Saturday 30 March 2024

Dick Smith Fact checks the ABC on nuclear for Australia

(Dick Smith is a patron of Nuclear for Australia)

Dick Smith is a famous Aussie entrepreneur. i’m so glad he’s a patron of Nuclear for Australia. 

From their email to me today:

Last Friday, the ABC posted a 'Fact Check' targeting Dick Smith.

In response, he fact checked the fact check describing the article as "full of lies", threatened to sue the ABC and wrote a complaint to ABC Managing Director David Anderson.

The ABC RMIT Fact Check addressed his claim to Ben Fordham that:

"No country has been able to run entirely on renewables"

In their fact check, Mark Jacobson suggested this claim wasn't true:

"There are four countries running on 100% wind-water-solar (WWS) alone for their grid electricity".

Those countries are Albania, Bhutan, Nepal and Paraguay who Dick noted were obviously not comparable to Australia.

He also pointed out that the ABC had deceptively only focussed on electricity rather than energy as a whole.

No country has been able to use renewables to cover their broader energy demands which in addition to electricity include areas like transportation and heating.

“U.S. must do better” | Steven Roach

Latest in what appears to be a series “America Bad”. After yesterday’s hit piece by Zhou Xiaoming.

This one from professor Steven Roach at Yale University. The U.S. “must do better” we are told. “Sinophobia is off the rails …

I wonder if Roach, dumping on the U.S. from the comfort of his ivory tower at Yale, thinks his equivalent at, say, Tsing Hua University could do a similar broadside on China?

Anyway, picking nits. Quotes from the article indented:

“[Huawei] was accused of deploying digital back doors that could enable Chinese espionage and cyberattacks…

Accusations were not from the U.S. alone, but also the U.K., Australia and the EU. They hardly beggar belief.

The Department of Justice has just indicted a state-sponsored Chinese hacking group for allegedly taking aim at critical American infrastructure. Much has also been made of the purported risks of Chinese electric vehicles (EVs), construction and dock-loading cranes, and now TikTok.”

In his intro, Roach defined “Sinophobia” as an irrational fear and accused the U.S. of it. But the above are not “irrational” concerns:

  • Concerns about attacks on U.S. infrastructure are well-documented, long-standing and apply not just to China. However, China has the most capacity for cyberattacks.
  • On EVs it was China that first banned Teslas from what they deemed “sensitive sites” in China because they feared Tesla hacks. What’s good for the goose, ‘n all….
  • On Tik Tok  I’ve made the case for its banning, here and here. And “4 guys who know their stuff discuss the Tik Tok ban bill.”. The Congressional Committee passed it 50-0, virtually unprecedented unanimity.

Not since the red-baiting of the early 1950s has America so vilified a foreign power.

Why “red-baiting”? Why the mockery? The early fifties were barely post war. Stalin’s Soviet Union promptly gulped down Eastern Europe and the Baltic states. In the sixties Krushchev vowed to the west “we will bury you!”  He meant it. The Kennedy-Krushchev face-off in Cuba was a real existential threat of global nuclear apocalypse. 

So, yeah, the Soviet Union was vilified and more so than China today.  I remember it personally. All we older Boomers do. Ronald Reagan did vilification best, when called the Soviet Union the “Evil Empire”. That’s not “red-baiting”; that’s being anti the takeover of the world by Soviet communism. 

The intelligence community over-estimated the Soviets strength. And they may be overestimating Chinese strength today. But even if, it’s surely inarguable that China is vastly stronger than the Soviets ever were.  Criticising them is not “vilification”. 

Friday 29 March 2024

“… John Lee vows to step up intelligence gathering, analysis for law enforcement after Article 23 legislation” | SCMP

My comment at the site:

Best to get in with promoting HK as International Financial Centre and less of defending Article 23 against alleged "foreign smears". That only keeps the Law in the news, the "Streisand effect". 

Interesting that many other comments are critical. 

It's odd that the government keeps on hammering away at overseas critics of Article 23 when they've said they want us and the world to focus on the economy. Same as recent hullabaloo over use of wrong anthem at international sporting events. Let it go! Remember Barbra

“Climate the Movie"


Click above for the video
A movie by Christians, though I only knew that at the end. But so what? If it’s good, it’s good. 

And this is good. With input from established scientists, in some of the best universities and with Nobel prizes to boot. Note that most are older. Why? Because you need to be retired to have the money to go ahead and criticise. For, as many of these folks point out, if you do so when you’re still mid-career, you’re going to be fired. 

Thursday 28 March 2024

DUTY TO WARN - Seymour Hersh

Who was it did the terror attack in Moscow?

Seymour Hersh is no mainstream stooge. He broke the Pentagon Papers mega story,  and published "The U.S. was responsible for the Nordstream pipeline explosions”. 

So, not a big fan of the U.S. military-industrial complex.

And he's got connections.

I don't know who carried out the Crocus terrorist attack in Moscow. And neither does CNN. And neither do you.

For the time being, until I see better evidence, I'll go with Seymour's info. It was ISIS. 

Hong Kong: National Security Law. I’ve read it so you don’t have to...

