A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).



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Ice Hockey superspreader event in Florida

At one game in June, in Tampa, Florida, 14 players out of 22 caught Covid, and that was only the symptomatic cases. None of the others were tested. Perhaps they all caught it?

Hockey game turned into COVID-19 superspreader event

Rachel Rettner, LiveScience: The game, which was held on June 16 at an ice rink in Tampa Bay, Florida, involved two teams of 11 players each, according to the report, from researchers at the Florida Department of Health. Typically, six players were on the ice and five on the bench at any given time, the report said. All of the players were male, and ranged in age from 19 to 53 years old.

The day after the game (June 17), one of the players developed a fever, cough, sore throat and headache, and tested positive for COVID-19. In the following four days (from June 18 to June 21), an additional 13 players developed symptoms of COVID-19

The game lasted 60 minutes, and players spent about 20 minutes in the locker room before and after the game, with each team having a separate locker room.

What’s an ideal way to share viruses? Refrigerate the air, and ask everyone to breathe hard.

Assuming they were infected at the one game, herd immunity probably wouldn’t help much. Even if half the team members were immune to Covid the other half would still have caught it.

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If we paint all our cities white, will we get more snow?

Some bright spark has found a way to make white paint extra reflective which will reduce cooling costs (but presumably increase heating costs in winter). In theory, this will cool the world, stop storms and save turtles.

Once, when we were rich we could afford to have colors on our buildings and to heat or cool them too.

Presumably this will also be good for the sunglass industry. Let’s hope it doesn’t cause more car accidents.

Climate change: ‘Cooling paint’ could cut emissions from buildings

Matt McGrath, BBC

A  new type of white paint has the potential to cool buildings and reduce the reliance on air conditioning, say researchers.

In a study, the new product was able to reflect 95.5% of sunlight and reduce temperatures by 1.7C compared to the ambient air conditions.

The engineers involved say the impact is achieved by adding different-sized particles of calcium carbonate.

Here’s wondering when the next study shows that a bunch of skyscrapers reflected white light away from themselves and towards other skyscapers, raising their cooling costs.



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Where are the deaths? Ten reasons the first and second Covid waves look so different

In Europe the second wave is setting new records for daily cases but not for deaths so far (thankfully). So the big question is whether this will stay the same or follow the case tally up.

It’s probably not an accident that infections are spreading fast in mid October. Not only was it late summer in Europe, but the virus has been spreading mostly through 15 to 24 year old healthy young people and when Vitamin D levels were high. But as the Northern Hemisphere tracks away from the Sun, vitamin D levels are falling, temperatures are dropping, and the sterilizing rays of ultra violet grow weak. And, as the days grow colder people gather indoors too. Viral doses are rising.

The enduring scandal of the epidemic is that there are so many ways to treat this virus but they’re not expensive enough for the TGA to recommend them. ;- )

Lots more cases but not many deaths

Exhibit One: The United Kingdom

Some people have used this graph to claim the virus poses no threat. But it isn’t that simple.

UK New cases and Worldometer Deaths graph.

UK New cases and Worldometer Deaths graph. (Click to enlarge)

Ten reasons death rates were lower in Europe’s second wave:

So much has changed. It will take whole PhDs to unpack the factors.

  1. Demographics: In the second wave young people are the most likely to be infected, not high risk older folk (so far).
  2. Vitamin D : reaches a peak each year in August and Sept.
  3. Masks: Many people were wearing masks — meaning a lower viral dose and they are more likely to get an asymptomatic infection.
  4. Doctors have better treatment plans.
  5. Hospitals are not overrun (yet).
  6. Temperatures were warmer: Viruses are unstable chemical codes.  As a rule, higher doses of virus will almost always survive longer in cooler air and on cooler surfaces.  As temperatures cool, we’d expect higher doses to be transmitted which means a more severe illness.
  7. Social distancing: Bigger distances and outdoor events mean lower viral doses. But as the seasons cool, we spend more time indoors, which means higher doses as they get closer together.
  8. UV light was stronger — A great outdoor sterilizer. UV also helps create Vitamin D. Obviously, it’s a summer time thing.
  9. More testing in the second wave. Germany is doing 3 times as many tests; France, seven times, and the UK is doing 15 times as many tests now as it was in early April. A lot of the first wave caseload was simply missed. There is roughly a three week lag from tests until mortality (and it can be up to 8 weeks). This wasn’t apparent in many countries in the first wave because they didn’t do enough testing to show the true extent of infections — they missed the entire first peak, only starting to record new daily cases numbers properly as the deaths also peaked.
  10. Mutations? Perhaps the virus has changed to be less deadly. This — our favourite option — the one we all want, may be true, but there is no genetic analysis that supports it yet so who knows?. If it is the case, we ought find a reliable genetic shift that correlates with lower viral loads and healthier patients. But natural selection favours a higher viral load and a more easily spread virus, and that’s what the few mutation studies seem to suggest.

There are new papers suggesting that the virus is mutating — and the most successful variants cause higher virals loads (as we’d expect, since they can outcompete the lower dose strains). Meanwhile many other analyses from Doctors in hospitals point in the opposite direction — suggesting that patients have lower viral loads as the pandemic progresses. Most likely masks and social distancing are reducing the viral load, even though mutations appear to increase it.

 A US study from the city of Detroit, presented at this week’s ESCMID Conference on Coronavirus Disease (ECCMID, online 23-25 September) shows that the initial SARS-CoV-2 viral load in nasopharyngeal samples has been decreasing as the pandemic progressed. The authors also observed that the decline in viral load was associated with a decrease in death rate.

