Blog powered by Typepad

« When parody and reality collide | Main | Han man »

Thursday, 29 July 2021

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

SoD,
The following is a blow by blow of how this got started and by whom. Lengthy but thorough. Is cultural Marxism a real threat? It's all here.

https://ammo.com/articles/cultural-marxism-gramsci-how-disciples-of-gramscian-marxism-subverted-america

And the West

Off topic but one for David about his hero.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pI8omWCh5eM

Like Tiger Woods, never had a thing to do with the black community.

Whiters, that's a stonker of an article. "The long march through the institutions", what I - we - have all been saying in one beautifully written nutshell.

I've so much to say I hardly know where to start. Well here's the starter for one: Thank you.

SoD

"[Hayek] opposed economic planning in large part because he understood that no central authority had the information to account for our personal tastes, abilities and knowledge. He therefore advocated power being left with individuals, away from the coercive tentacles of planners."

Do you think he would have included planners like the social media companies who have banned Trump and other extremists, the corporations who now require proof of Covid vaccine for employment, Coca Cola who have pumped aquifers dry to sell Dasani and thereby wiped out small towns, Purdue Pharma who intentionally addicted millions to opioids, and so forth and so on? Might Jeff Bezos and the Gates and Koch families be planners?

Might free market absolutists be considered planners?

"the final battle of annihilation over the idea of Liberty ..."
The lessons of history coming round again. Power vs Liberty. This time the power seems to be coming from within and not from the outside.

Bob, once a corporation gains monopoly or cartel status it becomes a planner, yes, indistinguishable from licensed planners like the public sector and the state itself.

About that time - the time that a corp becomes a monopoly or joins a cartel - the patronage / clientalism feelers go out: Can we fund your political party / foundation / union, or promote you on our social media service, or big you up in some way or other, in exchange for you holding off on the anti-trust laws?

I think we agree on this one. It sucks whoever the beneficiary and benefactor combo are.

The only way to break those patronage / clientalism bonds would be to start a new party and offer a big bung to ordinary citizens. Quite literally a turn-the-cash-around-in-the-workplace bung, funded by the disbandment of all public sector bodies and sacking of all state workers. Negative income tax, as Milton Friedman defined it.

That party would only have one shot at it, because the bung would have to be quite large to get the ordinaries' attention. It would have to be large enough that no increase in tax and spend on state planned services could be contemplated by the other parties on top of the bung without bankrupting the country.

Thereafter, the new party law makers would have to ban all political donations to parties, foundations, unions, etc. across the board, except for $30 per person per annum which is given to each citizen irrespective of race, wealth, power, or any other human categorisation, as part of the bung.

By the next election no-one would want their cash-in-hand bung taken away, that affords their food, clothing, shelter, health, education, energy, information and transport. Any surplus that the tax and spend of the state had would be expected by the ordinaries to go into the bung going forward. No-one would vote for, or contribute their $30 pol-funding allowance to, or even listen to for one second, a party that said "Instead of cash in your hand, we'll run the service(s) for you if you elect us, because we can outperform you spending your bung in the market". By then the ordinaries would have done what middle and high income people do who don't touch state services with a barge pole: bought from the market and enjoyed the best products and services the globalised world can offer. The ordinaries would just laugh at the idea of taking state services ever again.

The parties that spotted any monopoly and cartel behaviour in the market would be free to act on it by proposing in their manifestos that those corps be split up and sold off to compete and innovate once again. The patronage and clientalism bonds having been broken means the pols have nothing to lose by scuffing up Bezos, Gates and the like, and everything to gain from proffering a manifesto to do it. The $30 per person per annum and votes would flood in for that party.

A Funded Libertarian lock-in, forever.

SoD

SoD,

We agree to a point. Where you go off the rails is in your belief that human interactions can be adequately defined by the interactions of organizations. In fact all people are individual actors, some with far more consequence than others. That is the human condition. It also explains why no type of organization has an answer to quickly making everyone happy. The best we can do is try to give everyone a voice in a democracy and let social evolution play out.

Libertarianism has caused a lot of damage to American society. There will probably be a strong reaction against it over a fairly long time.

One thing I've yet to figure out is who most profits by Brexit, other than those indulging old grudges. It could be the financial forces of London, but there seems to be a lot of disagreement. Can you enlighten me with your opinion?

The greatest beneficiaries of Brexit, as it stands, are precisely the public sector, state bodies, and the private sector monopolies and cartel stitch-ups we've just been discussing.

That's exactly what I thought would happen which is why I was for Remain.

And all BoJo's printed money going into public sector and state buying power is being gobbled up by Blighty's large corporates without the same externally regulated competition from the suppliers of the 27 other EU countries.

The big privates don't care about the ordinary citizens' buying power any more, it's outweighed by the state's largesse. They're much more focused on incompetent state procurement teams who they can fleece and rip-off much more easily than sassy Brit ordinaries. Look at the Ajax tank procurement for example. A much higher proportion of Blighty's GDP transactions will be colossal negligence cases like that from now on.

So big Brit privates have had their competition removed and their prospective customers turned over to easy pickings by Brexit. A revolving door now exists between big privates and the public sector / state for executives to feather their nest in any quarter they choose, as explicitly described by enquiries into the MOD procurement fiascos like Ajax. The big privates have become public sector bodies in all but name.

You should be cheering this on Bob! Brexit is a statist, collectivist, socialist dream!

The clues were there all along, like when the state put the contract for printing our new Brit passports out to EU tender while we were still negotiating the withdrawal, and a Dutch-French company won it. Farage or some other Brexiteer said "We didn't do Brexit to have our passports printed in the EU", or some such similar.

It was never about "Global Britain", being a free-trading nation, buying the best value for money wherever in the world it can be had, and it certainly wasn't about "taking back control" for ordinary people.

It was to reinvent the big privates / state stitch-up that ruined Blighty 1948-78.

SoD

You should be cheering this on Bob! Brexit is a statist, collectivist, socialist dream!

You are either disingenuous or trying way too hard to pin a label on me. What you are describing is a plutocracy, and it's what Reaganomics / libertarianism / neo-liberalism has produced over here too. Rather inconvenient for you and your belief system, don't you think?

