|Click above for the video. Super|
|Click above for the video. Super|
I reacquainted myself with Warren Mundine through the “Voice” Referendum Campaign in Australia. A referendum to give a Voice to indigenous Australians via a change to the Constitution. Vote now set for October 14. Warren speaks for the No campaign. I have no view, and can’t even vote, despite being Australian, as I’ve lived too long in Hong Kong.
But I've followed the campaign with interest. Concluding that it’s a very consequential referendum. If the outcome is Yes, the Constitution is going to be amended in ways that will affect Australia for ever.
There’s vast sums of money on the side of the “Yes” campaign, from the government, industry, media, banking. There’s very little on the “No” side, Warren being one. The other high profile No campaigner, Jacinta Price.
The Yes campaign is that it’s not a big change and that it will bring people together and help reconciliation.
The No campaign is that there’s already plenty of representation by the Indigenous community and lots of money spent: best to get to know HOW it’s been spent, and WHY it hasn’t done much. And then HOW can it be better spent.
“How have they spent the money?”, ask Warren and Jacinta, given over $A 30 Billion per year is spent. With very little positive result.
That’s another way of saying/suggesting that there’s a degree of ... hmmm.. corruption. Noel Pearson in his Cape York Leadership program has been given $500 million for 3,500 people. Yet not a single measure of welfare has increased. Where has that money gone? They suggest, the No-sayers, that more money in Canberra, in the hands of activitists, is not going to help. Not to mention, they remind us, that it’s a racist proposal. A separate Voice, housed in Parliament House, with membership based solely on race. Racist, how not?
One of the problems is summed up in the headline above: “What are we going to do about pretty boy?”. Said by members of the aboriginal community when Warren changed from Labor to Liberal party. How can an aboriginal be a conservative? And even having a job was seen as selling out:
"On many occasions, we had to leave certain drinking establishments because we were tagged Uncle Toms and uptown niggers for daring to have a bloody job. We understood why people were saying it, but it did hurt.” [Ref]
That’s a real problem. And Warren is against it. And he’s right. He’s right to fight for aboriginal self reliance, getting jobs, moving to the cities. None of which is helped by the Voice. Which he sees as just one more bureaucracy in Canberra, with heaps of money, for the activists.
One of the biggest reasons for poor aboriginal health is living remote communities. Where I have friends who’ve lived with and worked beside and doctored to, the Indigenous, but when I ask “what’s to be done?” answer “I don’t know". Warren answers: Get with modern Australia. Give up on the “mythical, noble-savege ideal”:
Aboriginal people needed to embrace private ownership and enterprise, as his parents had done. .... In 2005, he was awarded a medal by the conservative Bennelong Society and used the occasion to hit out at those who sought to preserve "a mythical, noble-savage ideal of indigenous Australia”. [Ref]
And he’s also pro-nuclear. That’s thinking clearly. That’s thinking independently. That’s thinking Science.
What a man!
|Click above for video|
Note the article above: discharge as per Fukushima has been going in all over for many years. At below natural radiation levels and with approval of both the United Nations and the WHO.
Article online here.
But the figures tell a different story and have done so for as long as America has kept data. From the FBI Criminal Justice Information Services Division (above):
So, a bit over double. The discrepancy is greater when adjusted for relative percent of the US population: Blacks 13%, white 67%. Which gives a ratio of 11:1 for Blacks killing whites, vs whites killing Blacks.
I’m only making this point because the refrain is constantly the opposite. The opposite, that is, of what the data tell us. Could we just report all killings? Or none? Just not selectively.
A similar rusted-on perception is about police killings of unarmed Blacks. Common perception: it’s in the thousands. Actual number: under 100/year.
How can pushing all these wrong things help American society?
We’re on Lantau island to the west of Hong Kong island, still part of the territory. Part of the the Other system of the One country.
Our house, seen from a drone, is a thick “I”. Aligned north and south. To our East is Hong Kong Island the South China Sea, the Philippines, the Pacific Ocean, British Columbia, California. To our North and West is China. The Mainland. Our mother. Our sovereign.
I’m sitting in our lounge listening to Jing play Chopin on her beautiful Bösendorfer Grand.
I hear a cacophony of birds next door. Sounds like they’re delighting in life, chirruping their love of our dear planet.
I wait for a break in Jing’s practice, and say “listen to the birds having a wow of a time”.
We go out to watch and listen. We see they’re fighting, not dancing. They’re squabbling over something terribly important to them. Their whole life and focus taken up with squawking and spitting and shrilling as they do.
And it makes me think how we all are in our bubbles. We humans and our deep-dish haggles, births, marriages, elections and wars. We think them all so important.
