W.O.O.D. – 23 February 2020


This is another of the W.O.O.D. series of semi-regular
Weekly Occasional Open Discussions.
(i.e. if I forget and skip one, no big)

Immediate prior one here:

and remains open for threads running there (at least until the ‘several month’ auto-close of comments on stale threads).

Canonical list of old ones here:

For just general FYI notices, use to “tips” pages. All the old ones remain for historical reference:
Tips Pages

What’s Going On?

The USA and our lame excuse for press are fixated on politics

While the world explodes in a lethal pandemic, all the USA Lame Stream Media can do is display their Trump Derangement Syndrome while trying to decide who they like more: The Crazy Communist with heart problems, the has been grifter politician who’s losing his marbles, the rabid congenital liar attack dog with ancestry fabrication issues, the Billionaire Dwarf Troll who has a trove of racist & sexist skeletons in his closet, or the new kid who played mayor once, plus maybe some folks nobody remembered. Sigh. You would think the Democrat Billionaire Party Bosses could buy a better candidate…

2019-nCoV Corona Virus is Rampant

While all the official places try to avoid stating it, this IS now a pandemic. Out of control on three continents. The current thread on it is here:


Additional threads are added as the time to load becomes too long.

Canadian Train Follies

Never mind the China supply chain collapse, the cold, and the heavy snow; Canada can’t move goods or people across the country due to the stupidity of the Government and Tribal Leaders.

Seems there are signed agreements with all the involved Tribal Councils to build a natural gas pipeline. BUT, the tribal chiefs whom inherit their position were not consulted and don’t want it built. Gotta save the Earth doncha know. So they put up barricades on the rail lines and rounded up a protest group.

Now about 1500 rail workers are laid off, even the Indians are running out of propane for home heating and food to eat as they use grocery stores too, and a growing fleet of ships are stacking up off shore B.C. ’cause you can’t load what isn’t there and can’t unload what doesn’t leave…

But don’t worry. Justin, having pissed off everyone wanting shipping to happen by codling the protesters in “dialog” until it is too late, is now pissing off the Indians by taking action. Maybe.

Oh, Canada…

Russia Redux Again…

The DNC and Deep State are AGAIN dusting off their Poor Johnny One Note story that The Russians Are Comming!!! This time as a two-fer, aimed at both Trump and Sanders.

Maybe we can start a Go Fund Me for them to buy them a new scriptwriter…

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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29 Responses to W.O.O.D. – 23 February 2020

  1. Nancy & John Hultquist says:

    “Just in time” food purchase is not a good plan – ref: China and Canada.

    We steamed 3 cups of rice from our ‘found’ 15 pound bag. The harvest year was likely about 2008.
    It turned out A-Okay. Now I have to repackage the rest.

  2. E.M.Smith says:

    Nice to know that the bag worked. Usually I decant things into half gallon jars. Given current events, I’ve “surged” my inventory by another 25 pound bag each of beans and rice, with no jars for them. So, OK, I don’t need to worry about them for a year or several :-)

    Dad was from a farm in Iowa where the pantry was filled when the crop came in and stores were far away. Mum came through the great depression and rationing in the UK. I was raised to remember those lessons. 2 months inventory on hand minimum, 6 months as a goal. (a year would be better, in the Mormon tradition, but I’ve not got there…)

  3. E.M.Smith says:

    Ah oh… Australian wheat tanking. Last year they imported for the first time in a very long time … so not going to be exporting this crop either:


    Australian Crop Report: February edition
    Key issues
    Production prospects for summer crops in Queensland and northern New South Wales remain well below average.
    Unfavourable seasonal conditions in December further depleted soil moisture levels to well below average in most summer cropping regions and record lows in some others.
    These low levels of soil moisture constrained planting of summer crops in most regions.
    Other than in central Queensland, substantial rainfall from late January through to mid-February generally arrived too late for additional planting of summer crops.

    Sufficient and timely rainfall over the remainder of the summer crop season will be required to achieve average yields in most regions.

    According to the latest three-month rainfall outlook (March to May), issued by the Bureau of Meteorology on 6 February 2020, rainfall in most cropping regions in Queensland and northern New South Wales is generally more likely to be below average than above average but this likelihood is generally stronger in Queensland. There is no strong tendency toward either above or below average rainfall in the remaining summer cropping regions.

    Planting of summer crops is largely complete and planted area is estimated to have decreased by 66% in 2019–20 to 357,000 hectares.
    This is a 33% downward revision
    from the forecast ABARES published in the December 2019 Australian crop report, largely reflecting much more unfavourable conditions in December than expected.

    Total summer crop production is forecast to fall by 66%
    to around 878,000 tonnes.

