US GDP growth 33.1%

AN UNSURPRISING UPDATE:

GDP Explodes 33.1% — Media Bury The Story

A few weeks ago we noted that the third-quarter GDP number was likely to be a stunner, defying the endless claims by the press that the economy will struggle to emerge from the COVID-19 lockdowns. We also warned that voters wouldn’t get the news through the mainstream press. Well, we were right on both counts.

__ Original story is below the line

It’s the sort of thing that only really interests economists since it has no personal meaning for anyone. Nevertheless, better this than the opposite. In its own way the Democrat decision not to provide a “stimulus” helped things out a bit, not that they would have known. Discussed here: U.S. GDP booms at 33.1% rate in Q3, better than expected.

Increased consumption along with sold gains in business and residential investment as well as exports fueled the third-quarter rebound. Decreases in government spending following the expiration of the CARES Act rescue funding subtracted from GDP.

It no doubt did subtract from GDP but it also added to growth. These Keynesian measures are such misleading indicators.

There is absolutely nothing to thank Daniel Andrews for

If there has ever been a more repulsive political leader in Australia than Daniel Andrews I cannot think who it was. The notion that the leader of a government through its incompetence has led to hundreds of deaths and the longest lockdown in the world is owed any gratitude is a notion so grotesque that only a socialist party could even have conceived of it.

And even now we are still in lockdown although some, but only some of the worst excesses have been lifted. The premier is a bungling idiot. He has done nothing that he can point towards with an ounce of pride. His stupidity has led to the deaths of many many individuals who would be alive today were it not for his personal involvement in the lockdown.

Daniel Andrews is, moreover, such an evil presence that he actually thinks he has been a positive influence on the outcomes we have endured in Victoria. Look at the other states, you stupid fool and tell me what you have achieved in Victoria. For others, in the grip of the Melbourne Syndrome, there are those who are grateful for still being alive in the midst of a viral epidemic that had virtually no possibility of killing them.

I, on the other hand, think of Andrews as a monster who has been responsible for the deaths of hundreds of people, responsible for the destruction of millions of dollars of value across the state and for a lockdown that will drain the resources available to Victorians for a generation.

And it is still not over and Andrews has still not resigned. He must live inside the tightest most secure echo chamber ever constructed if all he can hear is the praise from deluded idiots for what he has done. Step outside, you buffoon, and hear what the rest of us think.

Josh Frydenberg has said it well, and he has said it in response to a Labor Party motion in the Federal Parliament to thank Dan Andrews for what he has done. How out of touch with reality can these people be! Repulsive remains the only word that captures the essence of Andrews and the sooner he leaves the political stage the better it will be. If you “Stand with Dan”, you are a pretty stupid person yourself.

There has never been a government with such a high approval-to-incompetence ratio

Guess who that is? And guess what it’s about. The first two minutes should make you sick. Do not watch too much more since it will be bad for your health. Much more dangerous than CV-1984.

So this is where we are with Mr Stupid: Andrews threatens border closures over Kiwi arrivals. There has never been a government with such a high approval-to-incompetence ratio. Bumbling fools comes nowhere near covering it. Twenty-one years of almost continuous Labor Party management have brought community expectations for their governments to the lowest level in history.

Mr Andrews said he had previously told the federal government Victoria was not part of the travel bubble and blamed federal authorities for the arrivals, saying he did not know they were coming and they should have been stopped before they boarded flights to Melbourne. NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian made it clear her government would not prevent passengers travelling to Victoria, with a spokeswoman saying the issue was a matter for the southern state. Victoria’s borders are not closed to NSW…. Victorian authorities spent much of yesterday trying to track down the travellers, with Mr Andrews conceding the state’s health department had no power to stop passengers, detain them or force them into quarantine if they had arrived from interstate, rather than overseas.

They arrive from places where there are no cases of the Corona Virus, so what’s the problem? And if you want more evidence just how incompetent these people are, try this although there is much much more:

A spokeswoman for the federal Department of Health confirmed Victoria’s chief health officer Brett Sutton was present at a meeting on October 12 when the matter of onwards travel of New Zealanders from Sydney to Melbourne was discussed. Mr Tudge also tweeted that Professor Sutton “did not raise any concerns” in the discussions. It also emerged Mr Andrews’ own department had given one of the arrivals from NZ the green light two weeks ago to travel onward to Victoria although the advice, from the Department of Premier and Cabinet, was issued before Mr Andrews had officially declared his state was not joining the travel bubble. The Age has also seen an email from the Premier’s Department, sent on October 12 in response to a query about travel from NZ via Sydney, that clearly advised that Victoria’s borders were open and that the traveller was free to arrive in the southern state.

