Hunter Biden has been caught, beyond any reasonable doubt, by his emails, which were inadvertently discovered because he dropped off his laptop at a repair shop, forgot to pick it up, and after a few months someone took a look at the contents. Handed it to the FBI, who didn’t do anything (‘cos’ bad for their political team). Then repair man contacted Rudy Giuliani, and it hits the fan.
What is established: Joe Biden altered the foreign policy of the US in small ways to make money for his family, in Ukraine and probably China. As corrupt as.
Hillary Clinton did the same, when she was Secretary of State. For several years, one could purchase US foreign policy by making a donation to the Clinton Foundation. Hillary, being smarter, moved her emails to a private server where they couldn’t be FOIed. Remember all the fuss about Hillary’s emails at the last election? FBI chief Comey pretty much said she was guilty, but wasn’t going to charge her. “Lock her up” changed Trump’s supporters and those still valuing justice above partisanship.
This is a massive issue, but it is being swept under the carpet.
Hypothesis: The people who run the US Democrat Party are a corrupt bunch of parasites, in it for themselves. They switched to identity politics and woke a few decades ago, to basically buy the votes of those interest groups. The Dems cynically buy and inspire those groups, to win power. But really they are feathering their own nests and ruining western civilization in the process. Their woke and minority voters — including most of the media — really believe and buy in, and so refuse to believe the corruption. What a stinking mess.
How did the Bidens, the Obamas, and the Clintons get so rich on government salaries?
Here’s an excellent speech by the Chairman of the Claremont Institute that in fifteen minutes neatly encapsulates what the 2020 US presidential election means for America – and by extension the world We are at an existential pivot point whether we like it or not.
I wish to make three points. First, Trump is the perfect man for these times, not all times, perhaps not most times, but these times. Second, Republicans are not doing a good job explaining the stakes in this election. They must explain, and this is my third point, that the Democratic Party, which has been taken by its radical wing, is leading a revolution. This makes the coming election the most important one since the election of 1860. Let’s begin there.
Unlike most elections, this one is much more than a contest over particular policies — like health care or taxes. Rather, like the election of 1860, this election is a contest between two competing regimes, or ways of life. Two ways of life that cannot exist peacefully together.
One way of life, I’ll call it “the traditional American way of life,” is based on individual rights, the rule of law, and a shared understanding of the common good. This way of life values hard work, self-reliance, volunteerism, patriotism, and so on.
In this way of life there are no hyphenated Americans. We are all just Americans. Colorblindness is our aspiration.
The other way of life I call multiculturalism. Others call it “identity politics” or “cultural Marxism” or “Intersectionality”.
The multicultural movement, which has taken over the Democratic party, is a revolutionary movement. I do not mean a metaphorical revolution. It is not like a revolution; it is a revolution, an attempt to overthrow the American Founding …
Multiculturalism conceives of society, not as a community of individuals with equal rights but as a collection of cultural identity groups — defined by race, ethnicity, gender, and so forth. According to the multiculturalists, all these identity groups are oppressed by white males.
Their goal is to have each identity group proportionally represented in all institutions of American society. As should be immediately clear, achieving this proportional representation requires a never-ending redistribution of wealth and power from some groups—and not just from whites—to other groups. Such a massive redistribution can only be achieved by a tyrannical government and like in all tyrannies, one where dissenters are silenced.
In order to achieve this proportional representation, the Democrats require not just endless affirmative action but genuine socialism, open borders, unrestricted trade, seizing guns, sanctuary cities, and much more.