We think during the battle that that’s all there is to the world. That’s all there is to life. But we’re just like the birds. Obsessed. Yelling, screaming, for our rights. For me. For me. Squawking and Skittering.
This should be a fabulous collection. Entirely new, (3,800 year old!) artefacts, never before seen outside China, to come to the Palace Museum here in Hong Kong at the end of September. Just in time for us to take my sister and husband for a visit.
|Click above for the video of Nate the Lawyer|
Nate the Lawyer, above, looks at the first Republican Primary debate, from Left (CNN, MSNBC) to Right (Fox, Newsmax). Interesting differences, even within camps. No overall (unqualified) winner.
Another good analysis is at National Review. Which were a bit more like my hot take.
Compared to my hot take, I give myself a middling to not bad score. Maybe C+.
Most agree with me that Nicky Hailey and Mike Pence did better than expected. Generally agreed that Ron De Santis didn’t win didn’t lose.
The main areas that I’m different: many/most of the media thought Vivek Ramaswami won. And that Tim Scott lost. I thought the opposite. Even I’ve liked Vivek for a long time; maybe why I downgraded him. Others were seeing him for the first time and found him invigorating. Which he is. He’ll be happy, I’d guess. Though here’s a thing: he increased his Positives. And also increased his Negatives by more than his Positives. So net/net, his negative score increased.
Some say Trump won by not being there.
More to come. Ancora c’e da fare.
Bari Weiss at the Free Press.
Mug shot ➜ Mug Meme ➜ Mug
And CNN are tortured. Pained that Trump isn’t “treating it seriously enough”, when he has merch made. Making fun of an indictment which is clearly political. How dare he?
His Mug says “Never Surrender”. I’ve ordered one. How can one not? So historic. If crazy and dangerous. And not good for the Republic.
Merch happened, like, straight away. I ordered a mug, for the history of it. Two minutes after the mug shot appeared. They were ready!
ADDED: Babylon Bee: “Trump indicted again for looking too stunningly handsome in his mug shot"
|Click above for video|
Some of what’s best about American politics. People with firmly held views, duking it out.
ADDED: what upsets Bill about Trump is the whole disturbance to the “peaceful transfer of power” thing. I wonder if he knows of the amount election denial on the Dems side, all the videos out there of Dems saying that Donald Trump was “illegitimate”, and so on. And if he does know about them and says something like “it’s different with Trump”, the response is “no it’s not”. Not according to Dershowitz, prime legal scholar of this issue, and knowing more about it than Bill. It’s the case, it seems, that he has to believe the narrative, that Trump “impeded the peaceful transfer of power”. And he demands that Ramaswami believe it too. Which Ramaswami pushes back on, without getting into details.
ADDED (ii): Maher also gets wrong the Russian Collusion hoax. He seems still to believe it. Despite Mueller an Durham reports. Which, opposite of what he says, were not “Republican” reports, but almost exclusively staffed and run by Democrat operatives. And still the conclusions was that there was “no collusion between the Trump team and Russia”. Bringing up the Papadopoulsos meeting with Alexander Downer in London as some sort of proof of collusion is nonsense, as all investigations into it have shown. It’s a hard one to kill, that “Russian collusion”! As hard as getting Dems to accept that their own, Hillary, Carter, Obama, consistently denied the legitimacy of the 2016 election. Hmm...
Or rather who did best?
I watched it all on Rumble, the YouTube for folks that don’t like censorship.
Somehow Rumble got the exclusive rights to stream the debate. On cable, it was with Fox. Which we no longer have in Hong Kong, and we don’t bother to stream.
Below my hot take before watching any of the pundits.
First Trump didn’t bother to show up. He’s so far in front, in the primary polls that it was beneath him, I presume.
I don’t think the rest of the candidates laid a glove on Trump, in his absence. They should have. Cause he’s a loser. He lost the 2020 presidential, including losing the Senate because of his idiotic hissy fit, telling Reps not to bother voting in the Georgia Senate race; he lost the 2022 midterms for the Reps, by his poor choice of candidates to endorse; and is now under four indictments, three of which are completely unnecessary, as he brought them on himself.
Not to say that the Dems are not overreaching and prosecuting shameless partisan law-fare on Trump, because they most surely are, but that’s another issue. Trump is a loser and should have been hammered in this debate. He wasn’t. Trump was not even in the debate, yet didn’t suffer, at least at the hands of these milquetoasts.
The winners, according to me.
