How real science became narrative science

How real science became narrative science. By Bruce Charlton. Some broad generalities, but essentially true in my experience.

Real Science [is] science that operates on the basis of a belief in the reality of truth: that truth is real. …

Real science is dead, and the main reason is that professional researchers are not even trying to seek the truth and speak the truth; and the reason for this is that professional ‘scientists’ no longer believe in the truth — no longer believe that there is an eternal unchanging reality beyond human wishes and organization which they have a duty to seek and proclaim to the best of their (naturally limited) abilities.

Hence the vast structures of personnel and resources that constitute modern ‘science’ are not real science but instead merely a professional research bureaucracy, thus fake or pseudo-science; regulated by peer review (that is, committee opinion) rather than the search-for and service-to reality.

Among the consequences are that modern publications in the research literature must be assumed to be worthless or misleading and should always be ignored. In practice, this means that nearly all ‘science’ needs to be demolished (or allowed to collapse) and real science carefully rebuilt outside the professional research structure, from the ground up, by real scientists who regard truth-seeking as an imperative and truthfulness as an iron law.

The bureaucrats corrupted it with funding. Lavish funding encouraged millions of people to take up careers in science, who couldn’t really do it. Instead they pretend, and focus on getting funded.

The history of real science:

It came from Pagan Greece (epitomized by Aristotle), then through the early Christian theologians — epitomized by the Western Medieval scholastic philosophers (pioneered by Peter Abelard).

It was the Roman Catholic Church that professionalized philosophy as a subject increasingly distinct from theology, and developed the university as institutionally distinct from the monastery (thus dividing education from devotion). …

Then natural science separated from philosophy in the Renaissance era, at around the time of Galileo, and later moved to be focused in Protestant Northern Europe where it first became large, visible and noticeably distinct from about the 17th century.

There were agrarian and industrial revolutions in Britain during the 1700s; and from around 1800 a new world was increasingly apparent: a world characterized by growth in science, technology, the economy, and human capability: the world of modernity. And from this point science became not just a distinct social structure, but a professional career structure.

Since the later 19th century, science has, with each generation, broken-up into smaller and smaller specializations, and become more and more career focused.

For a while this specialization led to greater achievement, since it allowed the devotion of more time and effort to solving more manageable problems. Yet each new-generation specialist had been educated in a more generalist tradition — which acted as a drag on the tendency to fragmentation and incoherence.

For a while, therefore, specialization led to greater accomplishment within its individual divisions yet with sufficient integration across these divisions to maintain unity and to check error.

However, specialization continued past this optimal point, and into less-and-less functional fragmentation — such that science lost unity and specialisms lost the ability to serve as mutual checks.
Science gradually became nothing but isolated and irrefutable micro-specialisms.

Apparently, therefore, specialization was a slippery slope for science: such that once science had stepped-onto the slippery slope of specialization it could not stop the process, even when science had slid far beyond the point at which specialization was helpful.

From real science to generic bureaucracy:

At some point over the past several decades, science stopped being real and evolved into its current state of being merely a research-based variant of generic bureaucracy.

This was increasingly clear to aware observers from the 1960s, and indeed to the most astute observers (such as Erwin Chargaff) from several decades earlier. But now it is so obvious that only ignorance or dishonesty prevents it being universally acknowledged.

However, bureaucracies are systematically ignorant, and dishonesty is now institutional and compulsory, therefore the disappearance of real science is not acknowledged but instead vehemently denied, and steady, incremental progress is claimed!

The post-modern era has too much bureaucracy and not enough individual genius:

Science presumably always was done among humans — albeit at a very low prevalence. Technological breakthroughs have tended to accumulate — albeit with interruptions and local reversals — throughout recorded history. But modernity happened because real scientific breakthroughs came so thick-and-fast that increasing efficiency out-ran increasing population — and humanity escaped what Gregory Clark has called the Malthusian Trap.

But if modernity depends on the take-off of real science, upon what does the take-off of real science depend?

My answer is creative genius.

My understanding is that real science grew fast — especially in the populations of Northern Europe by recruiting from an increased pool of ‘creative geniuses’ who were motivated to do science. This I regard as the essential underpinning of modernity.

Bureaucracy stifles creative genius. Which is a major reason behind the falling rate of science breakthroughs in recent decades.

