Featured post

Why can't everyone condemn Hamas?

Following Hamas' atrocities in Israel, the media are awash with commentary, so I will keep my comments short. I am shocked by the willin...

Wednesday 12 June 2024

Climate Emergency claims debunked

 I recently came across a paper that admittedly was published some years ago in 2019, but it is well worth a review as it directly addresses many of the claims made by climate zealots.

The paper  "The True and False of Climate Change" was authored by M.Ray Thomasson and Lee C. Gerhard. 

 It covers a range of claims by climate change advocates and provides evidence to refute them. The paper is not too long and worth a read but here is a summary.

Climate change advocates' claims;-

  • temperatures are higher than they have been in the last 200 years: TRUE.
  • temperatures are higher than they have ever been. FALSE.   
  • there are more hurricanes FALSE
  • there have been more droughts: FALSE
  • there have been more wet seasons: FALSE
  • the strength of hurricanes has increased: FALSE
  • the number of violent hurricanes has increased: FALSE
  • CO2 is the major Greenhouse Gas: FALSE
  • CO2 increases will drive temperatures to catastrophic levels: FALSE
  • CO2 is the main driver of temperature increases: FALSE
  • CO2 levels today are higher than they have ever been: FALSE
  • sea level is rising: TRUE
  • the rate of sea level rise is increasing: FALSE
  • changes in solar irradiance can be ignored: FALSE
  • we can ignore the effects of the sun: FALSE
  • we can ignore sun spots: FALSE
  • CO2 is a pollutant: FALSE
  • Temperature and CO2 go up together: FALSE
  • Models can be used to predict climate: FALSE
  • the pause in temperature increases is not real.FALSE
  • there is a 97% consensus that humans are causing the climate to change: FALSE

I won't reproduce all the arguments they provide but here are a couple of the diagrams supporting their case. They also provide a comprehensive list of references. 






After reading this paper it becomes very difficult to sustain the "climate emergency" mantra of many a climate zealot.  Consider the possibility that the Climate Change theory is just wrong. That there is no climate emergency. That the current warming has been a totally natural increase due to the earth coming out of a cold period due to solar cycles. That the temperature will level off and decrease as the next cold cycle kicks in. Consider the upheaval the Climate Change theory has created. Massive changes in infrastructure, the transformation of manufacturing industries, destructive mining for rare minerals for solar panels, and massive increases in the cost of living by swapping low-cost FF energy sources for expensive intermittent renewables. It could have been all for naught. A sobering thought.


Sunday 9 June 2024

Excess deaths due to vaccination

It began as a mere trickle. Actuaries noticed an uptick in deaths—deaths that didn’t align with the typical COVID profile. Funeral parlors reported increased profits, yet the demographics of these deaths didn’t correlate with COVID fatalities. Young people were suddenly dying. Subsequent studies revealed excess deaths unrelated to COVID, including a rise in cardiac arrests, particularly among athletes. There were subtle hints that vaccines might play a role. Adverse event statistics were far higher than anticipated, and embalmers discovered unusual clots. Across various regions worldwide, there emerged a correlation between vaccination rates and the surge in deaths. What started as a trickle has now become a flood. In the past week, I’ve posted several articles in On the Grapevine

And most recently Dr John Campbell has posted under the title "Proof" another study concluding that excess deaths are due to mRNA vaccination.


If this is indeed true—and it’s becoming increasingly difficult to deny—we, and by ‘we’ I mean the global collective, have inadvertently but negligently caused the deaths of millions of people. We compelled hundreds of millions to receive multiple doses of a novel vaccine in what can only be described as a panicked response to a new virus. In doing so, we disregarded our own pandemic management protocols, undermined our vaccine testing procedures, and compromised our democratic rights to informed decision-making. If this turns out to be accurate, it will stand as one of the greatest self-inflicted tragedies of modern times. Perhaps even more concerning is the lack of curiosity exhibited by our institutions. We urgently need transparent investigations to assess our missteps—not only to hold individuals accountable for these choices but also to prevent their recurrence.


Sunday 2 June 2024

Move over SMRs , here comes the Micro Reactor


For over 70 years, nuclear energy has been a reliable and efficient source of power. It boasts safety, cost-effectiveness, and minimal emissions. In fact, it stands as the sole scalable low-emission energy option capable of providing continuous operation 24/7. While wind and solar energy are also scalable, their intermittent nature poses challenges. Hydro energy, unfortunately, lacks scalability—it’s either available or not.

