No Minister

Posts Tagged ‘Post Covid-19

Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life

I’ve been vaccinated against a ton of diseases over the decades, including ones that were probably needed for places that I’ve visited around the world, including booster shots as required. No problem.

But when I lived in the USA, every fucking company I worked for wanked up about the “Flu Shot” around September/October, the reason being less around them caring so much about protecting my precious hide than that they really didn’t want their worker bees losing 80 hours minimum over the Winter to Flu.

I ignored every single one of those reminders, for the very simple reason that I did not see how anybody could be filled with such foresight as to exactly what Flu would hit that season.

So no, I won’t be getting the precious vaccine, for similar reasons as to why I’ve refused getting stupid flu shots every Winter:

a) I’ve had the flu more than a few times. Nasty, but knowing the limited mutation capabilities of a limited virus and the capabilities of the human immune system I felt the odds were good that I’d fight off whatever mutation I got. Sure, there was always the chance that we’d hit Spanish Flu 1918 but then we rationalise the risks we run every day.

b) Covid-19 is not even the Spanish Flu, let alone the Bubonic Plague. Given my risk characteristics across age and so forth for infection and death following infection, I’m confident that I’m in a very, very low risk category.

c) Were I 70+ I’d get the shot without question because my risk factors would be different – quite radically different for both infection and then death from where I am now.

d) If I get infected with Covid-19 (low odds) – assuming I’ve not been already and had asymptomatic conditions – and assuming I die (even lower odds), then all the Chinese Lung Rot theists will be able to laugh and taunt.

But that won’t change the statistical odds given my risk factors.

So whether it’s the annual Flu shot or the Chinese Sinus AIDS “jab” my response is the same.

Fuck Off.

UPDATE: Courtesy of a friend who got this at work.

Written by Tom Hunter

June 3, 2021 at 10:25 pm

Another argument that is no longer off-limits

One of the detailed points of argument during the Great Chinese Lung Rot pandemic was around the definition of what actually constituted a Covid-19 death.

Early in the hysteria it was pointed out that deaths were being recorded as Covid simply because the patient had tested positive for Covid. This included even ridiculous examples such as deaths by car accident.

Naturally the pro-hysteria side, with the aid of the “If It Bleeds, It Leads” MSM, ferociously attacked such arguments. For the MSM it’s quite natural that the more death there is the better the story. That’s been true since the days of William Randolph Hearst and his famous “Sob Sisters” over a hundred years ago.

But even the medical “experts” had motive to push death numbers higher, since the more death there was the more likely they could persuade politicians and The People to undertake the extremist controls they advocated. Some of this was obvious with the pandemic models pushed by the likes of Neil Ferguson (“A spherical cow of uniform density in a frictionless vacuum“).

Naturally their counter-attacks against such critics focused on how you should not argue with medical experts, even though medical experts were among the critics of the Covid-death classifications. The motivations of the likes of Ferguson and company were not to be questioned, only those of their dastardly and uncaring opponents.

My, how things change when the motivations run the other way. In this case the criticism around deaths of people who have been vaccinated for Covid-19. Placed under such pressure, no less than the head of American Center for Disease Control (CDC) backs into …. the precise arguments put forward by critics of the Covid death counters.

Walensky is drawing a distinction between those who died directly because they got COVID and those who may have tested positive, but ultimately died of another comorbidity or condition. Now, to most people, that would seem like common sense. After all, why would you count someone with terminal cancer or an already failing heart as a COVID death – just because they had the virus when they died?

Obviously, what Walensky is saying is true. What we’ve known about COVID from early on from those hit the hardest told us that co-morbidities, including heart problems, lung problems, and morbid obesity, are the top factors, and that very old people (70+) naturally suffered more from the first two factors, hence them suffering a higher Covid-19 death rate than other age groups. If someone is otherwise terminally sick, even a mild case of Covid-19 could expedite matters – just as the Flu or Pneumonia normally does. The latter has long been called the “Old People’s Friend” for that very reason.

But the real point I want made clear here is that what Walensky is saying has previously been declared to be completely off-limits for over a year by the powers that be. In fact, it’s the kind of thing that has often gotten right wing-leaning sites in trouble with the social media censors of FaceTwit and company.

Yet, here is the Biden administration saying what was previously labeled as taboo, just because it now fits their narrative, which is driven by the motivation to reduce the death count rather than increase it because the latter would blow up the vaccination programmes. Meanwhile, the media don’t question it, and the social media overlords just shrug.

Oh, and the CDC has recently and rapidly shifted their positions on masks. Because Science.

Nowhere to run to, baby. Nowhere to hide.

There have been many times in history where a technology has built up capability over many years but has not really made its effects obvious until some outside emergency crashes in to revolutionise its impact. Things like radar, liquid-fuel rockets, jet engines and nuclear weapons and power were being glimpsed or actually being tested just before WWII and would have emerged into the public world eventually, but the war advanced them by decades.

