Borders Ain’t What They Used to Be

Borders Ain’t What They Used to Be. By Giulio Meotti.

Twenty years ago, the United Nations published a document titled “Replacement Migration: Is it A Solution to Declining and Ageing Populations?“. It was not a right-wing conspiracy theory, but a sophisticated working plan for Western democracies dealing with demographic aging. It has since gone mainstream. Just read what Richard Thaler, a Nobel laureate in economics, said this month: “We need more immigrants to pay pensions”.

Italians, Africans — what’s the difference?

A recent article by Elsa Fornero, former Italian Minister of Labor, also explains the mentality of those who govern Europe and how they prepare the demise of its civilization:

If the Italian population ‘disappeared’, we need not worry, because there will likely be someone ready to take its place; just look at the other side of the Mediterranean, where countries with highly dynamic populations and an age structure very different from ours, with many infants, children and young people and relatively few elderly people, appear. By accepting demographic decline as a social paradigm, by adapting to a society not only with fewer schools, uninhabited villages, abandoned houses and less mobility but also fewer cinemas, theaters, tourism and sports facilities, we are implicitly telling them that our land it is already theirs.

Western elites openly treat immigration as a mere economic resource to support welfare systems that would otherwise be bankrupt. They also forbid any discussion of the impact that these immigration numbers are having on the culture, customs and identity of a society. The very concept of “identity” is viewed with suspicion and branded as a “racist” fantasy.

Canadians, British, French:

Canada, (pop. 40 million) is now setting record goals in immigration history, with a plan to bring in 1.45 million more legal immigrants by 2025. The New York Times explains that in the two largest cities, Toronto and Vancouver, 60% of the population in just ten years could be composed of ethnic minorities. …

New official British figures reveal that 10 million people (1 in 6) in England and Wales were born abroad; an increase of 2.5 million since 2011 despite government pledges to attempt to limit immigration. Today, 90% of Britain’s demographic growth comes from immigration. …

In France now, nearly a third — 29.6% — of the population aged 0 to 4 is of non-European origin compared to 17.1% aged 18 to 24, 18.8% aged 40 to 44, 7.6% aged 60-64, and 3.1% over 80. … French President Emmanuel Macron just called it “demographic transition”, a euphemism for a cultural replacement. …

Alas poor Belgium — WWI fought in vain: *

Between 2000 to 2010, Belgium welcomed more than 1 million immigrants into a population of 11 million. On September 5, the Belgian academic and economist Philippe Van Parijs, remarked to the newspaper De Standaard that “Brussels is no longer Belgium”. … In ten years, the percentage of Brussels residents whose parents both have Belgian citizenship, has decreased from just 36% to 26%.

[N]o fewer than three quarters of the inhabitants of Brussels are of immigrant origin. There are more Brussels residents of Moroccan origin than Flemings or Walloons.

Who chose multiculturalism for white countries? Extinction looms for Europe.

The West is at stake. The choice Europeans urgently need to make is whether they would like to transform their countries into a wholly different culture — as the people who inhabited Turkey did after center of Christendom fell to the Ottoman Empire, or as Egypt did from being the land of the Christian Copts to that of a state where the Copts now face non-stop persecution.

Unfortunately, Europe, whether it likes it or not, has virtually no time left to decide whether or not it wishes to continue embracing open borders, multiculturalism and globalism, and, through passivity, find that its hard-won Judeo-Christian values, freedoms and identity will be quickly made extinct.

In another century, European history might become about as relevant and widely known as Byzantine history after the Muslim conquest of Constantinople.

 

* It was the German invasion of Belgium that was the technical reason that Britain entered the war against Germany, because Britain had guaranteed Belgium’s borders. People used to take borders seriously!

The Long-Term Costs of the Ukraine War Will Be Staggering

The Long-Term Costs of the Ukraine War Will Be Staggering. By Konstantin Sonin.

After Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February, the Russian economy seemed destined for a nosedive. International sanctions threatened to strangle the economy, leading to a plunge in the value of the ruble and Russian financial markets. Everyday Russians appeared poised for privation.

More than eight months into the war, this scenario has not come to pass. Indeed, some data suggest that the opposite is true, and the Russian economy is doing fine. The ruble has strengthened against the dollar, and although Russian GDP has shrunk, the contraction may well be limited to less than three percent in 2022. …

The ruble is worth more than before the war

Sanctions are not missiles:

The misapprehension of what sanctions against Russia would accomplish can be explained in part by unrealistic expectations of what economic measures can do. Simply put, they are not the equivalent of a missile strike. Yes, in the long run, sanctions can weaken the economy and lower GDP. But in the short run, the most one can reasonably hope for is a massive fall in Russia’s imports.

