A mural on modern marriage

The mural on our hotel is obviously a portrayal of marriage and divorce in the modern West with the woman on the man’s back as he crawls across the floor, before she ends up with the house along with much of his wealth.. This is the official description.

The end of 2019 saw the inner-west becoming the region in which property prices grew exponentially. In a 2017 Guardian Australia article, Tim Gurner declared that Sydney millennials should stop going to hipster cafés to save money to buy property instead. This was not well-received by Newtowners, who feel they’re being pushed out by property developers and high rental costs. These much debated costs of city living are best summarised in this Newtown masterpiece called The Housing Bubble. Painted on the wall of the Urban Hotel by Fintan Magee, a world-renowned muralist from Brisbane, it depicts a man on all fours with a woman sitting on his back. She is trying to catch a little townhouse, floating away on a set of balloons.

Interesting touch in the photo with the young couple standing before the mural as she diverts him from looking at the picture and drawing his own conclusions.

The Western Press has become utterly unreliable

Not everyone thinks The Ukraine are the good guys or that you can trust our Western news networks. There is, for instance, this which is a report out of India: Fake news in Kiev heralds cruel April. There we find, amongst other things:

Tass report says: “The Russian Defense Ministry said on Sunday that the Russian Armed Forces had left Bucha, located in the Kiev region, on March 30, while “the evidence of crimes” emerged only four days later, after Ukrainian Security Service officers had arrived in the town. The ministry stressed that on March 31, the town’s Mayor Anatoly Fedoruk had confirmed in a video address that there were no Russian troops in Bucha. However, he did not say a word about civilians shot dead on the street with their hands tied behind their backs.”

Even more surprising is that within minutes of the “breaking news”, western leaders — heads of state, foreign ministers, former politicians — popped up with statements duly kept ready and only based on the videos, seconds-long videos and a clutch of photos, ready to pour accusations. No expert opinion was sought, no forensic work was done, no opportunity given to the accused to be heard.

And they discuss Russian strategy which I have seldom seen mentioned anywhere in our Western press.

The Russian feint paid off in pinning down the Ukrainian forces in Kiev through past month. By the time the truth dawned on the Kiev set-up ( and their western “advisors), the damage was done. The enormity of the resultant situation needs some explanation.

The above map reproduced from the Novosti (unfortunately, in Russian language) on the exact ground situation as of April 3 and the commentary by Ivan Andreev, an experienced war correspondent who covered the Russian operations in Syria, gives the salience of the cauldron in Donbass where the crème de la crème of the Ukrainian forces numbering several divisions are entrapped, isolated by opposing forces from their logistical base and other friendly forces.

Still to find anywhere a list of Russian war aims. How can you tell who is winning if you can’t see what each of the sides is trying to achieve.

Covidiocy may be about to end

Are we beginning to see the beginning of the end of Covidiocy? First this: England Ends All COVID Passports, Mask Mandates, Work Restrictions. Undoubtedly pushed along by the fact that no one in authority takes Covid seriously, only the media and the population. That is why all over the political class there are so few who wear masks in public unless they are being knowingly photographed. So in the UK:

Restrictions including COVID-19 passes, mask mandates, and work-from-home guidance will be removed in England, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on Wednesday.

And now this as well: Europe considers new COVID-19 strategy: Accepting the virus.

With one of Europe’s highest vaccination rates and most pandemic-battered economies, the [Spanish] government is laying the groundwork to treat the next infection surge not as an emergency but an illness that is here to stay. Similar steps are under consideration in neighboring Portugal and in Britain.

A few examples.

PICTURED: Maskless AOC raises a cocktail at dinner in Miami Beach | Daily  Mail Online
Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews fined $400 for mask breaches after he  admitted it was an 'oversight' | 7NEWS

Do you think that if they thought there was any serious danger they would behave like this?

Political extremism

She really is a fool of the highest order. Then there’s this: Andrews accuses PM of ‘pandering to extremists’.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has accused Prime Minister Scott Morrison of “pandering to extremists?? in the wake of a large protest in Melbourne.

On Saturday, tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets in Melbourne’s CBD in opposition to the state government’s pandemic laws and COVID-19 vaccination policies.

The peaceful protest capped off a week of demonstrations at State Parliament where there were some ugly scenes including the parading of gallows.

Asked about the threats during the week, Mr Morrison said such behaviour had no place in public protest but could understand why some Victorians were frustrated with the state government.

Mr Andrews on Sunday said those comments were offensive to the 5 million Victorians who had received their vaccinations.

What is really a major worry is that our political leaders are such fools, with Andrews and Lambie so brain dead to the issues that matter. How about we factor things like this into the equation: UK STUDY — Vaccinated Adults under 60 are dying at 2X Times the rate of the Unvaccinated….

Lots more data just like that everywhere, but seldom where Dan Andrews or Jacqui Lambie can see it apparently.

