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They got it wrong again.

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Having already written in 2020 about the insanely wrong predictions made early that year by British epidemiological “expert”, Neil Ferguson, followed by his total hypocrisy in breaking his own lockdown rules for a little bit of crumpet on the side, I didn’t think I’d ever have to hear from him again.

I should have known better since that first post listed equally hysterical and wrong predictions from him going back twenty years across Swine Flu, Bird Flu and Mad Cow Disease. If they were still listening to him after those then his failures on the Chinese Xi Snot Alpha virus would not have stopped the MSM turning to him again for Omicron predictions:

I’ll let Mr Watson explain further.

Written by Tom Hunter

January 7, 2022 at 4:00 pm

Bureaucracy vs. Robber Barrons

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“When propaganda is the goal, accuracy is the victim.”

I recently came across two articles from past years that I’ve had bookmarked and which I’ve enjoyed reading again over this summer.

First up is some humour that author J K Rowling may be treating more seriously in her ongoing fight with the Trans community, especially after getting her name removed from the Harry Potter movie franchise by Warner Brothers as they launch a 20th anniversary celebration of the first HP movie.

The humour comes from an essay written in 2006 for the Michigan Law Review, which analyses what Rowling is effectively saying in her HP books about bureaucracy, government and the media, Harry Potter and the Half-Crazed Bureaucracy:

The critique is even more devastating because the governmental actors and actions in the book look and feel so authentic and familiar. Cornelius Fudge, the original Minister of Magic, perfectly fits our notion of a bumbling politician just trying to hang onto his job. Delores Umbridge is the classic small-minded bureaucrat who only cares about rules, discipline, and her own power… The Ministry itself is made up of various sub-ministries with goofy names (e.g., The Goblin Liaison Office or the Ludicrous Patents Office) enforcing silly sounding regulations (e.g., The Decree for the Treatment of Non-Wizard Part-Humans or The Decree for the Reasonable Restriction of Underage Sorcery).

Rowling even eliminates the free press as a check on government power. The wizarding newspaper, The Daily Prophet, is depicted as a puppet to the whims of Ministry of Magic.

Sounds appropriate for our times. I don’t know how many of you have read the series, likely to your kids or even grandkids, or perhaps a guilty pleasure for yourself, but you may recognise some of this from the abstract.

I did not have to re-read the books to see all this, as it had jumped out at me when I read them originally, even if it went over the heads of my kids. I was hardly the only parent who speculated on what Rowling’s experience with government and bureaucrats had been in real life as she wrote her novels in poverty. Having said that it seems that Gen Z kids themselves continue to re-read the books now as they age into their twenties and thirties, where they likely also draw similar parallels:

it seems likely that we will see a continuing uptick in distrust of government and libertarianism as the Harry Potter generation reaches adulthood.

One can only hope. Which brings me to the next article, about a world almost completely at odds with the first, the Gilded Age of America, otherwise known as the time of The Robber Barrons.

More accurately The Myth of the ‘Robber Barons’. It turns out that it was created less at the time (despite cartoons such as the one above) than in the 1930’s, just when it was needed by the US Left, as described by historian Burton W. Folsom in his book about the subject.

It will surprise nobody to find that Far Lefters were behind it and that they were very ignorant about economics – and many other things. The main culprit was one Matthew Josephson, who quite literally wrote the best-selling book, The Robber Barons, after being inspired by Charles Beard, America’s foremost progressive historian, first at varsity and then years later during the Great Depression:

Josephson, the son of a Jewish banker, grew up in New York and graduated from Columbia University, where he was inspired in the classroom by Charles Beard, America’s foremost progressive historian—and a man sympathetic to socialism…“Oh! those respectable ones,” Beard said of America’s capitalists, “oh! their temples of respectability—how I detest them, how I would love to pull them all down!” Happily for Beard, Josephson was handy to do the job for him. Josephson dedicated The Robber Barons to Beard, the historian most responsible for the book’s contents.

Writing in the inspiring times of 1932 Josephson reached back fifty years in time to explain it all, but the following comments provide a clear idea of the quality of “analysis” he brought to the subject:

In a written interview for Pravda, the Soviet newspaper, Josephson said he enjoyed watching “the breakdown of our cult of business success and optimism.” He added, “The freedom of the U.S.S.R. from our cycles of insanity is the strongest argument in the world for the reconstruction of our society in a new form that is as highly centralized as Russia’s. . . .”

One is tempted to snigger but today we live with Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Occasional-Cortex, who believe the same shite about socialism and its Siamese Twin, giant centralised government.

He did little research and mainly used secondary sources that supported his Marxist viewpoint. As he had written in the New Republic, “Far from shunning propaganda, we must use it more nobly, more skillfully than our predecessors, and speak through it in the local language and slogans.” Thus he wrote The Robber Barons with dramatic stories, anecdotes, and innuendos that demeaned corporate America and made the case for massive government intervention.

Ah yes. As with today’s “journalists” the Narrative is everything and is best supported by dramatic stories. As Folsom points out in the article, that means there are lots of mistakes: “On page 14 alone, Josephson makes at least a dozen errors in his account of Vanderbilt and the steamships.” As Folsom says, “When propaganda is the goal, accuracy is the victim.”

