No Minister

Posts Tagged ‘Insanity

No mas. No masquerade

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The wheels of justice grind slowly but grind exceedingly fine.

Frankly I don’t believe that famous quote, having observed too many instances of the gap between the law and justice yawning exceedingly wide and never being reconciled in any time frame that mattered to people. The only saving grace being that it applies to when justice is served and when it is not, although even then there are cyclical periods of time for each.

In this case a couple of days ago US District Court Judge Kathryn Mizelle, ruled that the CDC failed to properly explain its decision to impose the mandate or follow proper rule making procedures and that therefore the Federal mask mandate could not be legally imposed in airports, planes and other transport:

Almost immediately, Alaska Airlines announced that masks would be optional for travelers and employees alike. United Airlines quickly followed suit, announcing that masks were no longer required on domestic flights and select international flights, depending upon the arrival country’s requirements. American Airlines, Delta Airlines, or Southwest Airlines — the three carriers with the most passengers pre-pandemic — also made masks optional on Monday night.

You can get a sense of the reaction with the announcement being made mid-flight in some cases. Nice to see the reaction of the crews as well…

Now the news is not all good. Some individual states are continuing with the insanity in the public transport systems they control, and while the Biden administration immediately announced a cease fire they have not surrendered and may appeal the decision to a higher court. To which my response is Lose Harder In November, Assholes. Also, Judge Mizelle accepted the CDC’s argument that masks may help prevent infection, despite them having accepted that the common, disposable cloth masks do not. In which case she may wish to read this article on the failure of masks and look at these graphs from it:

The [left] graph tracks the results of a natural experiment that occurred nationwide during the pandemic. Eleven states never mandated masks, while the other 39 states enforced mandates. The mandates typically began early in the pandemic in 2020 and remained until at least the summer of 2021, with some extending into 2022. The black line on the graph shows the weekly rate of Covid cases in all the states with mask mandates that week, while the orange line shows the rate in all the states without mandates.

As you can see from the near identical trajectories of the lines, mask mandates made no difference, and certainly did not control the virus. The article waspishly notes the early triumphant squawking of the MSM for states with extremely high mask compliance – that went on to suffer terrible C-19 case and death surges.

[The right graph] compares Germany with Sweden, the media’s Covid villain for refusing to lock down or mandate masks. Sweden’s initial Covid surge was blamed on those lax policies, but Sweden stuck to them and actually discouraged masks in most situations. As indicated on the graph, surveys during the pandemic showed that fewer than 10 percent of Swedes bothered to wear masks. In Germany, by contrast, more than 80 percent did so, but look at the similar trajectories of the daily Covid death toll in both countries from the summer of 2020 through March of this year.

I’ve already covered much of this ground in previous posts (The Mask Narrative crumbles contains links to other such posts), including graphs for places like Hawaii as far back as 2020 that showed the futility of masks.

The article notes that a resistance to mask mandates went back even further and very much included Public Health bodies.

In their pre-Covid planning strategies for a pandemic, neither the Centers for Disease Control nor the World Health Organization had recommended masking the public—for good reason. Randomized clinical trials involving flu viruses had shown, contrary to popular wisdom in Japan and other Asian countries, that there was “no evidence that face masks are effective in reducing transmission,” as the WHO summarized the scientific literature. The pandemic planners at the United Kingdom’s Department of Health had reached a similar conclusion: “In line with the scientific evidence, the Government will not stockpile facemasks for general use in the community.”

In going with politics instead of science they’re hardly alone. If you’re a subscriber to the NYT (and we know some of our readers proudly are) then you’ll probably be shocked and surprised to find that the following Tweet…

… actually resulted in a NYT reporter, one Victoria Kim, trying to contact him about the horror, only to be informed that it was satire. Ms Kim was raised in Seoul and is a Harvard graduate in history.

She is also an utter fucking moron.

But as usual she and the NYT were running with the Left’s narrative, in this case masks, and you can see why in The 5 Most Unhinged Responses to the End of the Travel Mask Mandate, although I prefer humourist James Lileks list and his takes on them:

I know, I know, my mask protects you, your mask protects me. If you are wearing a mask, the virus cannot pass through it. But if you are not wearing a mask, the virus can float over to where I am, and pass through my mask.

They walk among us, and from my everyday observations I’d say we have a higher proportion in NZ.

Written by Tom Hunter

April 21, 2022 at 6:00 am

That’s the Way

with 2 comments

Rolling down the track towards 2040…

I’m sure National will be ahead of the Republicans, given how proud Kiwis are about being on the cutting edge of progressivism.

