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.

What Daniel Andrews needs to understand about Covid-19

The problem with Daniel Andrews has been from the start that he’s not very bright and has only a limited grasp of the issues. He does however like to tell people what to do and has little time for actual discussion and debate since argument is not really his preferred form of persuasion. The video will bring you up to date on where the Covid story now finds itself. It is a shame Andrews doesn’t get any of this. The video although somewhat long (but not too long) really is an eyeopener.

How do we come out of this alive?

The wages shortfall has been replaced by benefits and then some. Picture: Supplied.

Taken from JobSeeker, JobKeeper ending will reveal massive recession crisis.

The core concept of Jobkeeper was all right, to make sure no one was deprived of the ability to buy because they had lost their income. The data in the graph are however insane. Does no one any longer have a sense of proportion, and can no one any longer look forward for more than a day at a time? And it comes with this, also at the link:

How much the recession will cost you

It comes from the Commonwealth Bank of Australia and it shows how much more money Australians are making than the year before. It’s a lot. We’re flying.

The black line is now at 16 per cent, which means we’re making 16 per cent more money in 2020 than last year.

Think about it like this: Australians who were banking $1000 per week last year are banking on average $1160 now. That’s a lot of extra money each week.

Where is the cash is coming from? Up until the start of the pandemic, the black line was being held up by the blue bars: earnings from work, i.e. salary and wages. We were 4 or 5 per cent richer than the year before, because more wages were being paid.

Then the COVID-19 pandemic starts. The blue bars turn slightly negative – wages and salaries went down (they would have gone down even more if not for JobKeeper!). But the red bars shoot up. That’s Treasurer Josh Frydenberg turning on the money taps.

JobSeeker is the big one, and the two $750 payments that went to pensioners.

We’re paying out 16% more in incomes while productive output must have fallen along with business profitability by some massive percent! If these numbers are anywhere correct we are heading for the rocks.

I will add that if the government, any government, still believes that the level of demand is what keeps the economy moving ahead or adds to job numbers, they are about to find out once again just how wrong that is. Not that they will learn, because they are too stupid, but they will find out all the same.

Why has the Covid crisis not disappeared already?

Back in March, there was a vast level of uncertainty over what would happen and how things might unfold. And then there was THE BIG LIE of the time about the need “to flatten the curve” which was a justification whose relevance did not last the month. Yet here we are, more than six months later, where we can see that the economies that did the least – Sweden say, and Taiwan – are the ones who are going forward, while those who have taken the hardest road are facing both economic and social disaster. The question is why is this continuing?

NO MEDICAL DANGER You may get Covid but unless you are old and have these “co-morbidities” you are not going to die from it. You have to be colossally ignorant by now not to know the chances of dying from Covid-19 is for all practical purposes zero. There have been 770 deaths in Australia with Covid present which in itself is a death rate from the virus of 0.003%, that is 3 persons per 100,000 in the population. We are dealing with a form of morbid ignorance and stupidity which no government should ever cater to.

DESTROYING THE ECONOMY And it is only the private sector that has been affected. Every useless public servant has continued to be employed on full salary, along with even the occasionally useful one. Everyone has now been reduced to a relatively primitive standard of living. You get to stay in your own house and you can find food in the shops. Thousands of businesses have been ruined which will never come back. Well paying jobs are disappearing. And even those self-satisfied public servants will be in for a shock when governments at every level eventually find they cannot pay what they used to pay because of the enormous debts governments now have. The future levels of taxation will be quite a horror story for quite a few amongst us.

DESTROYING OUR SOCIAL LIVES Even among those who who have others to live with – wives, husbands, partners, children – have had their personal lives devastated. Social contacts have been diminished. Our usual ways of getting on and about – going to each other’s homes, going to the theatre, meeting up for lunch, travel – have been utterly smashed. For those on their own, the isolation has been awful. An almost total contraction of being with others. The lie that “we are all in this together” really is that you are left all on your own and by yourselves to do as best you can.

UNDERMINING OUR FUTURE Lives, alas, are finite. By government decree, each of us has lost a year of our lives in which we would have done many other things had we not been stopped from doing them. The economy will not, of course, come back as it was, and many job opportunities will be lost. Some may never work again, with retirement incomes never reaching the potential they might have achieved. There are trips we didn’t take, visits we never made, studies we never took up, and much much more. Each day has been much less of what in normal times it might have been.

