George Pell unanimous 7-0 High Court decision to acquit

George Pell was railroaded into prison by a corrupt administration of justice. The state of Victoria in which this persecution took place will forever have this judicial injustice as part of its legacy. The trial of George Pell will now join the trial of Ned Kelly in the judicial history of both Victoria and Australia. This is the statement issued by Cardinal Pell this morning.

Obviously not guilty from the start. And as sinister as the entire episode has been, possibly the most sinister part is that one’s political beliefs are an almost perfect dye marker for how one receives the decision. For the left, it is symbolism alone that matters. On the right, it is that justice has finally been done. The left will attack you for your class membership in whatever way they wish to define you. There are no individual rights nor is there individual responsibility. This is the way of the left who are totalitarian in every aspect of their lives.

The left are an evil gang of thugs who roam in packs. To the left, paedophilia is wrong, George Pell was accused of paedophilia, George Pell is a Catholic archbishop, therefore George Pell was guilty, irrespective of the virtual impossibility of his being actually guilty of the crime. It is the justice of the accusation, the Lubyanka, the show trial and the bullet to the head.

I think this hits the nail on the head: George Pell verdict: Victorian justice system is the biggest loser as convictions quashed“George Pell verdict: Victorian justice system is the biggest loser as convictions quashed”.

The Victorian justice system is the biggest loser from the High Court’s resounding vindication of Cardinal George Pell. After Victoria’s courts attempted to silence the world’s media over the cardinal’s conviction, it is now clear to all that the conviction itself should never have happened.

This state’s criminal justice system has tarnished the international reputation of Australian justice. The Pell conviction is a scandal that will rank alongside the outrageous jailing of Lindy Chamberlain for the murder of her baby – who was actually taken by a dingo.

Just like the Chamberlain case, the Pell disaster will inevitably find its way into a movie that will do no favours for a justice system that led to the jailing of a sick, old cardinal after years of frenzy that has been found to have no basis in law.r

Two of the most senior judges in Victoria – Chief Justice Anne Ferguson and Court of Appeal president Chris Maxwell – have been shown to have made a fundamental error; the reliability of the state’s jury system has been left in doubt; and the wisdom of the police in effectively advertising for complaints about the cardinal has also been called into question.

It does not end there. Pell’s tormentors in the media will need to re-examine the way they engaged in a campaign of character assassination against an innocent man.

The left feels on remorse since they are sanctimonious and immoral. Yet near enough half the country automatically votes for them, believing that their political sentiments demonstrate their high moral standards when in reality it shows they are vicious and ignorant to their very core. Almost a century later there is still discussion of Sacco and Venzetti. The story of George Pell will disappear within a week.

Social isolation must be maintained

I saw this letter to the editor the other day and have now come to agree with Daniel Andrews totally. Social isolation must be absolute, no exceptions, and must last until the Corona Virus is completely eradicated, not just here but across the world. Here was the letter which I found completely compelling.

My partner and I are around 70 but due to recent health issues and underlying conditions we are in a very high risk category, to the extent that I am not prepared to risk experimenting with life as usual. Can I say that neither of us is a vegetable in a nursing home. We have lives and plans, are active with our friends, we travel and have children and grandchildren. We have many years to enjoy.

A look around the world highlights that Australia is better off than some mainly because of the tough measures we have taken, not in spite of them. To suggest the extent of the battle is to isolate the vulnerable while the rest of you go about your business is short-sighted. As a member of the vulnerable let me say I’m not prepared to take one for the team.

He describes my own situation perfectly and what else is there to say? We vulnerable members of the community are not prepared to accept such selfishness from the rest of you, from all of those younger people who wish to get on with their lives, earn an income, save for the future, pay off their mortgages and continue meeting up with their friends and relations. Do they not understand that this will put people such as myself at much greater risk? Already almost fifty Australians have died from the Corona Virus. If present trends continue, this number might well rise to over 500.

With GDP around $1.5 trillion, the loss of 10 percent of our economic growth for the coming year is a mere $150 billion, although the actual number may, of course, be even higher. But sticking with the $150 billion figure, the cost of preserving those additional 500 from an early death, will come at a cost of only $30 million dollars for each life saved. Of course, even to think of money saved at a time like this is an ethical abomination.

