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Posts Tagged ‘Public Health System

Two must-read articles from Karl du Fresne

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Readers will be well aware that my attitude towards the MSM is that that they are, at best, shallow and useless in their reporting and “analysis”, and at worst combine that with massive ideological bias to the Left as well as the occasional bouts of outright partisanship towards, in the case of New Zealand, the Greens, Labour, or the Maori party, depending on how well each of them is doing in supporting a Left wing agenda.

The read I have on the NZ MSM at present is that, as Chris Trotter and Martyn Bradbury have often pointed out, they’ve sold their souls for capitalist money and the “neo-liberal” status quo established since 1984, in exchange for pushing every other piece of Leftist wank. I think those two gentlemen are nostalgic screamers because, at least in the environmentalist world of combating AGW (Anthropogenic Global Warming) they may get want they want eventually from their rather despised New Left comrades with a return of state ownership or more likely, a regulatory and tax regime that makes a mockery of the term “private enterprise”. Whether the Leftists in the MSM know where the AGW process will lead or not doesn’t really matter, but I suspect that many “reporters” do and are keen on using it to get back to the supposed Nirvana created by the First Labour Government.

As such it’s important that blogs support eachother, so here are two articles by Karl du Fresne that need as much exposure as possible:

  1. Squeeze your eyes shut, cross your fingers and hope

This post deals with the steadily growing catastrophe that is Three Waters and the Health re-structuring.

Carterton District Council, one of the smallest in the country (population 9700), expects to spend $850,000 preparing for Three Waters over the next two years. The council’s chief executive says the plan has imposed an “enormous” programme of work that the council’s not resourced to cope with it. Mayor Greg Laing describes the process as “absolutely appalling”.

The Times-Age quotes the Department of Internal Affairs as saying funding will be provided to cover transition costs, but it’s obvious that councils haven’t seen any of the money and don’t know when they will. In any case, South Wairarapa’s mayor Alex Beijen, who presides over a district with a population of only 11,000 (and one that’s already financially stretched to breaking point), says resourcing will be a big challenge even with extra government money.

I laughed at one of the comments where the guy sent a Letter To The Editor concisely pointing some of the problems and found his points about rents and royalties had been excised. Standard censoring of disinformation; I don’t know why he bothered but others made the point that this why blogs and other social media (to an extent, given their own censorship) are important while the MSM dies.

The healthcare problem has been hidden by C-19 Kabuki Theatre and Three Waters but if anything it’s more frightening:

As Powell points out, “With only 40 working days to go, DHBs have no more information on what will replace them on 1 July than they had on 21 April last year when the health minister announced their abolition.” You can read his damning appraisal here.

This all sounds familiar, the same as other SNAFU’s this government has made in the last few years; ill-defined plans; falling behind schedule; last-second scrambles to do something. I really hope I and my family don’t fall sick in any way for the next couple of years.

2. The Free Speech Union meeting that earned a trigger warning from Salient

This is Karl catching up on Victoria University’s response to his talk On the threats to free speech, that was delivered a while ago at the university, courtesy of the Free Speech Union.

It seems that the students have been triggered by a speech that none of them apparently attended and have used the student newspaper, Salient, to express their outrage; Karl points out that it’s prefaced with a trigger warning advising, in bold type: 

This article examines some of the racist, transphobic, sexist, and otherwise harmful content discussed at the event in question. Please exercise caution when reading.

Frightening.

You can read the sad, pathetic details of the objections to his speech and while I and a lot of other students never took much notice of such things at varsity – where the Left-wing student radicals dominated such talk via the student unions and their varsity newspapers – it’s clear that such people have much greater influence, some might say control, over their varsities than they did forty or even twenty years ago.

For me, one comment showed how far things have gone:

As a Victoria lecturer and a member of FSU (so I would prefer to be anonymous), I am sad to say this is exactly what I expect from our students. Students nowadays are extremely lazy; most of them don’t even bother to attend lectures. Critical thinking and meaningful debates are just not things under their radars. I don’t blame students but the university administration. The university administration is a bunch of failed academics who do not really care about education and research. All they care is their position and would do everything possible to pander students in order to get money from the government. As a lecturer, our constant pressure from the university is how to make students happy and get more of them, not how to train better citizens of the future.

