Skipping One Australia Friday!

Due to some major home construction going on, there’s no Australia Friday posting this week. (We had dinner out)

I did however finish off some Lindeman’s Chardonnay, so there’s that ;-)

But didn’t get the lamb cooked, so it’s in the freezer for sometime this weekend…

Right now there’s a hammering racket going on with a crew, so a bit short on contemplation time for creative writing…

But feel free to fill in any news floating about.

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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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18 Responses to Skipping One Australia Friday!

  1. YMMV says:

    Something about Australia that doesn’t mention Covid or China:
    “Drunkest country in the world revealed”

    Australians have been pegged the heaviest drinkers in the world after consuming alcohol to the point of insobriety nearly twice as much as people elsewhere during 2020, an annual international survey of drug use has found.

    No link was given, but it looks like it is from this site, although I could not find that information:

    More than 32,000 people from 22 countries reported their drug and alcohol consumption to the Global Drug Survey 2021. The report, released on Thursday, found Australian respondents got drunk more than twice a month (about 27 times a year) while the global average was around 14 times, or a little more than once a month.

    Self-reported, not good. If the average Australian (men, women, children, and other) was drunk more than twice a month, then the heavy drinkers were really into it, to make up for all the non-drinkers and light drinkers. Does this pass the sniff test?

    Denmark and Finland were tied in second place, with respondents from each country reporting getting drunk nearly twice a month last year. The survey defined being drunk as situations where physical and mental faculties were impaired to the point that balance, focus, and speech were affected. Mexican drinkers were found to be the least likely to experience this state.

    Northern countries are going to have to up their game. Russia, your reputation is at stake!

    Ah ha!, here is the executive summary (4 pages):
    and the full report (27 pages):

    Where you can find alcohol usage broken down by “Cis man”, “Cis woman”, “Trans – nonbinary or intersex”

    And here is the table for “Mean number of days that alcohol was consumed within the last 12 months” (also broken down by the above categories).
    Australia 106 days, ninth in the list. USA is 83 days.

    And the headline table “Alcohol: Feeling Drunk”:
    Australia 26.7 times drunk (in the year), followed by Denmark, Finland, US, UK, Canada, Ireland, France, Sweden, Netherlands, Hungary. These are the ones above the global average.
    US 21.1 days. No Russia in the list.

    My conclusion: Junk science. I hope the vaccine trials have been done better than this.

  2. E.M.Smith says:


    I suspect the “survey” will be strongly skewed by reporting bias. A Frat House will overstate, while folks who feel a reputational slight might be involved, say Mexicans, will likely understate.

    FWIW, My usual answer to the question is “Enough often enough”. I.e. not really anyone’s business.

    So I’d figure it was mostly ranking countries by propensity to brag about vices vs. hiding them.

  3. Weetabix says:

    “My crapulous nature continually obviates my power of coherent or articulate speech! In point of fact, my current inebriety renders me unable to type. I am a bibulous reprobate!”

    I think that guy was bragging.

  4. YMMV says:

    This one is about Covid. An interview with a Howard Springs survivor.
    “Inside Australia’s Covid internment camp”

    Howard Springs has been compared to Auschwitz. In the video you will see clips of the camp guards saying they are just obeying orders, just doing their job, and you should obey too.
    Conditions are better than Auschwitz, if not the attitudes of the guards. But not as good as some European prisons.

    Would it be better to compare it to a Soviet gulag? or to some Chinese camp? or to the internment of Japanese (American citizens) during the war? or maybe a Leper colony?

  5. E.M.Smith says:

    I’d suspect most like the Japanese Camps Oh, and don’t forget there were some German and Italian citizen camps too… it was NOT a “racist” thing but an “enemy country” thing. Folks just conveniently forgot about the Italians and Germans put in camps as soon as the doors were opened). The USA did not work people to death nor administer beatings as was done in places like Auschwitz or the Gulags, nor harvest “parts” as done by the chinese… (deliberately lower case, BTW, as the folks running them are lower class…)

    So yeah, folks will lose jobs and perhaps have some property stolen in their absence, but it isn’t a “labor camp” and there is no torture.

    I suspect Colditz is the better parallel. A “camp” for officers. Generally treated with respect and not harmed, but sill incarcerated and authoritarian control.