As the world grapples with the threat of catastrophic climate change, many turn to renewables like wind and solar. However, their low energy density and intermittent supply prevent them from serving as baseload power for modern societies. Intermittency necessitates backup, which typically comes from fossil fuels or nuclear energy. Although energy storage solutions are improving, they remain inefficient and costly, unable to fully address the variability of wind and solar power. After all, we can’t simply ask industries or individuals to go without energy during intermittent periods.

Nuclear energy offers a promising solution, yet inexplicably, some of the loudest voices advocating for fossil fuel elimination also push for nuclear shutdowns. Fortunately, recent developments have shifted this narrative. Factors like war, severe winters, and consumer pressure due to high energy costs have forced green groups to reconsider nuclear energy.

Enter Small Modular Reactors (SMRs). These innovative designs promise reduced construction costs and implementation times, making nuclear energy more accessible worldwide.

But that’s not all. Micro nuclear reactors take miniaturization to the next level, offering power capacities of 1 to 5 MW—small enough to fit into shipping containers. Imagine the transformative impact on global energy distribution, making affordable energy widely available.

For a deeper dive, check out the video below, which provides essential background information



Thursday 30 May 2024

Minor surcharge, major irritation!



Like many of you, I sometimes find myself disproportionately annoyed by the little things. They might seem small in the grand scheme of life, the universe, and everything, but they’re more than just a minor nuisance in our daily lives. You might chuckle at the buildup, but bear with me.

I’m referring to the seemingly trivial surcharges and charity requests that have become far too common in our financial transactions. Take the credit card surcharge, for example. It might appear fair for a business to recoup an additional expense. However, businesses already set their prices to cover such costs, so why isn’t the credit card fee included in the product price? We don’t see separate charges for employee overtime or weekend rates, nor for maternity leave or late tax filings. Businesses typically calculate their product prices by tallying up their costs and adding a profit margin. So, why tack on a surcharge?

Some might argue that the payment method incurs this cost, and customers could choose another method, like cash, to avoid the fee. But that’s not entirely accurate. Many businesses don’t offer a cash option, especially for online purchases. More importantly, credit card payments are often less costly for retailers than cash, which requires more handling, stringent shrinkage checks, frequent bank visits, and extensive reconciliations. The only real advantage of cash for a retailer is the potential for tax evasion by underreporting income. But offering a discount for tax avoidance isn’t something you can advertise without raising eyebrows. So, why impose a credit card surcharge? It’s not for the reasons you might think. The practice began with large government entities that could enforce it and has since spread everywhere.

Then there’s its younger sibling, soon to be encountered at a supermarket near you: the request to round up your total or make a donation. What a service! The retailer takes a bit extra from you and donates on your behalf—no receipt, no tax deduction, no trace. While I’m sure the donations do reach charities, they may not go to organizations you’d choose to support. Everyone has their own criteria for charitable giving. Personally, I decline to support charities where administrative costs exceed 20% of their donations, which is often the case. It’s always a ‘no’ from me, but being asked is irritating. We don’t want to be solicited for money as we walk down the street, as happens in many less affluent parts of the world, so why should we tolerate it while shopping? The request feels like a nagging reminder to do the right thing. So please, retailers, stop pestering your customers.

Maybe I’m overgeneralizing. Perhaps you love it, but I have my doubts.

I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Monday 27 May 2024

Is the AEMO also lying to us ?


In an earlier post, I asked the question Why is the CSIRO lying to us? It covered the very significant shortcomings fothe CSIRO's Gencost report, especially it bias against Nuclear in favour of renewables. 

Today I am asking a similar question; Is the AEMO (Australia's Energy Market Operator) also lying to us?

It seems so.  In a rather detailed YouTube presentation, Aiden Morrison explores  AEMO's Integrated System Plan (ISP) for transforming Australia's energy grid towards Net Zero. The video titled "Unravelling AEMO's Integrated System Plan: World-class, incompetent, or corrupt? is well worth it, if you have the time and a fair amount of technical savvy. 




If not, spoiler alert, Yes it seems the ISP has serious flaws which all work to underestimate the costs of renewables and substantially overstate the cost of nuclear. 

So both the CSIRO and AEMO are producing biased reports to support the government's chosen options. This is a betrayal of their role as independent bodies whose role is to provide the best solutions for Australia.



Tuesday 21 May 2024

The UN's world of the absurd



Alan Baker, director of the Institute of Contemporary Affairs at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs nails it in his recent article titled The UN’s World of the absurd.