Similarly there has been much discussion in the IT world of the eventual impact on work/life-styles of steadily increasing telecom bandwidths for the Internet. Even a decade ago it was possible for some IT folk to work from home with powerful, data-sucking applications, although serious money had to be spent to buy the comms capacity. But we could all the see the trends and the only question was what the tipping point would be?

The answer was the appearance of the Chinese Sinus AIDS pandemic in 2020, which caused companies to reach for the emergency measures of software like Zoom so that people could work from home. Everybody can tell you of the glitches and the frustrations, but the truth is that if your life revolves around electronic documents – and most jobs do nowadays, electronic-paper-pushing – then it can be made to work. And in fact people have turned this temporary measure of working from home into a permanent feature.

The Thistle, Wellington

I’ve seen complaints from people in Wellington about the effects this is having on that CBD’s shops and cafes and certainly my friends in the bureaucracies there have told me of the changes in life-style of many of their associates, who turn up physically perhaps only for two days a week. Enjoying some beers with a couple of them at The Thistle in Wellington recently (beautiful pub BTW), they pointed out to me that although the place was packed at 4pm on a Friday it was very much emptier by just 7pm, something I could not recall from my days of living in that city thirty years ago. And drink-driving laws cannot be the reason in a place where public transport is a working feature (excepting the bus scheduling catastrophe of the past year).

The next question that will arise is whether people will even bother living in densely packed cities for much longer. Telecoms capability in rural and far-suburban areas is increasing fast as well. Could this, as well as the credit creation of NZ’s government and Reserve Bank, be another reason for the recent onslaught of Auckland buyers of lifestyle blocs in Waikato and Northland? As just one example of the possible impact, it puts more questions around the sinkhole of the multi-billion dollar, over-budget Auckland train loop development, even before you walk through the light, bright and airy streets and shopping places of Albany and Newmarket rather than the dirty, stinking sewer that is now Queen Street where the trains will take you.

As usual it’s a matter of statistical movement; there will always be people who want or have to live in such places. But many will see no need, and they will be especially likely to leave if the reasons for staying – the busy, packed joys of city life – begin to vanish as cafes and the like shut down. There are also the companies they work for, already asking why they’re paying huge rents and rates for CBD locations they no longer need and which no longer have any symbolic meaning.

And as usual the USA is leading with these trends, to the detriment mainly of their Democrat-controlled cities. And states.

But also to the detriment of states like Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, and Nevada, which have been slowly turned from rock-solid Republican states to, at best, “purple” areas where Democrats are being elected.

Key exit quote here:

“Because so many people from California, and they’re turning it into northern California. So that’s the one thing: If you’re moving here from out of state, the reason you’re moving here is why people love it here, so don’t change it. People like it the way it is and they don’t like to be told what to do, and they’re willing to let you do the same thing. Just don’t push where you came from onto the people here, and you’ll get along just fine.”

Why Yes. They are Captain Sparrow, because they’re Johnny Depps.

Sadly for him and his fellow Montanans, I don’t think that’s going to be the case. These Democrat voters can’t bear the pain of the policies they’ve inflicted on themselves in California and so are escaping, but incredibly the pain is not enough to have caused them to change their minds on such policies or the sort of politicians who propose them and implement them, so they simply start re-creating the same crap in their new abodes. As the man notes, the “big city” of Bozeman, Montana now has so many California refugees that it’s referred to as BozeAngeles.

And in honour of the title of this post here’s the awesomely talented and sexy Martha and the Vandellas with their 1965 hit…

Written by Tom Hunter

December 21, 2020 at 9:29 am

Random Interwebby Things II

Otherwise known as clearing my spindle of things that, while interesting or amusing, don’t warrant a post all to themselves.

First up, I’m wondering if I should start using this as my avatar.

It fits in very well with recent talk among politicians, MSM sources and the likes of Facebook and Google when it comes to free speech in the age of Chinese Lung AIDS.

And speaking of Google, if you’re not happy about the overwhelming Leftie bias of our MSM then don’t imagine that the Social Media giants are any better.

Having said that, I might be willing to give poor old Microsoft’s Bing search engine a second look after more than a decade of ignoring them, based on the following comparison with Google.

Also came across this the other day. It’s a photo of one page of the Japanese surrender document that ended WWII. Perhaps the Canadian representative was nervous, overwhelmed by the occasion, but whatever the case he certainly screwed it up for the following signers, including New Zealand.

But at least it didn’t start another war. Unlike former Democrat Senate leader Harry Reid, who is probably regretting this.