The country has made a moral commitment to preserve lives at all cost. With my own life in such danger, along with the lives of all of our friends who are in that same boat, it would be an eternal disgrace for the country to choose to abandon us to the possibility of an early demise, or if not exactly early, to a demise sooner than might otherwise have occurred.

Good for Daniel Andrews who has shown such leadership in ensuring that every life is seen as precious.

You know what, it can happen here

From How a Police State is Born by Steve McCann.

When societies lose their freedom, it is not ordinarily because autocrats or tyrants have forcibly taken it away. It is usually the result of the population willingly surrendering their freedom in return for protection against an external threat. While the threat is oftentimes real, it is invariably exaggerated.

This is what we in the United States are experiencing. The general public has been stampeded by the fearmongering in the media into demanding action from the politicians at both the state and federal level. The politicians respond and do not pause to ask whether these actions will work — just do something! They do not ask if the financial and societal cost to the nation is worth the unknown and perhaps nebulous return.

Any student of history and human nature would recognize that these are the classic symptoms of collective hysteria. Hysteria is contagious. This nation is turning itself inside out as we, thanks to the media, are exaggerating the threat and not stopping to ask if the cure is worse than the disease.

He concludes:

In its 244-year history the United States has weathered seven of the worst pandemics in world history without the hysteria and loss of liberty and freedom. All indications reveal that the Coronavirus will be exponentially less life-threatening than any of these previous pandemics.

Is the Coronavirus pandemic serious enough to warrant putting much of the nation’s population into house imprisonment, or wrecking the economy for an indefinite period of time, or prohibiting worshipers from attending their churches, synagogues or mosques, or outlawing freedom of assembly and travel, or destroying businesses that have taken years to build up, or saddling future generations with unfathomable debt? The nation is choosing to plunge millions of people into depression, heart attacks, suicide and unbelievable distress, though they are not especially vulnerable and will only suffer mild symptoms or none at all.

This is what a police state is like. It is a nation in which the government can issue orders and edicts or convey preferences with no legal authority. Yet, it appears the majority of the American people are willing to sacrifice their freedoms and way of life in order to empower such a potential police state in the guise of conquering a pandemic. Governments never give up power once attained. They only seek to normalize it and now they have in their toolbox the knowledge that the citizenry will meekly acquiesce to any national emergency being declared an existential crisis which requires government to unconstitutionally impose its will on the people. 

Via Police States and the Corona Clampdown.

A reminder of what ought to be at the front of our minds right now and not brought back into the conversation when it’s too late

That is what a socialist-fascist-totalitarian looks like. And as a reminder of what’s at stake, bear this in mind: ‘The alleged cure is immensely worse than the disease’.

Brendan O’Neill: We live in a country where parliament has been suspended, our most basic freedoms have been eroded, we are all virtually under house arrest, and there are a whole bunch of new rituals we all have to observe when we encounter other people, which is increasingly rare. Like me, are you a bit terrified by the speed and the ease with which Britain became this country?

Peter Hitchens: …the point that strikes me here is that – particularly in the Eastern European countries, but also largely in Russia – most people regarded the Soviets’ rule with a certain amount of contempt and made jokes about it and realised they were being mocked and fooled. In this case, the population accepts what they are being told, without any question. It’s extraordinary. The old USSR would have loved to have had a population like that in the Western world and in the United Kingdom, which genuinely believes the propaganda and does what it is told. You could say, ‘The chocolate ration has gone up’, when in fact it has gone down and people will believe it.

O’Neill: You have written some very solid pieces, questioning the need for this kind of shutdown. Let’s just talk for a moment about the extraordinary situation we find ourselves in. There is this novel virus, which undoubtedly causes great harm, especially to older people and to medically vulnerable people, and in response to it – which is unprecedented in human history – we have closed down virtually the whole of society and most of the economy, and in the process we have stored up immeasurable problems for the future. I think you have found it a bit of a struggle to convince people that this might not be the best way to tackle a virus?

Hitchens: It’s extraordinary. Again, the willingness of people to accept that ‘something must be done, and this is something, so we will do this’. The argument goes, ‘We have a problem, the way of solving it is to shut down the country and strangle civil liberties. Therefore, let’s do that.’