An unexpected result of the 1990’s reforms of university is that there are a lot of people there who should not be, given their lack of brains, and that the incentives for them to go and the incentives of the universities to get bums on seats, are screwed up. Perhaps if student loans were tied directly to the universities so that they’re on the hook for payment recovery, the universities would be pushed harder to teach productive courses and “train better citizens” in real critical thinking.

Keeping up with the Joneses

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Sir Robert Jones is leaving New Zealand, as he describes in his final blog post, Farewell, where he nails the key point:

And how many of our kids will follow? This question arises in the post of another prominent New Zealander, Don Brash, where he points out five major problems that I’ll summarise here:

  1. The crisis of housing affordability.
  2. The rapidly growing racial divide.
  3. The very slow growth in the average income of New Zealanders.
  4. Our education system is also failing far too many of our kids, as international surveys show: we have some of the worst results for maths and science of any developed country.
  5. The failure of successive governments to deal with the looming fiscal challenges of an aging population

Don’t think the kids haven’t noticed all this, and the failure to deal with these issues: mine certainly have, and their US citizenship is burning a hole in their pockets:

Some countries face serious challenges which they can do little about – rapid depletion of water resources for example, or extreme political tensions arising from religious differences, or hostile neighbours. We have none of those challenges, and have only ourselves to blame if we see more and more of our kids decide that they can have a better future somewhere else

I doubt that I’ll leave again, as I have in the past, but increasingly I feel that I’m merely holding a fort here that is irrelevant to those I love.

Impfung Macht Frei

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It is that sort of comparison that causes the opponents of the current Lockdowns to be ridiculed. And no, you won’t be able to convince me that basically I am (and just about everyone I know) is just the same as the Nazi SS.

That’s a quote from a commentator here a couple of weeks ago on my post about what was happening to Australian civil liberties, Civil liberties have gone to the dogs.

It was a direct response to this picture that I put at the end of the post, which is of course deliberately provocative in an effort to make people think about what they are enabling via their terrible fear.

So I was amused by this news out of the Prisoner Island the other day:

Members of the Orthodox Jewish congregation entered a building, believed to be a prayer room, near a Ripponlea synagogue early on Tuesday morning and told police they wouldn’t leave until nightfall.

Police surrounded the front and back entrances of the building and took details of those who began to file out just after 8pm.

Initial reports suggested up to 100 people had attended.

“My advice is really clear to the people who were there last night – come forward, identify yourselves and allow us to process you through our systems and apply the law as it is today,” said Assistant Commissioner Russell Barrett 

I say amused because Black Humour is the only way to deal with this appalling shit.

The camps are called “Centres for National Resilience.” No word yet on what sort of motto will hang above their gates, but my the title of this post is a suggestion.

Also from the Victorian Premier, Dan Andrews:

He said those who choose not to be vaccinated were “making the wrong choice”.

“We’re going to move from a system where we’ve got everyone locked down to a situation where, to protect the health system, we’re going to lock out people who are not vaccinated and can be,” he said.

“This becomes absolutely a pandemic of the unvaccinated and, when we open everything up, it’s not going to be safe for people who are not vaccinated to be roaming around the place spreading the virus.”

Good old Public Healthcare eh? Where the State decides whether you’ll be taken care of or not. In the past the Left always laughingly dismissed as paranoid conspiracy theory any claims that such healthcare systems held the possibility of some future political leader or party using the system as a weapon against people who opposed its policies, much as old regimes used food as a weapon to force people to do what they told them to.

And now here we are. Similar suggestions are being made by media voices in the USA who have millions of viewers and are 100% partisans for the Democrat Party:

In any case has anybody told these fanatics that we now know that vaccinated people can spread the virus too? Look at Israel.

How this is seen outside of Australia is well captured by good old TDS-suffering National Review in When a Western Society Goes Insane:

Lockdowns have cut a swath through the norms and conventions of an advanced Western democracy, from the suspension of a state-level parliament to the banning of protests to military enforcement of the COVID rules.

The spirit of the lockdowns was perfectly captured a few months ago by the chief health officer of the state of New South Wales who warned, “Whilst it is in human nature to engage in conversation with others, to be friendly, unfortunately this is not the time to do that.”

Ah yes, the public-health threat of over-chattiness.

The Australian news media might as well be an arm of the public-health bureaucracy, producing stilted and hysterical reports about lockdown violators worthy of some dystopian future.

They do have some good news though:

This period in its national life stands as a warning for how easily core freedoms can erode away in even a well-established democracy, but Australia isn’t going to become a dictatorship.

