Monday Message Board

Back again with another Monday Message Board.

Post comments on any topic. Civil discussion and no coarse language please. Side discussions and idees fixes to the sandpits, please. If you would like to receive my (hopefully) regular email news, please sign up using the following link. You can also follow me on Twitter @JohnQuiggin, at my Facebook public page   and at my Economics in Two Lessons page

71 thoughts on “Monday Message Board

  1. Distopian uber markets
    Says luke mcavenna 🌝(@rhythmnation)

    “OMG $75 for an Uber to work which is in The Same Suburb I live in!! Think I’ll walk. Better leave now! #notrains#trainstrike #sydney – oh and it just started raining. #FMD”

    Wow. Uber wow.

    This will be interesting, as much as for train safety and operations, as for voters upcoming choice in the election. Depending on what (ab)news you consume of course.

    “NSW passenger train network halted as dispute between rail union, state government flares up

    ” RTBU NSW Secretary, Alex Claassens, said staff turned up to work this morning prepared to take part in low-level protected industrial action, which would not have impacted commuters, only to be told by management that trains would not be running today. 

    “Workers were prepared to take protected industrial action, but only transport management would have noticed the impact, not commuters,” he said.

    “The impact to services today is not because of workers’ actions, but because the NSW government is spitting the dummy and trying to make a point. 

    “We’re ready to drive the trains whenever the NSW government will let us.”

  2. Uber is what you get for failing to expand the number of taxi licenses. Taxi licenses owe their value to deprivation. Like the capital value of a slave used to. We should have had an industry policy to guide the taxi industry to more licenses, even if it meant taking the taxi industry out of the tax system for a couple of decades. Its actually very cruel to attack a persons capital value, and their cash flow at the same time. Without giving them some relief to their indebtedness. Hence an industry policy was more or less mandatory. But we didn’t do it and now we have this uber mess, with much value in the hands of foreigners.

  3. Australia’s dill economists demand record-breaking immigration
    By Unconventional Economist in Australian Economy, Immigration at 11:40 am on February 21, 2022 | 17 comments

    ..You will notice that only the economists calling for lower immigration bother to mention the costs of immigration, including:

    Increased strains on infrastructure and housing;
    Increased environmental damage and greenhouse gas emissions;
    Forcing people to live in smaller and more expensive housing (e.g. high-rise apartments);
    Reduced quality of life (e.g. having less green space, more time lost in traffic);
    Higher unemployment and lower wage growth; and
    Reduced productivity (mostly because of infrastructure pressures).
    None of these costs are ever mentioned by the proponents of big migration, who only ever talk up the vague benefits of having a bigger economy, a slightly (and temporarily) younger population, and a bigger Commonwealth tax take (while ignoring the negative financial impacts on state governments and private citizens).

    It seems the notion of performing rigorous cost-benefit-analysis goes missing whenever immigration is concerned. Why is that?

    It’s not like the prior 15 years of extreme immigration were successful from either a per capita growth or productivity standpoint. They were abysmal. So why would economists want to repeat the mistakes again?

    Here are 15 economists and institutions that actually grasp the facts of the great immigration experiment that are ignored by a clearly biased Peter Martin, a long-term mass immigration extremist:

    Victoria University
    University College of London
    Bank of England and Cambridge University
    Professor Bill Mitchell
    Property Council modelling
    Productivity Commission modelling
    Professor Ross Garnaut
    Professor Judith Sloan
    Economist Gerard Minack
    Economist Chris Joye
    RMIT public policy professor David Hayward
    CBA head of Australian economics Gareth Aird
    ANZ economist Daniel Gradwell
    Economist Stephen Koukoulas
    Economist and former Liberal leader John Hewson

    Economics truly is the “dismal science”.

    John Quiggin 190,000 is not enough-
    Doesn’t make much difference in economic terms.
    But as pandemic has shown restricting movement imposes big costs on people. Justified to save lives, not because we’re worried about traffic congestion or baselessly about jobs.
    Affiliation:The University of Queensland

    Population: Numbers and faces AUGUST 5, 2010

    …There is no easy answer to this question, and the wishful thinking displayed by advocates of a Big Australia does not help to resolve it.

    A bit more on population APRIL 7, 2010

    Before we take such a decision, we should have good reason to think that the net costs imposed on the community as a whole by increased migration justifies the loss of freedom involved in every individual refusal of admission.

    JQ, what else changed over the last twelve years from Krudd’s Big Australia boost and Juliar’s fake Big Australia immigration reduction vow as the world beating sky-high rates of Australian net overseas migration climbed and climbed and climbed and its adverse population effects caused the situation of the majority of Australian residents and their environment to sink and sink and sink and their number in opposition to Big Australia to continuously rise to be at this time around a solid two-thirds majority? What else other than that oligarchies with vested interests and big money and their pwned shills now have an even louder voice than ever while the ordinary citizen’s large majority repeated cry of “enough” is not heard at all by ‘representative democracy’ lazy pwned State power on the take?

  4. Uber is weird. Never made any money, despite all. Some sinkhole of waste there. My guess is if they would fire 80% of the overpaid people invention new abusive strategies, profits should rise along with the companies reputation.

  5. Spike protien,  spike in infections. Low vaccine rates around the world need addressing asap. Please remove IP protections and take vax profits and build capacity elsewhere. And think of the still at risk groups. Much schadenfreude. 

    Surveillance good in Norway but it upsets me that the note “b” below lumps together Europe & Norway. Facebook & Google are way better at slicing and dicing data.

    This note from Figure f1 linked below states;
    “b Returned from travel to Africa or Europe less than 1 week before the party. None of them reported symptoms in the period before the party.” from f1 caption.

    As Ikon keeps saying, another varient may go either way – more deaths or, I hope, less deadly. 

    As Noway”s authorities say in Life in Norway below. .. “the pandemic could return by way of a new variant, so the future remains uncertain. They also advice caution for those in risk groups.”

    Report for above graph.
    “Outbreak caused by the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant in Norway, November to December 2021

    “In late November 2021, an outbreak of Omicron SARS-CoV-2 following a Christmas party with 117 attendees was detected in Oslo, Norway. We observed an attack rate of 74% and most cases developed symptoms. As at 13 December, none have been hospitalised. Most participants were 30–50 years old. Ninety-six percent of them were fully vaccinated. These findings corroborate reports that the Omicron variant may be more transmissible, and that vaccination may be less effective in preventing infection compared with Delta. ”

    How time and Omicron flies in Norway – Dec 2021 restrictions – Feb 2022 no restrictions. Now UK and very soon Australia. And still about 14%;avg vaccination across African continent. 

