The political works of Gary Saul Morson

We have previously drawn attention to Professor Gary Saul Morson’s New Criterion essay “How the great truth dawned,” Professor Morson’s New Criterion lecture “Leninthink,” Professor Morson’s New York Review of Books review “The horror, the horror,” and Professor Morson’s book Narrative and Freedom: The Shadows of Time (Steve wrote about it here).

To these I now want to add Professor Morson’s First Things essay “Suicide of the liberals.”

His Wikipedia entry.

The Andrews virus

News and Opinion | Herald Sun

What I found most remarkable about the cartoon was the implication that it is women in particular who find Daniel Andrews’ approach to dealing with the virus most appealing. As for the virus, this is really where we are at.

Can we eliminate the virus? No.

Can we be sure that the death rate will never come back to its previous level? No.

Can we stay in lockdown forever? No.

Can we put an end to domestic travel forever? No

Can we put an end to international travel forever? No

Can we keep the productive parts of the economy subdued forever? No

So what are we going to do? At some stage, in spite of all of the uncertainties, even Daniel Andrews will have to open not just the economy but the whole of society up again, however much his totalitarian instincts may stand in the way.

Going to the comments section of the article by Chris Uhlmann on Daniel Andrews, which was published online but not in the paper itself, these seem to be the arguments of those who support the hard lockdowns and the approach taken by Andrews in Victoria. This is the link to the comments section of the article. You can also find the article at the link as well.

So easy to be wise after the event. If Victoria had just let it rip and many thousands died you would have been criticising the government for not doing enough.

When an existential threat appears, I want a leader who takes the cautious approach.

He seems to suggest that it is possible to ring fence aged care facilities. Chris Uhlmann makes it a choice between saving the lives of the elderly and saving the economy.

The only reason the death rate is as low as it is in this country is because we have taken extreme measures.

Until a vaccine is developed (if ever) quarantine and reduction of face to face contacts is the only effective method at the disposal of Governments to protect society.

The Victorian restrictions have been extreme and damaging. However it was the only acceptable response to suppress infection rates to a manageable level.

Chris is entitled to his opinion but he is no health expert, virologist, or scientist. Nor does he even quote or refer to any that might backup his view.

200,000 US deaths in 7 months indicates that this virus is a highly contagious killer. Aust could have had similar (per capita) stats if we didnt act as swiftly and as seriously as we did.

This is not an ordinary pandemic disease like influenza. When it gets any foothold at all, it does not advance incrementally, but exponentially.

The chief medical officers, most scientists and the WHO advises what we should do. The vast majority of leaders and intellectuals of the world advises what we should do. The politicians are listening and acting on said advises.

The ugly truth is we know that you and some other people either measure success in monetary terms or political terms, whilst you say that the elderly are affected you ignore that there is a growing after affect of Covid in younger people, chronic lung disease, heart damage and neurological damage, what does that do to the economy, how would massive chronic disease where people aren’t dead, but unable to conduct a full days work ever again, or wait and manage as we are.

What bizarre logic: using the success of lockdown in keeping cases/deaths low to argue that there should be no lockdown.

Let’s not just consider the death rates when asking was lockdown worth it. Let’s ask if we really want a large percentage of our community suffering from long term disabilities.

Our society has not been destroyed at all Mr Uhlmann, in fact it has been made stronger bar a few in the tin foil brigade.

Andrews has his constituency shrinking though it may be. There will be quite a post mortem on the psychology of the lockdowns which will come in company with the visiting of the phenomenal costs on the whole of Victorian society. Eventually, Andrews will be remembered as a reckless villain who brought so much destruction of virtually zero compensating gain. Here’s another cartoon that captures other aspects of the Victorian disaster.

Johannes Leak Letters Cartoon published on Wednesday September 9.

Today is the eighth anniversary of this blog!!

And this is the 5408th post since I began. Started just for fun, and still doing it just for fun. But from it wrote the first book ever published, so far as I know, that consists entirely of blog posts from a blog: The Art of the Impossible: A Blog History of the Election of Donald J Trump as President. Even more gripping to read now as we head into the re-election. The next book I might put together is a collection of posts of mine on Say’s Law. The blog, as I have noted before, was really a means to communicate with my children who, bless their hearts, still tolerate my writing, and dare I say it, even agree with me, at least some of the time, and perhaps even most of the time. Now lots more people come onto the site each day and I am really happy to see you all here. In the meantime, Hi Joshi.