Those who decide which scientists get funding — the bureaucracy — have a political narrative to support. So now “science” just supports the left’s narrative. When was the last time you saw any “official science” that disagreed with the narrative?

How often does the left say that “science” is on their side? They’re right — they bought it lock, stock, and barrel with your tax dollars. But they spent unwisely. They bought dud science, a politicized process that gives them the answers they want but produces little in the way of real science.

We are seeing this struggle between real science and the narrative’s science at the moment with covid and the vaccines. While real science is being done by some individual medicos and small organizations, the institutions and media gang up to squash and discredit it. They only allow the narrative-approved messages to be labelled as “science” in the media and the journals: “vaccines good, anti-virals bad”. The narrative retreats, grudgingly, only when reality becomes too obvious to deny.

I caught Covid and it was no big deal

I caught Covid and it was no big deal. By Adam Creighton.

“Living with Covid” became a real­ity for me a few weeks back after I contracted the disease on a trip to New York at what turned out to be a superspreader event.

Three friends and I, all fully vaccinated, at least according to the prevailing definition, had a week of fever, aches, fatigue and some of us, not me, temporarily lost our sense of taste and smell.

It was unpleasant, but we’d all been sicker before and we’re all back to normal. My Johnson & Johnson one-shot vaccine, which I had in April, probably helped soften the blow, although a recent research paper found its effectiveness dropped to 13 per cent after six months.

Whatever, it’s obvious vac­cines do not stop transmission of Covid-19, which was the only justification, however flimsy, for mandating them.

Not wanting to become an official case, further fuelling the interminable hysteria, we tested ourselves at home using $US24 ($34) test kits that are widely available at pharmacies in the US, a reminder that official Covid-19 case tallies are likely gross underestimates of the number of cases.

Whether it was Delta, Alpha, Mu or, heaven forbid, Omicron I do not know, but the bright pink line from the testing kit was unambiguous: Covid-19.

Testing is becoming increasingly pointless, but it’s very profitable (second only to vaccines). Will it ever go away?

The US has conducted more than 620 million tests since the pandemic began, even more per capita than test-obsessed Australia. At a cost of a few hundred dollars each, when the whole chain of Covid ticket clipping has been tallied, that’s more than $US100bn spent on testing in the US alone.

What’s worse, testing is becoming mandatory. On the back of the Omicron variant of concern, which it seems hasn’t killed a single person in the world yet, US President Joe Biden announced new testing requirements last week. Other nations did the same. …

The virus is already rampant in the US, as it is practically everywhere else. Does it matter if someone flying to the US has Covid when practically half the country already has had it? In short, got Covid, who cares. …

Once the tests are introduced, the businesses that will reap billions from them will fight to make them permanent. If mask mandates have lasted hundreds of days, expect testing mandates to last just as long, a cash cow for the Covid industrial complex.

Bring on the anti-virals, which will obviate the need for both testing and vaccines.

hat-tip Stephen Neil

Incredible shrinking Dems: As the left’s policies crumble, prepare for major political change

Incredible shrinking Dems: As the left’s policies crumble, prepare for major political change. By Michael Goodwin.

America is in the early stages of what could be a major political shift. On issue after issue, from soaring crime to inflation to critical race theory, Democrats and the far left are being forced to play defense because their radical policies are failing.

Those policies moved to the forefront with Joe Biden’s election and the elevation of Sen. Bernie Sanders, a socialist, to budget chairman. The resulting social-justice and climate-change agenda would “totally transform America,” Biden promised.

But less than a year later, the results are disastrous. The effort to reshape the nation is clashing with reality — and reality is winning.

The outcome is far from certain, but developments make me an optimist. The green shoots of sanity are all around us and are verified by Biden’s collapsing poll numbers, and recent election results in Virginia and elsewhere.

With apologies to Mark Twain, reports of the death of the political center were exaggerated. It is alive and well, and holding its ground against the socialist onslaught. …

Calamity Joe has a staggering list of failures, and nary a success in sight.

Biden is taking an additional pounding over his declining faculties. A recent Politico/Morning Consult poll found that only 40 percent of respondents agreed he “is in good health,” while 50 percent disagreed. That 10-point gap represents an enormous 29-point swing since just last year, when the same question found voters believed Biden was in good health by a 19-point margin.

On that front, last week’s lowlights included the president’s tall tale about visiting Israel in 1967 and being a liaison for Prime Minister Golda Meir. Two problems: Biden was in law school in 1967 and Meir didn’t become prime minister until 1969.