    “National coronavirus rules in Norway
    “On 12 February, Norway’s prime minister Jonas Gahr Støre announced that virtually all Covid-19 rules and recommendations are no longer in force.”

    ” However, authorities cautioned that the pandemic could return by way of a new variant, so the future remains uncertain. They also advice caution for those in risk groups.”

  6. My title:
    “Fences against the hoi polloi”(^1)
    “The ordinary citizen is a relatively powerless subject of manipulation by those entities.” C. Wright Mills (^2.)

    “High crimes and cabals

    “The official definition of corruption – the abuse of public office for private gain – does little to capture the reality

    by Sudhir Chella Rajan

    “… clues as to how exclusive networks of power manage to stay entrenched across regimes over extended periods.

    The sociologist C Wright Mills in 1956 provided one of the clearest vistas of grand corruption in the United States, although he did not call it by that name. He characterised it as the ‘power elite’, a tight network of politicians, corporate executives, military brass, and their interlocking connections with the police, armed forces and organised crime, to maintain order through violence. By occupying ‘strategic command posts of the social structure’, members of the power elite control ‘the effective means of power and wealth and the celebrity they enjoy’. They extend their legacies to their immediate progeny but also inculcate private clubs of upper-class society as they do so. 
    (^1.)…These clubs act as fences against the hoi polloi, 
    … but they also become hubs of admiration and are emulated at lower levels of authority. What is especially interesting about Mills’s portrayals of the power elite is that, more than simply describing the deceit of individuals, he characterised social processes. These turn out to be the emergent effects of sustained interactions across several generations among these members of interlocking elites to build routines, languages (or ‘discourses’) and expectations for the rest of US society.”…

    “The Power Elite is a 1956 book by sociologist C. Wright Mills, in which Mills calls attention to the interwoven interests of the leaders of the military, corporate, and political elements of society and suggests that the ordinary citizen is a relatively powerless subject of manipulation by those entities.”

  7. I’m in favor of a balanced ZPG program. In other words, for Australia, immigration plus refugee intake plus births should approximately equal emigration plus deaths. Australia is the driest populated continent. Only Antarctica is drier. Australia is a very hot and arid continent with severe ecological problems. These problems will only get progressively worse with further climate change. A population growth policy is a recipe for long term disaster. We need to consolidate ourselves with sustainable development and a stable population. That is the only way to secure our long term future against ecological and climate change dangers.

    Apparent strategic imperatives for a large population for Australia are basically a mirage. These supposed imperatives are economic and military. I call these imperatives a mirage because we can never get anywhere near as big as the “big boys”. It would be futile for us to try. On the other hand, the imperative to become and remain sustainable is immediate and realistic. Ultimately, having a sustainable footprint will lead to the best possible economy. As for larger problems, like the northern hemisphere continuing attempted endless growth or starting WW3, well there is simply nothing a minnow like Australia can do about that. We are a minnow at 25 million and we would still be a minnow at 50 million. Australia with even 50 million would be an impoverished continent with severe shortages and completely unsustainable.

    JQ says: “But as pandemic has shown restricting movement imposes big costs on people. Justified to save lives, not because we’re worried about traffic congestion or baselessly about jobs.”

    I disagree that the jobs concern is basless. It appears our economy runs better without big influxes and effluxes of people. This has been the experience of the pandemic. Unemployment has fallen. Labor has regained some influence against capital. The large immigration program is a deliberate attack on labor power and a program to lower wages and utilize exploited immigrant labor, often in illegal ways.

    It is possible to be too open internationally just as it is possible to be too closed. We need to shift the setting back to a ZPG balance which also protects Australia against endless re-introductions of dangerous variants of this pandemic and of the other dangerous novel zoonosis pandemics which will certainly come. We have entered a new era when pandemics and environmental / climate collapse are becoming serious existential threats. The way we do business and people movements will have to change greatly. If not we will go extinct. It’s as simple as that.

  8. Rename Akex Hawke’s electorate “Boomerang”. And vote him out!

    Aboriginal fluid dynamics! The namesake of Hawke’s electorate Thomas Michell, named his screw propeller design (inspiration?) ‘boomerang’.

    Use the boomerang as an inspiration for students of  engineering as an example of fluid dynamics and lateral thinking of aboriginals, before whitees.

    “Story of the “bomerang” propeller
    “The search for a method of screw propulsion of ships intrigued many inventors during the latter half of the 18th century and the beginning of the 19th. An Englishman, K. P. Smith, patented a screw propeller in 1836, and shortly afterwards Captain John Ericsson, formerly an officer of the Swedish army, patented another.

    “On his travels, Mitchell must have been evolving the idea of his boomerang propeller—he spelled it “bomerang”, while newspapers used “bomarang” and “boomerang.” The first test was made in the Sydney Harbour in May 1852, an iron propeller being fitted to the “screw-steamer” Keera. The results of this trial were considered satisfactory,. ..”

    “Alex Hawke: The political animal who became Morrison’s machine man

    “A political animal through and through, he has always played the game hard – which is what makes him such a useful right-hand man to Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

    “But he’s a guy who is absolutely mesmerised by the transactional elements of politics and power. He’s just cut adrift from any kind of philosophical ballast.”
    [a robot then]

  9. The uber is just a scam version seems also way overstated to me. Low margin here or there, there is monopoly power to such a platform. Not Facebook level or anything like that, still enough. Switching to another provider is not that trivial. Uber should be makeing good money. The most curious thing to me about uber rather seems just what the hell uber is still spending all the money on. The scam story rings partialy true insofar is it is not obvious at all to me if uber investors will ever get a decent return even after uber has established a monopoly.

  10. Today, the Independent Planning Commission NSW (IPCN) published the transcript of the public hearing conducted on Friday (Feb 18) re the proposed SSD-10269 Narrabri Underground Mine Stage 3 Extension Project.

    Click to access 220218-narrabri-underground-mine-stage-3-public-hearing-transcript-day-2.pdf

    From pages 7 through to 14 contains the presentation by and discussions with the Commissioners from former Australian Chief Scientist (Nov 2008 to Mar 2011), Professor Penny Sackett. From the bottom of page 12, Professor Sackett says:

    Okay. I’m nearly done. What I want to say in closing is that for at least a 50 per cent chance of holding warming to the value that we know it’s going to reach, 1.5 degrees, most of the coal that was known in 2018 to be technically and economically feasible to pull up out of the ground has to stay there and this report is a report in nature. I’ve put the link at the top and there’ll be more information in the report that I submit.

    Globally, 89 per cent of coal needs to stay in the ground. Basically, this is another way to stake production gap plot, and in Australia it’s estimated that this should be 95 per cent. Ninety-five, 89, whenever you take, most of the coal known in 2018 needs to stay in the ground.