Plus this from Small Dead Animals.

Cardiology Advisor- ACS Risk Biomarkers Significantly Increase After mRNA COVID-19 Vaccine

The risk of developing acute coronary syndrome (ACS) significantly increased in patients after receiving mRNA COVID-19 vaccines, according to a report presented at the American Heart Association (AHA) Scientific Sessions 2021, held from November 13 to 15, 2021.

The PULS Cardiac Test measures multiple protein biomarkers, including hepatocyte growth factor [HGF], soluble Fas, and IL-16, and uses the results to calculate a 5-year risk score for new ACS. The PULS score increases with above-normal elevation. Allparticipants received this test every 3-6 months for 8 years.

That sounds like one heck of a good base line to start from.

As a result, the 5-year ACS PULS risk score increased from 11% to 25%. By the time the report was published, changes had persisted for 2.5 months or more after the second vaccine dose.

The study author concluded that “mRNA [vaccines] dramatically increase inflammation on the endothelium and T cell infiltration of cardiac muscle and may account for the observations of increased thrombosis, cardiomyopathy, and other vascular events following vaccination.”

Emphasis mine


Some more on ACS or “acute coronary syndrome” .

My old Alma Mater in the news

It’s actually The University of Western Ontario, or at least it was.

This is the caption that comes with the tweet: “The Canadian government has gone full authoritarian with a federal vaccine mandate and Western University is goose-stepping right along!”

Some people will do anything to get out of class.

Opportunity Cost

I received a letter from an old friend who asked:

I have a friend who is a writer and artist. One of his current projects is a novel. At one point he needs to explain opportunity cost. It recalled for me that you wrote a book for kids explaining the fundamental principles of economics.

Would be willing to share the text with us?

This was my reply.

I would of course be willing to share my text with you. The title is Economics for Infants. However, not sure you find opportunity cost discussed, at least not explicitly. However, there is always this you can look at (it can be ordered by the library and the paperback is pretty cheap):  

Free Market Economics, Third Edition. An Introduction for the General Reader The Elgar webpage is  here. And I do notice that Opportunity Cost is discussed on four separate occasions within the book, once even using a diagram. Highly recommended, if I do say so myself. In fact, I do say so myself. 

I just put up a blog post referring to the book, which I will copy below. Here is what I said: 

From The switch to green energy can be the biggest bonanza in history.

“Australia is the best placed nation on earth to be the global winner in the net-zero world, with 672,000 jobs created and $2.1 trillion in economic activity generated by 2050.

“Jobs can be created by getting rid of technology. Economic activity can be driven forward by useless and non-productive forms of “investment”.

“But living standards can only rise if the value of output is greater than the value of the inputs used up. If you think massively increasing the cost of inputs through alternative forms of energy will increase value added, and therefore living standards, you are an economic incompetent. Value added is the core concept surrounding opportunity cost, which also necessitates understanding the economic meaning of cost within economics.

“In my economics text, Free Market Economics, the single most important chapter is the third, on Value Added. No other modern textbook that I know of actually discusses value added beyond a para or two, but without value added at the core of one’s grasp of economics, you will never understand a thing that matters.”

Which reminds me of this, which I may or may not ever have sent to you before: I, Mechanical Pencil: Why a socialist economy can never work. There you find this, which is near enough the core concept of opportunity cost as it is practised in the market: 

What prices must do is reflect how much something costs. And what information about costs does is help entrepreneurs work out which is the least costly way to produce whatever it is they produce. It is important to find the least costly way to produce because the fewer resources used up in making each particular good or service, the more resources are left over to produce something else. Keeping production costs down is essential to maintaining and building our prosperity. This is why prices matter so much. If prices are properly set in the market, the revenue received by each entrepreneur will cover all the costs of production. If every producer sets their own prices, then the prices charged for every input will provide the essential guidance to entrepreneurs on how to keep production costs down.” 

Whether any of this ends up in the book I may never know.

My IEA article on Covid in Australia

The Institute of Economic Affairs in London [the IEA] has published an article of mine on Dealing with Covid-19 in Australia. Most of it will be old news for us in Australia but I end with two paras on what needs to be done now:

Covid is disappearing as a lethal problem and is rapidly fading back into the pack as a serious disease affecting any but a relatively small handful of the population. In fact, most of those who are positively tested, are simply asked to go home and quarantine for two weeks.

What must now occur is that the Covid dogs are called off, genuinely serious cases should be dealt with in hospital as would occur if it were a bad case of the flu. Other than that, we should go back to business as usual, at least as was usual prior to March 2020. There should be no vaccine passports. No mask mandates. Our borders should be open to travel, especially our state borders, whose closure has been particularly absurd. Individuals should be permitted to do what they feel is best for themselves, as we all get on with our lives.

Unless the plan is to lock us down forever until Covid disappears, there is no alternative but to open our borders and our economies while doing what we can to care for those whom the virus infects.