Sandpit

A new sandpit for long side discussions, conspiracy theories, idees fixes and so on. The last got clogged with random conspiracy theories.

To be clear, the sandpit is for regular commenters to pursue points that distract from regular discussion, including conspiracy-theoretic takes on the issues at hand. It’s not meant as a forum for visiting conspiracy theorists, or trolls posing as such.

142 thoughts on “Sandpit

  1. J-D, I’m confident these guys have done nothing about Australia’s camps. I’m confident of that because no one in Australia has done or is doing anything about it. The entire nation is under a collective silence about it.

    https://www.sbs.com.au/news/thousands-march-across-australia-to-protest-refugee-detention
    https://www.sbs.com.au/news/australians-protest-six-years-of-offshore-detention
    https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2020/04/16/prot-a16.html
    https://www.rt.com/news/australia-refugees-protests-guinea-358/
    https://www.refugeeaction.org.au/?page_id=3358

    Hugo, how long have the camps been running in Australia? How many have they held at one time? The 1400 currently interned are the remnants of how many? What was their peak population? Do you believe the government’s numbers? How many are imprisoned in Xinjiang, do you know?

    Do you think Chinese government figures on the number of people they are holding in detention are more reliable than Australian government figures on the number of people they are holding in detention?

  2. faustusnotes,

    It is not sensible to compare the internment of Chinese citizens in western China with those non-citizens held in offshore islands seeking unofficial entry to Australia. We do not have an “open door” immigration policy in Australia (none has prevailed for more than 120 years). We have a quota-controlled immigration policy that caters to many types of immigrants including refugee and humanitarian immigrants. The idea that a non-citizen can turn up on Australian shores and demand entry is repugnant to both major political parties and to most Australians. That numbers admitted via the official refugee and humanitarian intake are reduced to account for extra entry from unofficial sources indicates that queue-jumping occurs when non-official entry is accepted. Please explain to the people displaced from a legal quota why they should be displaced in this way. Why no implied concern for their welfare? If you don’t want quota-controlled immigration what do you want? Do you want an open door policy where whoever turns up gains entry? You would need to work hard to convince the Australian people about that stance if that is what you want.

    Those held offshore are offered a paid return fare home, they are not tortured or abused or subjected to political indoctrination and they are not selected to be held offshore on the basis of their race or religion. It is an utterly distorted comparison you are invoking.

  3. Faustusnotes’ Chinese Communist Party handlers have a Final Solution in store for the countries tiny Kaifeng Jewish problem. Faustusnotes must be clicking his jackboots and dancing for joy at the CCP version of Kristallnacht:

    … As they were listening to a presentation in the city’s little Jewish learning center, uniformed officers suddenly appeared. The center’s hostess froze and fell silent.
    As inconspicuously as possible, my friends slipped away, shocked and rather shaken.

    In recent years, ambitious efforts have been made by foreigners to better the Kaifeng Jews’ understanding of their faith and culture. … But as the little congregation grew, and as enthusiasm for their Jewish heritage deepened, the CCP became wary.
    Then, in February 2018 – just about a year after Chinese President Xi Jinping introduced a revolutionary “New Era” for China’s hardcore, atheistic regime – an intense crackdown on all of China’s religious believers was launched.
    Sadly, the carefully tended little Kaifeng Jewish center was not overlooked. During a raid, government agents reportedly tore loose a metal Star of David from the entryway and tossed it on the floor. They ripped Hebrew scriptural quotations off the walls. They filled up a well that had served as a mikveh (ritual bath) with dirt and stones. And all foreign plans to build up and support the Jews of Kaifeng were summarily canceled.

    https://www.jpost.com/opinion/tiny-kaifeng-jewish-community-faces-orwellian-future-580739

  4. I’d love to see Prof Quiggin supporting Drew Pavlou. What UQ is doing is way over the top. UQ academics should stand up for free speech and against extreme bullying and harassment of ‘square pegs’. Also, he’s a Lefty.

  5. … and on queue someone turns up to defend the offshore policy, saying its “repugnant” for foreigners to “queue-jump” and saying they get a paid fare home so it’s all fine, and pointing out all sides of politics love the policy. Meanwhile Hugo has nothing to say on the matter, because he doesn’t care about the actual lives of poor foreigners, he just wants something to bash China with (and now he’s making up stupid anti-semitism ideas that are just beyond dumb in order to push his China=Nazi silliness).

    Another clue to the real reasons for this outrage is the refusal to check sources, the willingness to broadcast and repeat any nonsense they see without validation, and repeating made-up numbers without care.

    J-D, why would I possibly consider the Australian government’s numbers on how many people they have in camps to be reliable? They have lied repeatedly, a fact you well know to be true, about every aspect of the system. While people like Harry Clarke swan about on left wing blogs claiming no one in the camps is tortured or abused. I know you like to be pedantic J-D, but you know as well as I do what’s going on here, and it’s really beyond naive to think anything the government tells you can be trusted (on the rare occasions that they say anything at all – remember for years numbers could not be released for “reasons of operational security”). Really J-D, you can do better than this.

  6. Those held offshore are offered a paid return fare home, they are not tortured or abused

    On what basis do you conclude that they’re not abused? I’m puzzling over what would make you think you know that.

    Also, have you asked yourself why people offered a paid return fare home would decline the offer? People always have reasons for the choices they make, even if there are other people who disagree with those reasons.

  7. J-D, why would I possibly consider the Australian government’s numbers on how many people they have in camps to be reliable?

