Wasn’t this tried once before in one half of Germany?

That this should come from a German politician’s mouth is somewhat ironic.

Spahn, a conservative heavyweight among Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats who recently lost a contest to become the party’s leader, described a knock-on effect of countries attracting doctors from neighboring countries, as is the case with Switzerland taking in German physicians.

That’ll be the “free movement of labour” thing that the EU is so much in favour of then.

Or is the deal that only low skilled labour should be allowed to move so as to keep a downward pressure on domestic wages?

“That cannot be right. We should therefore think about whether we need to create new regulations on the luring away of people with certain professions within the EU, and without fundamentally calling into question the freedom of movement within Europe,” he was quoted as saying.

Bill’s Opinion

The good news is, the Germans have relatively recent experience and understanding on what the solution is to this.

The bad news is, if Trump gets his budget passed, there’ll be a global shortage of workers with the skills to build it for a year or two;

Have we hit “peak” Sydney Morning Herald?

Quite possibly.

In the past few years, the world has finally started to wake up to the socially constructed ways in which some people are given an easier ride through life than others.

Here we go, which people?

Male privilege acknowledges how being a man means earning a higher wage than women, not being discriminated against because of their gender, and being far less likely to be sexually assaulted. And white privilege recognises the ongoing discriminations faced by people of colour in job opportunities, safety and every other part of life.

Ah, men. White men being the worst.

Those white men who do all the jobs with the high fatality and injury rates?

Yes, those but especially the ones who don’t binge eat;

But what about being thin? Is there an advantage, nay a privilege, associated with being slim in our society? It seems that yes, there is.

Well, we can agree on that. Hence why many of us eat sensibly and exercise.

The “thin” in “thin privilege” is not about being supermodel-skinny but being at a weight that means you are not subjected to judgment and harassment from strangers. It means that you can go into almost any clothes shop and find something that will fit. You can eat a hamburger in public without people clearly judging your decision. You can wear something figure-hugging without people sniggering at you.

You’ve just described the effects, not the cause of being a reasonable weight for your height.

Melbourne academic and body positivity advocate Jenny Lee says that women are especially vulnerable to this type of rhetoric because “women are still valued for their beauty first and are socialised accordingly”.

Ok, “Melbourne academic and body positivity advocate” Jenny Lee and the author of this article, Alana Schetzer, are early contenders for the Steve Sailer First Law of Female Journalisn Award, 2019.

“When I speak about thin privilege, I am talking about the advantages that thin people in Western culture experience, such as being assumed healthy and having a wide array of clothes available, as well as a body that aligns with dominant ideas of what is attractive,” says Dr Lee, who teaches gender and literary studies at Victoria University.

Ok, I admit it, Jenny Lee doesn’t in any way align with my personal idea of what is attractive. Where do I report to be sent to my re-education camp and will I also have to be subjected to gender and literary studies lectures?

“It’s time to acknowledge thin privilege the way the Left has acknowledged white privilege, class privilege or straight privilege. As a white middle-class person, albeit with working-class roots, it is worth noting here that I can’t speak for all fat women, and I have barely been able to touch on the prejudice that fat people of colour experience.”

Ah, that’s a helpful clue about where the morbidly obese sit in the Victim Olympics medal table;

Gold – dark skinned working class fatties

Silver – white working class fatties

Bronze – to be determined, they’re still panting their way around the track.

The conversation around thin privilege got a kick-start when US blogger Cora Harrington wrote a series of tweets explaining what it is and how people can benefit from it, even if they don’t think of themselves as thin.

“No one groans or rolls their eyes when they have to sit next to me on a plane or a bus,” she tweeted in July. “ In fact, no one comments on my body at all. The ability to move through life without people insisting you need to be a smaller size … if you don’t have to think about that, it’s privilege.”

No, it’s just the default position for anyone who has learned to control their calorific intake. That doesn’t make them a Nazi, just a functioning human adult.

Society has long determined that overweight people are not only flawed but also fully responsible for their weight gain. That being “fat” is simply deemed to be a failure caused by nothing but greed and gluttony, a byword for laziness, being undisciplined, greedy and unintelligent.