I can only think Dan is still there because the rest of his cabinet has joined Michael O’Brien (the unknown leader of the Liberal Party) in not wanting to become Premier until the present Victorian mess is limited to the level of “Ongoing Catastrophe” from its present level of “Major Calamity”.

Australians watching American politics according to The Oz

This really is one of the creepiest stories I have come across in the papers in quite a while: Public safety becomes a casualty to the culture wars. It’s by Katrina Grace Kelly and it’s in The Australian.

Confession: it is easy to laugh when on the other side of the world, I suppose, but Donald Trump has been a source of great amusement for many years. However, as the mind-boggling events unfolded this week, the smile was wiped from my dial.

Telling people not to be afraid of COVID-19, which he has contracted — although when and where remains a secret — the President checked out of hospital and returned to the White House.

A day or so later, as the US death toll reached 211,532, reports on television claimed Trump was symptom free and had declared his infection a “blessing in disguise”.

This is her central point:

If the leader of any country has only one job, it is to keep their citizens out of harm’s way. Despite any other previous policy triumphs, if a leader doesn’t do everything to keep their people alive in the face of avoidable death, they won’t be appreciated.

I don’t want to get into just how inane I think this is. If you don’t see it yourself, I can do nothing to help you. But it was the sentence that followed that makes it clear just how much, in Jane Fonda’s words, “Covid is God’s gift to the Left”. Here we have, in The Oz:

Polls often are wrong but they have Trump on track to lose the election. If he does, it will be because of his COVID-19 response.

And it will be just because of this safety-first inanity from people of the left such as herself. Save me, she begs, save me. No one is any longer dying, there are other issues that also matter, and many that are much more important. But so far as she is concerned, that is the first priority with everything else a long way distant behind. Here are the first five comments under “Best Liked” and then a few others after that.

“Voters expect politicians to do everything to keep them safe”. No, we expect them to provide information so we can decide for ourselves how “safe” we want to be. It’s time we recaptured the notion of individual responsibility. The thought of big government nursing me from cradle to grave has me more worried than the virus.

Used to like reading your columns Katrina now they are better suited to the Guardian.

Keeping the population safe includes the responsibility of not destroying the economy.

KGK over the last couple of her articles, has shown herself to be a Dan lover and Trump/right hater/disliker. It’s always good to know the perspective from which the authors come. One thing though for KGK, as a person who will relentlessly defend Dan Andrews and his draconian lockdowns, can she please explain how my child in France was in the very same class with another child who was confirmed to have Covid. The Covid positive child stayed away from school for a few weeks and the rest of the class went on as normal with no one else (nor the teacher) getting Covid (and their classrooms is really, really small and packed with students). Compare this with Victoria where there are very very few diagnosed cases (certainly in comparison to France) but no kids going to school for 6 entire months. KGK, can you see why some people may see that there has been a bit of an over reaction by your man Dan? I think KGK ought to check her bias.

A very simple response Katrina. You’re so very, very wrong in your thinking.

“Telling people not to be afraid of COVID-19, which he has contracted.” Am I the only person in the world who understood his words to be along the lines of not letting yourself become too afraid to live and to still find joy in the world despite the times we are living in; but to take care and be responsible. The man has his faults but for just once could anyone report on his utterances with just a small degree of objectivity?

It is the perpetually terrified who have urged politicians to bring us to our knees. Governments cannot keep us safe. In the ultimate scenario it is they that send troops to die to achieve economic and moral objectives. Safety is am illusion. Live under the doona for as long as you like Katrina but the rest of us want to live life.

This is what gets my back up. People who are so quick to blame Trump for the deaths from corona but yet give a free pass to Dan Andrews. Seriously?? The same bloke who let 10000 BLM protesters run amuck thru Melbourne because apparently they couldn’t be policed but yet dragged a pregnant mother out of her home for supporting a Fb post about a protest. What a joke.

Sorry, but most of this is a string of nonsense cliches.

