Friday 30 June 2023

The war on so-called disinformation”. It’s censorship by another name


From the Global Disinformation Index
Red arrows = ones I read regularly 
Dear Disinformation Index,

How can it be that every single one of the “Riskiest Sites” from your website are right-of-centre / conservative? How can this be? Not a single Left-of-centre site is “risky”? (Whatever “risky” means…).

I read the ones above marked in Red. As you see, I follow sites that are both on the Left and on the Right.

I know from personal experience that media on the Left have disseminated Disinformation by commission as well as the less-often-mentioned disinformation by omission.

Disinformation by commission:
Four years of Trump-Russia collusion theory, proven untrue by both Mueller Report and Durham Report. Promotion of the Hunter Biden laptop story as “Russian disinformation”, when it was clear to the shallowest research that it was not. All relentlessly pushed by all of the — allegedly — “Least risky sites”.
On China, an area I know something about, the reporting from the American Spectator is more germane and insightful than that from WaPo or the NY Times, let alone from the Huffpo (which I’m not able to stop myself calling a “rag”, sorry). Yet it’s the former that’s allegedly “Riskiest”. Not!

Disinformation by omission:
Failure to cover: the Mueller Report; the Durham Report (at least in any detail); the Hunter Biden Laptop Story; the Twitter Files story; the Joe Biden/China bribe story; the Joe Biden / Burisma corrupt use of government aid story. All of the — allegedly — “Least Risky sites” are guilty of this disinformation by omission (it’s almost as if they were the PR arms of the Democratic Party…).
The only place one will see reporting of such issues is on the right-hand side of this chart (perhaps WSJ aside). And, no, these are not “non stories". As I sit here in Hong Kong / China, it strikes me as very relevant to know of the the activities and of the potential corruption of the current US President. Yet on the “Less risky sites”… nada.

On the broader issue, what gives you the right to set up a “Disinformation Index”, something that goes agains the US First Amendment and Free Speech traditions across the West? I suggest nothing does, save your own hubris. Conning various governments to fund you doesn’t excuse this presumption.

This is breathtaking arrogation: You are arrogant to assign yourselves as arbiters of something that ought be left alone. Leave us alone to make up our own minds. Leave advertisers alone to make up their own minds.

Shame on you all.

Peter Forsythe
Hong Kong / China

Thursday 29 June 2023

Glimpses of the obvious : wars aren’t good

In the “gee d’ya think?” category. The Economist Intelligence Unit unburdens itself of the platitude that that if there’s a war over Taiwan, then neighbouring Japan, Philippines and Korea are going to be impacted. And us here in Hong Kong. Do tell.

If there is war over Taiwan it will only be because Beijing starts it. Taiwan just needs to stand pat, to keep saying “the status quo is best”. Because it is. And not call for “Independence”. Don’t do that. Don’t tweak the dragon’s tail. 

“Dropping the ball” | Sharron Davies

Sharron Davies, brave speaker of truth.

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

Wednesday 28 June 2023

“Not just the General Manager’s Wife” | abc Landline

Click above for the Landline video
Sally Warriner, author of “Not just the General Manager’s Wife”, on Australia ABC Landline last Sunday

“Do not go ahead with Fanling vandalisation” | My Letter to SCMP

Above as published today. As sent, here
Online Fanling letters here 

“The judgement of Carla Foster” | Rod Liddle

This explores an important issue. The lives of the very youngest members of the Homo sapiens species. What value have they? And when? When do they begin to have value? (The “Carla Foster” above aborted her child at 8 months and was fined).

This is something on which I’ve gone from “Safe, Legal and Rare” (the Bill Clinton formulation) to “Safe, Legal and Discouraged” (my formulation). Both formulations are still “pro-choice”, vs the anti abortion stance of “pro-life”. It sometimes helps to strip away the euphemisms, to “pro-killing” and “anti-killing”; but then that can be somewhat “triggering”, so I’ll just leave that there for now. 

In general, we ought to discourage the taking of a life, no matter how young and no matter how much dependent on another human being. It’s a little like the issue of eating meat. My son, John, had convinced me that eating meat is immoral, because we have to kill animals and killing is immoral. However, we both eat meat. 

We recognise the immorality, but do it anyway. And so with abortion. Why on earth we would celebrate as was done when the Bill was passed in Vermont to allow abortions up to the time of birth, for no reason other than the mother’s will. And why have cakes, as I’ve seen recently, celebrating with wording on the icing: “It’s A... borted”. I mean, ok, let’s have choice and legality, but celebrating? Not for me. Not for many folks. 

Anyway, good ol’ Rod Liddle does it good, as usual.


ADDED: I asked an old friend here, a very liberal, leftie guy: “have you ever changed your mind about something consequential?” and he said no, he hadn’t. It was a good question, he granted, but no, he’d never changed his mind about something important. 

I was thinking of so many of my friends from school days and relllies too, and how I don’t believe any have changed their minds about anything consequential. 

The above issue is one that I’ve change my mind about. Though I’ve not had the courage to go across “to the other side”. I’m still on the “pro-choice” side. The difference is, I now realise its internal contractions and that the “pro-choice” side is immoral, even if we - as in eating meat -- do it anyway. 

"The Most Hilarious Russia-Hoax Failure of All”: It’s the Biden’s

 We’ve gone from a president falsely accused of being entangled with a hostile foreign power to a president whose family has been financially entangled with a hostile foreign power.

The same people who assured us, constantly, that the walls were about to close in on Donald Trump in the Russia investigation have endorsed, promoted, and defended Joe Biden, a man whose family business involves taking money from shady foreign actors.

