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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Tuesday Open Thread

7.9 out of 10 based on 15 ratings

229 comments to Tuesday Open Thread

  • #
    OldOzzie

    COVID-19 and the Political Economy of Mass Hysteria

    Abstract

    In this article, we aim to develop a political economy of mass hysteria. Using the background of COVID-19, we study past mass hysteria. Negative information which is spread through mass media repetitively can affect public health negatively in the form of nocebo effects and mass hysteria. We argue that mass and digital media in connection with the state may have had adverse consequences during the COVID-19 crisis. The resulting collective hysteria may have contributed to policy errors by governments not in line with health recommendations. While mass hysteria can occur in societies with a minimal state, we show that there exist certain self-corrective mechanisms and limits to the harm inflicted, such as sacrosanct private property rights. However, mass hysteria can be exacerbated and self-reinforcing when the negative information comes from an authoritative source, when the media are politicized, and social networks make the negative information omnipresent. We conclude that the negative long-term effects of mass hysteria are exacerbated by the size of the state.

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    • #
      OldOzzie

      Coronavirus lockdown lunacy is frying our minds

      Adam Creighton

      Victoria to Western Australia: hold my beer.

      If you thought Perth’s bizarre five-day lockdown over a single person, who wasn’t sick and infected no one else, was strange, then Victoria’s statewide third lockdown of 6.6 million people is so freakish it raises a worrying possibility.

      The west, and Australia and New Zealand in particular, are suffering mass psychogenic illness, where only sociology, psychology and the perverse incentives of large welfare states, can explain the ongoing obsession with COVID-19 and our medieval responses to it after almost a year of improved treatments and new information.

      For three German and Spanish economists, it’s time to ask this question: have we forgotten the rationality that’s meant to define policymaking in advanced liberal democracies? Their new research paper, COVID-19 and the Political Economy of Mass Hysteria, lays out how our biological tendency to overreact coupled with a social and mass media that profit from panic, plus powerful welfare states, make mass psychosis likely, and hard to reverse.

      “Governments have prohibited activities that reduce fear and anxiety, such as sports and socialising, thereby contributing to anxiety and psychological strain,” one of the authors, Philipp Bagus, told The Australian.

      “They have instilled fear in the general public to achieve political goals, exploiting the negativity bias of the human brain,” he said, revealing how a leaked German government paper last year recommended scaring people to ensure compliance with health advice. “Politicians have an incentive to overshoot the mark in their responses to a threat because they are largely exempt from the risk of possible wrong decisions and their costs, which they pass on to others,” Bagus added.

      Whether we’ve reached mass psychosis is debatable, but some seriously weird behaviours have emerged, quite beyond double-masking and the odd burst of toilet paper hoarding.

      Australia and New Zealand have incurred costs equivalent to a world war — and more than any other nation has — fighting a pandemic that has killed not even 1000 people, with a median age in the mid-80s, between them. And this is widely seen as brilliant.

      Having insisted early last year that lockdowns were necessary to “flatten the curve”, rolling capital city “snap” lockdowns of millions of people have become the norm, at extraordinary economic, psychological and social cost, without a single person in ICU across either country.

      The nation tuned into the Victorian Premier’s 100-minute press conference on Monday to hear how the state was handling one new COVID case, while a few kilometres away tennis stars Nadal and Medvedev were about to square off to the sound of artificial clapping.

      Two exhausted Auslan interpreters tag-teamed to convey the latest daily update from Daniel Andrews on Melbourne’s “ring of steel”, nebulisers, and the “highly infectious UK strain”, which has barely infected a soul and killed no one in Australia or New Zealand. A day earlier more than 25,100 Victorians, on government orders, flocked to testing centres to see if they had COVID-19.

      “I am proud,” said Mr Andrews. Well, I’m embarrassed that so many people, the bulk of them healthy, waste hours and the $100 it costs taxpayers for each of the 13.7 million tests carried out so far.

      Across the Tasman, Auckland entered its own three-day lockdown (the science is a little different there) on Sunday. Valentine’s Day diners fled restaurants mid-meal at 8.30pm, the media reported, as patrons’ mobile phones, courtesy of government apps designed for earthquakes, lit up with the announcement of the city’s third lockdown.

      And in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king. So thank god for NSW, where relative sanity has prevailed for now.

      271

      • #
        GARETH LEWIS

        Sorry, but the ongoing media and elite infatuation with Saint Gladys, patron of paper shredding machines, Princess of Rubies (along with Brad “Health” Hazzard) and congenital liar is a right royal pain for the 80% of us who do not live in Sydney.

        311

        • #
          Ross

          Not a huge fun of the hot mess, I must admit. I think she just has very sensible public servants working in the NSW Health Service. Clearly more capable than the Victorian equivalents.

          70

      • #

        Oh those globalists
        ‘n those politicians,
        with their dog-gone
        Covid lock-down…

        Hey! They’re havin’
        a lock-down,comin’
        from the top-down,
        controllin’the populace,
        a genuine knock-down,
        instead of a hoe-down
        out in the sun-shine,
        happens its a throw-down,
        keepin’
        them
        plebian
        varmints
        in their
        place.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KTaMxChPPrw&ab_channel=DavidWorswick

        40

    • #
      OldOzzie

      Struggling CBD businesses back in ‘survival mode’

      Many businesses fear Victoria’s third lockdown will be the final nail in the coffin for Melbourne’s struggling CBD.

      “Melbourne city is the engine room of the Victorian economy and it’s critical that we work closely together with state and federal governments to support and sustain and economic recovery.”

      Veteran CBD jeweller David Benjamin said that even before the latest lockdown the city was like a ghost town in the afternoon.

      “The city was vacant, you could fire a cannon down Little Collins Street and not hit anybody,” he said.

      Mr Benjamin likened the situation to Hollywood actor Ava Gardner, who on a 1950s visit to make the nuclear holocaust movie On the Beach, reportedly described Melbourne as the “perfect place to make a film about the end of the world”.

      “It’s obviously not a bottomless pit, but we would hope that the government would do whatever it can do to help businesses,” he said.

      Federal Treasurer and Melbourne resident Josh Frydenberg said Victoria was in a “challenging situation”, and it needed to come out of lockdown quickly.

      “My kids are not at school, my wife is working from home, and that is an experience that every Victorian family is going through right now,” he said.

      Mr Frydenberg said business confidence in Victoria had again been dented by the lockdown, with one restaurant left with $50,000 worth of food and owing tens of thousands of dollars worth of wages because chefs had been preparing it.

      180

    • #
      yarpos

      I wonder value politicians like Andrews offer. If all you do is hide behind so called expert advice and dont balance/adapt/consider other factors then just handover the reins. I guess that is really what has happened , the “experts” do public policy and Andrews does press conferences and throws other people under the consequences bus.

      150

  • #
    • #
      PeterC

      Thanks Zoe.

      The Greenhouse gas enthusiasts have maintained from the beginning that the Earth with no greenhouse gases would have an average temperature of -18C (255K).
      The same Calculated result should apply to the moon. But no one had shown the actual moon temperatures. There was only some temps from one of the NASA moon landing sites.

      The average temperature you have come up with is way too cold (200K).
      What is the data that you used to get the whole moon average temperature?

      20

    • #
      Kalm Keith

      “The lunar day lasts for 29 days, 12 hours and 44 minutes. Precisely, this is the total time taken by the moon to make one orbit around the earth. ”

      Most of Earth’s surface, at least away from the poles is exposed to some sunlight in every 24 hour period.

      30

      • #
        Kalm Keith

        In other words:

        Comparing temperatures from the Earth and the Moon is like comparing Chalk and Cheese.I

        00

        • #
          Frost Giant Rebellion

          Sure but the unexpected difference is an anomaly that ought to get us interested.

          “The average temperature you have come up with is way too cold (200K).
          What is the data that you used to get the whole moon average temperature?”

          Thats how we find out what is really going on. When we get these massive differences from the expected result. Thats more than 250 degrees the difference. In the schools and in the CSIRO the people ought to be on a kind of hair trigger. That once they see an anomaly so striking as this, they ought to be all over it. The modern response to anomalies appears to be to wave them away. But its anomalies that are the road to discovery.

          00

  • #

    I have Just bought a little device that measures traffic pollution and, amongst other things, co2 .

    The co2 reading is woefully incorrect unless keeling has been lying hrough his teeth .

    I wasn’t expecting100percent accuracy but it has made me wonder that f the co2 reading can be so wrong, around 550ppm, can it be trusted with the measurements for traffic pollution?

    So my question is, what could be the maximum co2 reading for winter in the northern hemisphere, next to the ocean and in an urban area, although due to lockdown traffic is light.

    Has anyone got a similar device? If so what is your reading?

    50

    • #
      Matthew

      The current CO2 reading of around 400 ppm is taken at Cape Grim, on the NW coast of Tasmania, a pretty isolated place, the wind is predominately from the west where there is nothing but ocean for thousands of kilometers.
      Your device is probably correct.

      20

      • #

        Cape grim is pretty remote and mauna loa is much higher and altogether more volcanic than my front garden Where it read 550 during the day

        We are just about to go to bed and the internal reading is around 650ppm which sounds believable according to what i read, so will be interesting to see what it is in the morning.

        Anyone got any real world readings?

        10

        • #
          Jim Ross

          It is important to factor in the diurnal (diel) CO2 cycle which varies a lot depending on location. Usually (noting that wind can have an effect, obviously, as can temperature), surface CO2 is lowest at sun-up or thereabouts, as soon as photosynthesis kicks in. It often will creep up a little during the day and then increase more rapidly overnight, dropping back again the next morning. Observatories such as Cape Grim are sited to avoid these daily variations as much as possible. It seems that the minimum daily value is generally not that far from the value for the “free atmosphere” at about 1km above surface. A very good plot of these variations over longer periods can be found in this PhD thesis: https://cramlab.uea.ac.uk/Documents/Wilson_Phil_PhD_Thesis_2013.pdf

          See figure 3.3, page 79. Note how the minimum value is like a baseline and tracks the annual cycle as see at Mauna Loa for example, higher in winter than summer (this in the northern hemisphere). The daily maxima are highly variable.

          I see that Kalm Keith also mentions the daily variations.

          10

          • #
            tonyb

            jim

            many thanks for that meaty link. i will read the paper during the day.

            In the meantime if anyone else has a reading from a co2 meter I would like to hear about it

            10

            • #
              tonyb

              Jim

              I have now read it. Its a very good paper. The trouble is that averaged co2 taken under perfect conditions using a machine that filters and prepares the air at a certain height, appears to be different to rough and ready real world local conditions at ground level. I will persevere. There’s a very big grant and a Nobel prize somewhere in there….

              10

              • #
                Jim Ross

                Tony,

                There are quite a few papers where the surface CO2 measurements in major cities have been published. Here is one: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/255577333_Measurements_of_CO_2_fluxes_in_the_Mexico_city_megacity

                Note figure 4 showing diurnal cycle.

                10

              • #
                Kalm Keith

                Jim, some of the graphs are upside down and inside out. , 🙂

                00

              • #
                Jim Ross

                KK, I guess you may be referring to the graphs of estimated fluxes perhaps? I have not studied how fluxes are estimated and have focussed only on actual measurements of CO2 concentration. The fluxes can’t be that important if they are insufficient to offset the variation in concentration! In fact, this could be quite an important message in itself. If the estimated fluxes from cars, etc., are more than counter-balanced by natural fluctuations at the surface, what does that tell us about the alleged impact of global estimates of emissions on atmospheric growth which are based on cumulative estimates of car emissions etc? Any thoughts?

                00

              • #
                tonyb

                Jim

                Thanks for that extra paper

                I thought figure 8 here was interesting

                https://meteo.lcd.lu/papers/co2_patterns/co2_patterns.html

                It shows the scatter effect rather than an averaged out figure and if you add in say 20ppm or so to account for the passage of time the scatter readings shown are not outrageous compared to my lowest reading, some 516ppm at 7.30 am as it was starting to get light.

                Of course whether my reading is correct I still do not know but I cant say it is INcorrect

                00

              • #
                Jim Ross

                Tony,

                I agree … not outrageous, though certainly on the high side. I look forward to seeing how the longer term trends develop. As you will know, the global trend in growth of atmospheric CO2 is running about 2 ppm/yr this year (a bit lower than 2020 due to La Niña) so it will be quite sometime before that can be identified. With a bit of luck, you will be able to see a gradual reduction in the daily minimum as we move towards spring and summer, consistent with the increase in photosynthesis (as seen on the Weybourne plot I highlighted previously).