We can’t hide under the bed forever. I think it is eminently sensible advice to say ‘don’t let this virus rule our lives, we must learn to live with it’.

I swear people still peddling this fear campaign must live under a rock.

Columnists who try men’s souls

I get all the papers now since there is so little to do that the extra crossword puzzles and sudokus help fill in the day. But these are columns that try men’s souls, I can tell you, and from The Oz as well. And once again, Daniel Andrews is the cause. Let me take you first to Angela Shanahan and her pathetic Let’s give these poor pollies a break. There we find:

The Victorian Premier is held up as an incompetent fool, a crazed ideological warrior with no sense of “reality”, careless of the econo­mic devastation cutting a swath through his state, and adopting totalitarian methods of control.

And so he is and all of that. Angela, however, thinks we are being too hard on this poor, misbegotten sod:

These two premiers [Dan and the premier of Queensland] have become symbols of ideological warfare that preceded the pandemic. Many attacks directed at them have nothing to do with how well, or badly, they are managing to control the spread of the virus in their states. It is a type of proxy warfare. The border closures and even the economic versus fatality arguments are an extension of the ideological warfare that apparently cannot be halted even in times of national emergency.

She then added this, gratuitously to my mind, towards the end, so that I will now feel free to never read another word she writes:

Generally our politicians are men and women of quite high calibre and good character. (If you don’t believe me, look at the two contenders for the American presidency.)

Unbelievable. You can tell almost everything about someone’s politics by their attitude to Donald Trump.

Then we come to Katrina Grace Kelly who writes in her column today, We are managing the pandemic quite well, so stop the wild shrieking. Someone I had long ago stopped reading. The heading did get me in today, but the contents will keep me away for even longer after this. She is discussing the poll results that show Daniel Andrews has 61% approval for his handling of the Corona V:

This data rises above the chorus of remarks by federal coalition politicians, and hyperbolic and often inaccurate criticism from the angry tub-thumpers on SAD (Sky after Dark). On SAD, our Premier is called “Chairman Dan” or “Dictator Dan” and Victoria is referred to as a “socialist republic” and a “failed state”. These insults demean every Victorian, regardless of how they vote.

What about the extra 750 deaths in Victoria, you absurdist goose? The Sky After Dark crowd are trying to tell you something, but you are obviously too thick with sentimental eyewash to take in what they are saying. Any thoughts on the Chinese Road and Brick business? These are the first four comments under “Best”, that is, the comments most in keeping with the views of others.

Fact number one: the Victorian government’s massive incompetence in handling hotel quarantine has led to awful human and economic loss. It’s the biggest failure of public policy and administration in modern Australian history. This, really, is all that needs to be known. Nothing to do with the political opposition or politics more generally. Just sheer, industrial scale incompetence by the Victorian government.

Walking though the Geelong CBD is hard not to notice around 20% of the shop fronts are empty. The economic pain Andrews has caused with the bungled hotel quarantine program is yet to be felt and will linger for years to come. Andrews economic record is headed south at a rapid rate. He wasted $1.3 billion on not building a road and now the road he’s building to replace has a cost overrun of $3 billion and it not even half build. It pretty clear Andrews government is following the trajectory of the Cain Government and like Cain I expect Andrews to jump ship just as the economic pain starts to wash across the deck.

In this country your state of Victoria has failed to control this virus. 700+ deaths , billions lost, thousands of jobs lost, denial of civil liberties resulting in the hardest lock down in the world. People are shrieking because the ALP have lowered the standard of accountability of Government to the point that your Premier sets up an inquiry to investigate a failed hotel quarantine management policy that HE introduced and after months he finally shows up unprepared and doesn’t know who introduced private security guards. And you still “stand with Dan”. And the worst performing state govt in this country probably ever.

Nobody does diversions better than Labor or the sycophantic media cheer squad.

It’s lucky I now subscribe to The Age so I can get some balance in what I read in the press.

Andrews fronts the Inquiry today

News and Opinion | Herald Sun

Daniel will front the Inquiry today. The last opportunity to find someone, anyone, who knew what was going on. From Tim Smith from the Victorian Opposition (it does exist):

I don’t recall. No, those meeting notes with my name do not jog my memory. The decision to use security guards was already made, I don’t know by who. That was not my responsibility. I heard something about the ADF, but I don’t recall what.

