The General Discussion Thread

[Publish Date updated to restore to front page]

Okay as an experiment here it is. Discuss your favourite generals here!

Well perhaps… Really this is simply the place to post news-items, fun-items or whatever takes your fancy. In short just post what you want here.

It’s just another wee experiment – comments welcome.


[Image: General Sir Anthony Cecil Hogmanay Melchett (Stephen Fry)]

13,285 thoughts on “The General Discussion Thread

  1. Squonk, thanks for the explanation, and the excellent news from New Horizons.

    Approaching the 50th anniversary of the Moon landings; it hardly seems possible. It actually seems surreal that there have been no crewed missions further afield for nearly half a century, and we don’t have even a single space station out at geostationary orbit.

    Considering this, it’s not really surprising that there is Moon landing denial. There are a number of Big Unquestionables surrounding the prevailing capitalist order, and the doctrine of Continual Progress is one of them. In that context Moon landing denial makes perfect sense; “if we can’t do that now, no way could we have done it fifty years ago”.

    And it’ll only get worse as our decline drags on. Trump is emblematic of it, tying the most powerful economy in the world to antiquated, dwindling energy sources.

    – Who am I, what and why?
    – ‘Cause all I have left is my memories of yesterday
    – Oh these sour times

  2. Happy new year All.

    About Three hours late.. Went to my Daughters for bells and all the kids were there.. But I was feeling Crap.. Good wee Bells night though ..In bed by 1am

    Two starange Asteroids in one year..or Technology seeing more… Diference Being Oumamua was, is Interstellar Origin, Now on it’s way back..Leaving many Questions

    it’s a stunning night sky tonight..I went out and there right in front of my mighty Orion

    A Healthy 2019 to everyone here as Uk people..and oor Ben, and Trow.

  3. Squonk… Yes Live at the Apollo 2018

    I shall have to coninue my new year celebration..Tomorrow, I think.. 2 hours of that yes concert mmn..Love Rick’s Cloak.

  4. Don’t you love the Yanks, especially SoS Mike Pompeo, going on about ex-marine Paul Whelan being no spy when he could have been looking for where the Kremlin is connected by underground rail to the underground Ramenki bunker where the Russian leadership and its support will go in case of war with the West.

    It would be an ideal target if shooting starts somewhere in the Russian state.

  5. Hi Trow

    Hope you get to My Scotland in 2019…

    well it aint My Scotland Just the Islands…All of them ..MINE

  6. I’ll come to Scotland once I get settled in a new apartment.

    My cancer treatment is working like clock work

  7. They show The Snowman sometime around Christmas every year. This one’s certainly circling around the heavens, but I don’t think there’s much danger of it melting.

  8. Thanks for that, Squonk, alarming indeed! I’ll sit it out for another month here, see what happens. An astonishing reading like that makes one wonder if an instrument error was to blame.

    Clark: Good to see you too.

    Also Brian, of course – keep it lit, my friend.

    (glenn_nl, but also glenn_pt – in the southern tip of Portugal.)

  9. Looks like the FSB infiltrated Paul Whelan’s plot to decapitate Putin’s Russia, like the KGB did with Rick Ames et al. over the Reagan plan to decapitate the USSR with the set-up of Sweden’s Olof Palme assassination as a Kremlin stooge, and British Foreign Secretary Hunt, like Geoffrey Howe back in 1986, is trying to defuse the crisis as just a tit-for-tat ploy.

    The Anglo-Americans would still get failing grades if I was still teaching courses on Soviet Foreign Policy.

    Makes Trump look like some real peacemaker to avoid impeachment.

  10. Now NBC’s critic William Arkin has finally resigned over how it’s treating Trump’s ever more autonomous and dangerous war machine?

    Wonder what he’s learned about Paul Whelan’s plotting?

  11. Basal and squamous cells keep popping up. My dermatologist takes divots for biopsies like hes got a dart and a pint. Seems totally random. At best it is an art, but its science…?

    Some are invasively cut out others lasered with an ointment (annoying) post surgery. I go again for surgery on the 9th and I plan on telling him I use CBD oil instead of his ointment. I also plan on questioning his diagnostic eye.