                In the meantime, good luck with the “very big grant and a Nobel prize”!

                00

              • #
                tonyb

                Jim

                We are still in the grip of winter with the only growth being the daffodils so it will likely be April before the trees start to properly unfurl and everything wakes up.

                In the meantime I will lower my ambitions to securing just the very big grant

                00

        • #
          Yarpos

          I thought the whole point of those location was their distance from distorting influences and to provide a reading from a well mixed atmosphere as little affected by local conditions as possible. At least then you get a consistent base and arent chasing local/regional anomalies.

          20

    • #
      John R Smith

      Is this another step in Reformation 2.0?
      The Unwashed (not you Tonyb, you I’m sure are washed) gain access to technical devises previously only available to ‘scientists’ and gubmint.
      The last thing they want is ordinary folk making observations and checking their work.
      Drawing unapproved conclusions.
      Too late.
      They’re already mad.
      (Very cool, I’ll be interested to hear about what you see.)

      50

      • #
        Broadie

        See Stephen McIntyre’s Starbuck Hypothesis.

        Here is some of Stephen’s comments on his work to help the experts bring their science up to date.

        00

    • #
      RickWill

      The CO2 level at this time in the northern hemisphere is way higher than anywhere else. It is much higher than in Hawaii. It is speculated that it is from all the wood and fossil fuel required for heating. This graphic shows how the CO2 develops over a year:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x1SgmFa0r04

      All the extra CO2 in the northern hemisphere at this time of year is why it is so warm. Imagine if all the wood heaters were turned off and fossil fuelled power stations shut down. A lot less CO2 in the atmosphere and a lot colder in the homes.

      I expect a reading at ground level in the UK of 550ppm would be reasonable. Go to a southern shore in the middle of your summer with an onshore wind and see what it reads then.

      10

      • #
        RickWill

        The peak of the CO2 is late April to early May. I figure the heating requirement must be over by then in most places and plants start to take in their basic building block as they spring to life.

        00

    • #
      Kalm Keith

      Reports of CO2 variations over fields of growing crops vary from the nominal 400 in daylight up to 1250 at night.

      Submarines can record up to 8,000 ppm CO2.

      Since we expel 40,000 ppm routinely, even the 1250 near crops is not dangerous.

      The greatest danger to us is inhaling pure oxygen.

      KK

      80

      • #
        yarpos

        or pure Nitrogen

        50

        • #
          Kalm Keith

          I was thinking in terms of the excess oxygen leaching CO2 from the bloodstream and disabling the breathing reflex controlled by the autonomic nervous system.

          What happens with pure nitrogen? suffocation?
          🙂

          20

          • #
            GARETH LEWIS

            Sorry, but the ongoing media and elite infatuation with Saint Gladys, patron of paper shredding machines, Princess of Rubies (along with Brad “Health” Hazzard) and congenital liar is a right royal pain for the 80% of us who do not live in Sydney.

            36

            • #
              Kalm Keith

              Gareth,

              Our beloved leader, Berys Gladachicklicken, doesn’t need to do anything else here.

              Here in NovoCastria the main street, over a mile long, is lined with empty shops and offices that speak of untold human pain.

              Luckily politicians don’t feel this pain as they have been vaxxinated with adequate public tax funds.

              The only Hazzard for most of us is The Governmint

              60

          • #
            yarpos

            Extremely rapid unconciousness followed by death. As our bodies are conditioned to breathing high amounts of Nitrogen in the air we dont react to it like other gases.

            30

          • #
            StephenP

            Yes.
            An experiment we did on ourselves at university showed that effect.
            Rebreathing air resulted in taking deeper breaths as the increased CO2 stimulated the lungs to increased ventilation.
            Rebreathing air via a CO2 absorbant resulted in unconsciousness as there was no CO2 to stimulate deep breathing and the resulting air was dominated by nitrogen, leading to annoxia.

            20

    • #
      David Maddison

      We know historic temperature data from various government meterology agencies around the world cannot be relied upon due to malicious adjustments of historical data to “prove” warming.

      Why should the same thing not be happening to CO2 measurements?

      61

    • #
      Ross

      Bought a CO2 hand held meter form ebay and it seems quite accurate. I take readings about 3pm in Victoria, Australia in the same spot on my verandah every couple of weeks. Last reading was about 430ppm.

      50

      • #
        Hanrahan

        I’m in the tropics so there would be no local Autumn increase due to falling/decaying leaves. The wind up my street is almost always a Sou Easter ie it has come from the Southern Pacific, possibly polluted by kiwi farts. I have never thought to measure CO2 myself, maybe I should.

        How much for the meter and would one be incorporated in a modern home weather station?

        10

        • #
          tonyb

          Hanrahan

          It would be interesting to see what your readings are as presumably they would be pretty constant. The air quality detector i have got is around £50 but there are much cheaper and more expensive ones. Mine measures HCHO, TVOC, PM2.5 PM10 and CO2. the model i have is the jsm-131 by Rosh but again there are many very similar ones branded differently.

          I have a weather station but when browsing I did notice that some weather stations did incorporate a CO2 detector.

          20

      • #
        tonyb

        Ross

        Presumably this is peak growing season for you and your ambient temperature will be warmer.

        10

        • #
          tonyb

          The saga continues…

          There is a dearth of papers on real world localised CO2 concentrations. I found this one from 2007

          https://zenodo.org/record/1258774#.YCv6tjJxeUk

          There are lots of cited papers I need to work my way through, but bearing in mind an urban location tends to have a much higher reading than rural or suburban ones, and of course it varies through the year and location, I suspect, to my considerable surprise, that my device is not far off. It is currently reading 532ppm at 5.30 as its starting to get dark. I had not expected this at all.

          I wonder if CO2 –much higher in urban areas but of course measured at ground level-has an impact on urban temperatures, as do the buildings?

          In other words, does the UHI effect comprise Buildings/surfaces AND CO2 concentrations (in the form of Urban CO2 domes)

          https://news.stanford.edu/news/2010/march/urban-carbon-domes-031610.html

          I will keep on recording and see if the coming Spring and new plant growth and the ocean temperature rising nearby has an effect on readings.

          In the meantime if anyone else on here has a co2 monitor I would be interested to hear about the readings

          10

  • #
    OldOzzie

    Risk aversion comes with a heavy cost to the state

    The Australian Editorial

    The 800 deaths caused by the failure of Victoria’s hotel quarantine scheme last year have scarred the ability of Premier Daniel Andrews to make decisions on how best to deal with further outbreaks. Given the catastrophic results that flowed from the Andrews government’s incompetence, forensically detailed by the Coate inquiry report, it is understandable that Mr Andrews is hyper-vigilant to ensure there is no repeat performance.

    The problem is fresh trauma being visited on 6.5 million people, now under the third hard lockdown in Victoria, will have serious consequences as well. There is in Victoria a collective trauma triggered by systemic incompetence that is being compounded by a lack of trust. Mr Andrews says he is acting on the advice of his top health officials, but it is clear the Premier has difficulty letting go. As a result, Mr Andrews appears to be acting contrary to the good news being delivered by his contact tracing team.

    The goodwill he once enjoyed, despite the experience of the second lockdown, is wearing thin. ABC reporter Leigh Sales cut straight to the chase on Monday when she asked Mr Andrews how it was the case that the government still lacked such confidence in the hotel quarantine systems that it couldn’t manage two cases. “Lockdown imposes a real cost and Victorians have already paid a big price for lockdown. Cases are actually very well traced, so why the lockdown?” Sales asked. Mr Andrews’ first response was to shoot the messenger and highlight the extra potency of the UK variant of the virus.

    Mr Andrews needs to regain his confidence and make better decisions. Former Liberal premier Jeff Kennett spoke for many Victorians when he said he was prepared to give Mr Andrews the benefit of the doubt but felt he had been lied to again. He said the UK variant did not spread as fast as people had been told and the lockdown was to protect politicians, not the people. “Be assured the reason we are in lockdown is because the Premier has no confidence in the administration of Victoria’s hotel quarantine, nor his contact tracing,” Mr Kennett said. “We Victorians, but those in particular who had been planning weddings, parties, sporting events, going to restaurants, not to mention the hundreds of restaurants who must throw out millions of dollars’ worth of food, are paying a huge price for the government’s incompetence once again.”

    However, with only limited cases and a confident contact tracing team, he should end the lockdown and follow the example of NSW in managing clusters. For Victorian residents and business owners, the insecurity of not knowing when another lockdown is coming will have a profound long-term impact on the state. Mr Andrews’ risk aversion comes with a heavy price attached.

    150

    • #
      OldOzzie

      Premier Daniel Andrews scores prestigious leadership nomination

      ‘FIRM, DECISIVE AND COURAGEOUS’

      Daniel Andrews has been nominated for a prestigious award for his leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic, despite being at the centre of Victoria’s hotel quarantine debacle and receiving nationwide criticism.

      The Victorian Premier was the only state premier among several politicians nominated for the 2020 McKinnon Prize, including Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

      The prize, awarded to two politicians annually, is said to be a “nonpartisan and independent award” given to those “who have successfully tackled vital issues of public policy, overcome adversity and achieved real change for the public good”.

      Judges said the Prime Minister’s nomination was for swift policies implemented throughout the ­pandemic which were ­“significant departures” from his “well-developed brand of fiscal ­conservatism”.

      Meanwhile Mr Andrews’ nomination cited “firm, decisive and courageous leadership”. “Throughout the crisis, he based key decisions on expert health advice — a brave approach which led to some less popular decisions,” reads a statement from the nomination.

      n the 2020 judging panel is former PM Julia Gillard; Mike Baird, former NSW premier; Professor Jim McCluskey Acting Provost, University of Melbourne; Leigh Clifford, Chairman, Bechtel Australia; Professor Megan Davis, expert with the UN Human Rights Council’s Expert Mechanism on the rights of Indigenous peoples; Nick Farr-Jones, Director of Taurus Funds Management; journalists Chris Kenny and Sabra Lane; Catherine Livingstone, Chair of the Commonwealth Bank; Peter McNamara, Board Director of the Australian Council of Social Service; Sophie Oh, Co-Founder, Susan McKinnon Foundation; Lisa Paul AO Former senior Australian public servant and policymaker; Yasmin Poole.

      From the Comments

      – I had to check if it was April 1st.
      – Simply unbelievable – that’s all I can say!!! The depths of idiocy.
      – This is unbelievable, Andrews has totally stuffed up. He deserves ridicule.
      – This reinforces how crazy this country is becoming – Dopey Dan and Zig Zag Zali for leadership awards!!!
      – Dan and Zali right? Plenty of material for Johannes Leak here.

      200

      • #
        RicDre

        Well, at least New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo only got an Emmy Award for his COVID briefings while he covered-up the true number of people who died of COVID in Nursing homes in New York.

        190

        • #
          RicDre

          And we have a new Democrat euphemism; Gov. Cuomo didn’t cover up the number Nursing home deaths, there was just a ‘delay’ in the reporting which created a ‘void’ in the data.

          190

        • #
          Brian Parker

          proving he should win the award for acting

          100

      • #
        yarpos

        You have to wonder about the pedigree of an award that lists both Andrews and Matt Kean in NSW as worthy candidates. Just the left pandering to the left, a bit like any Hollyweird award event.

        150

    • #
      RickWill

      Dan is up for the 2020 McKinonn Political Leader of the Year award. What needs to be added to that! There is no limit to fantasy in politics and the press. It all becomes self-reinforcing. It is all the essence of propaganda.

      Greatest political leader ever. Trump could not make it but Dan can. I think the difference is that in Australia the politicians can use the public purse to pay for their private legal battles. I think Trump had to source funding for the legal battles of the POTUS.

      Imagine if Trump had sent in the national guard to keep people in their homes and stopped all movements across international and state borders! If America was like Australia then Trump would have been guaranteed a second term. Actually it must be like Australia because Biden has promised all those things and won!

      90

    • #
      STJOHNOFGRAFTON

      “…..NSW where relative sanity has prevailed for now.”
      The next lockdown hard quarantine is inevitable, especially as a motivator for Pfizer’s vaccine experimental genetic trigger medicine to be be injected into Australians who are, fait accompli, being co-opted into the biggest medical experiment in human history.
With Australia’s seasonal cold and flu (Corona virus) season approaching, expect the agitprop from the government via the legacy media to increase. Also, expect holding a dissenting opinion to be politically ‘unpopular’.