    That wasn’t my question. I can figure out how you might consider the Australian government’s figures (for peope they have in detention) unreliable, but what I was asking you whether you consider the Chinese government’s figures (for people they have in detention) any more reliable. It seems to me that any reasons you have for doubting the Australian government’s figures would also apply to the Chinese government.

  8. J-D, the Chinese government haven’t as far as I know given figures for how many people are interred. They have given presentations about the camps; given tours of the camps; and claimed recently that the camps have nearly emptied. But they have not as far as I know ever claimed any numbers. This is why I ask Hugo where that million figure comes from (or the 2, or the 3…) I know where it comes from (or, I should say, whose arse it was pulled out of), but he doesn’t, and it certainly wasn’t the Chinese government. I’m comparing what little we know of the numbers in Australian camps with the number Hugo claims to know about China (though he can’t seem to tell us where it comes from).

    If you have a number from the Chinese govt I’m sure it could be just as dubious as any number from the Aussie govt (it would be impossible for it to be more dubious, to be sure; it could be better). But as far as I know they have never given one.

  9. Fautusnotes is now claiming the Kaifeng Jews, who claim they are being terrorised by Chinese Communist Party goons, and also claim that the goons have smashed up their synagogue, are just a bunch of lying Jews.

    Faustus, wouldn’t you feel more at home on a white supremacist or a Ku Klux Klan forum? Mr Bird is waiting for you.

  10. You should probably read that report again Hugo, it doesn’t say what you think it says.

  11. What has the Trilateral Commission got against our regular Monday Message Board?

  12. Moz of Yarramulla and KT2 re economists and epidemiologists.

    I posted on the whataboutary thread re a joint study.

  13. Ok I heard that the plan is currently to reopen daycare centers in our area in 2 weeks. I saw somewhere that when the people are preparing food in the kitchen and they are working alone they will not be required to wear a mask. That got me thinking. There are supposedly lots of aysemtrical carriers, either because they have not come down with symptoms yet or they never do come down with symptoms. Is that true? Does anyone wish to confirm or contridict that?
    So it is very conceivable that a daycare kitchen worker with or without a mask will be spreading the virus on to food while s/he prepares it unknowingly for days (if this is a real desease). Are we really supposed to believe that a kitchen worker will not spread the desease unless he sneezes or coughs on to the food that he is preparing? If this were really the case then this desease would not at all be very contagious. That means that an asymptomatic carrier really will spread this contagion which will then end up in the mouths of children who are known to be a key set of asyptomatic carriers. How can these children not then spread the desease to their older brothers and sisters and to their parents and, especially here in Gemany, to their grandparents??? Not only that evey surface between the day care center and their home is going to become contaminated with the virus.
    Now there is a solution to this problem that is so easy that it is stunning. That is children have to bring their own bags of food from home. But the authorities in this area are going to go forward with extremetly irresponsble and preventable behavior. Why would they do that? Because they know fragging good and well that the desease is not real. They know that no one will under any circumsatnces be harmed by what they are doing.
    Yes the implication of that is is that huge numbers of people are lying. Well it does not mean exactly that all 30 million nothern Italians are lying. It means that the doctors of nothern Italy are lying. They have pulled the wool over the eyes of the inhabitants of norhtern Italy. Why should anyone be surprised by this. A basic rule of psycological operations is that if you repeat a lie often enough most everyone will believe it.
    I supported this lie myself. But it has outlived it usefulness. It was very successful and still is quite successful. But the effectiveness of this campaign in combating climate change is quickly wearing off.
    Minor changes will be made to standard economic practices and soon it will be back to business as usual.

  14. J-D, the Chinese government haven’t as far as I know given figures for how many people are interred. They have given presentations about the camps; given tours of the camps; and claimed recently that the camps have nearly emptied. But they have not as far as I know ever claimed any numbers. This is why I ask Hugo where that million figure comes from (or the 2, or the 3…) I know where it comes from (or, I should say, whose arse it was pulled out of), but he doesn’t, and it certainly wasn’t the Chinese government. I’m comparing what little we know of the numbers in Australian camps with the number Hugo claims to know about China (though he can’t seem to tell us where it comes from).

    If you have a number from the Chinese govt I’m sure it could be just as dubious as any number from the Aussie govt (it would be impossible for it to be more dubious, to be sure; it could be better). But as far as I know they have never given one.

    I don’t automatically assume that information given by the Australian government (numerical information or any other kind) about detention camps must be accurate. But you have no basis for concluding that the Chinese government is more honest than the Australian government. There’s no way you could possibly know that. What are you thinking?

  15. J-D that’s super easy. The Australian government is completely dishonest about its detention numbers. It’s not possible to be more dishonest than completely dishonest, therefore the Chinese govt is either as dishonest or better.

    To put it another way: it’s not possible for Xi Jinping to be more dishonest than donald trump, because trump is completely dishonest.

  16. J-D that’s super easy. The Australian government is completely dishonest about its detention numbers. It’s not possible to be more dishonest than completely dishonest, therefore the Chinese govt is either as dishonest or better.

    To put it another way: it’s not possible for Xi Jinping to be more dishonest than donald trump, because trump is completely dishonest.

    Ha!

    Nope.

    There is no bottom to dishonesty. No matter what depths of dishonesty are plumbed, the possibility of going even deeper always remains.

    But I notice that you’re not trying to make any case that the Chinese government is less dishonest than the Australian government (or the US government).

  17. Actually I think there is a bottom to dishonesty. It’s not the factual bottom (i.e. 100% of things that Trump says are definitely untrue), it’s the point where you absolutely cannot trust anything the person says because from verifiable information you can tell that the person lies so much that all unverifiable info is not reliable. So e.g. we don’t know for sure that Trump is or isn’t taking Hydroxywhatever, but we know with 100% certainty that he lies so much that we can’t believe he is taking it.