Is there any part of the paper still safe to read anymore?

It was only because I was doing the sudoku that I even came across this: Ricky Ponting says Black Lives Matter most important issue in society.

Ricky Ponting, captain of the Australian side during its greatest racial controversy, believes the Black Lives Matter movement is one of the most important issues facing society and one Australian cricket needs to engage with.

The comments come a week after Justin Langer acknowledged that the Australians should have put more thought into taking a knee before the games against England, but said they were discussing a more sustainable way of addressing the issue of racism in society and the game.

Here are the first of the comments listed under “Best”:

Before embracing BLM first check the official BLM website and them check out some of the speeches given by the founders and current leadership. Then see if you want to bend the knee. The BLM movement is much much more than respecting people of colour.

Ricky – your support on this issue is a disservice to sport in general.

Ricky Ponting should stick to cricket and leave political liberal progressive bull dust to clowns that got the time for that. BLM is a marxists organization and these sports people should educate themselves before they get involved in things they don’t understand.

It is about human rights, you dimwit

He really is the most ignorant, not to mention outright stupid politician I have ever witnessed. A straight out Stalinist who knows only the logic of force. This is the essence of Andrews.

I’m always happy to have a debate but ultimately our policy will not be changing.

What he really said is that he is not in the slightest interested in having a debate, his mind has been made up and the personal freedoms of others have no meaning to him. More here: Daniel Andrews dismisses human rights complaint over Melbourne Covid curfew.

On Thursday, The Australian reported that Liberal Party MP Tim Wilson had written to the Human Rights Commission, urging it to examine the curfew on the basis that “citizens’ rights and freedoms [are] being limited based on the ease and efficiency of the powers of the state against the rights and freedoms of Victorians”.

Wilson has asked the commission, which he once headed, to examine whether it had grounds “to take action in light of the significant limitation on the rights and freedoms imposed on Victorians by the curfew for the ease of government interests”.

But Andrews dismissed that complaint on Friday, saying the curfew was “not about human rights. It is about human life.”

“That is my answer to Mr Wilson. And what he chooses to do with his time is a matter for him. Police need rules they can enforce,” Andrews said.

A complete disgrace. If he is remembered at all it will only be for the warning he has provided to future generations about the dangers of totalitarian evil that can easily seep in through the cracks in some Parliamentary socialist sewer.

And then, of course, there are the economic effects. This is from the PwC report to Melbourne City Council on Cost of Pandemic.

A vicious cycle of higher debt and lower growth has commenced. Higher debt means less control over events; a government facing debt pressures will be unable to use fiscal policies to the same extent. A reduced ability to service that debt will leave less for other services.

Federal government transfers represent 50% of Victorian government revenue. Transfers will fall as GST collections fall. With a dramatic fall in employment in the state, numbers in the Victorian public service must fall. It had employed 9.4% of the Victorian workforce but will increase to 12.4% in two years, an unsustainable level. State taxes will need to increase by prospectively 25%.

A downgrade in credit rating of Victorian debt is inevitable. Net debt will increase to 20% of GSP and net interest will exceed 6% of revenue. Interest rates on debt will increase as spreads widen. Victoria’s population will at best be static. If overseas students are hesitant to enrol with universities in Victoria, a declining population will emerge and there will be fewer taxpayers.

We’ll see how much the folks in Victoria will love Dan the Man then. What a reckless thoughtless incompetent fool.

The Melbourne Syndrome revisited

Let me take you back to my post of August 6:

The Covid pandemic has brought on our modern version of The Stockholm Syndrome: “feelings of trust or affection felt in many cases of kidnapping or hostage-taking by a victim towards a captor.” We now have the Melbourne Syndrome, which I come across versions of every day:

Feelings of trust or affection felt during a lockdown by its victims towards their most authoritarian political leaders.