    But look at this plot. Look at the amount of coal that needs to stay in the ground. In the USA, in the Former Soviet Union, in China and India combined, and what’s that next? What is that next bar? It’s Australia. What Australia does matters on the world level. It is significant, and that’s why what this Commission does matters. Thank you. That’s what I wanted to say.

    My simplified analysis of Australia’s remaining carbon budget:

    * The IPCC AR6 WG1 budget for +2 °C warming with 67% likelihood of success (from 1 Jan 2020) is 1,150 Giga tonnes CO2. (Table SPM.2)

    * Estimated global population (in Feb 2022): ~ 7.9 billion people

    * CO2 emissions share remaining (from 1 Jan 2020): ~ 145.6 tonnes per capita

    * Australia’s annual CO2 emissions in 2020: 15.37 tonnes per capita

    * Australia’s total CO2 emissions budget remaining (from 1 Jan 2021): ~ 130.23 tonnes per capita

    * Depletion time for Australia’s remaining carbon budget at 2020 emissions rate (from 1 Jan 2021): ~ 8.5 years

    Thus, ALL new and extensions of existing projects seeking approval to operate from 2029 and beyond, that will produce significant GHG emissions must now be REFUSED.

  11. 14 February 2022
    Population and climate change

    Population and climate change — full report (PDF)
    by Ian Lowe, Jane O’Sullivan and Peter Cook

    It explores questions such as:
    How is population a key driver of climate change?
    How has population growth contributed to Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions?
    What are the implications of population growth for climate change mitigation and adaptation in poorer countries, compared to the more affluent countries?
    How does the greenhouse gas impact of having fewer children compare with other climate-friendly actions such as eating less meat or avoiding air travel?
    How can population policy be used as part of the actions to avoid catastrophic climate change?
    How will climate change affect the health, safety and growth of populations?
    Why has population been so often ignored in the policy prescriptions for combatting climate change?

    Summarised here:

    February 15, 2022
    Only low-population growth can keep warming below 2 degrees

  12. What a blast! Go Bernie! Feel the burn.

    FEBRUARY 17, 2022
    The Growing Wealth of the Billionaire Class

    Remarks of Senator Sanders on the floor of the Senate, February 16, 2022.

    …These are very difficult times.

    But what I want to say this afternoon is that while working families are struggling these are not difficult times for everybody.

    In fact, I want to start off with some really, really good news – if you are a billionaire or the CEO of a large corporation. For those people, not only is the news really good, but it has never been better.

    …Every day Members of the Senate come to the floor to give congratulatory remarks to the Boy Scouts, the Girl Scouts, 4-H clubs, sports teams and other organizations and individuals who have achieved remarkable success.

    Maybe the time is approaching when we should offer a unanimous resolution congratulating the billionaire class for their enormous success in moving this country into the oligarchic form of society for which they have long desired.

    And, by the way, here’s another area of congratulations to the billionaire class. When we speak about oligarchy we should all understand that never before in American history have so few owned so much. This issue, of the incredible concentration of ownership in our country is almost never talked about in Congress or in the corporate media…

    Unfortunately the time is nearly upon you for oligarch congratulating to likely become and remain mandatory even as your access to knowledge of actual oligarch affairs is increasingly restricted. Congratulating them will be considerably less taxing for all concerned.

  13. “Epidemiologists who warned about a looming COVID invasion in early 2020 is ~akin to security experts (@DAlperovitch @AVindman) who tried to warn about a Russia invasion for last 2 months! Alarmists were right again. To deniers who said this day would never come—go eat your shoe!” – Eric Feigl-Ding.

    Yep, Eric Feigl-Ding is correct again. He has coined the term “precautionary alarmist”. The precautionary alarmists have been consistently correct in the current era. Why? The central reason is exponential unsustainable growth (and competition for the scraps). Exponential unsustainable growth in its last stages pushes everything to unsustainability and to catastrophic impact levels very, very quickly. Precautionary alarmists, following scientific and empirical evidence, are going to be right all the time now. Of course, the reactionary denialists will get worse and worse. They will employ the last resort of every bad loser from upsetting the board, tearing up constitutions to implementing mass violence on whomever they can.

    We face a global emergency in almost every sense you care to name as in;

    (a) climate emergency;
    (b) unsustainability emergency; and
    (c) pandemic(s) emergency;

    Continuing to pretend everything is normal or can ever return to neoliberal BAU normal is completely delusional. We are in a global existential emergency for both human life and all macro life on earth. We need to declare this global existential emergency and start acting like we intend to to something about it. As in a war effort, all available resources need to be put to saving the environment, the biome and humans. Subsidizing anything that does not save the planet will have to be discontinued. All subsidies for fossil fuels and all non-essential and discretionary activities will have to cease. Indeed, not only a cessation of subsidies but new, large Pigovian taxes will need to be implemented on absolutely every non-essential and discretionary economic activity. Nothing less than an all-out effort has any chance of saving us.

  14. Posted at CBS News on Feb 1 was a piece titled A cause of America’s labor shortage: Millions with long COVID, beginning with:

    One of the puzzles of the pandemic economy is the ongoing labor shortage, with business owners struggling to find workers amid the so-called “Great Resignation.” But new research points to another — and more troubling — factor that helps explain the nation’s shrinking workforce: long COVID.

    Katie Bach, a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, suggests:

    …an equivalent of 1.6 million people are missing from the full-time workforce because of the disease, which can leave people incapacitated for months with persistent symptoms including fatigue, brain fog, headaches, memory loss and heart palpitations.

    Every time someone gets infected by COVID-19, they roll the dice for damaging their t-cells (that may not be felt initially). Sooner or later their luck runs out with each re-infection.

  15. Next – miniAUKUS bathtub yellow subs. Free gamma ‘glows in the light too’ stickers”lies ok” “don’t tell your enemies” “Short half life”. That’s it. Short half life.

    Sanction US and military industrial complex. Fund public education and amnesty, and alter constitution.

    Am I allowed to swear. I’ve expleted. Is this real?

    “Specifications aside, the appeal to children is clear: WEE1’s colorful logo comprises two skulls, depicted as a little boy and girl, sucking on pacifiers, and with a gun sight over one eye. The branding “keeps the wow factor with the kids”; the logos come on glow-in-the-dark children’s baseball caps, too.

  16. Geoff Miell,

    Correct. Each time a person catches COVID-19 (even when vaccinated) the dice rolls on death, serious illness and/or long covid (much more serious than the odds for colds and seasonal flu). Each COVID-19 infection causes some irreparable damage even if that damage is hidden. Multiple infections will pile up the damage. Vaccination protection is good, BUT only after 3 doses NOW. Even then, the more breakthrough infections one has, the more the chances are that one will end up seriously impacted. These chances are additive and very likely multiplicative because of persistent damage.