Multiple senior Democrats with influence have said that they’re going to completely scrap the filibuster on everything once they retake the Senate so that they can pass any legislation they like with 51 votes out of 100. It shows how unlikely they think it is that their ideas will gain overwhelming public support, since even California retains the filibuster in its Senate; the Democrats simply made it irrelevant by gaining so-called “super-majorities” in the California state Senate and House, effectively turning it into a One-Party state. Republicans can still get elected there – as long as they push the same ideas as the Democrats. Like all such places it’s a Lefty utopia, until…

Finally, I appreciated this little summary of various religions. The Russian Orthodox one I found mystifying, though funny, and I’m hopeful that some member of the faith – with a sense of self-deprecating humour – can tell me what it’s getting at.

Written by Tom Hunter

September 24, 2020 at 9:23 am

Disney Bombs

In an earlier post I briefly glanced at how DC Comics has blown themselves up by pandering to the Woke brigades.

But lest you think this sort of stupidity affects only the leaders of small fry like them, let me assure you that this crap is spreading fast through the formerly sober heights of corporate executives and boardrooms.

Disney has already had a tough year thanks to the response of governments to Chinese Sinus Rot.

Unfortunately they doubled down on their China bet with a “new” movie called Mulan.

Mulan, 1998

Actually it’s not really “new”. As is increasingly the case, the talentless hacks of Disney (and Hollywood), simply reached back into their past to convert one of their most popular animated movies of the last two decades, turning it into a live action, big-screen spectacle. Moreover, they really tuned it to Chinese audiences.

However, as captured by the Rotten Tomatoes website, viewer reviews were … not good.

“This is unbelievable how disney managed to completely missed the plot, the story, the atmosphere, the sound and the message? Mulan goes from this dilligent smart and awesome girl, mastering her way in a male dominated warrior world to this mary sue , all inclusive from the get go, no challenge, just “be the badass you are born to be ?

“Looked interesting enough to watch, but my kids got bored and I started to fall asleep. Seemed like “Rise of the Skywalker” mixed with old Mulan..

Mulan, 2020

At the same time there were threats of boycotts and protests in the West that pushed Disney into not releasing it in theatres in the USA but on their own streaming service, Disney +, charging $US 30 for the view.

For those of you unfamiliar with the situation, Disney thanked many Chinese government authorities in the credits of their recent Disney+ movie release, Mulan. One of those government authorities included the government powers within Xinjiang province. That location is also where the Chinese Communist Party government is holding millions of ethnic minorities in concentration camps

In addition Disney’s usual media rollout has been screwed by the CCP ordering Chinese news outlets not to cover the movie because it mentions Xinjiang and they’re trying to keep the backlash down. And so…

In China, The Walt Disney Co.’s “Mulan” had a disappointing debut of only $23.2 million. The low launch nonetheless claimed the film the No. 1 spot in the country where an estimated 91% of theaters are open but limited to 50% capacity. The studio noted that its opening is around the same level as “Cinderella” and “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil.”

This isn’t the first time that Disney has pandered to their Chinese overlords. The following are two different billboard presentations of the most recent Star Wars movies.

Never mind. Disney will reportedly get back that $10 billion by 2025, although if The Mouse does not get his copyright protection extended again from January 1, 2024, all bets are off. Thanks to Disney’s clever lawyers it’s already been extended several times.

I must say that I’m enjoying watching these institutions burning themselves to the ground.

Written by Tom Hunter

September 16, 2020 at 12:08 pm

Random Interwebby Things

Otherwise known as clearing my spindle of things that, while interesting or amusing, don’t warrant a post all to themselves.

So lets us begin with mentally unwell people.

Lest you think you can still dismiss such things as random and anecdotal let me assure you that it is spreading, even into the world of comic books.

I’m pretty sure that 13 year old me would not have been attracted to this Wonder Woman.

Scientists and other people able to draw conclusions from observation will therefore appreciate the following news item, DC Comics, DC Universe Hit By Major Layoffs:

The majority of staff of the streaming service DC Universe has been laid off, as has editor-in-chief Bob Harras and multiple other executives on the publishing side.

Roughly one third of DC’s editorial ranks are being laid off, according to sources.

I know right? I was shocked too.

I miss the days when comics accurately portrayed the future.

But you have to have some grounding in reality to do that. People who have a hard time figuring out the reality they face are not likely to do well…

I’ve no idea if this person is a Biden campaign advisor but it seems likely.

Lastly, remember to resist capitalism – by buying really overpriced shite.

Written by Tom Hunter

September 15, 2020 at 9:45 am

The Plywood Jungle

New York City has not suffered from the riots and mayhem as other Democrat-run cities have.

But it didn’t need to since it has a Left Wing Mayor who has been more than capable of producing the same results merely via executive orders and local legislation in responding to COVID-19. DeBlasio is well to the Left of the Democrat Party under whose banner he was elected. He’s basically a full-blown communist but too lazy to start a revolution. And of course he loves money. What he does have in common with the old Soviets however, is a mania for centralised command and control, and NYC has been his laboratory. He’s now hated even by the people who voted for him. But it’s all too late for them.

