JonKnowsNothing March 5, 2021 5:35 PM


re: Supply Chain vulnerability: Bank-Funding collapse

MSM reports on the imminent collapse of a financial services company that provides Supply Chain funding.

Supply Chain funding is a variation of Factoring (as in Banking Finance).

Generically, the Customer helps the Supplier to obtain financing to buy supplies and materials for an order. Most companies do not have the bank funds or cash on hand, to buy vast quantities of materials and this is a different format to obtain funding.

A crude analogy might be where you (Customer) buy the wood and materials to replace a fence provided the fence builder (Supplier) gives you a discount. Then you go to the bank (Supply Chain Factor) and get funds to buy the materials. (1)

The imminent collapse Greensill Capital will have a ripple effect not only in the loss of funding, loss of direct jobs, but also in dried up supply purchase orders, booking orders and billions in investment funds (hedge and private).

1, note: This is not a good practice. In the USA licensed contractors are normally required to buy all materials and pay their sub-contractors providing an invoice for all services. Large projects like home remodeling or new construction contracts may include some up-front deposit or percentage of completion payments.

  • “I need $2,000 to buy the wood… “

ht tps://
* Greensill Capital a financial services company based in the United Kingdom, focused on the provision of supply chain financing and related services.

ht tps://

ht tps://

ht tps://
* supply chain financing (or reverse factoring) is a financing method initiated by the ordering party (the customer) in order to help its suppliers to finance its receivables more easily and at a lower interest rate than what would normally be offered.

ht tps://
* Factoring is a financial transaction and a type of debtor finance in which a business sells its accounts receivable (i.e., invoices) to a third party (called a factor) at a discount

(url fractured to prevent autorun)

chris March 5, 2021 6:18 PM

Thought you might have focused on this one instead “Cuttlefish can pass the marshmallow test” (link broken to prevent autorun)

ht tps://

Clive Robinson March 5, 2021 7:16 PM

@ JonKnowsNothing,

The imminent collapse Greensill Capital will have a ripple effect not only in the…

Yes ex UK PM David Cameron is one of their advisors…

Also shady Indian Steel Magnet Sanjeev Gupta’s sprawling company GFG Alliance has massive loans through them.

Sanjeev got some realy good deals out of the UK when David was PM, and they were significantly questioned at the time.

But more fun behind Greensill is SoftBank that a few here might have heard of. Greensill might now be worth 0.1billion, at the time SoftBank put in 1.5billion Greensill had a 4.5billion valuation. But if German authorities do criminally investigste Greensill Bank that has in effect loaned Gupta’s GFG Alliance severall billion at best questionably then that 0.1billion would become a major liability.

Speaking of liability the UK made massive COVID loans to Gupta’s sprawling GFG Alliance that was supposadly backed by Grernsill… Thus the UK becomes “The insurer of last resort” and could end up owing way more than the loans…

So potentialy this is another “Too Big to Fail” with over 50,000 jobs to be lost and potentially another financial crisis… Because rather than hold the debt, just as they did with mortgage debt they turned it into securities that hedg funds and the like have tucked into peoples pension and savings…

Hopefully this will not turn into another financial roller coaster ride through “Recessionsville”…

AL March 6, 2021 12:11 AM

I’ve been J&J from the start. While mRNA vaccines have been coming in under the coattails of decades of vaccines, there is no long term track record on mRNA. Second, J&J is one and done. Less crap being shot into the arm. If it does some good stuff with that cleavage, that’s an added plus. But, one and done works.

JonKnowsNothing March 6, 2021 12:28 AM

@SpaceLifeForm @Clive

re: COVID-19 vaccine Spike Protein shape locks

Interesting article and very good graphics.

It will be interesting if they follow up with the variants. Some of them are showing more pliability in the spike shape and a change in the protein fold covering the cleavage site and folding over the antibody target attachment areas.

If the results carry forward that the deletion inhibits this, that would be very good news indeed.

  • removal of the cleavage site “DCP” might make the protein more stable in the body after vaccination

Joe K March 6, 2021 3:24 AM

@ SpaceLifeForm

But the more people that get vaccinated, the sooner the infection
rates go down, and the sooner we can get back closer to normal.

How much closer?

I read

and fail to see much hint of an imminent “return to normal”:

Do I need to wear a mask and avoid close contact with others if I have gotten 2 doses of the vaccine?
Yes. To protect yourself and others, follow these recommendations:
* Wear a mask over your nose and mouth
* Stay at least 6 feet away from others
* Avoid crowds
* Avoid poorly ventilated spaces
* Wash your hands often


We also don’t yet know whether getting a COVID-19 vaccine will
prevent you from spreading the virus that causes COVID-19 to other
people, even if you don’t get sick yourself.

Clive Robinson March 6, 2021 4:47 AM

@ Joe K,

… and fail to see much hint of an imminent “return to normal”:

With regards mask wearing you have to consider two things,

1, Other airborne pathogens.
2, Hybrid and other mutations.

Oh and the issue all people who give health care advice fall under. That is the more they erro on the side of caution the less issues down the line there are for them. Which is where you have to note,

“We also don’t yet know whether getting a COVID-19 vaccine will
prevent you from spreading the virus that causes COVID-19 to otherpeople, even if you don’t get sick yourself.”

What that says is “Nobody has produced the science ‘yet'” therefore we will assume the worst untill they do. We see similar issues over Vitimin D and Vitimin K2 guidelines in the UK and other places that might have been responsible for killing thousands needlessly.

But in all honesty the “Hands, Face, Space, Ventilate” is good advice even if we were not in a pandemic.

The flu for this season was predicted by some to be a nasty one. Yet have you heard anything about it? Probably all you’ll hear is that flu prevelence this season was low. The reason the “hands, face, space, ventilate” works as well if not better for flu and other airborne pathogens as it does for SARS-CoV-2 and it’s multitude of varients.

Now there is another problem which is if you have been vaccinated agsinst SARS it is mutating in what is now a very very large population. On the simple assumption that mutation is roughly a small constant of the prevalence then a high degree of prevalence means a high mutation rate.

There are two basic forms of mutation to consider. The first is due to the expected genetic drift in replication which tends to be small changes. The second and potentially way more nasty is hybrid-mutation where major changes can happen.

Put simply hybrid-mutation can occur when you have two infections at the same time. As the replication occures you get part of the RNA from one and part of the RNA from another chopped and spliced together. This can be as bad as creating a whole new pathogen and it’s what many scientists think is the root csuse of SARS-CoV-2 and it’s ability to zoonotic transfer into humans. Therefore it’s sensible to keep you as free from all pathogens as possible. Because if sygnificant hybrid-mutation does occur in you, you will be the first person to be “novel to it” as will anyone else you shed it onto.

But importantly is the point about vaccination, it does not stop you being infected, what it does is speed your bodies immune system up if it’s in a healthy state. Therefore there is a small window in which either form of mutation can occur, which you realy do not want, nor for that matter does anyone else.

Speaking of zoonotic transfer, we know that SARS-CoV-2 can jump into a wild spiecies (mink/ferret/otter family) and back again, similar is suspected of other large primates and is under investigation. If one of SARS-CoV-2’s multiple varients can jump into another spiecies where it is not as fatal then it could form a disease reservoir, and jump back to humans on a regular basis if it does then we have problems.

Thus you can see why after a “what’s the problem?” start this time last year that gave us this pandemic in the West, why many people are playing it safe.

As for others in Texas etc one can only hope that Govornor Abbot gets hoist by his own idiological petard and rather rapidly, then others might wise up a bit.

Realistically I can see “mask wearing” and “social distancing” along with way better building design become the norm in the West as it had started to become in the East. As I’ve noted on a number of occasions it’s a “Individual Rights -v- Societal Responsability” issue.

So does a warped and failing idiology that turns people into mass murderers have priority over societies responsability to protect it’s self from such mass murderers?

It’s your right to have a viewpoint but that does not mean it’s acceptable in practice. That is you have to consider the harms not just individual but to all.

But which way is the majority realy?

If you look up any case of mass murder or serial killing reported in the newspapers and the general public response, you can see where society at it’s base level is and that’s not with mass murder or discredited ideology, heck arguabbly that’s what the “War on Terror” should tell people.

name.withheld.for.obvious.reasons March 6, 2021 5:01 AM

Is Hate Speech in the Public Interest?
Speech absolutism is more a dream than a thing. I prefer answering bad ideas with good ones, not through the camber of a barrel loaded with a projectile.

Courts have held several examples of speech and tests to determine if there is “imminent danger”. But I will suggest a background hypothesis underlying “speech space”.

What is problematic is not the individual story or content filtering or censorship of objectively measurable harm in a broader context, it is the nature or fidelity to speech the both speakers and listeners abide (Clive’s repeatedly mentioned responsibility). This is reflected for example in what is termed “Stochastic Terrorism”. Adding to this basic concept, the scope and numeracy of Stochastic Terrorism with the ability to conglomerate the hate speech while promoting lies and false narratives.

To functionally amplify effects, media consolidation (Telecomm reform act of 1996) presents new danger and the ability to damage the public and has changed in how and how many. When small local papers, radio or tv stations were bought out on the cheap during the media fire sales of the late 1990’s and early 2000’s where historically individuals promulgate falsities, lies, or propaganda the natural boundary of the “speech space” provided a buffer to wider damage. Media consolidation eliminates this buffer. Consolidation in the physical space has been accompanied by syndication. The two together makes for an unnatural monopoly in communications markets that include publicly allocated resources. But the integration of the aforementioned media markets and systems makes for a powerful tool to apply in a manner that threatens us all.

Those that respect the constitution are not the ones abusing it. The bad faith actors have a deliberate strategy to use the nature of rights against those that would argue that they must be protected and could care less; correction, their goals include destroying constitutional law.

Curious March 6, 2021 5:05 AM

Somewhat off topic:
I am wondering, how is crypto currencies supposed to evolve over the next 50-100+ years? Would a cyrpto currency become obsolute (perhaps predictably so?), or how is security/integrity of such eh systems to be maintained over time?

name.withheld.for.obvious.reasons March 6, 2021 5:19 AM

@JonKnowsNothingIt will be interesting if they follow up with the variants. Some of them are showing more pliability in the spike shape and a change in the protein fold covering the cleavage site and folding over the antibody target attachment areas.There has been some interesting work on amino acid changes that constitute the external protein substrate and the chains the form and attach the spike protein (BD, binding domain) to the virus. There are organic chemical chains that could be attacked to essential break the spikes on the surface of the virus. Thus the spike is broken and cannot bind to ACE2 or other inhibitors.

Clive Robinson March 6, 2021 5:20 AM

@ AL, SpaceLifeForm, ALL,

But, one and done works

Does it?

I would not be too sure on that, the evidence is far from in on that.

In fact some think what ever vaccine we have, we will have to have additional shots as “mutations happen”.

But interestingly research is comming through that a second shot of the same vaccine is actually not the best stratagem. Take the Russian vaccine it’s two different vaccines, and from what we can tell from published evidence the Russian vaccine has the best results over all so far.

Realistically COVID is so prevalent now that the rate of mutation is also high. Even simple evolution favours vaccine avoidant mutations. So what works well today may not work as well tommorow or the day after.

There is a reason people get a flu shot every year and it’s mutations and the longevity of the immune response. The same basic reasoning applies to COVID, where we as yet have no idea as to the longevity of the immune response. What we do know is that the mutation rate is high and “The World” is not going to be even sufficiently immunized in the next couple of years. So we are in a race between immunization rate and mutation rate, with a real possibility it will become a “Red Queens Race” and we will be jabing peoples arms every year for COVID from now onwards.

We simply do not know. I’ve had my first shot of “Oxford” which as I’ve indicated was what I considered on published evidence at the time to go for and would chose of the two available (Pfizer being the other).

Now due to compleatly crazy behaviours in Europe, people in Australia may not get their jab as expected, something Canadians are also in the same position over. Thus one of the things I have to consider is,

“What if there is not a second jab to give me?”

At the time it looked like the Pfizer vaccine carries the most risk on that of the two I had choice of.

It’s one of the reasons researchers are currently looking into,

1, Is the second jab required?
2, Can it be a different vaccine?
3, How long between jabs can people wait?

The results so far from large cohort studies suggests that what we thought at the begining of these vaccine developments is not as originally thought.

We will just have to wait and see where the evidence takes us.

But I’m already looking at the possibility that my next jab will not be the same Oxford vaccine I’ve already had.

Winter March 6, 2021 6:34 AM

“Is Hate Speech in the Public Interest?”

The slave trade, Armenian and Ruandese genocides, Soviet Gulachs, the Holocaust, and the Chinese Cultural Revolution all floated on seas of hate speech. It was the constant firehose of hate speech that allowed these atrocities to proceed.

So, I would answer with: No.

Peter March 6, 2021 6:39 AM

Office applications Google taboo for Dutch government

Google further refuses to accommodate the privacy requirements that the Dutch government places on its office applications. The tech giant is only willing to make a limited number of concessions. The government is now leaving it up to the Personal Data Authority (AP) to decide what to do next.

The office applications of G Suite Enterprise and the education variant G Suite for Education have not been found suitable for the central government and schools respectively. Privacy is too high a risk. This means that government agencies must abandon their plans to use the Google Cloud

Winter March 6, 2021 6:48 AM

@ Peter
“Office applications Google taboo for Dutch government”

And rightly so. Institutions should not be allowed to force dependents like students and employees to use unsafe applications that endanger their privacy.

This is exactly what the GDPR tried to correct. I hope this is followed through to the end.

Curious March 6, 2021 7:27 AM

@name.withheld.for.obvious.reasons et al
“Speech absolutism is more a dream than a thing. I prefer answering bad ideas with good ones, not through the camber of a barrel loaded with a projectile.”

I don’t understand your gun metaphor. How does shooting down anybody or anybody’s ideas in a metahphorical sense, make any sense, when there is not even a notion of an ‘aim’? Your metaphor seem to rely on an idea of metaphorically killing off somebody or somebody’s ideas, which seems overly specific. Who get’s to decide if anybody or anybody’s idea was killed off in the first place? If an answer to my question is simply deciding between metaphorically killing off a person or its ideas, one imo ends up with either real violence or metaphorical violence. This notion of metaphorical violence seems to me to be strangely familiar with mantras of no allowing any free space for criminals online, as if legitimizing violence (sanctioned politics) by decree, as opposed to rationalizing violence as a reaction to something. I think normally, people will consider such to be something abusive directly in a negative sense.

Re. so called ‘hate speech’. I think “hate speech” is a concept so flawed it shouldn’t be used outside metaphorical speech, because: in being specific in accusing others of ‘hate speech’, imo it is then obivously paradoxical, that one is attributing ill will to others by decree, which in itself would then be the same as ‘hate’ or ‘hating’. Or, it becomes like an argument in which you say “you are guilty of a hate crime, because we say so”.

Edit: I don’t know why you would want to think of a ‘speech space’ as anything, other than making it analogous to a range of publishing outlets. Your idea of a ‘speech space’ I think can easily be abused conceptually and as an analogy I think it ought to have stated limitations, because if ‘speech space’ was to be a general notion for people, of an analogy of space as a metric where you simply relate to countless instances of opinions being made in ways, and not only making a point about conglomeratization of media, then it seems to me that you maybe want to make an association of ‘speech’ as something inevitable (but without merits for it being inevitable, or failing to want to acknowledge speech as obvious) but for potential reasons I would find very suspicious.

I can think of ways to abuse the use of a more general idea like a ‘speech space’ being publishing space and alluding to a space for speech but incorporating novel ways to call speech ‘publishing’, by adding or actualizing special claims later on for the ‘merit of speech’ as being either ‘inevitable’ and cannot be harmed thus trivializing speech as something that cannot be taken away from you as it would be deemed something free for you anyway (but effectively being made irrelevant “politically” by relying on wanting there to be a difference between ‘free speech’ and ‘speech’), and then afterwards asking or demanding there to now be ‘a merit’ to ‘speech’ (permit for “free speech” called “speech”, an idea of speech sold to you, and again for “free”), which would politize a normal human activity like voicing opinions, and suppress it in ways by so called ‘moderation (often 100% deletion of content and maybe even a user ban) or outright censorship (newspaper turning off comments below a perticulary news story, or maybe never running a articulary news story in the first place). I think this idea of ‘speech space’, oddly enough, here by merit of being qualified as being published material to limit speech, also would bite the publishers in the ass if creating censorship or self censorship rules, in editorializing news in biased ways or by omitting news stories. The way I see it, there can be no real ‘speech space’, the same way there is no ‘space’, they are just conceptual ideas, but not something existing in the world we live in. And when ‘space’ is erroniously assocated as “a real place”, that becomes a fantasy, something strictly imaginary and unreal.

I think your idea about ‘speech space’ is terrible. I think the vagueness and pretentiousness of your idea reminds me of Donald Rumsfeld’s ill conceived notions about ‘unknown unknowns’, because to think about so called “speech” (afaik already an overly abstracted idea in USA, becoming a qualifier to be applied rather than a quality that can be identified), as belonging to a imaginary ‘speech space’ and which in turn is thought of as being a part of what could makes up ‘stochastic terrorism’; I will argue that ‘speech space’ then becomes so fantastical, the way one could identify terrorism with speech in some objective way, would be by idiocy, or public decree, something wholly idiotic, or something authoritarian. Paradoxically, such an idiotic or authoritarian conclusion, would be contratry to any idea of anything being stochastic. It would then become a bullshit, or, an erranous argument to claim that some speech is/was, or, could be stochastic terrorism, because one claim to be detecting some speech as terrorism, when what one is doing is making an attribution, as opposed to detection. The problem at hand is imo not in thinking for or against ‘absolutism’ in attributing meaning to words, but to at least understand and acknowledge the various process’ people or society abide to when agreeing to something in public space. Idiocy, fear and abuse ought not be any process for public discourse in themselves, such would just be obvious pieces of rhetoric. And if they weren’t obvious, people surely wouldn’t want to rely on such, it would be idiotic and undemocratic. I can’t help but now think that philosopher Hegel’s (late Hegel as opposed to early Hegel) ideas about the ‘absolute’ is obviously uncomplicated for better establishing some kind of self awareness in an individual, compared to some half assed public discourse where omissions in interpretations would be what basically propel people’s ignorance and perhasp their trust in things.

Re. Hegel, I am no expert on the subject of his works, but it seems obvious to me that: in becoming aware and also acknowledging the anachronnistic nature of intuition, in which ones willingness and desire to contextualize meaning back and forth becomes apparent (the notion of an absolute, in such a self reflexive moment), one really can’t stray too far off with fanciful notions without basically lying to oneself. Thus public discourse can really only rely on arguments, or the proverbial ‘public’ would easily be more like an idea of a bunch of individuals with idiotic opinions.