The mainstream media have always skewed left in the modern era, but that didn’t mean they were parasitic vampires who fed on the misfortune of others. When Ronald Reagan — the most conservative modern president elected prior to Donald Trump — was wounded by a would-be assassin’s bullet in 1981, the media reported the event as a matter of national and historic significance. There was no glee and no speculation about President Reagan’s karmic responsibility for his near-death experience. …
Fast-forward four decades. Welcome to “Twilight of the Media: The Week of the Vampires.” When Donald Trump revealed that he had tested positive for coronavirus, the media spoke with almost one voice: Trump got what he deserved. …
What this election is really about:
Pundits often claim that the 2020 election will be a referendum on Donald Trump, but that is not the case. It should now be apparent — if it wasn’t already — that the upcoming election is a referendum on the media, and their dangerous role as self-appointed arbiters of the truth. And if the media wins, Katie bar the door. …
The problem is that so many people — smart people! — are captive audiences of the incredibly biased and hate-filled “news” coverage typified by CNN. By not exercising their God-given right to turn the channel, they are kept blissfully unaware that they are being deprived of vital information that doesn’t feed the Never Trump narrative. …
One of the most despicable moments in media malevolence came when President Trump reached out to the American people to thank them for their love and concern as he received treatment at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. Hundreds of decent, caring people had gathered outside the hospital for days with signs of support for their president and just to gather in prayer for him. Again, millions of Americans probably never saw the scene or only heard slanted reports that these must be racist right-wing wackos who hadn’t got the memo about Trump being a menace to society. …
One day later, the president was found by his doctors to be healthy enough to return home to the White House. This was the final straw, and the fourth estate broke under its weight. Worst of all was the moment when President Trump rose, phoenix-like, out of the ashes of his pundit-celebrated “date with destiny.” God was supposed to punish him with a slow and miserable death for not wearing a mask, but instead the president flew away in a helicopter and returned to the White House with a message for everyone who had been living in fear of COVID for the past nine months: Don’t be afraid. “Don’t let coronavirus dominate you.”
How dare he! If people had died from coronavirus, then certainly we must be afraid of it, the media voices told us. How dare he ride Marine One back to the White House? “A photo op and a power trip. A literal power trip,” said CNN’s Brian Stelter about the helicopter ride, and then he compared the moment to “what strongmen do in autocratic regimes” — as if the White House press corps had not seen the president ride Marine One hundreds of times before.
This is an important theme, but the contest is really about Western culture (as exemplified by the traditional American way of life) versus cultural Marxism (multiculti, identity politics, excessive collectivism, critical race theory, everyone must discriminate against white males, yada yada yada).
President Donald Trump has mistaken a satirical news story on the Babylon Bee about a total Twitter shutdown for a real one, prompting confusion among supporters and an onslaught of mockery from his critics.
Trump on Friday tweeted the fake story about Twitter shutting down its “entire network” to slow the spread of negative stories about his Democratic opponent Joe Biden.
“Wow, this has never been done in history,” Trump wrote, reacting to the satire site’s post about the supposed Twitter shutdown. “Why is Twitter doing this?” the commander-in-chief asked, adding that it would only bring “more attention to Sleepy Joe [Biden] & Big T[ech]”.
The president was tricked by the story despite the fact that the conservative Babylon Bee describes itself as “fake news you can trust” in its Twitter bio. Trump wasn’t the only one who fell for it, either. Some of his supporters did as well. “This is not satire!” tweeted one user in Trump’s defense, while a few commenters from the Biden camp didn’t seem to even notice it was fake.
(This story is true — real news about a fake-news website.)
According to a new announcement from showrunners, Amazon’s new Lord of the Rings television series will include its first disabled bisexual transgender elf character.
“Tolkien’s story is a timeless and beloved epic, but let’s face it, it was written by a white Catholic guy. Totally EW!” said Phinnix Glittervaux, a non-binary transgender writer for the show. “With any beloved cultural juggernaut like this, it’s important that we hollow out its insides until it’s just a shell before filling it with the post-postmodern political messages of our choosing!”
In order to make Tolkien’s masterwork “more accessible to modern audiences,” Amazon’s new show will feature a healthy dose of nihilism, nudity, and themes reflecting the latest woke politics.
“It’s time to have an honest conversation about the more problematic aspects of Tolkien’s work,” said Glittervaux. “Honestly, it’s trash. We only hitched our wagon to it because it’s a lucrative intellectual property we can cram our political messages into.”