But the main error – actually showing up on that page – is that Josephson never differentiated between market entrepreneurs like Vanderbilt, Hill, and Rockefeller and political entrepreneurs (i.e. government subsidy harvesters) like Collins, Villard, and Gould, even as he was honest enough to praise aspects of the former and lash the latter:

He quotes “one authority” on the railroads as saying, “The Federal government seems . . . to have assumed the major portion of the risk and the Associates seem to have derived the profits”—but Josephson never pursues the implication of that passage.

While the book hit the best-seller lists for six months Josephson was running around Russia praising bloody Stalin and his system. He missed the gulags, the farm collectivisations and all their horrors, especially in the Ukraine, and saw only the factories and other “glamorous” things:

He attended official dinners and even talked with select Russian writers and artists. He was ecstatic. The Soviet Union, Josephson said, “seemed like the hope of the world—the only large nation run by men of reason.” … Josephson also never realized that the Soviet factories he saw were often directly copied from Western capitalist factories—and were funded by Stalin’s confiscatory taxation. Instead, Josephson thought he had stumbled into a workers’ paradise, the logical result of central planning and superior leaders.

This book would go on to be more than just a best-seller: it had huge influence in the worlds of high schools, academia and journalism for decades:

Historian Thomas Brewer, who in 1970 edited The Robber Barons: Saints or Sinners? observed that the majority of writers “still adhere to the ‘robber baron’ interpretation.” Historian David Shi agrees: “For well over a generation, The Robber Barons remained the standard work in its field.” For many textbook writers, it still is. In the main study guide for the Advanced Placement U.S. history exam for 2015, the writers say:

America [1877-1900] looked to have entered a period of prosperity with a handful of families having amassed unprecedented wealth, but the affluence of the few was built on the poverty of many.

2015 FFS? It’s a wonder that Silicon Valley exists at all with this sort of high school education, though perhaps it wasn’t as bad when the likes of Zuckerburg, Gates, Bezos and Steve Jobs were passing through it, and of course Musk was educated in South Africa.

Folsom explains that this success, despite all the sloppy errors in the book, comes down to two reasons.

First, it was tailor-made for the Progressives of the 1930’s eager to blame the new generation of robber barons for the Great Depression. I always laugh at those Lefties who claim that Righties pined for President Herbert Hoover: it’s even in the opening song for All In The Family because of course it is. See how this cultural shit works? In fact:

Those harmful federal policies include the Federal Reserve’s untimely raising of interest rates, making it harder to borrow money; President Hoover’s blundering Farm Board; his signing of the Smoot-Hawley Tariff, the highest in U.S. history; and his disastrous Reconstruction Finance Corporation, which dispensed massive corporate bailouts to political entrepreneurs. Finally, Hoover muzzled investment by repealing the Mellon tax cuts and promoting a huge tax hike.

Including income tax rates that went up to 70%, which FDR criticised, but which he cunningly kept after getting elected. Oh yeah, we Righties love that Herbert Hoover. Actually the admiration is for “Silent Cal” Coolidge, his predecessor, who could have run for office again in 1928 and would have handled all of the above very differently (of Hoover he said, “That man has offered me unsolicited advice for six years, all of it bad.”)

The second reason is that a bunch of Marxist historians who influenced a lot of the post-WWII historical profession, loved the book and made sure it was embedded in the curriculums of their students, starting with Richard Hofstadter:

“My fundamental reason for joining [the Communist Party],” Hofstadter said, “is that I don’t like capitalism and want to get rid of it.”

He still desired that after quitting the Party. He’s also the guy who wrote the nasty little polemic about the US Right-Wing, The Paranoid Style in American Politics. Great guys communists, whatever profession they are they’re still communists, with all the toxic nastiness and fanaticism involved.

Folsum’s book, The Myth of The Robber Barrons
Also, The Forgotten Man

Written by Tom Hunter

January 4, 2022 at 6:00 am

Truth vs Totalitarianism

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Sure, J K Rowling is as rich as Croesus thanks to her Harry Potter books and the money from the movie spinoffs of them, so she can be more resilient in the face of the relentless trans-gender attacks on her.

But damn, this is still courageous.

From the article that Rowling tweeted:

Police have been criticised for saying they will record rapes by offenders with male genitalia as being committed by a woman if the attacker “identifies as a female”.

Police Scotland said that they would log rapes as being carried out by a woman if the accused person insists, even if they have not legally changed gender.

As you can imagine, the Twitter trans-community did not respond well and as that NotTheBee article notes:

Twitter went haywire at Rowling’s words, coming out en masse to [checks notes] defend rapists.

Of course. Nothing new here actually and she addresses it while noting the other stunts they’ve been pulling:

They’re clearly hoping that one of their number will take … what’s Antifa call it… Direct Action?

“They should have reflected on the fact that I’ve now received so many death threats I could paper the house with them, and I haven’t stopped speaking out. Perhaps – and I’m just throwing this out there – the best way to prove your movement isn’t a threat to women, is to stop stalking, harassing and threatening us.”

I don’t know how close Ms Rowling is to being Red-Pilled, but given how much her Harry Potter stories owe to Western cannon (Greek mythology, Latin language incantations, a lot of European heraldic, folk, and fairy tales, and even a rehash of Jesus’s self-sacrifice and resurrection), she must surely be starting to get clued into the fact that’s it her side of the ideological fence that’s dragging us into this dystopia.