Well at least not until the next such virus hits, which is a certainty, though I doubt we’ll see any need for Standartenführer Hans Landa to interrogate farmers since the unclean will already be locked up in one place.

The Joy of a Free People

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In looking at the national impacts of the Chinese Xi Snot virus I’ve looked at Sweden, Israel and Australia, with a few glances at other nations like Great Britain, plus some prominent US states such as New York, California, Hawaii and Texas.

But it’s been a while since I looked at the USA as a whole to see how it’s doing.

First up is vaccinations. Not so good compared to many other nations.

Cases! There’s been a bit of a surge lately, as there has been in other countries as the next mutant strain, “Delta”, has taken off. In fact the case load is now back to where it was in Oct-Nov 2020 before the vaccinations started and Feb 2021.

Deaths are up too but not as was seen earlier. Still, the daily death rate is back up where it was in November 2020 and March 2021.

Terrible right? Scary. Horrifying. So how are Americans reacting to all this? They should lockdown, right?

Just click on the first Twitter video.

These are crowds for College (university) football, in action for the first time in two years and the students are going nuts. For people who only hear of the NFL and other Major League sports it may come as a shock to find out how huge college football is. Those crowds put most of our rugby stadiums to shame and there are dozens like them packed every weekend from September to December. I was stunned when I first saw how huge the Notre Dame stadium is in Indiana.

Just listen to the sheer, wonderful joyousness of them as they dance and sing and shout for their teams.

So what’s the reaction of The Powers That Be? Well here’s major Democratic operative Joe Lockhart:

Gee Joe, if I was Democrat pushing mask mandates and vaccine passports I’d look at all those young people and crap my pants about the 2022 and 2024 elections.

Americans are better than their leaders.

But that’s also Jacinda Adern, every Labour MP, Judith Collins and every National MP, The Greens and Maori Party, probably most of ACT, our entire Public Healthcare establishment and – so we’re informed by a NZ Herald poll (and remember kids, the MSM doesn’t spin or lie when reinforcing The Narrative of the moment) – some 85% of New Zealanders.

Frightened. Scared. Utterly and totally compliant. Yet also strangely smug and arrogant about how well we’ve done with our low death toll. Determined to lock down for as long as it takes to get to Year Zero. And misery loves company.

If you want to live in fear, that’s your choice. But it’s also not life.

Those scenes are life. That is joy. And in America at least, it’s back.

Written by Tom Hunter

September 8, 2021 at 5:00 am

Everything in the Lockdown, nothing outside the Lockdown, nothing against the Lockdown.

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For those of you who have been clinging to the idea that once we reach a certain level of a vaccinated population, masks and lockdowns would come to a blessed, permanent end, I have two pieces of bad news for you.

First from this country (H/T Kiwiblog):

“University of Otago epidemiologist Professor Michael Baker told Stuff we may never return to level 1, with mask wearing becoming a feature of our lives for the foreseeable future.”

“Unfortunately this is the new reality,” he said.”

“There isn’t a utopia of living with the virus in the future. It may be quite grim.”

Not even Level 1, let alone Level 0? So even if you are fully vaccinated your life anywhere in this country is going to be “quite grim” for the “foreseeable future”.

Second from Israel, where the Delta version is ripping through the vaccinated population:

Israel’s experience is forcing the booster issue onto the radar for other nations, suggesting as it does that even the best vaccinated countries will face a Delta surge.

“This is a very clear warning sign for the rest of world,” says Ran Balicer, chief innovation officer at Clalit Health Services (CHS), Israel’s largest health maintenance organization (HMO). “If it can happen here, it can probably happen everywhere.”

It looks like vaccine efficacy against transmission drops to about 20 percent after 8 months, hence the increasing talk of a need for booster shots. Protection against serious illness also declines but much more slowly.

The key points here are that cases of Delta and other mutations will occur and spread and that nevertheless the death rates will be low.

This is the “foreseeable future” that the likes of Baker are determined to avoid at all other costs, even though it would literally wreck the country and our lives.

Not only that but these prescriptive restrictions are clearly flexible. You have to wear a mask while shopping or at the gym and similar enclosed places. But “obviously” (the PM’s word) you don’t need one while eating or drinking in a restaurant.

Actually if the aim is to knock down Covid-19 it’s not obvious at all because in a restaurant how can you reasonably maintain a two metre distance? What’s the point of restricting indoor gatherings to fifty people while ignoring the size of the venue? Clearly the government are becoming fearful of small business failures, hence this stupid fudge.

