It’s Time for the Scientific Community to Admit We Were Wrong About COVID and It Cost Lives

It’s Time for the Scientific Community to Admit We Were Wrong About COVID and It Cost Lives. By Kevin Bass.

As a medical student and researcher, I staunchly supported the efforts of the public health authorities when it came to COVID-19.

I believed that the authorities responded to the largest public health crisis of our lives with compassion, diligence, and scientific expertise. I was with them when they called for lockdowns, vaccines, and boosters.

I was wrong. We in the scientific community were wrong. And it cost lives.

I can see now that the scientific community from the CDC to the WHO to the FDA and their representatives, repeatedly overstated the evidence and misled the public about its own views and policies, including on natural vs. artificial immunity, school closures and disease transmission, aerosol spread, mask mandates, and vaccine effectiveness and safety, especially among the young. All of these were scientific mistakes at the time, not in hindsight. Amazingly, some of these obfuscations continue to the present day.

Yeah, we pointed that out in real time.

We excluded important parts of the population from policy development and castigated critics, which meant that we deployed a monolithic response …

Our emotional response and ingrained partisanship prevented us from seeing the full impact of our actions on the people we are supposed to serve. We systematically minimized the downsides of the interventions we imposed — imposed without the input, consent, and recognition of those forced to live with them. In so doing, we violated the autonomy of those who would be most negatively impacted by our policies: the poor, the working class, small business owners, Blacks and Latinos, and children. These populations were overlooked because they were made invisible to us by their systematic exclusion from the dominant, corporatized media machine that presumed omniscience.

Most of us did not speak up in support of alternative views, and many of us tried to suppress them. When strong scientific voices like world-renowned Stanford professors John Ioannidis, Jay Bhattacharya, and Scott Atlas, or University of California San Francisco professors Vinay Prasad and Monica Gandhi, sounded the alarm on behalf of vulnerable communities, they faced severe censure by relentless mobs of critics and detractors in the scientific community — often not on the basis of fact but solely on the basis of differences in scientific opinion.

When former President Trump pointed out the downsides of intervention, he was dismissed publicly as a buffoon. And when Dr. Antony Fauci opposed Trump and became the hero of the public health community, we gave him our support to do and say what he wanted, even when he was wrong.

Trump was not remotely perfect, nor were the academic critics of consensus policy. But the scorn that we laid on them was a disaster for public trust in the pandemic response. Our approach alienated large segments of the population from what should have been a national, collaborative project.

Pandemic policy was created by a razor-thin sliver of American society who anointed themselves to preside over the working class — members of academia, government, medicine, journalism, tech, and public health, who are highly educated and privileged.

From the comfort of their privilege, this elite prizes paternalism, as opposed to average Americans who laud self-reliance and whose daily lives routinely demand that they reckon with risk. That many of our leaders neglected to consider the lived experience of those across the class divide is unconscionable.

Tyler Durden:

The problem was not people’s ignorance of the facts, it was the organized antagonism and censorship against anyone presenting data that was contradictory to the mandate agenda. This is setting aside proclamations like those from the LA Times, which argued that mocking the deaths of “anti-vaxxers” might be necessary and justified. After two years of this type of arrogant nonsense it’s hard to imagine people will be willing to pretend as if all is well.

The active effort to shut down any opposing data is the root crime, though, and no, it can never be forgotten or forgiven.

People are still livid…

It was the left:

One cannot help but notice that the timing of the Atlantic’s appeal for passive forgetfulness and now this op-ed mea culpa coincides with the swiftly approaching end of the COVID emergency declarations, amid a growing political backlash to the last two years of meaningless lockdowns and mandates, and Democrats were instrumental in the implementation of both. A large swath of the population sees one party as the cause of much of their covid era strife.

Perhaps the mainstream media is suddenly realizing that they may have to face some payback for their covid zealotry? “We didn’t know! We were just following orders!” It all sounds rather familiar.