Let me correct that for you;

Society Nature has long determined that overweight people are not only flawed….

If you were too heavy to chase dinner on the plains, the rest of the tribe would view you as a liability. There is a very simple evolutionary reason for “society’s” judgement on obesity and it probably pre-dates language.

Another take on the label is that it’s not so much that thin privilege exists but that “fat inconvenience” does – a sort of social tax that bigger bodies have to pay, whether it’s the lack of choice in shops to buy clothes, or nasty stares and under-the-breath comments from airplane neighbours for taking up too much space.

Let’s remind ourselves the author is writing for a media outlet with a default position that any problem can be solved by the government taxing it. It would seem you can’t have it both ways (yes, I was going to write “cake and eat it” but just caught myself); either the “fat tax” of society’s disapproval and inconvenience works or it doesn’t.

Whatever you want to call it, there is undoubtedly a series of hardships that bigger people face, most of which are socially constructed as a way to control and belittle them. If we can create it, then we can unmake it.

Are far higher rates of diabetes, heart disease, respiratory problems and early mortality also “socially constructed”?

Bill’s Opinion

Obviously it’s our fault that Alana has an eating disorder.

How do I know she has an eating disorder?

Well, according to her Twitter feed, she’s a single female who owns a cat. You rarely get those two without the third.

Oh, here’s her blog at The Huffington Post.

Over the past year, I knew I had put on weight. Dresses and pants that used to fit comfortably now squished against my growing belly and left nasty red lines against my skin.

Whenever I was upset, I would skip dinner and instead plunge into a family-sized bag of Doritos, and the only exercise I was getting was waddling to the fridge and back to the lounge room, where I would read.

And here’s the explanation behind most of her journalistic output;

Sailer’s Law of Female Journalism;

The most heartfelt articles by female journalists tend to be demands that social values be overturned in order that, Come the Revolution, the journalist herself will be considered hotter-looking.

Sometimes “free” is more expensive in the long term

On my Creepbook for Business feed, the following paid content appeared today;

This piqued my interest because I’ve long suspected that, if species preservation of the “big five” in Africa was agreed to be an important aim (excuse the pun), then making hunting an efficient and sustainable industry would be the most probable route to success.

Certainly, if observable results were something one took seriously, nearly every alternative that had been tried so far hasn’t worked effectively

Similarly, if we wanted to significantly reduce the impact of poaching of elephants and rhino for ivory, flooding the market with cheaper farmed ivory might well be the only solution.

I suppose there are two other alternatives; either raise the standard of living in sub-Saharan Africa to a level where there were plenty of other employment opportunities that didn’t involve killing elephants or persuade a billion Chinese people that ivory powder doesn’t cure bone tumours.

Ockham’s Razor suggests farming is the most likely solution.

I’m not an expert on the complexities of African hunting economics, politics and species protection so I’ll defer to others with more insight.

However, the link to ENergise REsources was intriguing. Firstly, that’s a really annoying capitalisation of the 2nd letters and secondly, who are they what are they all about?

From their website;

Ok, on the one hand it’s admirable that they are offering services pro bono to charities. On the other hand, they are clearly quite choosy about which charities they are going to help.

Which charities?

Basically, any that work in the fields of the Guardian’s favourite cause célèbres.

Exhibit A;

Exhibit B;

Exhibit C;

The website shows a list and the profiles of the current members (about 25 of them) and, frankly, there’s nary a single private sector worker amongst them. If you were a charity looking for some pro bono advice from an IT professional with exactly the same ideas and experience as every other IT professional who’s ever worked for you, you’ve come to the right place.

What’s really amusing though, is the unthinking acceptance of the Guardian/BBC/NY Times prioritisation of issues to be solved. If you hadn’t read the previous paragraphs on this page and I had asked you to write a list of the top 10 priorities for left wing charities, I imagine you’d have repeated nearly all the content on their website.

This is an alternative approach that they have not considered however;

Bjorn Lømborg’s Copenhagen Consensus.