You may scoff but take a look around you in 2022.

That’s Sam Brinton, the new deputy assistant secretary of Spent Fuel and Waste Disposition in the US Energy Department’s Office of Nuclear Energy. He has a dual Master of Science degree in nuclear engineering and technology and policy from MIT, which led him to being a lecturer in the “Physics of Kink” at another university. He’s also into “Pup Play” – and no, I will not be providing a link for that, any more than I’ll be respecting his personal pronouns of they/them.

Then there’s the Disney corporation, which has decided to go full bore on supporting the right of teachers to educate their future Sam Brinton’s about sex – at ages 4-7.

Time for more “slippery slope” arguments.

Meantime the latest Democrat nominee for the Supreme Court apparently cannot say who is a woman. We’re going to have quite a job in front of us cleansing old movies for the future.

In doing so this sense of humour will be vital.

Meantime reality will roll on…

… including elections, though how well they’ll connect with future realities is anyone’s guess.

I’ll leave you with this variation on the first chart.

Written by Tom Hunter

March 30, 2022 at 10:04 am

Posted in Humour

Tagged with , ,

Never Let Me Go

Over at Kiwiblog I see that one of the “experts” who has been advising the government on how to deal with the Chinese Lung Rot virus, is now saying that the nation would be taking huge risks if it went back to the Green stage of the Traffic Light system:

An epidemiologist is questioning if New Zealand should ever go to the green COVID-19 traffic light setting, saying it may be too risky. … Dr Jackson, from the University of Auckland, said New Zealand got its timing perfect – but told Morning Report people to remember “this is the worst public health crisis in 100 years”.

“I’m not sure we should ever go green,” he said. “It’s all about safety.”

Well, yes. If life is all about safety, and moreover safety defined purely in terms of one disease, then his conclusions are entirely logical and rational.

However, there are other factors involved, as he is about to find out from our heart disease and cancer treatment issues caused by C-19 restrictions, which could certainly turn out to be the ““worst public health crisis in 100 years”. Aside from those utilitarian concerns, life and living is about a lot more than just breathing.

Dr Jackson strikes me as a rather typical type among science PhD’s in that he appears to have Aspergers syndrome or some other shade of the spectrum of autism. Autistic people can be very smart. In fact they often are. But they’re also fanatics unable to judge between competing factors. It’s also one of the reasons why very smart people so often turn out not to be very wise.

I’d put Professor Baker in the same group. Back in September he said we may never be going back to normal, “with mask wearing becoming a feature of our lives for the foreseeable future.”

The thing is that Baker has been on this track for some time. Here he is in 2017 with a joint paper looking at the costs and benefits of border closures and challenging the then accepted view that closures have a limited role, if any, in preventing the spread of infectious diseases: Protecting an island nation from extreme pandemic threats: Proof-of-concept around border closure as an intervention

Here he is in 2015, arguing that Kiwis underestimate the seriousness of the flu, and that our actual flu deaths are not 300-700 per year but possibly as high as 10,000 per year if testing was done correctly.

In both cases C-19 has been the dream disease. Baker got his border closures and still has them, despite Delta and now Omicron “leaking” through them, which was actually the basis of public health (and the WHO) groups argument that they didn’t work. As regards the number of deaths detected via better testing, if we ran the super-sensitive PCR test against normal flu patients – as we have for C-19 – then we would very likely have 10,000 flu deaths per year.

Such numbers would thus justify the same sort of vaccine mandates for the flu that we’ve seen for C-19. That, along with mask mandates and lockdowns, would be an equally logical and rational conclusion, as opposed to the uncontrolled and messy optional system we’ve had for decades with flu vaccines.

Because Public Health and Safety – and autistic fanatics.

On the other hand there are some epidemiologists who have opposed a lot of this crap from the start, and until this event were regarded as experts in the field and provided a public voice. So Dr. Harvey Risch, a professor of epidemiology at Yale School of Public Health has bluntly said:

“Overall, I’d say that we’ve had a pandemic of fear. And fear has affected almost everybody, whereas the infection has affected relatively few. By and large, it’s been a very selected pandemic, and predictable. It was very distinguished between young versus old, healthy versus chronic disease people. So we quickly learned who was at risk for the pandemic and who wasn’t.

However, the fear was manufactured for everybody. And that’s what’s characterized the whole pandemic is that degree of fear and people’s response to the fear.”