The authors conclude: : “During the April-June 2020 period of the COVID-19 pandemic, the initial SARS-CoV-2 load steadily declined among hospitalised patients with a corresponding decrease in the percent of deaths over time.

Also from that paper:

As patient viral loads declined over the course of the pandemic, the percentage of patients admitted to the ICU declined substantially from March (6.7%) to April (1.1%), and May (0.0%).

“As the epidemiological context changed from high to low transmission setting, people were presumably exposed to a lower viral load, which has been previously associated to less severe clinical manifestations,” the authors wrote.

Look closely at  the last two months

The surge in cases in the northern hemisphere is growing. As are the deaths.

These graphs are just from August 2 – October 19.

UK, confirmed cases, second wave. Coronavirus 2020. Graph.

UK, confirmed cases, second wave. OurWorldInData. Click to enlarge.

 The three week lag

There is loosely a three week delay between diagnosing new cases and deaths. Deaths are clearly starting to rise.

In the UK, there were around 6,000 new cases a day from Sept 27th. Last week there were about 140 deaths a day. Assuming the three week lag is accurate, that’s a rough fatality rate among the known cases of 2%. The real fatality rate is significantly lower than that, though how much? The UK is testing 50 people to find each new case.


Confirmed daily deaths, United Kingdom, Graph 2020. Second wave covid-19.

Confirmed daily deaths, United Kingdom, Graph OurWorldInData 2020.


Vitamin D levels are falling as winter approaches.

Vitamin D reduced the rate of ICU admission in one study from 50% to 2%.

It doesnt have to be this way.

Vitamin D engages with some 200 genes. It’s so important, it’s probably the reason Europeans have white skin (to make D in the higher latitudes while eating a grain diet low in vitamin D). Its levels also correlate with lower rates of cancer, diabetes, high blood pressureasthma, heart disease, dental caries, preeclampsia, autoimmune diseasedepressionanxiety, and sleep disorders. One recent long German study showed half the people who died of respiratory illnesses might not have died if they had enough Vitamin D. Not surprisingly, given all these benefits, it’s even associated with “all cause mortality” which almost no other supplement or vitamin definitively is.

It’s cheap, safe, natural, and virtually no government on Earth has a program to test and restore healthy levels in its own populace. Read about D3..


Seasonal Vitamin D levels month by month. Graphed.

Vitamin D levels fall as winter comes  | Guesseous et al  (Switzerland)

Pandemics often come in waves. Because of the nasty surprise in the first wave, many people change their behaviour, especially the most vulnerable. This is what happens in all pandemics. They wear masks and wash hands but lose enthusiasm after a while. They  self isolate, then eventually they return, and then the next wave returns too.

Check out these graphs of the UK:

Most of the first wave was hidden by inadequate testing. The initial test positivity was 40% but is now around 2% and rising. So the current wave of testing is catching many infections that were missed in the first wave.

The second graph below shows the age groups which test positive. In many countries in Europe the first wave was predominantly in older people who had more serious cases and get tested. The second wave surge started with the 15 – 29 age group and is gradually spreading to older age groups.

UK, Covid-19, Second wave, demographics, testing, Test rate, deaths

Top: Deaths and Cases (note the two different scales LHS). Second: The Young people lead the way… Third: Testing is waaay up. Forth: Test positivity is going up, which means, so is the virus.  |  Data from the EU CDC


Wave 1 had an invisible three week lag

In the first wave a lag between peak cases and peak deaths in some nations was sometimes as long as 3 weeks. But in nations without enough testing there was no apparent lag. This is probably because the peak new cases rose and fell before the testing stations got up to speed. For example: In the first wave in the UK the daily cases peaked on about April 10th which was also around the same time the deaths peaked. But in South Korea the daily cases peaked on March 2nd or so, but the daily deaths didn’t peak til March 24th or so. South Korea had an organised track trace and testing policy ready to go.

The good news

It’s not all bad that the first wave was earlier and higher that the tests showed. It effectively means more survivors in the first wave and thus a lower mortality rate. The not so good news is that if someone was to test positive — the crude morality rate is still 2% and that’s at a time when most of the people who are infected are quite young. So with uncounted asymptomatic cases that 2% might be more like half a percent. Though there might be another few percent over and above that, who didn’t die, but haven’t got well yet either — the long haulers.

The test rate per capita is now very high in the UK, though the positivity rate is around 2% and rising.  For comparison, Current test positivity in Australia is about 0.2% and during its darkest hours Victoria Australia was about 3% positivity.

Spread the word about Vitamin D, and Zinc. Write to politicians to why they will spend billions, lock people indoors, but not bother fixing known deficiencies with five cent vitamins?

The bad news

High risk people can be isolated from young party-goers for a while. It takes longer in the second or third waves for dumb viruses to catch up with older folks, but it does catch up. Sadly, and that’s probably what’s coming in Europe now, unless people get very serious about Vitamin D deficiency, and the other cheap treatments like Ivermectin, Bromhexine, HCQ and melatonin, and all the other antivirals….

We’re a lot better off than in Wave One. But things could still get pretty ugly especially in Winter.

When looking at cases versus deaths graphs. Don’t forget the lag.

Keep reading  →

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Thursday Open Thread

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The systematic crime families of the USA

I’ve been in this business a long time and this is the biggest coverup I’ve ever seen, and the biggest scandal I’ve heard of.

