Police troll a dribbling idiot
— Not the Bee (@Not_the_Bee) April 25, 2021
Let’s start on a light note … unless you’re a woman
New Zealand get squishy about Five Eyes, Japan muscles up
Japan knows that without a strong US, it is extremely vulnerable to China, especially if China takes Taiwan (probably a done deal, just the timing needs to be worked out), so this is a fascinating story. Apologies for missing it at the time – Japan Is Ready to Become a Formal Member of Five Eyes:
In an August 2020 interview, former Defense Minister Kono Taro stated Japan’s interest in joining “Five Eyes,” an intelligence-sharing relationship between Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United States, and the United Kingdom. Though Japan enjoys high levels of cooperation with Five Eyes countries, the argument for Japan to formally become the “sixth eye” has strengthened in the face of China’s growing military and cyber capabilities.
Japan as a “Sixth Eye” is a logical progression, considering the already existing intelligence-sharing apparatus that Japan has with Australia, France, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Japan’s increasing security concerns vis-à-vis China and its threat perception from North Korea have made the political class more attuned to the global alliance structure in search of security. In this, Tokyo’s strategic perceptions are aligned (if not converging entirely) with those of the Five Eyes countries. Moreover, the recent Reciprocal Access Agreement (RAA) with Australia has further strengthened the Japan-Australia security and military partnership that is very much China-centric. Tokyo’s formal inclusion would enable a much-needed geo-intelligence network in the Indo-Pacific.
It is well worth your time.
As is this ridiculous story about our friends across the ditch:
New Zealand has told Australia and its other Five Eyes partners the US, Canada and the UK that it is “uncomfortable” about expanding the role of the grouping beyond intelligence sharing, as Wellington tries to avoid a breakdown in its relationship with China.
In an acknowledgment of New Zealand’s difficult strategic environment, Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta said the Ardern government was becoming “more alert to the values that differentiate” Wellington from Beijing, citing concerns on Hong Kong, the treatment of Uighurs in Xinjiang and cyber attacks.
More alert to the differences between New Zealand and China. She’s not the fastest learner, is she?
Malcolm dries his eyes and has a whinge
Malcolm Turnbull (sans leather jacket – maybe the vegans got to him) said that coal was on the decline (that old chestnut) after the Bag of Farts announced that the US would seek to reduce emissions by 50 per cent by 2030.
Among the plum-mouthed platitudes from the Point Piper Pity Party Poobah:
We know that the demand for coal is going to decline.
China is building about 200 coal-fired power plants in China and financing them around the world. So there’s that.
It has to, otherwise we’re in a lot of trouble. And we know that’s going to happen. What are we going to do? How much more of our great country are we going to just throw into the maw of the coal industry?
What will be left? No jobs and no future. We’ve got to make that transition for the sake of the regions. And we can have the strongest regions with cheap, affordable, clean energy and great jobs but we’ve got to stop the denialism.
Just on that.
The thermal coal-mining is a fascinating industry. Here’s the truth: there aren’t a lot of people employed in the coal industry.
In fact, the total thermal coal employment is about 29,000.
There are a lot of towns that rely on these companies and associated industries.
If coal shut down in some rural areas, businesses would leave which would then affect agriculture. But this is hard to quantify but should be noted.
But so should this: thermal coal exports are worth about $20 billion a year (they dance around a bit based on price) – but the companies pay a lot of tax.
But here’s the interesting point. Take that $20 bn and divide it by 29,000. Each job is worth about $700,000 to the economy.
Here’s a challenge for the Greens … find another industry with such value. outside the mining sector, that is.
Social media still protecting the indefensible left
Social media’s lowest ebb was blocking the Hunter Biden laptop story.
But that was so 2020. Now they’ve expanded the protection racket:
Users on the platform reported Thursday that they weren’t able to share the link to a story, published by the Post, that detailed Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Khan-Cullors’ recent multimillion-dollar “real estate buying binge.”
In the story, the Post reported that as protests and riots were carried out last year in the name of Black Lives Matter — and as money poured into the organization’s coffers — the group’s co-founder snagged four high-end homes worth a total of $3.2 million. The Post article highlighted the irony of a self-proclaimed Marxist like Khan-Cullors cashing in on a grassroots movement.
But when users went to share the story, they were blocked from doing so. TheBlaze can confirm that as of Friday afternoon the article was still restricted from being shared on a personal Facebook page or through the platform’s Messenger app.
When attempting to share the link, an alert pops up on screen, saying, “Your post couldn’t be shared, because this link goes against our Community Standards.”
Facebook said the reason for the censorship (protection racket) was that:
As per our Community Standards: We do not allow people to post personal or confidential information about yourself or of others. We remove content that shares, offers or solicits personally identifiable information or other private information that could lead to physical or financial harm, including financial, residential, and medical information, as well as private information obtained from illegal sources.
We often hear the media talk bout the “chilling effect’ of one form of censorship or another, or government cracking down on leaks or enforcing security classifications. But where was the media talking about “private information obtained from illegal sources”?
That means any whistleblower’s information should be silenced on social media. if they apply the same standard. Which they won’t.
In which case, they’re just liars protecting a fraud.
Using reports based off a data breach, ABC4 News took a camera crew to the home of a Utah paramedic who donated $10 last summer to a defense fund for teenager Kyle Rittenhouse.