Not all the administration’s actions and inactions are harmless. Biden was virtually silent about the riots that rocked American cities in the summer of 2020, and still can’t give a straight answer about the continuing crime surge. Press secretary Jen Psaki even claimed Thursday the pandemic is a “root cause” of organized looting incidents. She didn’t explain how the pandemic led gangs of 30 or 40 men to use hammers and crow bars to smash windows and steal luxury dresses and jewelry. …

Fortunately, the corrupt media notwithstanding, many Americans are well-informed about the results of Biden’s presidency. Which is why I believe change is coming.

The activist wing of the Democrats wants to double down and go for broke, but the more sensible Democrats must surely start to change direction soon. We shall see.

Misremembering Pearl Harbor

Misremembering Pearl Harbor. By historian Victor Davis Hanson.

Most Americans once were mostly in agreement about what happened on December 7, 1941, 80 years ago this year. But not so much now, given either the neglect of America’s past in the schools or woke revisionism at odds with the truth. …

On an early Sunday morning at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, the Japanese Imperial Navy conducted a tactically successful, but strategically imbecilic, surprise attack on the U.S. 7th Fleet — while at peace and without a declaration of war. The assault [was] synchronized with subsequent bombing and invasions of the Philippines and British-controlled Malaya, Singapore, and Hong Kong, and some Pacific Islands …

Revisionist nonsense about why Japan started the war:

The Pacific war that followed Pearl Harbor was not a result of America egging on the Japanese, not about starting a race war, and not about much other than a confident and cruel Japanese empire falsely assuming that its stronger American rival either would not or could not stop its transoceanic ambitions. …

Revisionists often cite conspiracy theories that the Roosevelt Administration lured Japan into the war by previously limiting oil exports to Tokyo (a mere five months before Pearl Harbor) or by foolishly moving the 7th Fleet from San Diego to a deliberately exposed and not so well defended Pearl Harbor.

Such contrarian views fail to persuade because the one-sided source of tensions had been clear to all for a decade. Japan invaded Manchuria in 1931. It resumed its war with China by invading the mainland in 1937. In September 1940, it absorbed French colonial Indochina. The idea of a Japanese Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere was informally circulating by 1940, as a blueprint of consolidation of the planned Japanese imperial wartime acquisitions of China, and the former British, American, French, and Dutch colonial territories.

The mercantile system was envisioned as a sort of Asian version of a would-be Napoleonic Europe but based on the supposed racial superiority of Japan and the propagandistic and cynical notion that even harsher Japanese imperialism would be less resented by Asians in the Pacific than then current nation-building colonialism of Western powers.

Such crude propaganda was never taken too seriously outside of Tokyo, given the Japanese mass civilian killings of conquered Asians in Nanking, China and the massacres that followed from the takeover of Singapore. …

The real reasons:

Japan attacked Pearl Harbor because it could. Its fleet was larger than the American Pacific 7th fleet (though not by any means the entire U.S. Navy). And in many categories of fighter aircraft, torpedoes, and ships, the Japanese Imperial Navy in late 1941 was temporarily superior to that of the Americans. …

Japan believed that, with the German army at the time of Pearl Harbor just a few miles from the suburbs of Moscow, the Soviet Union would likely fall within days. Hitler would then be free to consolidate his continental empire and soon vanquish remnants of the once proud allied opposition. In other words, Japan calculated that it might gain credit for the inevitable Axis victory before the war ended, and thus grab what it could before the spoils were fought over and divvied up to others.

Tokyo had no real appreciation that the United States was already building a second fleet of modern carriers, battleships, cruisers, and submarines that would soon make the American navy larger than all the world’s fleets combined. …

Tokyo had no inkling that the anemic Depression-era American economy was capable of rapid expansionary growth. More specifically, the American gross natural product by late 1944 would outpace all five economies of the major combatants — Germany, Italy, Japan, Great Britain, and the Soviet Union — combined. …

Were there more viable strategic alternatives for the war-minded Japanese? Plenty. By 1941, the European colonial presence in the Pacific was mostly either weak or nonexistent. That reality offered the Japanese options to acquire resources without war with the United States.