Joe Biden’s a crook and has been for years…

– Rudi Guiliani

In the video below Guiliani spells out the extended Biden family network involved. He explains how politicians get rich by selling their national policy to the highest bidder but hide it by getting the payment sent through a network of family members and he (Rudi) has numbers and names. He mentions salacious disturbing footage, and points out that the FBI has all the photos, and so does China too, making the Bidens a national security risk.

Why didn’t Obama stop it? “There was a very similar scheme operated by the Clintons…”

The Democrats are better than Biden, says Guiliani.

Steve Bannon — It’s all coming out on Debate Night:

“We know this is serious because Joe Biden is now in the witness protection program. He’s in hiding. He doesn’t want to answer any questions. Not even from the soft supportive media. It’s all going to come out in Thursday night’s debate.”

Chinese Communist intelligence had access to the Vice President. The FBI has been sitting on this since December last year.

Keep reading  →

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“One minute we were America, then next we were China…”

So we now know for sure it was Hunter Bidens laptop. It’s his signature on the service agreement. The emails have been cross checked. None of the Bidens will even deny that the laptop belonged to him or that the emails are not authentic. But more frightening than the years of corruption of some of the highest office in the USA, is the censorship. Two weeks to go and the major media outlets won’t ask, and possibly worst of all, neither will the FBI. 

USAToday did not even ask “is it true”. Were these his emails? No journalist wants to know. One CBS reporter asked, and Joe Biden turned on him, didn’t deny it he just called it a smear campaign. Then everyone dumped on the reporter, and no other reporter would ask anything tougher than what’s the flavour of your ice cream.

Our ABC watched CNN and served it up: Most Australians would only know “it’s a smear campaign” and the FBI is investigating the Russian connection. It’s all a big conspiracy: Rudi Guiliani is a Russian agent…

Hear from the wonderful Australian Miranda Devine:

It’s like we need little care packages for victims of Pravda-media.“Here’s what they didn’t say…”

Where were the FBI?

The FBI had the Hunter Biden laptop for 10 months and did nothing while Trump was being impeached. As JeffID says — there was not one whistleblower. Not one patriot left? But they uncovered some anti-Trump BLM And Antifa guys who allegedly were plotting to kidnap Governor Whitmer in Michigan. What a handy Fake News PR moment for the Dems.

Lloyd Bilingsley writes about the FBI involvement:

The FBI-generated indictment in Michigan, “has all the earmarks of what has become that corrupt agency’s standard operating procedure,” explains Angelo Codevilla, who spent eight years supervising intelligence agencies for the Senate Intelligence Committee. The FBI’s method is to “place agents among the target group, stoke their sentiments, and lead them to say or do something that could be characterized as a crime, then arrest them and claim credit for foiling a plot.” In intelligence lingo, this is “provocation,” but “in legal terms, it’s entrapment.”

As Codevilla recalls, the FBI once performed dangerous work investigating the Communist Party, but the agency is now “a bunch of lazy bureaucrats eager to serve the ruling class’ prejudices” and limiting its vision to politically correct “profiles.” Under the previous president, the profile of a terrorist was not an Islamic jihadist such as Maj. Nidal Hassan, who murdered 13 and wounded more than 40 at Ford Hood (sic) in 2009.

For POTUS 44, the profile was those who distrust the federal government and value their liberty, faith and constitutional rights. In Michigan, as Codevilla notes, the FBI monitored social media for “excess concern for liberty.”


The Ministry of Truth

Democrats are planning for a possible Trump win. They want a Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Just like with ClimateGate, the way to make a scandal go away is to have 8 committees investigate a tangential point and declare they found nothing. What they don’t want is for you to hear both sides and make up your own mind.

True democrats want the voters to decide, not some hand-picked committee.


h/t David E, Fuel Filter, Another Ian. Bill.

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Tuesday Open Thread


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Hands up! Your fish or your electricity. Macron threatens to cut interconnector to UK

UK FlagThe UK wants to get back its fishing rights as part of a Brexit deal. The French aren’t too happy about that, but since the UK is heavily dependent on French interconnectors Macron can and is holding the UK electricity grid hostage.

Green Energy puts the UK in a much weaker negotiation position.

The French interconnectors under the Channel are needed both to import reliable nuclear power and to sell off the excess fluffy green kind of unreliable electricity that UK wind power makes at random times. The “value” of energy sales is more than the value of the fisheries (at least in hard currency). But UK imports are larger than the exports, and the UK electricity grid is so fragile it fell over last year leaving people stuck in underground trains for hours, and cutting off a million customers in an instant. The biggest weakness of all is probably the reliance on a foreign power to just keep the lights on. The cost of unplanned blackouts would trump everything else. And could the French “Break” the UK grid with plausible deniability and some inconvenient outage? Sorry but the interconnector had a fault?

I know they might not play that mean now, but who knows who’ll be in charge in France ten years from now.

Macron in last-ditch Brexit punishment with threat to devastate UK with energy blockade

Oli Smith,

Emmanuel Macron reacted furiously to Boris Johnson’s claims that trade talks are “over” between the UK and EU. Mr Macron has played hardball in the talks on fisheries, insisting on Thursday that French fishermen would “not be sacrificed” for the sake of a deal. However, if the UK leaves the EU without a deal then French fishermen could faced being banned from British waters.

