Deepfake President Biden Excoriates Trans Women

Deepfake President Biden Excoriates Trans Women. Seems that deepfakes are now good enough to cause some mischief. In this one they get the voice right, though without the characteristic stumbles that are all too common nowadays. Lips are not quite right.

Warning: This is a fake. The real Biden did NOT say this.

Mess with the Thai Royal Family At Your Peril, Pfizer

Mess with the Thai Royal Family At Your Peril, Pfizer. By Clif High.

Thai princess injured by the vax:

It seems that the Thai Royal family had a Princess who was a good global citizen. She took three of the Pfizer shots. She went into a coma a while back.

The Thai Royal family is very distressed. Investigations were ordered.

The distress of the Royals was increased by the reports coming back from their investigators. It seems that Pfizer, apparently, did NO safety studies on this shot.

Shortly thereafter, Thailand cancels the covid contracts with Pfizer on the basis of fraud. …

Additional rumors:

[Two trusted Americans ex-pats who have long lived in Thailand] have revealed to me that several, different, sources, are reporting to them, that ‘something’, a really big ‘something’, is disturbing the Bangkok ‘underworld’. My guys have contact with it through a couple of martial arts dojos. Both are hearing the same rumors, ‘disturbance in the force’ kind of rumors.

The rumor to NOT listen to says that ‘assassins’ are being ‘recruited’ out of very deep holes in the martial arts world.

Me? I would NOT want to have this logo on my letterhead as an executive.

Just rumors. Interesting if true. The corporate media is hardly going to say anything about any of this.

Ukraine in the Balance

Ukraine in the Balance. By Srdja Trifkovic.

Russia’s initial attack on five fronts — towards Kiev in two directions, and towards Kharkiv, Mariupol and Kherson — with less than 150,000 front-line combatants, was devoid of strategic sense. …

Russia’s flawed strategic design was likely due to Putin’s speculation that he might have a fifth column inside Ukraine, as evidenced in his call on the second day of the “special operation” (Feb. 25) for the Ukrainian military to depose the Kiev government. His misjudgment was likely due to faulty intelligence, the result of a successful Western secret-service operation designed to encourage Putin’s inner circle to present him with an unrealistically rosy assessment. …

The war in Ukraine will be decided on the battlefield, not in diplomatic negotiations. At the moment, neither side has an incentive to negotiate in good faith, let alone to make major concessions. The conflict has become existential for both sides, but Russia’s huge untapped resources make it unlikely that Ukraine can “win” in the sense of regaining control over the Crimea and the Donbas regions. The influx of Western arms has enabled Ukraine to fight with impressive vigor, but it faces a growing paucity of trained manpower and civilian infrastructure. …

If and when the Russians start a major offensive, sending more Western weapons to Ukraine may no longer be enough. Sometime before the end of 2023, the U.S. and its European minions are likely to face an unpleasant choice: risk a war with Russia by sending in NATO troops — initially perhaps in the form of Polish and Lithuanian volunteers — to reinforce Ukraine’s depleted ranks, or let Russia prevail.

At that point, the façade of Western unity may crack. Within NATO, not only Germany and France but also Italy and Spain and a host of smaller countries (Hungary, Greece, Slovakia, Portugal, etc.) will not be willing to risk an open-ended escalation with its inherent specter of nuclear war.

It appears to be another classic war of quantity versus quality.

Russia has four times the population of Ukraine, though is less able to mobilize its population. In a long war, Russia can trade soldiers at three for one and still win. Indeed, this was the exchange ratio against the Germans in WW2, and Russia triumphed after nearly four years. But Russia’s demographics have worsened, and in this war they lack the motivation of defending their homeland.

The Russians are throwing untrained and under-trained soldiers into the fight. This is partly because they threw their military trainers into the fight in March 2022, when things first started going badly, and lost them. So their ability to train new soldiers is badly crimped for a while. Meanwhile, Russia’s artillery domination has ended, having used up their huge stores of shells. Now both sides are firing similar numbers of shells each day.