It has all become repetitious. Sorry I couldn't bring myself to have a more humorous exchange, but the last several years have been almost pure shit politically and, you know, I'm just not in the mood. On top of it, the overheated right wing accusatory victimhood just seems dismal at this point. There's really nothing funny about it anymore.

I agree with you Bob.

All the poo in the Western world seems to be flowing out of America at the moment. The woke, BLM, Antifa, Green Blob, namely the Left Axis, plus the whole black slavery shit history freak show, and then the rightful (in all senses of the word) counter-reaction to it, is all your own internal problem - but you're toxifying the rest of the West with it.

We were doing alright with the black and Asian race thing in Blighty. We all were just getting past it after the riots and unrest in the early 80's - another great issue that was sorted in the Thatcher era, and Islam's "shit its pants" moment was passing through too. And suddenly we're inundated with effluence from Uncle Sam's dirty underwear, generating problems worse than those we had and dealt with ourselves!

I wish you guys would just hurry up and have that Civil War II thing you're desperate to have and get it over and done with. And so does Blighty and the rest of Europe.

That's why the Don's strategy was so welcome - US isolationism took your toxics off Blighty and Europe's problem radar. But Biden just seems to want to poke his nose in and eff things up for us with his cranky "skin and carbon complexes".

No-one's listening to Uncle Sam anymore anyway, it just makes Cranky Joe look like a tit. The Kaiserin's kow-towing with Vlad, the rest of Europe's kow-towing with the Chinks, and Blighty isn't kow-towing with anyone including the US while it unscrambles its Brexit knicker-twist and sinks into an totalitarian nightmare.

You should've stuck with the Don: putting Rocket Man back in his silo, eviscerating the Mad Mullahs, stalemating Vlad and Assad in Syria while protecting the Kurds and Old Hickory, and feeding the Hairies into Dirty Erdy and Vlad's meat grinder.

Or else get on with the fisticuffs and clear the air.

SoD

All the culture war issues, on both sides of the pond, are uninteresting in any way other than how they're used to politically manipulate Yahoos.

The Don's only "strategy" was to take credit for anything "good" with an unrelenting stream of lies, avoid the blame for anything "bad" with an unrelenting stream of lies, indulge his galaxy-sized ego and corrupt impulses for self-dealing, and win re-election at any cost. He was incompetent and embarrassing, and your ironic insistence he was otherwise doesn't strike me as funny. After all, I am an American, sir, and don't do irony.

Europe and other old allies don't trust us anymore because there's no reason to believe our paranoid bumpkins won't elect another boring, dangerous loon to exact yet more revenge on everyone who has victimized them. And "everyone" increases by the day as Fox News, et al, fiddle about with their heads using an unrelenting stream of lies. Other world leaders also don't trust the Democrats to not run another presidential candidate as silly and contemptible as Hillary Clinton. In case you're wondering, Dems definitely are dumb enough to run Kamala Harris.

Trump's pals in the US and British plutocracies had a lot more to do with your politics than he did:

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/feb/26/us-billionaire-mercer-helped-back-brexit

He wouldn't even know your island exists if he didn't own some unpopular golf resorts over there:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/danalexander/2021/01/21/already-struggling-trumps-european-properties-lost-more-than-60-of-revenue-last-year/

My guess is he doesn't like any of you because you don't recognize really classy luxury when you see it.

Bob, you to your credit have described Trump as a typical politician.
Trump may have to return to try and sort out Afghanistan! The Taliban are back and have humiliated the West and NATO.

Bob, I'm not in the mood either. Being amenable is not compulsory and is often taken as a sign of weakness. You're a beacon of light around here, Bob, and you do irony with the best of them, despite being and American!

An American! Obviously.

"All the culture war issues, on both sides of the pond, are uninteresting in any way other than how they're used to politically manipulate Yahoos."

Try telling that to white parents whose children come home from school telling how they learned white people - them - are wicked and evil and need to be discriminated against in a unequal racist manner. Unless your point includes making Yahoo's out of ordinary people, thereby accelerating divisiveness and conflict, in which case the point is well made.

The Left Axis doesn't give a fig about black people or carbon per se, as demonstrated by the Democrat party having been the prime mover in slavery and segregation. The Left Axis sees skin and carbon as the means of fomenting conflict and undermining capitalism respectively.

I think we're agreeing on this one too.

As for the Don, you need to ignore the exterior presentation and get to the inner action achievements: peel off the orange and enjoy the fruit. I missed one off the achievements btw, silly me: the first major accord between Israel and the Arabs in 50 years, the resumption of normal relations between Israel and the Emirates and Bahrain.

And as for you Bob, I sense a change since the interregnum of D&N. Inside Bob is there a Republican bursting to get out? Or better still, a Funded Libertarian?

Let me put it the other way round: If the Dem party would drop the Cultural Marxism and actual Marxism, cease state operation of the means of production and distribution in all ways, shapes, and forms (aka drain the swamp), and implement all need policy via colour blind, income only, re-distribution, you'd see the Dem come bursting out of me.

SoD

Mary, since you are here and no other Aussie has mentioned this lately; is this true? https://theconservativetreehouse.com/blog/2021/08/02/australian-government-begins-army-patrols-to-keep-citizens-in-lock-down-until-next-year/

I see brief mentions of circs in Melbourne in the press but can't be sure.

SoD,

Oh boo hoo hoo. Those poor parents and children. You're expressing the right's equivalent of political correctness. My guess is it would have been at least a little more stressful to have sailed the Atlantic stuffed into the hold of a cargo ship, but maybe that's just me.

Who, exactly, belongs to the "Left Axis"? Bojo the Blue Socialist? Nigel Farrage? The Scotts? The Lizard People? You'll be sorting it out over the coming decades.

The Democratic party was the party of pro-slavery causes, but over my lifetime they have almost completely changed places with the Republicans. Our parties are not based on ideologies, though they can, at times, be extremely ideological.

Your take on Trump reminds me of the Pythons hanging on crosses whistling about the bright side of life. So not overly original.