    There is a straightforward concept in statistics known as Gambler’s Ruin. “The term gambler’s ruin is a statistical concept, most commonly expressed as the fact that a gambler playing a game with negative expected value will eventually go broke, regardless of their betting system.” [1] COVID-19 is a dangerous vascular and systemic disease which can cause serious damage throughout all organs and systems of the body. This damage accumulates after infections and reinfections which can even occur as breakthrough infections after vaccination. The jury is still out on how much protection vaccinations provide against long covid. It appears to involve significant but not spectacular protection.

    COVID-19 is still mutating and evolving rapidly. We do not know how bad the next major variant will be or even if it might substantially evade vaccines. But the general trend so far is that each major variant is worse affer allowing for vaccine effects.; Omicron is the worst so far as assessed by total deaths. Both personally and perhaps even as a society, if we take inadequate precautions, we will suffer Gambler’s Ruin in relatively short order from COVID-19. Imagine a roulette game where the roulette wheel keeps mutating before your eyes after every spin to offer worse and worse odds. Would any sane and self-determining person stake his life in such a casino? I think not. Yet, as a society we are staking our lives and nation in such a casino. It is madness and it is leading to disaster.

    1. Wikipedia.

  17. Tragically, it looks as if I was wrong on Putin and Ukraine. He will sat a war very soon the main doubt is about the scale.

    In his weird and resentful speech, Putin sided with Catherine the Great against Lenin, describing political Ukraine as a great Bolshevik mistake. I suggest his own role in he creation of a national Ukrainian civic identity is just as important: in eight years of aggression he has brought together ethnic Ukrainians in the west of the country and ethnic Russians in the east. Zelensky, apparently a native Russian speaker, was elected with 73% of the votes.

    Putin has also created a strong Ukrainian army. The Russian forces massed on Ukraine’s borders are said to be about 150,000, though some estimates go up to 190,000. The Ukrainian armed forces total about 250,000, the army 150,000. That is not the ratio conventionally required for a successful land attack. The USA and its allies twice defeated Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi army with inferior numbers, but they had a large technological edge and complete air supremacy. Russia does have superiority in airplanes and warships, but missiles and American satellite intelligence will make the balance more equal. Whether Putin achieves his tactical objectives or not, the price in Russian lives and matériel will be high. Political success – a docile Ukraine under firm Russian control – is incredibly unlikely.

    The videos released by the Russian army of its manoeuvres suggest a force stuck in the past: lots of tanks and katyushas, as in 1944. Ukraine looks more modern in approach, with plenty of antitank missiles, SAMs and drones. It looks as if they plan a battle of manoeuvre, hopefully not street fighting in the cities.

  18. I doubt a large scale war will result from the Russian move. Possibly a Vietnam or Afghanistan but more likely a Crimea. I don’t think Putin is planning to invade western Europe. His long game seems to be to claw back lost Soviet buffer states in the east. And it’s a magnificent distraction for any incumbent leader that’s flagging a bit in the polls.

  19. James & Patrick,

    Putin has out planned all. 350,000 passports alreasy delivered to 10% of breakaway popn so already Rusian. In Dayn1. The rest will follow or leave. Donbask – done. When were passports printed? Yesterday?

    Territory flat with 5km sightlines. Tanks all the way to towns so street fighting to ‘clean up’ assured. Cyber sight lines? What, Ukraine is going ro have the targeting advantage? I don’t think so. Sky. Russian. Ukraine able to be taken. But not yet.

    Putin will have to deal with the bubushkas who, in a year or so will rise up on the streets and demand Putin cease using dumb youth as cannon fodder whilst they freeze and starve at home.

    Putin will then agree to aome bullahit agreement. Wait 5yrs.

    AND DO THIS AGAIN, as he has been doing since 1994. James, do you agree with my assessment?

    Patrick, I am surprised by your “large scale war”. Do you mean “not us”? Large scale war by such analogy only a world war then.

    And ‘swift’ action. Ha! 2 banks. Gas to Europe. The losers will be the poor freezing to death. More than the counted ‘not large scale war’ deaths. Say 40k military die in the next 2yrs. 14k already but are the official? How many bubushkas and babies, frail, weak orior conditions and covid compromised?

    I’m an optimist mostly. But as with Co2, it just needs a slight dis-equilibrium for disaster. Putin and weak response west provide such a trigger.

    Tell me please I am wrong. JQ?

  20. On the removal of COVID-19 restrictions in the UK, tweeted by Howard Beckett:

    If you are low paid worker with Covid on 2nd April you can:-

    •pay for your own test kit;
    •live for three days without any pay;
    •on day four of being unwell live on statutory sick pay the equivalent of £2.48phr.

    Or go into work & spread the virus to your colleagues.

    A tweet by political commentator Paul Waugh on a comment by UK PM Johnson and comparing sick pay in UK and Germany:

    .@BorisJohnson just said the UK should be more like Germany, where workers don’t have a “habit of going into work when not well”

    Key comparison:
    – Statutory sick pay in Germany 50% pay for 84 weeks.
    – Statutory sick pay in UK is £96.35 per week for 28 weeks.

    It seems to me that the UK is likely to be heading towards a permanent and substantial labour shortage together with an overwhelmed NHS with increasing numbers of chronic ‘long-COVID’ sufferers.

  21. ‘Patrick, I am surprised by your “large scale war”. Do you mean “not us”? Large scale war by such analogy only a world war then.’
    Not sure what you mean by ‘not us’, can’t see Putin moving into Oz any time soon. A large scale war would be bigger than what he’s currently undertaken, probably start by attempting to take more Ukrainian territory and then moving west. Thinking about it ‘large scale’, here means over a very large geopolitical area, crossing borders and having a number of theatres of war.

  22. Vaccine Reverse Jevons Paradox? More information, less knowledge. What is the technical name for this please other than echo chamber effect. Woozle effect? [alt name-Rupert effect] (^1. Below)

    “Characterizing polarization in online vaccine discourse—A large-scale study

    “… Extending this insight, we provide evidence of an epistemic echo chamber effect, where users are exposed to highly dissimilar sources of vaccine information, depending the vaccination stance of their contacts. Our findings highlight the importance of understanding and addressing vaccine mis- and dis-information in the context in which they are disseminated in social networks.”

    “The Woozle effect, also known as evidence by citation,[1] or a woozle, occurs when frequent citation of publications lacking evidence misleads individuals, groups, and the public, and nonfacts become urban myths and factoids.[2]

  23. For those interested and have time and resources available, there’s a free Zoom lecture hosted by the University of Notre Dame, presented by Professor Margaret Somerville, titled We need an Anti ‘Euthanasia Virus’ Vaccine – at Warp Speed, tonight (Wednesday, 23 Feb 2022), beginning at 7pm AEDT.