    They don’t appreciate layman opinion and often ask..sarcastically “are you a doctor?”

  12. JOML, Glenn, Happy New Year!

    Trowbridge, Good news the treatment’s going well.

    Ben, maybe go to a different dermatologist? I had some good results with a crushed knee, admittedly a long time back, by changing hospitals. The new team seemed determined to do better than the first lot. Professional rivalry I assumed.

  13. Clark. It’s not the doctor. It’s the culture. But depending on the response I may have to search and he is considered highly skilled / professional so ‘the devil you know’..

    Most physicians are just average in the level of care and empathy.

    I’ll know in a few days whether to hang around.

  14. See that Putin will not do any exchange for American spy Paul Whelan who was caught in the act of looking for Kremlin entrances to the Ramenki bunker, served by the deep Metro 2 which the West knows almost nothing about.

    Moscow got burned when it exchanged Sergei Skripal et al. for those CIA sleepers aka the Manhattan 11 which resulted in those brutal murders of leakers, starting with GCHQ hacker Gareth Williams. and Putin having to rehabilitate all those naive anti-comunist Americans.

    We all know that Sergei became a renewed MI6 tool whether he liked it or not.

  15. Ben – “It’s the culture”

    it wouldn’t surprise me if things were worse in the States than here. Back in the 1990s I used to like going to Broomfield hospital. I’d been as a patient a couple of times, but sometimes I’d visit the canteen for a coffee or sandwich just when I was passing. The canteen was primarily for medical staff. Obviously, most patients ate on the wards, or in the waiting areas, but the canteen was open to staff, patients and visitors alike.

    But I just liked it there; it had a really friendly, caring atmosphere, and it was the same on the wards, or in Accident and Emergency, and Outpatients etc. The whole hospital just had a good vibe.

    But the internal privatisation of the National Health Service was already in process and working its way through the system. Around 2000, the friendly atmosphere died the death. Nothing I can really put my finger on, but that atmosphere just went, and it has not returned. Personal interaction became cold and sterile.

    But Scotland still has it. I was a driver for the Eden festival last summer, and I had to make a few runs ferrying people between Dumfries hospital and the festival site. It still has that old NHS atmosphere; no mistaking it. But the Scottish government has protected NHS Scotland from Westminster’s neoliberal crusade.

    I think that profit-making is just anathema to healthcare. It’s about profiting from other’s misfortune and suffering. Profit-making is in diametric opposition to the care ethos – the worse people’s health, the more profit to be made. It’s like subcontracting Satan to run the church.

  16. The USA cannot get anymore loony with Trump’s Pentagon now taking credit for Killing al-Badawi for the attack on the USS Cole on October 11, 2000 which killed many Navy sailors, and almost sank the ship.

    Of course, there was no mention of the fact that Osama was eager to direct Pentagon attention on its efforts in East Africa, and the Pentagon bought it hook-line-and sinker, allowing its terrorist attacks to go ahead on 9/11 2001.

    It was people like sacked FBI agent John O’Neill, Yale senior Suzanne Jovin et al. who were claiming the they were going go hit the WTC again with their lives.

  17. Glenn,

    Definitely not instrument error and it was well forecasted by the weather models. It’s slightly misleading because it isn’t the same parcel of air that just suddenly jumps so far in temperature but rather adiabatic warming that had happened more slowly (but still quite quickly) mostly elsewhere in the stratosphere that then moves into position over the north pole.

    The weather system is now in a state of flux and the medium range model outputs are all over the place at the moment trying to lock onto a solution. The new GFS FV3 US model in most of its runs recently ends with the UK under cold air and widespread snow sometime after the middle of the month. We have a high pressure system stuck over the UK feeding in mild Atlantic air keeping the cold (mostly) out for now.

    The pressure over virtually the entire UK was over 1045 millibars a few days ago and that’s exceptionally rare.

  18. Thanks for the Latest weather Squonk..I have felt it very mild for this time of year… Had a couple of good walks.. chilly at times..