    Yesterday for example in an interview Boris Johnson said that the NHS surcharge on foreign staff should stay because it is fair and it raises 900m pounds a year. I don’t know on its face if the latter “fact” is true or not (though I know the former point is a lie); but I can be fairly certain that someone who won’t tell the truth about how many children he has can’t be trusted with numbers, so I just don’t believe what he says until I check it. And then when I check it lo! It’s actually 90m, he embellished by a factor of 10. Why would this surprise me? His bus was 100% a lie. Why did I bother checking his 900m statement? I know he lies. If I were unable to verify the 90m fact, my first assumption should be that the 900m is not true, that it’s some other number and that the true number is whatever is more embarrassing for him.

    And that is how it is with the Aussie government on detention. Nothing they tell me can be trusted, and as a result I should assume they’re 100% dishonest. You cannot be more dishonest than that. If I trusted anything they said that I could not myself independently verify I would be a fool

    Why is it, for example, that the Chinese media can do guided tours of their detention camps but the Aussie media cannot be allowed into detention camps under any circumstances? Why are Aussie detention camps more secretive than Chinese labour camps? Is it because they’re so nice and pleasant that to see even a guided tour of them would make people doubt that the government is serious about imprisoning asylum seekers? No, you and I both know the reason is that the camps are so hellish that even a guided tour carefully curated by guards won’t hide the fact that they’re horrible.

    And no one here who is criticizing Chinese camps cares about this at all.

  18. Faustusnotes, you’ve been given a lot of rope and you’ve hung yourself with it. Congratulations.

  19. Actually I think there is a bottom to dishonesty. It’s not the factual bottom (i.e. 100% of things that Trump says are definitely untrue), it’s the point where you absolutely cannot trust anything the person says because from verifiable information you can tell that the person lies so much that all unverifiable info is not reliable.

    I am not persuaded that there is such a point. If you could demonstrate how you can be certain that an individual has reached that point, it might change my mind.

    Why is it, for example, that the Chinese media can do guided tours of their detention camps but the Aussie media cannot be allowed into detention camps under any circumstances? Why are Aussie detention camps more secretive than Chinese labour camps? Is it because they’re so nice and pleasant that to see even a guided tour of them would make people doubt that the government is serious about imprisoning asylum seekers? No, you and I both know the reason is that the camps are so hellish that even a guided tour carefully curated by guards won’t hide the fact that they’re horrible.

    No, the conclusion I reach is that the two governments are pursuing different media strategies. Evidently they have made different decisions about which media strategies are most to their advantage. It is possible, obviously, that one of them has made a mistake about the advantages (from its own point of view) of its chosen media strategy, or even that both of them have made (opposite) mistakes, but the choices they have made are plain. The Chinese government has obviously decided that it is to their advantage to make a public presentation of what their camps are like (presumably a curated presentation; it doesn’t necessarily follow that the presentation corresponds to the reality); the Australian government has obviously decided that they will do better by offering no public presentation at all (except, that is, in the form of documents they prepare). That’s not an adequate basis for a conclusion about comparisons between conditions in the two systems.

  20. This is only half right J-D. The media strategy has to be defined by the purpose of the camps, and the purpose of these camps is so completely different that the Aussie media strategy has to be thoroughly deceptive.

    The purpose of the detention camps in Oz is to win elections. The govt needs rumours of their cruelty to seep out to appease the right wing base, who want to punish asylum seekers for being foreign and weak. But they need no truth of the cruelty to be revealed lest they alienate the tut-tutting racists like Harry Clarke above, who needs to believe that the cruelty is deniable. They also need no truth of the cruelty to be revealed to the specific racists like Hugo and Ikonoclast, who need their own country to be presented as lily-white while they attack the nations they hate on human rights grounds. This means that the camps have to be irredeemably cruel (to please the base) and completely uninspected (to appease the tut-tutting more-in-sorrow-than-in-anger racists). This means the camps have to have no presentable or pleasant features of any kind, need to be far away, and need to be violent and cruel, and it means that there need to be weak foreign people in there at every election, so that they can trot out their racism as an election point. This is why children have lived their lives there. But this means they can’t let any media in even in curated tours, because if they did the truth would out, and they’d lose the plausible-deniability racist vote; and if they could do a nice tour where they showed how the internees have access to tvs and aircon they’d lose the racist vote. So, they have to lie, all the time.

    The purpose of the labour camps in Xinjiang is to end terrorism and brainwash people. So, they need to have an endpoint of hope for the internees, and basic facilities that support this kind of activity like classrooms, books, and musical instruments. They need to be able to present success stories and they need to be able to deny the cruelty of the camps. They also need to actually achieve their goal of eliminating terrorism! So, they have basic facilities they can show off to journalists in a curated tour, and people who graduate from the camps, and success stories that they can trot out as proof that they aren’t cruel (or that the cruelty has a purpose). They also eventually need to be able to end the camps, since they set them up to end terrorism and ending terrorism is an actual, real policy goal. Hence, the media strategy must allow for curated tours and success stories in the news.

    This is why children are stitching their mouths together in protest in those offshore detention facilities, why the media aren’t visiting them, why the conservatives keep winning elections based on them, and why people like Harry Clarke can pretend that children aren’t doing these things. It’s also why Ikonoclast and Hugo can pretend they have the moral high ground, while the nation from which they lambast China commits cruelty on a scale that no other country in the rich world would ever consider acceptable (except the USA of course; they have exactly the same considerations in their own prisons as Australia has in its offshore detention facilities). And that’s also why the Australian govt’s media policy must necessarily be more dishonest than the Chinese government’s.