I do not now, and have never, belonged to a political party. (I don't expect you to recognize the wording from our McCarthy era, but it amuses me to write it anyway.) As a supporter of plutocracy, you're not likely to have a Dem bursting out of your chest like the spawn of an alien seed any time soon.

Glesga, you're right about typical politicians, but we've pulled out of Afghanistan because the voters stopped supporting the war years ago, and it's become politically impossible to sustain. Don't worry, starting wars and pulling out before anything resembling a victory is the American way. Any guesses on where the next one will be? In the mean time, why don't Europeans go in and sort it all out?

Mary, you have wonderful taste in opinions.

Oh boo hoo hoo. Those poor parents and children. You're expressing the right's equivalent of political correctness. My guess is it would have been at least a little more stressful to have sailed the Atlantic stuffed into the hold of a cargo ship, but maybe that's just me.

I wonder what it was like being a Slav and transported across the ME and North Africa by brown Muslims and black North Africans, to be dumped in the foundations of some Moorish castle in Spain that needed building? I wouldn't be bothered if the kiddie-winkies were taught both, but that's not how it works, is it?

Who, exactly, belongs to the "Left Axis"? Bojo the Blue Socialist? Nigel Farrage? The Scotts? The Lizard People? You'll be sorting it out over the coming decades.

The bloody lot of them - all squished together at the bottom pointy corner of Nolan's chart, indistinguishable.

Your take on Trump reminds me of the Pythons hanging on crosses whistling about the bright side of life. So not overly original.

The one good thing about Biden is he doesn't seem to be actually doing anything. Just like Obama. That means the Don will be able to pick up where he left off before he was so rudely interrupted, and continue his 6 foreign policy achievements to their conclusions: Dead rocket Man, dead Mad Mullahs, safe Kurds and Hickory, dead Vlad, Assad and Hairies, more Arab Israeli reconciliation, and Ping-a-Ling squared up to and engaged.

Every Westerner there is will be up there on crosses singing "Always look on the bright side of life" that's for sure, except you.

SoD

Mary, Mary, quite contrary - welcome back!

Another glutton for punishment rejoins the ranks of D&N!

SoD

"I wonder what it was like being a Slav ..." Oh, so slavery has been a human activity. Shhhhh. Don't tell the children. Better the little brats be ignorant. As your Mr. Orwell so charmingly put it:

WAR IS PEACE
FREEDOM IS SLAVERY
IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH

It's not fair to say Biden has done nothing. Glesga just complained about his finally getting us out of Afghanistan, which Trump also wanted to do. And there's more but, as always, Democrats have been dismal at politics:

"A pro-Biden super PAC has issued a dire warning to Democrats: Voters are largely clueless about the big policy measures they’ve passed and on which their 2022 electoral hopes rest."

https://www.politico.com/news/2021/07/09/voters-clueless-potus-accomplishments-498944

It would not be surprising in the least if Trump were re-elected. He's amassed a huge amount of money from both plutocrats and, thanks to the internet, gullible and malicious small donors. And the American public has its collective brains so scrambled by globalism, the pandemic and, yes, climate change, that anything seems possible. Never discount the roles of incompetence, insanity, and cynicism in the course of events.

Doubling down on your Trump joke doesn't make it any funnier. Maybe you'd be more comfortable making fun of that Nolan bottom-ender BoJo. You are absolutely correct, however, that I will not likely be crucified. Not for our sins and not for being overly optimistic.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=efA6B2EKLN4

JK,
It is so funny it can't be allowed to be true! But sadly it is.

"It would not be surprising in the least if Trump were re-elected"

Counting down the days and minutes.

Carry on agreeing like that and we'll be interviewing for the position of resident troll on D&N again you got when I was kicked up the ladder!

I wonder if there's a secret glorious Libertarian conspiracy at work in the Dem party? This perennial "do nothing" posture as exhibited by Big Ears and Sleepy Joe is the very embodiment of Ronnie's (I think it was Ronnie) "Don't do something, just sit there!" exhortation to the pol-gened ones!

All the while the Left Axis blows and blusters like a spoilt brat, and the parents, Big Ears,
crooked Hillary, Sleepy Joe et al, expend what little energy they have just keeping their offspring under control. Every foreign policy Realpolitik they might construct to match the Don's six is torn to shreds because it offends some sensibility or other of the brat. So the parents stay at home and never go to work.

Good job! But a little boring.

I sense the bad guys know the Don'll be back again soon too. And the good guys too, for that matter. No-one wants to engage with Sleepy Joe because it'll all get reversed in the next administration. They're all just taking some time out not doing much aswell, enjoying not having their arses tanned for 3 and a bit more years.

SoD

JK, everybody makes fun of the far left. Even hippies. In case anyone missed the above reference to alien seed, here's another video. Think of it as SoD's inner Bill Clinton coming out. Skip to 1:00 for the good part:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nPQ7om598OM

SoD,

One difference between us is that you assume all politicians are dimwitted and/or malicious, and I think there are some smart ones that actually try to improve the republic. That probably comes down to you being an ideologue; and a self-defeating ideologue at that. Libertarianism leads to plutocracy, as has been amply demonstrated in both the US and UK over the past 40 or 50 years. At least you've quit complaining about Brexit and turned to taking cheap shots at American politicians. One might almost confuse you with an American! Good job!

There are indeed libertarians in the Democratic party. For a time there were liberals, also called Rockafeller Republicans, in the other party. Rockafeller Republicans have been replaced by cynical populists who convince the gullible the interests of the financial elite are also their interests. Over there your cynical populists have delivered Brexit, and Tories have turned into socialists. Life can be confusing, can't it?

Sorry, SoD, but I expressed an incomplete thought, and it bugs the hell out of me. I should have written:

Rockafeller Republicans have been replaced by cynical populists who convince the gullible the interests of the financial elite are also their interests, or at least distract them with the goofiest of their perceived enemies while allowing the financial elite to run over them and ruin their lives.

Both-siderism is usually stupid. In this case, though, it's legitimate to point out Democrats also do it to a less co-ordinated extent.

Bob, the electorate delivered brexit and in doing so eliminated some unnecessary politicians. Maybe the rest of the EU population could getting vote on this issue.