Bill’s Opinion

The refreshing thing about the Copenhagen Consensus is their recognition that, when talking about about finite resources, environmentalists almost always forget that economic resources and human hours are also finite; a dollar spent on the solution to a problem cannot be spent on another problem. Similarly, an hour of your time spent on one solution can’t be re-spent somewhere else.

In fact, it’s worse than that; there are a myriad of potential solutions to the same problem, and logic states these should be prioritised by likely success and impact.

In effect, what the Copenhagen Consensus recognises that few others in the field do, or choose to ignore, is the concept of opportunity cost.

Once you apply that economic lens, our old friend Vilfredo Pareto can bring his ruler into play and measure which activities we should do first and which we should drop because they only feel nice rather than doing any good.

But if you really want to confirm that Lømborg is an outcome-driven, facts don’t care about your feelings sort of chap, sign up to the website; when you’re asked to select a country of residence, they list USA first, not Afghanistan.

This is a group that logical thinkers can get behind without having to suffer the ideological crap.

How refreshing.

Rejoice! Clementine Ford returns in 2019!

For some unfathomable reason because most of her opinions are subject to cognitive dissonance, Clementine Ford has been suffering from depression but made it through the festive season without offing herself and has even managed to knock out another couple of hundred words of insanity and/or mendacity.

Trigger warning; You may want to sit down before reading the next sentence.

Clementine Ford doesn’t like the things Louis CK said in a recent comedy routine.

No, really.

She was fully onboard with all of his previous material, such as;

I don’t have a gun, but if I did, I would shoot a baby deer in the mouth and feel nothing.

And she’s fine with his monologue on the N-word;

Take responsibility. They found a way to say nigger—because when you say ’the N-word’ you put the word nigger in the person’s head. You say ’the N-word’ and I go ’Oh, she means nigger.’ That’s just white people getting away with saying nigger. Don’t hide behind the first letter like a faggot.

She really appreciated his joke about pedophile child murderers;

When you fuck a kid, you’ve gotta toss ’em. The guy could just call you, ‘Hey, I fucked your kid. You want me to drop him at soccer?’

And Clementine laughed aloud at his joke about wanking in the time between the two towers falling on 911;

How long after 9/11 until you started masturbating again?

But the material on a recent leaked audio following his #MeToo moment is really beyond the pale for Clementine, resulting in her swooning onto her chez longue in horror;

Leaked audio from a recent show lasting almost an hour laden with racism, ableism, transphobia and the good old-fashioned outrage of a white man who can’t take responsibility for his actions.

Of course, she’s not actually listened to it otherwise she would have written this sentence far more accurately;

There was the commentary on the Parkland shooting victims, who shouldn’t think they’re interesting just because they got shot.

Nope, he doesn’t say that on the leaked audio.

What he does say is that the children who didn’t get shot didn’t magically become imbued with the wisdom of experts on constitutional policy relating to gun crime. That’s a very different and subtle nuance that we wouldn’t expect Clementine to pretend to hear.

And does anybody really believe this statement by La Ford (highlighting mine);

I’m not offended by the idea that any of these topics could be fodder for comedy. But they have to be done well, by the right people, and without the laugh relying on the kind of lazy punch down that all too many comedians reach for because they’re actually far less skilled at their jobs than they think they are.

Pray tell, who gets to decide who the right people are?

But the most telling sentence in Clementine’s first masterpiece of 2019 is the following;

In a recent speech, the genuinely clever and evolving comedian Hannah Gadsby spoke of “the line in the sand” that separates good men from bad men, but that all men reserve the right to be in control of.

If you you are wondering what an “evolving comedian” might be, I suggest you seek out some of Hannah’s work.

Bill’s Opinion

Louis CK has always been a controversial comedian dancing on the edge of good taste. To expect him to suddenly start doing knock knock jokes is to not understand how he’s made people, a lot of people, laugh for several decades.

Hannah Gadsby, on the other hand, is a totally dull scold who plays the room for nods of approval rather than the visceral belly laugh generated by actual comedy. “Evolving comedian” is Clementine’s code for “not fucking funny in the slightest”.