    Area planted to grain sorghum is estimated to have decreased by 71% in 2019–20 to 143,000 hectares. Production is forecast to fall by 77% to around 292,000 tonnes.

    Area planted to cotton is forecast to fall by 82% in 2019–20 to 61,000 hectares because of low supplies of irrigation water and insufficient levels of soil moisture to plant dryland cotton. Production is forecast to decline by 72% to around 135,000 tonnes of lint and 191,000 tonnes of seed.

    Rice production is forecast to remain low at around 54,000 tonnes because of low water allocations and high water prices.

    Harvesting of 2019–20 winter crops is largely complete and estimated production remains largely unchanged from the forecast ABARES published in the December 2019 edition of Australian crop report. Higher than expected barley and canola production is estimated to have offset lower than expected wheat production.

    Australian winter crop production is estimated to have decreased by 5% in 2019–20 to just under 29 million tonnes.

    Winter crop production is estimated to be well below average in all states with the exception of Victoria, where it is estimated to be 16% above the 10-year average to 2018–19.

    Wheat production is estimated to have fallen by 12% to 15.2 million tonnes, barley production is estimated to have increased by 7%
    to 8.9 million tonnes and canola production is estimated to have increased by 7% to 2.3 million tonnes. Amongst other crops, chickpea production is estimated to have remained largely unchanged at 281,000 tonnes and oats production is estimated to have increased by 1% to 900,000 tonnes.

    I note in passing that barley did better. Crops need to shift with the weather and short season, cold tolerant, and drought tolerant types will still yield when others fail. Barley is your friend…

  4. H.R. says:

    We did Sunday lunch at a busy diner today and had some chit-chat time. My wife said she was going to braid the ponytail that I’ve been working on for a year.

    I told her I wanted pigtails so I could go for the Greta look. She vaguely recalls something-something-Greta-something – but no lightbulb – so I had to tell her I was going for the ‘Tonto’ look.

    “…Oh… How about corn rows instead?”

    Did everyone else have a nice Sunday lunch?

  5. E.M.Smith says:

    Had a nice Sunday breakfast….

  6. Another Ian says:


    Check this week in Queensland weather re that wheat crop.

    Widespread rain, we’ve had 136.5 mm in the last two days, creek is in flood. Good steady rain which is just what we needed as we’ve had enough to start things germinating after years of drought and just enough rain to start things and no follow-up.

    If you’ve heard of “state and transition” in rangelands could even kick us into another state but we’ll see on that.

    Time to mention “endless drought” to Tim Flannery

  7. Another Ian says:

    ““Delingpole: ‘We’re All Going to Die of Climate Change!’, Warns Shock JP Morgan Report”


    What one might describe as a “critical review” IMO

  8. E.M.Smith says:

    @Another Ian:

    The rain is great, but won’t work if you didn’t plant:

    “crops is largely complete and planted area is estimated to have decreased by 66%”

  9. Another Ian says:

    “No raw data, no science: another possible source of the reproducibility crisis”


    “As an Editor-in-Chief of Molecular Brain, I have handled 180 manuscripts since early 2017 and have made 41 editorial decisions categorized as “Revise before review,” requesting that the authors provide raw data. Surprisingly, among those 41 manuscripts, 21 were withdrawn without providing raw data, indicating that requiring raw data drove away more than half of the manuscripts. I rejected 19 out of the remaining 20 manuscripts because of insufficient raw data. Thus, more than 97% of the 41 manuscripts did not present the raw data supporting their results when requested by an editor, suggesting a possibility that the raw data did not exist from the beginning, at least in some portions of these cases.”

  10. Another Ian says:

    E.M.Smith says:
    23 February 2020 at 9:19 pm

    We are in “government enthusiasm” area in that in the 1902 drought it was “opened for selection for wheat growing”. These days very few ploughs, none shiny. Wheat cropping starts east of us.

  11. Larry Ledwick says:

    Interesting look at corruption in the Southwestern US political machines.


  12. Compu Gator says:

    (I’ve moved this reply over to this topic, because it’s no longer related to the Coronavirus.)

    E.M.Smith [said] 24 February 2020 at 4:10 am [GMT][*]:
    I have one non-negotiable. Don’t insult people (I.e. play nice).
    So you insulted my family. Not nice. Think about it.

    I already thought about it overnight, before reading your reply this morning, and have continued to do so. I admire your attention to detail, but I believe that you read words from which you took insult, perhaps in haste, failing to see that neither you nor your family was actually the target of an insult.

