Weekday Reading #13

eugyppius, The Ideology of Corona Containment, eugyppius: a plague chronicle
Darren J. Beattie, Declassified Military Report Exposes Hidden Links Between Wokeness and The American Regime, Revolver News
el gato malo, is it vaccines or is it covid causing athletes to collapse on the field? Bad Cattitude
Adrian Vermeule,“It Can’t Happen”; Or, the Poverty of Political Imagination, The Postliberal Order
C.L., Covid and the Constitution – Beware a Gain of Function, The Currency Lad
Timothy Jacobson, Coronation and Communion, First Things
Paul Kingsnorth, How fear fuels the vaccine wars, UnHerd
Edward Feser, MacIntyre on human dignity, Edward Feser’s blog
The General Eclectic with Rod Dreher #41, Liquid Modernity is Civilizational Acid, The American Conservative
Mark Powell reviews Miranda Devine’s Laptop from Hell, Quadrant

Geoff Giudice [1947-1921]

A heavyweight bout before closing a chapter

There are people who are too little appreciated for what they have done, even though they have done a great deal. One of these is the just-departed former Chief Judge of Fair Work Australia, Geoff Guidice. I was devastated to learn he has now departed from this life. His funeral was today.

I came to know him when I was writing economic submissions for the National Wage Case on behalf of Australian Employers. He became the advocate when our previous advocate, Colin Polites, who had also passed away at a depressingly early age, was appointed as a Deputy President on the Australian Industrial Relations Commission (the AIRC). Colin had been for many years a great comic tenor in a variety of Gilbert and Sullivan productions and brought the same colour to his oral submissions.

Geoff was a completely different kind of advocate which I grew to admire for its surprising effectiveness since it was such a contrast to Colin’s. He would calmly and in a low-key manner, read the lines into transcript, but every so often would stop, and say something like, “I would particularly like to emphasise this” and tap his pencil on the lectern. And that tap would sound like an explosion across the courtroom, as everyone bent forward to hear what these special words would be.

He was a great advocate, and following that, he was a great President firstly for the AIRC and then after that, as the first President of the newly formed Fair Work Australia. What was so important to myself, in presenting my own economic submissions after I had taken over from Geoff, but only for the economic submissions – not the parts dealing with industrial law – was that I knew he would be fair and balanced when the decision was finally crafted. That, perhaps surprisingly, is all that we on the employer side ever sought.

And with his having been our advocate in the past, there was never any doubt he knew what the issues were and what really mattered.

Oddly, after he had left Fair Work Australia and I had gone on to other endeavours, we would occasionally bump into each other just by chance, with the most astonishing such meeting at the National Gallery in London one day completely out of the blue.

He had the sunniest disposition and was always kind and gentle. It was the greatest pleasure to meet up with him. He has departed from this life far too soon. But his was an eventful life, one whose achievements will, I fear, be much too little appreciated since they occurred in the midst of an arena whose importance remains all too little understood.

Oh my goodness, a pandemic!!

From Jupes in a previous thread, with thanks.

The ‘38th’ figure is where Covid was placed on the ABS list of 2020 causes of death.

Thirty. Eight. No, seriously. It’s official.

Well, as official as a number from the ABC can be. Anyway all part of our current forms of insanity. As others have pointed out, Omicron is an anagram for moronic. I can only hope when we get to Omega it will really be the final end to it all, as in the Alpha and the Omega. Omega is last!

Not to mention this: South African doctor says patients with Omicron variant have “very mild” symptoms.

A South African doctor who was one of the first to suspect a different coronavirus strain among patients said on Sunday that symptoms of the Omicron variant were so far mild and could be treated at home….

“The most predominant clinical complaint is severe fatigue for one or two days. With them, the headache and the body aches and pain.”

The news of the new variant emerging from South Africa prompted a swift reaction from several countries, including Britain, which on Friday imposed a travel ban on several southern African countries with immediate effect, a decision South Africa has strongly contested.

Bizarre and the reaction is deeply shameful.


There were a lot more than 20,000

The headline in the Sunday paper today read 20,000 rally in CBD. There were a lot more than that, as I did my own count as the procession passed by on Flinders Street.

This was my calculation. There were approximately 16 persons in each row of the procession. Each row passed by at the rate of one row per second (I took out my watch to time it) which is around 60 per minute. The parade lasted around an hour and a half.

So on my estimate, there were [16 X 60 X 90] people which comes to 86,400. Be conservative and make the estimate 60,000. Come half way back, call it 70,000. A lot more than the papers will want to have been true which is why they have taken that absurdly low estimate.

The paper also mentioned there were no arrests, and why would there be? This was not a crowd of radical lefties trying to instigate a confrontation. It was the most middle class crowd you would ever see. There were a few Eureka Stockade flags but many mothers with their children. These were people who may have had the vax themselves but will fight to the end to prevent their children being mandated these experimental vaxxines.

The papers are still, of course, in full-on scare everyone mode, with this now the top story at The Age: Two Omicron cases confirmed in Sydney. For me, though, the best sign of the day read:

Why are we closing the country because of the 38th most important cause of death in Australia.