What I have been surprised by is how little examination there has been to whether there is any logic to this. It is as if you went to the doctor with measles and the doctor said that this was serious measles and the only treatment for it is to cut off your left leg. And he cuts off your left leg and then later on, you recover from the measles and he says, ‘This is fantastic. I’ve cured you of the measles, sorry about your leg.’ That is more or less what is going on now. We are being offered a supposed treatment which has nothing whatever to do with the problem.

Other countries have not resorted to these measures. We have modelled ourselves, bizarrely, on the most despotic country in the world, the People’s Republic of China, whose statistics are wholly unreliable and whose media are totally supine, so we can’t really know what is going on there. And in fact, all the countries which have had serious outbreaks of Covid-19, they have almost all reacted differently. Even Singapore and Hong Kong, which are widely praised for what they did, did different things. And yet, oddly enough, the results in Singapore and Hong Kong were quite similar. Japan has done something different. South Korea did something different. And again, the virus actually did not continue to grow at the rates which Imperial College apparently think are inevitable if we don’t shut down our society….

The alleged cure – and it is only alleged in this case – is immensely worse than the disease, because what happens to a society which trashes its economy? I will tell you what happens. It is unable to afford proper health provision, all of its standards decline, its food gets worse, its air quality gets worse, its housing gets worse, its water quality gets worse, and everybody gets iller.

Andrews knows nothing about diseases and their treatment, but knows a lot about how to never let a crisis go to waste. So therefore let me also add this: Joe Hildebrand on the week’s most ‘disgraceful’ coronavirus ban where I got the video of Daniel Andrews from.

Who knows what will come next?

I would like to discuss a previous thread by one of our anonymous posters who wrote “about the only thing of note that I haven’t mentioned is the hysterical meltdown of those on the libertarian side of things to just about any government reaction to the current crisis” and I stress the word “any”. Peter Hitchens is apparently “one of the very worst offenders”, someone whom I have quoted a couple of times, “an hysterical female-like counterpoint to his deceased brother”. He is apparently “dancing around with his hands in the air in mortal abject terror of any government imposed change to his daily routine whatsoever” (my bolding). You can read the whole thing for yourself here.

I cannot speak for Peter, but will speak for myself. And I am already all too aware how readily all too many are prepared to throw away their freedoms at the mere whiff of some socialist grapeshot. You want to hear the sound of hysterical, try this:

Our responsibilities at the moment are to sit tight and do our best to not add to the problem. Yes we are suffering some discomfort. Yes, we are also taking a financial hit. Yes, some people are taking a bigger hit than others, either due to their own unpreparedness or suffering the ill fortune of this being very bad timing. But what are governments supposed to do? Take everyone’s individual circumstances into account? Even if they could, which they cannot, exactly why should they?

Our great handicap is that so many of us are conditioned to looking to government to solve our problems. So that when a very big event such as this happens then our only recourse is to scream and shout that something must be done or must not be done as the case may be. But the situation is not normal and screaming at the sky is beyond useless. What we must do is batten down the hatches and rely on ourselves and family and communities first. We must find ways to get things done.

I never classify myself as a libertarian, but I do line myself up ideologically with F.A. Hayek who is, like myself, a classical liberal, a conservative using today’s mode of classification. On Hayek’s attitude to governments in a crisis, Steve Hayward went into that just this morning: HAYEK ON EMERGENCY POWERS OF GOVERNMENT. This is a direct quote from Hayek’s Law, Legislation and Liberty. The bolding this time is from Steve Hayward.

The basic principle of a free society, that the coercive powers of government are restricted to the enforcement of universal rules of just conduct, and cannot be used for the achievement of particular purposes, though essential to the normal working of such a society, may yet have to be temporarily suspended when the long-run preservation of that order is itself threatened. Though normally the individuals need be concerned only with their own concrete aims, and in pursuing them will best serve the common welfare, there may temporarily arise circumstances when the preservation of the over-all order becomes the overruling common purpose, and when in consequence the spontaneous order, on a local or national scale, must for a time be converted into an organization. When an external enemy threatens, when rebellion or lawless violence has broken out, or a natural catastrophe requires quick action by whatever means can be secured, powers of compulsory organization, which normally nobody possesses, must be granted to somebody. Like an animal in flight from mortal danger society may in such situations have to suspend temporarily even vital functions on which in the long run its existence depends if it is to escape destruction.