It is only natural that the ruble strengthens rather than weakens as the demand for dollars and euros drops. And as the money that would have been spent on imports is redirected toward domestic production, GDP should in fact rise rather than fall. The effect of sanctions on consumption and quality of life take longer to work their way through the economy. …

Economic sanctions did, of course, have other immediate effects. Curbing Russia’s access to microelectronics, chips, and semiconductors made production of cars and aircraft almost impossible. From March to August, Russian car manufacturing fell by an astonishing 90 percent, and the drop in aircraft production was similar. The same holds true for the production of weapons, which is understandably a top priority for the government.

Expectations that new trade routes through China, Turkey, and other countries that are not part of the sanctions regime would compensate for the loss of Western imports have been proved wrong. The abnormally strong ruble is a signal that backdoor import channels are not working. If imports were flowing into Russia through hidden channels, importers would have been buying dollars, sending the ruble down. Without these critical imports, the long-term health of Russia’s high-tech industry is dire. …

Stagnation looms in Russia:

Russia could still eke out a victory in Ukraine. It’s unclear what winning would look like; perhaps permanent occupation of a few ruined Ukrainian cities would be packaged as a triumph. Alternatively, Russia could lose the war, an outcome that would make it more likely that Putin would lose power. A new reformist government could take over and withdraw troops, consider reparations, and negotiate a lifting of trade sanctions.

No matter the outcome, however, Russia will emerge from the war with its government exercising authority over the private sector to an extent that is unprecedented anywhere in the world aside from Cuba and North Korea. The Russian government will be omnipresent yet simultaneously not strong enough to protect businesses from mafia groups consisting of demobilized soldiers armed with weapons they acquired during the war. Particularly at first, they will target the most profitable enterprises, both at the national and local level.

For the Russian economy to grow, it will need not only major institutional reforms but also the kind of clean slate that Russia was left with in 1991. The collapse of the Soviet state made institutions of that era irrelevant. A long and painful process of building new institutions, increasing state capacity, and reducing corruption followed—until Putin came to power and eventually dismantled market institutions and built his own system of patronage.

The lesson is grim: even if Putin loses power and a successor ushers in significant reforms, it will take at least a decade for Russia to return to the levels of private-sector production and quality of life the country experienced just a year ago. Such are the consequences of a disastrous, misguided war.

David Archibald:

Putin had an image of being a benign dictator in the West but in reality he was reinstituting the Soviet system.

hat-tip Joe P.

New Zealand is integrating Māori custom into its NZ legal system, expressly negating equality before the law

New Zealand is integrating Māori custom into its NZ legal system, expressly negating equality before the law. By Oliver Hartwich.

There was a time, not so long ago, when countries in the common law tradition had comparable legal systems. Yes, there had always been differences between, say, the law of the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia. Still, their basic approaches to legal matters were similar. …

But times are changing, and in few places are they changing as rapidly as in New Zealand. Something radically different is emerging in New Zealand’s legal system. It may still be rooted in the common law, but it is increasingly incorporating traditional Māori concepts. …

More than any other legislation before, the Natural and Built Environments Bill (NBE) and the Spatial Planning Bill embody what are presented as Māori legal concepts. …

Right at the start of the NBE, the Bill states the following goal: “The recognition of, and making provision for, the relationship of iwi and hapū and the exercise of their kawa, tikanga (including kaitiakitanga), and mātauranga in relation to their ancestral lands, water, sites, wāhi tapu, wāhi tūpuna, and other taonga.”

What does it mean?

All these words and terms probably need to be translated for an Australian audience. Tikanga, for example, is the body of Māori custom. Kaitiakitanga is the Māori concept of looking after the environment. Mātauranga Māori is the body of Māori knowledge, which includes both factual knowledge and mythology.

That latter part makes mātauranga Māori a fuzzy source of legal principles. Judges familiar with Māori culture may purport to distill the legal significance of such terms. However, tribal elders and some experts emphasise they differ in meaning for each iwi. Meanwhile, other experts, including the only Māori judge on the Supreme Court, assert that it is not for the courts to declare tikanga or to change it. It is only for them to ascertain if from its tribal custodians.

The draft NBE legislation purports to define some of the terms, but always with a degree of circularity.