Off topic but relevant to the discussion. A sign outside a bar.


"Did you know that two to three glasses of wine a day can reduce your risk of giving a shit"


I'll drink to that.

Whisky being abit more economical in the "less is more" category mind if I join you AussieD?

We might call ourselves allies in the Don't Give a Shit Association.

Glesga,

If you haven't, read the story I linked above about American plutocrat Robert Mercer.

The public narrowly voted for Brexit largely because of manipulation by various news outlets, social media, and cynical pols like Farrage who benefitted personally. Here's what's happening to your economy:

"Expressed as a ratio of gross domestic product (GDP), public sector net borrowing (PSNB ex) in FYE March 2021 was 14.2%, revised down by 0.1 percentage points from last month’s provisional estimate but still the highest such ratio since the end of World War Two, when it was 15.2% in FYE March 1946."

https://www.ons.gov.uk/economy/governmentpublicsectorandtaxes/publicsectorfinance/bulletins/publicsectorfinances/june2021

Ask yourself who profits by the servicing of this debt. Hint: It's people who don't need the money.

Evidently SoD isn't going to jump on this. I'm a little surprised. Maybe it's because he actually looked at this report and noticed Figure 2. It shows that following WWII y'all were doing pretty well, including during his hated 1970's, so far as national debt was concerned. Debt started climbing again following the financial crisis that started in 2007. The crisis was caused by Thatcher and Reagan's deregulated, libertarian banking system playing fast and loose with the public's money.

It's not likely many bankers are woke lefties like those SoD is trying to blame for economic ills, but bankers, hedge funders, the donor class, and so on really do love them some socialism when they can make it work for themselves. Here's just one example:

"Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Today U.S. Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) called out the Senate's proposed $10 billion bailout for Jeff Bezos, Amazon CEO, included in a bill to increase U.S. competitiveness over China."

https://www.hawley.senate.gov/hawley-slams-bezoss-billion-dollar-bailout-mgm-purchase

Whatever Americans are still reading here know Hawley is about as far right as anyone, but even he's starting to catch on.

And:

"Billionaire Richard Branson pleads for U.K. bailout of Virgin Atlantic"

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/richard-branson-island-virgin-atlantic-asks-for-uk-government-money-save-company/

Better to wise up late than never.

Don't be too surprised Bob, as I understand it Loz is currently occupied in a "incommunicado environment."

Patience Bob.

We "did well" after WW2, did we? Spending borrowed and printed money - and Uncle Sam's Marshall Plan largesse in exchange for an empire we could have turned into a single market - until we were bankrupt. Cloaked unemployment at 3 million, all fake state jobs hiding in the inveterate failure of coal mining, car manufacturing, steel manufacturing, transport, gas, electricity, water and telecoms run by the socialist state. Inflation at 25%. Bailed out by the IMF in 1975, more broke than Greece in the Euro crisis. If that's us doing well, I don't know what you had in mind as us doing badly.

The criticism you aim at the big privates is completely valid, as I have said many a time and oft: they're just proxies of the state, held in position by their patronage relationship with the pols.

Why you can't see the isomorphism and share the love with the same hearty animus towards the state as you have for the big privates, I just don't know. They are all the same thing. The neo-feudal pyramid, re-invented with big privates and public sector / state in place of nobility and royalty. The mapping is plain as a pike staff: land for service becomes monopoly for service.

SoD

Bob, the point about democracy is the arguments and policies. The people then decide. As for the EU/EEC you may not be aware that the Brits did have a referendum during 1975 and voted to remain. Most parties who campaigned to leave then changed their minds as some went on to line their own pockets and no benefits or better social conditions were accrued for the working class.

Welcome aboard JK. Probably find another member for the DGSA in Whitewall.

SoD,

I wrote you were doing well so far as national debt was concerned.

Most of the activities you list also hit the skids in the US. It just took longer because we enjoyed the post-war boom economy until the 1970's. Then this happened:

"It's the 1970s, and the stock market is a mess. It has lost nearly 50% over a 20-month period, and for close to a decade few people want anything to do with stocks. Economic growth is weak, which results in rising unemployment that eventually reaches double-digits.

The easy-money policies of the American central bank — designed to generate full employment by the early 1970s — also resulted in high inflation. The central bank (once under different leadership) would later reverse its policies, raising interest rates to some 20% — a number once considered usurious. For interest-sensitive industries, such as housing and cars, rising interest rates cause a calamity. With interest rates skyrocketing, many people are priced out of new cars and homes."

https://www.investopedia.com/articles/economics/09/1970s-great-inflation.asp

Those industries were private here, more or less, which didn't make much difference. We have a much larger economy, so things weren't quite as bad, but they certainly weren't good. Nixon tried price controls. Ford just had buttons printed that read "Whip Inflation Now" - WIN, get it? All that lead to our experiment with libertarianism and neo-liberalism, which has also failed, at least for the populace at large. That's why Trump. That and a lot of sophisticated and evil politicking.

The difference between the government and big privates is that We The People have some say, at least in theory, how government is conducted and therefore how corporations are forced to conduct themselves. I have no particular love for either the state or private industry. In my scheme of things they should always be at war. That's all that gives most people some room to breathe.

Your, and Thatcher and Reagan's idea, that government should always be minimalized, just gives more power to corporations and other big money concerns, and they certainly don't care about you.

Glesga,

Yes, I remember the European Common Market. I'm not sure that British approval for it was all that low, since you went on to join the EU. You're probably going to do just fine now that you're out. Probably just not quite as well as if you'd stayed in. You've dealt yourselves out of the game.

Bob, the game continues. Hope you are well.

AussieD
This is happening in Oz right now? https://fee.org/articles/australia-is-under-dystopian-military-enforced-lockdown-despite-just-5-covid-deaths-a-day/

The Anglosphere is starting to love some heavy handed power lust if so. I trust a powerful backlash will come.

Glesga,

I'm well thanks, and hope you're the same.


AussieD,

The chart titled "Total Coronavirus Cases in Australia" explains why your health experts are concerned:

https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/australia/

I hope you're well too. You should always be a little skeptical of Reagan's rhetoric. His administration worked hard on sales techniques, and he was an actor.