    Biography on Margaret Somerville AM DSG FRSC DSG at:

    Details on how to gain access to this Zoom lecture at:

    I’m informed that “…the event will not be recorded on this occasion.”

    Unfortunately, I’m unable to attend.

  24. Svante, I haven’t changed my views significantly since 2010. You refer to the ordinary citizens crying “enough”, which is the majority response on aggregate levels. But what about the ordinary citizens who have fallen in love with someone from another country and want to live with them, or who want to take care of their elderly parents, or who want us to take more refugees?

  25. “Only low-population growth can keep warming below 2 degrees”

    But people moving from other countries to Australia don’t increase world population. And they don’t start new coal mines or gas projects that are the biggest single reason for our high emissions per person. The net addition to emissions, if any, would be more than offset if Australians generally did less of the things, like driving, that contribute to emissions. Of course, that wouldn’t be as popular as cutting migration levels.

  26. J.Q.,

    All the things you mention are possible with a zero population growth policy for Australia. The basic equation is:

    Immigrants + Refugees + Asylum seekers + Births = Emigrants + Deaths.

    If this is substantially balanced over five year spans or so (it doesn’t have to balance perfectly every year) this would permit ample flexibility in intakes. The categories and cases you nominate would be amply catered for.

    Transition and stabilization at 25 million would be unrealistic but aiming for stabilization around 30 million would be reasonable, as things stand. Australia not only has to worry about emissions but about water supply, environmental degradation and general sustainability. Certainly, we should drive less. We should also fly internationally less.

    Over-mobility is a serious problem for the world; directly responsible in many ways for spreading this global pandemic. The answer lies is not shutting down entirely of course but it does lie in retrenching or retreating somewhat from excess levels of travel and mobility while improving TTIQM (test, trace, isolate quarantine and mask.) The world has given up on TTIQM for the time being but a variant will almost certainly arise which will force us to readopt these measures.

    International mobility will remain possible but it will need to be more tightly controlled, unless we want to be continually awash with pandemics, plural. Many more pandemics are coming now. It’s essentially another planetary (and population) boundary which we have crossed. The globe’s levels of human population and mobility (pre-pandamic) were not and are not sustainable as in not sustainable without generating continuous, debilitating global pandemics. This pandemic is not a one-off. It’s a forerunner.

  27. +1 “But people moving from other countries to Australia don’t increase world population.”.

    May add to Co2e with all the movement. I assume minor compared to tourism travel.

  28. I’ve now posted this slimmed down version JQ, due to WaPo editorial. I hope you you post something about it.

    Click on this and be scared of using facial recognition for tax.

    WaPo editorial scares me because the ATO uses faces, yours’ has been stolen, I can generate any face anyway, and the WaPo is saying “Washington Post op-ed:  Taxpayers Will Pay an Enormous Price for the IRS Not Using Facial Recognition, by Stewart Baker”. Far right enabler Clearview AI has 10bn of us now. Not me.

    Governments are usually behing the progress curve. This stupidity is getting ahead of it without understanding the power of GAN & AI.

    Facial recognition will enable MORE problems and theft and scamsband fraud. Until we solve for security. Which we haven’t.

    Where is your face?  10bn faces – yours. This may be used for the worst disruption in human history imo. First they came … but first they stole YOUR face. “massive expansion beyond law enforcement”. Your kids too.

     “index of faces” – 10 billion. If you skim this you are doing disservice to the future of humanity.

    And in case you haven’t worked it out yet, I can generate ANY face.
    “GAN 2.0: NVIDIA’s Hyperrealistic Face Generator”
    Also dogs, houses,  horses, concepts – you name it we can generate it.
    “Refresh this crazy website to create new people who don’t exist
    “Here’s what happens when the world’s most advanced face-generating AI is plugged into an easy-to-use website.”

    While we are talking about covid and culture; 
    Clearview AI “said that its “index of faces” has grown from 3 billion images to more than 10 billion since early 2020 and that its data collection system now ingests 1.5 billion images a month…”

    “The facial recognition company Clearview AI is telling investors it is on track to have 100 billion facial photos in its database within a year, enough to ensure “almost everyone in the world will be identifiable,” according to a financial presentation from December obtained by The Washington Post.

    “Those images — equivalent to 14 photos for each of the 7 billion people on Earth — would help power a surveillance system that has been used for arrests and criminal investigations by thousands of law enforcement and government agencies around the world.

    “Facial recognition firm Clearview AI tells investors it’s seeking massive expansion beyond law enforcement .
    Founder if Clearview AI,
    “Hoan Ton-That is an Australian[2]entrepreneur. He is the co-founder and chief executive officer of Clearview AI
    … Going back to at least 2015, Huffington Posthas linked Ton-That with the “far right clique” of Mike Cernovich, Andrew ‘weev’ Auernheimer, and Pax Dickinson, as well as close associates of Peter Thiel, Chuck Johnson and Jeff Giesea. Ton-That and associates worked on projects to advance the far- and alt-right political views, and Johnson posted about using face recognition to identify undocumented immigrants in the United States in early 2017. This group, and others, interacted on a Slack chat set up forWeSearchr[14][15] ”
    Tax prof to WaPo. Like trying to keep Omicron out and enables far right via Clearview AI to steal with impunity.

    Tax prof…
    –  The IRS Wants To Scan Your Face (Jan. 22, 2022)
    – IRS Abandons Plan To Require Taxpayers To Scan Their Face To See Their Tax Returns After Firestorm Of Criticism (Feb. 8, 2022)

    “Washington Post op-ed:  Taxpayers Will Pay an Enormous Price for the IRS Not Using Facial Recognition, by Stewart Baker (Steptoe & Johnson, Washington, D.C.):-

    “[T]he privacy and equity benefits of dropping face recognition are tiny. But the harms are staggering. During the covid emergency, the government lost more than $100 billion to American, Russian, Chinese and Nigerian scammers using stolen American identities. Every day, more victims of identity theft find themselves trapped in a nightmare of lost funds, bad credit and sometimes even criminal charges.”

  29. Ikonoclast misses the point about water supply. The key issue in Australian water policy is the amount of irrigation. Irrigation water use is measured in megalitres and urban water use in kilolitres, a factor of a thousand. Put another way, many an irrigation farm uses as much water as a medium-sized country town or a suburb in a capital city. While there is too much irrigation in Australia for several reasons, water supply should be ignored in debates over immigration.