"Only in such a world can the majority of the international community deliberately ignore the openly declared genocidal intentions of Iran, Hamas and the PLO in their
Only in the world of the absurd can a despicable purveyor of terror, Hamas, carry out a brutal massacre, killing over a thousand innocent people, torturing, murdering and carrying out sadistic mass rape, over a space of just a few hours, and then run home to Gaza taking with them hundreds of hostages.

Only in the world of the absurd can the Palestinian representative organization that encourages, finances, supports and represents such murderers be feted and upgraded by the majority of member states in the international community.

Only in the world of the absurd can a group of non-democratic, terror-supporting states oblige the United Nations General Assembly by proposing a resolution that indulges in pampering a terror-supporting entity in a misguided and surreal demonstration of naïveté, skewed political correctness and acute hypocrisy.

Only in the same world of the absurd can 143 states parrot their support for what they blindly proclaim to be a "two-state solution" without really understanding what they are talking about out of ignorance and stupidity.

Only in the world of the absurd can the majority of the international community deliberately ignore the openly declared genocidal intentions of Iran, Hamas and the Palestinian Liberation Organization in their efforts to eliminate the Jewish state and kill all Jews. And this, while at the same time upgrading the Palestinian representation in the United Nations.

Lastly, only in the world of the absurd can all this happen at the same time as incited and handsomely financed and organized groups of violent, hysterical, antisemitic demonstrators occupy campuses and town centers in U.S. and European cities, calling for the elimination of the only Jewish state."

and I add,

Only in the world of the absurd can a so-called "International" Criminal Court charge the democratically elected leaders of the country attacked by a genocidal terrorist group, with "crimes against humanity" when they defend their country by trying to eliminate the terrorist group that started the war and do so with the lowest level of civilian casualties of any previous such wars. 

and again, (added 23 May)

Only in the world of the absurd would democratic European countries Spain, Ireland and Norway reward the terrorist attack of Hamas by giving diplomatic recognition to a so-called Palestinian "state”. A state which does not satisfy any of the pre-conditions of statehood; well-defined borders, a single government that holds elections, and one which wants to live in peaceful co-existence with its neighbours. 

Friday 17 May 2024

AI poetry shoot out




A few months ago I had a play with Google's Bard AI product by asking it to produce a poem on 'tea'. I thought it produced a surprisingly good poem.

Given the growing competition in general-purpose AI products, we have seen the release of a number of products by the major players, including Microsoft's Copilot,Open AI's ChatGPT, Anthropic's Claude and Google's Bard.
SO I thought why not re-visit the poetry challenge and see what these competing products produce. Here are the results. In each case, the prompt was "Please produce a poem about tea".

Copilot

Steeped Tranquility

In porcelain cups, warmth unfurls,
Amidst fragrant leaves, secrets swirl.
A sip of solace, a whispered plea,
Tea, the elixir of serenity.

Amber hues dance in morning light,
A symphony of flavors takes flight.
From jasmine blooms to chai's embrace,
Each brew tells tales of time and space.

Steam-kissed lips, a gentle sip, 
The world outside begins to slip. 
In quietude, we find our way, 
Tea, the muse of a tranquil day.

So raise your cup, let worries cease, 
Sip the magic, find inner peace. 
For in this humble leaf, we see, 
A universe steeped in harmony.

Claude

The Warmth of Tea
Fragrant tendrils of steam unfurl,
Rising from the ceramic's curl.
Amber liquid, deep and clear,
Inviting me to linger here.
A ritual steeped in calm delight,
A moment's pause to savor right.
Floral, earthy notes entwine,
Nature's balm in this cup of mine.
With each sip, I am transported,
To lush gardens zephyrs courted
Peace cascades with each beat,
In the warmth of this cuppa replete.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​



ChatGPT 3.5

In porcelain cups, a world unfolds,
Where leaves dance in waters bold.
A brew of warmth, a soothing balm,
In every sip, a quiet calm.

From misty hills to ancient lands,
Tea whispers tales from distant strands.
Its fragrance floats on gentle breeze,
A melody to bring us ease.

In morning's light or twilight's gleam,
Tea beckons with its tranquil stream.
A ritual, a sacred rite,
To pause, to savor, to invite.

From jasmine's kiss to bergamot's zest,
Each flavor a journey, a quest.
With every cup, a journey's start,
To mend the soul, to soothe the heart.