Both France and the Netherlands had been under occupation by the victorious Germans since June 1940. Had the Japanese simply expanded their newly acquired Indochina concessions — appropriated from the Vichy French in 1940 — grabbed the equally orphaned oil-rich Dutch East Indies, and been content with conquering resource-rich, British-held Malaysia and its fortress port at Singapore — while bypassing Pearl Harbor and the Philippines — there would have been little likelihood even then of the United States entering the conflict. …

Admiral Yamamoto, the architect of Pearl Harbor, is often romantically portrayed as a mythical almost reluctant warrior who supposedly all along knew that he would awaken a sleeping giant by the attack. …

Nothing could be further from the truth. Yamamoto himself agitated for the surprise Pearl Harbor attack. And he even threatened to resign if a skeptical General Tojo and Emperor Hirohito did not grant him a blank check to bomb the U.S. Pacific Fleet at Hawaii, a diversion of resources many in the Japanese military felt was unjustified, especially with the ongoing and increasingly expensive quagmire in China. …

It was largely Yamamoto’s enormous ego, his tactical genius, and his strategic ineptitude, along with Japanese hubris, that explain the strategic idiocy of a brilliant but short-lived victory at Pearl Harbor.

As far as the December 7 surprise attack itself, it is best seen as the worst of both worlds — conducted expertly enough to ensure damage and thus incur American furor, but not so much as to cripple America’s war-making ability or to frighten the American public into submission.

As it happens the three US carriers at Pearl were out to sea and not destroyed in the attack, but even the battleship situation could have been much worse for the Americans:

As far as the relatively old and slow American battleships of Battleship Row (most were built well before 1920), had their captains received advanced word of the Japanese approach and steamed out to meet the attackers without air cover, American fatalities might have been 10 times higher — given all eight battleships likely would have been sunk on the high seas well before reaching the Japanese fleet.

Why the Taiwanese want nothing to do with Mr Xi

Why the Taiwanese want nothing to do with Mr Xi. By Will Glasgow.

Imagine living under the daily threat of having your hard-won democracy snuffed out by Xi Jinping’s Chinese Communist Party. It’s not a thought experiment for Taiwan’s Foreign Minister ­Joseph Wu, nor for any of the proud democracy’s 23 million citizens. It’s their reality. …

“We have been watching the Chinese infiltration attempts, hybrid warfare, disinformation campaigns, cyber attacks, and all that.”

Then there are the military exercises. Last Sunday, Beijing sent another 27 warplanes to menace the island. That makes more than 800 military flights this year — more than double last year. …

The next day, China circulated footage of the maiden voyage of its navy’s new amphibious assault ship, which had set out from Shanghai. The enormous ship includes a landing deck for helicopters and plenty of room below for amphibious tanks. In other words, it is purpose-built for an invasion of Taiwan. …

Xi still speaks of Taiwan as the Communist Party’s rightful spoils after winning the Chinese Civil War, which most historians date as ending in 1949.

People in Taiwan — which has never been ruled by the People’s Republic of China and is now one of the world’s most successful democracies — have a very different opinion. …

Taiwanese democracy is relatively free:

Taiwanese born before 1987 grew up in a martial society where the wrong political ideas would get you thrown in jail — or worse. …

Life in Chiang’s Taiwan was far from the nightmares Mao oversaw on the mainland, which included the world’s deadliest man-made famine and the horrors of the Cultural Revolution. But it was a regime that, if in place today, would be unlikely to score an invitation to US President Joe Biden’s democracy summit next week. …

Martial law ended in 1987 and the Taiwanese freely elected their first president in 1996. …

The Washington-based research centre Freedom House gives Taiwan a score of 94 out of 100, based on a measure of ­political rights and civil liberties. That puts it just below Australia (97/100), but well above most of the 100-odd countries invited to Biden’s summit, including America itself (83/100).

Xi’s China is on the other “not free” end of the spectrum. It scored 9/100, as will tend to happen when you send millions of people from minority groups into indoctrination camps, command all media to follow the party line and create a cult around an all-powerful leader.

Promoting a fantasy to change reality is such a leftist tactic:

Not surprisingly, polls find that Taiwanese people have close to zero interest in living under Beijing’s rule. It is a reality the Chinese Communist Party refuses to accept, and Xi is the tone-setter for this delusion. …

In 2016, he suspended all diplomatic contact between Beijing and Taipei after President Tsai Ing-wen refused to endorse the idea of a single Chinese nation after she was elected.