    Besides, “Howard Colditz Springs” has a nice ring to it ;-) It flows well ;-)

  6. YMMV says:

    “it was NOT a “racist” thing but an “enemy country” thing”

    On paper. But unlike now where every other word is “racist!”, back then there was real racism.
    It would be interesting to compare the Japanese being rounded up and confined to a camp and their property stolen, officially or otherwise, comparing that the early phases in Germany where Jews were rounded up and confined in a ghetto and their property taken. But we don’t need to go there. The excuse and the racism aligned, simple.

    The inmate of Howard Colditz Springs complained, but she did not mention if she had internet. (being denied internet is torture, isn’t it). She mentioned one food delivery per day, but she did not mention the amount or quality of the food. So it may be a human rights violation to be locked up for such a poor reason, but it was not torture. It wasn’t a vacation either. Colditz.

    Factoid for the day. The British invented the concentration camp during the Boer War. Sounds far fetched, so I’m not sure how much fact is involved. Certainly there were prisoner of war camps long before then, but this was the first (?) to round up the women and children. The Boer War was not a gentleman’s war. It was guerrilla war.

    But our Howard Colditz Springs survivor was more of a political prisoner than an ethnic victim, so there must be a better comparison. Assange?, no. Snowdon? For most of the others there, I like the Leper colony comparison.

    If it was China, she would have simply disappeared. Like Meng Hongwei, the head of Interpol, did in 2018.

    What is more troubling than Peng’s disappearance is the 2018 disappearance of Meng Hongwei, the head of Interpol. It is not that his disappearance is “worse” than Peng’s, but the fact that there was no official or unofficial response to his vanishing.

    This man was the elected head of Interpol, the International Criminal Police Organization, with 195-member countries! China claimed he had been taking bribes and was subsequently convicted and given a 13-year prison sentence. Interpol simply accepted the “effective immediately” resignation letter Meng submitted through China and did nothing except “strongly encourage” China to provide more information.

    Meanwhile, his wife and children are under constant threat and hiding in France, although his wife recently spoke out about the “monster” that is China. She has not heard from her husband since two short text messages presaging danger on September 25, 2018.

    When Meng was elected Head of Interpol in 2016, China’s critics and dissidents feared he would use his international powers to provide information to the Chinese government and assist the country’s repression. That is probably a good bet and says more about the liberal idiocy of the West than it does of China.

    It’s now widely assumed that Meng was the victim of a party purge. His wife is especially infuriated that, as the head of the world’s largest police organization, nothing was done to investigate his “resignation.” When she alerted authorities to his disappearance/detention over unspecified violations, the France-based police body was “no help at all.”


    Moral of story: China is not your friend, not anybody’s friend, not even the Chinese peoples’ friend.
    When a government attacks its own people, that is bad — like an auto-immune disease. Whether it is Germany or China or Australia.

  7. Graeme No.3 says:

    Re Howard Springs:
    These are not concentration camps but a way of providing medical assistance. Sending doctors and nurses to remote locations would extend the health system and cause hardship in the towns. Bringing the population to the town enables better treatment if necessary. Life in those remote locations isn’t exactly luxurious and one Covid case could cause lots of infections. The army only got involved to provide transport.

    The local (national) paper reports that the last missing inmate has been found. A group of young teenagers were bored in the camp and climbed over the fence and wandered into town, “to have a look around”. The local police found them, some singly others together, and took them back to camp. No force, no coercion.
    Bear in mind that the local (and very vocal) Left use every angle to attack the Federal Government. I would think you won’t find any mention that it was the NT Government (Labor) that introduced this.

  8. YMMV says:

    @Graeme No.3, are you referring to Arafura Medical Clinics in Howard Springs?

    or are you referring to Centre for National Resilience in Howard Springs?
    WiFi is available. Not much else. Be sure to pack a cell phone charger if you go.

    The first has doctors and nurses and is located at 284 Howard Springs Shopping Centre.

    The second is also known as Howard Springs quarantine facility
    “About 850 people are currently able to quarantine at the former Howard Springs mining camp on Darwin’s outskirts.”

    “All Australians on Commonwealth facilitated flights into the Northern Territory are required to undertake 14 days of mandatory supervised quarantine at their own cost.”