Btw, as I read about the idea of ‘responsibility’ I wanted to simply point out that taking, giving, and having ‘responsibility’ are all concepts that have a wildly different meaning to them, and also complicated futher by obviousoly also being dependent one one’s point of view on each of the three aspects already mentioned re. responsibility. I would argue that once one confuse the notion of ‘meaning’ with attribution of meaning in thinking about things, or simply omitting such a considearation, it becomes difficult if not impossible to even notice what is and isn’t ‘idiotic’ in making a reference to ideas. This leading me to conclude that society cannot be lead ‘by’, and perhaps more importantly in this time of ‘democracy’, cannot be lead ‘for’ people that would be idiots. Philosophically speaking, is any state really led by democracy? I don’t think so, because the way I see it, democracy is not ‘a quality’ like most people probably believe, is would have to be ‘a process’ which in turn cannot be thought of as a quality, or it would be like thinking that the chicken and the egg conondrum could be answered by thinking of either the chicken and/or the egg as being inevitable, an idea of inevitability which is obviously wrong, and would be more like wishful thinking.

metaschima March 6, 2021 8:21 AM

On mRNA vaccines, I think you guys don’t really get it, they all are mRNA vaccines. Regular vaccines take decades to make. These new vaccines are all mRNA vaccines, the only thing that differs is the encapsulation method. Pfizer and Moderna use nanoparticles, which is by far the best. The AstraZeneca and Johnson and Johnson use human adenovirus capsule, which actually leads to much less effective vaccine and less clean because of the adenovirus capsule. Really you don’t have a choice as to mRNA vaccines, they are all mRNA vaccines, do your research. I took the Pfizer and I still think it’s the best one. However, I recommend taking any of them when you get the chance.

Etienne March 6, 2021 10:10 AM

There should be a law, that you need a permit from the Department of Energy before you can mine crypto-currency, or face a significant fine and/or prison.

We don’t allow people to mine any other product willy-nilly, why should we let them destroy a nations power sector to create an useless product.

JonKnowsNothing March 6, 2021 10:14 AM


re Two Crows

1, FB has scraped 1 Billion photos from Instagram and used them to build Yet Another AI bot to identify objects.

They are very happy.

2, A different group of folks built a simple and effective Sleeping Draught to give Very Dense AI Object Identifying bots to make them hide in the broom cupboard.

All you need is pen and paper.

Time to break out the cursive writing practice sheets…

ht tps://

  • Facebook uses one billion Instagram photos to build massive object-recognition AI

ht tps://

  • You only need pen and paper to fool this OpenAI computer vision code. Just write down what you want it to see.

Harry Potter Sleeping Draught

  • The Sleeping Draught is a potion that causes the drinker to fall almost instantaneously into a deep but temporary sleep.

(url fractured to prevent autorun)

Winter March 6, 2021 10:17 AM

“Re. so called ‘hate speech’. I think “hate speech” is a concept so flawed it shouldn’t be used outside metaphorical speech, because: in being specific in accusing others of ‘hate speech’, imo it is then obivously paradoxical, that one is attributing ill will to others by decree, which in itself would then be the same as ‘hate’ or ‘hating’. Or, it becomes like an argument in which you say “you are guilty of a hate crime, because we say so”.”

In 1994, radio stations in Rwanda started referring to Tutsi’s and moderate Hutu’s as “cockroaches” who had to be exterminated. This hate speech campaign was instrumental in organizing one of the biggest genocides after WWII, with 600,000 – 1 million victims.

There is absolutely no difficulty in identifying these radio broadcasts as hate-speech. And the listeners did not have any problem at all is knowing how to respond.

Also, there is no sane person on earth who does not see the ill will in these broadcasts. Except, maybe some American Free-Speech absolutists/Libertarians. But I am always in doubt whether these qualify as “sane”.

Curious March 6, 2021 11:24 AM

Btw, I just watched a video lecture on youtube about quantum information theory from Sept. 2019 that also at the end touches on quantum crypography. Perhaps it would be of interest to people. The video is an hour long and have a few min. at the end for a brief Q&A session.

Towards the end of the video, as I understand it, I thought it was interesting that the speaker makes the point that there is a difference about thinking of such a system as ‘reality’ when it is best thought of as ‘information’. I sort of got the idea that, even if you aren’t measuring particle positions, you still get to do computing with quantum mechanics, and somehow he also made the point that his work got its citations from its link to understanding potential eavesdropping in quantum communication (or something like that). The latter wasn’t explained in this presentation.

Presumably, when he talks about doing calculations on a quantum computer, one relies on things happening simultaneously in the components (or in the world), and I guess that what would make such a computer work would be relying on quantum particle entanglement. Personally, I have this weird and admittedly naive idea that the reason quantum entanglement, or spooky action at a distance, is a thing, is because as I imagine it, the state of entanglement isn’t causal the way one would think happens along the arrow of time, so I imagine it (causality on a QM level) instead to be more like an unfolding of matter at QM effects scale, as if you had time reversal (which I don’t believe in), but you would have to replace ones notion of ‘time’, with something that goes in reverse (not possible for our 4d world) and something that isn’t ‘local’ (like particle centric). Wouldn’t it be hilarious if the future of quantum cryptography had its security catastrophically undermined by, never knowing if your hardware had secret built in settings into it, because you coudln’t practically look for such backdoors which relied on what I imagine to be QM effects that simply doesn’t unfold like typical causality that can be measured locally? 🙂 I guess (hey I am no expert) there would be two types of basic issues, information moving around in a network, and information computed on hardware, or maybe some blend of the two.

Curious March 6, 2021 11:32 AM


By the example you used, a message announed in a radio transmission, I would argue, it doesn’t make any sense, or, one couldn’t then use the event as an example of hate speech, as something specific, or, anything similar could be thought of as “hate speech”. Thus, bordering on wishful thinking, or, requiring you to decide what is and isn’t hate speech, making you a powerful person to find people guilty as charged, or, making your a bystander to such accusations. Obviously, such a thing would be a political tool, my point is basically that what is going on, isn’t best described at neither ‘hate’ nor ‘speech, but something that I would have to think is already found in most countries’ criminal code. You could argue that I would be wrong in thinking that ‘hate speech’ as a concept shouldn’t be used because you think there is an application for it, but I would disagree to that, because of how unnecessary and potentially abusive such accusations/crimes would be, even though the reality of things, are not what one would deem ‘metaphorical’ (like a broadcasted message).

I would argue that expressions of ‘ill will’ is likely something that can be prosecuted under, by existing laws, not by inventing a political tool that, perhaps is made to construct generic or mass charges of crimes committed.

Curious March 6, 2021 11:42 AM


I want to add that, when I used the phrase ‘ill will’, it refers to not only people that express a desire to hurt or harass others, but also, my point is also that ‘ill will’ is also what would be the sanctioned actions of police and government authorities. “Law and order” is I would argue typically not synonymous with justice, so I would think it is important to keep in mind what disproportional powers that are at play, either way.

I think it is also obivous that, making ‘hate speech’ to be a crime in ways, will not prevent a dedicated abuser if charging people with a hate crime retrospectively after some type of violence, nor do I think that hate speech will quality for criminal conduct the same way as if one was found guilty of having committed a crime.

There is ofc, nothing stopping anybody using the phrase “hate speech” to point out calls for harassment and violence and such, as being abusive and otherwise an affront to ones sense of justice. Unless.. perhaps if you then try turn ‘hate speech’ against a government, then good luck trying to get your government to persecute itself for hate speech.

Winter March 6, 2021 11:42 AM

“These new vaccines are all mRNA vaccines, the only thing that differs is the encapsulation method. ”

No, they are not.

There are two mRNA vaccines, Pfizer’s and Moderne’s. The rest uses incomplete Adenoviruses. An Adenovirus is a DNA virus, so it does not contain any RNA. In the course of vaccination, the injected viruses will generate mRNA. But so does the SARS2 virus itself.

Winter March 6, 2021 11:52 AM

“By the example you used, a message announed in a radio transmission, I would argue, it doesn’t make any sense, or, one couldn’t then use the event as an example of hate speech, as something specific, or, anything similar could be thought of as “hate speech”.”

It was a long running campaign, calling for the extermination of Tutsis, while referring to them as cockroaches. In the course of this campaign, over half a million Tutsis and those helping them were murdered.

I do not see what about this example does not make sense. There is absolutely no doubt that those who spoke hated Tutsis and wanted to murder them. Also, the results show that this speech incited hate in a large number of listeners who the went out to kill a large number of people.

“my point is basically that what is going on, isn’t best described at neither ‘hate’ nor ‘speech”

It is both hate and speech. What other name than “hate speech” is applicable here?

If someone now stands up and calls for sending all Jews/blacks/muslims/jesidis to the gass chambers, that would again also be hate speech.

AL March 6, 2021 12:01 PM


> But, one and done works
Does it?
I would not be too sure on that, the evidence is far from in on that.

It will do for this year vs the two and done other option. I’m “done” for this year.
But, I’m in the camp that this bat virus was possibly enhanced in a lab to become exceptionally contagious. The other choices, a meat market that didn’t have the right bat, an intermediate animal, and now, frozen meat doesn’t appear to be any more plausible. So, I am not optimistic that we’ll end this plague. I think that this virus is contagious enough that a mutation will be able to survive the current vaccination effort.

Clive Robinson March 6, 2021 12:17 PM

@ name.withheld…, ALL,

Is Hate Speech in the Public Interest?

First you have to define “Hate Speech”, as I’ve occasionaly pointed out there are three basic types of “—ists”,

1, Those who through their own failings feel thay are not doing as well as another group. They then blaim that group for their lack of money, power, status, etc.

2, Those who have come to harm by members of an easily recognised group thus blaim the entire group as though they all created the harm.

3, Those who see profit in segregating one group against another, the more the tension between the groups the more money, power, status they aquire. Often they can be found helping a group and in effect promoting then in a way that stokes tension against that very group. Sometimes they can be hard to spot, sometimes not, certain lawyers of recent times fell into this group.

There is another group which tends to precead the other three. Those that are taught / indoctrinated “from birth” or by “belief”. It’s in effect a form of tribalism and as such it comes almost “built in” to many people who then go on to become one of the three other groups. As such it is a “primer” or “feeder” group, that tend not to exhibit strong “—ism”, mostly as they have no idea they hold such views.

From this you can see it can be.

1, Difficult to spot hate speech.
2, Realise what the real cause of the hate is.

But there is a flip side to “hate speech” which is censorship / propaganda and is also a form of “—ism” for money, power or status.

If you make a statment that may or may not be true, and even if you are not from the targeted group you will be accused in effect of “aiding and abetting the enemy” or some such.

We have to be carefull to not fall into the trap of “branding and banning” speech. Unfortunately in the UK we have such legislation and it’s fairly clear the judiciary in the main wish the legislators had been so idiotic. In part because the use of such legislation almost always backfires and creates “Cause Celeb” and “martyres” as well as “banging the drum” and “waving the flag” for the cause the authorities are trying to stop.

What people have to realise is that “Free Speech” and “hate speech” are not the two faces of the same coin. That is it is not a “zero sum game” and both sides can loose to a thoughtful third party on the make.

There is an old truism about wars, at some point both sides have to buy from third parties. Therefor “It can be very profitable to sell bombs and bullets to one side and food and bandages to the other”… Obviously if you are doing this the last thing you would want is “Peace” as your outrageous profiteering stops.

Oh and remember what applies to “war” applies to both “politics” and “business”. If you can control the information flow as a covert hand or as a covert hand behind an overt hand then with care “Money”, “Power”, and “Status” are yours, and “Hate speech” real, imaginary, or accused is just abother tool in the box.

Winter March 6, 2021 1:27 PM

From Wikipedia:

Hate speech is defined by the Cambridge Dictionary as “public speech that expresses hate or encourages violence towards a person or group based on something such as race, religion, sex, or sexual orientation”.[1] Hate speech is “usually thought to include communications of animosity or disparagement of an individual or a group on account of a group characteristic such as race, colour, national origin, sex, disability, religion, or sexual orientation”.[2] A legal definition of hate speech varies from country to country.

Sounds pretty clear to me. The main ingredient is denouncing a person or group based on a group characteristic.

Fed.up March 6, 2021 1:37 PM

@ AL

I am with you. China doesn’t have any social security (pension scheme). They have about 245 Million about to retire that they cannot support.
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The tech industry and corporate America do not hire anyone over 45 in the USA. The bias is extreme. It is very overt too.

Perhaps this virus was created for population control. It isn’t like China hasn’t tried to do that before with their 1-child mandate and also selective abortions. But that really didn’t work out for them, because now they have way too many men. ht tps://

If the vaccines do not solve this will the world have elderly or chronically ill people going forward? Likely only wealthy ones who can stay home forever.

The USA is experiencing depopulation. But in the US it is the educated class that is not having children and will no longer want to if they are faced with having their kids at home instead of school. No one really wants to raise their children themselves.

This is the current post COVID population projections from the World Economic Forum and US Gov:
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So much depression too. I know so many young people who cannot smile anymore. Left university. And will seek deferment next semester if no in-class education continues. Many aren’t even seeking work after graduating. 60% of young children in NYC are not even showing up for remote class. We are going to have a generation of children that will have no education whatsoever. Because if you lose them, they never return.

Kids were already suffering from social media addiction and lack of self-worth. Socialization was already lacking and now is off the rails.

I don’t think that anyone who hates the group I was born into should be silenced. Censorship is what caused WW2. I also do not think that difference of opinion is hate speech. I often laugh when I see people spout offensive crap. But that’s what comedians used to do is make fun of people. I often make fun of myself. I think humor is most important and what is missing from the Millennial generation. But it is what we most need right now. I found the most offensive comedians the funniest. I miss it. This man is a hero –
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Clive Robinson March 6, 2021 2:02 PM

@ metaschima,

On mRNA vaccines, I think you guys don’t really get it, they all are mRNA vaccines. Regular vaccines take decades to make. These new vaccines are all mRNA vaccines, the only thing that differs is the encapsulation method.

Oh dear, I don’t know what you have been reading, but that’s not the way things work.

The two current mRNA vaccines can be seen to be a new form of virus in their own right.

They invade your bodies cells just as viruses do and they release mesenger RNA as a payload into your cell which then reproduces it in vast quantaties.

The aim of the selected mRNA is that your bodies now infected cell develops protiens on the outside of the cell thst the bodies immune system sees as “foreign”. The aim is to produce the same capsid protiens as those that are found on the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

What people are not talking about is what happens to your bodies cells… I’ll let you look that up along with “autoimmune diseases” diabetic diseases are a good place to start, but there are cervical cancers, stomach cancers and a whole host of others to look at.

The traditional vaccines are inert or inactive or non viable depending on the language you chose to use, they do not invade your bodies cells, and your immune system normally only attacks the vaccine in the intercellular space, not the actuall cells of the human body.

Contrary to what you state the more traditional vaccines do not take years to come up with. 90% of the work in comming up with the basics of a new candidate can be done in as little as a couple of weeks. It’s why future “booster shots” of known vaccines may only need a handfull of months to end up in peoples arms.

What initially takes the time is checking for,

1, Efficacy
2, Short term safety.
3, Long term safety.

The first two are generally found by drugs trials Phase I in the lab in analogs, Phase II in a small cohort human trial group, Phase III in large cohort groups.

Long term safety is always an unknown with some new drug. Most health authorities world wide have a reporting mechanism, in the UK it’s unoficially called the “Yellow Card System” from the way it was originally implemented. That is any contraindications even known ones get reported back to an independent safety authority that collates and investigates.

Sometimes things go disastrously wrong, so much so they can cause major changes in testing regimes[1]. But that is why the testing processes are continuously evolving.

However sometimes you justvcan not wait. Some vaccines have gone through a different route which is for emergancies such as pandemics. Thus whilst testing is carried out it gets shortened or something way more dangerous is used. That is volenteers are test vaccinated then given the actual disease… This gives greater control and faster results, however the risk can be very much higher, but that is offset by the fact you are under the best of medical care unlike more traditional Phase III trials where you may or may not come into contact with the disease during the trial period.

However you have to remember that longterm safety is only found out over a long period of time.

Unlike traditional vaccines where a lot is already known, the same is not true for the mRNA vaccines. The mRNA process has failed to get out of the lab for more than three decades, now it’s been shoved into millions of arms.

What you may or may not think of a guinea-pig cohort of this size on what is an effectively unknown quantity I’ll leave up to you to decide. However before you do look up something called “micromorts”[2].

[1] Perhaps the most well known and shocking was,

But even after things still can go badly wrong. In what the “red top media” dubed the “Elephant man drug test” nearly all the volenteers had severe and very significant life threatening and altering reactions,

[2] Micromorts are a measure of acute rather than chronic risk. That is what your risk of dying suddenly by an event such as skydiving rather than a slow or prolonged death by say a disease caused by social habits such as smoking.

The importance of the acute risk becomes apparent when you consider risk in future life expectancy lost. That is skydiving when you are twenty has a greater life loss in years (say sixty) than if you are in your seventies (say ten years) if the risk actualizes and you “cream in”. It’s curious that humans normally view this risk the wrong way around thus do very risky things when young and become increasingly risk averse as they get older.

Clive Robinson March 6, 2021 2:24 PM

@ Winter,

Sounds pretty clear to me. The main ingredient is denouncing a person or group based on a group characteristic.

How do you define “denouncing”?

It’s an awkward thing to do.

Hopefully you have the equivalent statment of “Damn with feint praise”?

If not it’s using language that could be taken as being promoting sonething or someone but is doing the opposit.

The usual example given is,

“He’s a real winner”

On paper it means one thing said with either sarcasm or overly played “rube honesty” it’s taken to mean the person is actually a “compleate looser”.

Thus all the hate etc is there but it’s not “denouncing” but “praising” on paper…

Some people have taken “social niceties” to the point a knife would wound you less in others eyes. So much so it actually gets used as a standard trope in situatuon comedy.

SpaceLifeForm March 6, 2021 2:57 PM

@ AL, Clive, ALL

But, one and done works

My apologies. I was not clear.

I was not addressing efficacy but addressing whether people get a vaccine AT ALL.

The point being that people are more likely to get one jab versus two.

In the CNN report I linked to above, it turns out that 75% of those that had a choice between one jab instead of two jabs, they picked single jab.