    JOML.. Always Open to a Fellow Hebridean Heart.. Aint Been to the Uuist’s Been to Harris and Lewis… Great Wonders out there, But I wanted to do the Trip as a Dream Bike / Cycle Ride, Camp All them beaches..Campfires n Sunests..Skinny Dipping…You Should Check out – Hope Blamire Artist – For Stunning Hebridean Art

    I bet you would enjoy the Oban IUOB March / rally in Oban..

    Glen any Running getting Done..In all that heat. Yikes..Even Scotlands Heatwave last year was Murder.. For me..


    You take care, You Have Distant Healing Empathy.. Human touch / Contact right there is most important.. But WE ARE With You.. Ya Wee Warrior

    The Reiki Distance Healing Symbol… About 12 years ago, I carved it onto the Handle of one of My a Bokkens of all things –

    Clark I should put more Haiku Up..Ta for New year call

    Trow Independence this year.. So you may get In..

  19. For anyone needing cheering up healthwise or otherwise, it is, errm interesting, reading the replies to Trump’s ever more manic tweets.

    For example

  20. I love the Spock / Trump cartoon.

    Some proper Hammond playing on a proper Hammond from Jon Lord.

    Do you think we could save the world by secretly swapping Rick Wakeman for Donald Trump? It’d ruin a few Yes concerts but I think that’s a price worth paying.

    Wow; beautiful star-scape Brian; you can really see the various colours of the stars. Do you suppose that’s Jupiter at the top just right of centre? Because that’s Sirius at the bottom left, down and left from Orion, and Sirius is the brightest star in the sky, but the object at the top seems brighter.

  21. Just grabbed this from a screenshot. Output of Met Office long range model of wind speed and direction in atmosphere from top to bottom circulating around North Pole. Note the surface blue at bottom beginning towards end January and continuing right through April. Potential for “beast from the east” type weather right through to end of April!

  22. This just retweeted by marco petagna @Petagna – Media Advisor & Senior Operational Meteorologist with UK Met Office

  23. Text on slide reads

    The shortage of Natural Gas resulted in an increase in UK coal generation, partly because coal briefly became cheaper than gas as a source of electricity generation but mostly because the UK did not have enough gas in storage to fill both home heating and elecricity generation needs.

    You read that here last year!

  24. Thanks for your sagacity Brian . One should never be late for the Fujisan soul train.

    AA: some minor notes on your embeds..when one copies the URL for jpg files…does it embed automatically when shared?

    My shares often become just a hyperlink.

  25. I’ve often wondered what debt service Megamouth had in his cauldron. Capitalism assumes Adam Smiths Invisible Hand checks human avarice, but that fairy-tale disappears with full implementation.

    Debt is absolutely necessary for one to have a decent credit rating but I used to think honoring your debts was a necessary concomitant.

    Turns out his net worth is about 15 million…not a billion.

  26. Does Mark Golding still comment at Craig’s?

    I really enjoyed having him join in. He’s never commented at Squonk AFAIK.

  27. Ben,

    No, nothing embeds automatically on WordPress without add-ons. If I spot something reasonably soon after it was posted I’ll sometimes edit it to embed.

    Mark Golding still occasionally comments at Craig’s. He has commented here but very rarely.


    The National Weather Service is ‘open,’ but your forecast is worse because of the shutdown

    Suru Saha, a union steward at the Environmental Modeling Center in College Park, Md., said the main impact has been on the National Weather Service’s new global forecast model, which was scheduled to go live in February but will surely be delayed because of the shutdown.

    But in the meantime, the current Global Forecast System — or the GFS — the United States’ premier weather model, is running poorly, and there’s no one on duty to fix it.

    “There was a dropout in the scores for all of the systems” on Dec. 25, Saha said of the scoring system used to rank how the forecast models are performing. “All of the models recovered, except for the GFS, which is still running at the bottom of the pack.” Not only does that mean the day-to-day weather forecast is worse, she said, it is also a national security risk.

    Saha thinks it has to do with the data format. The model brings in data from all over the world, from dozens of different countries that are now standardizing the format to adhere to new regulations. The Environmental Modeling Center was working to adjust for the new formats when the shutdown started. Saha said that even though the Weather Service is getting the data, the GFS doesn’t recognize the format, so it can’t use it. And a model forecast is only as good as its input data.