As highlighted by Daily Wire investigative reporter Luke Rosiak, The Guardian used data breached from charity website GiveSendGo to dox numerous low-level police officers and paramedics who made small donations to help colleagues targeted by Black Lives Matter.
ABC4 News published the paramedic’s name and brought a camera crew to his home to question him about “his side of things.” The paramedic did not come out of his home.
A report from the news station boasted of ABC4 News investigative reporter Jason Nguyen going to the man’s home, noting “those inside the home didn’t want to talk.”
Was this shared on social media?
And here is what happens when ordinary people get doxxed:
A Virginia police officer has been fired after hackers revealed he donated $25 to Kenosha shooter Kyle Rittenhouse with the message “you’ve done nothing wrong.” The Norfolk police department dismissed Lt. William Kelly Tuesday, saying his conduct violated department policy.
Kelly’s donation was disclosed in a massive data breach from GiveSendGo, a “Christian fundraising site” popular with those looking to raise money for right-wing figures facing legal fees.
The group Distributed Denial of Secrets got its hands on donor information for every campaign on the site, forwarding it to media outlets. The disclosure also included comments sent with the money.
So it would be safe to assume that people who give money to BLM would also face sanction?
But cancel culture doesn’t exist, right?
What would Richard Dawkins know about biology?
Richard Dawkins FRS FRSL (born 26 March 1941) is a British ethologist, evolutionary biologist, atheist thinker, and author. He is an emeritus fellow of New College, Oxford, and was the University of Oxford’s Professor for Public Understanding of Science from 1995 until 2008.
OK, apart from that?
This week on COVID-theatre™
Celebrities will not have to wear masks at the Oscars while the cameras are on — but they will need to wear them during commercials.
According to Variety, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced this week that Oscar attendees in the state that has some of the most severe and onerous pandemic lockdowns in the nation will not have to wear masks during the telecast of the ceremony — well, at least as long as the cameras are rolling.
But when it’s time for a commercial break, it’ll be necessary to mask up.
In the gallery … the Queen and Biden have had the jab, and Charles and William have had the COVID. So … why are they wearing makas? Because they’re starring in COVID theatre.
Blasphemy laws are on the rise … just wait for them to come here
Islam takes blasphemy seriously.
In some countries, it will get you killed, whether by an angry mob or through the judicial system.
Islam would never accept ‘free speech’ like the famous Piss Christ – a crucifix immersed in urine.
It is understood in the West – by fewer people every day, it must be said – that the test of free speech is to defend the speech you hate.
Not in Pakistan, which is now seeking to export its blasphemy laws to the free-speech West:
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has called for Muslim-majority countries to band together to lobby Western governments to criminalise the insulting of Islam’s prophet, as negotiations between his government and a far-right anti-blasphemy religious group continue.
In a televised address to the nation from the capital, Islamabad, on Monday, Khan said he would lead a campaign of Muslim-majority countries to “convince” Western countries on the issue of blasphemy against the Prophet Muhammad.
“We need to explain why this hurts us, when in the name of freedom of speech they insult the honour of the prophet,” Khan said.
And here comes the coercion:
“When 50 Muslim countries will unite and say this, and say that if something like this happens in any country, then we will launch a trade boycott on them and not buy their goods, that will have an effect.”
Khan likened the issue to that of the Holocaust, saying the Western nations had understood that questioning the Holocaust hurt the sentiments of the Jewish community, and that it needed to treat the issue of insulting Islam’s Prophet Muhammad in a similar manner.
Actually, there is a bit more to his flaccid reasoning.
In Germany, the law against Holocaust denial is part shame, part not wanting to incite neo-Nazis.
In Australia, there is a strong argument that we should not ban Holocaust deniers in order to hold them up to ridicule for their absurdity.
Which also seems like a good response to anti-free speech calls like this.
But give it time. The case will soon be made in Australia. It won’t take long, either, for there to emerge high-level political support for an idea that is anathema to our once-proud politcal traditions.
Jim Steinman (d 19 April 2021)
Last Sunday, the world lost a musical genius – Jim Steinman.
You know Jim Steinman. Or at least, you know his music. In fact, you probably love Jim Steinman.
It’s impossible not to.
He’s the auteur behind the masterpiece Bat out of hell, the gazillion-selling album of Meatloaf that record company after record company turned down, including one of the greatest-talent spotters in music, Clive Davis.
From Meatlof, he went to work with Bonnie Tyler and her mega-selling album Faster than the speed of night (no, it makes no sense, but that’s part of his appeal).
This makes no sense either, the monumentally whacky ‘Total eclipse of the heart’ video clip.
Watch. The. Clip. It is sheer lunacy.
Lunacy and superb.
… there’s melodrama, and then there’s melodrama. “Total Eclipse Of The Heart” is melodrama.
The term “power ballad” doesn’t adequately describe “Total Eclipse Of The Heart,” if only because the word “power” just doesn’t have enough power.
“Total Eclipse Of The Heart” is an extinction-level event rendered in musical form. It’s pop music as heart-pounding, chest-thumping, blood-gargling, heavens-falling passion explosion. It’s sheer spectacle. It’s fireworks and lasers and lightning and thunder. It soars and swoops and barrel-rolls. The song flies along from one fiery climax to the next, and right when it seems like it’s about to end, it takes off again and somehow becomes even bigger. Who the fuck cares what it’s about?
And, watch the literal version, a parody which has taken on a life of its own and only seems to enhance the batshittery of the original.
They don’t make ’em like Steinman any more.
Good night, Mr Steinman.