  30. Alistair Watson,
    It seems to me you have memory loss about the extensive water restrictions throughout most of NSW only a few years ago. I’d suggest a bigger population in a much hotter and drier country in the not too distant future is only going to make adapting to more extensive water scarcity worse.

    With all the ‘fracking’ and mining activities, the local aquifers are being disrupted and polluted.

    Sydney water catchment total capacity is 2,581.85 GL. From Mar 2017, the water level fell from 2,455 GL (95.1%) down to 1,083 GL (41.9%) in Jan 2020, before refilling once the drought broke.

    Many parts of regional NSW were on severe water restrictions in 2018-19 during the tail-end of the drought in eastern Australia. Cities like Orange and Armadale were on Level 5 water restrictions in late 2019.

    The former Australian Chief Scientist (Nov 2008 to Mar 2011), Professor Penny Sackett told the IPCN last Friday (Feb 18), per the hearing transcript on pages 8 & 9:

    Okay. One point five, tiny difference from 1.1. Not so. I should add that this is now virtually inevitable by 2035 based on decisions that we’ve paid in the past. So we are going to see the future that I briefly describe here.

    Once in 30-year heat waves in Australia will now happen every three years, and if you remember back not too long ago to those summer temperatures of 2019 and 2020, well, that will be an average summer. That’s what we have to look forward to in 2035.

    Let’s increase a little bit more to 2 degrees. This, by the way, is beyond the Paris agreement. If we let it go that far, black summer fire weather will be four times more likely. Sydney will be seeing 50 degree days in summer. Ninety-nine per cent of all the world’s coral reefs will be gone, and 13 per cent of the earth’s surface will see complete ecosystem transformation.

    Three degrees or more. Why even talk about such a thing? Why? Because that is where world action, and particularly Australian action, is taking us. Most world ecosystems will be destroyed or heavily damaged. Large areas of the world will be uninhabited and the global economy completely damaged.

    Click to access 220218-narrabri-underground-mine-stage-3-public-hearing-transcript-day-2.pdf

    The northern third of Australia is likely to become unlivable by 2070 with a BAU GHG emissions trajectory (which is the current path that humanity is heading on).

  31. Water is no longer a problem. Our oceans are huge and desalination is a thing. Super power in the form of 10x excess solar, wind, nuclear and whatever else humans can dream up ( low water agriculture, hydroponics etc. ) will make it dirt cheap to produce as much water as we want and send it wherever we want.

  32. Alistair Watson.

    I’ve “missed the point”? I think not. Or perhaps you think the scientists from the Climate Council don’t know what they are talking about.

    “Scientists warn Australia’s water security threatened by climate change –
    Scientists are urging the Australian government to protect the diminishing water supply to southern Australia.”

    One of the problems of your argument is that you conflate major city water supply basins with major irrigation water supply basins. They are not the same in most cases. Water is not easily, practicably or economically transportable between major basins.

    “The report states Australia’s most populated cities will be among the areas hardest hit in coming decades, with the declining rainfall resulting in a reduced water supply.” – Water security report.

    So I would say you are wrong according to the science. City water supply should not be ignored in debates over immigration. Water supply is very limited in Australia’s southern capitals and climate change will exacerbate matters.

  33. The difficulty that NATO has in dealing with the existential threat that Putin now poses is this: NATO is an all for one, and one for all, type of defensive arrangement. Putin can only be stopped with military force, and clearly it would be disastrous if one of the countries providing that military force was a nuclear power; since the US is the largest, or as good as the largest, nuclear power in the world, the fact that they are part of NATO means none of the NATO countries can directly engage Putin as part of a unified European military force. The non-NATO countries that are now cut off from the rest of Europe, thanks to being squeezed between Russia/Ukraine one one side, and a fence line of NATO alliance countries on the other side, they are fair game for Putin because, hey, what can the rest of (non-NATO) Europe do about it? They would have to send military forces by plane, or train, or by truck, through and over NATO countries. You can bet that Putin would claim that meant NATO was actually in the fight.

    So, how can NATO countries respond to this? If they were to dissolve NATO, then Putin wins, even if he doesn’t proceed with further conflict. If they allow one or more countries to temporarily relinquish NATO membership, so they can join the fight against Putin (and, sadly, against Russia), then they had better have concealed this intention from Putin until the very last second, and they better have strong offensive capability.

    Putin has the luxury of knowing he isn’t ever in fear of losing office through some election cycle. He can nibble away at the Ukraine, knowing that NATO cannot respond militarily, without creating a hot war between two nuclear powers. NATO can’t even provide military forces to non-NATO countries, for the moment they are attacked, it brings a hot war to one of nuclear superpowers. In short, NATO in its current manifestation is hamstrung, and *even worse* it physically prevents other non-NATO European countries from coming to the aid of Ukraine, and blocking Putin from destroying other small non-NATO Eastern European countries.

    At every turn, people have been hoping that Putin’s ambition is limited. But, that is denialism, quite frankly. Putin has carved a path for significantly more than Ukraine falling under Russia’s control. It is worth noting that Putin’s concern of NATO being right up against Russia’s borders is somehow a threat to Russia, is the *justification* he is using to invade a country that, is, *right up against* Russia’s border! A non-NATO country at that.

    My personal feeling is that Putin has computed all of this, and Putin knows that in a rules-based international order, he is holding most of the cards. In perverse sense, the US being a nuclear power actually weakens NATO, rather than strengthening it. Quite a lemon to suck on, as creator of the NATO alliance.

    Given the address that Putin recently gave, he has quite deliberately crossed the Rubicon. There are no non-military actions significant enough to curtail him, short of a total blockade of both supplies and of goods to and from the Russian nation. The deprivation that would cause to largely innocent Russian civilians would be immense, for even China would probably baulk at taking up the slack and endlessly helping Russia to avoid economic ruin. Even if the will was there to do this, how would it actually work? How would non-military action do this?

    I hat war. I hate the totalitarians who are so intent on total domination of other people, countries, etc. Thing is, totalitarians share one trait: they never stop. You kill them, or you kill their military, or both. You won’t stop them with sanctions.

    So, what alternative path that isn’t magical thinking is there, for avoiding war and somehow saving the Ukraine from Putin? Note: most Russians are like most of us; they won’t be looking for a fight, not unless they are fed a bunch of propaganda, and goaded into it. In that, they are pretty much the same as any people, anywhere. If Putin chose to live in peace with European neighbours, he would get that peace. Not any more.

    We have no shortage of would-be totalitarians. It is the bane of humanity.