In service of these guiding principles, showrunners have proudly introduced Middle Earth’s first disabled bisexual transgender elf known as Idrix.
“Idrix is a fascinating character. We will follow her as she navigates the rigid political structures of Middle Earth while facing discrimination, racism, and ableism,” said Glittervaux. “To our knowledge, there aren’t any other shows out there that explore important themes like this.”
We stopped watching any entertainment shows on the ABC two decades ago, when every show went PC like this.
Even better, this was the eighties — you know, when the world was still fun. There was light. There was laughter. There was big hair and acid-washed denim, just because, dammit.
You could still make jokes without a Twitter mob destroying your life forever. You could try a backyard bike stunt without your friend videoing your subsequent crash on his smartphone, then uploading it on to YouTube for your grandchildren to watch fifty years later. Even with its occasional dips, the Reagan economy boomed along.
Girls were still mostly cheerful and cute and sexy; they weren’t the lost, hard, paranoid, alternately self-loathing/self-worshipping communist nihilists they are now. It was clear even then — not just in retrospect — the world was in a pretty fun phase. Hell yeah, I wanted to go.
I can’t even keep up with the news anymore. Yesterday morning everybody was all stunned to learn that “sexual preference” had suddenly turned into homophobic hate speech because Amy Coney Barrett used it (even though we’ve got clips of democrats and gay rights orgs and publications using it up until now without issue) but within hours of that straw grasping bullshit getting tossed out by the dumbest senator in America, many of my liberal acquaintances were gas lighting everyone that the term had always been hateful AND THEY EVEN HURRIED AND EDITED THE DICTIONARY.
You’d think that the left changing the dictionary definition to make a commonly used term into oppressive hate speech (within 24 hours of the narrative deciding it must be!) would be the most Orwellian thing we’d see that day. But nope. Not even close!
Then some truly heinous shit drops about Crackhead McStripperbang (the artist formerly known as Hunter Biden). October Surprise! From what I’ve seen so far, it looks really really sketchy. And also hilarious, judging by all the crack pipe pics and goofy ass self-incriminating e-mails.
Didn’t anybody ever tell you Rule Number One of Doing Crimes, Joe Biden? NEVER COUNT ON A CRACKHEAD!
But anyways, Joe Biden potentially doing sleazy shit isn’t the point of this post. Because the really Orwellian thing was what came next, when the big soulless social media megacorps tried to squash the story in the most ham fisted way imaginable.
They didn’t just squash the story. They squashed the story and then bragged about it in public. They declared the story to be “harmful” (as in harmful to the election prospects of their chosen candidate). And they cited some bullshit reasons about why they couldn’t share this story, even though they were happy to ignore all those same rules repeatedly whenever it was a breaking story that hurt Trump.
Supposedly they can’t allow the sharing of a story that makes Biden look bad because the information was “leaked”… except they were gleefully sharing Trump’s leaked tax info last week, and before that Russia Collusion nonsense wasn’t so much a leak as a high pressure lawn sprinkler. That was totally okay.
Of course, prog apologists were quick to dismiss the New York Post as fake news, even though it’s the fourth biggest circulating newspaper in America, and these same sites have zero problem sharing painfully obvious fabricated bullshit from crap sites as long as it agrees with lefty orthodoxy. And even then the Post could be total trash, but that’s still Hunter Biden there smoking crack on camera and influence peddling while talking about getting a cut for Pop. ….
That would be bad enough, but then it got extra stupid! So while these evil media empires are pretending that they are unbiased and merely trying to “curate the truth”, they banned the White House Press Secretary! They stopped sitting US senators from sharing news articles. Then they banned the president’s reelection campaign nineteen days before an election!
If social media had banned Obama’s press secretary, and then stopped Diane Feinstein and Chuck Schumer from sharing articles from the New York Times, and then shut down the Obama campaign page nineteen days before his election against Mitt Romney, everyone would have lost their fucking minds. And rightfully so! Because that kind of blatant manipulation of information is evil. …
Facebook is a new phenomenon:
Facebook has no real competitors, and it has something like 2.7 billion regular users. With the flick of a switch it can stop a third of the Earth’s population from seeing whatever it doesn’t want them to see. Humanity has never had that before.