Meantime over in the USA are examples of girls who don’t have the power to speak up in the face of this bullshit (BTW – Outkick is one of the new Sport media sites that’s eventually going to destroy the likes of ESPN):

The second Penn swimmer to come forward was at the University of Akron Zippy Invitational where she watched Lia Will Thomas beat fellow teammate Anna Kalandadze by 38 seconds in the 1650 freestyle. OutKick’s source described Penn swimmers on the Akron pool deck as upset and crying, knowing they were going to be demolished by Thomas.

“They feel so discouraged because no matter how much work they put in it, they’re going to lose. Usually, they can get behind the blocks and know they out-trained all their competitors and they’re going to win and give it all they’ve got,” the source said.

“Now they’re having to go behind the blocks knowing no matter what, they do not have the chance to win. I think that it’s really getting to everyone.”

After just five meets and the Akron Invitational, Thomas has not just destroyed opponents. The Penn freestyle records are being rewritten by a swimmer who was second-team All-Ivy league in 2018-19 — as a male.

Yeah, I’m not going to use his new name and I will be referring to him using his deadname. That’s just buying into this Nineteen Eighty Four-type cultural coup across ideas, of which language is a key weapon.

Akron was an absolute beatdown by Thomas, but it wasn’t without disgust from fans who were in the building watching meet, pool, and school records drop one after the other.

“Usually everyone claps, everyone is yelling and cheering when someone wins a race. Lia touched the wall and it was just silent in there,” OutKick’s source said during a phone interview.

“When [Penn swimmer] Anna [Kalandadze] finished second, the crowd erupted in applause.”

Friday, Thomas set a new 500 freestyle Ivy League record. Saturday saw Thomas touch the wall in the 200 freestyle, which is now the nation’s fastest time in the event. And then there was the 1650 that left fans in disgust.

Yeah. I think that disgust and a refusal to applaud these people is the only thing that’s going to do it. Certainly we can’t rely on the officials to be decent.

OutKick’s source said that after the 200 freestyle, Thomas could be overheard bragging.

“That was so easy, I was cruising,” Lia Thomas allegedly said.

“I’m proud of my times, my ability to keep swimming and to continue competing. And they’re suited up times. I’m happy with them and my coaches are happy with them,” 

No shame. At all. What a total fucking asshole.

I don’t think this guy has mental problems and frankly I don’t think he gives a shit about identifying as female. Like our own Mr Hubbard I think his vast ego and selfishness led him to take advantage of the “rules” and the current cultural bullshit so that he can win and get all the applause, glory and love he can scrounge from gutless officials in the NCAA (National College Athletic Association), university and the media.

The female swimmer asked to remain anonymous for fear of leftists destroying her life. Still, she told Outkick that most of the team has privately expressed reservations about allowing Thomas to be a member of the women’s swim team at the college.

“Pretty much everyone individually has spoken to our coaches about not liking this. Our coach just really likes winning. He’s like most coaches. I think secretly everyone just knows it’s the wrong thing to do”

Of course she’d be destroyed. She’s powerless. Note also that the varsity coach has not quit but is actually quite happy. Some supporter of woman he turned out to be: as long as his team wins, right?

Enjoy the medals and the trophies, pal. Those like you are destroying women’s sports.

Speaking of such assholes, here’s NoRightTurn who – when he’s not calculating how many wind farms need to be built to shut down the Huntly power station, and always referring only to “Aotearoa” – is right into the trans-gloating, in this case over the law passed the other day that allows people to change the sex of their birth certificate merely by saying so. Perhaps I’m stepping on to a slippery slope but I’m not that bothered by such crap. But this…

…which I guess showed us how much political support there is for terfs here: basicly none. No political party wanted to vote against this, because they’re just not that vile (alternatively, no-one wanted to be recorded as voting against it, because they know they’d be carrying that stain forever). Its also I think a sign of how far our society has moved since the hatefests over civil unions and marriage equality. Yes, the terfs were vocal on the interwebs. But its not like they could organise a giant hate-march up Lambton Quay over it. Mostly because most of those vocal internet voices are in fact bots amplifying a tiny clique of obsessive arseholes in the UK. Locally, there’s very little support for their hate, and only NZ First was sufficiently indecent to want to pander to it. And with them gone, we can finally have a better society.

He really has caught the spirit of the moral righteousness of the Medieval Catholic Church: “Arc of the Moral Universe” and all that. His fanatical, unbending, vicious, toxic Leftism is as all-encompassing as the practices of that church was, except that in his universe sins are never forgiven and the sinners are forced forever to carry the faggots as a warning of the fire they will encounter should they sin again.

I don’t know if he has daughters competing in swim teams or being at risk of being raped by a woman with a penis, but, like Lefty J K Rowling, sooner or later his own monsters are going to destroy him.

Written by Tom Hunter

December 14, 2021 at 3:28 pm

Living Loving Maid

Rumour has it that there’s a bit of a shitstorm happening with National at the moment. Perhaps I should have titled this post after the famous ACDC song, Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap, instead of Led Zep?

Oh well. In honour of what’s happening let’s start with causes of death in London, 1632. Readers are invited to apply any of these to Judith Collins – and possibly the National Party.

It would seem that the only difference between a conspiracy theory and the truth is now about six months to a year.