So let us raise our cups on high,
To tea, the poet's endless sky.
In its embrace, we find release,
A moment's peace, a sweet release.
and finally the original produced by Google's Bard

Bard

"In porcelain cup, a golden brew,
Steaming tendrils reaching you.
A gentle scent, a fragrant sigh,
Unfurling secrets from the sky.

Emerald leaves, once sun-kissed green,
Infuse their essence, calm and keen.
A touch of honey, sweet and pure,
Enhances flavors, ever sure.

The first sip warms, a comforting fire,
Chasing away life's worries and ire.
A moment stolen, just for you,
Peace and solace, calming hue.

With every cup, a journey starts,
Across vast lands and beating hearts.
From rolling hills to misty shores,
The taste of life, forever yours.

So raise your cup and take a sip,
Let troubles fade, your spirit trip.
In every drop, a whisper lies,
The magic of tea, beneath the skies."

They all sound pretty good to me. What do you think?

Sunday 12 May 2024

The Ultra Safe Nuclear reactor

 Nuclear energy has re-emerged as an essential component of any Net Zero future. While many, mainly Green, groups continue to argue it is not 'essential', the IPCC has accepted this as the case.

The association with Nuclear weapons and the known longevity of nuclear waste products have remained the first visceral objection by those who oppose the technology. They typically bundle these as 'nuclear is just not safe'.

This is despite the exceptional safety record of nuclear power generation over 7 decades, comparable to Hydro and Solar power.  Added to this is the issue of cost. Nuclear technology has required custom design and construction which together with the need to meet onerous environmental constraints, has made each new build expensive and time-consuming. There is a wide range of construction times and costs.

Nevertheless, the drive towards Net Zero has seen a major rethink in addressing these issues. The construction time and cost problems are being solved by the introduction of Small Modular Reactors. Reactors that have lower power from 25-300 MW and mostly constructed using modules built largely off site in a repetitive manufacturing process. These can make significant reductions in construction times, down from a typical 8 years to 3-4 years and with cost per KW generated being halved.

At the same time safety is being addressed with the emergence of novel designs with built-in passive safety. I recently came across the Ultra Safe design, as exemplified in the following short video. Well worth a view.



With Nuclear it is not if but when. And countries that stick to the old prejudices will suffer energy poverty if they try to fulfil their Net Zero dream with solar and wind.

Unfortunately, too many countries, including Australia, are wearing blinkers.

Wednesday 8 May 2024

Odd vaccine that increases your chances of getting the disease!




A recent paper titled Effectiveness of the 2023-2024 Formulation of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 mRNA Vaccine against the JN.1 Variant analysed data on the efficacy of mRNA vaccines againstCOVID-19 in a cohort of health workers at the Cleveland clinic. The paper has been published in preprint format inviting peer review.

The analysis comes to a daunting conclusion, that the more vaccine jabs one receives the greater the chances of contracting COVID-19.

Please read the paper in full, but I have reproduced the Abstract below;-
Background.
The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether the 2023-2024 formulation of the COVID-19 mRNA vaccine protects against COVID-19 caused by the JN.1 lineage of SARS-CoV-2.
Methods.
Employees of Cleveland Clinic in employment when the JN.1 lineage of SARSCoV2 became the dominant circulating strain, were included. Cumulative incidence of COVID-19 was examined prospectively. Protection provided by vaccination (analyzed as a time-dependent covariate) was evaluated using Cox proportional hazards regression. The analysis was adjusted for the propensity to get tested, age, sex, pandemic phase when the last prior COVID-19 episode occurred, and the number of prior vaccine doses.
Results.
Among 47561 employees, COVID-19 occurred in 838 (1.8%) during the 16-week study period. In multivariable analysis, the 2023-2024 formula vaccinated state was associated with a significantly lower risk of COVID-19 while the JN.1 lineage was the dominant circulating strain (hazard ratio [HR], .77; 95% confidence interval [C.I.], .62-.94; P = .01), yielding an estimated vaccine effectiveness of 23% (95% C.I., 6%-38%). Compared to 0 or 1 prior vaccine doses, risk of COVID-19 was incrementally higher with 2 prior doses (HR, .1.46; 95% C.I., 1.12-1.90; P < .005), 3 prior doses (HR, 1.95; 95% C.I., 1.51-2.52; P < .001), and more than 3 prior doses (HR, 2.51; 95% C.I., 1.91-3.31; P < .001).
Conclusions.
 The 2023-2024 formula COVID-19 vaccine given to working-aged adults afforded a low level of protection against the JN.1 lineage of SARS-CoV-2, but a higher number of prior vaccine doses was associated with a higher risk of COVID-19. 