The following 2:20 of video recorded by a person driving around Manhattan is something that you probably won’t see on the news, except in 30second bites, which don’t have the same effect. At some stage there may be a documentary that will linger on such scenes, one of those BBC specials with a somewht mournful VoiceOver in English accent – like their ones on the Middle East.

I’m grateful that one of my kids got to see NYC in 2017 before all this. Sadly I’ve never been. Had it on my bucket list and will likely now never visit. NYC has come back from disasters before, but there were fundamental forces pushing against CBD’s and dense urban places even before this. DeBlasio’s response to COVID-19 was simply the last push and after that gravity is doing its work. Movers are so busy they’re turning people away.

Guess I’ll just have to stick with photos and The Marvelous Mrs Maisel.

Written by Tom Hunter

August 22, 2020 at 9:33 am

Posted in USA

Tagged with , ,

THE ECONOMY POST COVID-19

We are now two weeks into the Level 4 lockdown. The government’s actions have been pretty much the same as those of Australia and the UK. Not too many are seriously questioning their actions to date. Sure, they could have been stricter on the border two weeks ago, but overall, the government is widely seen to have done a pretty good job.
The big question now is how do get out of the lockdown, and what will it be like when we do so?
It can’t surely be the case that we have to wait for no new cases before we come out of Level 4, or for that matter Level 3. As long as the new cases are isolated, and clusters are kept under tight control, it should be possible to come out when the rate of new cases is around half the current rate. In fact, with one death to date, it would seem Covid-19, at least in New Zealand, is no worse than seasonal flu. We don’t destroy the economy over seasonal flu. But maybe we have just been lucky, since in most other countries the death rate is much higher, hitting 10% of tested cases in Italy and the UK.
Coming out of Level 4 and 3 means we have to think about what the economy will look like this time next year.
One thing that is pretty certain is that international tourism and international travel will almost have completely dried up. That is not coming back to current levels for several years. So that is over 100,000 jobs, 5% of all employment, gone. We can be pretty certain that retail will take a huge hit. Who is going to be buying new furniture, new clothes, a new stereo or TV, or that big ticket item, a new car? Let’s say another 100,000 jobs gone. That adds up to 15% unemployment, taking into account the current unemployment rate. Add in real estate agents, all sorts of financiers, and a whole host of service jobs that have grown up in the last thirty years, such as sports fitness, garden maintenance just to name the more obvious. Probably another 50,000 jobs. It is pretty easy to see 20% unemployment this time next year.
But it is not all doom and gloom. New Zealand currently relies on over 100,000 people on work visas to do jobs that New Zealander’s don’t want to do. That is all going to stop. Those jobs can now be done by New Zealanders, especially in the primary sector.
As a food producing nation, we should be able to sell all of our produce, even if at reduced prices.  We can also do a lot more onshore processing. We should see the end of all our timber going out as logs. Sure, that might upset some free trade purists, but this is an emergency like no other in our lifetimes.
One thing that shouldn’t happen is Simon Wilson’s crazy idea that New Zealand should start building electric cars. Modern cars are not like the Trekkas that were built here in the 1960’s with Skoda engines. A modern car has literally tens of thousands of components that require a global supply chain. Way beyond what New Zealand can do.
The government will have a big and extremely challenging role in the next few months. It is going to be paying a huge number of unemployment benefits, and supporting key businesses, right at a time when its own revenue will have collapsed. I predict the government will have to seriously consider cutting the pay of all state employees by 10%. At the very least, there will be no pay increases for some years. The government will need to cut expenditure on anything that is obviously “nice to have” as opposed to being essential.  However, some parts of the state may expand. Expect to see a big increase in local student numbers next year as newly unemployed young people flock to the universities and polytechnics.
The government has a key strategic role to think of the big infrastructure projects that both soak up unemployment and which will add to the nation’s infrastructure, that can drive growth in the decades ahead.
Although the Greenies will scream, how about a 4 lane highway from Whangarei to Christchurch, with electric charging stations along the whole route? There are way more people employed in trucking than ever will be employed in rail. And trucking suits the way New Zealand shifts goods around the country. We could be pioneers of electric trucking on this new high tech road.
The new economy can’t be just driven by the government. Ideas will need to come from all directions, from entrepreneurs, from newly unemployed, from economic theorists across the spectrum and from political leaders from both sides of the House.
There is a strong case for an economic summit of the sort organized by Lange and Douglas in 1984.  That drove New Zealand out of the economic doldrums that we had languished in for decades. This time to break out of the greatest health and economic emergency that most of us have seen in our lifetimes.

Written by The Veteran

April 5, 2020 at 12:21 am