Conspiracy theorists have claimed a COVID-19 vaccine, when available, will be “forced” on everyone – including Kiwis.

The Government has rubbished those claims, made most notably by Jami-Lee Ross and Billy Te Kahika’s Advance NZ. 

Meanwhile in Hollywood some people have completely lost the plot on the Rittenhouse shootings.

For context you need to see the following, which is about actor Mark Ruffalo and his defence of “JoJo”.

This was always the logical outcome, and Antifa/BLM welcomed it and promoted it in 2020. Did they really think they’d be the only ones “punching Nazis”?

I like this American answer to the usual whining from foreign nations about US gun laws.

Also news from the world of “science”. The US is on target for having two million illegal aliens cross their Southern border this year.

Written by Tom Hunter

November 25, 2021 at 8:03 am

Posted in Britain, Humour, USA

Tagged with ,

Yellow is not the appropriate colour

A few weeks ago I posted on a story out of Germany where a bunch of idiot politicians decided it would be a great idea for vaccinated people to wear a yellow badge, They teach history, don’t they?

But it’s not Germans “leaders” forgetting their history. Out of Britain comes this news:

But back to Germany – well, Austria actually – showing that they can forget history just as well as everybody else, Austria orders new lockdown, says COVID-19 vaccination will be mandatory:

Austria will again impose a national COVID-19 lockdown next week in a bid to control another wave of infections — and in three months will begin requiring that all adults in the country are vaccinated, officials said Friday.

Austrian Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg announced the measures and said the lockdown will begin on Monday. The vaccine requirement will start in February.

As the Babylon Bee put it, To Defeat Delta Variant, Experts Recommend Doing All The Things That Didn’t Work The First Time.

In the world’s second bio-fascist state (after China) I feel that they’re getting closer to what I had merely written as satire a few months ago, especially given the glorious language that Austrians speak and the demonstrated lack of historical knowledge I really would not be surprised if they put up signs reading, Impfung Macht Frei.

Coming to New Zealand next Autumn perhaps, with another surge of cases?

In other posts I’ve used a picture of Aldous Huxley with a quote from him about people coming to love their oppression, but it turns out there was an American TV interview with him in 1958 where he got to expand on the subject in more detail: twelve minutes long but worth your time.

Written by Tom Hunter

November 21, 2021 at 7:49 am

Run Hamster, Run

I can’t say this news surprises me at all, courtesy of British newspaper, The Telegraph.

Holidaymakers who refuse Covid booster could face quarantine under new plans

British travellers eligible for the vaccine booster programme will have to be tripled jabbed in order to fly overseas under plans being considered by ministers.

The plans, which emerged on Saturday night, would see quarantine and testing reimposed for eligible groups who refuse to take up the top-up dose.

On Saturday night Government sources confirmed they were looking into the proposals, which would be modelled on the system in Israel.

Israel eh? That’s some deeply ironic shit there. The other key phrase is “waning immunity”.

This will be coming to New Zealand also and in the words of a former National Cabinet Minister, “I fully expect that National will support this”.

ACT as well, judging by recent comments from Seymour.

Then the fourth injection, the fifth, the….

Written by Tom Hunter

November 8, 2021 at 8:57 am

Rising cases with rising vaccination should not be a surprise

Although I’m almost always scathing about the MSM one thing they are accurately capturing is the “shock” of New Zealand’s steadily rising number of daily Covid-19 (Delta) cases.

Today it’s at 160 cases, the highest yet, and all indications are that it will go higher still.

Of course those numbers will be boosted by the well-known issues with the PCR test, which is that it is a highly sensitive laboratory test that even its inventor said was not fit for purpose since it will produce “cases” where the person shows no symptoms of Covid-19 at all and is not sick, and therefore may not even be spreading the virus.

Having said that I can’t help wondering if the sheer invasiveness of the nose swab, plus the consequences of MIQ isolation, may have seen a lot of the population not getting tested even if they feel a bit sick, so perhaps there are even more cases out in the population.

Setting aside that problem I’ve no doubt that ordinary people are as “shocked” by these rising numbers as the MSM is, although that itself is a blowback from the shallow, poor and highly fearful nature of the MSM reporting on this over the last eighteen months.

In fact people I’ve talked too outside this blog have been more than shocked, they have been angered. when I tell them that the vaccine does not stop them from catching the virus, only that it protects them from getting sick and dying (mostly).

They’re even more appalled when I tell them that vaccinated people are spreading the virus. This has been obvious for some time now at least as a correlation, as nations find themselves confronting rising case numbers…

…even when their vaccination rates are good:

Although in the case of the USA case numbers are rapidly falling even as the vaccination rate appears to have stalled out at less than 60%.

Then there’s this study conducted recently of new COVID-19 cases across 68 countries and 2,947 counties in the United States:

At the country-level, there appears to be no discernable relationship between percentage of population fully vaccinated and new COVID-19 cases in the last 7 days (Fig. 1). In fact, the trend line suggests a marginally positive association such that countries with higher percentage of population fully vaccinated have higher COVID-19 cases per 1 million people. Notably, Israel with over 60% of their population fully vaccinated had the highest COVID-19 cases per 1 million people in the last 7 days. The lack of a meaningful association between percentage population fully vaccinated and new COVID-19 cases is further exemplified, for instance, by comparison of Iceland and Portugal. Both countries have over 75% of their population fully vaccinated and have more COVID-19 cases per 1 million people than countries such as Vietnam and South Africa that have around 10% of their population fully vaccinated.