These are disturbing results and present a case against vaccination. However, the natural argument would be that being vaccinated may provide protection against the severity of the COVID infection. So even if you are more likely to catch COVID, vaccination will nevertheless protect you against severe illness.

I am looking for a study that looks at the likelihood of severe illness vs vaccine status. Watch this space

Friday 3 May 2024

A. New use for face masks?




For the past few days, I’ve been grappling with a pesky cold. You know the drill—sneezing, coughing, and feeling generally miserable. But my main nemesis during this ordeal has been my nose. Oh, the rhinorrhea! It’s been flowing like a waterfall, and I’ve tried everything in my arsenal to combat it.

I’ve delved into the world of home remedies, following the well-trodden path of nasal spray, steamy hot showers, and copious amounts of liquids. I’ve even experimented with various oils, including the ever-mysterious tea tree oil. These remedies provided some relief, but they demanded regular repetition. And then there were the over-the-counter medications—decongestants and antihistamines—each with its own set of pros and cons.

Among the medications, pseudoephedrine emerged as the unsung hero. But alas, it’s like chasing after a rare Pokémon—it’s restricted, and its impact on sleep is less than stellar. So there I was, caught in the eternal struggle between a runny nose and a good night’s rest.

And then, fate intervened. Today, with an appointment looming, I decided to don the humble blue surgical mask—the kind you’d find in any hospital. My motivation? To prevent my germs from staging a hostile takeover of the waiting room. Little did I know that this unassuming mask would become my unexpected ally.

As soon as I secured it over my nose and mouth, something magical happened. My rhinorrhea retreated, as if it had received a memo: “Attention, nasal passages! We’re creating a humid environment in here—no need for excessive leakage.” And indeed, that’s the secret sauce behind all those home remedies—the elusive humidity factor.

The beauty of the face mask lies in its simplicity. No need for elaborate concoctions or pill-popping rituals. Just slip it on, and voilà! Relief. It worked for me, and I’m passing on the wisdom. So, fellow cold warriors, give it a shot. Wear your mask with pride (and a touch of mystery), and let me know if it works wonders for you too!


Disclaimer: Always consult a healthcare professional for personalized advice. This anecdotal experience should not replace professional medical guidance.

Monday 29 April 2024

Columbia U shameful antisemitism

 I guess many of us have seen the outbreak of antisemitism in many Ivy League Univesrites. Columbia is one that has received more attention recently due to its encampment where Hamas supporting students have declared they have taken over, Jewish students have been orecpvented from attending classes and have been advised to stay at home. This is all supported by many academics and management has done nothing to stop it.

Watch this Columbia U graduate state her views, she does not hold back!




Well done!

Sunday 28 April 2024

The robots are coming, the robots are coming…

AI has been quietly simmering in the background for years, but it’s suddenly burst into the limelight like a tech celebrity crashing a college frat party. While the public is just now catching AI fever, the brilliant minds behind the scenes have been relentlessly tinkering away to produce these mind-blowing breakthroughs.

But as amazing as AI’s meteoric rise seems, there’s another game-changing technology lurking in the shadows, poised to make an even bigger splash – the incredible world of robots. We’ve been dreaming about intelligent humanoid machines since Isaac Asimov’s sci-fi days, but when real-world robots first arrived, they were more like glorified appliances than the stuff of our wildest imaginings.

These early robots were essentially robotic worker bees, meticulously following pre-programmed instructions to crank out repetitive tasks 24/7 without needing breaks or overtime pay. Factories and warehouses were quick to adopt these tireless automatons, but they were a far cry from the sentient androids we’d envisioned.

That’s all about to change, though. A new breed of robots is emerging, one that integrates AI to create humanoid assistants that are shockingly close to Asimov’s vision. These cutting-edge 'bots use AI to understand instructions and generate their own programs, eliminating the need for arduous task-by-task programming. They can also see, hear, and interact with us like science fiction come to life.

While the first wave of robots replaced human muscle, this new generation will replace human minds. AI has already started automating cognitive tasks, and AI-powered humanoid robots will be able to handle both mental and physical labor. From factories to offices, retail to travel, you name it – these robot assistants could eventually take over virtually every job that doesn’t require elite-level brainpower.

For now, the high-minded jobs like research scientists, CEOs, and politicians are probably safe. But for most other professions? You might want to watch your back, because the 'bots are coming for your paycheck.

