The Taliban are wetting zherselves laughing at us

Remember how we’ve not been consulted on the language change that our legal and media institutions have decided we have to make? Yet we have to play whatever manipulative game criminals and those accused of some of the worst crimes decide they want us to play?

Well, it’s contagious. Gone viral like a Fauci research grant:

In case you weren’t aware, Pusey is accused of reckless driving. When he was pulled over, the police were struck by a lorry and four died. He posted a video on social media of the final moments of one.

Even before the conclusion of the court case, we can be fairly certain we’ll all be better off with him locked in a dark hole and then losing the key. Sure, due process an’ all that, but the preponderance of evidence suggests this is not a pleasant individual regardless of whether he’s convicted of a crime.

So, he announced his new pronouns to the judge, attendant court officials and media.

What was the response?

Exhibit A, your Honour:

I’m sure the journalist Erin Lyons is only following the approved style guide for News.Com.Au, but I’d love to ask her what she really thinks about having to write “they” instead of “he” or even the more accurate “despicable cunt”?

Bill’s Opinion

In law, we rightly operate on the principle ei incumbit probatio qui dicit, non qui negat (proof lies on him who asserts, not on him who denies).

But sudden announcements of a change to preferred gender pronouns do not fall into this category. The burden of proof must surely lie with the person who claims to be something the physical and biological evidence refutes.

Sure, we can be polite to these people and, in general day to day life, accomodate their preferences. It’s a free choice we might make, not a request which must be obeyed in all circumstances.

We might debate where in the range of circumstances polite society should ignore a person’s demand to comply with unusual uses of language. But if you feel convicted criminals or those accused of serious crimes should be granted a sudden demand to call them by new names, you and I are living in a different reality.

As with the fable of the Emperor’s New Clothes, it often takes innocent eyes to see the truth. Ask a child what they are looking at in these cases and their answer will be straightforward.

Perhaps Erin Lyons should unlearn her recent education and be welcomed back to the reality the rest of us inhabit.

Security theatre

The term “security theatre” is credited to cyber and physical security expert, Bruce Schneier. His books and blog are highly recommended, by the way, even for people outside his industry, as he touches on the human aspect of subjects like airport security and online protection.

What is security theatre?

Remember a couple of decades ago when people other than politicians, elite sportspeople, multi-millionaires and Caitlyn Jenner were able to travel freely between counties? If your recall is accurate, you might remember being “randomly” selected to have your shoes checked through the X-ray machine.

Of course, it wasn’t random at all; each lane had a quota and that usually resulted in every, say, fifth person being selected. At one point in my career, I flew out of Heathrow so frequently, I could quite easily work out which line to join to avoid the footwear genuflecting ceremony.

Did you ever pause to wonder why this check happens? Supplemental question for you; how many shoe bomb attempts have there been in the history of aviation?

The answer to these generally unasked questions can be found on the wiki page of this Sarf Lahdan scrote.

Richard Reid was an utter loser at life who converted to Islam and became a wannabe terrorist (but I repeat myself.) Being from South London, he wasn’t the brightest candle on the menorah (hopefully that metaphor offends him), therefore he failed spectacularly in his attempt to bring down the Paris to Miami flight he’d hoped would be his last.

How many attempted shoe bombings have been thwarted since? Zero. We’ll come back to that statistic later.

The consequences of the failure of the Brains of Bromley include the ridiculous ritual of removing shoes at the airport. How effective do we think that is in reducing the threat of terrorism? Well, also from Reid’s wiki (highlighting mine):

As a result of these events, some airlines encouraged passengers departing from an airport in the United States to pass through airport security in socks or bare feet while their shoes are scanned for bombs. In 2006, the TSA started requiring all passengers to remove their shoes for screening. Scanners do not find PETN in shoes or strapped to a person. A chemical test is needed. However, even if the X-ray scanners cannot detect all explosives, it is an effective way to see if the shoe has been altered to hold a bomb.

In 2011, the rules were relaxed to allow children 12 and younger and adults 75 and older to keep their shoes on during security screenings.

So, we can’t actually scan for Reid’s preferred explosive type and we’re going to assume nobody is faithful enough to the tenets of radical Islam to use a child or a pensioner to bomb a plane. Sure, that makes perfect sense then.