God, what fringe nutter conducted that analysis?

S.V. Subramanian Ph.D., a professor in population health and geography at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health, authored the study. His profile lists over 600 original journal articles that have been cited by other researchers thousands of times. Subramanian’s work focuses on population-level public health statistics and epidemiology curves of several diseases.

Oh!

This situation has led to a key question, Who to Blame When Everyone’s Vaxxed?:

This has become embarrassingly obvious in County Waterford. As reported in the Irish Times, the nation’s establishment newspaper, two of the three most COVID-infected electoral areas in Ireland are located in the county “with the highest rate of vaccination in the country.” In Waterford, a remarkable 99.7 percent of adults over the age of 18 is fully vaccinated.

According to data published on October 21, Waterford City South has the nation’s highest 14-day incidence rate at 1,486 cases per 100,000 and Tramore-Waterford City West has the third highest at 1,122 cases per 100,000. This is despite internal travel bans and the county’s more than 90 percent vaccination rate.

As the article points out Ireland had harsh lockdowns that lasted much longer than many nations, yet they are now unlocking even as cases have surged:

As late as April 2021, Irish citizens were not allowed to travel more than three miles from their homes. All schools and churches were shut down, as were all bars, restaurants, and construction sites. Even after Ireland “eased out” of these restrictions in April, travel was limited to 12 miles and people were still not allowed to have visitors inside their homes.

Despite the recent surge in cases among the fully vaccinated, Ireland is just now easing the restrictions on wedding and church attendance and outdoor gatherings. Indoor service in bars and restaurants has also resumed but for only for those who are fully vaccinated or can prove they have recovered from COVID-19 in the past 6 months.

The arbitrary evolution of Irish COVID policy over the past 18 months has made it clear that public health officials and government policy makers have no idea what they are doing.

That last bit sounds familiar. Now comes the confirmation of the reason for this, from a specific study of the phenomena:

People inoculated against Covid-19 are just as likely to spread the delta variant of the virus to contacts in their household as those who haven’t had shots, according to new research.

In a yearlong study of 621 people in the U.K. with mild Covid-19, scientists found that their peak viral load was similar regardless of vaccination status, according to a paper published Thursday in The Lancet Infectious Diseases medical journal…

…“Our findings show that vaccination alone is not enough to prevent people from being infected with the delta variant and spreading it in household settings,” said Ajit Lalvani, a professor of infectious diseases at Imperial College London who co-led the study. “The ongoing transmission we are seeing between vaccinated people makes it essential for unvaccinated people to get vaccinated to protect themselves.”

The justification for vaccine mandates, including getting people fired, has always been that it will force the highest possible compliance for vaccination rates, for “the public health” and also to “protect others”, which is an argument that our PM made just the other day: that the vaccinated needed to feel protected from the unvaccinated, hence the two classes of citizens being created.

That last has always been a stupid argument, presented for no other vaccination I’m aware of. I’ve always felt protected by the vaccines I took and worried not in the least by people who did not have the vaccinations. This is a “unique” argument to say the least.

Written by Tom Hunter

October 30, 2021 at 1:45 pm

Advice from the peanut gallery

There’s an interesting post this morning from the Point of Order blog, David Seymour and Judith Collins meet Daniel Hannan.

The article talks of the fusion between Liberal and Conservative politics, using the British Conservative MP Hannan as one of the more clear-headed and articulate examples.

Basically it’s giving advice to both New Zealand political leaders, while also taking a rather subtle swipe at them:

“We classical liberals were few enough before 2020. The median voter was always to our Left on economic issues and to our Right on cultural ones. As is often pointed out, the political centre of gravity in Britain is ‘fund the NHS, hang the paedos’. The epidemic has made us even more of a minority. Around the world, people are more frightened and therefore more authoritarian.”

“Thatcher’s brand of Manchester liberalism never colonised the Conservative Party. At best, it formed a contingent alliance with mainstream Toryism – an unequal alliance, it should be added, for the free-marketeers were always the minority.

This reminded me another recent Spectator article focusing on ructions within the US Republican Party, where the Never-Trumpers appear to be fighting a rear-guard action, but which quoted Thatcher:

At the level of principle, rhetorically and in Opposition, it opposed these (left-wing Labour Party doctrines of planning, regulation, controls and subsidies) … and preached the gospel of free enterprise with very little qualification. 

Almost every post-war Tory victory had been won on slogans such as ‘Britain Strong and Free’ or ‘Set the People Free’. But in the fine print of policy, and especially in government, the Tory Party merely pitched camp in the long march to the left. It never tried seriously to reverse it. Privatization? The Carlisle State Pubs were sold off. Taxation? Regulation? Subsidies? If these were cut down at the start of a Tory government, they gradually crept up again as its life ebbed away. The welfare state? We boasted of spending more money than Labour, not of restoring people to independence and self-reliance. 

The result of this style of accommodationist politics, as my colleague Keith Joseph complained, was that post-war politics became a ‘socialist ratchet’ — Labour moved Britain towards more statism; the Tories stood pat; and the next Labour Government moved the country a little further left. The Tories loosened the corset of socialism; they never removed it.