This sci-fi futureshock raises some crazy questions, like how society will function when most jobs are automated. How do we overhaul the entire system without causing total chaos? Those are ridiculously tough challenges to tackle another day.

But for now, let’s bask in the mind-blowing potential of these humanoid worker 'bots. I’ve got a couple of cool videos lined up that’ll really blow your circuits…

First up is this flick from the Cold Fusion YouTube channel, covering the recent crazy strides in humanoid robot development.







The second is a promotional video for one such robot from China;





So it seems it is no longer ‘where are the robots?’ but, ‘don’t bother, they’re here’.

Thursday 25 April 2024

In memoriam of the Brave

 


In fields where poppies bloom, they lie, The valiant souls who dared to try, For freedom's call, they stood so tall, Their sacrifice, our nation's pride.

Through tumultuous times they strode, With courage, in the face of woe, Their legacy, a beacon bright, Guiding us through darkest night.

Their blood, the ink on history's page, A testament to courage's gauge, For liberty, they fought with might, And in their memory, we unite.

Eternal vigilance, our creed, To honor those who bravely lead, Their sacrifice, a sacred trust, For freedom's cause, we must adjust.

Leaders, heed this solemn call, Invest in defense, stand tall, Against all threats, both near and far, Protecting peace, our guiding star.

Let us speak with voices strong, In harmony, a nation's song, For love of country, freedom's reign, In unity, we find our gain.

With respect, we forge ahead, A society by bonds of thread, And in our hearts, let patriotism soar, For those who've given all and more.

(Assisted by ChatGPT)

Wednesday 24 April 2024

Of babies and bathwater.




Disinformation, misinformation, tech giants, and censorship have suddenly become the singular issue of the day. Illegal immigrants arriving magically on Australia's shores, the record level of migration, the dirty tricks played by Labor ministers relating to Brittany Higgins, and even the cost of living issues have been replaced in the headlines. I guess that seems to be justification enough. Yet today's talking points are about Elon Musk and Jacqui Lambie's calls for an 'X-odus'. 

The issue is being presented in such naive terms that it is hard not to react. As presented it is a simple case. Do we want wanton violence pushed by Social media to unsuspecting innocent users? Why should these high-tech billionaires corrupt the minds of the innocent? 

It is hard to argue that the violence shown on social media is healthy for anyone. Even a short sojourn through the pages of X or Meta shows many videos portraying violence, sometimes wanton violence. Youth seem to capture fights with multiple assailants ganging up on a single victim, or one on one fights, or even just accidental capture of an unprovoked attack on a passerby. Then of course there are the demonstrations with large mobs screaming slogans at pedestrians who happen today to be Israeli, or even just 'look openly Jewish'.  Then again there is the footage of terrorist attacks and war in action. At a less direct level, there is the precursor of violence. The full-throated exhortations by so-called 'preachers' to denigrate, vilify and demean a race, a religion a people and quote the Koran that condones their murder. 
So yes, there is widespread violence, threats of violence and incitement to violence on Social Media.

But then again these are not confined to social media alone. You can see the same in our Newspapers our televisions and of course plenty of violence in our movies. Violence is not confined to social media. Yes, many will counter, that there are better controls on our media, with some well-defined rules as to what can and what cannot be shown and at various time-slots. Social media seem to have an exemption as they are not classified as 'publishers'. Of course the publishers would like to level the playing field and have social media also classified as publishers. And maybe so. I will leave that argument, for another occasion. Yet it will not solve the problem given that wanton violence is everywhere in our 'publisher ' media too.

The sudden focus on a single video of a terrorist attack on a Christian bishop however seems strangely convenient. Convenient? Yes, convenient. Just last year the government tried to introduce legislation that would have given widespread power to some media bureaucrats to censor social media.  In response to a request for public commentary the government received some 25000 submissions against the legislation so the government reluctantly shelved its implementation
Given this history, many are suspicious that the sudden vilification of social media following the recent terrorist attack is being used to soften us up for another attempt at this legislation. Certainly the government has not asked for many equally offensive videos to be removed from social media. On ABC television there is still a video showing an indigenous assailant stabbing a police officer and in trun being shot by a second police officer. This video is similar in violent content to the stabbing of the Christian Bishop. So what standard are they really pushing?