As for Gadsby’s speech on men sexually harassing women, we’ll let you draw your own conclusion on the likelihood of it ever happening to her.

La Ford’s faux outrage at the comedy routine reminds us of this excellent summary;

But perhaps the final word should go to the left wing comedian, Jonathan Pie, who increasingly seems to be travelling the road of enlightenment previously taken by Dave Rubin;

French virtue signalling

Seen today whilst passing through Gare de Lyon;

Look closely; the chaps who are recharging their mobile phones are having to pedal for the electricity.

Bear in mind the following;

– France has the lowest priced electricity in Europe at €0.15 per kilowatt because they heavily rely on the very sensible method (if you don’t like carbon) of generating energy: nuclear, and

– It takes about 1 kilowatt to fully charge an iPhone, and

– A static exercise bike costs about €200, probably triple that once it’s been integrated into a seat, table and charge station, and there are three of them, and

– The maintenance costs are likely to be the equivalent of a couple of hours of labour a month plus parts, so perhaps €100.

Therefore (and if someone can check my calculations, I’d be grateful), over 12,000 phones would need to be charged a year for this station to make economic sense. So, an average of 33 a day, including Christmas.

Except… an efficient bike generator produces about 100 watts an hour, so there’s absolutely no way these three machines would get even close to a 10% ROI, even if they were fully-utilised around the clock.

Bill’s Opinion

Dear railway travellers of France; the Gare de Lyon station management think you’re a bunch of fat lazy bastards and are therefore happy to spend money in a completely inefficient way to make you change your ways.

Oh, and to the bloke wearing sunglasses indoors at 4pm on a January afternoon; you’re a twat.

That would be what we pay you for then, n’est pas?

The unfortunately named Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, Cressida Dick, has suggested that Britain would be less safe after a “no deal” Brexit because, well, there would be some more paperwork to complete to extradite suspects from overseas.

To be fair, that’s not quite what she said but it wasn’t far off;

Ms Dick told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that the UK’s policing co-operation with the EU was based on a framework of “legal instruments” which would have to be replaced after its exit.

While she hoped the two sides would end up with “something very similar”, she accepted that if the UK left without a deal, this would be “very difficult to do short term”.

Newsflash for Ms. Dick; the referendum was in 2016, you’ve had 2 years to plan for a “no deal”. You are surely not suggesting that this planning has only just commenced, or worse, hasn’t yet started, are you?

Also, please could you explain how a delay to an extradition makes the British public less safe? Thinking this through, an extradition request generally requires a crime to have been committed already so, in the case of a violent crime, the victim is already lying in a hospital bed or worse. It matters less that the perpetrator is languishing a little longer on the Costa Del Sol before facing a trial.

Bill’s Opinion

Either mature plans are already underway for the “no deal” option and Ms. Dick is deliberately scaremongering for political purposes, or plans are not in place and she and her colleagues are guilty of extreme professional negligence.

In the meantime, perhaps she could divert resources from investigating hurty tweets and towards the current knife crime crisis.

What did the Romans ever do for us?

UOW academics, including visiting fellow Sarah Keenan who handed in her resignation, woke on Monday to news the university had signed a deal with the Ramsay Centre to establish the country’s first degree in Western Civilisation.

Under a deal signed on Friday and made public on Monday, The Ramsay Centre will pay for 10 academics to teach the three-year degree, and give 30 students a year more than $27,000 each towards their living expenses while they study.

The background to this is that part of the fortune of the late Paul Ramsay was bequeathed to setting up a course on “Western Civilisation”. It’s caused several universities more than a little heartache; on the one hand, funding for a degree course in 2019 is very welcome, particularly in the current funding climate. On the other hand, universities have gone down the rat hole of SJW lunacy and are hostage to utter nutters with the title, “Professor”, as we have seen previously.

As with all of these political minefields, the people shouting the loudest are usually the ones operating with a low resolution view of the underlying facts.

In all of the coverage of the conflicts between activist academics and the Ramsay Centre, not one column inch has been dedicated to explaining which part of the proposed curriculum they take most offence from.