In response, the French President has signalled the EU would launch a devastating energy embargo against the UK unless Boris Johnson gives in on fisheries.

Following the EU summit in Brussels on Friday, Mr Macron told French radio that if the UK does not allow French fishermen in its waters, the EU would have to block the UK’s energy supplies to the European market.

As Rafe Champion points out – energy sales are worth more than fish:

He suggested the right to fish in British waters was worth 650 million euros to EU fishermen, but that access to European energy markets was worth up to £2.3billion (€2.5bn) to the UK.

The UK imports more power than it exports. About 11% of its total power comes from the continent. Half of that is from France. 3% from the Netherlands, 2.5% from Belgium.

May 2019:  The Nemo link, which runs from Richborough in Kent to Zeebrugge and which started operating at the end of January, has increased the capacity of Britain’s electricity connections with mainland Europe by a third.

 What could possibly go wrong?

The Belgians and the Dutch might like fishing too.

Obviously it’s in the interest of just about every nation to trick their competitors into cutting carbon emissions with unreliable generators. Clever, shameless players talk up green energy and sign meaningless promises while making sure their own grid is reliable and cheap. Stupid gullible patsies sign up for real promises and keep them.

Which nation is the greatest patsy in this international chain?

The Greatest Green Dupe Nation on Earth surely goes to Australia with the fastest per capita increase in random generators while simultaneously sitting on 300 years worth coal and the largest uranium reserves in the world. But entries from Great Britain and others will be considered. Make your case. Green Dupes are applauded loudly at UN junkets, but screwed at the negotiation table or crushed in competitive markets.

Handy hint to our UK friends, with China being so mean to Australia, and cutting back on coal exports last week, we have some excellent value coal to spare for UK power stations to use. Just ask…

h/t To BennyBeatts and Rafe Champion at Catallaxy.

* Fishing territory corrected to “fishing rights” h/t Saighdear.

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Twitter, Facebook, CNN, have another 26,000 Hunter Biden emails to ignore “Don’t say China”

US Flag, Flying.After five days the New York Post is apparently still suspended from Twitter for not deleting tweets linking to their own bombshell stories about a man running for President. Two weeks til the US election and @NYpost account with 1.8million followers has no new tweets.

Meanwhile in a totally different incident, unrelated from Hunter-Biden’s old laptop, an old pal of his, Bevan Cooney, who is in jail has released 26,000 emails to the FBI, to Breitbart. Apparently he feels pretty cheesed with his old colleague, and wants the world to know how the Biden family “works”.

Allegedly when the Chinese communist elites want access to the Vice President of the US — that could be arranged.

Peter Schweizer: Hunter Biden’s Flipped Business Partner Provided 26,000 Emails

by Matthew Boyle

In this particular story what we lay out is how Hunter Biden and his business partners set up a meeting for this group called the China Entrepreneurs Club. Don’t let that benign name fool you; this is regarded as joined at the hip with the Chinese communist government. This China Entrepreneurs Club wanted meeting at the highest levels of the White House and Hunter Biden arranged them. What’s very curious about this is not only that they got these meetings on November 14, 2011, but they actually, according to members, had a private, secret meeting with Joe Biden himself. We don’t know about this because it appeared on the White House visitors logs or the White House calendar—it doesn’t. We know about it because the Chinese that were on that trip bragged about it in their blog posts back in China that they had this private, secret meeting with Joe Biden. Out of that sprang relationships and business deals that Hunter Biden and his business partners were apparently able to take advantage of, so it demonstrates how this access, with the participation of Joe Biden, translated into commercial deals down the road.”

Just in case the billion dollar Australian ABC forget to mention the biggest censorship  scandal in years. The crime is the cover up.

“But don’t worry unlike Pop I won’t make you give me half your salary.” -Hunter Biden to Naomi Biden, 1-3-19 email

Trump Jnr says:

“Everything that the Democrats and the media, and I group them as one and the same at this point … everything that they hoped and prayed I was doing, that they made me testify for 30 hours for, that they said I had committed treason doing, Hunter Biden was actually doing,” Trump Jr. said.

h/t Bill C, Orson, Serp, Dennis. TdeF. CO2isnotevil. BruceC. Bob Dinn

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Weekend Unthreaded

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Trump — a man versus a movement — the most important election since 1860

There’s a revolution underway. The true Republicans, The Trump fans need to explain what is really going on and what is at stake. And Tom Klingenstein has a great message (there are deep considered raves and admiration in comments at the site where this was released.) He has captured a meme many people need to hear.

 Trump 2020: A Man vs. A Movement, by Tom Klingenstein

h/t to Stephen Harper and David E.

 Or read the speech here:

I wish to make three points. First, Trump is the perfect man for these times, not all times, perhaps not most times, but these times. Second, Republicans are not doing a good job explaining the stakes in this election. They must explain, and this is my third point, that the Democratic Party, which has been taken by its radical wing, is leading a revolution. This makes the coming election the most important one since the election of 1860. Let’s begin there.

Unlike most elections, this one is much more than a contest over particular policies—like health care or taxes. Rather, like the election of 1860, this election is a contest between two competing regimes, or ways of life. Two ways of life that cannot exist peacefully together.

It’s Traditional America versus Many-cultural America

In the traditional way of life “there are no hyphenated Americans”, “we are all Americans.” America is colorblind. People are judged by their character and their actions, not by their skin color or their ancestry.  Multicultural equals many-cultural, and too many cultures really means no cultures at all, no dominant values or principles.