My conclusion still stands: the more people that get vaccinated AT ALL, the better the results will be for society as a whole.

MarkH March 6, 2021 3:10 PM

I’m with SpaceLifeForm on vaccines … with enormous rates of spread (running more than 50K new diagnoses per day in the U.S.), the priority must be to reduce that number.

Within the limits of behavior changes people are will and able to make, vaccination is the tool we have.

The people who’ve devoted their careers to epidemiology are saying clearly: get whichever vaccine is accessible, as soon as practical.

More people sooner. That’s the best course for public health.

AL March 6, 2021 3:31 PM

I think if this bat virus was enhanced in a lab, then it was done with honorable intentions to develop vaccines and so forth, and accidentally got loose. It would be a lot cheaper to simply euthanize their population if that was their objective. Nobody seems to be checking out without an expensive hospitalization first.

And, the U.S. based Ecohealth Alliance was funneling U.S. taxpayer money into that lab. If that lab is the source, we might need to be calling the virus the Chinese-American virus.

That’s why, if the lab is involved, we’ll never get to the bottom of who’s responsible. But the question I think we should be focused on is in determining how damaging this virus is. I’m hearing with that loss of smell that there is neurological aspects to this virus. We don’t know for sure what kind of damage a variant can do next year. So, while I hope for the best, I’m not completely sold on the “post-;pandemic” happy talk.

SpaceLifeForm March 6, 2021 3:46 PM

@ metaschima, AL, Winter, Clive, MarkH, JonKnowsNothing

Anecdotal report

Not hearing strong side-effects fron J&J.

I am hearing stronger than expected side-effects from Pfizer and Moderna for the 24 hours after second jab. Especially in older people. They were surprised. They knew that they would experience something like cold or mild flu, but they were surprised at how bad they felt the next day.

But, then it cleared. I would conclude that feeling really crappy on second jab is actually a good sign that their immune system is working.

If one gets Pfizer or Moderna, you must definitely get the second jab. It can not be ignored.

Pfizer CEO just blocked from travel to Israel because he had not done second jab.

Clive Robinson March 6, 2021 3:53 PM

@ AL,

But, I’m in the camp that this bat virus was possibly enhanced in a lab to become exceptionally contagious.

Yes there are lots of stories flying around, about how it is secretly US tech to dangerous to develop in the US so Dr Fauchi came up with a plan to pay for the Chinese to develop it covertly ubder an overt research project…

You can make up all sorts of nonsense wrap it up in a bow and sell it politically to an entire nation of 350million or so people to cover up the fact that the previous US Exectutive despite repeated warnings failed to understand let alone take the required action even half a year later, so more than a quater of a million needlessly dead, the economy virtualy destroyed and many nations brought to their knees. It would make an interesting case at the ICC.

Now several hundred billions if not trillions of wealth have been conveniently diverted into a few chosen pockets…

We can all see a scatter diagram of facts and draw our own incorrect conclusions based on our prefrences and biases some overt, some covert, and any number hidden even from ourselves as cognative bias pushed into us from birth one way or another.

As long as science and the propper investigative method are ignored any old nonsense can be spun up and gain popular support and hide all manner of sins.

Some think I’ve got an annoying habit of asking for evidence that would be admissable in a criminal court case as a base standard, and not as circumstantial evidence either. Those who think that it’s annoying have good reason because it shoots holes in their pet speculations they give to much credence to.

And guess what in this case, that level of evidence is very inconspicuous by it’s absence.

Even The WHO know this and their recent alledged investigative trip to China nothing more than a PR stunt realy. Which might account for why there is no interim report and a final report booted off into the long grass of some indefinate future.

The fact that The WHO were at the senior level very complicit with the wishes of the previous US executive thus in causing this pandemic of course should not be seen as why the report is not going to happen any time soon and will if it ever does reach the light of day be a “nothing burger”. Mr Tedros would not be happy with people thinking that.

But that will not stop the “Anti-China” brigade launching the suggestion that The WHO is “Owned by the Chinese Communist Party”… Becsuse it’s a nice line that can be easily suggested but not easily refuted.

In short it’s a cross between a play from George Orwell’s political manual “1984” and a rehash of the old “Reds under the bed” scares of the post war years that gave you the Korean War and the Vietnam War. Oh and quite a few proxie wars as well out of which the US MIC did rather well. So well some think they “offed” a US President to keep the money rolling in…

As I said scatter a few facts on the ground and pick your own route to play “join the dots” but your chances of being even renotely close to the truth are at best small.

It’s why I keep saying “show me the science”, “show me the hypothesis testing”, “show me the honest factual evidence”.

Currently the scientific community is in general saying “hybrid-mutation through an intermediate mamalian host” thats it.

Interestingly the intermediate mamalian host that keeps getting talked about is the pangoline, which is virtually extinct in China. The only place you are likely to find them is by those who smuggle them in to China for “traditional medicine” and “bush meat”. Both of which tend to be strongly corelated with “wet markets” in China or the related businesses and people.

Those illegaly importing such creatures tend to hide behind legitimate animal imports of species that do get used either as breading stock or directly as test subjects into biological testing labs.

One of the reasons so much Western Biological Research is done in Asian and other out of the way places is the “Cute furry animal” campaigns by “Animal Liberation” activists in the West.

The side effect of which is rather than stop the use of animals in research or have greater controls on it to minimize it’s use, it’s driven almost an entire area of science research “off shore” into unregulated crime rife areas of the world where the conditions for animal care are way way worse, life is cheep and often brutal.

Thus the chance of finding out what exactly US money was used for in that Chinese lab is low to non existant because the US does not want the trurh to be known as it would show up a convenient political lie. The Lab does not want how it was getting animals and other things known. The Chinese do not want what was going on known either, and The WHO is going to loose either way if the truth what ever it is ever comes out so they very definately do not want to know either.

So I’m sticking to the consensus of scientific view point, as nothing else is anywhere near as free from taint.

AL March 6, 2021 4:52 PM


You can make up all sorts of nonsense

No, you’re making up all sorts of nonsense. What people are discussing is the “gain of function” research that was well known to be conducted in that lab, and what the U.S. based Ecohealth Alliance was financing from time to time. This would be the same “gain of function” type research that was paused in 2014 by Obama administration before it was resumed in 2018.

It has nothing to do with the WHO being owned by so and so, and so forth. The unfortunate thing is, the lab possibility was first broached by a serial liar. But like the boy who cried “wolf” there was at some point, an actual wolf. Since, in this case the “wolf” isn’t lethal to the liar, it doesn’t necessarily have to be the last sitingof the wolf.

The WHO included Dr. Peter Daszak of Ecohealth Alliance in an incredible ignorance of a conflict of interests as the sole American among the investigators. When the Biden administration indicate that they would reserve judgement on the WHO investigation, Daszak tweeted the following:

Well now this👇. @JoeBiden has to look tough on China. Please don’t rely too much on US intel: increasingly disengaged under Trump & frankly wrong on many aspects. Happy to help WH w/ their quest to verify, but don’t forget it’s “TRUST” then “VERIFY”!

So, the sole American, that has a conflict of interest indicated that the American president was putting on a charade, and our intelligence agencies can’t be trusted. Aside from the politicians at the top who have been changed out, our intelligence people are career people. And I had to ask myself a question – even if you thought all that stuff was true, why would someone say that? The boilerplate thing to say is, while he understands that the American administration would have its doubts, once the full report is released, those doubts whould be resolved, blah blah blah.

The Dr. doth protest too much. And he also orchestrated a letter writing campaign Feb 2020 suggesting that any lab leak hypothesis was conspiracy theory about a week after the virus was named by the WHO.

And no, we don’t have to utilize criminal standards of evidence. We can make a decision based simply on the likelihood of any particular cause. Having eaten with Chinese people, I was receptive to the meat market idea, but you need the bat. Then, they go to the intermediate animal, and now frozen meat. But, the drop-in answer remains that lab.

There are new calls for an independent investigation

From the Washington Post to the Washington Examiner, nobody is buying this meat market, intermediate animal, frozen meat nonsense any more. Because we first heard the lab possibility from a serial liar, we heard shrieks of conspiracy theory.

I’m going with our intelligence agencies. They know what went on on Wuhan in the fall of 2019. Hat tip to Dr. Daszak for indicating that they have information regarding the origins.

vas pup March 6, 2021 4:58 PM

Microsoft hack: White House warns of ‘active threat’ of email attack

“The US is expressing growing concern over a hack on Microsoft’s Exchange email software that the tech company has blamed on China.

“This is an active threat,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said on Friday. “Everyone running these servers – government, private sector, academia – needs to act now to patch them.”

Microsoft said hackers had used its mail server to attack their targets.

It is reported that tens of thousands of US organizations may be impacted.”

SpaceLifeForm March 6, 2021 5:02 PM

@ Clive, JonKnowsNothing

I still think NCov2019 jumped thru Civits, not Pangolins. It is way more likely that a Civit would eat an infected sick bat. There is no evidence that a Pangolin would even try to eat a bat.

Then dealers move sick, infected Civits to Wuhan market, kept live in cages, defecating and/or urinating virus onto pavement. People walk on. Later they take off their shoes, then touch their face and eyes.

Hell, in Summer of 2019, when there is evidence of spread, even if people did not touch their shoes, in the heat, the virus could have become aerosol due to the heat of the day.

The people shopping in the market did not even have to buy and eat Civit. They may have simply breathed in the aerosol on a hot non-windy day.

But, what do I know? Time to catch a plane.

vas pup March 6, 2021 5:03 PM

Tech Tent: The new ‘space race’ for computer chips

“Silicon chips are at the heart of many of the biggest technology stories of our time.

Without them, car plants around the world have come to a halt. ==>The technology to make them is now seen by the United States as a key weapon in its trade war with China. And access to the ==>latest and most-powerful versions will determine who wins the artificial intelligence race.

In this week’s Tech Tent podcast, we look at the semiconductor industry and try to answer five important questions about chips.”

Read the whole article for further details. Have a good weekend!

Clive Robinson March 6, 2021 5:15 PM

@ SpaceLifeForm, AL, JonKnowsNothing. MarkH, metaschima, Winter, ALL,

I would conclude that feeling really crappy on second jab is actually a good sign that their immune system is working.

Sort of, it’s why taking “antipyretics” such as NSAIDs and even steroids is probably not a good idea.

I am hearing stronger than expected side-effects from Pfizer and Moderna for the 24 hours after second jab. Especially in older people.

The reason for both the effect and the reason it hits older people harder is the way these mRNA shots work. As I said they behave like a virus, they get into your cells in the same way a viable virulent virus does, there they make the protiens that activate the immune response with macrophages and the like coming down and scavaging your dead and dying body cells… You are in short suffering a significant infection and you should behave as such.

That is knowing what is heading your way, you should already be taking vitimins and minerals, eat a little to much especially protein the week befor, because you may not want to eat for upto three days and and your body is going to need both the energy and protien to get you through less painfully. Prepare your bed or sofa for a three day occupation and go get the second jab. Obviously drink plenty of fluids and one or two “Dioralyte” type ones to maintain your bodies electrolytes etc and just go into hibernation mode as best you can and wait it out[1]. With luck the worst you will feel is mild embarrassment at having prepared for being ill just to be well instead (my advice fake it and watch a box set or three ;-).

Obviously the older you are the less responsive your immune system is so the longer the run up this induced infection has the harder it’s going to hit…

One of the known things about the bat virus SARS-CoV-2 comes from, is that it is a bit of a nasty bugger virulence wise, because the bat immune system reacts way way more quickly than other mamals like primates… Whilst the nasty bit is hopefully left out of the mRNA that is the same in both the Pfizer and Moderna jabs we realy do not know, because we don’t have the research to say one way or the other. This is after all the mRNA technologies “debutante dance”, “comming out party”, or “virgin offering” and it’s way way bigger than common sense would say is wise, but needs must where the Devil drives.

[1] I mentioned I had my Oxford/AZ first jab last Saturday, and said I’d give an update on any symptoms. Well I did not even feel a scratch of the injection, and the very very minor swelling disapeared in minutes. I then felt normal untill Wednesday afternoon when the injection site began to feel like some one had given me a “knuckle punch” on the arm, no worse than any you might have got at school on your birthday (why the hitting and bumps traditions I have no idea). That disappeared within about fifteen hours to leave me with a patch maybe a half inch diameter that does not hurt now a week, and half a day after the jab, unless you apply a little preasure which is annoying when you are trying to get to sleep. So last time I checked, all my bits are still attached, no green, yellow, or purple bits nor any weirdness. All in all a lot less than the last flu vaccine I had some years back which to be fair did kick my feet out from under me for a couple of days (I still think I would have been better with the flu).

Fed.up March 6, 2021 5:30 PM

@ AL and Clive,

If you re-read what I wrote, I am NOT absolving the US of responsibility whatsoever. This virus hit during the most contentious election of our lifetime. How convenient.

I remember Fauci’s role in AIDS. We called him a murderer. Here’s an article from 1988 about his role in the AIDS crisis. He’s running with same exact game plan now.
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Each day he comes out with different guidance. I always tell people if you rely on the government to tell you what to do, you will experience dire crisis as a result.

You can read in between the lines about what’s going on. Both medically and technically. It is all related.

The Rockefeller family removed the Guernica from the UN the other day.
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For those knowledgeable about medical research, they are the top institution.

The Rockefeller family (so philanthropic) donated the land under the UN to the City of NY after WW2 for the purpose on creating the UN to prevent another war. The UN has failed in that mission. And its probably a safe assumption that Rockefeller University is getting attacked by China now.

While a few young Americans are whining now to ban Dr. Seuss, Cancel Culture is extremely unpopular in the US despite what the media says. Young people revolted against the establishment in 1968. But that didn’t result in anything positive. The USA remained in Vietnam and became a lot more politically conservative from 1968 to 1993. MLK was not even a Democrat. And today Trump announced he is no longer a Republican.

It turns out that canines came to North America 27,000 years ago. Don’t you think we should remove all of the statues of humans and update textbooks and school curriculum to accurately reflect the historical truth that DOGS are our founders? They deserve respect and reverence for their contribution to history.
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If you live long enough you’ve witnessed a lot of ridiculousness. But it’s become very deadly recently.

Clive Robinson March 6, 2021 5:41 PM

@ AL,

No, you’re making up all sorts of nonsense.

No, I’m not.

I’m simply pointing out what has been said by lots of people that is obviously based on supposition not fact.

I’m well aware of what experiments people have said or allegedly were carried out at the lab, on US funding. But what actually happened there when and by whom I’ve no way to tell. Even if the somewhat contradictory things that have been said are acurate, it’s almost certain other work was carried out there at the same time.

We’ve been through the arguments on this blog before you can go look them up.

But the single point I’m making is that what ever You say, whatever Others say, what ever I say if it’s not based on evidence then it’s at best a hypotheses, not facts, and most likely unless well reasoned it’s just another “nonsense” to add to the ever growing pile.

Thus your opinion does not count, others opinion does not count, my opinion does not count. Only those of expert testimony based on facts and a reasoned chain of argument count.

And what they are saying currently is as I’ve previously said.

I’ve no objection to people discussing hypothetical ideas if they are plausable, but without the reasearch and facts to back them up all they do is act as indicators of where we need more factual information.

And we are not likely to get those because of vested interests I’ve already mentioned, so the point about unreasoned factually unsupported belief / hearsay / nonsense is at best moot.

Clive Robinson March 6, 2021 6:17 PM

@ SpaceLifeForm,

I still think NCov2019 jumped thru Civits, not Pangolins.

There is a more important reason why that might be true.

As, I’ve indicated the Pangolins are not just an endagered species, they are very close to extinct in China, and probably predated beyond recovery.

The civit cat again whilst not as common as they once were are a bit more numerous than Pangolins. And as I have read, unlike the remaining Pangolins civits tend to share the same environment as the bats most likely to have been the cause if the zoonotic transfer occured as scientists have indicated is most likely.

As for what might have caused the virus to get around, as we discussed a year ago, the Chinese authorities certainly appeared to believe it was transfered on peoples footware. Their near continuous spraying of the streets with what we think may well have been hydrogen peroxide certainly suggests this. As a general rule you don’t go to that level of expense without good reason.

Another reason to have that sort of belief, is that in most creatures beta corona viruses effect the GI tract rather thsn the respiratory system.

The fact in humans both the respiratory system AND the GI tract is effected apears to go uncommented in most publicly sourced information.

As for anosmia, I’ve forgotton what was originally said by the ENT people that brought it to the worlds attention. I guess I’m going to have to refresh my memory 😉

SpaceLifeForm March 6, 2021 6:35 PM


Think on this.

Who is really your APT that you need to be concerned about?

A handful of actors that know of an exploit that probably do not care about you?

Or, the many that now know of the exploit because a patch was released that was reverse engineered?

Is releasing the patch actually an attack?

Is closed source really safe for security?

Or, is it all a charade to attack the law?


Tõnis March 6, 2021 7:20 PM

If it’s true that in the US 500K people have died from The Covid19 Common Cold™ then:

500,000/300,000,000 = 0.001% of the population.

Is this what some of you are going on and on about, driving around alone in your cars in hazmat suits? Are you anxiously waiting for your vaccine against a virus so deadly you have to get tested to you know you have it? (Yes, it’s that deadly; if you don’t get tested, you might not even know you have it!) Is this why you’re cheering on megalomaniacal bureaucrats who have killed off entire industries?

I don’t wear the dust mask (haven’t since this crown virus nonsense started), I don’t “social distance,” I don’t “quarantine” or “isolate” (I can barely bring myself to use that ridiculous terminology), and I can’t remember ever having washed my hands for twenty seconds other than with Lava soap if my hands have been covered in motor oil. I don’t even wash my hands before eating. (I do often wash up after eating, and always wash up after using the bathroom.) I should be on my deathbed, but nothing bad has happened.

Dust mask? Just no.
Hand sanitizer, yes (after using one of those portable outhouses).
“Social distancing,” “isolation,” “quarantine”? Of course not.
Vaccine? Hell, no.

JonKnowsNothing March 6, 2021 7:37 PM

@Clive @SpaceLifeForm @All

re: COVID-19 Animal Reservoirs

The primary animals on the list for COVID-19 are the ferrets, otters and related animals.

Cats, and dogs get COVID-19 from their owners. Zoo kept Great Apes and lions and other zoo kept cats, also get COVID-19 from their keepers.

Reports of COVID-19 in wild mink are few.

A more worrying pathway is through the wild apes and monkeys that get infected from the local population of both rangers, tourists and poachers. Eco-Tourism will bring COVID-19 into contact with many wild animals that normally would not have contact with humans.