All that authoritarianism looks particularly wrong when they also got it technically wrong. And resulted in a lot of unnecessary deaths. And is continuing to do so.

hat-tip Stephen Neil

Pfizer’s Jordan Walker is Probably a Sign of the Times: An Incompetent Affirmative Action Hire

Pfizer’s Jordan Walker is Probably a Sign of the Times: An Incompetent Affirmative Action Hire. By Darren Beattie.

Project Veritas released what has already become by far its most-watched video ever: An undercover conversation with Dr. Jordon Trishton Walker. …

We initially thought the video must be false, because Walker seemed too lightweight and unimpressive. But no, it was real. Which brings us to the second scandal, in and of itself.

Who the heck is Jordon Walker and how did this blabbermouth idiot get a sweet job at Pfizer?

According to Project Veritas, and supported by screenshots found online, Walker works for Pfizer as Director of Research and Development Strategic Operations and mRNA Scientific Planning.

Critics of the Veritas scoop have zeroed in on the idea that Walker could not possibly hold a senior role with Pfizer, citing his relatively recent graduation and unremarkable research history.

This criticism is rooted in truth. After attending Yale undergrad, Walker graduated medical school from University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, which ranks solidly but not in the top tier. He also only graduated in 2018. From 2019-2020, Walker spent a year in a urology resident program at Massachusetts General Hospital, itself an odd resume line item — the Massachusetts General Hospital urology residency, run in collaboration with Harvard Medical School, is five years long. Walker, it seems, may have left the program early.

Yet immediately, he pivoted to a desirable job at Boston Consulting Group, and then picked up a lovely-sounding title at Pfizer.

In truth, though, as amazing as the title sounds, it’s not exceptionally remarkable. Pfizer has a great many directors, and senior directors above them …

Jordon Walker, whatever else might be said about him, seems oddly unimpressive for his pileup of credentials.

But there is another straightforward explanation for all of the oddities in Walker’s biography: He is the proud product of America’s affirmative action industrial complex, which reliably rewards and elevates members of preferred races far above where they would be if they were white or Asian. …

Pfizer itself has proudly offered fellowships that literally don’t even allow white people to apply for them …

While Walker doesn’t seem to have received the fellowship in question, it’s not hard to imagine a company that offers it being desperate to hire the melanin-enabled whenever it can, even if ability is shaky.

And if Pfizer did that for Walker, it would just be the culmination of a career that has been given racially-motivated boosts every step of the way. …

Medical entry exam scores by race:

Medicine as a field is one of the areas where affirmative action is at its most dramatic, and most dangerous.

The MCAT is scored from 472 to 528. A 505 is only in the 61st percentile of MCAT scores, while 512 points is in the 83rd percentile. Asian matriculants, with scores averaging more than 514 points, are on average around the 88th percentile.

Just to get a seat in medical school, whites need to be 22 percentiles above blacks, and Asians have to be 27 percentiles better.

But soon, there may be no MCAT at all. …

There is a strong move currently on to scrap aptitude testing altogether, because of persistent disparate outcomes.

That’s the beginning and the end of it: Measuring ability is an obstacle to diversity, so measuring ability must go. …

In a more sane world, it would be so obvious it wouldn’t have to be said: People who score better on the MCAT do better in medical school, score better on later exams, and ultimately make better doctors. As such, if we want better medical professionals, we should elevate those with better MCAT scores.

But America does the opposite, because as a nation we have decided that competency in the practice of medicine — the preservation and extension of human lives — is a feeble matter compared to the Great Cause of diversity.

Hence Jordan Walker — in his highly responsible job at Pfizer.

It’s all a situation that is perfectly engineered to produce people like Jordon Walker. Use racial preferences to get into Yale, use racial preferences to get into med school, and then (as America’s “racial reckoning obsession is hitting its absolute peak) use racial preferences to land a rapid sequence of elite jobs that he’s not actually very good at doing. …

The American affirmative action cult has always been about favoring less able people over more able ones, purely based on skin color or other superficial identity traits. There has been a vague sense that for things that “really matter,” pure competency will reign supreme. Yet that is a lie too — or, alternatively, the management of America’s medical system shows that the lives and health of the American masses do not matter.

