we’re right next to Taiwan, and worst-case scenario, it’s the flash point of a US-China war. An actual real war between two nuclear superpowers: 

1. We shouldn’t do Foreign Policy by Vox Pop. Just as we shouldn’t do Public Health Policy by Vox Pop. Consent is manufactured. China’s 71% who want to invade Taiwan have been groomed to think that, by a government with “sophisticated means to change public perception”. (Just as we in the west have been groomed in most of our cherished beliefs). Vanishingly few of these 71% would have looked at the geopolitics closely and made up their own minds that “attack Taiwan!” is the way to go.

2. Xi Jinping has pushed “reunification” since he came to power in 2012. He wants to go down in history as the man who “finally united China”. Even though Taiwan has never been a part of the PRC. Which is why I put “reunification” in quotes. It has been self-run for virtually all its history. And its people don’t want to be part of the PRC. Doesn’t the will of the people count?

3. America has reacted too forcefully to the Xi push; that has not been helpful. “Strategic ambiguity” has worked well for 70+ years. Kept the peace. Now, making the US position “clearer” — as the Biden administration has done — makes conflict and war more likely, not less.

4. Australia should not go along with the US line on this. We don’t have to. We should keep pushing/maintaining “strategic ambiguity”. 

5. Strategic Ambiguity worked well and continues to work well for the Korean Peninsula. It’s worked well for Taiwan. It worked well for us here in Hong Kong until 2019, when some hotheads got it into their minds that the way forward was to push for independence. Wrong. 

6. The most correct of the Vox Pop above are the 22% who think China and Taiwan should just keep on keeping on, each with its own system, and not going to war over them. Spot on! Nothing is perfect. This status quo is far better than a war with China. For everyone. For everyone. Far, far better. For everyone. 

Beautiful “Bullfrog thoughts”

Nicely sculpted prose

Melancholic, whistful

One’s thoughts “inexorably changed”. 

Sunday 21 May 2023

More in the annals of “we had to destroy the village in order to save it”

It was in the Vietnam war. A US Colonel being questioned on the complete destruction of a village, thought to be hiding Viet Cong. “We had to destroy the village in order to save it”.

I’m not even sure the US has any good intentions here. Just hatred of China. So hammering Hong Kong will do.

Woke Racism

Click above for video 
I have just finished John.McWhorter’s “Woke Racism” and came across the above interview with John Stossel who has a particular way of questioning. Always making the Devil’s Advocate point, as a punchy question. It’s pretty effective, imo. 

Some words of note from McWhorter: “charismatic victimhood” as the default view of race hustlers like Ibram X. Kendi;Yes, we Can’t” as the (sad, negative) lessons being taught to young Black kids. 

Definitions are important says McWhorter, and there are too many we can’t agree on, eg “systemic racism”. He doesn’t mention “racism” itself, which until five minutes ago meant: “the belief that one race is superior (or inferior) to another, or different from other races because of inherent characteristics” (my def, btw). But that definition would have allowed that Blacks and other minorities could be racist, so the definition has now been unilaterally (by the Keft) amended to include “power”: thus only white people can be racist (and only in America… though this is never said). Because, apparently, only white Americans have power. Thus minorities cannot be racist. 

Note: McWhorter writes for the New York Times and considers himself a man of the Left, just not of the Far Left. He’s been labelled , by that Far Left, “the Black face of white supremacy” which ad hominem he notes is used when his opponents have no argument.

He calls Kendi “dim”. I agree. I’ve seen Kendi define “racism” in a fully circular way, and not realise that his definition is circular. At the Aspen ideas festival when asked, by a friendly fan to define “racism”, replies: “Racism is a collection of racist policies that lead to racial inequity, that are substantiated by racist ideas”. He really said that!. A man who makes millions selling books about racism. Can’t even define it…. A comment at the video notes that every fifth-grader knows the teacher won’t let them define a word using that word. So, yeah, dim. Either that, or duplicators, arguably worse.

Kendi never accepts invitations to debate. He only accepts friendly interviews. If I read his mind here: is to because he worries he’ll be shown for the fraud he is?

Why should I care about this? After all, it’s happening in America and I’m comfy here in Hong Kong. A minority in a majority Chinese city. But what goes on in America seeps out. We don’t need this victimhood racism here — even though I could play the victim! What with being a minority and all…

This modern “anti-racism” theory, this Kendi-ism, is profoundly retrogressive and harmful to the body politic. Kendi may mean well (McWhorter gives him the benefit of the doubt), but “the road to hell…” and all that. 

I’ve just read in WSJ, that some US states are going to lower the bar for passing the Bar. The Bar exam that is, the final exam to allow lawyers to practice. This is after SAT tests are being dropped across the country because minorities, especially Black, don’t do as well in them. As McWhorter says, the answer to that is to find out why and to improve. Not to do away with them entirely which dumbs down society. This is not a good trend for the flourishing of Homo sapiens. That’s why I care.

