JoNova

A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).


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Thursday Open Thread

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Thursday Open Thread, 8.9 out of 10 based on 13 ratings

76 comments to Thursday Open Thread

  • #
    el gordo

    If not for the assistance of Spain, France and the Netherlands, the US may not have come to fruition.

    ‘If the colonists had lost the war, there probably wouldn’t be a United States of America, period. A British victory in the Revolution probably would have prevented the colonists from settling into what is now the U.S. Midwest. … Additionally, there wouldn’t have been a U.S. war with Mexico in the 1840s, either.’

    32

    • #
      Howie from Indiana

      Yes, and without the US to help Britain and France in WW1 and also Australia in WW2 we would all be speaking German or Japanese.

      50

      • #
        Dave in the States

        Nothing wrong with speaking a bit of German or Japanese. Nihongo (Nihon= Japan, go = language) is a beautiful language. It is very musical in its sound and cadence. Deutsch sprachen not so much, but it gets a rhythm and cadence to it as well, although it’s not pretty sounding.

        Actually if you speak English you do speak German in a round about way. Modern English is a mixture of Old English and Old French. Old English is an old Scandinavian dialect of Old German.

        The lessons of what happened to these two societies leading up to WW2 are especially prescient to our times and to preserving our societies from falling. A new phrase in the modern lexicon: The Deep State, has happened before.

        21

      • #
        el gordo

        The 1929 NY stock market crash gave Hitler a leg up to become a mass murderer.

        Returning to the old days, if foreign powers hadn’t intervened then Australians would be speaking French.

        00

      • #
        el gordo

        Back to the present, the leader of the new world order has a few words to say …

        ‘President Xi Jinping reiterated on Friday China’s unwavering commitment to follow a path of peaceful, open, cooperative and common development while warning that the pursuit of unilateralism, protectionism and extreme egoism will “lead to nowhere but a dead end”. (China Daily)

        00

  • #
    Chad

    Startup invents zero-emission fossil fuel power
    Not new, …..but much ignored !
    .. The Allam cycle, ,,CO2 Turbine driven generation.

    Zero-emission fossil fuel power sounds like an oxymoron. But when that 25-megawatt demonstration plant is fired up later this year, it will burn natural gas in pure oxygen. The result: a stream of nearly pure CO2, which can be piped away and stored underground or blasted into depleted oil reservoirs to free more oil, a process called enhanced oil recovery (EOR). Either way, the CO2 will be sequestered from the atmosphere and the climate.
    That has long been the hope for carbon capture and storage (CCS), a strategy that climate experts say will be necessary if the world is to make any headway in limiting climate change. But CCS systems bolted to conventional fossil fuel plants have struggled to take off because CO2 makes up only a small fraction of their exhaust. Capturing it saps up to 30% of a power plant’s energy and drives up the cost of electricity.

    In contrast, NET Power, the startup backing the new plant, says it expects to produce emission-free power at about $0.06 per kilowatt-hour. That’s about the same cost as power from a state-of-the-art natural gas-fired plant—and cheaper than most renewable energy. The key to its efficiency is a new thermodynamic cycle that swaps CO2 for the steam that drives turbines in conventional plants.

    https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/05/goodbye-smokestacks-startup-invents-zero-emission-fossil-fuel-power

    20

    • #
      Graeme No.3

      How about the Brayton cycle with CO2 as the working fluid? You could have an external heat source (nuclear, coal, gas) and still get around 56% efficiency. I say coal because improving efficiency from 38% to 56% would drop emissions per MWh by 32%. The improvement with gas would be less evident (about 10-13%). With nuclear efficiency hasn’t been an issue because fuel cost hasn’t been an issue, neither CO2 emissions.
      The cooling on the recycling gas might help with fresh water production.

      20

      • #
        Chad

        Graeme …..did you read the article i linked ?
        ..it IS the Brayton cycle with CO2 !
        The reason they are using gas instead of coal, is due to some problems with the Coal Gasifier plant..

        00

        • #
          Graeme No.3

          Chad:
          Yes, I read it. I was pointing out that using the Brayton cycle could be used with external heating, avoiding the expense of getting the oxygen, and obviously the expense of “carbon capture”.