The Conservative MP’s who allowed this to happen naturally became Thatcher’s opponents and they were known as “The Wets”, a term that Thatcher herself coined that has come to describe all such Right-Wing politicians in the Western world. Thatcher’s formidable personality, intellect and the sheer brute force of election success, kept these people on the back foot through the 1980’s. They got their revenge in forcing her to step down at the end of 1990 and appeared to have “won back” the party with the rise of the hopeless John Major, followed by an unexpected close victory in the 1992 general election. Until the rise of Brexit they once again became the face of the party, as they had been pre-Thatcher.

That article also included a quick vignette of the similar opposition that faced Ronald Reagan in the 1970’s from the old guard of the Republican Party. Reading the following is a reminder of what the status quo of mainstream Right Wing parties always amounts to:

  • Vice President Nelson Rockefeller dismissed Reagan as “a minority of a minority” who “has been taking some extreme positions.”
  • New York’s Republican Senator Jacob Javits: Reagan’s positions are “so extreme that they would alter our country’s very economic and social structure and our place in the world to such a degree as to make our country’s place at home and abroad, as we know it, a thing of the past.”
  • Illinois Republican Senator Charles Percy said Reagan’s candidacy was “foolhardy” and would lead to a “crushing defeat” for the Republican Party. “It could signal the beginning of the end of our party as an effective force in American political life.”
  • Former President Gerald Ford: “I hear more and more often that we don’t want, can’t afford to have a replay of 1964.” If the Republican Party nominates Ronald Reagan “it would be an impossible situation” because Reagan “is perceived as a most conservative Republican. A very conservative Republican can’t win in a national election.” Asked if that meant Ford thought Reagan can’t win, Ford replied to the New York Times: “That’s right.” The Times story went on to observe that Ford thought “Mr. Reagan would be a sure-loser in November” and that Reagan held “extreme and too-simple views.”

I appreciated the above points being concisely summarised in this quote:

In other words, there’s nothing new here with this alarmism about “political extremism” from GOP Establishment figures about a conservative outsider and his supporters having the nerve — the nerve! — to invade what they see as their private club.

A club with the best manners and temperament too. Quiet. Civil. Good food and drink and good conversation that stimulates the mind but does not upset the stomachs of well fed and credentialed people. One can go home from the club, there to read the newspaper and chuckle about the silly things the Leftists are getting up too, while knowing that it’s really nothing important to get upset about or – god forbid – fight against.

To sum it all up? The Renew America Movement is nothing more than the umpteenth rejection of conservatives by Establishment Republicans. They stand for the socialist ratchet. They are the embodiment of what Reagan called the “pale pastel” Republicans.

Reagan and Thatcher the extremists eh? Perhaps, but to borrow a phrase from our Lefty brethren, they were on the right side of history.

Written by Tom Hunter

October 16, 2021 at 9:52 am

Monoculture and Magic

Saying that we’ve given up on Covid-Zero, then that case numbers will rise a lot, so much so that home self-isolation will supplant MIQ, and that the track-and-trace system won’t cope, are all “tells” that we’re being softened up to accept endemic Covid-19 as a victory after which life returns to normal, with no daily news of case numbers or even deaths, as is the case every flu season.

Two interesting, if longish articles.

The first is from The Spectator and it starts off by looking at how we’re feeding the world via monoculture, taking the specific example of pigs and comparing their slaughter nowadays to how it was done when Thomas Hardy described it in Jude the Obscure. Anybody who has ever slaughtered and cut up an animal (in my case sheep but never a pig) knows what’s involved: it’s a wonder I never turned vegetarian or vegan.

To accomplish all of this on the industrial scale necessary to feed the gaping maws of our teeming masses requires a great deal of pigs, of course, estimated at some 700 million heads worldwide, but also a commensurate number of abattoir workers. It is a thankless occupation — grisly, physically demanding, and necessitating a certain amount of cognitive dissociation from the macabre task at hand.

With the imposition of pandemic-related immigration restrictions, alongside various Brexit disruptions, we are told that the shortage of butchers and abattoir workers in the United Kingdom is such that there now exists a slaughtering backlog of at least 120,000 pigs, a number increasing by 12,000 more every day that passes. These pigs naturally continue to gorge themselves, in some cases expanding to 55 pounds or more over prime, meaning that their pens are now bursting at the joints.

It also means that the pigs don’t fit into the supply chain machinery, which means that Britain (and other nations) are looking at emergency pig culling, which was done in the USA in 2020. Last year I wrote an article (The Perils of the Modern Supply Chain) on the problems posed by the pandemic because of the modern emphasis of Just-In-Time (JIT) manufacturing, specifically in the case of the world of food production, but this article goes further than mine did by looking at the waste and the philosophy:

Now we have a new abiding symbol of modern industrial just-in-time agriculture: row upon row of euthanized pigs dumped into hastily-dug, wood-chip-lined shallow graves, beasts rotting in the sun, destined never even to “turn into pork,” at best serving as a very expensive compost additive. Surely this is the reductio ad absurdum of an entire way of life — our own — and yet more support for Leopold Kohr’s incontrovertible dictum that “whenever something is wrong, something is too big.”