There are experimental veterinary vaccines now being given in zoos but trying to vaccinate wild troops of great apes along with the global population of the wild ferret family is less likely to happen.

Then there are the cats that “Walk upon Englands mountains green”…

We can barely deal with vaccinating the surviving humans.

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In British folklore, British big cats, also referred to as ABCs (Alien, or Anomalous, Big Cats), phantom cats and mystery cats, are reports and incidents of Felidae are native to Britain but supposed to inhabit the British countryside. These sightings are often reported as “panthers”, “pumas”, or “black cats”.

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name.withheld.for.obvious.reasons March 6, 2021 7:57 PM

Buy a new calculator or notepad if your doing long hand division. Oh, and 320,000,000 is the enumerator in this case.

500,000/320,000,000 = 0.15%

Quick trick, divide both the enumerator and dominator by 100,000:

5/320 = 0.15%

name.withheld.for.obvious.reasons March 6, 2021 8:08 PM


Is closed source really safe for security?

Yes and no.

Conceptually there should be a method to insure the safety of a product, think Ralph Nader, but the willingness of business to undermine costs that can be born out as an externality is too attractive to pass up. Remember when Microsoft complained vehemently about Common Criteria, ISO 15408. Then, after adoption, praised themselves for doing so…

Shows how “market” driven these companies are and how little fealty to product integrity and consumer safety they have. Goes to the point that “shareholder value” has little to no values.

Tõnis March 6, 2021 8:08 PM

@name.withheld.for.obvious.reasons, thanks. 0.15% of the population_ Damn, better triple up on the dust masks. Hell, strap the whole box to your face.

name.withheld.for.obvious.reasons March 6, 2021 8:14 PM

While on the topic, Microsoft should rebrand itself to reflect their operational posture. Microsoft, we’re not the beta, we’re the alpha. Translation, we delivery products before they are ready for test and evaluation, come join our alpha team (no, this is not about their misogyny–though there is much within the corporate culture). And to be less narrow, Microsoft is far from the only tech or other organizations in their patriarchal tendencies.

Clive Robinson March 6, 2021 8:30 PM

@ Name.withheld…,

5/320 = 0.15%

Might want to go over your figures… You look like you are missing “0.” there

My first approximation math says,

500,000/320,000,000= 1/640

~1/6 = 0.166…

So my final workings as a percentage would be, 100/640= 10/(2^6)= 0.15625%

That is 10 div 2 six times,

5, 2.5, 1.25, .625, .3125, .15625

You divided by a million not 100k therefore “0.5”.

Funny how anything to destract you when you can not sleep becomes pedantic 🙁

Clive Robinson March 6, 2021 8:45 PM

@ Tõnis,

I should be on my deathbed, but nothing bad has happened.

Hmm many would say “do not tempt the had of fate”

I’ll instead quote as I have before,

“Perchance he for whom this bell tolls may be so ill, as that he knows not it tolls for him; and perchance I may think myself so much better than I am, as that they who are about me, and see my state, may have caused it to toll for me, and I know not that.

No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend’s or of thine own were: any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bells tolls; it tolls for thee.”

Tõnis March 6, 2021 8:48 PM

Well, couldn’t we just do this:

300,000,000x = 500,000*100

x = 50,000,000/300,000,000

x= 0.16666

In any case, the point is that it’s less than two tenths of one percent.

Tõnis March 6, 2021 9:08 PM

@Clive Robinson, I love the Hemingway quote. My purpose wasn’t to make light of anyone’s death, only to point out that the common cold has always killed people: people in their nineties in nursing homes. It doesn’t take much to do someone like that in. Leave the window cracked a bit at night, and the person could expire.

My point was only that deliberately shutting down the world economy is a nefarious thing to do about a miniscule amount of people dying of a natural cause. Personally, I suspect there’s a world financial system reason for these events being staged and/or psyops at work. (First we’ll get them to wear dust masks, avoid their friends and families, and accept injections. Then we’ll see what we can get them to do next.) Of course, megalomaniacal politicians and bureaucrats are all too happy to let no crisis go to waste, especially when they can pile on and flex.

Bob in OK March 6, 2021 9:10 PM


In any case, the point is that it’s less than two tenths of one percent.

You probably need a big asterisk on there for “…unless people don’t change behavior to reduce the spread”, in which case collapse of the health care system is likely to increase the fatality of the disease itself as well all the other issues that a normally functioning healthcare system helps address.

Tõnis March 6, 2021 9:18 PM

@Bob in OK,

“You probably need a big asterisk on there for “…unless people don’t change behavior to reduce the spread”, in which case collapse of the health care system is likely to increase the fatality of the disease itself as well all the other issues that a normally functioning healthcare system helps address.”

That’s the scare story that has been propagated. Most people who have had this cold have all said, “Fortunately, I only experienced mild symptoms.” Not that I’ve read a lot about it, but what I have read of reports is that most people who show up at the hospital “infected” aren’t “hospitalized” other than in the sense that they showed up at the hospital and got sent home with instructions to stay there for fourteen days.

InSkept March 6, 2021 9:42 PM

Interesting article on the Lab Leak Hypothesis


JonKnowsNothing March 6, 2021 10:49 PM

@Tõnis @Clive @All

re: Tolling Bells

The piece is by John Donne Meditation XVII published in 1624.

The entire essay is longer than the bit that Hemingway used.

if by this consideration of another’s danger I take mine own into contemplation

re: Skipping Death .1 .01 .001 .0001 or 1 10 100 1000

Edward the Black Prince

Edward of Woodstock, known to history as the Black Prince (15 June 1330 – 8 June 1376), was the eldest son of King Edward III of England, and the heir to the English throne. He died before his father and so his son, Richard II, succeeded to the throne instead. Edward nevertheless earned distinction as one of the most successful English commanders during the Hundred Years’ War, being regarded by his English contemporaries as a model of chivalry and one of the greatest knights of his age.

His epitaph inscribed around his effigy reads:

Such as thou art, sometime was I.
Such as I am, such shalt thou be.
I thought little on th’our of Death
So long as I enjoyed breath.
On earth I had great riches
Land, houses, great treasure, horses, money and gold.
But now a wretched captive am I,
Deep in the ground, lo here I lie.
My beauty great, is all quite gone,
My flesh is wasted to the bone.

Take the bet:
  Don’t mask up. Don’t social distance. Don’t get a vax. Don’t use your brain.
What have you got to lose?

The graveyard always wins. House Rules.

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AL March 6, 2021 11:10 PM

While that article contains much of what I’m hearing, one little piece that is missing is background on the scientists that signed onto that letter at the Lancet on Feb 19th,

EcoHealth Alliance President Peter Daszak drafted the Lancet statement, and that he intended it to “not be identifiable as coming from any one organization or person” but rather to be seen as “simply a letter from leading scientists”. Daszak wrote that he wanted “to avoid the appearance of a political statement”.

And now the Lancet is poised to conduct its investigation, reports indicate that six signatories of The Lancet statement comprise half of the Lancet’s team of investigators.

Six scientists who signed the statement, including Daszak, now comprise half of The Lancet’s panel investigating the origins of the virus.

It’s looking to me that a disinformation campaign was conducted to squelch a look at that lab leak hypothesis before any look happened. That was made easy because it was Trump that promoted the lab leak hypothesis, making the conspiracy theory arguments plausible. I was a full believer in the animal to human hypothesis, until it became clear that the evidence wasn’t adding up. Unlike some, I have no problem flip-flopping.

SpaceLifeForm March 7, 2021 1:19 AM

Views from the shoreline

So, some may be thinking, yes, cool pics, but what does that have to do with security?

The answer is, everything.

You have to really understand what you think you are seeing.

The current Microsoft Exchange problem is huge. The attackers have dropped webshells everywhere they can. Just patching (applying the updates) is not enough. It is too late. The IOCs that one can see, are just the tip of the iceberg. Applying the updates is not enough. One must assume that other backdoors have already been implanted. This is very much the same as the SolarWinds Orion backdoor. You can look, and NOT SEE. Even though the attackers have already gotten in further than you CAN SEE.

You can have the illusion that you are secure, but the reality may be otherwise.

name.withheld.for.obvious.reasons March 7, 2021 1:32 AM

@ Tõnis
My apologies for the tenor, was a tongue and check statement with my own error introduce to the topic. I appreciate correction were possible and am not above making mistakes (thanks Clive). Believe me, I have enough typos, grammatical, and factual errors that I can count on someone here to catch it…

In short, my share of mistakes is over 0.15%, and if I flub something up I can at least make the time to acknowledge it. In this case I was less thoughtful and considerate. My Microsoft rant probably influenced the color of my statements. I also understand that almost everyone here comes to the table in good faith to contribute to the communities knowledge and understanding. Hopefully we all get something out of the wonderful place that is Bruce’s house. THANK YOU BRUCE!

Tõnis March 7, 2021 5:07 AM

@name.withheld.for.obvious.reasons, I’m sorry, too, for coming across as uncaring when I’m not. I enjoy reading everyone’s replies here including yours. Other than the occasional trolls or purposeful spreaders of disinformation who show up to propagandize wherever meaningful discussion is taking place, and regardless of differing understanding which is tempered by each of our individual research and experience, I think all the regular, legit posters here are probably on the same side in wanting to see that truth and justice prevails. Thank you for pointing out my math error; had I proofread more and not posted so hurriedly, that original number I posted immediately should have stuck out to me as being disproportionately low. It’s kind of important, and surely I don’t want mathematical embarrassment to detract from points I’m trying to make. This exchange has served as a reminder for me to proofread more and pull the “submit” trigger less hurriedly.

1&1~=Umm March 7, 2021 5:17 AM


Further information,


Quotes that pertain to the discourse,

“A person may cause evil to others not only by his actions but by his inaction, and in either case he is justly accountable to them for the injury.”

“The only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others. His own good, either physical or moral, is not sufficient warrant.”

“Although it is not true that all conservatives are stupid people, it is true that most stupid people are conservative.”

“He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them. But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion”

— John Stuart Mill, 19th Century Utilitarian.

@Tõnis March 7, 2021 5:29 AM

@JonKnowsNothing, if I could click “LIKE” on your John Donne post I would! Thank you for those details. I am a fan of poetry, though I’m not so well-versed (pun intended) in the classics.

Winter March 7, 2021 7:54 AM

” I was a full believer in the animal to human hypothesis, until it became clear that the evidence wasn’t adding up.”

But the evidence is adding up. Follow the literature (Nature or Science are a good source).

SARS/MERS viruses have been seen jumping from animals before, twice to be precise. Two different SARS 2 strains were found to have started the Wuhan outbreak. And virologists who study zoonoses say an animal host is indeed the most likely route. I know someone in the field, I trust them blind when they tell me the lab route is unlikely (and “unlikely” and there is “no evidence” is as far as a scientist will ever go).

The Wuhan lab is just as much a propaganda diversion as the frozen meat excuse. Just as the average new flu strain originates in animals in China, so did SARS-1 and 2.

Winter March 7, 2021 11:46 AM

“How do you define “denouncing”?”
(Wrt hate speech)

We are not considering dog whistles. I would say, like this:


“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best; they’re not sending you,” Trump said. “They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”


I consider call Mexican immigrants as such “rapists” can be squarely considered “hate speech”. And I do not think a discussion is needed on the derogatory nature of “rapists”.

Furthermore, I do not see a positive side to this contribution to the debate.

Clive Robinson March 7, 2021 12:06 PM

@ ALL,

As some people are telling it Texas and it’s power outages was a disaster.

Someone was going on about it on an MSM station in the UK. It was then that I relised that this coming week on 11, March is the 10th Anniversary of Fukushima Dai-ichi in Japan.

For those that do not immediately remember, it was a truly earth shaking moment. there was an undersea earthquake off of the Japanese coast about 18kM down. This in turn gave rise to a tsunami that was estimated to be 130ft high, which in turn smashed into, flooded and totally disrupted three of four nuclear buildings causing a loss of nearly 5GW of capacity…

The loss of life and property due to the tsunami driven by the magnitude nine earthquake was immense along the coast moving at upto 700kM/hour and suprisingly far in land (upto 10kM in some places), and even today reminders wash up. The National Police Agency of Japan report gives,

1, 15,899 deaths.
2, 6,157 injured.
3, 2,529 people missing.
4, 228,863 disposesed people.

With the costs estimated at over 360 billion USD at the time. But there are annual losses still occuring. It is the costliest of natural disasters.

The earthquake was sufficient to cause a shift in the earths axis by ~20cm and the speed of rotation by 1.8uS. With the level and power of infrasound sufficient to be detected by low orbiting satellites.

But in some respects it was the begining of the swan song of nuclear power in Japan and the energy security it was thought it would bring back in the 1960s.

There were two Fukushima sites that the tsunami hit, Fukushima Daiichi to the north and it’s sister site Fukushima Daini 12kM to the south.

More by chance and immense skill and heroic behaviour of the staff, Fukushima Daini was, although significantly damaged brought safely to a halt. However the story at Fukushima Daiichi had a very different out come, with the lrvrl seven meltdown of three of the reactors due to lost cooling and relrase of substantial quantaties of radio active materials csusing a 20kM exclusion zone to be put in place, little of which has changed since.

Many nuclear reactors at sites all over Japan shutdown and few have been brought back on line. Off shore wind turbines however survived. The consensus of many Japanese appears to be to “go green” as quickly as possible and leave the complicated and now seen as irredeemably dangerous nuclear technology to be run down and decommissioned.

Clive Robinson March 7, 2021 12:28 PM

@ Winter,

That communications from Trump was not designed to be subtle or covert. It was ment to be understood for what it was by a group of people not exactly high on the socioeconomic ladder looking for an excuse to blaim others.

Which brings up your point of,

Furthermore, I do not see a positive side to this contribution to the debate.

The point I’m making is that “hate speech” generaly hangs on the edge of what the law alows. You make the legislation tougher it will not stop the hate speech, it will cause it to move to the edge yet again. Which has the side effect of making it more acceptable as it becomes less obvious.

I would say that the way to stop hate speech is to go after the root causes, whilst this can be done for the first two groups I mentioned the third group will carry on and probable prosper. Which leaves the “feeder group” those that are in effect indoctronated whilst they do not have the ability to realise what they are being taught because they are susceptible for various reasons.

As has been pointed out in the past “One rotten apple will spoil the whole barrel”.

Winter March 7, 2021 12:36 PM

@Clive, All
Nuclear power has a revival in local politics over here. They pose it as an alternative to solar&wind

What I always miss is the fact that:

1) Uranium is not renewable

2) If the world switches to nuclear energy for all it energy needs, there is only enough uranium to power the world for 5 (!) years.

3) If countries bet on nuclear power to reduce their carbon footprint, they can scrap all their nuclear power plants in one (!) generation.

Winter March 7, 2021 12:41 PM

“You make the legislation tougher it will not stop the hate speech, it will cause it to move to the edge yet again. ”

The main function of censorship, as I understand it and this includes laws against hate speech, is to prevent people from organizing around an idea. Dog whistles are bad for organizing people. You cannot effectively recruit new members with covert messages.

lurker March 7, 2021 12:59 PM


The Wuhan lab is just as much a propaganda diversion as the frozen meat excuse.

The frozen meat “excuse” has some circumstantial evidence in support. PCR testing has detected virus indicators on packaging of frozen meat. Viability of the virus has not been stated AFAIK. Workers have contracted Covid from virus proven to be on the packaging of machine parts.

In a Chinese exotic meat market I have seen frozen meat with labelled origins Thailand and Vietnam. My chinese at the time was insufficient to identify the animal involved, but live civets and snakes were sold at the same market.

In the midst of propaganda diversions I prefer to wait, like @Clive, for the evidence. Headlines in a red-top newspaper are not evidence, nor is rumour, or grandstanding polemic.

JonKnowsNothing March 7, 2021 2:02 PM


re: Fukushima radioactive water storage to be dumped into Ocean


MSM reports that “authorities” in Japan have decided to dump all the stored radioactive contaminated water into the Pacific Ocean. This water was used to cool down the melted core and stored in vast tank farms.

The tanks are corroding. There’s no more room for more tanks. They still maybe using water to cool the reactors. For some reason re-using the contaminated water isn’t a good idea (probably increases the radioactive level too much).

The argument runs: The Pacific Ocean is BIG and the millions of gallons of radioactive water won’t make any difference.

Several issues:

  • The dump site(s) will have higher radioactive content until the water diffuses into the environment
  • The fish and animals in the dump area(s) or that feed on plants/animals from that area will have an increase in radioactive levels.
  • Dumping the radioactive water near populated areas of Japan so that it rolls up on those beaches is not part of the plan.
  • Dumping the water near any neighboring country is not appreciated
  • Dumping the water in International Waters may have problems.
  • Hauling it any where is a problem
  • They may just dump it were it is stored.

One potential benefit might be similar to the Chernobyl Radioactive Wildlife Recovery. Since everything is radioactive, the deer, pigs, wolves or bears have better protection. Authorities have brought in European Bison and Tarpan/Prevalskys Horses too. The animals are doing pretty well. (1)

If they dump the stuff maybe it will contaminate enough fish, dolphins, tuna and whales to stop regular killing hunts.

Huge fishing fleets travel the oceans plundering other areas with less pollution. As some of these areas become more polluted, the fish stocks will be depleted until the system collapses.(2)

1, Except for poaching, where the buyer may not realize the black market meat is radioactive and the sell omits to mention you need a Geiger counter check after eating it.

2, Fishing stock collapses happen regularly. The typical scenario is as follows:
* To remain profitable or increase profits(market), increased numbers of fish are harvested
* Any attempt at reducing the harvest is countered with “look at all the fish”
* Followed by “reduce it for THAT group but Not US”
* Harvesting continues at increasing levels
* A HUGE bumper crop harvest occurs with many more fish captured than usual.
* The Huge harvest is followed by “See there’s plenty of fish here!”
* Next harvests are near to NIL
* Decades for stock recovery are needed
* In desperation, even the reduced stocks are harvested

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* More than a million tonnes of contaminated water lies in storage

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* Tanks used to store the water are expected to be filled by summer 2022.

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* The tarpan (Equus ferus ferus), also known as the Eurasian wild horse is an extinct subspecies of wild horse

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* The Heck horse is a horse breed that is claimed to resemble the tarpan (Equus ferus ferus)

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* Przewalski’s horse also called the takhi, Mongolian wild horse or Dzungarian horse, is a rare and endangered horse originally native to the steppes of Central Asia.