      130

      • #
        Annie

        Today in The Australian we discover that, not only was Craig Kelly very improperly ‘told off’ by the PM, but that he is now banned from Farcebook for a week.
        Public life sinks into a new low.

        31

  • #
    RickWill

    I posted this on the weekend but the blog had already moved on:
    https://1drv.ms/u/s!Aq1iAj8Yo7jNhBlQt8jdeBoZ9NhY
    I undertook a comparison of CMIP6 climate models using the data available on KNMI. Rather than anomalies I looked at the average annual hindcast and forecast. I was somewhat surprised that the climate models currently offer a global surface temperature over a range of 2C. So much for 0.5C more warming taking the planet to hell.

    The Chinese FGOALS is lowest and the EU MIROC6 is highest. I have included the GHCN “measured” to 2019. It comes with all the world’s best practice homogenisation included.

    The one correct model that predicts a steady 14C is based solidly on physics that govern energy balance on the surface of the Earth. The 9 others are based on the “greenhouse effect” fantasy.

    140

    • #
      el gordo

      Dr Curry gave you a h/t, congratulations.

      10

      • #
        RickWill

        It is good to know she saw it. I am reasonably confident that she will disregard the hindcast/forecast of the only model of the 10 on offer that has sound basis in physics rather than some fantasy “greenhouse effect”

        The fact that the blog spends time discussing RCPs means that she still believes CO2 does something beside increase crop and forest productivity. There is also a need to move past the RCPs and get with the woke SSPs (Shared Socioeconomic Pathways) on offer for CMIP6/AR6.

        She has previously provide me references for the Ramanathan and Collins tropical warm pool thermostat that they conceived in 1994 but they get the process wrong. If they had access to the data from the moored buoys then they could have probably got it right. Ramanathan is now deep into the IPCC so has no interest in atmospheric physics any more. Judith has my chart on the thermostatic control in the tropical warm pools as well but you need to have some grasp of control systems to appreciate that.

        There is no money in being honest about Climate Change. It is the greatest money spinner of modern times.

        41

        • #
          el gordo

          ‘ … she still believes CO2 does something beside increase crop and forest productivity.’

          Climate Etc should be stripped of its lukewarm status. There is an interesting AGW zealot wandering the corridors with a big stick to keep the astrologers and contrarians under control.

          11

  • #
    RicDre

    Southeast Greenland Sea Surface Temperature 1° – 2°C Warmer In 1940 Than Today, New Study Shows

    A team of Danish scientists led by David Wangner published a paper a year ago about the results of a Greenland sediment core from Skjoldungen Fjord, near the Thrym Glacier, which allowed sea surface temperatures to be reconstructed.

    The core covers the past 200 years (1796–2013). The scientists find that the SST record compares well with other alkenone‐based reconstructions from SE‐Greenland and thus features regional shelf water variability.

    Today some scientists like claiming the present is warmer than at any time in the past 1000 years and suggest the Greenland ice sheets are rapidly melting. But the results of the core reconstruction show that it was warmer in the past, some 80 years ago.

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2021/02/15/southeast-greenland-sea-surface-temperature-1-2c-warmer-in-1940-than-today-new-study-shows/

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      TdeF

      A melting glacier would cool the surrounding water.

      Given that the oceans average 3.4km in depth, overall ocean temperatures would not matter much but surface temperatures obviously change quickly and during the day and seasons. I believe that is why the graph of CO2 shows strong seasonal trends a reflection of summer and winter and CO2 is so sensitive to surface temperature, but it has to be integrated over a very large area and time.

      And the predictable slight growth of CO2 does indicate that the average surface temperature is increasing slowly in response to the graphs of solar radiation, as predicted by so many and fits the last 2500 years almost perfectly. This will all start to fall now, based on the dominant De Vries cycle and the Pacific Decadal Osciallation, an induced ocean temperature cycle.

      So expect the world temperature to drop soon and with it, slowly, CO2. Then food supplies will fail and the demand for heating will soar, as is happening across the world. It will be interesting waiting for the IPCC to blame the cooling on carbon dioxide. Somehow. And even blame falling carbon dioxide on carbon dioxide emissions.

      There is always someone prepared to listen to the voice of authority and seriously credit the horseshoe bat virus just turned up as infectious to humans next to the Wuhan Viral Laboratory, from bats which live 1000km away.

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      Frost Giant Rebellion

      “But the results of the core reconstruction show that it was warmer in the past, some 80 years ago.”

      That works well with the American record where the 30’s is the hottest decade before the NASA on Broadway crowd start manipulating the data.

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  • #
    RicDre

    Big Tech Blinks: Google, Facebook Scramble for Australian News Content Deals

    The demand by Australia’s conservative coalition government that Google and Facebook pay for content is drawing results, with the tech giants revealing Monday they are close to deals with major news providers.

    Australian Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said talks with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Google CEO Sundar Pichai had made “great progress” in resolving a standoff being closely watched around the world.

    https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2021/02/15/big-tech-blinks-google-facebook-scramble-for-australian-news-content-deals/

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    • #
      Serp

      “Australia joins Poland and Hungary in standing up to extreme-Left Big Tech”; building some USC coal fired power stations should necessarily follow if we’re on the Visegrad path.

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  • #
    RicDre

    Texas frozen wind power – outages ensue, electricity now at unheard of $9000 per megawatt-hour

    There’s a saying in the lone star state “Don’t Mess with Texas” which actually started out as an anti-littering campaign but has become sort of a slogan for the rugged, no-nonsense way of life that people have there. Now with dead wind turbines littering the state, the focus on deploying unreliable renewable energy in the name of “saving the planet” has literally “messed with Texas” in a huge way.

    Ice storms knocked out nearly half the wind-power generating capacity of Texas on Sunday as a massive deep freeze across the state locked up wind turbine generators, creating an electricity generation crisis.

    Wind generation ranks as the second-largest source of energy in Texas, accounting for 23% of state power supplies last year, behind natural gas, which represented 45%, according to Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) figures.

    ERCOT reports today the spot price for electricity in Texas is currently a stunning $9000 per MegaWatt-hour. Even in the high demand summer months, $100 per MW-hr would be high.

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2021/02/15/texas-frozen-wind-power-outages-ensue-electricity-now-at-unheard-of-9000-per-megawatt-hour/

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      Matthew

      I thought Texas was smarter than that, perhaps they need to take a page out of Mexico’s book and resurrect some good old reliable coal power plants.

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    • #
      Tilba Tilba

      Ice storms knocked out nearly half the wind-power generating capacity of Texas on Sunday as a massive deep freeze across the state locked up wind turbine generators, creating an electricity generation crisis.

      I read today that ERCOT (or perhaps other state energy officials) were copping serious criticism because they did not invest in the all-weather kits that would have kept the wind turbines running at low temperatures. Maybe they are like woollen beanies – I don’t know.

      The decision to not buy the kits was put down to Texan arrogance and refusal to listen to the scientists and experts. (That might be a bit of leftie snarl).

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    • #
      Hanrahan

      The left has an answer for everything. When I mentioned the blackouts in Texas to my lefty son, who knows nothing of electricity, its generation or engineering generally he said I was wrong about the failure of wind generation, he said it was transformers failing in the cold. If I were to disabuse him of this idea it would become an argument, and that’s pointless.

      There is no way I could tell him transformer loss is dissipated as heat so a working transformer has cooling fins and that they are filled with oil which can’t freeze anyway.

      The same guy, when I mentioned the homeless in Pelosi’s district of San Fran came back quick as a flash: “Of course they have a lot of homeless, Mayors from the rest of the country send their homeless there”. So thick he is impervious to ideas.

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      • #
        Tilba Tilba

        … wrong about the failure of wind generation, he said it was transformers failing in the cold.

        I have also read that it was both – and that conventional power generators failed at a somewhat greater percentage rate than the wind turbines froze.

        Anyway – the details are not especially relevant – what is important is having a flexible, resilient, and multi-sided electricity supply that doesn’t drop its bundle as soon as there is a bit of severe weather.

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        • #
          Yarpos

          Just PC buzzwords trying to justify useless infrastructure that just adds costs and complexity. It needs to be adequate, controllable and reliable. The rest is waffle.

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          • #
            Tilba Tilba

            One of the best things on long American road-trips are the low-budget motel chains (although we don’t descend as far as Motel6). These sleeping establishments specialise in the 100% hi-carb breakfast, and the best part is making your own waffles.

            The machines for this are clever, fun, and effective – but they are not idiot-proof, and there is usual a huge mess all over the shop. I got rather good at it, I must confess … and we were fully loaded as we headed off down the highway each morning!

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    OldOzzie

    Insult: Biden First President in 40 Years Not to Contact Israel’s Leaders Upon Taking Office

    He called Xi. He called Putin. But three weeks into his presidency, Old Joe has pointedly refrained from calling the head of the government of our most reliable ally in the Middle East, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. And so it’s clear now: Biden’s handlers intend to put immense strain on the U.S.-Israel alliance over the next four years, at a time when Israel and the rest of the free world are threatened by Iranian mullahs who are newly emboldened amid all the signs that Biden’s handlers plan to readopt Obama’s appeasement policies toward them.

    According to the Washington Free Beacon Friday, Old Joe is “the first American leader in 40 years not to contact Israel’s leaders as one of his first actions in the White House, setting up what could be four years of chilly relations between America and its top Middle East ally.” For “every president going back to at least Ronald Reagan in 1981 made contact with their Israeli counterpart within a week of assuming office.”

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    • #
      yarpos

      I wonder if Biden will prove Trump was just a blip by starting a war in his first term. Trump may have been a lot of things but he did not join the long list who pushed their young people into the war mincer during his term, and did a lot more for those that returned than anyone in recent memory (and also returned a lot more)

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        Frost Giant Rebellion

        Hasn’t he already started to send people to do more damage in Syria? I think it will be mindless violence and wasted money, until such time as the Americans can no longer defend themselves.

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      OldOzzie

      Is Joe Biden Looking to Take Obama’s Place as the Most Anti-Israel President in History?

      Barack Obama’s antipathy toward Israel during his two terms was unprecedented at the time, but it looks like Joe Biden is going to give him a run for his money.

      As PJM’s Robert Spencer noted earlier, Joe Biden “has pointedly refrained from calling the head of the government of our most reliable ally in the Middle East, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu,” which could be an ominous warning that relations with our most important ally in the Middle East over the next four years will experience some major setbacks.

      In his first three weeks in office Biden has spoken with many world leaders, including Russian President Vladimir Putin (OMG collusion, right?) and Chinese President Xi Jinping, but Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been snubbed. This makes Biden “the first president in modern history to punt on bolstering U.S.-Israel relations during his initial days in office,” the Free Beacon’s Adam Kredo noted. “Every president going back to at least Ronald Reagan in 1981 made contact with their Israeli counterpart within a week of assuming office.” Even the notoriously anti-Israel Barack Obama called Israeli leaders on his first day in office. He also called Palestinian leaders the same day, but still made a stronger effort than Biden. President Trump, of course, had a great relationship with Israel and quickly invited Netanyahu to Washington, D.C., within days of taking office. President Trump went on to make historic progress with Israel, moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem and brokering several peace deals between Israel and Arab nations in the Middle East.

      The reason for snubbing Netanyahu is not clear, but the Israeli prime minister had a very good relationship with President Trump, and both were highly critical of the Iran nuclear deal implemented by the Obama-Biden administration, which Trump rescinded and Biden promised to reinstate.

      Nevertheless, Prime Minister Netanyahu even congratulated Biden on his apparent victory five days after the 2020 presidential election. “Congratulations @JoeBiden and @KamalaHarris,” he wrote on Twitter. “Joe, we’ve had a long & warm personal relationship for nearly 40 years, and I know you as a great friend of Israel. I look forward to working with both of you to further strengthen the special alliance between the U.S. and Israel.”

      I guess he spoke too soon.

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      • #
        Lucky

        Yes, and I bet that Taiwan’s government is looking at quiet phones right now.
        For both, the temptation to crawl should be resisted. Israel could leak news of approaches to China, that would not be an option for Taiwan.