          CO2 emissions are going to increase whatever the UN and its adherents believe. South Australia has 57% renewables electricity and the Government want to increase that to 75-78%. Obviously that will lead to blackouts as there are no plans for storage nor backup (except for another transmission line to get more coal fired electricity at times). That would reduce the world emissions by about 0004% which would be less than Malawi is planning with a new coal fired plant.
          And China, Japan, Sth. Korea, The Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia, India, Pakistan, and South Africa? And Germany will phase out nuclear shortly and replace the reliable generation with ?? (HINT a new coal fired plant started up this year).

          20

          • #
            Chad

            Hi G 3,..
            Yes i am fully on board with the CAGW fiasco etc, and realise that is the initial driver of. This low emissions process,..
            However, i dont think anyone would not want a “cleaner” system for fossil fuel power generation, especially if it has potential to reduce the costs over other comparable processes AND nullify the arguments from the CAGW brigade..
            I am happy with coal in modern plants for the next 30-50yrs, but Ultimately, i am a Nuclear…. (G4,5, or 6) guy !

            30

  • #
    RossP

    When I look at the polls in the US and see the size of Trump’s rallies, the size of the car parades and boat parades vs the non existent support at Biden “rallies” ( even Kamala Harris cannot pull a crowd on her own) I find it hard to reconcile the two –polls vs on ground support.

    Now someone has kindly added up the followers on various social media platforms.

    “Biden Facebook: 3.23 million fans, Trump Facebook: 30.34 million fans
    Biden Instagram: 5.1 million, Trump Instagram: 22.7 million
    Biden Twitter: 11.2 million, Trump Twitter: 87.3 million
    Biden YouTube: 341,000 subscribers, Trump YouTube: 1.44 million subscribers

    Total Biden: 19.87 million, Total Trump: 141.78 million ”

    I think the only way Biden wins is via the various forms of voting fraud.

    211

    • #
      BruceC

      You can add the ‘Rally Tally’ to that (last updated October 18):
      Trump – 407,870* (estimated)
      Biden – 677

      *Does not include car or boat rallies

      150

      • #
        robert rosicka

        Bruce I’ve seen billboards proclaiming ” Democrats for Trump” , even if there is mail in ballot shenanigans Trump will win by a bigger margin than last time .
        Pity of it is like Labor here they don’t learn from their mistakes they double down on stoopid, the way it’s going I see a Trump in the Whitehouse for many years to come .

        80

        • #
          • #

            The rally tallies are extraordinary, but I am wary of relying on them as a poll. They sure measure something but what exactly? Is it possible that one third of voters would walk on cut glass for him one third hate him, and the other third will decide the election?

            We hope that the passion indicates somehow the leaning of those in the middle — it did (a bit) last time. But despite all the stories of Trump signs in 2016, despite the mass rallies then too, the actual tally was 60m votes for him and 60m for Hillary wasn’t it? Trump played a better game and won the votes where it mattered, but all that passion didn’t hand him a 60:40 victory.

            30

      • #
        BruceC

        Rally Tally update (up to Sept. 21)

        Trump – 488,870 (estimated)
        Biden – 677*

        Note again tally does not include car or boat parades.

        *Biden hasn’t been outside since he bought ice cream on the 18th.

        20

    • #
      beowulf

      Seems even the massive mail vote fra*d option is not working out for Sleazy Joe.

      His mail vote has crashed, his black vote has crashed, his Latino vote has crashed and his youth vote has utterly crashed (down by as much as 2/3) thus far in the early results. Registered Democrats who are voting for Trump have increased. No wonder Facebook and Twitter have to run interference for him. Where is Soros and his trillions when they need him?

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zjAVvJ9Ia_s

      110

      • #
        RossP

        If Trump wins there will be a long list of very wealthy people who will been seen have burned hundreds of millions of dollars –Bloomberg, Steyer, Soros, Zuckerberg etc. etc.
        So go Trump !!!

        200

    • #
      Gee aye

      TV viewing audience seems a good proxy

      17

      • #
        BruceC

        Gee, hope the TV ratings are better than YouTube viewers;

        Trumps last rally @ Gastonia , NC currently has 58,265 views on The Donald Trump Campaign Livestream, 810,824 views on RSBN Livestream and 789,950 on Fox News Livestream.