I’m asking rhetorical questions of course. The reality is that these measures will do fuck all, especially to prevent a disease with an infection rate like that of the common cold, and especially in areas without infection.

There’s also this warning about the waning immunity when it comes to border workers and what that implies:

“Our essential workers at the borders, their immunity goes away. And we don’t know whether they’re gonna be protected against infection and transmitting infection,” Malaghan Institute immunologist Professor Graham Le Gros told Newshub Nation. 

But he then goes on to say this:

“Until we get everyone jabbed in this country, we are a ticking time bomb.”

So like the lockdown itself it’s 100% or bust! There are no systems that work 100% of the time.

The NZ Government and the Health authorities must be aware of this and yet there is no sign that either group is thinking strategically about this, which thinking would include the following:

  • The “science” behind the elimination policy, even as it defined by healthcare authorities rather than common understanding, was based on a highly effective vaccine becoming available.
  • Despite best efforts and hopes that is not the case, which to me anyway is not a surprise given that we’ve never developed a vaccine against the Common Cold, since it’s based on the rapidly mutating families of Coronaviruses and Rhinoviruses.
  • The vaccines still seem to provide reasonable protection against severe illness and death, especially among the population targeted by this virus: 70+ years of age and/or with health problems.
  • The sooner we accept this is endemic, the better. Accept that some people are going to die despite best efforts short of lockdown.
  • Tell people right now that these restrictions will be in place until everyone who wishes to be vaccinated has had that chance. Once it is clear that vaccine supply is no longer the constraint, the Government will give 30 days notice that all restrictions will be removed. Aim for December 1st, 2021.
  • There is a potential threat to hospitals from case loads, not that this also means mass deaths, but that other healthcare needs will be crowded out.
  • So start pushing hard on therapeutic remedies like monoclonal antibodies that ease the sickness and symptoms and allow the body time to fight the virus.
  • Push out information on how to use such therapies in a safe way to care and nurse covid-sick family members at home, thus relieving the pressure on hospitals rather than relying solely on the vaccination program. This is actually what we do with other diseases.

Written by Tom Hunter

September 7, 2021 at 12:08 pm

Better living through superior management

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The truly horrifying thing about the following story from US magazine, The Atlantic, is not the technology, or the tech companies undoubtedly pushing it, or the Police and Health authorities who simply see it as a way of coping with an otherwise unmanageable problem.

No, it’s the fact that political leaders buy into it so easily with seemingly not a thought for anything else.

But more horrifying still will be the likelihood that the people themselves will go for this if they’re frightened enough: the “large consensus” that politicians regard as the Holy Grail.

Australia Traded Away Too Much Liberty:

People in South Australia will be forced to download an app that combines facial recognition and geolocation. The state will text them at random times, and thereafter they will have 15 minutes to take a picture of their face in the location where they are supposed to be. Should they fail, the local police department will be sent to follow up in person. “We don’t tell them how often or when, on a random basis they have to reply within 15 minutes,” Premier Steven Marshall explained. “I think every South Australian should feel pretty proud that we are the national pilot for the home-based quarantine app.”

What reasons can people give for this not coming to New Zealand soon?

Written by Tom Hunter

September 3, 2021 at 1:31 pm

The end of the Zero-Covid policy?

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Nothing comforts people so much as knowing they’re part of the same crowd. It’s a tribal thing rooted in our two million years of brain evolution.

You can see this even more clearly when one person is left stranded as the crowd moves on. Surprised, shocked, ill-at-ease, and wondering if she should follow the crowd on their new path.

NZ Prime Minister, Jacinda Adern, is rapidly becoming that lost soul.

Australia to end ‘covid zero’ policy:

Australia is set to end its “covid zero” policy after Prime Minister Scott Morrison determined that the country’s approach is not “sustainable” in the face of the more infectious COVID-19 delta variant.

The government will drop most restrictions once 80% of adults are vaccinated, which the government believes could happen by the end of the year, The Economist reported. Any further action would occur only after hospitals reached a point at which they could no longer cope with new cases, but will otherwise handle what they can.

The delta variant provided a new challenge for a nation that The Washington Post once labeled a “pandemic success story.” The nation responded to the variant by instituting what it called “circuit breakers”: any detected cases would result in a lockdown to stop the spread “at the beginning.”