    “up to 1000 international arrivals per week” but if they have to stay 14 days and there is only room for 850 how does that work?

    As far as I have found so far, the health worker staff is just there to do PCR tests.
    Howard Springs began receiving up to 1000 international arrivals per week.”

    Everybody gets 3 tests during their stay, but they can’t leave no matter what the results.
    It would be interesting to see the stats for the testing results!

    I don’t care how you spin it, even if that site is a joy, the next place to implement this is not going to get the “make everybody’s stay joyful” part.

  9. rhoda klapp says:

    The term concentration camp was invented by the British during the Boer war. It meant a place for all the Boers who lived in the bush were concentrated there to stop them joining or aiding the fighters. And ‘for their own health and in their best interests.’ Wasn’t true then, isn’t true now.

    Even if it was true, not a good look.

  10. Graeme No.3 says:

    I wasn’t referring to the Howard Springs Quarantine facility but I should have been. Six teenagers escaped from there by climbing the fence (so claims of razor or barbed wire are wrong). It seems most headed into town and were quickly found. I would point out that this site was originally accomodation for mining company employees.
    There is also a quarantine facility near Alice Springs which I thought was the one referred to.
    Mind you there are many ‘camps’ around Alice Springs and the conditions are reputed to be terrible and lacking in many basics. The Territory government is Labor and the public ‘service’ are responsible for maintenance and up-grading, but all they’ve got is years of neglect. Don’t tell me the Left care about people.

  11. tom0mason says:

    On a different subject Christian at Ice Age Farmer is reporting that the ‘U.N. Taking Down Private Websites – Domain Level Censorship’ .
    Basically he says that the United Nations Counter Terrorism Executive Directorate (UNCTED) is requiring Domain Name holders to take down sites UNCTED say is spreading misinformation, conspiracy theories, and ‘harmful narratives’ over networks. Misinformation, theories, and narratives that prey on those who are so hopeless and fearful they are easily influenced and therefore must be protected.
    Here is his bitchute video

  12. E.M.Smith says:


    IFF true (and I have no reason to disbelieve it… I.A.F. is sometimes a bit hyperventilated but usually has his basic facts straight) then it’s time to remind and revisit the I2P anonymous and private network layer tech, do another system / web site copy, and prepare for the worst…

    Time to move from “proof of concept” to “operational duplicate” for everyone who is at risk of loss of internet presence.

  13. YMMV says:

    Kafka is alive and well in Australia.

    There is a woman there who is allergic to some of the components of the Covid vaccines, so much so that she had anaphylactic shock just doing a skin prick test with that. But she cannot get an exemption from the vaccine and there are health care workers who want her to just do it anyway.

    “Destroying the vulnerable in order to save them (Betty Pezzimenti & Bret Weinstein)”
    21 minute video interview:
    Bret Weinstein is speechless; that does not happen often.

  14. E.M.Smith says:


    It all makes sense if the goal is the removal of the “undesirables” and not curing the disease…

    Leftists have loved Eugenics from the beginning, and still love murdering babies by the million (preferentially impactful in the Black Community where they push it hard… look at where Planned Parenthood – really planned non-parenthood – has most of their facilities). Democrats, despising Blacks since they imported the first slaves to their Southern Plantations… (There were NO Republicans then. The First Republican President ended slavery.)

    So no, I’m not surprised at all that they would want to kill off someone who gets in the way of their plans and is in their view ~”likely a genetic defective anyway”…

  15. H.R. says:

    @E.M. – Under the Democrats, blacks had full employment until the first Republican President came along and screwed it up by issuing that gol-danged Emancipation Proclamation. After that, blacks were on their own.

    [winky, sigh, facepalm, angry face… spit! #@&!-damned Democrats!]

  16. YMMV says:

    “It all makes sense if the goal is the removal of the “undesirables” and not curing the disease…”

    I can’t speak for Big anything, and I wouldn’t want to put words in Bill Gate’s mouth.

    I think there are several ways to look at this, some more innocent (naive?) than others.

    Take the farmer and his flock. If some get sick with a transmissible disease and no cure, chances are good for a culling of the flock. He feels for his flock, but not so much for any individuals in it.

    Take the general sending his troops into battle knowing that some will die. That’s war. Exceptions for those who don’t want to go? “No, if we did that everybody would want one!”