Ukraine started westernizing its armed forces after the 2014 invasion, and now largely fights using NATO doctrines and NATO weapons. Apart from the scramble of the first few months, the Ukrainians train their soldiers much better.

The last big three wars Russia fought against quality opponents were the Japanese war of 1905, WW1, and WW2. Each was a quality versus quantity war. Russia lost the first two, and won the third. This war appears evenly balanced as the fighting season for 2023 begins.

hat-tip Stephen Neil

Fascism and Betrayal

Fascism and Betrayal. David Horowitz comes out and just says it.

The stench of fascism and betrayal is suffocating our democracy, but nobody wants to talk about it.

We sanitize our language so that classified documents strewn over unsecured garages and centers of Chinese influence are talked about as though it’s a matter of carelessness and not design. The indisputable brute fact is this: our commander-in-chief and his family have made themselves wealthy by taking bribes from foreign powers, chief among them our mortal enemy Communist China. Nobody seems to be asking, but how exactly were the inexplicable decisions to turn Afghanistan over to China and the Taliban made, and what American interest was served by this?

In classic fascist fashion, the Biden administration has suborned the intelligence community and the Department of Justice to censor and harass its political opponents.

These include school parents and Capitol trespassers whom it libels and imprisons as “domestic terrorists” and (unarmed) “insurrectionists.” In typical fascist moves, it has suborned corporate America into spying on its political opponents with the goal of cancelling them and silencing their opinions.

Just this week AT&T shut down the fastest growing and fourth largest cable news network, Newsmax TV, depriving 13 million viewers of access to its reporting. This attack on the First Amendment came on the heels of Twitter’s exposure of the way the FBI had put its platform on the federal payroll and dictated its censorship of tweets that could have changed the results of the last presidential election. The same fascistic arrangement was made with other tech social media giants like Facebook.

The Democrats have targeted their chief political opponent Donald Trump, who received 74 million votes in the last election, with the longest, most determined, and most vicious campaign of character assassination in modern history, and possibly ever.

It has warned other potential presidential contenders like Governor Ron DeSantis that they will get the same treatment. It has smeared Republicans as racists, white supremacists and white nationalists, and has done this in the service of rigged elections in its drive to establish a one-party state.

They seek to close down voices opposed to the narrative, so we should speak out and encourage voices against the narrative.

The Voice would give aboriginals greater say on ALL policies, not just ones affecting them

The Voice would give aboriginals greater say on ALL policies, not just ones affecting them. By Chris Merritt.

The real issue at this year’s indigenous voice referendum is a question of principle: Will we abandon the egalitarian nature of Australian democracy?

Will we, in other words, join the crackpots of history by introducing into our Constitution the concept of racial preference that lies at the core of this referendum?

Or will we defend the ideals of liberal democracy that emerged in revolutionary America and France?

We are being asked to give one racial group — and their descendants for all time — constitutionally guaranteed additional influence over all areas of public policy. If you tick the right race box you would gain political influence exceeding that enjoyed by everyone else.

The proponents of the yes case see things differently.

Some have argued that the voice would be merely symbolic; a benign way of showing solidarity with Indigenous people by giving them a say on matters that affect them. Others have described it as a path to empowerment.

But that’s not the real story. This referendum is not about reconciliation. Nor is it about symbolism and being nice. It is about establishing a new institution of state that would permanently change our system of government.

The Voice is a power-grab by the bureaucracy, to further subvert democracy. By guiding and bribing a small and easily-influenced racial group, the activists and bureaucrat will be able to override or veto the representatives the rest of us voted for. The evidence is clear:

It would require us to abandon equality of citizenship by giving constitutional standing to a race-based entity that could go beyond indigenous affairs and involve itself in all policy debates.

The proponents of the voice say it is the solution to years of policy failures on Indigenous affairs. They say it is justified because parliament can already make special laws on indigenous matters and this will merely allow Indigenous people to have a say on those laws.