    “Once the GFS scores start to go bad, it impacts everything,” Saha said. Transportation, the energy sector, national security, agriculture, the stock market, extreme weather. There are about 50 full-time federal employees at EMC and 150 contractors. Only one person is working during the shutdown, she said — a manager who does not work on data or the models. “Things are going to break, and that really worries me because this is our job. We are supposed to improve our weather forecasts, not deteriorate them.

  29. Ben,

    You’ve got an ignorant, racist idiot in the Whitehouse. We’ve got no energy policy in the UK and we had to beg Europe and Russia to help keep our lights on last year. So we’re about to leave Europe just when we might have to beg again.

    Hey we”ve got Fucking Big New Shiny aircraft carriers with no fucking planes that will probably never be used to actually defend the UK but we won’t spend a penny on strategic gas storage. A disease wiping out 99% of the human race would be the best thing for the planet right now (well apart from all the nuclear reactors melting down). Actually perhaps 100% of the human race would be better before we sink nature further into the shit-hole of our own making.

    I should add I don’t actually want to see billions die but barring alien intervention I’m running out of options.

  30. Thx AA. I assume most blog software is the same.

    You sound quite despondent. Better get some full spectrum led lighting for the duration.

  31. Unfortunately there is some evidence that the Great Flood was created by melting the ice cap with an asteroid strike intended to take out their Neanderthal experiment. 🙂

    I’m afraid they have greater reason for culling the Herd.

  32. Ben,

    I do actually have natural light LED bulbs in my living room now. I’m thinking of turning them off so I can go back to my usual winter hibernation so I’m not awake as many hours to take all this crap in.

    Not to mention it may be difficult to keep my lights on of any kind if the national grid goes down when we run out of natural gas!

    Meanwhile the latest 12 zulu US GFS FV3 forecast run (the best USA model) has failed to appear because something went wrong and there is nobody at work at NOAA to fix it.

  33. Well if sleep eludes you join the club. Hate to appear pushy in my ideology but the only way I sleep is cannabis-infused coconut oil before bed.

    Alcohol only serves to awaken you when it runs its metabolic course. Good for two hours. Cannabis often gives me 6 hours of deep sleep. I should add that I wake up every two hours for a piss but I usually drop off again quickly.

  34. And so as the March snow blew across all the land, it came to pass that the day the UK left the EU was also the day that the UK ran out of gas…

  35. Clark

    ” Do you suppose that’s Jupiter at the top just right of centre?”

    I am very Puzzled on that one Clark.. Jupiter – As far as I know Dose not ever Rise that High..Well Not from here..Yes Sirius System under Orion’s Belt…Jupiter Is a Dawn Object Currently.

    I’ve been in and out with the Blankets..Freezing But Beautiful Night Sky.. Winter Night Stars are the best..

    Ben… A woman Who ( Prof of literature ) Tormented me to self Publish..Gave me a wee Book.. Of very old English words.. A gem of a wee book…Thank you for the new Word I had not heard – “sagacity ” Beautiful Word..Much Poetic Potential.

    and Not Just for Haiku..Anyhoo –

    I Dont understand
    their lack of capacity
    For sagacity

    I still maintain My best poem is Three Pages Long .

  36. Brian, it’s Capella. It is flanked by that narrow isosceles triangle of stars. It can’t actually be brighter than Sirius, but Sirius is probably dimmed by being down near the horizon.

  37. At the start of January the conditions were generally very mild and temperatures of up to 14 °C were recorded in places.

    Sounds like this year. However…


    Seventy years ago, from late January until mid March, easterly winds drove a succession of snowstorms across the UK resulting in what was believed to have been the snowiest winter since the mid-nineteenth century. Six weeks of snow, which began on January 23, led to thousands of people being cut off by snowdrifts. As the UK was recovering from the effects of the Second World War, the armed forces were called upon to clear roads and railways of snowdrifts that were up to seven metres deep in places.

    According to the record, snow fell every day somewhere in the UK for a run of 55 days. Because the temperature on most days barely exceeded freezing, much of the snow settled.

