Guest Post: mem – Are young women bearing the brunt of the vaccine mandates?

Watching footage of the demonstrations against the vaccine mandates over the past few weeks, I was amazed at the number of young women participating. To my knowledge this is unprecedented.

No wonder many women in their child-bearing years are tentative about getting the jab. There has been little evaluation as to the impact of the new ‘vaccines’ on the ability to conceive, or impact on a baby in utero, or potential Continue reading “Guest Post: mem – Are young women bearing the brunt of the vaccine mandates?”

Weekday Reading #9

An Expression of Contempt for the Electorate (Quadrant)

Among the many consequences of the making of a pandemic order is that, at the Premier’s command, any individual in Victoria will be at risk of being detained, having his or her movements restricted, and being moved from place to place. The Premier will have power to prohibit gatherings, whether public or private, in a pandemic management area. The Premier will also have power to compel the provision of information (including about the identity of any person) and documents or to require the keeping of records, and any individual will risk detention for a refusal or failure to undergo a medical examination or a medical test. The proposed new regime can be extended for as long as the Premier forms the requisite state of mind and infringements of it attract extremely harsh penalties.

Abandoning Defensive Crouch Conservatism (The PostLiberal Order)

The assumption of a “defensive crouch” came naturally to American “conservatives”: it has been the pose of American conservatism since its rise in the twentieth century. Mid-century conservatism arose as a defensive response to an advancing liberalism. It began as an effort to defend liberalism, the “good” liberalism constructed in mid-century and attributed to the Founding Fathers and the Constitution, a politics based upon as an avoidance of any idea of the Good in politics and economics. This stance attracted widespread support and donations, leading to the creation of countless institutions that were devoted to the protection of “good liberalism.” It was a defensive crouch conservatism, occupying the ground that was, until fairly recently, occupied by their opponents.

The Whole “Trumpism After Trump” Thing is Premature — He’s Not Finished Yet (Revolver)

There are issues with Trump’s electability, but people often forget the main problem here.  It’s not due to his controversial remarks or his actions while in office. It’s the fact that he’s unpersoned. Trump can’t have a Twitter or Facebook account. Videos of his speeches get taken down from YouTube for violating its dubious “Terms of Service.” This censorship can be extended to TV networks refusing to run his ads and financial institutions cancelling his accounts. There’s even the chance venues would refuse to host Trump rallies due to regime pressure. It’s hard to run a 21st century presidential campaign when you’re banned from every single social media platform, payment processor, and TV station.

Booster Doses are Extremely Dangerous and They Will Make Everything Worse (eugyppius)

When Israel rolled out boosters in August, they also saw spikes in infections and deaths. It is the same phenomenon we observed after dose 1. Only the second dose does not enhance infections, presumably because it is administered in the protective shadow of the first one. As with everything involving this virus and our vaccines, there are probably multiple causes at work here. For about ten days following vaccination, the vaccinated are more susceptible to infection, and a subset of them probably become minimally symptomatic super-spreaders.

Nudge Nudge (First Things)

Between March and June last year, as the pandemic put the U.K. advertising market into steep decline, there was one exception: Public Health England, a government agency that became the country’s largest spender on ads. “Stay at home,” PHE told the public on television, radio, and the internet. “If you go out, you can spread it.” Those who ventured outdoors confronted further ominous warnings on street signage, in public transportation announcements, almost everywhere the foot could step. “Control the virus.” “Protect the NHS.” “Maintain social distancing.” A particularly harrowing campaign drew the eye in to a close-up of a patient struggling to breathe through an oxygen mask. “Look him in the eye. And tell him you always keep a safe distance.”

Weekday Reading #8

The Loss of the Ennobling Principle (The PostLiberal Order)

MacIntyre’s excellent thesis is that we have turned the concept of dignity into something for which it was not built, and we’ve turned away from an objective account of justice which Cicero defined as “giving each his due.” The paradox is that we’ve lost both justice and dignity in the migration of meaning where dignity shifts from something socially established by familial and nobiliary bonds to something inviolably equal in all. We’ve managed to trade ancient ennobling principles for the thinnest gruel of “dignity” used to secure subjective rights in a tyrannical war of all against all.

The abuse of justice by the prosecution in the case against Kyle Rittenhouse is as good an example as one can find — whether one looks to the badgering prosecution that ends in a panic attack, or the trigger finger on that rifle aimed at jurors, we find the very gestures which reveal to us our problem: the standard which is seen has become not justice but the power to condemn.

Continue reading “Weekday Reading #8”

Weekday Reading #7

How COVID Lockdowns Handed Global Warming Extremists The Tools To Crush Freedom (The Federalist)

But there’s a major problem: While it might have felt like a return to normalcy, it wasn’t. We’re not going back to normal — at least not without a hard and vicious fight.