A number of my Occasional Readers have asked, “what’s going on?” with the Article 23 law. So, here it is. 

I was worried. And wrote that I was

And now I’ve read the text, of the “Safeguarding National Security Law”, I’m not so worried. 

Some points: 

  1. Clarity and simplicity: the text of the Law is clearly written and easy to understand 
  2. No worries about blogging: I was concerned that this blog, here for sixteen years, might breach the NSL. It does not. The relevant Clause is no. 22 and it strikes me as reasonable. At least more so than I’d feared. 
  3. Defence clauses. The NSL has specific clauses stating that that “this” or “that” can be a defence in the case of breaches alleged under the Law. I think is this good. 

Of course there are concerns amongst the business community, like what about “receiving State Secrets” and being involved with “External forces”. Those concerns are understandable. And need to be monitored. 

But overall consider what companies look for. Stability, clean government, clear laws, freedom of capital movement, rule of law and clean judiciary. All of these Hong Kong retains. 

So, no, I don’t think that it’s “the end of Hong Kong”. Or that we are ended as a financial centre. We no longer hear of Chinese officials predicting the imminent victory of Shanghai or Shenzhen over Hong Kong. It’s all Hong Kong, with its common law legal system and free capital movements. They keep on stressing this over and over. They keep stressing that we’ll keep the “one country two systems” model and that we’ll keep the Common Law system. This Beijing says from top to bottom and it’s good for us. 


Li Cheng of the Brooking’s Institute says the notion that Hong Kong is “finished” is “ludicrous”. Three main reasons he gives: (1) We are highly cosmopolitan (2) We are on the biggest financial centres in Asia and the world (3) Good education system, with several universities in the top ten of the world. 

AND: Foreign companies have prepared themselves for the new law since the National Security Law of 2020, here

Another thing: I think I’d be more likely to be arrested or fined if in Scotland, Ireland, or even Australia, under their Hate Speech laws. I could be arrested there for saying that there are two sexes and that there is no “gender spectrum”, on the basis of science. Not so in Hong Kong. I’m going to say it here to prove it: “there are, scientifically, only two sexes, male and female”. There is no “gender spectrum”. There. 

Also: many posting out that most other countries, including western democracies, have similar national security laws. Alex Lo writes a fun piece pointing out the British National Security Law is more draconian than our new Supplementary Law, and was enacted to not much publicity just three months ago. I wouldn’t make too much of that as they’re operating in democratic systems. Still, it’s a point . As is mine about being caught by Hate Speech laws. 

“America bad” | Zhou Xiaoming

My comments at the site

U.S. post WW2:
  • Marshall Plan for Europe, 
  • Democracy in Japan, 
  • Establish and majorly fund the United Nations, World Health Organisation, World Trade organisation… 
  • Defence of South Korea, of Berlin, of Kosovo, 
  • Keeping world seaways open, 
  • GPS for the world, 
  • Biggest aid donor in the world, including to UNRWA (!), WHO, etc… 
Amongst a lot else. Like making it possible for China to lift 500 million out of poverty by selling stuff to America. 

But, you know, "America bad". 

Wednesday 27 March 2024

"5 Myths about the war in Gaza” | Sam Harris

From Sam Harris, transcript of a podcast on 30 Jan 2024, on his blog, here. My selected quotes. The whole piece is worth reading, sound moral clarity. 


The first point is that the problem that Israel faces with Hamas, and eventually Hezbollah, and ultimately Iran, while it is existential for Israel, and dangerous and difficult in many specific ways, is a variant of a larger problem that has nothing, in principle, to do with Israel or Jews or American foreign policy. This is a larger clash of cultures—I hesitate to follow Samuel Huntington in calling it a clash of civilizations, because I think real civilization—what we mean by “civilization” at this point in the 21st century—exists on only one side of this divide. And this clash is happening, in varying degrees, in a hundred countries.
However horrific, even unthinkable, sometimes war is necessary. Now, many of the decisions Israel has made in how it wages this war are certainly debatable. But there is no way of waging it without a massive loss of innocent life, as I will discuss.
What is the alternative to violence for Israel in its current conflict with Hamas, given what Hamas did on October 7th, and given what it has vowed to do again at any opportunity? Pacifism? Pacifism only works against a morally sane adversary. It worked against the British in India. But pacifism would not have worked against the Nazis. Had the Allies decided that war is just too awful, and they just couldn’t stomach killing any more German children, we would all be living in the 1000-year Reich.
The problem for Israel, and for the whole world, is that Jihadism is more dangerous than Nazism. Jihadists are Nazis who are certain of paradise.

Myth #1: Israel is guilty of “genocide” in Gaza.
The term “genocide” has a clear meaning—it’s the destruction or attempted destruction of a whole people. According to the 1948 international genocide convention, genocide constitutes “acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group.” To claim that Israel has perpetrated a genocide in Gaza, or that it has attempted genocide anywhere, is patently false.
As for genocide, the intentions of Hamas, as declared in their founding charter, and as they have reiterated numerous times since October 7th, are explicit: They aspire to commit an actual genocide. This is something they proudly claim to want to do. And the worst part is that they don’t ultimately care about their own survival. Members of Hamas, like jihadists everywhere, routinely chant, “We love death more than the Jews, or the infidels, or the Americans, love life.”