The latest revelation is a shocking alleged WhatsApp message from Hunter Biden to one Henry Zhao, an employee with the Chinese firm CEFC Infrastructure Investment, threatening him to pay up or face the music because Hunter was “sitting here with my father.” Hunter helpfully explained, “I will make certain that between the man sitting next to me and every person he knows and my ability to forever hold a grudge that you will regret not following my direction.”

Zhao, who is suspected of being a Chinese Communist Party official [PF comment: at that level he’s almost certainly a member of the CCP], and everyone told of the message at CEFC presumably understood what Hunter was getting at — this is exactly how politics and business are conducted in much of the world.Within days of the call, CEFC sent $100,000 to Hunter Biden’s firm, Owasco PC, and shortly thereafter $5 million to another Hunter entity, Hudson West III, which he had set up with Chinese associates.

Not bad work if you can get it.In keeping with Biden family practice, Hunter then spread the wealth around. Owasco transferred $1.4 million to the consulting firm of Joe Biden’s brother, James, in nearly two dozen wire transactions over the course of about a year.The latest revelation brings home how the Russia-collusion obsessives have been wrong twice: wrong to believe that Trump’s campaign was coordinating with Russian taskmasters, and wrong to dismiss the concerns about the Biden influence-peddling business.

Thanks, in large part, to the priorities of the media and the bias and incompetence of the FBI, the country spent years obsessed with something that didn’t exist and now has spent years, more or less, ignoring something that does exist. [emphasis added]

Put another way, a wisp of smoke in the collusion controversy was presumed to signal a raging inferno, whereas the Canadian-wildfire-level smoke from sleazy Biden family dealings is presumed to be incidental or illusory.

We’ve gone from an investigation that began for no good reason and despite the evidence to an investigation that, according to the IRS whistleblowers, has been pursued by officials doing everything to minimize it and look past potential evidence of wrongdoing.

You’d think, just as a matter of the law of averages, that federal authorities would manage to produce one properly predicated and conducted investigation of a major national figure and those around him. Instead, it’s either too hot or too cold, too hostile or too forgiving.

Of course, there’s much we still need to know about the matter: Was Joe actually at Hunter’s side, or was Hunter making it up? How much did Joe know about all of this? Did he get a cut, directly or indirectly?

What we do know, though, is alarming enough. Imagine if Don Jr. was shaking down a Russian businessman by invoking his father’s name, indeed his physical presence, via text. If Russiagate special counsel Robert Mueller had found such a text, it would have been the crown jewel of his report, and it would have set off a firestorm — indeed, the business arrangement alone might have been the occasion for an impeachment inquiry.

Now, Trump’s enemies had all sorts of reasons to oppose him and want him out of office, apart from their dark suspicions that he was beholden to Vladimir Putin.

But after all their focus on Russia and alarm over its financial tentacles reaching to the highest levels of the U.S. government, they threw themselves into the arms of a politician whose family’s livelihood — and perhaps his own — depends on the flow of foreign money in a fact pattern more alarming than anything that ever emerged in the years of investigation of Trump.

And, hilariously enough, they’ve called it “norms.”

Tuesday 27 June 2023

“Birth rights” | Spectator


Click to enlarge and clarify. Online here
A robust view of the life of the child.

I wonder if any of the Occasional Readers here have amended their views on the abortion issue?

It’s Briahna Joy Gray. Yay!

Click above for video
Lately I’ve been posting a lot of Briahna Joy Gray. Because she’s good and smart and sharp and on point and just plain common-sense smart. In the video above talking about the complexity of the RJK Jr campaign. He’s not just about vaccines, and he’s not just about some vaccine/autism quackery. 

There’s another good bit in the video here by Coleman Hughes speaking on CNN, another guy that I’ve followed for a while. He’s also a smart, independent thinker. Here talking of the revolving door and regulatory capture. Some 80% of the funding of the FDA, the US’ regulatory body, comes from the pharmaceutical industry. That may be legal, but is hardly comforting. 

Monday 26 June 2023

Fentanyl… again

I wrote about this yesterday.

Now see the highlights above. For the US ambassador to China to say “China is not contributing to the fentanyl problem” is only true in the narrowest technical sense. It’s Chinese companies that are shipping fentanyl precursors and pill-making machinery to the Mexican cartels. China government could stop it, but doesn’t. Does that mean it’s “not contributing”? 

My view is China could be doing more, should be doing more, but is not. It’s leveraging the deaths of 100,000 Americans every year, for political pressure against the US. 

Headline above: ”Cooperation in science benefits both China and the US”. Perhaps. I’d be interested to know the net flow of scientific knowledge China ➡️ ⬅️ US.

The Durham Report

Click above for video 
I’m just posting this here for my friends and relatives on the left of the political spectrum. Those who watch only the Australian ABC, or the British BBC, or the American CNN. And the related press, like the New York Times, Washington Post, and Financial Times. 

I have discovered recently(ish) that there are very many such folks and that they don’t know a lot of things that have happened — consequential things — because said media simply do not report them.

The Durham Report is one such case. We had dinner the other night with a smart, cosmopolitan business mate of ours. Living here many years in Discovery Bay Hong Kong, who had no idea at all of the Durham Report. Nor, by the way, of other consequential things like the Mueller Report and even the Twitter Files, and the Hunter Biden Laptop saga.

Jimmy Dore is himself a Leftie — a Bernie Sanders leftie, what’s more — and describes himself as a “stoner comedian” — he does standup around the country. But he’s outraged at some of the nonsense going on, like the complete lack of coverage of truly important stuff. Like Durham.