The rubber is hitting the road.

Old Frontiers in Censorship and Propaganda — Hamilton 68 and the Russia Hoax

Old Frontiers in Censorship and Propaganda — Hamilton 68 and the Russia Hoax. By Roger Kimball.

Elon nailed it:

Musk’s tweet was in response to the revelation last week (hat tip to the great Matt Taibbi for ferreting through the garbage to retrieve it) that a shadowy group called “Hamilton 68” had been doing exactly what the title of Musk’s imaginary Golden Book says: accusing anyone and anything they don’t like of being, or being influenced by, a Russian bot.

“Instead of tracking how ‘Russia’ influenced American attitudes,” Taibbi notes, “Hamilton 68 simply collected a handful of mostly real, mostly American accounts, and described their organic conversations as Russian scheming.”

Simply in terms of volume, Taibbi estimates that Hamilton 68 “may go down as the single greatest case of media fabulism in American history. Virtually every major news organization in America is implicated, including NBC, CBS, ABC, PBS, CNN, MSNBC, the New York Times and the Washington Post. Mother Jones alone did at least fourteen stories pegged to the group’s ‘research.’ Even fact-checking sites like Politifact and Snopes cited Hamilton 68 as a source.”

But what is Hamilton 68? It is, Taibbi writes, a “computerized ‘dashboard’ designed to be used by reporters and academics to measure ‘Russian disinformation.’” But what it really measured was politically tendentious and utterly baseless allegations of Russian disinformation in order to discredit people and opinions that the people running Hamilton 68 didn’t like. …

Who is behind this gigantic exercise in journalistic malfeasance and deception? Well, wouldn’t you know it, at the center of the operation is our old friend Bill Kristol, patron saint of NeverTrumpery, along with John Podesta, former Hillary Clinton apparatchik, and Michael McFaul, academic anti-Trumper par excellence. …

Trump was right — fake news:

But it was fake, all fake — or, as a frustrated Twitter employee put it, it was “bullshit.” Indeed, Taibbi reports that Twitter execs were so concerned (“shocked” is his word) about the proliferation of news stories linked to Hamilton 68 that they ordered a forensic analysis. Result: out of many hundreds of accounts identified as Russian bots, only thirty-six were registered in Russia, and many of those were associated with Russia Today, a news site.

So here we are. The entire “Russia Collusion” hoax was dreamed up, paid for, and set into action by Hillary Clinton’s campaign. It aimed at and succeeded in hobbling Trump’s first term, weighing it down with the $40 million fishing expedition conducted by senile former FBI chief Robert “What’s Fusion GPS?” Mueller.

And now we learn that all the ambient static about the Russkies are coming! the Russkies are coming! was similarly fabricated out of whole cloth….

Here’s how it worked:

Hamilton 68, a “research institute,” invents claims about Russian bots. Reporters then target public enemies like Devin Nunes, Mike Flynn, Tulsi Gabbard, or Donald Trump with the claims and, as Taibbi says, “headlines flow.” The scam, he concludes, “needed just three elements: credentials of someone like ‘former FBI agent’ [Clint] Watts, the absence of any semblance of fact-checking, and the silence of companies like Twitter.”

Bottom line? This was an example of what Taibbi calls “digital McCarthyism, taking people with dissident or unconventional opinions and mass-accusing them of ‘Un-American activities.’” But where McCarthy claimed to have found a commie under every bed, Hamilton 68 focused not on targeting leftists — though a few were swept up as window dressing and cover — but on conservative accounts with handles like ULTRA MAGA Dog Mom and @ClassyLadyForDJT.