Myth #2: International Humanitarian Law Requires that Israel’s response to Palestinian aggression be “proportional.”
The crucial distinction, which almost no one can keep in view, is that there are now two types of people in this world: those who intentionally torture and kill children and other noncombatants, to maximize horror, and those who seek to avoid doing so, however imperfectly, while defending themselves against the first sort of people. The gulf between these two groups could not be wider, and everything we care about—literally everything—exists on one side of it.

Myth #3: The Jews Are Colonizers and the Palestinians are Indigenous People.
...the UN sits in perpetual judgment of the one embattled democracy in the Middle East that is fighting for its actual survival—against a death cult that revels in atrocities and in the martyrdom of its own civilians. I know the UN sounds like it still has some gravitas—it’s the United Nations, afterall—but on this and several other points, it has become a morally bankrupt organization.
The word “corruption” doesn’t even begin to encompass the problems here.

Myth #4: The atrocities committed by Hamas (and over one thousand Palestinian civilians) on October 7th were a legitimate response to oppression.
Again, we need the world’s 2 billion Muslims to honestly acknowledge this problem and find some way of moderating their faith, specifically around the doctrines of martyrdom, jihad, apostasy, and blasphemy–which put their faith in perpetual conflict with the modern world.

Myth #5: The two sides in this conflict are equally civilized, equally entitled to respect, and equally worth protecting
Jihadist organizations like Hamas, and the wider cultures that support them, don’t value human life the way we do. Again, while this might sound like wartime propaganda, it is a simple statement of fact about how religious beliefs motivate people and constrain their thinking.
In general, we are not talking about people who are part of the reality-based community.
There simply is a difference between those who are attempting to spread a cult of death to the ends of the Earth and those who are struggling to prevent this from happening, while also struggling to maintain the norms of an open society.

Earlier clip from Sam, “The bright line between good and evil”:

“U.S. has lost the race” | Winston Mok

Today’s South China Morning Post 
I’m posting this For The Record. To see how it stands up after a few years. 

Winston Mok quotes a lot of figures, many correct, a few incorrect, and some arguable. But I’ll be sad and chastened if in a few years, if I’m still around, I come back to this and find Mok was overall correct on the U.S. having “lost the race”. I don’t think so.  At least, I hope not. 

For I remain a Tesla bull. Elon Musk’s EV company has not only a range of Electric Vehicles - produced by comprehensively new technology— but also the latest Fully Self Driving software (FSD V12), which is unique to Tesla, is wowing customers and is near to taking a car unguided across the continent.  Tesla’s Optimus Robots will be integrated into Tesla production lines and then sold worldwide. Tesla Solar and Battery-storage technology is at the cutting edge and Tesla AI technology is melding all this together. To Tesla bulls, it’s more of an AI company than an EV company. 

Also: I wouldn’t count in Musk’s Tesla being “complacent” any time soon, as Mok suggests. 

Well,  “we’ll see…”. 

Tuesday 26 March 2024

“Why do smart people say stupid things?"


Click above for the video 
As George Orwell apparently said: “That idea is so stupid, only an intellectual could believe it”. 

Above a delightful video discussing the issues. 

Monday 25 March 2024

"Hong Kong braces for another sweltering year, with 5 to 8 typhoons predicted" | Emily Hung, SCMP 21 March


Hong Kong Observatory director Dr Chan Pak-wai tells us that the HKO expects "five to eight typhoons to approach within 500km (311 miles) of the city this year". He added: "This is an above-normal level", and went on: "It's hard for us to forecast the intensity of the typhoons, but due to climate change, we expect a greater number of stronger typhoons." (Hong Kong braces for another sweltering year, with 5 to 8 typhoons predicted.  21 March)

I'm not a meteorlogist, but I do know numbers. But first, Definitions. "Tropical Cyclones" covers a class of storms, from Depressions to Super Typhoons. [Here]. A Depression is a storm with 41-62 kph mean winds, a Typhoon 118-149 kph and a Super Typhoon 185 kph or more. 

According to data on the HKO website, what has happened in the last quarter century? Here are my calculations: 
  1. The number of Tropical Cyclones per year in our region has dropped slightly from an average of 30 (1961-1990) to 27 (2000-22). 
  2. The number of Typhoons per year in our region has dropped slightly from an average of 15 (1961-1990) to 13 (2000-22).
  3. The number of Typhoons per year affecting Hong Kong is steady, from an average of 6 (1961-1990) to 6 (2000-22). 
There is little data here to support the statements by Dr Chan. 

The number of typhoons affecting Hong Kong has a Standard Deviation of 1.78. Let’s round it to 2. Therefore, this year, statistically , we can expect between 4 and 8 typhoons (two above and two below the average of 6). Not much different to Dr Chan's "five to eight" and hardly "above normal".  If it turns out we have nine typhoons this year, that is no reason to say it's "climate change". Just at it is no reason to say "there's no climate change" if we happen to have only two or three typhoons this year. 