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MarkH March 7, 2021 2:20 PM


I haven’t yet seen anybody in the U.S. characterize the Texas cold-snap as anything like a great disaster.

The U.S. has a large territory frequently afflicted by hurricanes, rain-induced flooding, occasional very strong earthquakes, and an increasing tempo of devastating wildfires. As it happens, parts of the west coast are sufficiently liable to tsunami that warning and refuge systems have been established.

The press I read about the recent Texas debacle, is that it’s a spectacular example of brittleness of critical infrastructure, brought about by arrogance, negligence and mismanagement.

What was most distinctive was the large area and population affected by it. Many people suffered miserably, and it’s lucky that the loss of life was not worse.

Because Texas politics has a pathological character, I’m not optimistic that they’ll do what they should … but the rest of the U.S. (and other countries as well) have an opportunity to heed the warning, and make investments in the stability of their own critical infrastructure.

We’ll see.


The hypothetical you mentioned (all energy production from fission) would never be pursued in any case, so its limitations are of little practical import.

What some of us talk about in the U.S. (I’m one of them) is that fission is the one demonstrated technology for steady large-scale electric generation with near-zero greenhouse emissions. [Hydroelectric is nice if you have the geography for it, but it can’t feasibly be scaled up to match demand, and decaying vegetation in the flooded regions is estimated to be a serious methane source.]

In the transition to a sustainable energy system, fission plants are a rational option.

Fission can be done safely: because so much fission generating capacity was built as an alternative to coal, fission plants have surely saved many many times more lives than they have cost, even with criminally negligent designs like the Russian RBMK and Westinghouse BWR. [Ironically, burning coal releases a lot of dangerous radionuclides into the atmosphere, in addition to its chemical toxicity.]

The pressurized water designs which predominate in the U.S. and western Europe are very, very conservative in terms of safety. If Fukushima Daiichi had pressurized water plants, neighborhood contamination would almost certainly have been orders of magnitude less.

Storing spent fuel inside the building with the reactor vessel was always an idiotic choice. Sadly, Americans sold this boiling-water design abroad as well as here at home …

lurker March 7, 2021 2:22 PM

@Clive, thanks for reminding us of the Tohoku earthquake, and Fukushima. Sometimes reading your posts I feel “it’s being so cheerful wot keep’s me going.”

The closest nuclear station to the epicentre was Onagawa, which was also one of the newest, with some very conservative design features, including a 14.8 metre high sea wall which saved it from the tsunami. The seabed profile near Fukushima amplified the wave height.

At Fukushima Daichi the earthquake triggered automatic shutdown of those reactors still online, and standby generators supllied the lost mains power. But the generators were at the same level as the rector buildings and were drowned in the tsunami. I’m calling this a design fault, since the entrance road, administration offices and main transmission switchyard were up the slope above the reactors, well above wave height.

No.1 reactor which was the site of the most immediate rescue action had been only 10 days away from a scheduled shutdowm for major overhaul. It was 40 years old. No.4 reactor was shutdown at the time with its fuel rods in the first tage cooling tub. This is at a height above the reactor to minimise the time rods are exposed to air. The earthquake shaking the weight of uranium apparently did not damage the tank. The roof fire above it was caused by hydrogen leaking through shared pipes from the damaged No. 3 reactor next door.

The amount of earthquake damage in the city of Sendai seemed remarkably small for a M9 shake only 90 km across alluvial plain, due to the earthquake proof design of modern Japanese cities. Contrast that with the near destruction of the CBD of Christchurch NZ by a M6.3 only 16 days previously.

AL March 7, 2021 2:40 PM


“The Wuhan lab is just as much a propaganda diversion as the frozen meat excuse. Just as the average new flu strain originates in animals in China, so did SARS-1 and 2.”

Yeah, we can talk in generalities, but we know what animal this virus came from, and it isn’t native to Wuhan. I found the frozen meat hypothesis to be most informative. Hate to be Captain Obvious here, but with the meat market and the pangolin hypothesis’s not panning out, they need a alternative rationale to the lab. And that is why worldwide consensus is shifting. It’s not that the lab is the first choice, it is that the lab is the only choice because it has the right animals and the right kinds of experiments.

Although, I suppose it could be immaculate infection?

XYZZY March 7, 2021 2:48 PM

RE exchange servers: state level attacks require state level responses. But this is all just a symptom of the overly complex design of modern software and the industry’s dependence on software evolution. (I also would like to blame the MBAs 🙂 The software evolution hobbles systems with components that are poorly understood, difficult to remove, and hard to re-engineer. You all know of many examples. Today the WWW is gotten really out of hand with most commercial websites hitting of dozens of other domains, gratuitous scripting, one-pixel bitmaps, etc.
I used to tell students that “there is no substitute for really knowing what is going on” or as others have said “drilling down”. That has become so time consuming that instead of wondering if you have gone far enough you just face exhaustion. I think this is the failure of software engineering. When was the last time you examined someone’s code and remarked that it was a thing of beauty, or even a fragment that made you say, oh that is nice? (sometimes there is a nice shell script but maybe then I just admire the succinctness). I can see I am just venting. I went with Pfizer, BTW.

Clive Robinson March 7, 2021 4:29 PM


I went with Pfizer, BTW.

I’m glad you’ve got a jab, I hope every one gets one as soon as possible especialy in the second and third world. Let us know how you get on.

But you should give it a few weeks before venturing out. Around 21-28days is where you start getting good results. So if you do get infected after then your “hospitalisation risk” will be significantly reduced, which is not just good for you but society as well. So “Win Win” there’s not to many of those around at the moment.

@ ALL,

As I heard the other day “The best jab for you is the one that’s gone in your arm”

For by far the majority[0], that is in the short term, your best risk mitigation strategy. Long term is something we do not have published data on for obvious reasons.

However there other considerations such as healthcare saturation.

I was lucky in that when my number came up, I got a choice and I went with what I thought was the best of the ones available to me based on published data.

But… For all the jabs till atleast three weeks preferarably four after your first[1] “be extra carefull” with the “Hands, Face, Space, Ventilate”…

Turns out a few “over 80’s” in the UK thought if both “he and she” had got the jab they could “go whoop it up” in each others care bubbles. Honestly I don’t know where they get the energy =:( But it’s not safe to do so.

On the social risk side a report from Scotland of a little over 1.14 million vaccinated people, 57% with one vaccine 43% with the other, showed some interesting figures at the “four week period” after their first jab,

1, Pfizer efficacy 85%, thus 15% got to be unlucky and got COVID and went to hospital.

2, AZ, efficacy 94%, thus only 6% got to be unlucky and went to hospital.

So 15/6 = 5/2 = 2.5 times difference. Thus AZ is the prefered choice for reducing hospital load at the 4week point. It’s hospital load that is going to be the real decoding factor over the efective fatality rate. It’s hard to get figures but based on past figures the death rate is a lot worse without hospital care than with it. Both Spain and Italy had points of time last year when health care got saturated and it was quite alarming.

Other sources suggest the Pfizer vaccine has an earlier roll off thus cut off point thus indicating that the second jab is required to get the efficacy level up into the 90% range.

There were other points to note, one is a “waning off efect” of efficacy seen with the Pfizer jab at five and six weeks. It’s important to note though that data for the AZ vaccine was “not yet available” at the time the report was published, so we will have to “wait for results”.

The waning off effect is a little worrying because if we assume a “half life” roll off then we might not get even a year with the second jab[2] so something to keep an eye on. As always “we need more data” and we can only get it with time…

[0] All the jabs have some “contra-indications” but usually they are incredibly rare such as a PEG allergy (if you’ve got it trust me you probably already know as PEG gets in more places than you can imagine). Further the jabs do differ from each other so there is nearly always an option.

[1] You can go read a synopsis and get at the full report via,

[2] Honestly I’m expecting things on the mutation front to get worse before it gets better as prevelance world wide is still increasing. So the likelihood is that “booster jabs” will be required fairly regularly over the next three to five years, maybe longer, a lot longer.

JonKnowsNothing March 7, 2021 5:32 PM

@MarkH @All

re: Hydroelectric is nice if you have the geography for it

Hmmm actually, not.

There’s a bucket load of problems with hydro power, some of which you already mentioned. It’s often trotted out as alternative “green” to fuel powered electric generation plants.

Recent exchanges on the Water Wars in the US West and the catastrophe of the Owens Valley, the lack of discharge water from the Mighty Colorado River into the Sea of Cortés and of course the fish issues are piling up rapidly against continuing with hydro dams. (see blog archives)

California has already decommissioned several dams.

Aside from the ecological damage, there’s another aspect that gets poor coverage and that’s the geology of building a dam. There’s not much difficulty generally in building the thing, although some geologic features are challenging, it’s maintaining the walls or seams of the dam where it connects to the edge of the gorge. Water is highly corrosive over time (see the Grand Canyon) and the seams get eaten away or fail due to seismic, geologic and erosion activity.

Dam failures are not uncommon.

Hydroelectric dams are claimed to be “green” because of tiered electricity pricing structures.

Generally price per kWh is high during specific periods of the day/night when demand for uses generates the most income for the utility. In the off hours when there is little or no demand for electricity the price falls to a very low cost.

Often hydroelectric dams are part of a sequence of dams, water flowing from one dam into another cascading onward to more dams.

During the day when the prices are high and demand is great, the water is released from the higher dams passing through the generators that feed the electrical grid. In the off hours when the price is cheap, the water is pumped back up to the upper dam to be used again the next day.

Water is released permanently down stream when the dams become overfull of water or when mandated by legal or court requirements.

So the “cheap” part of the electric production is used as an accounting offset for the cost of producing the electricity.

The is no perpetual motion machine in hydroelectric generation.

All levees, dikes, embankments, holding ponds, storm ponds, settlement ponds have the same geologic issues as dams. They erode and collapse. Depending on what’s stored and how much of it, figures greatly in the outcomes and damage from the breach.

Vast numbers of holding ponds contain highly toxic and deadly materials. These are sometimes the by product of old mines. Water seeps down through the mountain dissolving all manner of unpleasant minerals. The leachate is stored in huge ponds, provided the region has someone they can legally force to provide and maintain the ponds. Many historical mines do not have this and the toxic liquid pours out in to streams and flows on into the water table.

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* The most desirable place for an arch dam is a narrow canyon with steep side walls composed of sound rock.[40] The safety of an arch dam is dependent on the strength of the side wall abutments, hence not only should the arch be well seated on the side walls but also the character of the rock should be carefully inspected.

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* An abutment is the substructure at the ends of a bridge span or dam supporting its superstructure

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(url fractured to prevent autorun)

name.withheld.for.obvious.reasons March 7, 2021 6:25 PM

@ Tõnis
Well said! I agree with every sentiment and assertion you stated. I see the regulars as you do and get a little frustrated when the interlopers make a mess of things. And thank you for your contributions, I’ve read your posts often as possible and understand you are one of us (I speaking for the rest in advance of permission but I hope I’m allowed).

I need to proofread more aggressively, several posts have come off poorly due to my less hesitant “submit” tendencies.

We keep on keeping on…

lurker March 7, 2021 10:07 PM

@Clive: “The best jab for you is the one that’s gone in your arm”

The Lovely Lady Jacinda has just said something similar, anouncing confirmed orders for 10M doses of Pfizer, enough for double jabbing the 5 million NZ population. The difficulties of the cold-chain delivery are claimed to be overcome by the simplicity of only one vaccine, one protocol. No free market choice here for the mRNA doubters…

Winter March 8, 2021 12:06 AM

“The frozen meat “excuse” has some circumstantial evidence in support.”

As Clive has said before: The fact that something could have happened is no evidence that it happened.

“Yeah, we can talk in generalities, but we know what animal this virus came from, and it isn’t native to Wuhan.”

Live pangolins are imported into Wuhan from SE Asia. That is well known. There is no reason to involve frozen meat.

With frozen meat, the question is why there were no infections at the meat processing plant at the origin?

Winter March 8, 2021 12:43 AM

“In the transition to a sustainable energy system, fission plants are a rational option.”

Time before all available Uranium ore is used up:
All power is delivered by fission: 5 years.
Transition plan with only 20% of power from fission: 25 years.

The cost of nuclear power per MWh is comparable to the cost of electricity storage, so why bother?:
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Nuclear is the second most expensive power source:
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Note that currently only ~5% of the world’s energy is supplied by nuclear power:
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Summarized, a “nuclear transition option” is horribly expensive, and all the plants will run out of fuel before they can even make a dent, if it is really used, leaving the behind a world littered with Chernobyl like tombs.

More information, also on “Seawater” etc., can be found at:
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Goat March 8, 2021 1:47 AM

Public Service Announcement: “Vaccines are no substitute for masking”

Unless Healthcare officials issue guidelines to the contrary Masks must remain on with vaccines.

Also to add many people here don’t understand that People are not wearing Masks and taking distance precautions, thus Vaccines are being seen as something positive that may control the spread more so.

lurker March 8, 2021 3:06 AM


With frozen meat, the question is why there were no infections at the meat processing plant at the origin?

How likely is it that a plant processing frozen pangolin will make public statements on the health of their workers?

Winter March 8, 2021 3:14 AM

“How likely is it that a plant processing frozen pangolin will make public statements on the health of their workers?”

How likely is it that a third world country can contain and hide the outbreak of a new, deadly epidemic? Did not work for Wuhan, why should it work for, say, a town in Northern Thailand?

The Chinese sub-story about the frozen meat is also that this epidemic originated in the USA or Italy. Which is moronic, to say the least.

Clive Robinson March 8, 2021 3:32 AM

@ Winter, ALL,

With frozen meat, the question is why there were no infections at the meat processing plant at the origin?

There were, plenty of them more than you can count and it was nearly a mini-disaster in it’s own right.

But if you also change meat that to seafood you find the same thing… That is not only do you have frozen SARS-CoV-2 trace found all over the seafood packaging, when It was traced back and they found a factory ship full of testing positive men who were supposadly testing negative before flying to the job…

In Germany they found that meat packers had a way higher incidence of COVID and many of those working tested positive, in part it was blaimed on chillers,

Think back to about a year ago in the US and all the problems they had with meat packers there with Trump threatening to force workers back to meat packing by clasifing it as “critical infrastructure” even though the incidence of COVID was more prevelant than it was in health care at the time.

And guess what it’s starting to boil up again,

Also if you remember the meat packing / wholesalers had raised meat prices enormously, yet forcing the farners and suppliers to slaughter and burn at billions of dollars lost plus uncalculated environmental costs.

The proof is most definately there, but “disaster capitalism” by the wholesale meatpacking industry got to play out exceptionaly profitably whilst politically the administration very definately “looked the other way”…

But does chilling home freezing or deep commercial freezing keep the SARS virus viable. Yes for atleast three weeks probably longet with the actual temptatute apparently making no difference[2],

However not how “Dr. Robert Glatter, MD”[1] the author down plays the risk such that the read would think there is zero risk.

By going into

“… the acidity of your stomach would likely kill the virus instantly, making it a non-issue in terms of infectious spread…”

Other evidence of long GI infection suggests otherwise.

But he deliberately fails to consider the most likely senario for frozen food and it’s packaging which is bare hand to face contamination thus infection. Think just how many people take chiled or frozen food packages out of shop display cabinates put it in their trolly and carry on shopping… The statistics suggest that the person will touch their face or rub their eyes several times before they get to the check out.

People forget that “No evidence for” does not mean anything when people are quite deliberatly not looking for evidence. Something I’ve brought up several times on this blog, quite a while previously to the German’s going “mea culpa” then looking the other way again.

As they say,

“There’s none as blind as those who chose not to see.”

The reasearch should have been started back a year ago, but I’m unaware of any actuall research being carried out other than that study mentioned in the Forbes article…

Importantly the use of UV-C lamps and hydrogenbperoxide misting. We know UV-C LED’s work quite well to deactivate pathogens in even murky drinking water, but I’ve not seen anything with regards ice. I’ve pteviously mentioned that it would not be that difficult to have frozen food packaging subjected to UV-C light. But again no reasearch has been done that I’ve seen. Mind you I did stop looking last year the same as I did about using hydrogen peroxide misting of food before it’s frozen.

What we need is actual research not lame bleating of “No Evidence” because certain people have ulterior motives for not wanting certain questions asked, let alone answered…

[1] By the “about” on the Dr. It does not appear he is, shall we say, a specialist in either virology or it’s transmission or research,

[2] We realy should not be surprised the virus remains viable whilst frozen. We still have SARS1 and MERS viable virus in freezers. Oh and another hint is the stuff going on with “Chill Chains” and the mRNA vaccines (that act like viable viruses).

MarkH March 8, 2021 3:33 AM


One thing I’ve learned from the internet era is not to waste time in discussions which are not intellectually serious.

Before your earlier post, I had never in my life heard anyone even discuss the notion that All Global Energy be produced by fission plants. Never.

Let me illustrate with an analogy: most automobiles contain a few grams of platinum as part of their air pollution control control system.

I could write a paper explaining that if autos were made from solid platinum, they would perform poorly, be incredibly unreliable, only a few billionaires could afford them, and any volume production would be prevented by the limited world platinum supply.

That author cited at is playing the same game, for what purpose I’ve no idea.

The great majority of Monty Python sketches took an absurd premise, and then with fairly rigorous logic followed that premise to its preposterous conclusion.

Humor, yes. Analysis, not so much.

If you wish to engage an INTELLECTUALLY SERIOUS discussion of this matter, I’m pleased to make some reality-based contributions.

Clive Robinson March 8, 2021 3:56 AM

@ MarkH, ALL,

Before your earlier post, I had never in my life heard anyone even discuss the notion that All Global Energy be produced by fission plants. Never.

Did you ever look into why type/grneration four nuclear reactors such as “Pebble bed reactors” were being so keenly sort, especially the types that will run on Thorium.

Also have you also considered why the US State Dept has a policy to stop most second and all third world nations developing Nuclear power, especially with those lovely forcasts we keep getting about “20 years of oil, 40 uears of gas, 100 years of coal” left…

It’s been said in Germany and France as well as Belgium by both researchers and diplomates that the US fully intends to control the world nuclear energy market for it’s own advantage.

Unsupprisingly I’ve not seen it mentioned in US MSM or other MSM controlled by “US Interests” such as News International… It’s just one of the reasons I call him Rupert “the bare faced lier” Murdoch. And he is not the only one following this policy.

Oh those in Australia, keep a carefull eye on your own nuclear reserves, the US has been making moves with the current Aus Gov to get them for nearly nothing… “Scott from marketing” wants to sell you out, just another reason for a “brown nose” direct from Murdoch such is the price of power addiction.