However, Morrison on Aug. 23 said the current course of action was “not a sustainable way to live in this country.”

“Once you get to 70% of your eligible population being vaccinated, and 80% … the plan sets out we have to move forward,” Morrison said in a video address. “Because if not at 70% and 80%, then when? Then when? This cannot go on forever, this is not a sustainable way to live in this country.”

Maybe it was when the rescue dogs were shot?

Or maybe it was this, because unlike small businesspeople being destroyed and all that stupid stuff about economics and money that lead to the inevitable cries of “You just care about profits not grandma”, and other such emotive “arguments”, this is actually about death vs. death.

It’s not just at the Federal level either, Victoria gives up on COVID-zero.

Despite locking down hard and early, Victoria’s struggling to get on top of COVID case numbers and Premier Daniel Andrews says COVID-zero is no longer a possibility

Perhaps authoritarianism is just too exhausting for our modern Western politicians? It looks like it’s too much even for the ones in SIngapore:

Singapore has decided to give up on the dream of covid-zero and will instead learn to “live with the virus,” according to the country’s Prime Minister, Lee Hsien Loong on Sunday. The decision comes despite the fact that Singapore has one of the highest covid-19 vaccination rates in the world, with 80% of the adult population fully vaccinated—second only to the country of Malta’s 82%.

Singapore, a country of roughly 5.7 million people, has been among a handful of countries that have pursued a strategy of completely eliminating covid-19, rather than just suppressing the virus. Other covid-zero countries over the past year have included New Zealand, Taiwan, China, Vietnam, and Australia.

“It is no longer possible to bring covid-19 cases down to zero, even if we lock down for a long time. Therefore, we must prepare for covid-19 to become endemic, like the flu or chicken pox,” Lee said on Sunday during a speech to commemorate the country’s National Day, according to a transcript from the Strait Times.

Meantime we await the success of the latest Level 4 lockdown in dealing with the Delta variant of the Chinese Xi Snot virus, which overseas data shows to be more infectious but less lethal than its Alpha parent.

Liberty Scott also has some questions that the MSM might consider asking the government. Here are just five of them:

  1. Is the real reason NZ has been slow in obtaining vaccines because it “didn’t want to compete” with others that needed it more, or was it just bureaucratic or political inertia?  After all, Australian PM Scott Morrison apologised for not ordering enough vaccines, why is NZ different? Is it because Pharmac didn’t order them?
  2. Isn’t the real reason contact tracing is a nightmare the complacency encouraged by having “kept Kiwis safe” with less than 10% QR code scanning and having planned not at all for a ramp up of contact tracing for a future lockdown? i.e. didn’t most people treat Level 1 as Level 0?
  3. Why wasn’t their planning for ramping up testing if there was another outbreak and why did vaccinations have to halt because there had been no planning to take into account vaccination in an outbreak?
  4. What is the basis upon which Cabinet decides to change Covid lockdown levels? Is it infection rate, is it case numbers, is it contacts? If there isn’t some objective basis to start from, how is this decision made?
  5. Why were frontline emergency workers not regarded as a priority for vaccination?

UPDATE (just for Wayne, who missed it the first time and hates Texas)

Written by Tom Hunter

September 2, 2021 at 11:00 am

Civil liberties have gone to the dogs

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“The problem with Australians is not that so many of them are descended from convicts, but that so many of them are descended from prison officers” — Clive James

In New South Wales and Victoria at least, judging by the following various bits of news, including this:

Several impounded dogs due to be rescued by a shelter have instead been shot dead by a rural council in NSW under its interpretation of COVID-19 restrictions, alarming animal activists and prompting a government probe.

The reason for this is even more insane:

Bourke Shire Council, in the state’s north-west, killed the dogs to prevent volunteers at a Cobar-based animal shelter from travelling to pick up the animals last week, according to council’s watchdog, the Office of Local Government.

Despite the fact that the shelter volunteers had COVID-safe measures in place to handle the dogs, one of which was a new mother.

But perhaps the situation demanded it, after all, Polar explorers were known to have killed dogs for food.

According to NSW Health, there have been no recent locally acquired COVID-19 cases in Cobar, although fragments of the virus have been found in the area’s sewerage system.

Well yeah. That’s what the laboratory-specified PRC test will do. Run across an entire population it would likely find the remains of virus fragments from every virus you’ve ever caught.