As Australians know well, Xi isn’t one for dialogue unless it is entirely on his terms.

Instead of talking, Xi unilaterally proposed for Taiwan a “one country, two systems” formula, modelled on Hong Kong. That idea — unpopular on announcement in Taiwan — was then completely discredited across Taiwan’s political system as, months later, Beijing launched a sweeping crackdown on Hong Kong. Tsai was re-elected in a landslide in 2020.

The Taiwan issue is coming to a boil. Perhaps the battle for Taiwan has already begun. China will be at peak readiness to invade by 2025.

World has stockpiled ‘more Covid-19 jabs than it can use’

World has stockpiled ‘more Covid-19 jabs than it can use’. By Ben Spencer.

Adar Poonawalla, chief executive of the Serum Institute of India, warned that stocks may go out of date because demand has dipped below supply. Distribution and infrastructure challenges — along with significant vaccine hesitancy worldwide — have now replaced manufacturing as the key factor limiting global vaccination, he said. …

Poonawalla, whose plant in Pune, in the western state of Maharashtra, produces 280 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine each month and 80 million jabs for other diseases, said vaccines were ready to be delivered but even the most vulnerable countries were not placing orders.

He said he was particularly bewildered by politicians in Africa, where only 11 per cent of the population has been vaccinated and yet orders had been slow to materialise.

“It’s a combination of vaccine hesitancy and nations not coming forward and placing orders in the way in which they claim they would, particularly the African nations.” …

“Everywhere I hear the World Health Organisation and others talking about vaccine inequality, but the African nations are refusing to place orders. We’ve barely got 20 million doses worth of orders from the African nations. They’re going very slow, claiming that they’re waiting for donations from the US and other reasons. So there’s a bit of a disconnect.”

“We’ve got so much vaccine now that we’ve got more than we can vaccinate on a monthly basis in India. The concern is very much that in a month or two shelf life could be an issue.”

Those African countries have been taking ivermectin for parasites for years. Notice how they are scarcely affected by covid? What would they want vaccines for?

Whoever is behind the push to vaccinate the whole world must see ivermectin as Enemy No. 1. This is their kryptonite:


Japan and most of India too. Why won’t the western media mention it? This smells, badly.

Thoughts on how we get out of this

Thoughts on how we get out of this. By Eugyppius.

We must break out of the awful hygiene prison our societies have become. The problem, is how.

I can’t figure out a way through the towering cement grey uninteresting stupidity of the bureaucrats. I can’t see how to change their direction or fix their vileness. …

In my own head, I have a very small hammer, and I am assaulting a massive stone fortress. I know a lot of other people are doing the same thing, but it can be hard to see them sometimes. …

Dissent, therefore — even of the kind I engage in here — has a purpose. It is not just words, and it is not mere preaching to the choir. We have to sow doubt among true believers and ridicule the official line at every opportunity, but we also have to create a broader cultural space that is more interesting and more dynamic and more explanatory than their flat, boring world of interconnected largely false doctrines preserved in amber.

Here the advantage lies wholly with us: The pervasive propaganda means many true believers on our side are intimidated into silence, while many false cynical followers on their side must always be goaded into miming sincerity. We want the true believers and their allies to be increasingly intellectually isolated, left on an island of absurd beliefs all by themselves. The more they seem out-of-touch, bizarre, and uncool, the more we are succeeding in this project. …

Many object that our arguments are simply ignored or papered over by regime propaganda, and that nothing we say here gets anywhere. It is also common to hear about the futility of protests, and I have been known on occasion to express pessimism about the possibilities of legal challenges. This is the wrong view to take. They have to win every day, and we only have to win a few times. This is the great asymmetry at the heart of all dissident movements, it is why we seem small and powerless and yet they act with such inordinate rage and fear against the points we make.

Once they acknowledge more than a handful of our arguments, once high courts uphold more than a few challenges, once a protest somewhere causes a country to back down on vaccine mandates, it is over for them. …

We want governments to pour more efforts into dumb fact checking, into awkward propaganda, and into enforcement. All of this has to be as expensive as we can make it. Most of our governments have already fully committed their resources. Effort spent on propping up lies is effort that the regime cannot spend on something more lucrative and interesting to them. …

For reasons I don’t fully understand, the bureaucracies which rule us have grown vastly more volatile and erratic over the past decade. This is probably down to informal changes that occurred after populist backlashes like Trump’s election and Brexit. These encouraged tighter alliances among different bureaucratic factions in the press, the government and academia. Before 2010, these different sectors functioned like semi-detached silos, and it was genuinely difficult for a single mania to sweep the whole system at once. …

Vaccine side effects are the locus of their greatest anxiety; it is here also that they blatantly withhold data and even lie the most. Note the great contrast with lockdowns and masks, which hardly anybody has ever been banned for criticising.