Censorship is a difficult area, We have a wide range of views regarding what should or should not be censored. I too have my own limits and find much of what I see,  and pass through quickly, on X beyond my limit. Yet censorship has a cost. We should be very cautious about our willingness to censor speech/video we do not like. Any laws that prevent speech/video we personally do not like will end up restricting our access to information that we need. One does not have to think too far back to our recent Pandemic handling to realise the types of abuse governments will use to prevent us from accessing information they do not want us to have. Consider these questions regarding the recent COVID-19 pandemic
  • Did COVID-19 come from a lab? 
  • Are the vaccines safe? 
  • Did the masks work? 
  • Were lockdowns necessary? 
  • what is the cause of excess deaths? 
  • Does Ivermectin work?
All these questions have been taboo, and really remain taboo even today. Yet consider if we had had the chance for open discussion and consideration of these questions. We would have greater trust in our Police and our government, and our society would be better prepared for any future pandemic. So the consequences of censorship are very serious indeed. 

The possibility of abuse of censorship laws is the major argument against such censorship. 
So let's avoid censorship and not throw the baby out with the bathwater.




 

Tuesday 23 April 2024

'The Most Secure Election in American History'


In an in-depth article published in The Gatestone Institute John Eastman raises a range of issues that put a lie to the oft-quoted statement that the 2020 Presidential election was "The most Secure Election in American History"

The article is rather long and well worth a full read, but here is a summary of the key points. (Note I have used Copilot AI to assist with this)

"The article raises concerns about the 2020 U.S. election and highlights specific issues:
  1. Legal Challenges:

    • Texas Lawsuit: Texas filed an action in the Supreme Court against Pennsylvania, Georgia, Wisconsin, and Michigan.
      • Allegations: These swing states’ election officers violated election law, potentially impacting the election outcome.
      • Specific Violations:
        • In Georgia, Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger unilaterally changed signature verification rules, rendering them unconstitutional.
        • Pennsylvania’s Secretary of the Commonwealth, Kathy Boockvar, eliminated signature verification statutes.
        • In Wisconsin, election officials set up drop boxes and ran a ballot harvesting scheme.
    • These legal challenges question the integrity of the election process.
  2. Pennsylvania’s Vote Discrepancy:

    • Records indicate that there were 120,000 more votes cast than the total number of voters in Pennsylvania.
    • The margin of victory in Pennsylvania was only 80,000 votes.
    • This discrepancy raises concerns about the accuracy of the vote count.
  3. Georgia’s Signature Verification Change:

    • Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger’s rule change undermined signature matching requirements.
    • The alteration may have affected the validity of ballots.
  4. Wisconsin’s Ballot Harvesting:

    • Human drop boxes were set up in Madison, Wisconsin, which violated state law.
    • Some ballots lacked complete witness signatures.
    • These irregularities warrant scrutiny.
  5. Overall Concerns:

    • The elimination of protective statutes may have facilitated fraud.
    • The article underscores the need to address these issues to ensure election security and restore public confidence.

In summary, John Eastman’s article critically examines the 2020 election process, highlighting potential vulnerabilities and urging further investigation."

Monday 22 April 2024

Did Israel Carpe the Diem?

A few days ago I speculated on the range of options Israel had for their response to Iran's unprecedented direct attack on Israel. (see my earlier Carpe Diem )

If you listen to the mainstream media it was 'ho-hum'. More significantly if you listen to Iran's comments it was also 'ho-hum, nothing to see here, not even a scratch'. So is this true?

Perhaps we should take a short detour and revisit Iran's attack. There is no doubt Iran's was a large scale direct attack on Israeli territory. Over 300 projectile weapons were directed at a wide range of military and non-military targets within Israeli territory. They included ballistic and cruise missiles, and drones. By all accounts a large majority of the drones were shot down even before they reached Israeli air-space, and virtually all the missiles were shot down without hitting their targets. The only injury reported is of a single young girl hit by shrapnel resulting from the destruction of one of the missiles.

Most significantly Israel was assisted by the US, UK and Jordan in directly shooting down the drones and missiles, and ground assistance (radar intelligence) was also provided by Saudi Arabia and UAE. The willingness of these Sunni states to join in protecting Israel from the Iranian attack is notable.
In many respects, Israel's success in repelling Iran's attack was already disarming for Iran. A miracle according to the account below.



After the large-scale attack by Iran, Israel's response seems minor. While Iran's attack was a major television extravaganza with extensive coverage by all media. Direct footage of projectiles being destroyed over Israel, including quite dramatic footage over the Al Aqsa mosque. 