That’s real fucking power right there.
Now, unlike most people on the internet, I am not compelled to pretend to be a lawyer who just got my law degree from the University of Internet. Communications law is not my area, and I’m not going to be a Dunning-Krugerand talking about section 230 or whatever.
However, what I do know is that this is some seriously dangerous bullshit, and if we keep going down this road it is going to lead to some very bad ends. Freedom of speech functionally ceases to exist when both sides speak, but only one side is heard. If social media is a forum, then it needs to be an actual forum. If it is functionally a propaganda arm of the DNC, then so be it, but it can’t keep pretending to be something its not, while mindfucking the populace. …
What we’ve got right now with a handful of organizations having a monopoly over news and knowledge is stupid, getting stupider, and going to end extremely badly.
I don’t give a shit if you are liberal or conservative, the idea of some entity like Google determining what mankind is allowed to know or not know should terrify the shit out of you. Free speech becomes a meaningless concept if only approved speech is ever seen. And if you are cheering this shit on because right now it is helping your team score points against the other team, you are fool. Because once they have that power it is only a matter of time until one of your beliefs ends up on the naughty list too. …
They decide what the narrative is. They decide what you learn and what you don’t. What do most of us do when we want to learn about a topic? We plug it into a search engine and read the results. Only they control the search engines. They write the wikis. They determine the truth, and then slide those fish hooks into your brain. Reality becomes whatever they say it is, and if you disagree and say that wasn’t how it was, they’ll just pretend that you’re crazy and it’s always been that way.
Information is power, and this tiny insular group holds power over the minds of the people so great that it would make emperors and god-kings weep with envy.
And if you find yourself thinking that I’m exaggerating the danger here, these fuckers just changed the DICTIONARY twenty four hours after it became convenient just to smear a judge. They are downright fucking brazen about it.
How else would “well-informed” people now believe so many fantasies? Politics, especially on the left, is riddled with them.
Not least because they were entirely unexpected, Berejiklian’s woes caused the profoundest shock. It is a law of life, harsh as it is just, that the fall from grace is greater, the higher the altitude from which it begins. And in Berejiklian’s case, those heights had reached enviable peaks. …
The crucial question … is not whether Berejiklian’s conduct was ethically commendable or even vaguely sensible; it is whether she breached the standards we impose on our political leaders — standards which, above and beyond the obligation to respect the law, include duties of prudence and integrity.
At least so far, the evidence points to an almost bewildering lack of judgment, rather than to those standards being breached. …
There is, to begin with, the ever starker tension between the emerging factual record and the Premier’s daily press conference, at which Dan Andrews routinely denies any involvement in, or even knowledge of, the fateful decisions. It may be that candour has never been a requirement for high office; it is, however, one thing to equivocate for reasons of state, and quite another to do so out of base self-preservation. Compounding the doubts about the Premier’s sincerity are the equally routine apologies. Forever wearily aggrieved, he presents himself as always more sinned against than sinning, yet unceasingly willing to bear the cross — but never to the point of resigning.
Listening to his statements of contrition, it is hard not to be reminded of Claudius, the fraudulent repenter in Shakespeare’s Hamlet, who, in seeking absolution without offering to incur any of its pain, asks, as if entirely innocently, “may one be pardoned and retain the (fruits of the) offence?”
However, the most troubling feature of the Victorian situation, and the one which most sharply distinguishes it from the turmoil in NSW, is the systemic nature of the moral gangrene the crisis has uncovered.
In effect, it is not merely the Premier who has denied culpability; it is literally each and every minister, department head and department, with the final submissions that have now been made to the inquiry abjuring ultimate responsibility for the errors that cost hundreds of lives. …
The likely outcomes are the wrong way around:
There is, consequently, a real risk that the system of power Andrews has built up will emerge fundamentally unscathed.