Yep. The ruling class bureaucracy appears to have lost its collective mind on vaccine mandates. Something isn’t right.

hat-tip Scott of the Pacific

Poll: Majority of US Voters ‘Concerned’ About ‘Potential of Harmful Side Effects’ of Vaccines

Poll: Majority of US Voters ‘Concerned’ About ‘Potential of Harmful Side Effects’ of Vaccines. By Hannah Bleau.

A Rasmussen Reports survey … found that

  • 65 percent are at least “somewhat” confident in the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine,
  • 54 percent also say they are “concerned” about the “potential of harmful side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine.” …
  • 27 percent are “very” concerned …
  • a quarter say they are “not very concerned” …
  • 19 percent say they are “not at all concerned.”

Notably 64 percent of Republicans, specifically, say they are concerned about the potential of harmful side effects, and 52 percent of independents and 45 percent of Democrats share that concern.

Is the tide turning? Despite the most intense propaganda effort we’ve seen in decades, a good chunk of the population are now aware that the vaccines can cause quite a lot of harm.

We started by presuming that the covid vaccines were like other vaccines, protecting you, killing the disease, and almost harmless. But since then the movement has relentlessly been in one direction — they either don’t work as well, or are more harmful. The risk-benefit balance just keeps getting worse and worse.

None of the subsequent news about vaccines has been good. The western ruling class is all in on vaccines. No wonder they are trying so hard to suppress the news.

hat-tip Stephen Neil

The unvaccinated are being “othered”

The unvaccinated are being “othered”. By John Riddick.

Minority persecution starts with murmurs of them (!) being a threat and then it gets whipped up by ‘leaders’ to become a tempest of irrational malice. It’s mankind at our worst. Civilised societies are meant to have overcome this primeval urge.

The mobs of history share one characteristic — a self-righteousness intoxication that those unclean bastards must be harmed. When it’s pointed out they resemble the mobs of the past they reply, We reject past mobs, but this contemporary situation is nothing like that. Just shut up and let’s get ‘em!’

Today’s defenceless minority are those who have resisted the COVID vaccine. The world is against us — politicians, the public service, corporate media, big business, courts, police, and too often our friends. We cannot compare the treatment of the unvaccinated to the pogroms of the past but there are unmistakable early warning signs.

When an unintellectual dope with a soapbox like Ray Hadley compares the unvaccinated to supporters of Hitler and paedophiles we are on a dark downward trajectory. Disgraced former NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian said with disgust she didn’t want to be in the same room as an unvaccinated person …

The escalating malice towards the unvaccinated is the early stages of mankind’s worst impulses. The good news is that mobs eventually burn out – the only question is how much damage will be done to the liberal fabric between now and then?

Is it about the money?

When five pharmaceutical companies announced in 2020 their intention to develop a COVID vaccine, headlines trumpeted they would not be making a profit (we’re all in this together etc). The public were not told that only AstraZeneca made that commitment. Two weeks ago, AstraZeneca backslid telling shareholders they will reap as much profit as they can. The reversal barely made the news. …

Why nurses quit but doctors stay:

I asked a doctor recently why nurses are quitting instead of doctors. His answer was simple — many nurses have a partner they can rely on financially, but doctors are breadwinners and can’t afford to dissent.

We’ve met a few nurses here in Perth who got the jab under protest. They say that the Perth hospitals are full, with many “complicated” patients, and many stroke victims.

This is significant, because Perth is one of the few western cities that has not had covid. So all the deviations from normal here are due to the vaccines, not the coronavirus.

The signs that Omicron is less harmful than delta are mounting. It will be too early to say until Christmas, because it generally takes three weeks to die of covid. Hopefully this is the first step in covid’s long journey to becoming just another coronavirus, like the common cold.

Vax avoidance: why Scott Morrison and Anthony Albanese face the same problem

Vax avoidance: why Scott Morrison and Anthony Albanese face the same problem. By Chris Mitchell.