Dr Chan's conjectures are simply that: conjectures. I grant that he discusses El Nino and La Nina, which affect climate patterns; but so too have they in the past. 

Nor is there reason to assume that there will be "stronger typhoons" as Dr Chan claims. At least based on historical data. 

When I challenged a similar statement by the HKO last year, their senior scientific officer, Lee Sai-ming acknowledged that their "statement regarding the increased proportion (not absolute number) of intense tropical cyclones… does not conflict with your correspondent's analysis of past tropical cyclone numbers." ["your correspondent" being me].

There's another important point. Since 1960, the earliest records on the HKO site, the number of people killed by typhoons has dropped from 275 per decade to just 8 per decade [My spreadsheet, based on HKO figures]. That is, less than one person per year is killed by a typhoon. The decline in typhoon-related deaths was swift in the 60s and 70s, due to the removal of squatter villages. The reduction has been steady since then, with increased safety measures. The reduction in deaths is mirrored by a reduction in injuries and property damage. 

This shows that we can handle natural disasters and even if they are made worse by climate change. I do not say this to minimise our need to reduce carbon emissions. We must continue to do that. We have done well so far, bringing our per capita emissions down to just 4.1 kg per year, a third of the US, and half of China's. We did this by shifting to nuclear power and natural gas for our electricity.

The point remains: we can and will handle what the climate throws at us, whether it be rising sea levels, or more severe typhoons (assuming they do happen). 

We ought to think more often about this. That we are capable of handling natural disasters and climate change. 

Rather than constantly painting the bleakest pictures, as in your article above and as the HKO regularly does. 

Enough of the panic, already!

P F, etc....

Slightly fewer typhoons of about the same strength: the ACCURATE (but boring) headline. 20 August 2023 

“Letitia James should be disbarred” | Vivek Ramaswami

Click above for the video 
I agree 100%. I’ve been meaning to write something about this outrage for some time, but Vivek Ramaswamy does it for me. You can be leery about Vivek (I’m not but I know many are) or hate Trump, but still find what’s going on deeply troubling. Outrageous and surely illegal. That is, the Attorney General of New York City Latitia James campaigning on “Get Trump” then doing exactly that in a bogus case, with a constitutionally dodgy half-billion dollar bail. 

Remember Beria, Joseph Stalin’s secret service head goon, telling his boss: “Show me the man, and I’ll show you the crime”. 

Letitia as Beria, to Joe Jnr’s Stalin!

Sunday 24 March 2024

Random fact-check: HK Observatory misinformation

From the article online here
From “Quotes of the Week” in today’s South China Morning Post quoting the Hong Kong Observatory (HKO).

Let me explain what's going on here.

Let's say Hong Kong has around ten named typhoons per year (which is about right).

And let's say that three of those are classified as "strong typhoons", or "super typhoons", based on average winds speeds classified by the Hong Kong Observatory. Again, about right.

So that's 30% of the typhoons are "Strong", ie 3/10 = 0.3

Now, let's say there are fewer typhoons overall, in a year. Let's say there are just eight. And let's say that the number of "strong" typhoons remains the same, ie three. 

Now the percentage of "Strong" typhoons is 37.5%, ie 3/8 = 0.375.

Thus the percentage of "Strong" typhoons is *higher*. 

This is in fact what has happened in Hong Kong. I showed this in published correspondence, in the SCMP. This point was granted by the HKO itself, in a published letter responding to me, quoting the HKO Senior Scientist, Lee Sai-ming. The evidence “does not conflict with your correspondent” (ie, me) he concluded. 

Fewer typhoons overall, same number of "Strong" ones = higher percentage are "strong".

But is it fair to say:
"… we expect a greater number of stronger typhoons”
It is fair only if you clarify that the “greater number" you're referring to is a higher percentage of an overall lower number.

But this the HKO have not done. 

The comment underneath the "Quote of the Week" above shows that the editors of the SCMP have drawn precisely the incorrect conclusion that I bet the HKO wants them to draw. I know from following the HKO closely, they are of the climate alarmist bent. More stronger typhoons! Panic, panic! 

HKO have no reason to be alarmed as Hong Kong has sharply reduced carbon emissions per capita, now down to just one-third the world average and much lower than other advanced economies.

Even the IPCC does not claim that storms and hurricanes are becoming measurably more violent as a result of climate change. The two areas they have "high confidence" are climate-change-related are (a) rising temperatures and (b) changed rainfall patterns. Which, yes, we are seeing in Hong Kong. 

EG: US National Academy of Science:

I call out the typhoon quote as HKO misinformation. 

One more thing: Guangdong province in Southern China has records of typhoons going back to at least the Tang dynasty, around 1,000 years ago. These show that the only times they got stronger on average was during unusually cold spells. The main effects of climate change on typhoons are that warming tends to move typhoons north in the northern hemisphere and south in the southern hemisphere. My post on that, here, at the bottom. The original article here

My earlier posts are here and here.