Each senior figure speaking before the hotel quarantine inquiry should be made to read the transcript of their evidence and donate a considerable sum from their handsome taxpayer-funded salaries to the victims of this disaster for every time they used a version of those words.

Hundreds of Victorians have died. Thousands of businesses have collapsed. Hundreds of thousands of Victorians have lost their jobs.

The people entrusted to navigate Victoria through this pandemic steered it onto the rocks of the second wave — and are now they obfuscate, buck pass, dissemble and perhaps even lie under oath. It is a conga line of incompetence, insincerity and insensitivity. And it is a gross insult to the families who have lost loved ones because of them.

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 (see Call off the Covid Dogs) an article which was published online but not in the papers, these were some of 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 and dealing with irrational fears 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.

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.

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.

The case for calling off the Covid dogs

This is from Chris Uhlmann in the Age and Sydney Morning Herald, and yet for all that, I find I agree with the whole thing. There is some minor softening of his criticisms but he does seem to get to the heart of the matter and relentlessly makes the case for calling off the Covid dogs. Is Australia reaching some kind of consensus on the madness of the past few months? It’s titled, COVID-19 has hammered home some uncomfortable truths about us as a people.

Soon enough there will be a global reckoning on whether the coronavirus defences did more damage than the disease. It will be driven by the swingeing economic destruction imposed by governments that will deliver millions into poverty, driving internal and external conflicts. Beggared states will turn inward, the world will become more polarised, angrier, more dangerous. In time it’s a fair bet the cure will be seen by many as the real curse, as people whose lives have been destroyed seek retribution.

The COVID cure will be seen as worse than the disease, particularly in Victoria. Though it will be a small wave in the storm, here the Victorian solution and internal border closures should be counted among those judged as doing much more harm than good. That’s because there was abundant evidence by mid-year that pointed to more road maps to recovery than the “only way” decreed by the Victorian Premier or the self-interested, colonial-era border wars led by his peers.

You can forgive the early response of all governments to the horror of a novel virus. Plagues are in the front rank of human threats. In February and March little was known about COVID-19 and the worst was rightly assumed. Australia’s leaders reacted quickly, worked in unison and chose to buy time; to lock their populations down while health systems were fortified with a timetable set for easing their way out. That was a sensible, defensible plan. Now there is no nation plan and that is as indefensible as Victoria’s panic-stricken response. Because now we know much more about the disease and, while it is a serious illness, it is a whole lot less frightening than it is made out to be.

COVID-19 is nowhere near as deadly as the Spanish Flu, which killed an estimated 50 million, mostly young, people worldwide. Fifteen thousand of those deaths were in Australia, in a population that was then just 5 million. At the time of writing, COVID-19 had killed about 930,000 people globally. Here 816 have died in a population now pushing towards 26 million. No matter how hard the death of anyone under 50 is spun, it is so vanishingly rare among Australia’s body count as to be close to zero. If you are a woman, it is zero. In Australia there is a far greater statistical chance that someone under 60 will die in a car accident.

COVID-19 mostly kills the elderly, especially if they have an existing chronic disease. That is not an argument to let them die but it should guide government responses. Of the 816 Australian deaths the vast majority, 606, were in residential aged care. So if you are going to throw a ring of steel around anything it should be around aged care homes, not Melbourne. The rest of the population should be liberated to get on with their lives while taking sensible health precautions.

Governing should be about balancing risks against costs and only fools and sophists make arguments based on false choices. The debate is not between what we are doing and doing nothing. It should be about what response delivers the greatest good for the greatest number. The Victorian solution punishes the many for the few. It preferences the very old over the young, mortgaging the future of the entire school and working age population. It is hard to imagine how you could design a policy which is more profoundly unfair or damaging to a society.

If the argument is we must do everything in our power to protect the elderly then were are already doing well. Federal Health Department data, first published in The Australian, shows that there were almost 1000 fewer deaths in residential aged care in the first seven months of this year than in the same time last year. I sourced the same data from the department and received two a tables and a note.

“The lower number of deaths for this period in 2020 (32,398) compared to the same period in 2019 (33,383) is likely the result of increased influenza immunisation rates, and increased infection control protocols introduced during the COVID-19 pandemic,” the health department note said. So, why is it a crime for someone to die of COVID-19 in care but it’s OK if they die of absolutely anything else?