To assist the readership of his organ, here is the proposed curriculum;

Shocking stuff, eh?

Personally, I’m outraged that Malthus, Marx, Engels, Rousseau and Foucault are given the oxygen of publicity on a course supposedly on the subject of “civilisation”. I assume that’s the position of the offended academics too?

Bill’s Opinion

The proposed curriculum looks like an extremely interesting and balanced course. The reading material doesn’t, Prima Facie, scream “white supremacy”, does it? In fact, it even includes the godawful 60s French nutters, which we’d all be better off forgetting, frankly.

As for those who object to the course, we only need look at what they do for a living;

Dr Keenan, who is based at the Birkbeck School of Law, resigned as a visiting fellow at the university’s Legal Intersections Research Centre  because she would not support an institution that leant its name to the Ramsay Centre.

This is the LIRC’s work;

And this is Dr. Keenan;

In fact, one need only look at that joyless face to know that anything she dislikes is probably going to be a lot of fun.

To hell with your intersectional law.

Hiding in plain sight

Oscar Wilde learned the hard way that sometimes it’s expedient to keep a low profile and not draw attention to behaviour that, when exposed to the judgement of the wider society, may not be as acceptable as you may have previously thought.

Sydney University have recently suspended a lecturer for presenting an image of the Israeli flag with a swastika transposed on it….. in a lecture, i.e. not at some private speaking engagement but as part of an official university course. A search of the Sydney University website drew a blank when looking for “Anti-Zionist Studies” or “Anti-Semitism 101” but it’s probably called something else more academicky.

That Professor Tim Anderson is an unreconstructed radical Communist is apparent from even the most cursory glance at his social media accounts, but his history of being wrong about absolutely everything predates the Internet; back in the 1970s, he was involved in a radical group responsible for a bomb attack that killed two innocent garbage collectors. He was imprisoned but had the conviction overturned on appeal.

Regardless of his innocence in the act of terrorism, this is a man who has no moral quandaries with the regimes of Venezuela, Syria and North Korea and has made many visits to these hellholes where he fawned over their dictators. In fact, his life work seems to be in orbit around a simple philosophy; western democracy is bad, authoritarian collectivism in whatever form is good.

That Sydney University ever employed him in the first place is hard to understand. It’s difficult to comprehend quite what academic value there is to be had for students to listen to lectures from someone who pines for a Socialist utopia where we finally, after all these false starts resulting in just a couple of hundred million murders, get the correct version of Socialism.

Should he be prevented from stating his opinions, however loopy they are? Of course not.

Should he be paid to do so by the generosity of the Australian taxpayer? Nah.

Since the suspension, 30 of his fellow academics have broken cover and signed an open letter in support of Anderson.

Amusingly, the letter doesn’t explicitly use the words “free speech“, one assumes because this is a term that has recently been associated with the non-left. I hesitate to use the term “right” as the definitions have shifted so massively in the last half decade or so resulting in classical liberals being called Nazis for defending the rights of people to say things with which they disagree.

Instead, we see the term “academic freedom” used as a proxy for “free speech“.

Ok, what’s their record on free speech then? After all, your arguments for free speech look somewhat insipid if they are limited only to speech with which you agree.

Here’s the open letter with the list of Comrade Anderson’s apologists helpfully listed at the bottom.

Let’s have a dip in to the cess pit of unreconstructed Marxism and radical left lunacy that makes up that list;

Fruitloop #1: Stuart Rosewarne. From his university bio; “Stuart Rosewarne’s research and teaching interests are in environmental and ecological economics, critical socialist ecology, international political economy, and the political economy of gender.

Critical Socialist ecology? You can be damn certain the one thing he’s not critical of in the slightest is Socialism.

Fruitloop #2: Rebecca Pearse. “Beck” wants us to decolonise the curriculum and some other word salad we can’t translate into English.