Thus, for example, “kaitiakitanga means the exercise of guardianship by the tangata whenua of an area in accordance with tikanga Māori in relation to natural and physical resources.” The problem is that there is no readily accessible standard meaning of precision in any of the Māori terms in that “definition”.

These terms are not just legal or political puffery. They present as core elements of the Bill. Tikanga is mentioned 31 times throughout. Mātauranga Māori comes up 26 times. Kaitiakitanga can be found in seven places. They all beat “property right”, which only features three times. …

Orwell’s pigs:

New Zealand’s new system expressly negates equality before the law. It does so by selectively granting rights on public and private property use. Under the Bill, Māori will have some exclusive powers to decide on how resources are used to change the environment. Mind you, “environment” is defined widely to cover both cultural and economic matters, not just nature. …

By its historic origins, going back to Magna Carta, the common law was a system that (sometimes imperfectly) tried putting everyone under the same law. Not even the king was above the law, and when he tried to ignore that principle, it could cost him his head.

What we are witnessing in New Zealand is the emergence of an altogether different system. It has more in common with George Orwell’s Animal Farm where “all animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”

Perhaps New Zealanders are happy to be heading there. Who knows? So far, at least, they have not been asked.

Decolonization in action, white man.

hat-tip Stephen Neil

How Money From Gates And FTX Bought Scientific Silence on Covid

How Money From Gates And FTX Bought Scientific Silence on Covid. By Jeffrey Tucker.

The politics:

Deborah Birx relied on [the models] entirely in her push to get the Trump administration to greenlight the lockdowns. And there can be no doubt about that history now that Trump’s Twitter account is alive again. The end of the censorship allows us to see how he was pressured to throw out his best instincts and instead adopt a lockdown policy, not just for two weeks but for months after …

(As an aside, the restoration of Trump’s account also allows us to see that his last two tweets urged all Jan. 6, 2021, protesters on Capitol to stay peaceful and respect the blue. It’s no wonder the ancien régime at Twitter wanted his account blocked and blasted away.)

Having studied this trajectory closely, it seems impossible to overlook the political motives here. No question that many elites in many places had whipped themselves up into a frenzy to the point that they were willing to crush the whole of society and even give up two years of education for kids in order to drive Trump from office. The plot was to get him to make the initial call himself based on telling him lies about virus severity and the effectiveness of lockdowns.

No question that he was hornswoggled.

The money:

One cannot neglect financial factors. Quite plainly, the grant money at the time and for two years later was clearly on the side of lockdowns …

Vast numbers of scientists who could have and should have spoken out remained silent, or, worse, lent their voices in support of the outrage.

Much of the reason has to do with how science is funded at the university level. It’s all about getting the next grant. It’s tragic but there is a strong motivation here to curate one’s opinions in a way that paves the way for future funding sources.

This is why it is not necessary that every sellout scientist be in receipt of direct funds from Gates, FTX, or the pharmaceutical industry. All that needs to happen to control a whole sector of opinion is for the word to get out on the streets that a funding source is there with countless millions and is ready to fork over.

As a result, even the smartest and most credentialled people can be easily made to fall in line. And no question that FTX quickly picked up the reputation of somehow being concerned about “pandemic planning” and so the whole of the industry lined up with their palms out. After all, FTX promised $100 million in grants!

This is why, the Washington Post reports, “The shock waves from FTX’s free fall have rippled across the public health world, where numerous leaders in pandemic-preparedness had received funds from FTX funders or were seeking donations.”

The seeking part is key here. But so is the money trail. FTX funded the later stages of the single biggest trials for repurposed therapeutics for COVID. Countless lives hung in the balance on these trials. Many physicians the world over had experienced great outcomes in dire circumstances from generic drugs such as HCQ, Ivermectin, fluvoxamine, and others, especially when used with other vitamins and zinc. Testing them was crucial.

The results were backed by a predictable media blitz: such therapeutics don’t work. Meanwhile, the study has been severely criticized not only for poor study construction but also for the conflicts of interests of top researchers who also consulted with pharmaceutical companies.

This is all very significant because there is a strong sense that the reason for the neglect of therapeutics — by the National Institutes of Health, Gates Foundation, and also major media, which smeared anyone who suggested there might be a better way — might all trace to the economic motive of shutting down cheap alternatives to vaccines.

Something similar happened, and continues to happen, on climate — where it was money from western bureaucracies that determined the “science.”

Here, private money from FTX and Gates was used to buy the consensus.

It’s their democracy, their science, and their media.