However, this is merely another step in a process of mechanisation started over a century ago. I was pleased to learn of a book that draws attention to how much of this development came out of the famous stockyards and slaughterhouses of Ye Olde Hometown, Nature’s Metropolis: Chicago and the Great West (1992) by one William Cronon:

“An industry,” Cronon continued, “that had formerly done its work in thousands of small butcher shops around the country must be rationalized to bring it under the control of a few expert managers using the most modern and scientific techniques. The world must become Chicago’s hinterland.” This was an epochal rupture with the past,

I appreciated the article’s exploration of the political and even spiritual implications of all this too, particularly where it likens how we’ve moved from treating animals this way to how we treat ourselves in our “urban pens”. I was especially struck by this passage:

It was in two recent Substack pieces, “We Are All Cattle Now” and “Bovine Coronavirus and Us,” that a German researcher writing under the nom de plume Eugyppius made the astute observation that “coronavirus vaccines have been used in animals for years, with extremely unimpressive results,” adding that:

Our own SARS-2 vaccines, despite their fancy mRNA and virus vector technology, are entirely of a piece with veterinary standards. They have a poor side effect profile, they provide only temporary and partial protection against infection, and they are deployed on a vast scale with no regard for the evolutionary pressure they place on the virus or their broader consequences for infection dynamics. These are normal standards in the context of industrial livestock, where most animals are not raised to live very long in any event, and the risk of occasional accidents — inadvertently favouring or even causing lethal superstrains, or inflicting widespread vaccine injuries — can be weighed against the economic loss associated with mortality from infections.

Speaking as a farmer I can’t tell you how appalled I am at the regular feeding of antibiotics in the US cattle industry. It’s likely only because the animals don’t “live very long” that we haven’t had a lethal disease jumping from cattle to humans – yet. Of course we have had bird flu out of the Asian meat markets.

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The second article is a blog piece that keys off a book published in 1890 by a James Frazer, The Golden Bough: A Study in Comparative Religion, and the writer uses that book to take a sometimes serious, sometimes funny look at modern magical beliefs, A Study in Comparative Religion, which looks at two such beliefs, provides some history and modern context.

Frazer’s First Law of Magic: Similarity

Backward countries even have an example called a Cargo Cult where, for example, cell phones and aeroplanes are made out of wood and expected to function because they are similar to the real thing.

When we see people wearing masks alone in their cars or far from everyone in the outdoors, or we see Covid Karens and their like with breathing holes cut in their already useless masks it’s clear that, to themselves, masks are a totem object. The mask is not expected by the masses to have any scientific use but rather gains its power by resembling something else that does

Frazer’s Second Law of Magic: Law of Contact

Think here of lucky charms such as a rabbits foot or Peter Blake’s lucky Red Socks (1995.) Think of medieval pilgrim trails visiting various holy places to be near a holy relic claimed to be the shin bone or the skull or other cast-off body parts of some Christian saint or other

When it comes to COVID-19 Hysteria, ,what difference is an Ashley Bloomfield Tshirt, towel, or tote bag from other ritual totem objects?

Contact Tracing is the obsession of the population for which daily statistics are collected and the masses transfixed by. Given that Law 2 is literally called Law of Contact and Contagious Magic it could not be more transparent to anyone following along. The afflicted all want to know who has been contaminated, when, and where while our modern witchdoctors dutifully accommodate using all the power of modern broadcast technology.

The old Law 2 magic that stated cell phones could ignite petrol pumps was replaced by the new Law 2 myth that one had to “Scan In” to defeat the Contagion that preys upon the non-hyper-vigilant anxious-paranoid. Those who are not hyper-vigilant anxious-paranoid are regarded as suspicious and known by their chilled normalcy and failure to perform conspicuous rites such as Scanning In and Mask Wearing,

I also appreciated the comparison with the modern era of Frazer’s ideas of positive and negative magic (Sorcery and Taboo)

An old time Maori chief and tohunga priest casting a taboo would use the word “tapu” or “rahui” but for the Prime Minister and Director-General of Health it is called Lockdown. They taboo cities, districts, even the entire country on-again-off-again by changing prescriptions referred to as Levels.

The Prime Minister has singled out particular people and particular businesses during the daily spell-casting which serves as a warning to others who would be ruined socially and financially if they do not comply with the spell.

I also like the section on The Sovereign Magicians, featuring guess who…

Rulers and their priests (media and academic) are the major beneficiaries of a little amount of superstition, according to Frazer. When, as in the most primitive people, superstition is widespread nobody has a monopoly on magic. As the irrationality is driven out of everyday life the remaining users of Magic are considered especially powerful to those who believe they exist at all.

Not to mention the Chief Priestess herself. The article ends on a hopeful note:

If the mass taboo magic were to wear out the Orwellian Double Think superstructure it depends on beyond Ardernian running software patches (such as “It’s a tricky virus” or “Delta is a Game Changer”) then the psychosis would become exhausted and end.

At this point a good magician would get out ahead of the inevitable Taboo Market Crash by declaring victory over COVID-19 and making herself scarce before the tar and feathers come out.

Saying that we’ve given up on Covid-Zero, then that case numbers will rise a lot, so much so that home self-isolation will supplant MIQ, and that the track-and-trace system won’t cope, are all “tells” that we’re being softened up to accept endemic Covid-19 as a victory after which life returns to normal, with no daily news of case numbers or even deaths, as is the case every flu season.