Winter March 8, 2021 6:06 AM

“Before your earlier post, I had never in my life heard anyone even discuss the notion that All Global Energy be produced by fission plants. Never.”

You wrote:
“In the transition to a sustainable energy system, fission plants are a rational option.”

This publication comes down to 53% nuclear fission:

In practice, the transition is generally operationalized to 20% of total energy demand. Lower makes no sense, higher is insane, even for proponents.

With 20% of total, you can run the the reactors for 25 years. Provided, the demand does not grow to fast.

Winter March 8, 2021 6:10 AM

“There were, plenty of them more than you can count and it was nearly a mini-disaster in it’s own right.”

The question was: Could a meat packing plant in a third world country have contained and hidden an outbreak of a new, deadly epidemic of SARS2 before the world knew about SARS2? (ie, before the Wuhan outbreak)

My expectation would be that the town with the meat packing plant would have become the first COIVD-19 hot spot with Manaus like scenes.

Winter March 8, 2021 6:47 AM

“It’s been said in Germany and France as well as Belgium by both researchers and diplomates that the US fully intends to control the world nuclear energy market for it’s own advantage.”

I always wondered why people were so keen on nuclear power?

The most vocal proponents are generally those people who have always done everything to prevent environmental protection. Most (former) Climate Change deniers are in the nuclear camp if they have to support an option.

What I can understand is:
– Be able to build bombs if needed (UK, France, Germany, Iran, India, Pakistan, et al.)

  • Big construction works with high margins => Big money over and under the table
  • Centralized control of power generation (see previous)
  • Prevent or delay effective policies to stop Climate Change*
  • Deep hate and contempt for environmental protection (better dead than red)

*Nothing has to change now because we can eventually capture and store CO2 with all this clean Nuclear Energy

But honestly, I do not understand these people.

JonKnowsNothing March 8, 2021 9:28 AM


re: The question was: Could a meat packing plant in a third world country have contained and hidden an outbreak

I don’t particularly have a dog in this fight but…

I don’t live in a third world country, at least not officially, and yet what have you read about the massive outbreaks in the slaughterhouses that happen where I am in mid-California?

Clearly this is a rhetorical question, because unless the news of massive outbreaks here and deaths funnel to your end of the global, or you have read something I may have posted about this, you would never know.

Outbreaks of pathogens are common in slaughter and packing sheds. Not just COVID-19 but all sorts of contamination that only makes the news when some upscale urban dweller gets sick from eating a hamburger, hot dog or salad contaminated with E-Coli, Salmonella.

In small communities, folks may not know what makes them sick. Often medical care isn’t available. Countries like the USA and UK with their Hostile Environment target hospitals, churches, outreach programs, legal assistance groups, commonly used government departments (driver’s license) and court houses making it less likely that sick workers will seek medical assistance.

We know that COVID-19 makes many people sick and some of them will die. In migrant and underpaid communities they don’t always know why someone died. They don’t have that luxury.

circa Dec 2020

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  • The death of a 12th Foster Farms worker from COVID-19 in California’s Central Valley is raising new concerns about safety at such food processing facilities.
  • California-based Foster Farms reported that at least 193 people at its Cherry Avenue plant in Fresno tested positive for the coronavirus over a recent two-week period, along with 12 people at another Fresno plant. And a union official said at least 37 workers at the company’s Livingston complex in Merced County have tested positive since Nov. 30 [2020]
  • About 1,000 people work at the Cherry Avenue facility, meaning that about 20% of that plant’s workers tested positive

(url fractured to prevent autorun)

Winter March 8, 2021 9:36 AM

“Clearly this is a rhetorical question, because unless the news of massive outbreaks here and deaths funnel to your end of the global, or you have read something I may have posted about this, you would never know.”

How about containing the spread of SARS2? These common infections in slaughterhouses and meat processing plants are generally easily contained. But SARS2 is different.

The combined herculean efforts of some of the most powerful states in the world have not been able to contain the spread of SARS2. I do not see how, e.g., Cambodia or Thailand could do so.

JonKnowsNothing March 8, 2021 10:58 AM


re: How about containing the spread of SARS2? These common infections in slaughterhouses and meat processing plants are generally easily contained. But SARS2 is different.

COVID-19 has spread quite well in my area, thanks …

What happens in remote and rural areas are things that you may never find out about because it never rises above the threshold needed to trigger institutional interest.

And that’s the point isn’t it?

Winter March 8, 2021 11:49 AM

“What happens in remote and rural areas are things that you may never find out about because it never rises above the threshold needed to trigger institutional interest.”

If an area produces an exports frozen meat, that cannot be so remote as not leading to a spread of COVID. If hundreds of people suddenly die of pneumonia, that gets noticed. Especially as the area still remembers SARS1. And after the Wuhan outbreak, the whole of East Asia was scouted for more evidence of COVID.

Also, about “remote”. If there is electricity, there are mobile phones, and Facebook. There are sometimes also mobile phones where there is no electricity.

Clive Robinson March 8, 2021 12:31 PM

@ Winter, JonKnowsNothing, ALL,

These common infections in slaughterhouses and meat processing plants are generally easily contained. But SARS2 is different.

Yes it is.

The “common infections” have a age/infection profile that usually includes children upwards.

SARS-CoV-2 generally has an exponential profile with age. Thus the older you get the way more likely you are to die.

Upto 40-50 years your chances of bring hospitalised let alone dying is low, under thirty it’s very small bordering on “unknown” unless you have underlying health conditions.

Working in meatpacking plants is to quote the book “Not a young man’s” game, it’s dirty it’s dangerous and very physically demanding as well as requiring a certain mind set. Most are either dead or retired by their mid fifties anyway or have found a way to be a supervisor or equivalent.

The other thing is the work force is often internationaly itinerant these days, thus they tend to live in tight groups of individuals who are either taciturn or tending to out burst of physical rage. They come together as strangers spend a couple of weeks to a month together go home then go somewhere else. They form “closed groups” not “close groups”. Thus deaths are easily hidden by the equivalent of “gang masters” and the industry and that’s exactly what they do. Zero hours contracts, no health care, no pensions, or much of anything else, you die nobody knows or particularly cares.

Whilst it’s somewhat better in Western nations, big corporations like Amazon and Uber have shown more traditional employers that they can treat their work forces just as baddly as they want and get away with it and the rot is spreading faster than a plague.

So when you consider nations where the average age of death is below sixty, working practices are a “hand to mouth existance” and if you even look let alone speak in the wrong way you will not get employment again… Are you realy surprised you’ve not heard about it…

As pointed out it was spotted in Germany and the US yet you knew nothing about it…

The only reason you might have heard about mink farmers getting so sick is because of two way zoonotic transfer, making it into the news and the plight of the work force, if even mentioned in news articles gets tacked on as a one or two word after thought.

The industry does not want you knowing because what happens to the zero hours contractors also happens to the meat suppliers to the whole salers who act in between them and the chain stores and fast food industry that have had enough boycots etc. Look up something called “The McLiable case” in London and what measures were taken against witnesses.

Most people sit down to a microwave meal or a bit of mince in a plastic tray and realy realy do not want to know the very real horrors that get the “bit of meat” on the table.

I used to hunt or raise my meat, slaughter it, butcher it, do the things you realy do not want to know about the offal and making of sausages, pudings and charcuterie and preserving. To me it’s part of my heritage, my son goes green if I spatchcock a chicken or joint it etc when he’s watching.

Ask a child these days which way a roast chicken is up and they have not got a clue, show them that it has the same bones in the same places and if they are under ten it’s curious to them thirteen and above they get realy quite queasy.

I used to show cubs and brownies how to turn a rabbit into stew not a problem (other than from their horrified parents). The Scouts and Girl Guides was a problem… Even when wearing the green and being involved with survival courses I often horrified even the instructors who were just as squeamish as teenage girls and boys.

I’ve always had the view that if you are going to eat something animal, vegetable, or mineral, you realy should know what you can about where it comes from…

For instance, those nitrates used to preserve meat, do you know where they have come from over the years? Well the village shit pile was one and later bird droppings from pacific islands. As for modern times best not to ask, leys just say “celery salt” is more a name than a reality.

XYZZY March 8, 2021 1:13 PM

@ Clive Robinson
Thanks to decades old friends with connections I got the shots in a private setting. Jumped at the chance because at the time public vaccination was a mess. I remain almost completely isolated with deliveries providing all needs and plan to keep it that way for the foreseeable future.

MarkH March 8, 2021 1:40 PM


You wrote: “… higher is insane, even for proponents”

Thank you for acknowledging that the Derek Abbott analysis cited in the link you provided, was based on an insane premise.

We can reasonably infer that the analysis was irrational and/or purely polemical.


I suggest that you’ve been misled by Abbott into a fundamental (and rather large) error.

Abbott’s insane (as we now agree) premise was that all of humanity’s non-food global energy production be replaced with fission: coal, petroleum, hydroelectric, geothermal, biomass, wind, solar, etc., which he estimated as adding up to about 15 terrawatts (TW).

The paper you linked from that rather eccentric UK website proposes that 52% of electrical energy production come from fission.

Today, electrical power is less than 25% of global energy production, or less than 4 TW. So Abbott’s “5 years” would become 20+ years if all electrical power came from fission.

Under Barry Brook’s still extreme proposal of 52% of electrical power, that grows to 40 years.


A lot of smart people are studying and analyzing energy transition (which is inevitable anyway), and they consider much more nuanced scenarios.

Renewable energy production is growing very rapidly. Its main deficiency is that output is not steady, and there are a variety of measures to accommodate that.

One practical approach — already long in use in electrical production — is to have steady base-load generation capacity.

The analysis gets quite complicated, but a global base-load electrical capacity of 1 to 1.5 TW might well be sufficient to manage the transition period.

Hydroelectric generation — ideal for base-load capacity — already supplies at least 0.5 TW.

If 100% of base-load were suddenly transitioned to fission, then Abbott’s “5 years” would become 75 years or longer.


One of the foolish things Abbott did in his analysis was to assume no change in technology or design.

Surely you’ve heard of Bill Gates? For years now, he’s been a proponent of advanced reactor design, including an interesting concept that would convert depleted uranium (of which the world has a regrettably huge inventory resulting from the nuclear arms race) into reactor fuel, with a big multiplier effect on the reactor’s initial load of fissile uranium.


I think that most of us concerned about sustainability would be pleased to find a path forward that doesn’t rely on any terrestrial nuclear power generation.

But if fission is a component of a transition that might save hundreds of millions of our brothers and sisters, heaven knows how many species, and countless trillions of dollars in damages, then I’m all for it.

I don’t pretend to know what course energy transition will take. Excluding an ultra-low-carbon base-load technology from the range of considered possibilities can be understood in terms of emotion, but not in terms of reason.

Winter March 8, 2021 1:54 PM

“The paper you linked from that rather eccentric UK website proposes that 52% of electrical energy production come from fission.”

After accounting for the electrification of the economy, for a total of 8TW. That is low, I know. 12TW would be more realistic for total primary energy.

The paper of Derrick Abbott simply used 100% as 20% is simply takes 5 times longer. 25 years are not much better than 5 years.

Abbott does not mislead anyone. Uranium is a finite resource which cannot support the global economy for long. It is expensive and has rather obvious drawbacks

MarkH March 8, 2021 3:42 PM


Our enormous population is giving rise to shortages of many resources.

Humanity is running short of sand, which might sound trivial or even a little funny at first, but is actual extremely serious.

The goal I have in mind is a monotonic increase in renewable energy production toward the asymptote of 100%, as quickly as can practically be attained. In this process, the role of all non-renewable energy sources would necessarily be declining for most of the 21st century.

By definition, non-renewable sources can be exhausted. Their limited contribution is no bar to incorporating them in the trajectory toward maximum renewables.

Conversely, it is literally impossible to reach the goal without heavy reliance on non-renewable sources, with such reliance rapidly declining in the latter part of this century.

For me, a world with 12 TW of electrical generation would wonderful. How many years do you calculate to get there?


I’ve been trying to avoid the complicated part, because it’s difficult to describe succinctly.

In a mostly-electric civilization, the electric grid would be unrecognizably different from what exists today. It will need increases in transmission capacity, far more sophisticated management than exists in most of the world today, and will rely heavily on renewables.

If the greener future is accomplished well, the percentage of base-load capacity can be lower than is presently considered necessary. During the interval when fission plants are a component, there’s no need for anything like 50% of electricity to come from them — 15% might be more like it, with that amount declining as technologies improve.

The grade-school arithmetic we’ve been doing here assumes steady state, which is one thing I can guarantee won’t happen.

Abbott computed 75 TW-years of uranium supply, right? That would be enough for a linear ramp-up of fission to 2.8 TW by 2040, followed by a linear ramp-down to zero by 2070. That’s a purely concocted scenario, but it demonstrates that insufficiency of uranium is a bogus argument against the use of fission in a transition to maximum renewables.

quantry March 8, 2021 6:36 PM

The ITER project by China, the European Union, India, Japan, Korea, Russia and the United States aims for full fusion operations by 2035.

Energy from water. Sounds viable.

MarkH March 8, 2021 7:19 PM

For a variety of reasons, I’ve been steering clear of the discussions of the origins of SARS-CoV-2.

So I don’t know how much this reporting from Josh Rogin duplicates what has already been mentioned here:

TL;DR: Because of epidemic concerns in general, and the SARS 1 history, U.S. diplomats have kept in contact with researchers in China. Two years before the epidemic emerged, they were aware of very interesting bat coronavirus research at the recently established Wuhan lab (WIV), and the alarming discovery of some coronaviruses with spike proteins enhancing infection via inhalation.

When they sat down with the scientists at the WIV, the American diplomats were shocked by what they heard. The Chinese researchers told them they didn’t have enough properly trained technicians to safely operate their BSL-4 lab. The Wuhan scientists were asking for more support to get the lab up to top standards.

The diplomats wrote two cables to Washington reporting on their visits to the Wuhan lab. More should be done to help the lab meet top safety standards, they said, and they urged Washington to get on it. They also warned that the WIV researchers had found new bat coronaviruses could easily infect human cells …

Two caveats: this is not proof (or really, even evidence) that the pandemic came from the Wuhan lab; and although military biologists have taken part, there’s no evidence that the activities were anything other than public health research.

SpaceLifeForm March 8, 2021 11:12 PM

@ Clive, ALL

I believe this makes sense. GSA has plenty on their plate.
Except when you read the snip below. 😉

.gov holds a unique place in internet history, and we couldn’t be more excited to honor and build on that legacy. If you’re from the government, we’re here to help

SpaceLifeForm March 9, 2021 12:22 AM

Views from the shoreline

If only it was as clean and simple as

apt-get update; apt-get upgrade

March 2021 Exchange Server Security Updates for older Cumulative Updates of Exchange Server

To help customers more quickly protect their environments in light of the March 2021 Exchange Server Security Updates, Microsoft is producing an additional series of security updates (SUs) that can be applied to some older (and unsupported) Cumulative Updates (CUs). The availability of these updates does not mean that you don’t have to keep your environment current. This is intended only as a temporary measure to help you protect vulnerable machines right now. You still need to update to the latest supported CU and then apply the applicable SUs. If you are already mid-update to a later CU, you should continue with that update.

JonKnowsNothing March 9, 2021 1:22 AM


re: braces and belts too late; the ferrets are out

The “latest supported software”???

It’s all unsupported, no matter how much money you shovel up.

Paid support buys nothing better than the unpaid version.

Clive Robinson March 9, 2021 2:19 AM

@ JonKnowsNothing, SpaceLifeForm,

Paid support buys nothing better than the unpaid version.

Not quite… It buys you access to an Email address that first line support hate. Worse if you pay a higher rate maybe a phone line to a person who does not exist, thus always has an out of office greating that forwards you to a pool of first line support staff that do not enter details at all acurately in the Customer Support Database, so the next person reading it does not have a clue, so only wants to get rid of you onto them…

Having done thirdline support and development I can assure you that we prefered helping non payed support people, they had no expectation of privilege thus were just grateful somebody was comming to their support.

Also have you read the terms in “Payed Support Contracts” our favourit was the “five to nine” clause as we called it…

Obviously you do not expect as rapid a response time “over night” as you do “during the day”… So contracts have a “three hour response time” for over night support calls and a “one hour response time” for daytime support calls.

So you phone at five to nine in the morning you get the three hour time, where if you wait five minutes you only get the one hour support time. Generally the coffee machine would be quite busy from just before nine as the first liners who started at eight went and had their coffee break thus making customers wait even longer.

But I think the real experts at not dealing with technical problems were the “Consumer Services” people for cable television and the like who used premium rate numbers. Thus ran the “support linr” as a profit center… The worst offender for dumping on their customers used to be Sky the satellite TV people of News International fame, they actually hired voice over people to record “out of office messages” for fake staff. Which gives you an indicator of what sort of games they played.

Clive Robinson March 9, 2021 2:42 AM

@ SpaceLifeForm,

This is probably worse than SolarWinds Orion.

If you mean “Has Microsoft development been owned?”

Yes it’s rather begining to look that way…

How many fortune 500 are they in? ALL.

You can work your way down a very very long list of groups and in each case the answer would be “ALL”

The thing is I can not think of a company that I’ve worked with that did not have Microsoft in admin or the front office, that was fairly easy to get at via the Internet. Oh and of course nearly –but not quite– all used the “Perimeter Security” model, so once past the gate keeper you could run around inside to your hearts content.

I’m known to ask two questions up front

1, Why are they Internet connected?

2, Why is their only one security zone inside the gateway?

I won’t bore you with the variations it almost always boils down to “But every one does it that way” realy meaning “It’s the cheapest way to do it”

So yeh it has the potential to be way way bigger than SolarWinds, and may touch every one you know one way or another. Even Little Jo’s quaint but quirky coffee shop you like to visit because it’s different and the wife approves of the organic vegy oprions… Or Sam’s greasy spoon cafe where you have that illicit bacon sarnie the wife nags you about being full of fat and nitrates thus early death, where the till is still mechanical and the coffee like lava brewed up by the Devil himself. Yup there will be a computer in there somewhere just waiting to throw a spoke in the wheel.

Winter March 9, 2021 2:49 AM

“For me, a world with 12 TW of electrical generation would wonderful. How many years do you calculate to get there?”

The transition is already underway at this moment. Quite a number of countries want to ban fossil fuel cars in the coming decades, e.g., India, UK, France, Norway. Others are building a fast infrastructure for electrical cars. Industry is testing procedures to switch to synthetic fuels and hydrogen produced by electricity.