Feminists and the Covid Lockdowns

Feminists and the Covid Lockdowns. By Janice Fiamengo.

In Vote Like a Woman, a substack article posted prior to the American midterms, Naomi Wolf urged female voters to reward Democrats for their Covid authoritarianism by voting against the party. After all, women have for many years formed a consistent, if now diminishing, pro-Democrat bloc.

It has not been my experience that women are particularly well-informed voters or scrupulous about the freedoms and self-determination that form Wolf’s ultimate rallying cry (more on this later). Research on female voters indicates that women are less likely than men to read a newspaper and less likely to follow current events closely. A 2019 study found that women were 20 percentage points more likely than men to choose a female candidate simply because she was female. …

The litany that lies by omission:

Vote Like a Woman trots out most of the usual feminist talking points about female disadvantage, cherry-picked in classic men-don’t-matter fashion, and far too numerous to rebut here. …

We hear about the earnings gap, the caring gap, the single-parent gap, and various other injustices allegedly borne by women. We are treated to the howler that women are more affected by violent crime than men. We’re told that the economic downturn has primarily affected women.

We never hear about any of men’s burdens, for Wolf seems indifferent to the homicide gap, the work-fatality gap, the suicide gap, the drug overdose gap, the homelessness gap, and the education and employment gap. She tells us that ‘women were chattel for centuries’ (certainly never in the United States) who only recently could ‘own their bodies’ while seemingly oblivious to the fact that men in the United States never owned their bodies, as was discovered by a generation who didn’t want to kill and die in Vietnam.

To her well-rehearsed list of female grievances are added claims about the particular harms of lockdowns, forced masking, and coerced mRNA injections, which we are told, again, ‘disproportionately harmed’ ‘women and their children’. (I suppose men don’t have children.) Here, Wolf’s arguments are particularly tendentious, extending even to pretending that lockdowns of small businesses primarily hurt women despite the fact that the majority of small business owners are men. Wolf cites Dr. Robert Chandler, who alleges that ‘women sustained 72 per cent of [vaccine] adverse events’. …

It need hardly be said — or perhaps it does — that men were harmed by Covid policies. Men were harmed by the forced shuttering of their business, by the assault on their self-determination, and by restrictions on their right to choose healthcare for their families. I don’t know enough to fully rebut Wolf’s claim that women have been ‘most hurt by forced mRNA injections’. But given that men became seriously ill and died from Covid at a much higher rate than women, it seems unlikely that men would be significantly less affected by the injections. … One recent study of young people diagnosed with post-injection myocarditis found that the cohort was 88 per cent male, and various studies have testified to the seriousness of these conditions. …

But who instigated and supported the covid lockdowns?

It was feminist politicians who pushed hardest for lockdowns and all the rest, doing so because women — feminist women — said it was what they wanted. And they wanted it in the holy name of safety.

From the feminist point of view, Covid mania was the definition of caring. Who screamed the loudest on Twitter about masking, hand sanitising, distancing, keeping children out of school, staying in one’s bubble, switching the world to Zoom, keeping out the potentially contaminated at Christmas, and so on? Who waited in line most patiently for Covid tests and clamoured for vaccines to be offered to children? Who was most adamant about the need to shame, isolate, exclude, and penalise the unvaccinated? Feminist women. …

Women overall, as psychiatrist Mark McDonald has argued in his recent United States of Fear, are a population conditioned by fear-mongering, with Covid providing a dramatic illustration of the ease with which terrified and self-righteous women could be mobilised through irrational safetyism and scapegoating.

Political scientist Jennifer Piscopo reports that women are more likely than men to want a significant role for government in managing ‘healthcare, housing, education, childcare, and anti-poverty programs’.

Many women seem hard-wired to seek a ‘safe’ rather than a free world, to rely on promises from on high rather than their own rational assessments, and to prefer collective rather than individual solutions to problems. All of these contributed to the Covid years.

People are different. We are not blank slates. The world would be a better place if the ruling class accepted that and worked with it, instead of dumbly pretending that everyone’s the same.

US Midterm: These Firsts Shall Be Our Last

US Midterm: These Firsts Shall Be Our Last. By David Cole, who examines four “firsts” of the recent midterm elections.

First No. 1: Abortion.

This was the first national election in fifty years in which abortion wasn’t protected by Roe. …

There were seven — seven — ballot measures where abortion was in one way or another on the line. And in all cases pro-life lost. …

With the 2022 midterms, we’re looking at the very real possibility that, to some extent, fear of losing abortion rights may have trumped fear of crime or concerns about immigration. Voters who may have otherwise supported law-and-order and anti-immigration candidates hesitated because those candidates were tethered to antiabortion.