    Mike Kendon, who works for the Met Office’s National Climate Information Centre, has co-authored several papers on the severity of British winters. He said: “It was clear that no-one expected the winter of 1947 to be severe

    Unlikely to be repeated this year I hope but…

  38. Ben,

    That’s a lie from NOAA management trying to cover their asses for letting too many staff be furloughed (although it depends on how you define essential). Earlier press reports over-egged the pudding certainly but the GFS FV3 took 24 hours to come back online up to date (it just got there now) after people were called back in to work without pay.

  39. If still working NOAA management admitted that essential services had declined they would be open to massive legal action and even possibly jail time. NASA has taken a broader view (this time) on what is essential unlike NOAA and USGS who just folded to Trump. NASA also seem to have prepared by pre-funding certain operations after they were hit badly by previous shutdowns.

    Legally the top tier at NOAA (also working without pay) cannot say anything other than essential services are not affected because they legally must ensure that essential services are protected. Between a rock and a hard place…


    If you can’t see the images in these tweets embedded click the links.

  41. Another new word to me – isosceles – Always hated Maths.. Though I love the High End Amazing stuff.. Hawking n Co.

    You are Correct Clark.. It’s Capella, and again the isosceles are a giveaway clue… Well Observed.

    Gwad, There are Four Women I gave Stars to, in this one image.. The Ex Wife got the first call ( the Pleiades ) .. that hurt.. Then Aldebaran, – Listeningwater -Who was with myself and Daughter at 2017 doune fest… Capella is Dances in Moonlight.. Recently Married.. And Sirius is Capella’s Sister.. and was the Brides maid.. It was a Beautiful Occasion

    Don’t gave away the stars – to those who may break your heart… I remember sitting out the back garden, all wrapped up for Frosty winter.. Listening to P.Gabriel.. And the Pleiades were always up there Killing me.. My teenage daughter came out once or twice .. Handing me the Phone, as the Oldest Boy was on the Line.. Then she went racing back into the warmth .. Or Back to Bed.. Moral of the Story – Give loved ones a Tree.. that takes a walk, a Mountain you cant see from home.. But Not Stars you can see from your garden..Sigh.

  42. Why doesn’t SoS Mike Pompeo stop spreading confusion by stating US policy clearly, like what it is in Syria and North Korea?

    Like US is going to get rid of all Iranian soldiers, instead of just implying so by talking about Iranian boots there. There are millions of Iranian boots there since it has many Iranian migrants, and a large shiite population.

    Does he want a fallback position if he doesn’t get rid of all the Qud soldiers there?

    And when is he going to demand that North Korea hand over all its alleged nuclear weapons?

  43. Seen some news on that Ben

    Yes indeed it’s the Repeating that grabs the attention, as all other Known Powerful bursts are only one time events .. And we are only just begining to find these repeaters. Very interesting .. yet Nothing From Taby’s star, othere than strange Dimming. Lively stuff..

    Forgot to say ..I gave myself the star Vega, after Carl Sagan’s ‘ contact ‘ –

  44. Wow! Thanks for the Mars links Squonk! And thanks for the weather warnings.

    Hello everyone; good to see you all! Great pun Fred. I have visitors staying; I’ll be busy for a while.


    Snow brings parts of Europe to standstill

    Heavy snowfalls brought chaos to parts of Germany and Sweden on Friday, leaving roads blocked, trains halted and schools shut.

    The Red Cross helped drivers stuck on a motorway in the southern German state of Bavaria as schools and rail services were also hit. A nine-year-old boy was killed by a falling tree on Thursday.

    Northern Sweden was hit by a storm that made roads impassable.

    Austrian rescuers had to battle through chest-deep snow to reach a snowboarder.

    …There was some respite in Austria on Friday, after three metres of snow fell in some parts in previous days. Seven people have died in the past week and two hikers have been missing since Saturday.

    “Such quantities of snow above 800m altitude only happen once every 30 to 100 years,” said Alexander Radlherr from Austria’s Central Institution for Meteorology and Geodynamics.

    Swedish reports spoke of hurricane force winds in parts of the north. One area recorded winds of 49.7m per second (111mph) as Storm Jan ravaged Stekenjokk near the Norwegian border.

    Conditions on Friday were particularly treacherous in Bavaria, where the local broadcaster said snowfalls were paralysing public life.