Remember that the same sort of human beings who did this are the ones who have done the following:

Please spare me the excuse that there is a difference between the likes of the Premier’s of these states and low-level government officials of a rural council

Or for that matter ordinary people who have had their minds pushed into a world of paranoid fears by said government. Here in NZ we were having a discussion with our friends and neighbours a couple of days ago during a walk and found out that their son in his Canterbury university dormitory had been instructed to stay in his room between 11:59pm and 6:00am each night, as were all such residents. Not even a “bubble” on the floor, let alone the whole residence. Unlike the Auckland University situation there was not even a case.

The parents promptly got on the phone to the people in charge to find out what the hell was going on. They were especially concerned because they were already worried about their son, who seemed depressed, as many of the kids are at the moment in what was supposed to be the normally fun and exciting First Year of varsity.

The phone call rapidly went up the chain from the 19 year old, 2nd Year bloke in charge of the floor to the 24 year old manager of the whole complex, and then rapidly escalated as he huffed and puffed about the need for the team of Five Million to pull together, and got parents arguing how insane such a restriction was, plus threats to call the likes of Radio New Zealand and other media outfits if nothing changed.

Fortunately in this case, the manager backed off, and of course it was only his interpretation (and others in the “team”) of what a Level 4 Lockdown means.

Back in Australia the Prime Minister, perhaps sensing that things are starting to spin out of control, has announced that:

“We can‘t stay in the cave forever. That’s not sustainable,’’ he said.

“We have to move forward. We cannot hold back. Our task between that day and now is to ensure that we ready ourselves for that next phase.

“Cases will not be the issue once we get above 70 per cent. Dealing with serious illness, hospitalisation, ICU capabilities, our ability to respond in those circumstances, that will be our goal and we will live with this virus as we live with other infectious diseases. That’s what the national plan is all about, was always about, that’s how we designed it.”

With the rate currently at about 30% it’s going to be a while, perhaps a few more weeks, and that depends on how much the Australian public gets its back up about the whole situation:

Mr Morrison said he understood some would try and undermine the end to the lockdowns but it was now a case of “if not now, when?”.

“We must make that move and we must prepare to make that move and we must prepare the country to make that move,‘’ he said.

“The lockdowns now being endured are taking an extremely heavy toll both on the mental and physical health of Australians and on the economic success of Australia. It is taking a heavy toll and so they must only continue for as long as they are absolutely necessary and not a day more.

I like that Morrison’s adult approach lacked mention about “kindness”, “saccharine laced platitudes masquerading as announcements”, “waffling presentations” and all the rest of what Peter Dunne described as the “extraneous, embellishing drama” that is the New Zealand Prime Minister’s approach.

Given that I always thought that Dunne was a pompous windbag it’s saying something that even he’s reached his limit.

Meanwhile back in the land of Oz.

Leaving aside the crack at the mentality of Australians in that Clive James quote, don’t think for one moment that we’re not capable of the same level of insanity here, if we’re not there already.

Never Forget.

Written by Tom Hunter

August 24, 2021 at 5:39 pm

Freedom, Consequences and Responsibility

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Eighteen months ago one of the most powerful arguments in favour of lockdowns was that it would be utterly irresponsible for people to freely move around when they could catch Chinese Lung Rot and pass it on to vulnerable people – in this case the elderly – who could die from it.

The advent of vaccines in record time, thanks to President Trump’s Operation Warp Speed, mean that argument is no longer valid. While the vaccines will not prevent a person from catching the virus or spreading it, they do quash the chances that you’ll die from it even if you are one of the vulnerable.

So it’s all good. What happens now? Well it turns out that The Powers That Be (TPTB) just can’t let go of the giddy sense of power involved with controlling entire populations. Not everybody is getting vaccinated, new variants of the disease are appearing all the time and so the goalposts are changing, as Jim Treacher so aptly sums it up on Substack:

1. Absolutely do not wear a mask

2. You must, must, must wear a mask or you’re killing Grandma

3. Don’t leave the house or you’re killing Grandma

4. If you can’t avoid leaving the house, stay at least six feet away from any other human being you see or you’re killing Grandma

5. Wash your hands 20 times a day

6. Do not touch your face or anything else, ever

7. Get vaccinated so you don’t have to wear a mask

8. You have to wear a mask even if you’re vaccinated

9. When the above rules change, and then change back, and then change back again, shut up about it or you’re a stupid MAGA-head

10. Don’t forget to vote Democrat!

In that article Treacher writes that he’s vaccinated and thinks those who don’t want to be are idiots. He’s also always been anti-Trump, but not to the TDS-stage. It also turns out that it’s not the stupid MAGA-heads that are the problem…

There are other charts showing similar “not the narrative” results for young vs old, non-religious vs religious, White vs Black and Hispanic.