  21. faustusnotes, you seem highly confident that you know the goals and purposes of both governments, as they relate to their respective detention camps, but I don’t think such confidence is justified. To the extent, therefore, that your conclusions depend on your assumptions about goals and purposes, their justification is also in doubt.

  22. J-D, do you think the Australian Liberal Party believes its propaganda schtick about having to hold children in cages for their whole lives in order to “stop the boats” out of concern for the lives of all the children who might drown? Are you really that naive? It’s a transparent electoral strategy, everyone knows it, and that means we understand exactly how it has to be done in order to be effective.

  23. J-D, do you think the Australian Liberal Party believes its propaganda schtick about having to hold children in cages for their whole lives in order to “stop the boats” out of concern for the lives of all the children who might drown?

    No, but …

    It’s a transparent electoral strategy, everyone knows it, and that means we understand exactly how it has to be done in order to be effective.

    … you are arguing by false dichotomy: ‘X is not true, therefore Y must be true.’ That’s not a valid way of reasoning.

    In support of your conclusions about the goals and purposes of the Chinese government, you’re not even offering that much.

  24. The Third Reich ran organised tours of concentration camps and ghettos (for instance
    Sonnenburg and Theresienstadt) in the 1930s and even during World War Two, in the 1940s.

    The curated media tours of the CCP’s detention facilities for racial minorities in Xinjiang (“terrorists” in faustusnotes’ speak) have as much credibility and serve the same propaganda purpose. From the ABC:

    The idea of the manufactured perspective has long been echoed throughout history from the propaganda playbooks of Nazi Germany to Russia’s fabled “Potemkin villages”, the fake structures designed to deceive the viewer into believing a situation is better than it really is.

    Such tours have been a staple for communist authoritarian regimes in North Korea and Cambodia, in a bid to mask atrocities and dupe foreign observers.

    But new technology offered another glimpse behind Xinjiang’s facade, as a recent BBC report from inside China’s rosy Xinjiang tours showed.

    Satellite images taken before and after the Government-arranged tour showed security structures like watch towers had been removed, and sporting fields installed.

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-08-03/the-art-of-the-tour-xinjiang-north-korea-khmer-rouge/11365368

  25. You caught me J-D, I’m just too cynical about the Liberal party. No doubt in reality they are pursuing an important policy goal that is so subtle they can’t tell me, and they can’t allow any media into the camps because it wouldn’t accord with the associated media policy , which they also can’t tell me about because of reasons they aren’t able to discuss, but which are completely honest and fair. There is a good, solid and realistic policy reason why we keep children in prison for their entire childhood, denying them education, healthcare and any form of future, but they’re not at liberty to say and haven’t been for 18 years. There really were children overboard and when the Liberals were caught lying about it they couldn’t tell the truth because it would compromise their secret policy, which sadly hasn’t achieved its goals yet but will surely do so soon if we just keep those children in prison.

    I mean seriously, are you reading what you write here? Or are you another one of the fairweather lefties on here who is super seriously worried about prison camps in China and oh-so-sure that they must be wrong, but is convinced that the infinitely worse conditions of detention here are justified? I hope not, because I would be deeply disappointed in you if that were true.

    Hugo, where did you get that 1 million number?

  26. Muppet refers above to Australia holding asylum seeker children in “cages for their whole lives”. According to Asylum Insight, less than 5 children are in detention centres while a further 284 are in community detention. Contra what muppet says, the children are educated, although I am certainly not willing to vouch for the quality of the education.

    By way of contrast, the network of detention centres for racial minority children in Xinjiang, often labelled “kindergartens” and “boarding schools”, continues to expand, as the satellite images reveal. Officially, China admits to 497,000 child inmates being detained in the “boarding schools”. As previously noted in the testimonies I referenced, other children are in facilities that primarily house adults. Much to muppet’s delight, they can be chained, starved, raped, tortured and beaten just like mummy and daddy. I bet one of muppet’s favourite perks is that he gets to watch through a peephole whenever he visits China..

    http://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/28/world/asia/china-xinjiang-children-boarding-schools.html

    https://www.asyluminsight.com/statistics#.XsaAJWgzaUl

  27. Wow Hugo, you’re a legend. I don’t think you understand the level of chutzpah required to cite statistics from that organization in defense of immigration detention. Truly you are a piece of work. That sight provides current data on the number of people in detention now, but you know full well (as everyone in Australia does) that there were many more children in detention until recently, many for their whole lives. But you don’t care. The lives of poor foreigners mean nothing to you except as a tool of foreign policy. You even make the ridiculous claim that these kids are educated, which you know full well is not true.

    You know full well too that a boarding school is not a labour camp, and that the NY Times article does not say that the children are detained in detention centres but are sent to boarding school while their parents are detained. What do you think happens to children in Australia whose parents are in prison? Why do I bother asking these questions? I know you already know the answers and don’t care, like the majority of Australians (including left-wing Australians) who happily defend these cruel policies while attacking China for enacting much less cruel policies in its own country, on a smaller proportion of its population.

    Now, where did you get that million number from?

  28. Since there is no Monday message board I have to post this hier.
    A German Man living in state of West Prussia who claimed that the Coronavirus Pandemic was a hoax has died of the Coronavirus after consuming a bottle of Ibuprofen in an attempt to prove that the Coronavirus was a hoax.

  29. Our local asylum seeker home, well the second one, the other one already had one three weaks agoe just had a major corona outbreak confirmed. We got at least 1000 hotel rooms here, all empty and still somehow the authorities think they don´t have enough space to seperate confirmed cases from negative testted persons lifing in the same damn room now. Nevermind they could have given everyone a seperate room in spread out hotelson the cheap once the crisis started, avoiding that large outbreak in the first place. The world is a sad place.