Risch has authored more than 300 original peer-reviewed publications and was formerly a member of the board of editors for the American Journal of Epidemiology. But as I pointed out in this article,
Lockdowns: a nightmare of imagination, that makes no difference in our Lysenkoist times:

Stefan Baral, an epidemiologist at Johns Hopkins with 350 publications to his name, submitted a critique of lockdowns to more than ten journals and finally gave up—“the first time in my career that I could not get a piece placed anywhere,”

It would be fascinating to see a TV debate between Risch and Jackson or Baker on this and other topics around the Chinese virus – like giving treatments once you’ve caught the disease, an approach which has been largely ignored in case it damaged the drive for 90% vaccinations. In this too, history repeats itself:

Fauci told AIDS sufferers and their doctors not to use Bactrim, a cheap off-patent pair of antibiotics, as prophylaxis against PCP, a bacterial pneumonia that was killing AIDS patients with damaged immune systems by the score, despite knowing since the late 1970s that it worked to prevent PCP in Leukemia patients who, like AIDS patients, had wrecked immune systems.  Roughly thirty thousand Americans were shoved in the hole due to PCP infections during the years in which Fauci maintained that it should NOT be used.

Incredibly that was not Fauci’s only mistake on AIDS; earlier he’d publicly implied, in a prominent editorial in the Journal of the American Medical Association, that there could be casual household transmission of HIV.

I chose the title of this post from the book by Kazuo Ishiguro, which has been turned into a movie. I have a well-tumbed copy of his wonderful, elegiac early novel, An Artist Of The Floating World, which traces the bittersweet history of a Japanese artist living through the 1930’s to the 1950’s: plot-spoiler, he’s not a resistant hero and you as the reader begin to get a very different impression of him than from the narrative of his memories.

But I’ve not read Never Let Me Go or seen the 2010 film, because what I do know of it sounds too depressing – especially now. In an alternative history of Britain from the 70’s to the 90’s we are introduced to a world where people’s lives have been extended beyond 100 years. The story is narrated by a woman who is an orphan, raised with other orphaned kids in boarding schools and then sent to live in cottages on a farm:

One day, a new teacher, Miss Lucy, quietly informs the students of their fate: they are destined to be organ donors and will die, or “complete”, in their early adulthood.

They also hear rumours of the possibility of “deferral”—a temporary reprieve from organ donation for donors who are in love and can prove it. Tommy becomes convinced that The Gallery at Hailsham was intended to look into their souls and that artwork sent to The Gallery will be able to confirm true love where it is present.

In 1994, Kathy is still working as a carer, and has watched many donors gradually die as their organs are harvested. Kathy, who has not seen Ruth or Tommy since the farm, discovers Ruth, frail after two donations.

Two teachers tell them that there is no such thing as deferral, and that Tommy’s artworks will not help him. They explain that the purpose of The Gallery was not to look into their souls but to investigate whether the “all but human” donors even have souls at all; Hailsham was the last place to consider the ethical implications of the donor scheme. As they take in the news on their return journey, Tommy explodes in rage and frustration, and they cling to each other in grief.

Tommy completes his final donation and dies on the operating table, leaving Kathy alone, waiting for her donations to begin in a month. Contemplating the ruins of her childhood, she asks in voice-over whether her fate is really any different from the people who will receive her organs; after all, “we all complete”.

As I sit here contemplating the upcoming vaccination campaign for kids aged 5-12 I wonder if our children and grandchildren will be so accepting of what has been done to their childhoods so that their grandparents can be avoid being “complete”?

Written by Tom Hunter

December 17, 2021 at 2:32 pm

Which Southern Jim Crow White Supremacist did this?

The answer is none of the above.

First, that’s in Denver, Colorado.

Second, it’s not from the Jim Crow era but today.

Third, it was not the Democrat Party’s favourite boogeyman but actually … Democrats.

There is nothing right about this story. It’s George Wallace’s dream come true: “Segregation forever!”

It’s also important to note, as one Twitter user has, that this type of explicit racial segregation is illegal in Colorado.

According to Centennial Elementary staff, this event was organized by the school’s “Dean of Culture,” Nicole Tembrock.

As you can see Nicole is Whiter than White – but in a good way you understand. No George Wallace she.

If civil rights activists from the 1950s popped out of a time machine today, and saw all this stuff, they would infer that their movement had failed, but it’s the entirely logical result of accepting Critical Race Theory which remember, is absolutely not being taught in schools.

Allow me to also introduce you to a classic style of argument that is very much in favour nowadays, the Motte-and-Bailey:

The motte-and-bailey fallacy (named after the motte-and-bailey castle) is a form of argument and an informal fallacy where an arguer conflates two positions that share similarities, one modest and easy to defend (the “motte”) and one much more controversial (the “bailey”). 