  46. Don’t you love how America can finally treat cases of rabid racism, like the treatment of the Groveland Four after WWII.

    After some seventy years they were pardoned for being wrongly convicted of raping a white women who survived, and still supports her false claims without any punishment, the four got life sentences and two of them were brutally killed while in prison without any repercussions, their fsmiies got no compensation for how they were treated until dead, etc.

    Florida officials are just grandstanding without any risk of damaging feedback,

  47. Good to see you again Phil.

    That’s a great mission – or two. I really like Queqiao, the satellite in orbit around the L2 Earth-Lunar Lagrange point, beyond the Moon from Earth. That’s really clever. Queqiao also deployed two micro satellites, but one was lost, which is a pity because the pair would have experimented with Very Long Baseline Interferometry.

    Chang’e, the Chinese Moon goddess.

    Queqiao – “Magpie Bridge” – from one of China’s Four Great Folktales, The Cowherd and the Weaver Girl.

    Longjiang 1 and 2 – “Dragon River”.

    Yutu-2 rover – “Jade Rabbit”

  48. Again if you can’t see graphic embedded click link.

  49. Phil, you could propose to clear an area of bikes to use as work space. Maybe hang some of the bikes up, especially the underused ones.


    Mmmm, Hamberders and covfefe. Lovely.

    EDIT: And finally after a few hours someone worked up the courage to tell Trump that’s not how you spell hamburger and the tweet was deleted and replaced. I’m not sure how you get “hamberders” past the spell-check. I’m guessing Trump decides that’s how you spell it and the spell-checker is fake news.

  51. A few days ago Trump tweeted blaming Democrats for “forrest” fires using that spelling twice in the same tweet. That was deleted and retweeted correctly.

    It did produce a storm of Forrest Trump replies.

  52. “Hamberders” is now trending on twitter in the USA.

    If I type “Hamberders” into my phone it offers “Ha Berserk” as the first choice. Some phones offer “I am berserk”…

  53. In a normal situation, wouldn’t one in dealing with a candidate for a new job, judge one by what he or she did previously?

    Not so in William Barr’s candidacy to be Trump’s Attorney General.

    Barr was appointed by GHW Bush to be his AG in the hope that he would prevent the most damaging information of Special Counsel Lawrence Walsh’s investigation of Iran/Contra which could have murdered millions from WWIII from coming out in the the hope that GHW would be re-elected.

    While Barr gained this end by obtaining pardons for the more important culprits, especially Caspar Weinberger, he failed to get Bush re-elected because his crimes were too well known.

    Trump hopes Barr will improve will improve on his past performance.

  54. Latest ECMWF (Euro) – the world’s best performing weather model. Estimated snow depth 10 days from now.

    Now I am cherry picking the snow charts but it just gives some idea of what could be coming. Previous charts I’ve posted have been from the GFS fantasy range but we are now within the Euro 10 day time frame. Still all to play for though.

  55. Mmn.. Cheers Squonk Looking Serious for much of Scotland..I already got Snowed in Before Christmas..Missed the Jiu jitsu Xmas Meal. cos of Snow.

    Thanks for keeping us all Posted..

  56. The weather’s not very nice today here. Dark clouds, and colder, with sleet and rain. The forecast for the next few days as brighter with sunny spells, but another 5 centigrade colder.

    I’m meant to be getting Jamie’s car fixed, but my progress is slow.

  57. National Grid Data shows all gas power stations and all remaining coal stations either ready/running or coming to standby “output usable” stage as fast as possible.

  58. Squonk, what are the colours? Temperature? If so that looks very cold. But the numbers on the key scale run from 496 to 616, which doesn’t seem like a range of anything related to metrology that I can think of.

    And you say it’s from the UK Met Office, so why’s it in French? Copyright restrictions? And incidentally those images are .gif, but if they’re meant to be animated I can’t get them to.

    Sorry for such an avalanche of questions!

  59. Clark,

    That’s why I normally don’t post these charts and just post the ones people might understand. Trouble is the Met Office free use output only includes a very few parameters at selected times 24 hours apart and that’s the most useful one. I could have posted the Met Office t850 hPa chart but that would mean even less to most people!