The Black Lives Matter/Democrats understand (which Republicans seem not to), that if they are to achieve this policy agenda they must get Americans to change their values, their principles, and the way they understand themselves.

They must get us to believe that national borders and colorblindness are racist; that we are not one culture but many; that the most important thing in our history—the thing around which all else pivots—is slavery. More broadly, the multiculturalists must get us to believe that we are unworthy—not just that we have sinned (which of course we have)—but that we are irredeemably sinful, or, in the language of today, “systemically racist.” And sexist, homophobic, Islamophobic and all the other “ists” and phobias. Simply put, multiculturalism must get us to believe we are bad

This suggests one way to frame the coming election: as a contest between a man, Trump, who believes America is good and a man, Biden, who is controlled by a movement that believes America is bad. I do not think it is any more complicated than that.

The power of the nuclear family, and the influence of elders threatens “State Power”. The young cannot be allowed to respect the old and wise, or be too influenced by their parents.

For the multiculturalist to change traditional values and principles they must destroy, or radically restructure, the institutions that teach those values and principles. The most important of these institutions is family, but also very important is religion, education (which they have mostly destroyed already) and community life, replacing the latter with government bureaucrats. It is here—in these value-teaching institutions—that we see the underpinnings of the Revolution. This is where the real action is. Republicans seem to be missing in action.

Republicans need to explain that BLM and their Democratic enablers wish to destroy the traditional mother-father family. To substantiate this claim, Republicans have only to point to the BLM mission statement. The mission statement, written by avowed Marxists, also lets us know that BLM holds transgenderism to be the burning issue of our time.

Religion is a major threat to collectivist Big Government power. It hampers the authoritarian messaging if people derive wisdom and influence from an independent group that cannot be bought with money, and who question the edict of selected experts (who often can be bought with careers, junkets, medals or glory).

Republicans must also explain that religion, because it teaches American values, is also on the chopping block.

Republicans also must make American see that the taking down of statues is not about removing a few confederate generals; it’s about destroying America’s past, as is the New York Times 1619 Project. The rioters, and their BLM-Democrats enablers, are tearing down the statues even of people like Frederick Douglass who fought against slavery. This is not an accident. It is not collateral damage. Frederick Douglass was a great American. He believed that America in her soul was not racist. He believed in hard work and self-reliance. And because of his embrace of American values the BLM-Democrats have to get rid of him.

They must also get rid of Abraham Lincoln, for it is he who best explains what we should aspire to. And it is he who is the best defender of the American Founding. In one sense, this election is a referendum on the Founding. Whether America was founded in 1619, as the BLM-Democrats contend, or, in 1776 as Lincoln, and, until recently, all Americans believed.

Republicans must make more of political correctness and cancel culture, which, as we have seen so vividly of late, brutally punishes apostates.

Who does Twitter think it is, censoring an American president? Republicans simply cannot stand for that.

And Republicans must explain, as I earlier explained, that the multiculturalists are trying to get us to believe that we are systemically racist so that we will surrender to their policy agenda. This too must not be allowed to stand. The American people need to hear what they know in their hearts: they are not racists. Republicans should stand up and say, “no, America is not racist.” Period.

If Americans are systemically anything, it is a systemic commitment to freedom and equal rights for all.

America has brought more freedom and more prosperity to more people than any country in the history of mankind.

…. Read it all at AM Greatness

 Trump versus Biden is the choice between a man who believes America is good and a man who is controlled by a movement which believes America is bad.

Why so many voters support Donald Trump: a letter to baffled non-Americans. By Robert Hutchinson.

The first thing you have to understand is that, for tens of millions of ordinary working Americans, the two-party system is broken. A sense of disenfranchisement has been growing for decades.

Many Americans, both liberals and conservatives, believe that the two major political parties are utterly indifferent to their real concerns and are merely tools of big multinational corporations.

Virtually all of the organs of modern American society now speak with a single, increasingly intolerant and authoritarian voice — the media, “woke” corporations, universities, the judiciary, even parts of the military.

That’s why an astonishing 62 percent of Americans now say they hold political views they are afraid to express in public.

Thus, for many Americans a vote for Donald Trump is a vote for freedom — and against the authoritarian bureaucrats and cancel culture commissars who now openly terrorize innocent people and make public life so threatening.

The second thing non-Americans must understand is how utterly discredited the corporate media have become in the eyes of ordinary Americans.

Conservatives have long complained about “liberal bias” among the smug media class, but the election of Donald Trump revealed just how deep and widespread that bias really is.

Americans are shocked, on an almost daily basis, by the amount of overt political propaganda they must now endure from the major television and cable networks, the prestige press and the tightly controlled social media and search engines of the tech billionaires.

The talking heads on CNN, MSNBC, and the major TV networks display a public hatred for Donald Trump that borders on the insane — and there is a huge disconnect between what the media claim Donald Trump says and what Americans can see, with their own eyes, he actually says.

Good science depends on a Good Civilization. And a Good Civilization depends on Free Speech.

As I’ve said before, Civilization is nothing without science. But Science is nothing without civility. When bullies rule science, the loudest voices win, not the correct ideas. This is the battle of political correctness versus scientific correctness.


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Half the Reef destroyed but they won’t release the data

The future of the entire 350,000 km2 Great Barrier Reef hangs in the balance — as the coralapocalypse has wiped out 50% of the coral in just 25 years. Lordy! If only we’d built some off-shore wind farms on the reef to protect it! We could cover whole islands with solar panels? What are we thinking!