The smart move — for now — for GOPs would be to untether from antiabortion in all but the safest markets. But that isn’t gonna happen. It just isn’t. Pro-life’s not going anywhere, and with every new state-level defeat, pro-life will amplify its demands for a national law. From their perspective, that’s the right move; they’re saving babies.

And killing a party. For a worried GOP, there’s no cure, only harm reduction, only mitigation. Perhaps in 2024 the party can find a way to minimize pro-life without sparking a full-blown revolt from the lobby. …

First No. 2: Mass mail-in votes:

This was the first midterm (not the first election, but the first midterm) to be held under Covid vote-by-mail-or-drop-box rules. I’m not gonna spend a lot of time on this one, because I think, among rational rightists, there’s a realization that the late wins by GOPs in states like California and Arizona disprove the notion that slow ballot-counting of mail-ins is a rigged game that only favors Democrats. And those wins prove that the best strategy for GOPs going forward is to work the system as Dems do. …

First No. 3: Jan 6:

2022 was the first national election since a bunch of cretins and lunatics stormed the Capitol with some unformed half-witted notion of stopping an election from being certified. To be clear, 1/6 was not at the top of any voter list of concerns this year. But among independents, 1/6 is hugely unpopular, and yet, even in the face of that, prominent rightists have never been able to admit defeat and move on. There’s a compulsive need to keep justifying 1/6; rightists revisit it just as much as leftists.

The retards of 1/6 committed an act that was itself a first. And this is something you can try to explain to MAGAs again and again, but it’s like trying to teach a dog to code: What sets 1/6 apart was that it was action. Yes, plenty of Democrats have bitched about elections being stolen. Words. 1/6ers were the first people to, as a group and with the vague blessing of a president, take action. Violent and illegal action. It’s not the same as words, and the public understands that. …

I’m not saying 1/6 made a huge difference. But of all the things that didn’t elevate the GOP’s standing in 2022, it’s the most irritating because it was the most stupid and unnecessary. …

First No. 4: Trump and re-litigating the 2020 election:

The 2022 midterms were the first national election in which a former president tried to turn the entire thing into a referendum on his loss.

Past presidents knew better. Nixon strongly believed that the 1960 election had been stolen from him. But he took the L and shut the fuck up about it. And voilà, he lived to not only win eight years later, but he lived to score one of the biggest landslides in history four years after that.

LBJ was livid that Nixon might’ve engaged in treasonous election interference in 1968. But he chose to keep the matter out of the 1970 midterms, and the Democrats held the House and Senate (to be fair, LBJ’s motives were not exactly noble, but still, he was in possession of information that could’ve been used to relitigate 1968, and he chose to keep quiet).

Regardless of how wronged Trump felt, once his loss was certified, once it was in the books, he could’ve just accepted it with dignity, with an eye toward repeating Nixon’s post-1960 trajectory. But Trump doesn’t have dignity in him, so he had to make “stolen election” an essential element for his lackey candidates.

Imagine if W. Bush had made WMDs an essential element of the [2006] midterms, just out of sheer egotism of not wanting to admit he took a loss (as in, the loss of going to war over WMDs and then having to admit you found none). W. handled that loss the smart way; in 2004 — an election year — he said “oopsie,” made self-deprecating jokes, and moved on. And it worked; he won 2004 handily. …

Don’t repeat them:

The GOP (1) is associated with the criminalization of a now-vulnerable right that most Americans have grown up with, (2) stubbornly refused to make use of new avenues for vote-casting, choosing instead to attack the Dems for being more skilled at it, (3) faced voters for the first time since MAGA extremists violently assaulted the U.S. Capitol, and (4) was saddled with an unpopular ex-president who demanded that candidates relitigate his loss and declare it invalid.

Take all that into account, and the fact that the party didn’t do as well as it could’ve is less of a mystery than a Scooby-Doo episode.

The Republicans still won 52-47 overall.

Musk’s Twitter is Doomed

Musk’s Twitter is Doomed. By The Z-Man.

Twitter was custom built for the slow-witted, but supremely confident people who make up mass media. All they needed to do is download an app, open it up and begin typing. Limiting it to short messages reduced the odds of them exposing their stupidity. …

The agitation machine we call the media can only exist when the people inside of it are sure they are the intellectual vanguard, the cutting edge of history. That only works when they are not exposed to reality, which is what happened when they went on-line. It has been forgotten but the great censorship campaign began in the comment sections first and then spread to the rest of the internet. Twitter was late to the intolerance party.