Bob, JK, Whitewall et al.

The problem down here with the WuFlu is the lack of transparency from both State and Federal governments and their appended bureaucrats.

Victoria, my home State, is in its sixth lock down declared with just a few hours notice on the basis of very few infections. The pollies and their appended "public servants" tell us it is all based on "the science" and "best health advice" but when pressed to release it they never do. That tells me their claims are spurious or at best unreliable and often contradictory. It seems the program is total eradication of the virus and that is not going to happen. We are going to have to learn to live with it just like SARS and other viral infections.

People are getting pretty pissed off and street demonstrations are commencing protesting against the unreasonable restrictions placed on the community.

If I lived closer to Melbourne I'd do something I never thought I'd even consider and that is to join the protesters. It could all get very ugly very quickly. Aussies are generally pretty laid back but when the safety valve blows it is best to stand back and that is a lesson the pollies may have to learn the hard way.

There is now sufficient serum available for those that want it and we should be opening up. If you don't want the jab fine but you take the chance on catching the bug and maybe an early appointment with your Maker.

AussieD,
that is what I thought. Thanks for confirming. Free people have to act at some point or the polls will keep pouring it on.

Well, by the time I've scrolled down through the commentary I've lost the thread. Don't you know that I'm old have have brain rot? Don't answer that question. Anyway, at 64 yoa, I'm younger that most of you fogies.

Bob, you're a great guy. Whitewall, you've always been very kind and fair to me despite the fact that we don't agree on much. To answer your question, yes there is an army presence in Western Sydney. It's the sector of the city that keeps the state running through its food supply/transportation, trades people and factory workers. Right now, these people are far more critical than the accountants and the bankers, office workers generally. There you go. In times of crisis you find out who really matters most.

It's a dilemma. We have these essential workers who're not compliant. They're carrying on meeting with their large extended families and paying no attention to governmental directives. What can you do? What should you do? Is anyone even reading this far back?

Whitewall, we're unvaccinated here. That's the reason for the draconian response.

G'day Mary,

You are not quite right when you say we are not vaccinated down here. As of two days ago 13 million doses had been administered with 4.25 million fully vaccinated. That more have not received full vaccination can probably be put down in part to the conflicting opinions given by the various State Chief Health Officers. As an example the Queensland Chief Health Officer stated she did not want 18 year olds dying with blood clots because they had been given Astrazenica. She was rightly called to task for making a statement she could not support with hard data.

Vaccination rates are picking up and we should see the percentage of those vaccinated rise fairly rapidly.

Those that don't want to get vaccinated should do so at their own risk. The country cannot exist in a state of permanent uncertainty.

Here in Victoria one excuse for shutting the whole State down was, apart from actual cases in Melbourne, the alleged finding of the virus in the waste treatment plant in the North East of the State. This turns out to be false but no alteration to the shut down for parts of the State totally without the virus has been forthcoming.

Actions like those of the Victorian State Premier Andrews cannot be tolerated. A full shutdown of the State with three hours notice on advice that they will not release to the public is not acceptable in a so called liberal democracy.

https://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-b-d&q=vaccination+rates+australia

Mary, thank you. You are always a lady here and at that 'other place' as well...although you are younger than I imagined.

AussieD thanks to you and Mary for some context. We get scant info here in the main stream press about your part of the Anglosphere, unless it is useful to the narrative of the moment.

I also thank you Mary, and assume you're a great gal.

A big problem everywhere is the emergence of new variants and the politization of the virus and countermeasures. Some pols don't hesitate to put people's lives at risk by trying to turn public health measures into a question of government over-reach and individual freedom. Some (religious) people also don't want to believe in evolution and don't understand how viruses always mutate or evolve to make themselves more successful.

Great guy or not, I see this as Darwinism at work. Places where people are most confused are also the places with the highest infection and death rates. Here's an illustration:

https://www.businessinsider.com/anti-vaccine-radio-host-dead-from-covid-2021-8

Well AussieD, rather'n you kit up for the streets allow me to suggest a visit up here ways

https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-qWEX2-k0iGg/YOSpA-8ZlzI/AAAAAAAC0Ds/htOJk3O4RCsAHFxq0ibJO54HwvrPOWgAACLcBGAsYHQ/s16000/90mimb_4fa53cbdddb380b58d288013072f11a9_ed786503_540.jpg

Got a spot I figure would be to your liking.

(Alas the spirits cabinet is self-service.)

Bob, we joined the EEC without a public vote. We then later got a public vote to remain or leave the EEC. The country voted to remain with the guarantee there would be no more political control from the Brussels Commission. As you know that was a lie and the campaign to leave started seriously after the Mastrich Agreement. The Mastrich Agreement set the now EU on a course of political and economic bribery and corruption. Scotland, Ireland and others who were against the EEC suddenly became supporters. An elite of politicians,lawyers and academics became beneficiary's of the EU financially. There is no evidence and none has been provided by the remainers that the mass of working class benefitted.

G'day JK,

Looks like a little slice of Heaven. I can go with "self serve" at the spirits cabinet so long as it contains a good Gin and "Pussers Rum".

Aussie D, you've really done the hard yards in Victoria. Frustration is understandably building and there's very little joy or optimism to be taken from our current dilemma. It's very obvious that as a country we're losing our unity, splitting along state lines. I lived in WA for a long time and the love of isolationism is strong there...stay away you contaminated foreigners.

On a personal level we're very fortunate to have a large house and garden. What it's like for poor people stuck in cramped conditions under this lockdown, I shudder to think.

I worry for others. My youngest son is a doctor in a Sydney hospital. He has had to put people on ventilators, which terrifies me. His pregnant wife has changed her birth plans in order to avoid the Covid hub.

Whitewall, you've probably guessed at my age by knowing my father's history, but he was almost fifty years old when I was born. I was born within hours of Theresa May. Look her up and you can send me a birthday card!

"Some pols don't hesitate to put people's lives at risk by trying to turn public health measures into a question of government over-reach and individual freedom."