But as Peter Ridd points out, AIMS (The Australian Institute of Marine Science) surveys around 100 reefs every year — and for the last 35 years — and they find things are roughly the same. See the graph below.

Corals Great Barrier Reef

Don’t look now, but corals are doing fine. From Jennifer Marohasy and Peter Ridd.

Somehow Terry Hughes — and the Centre of Excellence for Integrated Coral Reef Studies — gets up to $4 million each year to report on the reef but won’t release the data behind the mass media campaign.

The ABC — which gets nearly $3 million dollars every single day — can’t even pick up the phone to interview AIMS or Peter Ridd and ask one hard question of Terry Hughes’ “Excellent” centre. (We all know why they had to put the word “excellence” in the title, it was the only way the word would ever be used to describe an activist group pretending to be scientists.)

And we all know that if anyone at James Cook University (JCU) has any doubts about the quality of the output from the “Excellent” centre they won’t be saying a word or they’ll get sacked like Peter Ridd did.

JCU — still supporting junk science and ignoring that other case of potential fraud?

Has James Cook Uni starting investigating the possible scientific fraud by Oona Lonnsteadt, or are they too busy getting their High Court Case ready to defend their right to sack Peter Ridd for using satire in emails and being “un collegial”?

Who cares about the damn corals eh? JCU are more interested in being a Labor Party marketing machine and giving free advertising to Banker carbon schemes and the Renewables Industry. The Morrison Government could solve this in five minutes but continues to support junk universities by feeding them money without even the minimum requirement that they enshrine free speech in all their employment contacts.

Likewise the Bureau of Met neglect the temperature sites near the reef and generate fake warming by ignoring site changes.

Coral Cover on the Great Barrier Reef stays about the same Source AIMS

If Dietzel et al were really worried about the reef they wouldn’t be hiding the data.

From Peter Ridd at GWPF:

Moreover, Professor Hughes has refused to make public the raw data upon which he made this claim, despite repeated requests.

This latest work by Prof Hughes needs a thorough quality-audit to test its veracity”, says Ridd. “Prime-facie, there are excellent grounds to treat it with great scepticism.”

If only someone somewhere was concerned about coral, they wouldn’t let the reef be abused and misused as a marketing tool. (Thankfully Jennifer Marohasy and Peter Ridd shoot video’s on the health of the reef).

Pray for the Tourism Industry of Queensland.


AIMS – Last annual survey:   2019/2020

Dietzel A, Bode M, Connolly S, Hughes T. (2020). ‘Long-term shifts in the colony size structure of coral populations along the Great Barrier Reef’. Proceedings of the Royal Society B. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2020.1432 (Paywalled).

h/t GWPF


Peter Ridd’s new book has just come out:

REEF HERESY? Science, Research and the Great Barrier Reef  –  Peter Ridd

Peter Ridd, Great Barrier Reef, Book.

Peter Ridd, Great Barrier Reef, Book.

Paperback, 300 pages, $39.95,     ISBN: 9781922449306


With the Foreword by Jennifer Marohasy
And the legal saga by Morgan Begg

Peter Ridd has lived by the Great Barrier Reef for most of his life. He knows it and he loves it. Nothing is so important than its protection and preservation. For more than three decades the Reef and the marine region of which it is a key part have been central to his scientific research.

In this book Ridd provides a comprehensive, evidence-based account of the state of the Reef for Australians interested in this priceless national treasure, and the science they need to understand its condition properly.

He systematically examines major potential dangers to the Reef – coral-eating crown-of-thorns star fish, the impact nutrient pollution from agriculture, dredging of shipping ports, climate change, coal dust, over-fishing, herbicides.

The conclusion of this measured, evidence-based study is that it is essential that the health and vitality of the Reef and its environs should be jealously protected. Equally,  there is little in its present condition, analysed in the perspective of more than half-a-century, to warrant the alarm and even hysteria which too often mark any discussion or debate about the Reef and the policies promoted by governments purportedly to safeguard its well-being.

A key to ensuring the future of the Reef is ensuring the quality of the science upon which governments base policies and legislation for its protection. He advocates rigorous, independent quality assurance of major research, especially that which forms the foundation of public policy.

Peter Ridd, a marine geophysicist, is the author or joint author of more than 100 scientific papers and co-inventor of a range of instruments used on reefs around the world.



The Peter Ridd story:

For people interested in Ocean Acidification see this section 5.5 from page 522 of the comprehensive Climate Change Reconsidered Report by Heartland.
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BidenGate breaks: Facebook, Twitter censor the Whitehouse as “unsafe”, but FBI did nothing?

Hard to say what’s bigger in the October Surprise. Joe Biden gets caught lying in an alleged pay-for-play scandal, Facebook and Twitter do naked political censorship to influence the US election in a “Digital Civil War” , or that the FBI was given all the information last year and didn’t say a thing.

Everything the Democrats accused Trump of doing they were apparently doing themselves.

US House Judiciary Committee publishes Hunter Biden secret Ukrainian email story in full

Michael Smith news:

Hunter Biden introduced his father, then-Vice President Joe Biden, to a top executive at a Ukrainian energy firm less than a year before the elder Biden pressured government officials in Ukraine into firing a prosecutor who was investigating the company, according to emails obtained by The Post.

Joe Biden says he’s “never spoken to my son about his overseas business dealings.”