The conditions under which such emergency powers may be granted without creating the danger that they will be retained when the absolute necessity has passed are among the most difficult and important points a constitution must decide on. ‘Emergencies’ have always been the pretext on which the safeguards of individual liberty have been eroded – and once they are suspended it is not difficult for anyone who has assumed such emergency powers to see to it that the emergency will persist. Indeed if all needs felt by important groups that can be satisfied only by the exercise of dictatorial powers constitute an emergency, every situation is an emergency situation. It has been contended with some plausibility that whoever has the power to proclaim an emergency and on this ground to suspend any part of the constitution is the true sovereign. This would seem to be true enough if any person or body were able to arrogate to itself such emergency powers by declaring a state of emergency.

Speaking for myself, I feel in many ways I am already living in a police state. Very benign for the moment, but they are only just starting to get used to the idea of using the police to take away our historic rights. What has amazed me more than anything in this latest episode is how few people actually seem aware of how much is at stake. There are a handful of deaths from the coronavirus but we are not in the middle of the Black Death. What we may well be in the middle of is the death of our personal freedoms. There are plenty around who would like to take them from us already and who they are ought to be visible to us all since they never stop threatening us for going out to take a walk in the park. Once you are used to that, who knows what will come next?

No way forward other than into a wilderness

This is a discussion of FDR’s Christian foundations when speaking to the American people. From Steve Hayward at Powerline. His aim is to get PDT to quote FDR along religious lines. Think how this might stew a few minds.

FDR, an Episcopalian, made the kind of remarks about religion that send the American Civil Liberties Union into paroxysms of rage when someone like George W. Bush or Sarah Palin say the same thing today. Democracy and Christianity, he said, were “two phases of the same civilization.” “We cannot read the history of our rise and development as a nation,” he said, “without reckoning with the place the Bible has occupied in shaping the advances of the Republic.” During World War II FDR wrote a preface for an edition of the New Testament that was distributed to American troops: “As Commander-in-Chief, I take pleasure in commending the reading of the Bible to all who serve in the armed forces of the United States.” On the eve of the 1940 election, FDR said in a radio address: “Freedom of speech is of no use to a man who has nothing to say and freedom of worship is of no use to a man who has lost his God.” On June 6, 1944, FDR led the nation in prayer for our armed forces on live radio, and in his final inaugural address in 1945 he said, “So we pray to Him for the vision to see our way clearly … to achievement of His will.” Today’s liberals would regard these statements and acts as grounds for impeachment.

And really, are all Democrats now atheist? Are they anti-religious? Have they all lost their God? These are people with whom there is no possibility of communication. Whether they know it or not, they have lost their way and for whom there is no salvation. They may think there is an answer in politics, but on this they are absolutely wrong and for whom there is no way forward other than into a wilderness.

Going on the offensive

Speaking of The Midwich Cuckoos, I genuinely do find talking to anyone on the left all too frequently just like talking to a wall. What especially infuriates me when I think I am just chatting, I am often and suddenly told “I don’t want to talk about that” which just comes out of nowhere to me. Not only are these idiots offended when I say something, even obliquely, about something that’s on my mind, but they don’t want to engage and immediately want to end the conversation.

And while on the subject of being offended, I was in a book shop today and I said to the 30-ish chap behind the counter how put off I was by all the titles such as “The Art of Not Giving a F*ck” – and there were quite a number like that – and he was obviously put off by my language. So I said to him, if you are put off by my saying what I said, just think of what I feel by having to read such titles. I think he saw my point but only barely. He can get knotted.

And another thing. I was reading an article on the recessionary effects of the CV and right in the middle was an unintended rhyming couplet.

The deeper they are and the longer they last,
The more ongoing the damage after the downturn has passed.

And so all such recessions seem always to be.

But if you’re going to quote this couplet you’ll have to cite me.

Herd immunity from common sense is the fundamental characteristic of the left

Talking to friends on the left (actually they are almost entirely my wife’s friends) never fails to astonish me about how lock-step they all are with whatever happens to be the latest ideological fashion statement of the moment. I am often taken by surprise since it is often difficult to keep up with the what beliefs are in or out, but it only requires a conversation with any one of them and I find myself right up to date.