        The only Kamala Harris ‘rallies’, if you can call them that, I can find from her in the past 24 hours are;

        Kamala Harris Holds Virtual Early Vote Event – NBC News – 159,513
        Kamala Harris holds early vote mobilization event in Charlotte – Fox News – 56,663
        Kamala Harris at a GOTV Event in Asheville, NC – Kamala Harris – 6,090

        30

  • #
    David-of-Cooyal-in-Oz

    Afternoon all,
    Some good news:
    Daily Telegraph today,Thursday, October 22, 2020:
    On page 13, under the Alan Jones article:
    ” Vitamin D could be a cheap way to fight COVID”, by Professor Ian Brighthope.
    A first I think.
    (Sorry, no link. I read it in the hard copy, purchased in Mudgee, and it’s behind a paywall to me.)
    Cheers
    Dave B

    30

    • #
      Ted O'Brien.

      Copy from page in Tele online.

      Vitamin D could be a cheap way to fight COVID

      IAN
      BRIGHTHOPE

      Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, I have argued — based on research and my own clinical experience over four decades — for a government-supported vitamin D program to build immunity against COVID-19 and reduce the severity of any infections.

      While Australian governments have been reluctant to employ this cheap, safe and effective tool in the fight against the virus, other countries are already doing so.

      It is time for the broader Australian community to be made aware of this important step they can take in protecting themselves, and for aged-care providers in particular to encourage their clients to address any vitamin D deficiencies.

      More than half the population is deficient in vitamin D, with the elderly significantly at risk because of less efficient production in the body and much more time spent inside. Indigenous Australians are also at higher risk.

      The role of the vitamin in fighting a range of respiratory and other viruses (including in the common cold, flu and pox families) is widely accepted. But given the “newness” of COVID-19, it was challenging to counter the assertions of those who said vitamin D was unproven (or irrelevant) against COVID-19. It was simply too early to have relevant research.

      In the past couple of months, that situation has changed, with the publication of a number of quality research papers. Institutions such as Trinity College Dublin, the University of Cordoba, Illinois’s North Western University, Boston University and The Queen Elizabeth Hospital Foundation Trust — to name just a few — have released studies linking the vitamin with better COVID outcomes.

      Vitamin D is readily available and taking a couple of tablets a day would have an over-the-counter cost of just $40 a person over the course of a year

      — a figure that would barely register, even at a national scale, when compared with the more general costs of COVID-19.

      A number of countries acted on the evidence early, either through government action or recommendations from medical authorities.

      Unfortunately, Australia has been slower on the uptake. The question is, when will our own medical and political leaders get their heads out of the sand?

      A vaccine is some time off and we cannot remain in lockdown forever. We need to use all the measures available to us. Masks and social distancing are playing a part, and so can vitamin D. It is low-cost, low-risk, and high-reward

      — both from a health and economic perspective.

      I urge our leaders to give this the attention it deserves, and Australians to do their own research. Lives are at stake.

      Professor Ian Brighthope is director of nutritional and environmental medicine at the National Institute of Integrative Medicine

      40

  • #
    Another Ian

    “UN Climate Disaster Doubling Revisited”

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2020/10/21/un-climate-disaster-doubling-revisited/

    Though may have fitted on the crime family thread

    30

  • #
  • #
  • #
    Serp

    Brett Sutton has dashed to the lead in the Victorian Quarantine Scapegoat betting market; well may we soon be echoing English archaeologists in saying Sutton Hoo.

    120

  • #
    BruceC

    Another former Biden insider and whistle-blower comes forward and verifies the Hunter Biden laptop contents … and this one confirms who ‘the Big Guy’ is … none other than Joe Biden.

    What I am outlining is fact. I know it is fact because I lived it. I am the CEO of Sinohawk Holdings which was a partnership between the Chinese operating through CEFC/Chairman Ye and the Biden family. I was brought into the company to be the CEO by James Gilliar and Hunter Biden. The reference to ‘the Big Guy’ in the much publicized May 13, 2017 email is in fact a reference to Joe Biden. The other ‘JB’ referenced in that email is Jim Biden, Joe’s brother.

    https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2020/10/21/bombshell-statement-biden-insider-claims-he-was-recipient-of-the-email-says-he-witnessed-joe-hunter-discussing-deals/

    60

  • #
    Another Ian

    Just in time to add to the ponderings

    “Finding Joy in the Suffering of Leftists”

    “In a few short years we will all be dead. Whether that’s 2 years of 52 years, it’s still going to be “a few” and they will indeed be short. And though you have every right to be angry, even rageful at the left as they literally do nothing short of parasiting off of you and your labor, you cannot let their parasitism ruin your one and finite life by making you angry all the time. This has forced me to look at things like health, friends, love, and thin chicks as things I will get to enjoy that leftists can’t. But it wasn’t until recently did I realize we have something else the left doesn’t – sanity.