    It is just a surface pressure chart which also includes the height of the 500 hPA pressure above sea level which gives an idea of the thickness of the atmosphere. Cold dense air will have lower heights and more likely to preduce snow if upper air temps marginal. The units on the charts are metres/10 which is a standard way of writing them.

    The reason I and loads of others use the French site is because it generally has some of the best complete sets (with rapid updates) of all the world model’s free charts.

    No they are not meant to be animated but you can animate them at the meteociel site.

  60. Thanks Squonk.

    Hmm, I ran into similar problems when looking for marine charting while I was staying at the boat-house in Palnackie. Nearly all the EU has licensed chart data for unrestricted public use, but the charts of the UK coastal waters are held by the Admiralty, and they charge plenty for access. There’s a public Wiki-type project to collate depth soundings from volunteers, but there didn’t seem to be many contributors and the charts are very patchy.

  61. A message at YouTube says they’re changing their Terms and Conditions soon and I don’t like the look of the new ones – not that I remember the current ones.

  62. Oh My Gawd.. Terrifying Stuff Sqounk

    I have been reading Medialens – Propaganda Blitz.. Scathing on Msm Climate.. they Quote So many Experts.. Real Experts .. Great book.

  63. Brian, this is why I’m trying to convince commenters such as Blunderbuss and Paul Barbara to stop spreading conspiracy theories – because such stuff undermines public understanding of science.

    What makes them conspiracy theories is not what claims they make, but how they argue them – cherry-picking, misrepresentation, changing the subject, moving the goalposts, refusing to answer rational objections, refusing to acknowledge contrary facts, promoting untruths, and eventually just making up an excuse before running away.

    I love the MediaLens site. The Two Davids do excellent work.


    Beijing digs in: Canada’s complaints are met with ‘death-threat diplomacy’ from China

    The cases are piling up.

    Canadian Robert Schellenberg faces execution on drug charges after an unusually abrupt, accelerated and public retrial this week in a Chinese court. Two Canadians, Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, are being held by China for espionage — not yet charged, deprived of sleep and interrogated daily for more than a month now, according to Canadian diplomats.

    Other Canadians in China have complained of surprisingly harsh treatment for minor infractions.

    None of this violates Chinese law, which bends easily to Beijing’s political objectives. But observers say it signals a new level of aggressiveness for a rising power quite prepared to throw its weight around when other nations’ actions don’t match its world view.

    “Death-threat diplomacy” is what Donald Clarke called it on his blog. He’s a professor of law at George Washington University Law School and an expert on the Chinese legal system.

    …China’s aim seems clear: to pressure Canada into releasing Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou, who was arrested while changing planes in Vancouver last month on an extradition request from Washington. Legal action against Canadians in China ramped up soon after. Beijing insists she has been “unjustifiably detained,” according to official statements.

  65. You forgot to mention Canadians spying on Chinese strategic targets for the last generation at least to overthrow the CCP regime at Uncle Sam’s bidding.

  66. Hello Phil, I set an alarm for five o’clock and had a look out of the window but the sky wasn’t very clear. I could probably have got a view had I got up, wrapped up warm, gone out, and waited for clear patches, but I doubted that I’d see it very well so I just went back to bed.

    On the other hand, I was out walking yesterday at dusk and saw the full moon just after it had risen, and it was spectacular. I texted Squonk who texted back informing me of the eclipse, which made sense because lunar eclipse occurs in the middle of the fullest moons.

  67. Brian, sorry. I don’t really know why I used your screen name; maybe because I got a call from my friend Brian in Bradford. Maybe for clarity; maybe because it’s the name you use on screen but I hadn’t used it for a while. I don’t know. I didn’t mean anything by it, or at least I didn’t think I did.

    I really like Brad Warner’s blog. He’s been practising for a long time, but he’s really down to earth about it.

    I’m a bit confused about this. I’m not sure if you’re really upset, or if you’re pulling my leg. I certainly didn’t mean to upset you, and I’ve no idea what might be offensive about

  68. I think I linked because he practices Bhuddism, and so do the Two Davids at MediaLens. I was just chatting really.


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