The activity of Hamilton 68 marks a new, and distinctly malodorous, chapter in politically motivated disinformation. Even as I write, it is being exposed. So far, however, the response has been muted. Not surprising, perhaps, since so many who might have responded were either in on or dupes of the scam.

Our friends who get their news from the mainstream media will have no idea they were played, and probably won’t believe you if you tell them because they still trust the MSM.

The people yelling about misinformation were in fact the misinformers. Leftist projection strikes again.

New Frontiers in Censorship and Propaganda — ChatGPT

New Frontiers in Censorship and Propaganda — ChatGPT. By David Foster.

ChatGPT … now expressively prohibits arguments for fossil fuels. (It used to offer them.) Not only that, it excludes nuclear energy from its counter-suggestions.

Someone else responding to Alex’s’ tweet (from December 23) said that when he asked a similar question (‘what is the case for continuing to use fossil fuels’), he got a very different response, featuring points such as affordability, accessibility, energy security, and limited alternatives.

The dominant political ideology dominates the websites and the users, so it dominates ChatGPT:

ChatGPT responses do change significantly over time; the system provides a ‘thumbs up/thumbs down’ feature, and people giving a ‘thumbs down’ to a response are invited to provide a better one, and those responses seem to feed back into the system’s behavior pretty quickly.

But it’s also guided by thumbs on the scale at the tech companies:

But the ‘goes against my programming’ phrase in the response Alex got argues that there were humans involved in making this change, not just machine learning.

ChatGPT is not a forum for questioning orthodoxy, new ideas, or for finding the truth.

The midwits must love this — ChatGPT saves time by only giving the approved answer:

The thing about a system like ChatGPT, at least as currently implemented, is that it acts as an oracle. Unlike a search engine that provides you with multiple links in answer to your question, there is a single answer. This makes it a lot easier to promulgate particular narratives.

Marc Andresson:

The censorship pressure applied to social media over the last decade pales in comparison to the censorship pressure that will be applied to AI.

“AI regulation” = “AI ethics” = “AI safety” = “AI censorship”. They’re the same thing.

The level of censorship pressure that’s coming for AI and the resulting backlash will define the next century of civilization. Search and social media were the opening skirmishes. This is the big one. World War Orwell.

Wrong? Truth? What’s that got to do with it? It’s your place in the herd that matters, virtue signaling rulez!

‘Chalmer’s capitalism’ will leave Australia broke … or worse

‘Chalmer’s capitalism’ will leave Australia broke … or worse. By Dimitri Burshtein.

Chalmers did not articulate what values would power values-based capitalism but did hint towards those of “many forward-looking businesspeople and investors”. Not the values of the working class or of general Australians, but the values of the upper bourgeoisie who have access and proximity to government.

More than 30 years after the fall of the Soviet Union and nearly 40 years since the start of the Hawke-Keating-Walsh reforms, Chalmers apparently believes it is time to give government economic planning another go. To provide centralised management and guidance through “reimagining and redesigning markets … with co-ordination and co-investment”. …

Chalmers does not dismiss markets out of hand but rather proposes government-designed and managed markets “through the efforts of business, labour and government”. We have seen the consequences of a tight coalition of big government, big business, and big labour. This is not neo-capitalism but rather neo-oligarchy. …

Chalmers’s description of capitalism is a straw man. In Australia, total government spending sits near 50 per cent of GDP and there are 2.2 million public sector employees. In the past six months, the Albanese government has further increased labour and energy market regulation and placed price caps on key domestic commodities. It has delivered a budget projecting an 11 per cent increase in net debt over nine months and flagged further regulation of already highly regulated financial and capital markets. This is not the “more market” economic orthodoxy Chalmers decries.

Ironically also, many of the poor economic results he describes are the adverse outcomes of prior government interventions. Chalmers’s prescription for a values-based capitalism is not capitalism but a rhetorical recycling of prior failed economic policies. … Chalmers’s “new” model of capitalism with government-designed and chaperoned markets will lead to the same place –- poverty and penury. Possibly worse.