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    • #
      Hanrahan

      I just looked it up, it was May ’17 when Trump went to Israel and the ME generally. That’s early in a new administration and his hosts appeared to appreciate this. At the time the honest press [what there is of it] hailed it a success and the good will fostered on that trip endured four years.

      Will Biden muster up the courage to venture out of his bunker by then?

      I may sound corny but Trump is a brave man. He never appeared to be intimidated by the constant [I assume] threats of assassination nor did he cower when faced with the WuFlu. He did his job and took his chances.

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    RicDre

    Assessment of climate change risk to the insurance sector

    by Judith Curry

    The insurance sector is abuzz with a new report from AIR Worldwide on the insurance risk from the impact of climate change on hurricanes. Insurance industry clients of my company, Climate Forecast Applications Network (CFAN), have requested a critique of this report.

    AIR Worldwide, a respected catastrophe risk modeling and consulting company, has recently published a report Quantifying the Impact from Climate Change on Hurricane Risk. AIR’s assessment has three components:

    -Hazard component (relates to the frequency and intensity of events)

    -Engineering component (relates to physical assets at risk)

    -Financial component (relates to monetary losses)

    The AIR Report purports to “capture the full range of plausible events that could impact an area.”

    My critique focuses solely on the hazard component.

    https://judithcurry.com/2021/02/15/assessment-of-climate-change-risk-to-the-insurance-sector/

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      RickWill

      As soon as you see anything that gives credibility to RCPs then it means they believe CO2 makes a difference and the “greenhouse effect” is real; It doesn’t and is not.

      In fact RCPs are now dated. In 2021 the world will see the emergence of a bright new acronym that will have the woke at the ABC wetting their pants with excitement – SSPs (Shared Socioeconomic Pathways).

      Australia needs to decide if it shares its pathway with China or Europe because they are clearly moving down different paths.

      Obviously the UN will have a large role in getting nations to share their pathways and hopefully secure a good slice of the “climate ambition” of all nations silly enough to willingly give their wealth the UN autocrats.

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      • #
        RicDre

        “As soon as you see anything that gives credibility to RCPs…”

        Very good points, however if using RC8.5 allows the insurance companies to raise insurance rates I’m sure they’re all for its use. They may even request the creation of an RC10.0 or an RCP11.5.

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        • #
          RickWill

          Insurance premiums are predominantly market driven. It does not stop insurers arguing about climate change but it will not shift the premium until the losses accrue.

          I worked for an insurance company and a canny boss, who spent his whole career in insurance, once told that there is no problem insuring a burning house as long as fire is excluded.

          There are some houses in Australia that are insured but flood risk is excluded because they are bound to flood. I expect that fire would be excluded from some houses in Australia now.

          Insurance is intended to cover fortuitous events. My canny boss told me a story about a mother complaining to him about not providing car insurance for his 18yo son. The son had purchased a near new V8 holden back in the 1970s. The car was written off within a month of the complaint. My boss considered that an 18yo hot head in charge of a powerful car was certain to be a costly combination. The thing about Climate Change, is that it only exists in models it is not even fortuitous; rather it is contrived. Insurance inevitably deals with reality.

          Until building and construction standards change in response to loss of life usually, there is not much impact on building costs. It is arguable that building standards promoting energy conservation is a cost but I believe all humans need to consider conservation of resources. That will deliver long-term economic benefits.

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    Jojodogfacedboy

    Today was President’s Day in the United States.
    Tomorrow President Trump goes back to the Whitehouse still the 45th President!
    That is my prediction.

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      OldOzzie

      Patriots Hold President’s Day Celebration for President Trump in West Palm Beach – RSBN There LIVE VIDEO

      A huge crowd of supporters of President Trump showed up today in West Palm Beach, Florida to celebrate President’s Day.

      This was nothing but a peaceful movement.

      There are no celebrations for Joe Biden today. He and his gang stole the 2020 election. Nobody follows Joe Biden but the media wants the world to believe Biden’s the most popular President in US history. That’s a lie.

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      RickWill

      I will repost on the weekend – you will be seen as the GOAT forecaster or just a silly goat.

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      OldOzzie

      Biden’s Rough Start With the World

      This has been one of the shortest and coldest diplomatic honeymoons on record.

      It hasn’t been the most promising start. Less than a month into Joe Biden’s presidency, and his administration is already engaged in spats with China, Russia and Iran. It is also discovering that U.S. allies are not quite as happy with Mr. Biden’s Feb. 4 announcement that “America is back” as many Democrats might have hoped.

      In Asia the administration’s Myanmar policy—imposing sanctions that signal displeasure without materially affecting the army’s ability to rule—has attracted little enthusiasm. On Feb 15, India’s foreign minister hailed Indo-Japanese cooperation on regional infrastructure projects that link Myanmar with its neighbors, a not-so-subtle signal that India intends to go on cooperating with Myanmar no matter what Washington wants. Simultaneously, the large portion of the Indian press that supports the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party is aflame with resentment that Vice President Kamala Harris’s niece, Meena Harris, seems to be siding with protesters against BJP policies.

      European leaders are also dismissive of American moralism. French President Emmanuel Macron denounced the importation of U.S.-academic and cultural wokeness as a threat to the French way of life, while pragmatists on the Continent are pushing to strengthen economic relations with Russia and China—virtually ignoring the Biden administration’s efforts to raise the pressure on human-rights abusers in Moscow and Beijing. With the U.S. trade representative’s recent announcement that Trump-era retaliatory tariffs on European wine, cheese and food imports aren’t going away soon, this has been one of the shortest and coldest diplomatic honeymoons on record.

      In the Middle East, Iran is showing no eagerness to ease the administration’s path back into the 2015 nuclear deal. And both Israel and the conservative Arab states resent the American shift in that direction. As for restless NATO ally Turkey, Mr. Biden promised during the campaign to help President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s opposition. The new administration has so far criticized a crackdown on pro-LGBTQ student demonstrators and called on Ankara to release the dissident Osman Kavala.

      Closer to home, the unceremonious cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline miffed Canadians. The Biden administration appears headed for a fight with Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro over deforestation in the Amazon basin—a sensitive issue for the Brazilian right. Mexico’s left-populist President Andrés Manuel López Obrador delayed congratulating Mr. Biden on his election, passed a law limiting U.S.-Mexican collaboration over drug trafficking, and offered political asylum to Julian Assange.

      On the other hand, at least relations with Cuba are expected to improve.

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        yarpos

        I have trouble differentiating whats going on in Myanmar from whats going on in the US, apart from Myanmar not locking down its capital.

        How the Biden administration thinks it has any credible base to be finger wagging at anyone is puzzling. Just a different kind of coup.

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      Tilba Tilba

      I have a bridge for sale in Sydney you might be interested in!

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    RicDre

    WHO and the “Climate Emergency”
    by Willis Eschenbach

    …I read that the World Health Organization (WHO) has made projections of the likely causes of death in the year 2060. I thought I’d go take a look to see how many of them would be from the widely-hyped but to-date invisible “CLIMATE EMERGENCY!!!”.

    … Deaths from all “forces of nature”, not just climate-related but all forces, are less than murder, far less than suicide, and trivial compared to motor vehicle crashes…

    …Good to see that at least to date, the World Health Organization hasn’t drunk the climate Koolaid…

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2021/02/15/who-and-the-climate-emergency/

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      MrGrimNasty

      RicDre, I saw that, but it misses a point.

      In the UN and WHO models/imagination ‘climate change’ makes so many of the other causes of death so much worse than they would have been with less CO2. So they will claim many more deaths are attributable to climate, only that they are buried in other categories besides direct deaths at the hands of that old-fashioned non-pc term ‘NATURAL disaster’.

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    OldOzzie

    California, Recall Governor Gavin Newsom Petition Hits 1.5 Million Signature Milestone

    The effort to recall California Governor Gavin Newsom announced a major milestone accomplishment today as they have gathered over 1.5 million signatures to initiate the recall effort. However, the patriots who are organizing the recall effort still want to gather an additional 300 to 500 thousand extra signatures to avoid any challenges.

    From the Comments

    Isn’t it odd that signatures will be verified and recall petition forms minutely inspected for this recall, but lesser requirements are in place for a presidential election?

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  • #
    Neville

    We shouldn’t forget that the Biden donkey intends to replace the 645,000 Fed govt vehicles with very dirty ,toxic EVs and has already signed an executive order. Unbelievable but true.
    BTW the Govt EVs numbers today stand at about 4750, so a lot of money to be wasted on another toxic mess and ongoing forever into the future.
    And yet people voted for these morons.

    https://abcnews.go.com/Technology/biden-replace-entire-federal-fleet-electric-vehicles/story?id=75488441

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    • #
      RickWill

      Luckily the government “workers” can work from home. Their EVs should last a long time sitting in a garage waiting for the sun to charge them. Once getting a car was seen as a useful perk. Now it will be as good as being gifted a garden gnome.

      A significant increase in EVs in DC would do wonders for the local power grid – has anyone thought this through! It will take more than a few wind generators to keep the EVs moving if they are actually used for transport. Can you imagine the conservations – “yep that is my government car – looks sweet doesn’t it; my real car is the RAM pickup in the driveway”

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        Maptram

        Reminds me of when the CEO of Windlab, a previously listed renewable energy generator taken over in late 2019 I think by a private investment fund, was speaking at a shareholders meeting in 2018, probably trying to boost the share price. One of the things he said was that EVs could be used to stabilise the
        grid. That works with employees working from home and having the EV on the charger.

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      • #
        yarpos

        mmm I bet they all wish they had garages and owned their own roofs

        40

    • #
      Maptram

      I didn’t see Tesla mentioned in the article as a possible provider of EVs.

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    • #
      yarpos

      Should help the used car market

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    OldOzzie

    EXC: WHO COVID ‘Investigator’ Is Chinese CDC Advisor Who Accepted CCP Research Grants.

    Marion Koopmans, a member of the recent World Health Organization mission to discover the origins of COVID-19 in China, has served as an advisor to the Chinese Communist Party’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention and authored studies funded by Chinese government-backed grants, The National Pulse can reveal.

    The World Health Organization (WHO) delegation concluded that it was “extremely unlikely” the virus came from a Chinese Communist Party lab despite reports showing China refused to share all relevant data to the early days of COVID-19.

    But Koopman’s ties to the Chinese Communist Party, which resemble a similar relationship to fellow WHO researcher Peter Daszak, call into question the validity of the team’s findings.

    A document entitled “Scientific Advisory Group members” from the World Health Organization (WHO) contains Koopman’s professional bio, which reveals she has served as a “member of the scientific advisory board of the Centres for Disease Control of Guangdong China“:

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    OldOzzie

    Newly-declassified Documents Show Comey Purposefully Lied About the Steele Dossier

    Newly-declassified documents show then-FBI Director James Comey purposefully lied about the Steele Dossier. He wrote an email to then-Director of National Intelligence James Clapper saying the dossier couldn’t be “sufficiently corroborate[d].” Despite the lack of corroboration, Comey still signed the FISA warrant that resulted in the surveillance of Carter Page.

    Below is Comey’s Jan. 12, 2017 email (emphasis mine):

    What makes Comey’s email even worse is DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s report found that Comey sent this email to Clapper on the same day as he signed off on the FISA warrant to extend surveillance on Page for another three months. Horowitz concluded the warrant had major issues.

    “The FBI filed three renewal applications with the FISC, on January 12, April 7, and June 29, 2017. In addition to repeating the seven significant errors contained in the first FISA application and outlined above, we identified 10 additional significant errors in the three renewal applications,” Horowitz’s report said.

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    OldOzzie

    Ugly truth about ‘Honest Joe’: – Devine

    Now that the election is over and President Biden is installed in the White House, it’s safe for the truth about his character to dribble out.

    And what do you know? Turns out the ethical standards of “Honest Joe” aren’t worth a hill of beans.

    Starting with the obvious, Hunter Biden is still in business with the Chinese Communist Party.

    White House press secretary Jen Psaki admitted a little over a week ago that the president’s wayward 51-year-old son still owns 10 percent of Chinese equity firm BHR Partners.

    So much for Joe’s promise that “no one in my family will . . . have any business relationship with anyone that relates to a foreign corporation or a foreign country. Period. Period. End of story.”

    But that was B.E., before the election. Everything’s changed now.

    Biden watered down his family’s ethics rules immediately after the election to a vague statement about “appropriate distance” from the presidency.