Once everyone who wants the jabs has had the jabs any government action thereafter is over-reach. Anti-vaxxers take their decision and live by the consequences, as do vaxxers. Once everyone has made their decisions the state should rein itself back in. End of.

The relish with which the pol class has mugged us of our individual freedom is indicative of the age we are living in: the executive is out of control.

Even Fluffbun commented yesterday, "It feels like being back in Socialist times again in Czech Republic. I find myself constantly being careful what I say. The government is watching where I go, blocking my freedom of movement. I haven't seen my family for 2 years now. Everything has changed since the 90's when the world seemed so free and open, the horizons seemed unlimited. Where can we go to be free again?"

Crikey. Fluffbun's an instinct sort of gal, not an analytical sort, or interested in politics at all. She goes with her feel of the circs around her, not by calculation. She uses "the force". The definitive "Ordinary". The out of control executive is starting to hurt the Ordinaries. That's when things start to get interesting.

"There's nowhere left in the world to go to to live free anymore, until the USS Enterprise comes along to offer us another planet to go to. America is the same as Blighty now, arguably worse." I replied.

"Well if there's no flight, then it's fight". Her first analytic I've ever heard.

Bob and Mary: you did that.

SoD

Glesga,

The development of European economic integration didn't shape up in a vacuum. Here's a reminder of why it happened:

http://history.com/this-day-in-history/common-market-founded

Conditions are different now and for whatever reasons the British public have democratically chosen a direction. We'll see how it plays out. As you wrote above, the game continues.

SoD,

The knee-jerk blaming of government for all ills is nearly as old as recorded history, and it's never been useful. People who won't get the vaccine can't be forced in either of our countries. Even if the government wanted to, they don't have enough police to enforce a mandate on every citizen, and really, you seem a bit paranoid and too willing to over-simplify and accuse.

Over here the Biden administration sees a general federal mandate as unenforceable and pointlessly antagonistic, though government workers have been given a choice between vaccination or regular testing. Meanwhile, private companies, both large and small, are making vaccination a condition for employment:

https://news.yahoo.com/companies-requiring-proof-of-vaccination-from-employees-185710054.html

Where I live most hospitals have told employees to get the jab or take a hike. Indiana unemployment benefits are not available for people who refuse to follow company policies or who quit rather than follow them.

Darwinism will sort it all out. Those ill-informed enough or emotionally damaged enough to not get the jab will have a higher rate of sickness and death and the gene pool will improve.

http://coldfury.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/GoOutAndDoItAlready-e1628385718521.jpg

Actually SoD, I'm a person of no importance, simply opinion, so I've done nothing. The only sphere of influence that I have is my own family and everyone has their own view. I used to encourage that but my eldest son denying reality is upsetting to me. I try to persuade him that his anti vaxx stance is dangerous but he won't have a bar of it. So, you can see that it's complicated around here. I have three sons and they all think differently.

I agree with you about individual freedom, until exercising that freedom risks the well- being of others. If we were just talking here about opening yourself up to a virus then that would be sad, but acceptable. However, if your freedom impacts adversely on society then we have a right, nay, a duty to curtail it. I would guess that you've been vaccinated?

I do wish that you'd adopt another name for Fluffbun. It's a bit insulting, and if anybody called me a daft name like that with all that it implies, I'd sock them one.

Nice one Mary, I agree with most, maybe even all, of that. (Bob, your position as head troll of D&N is secure!)

The limits of Liberty are tricky because of the notion of "harm" being tricky. "You can do what you like so long as you don't harm anyone" - the definition of Liberty - harbours the word harm that fills law libraries all over the free world with case histories: the rule, the exception to the rule, the exception to the exception to the rule, in a infinite fractal regression. Godel would be pleased.

The very best material things in this world are non-linear systems in mathematical chaos: climate, life, markets, for example. Liberty is an equivalent in the conceptual world, along with numbers. These are all things that stretch analytics to the limit and slightly beyond: it takes an infinity of processing before any analytical tool we possess will form them completely. The Law Library will consume all the matter in world and still not reach a full definition of harm, and therefore Liberty.

But the even better very best things in this world are the ones we know are there through analytics and instinct, but we can do no more than prove their existence. Our analytics, limited by Chomsky's hierarchy, can't go any further or do anything more with them than merely prove they exist: God, Soul, Love, for example. Built out of levels higher than Chomsky's hierarchy, they impinge into our lower level world, indeed, they are the better explanation for it, the true reality. But they're all one up from a Turing machine at least, and thereby off-limits.

Mary, you gotta have terms of endearment, for pity's same! You can't meet endearment with violence! A "punch in the face" for saying Fluffbun?

That's like "A boot stamping on a human face - forever"! What a vision of the future. Has the mask slipped? The authoritarian pops out to take a pop at cuddly-wuddly? The Ordinaries ain't gonna like that one little bit.

Btw, Fluffbun's nickname for me is Peeny, short for penis. That was on the basis that I call her Shushka as well from time to time, which is Czech for pussy. There, I bet that's the first Czech word y'all have ever known, isn't it just the best?! "Don't be a Shushka about this!". Endless fun!

Blimey, if "from sublime to the utterly ridiculous" ever needed an example ...

SoD

SoD,
A bit of advice here, never use the words "short/ penis" anywhere near each other.

OMG, you don't think Fluffbun's trying to tell me something do you?

SoD

Mary, I wish you luck in introducing good sense around here.

Thanks, SoD. I think I've managed the transition. BTW, how's the gaffer? Is he just recalibrating or are you the honcho from now on?

SoD, I'm just a little bit sorry for the way I expressed by dislike of your "term of endearment". Only because it makes me appear completely humourless which I'm not, at least I don't think so. Also, because she's probably a lovely, sensitive girl who is more intelligent than you know or acknowledge.

Bob is always going to be the main opposition around here. He's a very clever guy and he's persistent in his sense-talking. I don't possess his intellect or his fortitude. I don't envy him the task of talking sense into people who've made their minds up. It's a road to nowhere and I've got enough real life adversaries.

Btw, I've never socked anybody, ever, except in my dreams.