 

 

Now the party is over. … Musk bought the company because he thinks you can have a successful platform that allows open debate with limited moderation. Elon Musk is a civic nationalist who still believes all the old liberal ideals about the marketplace of ideas.

Of course, we live in a post liberal age. The people with real power no longer hold those old liberal ideals. They see themselves as guardians of humanity who must carefully manage the choices of the people. They are the elite of the managerial system and as the elite, their job is not only to set the direction for humanity, but to make sure the rules are properly enforced.

All of their chanting about democracy aside, theirs is a totalitarian dictatorship of the managerial elite. This is why Musk’s project is doomed.

The managerial elite do not allow criticism:

For starters, the agitation machine known as the media cannot exist on a platform which allows criticism of the media. That risks holding a mirror up to them. The dimwitted scolds that follow them around demanding censorship of imaginary things like hate speech cannot exist on a platform that does not provide them protection. This is why they avoid Gab. If they start demanding censorship there, the response is mockery.

This why the media are threatening to stomp off in a huff to the Mastodon, the federated system of independently created nodes. Because they are stupid and do not know how anything works, they think that there is a trust and safety team there waiting for them to arrive from Twitter. These people are so insulated they just assume the internet works by magic, rather than people. Just wait until they learn that Gab is a node on the Mastodon system. That will be a fun day.

Existing elite monopolies will cut him out:

The bigger problem for the Musk project is that the people with real power, like the duopoly that controls the mobile device market, will make sure he is never able to create his civic nationalist paradise. Apple is preparing to remove Twitter from the Apple ecosystem and you can be sure Google is doing the same. After all, both companies work closely to prevent competition. They have long ago worked out how to cooperate on censorship issues.

The advertisers are also in the managerial elite:

Then there are the advertisers and purchasers of Twitter data. … All of the people running these outfits strongly believe in the dictatorship of the managerial elite. They see the Musk project as a direct challenge to the system, so they will oppose it.

People prefer segregation:

Even if Musk was not walking headlong into the civilizational abattoir known as managerialism, large scale social media was always doomed. The reason is people self-segregate and they do this because they do not enjoy conflict. It is only the spiteful mutants who enjoy constant turmoil. The other 80% of humanity just want to talk about their stuff with other likeminded people. This is why all previous large scale social media projects eventually disaggregated.

Some Hard Truths About the Russo-Ukraine War

Some Hard Truths About the Russo-Ukraine War. By Stephen Green.

For Ukraine:

Here’s a hard truth our friends in Kyiv need to remember: Lying [over the missile that landed in Poland] isn’t helpful. There are limits to our tolerance.

Here’s another: You’re going to have to make some compromises to end this war because your total victory isn’t in America’s interest here; punishing aggression is. When we decide that Russia has suffered enough, you might find yourselves on your own. Come to the table and negotiate accordingly. …

For Russia:

Here’s a hard truth for my Russian friends and their supporters: The point where Putin & Co. had hoped to aggrandize their country or themselves has long passed. It’s time to ask for a ceasefire and come to the negotiating table. …

There is another hard truth that Moscow must come to grips with: Putin threw the dice on an expansionary war but shrank his country’s standing instead.

Russia spent more than a decade modernizing its military. It is becoming increasingly de-modernized with every day of fighting in Ukraine. Destroyed T-80 and T-90 tanks — the most modern in Moscow’s inventory — are being replaced by T-62s that were obsolete 50 years ago. Soldiers in their 20s, casualties of war, are being replaced by ill-trained “mobiks” in their 30s, 40s, and even 50s.

It will take far longer than a decade to replace what Putin has wasted.

The way this war has squandered Russian resources, finances, and demographics has serious geopolitical implications. For a few tens of billions of dollars — admittedly, some of them squandered — our Number Two geopolitical rival has had the heart cut out of its conventional military forces, all without spilling the blood of a single American soldier.

What we’re witnessing is, in short, the least expensive generational kneecapping of a geopolitical rival in world history.

For Biden:

But the hardest fact of all is this: The Russo-Ukraine War was completely unnecessary, a waste of lives and resources practically made inevitable by Presidentish Joe Biden’s wobbly-kneed uncertainty in the weeks before February 23 as Putin maneuvered his forces into position.

