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Posted in COVID-19, Public Service Announcement | 45 Comments

Officialdom and the media to Australians …

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Led by credulous morons

Coronavirus crisis projected to add $620bn to Australia’s net debt, PBO says.

Australia’s legacy of the COVID-19 crisis will be additional net debt of up to $620bn by the end of this decade, while the budget deficit will peak at nearly $200bn in the next financial year and will remain in deficit through to 2030, according to new Parliamentary Budget Office projections.

And if nothing else was proven today, everyone now knows with certainty that the lockdown past the first few weeks had nothing to do with public health and safety. Every political leader still enforcing the lockdown is only doing it to save them from the humiliation of being recognised as such credulous nitwits.

Posted in Australian Story, COVID-19 | 17 Comments

So why can’t we go to the football?

Or to Church, or funerals, or weddings, or work?

Posted in COVID-19, Hypocrisy of progressives | 87 Comments

Paul Kelly on Patrick J. Deneen

Paul Kelly has an oped in The Australian today revisiting one of his recent themes – the centre cannot hold.

I want to focus on one aspect of his argument:

The ultimate statement reflecting this rage is the 2018 book, Why Liberalism Failed, by Catholic academic Patrick J. Deneen, a social conservative, economic primitive and misguided political analyst. The thesis is that liberalism is to blame for the decline of religious faith and the destruction wrought by progressive morality. Deneen says 70 per cent of Americans believe their country is moving in the wrong direction and half the country thinks its best days are behind it. He said liberalism, with its ideals of limited but effective government, independent judiciary, responsive public officials and free and fair elections, has betrayed virtually every promise made in its name.

“Liberalism has failed — not because it fell short but because it was true to itself,” he said. “In practice (it) generates titanic inequality, enforces uniformity and homogeneity, fosters material and spiritual degradation and undermines freedom.” Deneen argues the tragedy is that liberalism — the first of the modern world’s competitor political ideologues after fascism and communism — is now exposed for its vices.

A couple of things. Deneen is entirely correct when he argues that liberal democracy is failing. Government is not limited, and not effective, the judiciary is not independent, public servants are not responsive. Perhaps elections are free and fair, yet increasingly there are impediments to sources of finance and advertising and what can be said and done during elections that are inherently anti-democratic.

Deneen is wrong to suggest that liberalism has succeeded too well. These outcomes are not successes of liberalism – the Marxist notion that somehow liberalism carries the seeds of its own failure. Or the Schumpeterian notion that liberalism destroys itself by being too liberal. They are failures of liberalism.

Part of the problem is that Deneen has a far too inclusive definition of what constitutes liberalism. So in his story everyone from Sarah Hanson-Young to Pauline Hanson in the Australian Parliament would be ‘liberal’. Whereas I would argue that neither of those two individuals is a ‘liberal’.

The liberal project remains important – but right now it has few friends. I saw a wonderful phrase the other day that applies here:

disillusionment curdled into alienation

Yes, disillusionment with liberalism has curdled into alienation from the ideals and principles of liberty.

As an aside – if you read this oped from Paul Kelly a couple of days ago, you’ll realise that he simply does not understand the political phenomenon that is Donald Trump.

Posted in Classical Liberalism, Conservative politics, Culture Wars | 18 Comments

Green light from Eileen

Posted in COVID-19, Public Service Announcement | 34 Comments

Pudding Lane Theory

THE ABC’s state political reporter Allyson Horn does not want Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk blamed for the Nathan Turner debacle. She argues the fire of controversy that engulfed the Blackwater man’s negative COVID-19 status this week took hold because “the information was first published on social media by the bakery where Mr Turner’s partner worked” rather than by “ministers or Queensland Health.”

Sure, Alyson. That’s what triggered the uncertainty about the Premier’s judgement. A bakery.

Posted in Fake News, Media, State Politics | 26 Comments

Classical economics and the unemployment rate in the United States

As anyone who understands classical economic theory would understand – which might include around half a dozen people across the world today – “demand for commodities is not demand for labour”. That is John Stuart Mill’s Fourth Fundamental Proposition on Capital. The number of jobs in an economy is unrelated to the level of aggregate demand. This, I need hardly tell you, is in direct contradiction of the whole of modern macroeconomic theory. Which brings us to the latest jobs report in the United States. U.S. Economy Adds Record 2.5 Million Jobs in May, Unemployment Rate Falls to 13.3%.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported the U.S. economy added 2.5 million jobs, the largest gain ever recorded and the unemployment rate fell to 13.3 in May.