Some issues should be beyond the media’s culture wars: vaccination for one. Yet some journalists of the left use the issue to express open hostility to the politics of ordinary Australians …

The truth is Australians are much smarter than reporters think. …

The origins of the anti-vax movement here are not on the right, even if right-wing populists such as Clive Palmer’s United Australia Party, its Sydney federal member Craig Kelly and One Nation’s Pauline Hanson and Malcolm Roberts are keen to harvest the support of vaccine hesitant voters at the upcoming federal election.

Historically, the home of the anti-vax movement has been the hippy playground around Byron Bay, in northern NSW. Its voters have been more likely to support the Greens than conservative independents.

The anti-vax peak body, the Australian Vaccination-risks Network, based in Bangalow, in Byron Shire, even quotes approvingly the words of Greens political founder and pro-vaccine GP Bob Brown from the Senate in 1997: “There is very much contradictory evidence and debate, even in scientific and medical circles, about vaccination.”

While some reporters are just youthful dupes, older political journalists on the left know what’s going on: Labor premiers and the federal Opposition are desperate to destroy the government’s standing with swinging voters over the handling of the pandemic and vaccination rollout. It’s why the ABC and Guardian have sounded like the “#I Stand With Dan” Twitter crowd through Victoria’s six lockdowns.

Now that the vaccine rollout is a success, Labor aims to splinter the conservative vote by making it seem Morrison is playing footsies with the anti-vax crowd. You won’t find too many stories in the left media about how dangerous the Greens-Left Age of Aquarius anti-vax movement is for the Labor base. Or much focus on the union movement’s opposition to vaccine mandates.

Both sides have the same problem. Morrison needs to ensure he gets as many preferences as possible from populists on the right while Labor leader Anthony Albanese can’t say too much about left-wing anti-vaxxers because he needs Greens preferences. …

As Dr Coatsworth, now an infectious diseases expert at Canberra Hospital and a senior lecturer in medicine at the ANU, told this column last week: “Not everyone demonstrating against lockdowns is a right-wing anti-vaxxer. Every time I hear that I get more disenchanted with the progressive left. It’s classic them and us.”

Donald Trump Goes Off

Donald Trump Goes Off. By James Gordon.

Former President Donald Trump went on a rant in which he labelled journalists and the media ‘corrupt, crooked, b*****ds’ as he spoke to a crowd of hundreds at an event at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida. …

‘The country is at a very important, dangerous place. We have no press. The press is so corrupt, we don’t have a press’ the former president ranted to those gathered at the event.

‘If there’s a story about us, about Republicans they make it a bad story. They make it the worst story,’ adding journalists are ‘crooked b*****ds’ and ‘the most dishonest group of people.’

Trump went on to boast of his ‘tanking the approval ratings of the press’ of which he said he was ‘very proud’. …

During his seemingly impromptu speech, Trump warned that the country was veering towards communism ‘if we don’t get the press back in this country.’ …

Such a contrast with the current PC crew in the White House.

The end of the apartheid alibi

The end of the apartheid alibi. By R.W. Johnson.

During the local election campaign Ferial Haffajee wrote about the sad state of her part (and every part) of Johannesburg: litter everywhere, potholes, street lights and traffic lights that don’t work, irregular water, irregular power, uncollected rubbish and all the rest of it. When she recited this lament to the ANC she was angrily accused of “nostalgia for the white city”.

In today’s South Africa it is, of course, politically inadmissible to say that the whites got anything right so instead Ferial recorded sadly how in the years before 1994 there had been lots of bold talk by the UDF about how much better in every respect things would be in the new, liberated South Africa. The developmental state. People’s education. Reconstruction and development. The comrades gave such inspiring speeches about these matters.

Ferial is a nice woman but her perspectives are so encased in a sort of terminal political correctness that she can’t call a spade a spade. But imagine the angry black voters of Soweto or Ekurhuleni who booed Ramaphosa, or the Indian voters of Chatsworth, or the Coloured voters of the Cape Flats: if you accused them of “nostalgia for the white city” you’d be told “Absolutely. You bet. So’s everybody.”

It is indeed a no-brainer. Cheap, plentiful and reliable electricity. Sewage and water systems that work properly. Street lights and traffic lights ditto. Decent roads, litter that gets collected, law and order: what’s not to like?