Josie and Her Stickers: Don’t Welcome Me to My Own Country

Josie and Her Stickers: Don’t Welcome Me to My Own Country. By Joanna Hackett.

In October, Quadrant Magazine published a short, satirical story of mine about Josie, an elderly woman who decided to sell bumper stickers. (Excerpted on the WR here.)

She wanted to protest at the outrageous push to change our constitution to give special, additional rights to about 3% of the population on the basis of their race. The stickers were incredibly popular, Josie became famous and the referendum failed. It was total fantasy and rather amusing.

The story touched a nerve in readers and I was repeatedly asked where they could buy Josie’s bumper stickers to save Australia. We designed a set of seven (see attached) and the demand is now so great that we struggle to keep up with the supply. It is a case of fiction becoming fact.

To date, we have distributed over 1,600 stickers from one side of Australia to the other. We do this on a zero net profit basis. Our intention is to spread the word, to make Australians think about what is coming so that they can make up their minds from a position of knowledge, not ignorance.

Have You been Cancelled?

The feedback from sticker buyers has made one fact very clear. There is a large number of Australians who are completely neglected by our politicians and businesses. Many feel they have no voice, few of our leaders speak for them, and nobody listens to them. They worked hard, paid their dues and now their country is being given away. They are angry, fed-up, and saddened at what their once-great and beloved country has become.

Some who went to war for this country now wonder why they bothered. Their national flag, under which so many Australians fought and died, is being flown with two other flags, (neither of which are national flags), which they find offensive and insulting. Displaying a meaningful bumper sticker gives many the only opportunity they have of expressing their feelings. I suggest that our politicians and business people ignore this disgruntled group at their peril, for their pent-up rage simmers.

The recent budget — in which over $216m were promised to push the Yes vote and not a brass razoo to the No vote — caused a rush of sticker orders from angry and disbelieving Australians. Likewise, the listing of the campaign group Australians for Indigenous Constitutional Recognition as a deductible gift recipient, allowing donors to claim an income tax deduction for donations over $2 was seen as blatantly unfair, dishonorable, and un-Australian.

The business Brisbane Custom Signs made some excellent stickers for us initially. They then decided that they had a ‘policy against printing anything that could be considered racism, hate speech or any other forms of discrimination.’ Despite polite discussion with them, they refused to budge on this issue. We felt very discriminated against, and took our not-insignificant orders elsewhere. This new mob are efficient professionals and run a real business, not a wokey, political point scoring set-up.

Sanctimonious Poppycock

There is now a push to rein in debate for the No side on the grounds that it will result in offense or even harm to aboriginals. We heard similar nonsense during the same-sex marriage ‘debate’, when we were told that negative discussion would traumatize LGBTQI people and possibly result in suicides.

Recently, there has been talk of aboriginal souls ‘being broken’ if the voice/Constitutional change referendum fails, a fantasy roundly ridiculed by Senator Jacinta Price.

Our PM has said it was just ‘simple courtesy, it is common decency’ to vote Yes. Nice people will vote Yes and they will be on the right side of history. Albo also says we are all diminished when First Nations (sic) people are denied their right to a happy and fulfilling life. So get with the program, be a good little Aussie and vote Yes for aboriginal happiness and fulfillment. This is sanctimonious poppycock.

Dr. Nina Lansbury is using her position as Senior Lecturer in Planetary Health, School of Public Health, at the University of Queensland, to advise of the ‘significant public health benefits to the country’ of a Yes vote. Vote Yes for First Nations (sic) to have good health and well-being. Vote No and you will be condemning aboriginals to racism and other prejudices, lack of respect and denial of human rights. She is saying: If you vote No, aboriginal health is at risk. If you vote Yes, the health and wellbeing of aboriginal people will improve.

Notwithstanding the highly dubious nature of her statements, Dr. Lansbury is threatening the Australian voter just as we were threatened during the same-sex marriage ‘debate’. ‘Vote as I say, or else…’ She is even giving away t-shirts to her supporters with detailed instructions as to where and how often they should wear them just in case they are unable to decide this on their own. The beneficiaries of her largesse are requested to wear their t-shirts at least twice a month in the lead up to the referendum, in public places, walking the dog, when mixing in big crowds, at the supermarket, picking up the kids from the school playground and so on. Perhaps the commonsense-o-metre within the hallowed grounds of our universities is running at an all-time low.

Personally, I find Dr. Lansbury’s remarks disgraceful and misleading. She is in a position of some authority. Using UQ for a partisan political campaign is surely inappropriate, and an abuse of this authority. We might well ask, with justified trepidation, how many other educators are busily indoctrinating and bribing their students and colleagues in this way.