Why not? Because the past two years have witnessed the very things that kept those stupid marches largely confined to just stupid marches: our society’s apparent decision to sacrifice liberty on the altar of fear and the triumph of timid technocrats over bold citizenry. This had been building behind the scenes, mind you, but with the excuse of COVID was it ready to be revealed.

MSNBC anchor Joy Reid’s crying shame: Devine (NY Post)

Joy Reid is a racist sociopath. How else to explain her reaction to Kyle Rittenhouse breaking down in the witness box during his murder trial last week? 

“White crocodile tears,” said the hate-mongering MSNBC prime-time anchor.  Continue reading “Weekday Reading #7”

A Coat of Paint

Update: The Vic Bar Association has since released a press release confirming my opinion here. They point out that under this bill, individuals who are detained [are unable to] seek a merits review of their detention by an independent court. [All they have available to them is an ]Internal review by a person who is employed by the Department of Health[, which] is not an acceptable independent safeguard.

The government in league with the crossbench is pretending that they have addressed the substantive criticisms of the Pandemic Bill which cedes to any Premier, under their own determination, emergency powers.

Let’s compare the criticisms as presented in the Open Letter with the proposed amendments released yesterday evening:

  1. The Minister can make a pandemic order while a “pandemic declaration” made by the Premier is in force. Given the low threshold for the making of this declaration (s 165AB) and the fact that COVID-19 is unlikely to be going away any time soon, we can expect a pandemic declaration to be in force for the foreseeable future.
  2. Once a pandemic declaration is in place, the only other requirement for the Minister to make a pandemic order is that he or she must believe that the order is “reasonably necessary to protect public health”. Not only is this threshold low, but it does not need to be satisfied objectively — it is enough if the Minister subjectively believes that the order is “reasonably necessary”.  This will make it practically impossible to challenge the merits of the order in a court.
  3. The content of a pandemic order is unlimited — the Minister can make “any order” (s 165AI(1)). The Minister is effectively given plenary legislative power.
  4. Pandemic orders are expressly allowed to “differentiate between or vary in its application to persons or classes of person identified by reference to an attribute within the meaning of the Equal Opportunity Act 2010” (s 165AK(4)).
  5. Pandemic orders can be disallowed by Parliament only upon recommendation  by the Scrutiny of Acts and Regulations Committee (SARC) or if the government has failed to table the order (s 165AU). But SARC cannot inquire into the merits of the order — it can only recommend disallowance on narrow grounds, effectively limited to the order being beyond power or being incompatible with human rights under the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006 (s 165AS).
  6. The Bill’s Independent Pandemic Management Advisory Committee is not a significant check on the Minister’s power. The Committee will be wholly appointed by the Minister him or herself (s 165CE) and will have no power to rescind or amend the Minister’s orders.
  7. Yet the Bill confers on these authorised officers extraordinary powers, again effectively for the foreseeable future. If authorised by the CHO, they will be able to, among other things, “take any action or give any direction, other than to detain a person, that the authorised officer believes is reasonably necessary to protect public health” (s 165BA(1)(a)).

Do the amendments address any of these concerns? No, they don’t. The first involves simply adding the very low threshold of ‘reasonable grounds’ on the Premier’s declaration. Given what the QCs say in point 2,

Not only is this threshold low, but it does not need to be satisfied objectively — it is enough if the Minister subjectively believes that the order is “reasonably necessary”.  This will make it practically impossible to challenge the merits of the order in a court,

a declaration would be very unlikely to be challenged on the merits in a court.

Secondly, the reduction of the reporting period of pandemic order from 14 to 7 days and the reduction of 6 to 4 for the tabling requirement is inconsequential. It does nothing to limit the power of the Minister or Premier; it is purely administrative. Thirdly, enabling Scrutiny of Acts and Regulations Committee (SARC) to consider the order when it is made rather than tabled is again inconsequential. As the Open Letter already admits, SARC

cannot inquire into the merits of the order — it can only recommend disallowance on narrow grounds, effectively limited to the order being beyond power or being incompatible with human rights under the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006 (s 165AS). In any event, the governing party may command a majority in the SARC, as is the case at the moment. Thus, in reality, Parliament’s ability to control the Minister’s power through disallowance is going to be very limited or non-existent.

In other words, SARC will never practically countermand the decisions of the Minister or Premier. Fourthly, “the application of pandemic orders based on characteristics, attributes or circumstances of persons must be relevant to the public health risk” is again inconsequential. It follows from point 2 of the Open Letter, the relationship between characteristics, attributes, or circumstances and public health risk will be entirely a subjective matter for the Minister, again: Not only is this threshold low, but it does not need to be satisfied objectively — it is enough if the Minister subjectively believes that the order is “reasonably necessary”

There is simply no change here from what we knew of the bill only a couple of weeks ago to today.