Deaths per decade in Hong Kong, from typhoons. The most recent decade a total of 8 people killed by typhoons. Less than one person per year. There’s no need to panic!
HKO figures
What happened in the sixties is that there was a major push to close down so-called “squatter villages”, and move people to subsidised government housing. A major program of the beloved Governor Murray MacLehose. IOW, we human beings can take measures to stop “the climate’ from harming us. And we’re getting better at it. There is no need for panic, folks!

Homosexuality in China: Passions of the “Cut Sleeve"

He would rather cut the sleeve of his sleeping partner, than wake him up
A friend of mine in China who has lived there for over forty years, is married to a local Chinese; they have kids, now adults and living in the west. I don’t want to identify them, so I’ll call the couple Westy and Zhong. Westy tells me that one of their kids is gay. Westy has no problem with this, but Zhong does. Zhong has even been to visit the gay one in the west, to try to come to terms with their sexuality, but remains very much anti. Very upset by the gayness of their kid. Which upset in turn upsets Westy.

I mention to Westy that  China has traditionally been a very safe space for homosexuality, very tolerant.  That it’s only in recent times — a hundred years or so — that China frowned on homosexuality.

I tell Westy the story of a mate of mine, a gay Aussie guy, who’d lived in Shanghai and was now in Taipei. I spoke to him one night in a Taipei pub.He told me that even though homosexuality is legal in Australia, and is illegal in China, he had a better amd easier time as a gay man in China than he’d had in Australia. (At the time Australia still had “poofter bashing” going on).

I should have stressed this more to Westy: not just that China has long been fine with homosexuality. But also that it was only after the western missionaries came to China, and taught about the “evils” of homosexuality, that China changed. Therefore Zhong, a China patriot, ought to take that on board and ought to view the anti-gay thing as being part of western-Christian imperialism (as it is!) and the pro-gay thing as being traditionally Chinese. 

It reminded me of the book that I bought a while back, but had forgotten about: “Passions of the Cut Sleeve”, by Bret Hinsch. I should have told Westy about this.  

Here’s a clip from the Introduction: 

Homosexuality in China dates back to “at least the Bronze Age” 

It’s China that’s been at the forefront of being tolerant to gays, all this time! But China, Beijing, have gone the other way. Because the CCP bought into the moral rectitude of Christian missionaries. 

Oh, the Irony! 

Westy”s partner, Zhong, ought to become truly traditional Chinese themself and go full-on pro-gay.

Become fully traditional Chinese. Come out! Get with the passion! Cut the sleeve! 

Saturday 23 March 2024

Camo dog

Our sweet Byron on our local Sam Pak Wan beach
He’d have been an asset in the WW2 North Africa desert campaigns.… Labradoodle v Rommel

Why do people keep ignoring the fact that it’s HAMAS that’s against the two states solution?

My comment at the site of an article saying that China will be more pro-Palestinian. More in line with the sort of rhetoric by Mao Tse-tung.

Why does everyone keep ignoring the fact that HAMAS and the Palestinian Authority are both implacably *opposed* to the two-state solution? Only now, since October 7, are the Israelis opposed. Before that, since 1947 Israel offered a two-state solution at least ten times, all rebuffed. Why the constant pressure on Israel? 

Ed Miliband is full of crock on the Green Economy


Ed Miliband
Tackling the climate crisis will cut bills, create jobs, and boost energy security. 

But Rishi Sunak has never cared about it and prides himself on rowing back.

Today at ⁦@GreenAllianceUK⁩ my message was simple: 

Conservatives who care about the climate should vote Labour.
19/3/2024, 8:08 PM
Now, let’s get something clear here. I’m totally on side with the climate agenda. The world is warming and we have to to something about it. Here in our place in Hong Kong, we have solar roof panels. Our grid electricity is clean nuclear power from Daya bay. Our home CO2 emissions are Net Negative. Never mind Net Zero! 

But, talking of the Green Economy: 

Ed Milibandthe "Shadow Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero”, is full of crock. 

In his X-post above he claims green energy “cuts bills, creates jobs and boosts energy security”. 

He’s wrong on all three counts. 

Look at the countries that have gone furthest and quicker on shifting to renewables, the U.K., Germany and Australia. In all three energy bills are higher, the supply is less secure and there have been precious few high-quality jobs created. 

Meantime, Hong Kong emissions are a third of those in the Australia, half of Germany, less than the UK. Our electricity (and natural gas) prices are amongst the lowest in the world, and our reliability rates approach 100%. 

It’s time to stop the nonsense, Ed, and tell the real story. And then get on with it. Trying to gas-light people will only backfire. Boom! People don’t believe you any more. 

ADDED: I’m wondering if “Net Zero” and “Energy Security” are mutually exclusive. The more one relies on renewables, as far as our experience, like in Germany, tells us, the less the security of supply. It’s been so bad in Germany that they’ve had to reopen some coal-fired plants. You must have baseload power and if that’s not going to be gas-fired then it must be nuclear. 

And in some places they’re closing nuclear down and replacing it with Gas. That’s crazy as it raises Carbon emissions. 