I’ve been thinking I should frame this blog of mine, now nearly fifteen years old, as a public service to my many leftie friends and rellies. No need for them to watch horrid old Fox, or read horrid old New York Post. Just drop by here from time to time, as an Occasional Reader, to see a carefully curated takes on the issues du jour. As are not covered at all on CNN, or the rest.

Sunday 25 June 2023

Keep Fanling's “rolling open parkland, mature forest and golf course”!


I agree 100% with Jason Wordie's "Land of Plenty", (Post Magazine, Then & Now, June 25). Fanling's "rolling open parkland, mature forest and golf course" with "a variety of recreational uses… [are] too valuable to be lost". Well said, Jason!

Fanling as golf course and public park. Or all as public park. Just not public housing. 

I fully understand how desperately we need more public housing. Yet even if Fanling were turned over to new housing, it would solve only a vanishingly small percent of our needs. Do we really believe that the government can't find other places to build? All the brownfield sites around the New Territories, for example. I've seen these with mine own eyes as I've drive around. We're sometimes told that that option is "too difficult". Really? So because of some red tape, we will desecrate our most historic and most ecologically valuable asset?

Many of the proponents for public housing on Fanling appear driven by resentment. Resentment that 172 hectares of Hong Kong land is used by a "golfing elite", which we must, on that basis alone, destroy. Very well, then convert the whole area to public park. Jason sees Fanling as the Central Park of Hong Kong, the Hyde Park of Hong Kong, our very own Fanling Public Park. 

In today's Post Magazine a little further along (p17) there is this quote: "The destruction of the [Beijing] City Walls was made a question of class struggle and they were pulled down". I lived five years in Beijing; I know the residents, to this day, deeply regret that decision. Let us not make the same mistake on the basis of our own "class struggle". Fanling’s beauties are our very own City Walls! Let's not destroy them, and rue the day we did. 

In fifty years time what do we think our descendants will most value? A lovely swathe of park, with "old forest and edges, special plants…. extensive stands of mature trees … of unequivocal national significance", in the heart of Hong Kong? Or blocks of crumbling public housing?

Please, John Lee, please Hong Kong government, don't go ahead with the vandalisation of Fanling. 

Pf etc....

“US charges mainland firms over fentanyl chemical supply” | SCMP

China would do so much better for its global soft power — which it claims to care about — and for humanity, if it cooperated with the US on anti-fentanyl measures. It should say, “yes we’ll help you to shut down fentanyl precursor chemicals and pill-making machinery”. Instead it’s going with the “guns don’t kill people, people kill people” excuse. “Our pill-making machines don’t kill people; people taking the pills kill people”. Shame. 

Every year, over 100,000 Americans die of a fentanyl overdose. That’s 12 every hour. One every five minutes. It’s a super fast-acting, super cheap drug. China does not deny supplying fentanyl precursor chemicals (which we all learned about for meth in “Breaking Bad”!), and the packaging machinery to Mexico which puts it all together. China just denies any responsibility for what happens after. All for the sake of protecting a couple of its own sleazy companies. Shame.

On this issue I think the US is right. And China is wrong. The US has to attack the Mexican cartels, who do the final assembly and distribution, as well as China which supplies all the makings. 

China should cooperate. Help its own moral stance and help humanity. Otherwise it’s: shame on you, China, shame on you CCP.

Lab Leak Theory confirmed

What gets me about this is that Fauci and the US government knew from the beginning that it was a Lab Leak from the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV). They lied, lied, lied, from the beginning. 

And I feel like a chump. At the beginning someone asked me if it was a lab leak and I said “no”, because there’d been a letter in The Lancet, signed by 27 senior scientists, saying it was not a lab leak but zoonotic origin. And in those far off days of three years ago, silly me, I still believed in the authority of the Science and of the scientists to tell us the truth and of The Lancet to report the truth. But that letter, like so much since, was just balderdash. As I reported some time ago

All the scientists that signed the letter had conflicts of interest, none of which were revealed at the time. And the main organiser of it was Peter Daszak, who owned the Eco Health Alliance, which was the funnel for US government money into WIV, none of which Conflict of Interest was revealed at the time. 

That was the beginnig of the end of trust in people that I’d implicitly trusted all my life. To think that someone texting me, with something at the time I thought was just crazy conspiracy theory, turned out to be right, and me wrong!

That Lancet letter of February 2020 is worth some study. I’m not sure if any of the signatories, included Daszek, has been censured. I think not, in which case: shame. 

ADDED: today (25 June): report from AFP in the SCMP that the head of the US National Intelligence says there’s “no evidence” that one of the researchers at the WIV had Covid and leaked it out of the lab. 

That’s like: the body is on the ground, the gun is next to the body, the gun has the main suspect’s fingerprints on it, the main suspect is standing there with gunshot residue on his hands, the main suspect is looking pretty furtive ... and yet, because we didn’t actually see him shooting the victim, we “don’t have the evidence.” Right. Got it. 

The immediate past head of the CDC, Robert Redfield, testified to Congress last year that was likely a lab leak, quoting three things that happened in late 2019: (i) WIV was taken over by the Chinese military (ii) WIV scrubbed the database of 30,000 coronaviruses from its server and (iii) WIV ordered an emergency fitting of HVAC filtering equipment. 

Still: “nothing to see here, folks!”

Further: we have receipts that the NIAID, under Anthony Fauci, was funding the WIV, via EcoHealth Alliance, to do Gain of Function research at the WIV. In breach, I believe, of Obama-era restrictions. 