  30. Thanks Ernestine.

    hix says “Should add that the Ifo Institute has a good academic standing – im neither qualified nor interested enough to sort throug their peer reviewed output, ”

    Yet your previous comment hix, sloppily tarred all these authors with ‘infamous for sloppy work favouring right wing results”; “Dorn, Florian / Khailaie, Sahamoddin / Stöckli, Marc / Binder, Sebastian / Lange, Berit / Vanella, Patrizio / Wollmershäuser, Timo / Peichl, Andreas / Fuest, Clemens / Meyer-Hermann, Michael”…

    … do you have anything to say about the study?

    “In determining the course of action that is most economically favorable while still being consistent with further containment of the epidemic, then, it is certainly preferable from an economic point of view to ease restrictions slightly compared with the measures in force on April 20, 2020 than to opt for further tightening. Significant loosening is not recommended from either a health or an economic standpoint.”

    https://www.ifo.de/en/node/55371

  31. faustusnotes, I can be sure that I have written nothing here in support of present or past Australian government immigration detention policies because I have never felt any support for them. I treasure the memory of my mother talking about her visits with detainees; I don’t know how much good it did, but she was at least doing what she could. I have myself participated in protest marches against government policy, the protests whose very existence you couldn’t bring yourself to admit, although I admit I probably haven’t done so as much as I should have. So, are you clear now on my position about that?

    For the rest, the problem is not that you are too cynical, but that you are not cynical enough.

    Is it, in your opinion, an appropriate level of cynicism to think of government actions as deriving from coherent systematic plans regularly directed, in a calculated way, at consistently maintained goals?

    Which of the two following statements do you think is more cynical?
    1. Mao Zedong was a vicious bloodthirsty monster.
    2. Mao Zedong was a vicious bloodthirsty monster who half the time was cluelessly blundering around in a fog.

    Which of these two following statements do you think is more cynical?
    1. Major Australian political parties are vote-maximising machines.
    2. Major Australian poltiical parties are vote-maximising machines whose vote-maximising operations are regularly interfered with by the fact that they are controlled and constituted by people whose actions are affected by stupidity, shortsightedness, miscalculation, impulsiveness, panic, carelessness, inattention, laziness, exaggerated sense of self-importance, petty personal spite, bias, bigotry, stereotyped thinking, and all the other flaws that affect human beings.

    Now, I’ve got a story here that I made up, and I’ve got a question about that story to ask at the end of it. Here’s the story:
    In 1992, the Labor Cabinet was meeting to discuss how they could try to win the next Federal election. They decided that their plan to win the election would be to legislate for a system of mandatory detention of people arriving by boat. Later, the Shadow Cabinet was meeting to discuss how they could try to win the next Federal election. They decided that their plan would be to support the mandatory detention legislation introduced by the Government.
    In 1999, the Coalition Cabinet was meeting to discuss how they could try to win the next Federal election. They decided that their plan would be the introduction of Temporary Protection Visas. Then, at another meeting in 2001, they decided that their plan would be detention in third countries. In 2004, they decided that their plan to win the next Federal election would be to adopt some of the changes suggested by the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission’s inquiry into children in immigration detention.
    Between 2007 and 2013, Labor adopted one set of proposed changes to immigration detention because that was its plan for winning the 2010 election, and subsequently a different set of proposed changes because that was their plan for winning the 2013 election.
    This story could be continued for more recent events, but you get the idea, I hope?
    Now, here’s the question: do you think that somebody who believed in that story, just as I have given it above, would be exhibiting the appropriate degree of cynicism?

    Now, here’s another question, about a different story: if somebody said, ‘I know that the purpose of detention camps in China is to end terrorism, because the Chinese government says that the purpose is to end terorrism’, would you think that person was exhibiting the appropriate degree of cynicism?

  32. Something else I meant to include in my previous comment, but it slipped my mind.

    Recently one of my sisters posted something on Facebook about something the Chinese government had done and how she couldn’t understand it.

    I suggested the possible explanation that the Chinese government are a bunch of sooks who can’t stand it when anybody says anything mean about them.

    I don’t say that was definitely the explanation of the particular action she was referring to, but I consider it a possible explanation. faustusnotes, are you capable of that particular kind of cynicism?

  33. Based on hundreds of testimonies, it seems obvious that the object of China putting minority people in concentration camps (almost always on trumped up charges or no charges at all), is to:

    – leave the detainees either dead or broken and dysfunctional shells,
    – reduce the minority population size, as detention prevents detainees having children and, in any event, the fear of having children removed makes having children not worthwhile,
    – destroy indigenous culture and remake any minority people who are lucky enough to survive and reproduce have no identity separate from the Han majority,
    – to put the fear of God into other minority people, and
    – through the above, tighten the grip of the Xi dictatorship.

    The treatment of other minorities, such as smashing up of Kaifeng Jew synagogues as well as the detention of Muslim minorities that have not produced an actual “bona fide” terrorist makes it clear to me, at least, that the “War on Terrorism” is a cover for the much more sinister objects outlined above.