Threats

Becoming quite unexpectedly a purveyor of political bumper stickers has made me aware of a worrying response. There is a concern, held by many, that if they advertise their beliefs by displaying a sticker, their home may be targeted, their car may be keyed, or they may be in danger of physical or verbal abuse.

We all have to make our own choices about this. How big is the risk to our house, or car? How big is the risk to our country if we do nothing? You may rationalise your desire for anonymity by telling yourself that one little sticker won’t make a difference anyway. I remind readers of the 1600 stickers that have been distributed already. Together we can make a difference. Australians were known for their gutsy bravery in the past.

Let us not now be cowed into submission by the possibility of trouble before the referendum has even been announced. Illustratively, my two cars, my letterbox, my front door, and the power pole in front of my home have stickers. There has been no backlash. If any readers need further encouragement to join this discussion, study the nauseatingly unctuous words of our PM, in his address to the 2022 Garma Festival.

So Display a Sticker!

We No voters are facing a well-financed, well-supported and determined army that has invested years of its time and thousands of (our) tax-payer dollars into winning this referendum. Do not treat them lightly, for they mean business. Gird your loins and prepare for battle, or at the very least buy and display a bumper sticker!

To order stickers, please contact jbhackett@bigpond.com

Covid Updates

Covid Updates. By David Archibald.

Long covid is debilitating but presents as a combination of different symptoms. The common condition of all long covid cases is fatigue, which is likely due to microclots in the blood. All long covid cases have microclotting which makes the blood too viscous to pass easily through the smallest capillaries, with the consequence that the organs and muscles are starved of oxygen. A group in Germany has developed a test for microclots but it hasn’t been commercialized yet.

Treatment of covid is complicated by the fact that it is still too soon see the ultimate possible progression of the disease — a decline of CD4 levels in the manner of HIV, allowing opportunistic infections to overwhelm the immune system. It would be good to establish a base line for things like CD4 levels so that a trend, should it develop, be recognized as soon as practicable.

Live covid hides in your body:

Another problem in treating covid is that, as yet, there is no commercially available test for live covid virions. The public perception is that covid virions are eliminated from the body between bouts of covid. Autopsies of people of people who have died after covid have found covid virus in a number of organs up to 200 days after the infection. At one stage in the evolution in the virus, sampling of sewage found a high level of the Delta variant when the Omicron variant had displaced Delta completely from nasal swab samples. This implies that Delta had found a home in the gut lining, most likely the immunoprivileged gut-associated lymphatic tissue.

This has implications for a long covid treatment protocol. The persistence of fatigue in long covid suggests that the microclots are continually being formed by the ongoing viral load, offsetting the clot dissolution process.

Official retreat begins?

To reduce fatigue requires the use of a molecule that binds to the virus to inactivate it. … The name of that molecule? You will find it in this recent headline:

 

 

The FDA is now in full retreat on ivermectin because they are being sued over their recommendation. The internet is full of anecdotes of people’s lives being saved by it, such as this:

My 40 yr old healthy son was hospitalized with Covid and given Remdesivir, which led to kidneys shutting down. After 10 days on a ventilator, we got our hands on Ivermectin liquid and without the hospital knowing, gave it to him with a dropper 2x’s a day. 18 hrs later…Test results significantly improved, so much so that the nurses commented on never seeing a patient do such a remarkable turn around. I believe it saved his life.

We were desperate. Dr’s told us to prepare ourselves for the worst. The Ivermectin couldn’t harm him. It was our hail Mary. No one should be put in this situation. Ever. I’m still really angry.

One of the important sentences in the anecdote above is “The Ivermectin couldn’t harm him.” Ivermectin is a very benign molecule with a therapeutic window you could drive a truck through. Whereas paxlovid, for example, is limited to a five day course of treatment due to the damage it does to the kidneys. So why withhold something from the covid-afflicted, when it can’t harm them and might save them?

Diagnosis:

A standard blood test doesn’t pick up the changes caused by long covid. Many a long covid sufferer has been told that the lack of a blood test result means their problem is in their mind. So a specific panel of blood tests is necessary to guide treatment for long covid. To that end the following panel is proposed … [Read it all].

Related: It turns out that Sam Bankman-Fried of FTX used $18m their left-friendly play money to fund “studies” showing that ivermectin and HCQ don’t work. Here’s the boast and here’s the “study.”