Meantime, the only other theory, that the virus is Zoonotic in origin, from the nearby Huanan Wet Market, has tested 80,000+ animals, with none testing positive. Not a one. By this time in the first round of SARS in 2002 (which I also went through here in Hong Kong), had found clear pathways via animals. 
As of today, the Zoonotic theory has this much more evidence than it had before:      
💤.............. 💤........💤

Saturday 24 June 2023

Overwhelming evidence of Biden Gang criminality

Click above for video 
It’s from email on the Hunter Biden laptop and other sources in Malta and Ukraine. Above is from Jimmy Dore, who describes himself as “a stoner comedian”, a guy who supported Bernie Sanders, no lover of the GOP. One of the few on the left willing to look at the evidence and go against the narrative when the evidence does. And the evidence here is that the Biden family are up to their aviator sunglasses in corruption. 

Reaction in the liberal media: zero. It is ignored, so my good leftist friends don’t even know about it. When presented with evidence it’s “no, it didn’t happen”. Presented with further evidence it’s “well, it doesn’t matter”. 

Though it does matter to the body politic. For it’s not been Trump who lied all this time. It’s been Joe Biden. Liar, liar, liar. You don’t need to be a Trump fan — and I’m not — to find this deeply troubling. 

The level of corruption and the extent to which the media will go to cover it up … for a Democrat. Not for democracy, but for a Democrat. 

“Female athletes are being blackmailed” | Sharron Davies

Click above to go to video
Sharron Davies speaks so well. And so truthfully. And so logically. And so passionately. Just so well. She’s now past the time she can be cancelled, unlike the young female sportswomen she now fights for. 

But still, she’s said that fighting agains the Trans orthodoxy has left her almost bankrupt.

Friday 23 June 2023

We should ignore Argentina’s claims on the Falkland Islands

Stanley, capital of the Falkland Islands
I’m one of only three people I know who’ve visited the Falkland Islands. I went to this South Atlantic archipelago in February 2008, with daughters Jane and Anna, on the way to Antarctica. Fabulous. If you’re planning an Antarctic trip make sure to include the Falklands and South Georgia. 

We walked down Ross Road, Stanley’s Main Street. What you see above is all there is to Stanley. Ross Road is pubs, cafes, chandleries, farm equipment, bodegas. Some touristy stuff, but not a lot: the tourist season is the short summer, December to February and even then it’s the occasional Antarctica-bound cruise ships, like ours with only 130 passengers.

We found the people super friendly. They are all British of the “more Brits than the Brits” variety. We asked them the obvious question, which they answered patiently. “Would you rather be under British or Argentinian control? Or none?”. To which the inevitable answer was “British”. Not Argentina and also not “none”, for they couldn’t exist as an independent entity.

The Falkland islanders made this thumpingly clear in 2013 in a referendum: 99.8% voted to stay British. That’s pretty much every man, woman and child. The only “no” votes were, like, two sheep and an Argentinian dog. 

All that is ignored by Argentina and their Chinese shills. 
At the UN committee meeting on Tuesday, [Chinese ambassador] Geng Shuang said Beijing “firmly supported” Argentina’s claim over the disputed territory and advocated for the settlement of disputes through peaceful negotiations. [here]
You know what would keep the peace? You guys, Argentina and China, giving up on the bullyboy rhetoric. Stop with the Dog-whistle war sounds. As in the threatening, the passive-aggressive, “settlement of disputes through peaceful negotiations”. Give that up, that’ll do to keep the peace. Also: what’s the “dispute”, ambassador Geng?? That was settled by Maggie Thatcher back in 1982.  41 years ago!

Note that China here is going against its own principles of “non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries”, as the Falklands are a settled issue: they belong to Britain. Their status is an internal affair of the U.K. 

Argentina compares the Falklands to Ukraine:
Argentina’s secretary of Malvinas affairs Guillermo Carmona flagged last year that the South American country intended to “take advantage” of the geopolitical climate – including the war in Ukraine – to bolster international support for its claim. [here]
What’s the analogy? Presumably that Argentina, with the Falklands, is plucky Ukraine, while Britain is the horrid Russia. But how can that be? Surely the correct analogy is Falklands as Ukraine and Argentina as drooling wolf Russia, none too subtly suggesting military attack on the Falklands to bring it back to the fold. We have to keep reminding ourselves of that 99.8% figure, that the actual residents, on the actual islands, with actual lives, and actual freedoms, want, to a man, woman and sheep (nearly all sheep), to remain British. That’s the reality and that’s what should drive all our thinking on the issue. And has been that way since the 18th Century. 

China’s support is hypocritical and opportunist. It thinks it gives its claim to Taiwan more credence. It doesn’t. Just as the Argentinian junta has never had control of the Falklands, the CCP has never had control of Taiwan. The Taiwanese aren’t quite as unanimous as the Falklanders in wanting to maintain the status quo, but still ~75% want to. 

There is no Falklands “issue” here to be “addressed”, peacefully or otherwise. And smearing everyone as “colonialist” is a worn out, lazy trope. The Falkland Islands are British. The last time Argentina tried to snatch them away in 1982, they were soundly beaten. How about they take the L and plod on home. 

ADDED: By the way: not only should we ignore the regular sabre-rattling by these two authoritarians, could we also stop saying “the Falklands, also known as the Malvinas”? Would China like it if we kept saying “Xinjiang, also known as East Turkistan”?  To repeat, the status of the Falklands is settled. And good on James Cleverly, the British Foreign Minister for saying so robustly. 

"Carbon Dioxide Fertilization Greening Earth, Study Finds” | NASA

"From a quarter to half of Earth’s vegetated lands has shown
significant greening over the last 35 years”. NASA
I didn’t catch this when it came out in 2016, but I did in 2019 and then again just recently

I’m guessing -- just guessin’ mind -- that this information, from NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, wasn’t widely disseminated then and hasn’t made it into the public mind, then or now, because it goes against the narrative that the world is melting, that it’s due to CO2 emissions and we have to get to Net Zero COand that anything that goes against that must be suppressed. Just guessing. 