It reminded me of one of my favourite books of my youth, The Midwich Cuckoos by John Wyndam. I read every one of his books when I was a young lad, the most famous being The Day of the Triffids. All of Wyndam’s books are astonishing reads and it seems all are still in print. But the Midwich Cuckoos remains the one I have loved the most, and strangely seems absolutely relevant to understanding the mentality on the left side of politics. I will describe the plot but from the movie made from the book, Village of the Damned (1960 film). The book is better, an absolute page turner. From these plot details of the film you will see how relevant the book is to the mind-numbing sameness of the belief structures on the left. I have left out anything that might give the plot and ending away in the following which is mainly done to show how accurately the book describes the modern left.

The inhabitants of the British village of Midwich suddenly fall unconscious, as does anyone entering the village. Two months later, all women and girls of child-bearing age in the affected area are discovered to be pregnant. All the women give birth on the same day. Their children have a powerful telepathic bond with one another. They can communicate with each other over great distances, and as one learns something, so do the others.

At age three, the children dress impeccably, always walk as a group, speak in an adult manner, and behave maturely, but show no conscience or love, and demonstrate a coldness to others, causing the villagers to fear and be repulsed by them. The children begin to exhibit the power to read minds and to force people to do things against their will. Zellaby, whose “son” David is one of the children, is eager to work with them. Zellaby compares the children’s resistance to reasoning with a brick wall and uses this motif as self-protection against their mind reading after the children’s inhuman nature becomes clear to him.

It may even be that Wyndam wrote the book as a caricature of the mentality on the left in his own time, published as it was in the midst of the cold war (1957). Whether or not that was his intention, it certainly fits the mould today.

A clash of ideologies

I have just picked up from the local op-shop for a mere $2 a quite prescient book published in 2008 written by someone named Dan Gardner whose title is: Risk: The Science and Politics of Fear. Have so far only read the back cover, but it’s quite interesting of itself.

We are the safest and healthiest human beings who ever lived, and yet irrational fear is growing with deadly consequences…. In part this irrationality is caused by those – politicians, activists and the media – who promote fear for their own gain. Culture also matter. But a more fundamental cause is human psychology.

[The book] sets out to explain in a compulsively readable fashion how we make decisions and run our lives. We learn how the brain has not one but two systems to analyse risk. One is primitive, unconscious, and inyuitive; the other is conscious and rational. The two systems often agree, but occasionally they come to very different conclusions. When that happens, we can find ourselves worrying about what the statistics tell us is a trivial threat … [while at the same time] shrugging off serious risks.

Then there are the ideological differences between individuals. There is then the political differences which may themselves be psychologically driven. I quoted Peter Hitchens on dealing with the coronavirus the other day, and now James Delingpole has entered the debate in support of Peter: Coronavirus — Peter Hitchens Is Right….

Just like in war, the great coronavirus plague is bringing out the best in people and the worst in people.

So far, the petty tyrants, the tell-tales, the ignoramuses, the rule-takers and the finger-pointers are having a field day; the more original, clear-eyed thinkers meanwhile, are having to take care about what they say for fear of being judged and found wanting by the self-righteous mob.

Already the battle lines are starting to make themselves clear.

There are, roughly speaking, two opposing camps.

“I for one welcome our new insect overlords”. This contains the control freaks; the authoritarians; the snitches; the panickers; the killjoys; the ‘trust the experts’; the curtain-twitchers; the leftists; and the catastrophists.

The Awkward Squad. This contains the liberty-lovers; the libertines; the grand strategists; the rebels; the sceptics; the mavericks; the contrarians; the misfits; the deplorables.

Obviously it’s not quite as simple as that. Though I’m mainly in the Awkward Squad camp, I’ve certainly had my headless chicken moments. (At one point, I even went so far as to retweet approvingly a tweet from our current Hysteric In Chief Piers Morgan).

Equally, I know that there are plenty of people I respect who are currently in the “I for one welcome our new insect overlords” camp. This is not because they are stupid or are dangerous leftists with fascistic tendencies or are invertebrates who like being walked all over by the authorities, but simply because they are understandably scared, inadequately informed and haven’t (yet) seen the bigger picture.

Generally, though, what we’re seeing writ large in this pandemic is a clash between two ideological positions — one essentially authoritarian, one more or less libertarian. I think this conflict is going to get more bitter and nasty as the pandemic progresses.

Beyond that, what was once politically near impossible is rapidly moving towards near normal. There are always emergencies which for many open ways to take our freedoms which once gone will never come back.