  34. Alistair Watson,
    The Australian Academy of Science published on 31 Mar 2021 their report titled The risks to Australia of a 3°C warmer world, that included on pages 51 & 52 a section headlined Climate change and water in Australia, beginning with:

    Australia is the world’s driest inhabited continent. While the water cycle is always variable, climate change will impact water resources in multiple ways: southern Australia at 3°C will be hotter, drier and more water stressed. These stresses will have impacts on water security, availability, quality, economies, human health and ecosystems.

    Table 2 on page 30 shows annual temperature, rainfall and evapotranspiration changes at end of century for different climate scenarios (RCP2.6 low; RCP8.5 high scenarios).

    I’d suggest we ignore water supply and water security at our peril (including in debates about Australian immigration).

  35. I think it obvious that my comment implies that there should be less irrigation in Australia. Over 70 per cent of water extracted for rivers is used for irrigation. The appropriate amount of immigration is a separate question. In terms of population, Australia is well endowed with water even if a lot of it is in the wrong place at the wrong time.

  36. JQ (220223 11:14AM), thanks, but on population I’ve seen you present only ideological rhetorical arguments, never logical argument backed by evidence, and never with reference to the overwhelming body of apparently inconvenient facts. Concerning your apparent view that Australian population size is of no matter, and that you support racing fast toward that undefined heavily populated state through massive permanent and compounding “temporary” migration, and, it must be said, through massive ponzi edu-migration, do you believe you, your employer, or your colleagues and their employers and their industry groups backing such views do so without conflict of interest? The Conversation, so called, no doubt rather wary by now of being queried on its and their business and economy editor Peter Martin’s conflicts of interest allowed no commentary below the ponzi population extremist’s article yet they did not prevent that query being raised frequently in linked media. The academic landscape has certainly changed over recent times.

    “Svante, I haven’t changed my views significantly since 2010. You refer to the ordinary citizens crying “enough”, which is the majority response on aggregate levels.”

    C’mon prof, the aggregated majority is the majority! What happened to mundane democracy, to representative democracy? Is minority rule ok perhaps when against the wishes of the majority it is systematically executed consistently over decades in support of the vested interests of certain moneyed and other elite beneficiaries?

    JQ, you have changed your view. Back then you were critical of the wishful thinking displayed by advocates of a Big Australia. You “Considered in terms of aggregate numbers, we would be better off, economically, socially and environmentally, with a slower rate of population growth.” Now you want Big Australia ponzi migration rates supercharged higher than ever. You say “190,000 is not enough” backed by an unsubstantiated and strange claim that it “Doesn’t make much difference in economic terms” which begs the question of why do it when economics blather is most often given as the prime reason to do it? You may not worry about traffic congestion, but for most in most Australian capital cities most of the time it has gone beyond worry to sick-making and the economic costs are enormous. Who other than an economist on a mission would say worry about jobs is baseless when a set of main reasons for and evident outcomes of ponzi Big Australia migration are suppression of wages, working conditions, worker solidarity, and increased insecurity and fear in the workplace?

    “But what about the ordinary citizens who have fallen in love with someone from another country and want to live with them, or who want to take care of their elderly parents, or who want us to take more refugees?”

    The first are a minority used as a red herring, and they are not categorically barred (many settled ethnic communities routinely continue to grow this way, eg Sikhs). But what would be wrong with them living in the other country? The potential for a huge and costly tsunami of recent migrants’ elderly parents is where Labor lost the last election when near the eve of the election Bill Shorten suddenly announced a crazy unlimited policy change (the one big changed Labor policy thing taken to that election that they barred themselves from reviewing post election! Does not reviewing mean not ditching, I wonder?). Many proponents of reduced population growth and of nom rates being much reduced to the pre-ponzi long term average are also proponents of a much increased intake of refugees – indeed correcting the immigration ponzi would allow more of the latter.

  37. Svante, Democratic views on population are not responded to because, for decades, both political parties have done under-the-table deals to accept high immigration. The problem is population not immigration per se but it amounts to immigration because our natural rates of population growth are so low.

    The economic gains from immigration in terms of its effects on the per capita incomes of residents are close to zero – established evidence supports the claim of limited gains to original residents. In fact, most “gains” in Australia are assessed in terms of impacts on the level of aggregate GDP which, apart from not reflecting gains to original residents, includes amounts spent on infrastructure to accommodate more people and ignores such things as congestion costs – now north of $4b a year in both Sydney and Melbourne. Obviously if you increase immigration you depress wages – even the Reserve Bank of Australia now endorse this view – because labour is becoming more abundant relative to capital so that capital can be used productively. This is the source of the “gains-from-trade” due to immigration in basic immigration models. Returns go to capital and property owners at the expense of labour.

    Why are people slow to recognise the obvious? Why not acknowledge that record low unemployment at present might have something to do with Covid restrictions on immigrant numbers for the past 2 years?

    Well, employers like larger markets because they get larger sales, enjoy a cheaper workforce and incur a much smaller proportion of the external and infrastructure costs. The Business Council of Australia and the Housing Industry Association are always hammering whoever is in government to increase immigration quotas and these feed particularly into the LNP. The Labor Party attracts a high proportion of the immigrant vote so they like lots of immigrants too – Bob Hawke even said explicitly that high immigration was essential for Labor victory.

    Academics and others support high immigration partly because they can’t see what is in front of their eyes and endorse naive social romanticism. Also because any attempt to keep some sort of control of population is tarred with the “racism” brush. We can never live down the discriminatory policy (that ended 50 years ago!) – a policy, incidentally, pursued by all the major high immigration destination countries – Canada and the US as well as Australia. Academics feel a strange guilt about this policy – strange because while many other countries did not have discriminatory policies that was because they admitted no immigrants at all. Think Japan. It is pathetic moralising applied to Australia, a most successful multicultural society.

  38. Geoff Miell (220223 4:41PM)

    …The northern third of Australia is likely to become unlivable by 2070 with a BAU GHG emissions trajectory (which is the current path that humanity is heading on).

    There is still lots of the North that will not be over hot and indeed much will have lots more precipitation. So much rainfall that what is now either desert, or far too arid, will support forestry. It’s the bottom half of Australia that due to diminished precipitation imo will have more troubles by far. Tasmanian precipitation may not drop to quite such unsustainable levels. I’m not sure where to take and set people up that may follow me. There is no life without fresh water, and there is insulation and air conditioning for where it gets warm but not too deadly hot. Just choose a safe enough distance inland from the coasts to avoid the coming super cyclones (but if rainfall is so much greater may there not be sufficient warm water flooding overland for such future cyclones to be powered well into the flat by then no longer dead centre of the big island? Perhaps the GDR will still block those super cyclones that cross the east coast? If so, then maybe some place in what are now the Queensland desert uplands is the go. Perhaps one of the inland central Queensland regions with naturally fluoridated water.)