But if closing the gap on disadvantage and making better laws on Indigenous affairs were the true goal, why has the constitutional provision been drafted in a way that would permit this entity to dissipate its efforts across the entire range of federal public policy?

Why did the proponents of this change decline to confine the voice to matters that only affect Indigenous people, or even primarily affect Indigenous people?

Without such limits, this looks like an attempt to establish a shadow government that would be free to develop policies on everything. Those policies would be framed as advice but, according to Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, it would be a brave government that ignored its advice. …

Because it would have an unlimited jurisdiction and a narrow, race-based constituency, it is entirely foreseeable that government policy on key issues could be skewed away from the broader national interest in order to appease the voice or gain its support. …

Rigged!

Giving constitutional standing and public funding to any community group would rig the process of balancing conflicting interests and allocating resources, which is the core business of government. …

Voting no is not racist. We are being asked to abandon the great principle of equality of citizenship — the same principle that was forcefully expressed by American revolutionaries Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin who considered it self-evident that we are all created equal.

Revolutionary France, under Jefferson’s influence, embraced this idea in its Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen. It is also present in the first sentence of the first article of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

If the referendum succeeds, … [it] would put an end to the idea that all Australians have an equal say on how this nation is governed. It would kill reconciliation by fostering resentment against the beneficiaries of such an unfair and unprincipled system.

I saw that last sentence in action in the US when I lived there. You’re not allowed to say anything, but they can’t make you like it.

Goodwill towards our aboriginal dictators would evaporate pretty fast.

Our New Left-Wing Overlord — ChatGPT

Our New Left-Wing Overlord — ChatGPT. By David Rozado.

I have recently tested the ability of OpenAI content moderation system to detect hateful comments about a variety of demographic groups. The findings of the experiments suggest that OpenAI automated content moderation system treats several demographic groups markedly unequally.

 

 

Exactly reflects the narrative. These biases are what we see in the media every day.

Example:

ChatGPT is easily the fastest growing app in history.

hat-tip Stephen Harper

Hunter Biden: More Depraved Than You Knew

Hunter Biden: More Depraved Than You Knew. By John Hinderaker.

From a New York Post link, I learned about Marco Polo, a group that I don’t necessarily endorse — I don’t know enough about them — but that has devoted a lot of time to studying the contents of Hunter Biden’s laptop. Its Biden material is here, and the link to Hunter’s laptop that I followed from the Post’s account is here. Naturally, I started with the “Sex-Related Crimes” link.

I don’t think I am easily shocked, but what I found there was astonishing. Hunter Biden’s daily preoccupations are (or were, until recently) crack cocaine and prostitutes. His most frequent communications were with crack dealers and pimps, lining up and paying for prostitutes. It goes on and on, day after day. Is there a drug dealer or a pimp on the East Coast, or in California, who is not on close personal terms with Hunter Biden?

The amount of money Hunter ran through was extraordinary. Where did he get it? Not through any legal and gainful employment, certainly. It is reasonable to assume that Hunter’s share of the Biden crime family’s loot went for crack and prostitutes. Follow the link for details: it went on day after day. Frankly, it is surprising that Hunter is still alive. …

I can’t begin to convey the extent of Hunter’s depravity, as documented by him in photos, videos, texts and emails. … The sheer volume is overwhelming. Pretty much everything Hunter did was both appalling and illegal. …

The last area of depravity I will mention is covered extensively on the Marco Polo site. Hunter had a torrid affair with his brother’s widow, Hallie. Hallie, perhaps knowing Hunter too well, refused to allow him to be alone with her 13-year-old daughter because Hunter’s behavior was “sexually inappropriate.” Imagine that! Hunter bitterly resented this, and complained to, among others, Joe Biden, hoping to get access to the 13-year-old. …

There is vastly more at the Marco Polo site. Dive in at your own risk. You will not feel clean when you emerge. …

Political implications:

The entire Biden family, as we see in the laptop documents as well as other sources, is corrupt to the core. Where do the countless thousands that Hunter blows on crack and prostitutes, along with a generally high-flying lifestyle, come from? He couldn’t make an honest living. So the money all had to be, at some level, payoffs. Bribes intended for Joe Biden. Classified information to which Joe was privy and which Hunter was glad to pass along. Promises of future influence with Joe.