    Communists prefer to think more of “the common good” than “good for the individual” and have been shown to be willing to sacrifice many individuals for that illusive common good. Of course there are different rules for the GEB elites in power. It’s clear whose Lives Matter.

    Then there is the case of The Good German. Between the top, those that are in power and in control. and the bottom, the helpless masses, there are many other levels. Those who serve the state, but are only doing what they are told, following orders from above, ignoring the pleas from below because they are being threatened too. Included here are all the doctors who follow the dictates from above and refuse the think for themselves. Did I mention IVM?

    Finally, there is Omicron. Again with the German metaphor. Imagine there are bad Germans, the evil NAZI types, like Force Delta. Imagine that there are also good Germans who are forming a resistance which is about to win, like Force Omicron. But the forces who have been fighting Delta can’t recognize a good thing and say “They are Germans, so they must die!” instead of supporting them or at least taking advantage of them.

  17. stewartpid says:

    U have likely seen this but does your new Mercedes have the magic body control?

  18. E.M.Smith says:


    Nope. Did a test drive in a GS 500 (aka GLS 500) that had it, and love the air ride suspension / ride control option, but the car was not acceptable for the spouse for other reasons. Found an older ML (aka GLE 320) and on them it was an option, and this one did not have it. So “just regular springs”.

    I may (at some point) add an air ride suspension system to it, but it would be an aftermarket non-Benz one without the active body control feature. Just adjustable ride height (that I want) along with a nice bump dampening air springs setup. I don’t really need it to automatically adjust the ride height as I drive from local streets to freeways or work on keeping level all the time.

    The Mercedes system does not give as much personal control as the aftermarket system (typical German design point: Make it all automatic and remove your control. PAL vs NTSC color for example). Plus any repairs to the Mercedes system are horrifically expensive. The whole aftermarket kit is about $1k while a single Mercedes strut replacement likely runs about that. (My Subaru and Mercedes 4Matic both got new front wheel half shafts as they were worn out. Mercedes was a bit over $1000 FOR THE PART for one wheel. The Subaru was $128 INSTALLED per wheel. Think about it… So at some future time we plan to replace a couple of the Mercedes with Subaru… and sell most of the rest. Ending with just the one 240 D “EOTWAWKI” car that runs on most flammable oils and liquids…

    Yes, this ML is already on the chopping block when bought. It is for one job only: Tow vehicle for this process. After that I don’t really need it. I’d rather have a Diesel Pusher RV with a Subaru on the dinghy trailer… Probably about 2 years from now. Were it not for potential “spousal considerations” in a hypothetical “bug out now with travel trailer” (should the Stupid Political Rules folks do some really really stupid lockdown / quarantine thing) I’d have bought either a Dodge Durango (or a RAM Cummins Pickup or a FORD Powerstroke pickup had used pickups not been stratospherically priced). I did look at a FORD Expedition with Diesel, but it had a ride like a brick shit house and a 2 mile climb to get into it /sarc; so not spousal acceptable.

    Recapitulating the process: I started out looking for a Diesel Pusher RV, then found local laws forbid parking it at my home, so use as a tow vehicle and RV was “problematic” at best. I’d need to “put it somewhere” away from the house for months. Then costs were way higher too. Moved on to PU Trucks. Prices crazy high. Like 2.5 x this ML for older with 300,000 miles on them. So moved on to “truck like SUVs” (Durango, Aspen, Expedition, Navigator, GS 350, ML Diesel) and in that set, the one most spousal friendly was this one.

    I ALMOST bought a Chrysler Aspen, a Navigator, and a Durango along the way, but each “had issues”. Not the least of which was about 14 MPG vs 27 MPG on the freeway… and the older Durangos & Aspen had a very stiff ride. The Navigator was preferred (due to air suspension) but this guy had swapped it out for springs. What’s the point in buying a FORD Expedition with the Navigator name on it and without the Navigator air ride? So this was the choice.

    Even without the air ride, it’s a smoother more comfortable ride than the other choices. And a later air ride aftermarket is possible if required for some reason. (Like a Bug Out of months duration across the back roads of America. Fast dash to Nevada, stay in nice hotel while air-ride installed and shopping for a travel trailer ;-)

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