Saturday 20 May 2023

Democrats Cook the FBI’s Books on Domestic Terrorism | National Review

Joe Biden tells us the greatest threat to America, the greatest threat to "our democracy", is white supremacist terrorism. 
And I'm thinking "huh"? Like, where?
Like, if there had been white suprematist terrorist acts in recent years, I'd expect to see them, widely bruited, on the likes of CNN, MSNBC, ABC. They would love nothing better than to show us horrid white suprematists on the rampage. 
But … nothing. 
Of course we have January 6, but let's put that aside for now: a demo that turned into a riot with no police killed, one rioter killed by the  Capitol Police. (And at which we learn that the FBI had undercover agents involved in the incitement). 
I did see a lot of violence in 2020, on CNN… etc …. But it was all by BLM and ANTIFA, notably leftist outfits. The occasional appearance by the Proud Boys, fighting ANTIFA, but that's about it.
So where is all this white supremacy terrorism? 
As Andrew McCarthy shows below, a big chunk of it is simply made up by the FBI's new inventive bookkeeping. IOW, lies. The FBI lying? Well, of course. See the Durham Report which just dropped, revealing the depths of their perfidy. So, sure, FBI lying is now — and very sadly — par for the course.
Example given by Andy: January 6. Recorded in FBI statistics not as one riot. Not even as one white supremacy terrorist insurrection. No. It's recorded as 2,800 individual terrorist incidents, counted that way by counting each individual as a white supremacist terrorism act. That would be like counting the 911 Islamist terrorist act as 19 individual terrorist acts, based on the number of hijackers. Or Iraq being 166,200 war crimes, based on the max number of troops there.
The FBI does this at the behest of the White House. 
The White House lectures us on "threats to democracy"!
Oh, my goodness me! 
God Bless America! 
Because if God doesn't, we're doomed.

There are ideologically driven militants of many stripes. Undoubtedly, there is a smattering of white-supremacism among the -isms, but to suggest that they are ubiquitous and on the rampage — or, indeed, that they are more numerous and dangerous than radical leftists (e.g., Antifa and Black Lives Matter) and jihadists — is delusional.

The projection of dystopian America mired in a terrorist war waged by the Democrats' political adversaries is false. Since it doesn't exist in reality, congressional Democrats and the Biden administration are trying to create it by FBI bookkeeping. As we've seen over the last eight years, and again this week with the release of the Durham Report, when Democrats say jump, the FBI says, "How high?"

“Lessons Hong Kong learned from Covid-19 must never be forgotten” | SCMP EDITORIAL

LETTER TO THE EDITOR, SCMP. (ADDED: Published 26 May, here)

In your editorial you urge us not to let our guard down in case of another pandemic, and to "learn lessons" from the current one. 

Fair enough.

I worry that in doing a "lessons learned" exercise, we consider only more of the same. You talk up, for example, a recent poll showing wide public acceptance of masking, suggesting the government take note. Thus, one assumes, the "next time" it will be renewed masking mandates, demands for vaccine boosters, school closures, social distancing, and so on. I suggest this is nonsense.

What's needed for proper "lessons learned" is a thorough look at the effects of these policies not just here, but around the world. A thorough, hard-nosed, scientific, look.

We have learned, for example, that school closures were extremely damaging to students, and that the worst affected were disadvantaged students. Countries that kept schools open fared better — often much better — than places such as Hong Kong that shut them down. 

Strict society lockdowns not only didn't achieve their aims, but damaged the economies everywhere they were implemented. Outdoors "social distancing" rules were capricious and ineffective. 

On masks, we have learned, from the most thorough meta analysis of randomised controlled trials (RCT) on public masking that they have no net benefit at the population level (the Cochrane Report).

Could we start calling for more heterodox views than those of our already well known local "experts"? A good place to start would be to review the Great Barrington Declaration of 2020, which restated long-recommended pandemic policies, namely of "focussed protection". One of the authors of the Declaration, professor Jay Bhattarachaya, has turned out to be more correct than his detractors, such as Anthony Fauci, who infamously called this Stanford Medical School professor a "fringe academic", and urged instead society-wide lockdowns, with all the harms they caused.

Could we also not pay any attention to random polls, such as the one you you quote: that 72% of a random group of Hongkongers would be "happy" to mask up again. How many of these know of the masking RCTs? I suggest very few. Taking note of these is like doing public health policy by vox pop. Not a good idea. 

In sum, if we're going to do a "lessons learned" post mortem, let's make it a proper, independent, heterodox, and truly science-based one, not a populist "rinse and repeat".

Peter Forsythe
9308 0799
Discovery Bay

Friday 19 May 2023

Rinse and Repeat Lockdowns? Pandemic Policy by Vox Pop

Scary photo accompanies the editorial
The declaration by the World Health Organisation that the Covid-19 global emergency is over has prompted local experts to warn Hongkongers that this is no time to lower their guard, given the threat of infectious diseases continuing to emerge. This is sound public health advice, echoed by Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu at the opening of the Asia Summit on Global Health in Hong Kong on Wednesday. It is also good to hear the government will now review its emergency epidemic prevention and control measures. Hopefully, this will ensure lessons are remembered and put into practice. More…


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Peter F.
An incoherent editorial. Using a Vox Pop poll of 611 people to make public policy? Instead of reviewing the actual literature? Like, on masks, the Cochrane Survey of all RCTs on mask effectiveness which shows NO benefit in a population level (ie public mandate). 
Would the SCMP -- and HK government-- review the evidence of lockdown damages? There's plenty out there! Looks like we're being softened up for a "rinse and repeat" of previous measures...
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