The idea that COhas increased green cover by the equivalent of two times the United States (!), in turn consuming CO2, would muddy the waters, as it were. 

Especially since one of the Very Important Things we’re supposed to do when we take a flight, is to mitigate our COemissions by buying “carbon offsets”, paying companies to plant trees for us -- rather like Catholic indulgences, wiping out your sins. A transatlantic flight, and you to pay for five trees to be planted. But... but, meantime Mother Nature is creating greenery at the rate of an area twice the United States every 35 years or > 1,500 km2 per day. Of new greenery. That’s an area roughly 40 km x 40 km. One can imagine it.  Every day. 


From a quarter to half of Earth’s vegetated lands has shown significant greening over the last 35 years largely due to rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide, according to a new study published in the journal Nature Climate Change on April 25.

An international team of 32 authors from 24 institutions in eight countries led the effort, which involved using satellite data from NASA’s Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectrometer and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer instruments to help determine the leaf area index, or amount of leaf cover, over the planet’s vegetated regions. The greening represents an increase in leaves on plants and trees equivalent in area to two times the continental United States.

And now Jimmy Dore finds out. He and fellow comedian Kurt Metzger are amused and amusing about it. 

Thursday 22 June 2023

Long term foreign resident leaves China.

Winston Sterzel was part of the duo riding bikes areound China that I wrote about a while back. They blog their experiences. Having lived in China for years, married to local Chinese ladies, they have a base of knowledge.

I lived five years in China, first in the 70s then the 90s. I was a diplomat, so I didn’t have the intrusion that he had. But still I knew that they had a file on me and were keeping a close eye. It’s even more of a surveillance state today. China are the experts at it, on face recognition, on AI, on social credit scores….

I agree with Winston: something I’ve often said about China — lovely Chinese people; horrid CCP. In the end it was the system that did it for him. He and his wife left China. 

I think China got worse exactly since Xi Jinping. Have a look at the Pew poll below. Xi took power in 2011. Negatives to China skyrocketed 2012 on.
I have friends still living and working in China. They say things have become tighter, more of a hassle. More visits by the cops and Neighbourhood Committee. 

Commonplace racism in China: 
The sign actually says “Indian people prohibited from entering”. This would NOT be allowed in Hong Kong. Where we have strong anti-racism, anti-discrimination laws, and they are enforced. All here because of the horrid British colonialists. You know, the ones that insisted — insisted — on installing parliamentary democracies and the rule of law around the place. Goddam those colonialists. 

A Leaders’ Letter to their minions and how they’re going to fix the world by facing down climate change


Para 2: "An estimated 120 million people have been pushed into extreme poverty in the past three years...".

Main reason for this -- as pointed out by experts like Stanford epidemiologist professor Jay Bhattarachaya -- is NOT Covid, but the *anti-Covid policies*, like lockdowns, school closures, etc, all of which were put in place by geniuses like those that signed this letter, and that crushed livelihoods of the poor the most.

I'd believe you more, dear leaders, if you had a better track record.

ADDED: no one seems to be taking any notice of this letter. There are no comments at the SCMP, but mine. And when I Google the letter I can't find it. Plenty of letters TO world leaders. None, like this one, FROM world leaders. Still, shouldn’t we expect a bit more interest in something signed by Biden, Sunak, Modi Maybe it shows the lack on interest in the political class. Our loss of any respect for them. 

The focus of the letter is all in “just” climate change policies. Which seems to amount to forgiving debt and finding new money to give to third world dictators. Nothing about what might be “just” for poor countries, like what we in the west did: use fossil fuels to drive growth. With growth comes education, better infrastructure, better conditions for women and children, and so on. And better ability to fight climate change. But, you know, “climate justice”.

“The Singular Evil of Bill Kristol” | Glenn Greenwald

Click above for video 
A damning indictment of Bill Kristol, the man who has defined the neo-con agenda. For BOTH parties. 

I remember when the case was being made for the war in Iraq. I was not convinced. Especially after 9/11. But they went ahead anyway, invading Iraq for regime change and to democratise the Middle East. It didn’t t work. It was catastrophically bad. But Kristol and his acolytes are still there. As influential as ever. 

Grumpy Bear Noam Chomsky takes issue and on this — for the first time!— I agree with him. America and its regime change fantasies have harmed the world.

Wednesday 21 June 2023

The Great Debate: Joe Rogan, JFK Jr, Dr Peter Hotez

Click above for video 
Briahna Joy Gray on The Rising is super smart and super articulate. I’ve followed her for some time. And her comments on the Mehdi Hasan tone-deaf attack on RFK Jr

Here she gives the best run down of the Joe Rogan, Peter Hotez, RFK Jr, vaccine debate issue. And puts the case well that Dr Hotez should accept the debate. As of writing there’s $2.6 million on the table, to Dr Hotez’ favourite charity if he accepts the challenge. 

Other takes from Jimmy Dore. And another, with the Eric Weinstein tweet. And another on Marc Cuban.  All about the current debate du jour.

You may think RFK Jr is a nutter on vaccines. And he is, IMO, on the autism stuff. But he’s polling 20% among Democrats for the presidency. For that alone hE must be heard. And debated. The anti-debate argument is elitist and arrogant. 

ADDED: Eric Weinstein’s Twitter thread on the Great Debate issue. 

And a funny compilation of Dr Peter Hotez statements over the years. Note that the first statement saying how dangerous these mRNA vaccines are, was in the early days of Covid, during Trump. 