Friday 22 March 2024

Greenpeace’s 10 favourite myths about nuclear energy, refuted

This is a better version of my “The case for nuclear", by the dear Zion Lights, a British pro-nuclear activist who co-founded and became the spokesperson of Extinction Rebellion, but left them because they are only anti everything and have no suggestions as to how to tackle climate change. It’s all just “no”. And splattering soup on paintings; and blocking roads. 

In her view, which I  agree with 100%, nuclear energy must play an important part in tackling climate change. Not exclusively, but a big part. 

And the failure to include nuclear in our planning is down to ideological, not scientific, opposition from the Green parties. 

I think it’s fair to say that the Greens, worldwide, have been responsible for major climate damage. They have directly created more carbon emissions, because of their opposition to nuclear, going right back to the 1960s. They remain stubbornly anti-nuclear even today, pushing for the closing of Germany’s remaining, perfectly functional, nuclear power stations. All on non-scientific, ideological grounds. 

Shame on the Greens. 

Random fact-check: NO, HK streets are NOT unsafe.

Bernard Chan’s article today, here.
“…brutal siege”? Of “women” here in Hong Kong? 

What on earth are Liz Truss and Ian Duncan-Smith talking about? Nonsense, in a word.

To the extent that there’s been a crimping of freedoms since 2019 — and I won’t say there hasn’t been — it’s all for one and one for all. 男女老少, Nánnǚ lǎoshào, as the Chinese say — “man, woman, old, young”. i.e. why specifically women? (Later: well, ok, it turns out the article was written for International Women’s Day). 

To say that the streets are dangerous here in Hong Kong is arrant nonsense. We have amongst the safest streets in the world. Women and children and men and elderly can walk around anywhere day or night. The murder rates, as example, is one-twentieth the World average; one-eighth Asia’s average; one-seventh Europe’s; one-third that of the U.K., one tenth of the U.S.. It’s even just a half the rate of good ol’ safe Oz. Other non-murder violent crimes have a similar pattern. 

 By the way, we know this from our own personal experience of wandering the streets. When I was looking for sites for our schools, I went everywhere in Hong Kong. It’s safe everywhere. It’s so safe that we have to remind ourselves when we go overseas to beware. When we went to Chicago fifteen years ago, we weren’t careful — we were in Hong Kong mode — and found ourselves in South Chicago — “you don’t go there!” people told us later — where we got mugged at the first gas station….

Liz Truss and Ian Duncan-Smith are way off the mark. It’s what Beijing would call a “smear”. And they’d be correct. 

[Source of data: United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime]

For the record: fully pro-Beijing front page | SCMP

The glory! The journalisming! The obeisance! 

Mollie Hemingway sticks the boot in on Christine Blasey Ford, the slanderer of Brett Kavanaugh, Trump's SCOTUS nominee

Mollie Hemingway comments on an ABC interview with Christine Blasey Ford. She who claimed that the 2017 Trump nominee for the Supreme Court, Brett Kavanaugh had sexually molested her some thirty years ago. Or fifty. Or ten. Or maybe. Or maybe not. 

This is what the famous Sam Harris staked his claim of Brett Kavanaugh’s unfitness for office on. Nonsense, IOW. 

It’s what changed my mind about Harris. I’d loved his work, read all his books, subscribed to his podcast. 

Then he did this. He said Kavanaugh was unfit for office because of the claims of Christine Blasey Ford. No proof required. To this man who staked his reputation on being a man driven by the data, by the science, by facts.  

Blasey Ford’s claims, even from here in Hong Kong, where we followed the Senate hearings way back when, 2017, we found unbelievable. That is, we both, including my wife, who was first to say to me that Blasey Ford didn’t seem credible. And she wasn’t. And it was then proven that she wasn’t. No-one supported her claims. Not her friends, not her mother. Not her therapist. Yet to this day the Left still talks to her. It’s a bit like the Russia Collusion thing. They just can’t let go, even when the 4-year Mueller Investigation proved no collusions. 

Trump destroyed the brains of people like Sam Harris. They left him logic-free. And willing, as he’s said himself, to support anything, anything, that would stop him from having another term. 

Sam has not recovered. 

I guess he won’t, it’s too late.

I wonder how he’ll be if Trump wins again in November. And all the others with TDS. Though the media may just love it. Ratings up, an’ all. 

Wednesday 20 March 2024

"Fiery debate over TikTok ban puts America’s culture wars in spotlight” | SCMP

 My comments at the site:

1. Article quote: "The video-sharing platform has about 180 million US users, around two-thirds of whom are aged 12-34 years." These figures are incorrect. In the US 12-34 yo cohort there are only 100 m people so even if every single one was on Tik Tok that would not be enough to reach 120 million. (Two-thirds of 180).

2. China does not allow the U.S. version of Tik Tok inside China. It uses something different and with algorithms that trend to educational and science.

3. Facebook and Instagram are also problems amongst youth: eg, see books by professor Jonathan Haidt.

4. Reciprocity: I believe US should pursue reciprocity with China. Whatever China doesn't allow in from the U.S., the U.S. should not allow in from China.

5. The draft anti-Tik Tok Bill passed 50-0 in Committee, unprecedented unanimity. It passed with huge margins in the full House, 352-65. This is not a partisan issue.