    The short version is this. You cannot live the lie most leftists are living without suffering incredible psychological pain and damage. Living a lie guarantees you will suffer mentally. And while the left may be getting government checks off your sweat and toil, they are an absolutely miserable lot. Thus, in addition to family, love, friendship, employment, and thin chicks, we should also celebrate something we get to enjoy that leftists don’t – sanity.

    Thus I published this essay, “Sanity is the Future of Wealth.””

    More at

    http://www.smalldeadanimals.com/index.php/2020/10/21/finding-joy-in-the-suffering-of-leftists/

    And

    https://www.michaelsmithnews.com/2020/10/why-is-everyone-at-9-fairfax-so-unhappy-does-smiling-make-you-a-bad-journalist.html#tpe-action-posted-6a0177444b0c2e970d026bde9db776200c

    22

    • #
      PeterS

      I for one don’t relish the idea of the leftists taking over and wrecking the joint, taking away all of our freedoms and acting like thugs attacking those who won’t agree with their ideologies. Having said that I do agree we need to avoid getting too stressed over it. What will be will be, as they say. Life goes on even in the most horrific circumstances. It will get a lot worse before it gets better and so we will suffer a lot of pain in the meantime. We just need to take care of our friends and relatives as best we can through the coming storms.

      40

      • #
        el gordo

        ‘It will get a lot worse before it gets better and so we will suffer a lot of pain in the meantime.’

        It will get better as the world tries to pick up where they left off and to the self-funded retirees I say get a life.

        04

    • #
      GD

      it wasn’t until recently did I realize we have something else the left doesn’t – sanity

      In addition to that, I’d add ‘joy’, not the joy in the suffering of leftists, but the joy that comes from clear thinking, logical thinking, and imaginative and creative thinking. Though joy is not necessarily religious, the tenets of Christianity pave the way for a life filled with joy. C.S. Lewis wrote extensively about the religious aspect of joy.

      Leftists tend to have a particularly sour look about them. Paul Barry comes to mind as do most female journos at the abc. The opposite is the case with most conservative presenters, particularly female journos and presenters.

      Since the 2000s, leftist comedy, rather than being side-splittingly funny like 90s comedy, has been reduced to a sniggering and sneering group think meeting.

      A mother’s advice to a frowning child used to be, ‘don’t frown like that or else the wind will change and you’ll be stuck that way forever’.

      Mother’s advice seems to have not been heeded by Paul Barry, Lenore Taylor et al.

      10

  • #
    liberator

    News at six – Corruption in the Biden Family, no, what, wait, forget that! Scandal, Trumps lawyer caught in a compromising positions – news at six, Thanks ABC and The Age for letting us know whats really important, what was that about Biden?

    80

  • #
  • #
    Another Ian

    https://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2020/10/17/so-joe-biden-got-caught/#comment-270269

    “So they said they had—they were walking out to a press conference. I said, nah, I’m not going to—or, we’re not going to give you the billion dollars. They said, you have no authority. You’re not the president. The president said—I said, call him. (Laughter.) I said, I’m telling you, you’re not getting the billion dollars. I said, you’re not getting the billion. I’m going to be leaving here in, I think it was about six hours. I looked at them and said: I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money. Well, son of a b-tch. (Laughter.) He got fired. And they put in place someone who was solid at the time.”

    Soho didn’t know?

    60

  • #
    Geoff Sherrington

    Today, the Chief Medical Officer for Victoria is Professor Brett Sutton. In this time of Covid, he has considerable powers relating to the containment of disease and so on.
    In May this year, he had a paper published in the Medical Journal of Australia.

    https://www.mja.com.au/journal/2020/212/8/acting-climate-change-and-health-victoria

    If you were to write a letter contrasting your scientific understanding – as opposed to what the law demands of his office – with his understanding as expressed in this paper, what would be your 5 main issues?

    I am looking for help about what might be important as opposed to disagreeing with you pet hypothesis. Thank you Geoff S

    30

    • #
      RickWill

      I fear Brett Sutton is a lost cause. The firm selling the doonah covers with him plastered over them have been inundated with returns.