The best 80 minutes in Free Speech you’ll spend | Winston Mather talks to Michael Shellenberger

Click above for video 
A retrospective and a prospective. Also a primer for all the lefties out there who only watch CNN and don’t know about things like the Hunter Biden Laptop and the Twitter Files. Those folks being far more numerous than we’d imagined. 

Can’t we please recall: that Free Speech was something we all agreed upon up to 5 minutes ago. Voltaire and “I may disagree with you but I’ll defend to the death your right to say them”. Now from the Left it’s “hate speech” if what I say you don’t like. 

Tuesday 20 June 2023

Zen on Acid


Recording a bit of history? US-China relations

Though in the US some commentators are calling the visit a “failure”. 

I’d say things had got so bad that even a meeting is a useful step forward. Who in earth would want a war between US and China? As some in Australia have been drumming, and hating on China is now a bipartisan thing in the US. And as grizzled Noam Chomsky warns Americans against.

"Indigenous Voice to Parliament will be a distraction from the real problems” | John Anderson

I don’t know about this, this thing called “The Voice”, so I don’t say anything neither. 

John Anderson does say some things, and I put them here as they’re on the “other side” of the debate, the other side of what is no doubt the narrative on mainstream media, that we must vote “yes”, or you’re a bigot. 

Thing is, there’s the whole “Road to hell is paved with good intentions”, thing. That’s mentioned at the end of John’s article. That that there may be damage to the indigenous community from the Voice and John sets out why and where and how. 

We ought not doubt “an apparent correlation between the progressiveness of policy and the degree of (Indigenous) community disaster” as Peter Sutton says. Look at the crime, the homelessness and the mental illness on the streets of San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle, etc, all clearly the result of hyper-progressive policies (decriminalising drug use; defunding the police). So could the same happen in Australia, with The Voice? Maybe. 

John Anderson’s article, and also below the fold:

Monday 19 June 2023

“A need for modesty” | David Dodwell

Ages of inequality” (highlighted above) could also be rather more accurately framed as: “ages of massive, unprecedented increases in human wealth, health and happiness due to the global spread of the Industrial Revolution and the use of fossil fuels to drive it”. 

Ok, not as catchy, I get it. But not said above is: if you increase wealth, and some that increase happens faster for some (countries or people) than for others, that inevitably means increased inequality. But still it’s everyone that’s better off. Rising wealth almost always means rising inequality. The difference between socialism and capitalism is that socialism tries to reduce inequality by squashing down the top; while capitalism tries to reduce inequality by lifting up the bottom. I’ve seen the horrors of the former (China 1976) and the wonders of the latter (China 1980-2012).

That said, a modicum of modesty from the US would be nice. As David Dodwell pleads above. But don’t hold your breath. Americans are brought up with American exceptionalism— “the greatest country in the world” — imbibed with their mothers’ milk. 

And, a bit of tu quoque, what about China? How’s it doing on the modesty front in the South China Sea?

"Germany faces *$1 TRILLION* challenge to plug massive power gap"

Destroying the perfectly good nuclear power station in Biblis, German
 Bloomberg reports
Tell me again how expensive nuclear power is! This $US1 Trillion is needed because Germany closed its nuclear power stations (unnecessarily) and cancelled fracking for gas (unnecessarily). 

$US 1 Trillion is about 100 new 1GW nuclear power stations. Which would be several times the annual needs of Germany. So I don’t know where this huge figure comes from. But, whatever, it’s needed because Germany closed down perfectly functioning nuclear power stations. Because Angela Merkel was stupid. Because the German Greens are stupid. Because they all, stupidly, were freaked by the Fukushima nuclear accident. Which killed precisely zero people in the accident. Stupidy, stupidy, stupidy....

AND: German Greens heat pump debacle. Oh, god... spare us... 

Saturday 17 June 2023

You will not find a better case for free speech — Shellenberger “Off Script”

I was asked by a Leftie friend of mine, an old friend, “are you a free speech absolutist?” I should have seen the trap. As it was I answered “yes”. I now realise that by answering “yes” I was immediately making myself — in her mind — a beyond-the-pale, horrid right winger. Because that’s the way it’s now framed on the Left. If you support Elon Musk on Twitter and his free speech “absolutism”, you’re now part of that tribe, the horrid bigots, the right-wingers, the fascists, the Nazis!

Michael Shellenberger points out: it used the be the Left that were the fre speech absolutists. The Left that quoted Voltaire: “I may disagree with you, but will defend to the death your right to say it”. Now it’s reversed. It’s the Right who’s strong for free speech. 

Twitter is better now for the freedom on there. There is no rise in hate speech. That’s a Left trope. Tucker Carlson has his “Tucker on Twitter”. But Elon has made it clear that anyone on the Left, Don Lemon or the Cuomo brothers for example, are welcome to do the same. There is no other platform the same. 

ADDED: I’ve read both of Shellenberger’s books: “Apocalypse Never” and “San Fransicko”. Good reads both.

Boxes, little boxes

These are boxes in my basement. How many contain national secrets? 

Here’s the thing I just learned about the Trump boxes at Mar-a-lago, which are in the indictment, of which we have pictures, like above, boxes in the basement, boxes in the bathroom, boxes in the hallway, boxes, boxes, everywhere.  

But I learn from the indictment that the FBI took 120 documents. Assume a single document on average is 5 pages, that’s 600 pages, or just over a ream of paper, 5” high. So all those boxes that the DOJ has put in the indictment? Well, at the very least they can’t all contain documents, because a ream of paper is less than one box worth.

Friday 16 June 2023

China gets the jump on new, cheap, safe, modular nuclear technology — Thorium!