6. Many countries have passed full or partial bans on Tik Tok, indications of widespread global concerns about security and dangers of rogue algorithms.

ADDED: Jonathan Haidt talks to Joe Rogan about his latest book, a lot about why it is that Tik Tok is dangerous, to youth especially and even to national security. He includes Facebook and Instagram in the dangers affecting young kids. At around 25 minutes in he gives some proposed solutions. He points out that smoking used to be common, is no longer, so norms can be changed. 

Jonathan Haidt is a social psychologist, professor, and author. His latest book, "The Anxious Generation: How the Great Rewiring of Childhood Is Causing an Epidemic of Mental Illness," will be available March 26. Video here

Haidt starts talking Tik Tok, mainly from here.  (10’ in).

For the record: “HK wraps up ‘historic mission’” | SCMP

The new “Safeguarding National Security Law” signed into law today, here in Hong Kong. Done as a requirement under Article 23 of our Basic Law.

So, after 27 years, it’s done in a jiffy. 

And the South China Morning Post is going full-on pro Beijing. As in spruiking for it.

The SCMP has pussy-footed around its potential downsides. It’s had not a single letter to the editor about the it, not even my elegant epistle (when they’ve published most all of my previous contributions). Not a single one. Are we supposed to think that people are so sanguine that no-one wrote in about it? 

I’m not going to tone down any of my comments. Even if there’s concerns that mocking the government, like calling the bureaucrats above, the apparatchiks, a bunch of “appalling old wax works” could be seen as mocking the government. And that’s an offence punishable by jail time….

Tuesday 19 March 2024

Four tech guys who know their stuff, debate the proposed Tik Tok ban bill

Click above for the video
Four tech guys who know their stuff, debate the proposed Tik Tok ban bill. Two in favour, Chamath and Jason, two against, Sachs and Friedberg

I’m of the Chamath bent. His points resonate, with me, at least. Especially the one on Reciprocity. 

Sachs makes a good point about potential dangers in the draft legislation. He thinks it’s too loosely worded and could be used to go after other companies the government decided it didn’t like. For example, they could to after Elon Musk’s X, based on that fact that Musk has business in China, which could be read to be that he’s “under the direction of China”.

That’s certainly a concern.  

Given what’s happened to Trump under Letitia James and the absurd half a billion bond he’s been forced to put up, one can’t rule anything out. Therefore I’d be in favour of the moves to divest or ban Tik Tok, but cleaning up the wording of the Bill. That might happen in the Senate. 

Monday 18 March 2024

“How would Donald Trump end democracy” | Rich Lowry

“How would Donald Trump end democracy?”

Thats what I’ve been wondering for a long time. When the Democrats say “democracy is on the ballot” just what do they mean? What do they expect if Trump wins in November? 

In his first term he didn’t do anything that approached installing a dictatorship let alone be a Hitler or even a Mussolini. 

But, they say, he could do worse in a second term. Robert De Niro the other day in Bill Maher was crazy enough to say that if Trump is elected both he and Maher will be arrested and put in a gulag! Fantasies.  

Which fantasies Rich Lowry takes apart. This whole “the end of democracy” thing is:
… the stuff of a Philip K. Dick novel and, in the right hands, would make a compelling dystopian Netflix series. It’s not remotely plausible.

From “How exactly would Trump end American democracy?

ADDED: we were studying the life and times of Philip K. Dick (PKD) the other day as we’d just re-watched Minority Report. Still a good movie, based on PKD’s book. As are, by the way, Blade Runner and Total Recall. 

Talking about alternate history PKD also wrote The Man in the High Castle an alternate history where Hitler won the war. Thing is now, with Trump v Biden, we’re looking at actual, real, in our faces reality about to hit us in the face in November. Whatever happens half the country will be pissed off. Would be nice to have PKD’s fantastical take on it.

Sunday 17 March 2024

“Australia and ASEAN” | Fact checking the Aussie haters

From here

There’s heaps of Aussies working at the South China Morning Post I guess because they’re editors and journalists. Whenever there’s an Australia-China article there come the China trolls, attacking Australia. It’s a given, heaps of clicks, heaps of hate. 

Most articles about Oz are negative on Oz. 

Maybe because of the China trolls and maybe also because those Aussie editors and journalists are kind of leftie anti-Oz. 

Whatever: mostly anti-Oz. As in the familiar tropes. Australia is a white colonialist enterprise, as if we hadn’t ditched an exclusivist White Australia policy last century. And as if we are not the most multi-cultural, multi-ethnic country in the region. Certainly China is exclusionary to Chinese; Japan to Japanese; Korea to Koreans. 

Another trope: we’re not engaged enough in Asia. That’s also wrong. Australia has deep engagement economically and also militarily. We are one of the largest militaries in the region. 

So the bit here:

Australia was 85% of ASEAN in 1980 but is now only 50%. 

So what?

In 1980 ASEAN was only 5 countries and is now 10. Three of those were communist and communism makes nothing but barbed wire and tins of cabbage. 

On a per capita basis, Australia is >TEN times that of ASEAN: Australia $US 60,517 per head; ASEAN $US 5,371. 