Fruitloop #3: Dr. Nick Riemer. Nick’s twitter account shows he’s drunk the climate change KoolAid, supports open borders and, of course is an activist in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) cause, an organisation with a correlation rate trending close to 1.0 of anti-Semitic members;

Fruitloop #4: Dr. Dave Brophy. Dave likes the usual causes of his colleagues but with a slight focus on criticising the Chinese government, which may indicate that all is not yet lost with regards to his ability to actually think for himself. Of course, he’s fully signed up to the BDS bollocks too though;

Fruitloop #5: Dr. Linda Connor. Linda is an anthropologist but seems totally obsessed far more interested in climate change than her field of research, judging by her Twitter account. Presumably she’s classed as an academic expert when people collect statistics proving that 97% of experts believe in catastrophic man-made climate change.

Fruitloop #6: Dr. Jake Lynch. Jake is just your common or garden BDS supporter, so much so in fact, that he had to (successfully) defend himself in court against charges of anti-Semitism.

Bill’s Opinion

Defenders of free speechacademic freedom” would be more credible if they could demonstrate any track record of standing in solidarity for people with opinions they completely reject. The simplest of internet searches on almost everyone on the list of academics supporting terrorist sympathiser and murderous dictators’ ally, Comrade Tim Anderson, proves they are all living in the same radical left wing echo chamber.

Here’s a clue to those beardy hippies in the Faculty of Arts and Social Science; ask your real scientist mates from the engineering department to sign up too.

Here’s another clue; why not channel Voltaire and defend the rights of people with whom you disagree to speak and we might take you a little more seriously. Perhaps start by inviting this tour onto campus;

What can we learn from this depressing episode of cultural Marxism?

Simple; if you have a family member or friend considering studying humanities at the University of Sydney, use every persuasive tool at your disposal to change their minds before they fall down the rabbithole of radical left brainwashing. The “education” they will receive will be useless for anything of tangible benefit to themselves or the world.

As Pandora learned though, there’s always hope;

Finally….. we found ONE!

Not a Fruitloop: Dr. Colin Wight. Colin must feel extremely lonely at the University of Sydney, as he is probably the only academic on the campus who understands nuance and accepts the possibility that very little in life is ever black or white;

Troll level; Jedi

We wrote about the Cloggy Kaas Kop who is taking the Dutch government to court in an attempt to change his age from 69 to 49.

At first blush this looked like a serious request and simply a logical extension of the “everything is a social construct” lunacy.

However, it’s increasingly likely this is an excellent exercise in trolling and is having the desired effect.

Hilary Brueck over at Business Insider, for example, is tying him/her/zherself in knots trying to explain why age isn’t a social construct but gender is.

In fact, no she isn’t, leaving this statement hanging awkwardly without any reasoning to explain why what Retelband is attempting is “problematic” (now there’s a great word to look out for when you suspect you’re being bullshitted).

Depressingly, there was no further “logical” explanation as to why age can’t be changed than what is written above. It would seem that simply saying the words, “problematic”, “offence” and “nonsense” constitutes an argument these days.

Here’s Shon Faye’s “takedown”, by the way;

Which seems to be saying, “it’s not the same because it’s not the same“. Again, not really an argument is it? Feelings trump facts.

Predictably, the Grauniad’s Komment Macht Frei gets in on the act with an article pointing out that our Dutch friend has a long and glorious history of trolling and mischief but never quite gets to the part we are, by now, desperate for someone to articulate. Namely, how is it that biological gender is a social construct but chronological age isn’t?

Bill’s Opinion

People such as Ellie Mae, Shon and Hillary might want to consider counting the assumptions required to be correct for each of these statements to also be true;

1. Gender is a social construct that can be altered by a change in societal attitudes of acceptance, application of hormones and surgery.

2. Age is a social construct that can be changed by societal attitudes, legal edict, and editing numbers on government databases.

3. Biological gender is determined by, erm, biology and gender dysphoria is an unfortunate mental illness that should be treated with sympathy rather than complicit fantasy.

4. Emile’s court case is what you get when people realise a large group of society has agreed to ignore a illogical and indefensible idea and are making significant practical real life changes based on the fallacy.

Loving your work, Emile.