  34. Yes J-D I am not cynical enough to think that the Aussie policy is the deliberate, pointless extermination and torture of these people. This is not their policy goal, and deterrence is not their goal either – they know it doesn’t work, which is why they are turning boats back and not reporting it to the Australian people (it is impossible to know how many migrants they have drowned at sea). It’s a sham, which they are maintaining for electoral purposes because it’s popular with people like Hugo. If it had a policy purpose they would say so and their other actions (e.g. turning boats back) would be consistent with that policy purpose. Of course a lot of them are more than happy to see poor foreigners harmed, it’s a feature not a bug, but they would drop the whole thing tomorrow if they thought it would improve their electoral chances – they aren’t committed to this policy for any other reason. If you think you have a better reason for their actions – including cruelty for its own sake – then I’m all ears. But remember it has to be consistent with the entire sweep of their policy actions and public statements.

    Regarding China’s actions in Xinjiang, yes I am not cynical enough to believe the govt is lying about its reasons. This is a govt that openly admitted to harvesting organs from prisoners in 2014. The govt has a clear, long-standing policy on minorities which I know – from my knowledge of what actually happens in China, and my contacts with minorities in and from China – that they actually adhere to. That policy includes special benefits and protections for minority groups. I also know that the govt has no special animus against other muslim groups such as the Hui. I also have met Uyghur who proudly proclaim they are Uyghur (in China, in Chinese, to Chinese people) and you see it all the time on Tik Tok (for example) or Weibo or mame; it’s a matter of pride to Uyghur that they are Uyghur. They wouldn’t be doing that in China in Chinese to Chinese people if there was a genuine policy of extermination or cultural destruction as Hugo claims. Also, contra Hugo, just try telling a Chinese person that Uyghur aren’t Chinese and see where it gets you. Unlike Hugo I know what the Chinese govt’s policy on minorities is, and their behavior in Xinjiang would be completely inconsistent with the policies they’re following everywhere else if it were consistent with Hugo’s ideas. I also know that a lot of what Hugo is saying isn’t true, and that a lot of the information he gets is straight-up lies from regime change proponents in right-wing think tanks in America. I also know that there is a long-standing terrorism problem in Xinjiang that was very bad in 2009, and that until 3 years ago the western media were singing the praises of China’s behavior there as a model of how to stop terrorism without war. So yes, given all of this information it is clear to me that the Chinese government’s actions in Xinjiang are consistent with their stated reasons for the actions, and are not repression for its own sake as Hugo claims.

    You also won’t find me saying that Guantanamo Bay is an electoral strategy. Dubya really believed in what he was doing there, and all his actions were consistent with the stated policy of holding prisoners and torturing them until they gave up information, with no regard for their welfare and no plan for an exit policy. In general, govts do what they say they’re going to do, and Australia’s detention camps are a rare example of a govt action that has no grounding in any policy aims that the govt is pursuing.

  35. hix – thanks for sharing a vulnerability at crooked timber. If we all did the world would be a much better place.

  36. I’ve been a loner, and a slacker too. But snapback wont allow for “when individuals can “opt out” of a collective activity for a few rounds, it can help maintain cooperation and diversity in a population and protect the group against parasitic individuals”.

    “Out-of-Sync ‘Loners’ May Secretly Protect Orderly Swarms

    “Studies of collective behavior usually focus on how crowds of organisms coordinate their actions. But what if the individuals that don’t participate have just as much to tell us?

    “But previous work in game theory has shown that when individuals can “opt out” of a collective activity for a few rounds, it can help maintain cooperation and diversity in a population and protect the group against parasitic individuals. Ongoing modeling work in Tarnita’s lab has hinted at something similar.

    “If this is what’s happening, then it’s a really interesting strategy — to preserve not any particular aggregate but to preserve the social behavior itself,” Tarnita said.

    “We’ve spent a long time trying to understand how things synchronize,” Tarnita said. “No one has really been [as] interested in the single cells that don’t seem to do anything, or the lazy ants, or the wildebeests that for some reason decide not to migrate, or the locusts that peel off. We’ve just never really paid attention.”

    “Maybe now we are.”
    https://www.quantamagazine.org/out-of-sync-loners-may-secretly-protect-orderly-swarms-20200521/

    40% of Worker Ants Are Actually Lazy Slackers, But They Have Their Reasons
    https://www.sciencealert.com/many-worker-ants-are-actually-lazy-slackers-but-there-s-a-good-reason-for-that

  37. Contra faustusnotes’ bilge, the evidence that the prime object of Xi Jinping’s dictatorship is to tighten its grip is abundant and continually growing. I’m unclear how any of this could be a surprise, since concentrating wealth, power and status has been the totalitarian raison d’être since time immemorial. The dictatorship is not even bothering to hide its intentions in some cases, such as the bizarre and Orwellian social credit system:

    Millions of Chinese nationals have been blocked from booking flights or trains as Beijing seeks to implement its controversial “social credit” system, which allows the government to closely monitor and judge each of its 1.3 billion citizens based on their behaviour and activity.

    The system, to be rolled out by 2020, aims to make it “difficult to move” for those deemed “untrustworthy”, according to a detailed plan published by the government this week.

    It will be used to reward or punish people and organisations for “trustworthiness” across a range of measures.

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/china-social-credit-system-flight-booking-blacklisted-beijing-points-a8646316.html

  38. Svante, I assume you have seen this… via per capita newsletter.

    “This business of profiting from the poor needs to stop

    Waste of public spending
    Sending these newly unemployed workers to jobactive is a waste of public spending because repeated government reviews have revealed that it does not help most people get jobs. To make matters worse, there is a vast amount of evidence about how the jobactive model, and those that preceded it, do more harm than good. In fact, their main role is to police the poor by making sure they are job searching hard enough.”
    https://croakey.org/this-business-of-profiting-from-the-poor-needs-to-stop/

    I am following up on the private equity owners of APM,  a terrible omission from…
    https://percapita.org.au/our_work/redesigning-employment-services-after-covid-19/

  39. faustusnotes, my default assumption is that sometimes what governments say about their policy goals is straightforwardly true, but sometimes it straightforwardly isn’t, while sometimes it’s more complicated. Do you think that’s too cynical?