Milton Friedman frequently noted capitalism does not require democracy, but democracy requires capitalism. Values-based capitalism is not just a threat to Australia’s economic prosperity but to our democracy.

And the greatest government price-setting of all? A bunch of bureaucrats set the short term interest rates, which are the price of money.

The left is pretty keen on threats to democracy nowadays, isn’t it?

Bill Gates — After Reaping Huge Profits Selling BioNTech Shares — Trashes Effectiveness of COVID Vaccines

Bill Gates — After Reaping Huge Profits Selling BioNTech Shares — Trashes Effectiveness of COVID Vaccines. By Michael Nevradakis.

Bill Gates the Prophet:

At a TED conference in 2015, vaccine votary Bill Gates warned that the world wasn’t ready for the next epidemic, saying, “If anything kills over 10 million people in the next few decades, it’s most likely to be a highly infectious virus rather than a war.” When COVID-19 hit the scene in December 2019, a large portion of the global population, filled with regret for ignoring the prediction made by this supposed prophet, glorified Gates. …

In October 2019, Gates co-sponsored Event 201, a high-level pandemic exercise which involved conducting a simulation which “predicted” a global coronavirus pandemic…

Oops:

Speaking at Australia’s Lowy Institute as part of a talk entitled “Preparing for Global Challenges: In Conversation with Bill Gates,” the Microsoft founder made the following admission:

“We also need to fix the three problems of [COVID-19] vaccines. The current vaccines are not infection-blocking. They’re not broad, so when new variants come up you lose protection, and they have very short duration, particularly in the people who matter, which are old people.” …

They were the latest in a string of developments in recent weeks that have increasingly called the COVID-19 vaccines, in particular, into question. …

The profit:

[The Hill TV’s “Rising” co-host Briahna Joy Gray]: “He invested $55 million in BioNTech back in 2019 and it’s now worth north of $550 million. He sold some stock … at the end of last year, I believe it was, with the share price over $300, which represented a huge gain for him over when he invested.”

The about-face:

[Co-host Robby Soave]: “We have to be more transparent about the fact that people who are having input in what the government policy is going to be … shouldn’t it be known at least when there are hundreds of millions of dollars of financial interests at stake for the people advising this? And their tune changes as it follows the money!”

Investigative journalist Jordan Schachtel …:

“Microsoft founder Bill Gates, who served as one of the architects of Covid hysteria and had more of an impact than any other individual on the disastrous global pandemic policies, has finally acknowledged that the mRNA shots he’s been promoting for two years are nothing more than expired pharma junk.

“Translation: Gates admits that the shots are impossible to align with rapidly developing variants, they expire in lighting speed, and they don’t stop transmission. And they don’t work for the only at-risk portion of the population.”

Schachtel called this “an incredible reversal from the man who once advertised the shots as the cure to the coronavirus,” drawing upon Gates’ previous statement: “everyone who takes the vaccine is not just protecting themselves but reducing their transmission to other people and allowing society to get back to normal.”

In 2021, Gates described the mRNA vaccines as “magic,” saying they would be a “game changer” in the next five years.

Now he’s warning of the next act of biowarfare (does he have some inside information?):

Gates warns about ‘next pandemic,’ praises lockdowns, calls for more pandemic simulations …

And the article doesn’t even mention the vax-deaths and harms.

hat-tip Stephen Neil

Putin surrounds himself with ‘absolutely incompetent’ military chiefs ahead of ‘senseless’ invasion of Ukraine, says Russia’s former vice-president

Putin surrounds himself with ‘absolutely incompetent’ military chiefs ahead of ‘senseless’ invasion of Ukraine, says Russia’s former vice-president. By Will Stewart.

Vladimir Putin has made himself a ‘laughing stock’ after he surrounded himself with ‘absolutely incompetent’ military chiefs ahead of the war in Ukraine, Russia’s former vice-president has said in a scathing attack on the Russian President.