      In any case DHHS incompotentce has clearly been the most effective means of reducing fossil fuel consumption for any large population on the planet in modern history. I am still working on my second tank of fuel for 2020. Some of the fuel was burnt doing a forced burn to clear the particulate filter this week in the hope that we may be able to travel outside Melbourne soon. A radius of 5km and now 25km is not enough for the engine to do an unforced filter burn.

      The dingbats at DHHS need to be sacked and replaced with people having other than mush between their ears.

      Real, unhomogenised temperature data shows the globe has not warmed in the last 30 years – check for yourself:
      https://www.pmel.noaa.gov/tao/drupal/disdel/
      In fact oceans cannot get hotter than 32C. Look at the scalers on the temperature data from the moored buoys. Think about 50 years of warming since the first buoy went in and no scale changes!.

      The only sea surface warmer than 32C is the Persian Gulf – reason; it cannot form cloudburst or support cyclones to cool the water surface. Despite the massive evaporation from the hot dry air from the north, it requires a cyclone or series of cloudburst to cool the place down like the rest of tropical and subtropical waters over the globe.

      30

    • #
      strop

      No wonder he claims to have been too busy to read emails properly and gain an understanding of the hotel quarantine setup that he was partly responsible for. He was busy co-authoring that tripe.

      41

    • #
      Robber

      Good to see our Victorian CHO Professor Brett Sutton was focusing on “important” issues early this year, and why he was too busy to read important emails about hotel quarantine or have an effective contact tracing system in place.
      The paper cites excess deaths due to heatwaves in 2009 (374) and 2014 (167) as a basis for urgent action on climate change, yet Victoria’s inadequate response to the coronavirus has resulted in over 800 deaths and devastated the Victorian economy for more than six months this year. And of course they ignore the fact that major Victorian bushfires have occurred in 1926, 1939, 1962, 1983.

      I note that this climate change paper required four authors from the Dept of Health and Human Services – Brett Sutton (CHO), Vanora Mulvenna (Manager Climate), Daniel Voronoff (Senior Policy Officer, Climate Change) and Tiernan Humphrys (Mgr Environmental Sustainability). They present climate change as one of four current pressing problems of public health including obesity, harms from tobacco, and our sedentary lifestyle. They used a scenario of 4° warming by 2100.

      Yet Victoria clearly had very few resources devoted to preparedness for a pandemic, a primary responsibility of the DHSS, firstly in setting up effective infection control in hotels for returned travellers, and secondly in having a functioning contact tracing system in place. It was only in September that they acquired worldclass software, and they are still rolling out enhancements, while other States were operating efficiently back in April.

      70

      • #
        el gordo

        ‘ … four current pressing problems of public health including obesity, harms from tobacco, and our sedentary lifestyle.’

        They could leave tobacco out, its so expensive that only the die hards still indulge. Its not uncommon to see men looking for butts on the street and robberies have also increased markedly, which maybe connected.

        Alcohol consumption does more harm, but nothing to see here, move along.

        10

    • #

      well done you found it.

      03

  • #
    Nick T

    I caught a bit of the 7:30 Report tonight where they stated that a trial of HCQ was being held in Australia. However when they talked about the trial they only mentioned HCQ. There was no mention of zinc. It appears that they are setting up the trial for failure (especially as most of the comments where quite negative – except for the trial subjects).

    50

  • #
    OriginalSteve

    https://cen.acs.org/pharmaceuticals/oncology/curious-DNA-circles-make-treating/98/i40?utm_source=NonMember&utm_medium=Newsletter&utm_campaign=CEN&elqTrackId=70aa9a0034d7431786cf81aa1ac36a10&elq=e7e852e9f16940919fe176244ccf621b&elqaid=14594&elqat=1&elqCampaignId=4702

    “The curious DNA circles that make treating cancer so hard
    Scientists are examining long-ignored extrachromosomal DNA to understand how cancer evolves resistance to drugs. Can the clues help us outfox cancer itself?

    “In 1965, scientists saw little pieces of DNA floating around chromosomes in cancer cells. They didn’t know what to make of them, and for decades they were largely ignored. But work in the past 10 years suggests those DNA tidbits, which are circular, aren’t just some cellular debris. Cancer cells use the circles to rapidly grab or shed genes linked to tumor growth and drug resistance. These circles, now known as extrachromosomal DNA (ecDNA), may explain why some tumors, like glioblastoma, are notoriously difficult to treat, and there’s already one biotech company that thinks ecDNA will be the next big thing in cancer drug discovery.