    I’ve now lived back in Central Florida longer than I lived in Silicon Valley. So I strongly encourage you to consider the following sources:

    • A recent short series on tourism workers in Central Florida, plus other content, in the Orlando Sentinel:
    ‣ “Orlando theme park workers struggle with low pay”. Orlando Sentinel “Laborland” series, part 1 of 4 [#]. Dec. 5, 2019. Not limited to Puerto Rican workers.
    ‣ “Orlando’s affordable housing shortage hurts tourism workers”. Orlando Sentinel “Laborland” series, part 2? of 4 [##]. Dec. 10, 2019. Do you object to my use of “underclass” for workers living lives like those reported?
    ‣ Occasional reminders, by ‘local-&-state’ columnist Scott Maxwell, that Central Florida [⌊] has the lowest per capita income of any major metropolitan area in the U.S.A. That stat results from the disproportionately high number of unskilled workers earning low wages here, mostly in the tourism industry.

    • Other sources:
    ‣ “Florida Workers Make Tourism the State’s Top Industry–But Companies Refuse to Share the Prosperity“. Florida Policy Institute, December 20, 2019 [$].

    This exhortation below was–and still is–a reference to the demographics of labor in the Central-Florida tourism industry:

    Compu Gator [said] 23 February 2020 at 10:00 pm [GMT][†]:
    And let’s not forget the hotel and other tourism workers, an underclass in which unskilled
    de facto immigrant Puerto Ricans are almost certainly now the majority.

    Well, upon further review, maybe only the plurality. I didn’t think I was expected to identify other less numerous ethnic groups stuck in that “underclass”. There are, of course, other Hispanics, blacks (including Haitians), and poor whites employed in the same or comparable unskilled roles. The vast majority of jobs for the backstage tourism workers in Central Florida, e.g., housekeepers, janitors, are filled by ethnic minorities, many of whom do not speak English. Do you have objective reasons to doubt these statements?

    Regardless, it should be easy to see that I did not claim that all Puerto Ricans are part of an unskilled underclass. There are certainly middle-class Puerto Ricans here; e.g., more than a decade ago, the Florida Legislature passed a bill to facilitate the hiring of nurses from Puerto Rico (altho’ that, and comparable hiring efforts in other states, are reportedly creating shortages of nurses in P.R.). Within my limited experience, they are no more or less finesseful than nurses of the same youthful age who are born in the Lower-48.

    Compu Gator [said] 24 February 2020 at 1:00 am [GMT][††]:
    The U.S.A. needs to become an a society officially dominated by citizens–and permanent residents–who are fluent and literate in English. This is the 21st Century [….] As for “stereotyping“, this is yet another instance in which stereotypes are derived from observed reality: The majority of our immigrated Puerto Ricans ,
    among whom I am increasingly immersed–“no habla Anglais”–plainly fail [i.e., fluentcy and literacy in English].

    I can readily imagine that use of the negative word “fail” could be inferred as insulting. But I myself failed to notice the comma that I colored red above, because its presence makes the “among whom” into a nonrestrictive construct. Yet my intended phrasing requires the absence of the comma, which would make it a restrictive construct (a.k.a. a conditional in programming). The restrictive clause would grammatically limit the “fail” to “[t]he majority [….] among whom I am increasingly immersed”.

    Do you believe that it would serve the practical needs of the tourism industry for the onstage tourism workers, e.g., ride-operators, front-desk, waitpersons, and salespersons, to not fluently speak the principal language of the U.S.A.? Do you consider it unfair to disqualify people from such roles solely for inadequacy of English-language skills?

    Alas, I’m unsure that I’ve identified whatever my words from which you inferred insult(s). Yet I’ve expended hours trying to figure it out in good faith, and despite that, I might’ve wasted my effort by trying to clarify words that you considered inoffensive. So how’s about you just tell me specifically what insulted you, so we don’t continue to go round&round about this.

    Note *: “E.M.Smith [said] 24 February 2020 at 4:10 am [GMT]”. [https://chiefio.wordpress.com/2020/02/23/political-and-medical-system-type-discussions-of-covid-19-pandemic/#comment-125550].

    Note †: “Compu Gator [said] 23 February 2020 at 10:00 pm [GMT]”. [https://chiefio.wordpress.com/2020/02/23/22-feb-2019-ncov-sars-cov-2-covid-19-corona-virus-pandemic/#comment-125529]

    Note ††: “Compu Gator [said] 24 February 2020 at 1:00 am [GMT]”.

    Note #: “Orlando theme park workers struggle with low pay”. Orlando Sentinel “Laborland” series, part 1 of 4. Dec. 5, 2019.

    Note ##: “Orlando’s affordable housing shortage hurts tourism workers”. Orlando Sentinel “Laborland” series, part 2? of 4. Dec. 10, 2019. [https://www.orlandosentinel.com/business/tourism/laborland/os-bz-tourism-industry-disney-housing-20191210-uxpyite3angmlcpdvielictxnq-story.html].