Alexander Rutskoy, a former Soviet general, accused Putin of ‘senselessly’ killing tens of thousands of Russian soliders who have been used as cannon fodder in the war.

Rutskoy, who served as deputy to President Boris Yeltsin, said Putin’s invasion of Ukraine should never have been launched.

‘If the armed forces do not have the ability to conduct strategic offensive operations, then it is better not to try, especially outside your own country,’ Rutskoy said. …

He added: ‘Everything happening today is explained by the fact that our armed forces are not able, I emphasise, to conduct strategic offensive operations.

‘Why….? For a quarter of a century the armed forces have been led by incompetent, absolutely incompetent people.’

‘The result is the carnage in Ukraine where Russia has suffered losses which one estimate puts at 175,000 in less than a year,’ Rutskoy said. …

Putin’s court:

Putin had surrounded himself with security apparatchiks and others who lack high-level military training and skills, said Rutskoy.

This includes defence minister Sergei Shoigu who — despite now holding the rank of army general — is not a career soldier, but a politician known for his loyalty to Putin, Rutskoy said.

His predecessor, a furniture entrepreneur, Anatoly Serdyukov was ‘some kind of driver, a corporal and nothing more’, who was promoted because his then wife was the daughter of a close Putin crony.

Rutskoy added that the key people ‘never commanded or led anything’.

He said: ‘Who do we have in the Security Council of the Russian Federation? Not a single person who served in the army, not a single person who has a military education. …

Rutskoy’s background:

The nationalist politician was vice-president from 1991-93 after a highflying career in the Soviet military where he held the rank of aviation major-general.

He was three times shot down during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan where he commanded an independent air attack regiment of the 40th Army.

Rutskoy was made a Hero of the Soviet Union in 1988. He later served as governor of Kursk region, bordering Ukraine, during Putin’s presidency.

Hitler was an ex-corporal who let his political friends take many of the top jobs. After 1941, the Allies decided not to try to assassinate Hitler. They figured he was such a bad military decision maker, who frequently overrode the German General Staff, that he was an Allied asset.

What conservative women want

What conservative women want. By Flat White.

The Liberal Party is being told that the only way it can cling onto power (or win it back) is if the party panders to the demands of women. …

[That narrative] was started by a relentless Labor marketing campaign. The media quite liked throwing pink click-bait around and so it persisted, but there was never any detail behind the fiction.

Liberal leaders allowed the untrue accusation to sit unchallenged through several election cycles until it was ‘assumed’ as fact. Which is what happens to those who refuse to fight the culture wars. …

Really? Why don’t you ask them? So he did:

Last week, I sent out a question to subscribers of the nightly Flat White email asking conservative women: What do you want?

The first and almost universal reply from women was that they had never been asked.

Liberal leaders are getting their information about the demands of female voters from the ABC and hard-left feminist social media accounts. …

A 39-year-old woman, centre-right, and a Christian expressed her disillusionment with all levels of the Liberal Party. Her disappointment is largely to do with their policies, in particular ‘their apparent lukewarmness and lack of a backbone on controversial issues’. …

Her conclusion was that the party should promote less spending, or at least spend money on things that make a difference to society; have a healthy promotion of national spirit; more focus on national security; education instead of indoctrination with a focus on teaching children the importance of democracy; championing free speech; making sure the ‘broad church’ doesn’t erode the party; and defending the freedom of religion. This conservative woman has lost faith in the education system to the point that she has looked into homeschooling.