    00

  • #
    RicDre

    The Guardian: Aussie Government Ignoring an Official Renewable Energy Covid-19 Recovery Plan

    Australian opposition politicians are aghast that the Scott Morrison government has not even bothered responding to a report prepared by the Government Climate Change Authority, which recommends stimulating Australia’s Covid-19 economic recovery by investing in renewable energy.

    What can I say – if there was ever a report which deserved to be stored in the circular filing cabinet, that would be a report which claims a massive subsidy programme is required to kickstart the production of cheaper energy.

    Real economic opportunities don’t require subsidies. Investors flock to genuine money making opportunities of their own free will.

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2020/10/21/the-guardian-aussie-government-ignoring-an-official-renewable-energy-covid-19-recovery-plan/

    40

  • #
    greggg

    Covid-19 study on mask-wearing efficacy rejected by journals as no one is ‘brave’ enough to publish results – Danish researchers.
    https://www.sott.net/article/443229-Covid-19-study-on-mask-wearing-efficacy-rejected-by-journals-as-no-one-is-brave-enough-to-publish-results-Danish-researchers

    40

  • #
    BruceC

    Dopey dems;

    Senate Judiciary Committee Confirms Amy Coney Barrett for Supreme Court — Democrats Boycott Committee Vote.

    The Senate Judiciary Committee voted 12-0 to confirm Judge Amy Coney Barrett for the Supreme Court on Thursday morning.

    Democrat members on the committee boycotted the vote.

    The US Senate will vote on Amy Coney Barrett on Monday.

    20

  • #
    BruceC

    In comment #9 I posted that another former Biden associate has come forward confirming the Biden emails … well things just got a little more interesting;

    Breaking: In major breakthrough, CEO of Hunter Biden-tied firm agrees to provide documents to Senate. Executive says Joe Biden was supposed to be silent partner in son’s Chinese venture.

    Ruh Roh!

    40

  • #
    RicDre

    Aussie Golf Legend Greg Norman Backs Donald Trump: ‘He’s Done a Phenomenal Job’

    Australian golf legend Greg Norman said Thursday that U.S. President Donald Trump has a “good chance” of winning the election as millions of “quiet Americans” will happily back him and again prove the pollsters wrong.

    https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2020/10/22/aussie-golf-legend-greg-norman-backs-donald-trump-hes-done-a-phenomenal-job/

    30

  • #
    RicDre

    Four Newborn Australian Babies Die amid Coronavirus Travel Restrictions

    Four newborn babies have died in the Australian city of Adelaide in the past four weeks after they could not be airlifted to Melbourne for special treatment due to strict coronavirus travel restrictions.

    https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2020/10/22/four-newborn-australian-babies-die-amid-coronavirus-travel-restrictions/

    20

  • #
    David Wojick

    Hoping the last Debate is as good as the First

    By David Wojick

    It was not a debate, it was an argument. A flat out, both sides yelling, your another, argument. Like real people. Oh wait, these are real people. There surely have been many arguments around the country and the world just like this, maybe millions. Painful to watch but important to see. This is what real policy arguments look like.

    Trump executed it flawlessly. The left heads exploded, as if on command, which they more or less were. Trump’s ability to systematically agitate the left is amazing. He enjoys it and so do his fans. Trump was called a bully, but most Presidents are bullies, maybe all of them. It is a job qualification.

    This was no accident, rather it was carefully planned, as all such meetings are. I can hear Trump now. “Why do I have to debate this [expletives deleted] fool? We have nothing to talk about. He wants to wreck America and I do not.” The rest is history and historic it is. Trump proceeded with shock and awe. Well at least shock, lots of shock.

    His ferocity is the angry people speaking. Trump decided to speak with them, as them, because that is what Trump does. He came in angry, spoiling for a fight, and a fight is what he got.

    To his credit Biden responded appropriately, saying among other things “You are the worst President we have ever had.” That simple line defines the argument. It would never have been said in a formal debate, but it accurately measures the distance between the candidates, far better than pompous policy pronouncements ever could.