LOSS OF PERSONAL FREEDOM Not only have we lost our personal freedom we have lost our trust in political institutions. We have exposed just how shallow and generally ignorant our political leaders are. They stand for nothing other than their own will to rule. Whatever the polls of the moment may show, has any political leader in charge of a lockdown grown in political stature? Not a single one. Every one of them will be remembered as part of a pack of political fools. There is the Melbourne Syndrome, in which a population in fear grows grateful to their captors, but that will evaporate soon enough, following which will come the anger and resentment for having been deceived by people who will be recognised as having been overwhelmed by events and with no particularly ability to lead. Yet we have seen how easy it is for a government to generate a sense of crisis in which the single most significant aspect of our lives – our ability to live our own lives in our own way – has been ripped from us on false pretences.

LOSS OF TRUST IN THE MEDIA The media have again been exposed as a gaggle of ignorant nobodies with the collective knowledge and depth of the nation’s Grade 4 teachers, if even that. The endless inability to set out any issue in a way that balances all of the relevant considerations has been striking. Merely in relation to the debate over Hydroxychloroquine, the media have joined with the governing classes to spread concern about a drug that would without question have taken the spectre of death completely out of the political equation, never mind having been able to save many lives.

There will eventually have to be a reckoning. How did we let this happen and how can we make sure it never happens again? This non-crisis will eventually come to an end, although having original thought this could not last past June, I am no longer willing to guess just how crazed and power-hungry our political class is or how cowardly the population at large is or how easily they are able to be thrown into a terrified frenzy. But we have learned a lesson, or at least I hope we have. Ultimately this episode should weigh heavily on our political direction. People will be elected with the promise to remedy the obvious deficiencies in our political arrangements.

My life matters

Police talk to a man in a park near the Victorian Parliament building in Melbourne ahead of possible anti lockdown protests on Saturday. Picture: David Crosling

Who are these protestors out on the streets of Australia today endangering the lives of the rest of us? Police out in force as anti-lockdown protesters take to streets. Who cares about any of this – Victorians are staring into an economic abyss – when Covid-19 might shave a day and a half off the life expectancy of the average Australian.

Daniel Andrews may be a low-IQ psychopathic authoritarian thug but cometh the moment cometh the man.

So what if future generations will look back on us as the greatest collection of simpletons ever to have called themselves Australians. They will have no idea of what terror is when we have lived through a period in time when 0.0024% of the population has been carried off – or at least partly carried off since most had other co-morbidities – by this global pandemic.

Tony Abbott discusses the Chinese flu

Found at our ABC so it must contain some negative message I fail to see. You can see how sensible Tony is by the fact that the ABC runs him: Tony Abbott urges against coronavirus restrictions, argues ‘uncomfortable questions’ need to be asked.

Former prime minister Tony Abbott has called for COVID-19 restrictions to be relaxed, arguing officials have become trapped in “crisis mode” and that governments need to consider “uncomfortable questions” about the number of deaths they are prepared to live with.

“From a health perspective, this pandemic has been serious. From an economic perspective, it’s been disastrous,” he said.

“But I suspect that it’s from an overall wellbeing perspective that it will turn out worst of all. Because this is what happens when for much more than a mere moment, we let fear of falling sick stop us from being fully alive.

“Now that each one of us has had six months to consider this pandemic, and to make our own judgements about it, surely it’s time to relax the rules so that individuals can take more personal responsibility and make more of their own decisions about the risks they’re prepared to run.”

His key points:

  • Mr Abbott said governments approached the pandemic like “trauma doctors instead of thinking like health economists”
  • He accused Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews of wanting to extend a “health dictatorship” by pushing for an extension of state of emergency powers
  • He said the media had spread “virus hysteria” and people should be allowed to make their own decisions
  • Speaking in London to the UK think tank Policy Exchange, Mr Abbott said the media had spread “virus hysteria” and people should be allowed to make their own decisions.

For the ABC Daniel Andrews is more their kind of guy.

RECALLING TONY ABBOTT’S FINEST HOUR: Which has been brought to mind by this: ‘MISOGYNIST’: FORMER PM TONY ABBOTT TORN APART BY [FEMALE PSEUDO-TORY] BRITISH POLITICIAN. Would she even know that Tony Abbott’s Chief of Staff was a woman? Or anything about his sister (see the wedding photo below)?

The moment was, of course, when he looked at his watch while Julia droned on. No one, of course, ever mentions how Kevin Rudd shoved her aside just before the 2013 election.

Newlyweds

See Tony Abbott’s sister Christine Forster marries long-time partner Virginia Flitcroft for further details.