    “My son, my family will not be involved in any business, any enterprise, that is in conflict with or appears to be in conflict, with the appropriate distance from, the presidency and government,” he told CNN in December.

    Clear as mud.

    Joe’s younger brothers, Frank and Jim, know what the rubbery rules mean: The Biden family’s influence-peddling business can continue as before, only better, with an actual sitting president to sell.

    Frank wasted no time, with a two-page newspaper ad on Inauguration Day touting his relationship with “my brother” for the South Florida law firm that pays him as an adviser, even though he isn’t a lawyer.

    Of course, there is still that pesky issue of federal criminal investigations hanging over the heads of Hunter and Jim, another truth bomb that stayed hidden from the American people until after the election.

    But, wouldn’t you know it, on Day One as president, Joe installed the law partner of Hunter’s defense lawyer to lead the Justice Department’s criminal division, the very division that is investigating his son and brother.

    “The president is committed to ensuring we have the most ethically vigorous administration in history,” Psaki told reporters at the start of the Biden presidency.

    It’s a refrain we hear often from Biden and the White House, about just how honest and ethical he is.

    But people who feel the need constantly to tell you how honest and ethical they are in life always turn out to be quite the opposite.

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    • #
      RossP

      I saw Miranda Devine (a journalist who I rate highly) talking to Chris Smith the other night. Amazingly she was praising Mitch McConnell and went onto say the Republican Party is divided. Of course it is divided, but to think McConnell is of use to anything or anyone is amazing. To use his word , about the brave new Rep Congress woman,Greene, from Georgia; McConnell is full blown cancer for the Republican Party.

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        Frost Giant Rebellion

        Annoying wasn’t it? You think she understands what is going on, and then she implies that Trump did something wrong on McConnell’s sayso. Its like they haven’t had a proper journalist on American television for a long time, Miranda seems to be the real deal, and then she pulls that one on us. She may as well just have reached out of the television and flicked the viewer on the nose.

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        • #
          Tilba Tilba

          Have never liked Miranda Devine … has a nasty | bitchy way of writing. Only got where she was because of daddy’s eminence before her. Chose her parents well.

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    Maptram

    “My son, my family will not be involved in any business, any enterprise, that is in conflict with or appears to be in conflict, with the appropriate distance from, the presidency and government,” he told CNN in December.

    That rule didn’t apply when Joe was VP and Hunter was arranging meetings for Joe with all sorts of foreign influences, as was evident from Hunter’s laptop which was known about months before the election but not revealed to the voters

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    STJOHNOFGRAFTON

    OldOzzie: “Corona virus lunacy is frying our minds”.

    “…..NSW where relative sanity has prevailed for now.”
    The next lockdown hard quarantine is inevitable, especially as a motivator for Pfizer’s vaccine experimental genetic trigger medicine to be be injected into Australians who are, fait accompli, being co-opted into the biggest medical experiment in human history.
With Australia’s seasonal cold and flu (Corona virus) season approaching, expect the agitprop from the government via the legacy media to increase. Also, expect holding a dissenting opinion to be politically ‘unpopular’.

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    RossP

    This article from the Conservative Treehouse is worth a read. You can put Australian (or any other country) versions of the “elite” into it and it still holds. Or you can put climate alarmists “elites” into it. etc.

    https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2021/02/15/lee-smith-nails-it-the-elites-want-us-to-know-they-hold-all-power-and-control/#more-207957

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      OldOzzie

      Infected guests wore garbage bags for privacy

      COVID-19 Quarantine Victoria Commissioner Emma Cassar says residents who were moved from the Holiday Inn on Tuesday chose to wear plastic bags to protect their identity.

      “I would make it very clear that we have really nervous residents who don’t want their privacy displayed on the news,” she said.

      “This is why they are taking those steps and our PPE requirements for guests leaving is a surgical mask and hand sanitiser. It is really distressing for them.”

      Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews added to Ms Cassar’s comments.

      “What they are doing is they do not want to be identified. Nor should they feel compelled to be identified,” he said.

      “It is no public value to be taking photos of people. We would let people do that in hospital.”

      “It isn’t about our decision. It is their decision. They are entitled to it.”

      Ms Cassar noted the process had been a slow, stressful experience for residents.

      “These will be really slow operations and every time we move one person, there is terminal cleaning, and then another person.

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      • #
        yarpos

        I wonder about media that always wants to lurk about getting video when the emergency services are trying to move a badly injured person. Instead of doing their real job , trained people need to hold up sheets because the media wants to get gore shots from the last shark attack, car prang or industrial accident. They are sick puppies.

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    Trump’s second impeachment trial

    “During the first attempt to impeach Trump it got great play in the media aka fake news, but it was pure wish list propaganda. Since in a bicameral legislature both houses usually have to vote to for an impeachment to actually happen, the president or prime minister is bullet proof if he holds control of one or other of the Houses. Trump controlled the Senate at the time, so nothing substantial was ever going to occur, no matter what the experts said. ”

    Read more at – https://thepointman.wordpress.com/2021/02/15/trumps-second-impeachment-trial/

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      OldOzzie

      What came out was numerous instances of the House Managers, aka the prosecution, doctoring the evidence. Moving dates, selectively editing quotes and all the usual tricks employed at show trials. Even the basic crime he was accused of – fomenting insurrection against the government – was totally undermined by a montage of clips of the very people howling for impeachment doing exactly that in the four years of the Trump administration.

      When you consider that Congress is the legislative branch of American government, such partisan disregard of the basic rules of evidence foreshadows dark days ahead for the common man and the Rule of Law. When challenged several times by the defense team over the evidence they’d clearly doctored, they ducked out of any denial or admission, and got away with it. This, on the floor of the Senate of the USA. It’s a reset of the American judiciary back to the despotic abuse of law that led up to King John’s forced signature on the Magna Carta in a meadow at Runnymede or rebellion against the king.

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        Chad

        OldOzzie
        February 16, 2021 at 12:22 pm ·
        What came out was numerous instances of the House Managers, aka the prosecution, doctoring the evidence. Moving dates, selectively editing quotes and all the usual tricks…….

        Are there no legal repercussions for deliberately presenting false evidence , tampering with evidence, ..misleading a legal Court, etc etc
        ..or are lawers immune from normal legal requirements ?
        There has to be some penalty to prevent them blatantly lying ?

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          Tilba Tilba

          An impeachment trial in the Senate is not bound by the laws and traditions of the criminal and civil courts – only by its own internal procedures.

          In other words there are few penalties for politicians who are “economical with the truth” … other than their next election.

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            Hiya TilbaX2. I think the point is not that they were being “economical with the truth”, understood as withholding evidence, but clearly manufacturing false evidence. Even under quirky rules, especially in the legislative branch of government, that is definitely a no no. If the prosecution are allowed to do that, then any trial conducted by them is by definition a travesty.

            Pointy

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              Lucky

              Answer to 1st question- No legal repercussions for lying.
              Answer to second question- Yes. A travesty.
              Much the same as in a parliament. The US system is worse as there is a hypocritical pretense of legal procedures required by the constitution.

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    Furiously curious

    It’s a bit silly going on about frozen wind turbines, when the problem is much wider – gas and oil terminals, and generators, are shut down because of the cold. The whole grid is shuddering, seemingly even some nuclear? Coal is easy to store in large quantities at powerplants, so that’s a plus for coal, but surely the issue is the solar minimum? Last year the jets were very loopy too, with severe cold snaps. So surely the solar output should be stressed, instead of the doomsters getting away with ‘climate change due to CO2’, and people fussing on about wind turbines?
    I do wonder what happens to temps once the solar minimum passes? Our changing weather doesn’t bother me, but I never hear that obvious situation mentioned.

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      Chad

      ….The whole grid is shuddering, seemingly even some nuclear?

      We know how oil and gas can be restricted (due to availability),, but what have you heard about Nuclear ??
      The point about ICE and Snow on Wind turbines and Solar panels is important to highlight how much those systems are influenced by the weather…obviously not a factor considered very much by their proponents and gullible operators.or political decision makers.
      Everybody knows there will be weather. Extremes, but obviously not everybody thinks it is relavent to critical services or infrastructure.
      PS ..i believe there are some US states that endure days/weeks with zero wind in summer ?

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      yarpos

      Not silly at all, reserves exist and can be pre deployed, they aren’t required for instantaneous power delivery

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      Roger Knights

      Ars Technica is saying that gas and coal plants shut down because their incoming water pipes froze.
      That should be easy to correct next time, if true, with heati9jng blankets over the pipes..
      But maybe it’s because water pressure in the pipes was low, due to consumers letting their faucets drip.
      Well, we’ll see, hopefully.

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    RicDre

    The Day After Tomorrow – Dallas Edition

    Guest “Ice Station Dallas Report” by David Middleton

    Ice Station Dallas: 15 February 2021, 0630
    Current Weather Conditions: 6 °F (-14 °C), 34 °F (10 °C) below “normal.” Approximately 4-6 inches of snow on the ground. It has been below freezing in Dallas almost continuously since 10 February. Snow began falling yesterday afternoon

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2021/02/15/the-day-after-tomorrow-dallas-edition/

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    Stanley

    This morning on Melbourne ABC radio, the Mayor of the Yarra City Council (Gabrielle de Vietri) was interviewed by Virginia Trioli about the City, which covers inner eastern Melbourne. When asked what the most important issue facing the City was, the woke Mayor said “climate change” and even managed to link Covid to that meme. Well the residents that called in were more concerned about rubbish piling up; issues with recycling bins; and graffiti. When asked what the City was doing to assist retailers, the Mayor rabbited on about alfresco dining. The distinct lack of interest in “climate change” by callers and Ms Trioli is a welcome sign.

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      yarpos

      What a double. They could have conferenced in Clover Moore from Sydney and had a great old PC chin wag.

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      RickWill

      Stanley – the cricket has finished. You need to turn the radio off now. Listening to their ABC can lead to serious mental disorders. Hopefully you have avoided that.

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    liberator

    So according to the ABC news, The Jaguar car company are going to be building only fully electric cars by 2025. So how long does everyone give that company to fold?

    Note the quote” Struggling luxury car brand Jaguar says it will phase out internal combustion engines in a plan to go fully electric by 2025.

    Digging their own grave I see. Jeremy Clarkson will be so happy!

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      RickWill

      Tata own Jaguar and they seem immune from insolvency despite endless negative returns. Maybe just clever accounting to avoid tax. Tata has been around for a long time and I expect the UK government will be lining up for Jaguar EVs just so Boris can outdo Biden in the woke stakes. You never need to worry about money when you can create it it at will. Just remember all that crazy spending on wasteful enterprise will find its way into inflation somehow.

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      Hanrahan

      One hundred years ago there were hundreds of automobile manufacturers [a guess but prove me wrong], all in the boom industry, how could they fail? Most did, and many others surrendered to GM or other bigger, stronger companies. The same carnage will happen again but a few of the failures will be far bigger, stronger companies than Jaguar. [VW???]

      If I were forced at the point of a gun to pick a likely survivor it would be Toyota. Their hybrid technology keeps them in the game, their rugged ICEs will guarantee them a big market outside of Europe, Asia and Nth America, a market that woke companies say they are abandoning. As the dust settles they will enter the market, not before. I’m NOT saying they will buy Tesla but it is an intriguing thought.

      Maybe Tesla will buy Toyota. LOL

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    David Maddison

    If you look at the Wikipedia article “Temperature record of the last 2,000 years” you can see that use the discredited Michael Mann “hockey stick” (see https://www.manhattancontrarian.com/blog/2019-8-26-michael-mann-hockey-stick-update-now-definitively-proven-to-be-fraud).

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Temperature_record_of_the_last_2%2C000_years?wprov=sfla1

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      Serp

      Going to wikipedia is really asking for it; still though you knew that. Are you saying this is indicative of a resurgence of the Penn State heresiarch’s doctrine?

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      Kalm Keith

      It’s a known geological fact that the oceans have dropped 1.2 metres in the last 2,000 years.

      The only place for this water to go is to the Poles.

      If water is being held at the poles in a cumulative manner it indicates World Cooling.

      Any variation in sea levels in modern times is almost so small as to be unmeasurable and is the last minor fluctuation since the sea level overshoot of 6 metres around 7,000 years ago.

      The sea is now stable.