Mary,

Thanks again, but I don't expect to convert anyone and don't see it as a task. It's just been fun to go back and forth with the people who have a sense of humour.

I'll be glad if David is able to return to posting. I disagree with his politics, but believe he's a man of some intelligence, substance, and accomplishment and have enjoyed having him as an online friend.

I sincerely hope you remain non-violent.

This Indiana school board close to your neighborhood Bob?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=auSox6ybZD8

If so, hows come you ain't de-licensed that impertinent feller?

JK,

Nope. Dr. Dan Stock MD is a deranged family doctor, and, I would assume, Yahoo. He's not a virologist and his claim he's trained in regulations is just weird. There are so many false and misleading "facts" in his fast talk they would take hours to document, so I'll just take on the first.

He makes a strawman argument that someone is claiming masks stop all viruses. I have no idea where he got that, but suspect Fox News or something similar. The news person I watched yesterday, I think on NBC, said that cloth masks stop 20% of the virus, the paper masks stop 40%, and your best bet is an N95, but didn't give a percentage. Masks are only part of a strategy. According to the Mayo Clinic:

"Can face masks help slow the spread of the coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) that causes COVID-19? Yes. Face masks combined with other preventive measures, such as getting vaccinated, frequent hand-washing and physical distancing, can help slow the spread of the virus."

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/coronavirus/in-depth/coronavirus-mask/art-20485449

Evidently a loon can get an MD. It reminds me of Sturgeon’s Law: Ninety percent of everything is crap.

BTW:

https://www.aol.com/arkansas-down-8-icu-beds-150451626.html

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WaSR9ixyGH4

Heckuva job, Arkies.

Yup Bob, and heckuva job National Institutes of Health

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7913136/

Heckuva job Swamp.

I'm not sure what point you're trying to make there, JK. Are you suggesting the government spread covid? That covid's fake even though it's killed about 616,000 Americans?

Bob, your border is so porous I doubt they were all Americans.

"He's not a virologist and his claim he's trained in regulations is just weird."

Know many GPs Bob? Perhaps not "personally" but close personal enough so to give you more than the slightest awareness of what all areas they do have to have more than your average bear's familiarity with.

For instance my own Dad - aside from his surgical and anesthesiology practices; every Tuesdays and Thursdays during his more active years - was mostly what you'd call a General Practitioner.

In the very rural hinterlands of Arkansas where I grew up GPs saw the whole gamut of stuff - once when I was 12 I accompanied my Dad on what was billed as a 'simple housecall' but then to my utter amazement the 'simple housecall' turned out to be a birthing and immediately subsequently - an adoption. (The Mom turned out to be a young teen and the guy she had big plans with months before had had the surprise of his life when he managed to get hisself killed in Viet Nam. That putting a crimp in whatever big plans they'd made.)

Admittedly that was in the pre-Medicare and pre-Medicaid days and so I'd imagine no MDs - at least MDs not operating in big city medicine - had much of a need for the niceties of 'regulatory medicine' but as I came of age I came to appreciate that as these 'big government programs' also came of age GPs "need to knows" increased, seemingly, right alongside.

Don't hear much of MDs doing those sorts of things way out in the boonies in peoples houses anymore much do we? Ah the good ol' days when a doctor's fee could turn out to be a pickup load of small pigs thus giving his shiftless pre-teen boy something to occupy himself with in the 'productive use of his time' sense. A story that needs wait for its proper time I think you'll agree.

Nearing the end of his life though Bob, the paid staff of his private practice increased beyond the lab-tech, the nurse, the receptionist/bookkeeper and he to include seven additional people to keep up with the regulatory and insurance end of things. Imagine, one doctor, one nurse to run the medical end and seven people dedicated to keeping up, and keeping Dad informed with the regulatory end.

(as aside, I've got four MDs and two Nurse Practioners numbers in my cellphone contacts - of the last four invitations for dinner in their homes all were MDs and their wives/husbands. (I don't visit with lawyers so much anymore - those folks tend to combining lunch with business too much for my tastes of late.)

As far as the mask strawman yeah well I know a little something about mask effectiveness too:

https://i0.wp.com/www.powerlineblog.com/ed-assets/2021/08/image-3-copy-4.jpg?resize=412%2C600&ssl=1

I didn't write the study Bob. The National Institutes of Health wrote that. You'll need ask them their intent.

But it's all kinda hysterical if you ask me.

Glesga,

The "porous border" has been a problem since the early '70's. It's also a Republican talking point that's always convenient for scapegoating. Predictably, they've never been in favor of laws that restrict the hiring of undocumented workers.

JK,

It's not quite right the NIH wrote that. If you hover your mouse pointer over the names of the authors, you'll see that two live in Spain and one in Chile. The way science works, at least in theory, is that all ideas are given a hearing even if they might have a bias of some sort. I would guess the social conditions in Spain and Chile are different than those here.

I realize it's supposed to be a joke, but you're trying to have it two ways with the masks. Can you imagine the outrage if anyone suggested we wear any of the other ones in the picture? Sometimes people just try too hard to make fun of the government and experts.

Doctors have complained to me they have to hire more people to handle insurance company paperwork, which is one of the reasons our system is so expensive. I've never heard a complaint about government regulations, but some people consider the government to be from Hell or Mars or somewhere, and I don't doubt there's plenty of complaining about it too.

Which came first Bob, an administrative regulatory ruling or an insurance company's [companies] paperwork?

"It's not quite right the NIH wrote that."

Government works in mysterious ways, its wonders to behold. But still Bob, don't even you have the feeling that much of what's happening in 'the covid arena' seems ... well, hysterical?

Remember when Trump said in whatever press conference it was responding to that female type lady reporter's question, "Why do you keep calling it the China virus?" Trump replying, "Because it came from China." Then, after virtually all the media companies all also calling it "the Chinese novel corona virus" turning on a dime immediately after Biden characterized what Trump said as "xenophobic"?

Twitter, Youtube, Google, all jumping on the bandwagon going so far as to ban anyone calling into question the virus' origin as possibly being from the Wuhan Institute of Virology? Effectively 'cancel culturing' any and all such as "misinformation"? That state of affairs remaining right up to the point Biden "evolves" (as all pols are wont to do) and calls for an investigation almost immediately turning on that dime back to China and immediately responding to 'the winds of DC' media insists "We never said categorically a China origin was beyond our 'community guidelines!"