What else could it possibly be? No sane person would entrust millions of dollars to the depraved and hopelessly crack-addicted Hunter Biden for any legitimate reason. But here is the real point: Hunter himself had nothing to sell. He was a nobody. Far from being a trusted member of the Executive Branch, he was a degenerate who wasn’t allowed in the same room with his own niece.

Hunter had one thing, and one thing only, to sell: influence with Joe. And “the Big Guy” obviously not just knew about Hunter’s hoovering up illicit cash, he profited from it. Which was, I take it, the whole point.

Maybe Hunter is disgusted at his circumstance and his family, and is acting out as a protest. Maybe it’s a subconscious cry for help. Or maybe not.

Miranda Devine: Hunter now admits the laptop was his. See this in the MSM?

For more than two years Joe Biden has maintained the fiction that the laptop his son Hunter abandoned at a computer repair shop in Delaware was a “Russian plant.”

Well, yesterday, Hunter finally admitted the laptop is his, only now he says his data was taken without his permission.

Top 10 Signs We Are Entering A New Dark Age

Top 10 Signs We Are Entering A New Dark Age. By Jamie Frater. I thought this would just be rubbishy clickbait when I clicked on it in a moment of weakness, but actually it makes some good points.

10. Social Media Censorship

9. Supression of Speakers on Campuses

8. YouTube Censorship

7. Google Search Destruction

In the last three decades we have handed over the curation of the wealth of human knowledge to a company that had the motto “don’t be evil”; until 2018 when it quietly placed it in the last sentence of its code of conduct, now just an afterthought. The last two years have seen Google progressively destroy the quality of its search results, first filling them with sponsored posts and now, as of May 2020, seemingly-replacing the entire index with results that give Google and its friends financial support during Coronavirus.

Online webmaster forums are full of website owners declaring their sites dead as 50–70% of their traffic from search has been slashed in favor of big brand results from companies aligned with Google’s world view.

It is probably fair to say that the future of the world wide web is one in which most search results end in a 404 error (page not found). Google is effectively shutting down the Internet. With all the search traffic gone, the sites that do remain will be compelled to look to subscription models.

6. Chained Bibles

Remember the chained Bibles from the last Dark Ages (hint: they were chained up because they were incredibly valuable, not to stop people reading them)? Guess what? They’re coming back! As Google has begun what seems to be its final onslaught against small and medium information websites and YouTubers, more information is either disappearing or is being locked behind paywalls and subscription models.

Once all the best content is locked away, we will have finally reached the point where the web is the exact opposite of what it was meant to be. Instead of the dissemination of information to the whole world for free (paid for by ads obviously), we will have a tightly locked vault of knowledge for only those who can afford to read it.

And unlike the Bible in the Middle Ages, we don’t have internet priests who can read it to us every day. This truly is the intentional removal of learning for all but an elite rich.

5. Joe Rogan Spotify

4. Wayback Machine Censorship

“‘Who controls the past,’ ran the Party slogan, ‘controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.’” These words from George Orwell’s frighteningly prescient novel 1984 ring true particularly today. The WayBackMachine or Internet Archive is an amazing site with snapshots of most parts of the world wide web going back decades. It has, on many occasions, been used to reveal deceptive editing from the mainstream media. …

Recently, the WaybackMachine begun marking certain archived pages as disinformation, particularly as it relates to the Coronavirus. It is retroactively stating that historical news or events were not true. It is only a matter of time before they start expunging the original content itself or replacing “misinformation” with “facts” as determined by unnamed movers behind the scenes.