Donald Trump in the NY Post:  Vice President Biden, you owe the people of America an apology because it turns out you are a corrupt politician,”… “The Biden family treated the vice presidency as a for-profit corporation, flying around the globe, collecting millions of dollars from China and Ukraine and Russia and other countries.”

Trump said the reporting indicates, however, that “Joe Biden has been blatantly lying about his involvement in his son’s corrupt business dealings.” “These emails show that Biden’s repeated claim that he has never spoken to Hunter about his business dealings were a complete lie,” Trump said. “He’s trying to cover up a massive pay for play scandal at the heart of his vice presidency.”

“Hunter was being paid for access to his vice-president father, who was specifically put in charge of Ukraine and Russia,” Trump said. “It’s a corrupt family. Joe Biden personifies the selfish and corrupt globalists who got rich and powerful at your expense.”

Radioactive? Facebook won’t even let The NY Post, a major US Newspaper, share its own article

Facebook jumped so fast, they were stopping it spreading before their own “fact-checkers” even come up with a reason:

Facebook has reduced the distribution of a New York Post story containing bombshell information indicating that — contrary to his previous denials — Joe Biden allegedly did meet with an adviser to the board of Burisma while he was vice president, arranged by his son Hunter, who was then working as a lobbyist for the company. Twitter followed suit soon after, labeling links to the story “unsafe.”

The emails were found on a computer dropped off for repair 18 months ago. The service was never paid for or the laptop retrieved. The repair shop couldn’t say who dropped off the lap top, but it had a sticker from the Beau Biden Foundation, and after all, the contents include emails from and to Hunter and even films that appear to show him in highly compromising “intimate” action. The owner alerted the FBI who seized it last December, but apparently didn’t do anything else. The repair shop kept a copy of the hard drive and gave it to Rudy Giuliani.  Apparently there’s a lot more to come.

The ABC says the authenticity is disputed but has no information other ad homs against Steve Bannon or Guiliani. So far the Biden camp have not disputed that the emails are real, and nor have the FBI. Biden’s campaign point to a recent Republican-led Senate investigation that found “no evidence of wrongdoing on Mr Biden’s part with regard to Ukraine.” Though obviously, that investigation didn’t have these emails.

Joe Biden, NY post, Emails, graft, corruption, headlines, censorship.

Things that are “unsafe” to see three weeks before the US election.

The Legacy media think this censorship is so laudable they use it as evidence that the BidenGate emails are meaningless. Here’s MSNBC “fighting for free speech”:

And now we have Wednesday’s Post article, which is so thin that Twitter has blocked people from accessing or sharing it. Even Facebook, not known for swift action, is slowing the story’s spread on its platform.

“Not known for swift action” indeed. Facebook was happy to let people promote any baseless allegation about Donald Trump. It’s supposed to be a platform, not a publisher.

The Players: The Ukrainian gas firm is “Bursima”. Vadym Pozharskyi is an adviser to the board of Burisma. He approached Hunter Biden (Joe’s son) in 2014 “asking Hunter for “advice on how you could use your influence”. Hunter was given a job with Bursima for $50k a month or even more.

The new emails come in a large trove and show Pozharsky thanking Hunter for inviting him to D.C. “ giving an opportunity to meet your father and spent [sic] some time together.”

Less than eight months after Pozharskyi thanked Hunter Biden for the introduction to his dad, the then-vice president [Biden] admittedly pressured Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk into getting rid of Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin by threatening to withhold a $1 billion US loan guarantee during a December 2015 trip to Kiev.

I looked at them and said: I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money,” Biden infamously bragged to the Council on Foreign Relations in 2018. “Well, son of a bitch. He got fired.”

Facebook is just an arm of The Democrats:

Sohrab Amhari, NY Post: If ‘unreliable’ is the issue, why did social media never block anti-Trump stories?

“Andy Stone, a member of Facebook’s p.r. team, said, “We are reducing [the Post story’s] distribution on our platform.” Before joining the social-media giant, Stone worked for Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, yet he insisted that Facebook’s action was “part of our standard process to reduce the spread of misinformation.” Right.”

Twitter  describe the allegations against Biden as “unsafe”. (Unsafe for Twitter perhaps?)

Twitter are locking out the WhiteHouse Press Secretary,  Kayleigh McEnany, for sharing the story. Even the office of the leader of the free world has no free speech.

Twitter and Facebook don’t just have a vested interest in getting corrupt Big Gov elected, it’s practically their business model.  The last thing the Tech Giants want is  to “Drain The Swamp Trump” to get reelected:

 From Air Force One before the rally, Trump tweeted he wanted to repeal the companies’ protection under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, for operating as publishers rather than neutral hosts of third-party content.

Trump threatens their Big-Government protection racket, and an anti-trust case might break them up.

Big Tech and Big Media have been censoring skeptical scientists for years. Now they censor major media outlets and even The Whitehouse. As long as they do this, sharing the censored news is just a public service announcement.

What is science without free speech….

And where was the FBI?

h/t David E, BruceC, Another Ian, Orson, Ian Hilliar and HelenD.

UPDATE: ConservativeTreehouse have more images and ask useful questions about who took the photos on this laptop and whether there was some blackmail intent about the photos of “explicit acts”.

Did the FBI and U.S. Attorney in Delaware bury the laptop in order to stop the information from surfacing?  Was U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr aware this laptop and content was in the custody of the Delaware USAO?

Who took the pictures and videos of Hunter Biden and what where they going to be used for?  Was this a corrupt Ukrainian effort to compromise U.S. officials; or are there Russian interests involved?

