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

I’m Right Again.

For quite some time now I have saying conservatives have to kick these awful ‘Royals’ out. Finally others are seeing the danger. Part of a mega rich elite who have contrived a completely fictional image of being on the side of the every day people and their existence as synonymous with tradition, Britishness and the ‘keep calm and carry on’ spirit. Especially annoying when conservatives fantasise about the Queen siccing Bond onto their own ideological enemies. Silly stuff and oblivious as to what these ridiculous parasites have always been.
Nostalgia for something that never really was is delusion at twice remove from reality.

Maybe Malcom got at least one thingbright…

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”

A Sunday Reflection

For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving:

I have recently partook of events that cause me great gratitude and to reflect upon my good fortune, the wonderful nature of my neighbours and the few firm and steadfast friends we have.

The immediate circumstances aside, my reflections this morning wandered further afar in geography and back in time to the long gone decades I enjoyed in my youth.

To childhood family holidays on the wild west coast of the Paparoa Ranges. Exploring old abandoned mines and railheads retaken by the bush. The drive from Canterbury to the coast through the Lewis: a tunnel of trees the whole way, the branches from each side intwined above the roadway. Of rainforests, ghost towns, brothers whacking their way through the bush down to the creek, panning for gold, bathing in ice cold waterfalls or meeting the new neighbour’s children: sure to be holiday friends with whom to build a dam in the creek and splash in the thus made swimming hole. The winter floods would move huge boulders, rearrange the course and make sure that again the following Christmas there would be a noisy bunch of young builders.

As a young boy, standing in the dusty old shed looking at the old style empty beer bottles on a windowsill, a strange mix, preview of the accoutrements of an adult life to come and along with a Vat69 ashtray, a nostalgic residue of some imagined festive past event. Maybe a New Year’s Eve party with uncles, aunts and neighbours, but their younger versions from the 50s. Ruddy faced, chatting and laughing.

To teenage years in the Port of Lyttelton. A pub on every corner. The great romance of a harbour town. The dirty, gritty docks nestled in the extinct, flooded volcano surrounded by the bare Port Hills. Zipping around, chucked side to side in the back tray of the work Mazda B1500 ute, grinning ear to ear, driven by some equally callow and stupid youth, an experience that would have a much later echo, decades later: The back of a Mog on Army bases, diggers and packs and rifles thrown about. Huge white teeth grins, Cultana, Shoal Water Bay, Singleton, Pucka, (as every driver who ever has driven a Mog seems to require a certificate in suicide by vehicle) in a country thousands of miles from my childhood home.

Working on the Coastal Trader, the Monowai. Trawlers and ice breakers. Cargo ships and private luxury cruisers. The old roll- on, roll- off wharf, complete with advertising billboards for a service that long since departed Lyttelton. The ferries haven’t come here since around the time of the Wahine disaster, yet the posters still tout, with sixties font and stylish bikini ladies, a trip to exotic Wellington.
Meat pies and a Coke for lunch. The best bakeries in the world. Railway canteens, still government run, with white teacups and club sandwiches. Platforms to destinations with wonderful and enticing names.

Hooning around the dairy farm on the Honda. Cow pats and tractors and hay making. Silos and bobby calves. Sunburn and the itch of hay in my jocks and socks.

To the workshops and teachers and friends at Polytech, rows of lathes and mills. Fridays at The Grosvenor (The ”Grov”) beers and talking nonsense and mysterious female hairdressing apprentices. Gary with his endless tales of mayhem and shaggy dog stories and jokes. The night Doug came off his Trident on the low side, sending his girlfriend down the road, coming in the bar and hurling his helmet on the floor. Closing time and there was always a party somewhere, usually some share house with a few sticks of furniture. And girls. Always, always girls to chat up.

Rugby paddocks and the clack of my sprigs on concrete before the game. Beers afterwards. More pubs and friends around tables with jugs of DB and talking nonsense. Practice in the middle of winter, tackling and running moves over and over again. Jugs of Raspberry Coke. Pool comps and meat raffles. Soggy, sticky pub carpets.

Of long dead friends, long gone factories. Of cute young girls now grown old and staid. Of family pets who remain only in our memories, but in the distant country of our youth chased our scrawny selves. Woofing their excitement at this great game.

Whoever is right about what comes after: The Buddhists with their endless series of past lives, Christianity with it’s heaven, or Nietzsche with the eternal recurrence, one thing is for sure: I am thankful to have lived these times and places alongside these people.

The task remains as it always has, not what the tech billionaires think it is, attempting to elongate their lives, corral life and wring as much as they can, but to accept that everything comes, rightly, to an end, so that others can come after us and have their own wonderful experiences.

I am thankful for what was, what is, and that the great machine rolls around with an ever changing cast of players in what is to come.

“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.