This disease has revealed the character of our leaders and hammered home some uncomfortable truths about us as a people. As a nation we seem comfortable with authoritarianism and too many relish the role of prefect [he means dictator, but that’s the only bit where I feel he may have pulled his punches – SK].

And nowhere in this often-opaque democracy has a less transparent court system, bureaucracy, police force or government than Victoria. The people there have been badly served, even as some revelled in the servitude. Its systems of power have combined to deliver the wanton destruction of its vibrant society. Its government has condemned its people to a poorer future, to higher unemployment, more poverty and less opportunity.

Rejoice. Dan Andrews has destroyed the village to save it.

If the mainstream of the mainstream media are worrying about threats to our freedoms and prosperity from centralised government controls and an overbearing politicisation of the public service and the police, we may yet be able to save ourselves.

Liar Dan and the fine art of casuistry

This is the front page of the Oz: Andrews letters: PM’s offers met by silence. And then see precisely what Silent Dan says:

Revelations of the Prime Minister’s offers of help to Mr And­rews came as the Premier said on Wednesday that he stood by his statement to a state parliamentary committee hearing last month that it was “fundamentally incorrect to assert that there was hundreds of ADF staff on offer and somehow someone said no”.

Get it. No one said no. What a disgusting weasel. Responsible for hundreds of deaths and he wants to start defending himself by parsing the meaning of words. Will accept no responsibility for the catastrophe he has overseen and largely caused by his incompetence.

As for casuistry, perhaps he learned it when studying the classics, one of the fine arts of dishonest politics:

the use of clever but unsound reasoning, especially in relation to moral questions; sophistry.
“the minister is engaging in nothing more or less than casuistry”

I wonder if he was crossing his fingers when he said what he said. I also notice that on the new citizenship test there is this question:

Should people’s freedom of speech and freedom of expression be respected in Australia?

I wonder how Dan would go with that.

LET ME ALSO ADD THIS: Despite 10,000 new cases a day, the French are embracing life – not imposing new rules.

The cafes of Paris are packed

No one is dying from the Covid any longer. The contrast between Melbourne and Paris is incredible.

AND FROM THE COMMENTS:

The 20 traits of a psychopath

The Hare Psychopathy Checklist-Revised (PCL-R) is composed of 20 salient traits that a psychopath may have:
1. Pathological lying
2. Glib and superficial charm
3. Grandiose sense of self
4. Need for stimulation
5. Cunning and manipulative
6. Lack of remorse or guilt
7. Shallow emotional response
8. Callousness and lack of empathy
9. Parasitic lifestyle
10. Poor behavioural controls
11. Sexual promiscuity
12. Early behaviour problems
13. Lack of realistic long-term goals
14. Impulsivity
15. Irresponsibility
16. Failure to accept responsibility
17. Many short-term marital relationships
18. Juvenile delinquency
19. Revocation of conditional release
20. Criminal versatility

The Hare Psychopathy Checklist categories four major traits. These traits are Interpersonal, Emotional, Lifestyle, and Antisocial. Here are the discussions of each trait.

1. Interpersonal Traits
Pathological lying is one of the most salient characteristics of psychopaths. They use lies to cover up their true purpose. By using the charm that they have, psychopaths win over their target victim.

Their high self-worth makes them crave for more power. As a result, they want to maintain the authority and power they have.

2. Emotional Traits
Psychopaths lack remorse and guilt. Consequently, it is easy for them to manipulate or inflict pain on their victims. They will simply get away with the crime they commit.

The lack of empathy makes the psychopaths unaware of their victims’ emotional or physical turmoil. They never hold the responsibility of their acts.

3. Lifestyle Trait
Psychopaths are impulsive and irresponsible. They typically have no long-term and realistic goals.

4. Antisocial Traits
Psychopaths always have difficulties in controlling their behaviour. As a result, developing a social relationship is a constant and huge challenge for them.

Although psychopaths are rare, they are difficult to spot. You have no idea whether one of your co-workers, classmates, or friends is a psychopath. The 20 traits of a psychopath listed in the scale (PCL-R) will help you assess the suspected person.

The help of a mental expert may aid the assessment process. Like other psychological disorders, diagnosing psychopathy is also a tricky thing to do. It requires expertise and experience.