Similarly, if you ever found yourself annoyed at the litter on the London Underground in the early 1990s, it was as a consequence of these two attacks by the IRA. As a Ben Elton stand-up routine at the time pointed out, “every piece of litter is a Pyrrhic victory for the cause of the Irish Republican movement”. A year or two later, a genius at the Met Police (words not normally found together) realised the problem could be solved with transparent bin bags.

The Good Friday agreement was signed later that decade. One likes to think it was the demoralising results of the litter countermeasure that forced the IRA to disarm…

On an unrelated subject, isn’t it fascinating how different jurisdictions are dealing with reality?

The UK has lifted the mandatory mask requirement and backtracked on no jab no job employment rules for healthcare workers.

Denmark and Sweden have dropped all covid measures.

Israel has binned its “green pass” vaccine passport.

Meanwhile, various locations are still trying to fight a war they lost long ago (as we parodied earlier.)

Victoria has mandated a booster shot for hundreds of thousands of workers.

New Zealand has decided 23 days isolation is what der science requires of people who waved in the street at someone who ever said the word “covid”.

Austria has police roaming the streets with throwback powers their predecessors would have recognised to stop people and demand, “papier bitte”.

Even New South Wales, a jurisdiction with a marginally better track record than most, still requires masks to be worn indoors for reasons yet to be explained.

Bill’s Opinion

We’ll be enduring the covid security theatre for years, long after anyone can remember the reason why or when it started.

Nobody seems curious as to the justification or the actual effectiveness of the measures. Yes, another study emerged this week claiming lockdowns caused more harm than good, but anyone with a brain worked that out years (yes, years) ago.

Look at this data from the NSW health website:

Remember when we needed to get vaccinated and wear masks to “stop the spread”? Well, 95% got the jabs, nearly everyone complied with the masks and still one in every 7 people in New South Wales have caught the virus. Can you imagine how widely spread it would’ve been without all those highly-effective measures? It doesn’t bear thinking about.

Coming back to those shoe bombing statistics:

My aunt and uncle drink a lot of gin and tonic, “because the quinine protects against malaria”.
“Has there ever been a case of malaria in Kent, Uncle Dave?”
No. See how effective it is!”

Expressed and revealed preferences

This is a lesson to teach your children early and often; watch what people do, pay less attention to what they say.

Listening to people’s expressed values and preferences is far less effective as a predictive tool than observing their revealed preferences.

Examples are everywhere:

Diane Abbott – The state school system is excellent and perfectly acceptable for your children, and we shouldn’t allow schools to become more independent. My son? Oh he went to an independent private school.

Leo DiCaprio – We’ve only got nine years to halt climate change. Can someone carry my bags from this helicopter to this private jet?

Jeremy Corbyn – We need a kinder politics with no personal abuse. Anti-semitism? I see no anti-semitism.

Peter Fitzsimons – A 13 year old girl should be publicly reprimanded for a racist comment. I also made a racist comment but give me the benefit of the doubt.

(side note: Fitzsimons’ hypocrisy could fill pages here. A project for a rain day, perhaps).

Anna Palaszuczuk – Domestic and international borders shall close and open at my command. I’m off to Japan on the public purse to “win” an Olympic bid with only one bidder.

G7 leaders (and an unelected Belgian man and an unelected German woman) – We must socially distance, because this virus is terrifyingly dangerous.

A few glasses of Chateauneuf du Pape with a couple of nonagenarians is perfectly acceptable behaviour.

Bill’s Opinion

We could write a list like this all day.

To be fair, we all struggle daily with internal consistency. I imagine it’s a constant worry as a public figure that some random person with a camera phone is going to snap you doing the opposite of your public statements.

A suggestion if this describes you and your life – simply stop offering the plebians moralistic advice you have no chance of following.

On a related note, Boris is having minor difficulties as details of multiple Downing Street parties catered work events have emerged.

I mention this, not because of the hypocrisy; an expectation of 100% hypocrisy is always baked into my view of all politicians and I like a drink and a chinwag as much as the next person. No, what is more interesting is the expressed/revealed aspect to this.

Ponder for a moment the fact these parties took place in the heart of the UK government focused almost exclusively with dealing with “the worst pandemic since 1919“, handing out increasingly authoritarian, petty, illogical laws and fining people for going about previousy legal activities, preventing people from providing comfort at the bedside of dying relatives, halting education, cancelling cancer treatments, preventing travel outside a small radius from home, etc.

All of which was fully justified by the data, right?

The data.