The entire negotiation with the crossbench is a charade. Political theatre a couple of days out in which the crossbench, who a few weeks earlier had no problems with the bill, and with Perfidious Dan trying to pretend that he is ‘listening’, establish a narrative that they have reigned in the Pandemic bill while not having done so at all.

No, it isn’t, Josh.

Why is representing Perfidious Dan in a Nazi uniform offensive? According to Frydenberg, because (i) it shows a lack of understanding of history; (ii) it fuels hatred and danger; and consequently, (iii) has no place in public debate.

Regarding (i), he doesn’t actually explain how the analogy lacks historical understanding. The Nazis are infamous for any number of things: their exploitation of public fear following the Reichstag fire in 1933 and subsequent passing of the Enabling Act in that same year, the Anschluss of 1936, their occupation of the Sudetenland and then annexation of Czechoslovakia in 1938, the Aktion T4 program, among others, but importantly here, the exclusion of non-Aryans from significant areas of public life under the so-called Nuremberg laws of 1935. Can it show a real lack of historical understanding to focus on some of these similarities when the question of a Enabling Act-like bill is being rush through the Parliament? Or when the powers under that bill would extend the present discriminatory apparatus that excludes unvaccinated yet COVID-negative members of the Victorian public from going to work, attending a public or municipal building, celebrating with family or friends at a restaurant, and the like? Or coercing members of the public to partake in a medical procedure under threat and thus against their will? I think not. If the analogy is arresting it’s because it is apposite. Further, the failure to recognize the applicability raises the hackles of those moral numb to the enormity of the current situation and thus confronted with the embarrassment of their silence, at best, or by their complicity, at worst.

Does it fuel hatred and therefore is it dangerous? Possibly, but righteous indignation when confronted with moral injustice is a sign or moral health and ought to be encouraged. Moreover, a system of segregation itself fuels hatred, because it is unjust, and the injustice is amplified and thus more dangerous given the power of the institutions involved in its propagation, whether academic, bureaucratic, journalistic, medical, and political. When people are now routinely threatened with the loss of medical assistance without the slightest unease, I would have thought a placard or two at a protest was the least of our worries.

Which leaves us with the third complaint, that such an analogy should never be made in public debate. This is simply too much. The only people that never want such an analogy to be made are politicians or their lackeys, and they are the only people that are protected from such a rule. If policies are so egregious that they invite the use of this analogy, then rhetorically, the analogy should be made. As a matter of prudence, you don’t want to overuse the analogy in order to lessen its sharpness; but when it is called for by the circumstances involved, it would be derelict not to use it.

If that makes the political class uncomfortable, all the better. Don’t want to be likened to a Nazi? Well, then, don’t establish or seek to establish Nazi-like laws, and do so while exploiting fears unscrupulously.

Guest Post: Cassie of Sydney – The progressive politicisation of everything

A friend of mine, whom I’ll call “Anna” (not her real name) is on Facebook. Anna uses the platform for work (she runs a small business) as well as to engage in Facebook groups with parents of disabled children (she is the mother of a severely disabled son). Anna is a member of a Facebook group which provides support to parents and shares information on disability resources, NDIS etc. Like me, Anna is right of centre and conservative politically and socially, unlike me Anna is non-confrontational and meek. Over the last two years Anna has, time and time again, complained to me how the private Continue reading “Guest Post: Cassie of Sydney – The progressive politicisation of everything”

Guest Post: Hugh – Jungle survival: What the SAS Manual doesn’t Teach

Christ in the House of Mary and Martha, Velázquez, 1618

Incredible story. One of our two great pastors, Fr Wee, told us in his Sunday sermon of the few months he spent with a living saint priest on the Thai/Malaysian border. Thick jungle. No food except boiled rice and vegetables. No salt, pepper, tea, coffee, milk, anything, or computers, phones, etc.

Fr W could tell he was a saint by (inter alia) his mastery over the local wildlife. There were man-eating tigers around. If one bounded up to him, fancying a brunch snack (Fr S was only 5 feet tall), Fr S would simply turn around, face the tiger, make the sign of the cross, and the tiger would sneak shamefully away. He did the same with the huge python snakes that abound. He was getting in his car and a cobra rose erect, poised to strike. Fr S said “Get out of here! You don’t belong!” The cobra slithered away.
Fr Wee’s point was that when you reach the height of sanctity, as described in St Teresa’s The Interior Castle or in Thomas Aquinas, you may display the prelapsarian (pre-fall) lordship over creation that Adam had. As with this priest, or St Martin de Porres, or St Francis, St Jerome, St Collette, or countless others. Including some really holy guy in Christchurch, N.Z., who prays in his backyard, and birds come and perch on his shoulders.

I clearly have a way to go. My cat disobeys every command I give her.