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    Andrew McRae

    Seven minutes of terror coming up for NASA as their Perseverance rover is scheduled to land on Mars.
    This will be on Friday about 7am in Australian eastern standard timezone, or 1h later for the daylight savers.
    Intro video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M4tdMR5HLtg [3m:43s]
    Mission Overview https://mars.nasa.gov/mars2020/mission/overview/

    The most noteworthy things about this spacecraft (IMO) is that it literally weighs a tonne, it contains the first Mars Helicopter, and also will be the first mobile space probe to drill into rocks to analyse more of their geological history in situ.

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      RickWill

      I understand the lander has sufficient intelligence to place itself in a safe spot rather than just relying on pot luck. That alone will be something to see if it works well.

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    David Maddison

    In addition to all that, it will seal rock samples in containers and leave them behind in special containers at specified location(s) for later collection and return to Earth by a later mission.

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      Stanley

      You will need to bring your own: Rock Hammer; Hand Lens; Field Notebook; Clipboard ; Pencil Magnet; 1oz Acid Bottle and holder(typically filled with HCl); Retractable knife (or Mohs Hardness Testing Kit); Pocket Scriber.

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    Frost Giant Rebellion

    A minority of old school Christians might say that James Tours has shown that abiogenesis is impossible without Gods help. I think James Tour has shown abiogenesis is impossible under modern physics and cosmology. So I would say that abiogenesis is possible. But we won’t be able to show how without reforming physics and cosmology. Bad science didn’t start with the global warming racket.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=71dqAFUb-v0

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      PeterS

      I’ve been a long timer follower of his material, and he is right.

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        Frost Giant Rebellion

        That he is. But supposing it was 1960. You’d have every reason to be thinking that the problem had virtually been solved and it was just a mopping up operation. But the scenario of abiogenesis on the earths surface is getting further away. What is amazing to me is that they haven’t found a new venue. Well they have talked about it possibly happening near volcanic vents in the ocean. But thats not going to cut it either. If they had accepted defeat they would have had to look further afield. The whole field of study has been hamstrung by having to stay true to cosmological doctrine. Science sacred cows. Tours is doing these guys a favour. If they admitted he was right they might make some progress.

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          Kalm Keith

          From the “tour” you have given me below of your intention to avoid the issue, I have to assume that James Tour is a mystic crank and doesn’t want people to know the full outline of his religion.

          This interaction has clearly demonstrated the place of Verbalism in bringing confusion to the masses, in a context outside of the catastrophic global warming religion, and it has shown the persistence of verbalists pushing a barrow.

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            Frost Giant Rebellion

            James Tours is a serious scientist but a very conventional Christian convert. He’s just showing that the field investigating abiogenesis is completely dysfunctional and that they are giving a dishonest account of their progress to the general public. What do we take from that? Some people might say its time to go back to Church? Maybe? I’m saying its time we ditched a lot of modern physics and cosmology, which is getting in the way of scientific progress.

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              Kalm Keith

              Q.E.D.

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                Frost Giant Rebellion

                I’m not understanding you Kalm Keith. The reality that modern physics/cosmology is largely bunk? You don’t think that is a serious issue? I think you must have gotten out of the wrong side of the bed or something.

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          PeterS

          Abiogenesis by only natural means without an intelligent mind is impossible.

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            Frost Giant Rebellion

            Peter S …….. I very much respect your view. Because thats where the evidence seems to lie at the moment. All I say is that the project of science requires us to keep the enquiry going. And my tip would be to find an environment so “reducing” (ie negative electrically charged) but so much more “reducing” then has ever been considered before. And lets see what that does for chemistry normalcy.

            But I agree that at the moment ……. Sir …… the evidence you. But lets not leave it there. Else the enquiry is brought to a close.

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              Frost Giant Rebellion

              The evidence is with you at the moment is what I meant to say. So the intelligence could come from aetheric consciousness that stands apart from matter , not excluding God. Or the result could come from an environment so fantastically negatively charged that all chemistry is altered. But any sound physics STILL cannot exclude aether or existing aether based intelligence.

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      Kalm Keith

      Speaking of the concept of God and the story of Jesus there is a remarkable evolutionary pathway.

      I first became aware of God and Jesus seventy years ago and after nine years of learning and association moved off into other fields.

      Over the last four years I have been confronted with new, more evolved concepts of God and Jesus that have evolved in the intervening fifty seven years.

      How, in that long period did God become so deeply involved with evolution? Jesus has similarly “evolved” in, what is to me, a distortion of focus.

      It is beyond me that God is now promoted by the new Christian religion as having had a hand in creating the first biological matter and Darwinian evolution theory is dismissed; what?

      Focus on this stuff indicates a thorough misunderstanding of Christianity.

      Surely Darwinian evolution theory can live in harmony with Christianity.

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        Frost Giant Rebellion

        One supposes so. I’d want to show that evolution can’t live in harmony with bad cosmology. The Christianity can stay. But the bad cosmology has to go.

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          Kalm Keith

          What bad cosmology?

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            Frost Giant Rebellion

            Think about the idea that everything was created less than 14 billion years ago in the blink of an eyelid. That works well for Genesis but its not like there was every any evidence for it. The idea that the sun’s heat is caused by fusion at its centre? If so the thermal energy would be a random walk to the surface, and so the sun’s activity would appear uniform. The idea that matter can neither be created or destroyed? If so there would never be any matter either. Same for energy. The idea that things move towards maximum disorder. If so we would already be at maximum disorder…….. The whole thing is a real mess.

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              Kalm Keith

              What a waste of time.

              You are unable to state clearly what you “believe” and I suspect that I wouldn’t want to hear it anyhow.

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                Frost Giant Rebellion

                Science is not about belief Kalm Keith. Its not a case of “whose side are you on.” I’m on the side of good science. Pure materialism is untenable and is a result of the campaign against the aether. So radical atheism in that scenario becomes a pretty dubious idea.

                In terms of belief in evolution: if you have a sound cosmology you’d see that it makes evolution more plausible. Because the current evolution story demands we believe that evolution is a young universe single planet phenomenon. 13.7 billion years? Thats a young universe creation myth. With a lot of pointless mathematics thrown in for obscurantism.

                In terms of consciousness, better cosmology puts the mystery of consciousness in reach. Since without the campaign against the aether we see the possibility of consciousness evolving in aether prior to even the evolution of matter. Or at least we see that consciousness probably doesn’t rely on matter alone.

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                Kalm Keith

                Another load of waffle and after the scandals involving the two major western high churches of recent decades, I can understand your antipathy to those organisations.

                What I have trouble with is understanding why you insist on dumping on Christianity and holding it up to ridicule the way you do.

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                Frost Giant Rebellion

                I think you are disaggregating the evidence that modern cosmology is wrong Gee Aye. If you haven’t a scientific bone in your body you may be able to dismiss the one falsification of physics nonsense. But then their ideas are always falsified, and any audit of their ideas shows them to be baseless from the start.

                But sure the volcanoes of Pluto are a falsification. One of many. Falsification of modern cosmology comes in from all angles. Some sacred cows of modern cosmology turn out to be logical impossibilities. Thats how unsound the doctrine is. I suppose if you take these falsifications one by one and keep renaming them “anomalies” or “paradoxes” then you can keep your faith going indefinitely. I’m not much of a faith person. I like the scientific method. You can only go so far with it. I know its only science. But I like it.

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                I have all my bones thanks. I think you are confusing knowing stuff and science. Science is the human effort to understand the universe. The universe itself is not science.

                Falsification is not a matter of saying our theory can’t explain this. You need more than an observation you don’t expect to falsify. Sure you can come up with an explanation if you wish, but that explanation has to be compatible with all other observations as well.

                Lots of stuff in science, in fact the reason a lot of science is done and funded, is to try to explain things we don’t understand. I don’t know anything much about the outer solar system and how it came to be but finding things you didn’t expect is most likely to be because of a gap in knowledge. Occam’s razor suggests not to come up with a new theory of everything but to collect more data and observations. You don’t have enough information to rule out processes that fit within the current cosmological understanding. Simple.

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                Frost Giant Rebellion

                But your attitude speaks for itself Gee Aye. You want to sweep aside anomalous data. Do you do the same with regards to the American election? I wonder?

                And even now you are trying to say it all comes down to Pluto Volcanoes. So you have shown a well developed habit of disaggregating the anomalous data. In your own field; if the mainstream view is falsified they just sweep it under the carpet. There was perfectly sound reasoning for the aquatic ape theory and you guys trashed the theory. Your profession had to come kicking and screaming to epi-genetics, in that they will not even now admit that epi-genetics is Lamarckian-lite. So now they accept epigenetics but will not admit that Lamarck had a point. Obviously I am caricaturing the field somewhat because I am only trying to describe the dogma I have seen over the years and cannot speak for any one person involved.

                Your people stick dogmatically to natural selection being the core driver of evolution. But then we find out that our mitochondria are thought to be descendants of bacteria. Two different organisms joining forces like that. Hardly crude Darwinism at work.

                Plus there is no humility in your field from what I can see. You guys don’t have much in the way of convergent evidence. Last I heard the oldest intact DNA anyone has found was a horse in the Yukon about a million years old. If you don’t have confirming evidence your entire field is pretty speculative. Had the doctrine started off that that the apes were descended from humans, rather than the other way around, and all data was allowed, there wouldn’t be that much in it when it came to the contending hypotheses. Michael Cremo wrote a whole book on this showing how tendentious your field of study is. If the profession doesn’t like what they see they just shoot the messenger. They just ruin peoples careers if they come in with evidence that is not liked.

                I’d have to wonder if you aren’t well-trained in this blinkered approach. If you are more open to the scientific method you would tend to be pretty exceptional in the field.

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                Kalm Keith

                More “disaggegation” from FGR.

                https://joannenova.com.au/2021/02/tuesday-open-thread-44/#comment-2406698

                What’s the point of all this conflict:

                would God, who apparently made you, approve?

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                What data did I disregard? It was your conclusion that I disregarded.

                Epi-genetics is epi-genetics and requires no comparison with Lamarck or any other theories to be what it is. Methylation of genetic material was studied for decades before it coalesced into epigenetics by the same researchers you claim were dragged kicking and screaming (dragged to what and from what I have no idea).

                “Hardly crude Darwinism at work. ” Lucky that we don’t use crude darwinism. Darwin did his best with what knowledge existed at the time and since then we’ve made it better.

                Please stop with the invective and I’ll happily engage. Continue with it and I’ll report it.

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                Frost Giant Rebellion

                Kalm Keith. Let me put your mind at ease. I am a huge fan of the deeper philosophical heritage to do with New Testament theology. The main reason I’m such a devotee (but sadly not a believer) is that:

                1. Catholic philosophical heritage is so Hellenistic. You can’t separate the Hellenism from Christianity. Saint John made sure of that.

                2. Deeper Catholic theology is just about the best thing we have. I mean the human species. Consider a genius like Aquinas. I could live another 100 years and never be that smart. He made it to 49.

                3. I perceive the Christian era as the real crescendo of science. Because these guys were humble enough to see this universe as Gods universe. And they were happy with anything they found out. Now we are lorded over by tendentious bigots who don’t care so much for what it is that observation and reason reveal

                4. My view of physics actually goes against strict materialism. So I have to stay agnostic. Rather than being an uppity atheist. I certainly cannot rule out non-material consciousness.

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                Frost Giant Rebellion

                Kalm Keith you are never going to have to apologise for your Christian faith with me. I probably have a different ranking than many others of who constitutes the great minds in this world, and who doesn’t. So for example I don’t see Niels Bohr or Albert as particularly bright. When I see true genius in history they always seem to be sincere Christians. Not absolutely sure about Shakespeare and Goethe.

                If Christianity is good enough for Dante, Aquinas and Bach its always going to be fine with me.

                Compare the output of secularists to the output of Christians? Even in the modern era Prince Rogers Nelson is a standout. The secularists are under-achievers. When I was a strict materialist it was with growing despair and disillusionment that I found out what a bunch of clowns the atheists seemed to be. This was before I discovered out about the scandal of modern physics and just how untenable pure materialism is.

                On a more humble level consider the singer and the people who put together the production below. When you are in the right mood and listen closely with the speakers all the way up and discover how good it is, does any sane person think the singer or the people who have gathered about her, have to apologise for their faith? The whole anti-Christian prejudice in science is a joke.