    Contrast the Trump-Biden-Wallace argument with the Vice Presidential candidates’ formal debate. Each VP candidate knew what the issues to be covered were, so each had a lengthy prepared set-piece presentation. These mostly stated things that each had said before, their well known positions. Each also knew what the other was going to say so their replies were canned as well. Reviewers called it boring, which it was because of the format. One hoped for surprises but these were few.

    The Trump-Biden argument was a different kind of boring, where each bored into the other’s claims. Each barrage of rapid fire short statements quickly got into essential differences, leaving the fluff in the dust. Where the argument was going was unpredictable and often surprising, often calling for creative quick thinking.

    For example, the hairy issue of climate change and energy production was not on the approved list, but they spent something like ten minutes on it. It was confused because these issues a very confused.

    As a result the transcript is well worth reading. It is likely the best point-counterpoint display of the differences between Republicans and Democrats that you can find.

    The structure of complex issues is my research field. If you want to see what people really think, the argument format is a good way to do it and the formal debate is a poor way. The argument format is not just point followed by counterpoint. The back and forth on a specific point may occur ten, twenty or thirty times, creating a long chain of focused disagreement. This is what you need to really unpack an issue and bore in to find the essential differences.

    Conversely there is a lot of jumping around, probing for weaknesses. This is after all a battle, a battle of wits. Fighting a battle requires a lot of maneuvering and rapid reasoning. To be sure there are also a lot of false starts and mistakes. Properly viewed, a real time policy argument like this can be fascinating, especially given what is at stake: The Presidency of The United States.

    Mind you the anger is off putting. This is not about nuances of policy. This is about huge numbers of people that hate each other, or at least hate what each other believes. Like it or not, that is our situation. So let’s have it out, which they surely did.

    Which brings us to the Internet. Yes this is a jump, stepping back to see why this argument happened as it did. People decry what the Internet has done, but the Internet has given everyone a voice, and what a loud voice that is. Elite pundits decry the animosity and ferocity of social media exchanges, but that is people being people. They say the same thing in the privacy of their own homes. Now they can say it globally.

    All three sides (Trump, Biden and Wallace) would up speaking Twitterese, where Trump is the master. Whole sentences are not required. The transcript reads just like a freewheeling fight in the comments section of a policy blog. This is what people sound like when they argue about policy. That is the point, Trump is being a person, not a politician. The world reels. Shock and awe.

    Whether it works or not remains to be seen. The President may be speaking out for an angry minority. Maybe it is time to restructure America. I hope not but I am not in charge; it is up to the voters. America will go where Americans want it to go. We will find out come November.

    In the meantime we have the final debate coming up. Will it be just as rough and tumble? I hope so and think it highly likely. (I like pro football too.) The opponents will have had time to study and think about what was said before, so we may well see more boring in on the essential defining issues.

    Here’s hoping the final debate is at least as good as the first, maybe even better.

    In any case, what I do know is that the Presidency will never be the same. Trump is the first Internet President, using and speaking it fluently. He will not be the last. Whether the formal debate format is dead remains to be seen, but I sure like the fights.

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    dinn, rob

    Joe Biden quoted on China

    On August 18, 2011 Biden held talks with Xi, then Chinese Vice-President.  At the meeting Biden said the US “fully understands that Taiwan and Tibet issues are China’s core interests, the U.S. will continue to resolutely pursue the one China policy, the U.S. does not support ‘Taiwan’s independence’, and the U.S. fully recognizes that Tibet is an inalienable part of the People’s Republic of China.” 60
    On May 2, 2019 Biden remarked, “They can’t figure out how they’re going to deal with the corruption that exists within the system. I mean, you know, they’re not bad folks, folks. But guess what, they’re not, they’re not competition for us.” http://www.intelligencequarterly.com/Document/BidenChina.pdf
    …………………………………………………….
    9-25-20  Biden’s support of the Chinese Communist Party is long and personal.  In 2000-2001 as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Biden led the Senate’s efforts to shepherd China into the World Trade Organization and to end annual congressional reviews of China’s status as a U.S. trading partner.  At the time Biden welcomed China’s emergence “as a great power because great powers adhere to international norms in the areas of nonproliferation, human rights and trade.”  As vice president in 2011, Biden said he believed “that a rising China is a positive, positive development, not only for China but for America and the world writ large.”…
      His foreign policy adviser, Jake Sullivan, has been storming the panels of think tanks and the pages of establishment magazines to argue that the rise of Chinese hard power is the “the natural outcome of a positive-sum mindset,” that “China’s extraordinary development was the result not of failures in U.S. foreign policy but of its successes,” and that the U.S. should do “everything we can to both facilitate and encourage China’s rise and to support it.”  As one of Biden’s presumptive foreign policy or national security chiefs, Sullivan has also argued strongly against the containment of Chinese power and that “the United States and China should be working together to expand the areas where we can cooperate on the major global challenges of our time–on proliferation, on climate change, on the global economy, and on so much else.”
      The reason for Biden’s apparent reversal on China is not a big mystery. A July poll conducted by the Pew Research Center found that 73 percent of Americans had an unfavorable view of China, the highest in 15 years, and more than half of Americans see China as a competitor. https://thehill.com/opinion/international/518115-whats-bidens-real-policy-on-china-unlike-trumps-its-hard-to-know