All that not fitting your definition of 'hysteria' Bob?

"The way science works, at least in theory, is that all ideas are given a hearing even if they might have a bias of some sort."

Might run that by the 'fact-checking' crowd Bob - it's possible that this week it's acceptable to have that understanding. You never know.

https://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2020/03/12/media_called_coronavirus_wuhan_or_chinese_coronavirus_dozens_of_times.html

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/trump-china-virus-xenophobia_n_5e702e12c5b6eab7793b2824

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9612833/How-Facebook-bans-users-saying-Covid-man-made.html

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9623419/Facebook-lifts-ban-user-comments-COVID-19-man-made.html

Check the dictionary Bob for the definition of 'hysteria' (or maybe, refer back to that "not quite right" NIH study).

Your so-called NIH study is no more than a scholarly paper submitted to the NIH by some authors outside the country. It's no doubt one of thousands. Probably some ignoramus presented it as proof the NIH thinks a lot going on with covid is caused by hysteria. I agree. The people who see wearing a mask as an attempt to take away their right to breathe free or some such paranoid fantasy are hysterical in more than one meaning of the word.

I don't care much what anyone in the media says. At this point all but a few are fighting for ratings and will spout sensationalistic nonsense to get them. There's no reason to believe anything anyone says at face value. Who said what about the "China virus" is supremely picayune.

"[a] scholarly paper submitted to the NIH by some authors outside the country."

Rather like that Lancet paper submitted to NIH stating "2.2 million deaths from Covid 19 are to be expected in the US alone" paper Bob. You know the one, authored by Neil Ferguson feller hailing from outside the country ?

https://www.aier.org/article/how-wrong-were-the-models-and-why/

https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/six-questions-that-neil-ferguson-should-be-asked

The results of what happened when that paper slid onto Tony Fauci's desk also Bob what you'd describe "supremely picayune"? Beau coup businesses shut down, millions locked down tightly into their homes (unless to "mostly peaceful" riot & loot) governors dismissing their sworn oaths to "follow their state's constitutions" - ask for examples if you need 'em Bob - toilet paper and Vienna Sausages stacked to the ceilings in people's broom closets?

Me being asked to pay 700% over from what I paid for ammo a mere 18 months ago - A tank of gas (now supplied by our nation's "mortal enemy" Russia) up from $1.49/ to just Wednesday $2.89/ ?

..

You won't be hearing from me Bob arguing my "yearning to breathe free" stuff - I got a [Federal level] doctor's card stating what happens to my O2 saturation within 10 minutes of putting a mask on - so I'm exempt. Cool beans!


Yesterday Bob I advised, you "might run that by the fact-checkers"

Alas it would appear

https://www.tech-gate.org/usa/2021/08/14/co-founder-of-fact-checking-site-snopes-is-suspended-after-plagiarizing-at-least-54-articles/

You might be better advised to check with some other authority.

JK,

If you have a respiratory problem getting the jab is even more important. Your mild case of the first variant doesn't mean you'll do as well with delta.

I'll repeat: There's no reason to believe anything anyone says at face value. Including me. Anyone can be wrong. However, the pandemic isn't over yet, and it's still possible we'll hit the 2M mark.

A big part of our problem with vaccination resistance was caused by a foreign doctor who wrote a scholarly paper. Most MDs and scientists knew enough not to take his opinion as gospel. Too bad for us, only a small percentage of the population understands how science works:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_Wakefield

Bob I appreciate your, and I have no doubts as to your good intentions, but I'm not going to. However I am among the very few in the US to have a scrip for a, reputedly, well-known prophylaxis medication. I will not be putting the name of the stuff on any blog. Don't wanna be responsible for anybody getting any iffy ideas.

Would I advise others not to? As those instances in 'real life' have occurred all I've said is "educate yourself" - if *you* are, for whatever reason, unable, follow doctor's advice.

For instance 'Her Ladyship' got the J&J at the first opportunity.

We'll be having this species of coronavirus floating freely in perpetuity Bob, that's the nature of those damn coronaviruses; aside from adenoviruses, it's among the few so highly mutable - evolution took a kindly eye on the critter[s] - we'll run out of alphabet before we run out of variants.

Life is a set of risks. And nobody gets out alive.

Bob, humor me please?

Run this up to the 35 minute mark to begin then spend oh, at least 25 minutes - if you've time preferably to whole shebang - watching and closely listening to it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fdC3an13_FQ

The dark haired guy is a Canadian lawyer, the other guy is:

https://www.barneslawllp.com/about

(They're discussing mostly the legal end of what's going on, and while different from my, personal objections, their argument[s] are far far more pertinent.)

JK,

The way you prevent covid is by putting a tablespoon of bleach in your coffee every morning. It covers up the taste. A little. You might prefer putting it in your moonshine. Then you go out and find a good UV light, the biggest one you think you can cram down your gullet, and swallow it. If it's a light with the cord attached you won't get a shock. Otherwise, get yourself some good duct tape. Don't try to go cheap. Get the Duck brand. Wrap it around any exposed wiring before you swallow. Works like a charm.

The Kennedy theory is interesting, but the truth is he was beamed up by aliens before Oswald could take the shot and replaced with a pre-damaged synthetic body double.

The aliens cause us all sorts of trouble. No less an authority than the NYT would like you to believe the stories are fake, but those of us in the know have the real truth:

"The 1996 Presidential primaries are approaching, and while the candidates worry about CNN and influential newspapers, a lot of "real" Americans are getting their news in the checkout line, where the "Space Alien" wields the real influence. In 1991, Weekly World News, a Florida-based supermarket tabloid, stuck the image of an alien into an existing photograph of President Bush. Since then, the alien, in one composite photograph after another, has been seen with many American statesmen."

https://www.nytimes.com/1995/08/13/magazine/sunday-august-13-1995-politics-unusual-the-alien-s-endorsement.html

Damn Yankee elitists.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)