These people had access to the most accurate and immediate data available domestically and internationally, describing humanity’s best knowledge of the danger posed by this virus. Hence the British population’s lives and livelihoods being, at best, put on hold for two years, but in many more cases hugely negatively impacted. People died as a consequence of the governmental response.

That statement isn’t meant as a “blood on their hands” accusation – government decisions or non-decisions always have consequences, but those decisions still have to be taken, so they must be taken seriously and soberly.

Those Downing Street party animals had that data at their fingertips and yet ignored their own advice, rules and emergency legislation.

Revealed preferences.

For heaven’s sake, turn the bloody News off

If you’re a regular visitor here, chances are you’ve long realised the response to Kung Flu was far worse than the effect of the virus. If so, you’ve probably also discovered the ratio of the population who have made this journey of discovery is depressingly low.

That realisation is sobering but, in most cases, we can ignore these Platonic cave dwellers and quietly carry on with our lives. Unfortunately, some of these incurious souls are our nearest and dearest.

This presents us with a dilemma; continue to nod quietly as they repeat, parrot fashion, the narrative du jour, or confront their ignorance with uncomfortable alternative information.

Personally, I’ve tried two years of the Neville Chamberlain approach with some loved ones in the UK. My frustration hit its peak this week and I pointed out the internal dichotomy of several of their beliefs. For example; “vaccines stop the spread” whilst case numbers are in the hundreds of thousands.

So, somewhat futilely, I curated the following information for them. I’m sure it will not persuade or even spark curiosity because, as we’ve discussed previously, the sunk cost fallacy is a highly effective motivator against investigation. Creating the list helped my sanity, however. It’s useful to see in one place just what utter lying fecal matter we’ve been served up as grade A caviar by the political and media class.

If you’ve also hit your limit of listening to people regurgitate the BBC/ABC/CNN bullshit, perhaps send them the link to this page and ask them how many lies will they accept before dismissing the liar as forever not credible?

—————————————————————–

There’s a quote I heard years ago, supposedly by Nietzsche; “I’m not upset that you lied to me, I’m upset that from now on I can’t believe you.

So, let’s list just a few of their lies;

  1. Masks don’t work. March 4th, 2020, Chris Whitty.
  2. Herd immunity is the plan. 10th March, 2020, Boris Johnson.
  3. Three weeks to flatten the curve. 13th March 2020, Boris Johnson.
  4. Half a million in the UK will die. 27th March 2020, Neil Ferguson.
  5. Washing your hands will stop the spread. Current UK Health Advice.
  6. Vaccines stop the spread almost completely. 3rd March 2021, Head of Public Health England.
  7. Vaccinating children will protect them from covid. Current NHS advice.
  8. We won’t mandate vaccines. 15th September 2021, Sajid Javid.
  9. 90% in ICU are unvaccinated. 21st December 2021, Professor Rupert Pearse.
  10. Freedom Day will be irreversible. July 2021, Sajid Javid.

And how did all that go for you?

In the same order;

  1. You’re still wearing masks, despite the USA CDC stating cloth masks can’t stop Omicron (27th December 2021).
  2. Of course we’re not going for herd immunity. 27th October 2020, Boris Johnson.
  3. Three weeks plus about 2 years and counting.
  4. Ferguson’s modelling software code doesn’t give the same result twice. 6th May 2020, Sue Denim.
  5. No evidence whatsoever of surface transmission, but we’re still pumping billions of gallons of sanitiser into the water system. 29th January 2021, The USA’s Centre for Disease Control.
  6. NSW is 95% vaccinated but having 50,000 new cases a day (I know several people who have had it but haven’t notified the health authorities, so maybe multiply that figure by 1.5).
  7. 94 children have died in the USA of Covid as at October 2021. That may sound like a lot but a) it doesn’t tell you what else they had wrong with them and, b) bear in mind, to show the number’s relativity, about 900 kids drown each year in the USA.
  8. Boris relied on 80 Labour votes to introduce vaccine passports among other measures.
  9. More like 2 out of every three.
  10. Surprise! Plan B.

I could carry on and talk about all the dissenting voices who were kicked off social media. An example is the suggestion the virus came from a lab; 18 months ago, mentioning that would get you banned on Facebook, etc. Now, it’s the main hypothesis.