Combine that with the Delta variant (and others to follow), plus MSM hysteria and politicians who see long-term blood on their hands as preferable to short-term blood, and you get the inevitable:

Melbourne, a major Australian city, just entered its 6th lockdown. (Yes, you read that correctly). It joins many of the nation’s other major metropolises, such as Sydney and Brisbane, in once again restricting its economy and social life. According to the BBC, the lockdown will be in place until at least August 28 and “bars people from leaving their home except for essential exercise, shopping, caregiving and other reasons.”

It’s mind-boggling that the Australian government is practically placing its citizens under house arrest and outlawing their incomes over five deaths per day. It’s particularly bizarre given that countless studies have shown the ineffectiveness of stay-at-home orders and lockdown policies. (In fact, most COVID-19 spread happens at home.) 

In Sydney the army has been pulled in to force people to stay in their homes, even going with the cops on door-to-door compliance checks. Police helicopters are overhead, warning people in parks with police action and fines. It’s worked too; there is genuine fear over being caught outside without a permissible excuse. Nobody is allowed more than 5 kilometers from their home address, only one person per household may leave to purchase supplies once a day, and Sydney-siders are not permitted to speak to friends; they may only get what they need and return home. All this for about 250 cases from more than 100,000 tests, plus five deaths a day in a city of millions.

Then there’s Fortress NZ for ever?:

Fortress New Zealand can begin to open in early 2022 provided all New Zealanders have had the chance to be vaccinated, according to the Government’s hand-picked group of scientists advising on reopening New Zealand to the world.

But that travel should be at first restricted to vaccinated Kiwis going overseas from New Zealand for short trips, and should begin with shorter stays in managed isolation.

This is about more, much more, than the specific actions of any specific government on this specific disease.

This is about a new ruling class in the West, one that can do all these things to the people while still itself being able to have maskless fun in close proximity with friends and donors in one of the most expensive restaurants in the world (California Governor Newsom), send their family off to Florida while locking down Illinois (IL Governor Priztker), or allow their top aides escape to Florida while warning about the people of her state traveling (MI Governor Whitmer), or having a big bash 60th birthday party (former President Obama) because, as the NYT put it, he had invited “a sophisticated, vaccinated crowd” who were “following all the safety precautions.”

Back to Jim Treacher, Democrats Don’t Need Masks Because They’re Better Than You:

“The virus knows. It knows what you’re doing and why you’re doing it, and it only punishes people who don’t read The Atlantic or listen to NPR. If you can recite a MyPillow ad from memory, you need to wear a mask when you’re told to wear a mask. But if you can pick Lin-Manuel Miranda out of a lineup, you don’t have anything to worry about. That’s how COVID-19 works. That’s just the settled science.”

Or more generally:

Last year at Encounter Books, we published an admonitory book by Joel Kotkin called The Coming of Neo-Feudalism: A Warning To The Global Middle Class. Some people thought Kotkin was overstating things with his talk of an increasingly stratified society in which a tiny elite lorded it over an increasingly pauperized and disenfranchised mass. It turns out, though, that if anything Kotkin understated the trends. The weaponization of public health diktats, their enforcement by a vast and increasingly overbearing cadre of nanny-state bureaucrats, is simply the latest manifestation of the profoundly anti-democratic spirit that has taken hold in Western societies. 

In the USA I see that Senator Rand Paul, who has had Covid-19, has spoken out against what he sees coming with the Delta variant:

“I think the tide is turning as more and more people are willing to stand up. I see stories from across the country of parents standing up to the unions and school boards. I see brave moms standing up and saying, ‘My kids need to go back to school in-person.’ I see members of Congress refusing to comply with Petty Tyrant Pelosi. We are at a moment of truth and a crossroads. Will we allow these people to use fear and propaganda to do further harm to our society, economy, and children? Or will we stand together and say, absolutely not? Not this time. I choose freedom.”

For his troubles Paul got a massive kickback from the US Left on Twitter, with more than a few people praising his former neighbour who broke six of his ribs (causing a piece of his lung to be cut out). That’s where we are in the West and I can’t blame governments for this when we have so many people who think like this.