3. Free Discussion in Science

Scientists and doctors are now routinely fired for discoveries (or even espousing theories) that are now deemed contrary to ideas “proven” by scientific consensus (argumentum ad verecundiam anyone?) The fear of causing offense (or worse: causing offense to those with very loud social media presences) is largely behind this dreadful situation. Scientists should not be stifled and it doesn’t matter how offensive their discoveries or views, they should be put out in the fresh air for debate. If we are not allowed to argue against ideas, how can we truly show them to be wrong—or to prove their opposite to be true?

From the environment to race and gender, a new “theology” is being formed and questioning it is tantamount to heresy with shaming and ostracism becoming the new burning at the stake.

2. Zombie Apocalypse

Instead of talking and sharing our experiences and knowledge, instead of reading a book or even a magazine, people are playing games or watching videos on YouTube (the ones Google hasn’t suppressed yet). This is the zombie apocalypse; and it is voluntary. Until you see a city street full of people with vacant faces staring down, you can’t truly appreciate how horrifying this really is. …

1. Historic Information Sources May Vanish

With some places already banning cash due to paper being such a good carrier for the virus, it is plausible to think that institutions of human knowledge such as libraries and, to a lesser degree museums, may eventually also be shuttered in the name of public safety. This would be partially manageable if it weren’t for the fact that the rest of the items on this list are also occurring at the same time.

Once all sites are gone except the highly questionable Wikipedia at the end of Google’s search holocaust, we could find ourselves finally untethered from the shared pool of knowledge of our ancestors upon which we have built our amazing and wonderful society.

Why is this happening?

It is easy to control one large corporation and impossible to control thousands of small ones.

The powers that be, whatever you want to call them, understand that to maintain control of large parts of society and how we think and function requires the end of small businesses. This may not be 100% the reason for the bizarre changes we are now living through, but regardless of the intent, it is safe to say that every single day, more and more information is being removed from the internet and made inaccessible.

We can no longer pretend that we are in a burgeoning golden age of knowledge . . . we stand on the brink of the greatest dark age in human history.

It’s easier to fight a single dog than a swarm of bees.

The Global Cartel of Narrative-Friendly Big Media

The Global Cartel of Narrative-Friendly Big Media. By Tony Thomas.

Last November [the Australian] ABC joined the BBC’s Trusted News Initiative (TNI), a consortium of Big Media and Big Tech global players.

TNI’s gatekeeping goal concerning “misinformation” (i.e. contrary to the official line) is to flag it in real time, coordinate members internally and alert Big Tech’s enforcers to stamp it out.

Part of a global cartel

But on January 10 President John Kennedy’s nephew, Robert F Kennedy Jr, in a Texas District Court launched an anti-trust lawsuit for treble damages from TNI’s biggest news providers, namely the BBC, Washington Post, and global news syndicators Reuters and Associated Press. He wants TNI disbanded as an unlawful cartel. … His brief says “It is also an action to defend the freedom of speech and of the press.”

The ABC is the mothership of the narrative in Australia:

The ABC seems to enjoy its role as a minor Google vassal. …

Google (market cap $US1.3 trillion) found behind its executive sofa $US300 million (equal to roughly a quarter of the ABC’s annual taxpayer gravy) to set up “Google News Initiative” for massaging the media and journalists.

A BBC spokesperson, echoed by the ABC, said, “The media organisations that now make up TNI’s new Asia-Pacific network have received training, funded by the Google News Initiative, to help their journalists navigate the disinformation environment.” …

Kennedy’s lawsuit, less kindly, claims TNI’s commercial goal is to deplatform and crush the myriad of upstart online publishers who are contradicting the official lines and reducing trust in big media, along with its ad revenues. The legacy, high-cost media are smarting over competition from bloggers in the shift to digital publishing, with 85 per cent of Americans now getting their news online. …

US conservative pundit Tucker Carlson has satirised the Big Media censorship as: “We have a monopoly on telling lies. No one else can talk.” …

How’s that working out with the public?