Written by Tom Hunter

October 15, 2021 at 12:55 pm

New Zealand is more frightened than Britain

I came across a fascinating, sad article today about the “post-Covid” world of Britain’s population, The Most Frightened Nation.

It lists a number of the things done in that country over the last two years in The War Against Covid-19.

First up are some examples of the propaganda used by the Tory government:

The most heavy-handed of the government’s several advertising campaigns—which together have constituted the real “blitz”—was “Look them in the eyes . . . and tell them you’re doing all you can to stop the spread of Covid-19.” Posters showed rheumy patients staring into the camera looking soulfully woeful while muzzled by oxygen masks. These images alternated with exhausted nurses in full PPE regalia.

No wonder other health care experts began getting worried about patients not turning up to hospitals, even when they had urgent problems.

The numbingly repeated “Stay Home/ Protect the NHS/ Save Lives” tagline chevroned each podium during the government’s televised Covid briefings…It took a surprisingly long while for media wags to observe that the purpose of the NHS is to protect the people, not the other way around. The government might as well have warned the populace to avoid expressing bellicose sentiments about foreigners so as to “protect the Army.”

Further into the pandemic, that monotonous coronavirus motto morphed to the catchily asonant “Hands/Face/Space”—a slogan that would be right at home in a nursery school and parallels the efficacy of “duck and cover.” By this point, viral transmission from surfaces allegedly accounted for only about one in 10,000 cases; real-world evidence that masks make any substantial contribution to the curtailment of infection remained conspicuously scant; and the virus was known to be communicated by fine aerosols that can circulate aloft for hours, making the government’s two-meter social distancing requirement arbitrary and unscientific.

Then there were the police actions, some of which I caught a year ago (The Police could be worse):

Derbyshire police drones photographed a couple hiking in the wilderness with their golden Labrador with no one else in sight, and then published the shot on Twitter with the strapline “WALKING YOUR DOG IN THE PEAK DISTRICT / NOT ESSENTIAL.”

In January, two women who had driven five miles to go for a socially distanced walk were surrounded by so many police that one of them “thought someone had been murdered.” The women were fined £200 each because driving out of your local area for exercise was “not in the spirit of the lockdown” and the hot drinks they were carrying were not allowed because they were classed as “a picnic.”

What if you’ve neglected to fill out a form at the airport or filled it out incorrectly? That’ll be another £10,000, thank you. A ten-grand fine is more than enough to destroy the average Briton. Fortunately, the courts, the last bastion of sanity and due process, have voided convictions for violating Covid restrictions wholesale.

Well yes, but the main driver of such things is that the process is the punishment. You may emerge with no charges, let alone convictions but The Powers That Be know they’ve hurt you, which will make you more compliant. It’s a form of psychological torture increasingly approved of by our Police and governments because it works and leaves no visible marks.

Of course none of this would work without the assistance of Inoffizieller Mitarbeiter.

Only three days into the first lockdown, the Northamptonshire force alone had received “dozens and dozens” of public reports about, for instance, neighbors who had been out for a second run in one day (more “guidance,” not law). By early April 2020, a full 11 percent of Derbyshire’s 2,300 daily calls were to rat out lockdown flouters. Last autumn, Johnson encouraged local councils to hire citizen “Covid marshals” to bully and harass the noncompliant.

The article also goes into the insanity of the rules that can lead to fines. My favourite being the debates over whether a Scotch egg counted as a “substantial meal”.

But here’s the kicker to all this, and it actually comes at the start of the article, where it quotes an Ipsos MORI poll conducted in July, which I’ll bullet point here:

  • 27% of Britons want to impose a government-mandated nationwide curfew of 10 PM—not then in force—“until the pandemic was under control worldwide” When will that be?
  • 19% would impose such a curfew “permanently, regardless of the risk from Covid-19.”
  • 64% want Britain’s mask mandate in shops and on public transport to remain a legal requirement for the duration of the global pandemic
  • 51% want to be masked by law, forever. 
  • 35% want to confine any Briton who returns from a foreign country, vaccinated or not, to a ten-day home quarantine—permanently, Covid or no Covid.
  • 46% would require a vaccine passport in order to travel abroad—permanently, Covid or no Covid.
  • 36% want to be required to check in at pubs and restaurants with a National Health Service contact-tracing app forever.
  • 34% want social distancing in “theatres, pubs and sports grounds,” regardless of any risk of Covid, forever.
  • 26% of Britons would summarily close all casinos and nightclubs forever.

But read the whole article.

I wonder what such a poll would show about New Zealand. Judging from the comments I’ve seen here, on neighbourhood groups, and left wing blogs

I know that part of their concern is working alongside unvaccinated co-workers…I know many people who are very uncomfortable about the idea of travelling on airlines with unvaccinated people. 

… I think we’re at least in the same ballpark as Britain.

Part of me likes to think that, as with wartime regulations, censorship and the like, this too shall will pass. But the other part notes that, around the world, “victory” constantly slips away with this virus, leaving the masks and the lockdowns and the behaviour behind, vaccinated or not.

I also note the old adage that while you can replace governments you can’t replace a people.

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On the note of how the Police could be worse, here’s Australia, again. Muldoon and the Police of his time would have loved to have had this tech during the 1981 Springbok Tour protests.

Written by Tom Hunter

October 12, 2021 at 4:42 pm