Since Melbourne has now implemented the hardest lockdown at the hands of the dumbest and most incompetent political leader in the world, I believe that Melbourne should have the honour of bearing the name of this widely observed form of insanity.

And what do we find in the papers today: Victoria backs Dan Andrews in Newspoll.

A majority of Victorians have backed Daniel Andrews’ management of the second COVID-19 outbreak, with two-thirds of voters across the country also rating the state’s lockdown as “about right”.

Lots of reasons for this gross stupidity, but a deep insight into the actual risks of the coronavirus is non-existent. I meet up with these people all the time, who will quote oceans of stats on Sweden and Florida to prove that we are doing well here in Victoria and it’s all thanks to Dan. I suppose democracy works after a fashion, but these totalitarians have worked out ways to deceive half the population plus one in one election after another.

And not necessarily the stupider ones since there are plenty of college professors who vote for parties of the left and will on no account ever do anything else.

Meanwhile, the State goes further into bankruptcy. If ever there were a project that will never cover its costs, this is the one, with this the latest news: West Gate Tunnel’s toxic soil removal to cost Victorian taxpayers up to $750m.

Taxpayers are set to fork out hundreds of millions of dollars to help get rid of West Gate Tunnel’s toxic soil.The state government will stump up the extra cash to move and store contaminated soil that has stalled the $6.7 billion project for almost a year.

Why people vote for parties of the left is beyond me. Do they really believe they will become better off with such massive waste as the hallmark of government.

Honestly how off the planet do you have to be to believe we are in danger of global warming along with this pandemic? Yet there these people are, as filled with fear and ignorance as it is possible to be, ready to follow the single most incompetent political leader we have ever had into both poverty and a police state.

What’s really going on with the global pandemic

Not much we can each do individually to stop it but at least you might know how to help if you understand what’s going on.

Michael Matt takes a look at some good news regarding the Covid recovery rate before exploring what’s really going on with the global pandemic.

To understand this, he takes us to Switzerland—to the World Economic Forum—where the movers and shakers of the world have been meeting on a regular basis, especially since January 2020, to plan ‘The Great Reset’ at the Davos 2021 Summit in January.

Using multiple video clips, Michael shows how everyone from Soros, to Gates, to Schwab, to Al Gore and the Secretary-General of the United Nations are only too eager to admit that Covid offers them a rare opportunity to reset the world economy, population control, global commerce, climate change regulation, education and the UN Sustainable Development Goals in order to “reorder,” “reimagine” and fundamentally transform every aspect of life as we know it.

Is this the rest of the story behind the Russia hoax, Ukraine, the phony impeachment and all the other deep state attempts to cripple Trump’s efforts to ‘make America great again”?

The folks at Davos want a new world order, and the only thing standing in their way at the moment is US. And if they get their New Normal, nothing will be the same ever again…unless, perhaps, if Donald Trump wins in November.

“The Victorian Premier is under intense pressure”

I already know you cannot trust the media to get anything right, but this today reached the absolute limit of my credulity:

The Victorian Premier is under intense pressure …

Pressure? From whom? Where? When? State? Federal? There is, of course, we at Catallaxy. There is late night Sky: Andrew Bolt, Alan Jones, Paul Murray. There are The Outsiders. And then, what, who?

Had Daniel Andrews done nothing at all, absolutely nothing, which would have included not banning HCQ, there would almost certainly have been fewer deaths in Victoria, and the economy, both state and national, would be miles ahead of where we now are. Andrews is a true contender for having been the worst political leader, with the greatest cause of harm and damage, of any leader Australia has ever had. Part of the reason is that Victoria may also now have the worst opposition party in Australian history. I went looking for “Michael O’Brien belt and road” and this is what I found: ‘Dud deal’: Victorian Opposition Leader Michael O’Brien vows to scrap Belt and Road initiative. It begins:

Victoria’s Opposition Leader says he will dump the State Government’s controversial involvement in China’s Belt and Road Initiative if he is elected leader at the next state election.In a statement issued on Saturday morning [obviously designed for maximum impact], Michael O’Brien said the decision was not made lightly but the deal was “not in Victoria’s interests”.

“It doesn’t support our sovereignty, our security or our jobs,” he said.