We could talk about the claims that were made for the vaccines (I’m not even go into whether or not they are safe, we probably won’t see that data this decade);

  1. They stop you catching it.
  2. They stop you passing it on.
  3. They stop you from dying.

Turns out (3) is the only one of those statements still standing.

So, my plea to you is PLEASE get your news from somewhere other than the BBC. They’ve reported these lies without question for two years. It means doing a lot more work, you can’t outsource searching for primary sources, but question all the data they present. For example, if you ever hear a statistic presented as ONLY a percentage or ONLY as an absolute number, there’s a real chance you are being deliberately misled.

What we measure, we manage; in those daily press conferences, where’s the data on cancer deaths, suicides, lost education, missed child abuse (usually picked up by the schools), loneliness, divorces, etc. Which journalist is asking about it? Not Robert Peston, “Prime Minister, should you have locked down sooner and harder?”. Where was the political Opposition? Missing in action.

The generation before you fought and died for the freedoms we gave up with barely a whimper, “for an emergency”. Maybe it was the right thing to do, but who gets to blow the whistle to signal it’s over?

The government isn’t your Mum and Dad and the news media aren’t more intelligent than you, far from it in fact.

Sorry for the rant, but you’re being misinformed.

Bill’s Opinion

I’m currently reading Charles Mackay’s Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds. It’s a little wordy and heavy going for a modern reader, but this quote has truly stood the test of time:

Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, one by one.

The Australian Royal Commission into the handling of COVID19

….will never happen.

A conversation with a friend yesterday prompted us both to the realisation there will never be a retrospective inquiry into the role of government and media during the 2020/21 pandemic.

Why?

Because of the potential answers to the following questions, and the fact they will be uncomfortable for leaders of all political hues AND the mainstream media who might otherwise call for such an inquiry:

Severity

When did you know the infection fatality rate was no worse than previous recent flus?

When did it become clear the impact was clearly stratified by age and co-morbidity and what discussions were had at Cabinet level in response to this?

Modelling

What Cabinet discussions occurred regarding the data models presented compared to the subsequently observed data? What conclusions were drawn and what actions taken?

How many non-covid (such as cancer) patients have so far died as a likely consequence of missed appointments? What did the modellers predict?

After the initial infection spike, have the hospitals ever been close to being “overwhelmed”? How many beds in the emergency “field hospitals” were used?

The Law

What percentage of public health fines have been subsequently appealed and overturned?

What legal advice was received by Cabinet on the legality of vaccine mandates and coercion (no jab no job) to receive vaccines?

When was it decided no parliamentary scrutiny or approval was appropriate for the emergency public health measures?

Vaccines

When did it become clear the vaccines didn’t prevent transmission, and what discussions were had in Cabinet about changes to messaging and public health measures as a consequence?

What knowledge did you have, and by when, of the difficulty of obtaining vaccine exemption certificates from GPs and what action did you take when you became aware of this?

Public Health Measures

What data did you review when deciding to make masks mandatory outdoors?

When did you realise the Covidsafe app was a white elephant? What contractual measures are place to reclaim the development costs from the supplier?

How many small businesses have closed over the last two years and how does this figure compare with previous years?

When do you anticipate removing the covid-related legislation from the statute books?

Roughly how many times do you estimate you have personally broken the rules?

Borders

What constitutional legal advice was received regarding domestic border closures?

Are there any plans to build an Olympic size swimming pool, bars and a nightclub at the Toowoomba quarantine camp and will it be possible to book stag and hen weekends there?

Bill’s Opinion

These questions will never be asked.

I can confidently state this, because the official Opposition and mainstream media weren’t curious enough at the time to ask questions such as these. Their motivation to do so now must only be measurable with an electron microscope.

Anyone who still believes a damn word leaving the mouths of politicians or the pen of journalists after the last two years has failed the world’s largest scale IQ test, should be avoided where possible and treated with extreme distrust if one has to engage with them.

If you feel you must vote in future, rather than simply drawing a rude picture on the ballot, please consider an independent candidate.

If you feel you must still consume news media in future, spend the time to go to primary sources rather than outsourcing your thinking to those who have demonstrated they are unable to think.

Sunk cost fallacy #854

When our kids went to primary school, once a term they would be sent home with a sales brochure from a company called “Scholastics”.

Inside this work of fiction were adverts for books and toys. My suspicion is the school was incentivised to hand this magazine out with kick backs in terms of money or “free” books for the school library and the Principal justified this because it encouraged the kids to request their parents to let them buy and read books.