    Note $: Alexis Davis: “Florida Workers Make Tourism the State’s Top Industry — But Companies Refuse to Share the Prosperity”. Florida Policy Institute, December 20, 2019.

    Note ⌊: Central Florida, in this instance, being specifically the Orlando-Sanford-Kissimmee Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) as defined by the U.S. Bureau of the Census, which omits, e.g., the Tampa Bay Area and the DeLand-Daytona Beach area.

  13. Another Ian says:

    Some cartoons


    All from that last Red Power thread but they vanish if it doesn’t meet blog standards – which seems to be where the Bloomberg one captioned “I wish debating was as easy as farming” – building on his thoughts on that.

  14. Another Ian says:


    I just posted a string of cartoon links which will most likely hit the spam tin and need rescue

  15. Another Ian says:

    February 25, 2020 at 4:48 pm · Reply

    Here is my definition of a climate change denier. A person that believes the climate stays the same and when it varies they blame mankind.”


  16. YMMV says:

    “Canadian Train Follies” — That is a more interesting story than you would expect. Protest groups trying to shut down the Canadian economy and a Prime Minister trying to do the same thing. All claiming to be about indigenous rights and climate change. But not so fast, not all is as it seems.

    “Terence Corcoran: The blockades are a clash over socialism, not Indigenous rights and climate change”

    “As for the climate, it is merely a pretext, a marketing tool for radicals who aim to bring down capitalism.”
    “Nobody knows this better than Naomi Klein, one of the world’s prime popularizers of the idea that the climate issue is the left’s last great opportunity for a socialist revolution.”

    Klein has a right to be satisfied. The rail blockades that have brought Canada to its knees are modelled on ideas in Klein’s 2014 book, “This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs The Climate.” A whole chapter of the book is titled, “Blockadia: The New Climate Warriors.”

    The book is a 560-page anti-Enlightenment screed that attempts to tear down the entire canon of Western thought — from the scientific method, to Adam Smith and Francis Bacon. To replace all that, she argued, we need a bottom-up revolution, based on climate change and Blockadia.

    Extinction Rebellion stuff.

  17. Another Ian says:

    “Speaker Pelosi Says She Would be Comfortable With Fidel Sanders at Top of 2020 Ticket…”


  18. Another Ian says:

    “Canadian Premier Claims Anti-Pipeline Railway Blockaders Armed with AK-47 Rifles”


    If a Canadian sniper can knock off a towelhead at 3.5 km where is the problem?

  19. jim2 says:

    reddit has harrassed the biggest Trump reddit for years and now are replacing half the moderators with those of reddit’s choosing. So, the founders have created a new web site for The Donald …


  20. philjourdan says:

    Move over sliced bread! There is a new sheriff in town – sliced mayo!!


  21. E.M.Smith says:

    Two bits of news:

    The USA & Taliban have signed a “peace deal” to withdraw our forces. We’ll see how it goes this time.

    In testing, Spacex Starship blew apart with quite a display. Liquid nitrogen instead of LOX, so no fire, but the thing goes something like 30 m in the air, then on impact, the top blows off out of frame.

  22. tom0mason says:

    A while ago I think you had a piece about Harry Miller in the UK, as he says …
    “Just over a year ago, a plainclothes officer from Humberside Police turned up at my workplace to ‘check my thinking’ for getting involved in the transgender debate online. An individual had taken offence at something I’d retweeted and reported it as a hate crime.
    The crime in question? Well, it was retweeting a silly song lyric that brought the complaint, but the subsequent police investigation found another 30 ‘transphobic’ tweets I’d made.”

    Well his day in court arrived and here is his report about it, https://www.faircop.org.uk/press

    One report by the UK’s ‘Daily Telegraph’ news paper reports —

    Judge says that the effect of police turning up at Mr Miller’s workplace “because of his political opinions must not be underestimated”.
    Humberside Police unlawfully interfered with a man’s right to freedom of expression by turning up at his place of work over his allegedly “transphobic” tweets, the High Court has ruled.
    Former police officer Harry Miller, 54, who founded the campaign group Fair Cop, said the police’s actions had a “substantial chilling effect” on his right to free speech.
    Read article: Police compared to Stasi and Gestapo by judge as he rules they interfered in freedom of speech by investigating ‘non crime’ trans tweet

    Harry Miller said he would continue his fight for freedom of expression after a landmark legal challenge against the College of Policing and Humberside police.

  23. E.M.Smith says:

    Larry L. last comment was Monday, 6 days ago, after an illness…

    Anyone know if he is O.K.?

  24. Pingback: W.O.O.D. – 27 February 2020 | Musings from the Chiefio

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