Among 46 countries, the US media has become the least trusted (only 29 per cent trust it). …

In Australia, reporters are the second-least trusted of 30 occupations, ahead of politicians but behind delivery drivers. Only 43 per cent of Australians trust the media …

Currently Big Media and Big Tech are suppressing revelations from a US sting operation against Pfizer by James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas gadfly. … As The Australian’s US correspondent Adam Creighton noted on January 30, the “jaw-dropping” story had racked up 40 million Twitter impressions but mainstream (Democrat-friendly) media in the US -– except Murdoch and his Fox News – wholly ignored it. Google and YouTube have reduced or deleted its visibility. Creighton appears unaware of media cartels, like the ABC’s TNI, coordinating suppression behind the scenes. A search of the ABC website on February 2 likewise yielded no current hits on Veritas or Pfizer, whether because of ABC’s TNI collusion pledge or its normal aversion to news that embarrasses the green-left establishment. …

Kennedy says TNI’s Big Tech members collectively have a gatekeeping power over at least 90 per cent of online news traffic. De-platforming a small news publisher typically costs at least 90 per cent of its traffic. Even well-known major online news publishers can lose up to 50 per cent of their traffic from a seemingly minor change to Google’s search algorithms. Smaller online news publishers have been destroyed completely when shadow-banned, throttled, de-monetized, or de-platformed. …

Kennedy quotes the TNI alleged cartel making admissions. Last year Jamie Angus, then the senior BBC controller of news, said:

the real rivalry now is not between for example the BBC and CNN globally, it’s actually between all trusted news providers and a tidal wave of unchecked” reporting “that’s being piped out mainly through digital platforms … That’s the real competition now in the digital media world. Of course organizations will always compete with one another for audiences.

But the existential threat I think is that overall breakdown in trust, so that trusted news organizations lose in the long term if audiences just, just abandon the idea of a relationship of trust with news organizations.

The lawsuit also references suppression by the TNI group of electoral news harmful to the Democrats and other liberal establishment players.

In particular the lawsuit cites the mainstream news blackout in the weeks before the 2020 Presidential election on the scandalous contents of Hunter Biden’s abandoned laptop, which revealed allocating 10 per cent to “the big guy” — his father, Joe Biden — of Hunter’s lucrative influence peddling with America’s opponent nations. This coordinated blackout was justified by the lie — belatedly withdrawn by the Washington Post and New York Times 18 months post-election — that the laptop was Russian disinformation. Kennedy blames TNI for much of the blackout, thus the “truth controllers” propagated untruths. (The ABC originally in multiple accounts treated the laptop revelations as conspiracies or nutty, and an ABC web search finds no story yet that the laptop is genuine.)…

Climate, of course:

This TNI alliance has common elements with another consortium, Covering Climate Now (CCN), dedicated to climate news manipulation. Like TNI, this group has signed up the same AP, AFP and Reuters syndicators and the Washington Post, but also about 500 other news and opinion outlets. Its total claimed audience is two billion. CCN members pledge to hype global warming scares and suppress ”denialist” items – whether accurate or not. The ABC and SBS have not yet joined CCN, whose chief Australian members are the climate-crazed Guardian and the universities-based The Conversation.

So the future of information is really between a cartel of big media and government players that spread the narrative, and lots of little sites like this that try to find and spread the truth. Well-funded propagandists for those in power, versus the rest on a shoe-string budget.

And they claim that they are “speaking truth to power.” Fully sick.

The Uniparty wants Bigger Government Downunder

The Uniparty wants Bigger Government Downunder. By Henry Ergas.

Yet another post about Australian treasurer Jim Chalmer’s ill-thought-out essay announcing a turn towards more big government in all walks of Australian economic life. But it has brought forth some penetrating and interesting commentary, from people who have lived through this folly before.

Infused with the rage of an old testament prophet, the essay Kevin Rudd published in The Monthly 14 years ago promised to expel the money lenders from the temple and purge markets of greed. Wayne Swan’s essay, which appeared three years later, was even more incandescent, vowing to strangle the last mining magnate with the guts of the last merchant banker.

But this is the age of yoga mats and chai lattes, wellbeing indices and teal voters. Replete with good feelings, Treasurer Jim Chalmers’s essay exudes the spirit of the times, in which Australia’s most affluent constituencies are greener than green while the top end of town is more profoundly anguished by gender equity than by the return on equity.