But for me it’s actually this guy, Scottish archeologist and historian Neil Oliver, who sums it up:

For me, it’s all and only about freedom. For me without freedom, there is no point in anything. So take away all the numbers, all the statistics, all the models and predictions, all the promises and threats; all the steel hand in velvet glove coercion. Take all of that away. To me it all boils down into something simple.

I declare that I am a free man.

I was born 54 years ago into part of the world, just a relatively small part of the world, but I was taught that my freedom had been won for me by men and women who had fought and died to make it so. I was born just 22 years after World War II into a world, still full of those men and women who had fought for my freedom and lived to tell the tale

English writer Mervyn Peake said “To live at all is miracle enough.” It’s a good line and I’ve quoted it for years, but but now I see merely to live at all is not enough, not nearly. A caged bird is alive but without the freedom to fly the Limitless sky, it is denied everything that makes a bird in the first place. To be alive is not enough. What matters is to live in freedom. A bird is such a fragile creature. It’s really all and only about movement. Take away a bird’s movement and it’s a handful of feathers and air.

Freedom is not negotiable. You’re either free or you’re not.  Freedom is not even safe. Those who’ve been imprisoned are often terrified of freedom. All those choices, for all of our personal responsibility. This is why ex-cons often reoffend, to go back behind bars where it feels safer, out of harm’s way.

I have three children. Teenagers all. Often I think I would like to keep them close by me forever, where I can stop them doing stupid things. Dangerous things. If I kept them in the house no stranger would hurt them, but that would be no life. Not for them and not even for me. I would be their jailer and they would be my caged birds. As it happens, this past year-and-a-half has let me see what happens to children kept safe in the house. It’s not good, not good at all. And so if I didn’t know it before, I know now that I have to let them go into a world that is full of all manner of things, danger included.

Here’s the thing is, if your freedom means that I might catch COVID from you, then so be it. If my freedom means you might catch COVID from me then so be it. That’s honestly how I see it. For the sake of freedom…I will cheerfully risk catching COVID. That is a chance. One among many that I am prepared to take and happily. Life is not safe, freedom is not safe. For the sake of freedom, yours and mine together, both freedoms being of equal value, I will cheerfully risk much else besides.

Swedish Death 2020 – and Lockdowns

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The last in this series.

As usual it takes until well into January before a nation’s death statistics are settled, and this is even more true of Chinese Lung Rot deaths.

Here then the final update for Sweden’s death toll in 2020, both total and for Covid-19.

The annual death rate for 2020 was 0.94%, compared to the average of 0.92% for the previous decade. Moreover the death toll is lower than it was in 2010-2012 and the same as 2013. I don’t recall any great wave of hysteria about those years.

You’ll recall that it was predicted that Sweden was going to suffer worse than other nations because it had not gone full lockdown (true) and was instead going for “herd immunity” (false). Actually they went for “social distancing” and kept their schools, cafes and the like open. To put it bluntly, the excess deaths are just not there: the people who died with or of Covid-19 would have died of the flu or Pneumonia instead, just as they do every other year. The Swedes can be well satisfied that they didn’t crush their economy with extremist lockdowns.

Speaking of which, this miracle happened the other day in the USA.

So now that OrangeManBad is safely gone the US MSM can start reporting stories about the failure of the lockdown approach and key politicians in the USA can start saying that they have to re-open their cities and states before they completely destroy their local economies – even as those states face levels of Covid-19 case numbers and deaths that triggered the original lockdowns months ago. In some cases, worse.

Also, so much for the Leftie theory that the virus was done with urban areas (controlled by Democrats) and was now sweeping into the lands of the Low Sloping Foreheads (controlled by those hick Republicans).

As noted months ago by Professor Johan Giesecke (one of the world’s leading epidemiologists, former Chief Scientist of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, and an advisor to the director general of the WHO):

Getting out of the lockdowns will be the big challenge since the question is around which restrictions can be lifted, followed by watching for upticks in cases and deaths at each stage, with increases met by what? Reinstating the restriction?

And even with vaccines it seems. These people just can’t let go of their sense of control. Here’s the UK, which went for extreme lockdown – and still is.

And New Zealand:

Interesting that in the UK and NZ the death rate has been slowly increasing in recent years, apparently the result of ageing populations and declining birth rates.

Written by Tom Hunter

January 22, 2021 at 7:00 am