Saturday 16 March 2024

"Douglas Murray’s Raw Opinion on the Israel-Gaza Conflict” | Living with L'chaim

Click above for the video
Douglas Murray has been to the front lines of many wars, including in Israel, Lebanon and Gaza. I think he is a sound and trustworthy observer. Those on the side of Hamas won’t like what he says.

The podcast is “History for the Curious” by Living with L’chaim. 

L'Chaim in Hebrew is a toast meaning "to life”.

By contrast, think of the Hamas motto: “We love death more than you love life”. 

Yes, we love life. The Jews love life. And loving death makes you, Hamas, a death cult. Exactly that, by your own saying. 

Golda Meir said: 
“We can forgive, perhaps, your killing our children. But we cannot forgive you for making us kill your children”. 
That’s why Hamas is the one now not accepting a ceasefire. Which both the United States and Israel have offered but Hamas have refused. They want more dead babies. So that they can play the world.

"American empire strikes back at China via economic warfare” | Tik Tok ban bill

"American empire strikes back at China via economic warfare” by Alex Lo.

My comment at the site:

1. Tik Tok has 170 million subscribers in the U.S., but the US has only 22 m teenagers, so clearly it's not just "silly teenagers" using Tik Tok. [This is to the Lo point that “it’s only teenagers posting stupid vids, so why worry?”]

2. The CEO of Tik Tok admitted in Senate testimony that Chinese officials have full access to all data gathered and that alone is a present security threat. IMO. 

3. Other countries have banned Tik Tok, including India, Pakistan… and China itself! ADDED: Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Taiwan, the UK and EU governance bodies have all banned or partially banned the app. [Ref

4. China does not allow, in China, anything like a Tik Tok owned by a foreign entity. 

5. It's not just security. There's also the algorithms. These are controlled by China. (See 2 above). We would be naive to imagine they do not tweak the algorithms to suit China needs. 

6. Facebook, etc, being similar to Tik Tok is irrelevant. Because: (a) we are also worried about them, and (b) They are not Chinese-owned. 

7. The Bill was passed by overwhelming majority in the Reps. 

8. The Bill does not aim only at China, but also Russia, North Korea and Iran. These are countries that have been clear in their enmity to the US. (Eg, Iran: "Death to America!”).

ADDED: Some Tik Tok supporters are pointing out in the comments that it’s owned by ByteDance and that in turn is majority-owned by international investors. But ByteDance is based in Beijing, and has to follow Beijing laws. Which require, inter alia, that China-based companies release any information that the government demands. Which the CEO of Tik Tok says it does. (In testimony that was said to be a “disaster” for Tik Tok).  

A Tik Tok apologist claims China only owns 1% of ByteDance. Ok. But then China has one-third of the Board seats. Hmmm.... 

It would be very naive of us to assume that because “international investors” have a majority of the ByteDance (if indeed they do), and China only a small part, that there’s “nothing to worry about”. Nothing to see here. Right. Those same people are more than willing to believe that the US’s National Endowment for Democracy is a CIA cut-out. And that the Confucius Institutes are equally innocent (they aren’t).

Also: why are people so all-fired up about Tik Tok, but would be quite happy to see restrictions on the likes of X or Facebook? Why the difference? Just supporting China? IDK. 

“World on the brink” | Peter T. C. Chang

Online here
To Peter T. C. Chang, I sayThere's no point "forcing Israel to respect the rights of Palestinians through the pursuit of the two-state solution" when it's not Israel that is the roadblock. The Palestinians have been offered a state, numerous times since 1937. Whether the PLO, the Palestinian Authority or HAMAS, they all refuse it. Their solution is the One State, "from the River to the Sea". 

What in earth is the point of banging on about it by badgering Israel? The Palestinians have made it abundantly clear they want to wipe Israel off the map. 

It's Hamas, not Israel, that has a Charter calling for the death of all Jews. It's Hamas not Israel that are the self-defined genocidalists. It's Hamas — and the rest of the Arab world for that matter — not Israel who maintain apartheid states, Judenrein free of Jews. While Israel is 70% jewish, 20% Arab and 10% the rest. There is nothing like that in the Arab world, let alone the Palestinian world of Gaza and the West Bank. Nothing. 

It's a topsy turvy world, when we keep reading articles like this. Banging on at Israel for a "two-state solution"when it's not them in the way. (Israelis now are against it, but that's because of October 7th. Previously they have been willing parties to offers made on at least eight occasions, all rejected by the Palestinian side).

ADDED: Very rich talking about Anwar Ibrahim and Xi Jinping being all about “diversity”. One with a policy of “Bumiputra”, which even Wikipedia says is racist (because it is) and the other running a country where the Han are 93% of the population and exert hegemony over the rest, including most infamously in Xinjiang with the oppression of the Uygurs. 

Ibrahim has allied himself, explicitly and unapologetically, with Hamas, a murderous, genocidal, homophobic, misogynist, etc, etc, etc.... outfit. The most modern, and in the real sense, Nazis. That’s the diversity guy, according to Peter Chang.