2040-2050 is the range for the transition most mentioned.

“The goal I have in mind is a monotonic increase in renewable energy production toward the asymptote of 100%, as quickly as can practically be attained. In this process, the role of all non-renewable energy sources would necessarily be declining for most of the 21st century.”

“Quick” and “Nuclear power plants” are never used in the same sentence without a negation. If countries start now with building nuclear power plants, they might get online in 2040.

“In a mostly-electric civilization, the electric grid would be unrecognizably different from what exists today. It will need increases in transmission capacity, far more sophisticated management than exists in most of the world today, and will rely heavily on renewables.”

This transition is already underway in Europe, with a lot of renewable energy coming online and smart meters installed by default. In places with bad electrical grids, e.g., Africa, private solar panels selling electricity are all the rage.

“Abbott computed 75 TW-years of uranium supply, right? That would be enough for a linear ramp-up of fission to 2.8 TW by 2040, followed by a linear ramp-down to zero by 2070. That’s a purely concocted scenario, but it demonstrates that insufficiency of uranium is a bogus argument against the use of fission in a transition to maximum renewables.”

The global primary energy consumption in 2019 was ~20TWyear. In a 50 year period (2020-2070), this is, without growth, 1000TWyear. 75TWyear = 7.5% of this consumption. This whole scheme would offset just 7.5% of total produciton, if the consumption does not grow, at an enormous cost. For the same money it is possible to generate 300TWyear with solar and onshore wind. Also, nuclear is just as expensive as storing electricity, and that is forever useful.

“During the interval when fission plants are a component, there’s no need for anything like 50% of electricity to come from them — 15% might be more like it, with that amount declining as technologies improve.”

So why bother? We do not have the nuclear power plants installed, and other options are much easier to bring online. And they can be used forever. Why build thousands of nuclear power plants to burn up all uranium, to scrap them (entomb them) in 2070, less than 30 years after they come online?

Nuclear fission simply does not make sense. Solar, wind, and storage are cheaper, and renewable. Also, renewables are much faster to build and put online, and they are more flexible.

Clive Robinson March 9, 2021 6:30 AM

@ Winter, MarkH,

Arguing about generation can be interesting but two things make storage rather more important,

1, Darkness prevails for half the time globally.

2, People want to go places including drive for as near eight hundred miles a day as they can.

As noted,

Quite a number of countries want to ban fossil fuel cars in the coming decades

Well that is very problematic as we do not have the storage technology to do it, even close to it. In fact science indicates that chemical storage including hydrocarbons are going to be the predominent storage due to,

A, High energy density
B, Extrodinary long life
C, Very low cost of maintenance
D, Time to recharge

Battery technology is way way off of these marks and few seriously think it will get even remotely close in the next hundred years, especially the massive problem of D.

Now the question boils down to one of “collecting and cracking” the “exhaust” to recycle it. At the end of the day what bests fits is not going to be that environmentally friendly which is some kind of alcohol where the cracking is done by plants or bacteria and the output is carbon dioxide and water (yes and some of the dreded carbon monoxide which is a fuel it’s self).

However what few realise is that the “infernal combustion engine” is quite good at running on all sorts of fuels from hydrogen through the light/sweet hydrocarbons. The energy density being aproximately proportianate to the length of the carbon chain.

Hydrogen even though having a low energy density has many advantages we know several ways to crack water to get it and the resulting exhaust being steam can with moderate care be vented into the environment without harm in most cases, likewise it kind of “self collects” under gravity and much of the earths surface is made of it… The problem is storing hydrogen gas is actually quite a hard problem and the better ways use rare elelments… As for cracking there is a problem and that is the entropy hump to do it. Put another way it needs very high tempratures so you have to put a lot of energy in, that then has to be recovered in some way, which gives an almost 50% loss off of the top[1]. What you have in effect is a steam engine with a hot reservoir(Th) and a cold reservoir(Tc) that is the ambient temprature connected via a reversable or irreversable system that produces work. In theory the system of work is equivalent to converting kinetic energy (lifting a weight against gravity) to potential energy.

People are investigating other systems where you in effect take carbon dioxide and add water cracking both to produce a hydrocarbon via the use of focused solar energy. Likewise the use of “biologicals” such as algae. All of these process have similar problems. However the energy storage is many times more stable than electrical battery storage.

There are other systems such as wax based thermal systems and even mechanical systems such as gyros, compressors and pumping water up and down mountains.

But they are effectively all quite inefficient in one way or another.

Oh a fun side effect the faster you try to put energy into a storage system the less efficient it is.

So we have a lot of problems to solve with “solar energy” we don’t have with continuouse output generation that can be ramped up and down at need.

Thus we need systems where nature has stored the energy for us, be it mechanical –wave, wind–, chemical –plants etc– or even by using thermal mass. Lakes for instance store a massive amount of energy as thermal reservoirs that can be used via heat pumps to raise or lower tempratures in closed environments.

[1] Yes you can run heat engines such as turbines and so on downwards but there are practical and theoretical limits. In practice all systens are inefficient and energy is lost to the ambient environment as heat. The Carnot efficiency = 1 – (Tc/Th) is a result of the first and second laws of thermodynamics,where importabtly Tc can not be lower than ambiant temprature, which makes heat the ultimate form of pollution…

Winter March 9, 2021 6:46 AM

“Well that is very problematic as we do not have the storage technology to do it, even close to it. ”

They are still going to do it. And the charging stations to service all these cars are already being rolled out.

There are options to increase the maximum distance, but these are still only blips on the radar. See e.g., refillable batteries (

Hydrogen and synthetic fuels are being developed, but hydrogen is difficult to handle and synthetic fuels are inefficient. These options are good for situations where high temperatures are needed or when you really have to have chemical fuels (planes).

If there is one thing COVID-19 has shown us, it is that when the need arises, all those “impossible” changes can be made overnight. If we really want to, we can solve these problems. Even if it means we will have to use roll-on roll-off trains to drive from London to Naples.

Sancho_P March 9, 2021 7:06 AM

Guys, I love how fluently you use expressions like energy transition, renewable energy, energy storage, sustainability, energy generation, TW(years), going green, civilisation and future.

But beware, you may be on the wrong end of the stick.
Technology is nice – until only a few use it.
The other end of the stick will bring us to a full stop.

Winter March 9, 2021 7:29 AM

“Technology is nice – until only a few use it.”

I am not so pessimistic. I think many people will want to use electricity when they see the advantages. It just needs some time to roll out a network to electrify every household.

Winter March 9, 2021 10:23 AM

Cryptotelephone service Sky cracked in Belgium

Investigation services have again managed to crack a major provider of encrypted crypto phones. According to Belgian media, this is Sky ECC, a provider of these phones that is frequently used by criminals. Rumors that Sky would have been cracked had been circulating for some time.
The Belgian federal police raided 200 places in Belgium on Tuesday morning around 5:00 a.m. 1,500 officers would have been involved in this. According to Belgian media, it was already possible to crack the popular service in December 2020, after which the police and judicial authorities would have read live for a while with the messages that criminals sent each other. Large consignments of drugs allegedly intercepted in the port of Antwerp are attributed to reading along with these messages.

MarkH March 9, 2021 11:13 AM

@Clive, Winter:

I’ve been an enthusiast of energy storage for about 50 (!) years. Unfortunately, I don’t yet see a way to get to the required large capacities in the short term. The storage concepts I see most publicized would be impractical to scale up.

I’m optimistic for the long term. One of the enabling technologies will be the electric power transmission systems of the future. A hybrid of energy sources, with plants using a variety of renewable technologies, will reduce the daily and seasonal dips in output.

And I’m sure that adequate storage will eventually be developed.

To accomplish those goals within 50 years would be a great achievement.

In the meantime, people will need steady base-load generation capacity. If fission generation is applied up to the “Abbott limit” (which assumes only old-style reactors), I compute that that 21st century CO2 emissions would be reduced by about 250 billion metric tons compared to natural gas — equivalent to zeroing out 6 years of current human-caused CO2 emissions.

Renewables are growing rapidly, and I expect that they will fill as much demand as can practically be managed. At least for a few decades, other kinds of generation will be needed to close the gap.


Interestingly, one of the novel fission designs currently in development incorporates molten salt heat storage, which is claimed to be particularly efficient. It’s an interesting option for nuclear, because fission plants have a higher proportion of waste heat than other thermal-electric plants.

The purpose of the heat store is to enable the nuclear power unit to produce electricity at 150% of its un-aided capacity for up to five hours at a time during periods of peak demand.

Unless some magical Mr Fusion technology comes along (I’m not holding my breath), there is never going to be a one-size-fits-all answer to meeting energy needs. Future energy systems will incorporate a great variety of generation, storage, conservation and load management techniques.

Clive Robinson March 9, 2021 11:27 AM

@ Winter, ALL,

Investigation services have again managed to crack a major provider of encrypted crypto phones.

Well “Colour me unsurprised” hands,up those that did not see that comming…

It’s not as though I’ve not been warning about the root problem since before Signal was a blip.

Just to make it again,

The security end point in Smartphone communications is in the wrong place thus none of them can be made secure.

I hope people start to take it onboard before way more people get nabbed one way or another.

I don’t have much sympathy for the types of criminals they are dragging in at the moment, it Would be fsirly easy to argue that they are getting what they deserve.

That said journalists, whistleblowers and similar are now regarded in the US and other places as criminal. Other countries regard political opposition as criminals and some regard women trying to lead beter lives as criminals.

Oh and as we know with the US, UK, Australia, Canada and potentially New Zealand, the supposed Intelligence Services regard the civil population as de facto criminals. But then many of the Silicon Valley Corporates regard their employess in much the same way as well.

It is these people who I realy do not consider criminals are the ones already on the list. Giving these people the illusion that Smart phones and other Smart Devices can somehow be made secure with an application is actively doing them harm, and I realy wish people would stop doing so. Because it makes us complicit in any harm that befalls them.

Winter March 9, 2021 12:42 PM

“Oh and as we know with the US, UK, Australia, Canada and potentially New Zealand, the supposed Intelligence Services regard the civil population as de facto criminals. But then many of the Silicon Valley Corporates regard their employess in much the same way as well.”

Not criminals, but the enemy within. They look at the “common people” like pre-civil war Southerners times and Classical Romans looked at their slaves: Hunt them down when they leave their stables.

Clive Robinson March 9, 2021 1:07 PM

@ MarkH,

Interestingly, one of the novel fission designs currently in development incorporates molten salt heat storage, which is claimed to be particularly efficient.

If it’s the process I’m thinking of –Eutectic Salts– it is in effect a “Phase Change Material”(PCM) storage device similar to some wax systems you can get today for use with Solar Heating (ie heat a working fluid systems not Photo Voltaic).

To see just how much energy csn be involved in a phase change, to go from solod ice to liquid water requires ~334 J/g but to go up to 1 degree C only requires another ~4.2 J/g, waxes and Eutectic Salts can have larger differences. The important thing to note is that the actual temprature varience is very small for a vast amount of energy transfer. So a wax that phase changes at ~40C is ideal for hot water systems from Solar systems. Importantly many phase change materials are increadibly stable thus can have almost unlimited cycles unlike even the best sealed battery systems at maybe 1500 charge discharge cycles (though there are issues with salts).

I could go into how they work, but… It’s fairly dull to explain without graphs, so it’s less work for me if you read other peoples descriptions,

Clive Robinson March 9, 2021 1:23 PM

@ Winter,

Not criminals, but the enemy within.

Criminal implies a “due process” system where you have some kind of defence. Enemy implies “law of the gun” where nobody asks questions of the dead…

But yes there is a difference, technically you are only a “criminal” upon conviction. Based on the premise of “innocent until guilty” but that is seen as “to expensive” or “unreliable” and politicians in particular want as many convicted people as possible as we move from incarceration to fining. It makes their “hard on crime” mantra not just look like it’s working –it does not– as well as bringing in a nice revenue stream to pay off cronies and bribe the voters.

Am I being a little to cynical? Who knows but that’s the way I see it going, the judicial process turned into a “profit center” to fill the void that large mainly offshore corps have left by not paying taxes etc.

vas pup March 9, 2021 2:57 PM

Russia, China agree to build lunar station together:

“Russia and China are reaching for the moon, with plans to construct a “complex of experimental research facilities” there as they strive to expand their presence in space.

Russia has signed a memorandum of understanding with China to construct a joint lunar space station, the national space agency, Roscosmos, announced on Tuesday.

The station is envisioned as a “complex of experimental research facilities created on the surface and/or in the orbit of the moon,” according to a statement from Roscosmos.

The countries have agreed to cooperate closely on designing, implementing and presenting the project, according to the statement.

China’s ambassador to Russia confirmed the agreement, the Russian news agency Interfax reported.

Space rivals, space allies

===>The announcement came hours after France’s space studies organization, CNES, reported that Paris and Beijing were committed to cooperating in the space exploration field, according to Reuters.

Russia also cooperates with the US when it comes to space exploration. NASA is currently planning to build a lunar station in cooperation with Japan, Canada and Europe.

===>In February, an EU official told Reuters that the bloc would set up an alliance in the space industry to prevent being outweighed by the US and Chinese technologies.

Russia’s move comes as it loses its monopoly over trips to the International Space Station following the US SpaceX mission launch.”

Short videos inside as well.

SpaceLifeForm March 9, 2021 3:59 PM


Reminder: Attribution is hard


[In other words, don’t buy it]

Sancho_P March 9, 2021 4:34 PM

@Winter, re “every household”

Seems I wasn’t clear: Technology is not scalable to the world as it is.
To sustainably use technology we’d have to kill about 7 billions.
Or prepare a list of ‘not humans’.
– Oh wait, sorry, I see, we are doing both already!

Forget technological progress, first we’d have to understand what “multiply” means in reality:
(Impact = Population x Affluence x Technology)
A must read if you have travelled the world.
Yep, old old, but these things don’t change to the better.

MarkH March 9, 2021 5:03 PM


As the saying goes, from your lips to God’s ear …

What a lot of people don’t understand about electrical power grids is that incoming power must match point-of-use consumption plus transmission losses second-by-second, for almost 32 million seconds per year.

If there is a single interval of one second in which demand exceeds supply, either brownout or blackout must inexorably ensue.

MarkH March 9, 2021 5:34 PM

A Funny Story about Cybercrime

Apologies if this was mentioned before, but I hadn’t noticed it here …

Those interested in cybercrime probably know that many “blackhats” like to congregate in “dark web” internet forums, where they can pool knowledge and perhaps other resources. These are especially valuable for youthful aspirants to cybercrime, but I suspect are not limited to them.

In recent weeks, two major Russian-language cybercrime forums were hacked by attackers who exfiltrated login database information. In both cases, the attacks were reportedly made via the domain registrars.

A few days ago, a third such forum detected that the proxy server it uses for DDoS protection had been compromised.

A fourth was hit by a lesser exploit which tricked some users into sending payments to the attacker.

One anxiety sparked by these attacks, is that login database information from multiple forums can assist in finding the real-world identities of persons who participate in more than one of them.

I’ll try to weep a little for the victims … when I’ve stopped laughing.

Clive Robinson March 9, 2021 6:13 PM

@ MarkH, Winter,

If there is a single interval of one second in which demand exceeds supply, either brownout or blackout must inexorably ensue.

Actually not true it happens all the time and neither brownout or blackout occure.

You can see it happen with an oscilloscope and a good quality refrence generator, and I’ve got a computer logging it 24×365.25 as a delta.

What happens is the same as it does on a petrol or diesel generator, the increase in load causes the frequency to drop untill the regulator catches up, and if the load drops the frequency goes up.

Mad as it might appear, if you turn on a 1 bar fire, which takes about a kilowatt, you cause not just the nearest generator to you to slow down a fraction, it in turn causes all other generators on the network to slow down by the same fraction. This is because the network is a synchronous system.

Oh in many places the generating authority is required to keep the number of cycles to within a fraction of what they are supppsed to be so that peoples mains powered clocks keep good time, and people still using cathode ray tube televisions do not see annoying artifacts in the picture.

MarkH March 9, 2021 6:49 PM


Those variations in line frequency reflect the “compliance” of the generating system to load changes.

Every second of grid operation has energy inflow equal to consumption plus losses … unless somebody’s discovered an exciting new exception to the Law of Conservation of Energy!!!

There’s some energy storage in conventional power systems — in the magnetic fields of transformers and motors, the kinetic energy of generator rotors, etc., which can help to even things out for a fraction of a second … but not longer.

For those not fluent in English (as opposed to American), a 1 bar fire is an electric space heater 🙂

Forgive me if I’ve told this story here before, old men tend to repeat themselves … I read in the 1970s about the introduction of microprocessor-controlled synchronization systems for electrical power plants.

Prior to that, when a generating plant needed to go “on line,” technicians would carefully adjust valves while watching a phase-angle gauge comparing their generator outputs to the outside electrical grid, trying to get to zero degrees before closing the giant switches.

People experienced with this said that if you kept within a degree of so of phase difference the process would go pretty smoothly, but if the difference was more than 2 or 3 degrees, they would feel the generator building shake when the electrical connection was made.

name.withheld.for.obvious.reasons March 9, 2021 8:53 PM

1 MARCH 2021 — Federation of American Scientists FOIA — DoD “Quest for Truth” Research
The Federation of American Scientists have requested a 2008 report that was released under a FOIA. As Steven Aftergood has written, “Is it possible to reliably detect persons with malicious intent by remotely measuring their physiological state or studying their involuntary verbal or behavioral signs?”

The reference paper is available at hzz sp:// if you’re interested.

name.withheld.for.obvious.reasons March 9, 2021 8:58 PM

@ Clive

Well “Colour me unsurprised” hands,up those that did not see that comming…

Okay, I’m surprised! NOT, or, 1 over surprised (my expression 1/!?).

JonKnowsNothing March 9, 2021 9:25 PM

@name.withheld.for.obvious.reasons @All

With or without direct proofs, China has gone Gung Ho for mass face emotion tracking, along with numerous “Compulsory” checks.

If you are a good citizen, you will smile nicely, stay quiet, and follow Fearless Leader in every way to earn “Social Credits”. If not, you earn Demerits and can lose The House Cup, along with other aspects of breathing.

Amazon, Ring and other face monitoring systems do similar. They don’t need proofs, they get what they want from Executive Summary.

ht tps://

ht tps://

ht tps://
* an English term, with the current meaning of “overly enthusiastic or energetic”

ht tps://

Fearless Leader is the main antagonist in the 1959–1964 animated television series Rocky and His Friends and The Bullwinkle Show, both shows often collectively referred to as The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show. In the show, he employs fellow main villains Boris Badenov and Natasha Fatale.