The arguer advances the controversial position, but when challenged, they insist that they are only advancing the more modest position. Upon retreating to the motte, the arguer can claim that the bailey has not been refuted (because the critic refused to attack the motte) or that the critic is unreasonable (by equating an attack on the bailey with an attack on the motte).

Here it is in a visual form and applied to CRT.

Incidentally this is what TV interviewer Chris Wallace did to Trump in the 2020 debate with Biden (and Wallace), when he converted CRT into mere “racial sensitivity training”, and asked how anybody could object to that. Wallace quit Fox News the other and has joined CNN. Of course.

Written by Tom Hunter

December 16, 2021 at 6:20 pm

SOUTHPARK – in the “post Covid” future

Trey Parker and Matt Stone have hit this topic before, but this time they’ve taken it into the near future where the threat is from a new Covid variant, the…

Covid Delta Plus Rewards Program

From which Kenny has died – because Kenny always fucking dies.

Written by Tom Hunter

December 3, 2021 at 9:50 pm

Posted in Art, Humour

Tagged with , ,

Money. Wall. Pissing against.

You may have thought that the current NZ Labour government was a shocker when it came to spending vast sums of money to no good effect, but as is often the case now, the US state of California leads the way.

As if the high taxes, poverty, filth, crime, killer fires, water problems and energy problems were not bad enough it appears that they can’t even run a basic book keeping process.

This is Betty Yee, and she is the “State Controller” of California, which means that she is the person responsible for:

  • “Accountability and disbursement of the state’s financial resources.”
  • “Auditing all funds disbursed by the state and all claims presented for payments to [her office.]”

Given that California is the world’s fifth largest economy, that is a hell of a lot of spending responsibility. Her office issued 49 million checks in payments worth $320 billion in 2018.

Being in a public office she’s also accountable directly to the public in terms of more than just votes, being required to produce information about all this spending, subject to the usual Official Information Requests that we see across the Western world. There’s always scrapping between such offices and the people demanding the information as to timely releases and so forth – no bureaucrat is ever keen on revealing everything to the proles – but by and large the process works.

So it was no surprise when some activist group called Open the Books (OTB), requested to see the line item details of all these payments, starting in 2013. The letter they finally got in 2019 surprised the hell out of them:

“The State of California, State Controller’s Office does not maintain a centralized vendor contract database which would allow it to identify all contracts regardless of the agency awarding such contract,”

That came from Yee’s general counsel Richard Chivaro, who went further:

“In fact, many state contracts are paid for directly by the contracting agency,” Chivaro continued. “This procedure allows the contracting agency to make such payments as expeditiously as possible thereby taking advantage of an early payment discount which may be available.” 

“Moreover, the Controller’s Office receives literally thousands of claims for payment daily. Claims are batched by date received and are not segregated, logged or otherwise tracked by agency employee or payment type. Consequently, because of the way the claims are batched and processed by this office, we are unable to locate or otherwise provide you with the documents requested,”

The fuck? In other words the Controller’s Office literally cannot answer the question of where all the money went in a $302 billion spending list. They simply do not and cannot know exactly who got the money because they just don’t bother tracking that level of detail.

Incredible. Almost beyond belief.

OTB is suing the state of California but frankly I don’t know how that can succeed: if the system doesn’t track this stuff at a line item level (or even a couple of levels up) then what’s the lawsuit going to produce? They have had to sue Illinois and Wyoming in the past to get such data, but they did get it in the end, and they did not need to take such action to get spending records from the other 47 states according to the OTB Chairman:

“We even get the checkbooks from the historically, systemically corrupt Port Authority of New York and New Jersey,” he said. “We do get the second set of books from there.” 

In some respects it’s hardly surprising given an earlier story that blew out of the same state a few months ago:

California Labor Secretary Julie Su told reporters in a conference call Monday that of the $114 billion the state has paid in unemployment claims during the coronavirus pandemic, 10 percent, or $11.4 billion, involves fraud and another 17 percent is under investigation. 

Nearly all of the fraudulent claims were paid through the federally supported Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program. The program was approved by Congress to provide unemployment assistance to those who usually wouldn’t be eligible, such as independent contractors. 

The even got scammed by the usual suspects, criminal organisations from Russia and Nigeria, as well as 21,000 prisoners in the state who scored more than $400 million, including 100 prisoners on death row

I like to think the latter group really just did it for kicks, given that they’re not likely to be able to spend any of it.