In contrast, Berejiklian, whose errors pale by comparison, looks increasingly likely to be crushed, as were Nick Greiner and Barry O’Farrell before her, in NSW’s far more intrusive anti-corruption process — a process which seems designed to catch the guilty by flaying the innocent.
At the beginning of the year the Wentworth Report was calling for this pair to resign because of their calamitous mishandling of their states’ forests (aka fireplaces). But they blamed climate change and the forests continue to be mismanaged, while their own careers are spiraling downwards anyway.
If they had resigned, the states’ forests would never be so fire-prone again, because politicians would know the mismanagement was a sacking offense. Berejiklian and Andrews could have taken a year or two in the sin-bin, and re-emerged as leaders later.
It’s been a good pandemic for the bureaucracy, banking and wealth management, the most parasitic parts of the economy: same or more pay, work from home, and more colleagues with which to discuss the importance of lockdowns to “save lives”.
Since February millions have been shunted onto JobSeeker and JobKeeper, hundreds of thousands have left the job market altogether, but public administration and financial services have increased their headcount, the governor of the Reserve Bank pointed out on Thursday.
The hardest hit sectors have been those that produce things households and businesses actually want: construction, manufacturing, hospitality, arts and recreation, for instance.
“All recessions are uneven but this one is especially so,” Philip Lowe said on Thursday in a speech that laid bare what he said was the “striking” contrast in pandemic experiences of low- and high-paid workers, small and large business, the young and the old.
The costs of the pandemic have fallen most heavily on the first of each of those groups: those with the least resources, and with the least influence in politics and media.
“The decline in employment has been largest for occupations with the lowest hourly earnings, while employment has actually increased for occupations with the highest hourly earnings,” Dr Lowe said. The top fifth of occupations ranked by hourly earnings — a class dominated by public sector and financial services — have grown in number, while the other 80 per cent of occupations have shed workers, and most starkly in the bottom 40 per cent.
By age, well over half of the lost jobs since February were held by the under-35s. Around 500,000 lost their jobs in the early stages and about 300,000 were still out of work in August.
Meanwhile, the group that makes most of the decisions in society, those aged 55 to 64, lost the fewest number of jobs, about 40,000.
The effect has been similar in the business world. Those with fewer than 200 workers had 7 per cent fewer staff in September compared to March, while big businesses, those with more than 200 staff, were only down 1 per cent.
There is never going to be a consensus on the costs and benefits of the various approaches to covid.
The World Health Organization’s special envoy on COVID-19 has urged world leaders to stop using lockdowns as the primary control method against the spread of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, commonly known as the novel coronavirus.
“We in the World Health Organization do not advocate lockdowns as the primary means of control of this virus,” David Nabarro told The Spectator in an interview aired on Oct. 8. “The only time we believe a lockdown is justified is to buy you time to reorganize, regroup, rebalance your resources, protect your health workers who are exhausted, but by and large, we’d rather not do it.”
Nabarro pointed to the collateral damage that lockdowns are having worldwide, especially among poorer populations.
I wouldn’t normally take advice from a Chinese puppet organization, but he makes a decent point. It’s easy to see some problems ahead in the direction of ever greater state control, using climate and covid as the excuses. From Marc Morano:
C.S. Lewis: “I dread government in the name of science. That is how tyrannies come in.”
Former President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1961: “We must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.” ….
“A government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity” …
“The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever-present and is gravely to be regarded.”
The World Economic Forum has called for “a Great Reset of capitalism” due to COVID and to help fight climate change. Klaus Schwab said the virus has given us an “opportunity” to pursue “equality & sustainability. …. The world must act jointly and swiftly to revamp all aspects of our societies and economies, from education to social contracts and working conditions.” …
Thomas Sowell: “Experts are often called in, not to provide factual information or dispassionate analysis for the purpose of decision-making by responsible officials, but to give political cover for decisions already made and based on other considerations entirely.”
A flu d’état. “A takeover of our supposedly democratic political process by unelected & unaccountable administrative state medical bureaucrats.”