The point is this. Whenever anyone tries to hold the ANC responsible for anything its first instinct is to find a way of blaming apartheid. But in the local election campaign this was impossible. They’ve been in power for 27 years so if people don’t like the mess they’ve made of their towns and, indeed, of their country, there’s no one else to blame. So the best the ANC can do is try to invalidate their complaint by the accusation of “nostalgia for the white city”. Quite obviously it didn’t work and won’t work.

Moreover, it carries the suggestion that the broken state of the towns and cities is what you ought to expect in an African-run country, that things not working is somehow more authentic. This is a very dangerous notion: “Vote for us! We expect to fail, and we will! We stand for backwardness, for candles not electricity.” This leads nowhere. …

Knocking another lefty lie on the head:

There is no nostalgia for apartheid and nobody among the minorities argues for its restoration. There is a general acceptance that democracy is irreversible. …

This is important because as the ANC declines it relies ever more frantically on the allegation that if whites are allowed back to power they will abolish social grants and restore apartheid. If this is not believed then the door is open for African voters either to choose a white-led administration or, by their abstention, allow one to come to power.

In this election we saw the overwhelmingly Zulu electorate of Umgeni, in KwaZulu-Natal, elect an administration headed by a young white mayor.

And, of course, something similar has been happening in the Western Cape for some time. In this election a Cape Town electorate which is overwhelmingly African and Coloured chose a young white man as mayor.

For the ANC this is a nightmare come true, with Black and Coloured people electing a white simply because they think he will govern better – and the ANC plummeting to under 19%. …

Sad:

The ANC has taught young black South Africans that African government doesn’t work, that their politicians are crooks and that it’s not worth voting. The exact opposite of Mandela’s dream.

Moreover, the party was handed on a plate the richest country in Africa with the best infrastructure, the richest mining industry and the most productive agriculture. Within a generation it was an almost bankrupt country in which very little worked. What to say after that?

Glenn Reynolds:

What did socialists use before candles? Electricity!

It’s not black rule. Botswana next door is well-run. It’s rule by leftists, which always makes everything suck. And they always use race as an excuse for their failures. You can see that in the deep-Blue parts of the United States.

Zimbabweans nostalgic for the old days of Rhodesia. By Nick Kristof, from 2005.

The hungry children and the families dying of AIDS here are gut-wrenching, but somehow what I find even more depressing is this: Many, many ordinary black Zimbabweans wish that they could get back the white racist government that oppressed them in the 1970’s.

“If we had the chance to go back to white rule, we’d do it,” said Solomon Dube, a peasant whose child was crying with hunger when I arrived in his village. “Life was easier then, and at least you could get food and a job.”

Mr. Dube acknowledged that the white regime of Ian Smith was awful. But now he worries that his 3-year-old son will die of starvation, and he would rather put up with any indignity than witness that.

An elderly peasant in another village, Makupila Muzamba, said that hunger today is worse than ever before in his seven decades or so, and said: “I want the white man’s government to come back. Even if whites were oppressing us, we could get jobs and things were cheap compared to today.”

His wife, Mugombo Mudenda, remembered that as a younger woman she used to eat meat, drink tea, use sugar and buy soap. But now she cannot even afford corn gruel. “I miss the days of white rule,” she said.

Nearly every peasant I’ve spoken to in Zimbabwe echoed those thoughts.

Cellec:

They just can’t bring themselves to admit that European culture, and the people who embody it, are an obvious net plus for humanity.

Western culture has a lot more to be proud of than it does to apologize for, and it drives them crazy.

It is vehemently denied by the politically correct because it blows up their world view, but different groups of people have significantly different statistical characteristics. Average IQ is lower in Africa, and the left cannot pretend poor black achievement is due to systemic racism because there are barely any whites. After extolling the wondrous effect of decolonization in the 1960s, and how Africa would catch up with Europe, they have run out of excuses. South Africa is proving the point again — no wonder they don’t want to talk about it.

Perhaps it will please some on the left that this inequality is reducing. According to some western researchers, the average IQ of whites is dropping below 100, on course by 2100 for about 85 — the average IQ of blacks in the US. This will presumably make socialism in the US more likely, while reducing competence and making modern liberal democracy near impossible.

As the old joke goes, “What’s the difference between Zimbabwe and South Africa?” Ten Years.

The new joke might be “What’s the difference between South Africa and the United States?” Hmmm.