Tuesday 26 April 2022

Bits and Pieces: Arc of Idiocracy.

Last Sunday ABC Insiders host David Speers interviewed Deputy PM Barnaby Joyce from Gladstone. One of the topics was climate change. At about 10:06 (AEST), Speers asked Joyce:
The issues here in Gladstone, China and national security have been on the minds of people I have been speaking to. They’re also a little worried about the energy transition. That’s, you know, often talked about here. There is hope this region becomes a powerhouse for green energy and hydrogen. But there is some uncertainty, they want to see a plan. What is your plan?
From that moment and up to almost 10:11 Speers repeated that question nine more times. I repeat: NINE … MORE … TIMES. Beyond babbling incoherently “Lay-bah” blah-blah-blah, “Lay-bah” blah-blah-blah, Joyce did not say what the Nationals Party plan for climate change was.


Sunday 24 April 2022

Once Upon a Time …

 … people followed the news to be informed. I’m not sure that’s the case anymore.


As I write this, the French are voting in the second round of their presidential elections. French Lefties have a bitter choice between the first and second candidates by vote in the first round, the neo-liberal Rightist Emmanuel Macron (28% of the vote) or the populist far-Rightist Marine Le Pen (23%), respectively. (Say, should I vote for Macron for foreigners’ sake even though he will make me work three more years for my own retirement; or should I vote for Le Pen to keep my earlier retirement and screw the foreigners?)

Those who voted for Leftist Jean-Luc Mélenchon (21%) and Éric Zemmour (7%) will have either to vote for one of the two top contenders or abstain/vote blank.

Wednesday 20 April 2022

The Difference Between Honiara and Kiev? Yellow Peril v2.0.

Australians are getting pretty fed up with walking on eggshells every day because they’re worried about upsetting people – Scotty from Marketing earlier today.

The distance between Honiara (the capital of the Solomon Islands) and Canberra (Australian capital) is 3,074 kilometres. Because a mile is roughly 1.6 km, that distance is equivalent to about 1,900 miles.

But Australia is a big place and there are cities and towns much closer to Honiara. Cairns, for instance, in northern Queensland, is 1,745 km (1,084 mi) away.

In fact, Oz is a continent island as well, which means that to reach Australia you need to cross the sea (see the picture above?). Seas are formidable natural barriers, as the Nazis discovered during the Battle of Britain: the English Channel at its narrowest is 33 km (20 mi).


I’ve written about that “pact” between the Solomons and China. Not much is known about it here, but what little is guessed has caused much concern among locals involved in international relations and defence (it has also caused concern among American policy-makers, by the way)

Saturday 16 April 2022

Doublethink (Updated).


You want to understand why people don’t trust western mainstream media and instead turn to Twitter and Facebook for news?

There’s no mystery. No need for long explanations. It’s actually easy to explain and to understand.

Wednesday 13 April 2022

Labor won’t Increase JobSeeker: Google it, Mate.

Prof. Mitchell's unemployment benefits rate versus poverty line, source

Forget about it, boys and girls. What Labor promises one day, they forget the next.

Although leaving the amount unspecified, last year Shadow Social Services Minister Linda Burney promised a new Labor government would increase unemployment benefits (JobSeeker). Full stop, end of the story. How could Labor not do that? You know the tale Albanese likes to tell, all teary-eyed: his single mom, living in public housing on a pension. He grew up on Struggle Street. He’s “Albo” and he cares about you.

Well, that was then, this is now:


So, what changed between then and now to make Albo renege on his word?

Tuesday 12 April 2022

BREAKING: Australia has Chemical Weapons!

Yes, that’s right, people: Australia has chemical weapons! Run for the hills. In fact, anyone in Sydney can buy such weapons.

Don’t believe me? Look at this screen capture:

I got it today just by googling the search string “cheapest nitric acid in sydney”. You can try a similar search for your own hometown: just replace “sydney” for whatever the name of the place where you live.

But, but, but … Sure, nitric acid (HNO3), like many other chemicals, can be dangerous. Bleach is dangerous, so is carbon monoxide, petrol (or gasoline), or methylated spirits or … for example. But, whoever said nitric acid (HNO3) is a weapon???

Saturday 9 April 2022

Environmentally-Conscious Worker’s Mail.

Kat Tu, from Act!onAid Australia writes
Today we took to the streets of Sydney to demand that Nike pay its workers!

We stood with the 1,200 women workers of the Violet Apparel factory in Cambodia, who are demanding Nike pay the US$1.4 million in owed wages, benefits and damages.
After the Violet Apparel factory – which produced for Nike – abruptly closed down in 2020, these women lost their jobs overnight. They were relying on wages and benefits to feed their families, pay rent, and pay for medical care, but the full payments never came.

They've been waiting for nearly 2 years. Nike made over US$19 billion in profit last year, while these women who made their clothes are wearing the cost of the pandemic.

You can help those comrades (they are women, Act!onAid folks, but above all they are workers!). Give Nike a piece of your mind.

Friday 8 April 2022

War Crimes.

To initiate a war of aggression, therefore, is not only an international crime, it is the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole – Judgement of the International Military Tribunal, September 30th, 1946.

Defendants in the dock at the International Military Tribunal
trial of war criminals in Nuremberg. November 1945. [A]

The Charter of the Nuremberg Tribunal (more precisely, the International Military Tribunal) defined three broad categories of crimes:

  1. crimes against peace,
  2. war crimes proper and
  3. crimes against humanity.

Monday 4 April 2022

Where is that Building?

The New York Times’ Visual Investigation team released a comparison of a video recently filmed by a local councilman showing bodies scattered along Yablonska Street, Bucha, of what looks like civilians and corresponding but older satellite imagery provided by Maxar Technologies, to argue that those bodies have laid there since at least mid-March.

This would contradict official Russian claims that no civilian had been harmed during the Russian occupation, which ended in March 31.

The photo below shows the whole area studied. It comes from France24. I must highlight that that image is not supposed to show the location of the bodies.

To that photo, I added where the video starts (red oval, near the lower border of the photo) and the general direction the councilman travelled on Yablonska Street (red arrow pointing upwards).

Sunday 3 April 2022

Why Joe Biden’s Remarks are a Dangerous Big Deal.

… And why commentators left them unexamined.

The perspective of a few days affords time for understanding. 

Let’s rewind. I suppose by now you must be aware that US President Joe Biden, during a speech delivered at Warsaw a week ago, let this allegedly unscripted pearl slip:


To avoid misunderstandings, this is what he said in black and white: “For God’s sake, this man cannot remain in power”.