Note: These have no relationship to those that I think should be the Republican Presidential candidate. Which IMO ought to be one of: Ron DeSantis, Tim Scott or Vivek Ramaswami. A Latino, a Black or an Indian-American. That’s the depth and diversity of the Republican bench!
Still, this is who I feel did best:
Mike Pence: Trump’s VP. And Mr Boring. But came out swinging, powerful, clear, forceful. Definitely performed beyond expectations. Mine, at least.
Nicky Hailey: She was clear, forceful, fought back when attacked. Said strong stuff about actually getting things done, like a Federal law on abortion, post the overthrow of Roe v Wade, and also on the Ukraine war. She lingers in the memory after this debate. Where before she hadn’t made any impression. On me, at least.
Tim Scott: I’m going to say that he performed as I’d seen him perform before, in that he’s a powerful eloquent voice for working hard and making your own success: born dirt poor, of a poor single mum, nothing handed to him, but made it to community college, started and sold a successful business and is now a Federal Senator. That’s quite a resumé. A powerful message of non-victimhood and he got that across well in this debate. At least according to me.
That’s it for the winners. I’ll give all three a B-plus.
Now for the ones that underperformed:
Ron DeSantis was pretty much as we’ve seen him before. Steady, resolute, solid, dependable. But nothing out of the box. He gets a steady C from me. Which is my definition of underperforming. Because he had to do better, to break through to the top. To get near Trump.
Vivek Ramaswami: I’ve really liked what he’s been doing on the campaign trail, but I don’t think he gave us the best he can be. And he came across as sometimes crazy: like his “kill the Deep State” ideas. The other candidates really hit him hard, like he’s the main danger, especially Chris Christy, and Vivek didn’t take it well. Didn’t handle it as well as I’ve seen him do in the many appearances on podcasts and on cable, including in “enemy” territory, like CNN and MSNBC. He was on The Breakfast Club pod, very left wing, and did well. Killed them. Not here, not this time. He gets a C-minus from me.
Chris Christy: what to say? Nothing much. He’s supposed to be the Trump-killer, but no verbal homicide in this debate. He’s the B-minus bluster-blubber.
The two others there, I can barely recall. Asa Hutchison, ex (I think) Governor of Arizona (I think) only said stuff, mainly about Trump, which got the crowd booing. Rightly so, as he supported all the indictments, which to many-most Republicans, and to us here in this Hong Kong household, are clear cases of unequal treatment under the Law, no matter how much one might bleat “no one is above the law”. Right. Except Hillary (her emails), Joe (Ukraine, China, Romania, etc, etc...).
And there was another dude, a Governor, of somewhere mid western, I didn't catch, but was big bundle of nothing. Nothing I recall, anyway, ‘cept for something he said that the crowd really, really didn’t like. So I’m hoping he and Asa will go the way of the wisp. D-s to both.
There we have it from me. I wonder how the pundits see it. No doubt different from me. Then, that’s what they’re paid for. And many of them real smart cookies. And I’m just a fat old Aussie dude here in Hong Kong. What do I know?
Except this: that at the end of these primary performances, it’s going to be like they say about Germany v England in the Football (Soccer): play for 90 minutes and Germany wins on penalties. That’s how it goes. And with these Republican primaries it’s: you have the debates, and at the end Trump is the winner.
Sigh... and CYA!
ADDED: It was a pretty spicy debate! Fun to watch. Quick moving. The moderators (Martha MacCallum and Bret Baier) kept it pretty much under control, but also let it flow when needed. I thought, while watching: the best of democracy, the best of what the US does, open, transparent, even if -- of course! -- we don’t get to hear any detail, almost don’t get to hear any policy at all. But we do get to see how the would-be president of a great democracy handles themself, under tough questioning, in front of a large crowd. That takes some gall, and also takes high performative skills.
How can we have a proper debate when we no longer speak the same language?
I was about to start work on this commission, when in came an email from Twitter. They’d received a complaint that the following tweet violated their standards.
“Sex is not the same as gender.” But it’s not your gender that gives you the physique to tower over woman athletes & break their swimming records. It’s your sex. It’s not your undressed gender that upsets women in changing rooms. It’s your sex. You can’t eat your cake & have it.
Twitter sensibly over-ruled the complaint and cleared me of the proscribed sins that they helpfully listed for me:
My earlier post on The Breakfast Club and Larry Elder.
The Breakfast Club is a group of left wing podcasters, Black-centred, led by Charlamagne Tha God.
I first heard of Charlamagne when Biden went on his Pod last year. And said the now infamous: “If you’re Black and you don’t vote Democrat, you ain’t Black!”. Which Larry pushes back to Charlamagne when asked a question: “Have you ever had a N-word Wake-Up Call?”.