(url fractured to prevent autorun)

lurker March 9, 2021 11:33 PM

@MarkH …technicians would carefully adjust valves while watching a phase-angle gauge …

A couple of low wattage light bulbs between the same phase of supply and generator was enough when I brought 250kva diesels online. With a bit of practice the diesel never even murmured.

lurker March 9, 2021 11:57 PM

@JonKnowsNothing: Gung Ho

Oxford English Dictionary: WW2, from the Chinese gōnghé, taken to mean ‘work together’ and adopted as a slogan by US Marines.

工合 gōnghé was the slogan adopted in 1938 by the Industrial Co-operatives set up by the communists. It is not found in many modern Chinese dictionaries. Cultural apropriation and living languages…

MarkH March 10, 2021 1:14 AM


I see from various of your comments that you’ve had some fun experiences, and I love the technique of using light bulbs as a phase meter!

It reminds me a little of the experience of a friend who crewed for a while on a large (and rather old) ocean-going yacht. It had an engine and screw, for use only an an exceptional basis (e.g, for safety in weather, or tight maneuvering in harbors).

Though a powerful engine, it had but a single cylinder of enormous displacement. The “start procedure” required wrenching it close to Top Dead Center — using a long lever arm and lots of muscle — followed by a blast of compressed air to get the contraption moving.


If memory serves after so many years, the generators I was reading about were utility-scale, so perhaps on the order of 100 times more powerful than the diesel units you used to work with … so the de-synch shocks were energetic indeed.

Though you understand the principles well, some readers might not be aware that typically, when rotating electrical machinery is wired in parallel and turning out-of-phase, mutual interactions between the machines operate to push them into synchronization.

When a power plant turbine is connected to the electrical grid, mighty though the turbine may be, its hundreds of megawatts will be fighting many gigawatts elsewhere on the grid, with the effect that for a brief moment, the generator behaves rather like a motor: a motor with a hell of a lot of power twisting it.

SpaceLifeForm March 10, 2021 1:20 AM

@ MarkH, Clive

Out of phase

Reminds me of an incident not far from me. Human error.

They were going to put a generator back online. Was not in phase.
It actually was completely out of phase. But human misread.

The generator ripped itself away from it’s concrete pad.

Winter March 10, 2021 1:21 AM

@Clive, MarkH
“Actually not true it happens all the time and neither brownout or blackout occure.”

Even more then the occasional second.

There was a spat between Serbs living in Kosovo and the electrical utility of Kosovo. The Serbs refused to pay for their electricity and the Kosovo utility did not have the funds, or was not willing, to make up for the loss. This gridlock lasted for about 2 months.

As a result, for two months “less” power was generated than consumed. Basic physics tells us this means everyone got a little less power than they thought they would get. This was visible in all the clocks starting to run late. In the end, by 6 minutes or so.

After the spat ended, the utilities made up for the loss in cycles so all the clocks started to run early, as we all had reset our clocks by then.

This all could happen because the European grid covers almost all of the continental EU plus some.

Winter March 10, 2021 1:56 AM

@Sancho_P (Don Quichote?)
“Seems I wasn’t clear: Technology is not scalable to the world as it is.”

Nah, solar mini-grids are already build in Africa. Morocco is betting big on becoming a solar power supplier.

ht tps://

ht tps://

ht tps://

@Sancho_P (Don Quichote?)
“To sustainably use technology we’d have to kill about 7 billions.”

Thank you for allowing me to saddle my hobby horse. That is sooo wrong.
For the long story, see:
Sustainable Energy – without the hot air
ht tps://

The short story:
The sums are not that difficult. If you do them you find you can deliver total energy (replacing ALL sources of energy) for 1B people at a level higher than current consumption in the EU by planting an area in the Sahara less than twice the size Germany with solar panels. Electricity can be transported by high voltage DC power lines with little loss over the whole of Europe.

For instance, solar flux in tropical regions is around 300 Wm-2 averaged over a day. Take a net efficiency of 5%, losses in surface use and transportation included. The German per capita energy use is ~5.5kW. If we take a generous 7.5 kW as the norm, it would take 500 m2 per capita to power a country like Germany. For 1B people we would need 500,000 km2. The area of Germany is 357,114 km2.

Electricity is transported with High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) lines which have losses ~3% per 1000 km, which would cover most of Europe with at most 10% losses (Marrakesh-Warsaw is ~3300 km).

Easy to translate to North America, India, and China.

That is all with current technologies.

Mind you, the investments would be astronomical and there would still be maintenance and political problems. But it can be done with the means available.

Clive Robinson March 10, 2021 2:08 AM

@ SpaceLifeForm, ALL,

Packet Radio Van

I’d like to say “I remember it well” but that would imply I was involved with it, which I was not. But I had to study it in some depth along with earlier (ALOHAnet) and later versions when involved with designing other systems based around “The Cambridge Ring” (which was not I hasten to add a “spy ring of graduates” but a packet ring network technology).

Today you can buy for around $200-300 Ham radio “walkie talkies / HTs” that include something called APRS whilst many in the Ham community have heard of it, few know it’s full capabilities or it’s historic roots that bind it to the Internet through Phill Karn’s (KA9Q) AX.25 based on a reduced set of the X.25 protocol. Phil’s software provided a “networking stack” before Microsoft did thus it got used via a number of early ISP’s in particular the UK Deamon which shattered the old “telecoms model” and brought in affordable conectivity.

Of real interest security wise is APRS works in “postcard” or “broadcast” mode where packets are not addressed to unique hosts but to no hosts that is all receivers that can hear it. These hosts are usually in digipete mode where they rebroadcast the packet if they have not seen it before. Thus the packet gets multiplied in a controled way spreading out in a ring untill either it is nolonger heard or it reaches it’s “hop limit”. The hop limit is usually kept small as there are numerous “I-Gates” that will put the packet onto the Internet for forwarding world wide to those that are “following” an individual or group of APRS senders.

But also this early experimenting gave rise to the curiosity that is the “44 network”[3]. System and network administrators should be not just aware of it but it’s history as well, which gave rise to it being used as the “Network Telescope”.

Unfortunately my attempts to get an SRI equivalent Spread Spectrum data network up and running for Ham’s did not get anywhere at the time and these days you tend to find commercial high bandwidth data connection equipment being reprogramed to form the likes of the “Amateur Data Radio”(AREDN)[4]





Clive Robinson March 10, 2021 2:52 AM

@ MarkH, lurker,

Every second of grid operation has energy inflow equal to consumption plus losses

But you are neglecting the rather large energy storage component, not just in the field windings but in the inertia of not just the gen-sets but the turbines etc that drive them. This energy can take several seconds to a hal minute or so to run down.

As for using three light bulbs as @lurker mentions for a phase meter for bringing a generator into synchronization it’s almost as old a three phase generation it’s self.

I used to teach it to students using two car alternators driven by DC motors. You can measure the phase difference this way to fractions of a degree, but more importantly if you put the lightbulbs in the right physical location you can see which direction you need to adjust the generator you are bringing up simply by increasing or decreasing it’s speed very slightly.

If you want minimum “shudder” when throwing the breakers you must remember the “incomming generator” has “no load” so will slow down as load is suddenly drawn from it, so you should run the incoming generator “above speed” so it is pulled down into synchronization as it starts taking load. That is you are using some of the incoming generators stored energy to get it over the outrush.

As @SpaceLifeForm has noted get it wrong and,

The generator ripped itself away from it’s concrete pad.

That sort of immense energy has to come from somewhere and it’s that “stored energy” component “kicking back”.

Oddly it took longer to find an example document describing the process than it would have done to draw a circuit up on a napkin…,

Any way it’s now time to put the nose to the grind stone and get a bit of work done… And today it’s prepping course notes on basic transistor network models and how to design both DC conditions and AC conditions to get working small signal circuits.

Clive Robinson March 10, 2021 3:07 AM

@ MarkH,

Syncroscopes and bringing gen-sets up aside, you gave an anecdote about a “one thump a mile” engine and starting it.

Well this bit of history might be of interest,

For those with nearly antique aircraft and tanks from WWII that are still running, getting the cartridges is an increasingly dificult problem.

MarkH March 10, 2021 3:20 AM


Agreed, the kinetic energy of turbines can maintain significant generator output for several seconds, but generally only if the load is just a fraction of the nameplate rating. I expect that at full load, the output would “die down” very rapidly indeed.

In any case, whether the generator torque comes from water flow, steam pressure, or the momentum of a turbine spinning down, the generator’s output is an input to the grid …

… and conservation of energy dictates that averaged over a period of more than a few dozen milliseconds (to account for short-term energy storage), the grid consumption+losses will be equal to the total of the inputs.

PS In what kind of setting are you teaching? Are you doing what in the U.S. is called the adjunct professor gig?

Sadly, adjunct professors have no tenure, no status, no pension, and no benefits. Accordingly, colleges and universities love hiring them: yet another brutal way to maximize workforce exploitation. It’s common for American teachers stuck in this trap to drive around between two or three different institutions each day, trying to accumulate enough low-paid hours to pay their rent … if there’s anything like this in the U.K., at least the teachers there have the NHS!

MarkH March 10, 2021 4:46 AM


I’m a little sad to learn about the difficulty of finding starting cartridges. I didn’t know what they were until watching a kind of crazy but quite interesting (in a geeky way) dramatic movie titled “Flight of the Phoenix.”

I hope that they’re sufficiently low-tech, that historical aviation enthusiasts will band together and manufacture them.


Along parallel lines, it’s been a great pleasure for me to see TV coverage of historical auto races with formula one cars from years ago.

It occurred to me that F1 cars from what I’ll call “the Schumacher era” will never be able to run in this manner. Their engines were incredibly expensive, extremely exotic, and had a life expectancy of perhaps three hours. Although their coachwork will probably hold up and be viewable in museums, almost everything that made them go was ephemeral.

Well, we can’t hold on to the past … but I’d love to see a Supermarine Spitfire in flight.

lurker March 10, 2021 11:44 AM


…mighty though the turbine may be, its hundreds of megawatts will be fighting many gigawatts elsewhere on the grid…

As a tourist I visited the Tumut2 station in the Snowy Mountains scheme. 700 feet head, 11 am Sunday only one machine running, spinning 120Mva reactive into the Victoria grid to keep it stable. Resistive load was 35Mw.

MarkH March 10, 2021 2:12 PM


In a book on rotating machinery, I saw a photo of a “synchronous condenser” — an unloaded “motor” wired to look to the mains like an enormous capacitance, in order to optimize the load factor for an industrial plant with highly inductive loads.

It happened to mounted on end with its axis of rotation horizontal, and as I recalled looked to be 3 to 4 meters tall/wide, and only a meter or so thick.

Its shape was such that it struck me as funny — if painted orange, it could be an old-fashioned ceramic capacitor scaled to giant size.

Clive Robinson March 10, 2021 4:27 PM

@ AL,

Unlike some, I have no problem flip-flopping.

I don’t need to flip or flop, as I’ve said I’m,

1, Waiting on evidence.
2, Happy to hear others hypothesize as that is part of reasoning.

But I’ve not made my mind up, and I’m unkikely to as long as rrasonable hypothesis are not followed up.

You may favour “escape from the lab” and yes there is correlation but not causation argument.

As others have pointed out the lab took down it’s community accessible database.

It’s easy to see how some might see that as suspicious…

But flip the coin, how long had that database been available to those outside the lab? What is the betting it got copied more than once into “local DBs” to make research easier. If there are copirs as I suspect, if there was even a smoking gun in there how come somebody has not released the data?

Thus the question arises as to why the DB was taken down, if it contains nothing indicative then why bother?

Can I suggest that it was US political behaviour that has very much crossed the line when it comes to xenophobia and racism and consists of mainly “fake news” and no evidence what so ever. The Chinese Government seeing ages ago what was being drumed up simply decided “scorched earth” was the only way to deal with the US executive behaviours.

Ask yourself this question,

“If a pandemic started in the US under that executive, how do you think the US executive would have behaved?”

The Chinese had after a bumpy start from well down the political food chain, were fairly honest about what they were doing how they were measuring things why they changed the way they measured things.

What was the result a torrent of accusations from the US executive that were busy fiddling whilst a wildfire of infection took hold in the US.

Worse we know that the US were not just lying about things they were so inept most people outside the US could see what was going on. The CDC for instance incapable of organising it’s labs to stop cross contamination on mass with one expert describing them as filthy. So why are we not talking about the right royal disasyer that we know was the CDC labs, there is after all no doubt what so ever just what a mess they were in.

In China however after the initial bump they got down very seriously to eradicating the virus from China and getting their economy back together. Which by and large they have done.

What has the West in the Northern Hemisphere done? Basically just about everything wrong they could do. Thus the UK and US economies are in the crapper with no sign that the policies being followed will do anything to improve the situation. The EU Council of Ministers and their staff in Brussels have so badly screwed up the way they were trying to get vaccines on the cheap there are second world countries with a better per capita record. But worse the EU have decided that “theft” is the way to go to make up for their gross negligence…

Other nations who placed their orders not just at much higher prices than the EU were trying to screw out of the drug companies, they placed them way before the EU. They are now being told by the EU that they can not have the vaccines they ordered and waited their turn for because the EU Council of Ministers and their minions in Brussels are worse than usless. So rather than hang their heads in shame, they have decided they need to cover their gross failing by becoming the equivalent of highway men and footpads. Not what you would call the “smart option” as for the nepotism and cronyism in the EDA… Where do you start on that…

So there is way more to be worrying about than where the virus may or may not have arrisen from, how it got to Wuhan and how the population became infected by apparently two strains… Which would make “escaped from the lab” a very curious event.

name.withheld.for.obvious.reasons March 11, 2021 12:46 AM

Group Think/Cultists Insecure Association
As I understand it, those that are disassociated from the GOP after years of party membership know that their party’s message is patently lies. It may be a need to preserve their sense of integrity; now stay with me…I know a few of you just stopped reading, and having a fidelity to general principles that, believe it our not, are shared by others for whom governance is a thing. The Trumpists don’t believe or embrace any organizing principle, let alone a governance model. For them they only need the adulation and capitulation of their admirers as validation to whatever it is they believe they are doing, it is all transactional in nature. Trumpist elites care and pay nothing to their rabble and unwashed masses, as does former 45, the masses are the useless dupes. Look at the surprised faces of those both during and after the capital riot. Unmitigated and righteous acts by those empowered to a cause appear unwavering and confident, and afterwords what could have possibly be wrong turns to faces of shock and surprise.

The whole ring kissing ceremonies surrounding demonstrations of fealty to a fraud, it must be so demeaning and insulting, this is the weakness in this type of structure–it easily gives way once the mask is removed. Internally, most of the elite members of the group don’t ascribe any particular “skill” or supernatural “annotating” to the ring wearer. It is a marriage of convenience. Love and respect are not the glue–unless it is Elmer’s–so the whole thing unravels like a cheap retreaded tire w/100,000 miles of wear.

Winter March 11, 2021 2:53 AM

“Group Think/Cultists Insecure Association …”

Sorry, but I cannot parse what you are writing here. Who are you addressing this to, and about whom are you talking?

If this is about Trump followers, then I would like to repeat what a Dutch journalist in the USA wrote recently: Trump followers are much like the followers of Sanders, and they want the same: Health care access, a decent income, some security in their employment/income, and a future for their children and grandchildren.

The sad thing is that, while Sanders might be willing to give that to them, Trump et al. most certainly are not willing to give them anything but words.

Winter March 12, 2021 1:55 AM

We have heard many times that the global tech companies and intelligence services of several countries are collecting what essentially is a database of all humans. Facebook alone has data of over 3 billion users. The total number of social media users is over 4 billion. We all assume that these data have been siphoned off by assorted intelligence services. On top of that, there are copious breaches of payment services, client and HR databases, often by “state actors”. International financial transactions by Swift are all under observation by law enforcement, and thus, intelligence services.

What can be done with all these data? Why collect it?

Think “The Second Foundation” and Hari Seldon (series coming to a screen near you). With all these data, you can predict the future, and maybe change it. Change it with disinformation.

Sounds SF, not so much:
Making the predictions of the future

The key element in politics is to affect the masses. Scientists made the high-accurate digital twin of our planet for making predictions, what would happen in the future. Using that kind of simulation what is the combination of the profiles of the people and things like climate chancing the politicians and decision-makers can train and simulate the effects of certain political decisions and also the effect of delivering the information of the information.

The problem with making this kind of simulation is that the psychological effects of the single individuals are hard to predict. The system is using large databases and search engines for making predictions, what kind of effects some kind of decisions have on society. The behavior of single persons is hard to predict, but the psychological mass-effects are easier to simulate than the acts of the single persons.

(The non standard English is in the original)

quantry March 12, 2021 10:25 PM

@ Winter Regards to hate speech being in the public interest: Surely there are those who a whistle blower seeks to expose, having been robbed of any practical venue; the denunciation of which is inherently and ESSENTIALLY derogatory? For example:

Except, maybe some American Free-Speech absolutists/Libertarians. But I am always in doubt whether these qualify as “sane”.

How else do I alert the public to decades old illegal and/orimmoral activity by several tax-funded gangs of thugs operating in Canada, without giving particulars that generate massive ill will toward those malefactors and their idle watchdogs? I have no further thoughts than “God will repay”.

Tõnis April 4, 2021 2:37 PM

No, it’s not about some global financial system matter, it’s about a virus so deadly you have to be tested to know you have it; it’s so deadly, if you don’t get tested you might not even know you have it!

JonKnowsNothing April 4, 2021 3:21 PM


re: No, it’s not about some global financial system matter, it’s about a virus so deadly you have to be tested to know you have it; it’s so deadly, if you don’t get tested you might not even know you have it!

The virus is quite lethal and while you may not know you have it, you can and will kill many others around you.

  • The old-COVID virus affected older people more and killed a fair few of them.
  • The new-COVID virus mutants affect younger people more and will kill, disable a fair few of them too. Long term heart problems are looming in their future.

It’s different than any other virus humans have encountered because you can be a deadly carrier without symptoms and thus you are the silent killer of your family, friends and strangers.

The future might bring us Health-Justice courts and claims of Homicide/Murder/Terrorism/Negligence. As each genome of the virus shows it’s heritage, the tree of infection can be traced.

  • Did you get it from Boris?
  • Did you get it from Trump?
  • Did you get it from Bolsonaro?
  • Did you get it from AMLO?

Western Legal systems already have laws dealing with “deliberate infections vs unintentional infection”.

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