Not my stat, but I could not agree more. And if this is true, the people who manage our communal affairs could not be more vile. Sent to me by a colleague.

Schools are having children wear yellow wristbands to easily identify those who have mask exemptions and/or are unvaccinated so that they can be segregated from their peers.

The Kafkaesque process of Vaccine Exemptions

This is an incredible story. This lady is being put through the ringer here in Victoria in order to obtain a medical exemption even though she clearly deserves one given her previous anaphylactic episodes with other medical interventions. Her GP refused on the grounds of ‘legal liability’ but I think its rather fear of an APRHA investigation. She is still, I believe, awaiting approval of her medical exemption – finally provided by a specialist – from the relevant medical authority, which I believe, is simply a public servant that can second guess the GP or specialist, here the latter, that initially granted the medical exemption. Even given her anaphylactic history, an even more bizarre dimension of this episode is the attempt to still try a vaccinate her via the intervention of the Victorian Specialist Immunisation Service.

Timestamps: Continue reading “The Kafkaesque process of Vaccine Exemptions”

“The task of the Marxist historian”

I’m all for de mortuis nil nisi bonum but there are limits.

The obit for Stuart Macintyre in The Oz certainly is heavily weighted on the bonum side. And what is perhaps worth noting is that there is plenty in what was written even there that should make someone just a bit suspicious. Let me quote from here and there, following the opening sentence: “Stuart Macintyre was the most outstanding Australian historian of his generation.”

In his first published essay, he challenged the “bourgeois ideology” of the Melbourne history school, personified by its founders, Ernest Scott and Max Crawford.

The task of the Marxist historian, he declared, was “the analysis of the full complexity of class oppression”….

His first book, A Proletarian Science, based on his Cambridge doctoral thesis, was on the history of communism, as was his last, The Party – the second volume of his magnum opus, a history of the Australian Communist Party, completed during his last illness….

He remained firmly on the left, and was often critical of historical orthodoxy.

Just to round things out, please read Keith Windschuttle’s essay from 2008: Stuart Macintyre and the Blainey Affair. It does get a mention in the Obit in The Oz: “In 1990 succeeded Geoffrey Blainey as the Ernest Scott professor of history” but you might find out just that bit extra reading Keith’s article.

The Continuing Nightmare

A chap writing for Breitbart thought that the new strain out of Botswana might be called nu. Why not mu, which comes before nu, I thought. As it was, I don’t believe we had gamma before the health gurus plumped for delta. I think there was a flirtation with a new strain lambda, but that went nowhere in the survival of the fittest game among viruses. Anyway, we now have omicron.

I understand that a body called the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV) has naming rights. I would just say omicron is the fifteenth letter of the Greek alphabet. Thus, only nine are left. So, care is needed in skipping letters in future lest we run out of letters. Bet your life, the virus has many more shapes to take.

Apparently, the new strain has thirty mutations on the spike protein. I think. Who would have thought ordinary folk would talk this way and be understood. Big pharma is lickin’ its lips. Boosters, augmenters, whole new vaccines, the dollars will keep rollin’ in.

Politicians too will get a fillip in throwing their weight around. Banning travel, locking people indoors, masking them; those barbed-wire quarantine centres will come in handy. What a lark.

You know that advice we all get when given antibiotics. Take the whole course. That’s to prevent bacteria becoming resistant to the antibiotic. How about a vaccine which allows the virus to live in abundance within the host? Might that not provide the evolutionary opportunity for novel strains to develop, resistant to the vaccine?

Just spitballing here but I wonder if vaccines had not plagued our lives whether the virus would now have run its course. Therapeutics would also have been developed, standardised and promoted. As it is, the nightmare continues. Freddy Krueger’s back.

Guest Post: mem – Amongst the political fall-out in Victoria are we witnessing a rising star?

I watched the recently appointed Victoria Shadow Attorney-General, Matthew Bach, being interviewed by Peta Credlin on Sky News. He spoke calmly and authoritatively about the current impasse in Parliament concerning the Andrews pandemic Bill. It was the first time that I have heard him speak in his new position. It is also the first time that I’ve heard any politician address the potential implications for Victorians if the Bill doesn’t pass. What a breath of fresh air. Certainly great leadership potential. Or was I just dazzled by his media presence?

Victorian Shadow Attorney-General Matthew Bach says the Andrews government is working really hard to “pressure” crossbench MPs in the upper house to pass its controversial pandemic laws.

“There are 11 crossbench MPs in the upper house where I sit,” Mr Bach told Sky News host Peta Credlin.

“Initially, starting six months ago, the government negotiated with just three consistent Labor voting crossbenchers.

“But they got the numbers wrong, because of course Adem Somyurek, the former disgraced Labor minister, is also entitled to sit in the Upper House and he’s come out to say that he’ll vote against the legislation.

“My message to my crossbench colleagues is: stay strong, listen to your constituents, do what’s right first and foremost to your constituents and for the people of Victoria.” Continued here.