Written by Tom Hunter

December 2, 2021 at 11:24 pm

K… K… K… Karl Marx and his never-ending story

Way back on October 8 I wrote a post about Biden’s nominee for the position of Office of Comptroller of the Currency, Saule Omarova:

The OCC charters, regulates, and supervises all national banks and federal savings associations as well as federal branches and agencies of foreign banks. The OCC is an independent bureau of the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

I titled that post, Karl Marx’s Economic Analysis and the Theory of Revolution in The Capital, since that was the title of her Masters Thesis at Moscow State University in the late 1980’s. I left it at that. The comments section closes automatically after two weeks to avoid spam.

Probably a good thing, because since then the bloody post has shown up every single day in the stats. I can only assume that around the world people are tapping the title of her thesis into their search engines in the hope of finding the original document, and ending up here at No Minister.

Sorry folks. I looked for it too at the MSU archives but no luck, and Ms Omarova is keeping her copy under lock and key. I don’t know why though as it couldn’t be any more damaging than what is already known about the Commie fanatic.

Written by Tom Hunter

November 19, 2021 at 11:02 am

Money printer go brrrrr…….

News out from NZ Stats this morning:

The consumers price index rose 2.2 percent in the September 2021 quarter, the biggest quarterly movement since a 2.3 percent rise in the December 2010 quarter, Stats NZ said today.

Excluding quarters impacted by increases to GST rates, the September quarter movement was the highest since the June 1987 quarter, which saw a 3.3 percent rise.

The 2011 kick was due to the National government increasing the rate of GST from 12.5% to 15%.

This one is due to “money printer go brrrrrrr……..”

Speaking of which, let’s go back a decade to the wonderful Clarke and Dawe comedy bit on the last time we indulged in “Quantitative Easing” to compensate for something that was only slightly less insane than government locking down an economy.

Written by Tom Hunter

October 18, 2021 at 12:15 pm

Karl Marx’s Economic Analysis and the Theory of Revolution in The Capital.

That’s the title of an economic thesis written decades ago at Moscow State University by an American student, attending courtesy of something called the Lenin Personal Academic Scholarship.

The person is one Saule Omarova, who is now a law professor at Cornell Law School. After graduating from Moscow in 1989 she returned to the USA where she got a PhD from the University of Wisconsin. She’s also still in love with the USSR:

“Until I came to the US, I couldn’t imagine that things like gender pay gap still existed in today’s world. Say what you will about old USSR, there was no gender pay gap there. Market doesn’t always ‘know best,’” she tweeted in 2019.

Ms. Omarova thinks asset prices, pay scales, capital and credit should be dictated by the federal government. In two papers, she has advocated expanding the Federal Reserve’s mandate to include the price levels of “systemically important financial assets” as well as worker wages. …

In a recent paper “The People’s Ledger,” she proposed that the Federal Reserve take over consumer bank deposits, “effectively ‘end banking,’ as we know it,” and become “the ultimate public platform for generating, modulating, and allocating financial resources in a modern economy.”

Perhaps she’s not aware that the USSR lost the Cold War and fell apart, revealing to the world what a complete sham its communist economy had always been.

By escaping the USSR she’s managed to live the typical wealthy lifestyle of a professor at one of America’s premier universities and is now ready to move on to other things.

Like running America’s banking regulatory system.

Joe Biden has nominated Saule Omarova to be Comptroller of the Currency. It is an important position. According to the Comptroller’s web site:

The OCC charters, regulates, and supervises all national banks and federal savings associations as well as federal branches and agencies of foreign banks. The OCC is an independent bureau of the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

Because of course this is what moderate, slighty left-of-centre Democrat Presidents do.

This is insane. Her nomination should be rejected with prejudice.

Is there anybody out there who still thinks it was a great idea to swap President Trump for Joe Biden?

Written by Tom Hunter

October 8, 2021 at 12:03 pm

You have 24 hours to handover the Batman

This is what it’s beginning to feel like with news like this.

Were I an anarchist I’d be loving this. Online – not just via FaceTwit but the community groups like Neighbourly and others – Aucklanders are doing the whole passive aggressive thing, turning on each other and bullying each other to be vaccinated.

So cool.

That’s 90% first jab, which, as we have been reliably informed, is not enough to count as “fully vaccinated”.

Mind you, at the rate we’re going, six months from now, you won’t be counted as fully vaccinated until you’ve had your second booster shot.

Written by Tom Hunter

October 4, 2021 at 6:00 am