Recently the Breakfast Club had the conservative candidate for president, Larry Elder on the show. And he really gave them what for. I reported it here.
Since then, heaps of Vids clipping the show. Most from Black folks. Most support Larry. Most really against “the woman”, aka Tezlyn Figaro. Who really is a piece of work! As Larry says “Oh Boy..”.
Here’s some of them:
Phew! That’s just some that were sent to my YouTube algorithm! Just cause I watched the original post from The Breakfast Club. All on Elder’s side. And all hating on “that woman”, aka Tezlyn Figaro.
I hate the way Figaro keeps referring to Elder as “Sir” or “Mr Elder”. Supposed to be “respectful” I guess. But the opposite. Comes across as very disrespectful, at least passive aggressive.
|Click above for the video|
Tells us the story of why Teslas are being banned in some places in China. In short: it’s to do with the potential for spying, as the Chinese see it, near their military bases.
We ought have the same concern about Tik Tok. And China's electric cars sold in the US: Xpeng, BYD, etc. Until something is worked out. It’s the old principle of reciprocity.
|Click above for the video|
Look at the bloodthirsty wording in the New York Times article above. Amazing. What do they want? The killing fields of WWI trench warfare? Where the sons killed are Ukrainian sons? Not the brave reporters on the New York Crimes! Oh, no! It’s the Ukrainians who are “casualty averse”. Shame on the NYT.
I’m finding it harder to ignore the evidence that the war in Ukraine is supported by the US because of its military industrial complex, because of business, the business of war, selling -- via the US government -- old weapons to Ukraine, trying out new weapons on the youth in other countries, degrading the military of Russia. Nothing to do with any particular principle.
This war could have been over in the first months, but Biden sent Boris to Kiev to say, no, not yet, matey. We’re not finished offering your youth up to the entrenched Russkies. Stay in there a while longer. And we’ll make sure to keep the Ukrainian flag on our Twitter profiles.
Glenn Greenwald so worth following.
The Lab-Leak Illusion
I don’t think you are getting it here Claire. Many of us have never thought this was proven either to be Zoonotic or Lab authored. There is only one thing of which I am totally certain as a STEM PhD: the laboratory hypothesis was never “a bust” or “racism” or “a tin foil hat conspiracy theory” etc. when it was raised. That is what the fuss is about. Why did our institutions treat the **scientific** imperative to consider *all* viable hypotheses without bias as anti-science, pseudo-science, nuttery, or bigotry???? And why are you joining this movement to make those who want this answered look like they are acting bizarrely?? The bizarreness and pseudoscience started from the instant imperative not to consider the laboratory. And all that came from the institutions who all knew better. 100%.
|Click above to see video|
Dershowitz is a lifetime classic liberal, always voted Democrat and wants the opportunity to vote against Trump again. Stands on the side, not of one party or the other, but on the side of the Constitution. For that he’s been roasted by his erstwhile friends and colleagues. Dershowitz now Roasts Tribe as “unconstitutional” by pushing to rule Trump out of the 2024 election. I mean, even before the election.
Dershowitz has paid dearly for his principled stand. For that he’s one of the few worth listening to.
I see somewhere that Gavin Newsome, the oleaginous Governor of California, has put a Bill to the State House to ban Trump from campaigning in California. If true… bad. Bad for America. Bad for society. Bad for politics . For the reasons Dershowitz lays out above. Unconstitutionally. And then any state could do it, to any candidate. Texas to Biden? Hell, yeah! If Newsome goes ahead, hell yeah. Then it’s gloves off and no good comes of it. You can’t stop Mutually Assured Destruction. Mad …
Going down the bits I’ve highlighted above:
Karl Marx defines “Capital” as “dripping from head to foot, from every pore, with blood and dirt”. Elsewhere, he and Engles, in The Communist Manifesto, call for
It’s all there, plain and in the open. What a horrid ideology! Which has ended in disaster and pyres of bodies everywhere it’s been tried. But Gen Z, young people? Fully 60%, want Socialism (aka Communism, or commie lite, if you must) in the US! Because they haven’t been taught communism’s murderous history. Which I saw first hand when I went to China in 1976.
"The old Chinese joke": you tell your god-son over and over, he’s your son; you don’t have to keep telling your actual son that he’s your son. “The lady doth protest too much, methinks” => “The Party doth reassure too much, methinks!” The Communist Party constantly telling private entrepreneurs that they needn’t worry... makes them worry!
"China’s growth in the last 40 years". I’ve said a million times, China has grown its economy in exact proportion to the extent to which Beijing allowed the spread of private enterprise. Zhou Xin: “China’s economic miracle over the last forty years is a historic process of liberating growth potential …”.