  39. Harry, past credible surveys have found that a majority of recent migrants were against Australian ponzi migration. Over time that view has increased to be a substantial majority.

    The ALP sometimes promotes this myth about resident migrants as cover for its real reasons. Its real reasons, no surprise, are the same as those of many of their largest donors, ie., lazy personal, institutional, and corporate financial profit. The ACTU, of course, is complicit in this. Looking after their own book they are joined at the hip on this with the ALP. Additionally big powerbrokers and financiers within the ACTU, eg., the construction unions, in turn owe their size and significance there and similarly within the ALP to the ponzi driven Big Australia gravy train of construction.

  40. Right now, I wish it would stop raining where I live on the north-western boundary of Brisbane. It feels like it has rained every week for the last 12 months and I live in a usually dry little micro-weather area. Yet surprisingly, S.E. Qld dams are still only at 70.5% overall water grid capacity, so the previous water deficit was obviously severe.

    That’s the deal in Australia. We are the most arid populated continent. We have extremes of drought and flood. It can take several wet years just to make up a previous drought induced deficit. People are kidding themselves if they think Australia has a lot of fresh water. However, if you can point to our Great Lakes, our Mississippi, our massive snow packs, our Colorado and our Ogallala Aquifer then you might convince me otherwise. However, all you can point to respectively will be;

    (a) Kati Thanda–Lake Eyre ( usually a vast salt pan);
    (b) The Murray-Darling (puny in volume compared to the Missouri-Mississippi system)
    (c) No great snow packs at all;
    (d) The Finke River (disappears in the dead center if it even flows);
    (e) The Great (so-called) Artesian basin (great in area but with stuff-all water in total).

    Of course, the USA is wrecking the Colorado and Ogallala and maybe other stuff but that’s another story. Australia is truly arid and water poor. Technically, 2/3rds is arid or semi-arid.

  41. Addition regarding Uber: Lyft is still relevant in the US, probably arround 70% Uber, 30% Lyft. So there is more sense in burning money than i previously thaught.

  42. Bob Hawke even said explicitly that high immigration was essential for Labor victory.

    Bob Hawke, the CIA asset, destroyed trade unionism in Australia. Perhaps occasional somewhat increased migration at the time did increase his vote, but if so it also aided him in his object of labour movement balkanisation and subsequent disintegration. In order to get those victories he also set Labor up for a long time in the weeds of sham opposition that continues up to the present day.

    Gough Whitlam expressed an entirely opposite view. I doubt it permissible to quote here what he said in what was then unremarkable language, but there’s a hint above.

  43. Next Monday night a new report from the IPCC will be released.

    The report contains more than seven years of updated, peer-reviewed science on climate impacts, and the limits of what can be adapted to.

    To understand what’s new, what’s changed, and what can be done about it, register for a free ticket to a Climate Council Special Briefing via zoom: What you need to know about the latest IPCC report.

    Register here:

    These tips may be helpful for coping before, during first exposure to the report, and after:

  44. Interesting set of priorities in evidence here. Full-scale war is about to break out in Europe. One of the participants is a nuclear power run by an an autocrat spook in a cognitive bubble of yes-men and in a peculiar mental state. The same country is also a major oil and gas exporter, and is about to be hit by economic sanctions that will impose large costs on both sides and therefore the world economy. In the long run the climate crisis and the pandemic are more important, sure. But in the short run a lot of Ukrainians and Russians will be dead, and the rickety framework of international peace broken.

    A couple of new items offer a little cheer. One, China has apparently still not recognized the Russian annexation of Crimea in 2014, They never will now. The principle of national sovereignty is more important to Xi than doing favours for his junior pal Putin.

    Two, from a news item in the Guardian on Russian preparations :

    “Postings spotted by military analyst Rob Lee on Monday showed about 100 soldiers camped out – or rather lying down – at a train station about 20km from Ukraine’s border, without rations and having to buy food for themselves.
    Russian troops based in Belarus, in forests near the town of Khoyniki, 50km from the Ukraine border, were described by one local a few days ago as people who “drink a lot and sell a lot of their diesel fuel”, suggesting a lack of discipline despite the heightened political tensions.”

    These reports may simply be false, though the first comes with a photo. There is no reason to think they are the products of disinformation by either side – cui bono? They may be isolated incidents. But there is a good chance they are representative.

    Is so, WTF. This is happening within Russia and friendly Belarus, to presumably selected first-wave troops keyed up for battle, after a long-planned buildup. The incidents suggest that the rot of kleptocracy, corruption and incompetence goes deep in the Russian army.

    Good generals pay a lot of attention to logistics, food and beds as well as weaponry, and the morale to which they are linked. Stealing military supplies in a combat zone would have got corrupt quartermasters shot by Chuikov, flogged by Wellington, and crucified by Scipio. On food, SFIK both the Red Army and the Wehrmacht supplied their front-line troops with food during the ferocious battle of Stalingrad.

    Scipio won the battle of Ilapa in 206 BCE against an experienced Carthaginian enemy partly by waking his troops early, giving them breakfast, then deploying them. The Carthaginians were forced to deploy too, minus breakfast. This wasn’t Scipio’s only winning tactic, but it helped. For a Roman legion advancing in hostile territory, it was also standard practice to stop the march in mid-afternoon and build a fortified camp – allowing most of the soldiers to get a decent night’s sleep, safe from nuisance night raids.

    Do the Russian commanders and men look to you like the kind who can gain easy victory against men defending their country, their homes and their families?

  45. James said “They may be isolated incidents. But there is a good chance they are representative.”

    And that is why I said Putin will have to deal with mama’s and especially bubushka’s in 18mths.

    More cut through than sanctions to the public.

  46. Barnaby gets pork served at home.

    “In Joyce’s register of interests, he discloses his partner, Vikki Campion, has shares in Costa Group, although the register does not indicate how many shares she holds.

    “Coalition awards $520k for NBN upgrade to single business in Barnaby Joyce’s electorate

    “Fruit and vegetable grower Costa Group’s tomato glasshouse facility in New England the sole beneficiary of planned upgrade

  47. Ikonoclast think of the numbers in your zero population plan. Do they not amount to Anglo-Aboriginal extinction? Is it not effectively a plan of genocide by other means?

    The real problem is these international agreements. That bind us to certain actions once someone touches our soil. This has lead to a choice between excessive cruelty and neglect of refugees, or losing control of the destiny of the continent, in terms of demographics. We, or someone else has chosen both as the answer. Whereas if we weren’t part of these UN shackles we could have these generous guest worker programs and still have control of the future. There seems to be this fatalism where we have to choose extinction as the only choice to name-calling and defamation. Clearly those who have hammered these memes into the culture seek genocide.

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