In contrast, the attack on Iran was not covered widely at all. There were some reports of explosions around a military base in Isfahan. Iran reported they had shot down a number of drones. We also heard some sites in Syria and Iraq were bombed. No casualties were reported. Israel has not commented on its attack, at all. This allowed Iran to downplay the attack as insignificant. But is this true? Perhaps not.

Several reports have emerged that praise the strategic success of Israel's attack. The video below titled
highlights Israel's success in penetrating Iran's air defences. 



I guess time will tell, but so far Israel has -
  • successfully defended its territory against a direct attack by Iran with over 300 projectiles
  • forged a de-facto allegiance with Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and UAE against Iran (this will not be publicized but when it came to action they were there )
  • penetrated Iran's best air defence and bombed selected targets within Iranian territory in one of their largest cities
  • demonstrated its defensive and offensive superiority
  • allowed Iran to walk away from further aggression without losing face
All round not too bad.


Wednesday 17 April 2024

Carpe Diem




Are we at the crossroads? Can we take the opportunity granted by recent unwelcome and unprecedented events to correct for the evil that we have seen seep into our world community? Is it time to seize the day?

The unwarranted launch of 300 airborne weapons by Iran aimed at both military AND non-military targets in Israel has opened a door. A door that was heretofore shut due to the likely condemnation of Western World sensibilities. Had Israel attacked Iran directly even despite the multiple attacks instigated by Iran against Israel but committed by its puppet armies, it would have been regarded as provocative and condemned. 

However, after the massive attack on Israel directly from Iran the game has changed. This was the first direct attack on Israeli territory from Iranian territory. The shadowboxing veil has been dropped, at least for this attack. Iran was trying to provide a disproportionate response to Israel's attack on a senior military personnel meeting in an annex to Iran's embassy in Damascus. Israel's attack had been a serious blow & embarrassment to Iran. For Israel, these were very valuable military targets, in particular one of the organisers of the Oct 7th Hamas massacre.

After Iran's attack, Israel has vowed to respond. No doubt Iran had expected this but hopes it is 'proportional', or limited. And the Western World has again lectured Israel about its likely response calling for it to be 'restrained'. Some of Israel's allies have threatened (USA, UK) and even ceased (Canada, Belgium) arms shipments. So much for so-called 'allies'.

Yet, having survived the massive attack by Iran, virtually unscathed, Israel has a singular opportunity to attack Iran without incurring the condemnation of the Western World. Of course, no matter what it does there will be some countries that will condemn it, but there is a clear moral right for Israel to respond.

There are many ways that Israel could respond. They can be broken into three categories

  1. A short sharp proportional response  A relatively mild but sufficient response to show that it will always respond to an attack. This would be a response against military infrastructure only, but of sufficient intensity and value to give Iran a 'bloody nose'. Given Iran's attack had been thwarted any successful destruction of military bases would be a lesson, proving Israel to be more capable than Iran
  2. A consequential economic attack A militarily simple but economically consequential attack on Iran's critical infrastructure. This could be oil pipelines, Oil refineries, oil export terminals, electricity power stations, water supplies, maritime terminals, etc. While these are soft targets, and not strictly military they would expose Iran's vulnerability and most importantly enlist the Iranian population into condemning the Islamist regime.
  3. An all-out re-establishment of deterrence As a final option, Israel could go 'disproportionate' with a direct attack on Iran's nuclear facilities and eliminate a major threat to the entire Middle East and the World. A successful attack on Iran's nuclear facilities would be welcomed by the world, and would, if successful, give Iran more than just a bloody nose, it would seriously embarrass the regime and elevate Israel. It would also prevent a potential nuclear catastrophe should Iran develop multiple nuclear weapons or even if not deployed would prevent Iran from being elevated above its neighbors as a nuclear weapon state.

While option 1 would most likely be allowed to pass without another attack from Iran, the other options would most likely have further consequences. The most likely being another barrage of rockets from Hezbollah, perhaps a full war, or even force Iran into a direct open war with Israel. 

There are high costs to any of these options. Although no immediate response to the first, it will leave Israel weaker and encourage further adventurism from Iran. In the long term maybe the higher cost options are preferable.

If Churchill had won the day in the early1930s and the Allies had attacked Germany before it built its formidable army, it would have saved 50 million lives!

In that case, Chamberlain won and the world lost.

Today Israel's decision may also have a heavy price.

Of course, these are nothing more than guesses. But we will see in the coming days.


 The consequence of this latter would be I see a couple of different approaches;t can respond by attacking military infrastructure