Peter Hitchens: “All the crudest weapons of despotism, the curfew, the presumption of guilt and the power of arbitrary arrest, are taking shape in the midst of what used to be a free country.”
As Israel becomes fully integrated into the economies of the Arab world via trade agreements, commercial flight permission, and a host of non-cultural but powerful connections, the importance of the “Palestinian Question” shrinks. At this point, the economic and technological advantages of a relationship with Israel, as cold as it may be, dwarfs the social and quasi-religious power of a few million stateless Arabs living in self-imposed squalor. …
As Abba Eban famously said, “The Arabs never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.” The “Palestinian” opportunities have come fast and furious since 1948, but they have consistently rejected them in hopes that a military victory courtesy of Israel’s Arab neighbors would hand them a country, or their own terror apparatus would unravel Israel’s political will and drive them to negotiate from a position of weakness.
And how has that worked out for them? Their people are worse off than ever, their political support has shrunk to a few countries that themselves are dealing with international pressure, and Israel is firmly in the vanguard of technologically and militarily advanced countries. It just doesn’t make sense for most Arab countries to support the pallies over the Israelis.
America is run by the corporate HR department of the new left, by the Z-Man.
America is now a corporation, rather than a country.
It is why the public space is being transformed into something that looks like a corporate training center. You don’t go there to express an opinion or advance your interests, but to learn the latest policies. The person in charge sees herself as a facilitator, using behavioral techniques she learned in graduate school, in order to help you reach your potential an employee.
Just look at how the big social media platforms censure people. It is not traditional censorship we would see in an ideological state. Instead, the first violation gets you a day off to think about what you have done. The next violation gets you a longer bit of time off, which everyone knows means you’re on the list. The next downsizing means you get let go, regardless of your performance. Finally, like an employee that never fit into the corporate culture, you’re fired from the platform.
Note too that the enforcers at these firms clearly share information with one another about violators. One day the problematic user wakes up and his Twitter has been suspended, his Facebook is deleted and his YouTube channel nuked. This happens for the same reason the HR department ticks the box “Not eligible for rehire” when you’re riffed out of the place. It is not about you. You’re dead to them now. …
This is why our radicals now sound like every human resource department and our politicians look like everyone at a corporate retreat. The managerial elite is imposing its corporate sensibilities on the country. The dreary sameness we see all around us is what you see inside every corporation. Everything must serve the point of the enterprise, even the aesthetic. Everything is subject to the quest for efficiency, so everything that makes life interesting is removed. …
Movies and television are repetitive and shallow, because corporate culture eschews creativity as risky and embraces banality because it is predictable and safe. Sports are drenched in identity politics because cross-marketing says the way to promote a new product is to attach it to the most successful product in the catalog.
The US has changed to being under the control of non-creative process types beloved of HR departments:
Corporations travel a well-known arc. They start with a frontier mentality, in which the creative and daring control the enterprise. They are trying to develop a new market or subvert an existing market, so they can’t follow old rules. This attracts people who are goal oriented, not process oriented. This is the culture of every start-up, which is why they can find new ways to attack the market and maneuver the company around larger, better established competitors.
That success eventually outgrows the capacity of the start-up culture. Eventually, the people being hired to do the things the enterprise needs doing need to be managed and that means managers and rules. A new type of employee is brought in, the sort who enjoys the process. They enjoy creating employee manuals. Soon they are joined by another type of employee, who values conformity. Her job is to make sure everyone follows the rules and does so with enthusiasm.
This is the current phase of Corporate America. The thing that matters most to the managers is not ideology. In the corporate state, ideology is about as authentic and meaningful as corporate culture. It is just a veneer to decorate the latest HR effort to boost morale. What matters to them is the quest to assimilate the wide range of assets now under corporate control. If you step back and look at the current crisis, it is not an ideological battle, but a war on variety and exception.