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    Readers of this blog will all know of Nils-Axel Morner who recently passed away. Christopher Monckton wrote a beautiful musical tribute to him in a similar vein as that he wrote for Bob Carter.
    I think it might be fitting to pause for a few minutes to listen to his tribute. It is a lullaby entitles ‘Laughing Angels’. The visual theme given here is of the oceans – as Monckton observed – Nils knew more about the oceans than Poseidon himself.

    Christopher Monckton’s tribute to Nils-Axel Morner

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    Orson

    BidenGate—Yesterday saw a document showing that the FBI opened up a money laundering investigation last year with the Hunter Biden laptop in evidence.

    And then an eyewitness named Tony Bobelinski, a retired Lieutenant in the US Navy, has indicated that Senator Joe Biden was the instrumental means and benefactor of advancing family business interests and was paid for his role in this.

    Just an hour or two ago today, Bobelinski has held a press conference indicating that he will give evidence and testimony to a US Senate Committee tomorrow.

    Bobelinski will be a guest in tonight’s Trump – Biden candidates debate.

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    Orson

    The Daily Mail has extended coverage of Bobelinski. Here is an extract, hot link, and BB discussion of more.

    https://www.thenewneo.com/2020/10/22/joe-biden-the-manchurian-candidate/

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    Orson

    Bobelinski in brief:

    What I am outlining is fact. I know it is fact because I lived it. I am the CEO of Sinohawk Holdings which was a partnership between the Chinese operating through CEFC/Chairman Ye and the Biden family. I was brought into the company to be the CEO by James Gilliar and Hunter Biden. The reference to ‘the Big Guy’ in the much publicized May 13, 2017 email is in fact a reference to Joe Biden. The other ‘JB’ referenced in that email is Jim Biden, Joe’s brother.

    Hunter Biden called his dad ‘the Big Guy’ or ‘my Chairman,’ and frequently referenced asking him for his sign-off or advice on various potential deals that we were discussing. I’ve seen Vice President Biden saying he never talked to Hunter about his business. I’ve seen firsthand that that’s not true, because it wasn’t just Hunter’s business, they said they were putting the Biden family name and its legacy on the line.

    I realized the Chinese were not really focused on a healthy financial ROI. They were looking at this as a political or influence investment. Once I realized that Hunter wanted to use the company as his personal piggy bank by just taking money out of it as soon as it came from the Chinese, I took steps to prevent that from happening.

    The [Senator] Johnson Report connected some dots in a way that shocked me — it made me realize the Bidens had gone behind my back and gotten paid millions of dollars by the Chinese, even though they told me they hadn’t and wouldn’t do that to their partners.

    I would ask the Biden family to address the American people and outline the facts so I can go back to being irrelevant — and so I am not put in a position to have to answer those questions for them.

    I don’t have a political ax to grind; I just saw behind the Biden curtain and I grew concerned with what I saw. The Biden family aggressively leveraged the Biden family name to make millions of dollars from foreign entities even though some were from communist controlled China.

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    el gordo

    Aunty finally wakes up, we have been hoaxed.

    “What’s uniquely dangerous about the Chinese case is that its emissions are … growing so fast that scientists tell us they could eventually doom the climate on their own regardless of what the rest of the world does,” Mr Smith wrote in Foreign Policy magazine.’ ABC

    Trump deferred to China and India as dirty.

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    CHRIS

    Brett Sutton is a perfect textbook case of “The Peter Principle”

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