The article mentions the US experiments on Thorium reactors at Oak Ridge in the sixties. Says they were stopped because of “shifting priorities”. The main reason was attacks by the Greens, in particular Greenpeace which by then had become rabidly anti-nuclear. The US government just didn’t have the stomach to fight Greenpeace fear-mongering, with the hippy “peace & love” movement in full flight and Greens deliberately conflating nuclear bombs with nuclear energy.

China is not so stupid. Thorium reactors will eventually be on all ships, trains, maybe even planes. Small Modular Reactors can power villages and factories. China has 20,000 years, at least, worth of thorium. 

I wonder how much thorium Australia has. Maybe we could jump a generation and go straight to thorium. Last week an ABC Australia poll of viewers — who skew heavily left — voted 62% that “Australia should develop nuclear energy”. Yay! Let’s get in with it.

ADDED: I had no sooner posted the above, than YouTube pushed me a video from Copenhagen Atomics about their thorium reactors.  Here’s their great vid “Energy future unveiled”.

I commented at the video: “Australia should be at the head of the queue!”. Sweden and Denmark both have strong nuclear power sectors. Note the segment in the video about the safety of nuclear. It’s the safest of all. 1000x safer than coal! Now that most Australians want nuclear, it’s up to pollies to get going. They’ll have to fight the Greens. Who no doubt will try to block them at every step. Despite they say “follow the science”; they don’t. Not when they don’t like it. Like nuclear. And GM foods, btw.

Amazing scenes at CNN and MSNBC following the Trump arraignment


Click above for video 
Why would I post such “right wing rubbish”? Well, just for another view. That’s enough, isn’t it? When we are surrounded, at least we are here in Hong Kong, by all left-of-centre media: CNN, MSNBC, ABC, BBC. So here’s a conservative perspective, and a Black one at that, with Greg Foreman. It’s interesting. And Jake Tapper’s reaction to Trump’s statement after the arraignment is quite amazing. Unprecedented. Even given deep TDS.

Thursday 15 June 2023

“Wannabe dictator...”. Heh! 27 seconds of Funny Fox chyron


Palestinian “solution” redux — Xi’s left-overs stir fry

This is the same as “solutions” out there since 1949. The never-mentioned problem is that neither Hamas nor the Palestinian Authority accepts the “two state solution”. If they did, they could have had a state 70 years ago. Which would today, with the help of Israel, be the Switzerland of the Levant. But no. It’s all “Palestine from the River to the Sea”. Which means the annihilation of Israel. Genocide of the Jews (this time, they promise to do it right...).  

The Palestinians plan is to destroy Israel, a state created by the United Nations. The only Jewish state, vs the 57 Islamic states. So Xi Jinping’s “3-point solution” is nothing but stir-frying left overs. Which won’t make a proper meal until the duplicity — the real agenda — of Palestinian demands for destruction of a sovereign state is abandoned. That’s what has to be front and centre. Not “1967 lines”, or East Jerusalem as a Palestinian capital. Those are second order issues. 

Italian immigrant to California creates underground village. Wonderful!

Click for video
I love this story. What an incredible spirit this man had. 

Wednesday 14 June 2023

“Pride and Prejudice” : the hate from Trans Radical Activists

Hi Jason,

Just after your response to my last email, I heard Tim Winton in a Conversations on ABC Radio National and was reminded of his elegant books and made me think I saw an echo of Winton in your “Thoughts on a Frog" story. As a fellow Aussie, I hope you don’t mind that comparison!

On your latest, “Pride and Prejudice” (above), I have some thoughts. 

I was reminded of a chat with a gay colleague of mine, Jeff, way back in 1993, in Shanghai. Over drinks in the Long Bar, he told me something that's stuck in my mind. Jeff was born and bought up in Australia, drawn to study Chinese and now working for me, in the Austrade Shanghai office (I was the boss of Austrade East Asia).  He said that in Australia — where by then homosexuality was fully legal, tolerance of LGB promoted — it was more difficult to be gay than it was in China, where it was illegal. In China, in Shanghai, despite the fact that it was not legal, all was free and easy, no hassle at all. Whereas one could still face bigotry from the average aussie. 

Coincidentally, today’s Post has a piece making something like the same point. “China’s LGBT Community...”.

I don’t mean at to suggest that it’s better for the LBGTQ community to live where their activities are illegal. I’m pretty sure it’s not at all nice for LGBTQ folks in Russia, let alone in Uganda or most of the Middle East. But there is that, at least here in much of Asia, where non-conforming sexual proclivities are not necessarily legal, but are very much tolerated. I think Hong Kong is like that. We have no same sex marriage, but LGBTQ is very much tolerated. My experience from running two companies here, with over 300 staff, many LGBTQ.

Which brings me to this in your piece above:
"As right-wing driven, Christian fundamentalist influenced bigotry and associated violence towards LGBTQ people makes a repulsive global comeback -- and Hong Kong is not immune to such prejudices -- a return to the shadowy, shamed half-world of yesterday for LGBTQ people seems frighteningly possible at some future point.”
1. You seem to be talking about the world (“... a repulsive global comeback...”). But I reckon the globe needs dividing up. There’s the US, where battle lines over sex and gender are most clearly drawn and most fiercely fought. That extends to fellow travellers, like Australia, NZ and the UK. In short, the Anglosphere. Things are very different even in Europe, let alone in Russia, Africa or the Middle East. 

Focussing now on the US:

2.  The “right-wing driven, Christian fundamentalist... ” is surely there. The Southern Baptists, for example, are pretty much bat-shit crazy with their “Homosexuals will go to Hell” placards and the rest of their lunacy. But I’m not sure they’re any more active than they’ve always been. Maybe; just not seen it. 