Trump is not the right type:
This is, in part, why the elites hate Trump. It’s not his politics, as his politics, stripped of the carny act, are rather conventional. They hate Trump because he is the guy who laughed at the white diversity trainer when she shared her painful experiences of oppression at Princeton. They hate him because he just wants to do his job and have a life and an identity outside the company. For the champions of the corporate state, nothing can exist outside the state. …
The media, corporations, the academy and the state are blending into one amorphous blob that sits over us like a dome. Everything is in the corporate state, nothing is outside it and nothing can be against it.
The left and the institutions they’ve taken over have become the borg.
We voted to take back control, and yet it’s hard to remember a time when people were less in control of their lives than they are right now. This is the tragedy, and the failure, of the Boris Johnson government.
It was swept to power on a wave of democratic yearning, on a people’s tiredness of life under the diktats and decrees of bureaucrats and self-styled experts. And where have we ended up? In a situation where every facet of our existences — from where we’re allowed to go to which loved ones we may hug — is governed in minute detail by long, dry decrees drawn up by the powerful and well-educated. Take back control? I’ve never felt more controlled in my life. …
Oh woe, someone else has power over aspects of Brendan’s life:
For me, the worst thing about yesterday’s unveiling of the three-tier lockdown approach was not the announcement itself, not the actual traffic-light system drawn up by officials to dictate to the populace whether they’re allowed to travel, visit family, work, live. No, it was the waiting for the announcement. It was that utterly disempowering sense of trepidation as I and millions of others — mere citizens, after all — waited to hear what our fate would be. Whether you would still have a job, whether your business will survive, whether you may get married, whether you may visit your dying grandmother, whether you’re allowed to leave your hometown: we waited, impotently, like serfs rather than voters, to discover what the powers-that-be had in store for us. …
Some folks are doing much better than others during the pandemic, because people like them are in charge:
It’s a sacrifice we must all make, say government officials and the lockdown zealots in the broadsheet press and the knowledge economy. That’s easy for them to say. Their jobs are mostly secure. As of yesterday, that is not the case for many in Liverpool and elsewhere in the north. Their lives will become more precarious, poorer, more full of despair.
It is time officials and other influential people who have been so blasé in calling for lockdowns and laws to stem the spread of Covid-19 considered the impact of what they are doing. …
This disparity of concern captures one of the core problems with the cult of lockdown: the moral, political and economic gap between the people making the decisions and the people who must live with the consequences of those decisions. When SAGE scientists call for another national lockdown (an idea Boris Johnson rejected), you get the impression that the job security and economic comfort enjoyed by these experts makes them blind, at least partially, to the devastation lockdown has wreaked on other people’s livelihoods and their mental and spiritual health.
When middle-class commentators and academics bark at Boris for failing to lock down sooner and harder, what I hear are the entitled voices of people who are largely bubble-wrapped from the worst consequences of the manmade recession of the Covid era. Still working at home, Zooming their colleagues, having meals delivered by underpaid Deliveroo workers, making their sourdough bread — there is a whiff of Marie Antoinette to the lack of concern for other people’s lives implied in their lockdown fanaticism. …
It’s the same old authoritarian recipe from the ruling class:
As long as this issue remains the property of experts (usually experts of a pretty samey outlook), and of politicians who have disavowed their responsibility to govern in the broadest interests of society in favour of ‘following the evidence’, and of talking heads and academic voices who are relatively immune to the devastations of lockdown, we will remain in this authoritarian spiral. …
Anyone who doubts the reluctance of the lockdown lobby to democratise the discussion only needs to look at what has happened to the Great Barrington Declaration (GBD). This initiative, set up and supported by medical and scientific experts opposed to lockdowns as a means of dealing with Covid, has been subjected to the most extraordinary smear campaign. Google has ‘shadow-banned’ the GBD, pushing it down its list of search results. The Guardian and Observer have gone into typical dissent-crushing mode, even contacting one of the founders of the GBD — Martin Kulldorff — to ask him why he agreed to be interviewed on a podcast that has previously interviewed anti-Semites. Smear by association.