Our next reply was from a young professional in her twenties expecting her first child later in the year. She has a degree in a STEM subject and has been working in economics. Her wishes for the party may surprise policy experts. The first thing that she wants is to see childcare subsidies stopped (or limited to those in critical need) as ‘there is no reason why everyone else should pay because you decided to have a child’ also, ‘there is no reason why parents who choose to stay at home and raise their own children should be forced to pay for other people’s kids to go to childcare’. She worries that parents should be encouraged to raise their children after noticing many seem to talk to their kids as if they were strangers. …

Her other concerns may resonate; stem the flow of immigration (‘the contradiction of preaching about climate change and Aboriginal land while cramming more people in’); give Australians a chance to afford a home; preserve what’s left of Australia’s culture; encourage assimilation; stop indulging in divisive ideology; and finally, no female quotas (‘I don’t care whether someone is male, female, or X – I care about how suited they are to the job’). …

Another woman added, ‘I expect political parties to be brave in condemning any and all Woke trash.’ Of particular concern is the Liberal Party’s apparent disinterest in protecting children from ‘gender-affirming’ indoctrination that confuses vulnerable kids. She also wishes the Liberals to stand up and put an end to divisive race politics and calls for a Royal Commission to track down the billions of dollars invested in Indigenous projects to make sure it is being used responsibly. …

There is a general anger when it comes to the lack of questioning done by the Liberals toward all these left-wing causes. It seems there are no members prepared to fight their Labor counterparts leaving voters feeling as if they have no voice at all. …

‘I want a Liberal Party to display conservative values, not to crumble under Woke aggression and every stupid Woke idea. I want a Liberal Party that values hard work and individual achievement.’

And for those Liberal MPs who are reading, wondering what women want: ‘I want a Liberal Party that is willing to say that a woman is a woman and a man is a man.’

Another reader insisted that the Liberal Party drop ‘purely tokenistic’ quotas that insult hard-working women and instead encourage young women to become interested in civic duties and make the process compatible with their parental responsibilities. ‘Get back to your liberal conservative values and stand up for them! Show a bit of bloody courage and maybe you’ll attract other courageous people!’ …

A common demand was for politicians to ‘speak in plain English’ when it comes to their policy ideas. …

And while conservative women disagreed about whether climate change was happening (and to what extent) — it is essentially irrelevant because they came to the same conclusion: nuclear energy and old-school, genuine environmentalism that focuses on recycling and cleaning up pollution. No one who responded to my request wanted the Liberals to chase wind turbines, solar panels, or batteries because they were all smart enough to know that they’d be lying in landfill. …

Women don’t ‘vote for women’ – they vote for strength, intelligence, and strong moral principles. Yes, women have traditionally had a different role to men in society, but being primary caregivers, women are more keenly attuned to desire security and safety when it comes to political leaders. This weak, copycat class of international bureaucrats that scurry around in terror whenever a newspaper blows by are hardly desirable to women.

In other words, stand up and fight for your principles — instead of being tricked into going along with your opponent’s woke nonsense.

Might work for the Liberal Party. Hasn’t been tried for over a decade now.

Nobody voted for the New Australian Socialism

Nobody voted for the New Australian Socialism. By Nick Cater. Australian Treasurer Jim Chalmers recently signaled a retreat from free market economics and a return to larger scale government intervention in the Australian economy.

Chalmerism … is not as new as he supposes. It is the socialisation of the economy in which markets are forced to bend to serve our supposed collective interests rather than the interests of millions of individuals who invest their capital and labour in the expectation of reward.

For Chalmers, the omnishambles in the energy sector is not some dreadful experiment that is going horribly wrong but a model for the entire economy. He describes the clean energy sector as “a perfect example” of how governments can control the flow of investment when it “ensures the flow of first-class information”.

You don’t have to be a student of Friedrich Hayek to realise the government lacks the knowledge to enable it to meet the infinite variety of needs of millions of individuals.

You just have to study the lessons of history to realise the information available to the government is no match for the flow of information from the price mechanism.

When that mechanism is destroyed, as the government has done in the energy sector by administering a fatal mix of subsidies and coercion, we’re off on the road to serfdom.

Hayek is branded by the left as the father of neoliberalism. Neoliberalism, like capitalism, is an “ism” the left invented to rubbish a way of ordering political and economic affairs in a manner that self-evidently works.