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

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                Kalm Keith

                So FGR, once again I am forced to read between the lines to determine the meaning of your writing.

                I have only watched a few moments of Mr. Tours video intro so am guessing when I say that he is pushing the line recently adopted by modern Christian evangelists that says ;
                God created the World and all that’s in it and moreover because we can’t explain how the first biological matter came into existence;

                He did it!

                Since you won’t come out and say it directly I’m saying it for you.

                And for myself, I see this type of argument as being as useful and destructive as the one on Man Made Global Warming and death by incineration due to CO2 levels in the atmosphere.

                Plain speak would be appreciated.

                KK

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                Frost Giant Rebellion

                I get it Kalm Keith. You are scandalised by this great geniuses unsophistication with regards to his own Christian Belief.

                Luckily I can fill you in about this phenomenon. By his own words he seems to work hard on synthetic chemistry, for which he is this massive over-achiever, and then he reads a bit of scripture every day for mental health reasons. That is my interpretation. So despite his brilliance I would wager your theological views are more sophisticated than his.

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              Frost Giant Rebellion

              I’m not dumping on Christianity. I am dumping on modern physics and cosmology.

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                Kalm Keith

                I suspect that you are reading stuff into the Bible that the original writers did not intend.

                The bible was put together over a period of maybe five hundred years with the intention of providing guidance on how we should live.

                It was never intended as a definitive document on evolutionary biology and it disturbs me to hear so called “Christians” going on about the failure of Darwinian theory to fully explain life on Earth and therefore God did it.

                The Bible is about human relations and not about evolutionary biology.

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                Frost Giant Rebellion

                I’m not critiquing good theology. I’m coming down on bad physics. So for example, when NASA sees volcanoes on Pluto some part of their minds knows that this is incompatible with their core assumptions. In the NASA creation myth, all the planets were formed at the same time and so a small planet out in the cold space shouldn’t be able to generate volcanoes any more. So everything they think they know is wrong. Most of it was very stupid from the start.

                Upon seeing the active volcanoes on Pluto the NASA fellow said “Now that I’ve seen it I can’t unsee it.” But then they leave it at that and continue with their erroneous ideas.

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                Let me get this straight. Unexpected volcanoes on Pluto so we need a radical change in physics. Any gap in knowledge means every theory is wrong and we need to start again.

                Strangely though, as an evolutionary biologist, I am not seeing problems with incompatibilities with what is observed compared with what we expect. It doesn’t mean we know everything and lots of new things are surprising but the theories hold just fine. So given that life on earth commenced its evolution on the planet as it found it, what difference does it make to life and evolution from that moment if the planet came to be that way via a different cosmology to the one currently postulated?

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                Frost Giant Rebellion

                Oops. My reply ended up above Gee Aye.

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                Frost Giant Rebellion

                “Let me get this straight. Unexpected volcanoes on Pluto so we need a radical change in physics. Any gap in knowledge means every theory is wrong and we need to start again.”

                Yes for the most part you have that right. If an idea is falsified and you simply ignore the data then you aren’t a scientist. Rather you have a job in science.

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              Tilba Tilba

              The idea that matter can neither be created or destroyed? If so there would never be any matter either. Same for energy. The idea that things move towards maximum disorder. If so we would already be at maximum disorder…….. The whole thing is a real mess.

              It’s not a complete mess at all … the Big Bang Theory, and the subsequent (and ongoing) expansion of the Universe, are the best explanation we have to date, and it based on a lot of high-quality theoretical (and empirical) physics. Millions of person-hours have been dedicated to it.

              It’s all very elegant, and it will be the “received wisdom” until it is credibly disproved, or further research moves us to something better.

              But even so, as others have pointed out accurately, life evolved on earth (just once) about four billion years ago, and the science that explains how all of this happened is both a compelling and fascinating story.

              Darwinian Evolution wedded to genetic theory explains just about everything we need to know to understand why life is the way it is, and why there is such an abundance of it. It’s a beautiful thing.

              Certainly preferable to that “Creation Museum” in the US, where there is a saddle on the back of a dinosaur!

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                Frost Giant Rebellion

                ” the Big Bang Theory” Yeah what a joke that is.

                Tilba Tilba let me subject you to a logic test:

                If IF if chocolate can neither be created nor destroyed how many pieces of chocolate do you have in your duffel bag right now? If IF if. Its got nothing to do with the fat person that you are hiding away your chocolate addiction in your duffel bag. We need to defeat the physics psychological operation with straight logic. So humour me for the moment.

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                Kalm Keith

                I haven’t heard of the Creation Museum but think we are on the same page.

                And in the end does it really matter what happened 14 billion years ago when it has no significance for us in solving the immediate problems of war, greed, corruption, breach of trust, community anxiety and the current reality of overbearing world governments enslaving us.

                We have so many issues to resolve NOW.

                KK

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                Frost Giant Rebellion

                So Tilba Tilba if matter could neither be created nor destroyed, there would be no matter ever:

                Are you disputing this?

                So Tilba Tilba if energy could neither be created nor destroyed there would be no energy ever:

                Are you disputing this also?

                You might have to understand that your dispute is with the laws of logic.

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                Frost Giant Rebellion

                The creation Museum and the big bang are the same theory. They are both young-universe creation myths. They are both irrational. They both are hostile to evidence. The Big Bang moreso if thats possible.

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                Tilba Tilba

                I haven’t heard of the Creation Museum but think we are on the same page.

                Enjoy:

                https://creationmuseum.org/dinosaurs-dragons/

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                Kalm Keith

                The creation museum would be an interesting visit.

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                Tilba Tilba

                So Tilba Tilba if matter could neither be created nor destroyed, there would be no matter ever

                It’s a difficult concept to get your head around, but yes, at the singularity of the Big Bang a huge amount of matter and energy were created.

                It might have been the trillionth attempt to get something happening, but as the scientists say, if you have an infinite amount of time, the absurdly unlikely will eventually happen. It did – and here we are.

                I find it a fascinating story … and it will do me. No need for human-created mythologies to explain it.

                And the Universe is moving towards an entropic state – it’s nowhere near as hot as it once was. It takes a long time.

                We’re all made of star-stuff … our sun is probably the second or third star to be made from the same matter.

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    PeterS

    Martin Armstrong hits the nail on the head about Trump. He rightly concludes that it’s not even remotely possible to elect someone to clean-up the swamp. When it becomes this bad, history warns there is no solution other than revolution. I’m afraid he is right as history taught that lesson many times.
    Was Trump Just Naive?

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      Hanrahan

      Is he naive or did he plant the seed of revolution? I believe he is a catalyst for change but will not run again, instead he will almost dictate who is nominated in many states the result of which will be a neutering of the old guard.

      Donald Trump, the unkindest cut. LOL

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        Tilba Tilba

        … but [Trump] will not run again, instead he will almost dictate who is nominated in many states the result of which will be a neutering of the old guard.

        Not certain he will voluntarily decline to run, but poor physical |mental health, legal problems, and financial issues, might well slow him down. I don’t believe he will be the Republican presidential candidate.

        I think he will fade quite quickly now he’s out of the limelight, and the storming of the US Capitol did him no good. And making an enemy of Mitch McConnell isn’t very helpful either. The Republican Party is very split over Trump.

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      Dennis

      I remember when the Howard Coalition Government won office in 1996 after Labor held office for 13 years, during the first Howard term the government department leaks and embarrassment for the government was a real problem.

      The public service is the stronghold of unionism and the Hawke then Keating governments had filled key positions with like minded people, and very difficult to get rid of unless a small fortune in redundancy payments is budgeted.

      Swamps are a real problem.

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        Hanrahan

        Dennis, it was Whitlam who empowered the Public Service unions. His theory was to pull wages up in sympathy with the inflated public service wages. As a result Australia has the highest paid leaches in the western world.

        ‘Tis late and I forget the name of our Reserve Bank Governor who was slated to take over as BoE Governor but he wouldn’t take the pay cut.

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          Nadia bin Du Natan

          This is where our budget problems lie. Not with transfer payments to welfare recipients. Which in many if not most cases we ought to pay with some level of gladness. In fact there should be more welfare in that when you get rid of all these expensive public sector jobs you want to cushion that blow.

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            Dennis

            During the 1970s a state government minister for education (Coalition) had an audit carried out on public service employees in administration positions, the result revealed thousands not needed. The audit also revealed that many were teachers so the minister recommended that they be redeployed to schools.

            Cannot be done he was advised, the cost of compensation under the Public Service Act would be unaffordable, and if a decision was taken to not replace admin staff as they retired or otherwise left of their own accord it would take a couple of decades to reduce employee numbers to the level needed.

            A while later on ABC Lateline a former health department senior executive estimated that there were 15,000 public service employees in health administration who were not needed.

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              Frost Giant Rebellion

              The Covid catastrophe was the ideal time to do something about this. If it were simply assumed that we cannot run deficits, and that small business ought not pick up the costs, then there was plenty of ways to put the costs onto the public service and the banks.

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              Tilba Tilba

              A while later on ABC Lateline a former health department senior executive estimated that there were 15,000 public service employees in health administration who were not needed.

              I’ve always been puzzled myself (not the least when I lived and worked in the Canberra Bubble) why we needed such a large Federal Department of Health, Education, Transport, Environment, Community Services, and several others for what are essentially state & territory functions under the Constitution.

              I worked in areas that were strictly federal responsibilities, and I can advise that many of us were very busy indeed … doing actual “stuff” – not just sending each other memos, having meetings, or attending the farewell morning tea for Kylie from Finance.

              The reality is that the public – the mighty voter and taxpayer – actually expects a great deal from government agencies, and we never had enough resources to meet the demands placed on us – so wait times were long, frustrating for those involved, and in some cases, politically fraught.

              It certainly wasn’t all free beer and mud wrestling.

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                Frost Giant Rebellion

                “I’ve always been puzzled myself (not the least when I lived and worked in the Canberra Bubble) why we needed such a large Federal Department of Health, Education, Transport, Environment, Community Services, and several others for what are essentially state & territory functions under the Constitution.”

                See you are reaching for the right understanding. But its a real Wylie Coyote affair. If a social democrat country can deliver these services in a cost-effective way thats great. But this organic growth of high paid B.S jobs will cut that off if you let it. And the US for example doesn’t have much in the way of good social democrat services and the public service jobs still manage to gobble everything up.

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                Chad

                Sky ..(Credlin) reported that there are 27 (unelected) government employees that have salary packages exceeding $1 million. Some individuals on over $4.0 m.
                For ref, the PMs salary is under $0.5m

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                Tilba Tilba

                See you are reaching for the right understanding.

                LOL … I love it. I would wager I have been around (and understand) the federal government sausage factory a lot longer than you have, digger …

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                Tilba Tilba

                If a social democrat country can deliver these services in a cost-effective way that’s great. But this organic growth of high paid B.S jobs will cut that off if you let it.

                Of course there is “fat” in a lot of public sector agencies (with the distinct exception of front-line services: Centrelink, SES, hospitals, schools, aged care, and so on).

                I have no real experience with state government bureaucracies – other than as a customer, like waiting a fair amount of time to re-register your car, etc – but in general the true front-line service-providers are hard workers.

                There is also “fat” in the private sector too – I’ve worked in places where there were a few hard workers and a quite a few bludgers looking on.

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                Frost Giant Rebellion

                Sweet Buddha Tilba. You acknowledge the fat and yet you wave it away. Not the fat is the issue. You can’t wave it away. I get this from both sides of the street. They think that the humanitarian welfare payments are the issue. No its the fat Tilba.

                And there you go and you just sort of WAVED IT AWAY didn’t you?

                Yes you did.

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                Frost Giant Rebellion

                The fat is the issue Tilba. You can’t wish it away. You are not the renaissance man you take yourself to be.

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        Tilba Tilba

        I remember when the Howard Coalition Government won office in 1996 after Labor held office for 13 years, during the first Howard term the government department leaks and embarrassment for the government was a real problem.

        I was working for the federal government at the time (about equal years both sides of 1996). It was in a contentious area of public policy, and even under a Labor Government we were not given free rein, by any means.

        But when the Coalition came in, I met the new minister and his offsider in Brisbane one day … we were horrified … here was this rightwing old guy who didn’t know a thing about the area, other than all the tripe he had garnered over the years from tabloids and shock-jock AM Radio – and he was determined to “clean it all up”.