“Most extraordinary smear campaign”? Hardly. This rigorous suppression of criticism and smearing of critics by our ruling class is de rigueur nowadays. You been asleep Brendan? Or has it only struck home now that it’s been done to you?
The same groups have been doing this in support of the carbon dioxide theory of global warming for more than a decade. Despite the climate models getting the critical upper tropospheric trends backwards (suppressed, hardly anyone knows), overestimating warming in every verifiable prediction (vigorously and wrongly contested), having a mistake in every climate model that means the climate scientists applied the basic physics wrongly (what will happen if I mention it?), and despite climate scientists being caught behaving badly many times over journal access and in measuring temperature (widely known, but ignored), the world’s ruling class is convinced of the theory. Or at least that’s their story, and they’re sticking to it. The repetition of falsehood from all organs of the media drowns out the facts.
It worked in the climate “debate”, and now the same formula is being used by the ruling class on topic after topic.
[Jacinda] Ardern too is a global media superstar. … Undoubtedly part of the international Jacindamania comes from the fact she is a young left-wing woman who gave birth in office and took maternity leave. That is all wonderful but it has no bearing on policy achievement.
Famously Ardern participated in an international women’s march against Donald Trump’s election. In an early profile, Vogue magazine labelled her “the anti-Trump”.
The truly fatuous Maureen Dowd wrote a gushing profile in The New York Times in which she praised Ardern for trying to rescue refugees from Australia’s “hideous holding facilities in Nauru”. But wait a minute. The Morrison government in the budget just handed down will gradually reduce over four years Australia’s annual refugee intake from nearly 19,000 to about 13,000. Australia has 25.5 million people. New Zealand has five million people and takes around 1000 refugees or fewer a year. Whichever way you cut it, the Morrison government is vastly more generous to refugees.
But Vogue, The New York Times, Time magazine and the fatuous follies of the Nobel Peace Prize, which had Ardern in the running to win the prize, as Barack Obama did, for doing nothing at all, rejoice in the virtual Ardern, the idea of her as a living rebuke to Trump.
That’s the point with progressive politics. It has almost nothing to do with competent government administration and useful policies reliably delivered, and almost everything to do with gesture, narrative and the endless recital of the progressive line.
Even on COVID-19, the Ardern government has done much less than it seems and at much greater cost than other countries have paid. There are other countries whose governments have even better records of eradicating COVID-19. And they are? Fiji with 32 cases, Solomon Islands with two cases and Vanuatu with none. Their leaders are not worldwide media sensations yet they got those numbers for the same reasons as New Zealand. They are isolated island nations. Auckland, with something over a million people, is one of the most isolated cities of its size.
The Ardern government was a bit slow to realise how serious COVID-19 was and when it finally responded it did so with overkill. It instituted one of the most severe lockdowns in the world. To give it its due, this was substantially effective in stamping out the virus.
Progressive governments have typically been attracted to the most extreme versions of lockdown possible. Progressive politics is inherently authoritarian and enjoys bossing people around. Its key support base is typically government sector employees whose jobs are not lost in lockdown and it is inherently suspicious anyway of the capitalist economy it gets to close down at least for a while. …
The more total your shutdown, the more you can eradicate COVID-19. It’s then a matter of keeping your borders shut. …
New Zealanders embraced this policy for the sake of getting rid of the virus. But this is not remotely comparable to the achievements of nations such as Taiwan, South Korea and to some extent Singapore, which have kept the virus under control or out altogether while also keeping their society and economy going.
Policies apart from covid? Not much achievement there.
Before COVID-19, Ardern was trailing in the polls. Her list of undelivered election promises is staggering: 100,000 affordable homes promised, 600 built; homelessness to be eradicated, it increased; zero carbon emissions by 2050, emissions went up; reduce child poverty, it went up; regional public service emphasis, more public servants based in Wellington than before; light rail from Auckland airport to CBD, abandoned.
But then came the virus and she could do her high priestess of the woke religion stuff, day after day. Validated by a swooning international media, unchallenged by a tepid and under-resourced local media, she has sold the narrative that her government has saved NZ.