Chalmerism, on the other hand, is the manifestation of our worst fears for the post-pandemic world: fiddle-finger governments puffed up by the conceit that temporary economic intervention to control public health was such a brilliant idea it should be made permanent. …

“Crises” are just excuses:

Whenever the left declares a crisis it means something must be done. As Thomas Sowell once wrote, the word “crisis” is one of many of the progressive left’s substitutes for evidence or logic.

Naturally, Chalmers blames the former Coalition government in part for the crisis now upon us. He speaks of “the drift and drag, the stagnation and wasted opportunities that defined the Australian economy for much of the 2010s”.

That would be the drift and drag under which median [weekly] household income increased from $1,234 at the 2011 census to $1,746 in 2021, an increase of 20 per cent in real terms. It would be the stagnation that increased the number of US dollar millionaires in Australia from 740,000 in 2010 to 2.2 million in 2021, 16 per cent of the adult population. It would be the decade of wasted opportunity during which private wealth not only grew enormously but was distributed more widely. The Gini coefficient, a widely accepted measure of inequality, fell from 72.7 to 62.6 in contrast to the US where it rose four points to 85.

Chalmers insists the nation’s health should be gauged by metrics other than per capita GDP, which rose from $53,862 in 2010 to $62,619 in 2021. He argues that the government must intervene to ensure women’s participation and economic equality. He probably won’t want to hear that the number of women in the workforce increased by 1.17 million between the two censuses. The proportion of women engaged in unpaid childcare fell from 36.4 per cent to 34.5 per cent while the proportion of men remained static at 25.5 per cent. That is surely a measure of achievement in the eyes of the progressive left.

The steady progression towards a better Australia that characterises the post-war years fits uncomfortably in the progressive narrative. It struggles to accommodate the idea that enterprising individuals empowered to control their destiny with the minimum of hindrance leads to a fairer and more prosperous nation for all.

It is bound by the conceit that the public interest is best defined by third parties and financed by the power of taxation, rather than public preferences revealed through the marketplace.

So postmodern — just use force, no argument or persuasion entered into:

Chalmers appears to sense objections to his radical plans from the crusties in Treasury, the Reserve Bank and the Productivity Commission still clinging to the free-market consensus of yesteryear. He plans to “redefine and reform” all three bodies, which in effect means bringing them to heel.

Where Hawke, Keating, Howard and Tony Abbott sought to win the argument, Chalmers in the dismal fashion of his day prefers to ensure the argument is never made.

None of this was mentioned before the last election. It has no mandate or legitimacy. We were tricked.

ChatGPT may transform the financial advice sector

ChatGPT may transform the financial advice sector. By James Kirby.

Ben Neilson, a PhD at the University of Southern Queensland … as drawn together research from four major advice firms along with a range of consumers and compliance officers to explore the possibilities of ChatGPT and found the technology could create answers to financial problems with high levels of accuracy, “creating required content in 3.88 seconds”.

Neilson, who is also a director of Neilson & Co Wealth Management, believes the technology has an “ability to create simple compliant financial recommendation content that far exceeds human capabilities”.

According to Neilson, the technology recognises key items such as superannuation caps, regulations, and tax tiers and can create “a significant advancement in the field of compliance and reduction of human error”. …

In the US a researcher managed to get the ChatGPT technology to finish and complete the CFA Level 3 exam — the key exam for professional wealth managers which concentrates on planning and wealth management.

In Australia analysts suggest the technology will soon be used to replace back office work — particularly correspondence with investors on routine issues.

One adviser who spoke to The Australian says: “I have been using it for answering questions on everything from superannuation rules to tax tables and it is very accurate — it’s not perfect but it going to get better since it improves the more people use it, rather like Google in its early days.” …

Frustrated by paperwork and new exam standards, many advisers have been leaving the industry – more than 2000 resigned last year. The industry is now heading to less than 14,000.

Computers are great for taking care of tedious detail. Navigating the bureaucracy seems like an excellent use for computers. Well done ChatGPT!