    If you start by looking at what the Australian government says about its purposes, it says that the purpose of its policy of immigration detention is to deter people from trying to reach Australia by boat (without prior permission). Do you have a reason for not accepting that statement of intent?

    This is a govt that openly admitted to harvesting organs from prisoners in 2014.

    You seem to be reasoning that a government which does monstrous things without compunction and then admits it would not, therefore, hold back from admitting every monstrous thing it does. But it seems to me to be sensible to reason that a government which is capable of doing monstrous things and admitting them frankly would also be capable of doing monstrous things and lying about them. Do they contradict themselves? Very well then, they contradict themselves. They are large, they contain multitudes. (I paraphrase Emerson.) People sometimes telling the truth about their own actions and sometimes lying about them is such routine behaviour that it would be surprising not to find governments doing it.

    Your reasoning about Chinese government policy doesn’t seem, as far as I can tell, to allow for the possibility that the Chinese government doesn’t have a single constantly maintained consistent attitude towards minorities, but rather behaves in different and even inconsisten ways in different instances. I don’t know of any reason to exclude the possibility that the Chinese government in some instances concedes special privileges to minority groups and yet also, in other instances, engages in persecution and repression of minority groups. I am not currently in a position to present conclusive evidence that either of these things is true, but they are the kinds of things which could both easily be true. If you assure me that you are confident of your own knowledge that one of them is true and the other isn’t, I don’t feel that your assurance is sufficient basis for me to draw a conclusion.

  40. Depressingly, today’s news again confirms my thesis, with Beijing announcing it will ram through law in Hong Kong to give effect to Article 23 of the Basic Law, which prohibits nefarious things such as “subversion”.

    I surmise that the not-too-distant future for Hong Kong residents is mass detention, murder, rape, starvation and torture until every last scintilla of independent thought is stamped out. Hong Kong is the next Xinjiang.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/may/21/china-proposes-controversial-national-security-law-for-hong-kong

  41. https://www.yahoo.com/news/a-pandemic-of-conspiracy-theories-spreads-across-the-internet-and-around-the-world-195903321.html

    And why are so many “implausible” theories and bad information about the coronavirus spreading not only in the USA but around the world?

    Because the dominate narrative aöout what is happening leaves just as much out and spreads just as much untruth as everyone elses narrative about what is happening.

    But those who disseminate the dominate narrative have to counter the other narratives by calling the other narratives deragatory names. If the people who disseminate the dominate narrative can not maintain their supreamacy at what they do they will lose their jobs.

  42. If you start by looking at what the Australian government says about its purposes, it says that the purpose of its policy of immigration detention is to deter people from trying to reach Australia by boat (without prior permission). Do you have a reason for not accepting that statement of intent?

    I apologise. I find on reviewing the foregoing exchanges that you did offer exactly such a reason, namely, that the policy doesn’t have the stated deterrent effect and that they know it doesn’t. But I think you underestimate people’s ability to convince themselves of the truth of a statement which to others seems palpably false. You are sure that it does not deter, but that’s not enough to establish that the same conclusion is clear to the Australian government. You state that they are turning boats back and not reporting it (which may be true, but if they’re not reporting it, how do you know?), but it’s entirely possible that they are aware that they are turning boats back but at the same time believe that if not for the strict immigration detention policy there would be even more boats (after all, these two statements do not in fact contradict each other, so it is possible for them both to be true).

  43. Yes the dissemination of supposed information in societies around the world actually always has been nothing more than the dissemination of sewage poseing as information. People can not even recongnize that the information flow is largely sewage because they have seen so little truth in their life times that they can not recognize it when they see it. Yet the sewage seems to be more concentrated now than ever before.
    Someone mentioned to me why bother to question the level of sewage that we are fed because there is nothing that we can do about it anyways. The person added romatic notions of revolution are totally obsolete. To get involved in politics is to make yourself a piece of firewood for those that are in control of the politcal cults that engage in political work. Even if the revolution were to succeed the survivors will come to recognize in a very short time that they have only replaced one corrupt boss for a new corrupt boss.
    At that time,I thought to myself, but did not say, it is even more complex than that because without Platonic Confuscian, Paineful, training people will not be able to tell the difference between an uncorruptable and a corrupt leader anyways.
    Now I realize that it is even more complex than that. Becuase once you have completed Platonic, Confuscian Plainful training you recognize that Platonic Confuscian Paineful training can mean anything that you want it to. Those naked emporers that come out on top are the ones that can create the most fabulsous imaginary clothing in the minds of their subjects to gain the awe of thier subjects.

  44. If you start working for IFO you know who you are working for and you know you get your money with certain expectations.The big German econ research institutes all got their institutional biases built in beyond Unsinns personality escapades and the general right wing bias of economics. The structure of Ifo in terms of where the money comes from also has changed under Unsinn with more money comeing from “policy adivce”. It´s not even something secret, there is no serious pretense of neutral reserach , the problem is just that unsurprsing, there are much more econ research institutes with a right wing than with a left wing bias, since that´s where the money is, or in that case also the local government. You know it is Bavaria, there has not been a left wing government here since, well since never. Basically the only real left wing one would be the union institute, the IW, but its a rather safe bet that any other one besides the one run by the employers is less right wing.