        He was hopelessly out of his depth, and therefore very vulnerable to the last nutjob or axe-grinder he had listened to. Took a while to calm him down – and he finally did understand (at least somewhat) the complexities of the area, and that a lot of his pre-conceptions were indeed just prejudices.

        I think Trump was like that – come in full of bluster and with a big reform agenda – but soon realises there are a lot of complexities, and it is NOT just about “deep state” bureaucrats covering their bums and defending their patch.

        He also appointed a long list of totally inappropriate cabinet secretaries – not only hopelessly inexperienced and unqualified, but dedicated to tearing down the very department they were appointed to lead. A coalminer in charge of the Department of the Environment, and so on.

        Many of them were also crooks and full of their own self-importance – and that didn’t help them, or Trump.

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    CHRIS

    The Federal Public Service has long been captured by the socialist left. Back in 1971, when I was offered a job between the State/Federal/Private organisations, the State was the best, the Federal the worst. I chose the state (TAFE) and have not looked back on a 45 year career. What Whitlam did was irrelevant (just like the namesake).

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    Nadia bin Du Natan

    Spring was spring. Summer was like spring. Will Autumn be like Winter? Even if Autumn is like Autumn you would imagine that the damage is done. Big chance of a very cold winter. I expect to have many layers of clothes with a high vis shirt over the top. I expect to look pretty ridiculous this winter. I wonder what Piers Corbyn would have to say about the upcoming Australian winter? Who else has runs on the board in that space?

    There is a lot of grass growing right now, and its possible to sleep at night without air conditioning. But I doubt that the benefits will hold for long.

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    Harves

    Nytimes backtracks on its BS claims about police officer being killed with a fire extinguisher.

    The Times’ story now states, “Law enforcement officials initially said Mr. Sicknick was struck with a fire extinguisher, but weeks later, police sources and investigators were at odds over whether he was hit. Medical experts have said he did not die of blunt force trauma, according to one law enforcement official.”

    In fact, last week, during Trump’s second impeachment trial which concluded in an acquittal, House impeachment managers used the original Times article as evidence in their impeachment pre-trial memo.

    Amazing that the day after the protest, the officers family had told the media he had not mentioned any fire extinguisher when he texted them, and that he later died of a stroke. But this didn’t really fit the nytimes’ or the impeachers narrative that Trump had caused this officer’s death.

    Note – gullible leftists on here were promoting this fake news for days, even claiming someone had been arrested for the murder. You know who you are.

    https://www.foxnews.com/media/ny-times-corrects-report-capitol-officer-sicknick-death-impeachment

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      Dennis

      So, Reset, Build Back Better, New Green Deal.

      sarc.

      What could possibly go wrong? The non-government World Economic Forum claims that we the people would like being freed of our assets, being poor and welfare dependent.

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    el gordo

    Electric charger destroys a couple of vehicles in China.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u2F9HKZ5VzA&feature=emb_title

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      Dennis

      So the governments here that now require EV to display a sticker on the front and rear registration plates made a good decision, warning that exothermic reaction resulting in an inferno is possible?

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      Yarpos

      I really thought that 3rd car was going to escape but no. They really need to think about non flammable sheaths for the charge cables, they just act like wicks to the next car.

      Still the fanboys will say it happens to ICE cars as well. I know I for one see cars self combusting at servos aallll the time.

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    Dennis

    I have learnt that very few people understand that effectively public servants pay no tax.

    Consider that the private sector is the source of tax revenue for governments, company tax on profits after operating expenses including employee income tax, and other taxes.

    Public servants are paid from private sector tax revenue, they provide services but are not generating taxable profit, so the monies they are paid is not new money and taxes deducted or paid are a return of private sector revenue to treasury.

    At best it can be said that public service spending is economic stimulus and adds to GDP growth, but using real tax revenue for that purpose.

    The CEO of an investment company once said to me that I as a private sector MD I was the only person at the gathering who generates profits from business activities and manufacturing and pays real tax revenue, that he and the others there invested in our shares and received dividends as a share of our business after tax profits.

    Even wealthy country governments should manage revenue carefully for the people, cut all unnecessary spending and employees and maximise the infrastructure and services the people need.

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      Tilba Tilba

      The CEO of an investment company once said to me that I as a private sector MD I was the only person at the gathering who generates profits from business activities and manufacturing and pays real tax venue

      I appreciate that public-servant bashing (and government bashing) are popular blood sports among people of a certain type, but it is relatively easy to counter such arguments.

      While not many public servants sell widgets to generate revenue (some do of course), your MD must live off the grid. Otherwise he or she would use the roads, carparks, footpaths, ferries, airports, and much else. Their family might avail themselves of hospitals, schools, aged care, and much else.

      They might enjoy national parks, beaches, nature reserves, parks, etc, on weekends. In the evening they might like to visit a beautiful art gallery or library, or perhaps attend a concert of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra.

      They might even like the ABC and SBS.

      They might enjoy the fact that flying is safe, our food is safe, our water is clean, that paint, petrol, and pesticides are not carcinogenic, and much else that makes a pleasure.

      They might occasionally think of the tens of thousands of Australian defence personnel, and the dozens of public servants who make sure they are properly equipped, housed, trained, and transported.

      I was on the public payroll for about 60% of my working life … I can assure you I paid real taxes that were real money.

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        Frost Giant Rebellion

        Yes but you’ve got your mind fixated on these services that many people are sympathetic towards Tilba Tilba. Whereas a survey of the number of bureaucracies that are out there, I mean if you presented the list before you, you might find that you could go down the list dissolving one bureaucracy after another and nobody would die or even be put through great hardship. So many of these outfits involve the writing of reports that are then not read by anyone. But even in the departments, that you and I may be sympathetic towards, you have the growth of what Graebar called B.S. jobs. Horrifyingly these B.S jobs are growing like topsy in the big business private sector as well. But I imagine that under Bretton Woods they were almost exclusively a public sector phenomenon.

        What happens is that a politician starts a new department. This may well be for a good reason. It could be an investment in politicians ego. Or it could be to solve a problem of the day. But lets be fair and assume the latter because for our purposes it doesn’t really matter. Because what happens is that this department forms a constituency that never leads to its own demise without a lot of pain and anguish.

        About these areas of public spending that many if not most Australians feel a great deal of sympathy for? Take the example of health care. My interpretation of management theory was that there was a natural organic tendency for the hierarchy to become too narrow and for layers of management to multiply. With every new layer of management you see greater inefficiency. So when this free enterprise ideology came out I thought that they were going to cull all these executives, hire more nurses aids, train more nurses, give the doctors more resources, and pay for all of this with the money that had been going to the big guys. In Monty Python that would be the accounts executive who liked the machine that went PING for example.

        Instead what we saw was that they used this ideology to make life harder for the nurses and for the patients. So all these nurses were having to take leave, for on the job injuries, and stress and all that. I don’t think modern economics takes into account power relationships. If that sounds kind of Marxist I’m for economy in government. But I can remember the shock of how all this free enterprise thinking, which I took to be valid, was being misused on the ground.

        But my main point is that no matter what spending that a leftist like you or a conservative like me agreed or disagreed on, these high-paid, and mostly useless executive roles, keep growing organically. So any successful system, whether social democrat or fairly free enterprise, they have to find a way to periodically go through and cull a lot of these high-paid management positions.

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        Yarpos

        You are kidding arent you?

        Who really builds those? Public servants!!??

        The few who are “managing” aka getting in the way are funded by opm and producing exactly zero in terms of new money.

        Easily countered? Facepalm

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          Tilba Tilba

          Who really builds those? Public servants!!??

          Indeed they did: Department of Main Roads, myriad municipal and shire councils, Victorian Electricity Commission, Melbourne Metropolitan Board of Works, Postmaster-General’s Department / Telecom / Australia Post, Victorian Department of Railways, Department of Aviation (airports and air safety), National Park services, forestry services … it is a very long (and historical) list.

          Dedication to the Golden Calf of the private sector is all very well and all very modern – but the history of civilisation didn’t start the day you were born, or the day many public assets were ruthlessly privatised to fill the pockets of Jeff Kennett’s mates up the Big End of town.

          Anyway – our self-congratulatory CEO wouldn’t last a day without using the assets and services created by publicly-owned entities – and their public servant staff.

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        Harves

        “I was on the public payroll for about 60% of my working life … I can assure you I paid real taxes that were real money.”
        … and for the other 40% you actually worked?

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          Tilba Tilba

          … and for the other 40% you actually worked?

          LOL. No I worked really hard in all my 50+ jobs … not because I was especially dedicated to helping society, but rather I would get bored witless if I weren’t busy.

          Although it was certainly the case that the more senior I got, the less pressure there was. A bit like those “managers” in both the public and private sectors who always seem vaguely under-employed. They’re not called carpet-walkers for nothing.

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    Kim

    General Point: If you go out to feed the roos some of them will jump away irrespective of how good your intentions are. This is what the left do when dealing with the right.

    And if you think that I see a lot of humanity in my critters you are right. The roos are all individuals and there are many parallels between their characters and us humans. Likewise with the other critters.

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      Frost Giant Rebellion

      Silver is better at the moment. We should monetize silver now and gold at a later date.

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      William Astley

      In reply to another ian. Your warning came 15 years too late. What happens when there is a currency collapse? Stock market collapse. Why?

      What happens when stock prices collapse? How much is Tesla stock really worth?

      This year Bitcoin value per bit has increased from US$10,000 to US%51,000.

      https://www.bitcoinprice.com/

      The US has spent all of the future dollars. Same story UK, France, Italy, Spain, Canada, Japan, and so on.

      Fiscal collapse is the result of corrupt and ineffective governments, year after year. The fake media no longer warned and criticized governments about spending.

      Uncontrolled growth of the US Debt by year.

      A good measure of how effective the US government of the time is, is the yearly deficit. The Biden ‘government’ promised to spend the US to death and is now starting to spend the US to death. That is not a plan.

      Economics becomes a science when hard limits are hit. It is impossible, even for a country as powerful as the US, to borrow beyond the hard limits with hurting the US citizens.

      https://www.thebalance.com/us-deficit-by-year-3306306

      Billions of new US dollar debt, in US dollars and percentage of new debt in terms of US GDP.
      Bush
      2004 $413 $596 3.4% Iraq War
      2005 $318 $554 2.4% Katrina, Bankruptcy Act
      2006 $248 $574 1.8% Bernanke chairs Fed

      2007 $161 $501 1.1% Bank crisis
      2008 $459 $1,017 3.1% Bank bailout, QE

      Obama
      2009 $1,413 $1,885 9.8% Stimulus Act. Bank bailout cost $250B, ARRA added $253B
      2010 $1,294 $1,652 8.6% Obama tax cuts, ACA, Simpson-Bowles
      2011 $1,300 $1,228 8.3% Debt crisis, recession and tax cuts reduced revenue
      2012 $1,087 $1,276 6.7% Fiscal cliff
      2013 $680 $672 4.1% Sequester
      2014 $485 $1,086 2.8% Debt ceiling crisis
      2015 $438 $327 2.4% TPP, Iran deal
      2016 $585 $1,422 3.1% Presidential race

      Trump
      2017 $665 $672 3.4% Trump Tax Act
      2018 $779 $1,271 3.8% Deficit spending
      2019 $984 $1,203 4.6% Government shutdown
      2020 $1,083 $1,181 4.8% Budget before COVID-19
      2020C $3,700 $4,226 17.9% With COVID-19 impact
      2021 $966 $1,276 4.1% Budget before COVID-19
      2021C $2,100 N.A. 9.8% With COVID-19 impact

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    Frost Giant Rebellion

    After all this time Lamarck is still being gypped. How about that?

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    another ian

    “Sarcasm is Important”

    The solution to covid financial problems –

    “Seek financial revival through interpretive dance – – ”

    More at

    http://www.smalldeadanimals.com/2021/02/16/sarcasm-is-important/

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      another ian

      In comments there

      “My favourite comment was “A meeting was had, a discussion was held, and the result was this shite.” ”

      [Slight edit.]AD

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    CHRIS

    I’m just waiting for the inevitable Bitcoin collapse, and the resultant recession/depression that follows. Crypto-currency is an accident waiting to happen. I own gold bullion, and there is no way that I will transfer any of my REAL gold to any other thing. I’ll just sit back and laugh when the crash occurs (and everyone scrambles to get into gold again…up go the profits).

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