Well economic good news of such a colossal dimension cannot be allowed to stand on its own so this is what the media reported on instead: Fake News: Media Rush to Decry Trump Quote on George Floyd During Jobs Report Presser – Except He Didn’t Say It

President Trump held a press conference/signing ceremony today at the Rose Garden where he talked about the good news revealed by the BLS’s report before signing a bill that will “give recipients of government small business loans during the coronavirus more flexibility in how they spend the money.”

During the speech he gave before signing the bill, Trump also talked about a number of issues including racial equality in the context of the death of George Floyd last Monday, which happened after Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin had his knee on Floyd’s neck for nearly 9 minutes.

CBS News is one of the few news outlets that actually reported Trump’s comments accurately while providing some context:

But black unemployment rose slightly from 16.7% in April to 16.8% in May, in a month the president declared a “tribute to equality” as the nation protests racial discrimination and police brutality. Mr. Trump also seemed to declare success after a week of protests that swept the nation.

“Equal justice under the law must mean that every American receives equal treatment in every encounter with law enforcement, regardless of race, color, gender or creed, they have to receive fair treatment from law enforcement,” the president said. “They have to receive it. We all saw what happened last week. We can’t let that happen. Hopefully, George is looking down right now and saying this is a great thing that’s happening for our country. This is a great day for him, it’s a great day for everybody. This is a great day for everybody. This is a great, great day in terms of equality.”

See for yourself.

Wouldn’t have mentioned it except this media lie was the first thing said to me by my wife this morning.

For added pleasure, you might also wish to read this as well: Paul Krugman Caught in Hilarious Self-Own After Furiously Spinning Conspiracy Theories About Good Jobs Report.

Posted in American politics, Media | 10 Comments

The Lancet retracts anti-hydroxychloroquine paper

WAS a deliberately fraudulent “peer-reviewed” “study” rushed into print to score a political win against Donald Trump? It seems that’s part of the story in what has become the latest academic fraud perpetrated on, or by, the Lancet, a once respected medical journal that has become a clearing house for left-wing conspiracy theories and quackery masquerading as medical “studies.” The ABC – successfully hoaxed by a loopy perjurer in the Pell case – was thrilled when the “findings” of a paper dismissing the efficacy of hydroxychloroquine were published less than a fortnight ago. Its coverage focused mainly on President Trump rather than the science. He had not only described the anti-malaria drug as a “game changer” but was taking it personally.

This is a shocking example of research misconduct in the middle of a global health emergency.”

– Lancet editor Richard Horton is shocked – shocked! – to find there’s peer-reviewed fraud going on in here.

In eager lockstep with the Lancet, the equally disgraced World Health Organisation was even more impressed: it immediately suspended trials of the drug’s usefulness against COVID-19. To its credit, it was The Guardian – not the WHO or the ABC’s sham “fact check” unit – that examined the database provided for the research by shadowy US company, Surgisphere, and found several anomalies and oddities. Among the more colourful of these is that Surgisphere’s “handful of employees” includes a science fiction writer and an adult-content model. As for the company itself, hospitals and other organisations say they have never heard of it. This could be the tip of a huge scandal. Leaving aside President Trump, there are obviously many billions of dollars up for grabs to the pharmaceutical company that produces a vaccine or a proven prophylaxis for the coranavirus. It would therefore be interesting to learn more about the true owners and controllers of Surgisphere.

Posted in COVID-19, Fake News | 22 Comments

More light relief. Wind supply in SA negative since noon yesterday

You have to see it to believe it. Victoria (the new wind leader) not much better, flat from 3pm yesterday to 6 this morning and lately producing almost 50MW. Better than nothing I suppose.

For individual states look under the list of wind farms.

Across the NEM the wind was providing 1.5% of power with Queensland (2 wind farms) and Tasmania (four) doing the heavy lifting.

Bonus.   The story of The Spectator and the founding fatherRobert Rintoul (1787–1858), the workaholic Scottish Nonconformist and printer-turned-entrepreneur who founded The Spectator and edited it for thirty years. Backing the 1832 Reform Act and repeal of the Corn Laws, Rintoul made himself one of the great men of early Victorian England, a friend of Dickens and Walter Bagehot (mastermind behind The Economist) and an enemy of ‘toothless’ Lord Melbourne and young Disraeli (‘a spoiled child of parliamentary fashion’). Rintoul, the only editor with a mountain named after him in New Zealand, consciously emulated the spirit of Addison and Steele’s revered, eclectic Spectator of 1711 to 1712.

Posted in Global warming and climate change policy, Rafe | 21 Comments

Open Forum: June 6, 2020

Posted in Open Forum | 847 Comments