“Daniel Andrews’ dud deal has failed to advance Victoria’s interests.”

“Has failed to advance Victoria’s interests” !!!!! Wow! As bad as that, was it? Failed to advance Victoria’s interests. Talk about fire and brimstone, that has gone to the far limit. If we are looking for a more edgy approach to a critique of Daniel Andrews, you will have to turn to Power-hungry Premier Andrews must consider partyroom views on coronavirus in today’s Oz by Adem Somyurek, a former Labor minister for small business and local government, who now sits on the crossbenches in the Victorian Legislative Council. Two comments really say it all:

C’mon Adem – you’re the numbers man. If Victorian Labor believes that Andrews has overstepped the mark, there is an easy way for them to fix that. The Victorian people have to wait for the next election, BUT the Victorian Labor Party can act now, if they truly give a stuff – but I think they don’t.

AND

Mr Somyurek, If you feel so strongly on this issue, why did you abstain from the vote to extend Dan’s powers?

This is a bit more like it.

Johannes Leak Letters Cartoon for 21-09-20, Version: Letters Cartoon (1280x720, Canvas Added), COPYRIGHT: The Australian's artists each have different copyright agreements in place regarding re-use of their work in other publications., Please seek advice from the artists themselves or the Managing Editor of The Australian regarding re-use.

One Supreme Court appointment away from a totalitarian patriarchal theocratic society it seems

It is always a fascination however depressing it might be to enter into a conversation with someone on the left. The Trump presidency has exceeded even my expectations for virtue and achievement, with the peace agreements in the Middle East beyond all anticipation. Yet there they are, Democrats who won’t concede even a scintilla of credit to the president for anything whatsoever. This is yet another example, but a very good example, of the idiocies of the left in looking at Trump and the last four years: Trump’s 1776 commission is proof America is spiraling toward fascism. From the Guardian but even so, how can there be people this ignorant that this doesn’t look like the ravings of a lunatic:

Gilead here we come

Can we use the F word yet? Can we finally admit that America is dipping its feet in fascism? Armed militias are roaming the streets; Donald Trump is laying the groundwork to discredit the results of the 2020 election; the press has been labelled the “enemy of the people”; there are credible allegations that migrant women in detention camps are being coerced into having their uteruses removed; “anti-fascists” have been branded public enemy number one. And now Trump has announced a “national commission to support patriotic education” – in other words, a racist propaganda program.

“Leftwing rioting and mayhem are the direct result of decades of left-wing indoctrination in our schools,” Trump declared in a speech on Thursday. He went on to condemn critical race theory and the 1619 Project, the New York Time’s Pulitzer-prize winning initiative to reframe American history by placing the consequences of slavery at the center. “[T]he crusade against American history is toxic propaganda [that] will destroy our country,” he announced. Per Trump, the only way to save the United States is to revise its history entirely; to gloss over violent colonialism and slavery and pretend America doesn’t have a bigoted bone in its body. Which is why, Trump said, he is setting up a 1776 Commission to teach students “about the miracle of American history”. Well, “miracle” is certainly one way to describe something completely made-up.

And in case you don’t get the reference to Gilead:

The Republic of Gilead, colloquially referred to as simply Gilead or elsewhere sometimes called, by its leadership, the “Divine Republic”, is the totalitarian patriarchal theocracy that rules over most of the territory that belonged to the former continental United States in The Handmaid’s Tale.

Just around the corner, is it? These people are mad. These people seem to really believe that the US is one Supreme Court appointment away from a totalitarian patriarchal theocratic society. They are beyond discussion and reason. They are plainly crazy. As a kind of counterweight, let me just bring up this: Van Morrison Attacks ‘Fascist Bullies’ In Anti-Lockdown Protest Songs.

Irish singer-songwriter Morrison has released three new protest songs railing against the ‘pseudoscience’ surrounding Chinese Coronavirus and accusing the UK government of being ‘fascist bullies disturbing our peace.’

Sample lyrics:

No more lockdown / No more government overreach / No more fascist bullies / Disturbing our peace …

No more taking of our freedom / And our God-given rights / Pretending it’s for our safety / When it’s really to enslave …”

Come to Victoria if you have any doubt about where reality now lies.