The “debt-fuelled model” based on State Owned Enterprises is inefficient and wasteful. Amen.
"Time for China to stop treating capital as a dirty word". Yeah, but nah. Not going to happen. Not under Xi Jinping.
What’s happening to me? Again agreeing with Alex Lo! Am I becoming a Noam Chomsky-ist? An America hater? An anti-globalist?
Well, no, I still love America. BUT… it’s easy to see how non-Americans are put off by this incessant militarism. The military bases everywhere. By some counts 1,200 and more. While China has just one.
I remember in Subic Bay, Philippines, one time after our yacht race there from Hong Kong. Standing at the hotel check-in, along came a group of American army guys, in uniform. These are big white men. I’m also a big white man. But I felt overwhelmed, intimidated even. How then do the physically smaller and non-white Filipinos feel about them? When they bump into them often. As Japanese must do in Japan with America’s 120 (!) bases. They’re intimidating.
Ref the highlight above, Australia already is “another branch of the Pentagon”. We couldn’t even get America to release Julian Assange to us. They swatted us away like an uppity Pentagon section head. Be gone!
|Click above for video|
|Click above for the video|
|Click above for video|
“Wreaks havoc”: the same sort of catastrophism as I showed in the case of the misinformation on “increased” typhoons “battering” Hong Kong. No such thing.
I don’t recall the exact Drake formula, but the basics of it are simple, why I remember it. Sticking to our Milky Way galaxy for now, as that’s all we can usefully search for ETI:
It goes (something) like this.
And it goes on a bit further, but you get the idea. Also, I’m sure not to have got the formula exactly right, as I’m going on what I recall, but the concept of it is so simple, that I’ve got it more or less right. And the main idea, the main principle, is surely clear.
What I’ve always thought, and most folks seem to have thought, is that “S”, the number of stars in the universe is so huge that the likely number of “N”, Earth like planets with an advanced civilisation, is also likely to be high.
HOWEVER, what we’re learning recently is this: that the number of “contingencies” that needed to happen to create an Earth is so great, that the likelihood of another Earth with beings like Homo Sapiens, is so small as to approach zero.
The contingencies are like: Planet systems like those of our Sol are very rare. An Earth has to be protected by a gas giant like Jupiter, to protect against the bombardment by asteroids. An Earth needs to have a Moon, to create life-making tides. And just the right size and right distance from the Earth. That it turn needs a planet like Theya, to hit the other Earth, at just the right time and in the right way to create a perfect Moon.
These likelihood of these contingencies have to be multiplied together to get the likelihood of another Earth. Some have calculated each one at a maximum of one in a thousand chance. And they may be much rarer. Say you have six such contingencies and each is one in a thousand chance, you get the likelihood of Another Earth, with Intelligent Life, as one in 10 with 18 zeros or 1x10^18. Less than one in a Qudrillion. That makes it less than the number of stars we know of in the Galaxy, max ~400 billion or 4x10^14. So the chance of Human-like life -- based on the likelihood of contingencies -- is less the number of stars in the Milky Way.
Therefore, goes the current thinking, at least some of the current thinking: the likelihood of another Human-like civilisation in our Galaxy is very unlikely.
I hope not. But there it is.
|This is the actual front-page headline |
in the South China Morning Post
The key sentence is “…projected increase in the proportion (not absolute number) of intense tropical cyclones…”
In the original article with the catastrophist headline above they did not say “not absolute number”. Just that there would be a higher proportion of intense tropical cyclones (aka “typhoons”). By which we were clearly invited to assume there would be more. And which gave us the scary front page headline.
Here’s how that works: say there are 12 tropical cyclones (TC) each year that affect Hong Kong, of which four are intense cyclones (IC) ie typhoons. That’s four in twelve or 33%. If the number of TCs reduces to 10 per year, and the same number of IC, then the proportion, four in ten, increases to 40%. That the only way you get to have a higher proportion without increasing the absolute number. It’s by fewer total TCs. And in this both the HKO and myself are agreed, as Chief Scientist Lee says.
So: the reality is that we expect slightly fewer TCs and about the same number to be Typhoons. But that has been spun into “Stronger typhoons to batter Hong Kong”. Which at the very least is misleading. If not outright false. Misinformation one might say.
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Snowy 2.0 will provide an additional 2,000 megawatts of dispatchable, on-demand generating capacity and approximately 350,000 megawatt hours of large-scale storage to the National Electricity Market. To provide context, this is enough energy storage to power three million homes over the course of a week.