So many questions….

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Thursday Open Thread

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Covid Brain Fog: the survivors who forget whole holidays, can’t recognise their own car

Normal CT scan

Normal CT Scan

We really need to know “how many”.

The NY Times tells the story of some Covid survivors who are forgetting entire holidays that were taken weeks before they got ill. They stare at photos and recall nothing…  One 31 year old woman suffers from “white static” moments where she is so disoriented she washed the TV Remote, couldn’t remember who she was, or where she was.

This happens in other viral diseases too, as sufferers with chronic fatigue, ME, and ongoing inflammation will tell you. But the scale of it appears to be something unique. Months later some of these people are have given up their jobs.

Pam Belluck, New York Times

After contracting the coronavirus in March, Michael Reagan lost all memory of his 12-day vacation in Paris, even though the trip was just a few weeks earlier.

Several weeks after Erica Taylor recovered from her Covid-19 symptoms of nausea and cough, she became confused and forgetful, failing to even recognize her own car, the only Toyota Prius in her apartment complex’s parking lot.


Lisa Mizelle, a veteran nurse practitioner at an urgent care clinic who fell ill with the virus in July, finds herself forgetting routine treatments and lab tests, and has to ask colleagues about terminology she used to know automatically.

Dr. Murphey, scientific director for a brain-wave technology company, who couldn’t summon the word “work” in a recent meeting, said research is crucial so symptoms are taken seriously.

This summer, Mr. Reagan [50], the vascular medicine specialist, turned the stove on to cook eggs and then absent-mindedly left to walk the dog, Wolff-Parkinson-White, named after a cardiac arrhythmia. Returning to discover a dangerously hot empty pan, he panicked and hasn’t cooked since.

…finger tremors and seizures, neurological symptoms that sometimes accompany brain fog, meant “there is no way I’m going to go into surgery and teach a doctor how to suture an artery,” he said.

Read the whole thing…

So far, MRI scans haven’t indicated damaged brain areas, neurologists say.

So that’s something.

As many as one third of hospitalized Covid patients have some memory loss 4 months later

There have been 8 million known cases of Covid in the US and a lot of unknown ones, so we’d expect some stories like this. We hope this is a small percentage, but other studies albeit small, suggest as many as a third of hospitalized patients have memory loss nearly 4 months later. Many of those will be mild memory dropouts, but the rate of hospitalization for influenza is about 1.6%. It is much higher in Covid, more in the order of 10%.

Confusion, delirium and other types of altered mental function, called encephalopathy, have occurred during hospitalization for Covid-19 respiratory problems, and a study found such patients needed longer hospitalizations, had higher mortality rates and often couldn’t manage daily activities right after hospitalization.

But research on long-lasting brain fog is just beginning. A French report in August on 120 patients who had been hospitalized found that 34 percent had memory loss and 27 percent had concentration problems months later.

The French Study by Garrigues et al asked 120 former hospital patients about their recovery 110 days later. They find that most survivors have still have ongoing symptoms over 3 months later:

We included 120 patients after a mean (±SD) of 110.9 (±11.1) days following admission. The most frequently reported persistent symptoms were fatigue (55%), dyspnoea (42%), loss of memory (34%), concentration and sleep disorders (28% and 30.8%, respectively). Comparisons between ward- and ICU patients led to no statistically significant differences regarding those symptoms. In both group, EQ-5D (mobility, self-care, pain, anxiety or depression, usual activity) was altered with a slight difference in pain in the ICU group.

About half were active workers before hand, and 70% had returned to work. Though that means 30% still had not. One quarter still had diarrhea, one in five suffered hair loss.  Just under half reported ongoing shortness of breath. This is nearly four months later. It is not the flu.

From Comments at the NYT –  one Harvard Doctor  has lost three months of memory….

Clair Beard
Boston, MA

I had CoVID in March will full-blown encephalopathy. I was in bed at home for weeks, wondering how low my oxygen level had to be to make my lips that blue, believing that I was dying of heart disease, and unable to move in bed. I should add that I am a Harvard-trained physician with a full-time Harvard appointment and thirty years of work experience at two Longwood hospitals. I remember nothing until July and very little since then. My primary care tells me that I ‘dodged a bullet.’ I cannot describe the frustration and depression that comes with losing one’s intellect. I cannot imagine that cognitive therapy will help me, but I will give it a go if I can find a program. In a way, I am fortunate. I am resourced, have insurance, a good husband, and a home. Many, many people lack these resources. My best to those suffering from CoVID and more to those suffering the death of a loved one. Our lives could have been different with proper strategies and better management early on in the contagion.

Obviously people making policy decisions about the costs of lockdowns, or the value of stopping the virus need good data on these long haulers.

Is Covid the Goldilock’s Bioweapon?

As we mentioned last week, sometimes in war it’s better to maim and impair rather than kill outright. It’s almost as if SARS-2 has the right mix to divide the democracies of The West. Not too deadly, not too nice. It’s scary enough to have to do something, but not scary enough to get unity. If it was infectious ebola, it’d be gone.

Kesi roundel with five-clawed dragon design.jpgMeanwhile, whatever the CCP know about this virus, they appear to be as determined as ever not to let the virus roam. They are testing nine million people to contain the first outbreak in two months.

Otherwise the Chinese economy is recovering very well.

The list of potential long term problems grows. Heart, lungs, head:

Keep reading  →

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