  45. J-D, I’m pretty sure that even if it were true that the government believed the policy deterred boats and saved lives that wouldn’t be the reason they follow it since they don’t care about these peoples’ lives – having them drown at sea would not be a concern for our govt at all provided it cost them nothing. So no, it’s not possible that deterring poor foreigners from risking their lives is a motivating policy. It’s performative, and the excuse they trot out about saving lives is done to wedge the ALP and to appease the tut-tut racists like Henry Clarke.

    J-D, the Chinese govt does have a consistent and reasoned policy towards minorities and only deviates from it for reasons with specific policy goals, such as cracking down on drug trafficking in Yunnan or fighting terorrism in Xinjiang. The alternative, presented by Hugo, that they do it because they’re genocidal, is completely inconsistent with both their behavior towards minorities generally, the freedom with which Uyghur and other minorities in China express their culture throughout the nation, and the poverty reduction programs the Chinese govt has implemented throughout minority areas in China. You can’t square that circle.

    Hugo, I note that every time you are shown to be wrong you just cough up a new lie. About HK, are you going to address the racist violence of the demonstrators? Burning people alive, stoning them, beating them with iron bars, openly advocating racist violence against mainlanders. What should the Chinese govt do about that? How many demonstrators have the police killed? What would happen to a protest movement in Oz that set people alight in the streets?

    I know you won’t answer questions because you aren’t actually concerned about Chinese people ,you’re just a racist. You’ll just shift to a new complaint.

  46. faustusnotes & J-D.

    I have not seen so many words spilt with so few calls for citations. J-D?

    Example – faustusnotes, going by the amount of words and detail on the sewer, you will obviously, easily, provide ANY reference for;

    “the freedom with which Uyghur and other minorities in China express their culture throughout the nation,”

    … which makes it aound like morris dancers in the UK.

    faustusnotes, are you a sock puppet or a bot, because if you are a real person, you’ve provided plenty of flow for the sewer.

    JUST ONE piece of verifiable information faustusnotes, aside from your thoughts. Please.

  47. KT2, I’m not sure why I should have to prove that minorities in China are free to express themselves and say who they are and where they come from – I’ve experienced it myself, but you wouldn’t believe me, so why should I bother? Would you ask for proof that Chinese in Japan are free to express their culture and their origin throughout the nation? What a ridiculous demand. Nonetheless, this is hardly a secret: here is a CGTN special on Uygur in Beijing, and if you bother to investigate you can find more information.

    I have been asking Hugo to explain how he got the number of interred Uyghur for the duration of this comment thread, but he won’t. Why aren’t you asking him to verify anything? Surely the charge of mass incarceration requires some proof? If you’re going to claim that a million people are being imprisoned on the basis of nothing more than a policy of cultural destruction don’t you think you should have some proof?

    Everything else I have said on here is easily verified. The Chinese government’s policy on minorities is well known; the violence against mainland Chinese in Hong Kong is easily accessible information. This article from 2014 explains the racial hatred within the umbrella movement, and here is a report on the man set on fire. The other violence – the consistent low level street violence targeted at mainlanders – is not reported in western media, and you need to go digging through twitter or social media to find it. Why do you think it is that western media aren’t reporting racist street violence in this movement, KT2? Do you think people like Hugo have a responsibility to be aware of this before they go around spreading propaganda for a fascist movement?

    Also, why does pointing out that the claims Hugo makes are unsupported, observing that the people he cites are known frauds, or observing that there are Uygur throughout China who are able to admit where they are from and who they are, mean I am contributing to this sewer? I haven’t demanded any nations be sanctioned or blockaded, haven’t advocated for the break up of a sovereign nation, and haven’t called any govenrment fasicst.

  48. Sigh. Here we go again. KT2 asks faustusnotes:

    faustusnotes, are you a sock puppet or a bot, because if you are a real person, you’ve provided plenty of flow for the sewer. JUST ONE piece of verifiable information faustusnotes, aside from your thoughts. Please.

    Faustusnotes responds with …. drum roll … a Chinese Communist Party run CGTN propaganda article featuring smiling Uyghur waving communist flags!

    During this discussion, over several threads, I have linked to almost a dozen articles from reputable sources, such as the BBC, that detail:

    * the mass incarceration of Uyghur, Kazakh and other minority people in numerous massive concentration camps that are readily visible from satellite and which continue to expand
    * how even official CCP documents admit in official reports to half a million children being detained in detention camps euphemistically labelled “boarding schools”. Many of these children have no hope of ever seeing their parents again.
    * how satellites show the concentration camps being extensively made over before media tours, such as the removal of surveillance towers and grass being laid on top of marshalling areas
    * the many testimonies of Uyghur, Kazakh etc folk who have been chained, raped, starved, bashed, tortured and forced to take unknown medications in the camps (Faustusnotes has responded by calling the whistleblowers liars)
    * how even tiny and innocuous minorities, such as the Kaifeng Jews, are having their synagogues smashed and how these people live in constant fear of the authorities

    There are many other things I haven’t yet mentioned, such as the readily documented Pair Up and Become Family policy whereby ethnic minorities are forced to have in their very own homes 1.1 million Han Chinese party loyalists! The cultural annihilation aspect of this policy is detailed in this article.
    https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/11/uninvited-guests-watch-china-uighur-homes-181130052259651.html

    As to the number of Uyghur and other ethnic minorities housed in concentration camps, I have merely used the figures commonly reported by academics, activists and media outlets like the BBC, ABC as well as other outlets that are generally viewed favourably by the left, such as Al Jazeera. It is simply impossible for faustusnotes, myself or any other commentator to genuinely know the true figure unless we have magic powers. The best we can do is decide who we trust more, and in faustusnotes’ case that is the propaganda organs of the Chinese Communist Party!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s