There’s the likes of Matt Walsh and his “What is a Woman?” doco. Matt is very religious but his documentary doesn’t mention religion. It’s a fine documentary which raises challenging and urgent questions. I would not count it as “repulsive”. 

What I’ve seen is that tensions between the broader community and the LGBTQ community is now concentrated on the T in that acronym. (To the extent that even the LGB side of it have problems with the T side of it). And that breaks down into three main areas:

(a) Women fighting for women’s spaces. This includes the likes of J.K. Rowling, Julie Bindel, Kelly-Jay Kean, Abigail Shrier, Amala Ekpunobi, Helen Joyce, and many others -- collectively the “Gender Critical” community. They want women -- that is, biological women -- to have safe spaces in bathrooms, changing rooms and prisons, not to be occupied by trans women, especially pre-operative, with “twig and berries” intact. J.K.Rowling has become a favourite hate target of the Trans Radical Activists, TRA, but her statement is on the Trans issue is clear, cogent, empathetic and powerful (how many TRA have read it?!). There are options for trans women
(b) Women fighting for women’s only sports. The likes of Paula Scanlan and Riley Gaines. Riley swam against the trans woman Lia Thomas, who won, as a newly-minted woman, races in the elite college women’s league by lengths of the swimming pool. This is happening all over sports now and will cause more mayhem and heartache for women if not stopped. There are options for trans athletes.  
(c) Stopping “gender affirming care” for children. A wide constituency, left and right, and polling as majorities of most people. Aim to stop drugs and major operations on children on the basis of “gender affirming care”. Hormones and operations leave transitioning minors forever sterile and forever reliant on drugs. These procedures are now banned in countries like the Britain, Finland, Norway and Sweden. Yet in America they proceed apace. Biden stated, at a recent Pride event, that failure to allow medicalisation of children is akin to murder. The opposite is the case. Hormone treatment and operations that sterilise young children is not good paediatric care. There are options for children with dysphoria.

All this may be debated by people of good will. What ought not happen is that it be labelled “hate speech” or “transphobia”, for simply wanting to talk about it. Yet that’s what’s happening on the MSM and on social media. The hate for it is coming all one way (at least as it seems to me): it’s coming from the Trans Radical Activist community to anyone who disagrees with them, the “Gender Critical” group. And it’s not nice. Indeed it’s horrid; vicious, nasty and murderous. Have a look at some of it on Tik Tok. It’s crazy. 

I have seen nothing similar on the other side: from Gender Critical people to the Trans community. If you know if it, let me know and direct me to it. But as far as I can see, sitting here in my eyrie in Hong Kong, the hate is all one way. I do make sure that I look at stuff on both sides, left and right, in the MSM and on social media. 

We also shouldn’t forget that there has been a huge amount of progress, at least in the US and the Anglosphere, for the LGBTQ community. 

In my own lifetime it’s gone from being all homosexuals are in the closet, to being out and Proud. From homosexuality being illegal to open and widespread gay marriage. From “don’t ask don’t tell” in the Army to “do who you do; do tell”. The Pride Flag now flies above the Stars and Stripes at the White House! Only a dozen years ago, the New Yorker noted that transgender people could be fired just for being trans, and that they weren’t allowed in the armed forces; now they are front and centre in military recruitment ads! Biden boasts of transgender heads in his government. There has been huge progress. 

On the other side, it’s most certainly hyperbole that people who challenge the Trans narrative are “harming” the trans community; that they are responsible for “genocide”. The data show that trans people are murdered at lower rates than the general community. There is no difference in suicide rates between those who have undergone transition, vs those who have not. Those are the data.  

Please do challenge me on and this if you so feel. If there are indeed “repulsive” movements out there, I’d like to know about them, and I’d commit to counter them, in any way I can.

ADDED: Biden’s Pride bash on the South Lawn. Much misinformation. But I’ll leave it for now. 

White Chapel, Discovery Bay

Tuesday 13 June 2023

A plea to maintain HK rule of law and free flow of information

Kinda cute. The hope...  Still, even me, I hope. 

Also: I’ve long thought that the idea of Shanghai taking over Hong Kong as an international finance centre was nonsense. Main reason: it doesn’t have free flow of capital. 

Also: it doesn’t have free flow of information. 

And, as of recently, if you do something that Xi Jinping doesn’t like, you’ll have Plod on the front door. So there’s that. 

Monday 12 June 2023

“Trump indicted …”

Noting another historic event: the first federal indictment of a former president and leading presidential candidate. 

The objections to this are not the cliché “no one is above the law”, but the unequal treatment under the law. Sure, the Trump case of having classified documents at home can be differentiated from the Biden, Pence, Obama, you name them, cases, by his “obstruction of justice” because he resisted handing them back, while the others didn’t. BUT, it cannot be differentiated from the Hillary Clinton case, as she kept vastly more documents, over 30,000, on her private server, at home, and then, when asked for them, destroyed them with “BleachBit” software. This, to many, counts as a more egregious case than Trump’s, yet “no reasonable prosecutor would pursue the case” said then FBI director James Comey. Hmmm….

Glenn Greenwald explains why precedent is crucial. It’s the bedrock of our western legal systems. By ignoring it, the DOJ is proving itself a to be a scary partisan political player. GG: “in the law, precedent is everything “. Without it anyone can be arrested for anything.  “Show me the man and I’ll show you the crime “ said Beria to Stalin. As in:

Calm down… it’s just a meme!
ADDED: The indictment is “powerful” and even of half true “Trump is toast”. He has shot himself in the foot. The only defence is the “unequal treatment” (vs Hillary Clinton), though that’s a political defence not a legal defence. (Says Shapiro. Not sure if Greenwald would agree). Detail run-down of the indictment here.