Chalmers’s method is simplicity itself. It consists of caricaturing his opponents, assaulting straw men, ignoring all contrary evidence, and then failing to explain his own philosophy with any clarity or detail.

No facts are presented, no terms defined, no phrase dear to “Davos man” left unsaid. On reading it carefully, the ghastly thought arises that Jacinda Ardern has been teleported across the Tasman and reincarnated as Australia’s Treasurer.

And as with “Ardern speak” — or, for that matter, texts generated by ChatGPT — it obfuscates and elides more often than it elucidates and clarifies. We are repeatedly told, for example, businesses should be “values-based”; what we are not told is what that would actually entail. Nor is that unimportant: call me cold-hearted, but I would prefer it if Qantas would focus on delivering my luggage rather than on delivering my ethics.

Equally, despite its length, none of the tough questions the government needs to answer are tackled. It is, to take just one example, commendable that Chalmers worries about our productivity slowdown. But given that the collapse in the construction industry’s productivity accounts for a very large share of the decline, it would be even more commendable if he explained how letting the building unions run rampant will help turn the situation around. …

What the essay lacks is any acknowledgment of the challenges that involves. Nothing better highlights those challenges than the market design disasters of the Rudd-Gillard-Rudd years: the tragedy of the home insulation scheme; the deeply flawed vocational education and training “Fee Help” program, which cost more than $3bn to clean up; and the spectacularly ill-designed and poorly implemented National Disability Insurance Scheme.

What those experiences — and that of Chalmers’s own gas code — highlight is the fundamental difficulty government-designed markets encounter.

Private markets, for all of their weaknesses, have the incentive and capacity to self-correct: when their design is poor, the flaws trigger changes in market structure and conduct that usually ameliorate the problems.

But poorly designed government markets don’t adjust automatically, not least because their parameters are typically locked in by legislation. Indeed, by creating profit opportunities, the distortions in their design attract providers whose interests lie in perpetuating the easy pickings, spawning pressure groups that stymie corrective efforts – with the result that the costs the programs impose continue to mount.

Those realities are ignored by Chalmers: the failings of markets worry him; the failings of government do not. Instead, one catches time and again the familiar accent of the reformer armed with an infallible plan for circumventing the obstacles raised by human folly and perversity.

The so-called opposition:

To make things worse, the Coalition had countless policies, but no overriding policy, in each of those areas. What, for example, was the Coalition’s long-run vision for the structure of our health system? No one knew for sure, any more than anyone knew how it thought our education system should evolve in the years ahead. …

The Coalition lacked the internal cohesion and political courage needed to properly define its vision, preferring the safety of ambiguity to the dangers of an unambiguous stake in the ground.

Whether those weaknesses are the Coalition’s alone remains to be seen. Labor is certainly more adept at spinning grand narratives; but as was apparent in the Rudd-Gillard-Rudd years, the yawning gap between those narratives and reality makes them useless at guiding harsh choices.

The risk is that just as the wings have been bred off certain chickens to produce more white meat, so we may have bred a political class (and public service) that is congenitally incapable of the serious thought governing requires — and a political system that punishes those who try.

Chalmers opens and closes his essay by citing Heraclitus’s dictum that one never steps into the same river twice. Perhaps: but one can step many times into the same bathwater, and it gets filthier each time. Unless Chalmers rinses off the woolly rhetoric, and shows a capacity for credible and dispassionate analysis, including of Labor’s own errors, yesterday’s muck will also be tomorrow’s.

When you are the party of the bureaucrats and, increasingly, the big end of town all rolled into one, bigger government and regulation to hinder small upstarts sure seems like a good thing. And the activists in the party are salivating at the thought of using increased government power and social credit to nudge everyone towards the “correct” opinions.

The political axis that is rapidly becoming more relevant throughout the West is whether you would prefer to move towards or away from the old Soviet Union.