Except, the kids were never interested in the books, but the toys grabbed their attention.

The adverts for the toys were case studies in creative marketing. What do I mean? This, for example.

The “Ultimate Spy Mission Kit” for just 25 bucks? What could possibly go wrong?

Well, let’s ask customer reviewer, S. Poyser:

Bought kit through loop book club. Spy ear – wires came off the circuit board during first use. Very disappointed 7yo. No circuit diagram to figure out how to reconnect it, even if I had a soldering iron.

That was the experience of our kids with everything they were tricked into splurging their hard-earned pocket money for.

Yesterday, I spoke to my now teenage daughter about the cycle of emotions she experienced during these purchases. First came the excitement of realising she could afford such a wonderful and life-changing toy. Then the anticipation and delayed gratification until the delivery. The unwrapping and playing brought a mild disappointment followed by grief and upset when the inevitable happened and the cheap plastic shite broke in her hands.

Rinse and repeat next term.

Our kids generally took three cycles of this until they realised Scholastic was a cynical wealth redistribution project to relieve kids of their pocket money in return for useless Chinese-manufactured crap.

I use this example frequently when trying warn my kids about falling for the sunk cost fallacy. I go on to explain how gamblers often trick themselves into throwing more money after their losses in the hope of a big win to make them whole again.

In completely unrelated news worth considering as you queue for your third and fourth booster shot, international flight routes have been shut down again, Central European countries are back in various versions of lockdown and masks are back to compulsory fashion wear in shops and public transport in the UK.

Bill’s Opinion

Remember how elated you felt when the vaccines were announced?

Perhaps you downloaded the vaccine passport with a little frisson of glee once that second shot had been given and the two weeks for it to “bed in” had elapsed?

Did you post a virtue signalling selfie on Instagram or LinkedIn urging everyone to do the right thing and get jabbed so we could /checks notes/ get back to normal?

How’s that investment going for you now?

Perhaps I might interest you in the exquisite rampant mackerel ashtray, diligently fashioned in blue onyx?

A long time between drinks

Life has somewhat got in the way of maintaining this organ recently, for which I apologise.

By way of recompense, I’ll put an unusually personal post up today.

Two months ago, I posted this little missive, which ended with some advice:

  • Find a doctor who will give you a vaccine exemption. It might be accepted by employers, airlines, restaurants and governments for a while,
  • If you are eligible for a passport from another country, apply. Having options is wise. Ask any American male with a Canadian passport during the Vietnam draft era.
  • Consider alternative education models for your children. Take control of their curriculum and hire tutors. If you stay within the current system, focus them on what matters only. STEM.
  • Spread your assets across jurisdictions. Be nimble.
  • Perhaps move away from major population centres, if these are where all the police and army presence is focused.
  • Learn to sail. If you one day find it necessary to steal a yacht from the harbour and sail away, having the skills learned in the Day Skipper qualification would be important

What of this, if any, have I since done?

All of the above, with the exception of learning to sail, that’s a skill I’ve had for a while.

I found a doctor who’d provide an exemption, just in time as my employer brought in a no jab, no job policy. Firing me now will be expensive for them. Don’t bother asking for the doctor’s details; they’ve since been told by the Dept. of Health to stop writing them.

I renewed the family’s second passports. Nice post-Brexit blue ones too.

Our kids have left the education system and are now homeschooling on the Euka programme. It’s very good and Year 9 English, in particular, is studying the classics rather than this piece of bollocks they were sent home with from the high school last term.

Our assets are now split across two jurisdictions. A house here, cash and pensions elsewhere.

We move house next month. We’re leaving Sydney and will be living in a small community within an acceptable commute from my work, assuming I’ll ever need to go there again. in addition, I’m looking for work internationally, pitching myself at employers with global roles who would need people who can work flexible hours.

….and this winter I’ll be putting my yacht on a stand in the driveway to renovate it and upgrade it to being capable of long ocean passages.

Bill’s Opinion

Predictions I would have dismissed as on the extreme lunatic fringe two years ago are now reality.

The smart thing to do with that knowledge is to assume other dire predictions are more possible than you would have previously assumed and prepare to ensure you have options to avoid these if they were to happen.

Everything is a balance of course, you don’t want to be the Kung Flu equivalent of the Heaven’s Gate disciples, but listening to what is being said about mandatory this and compulsory that, and responding accordingly would be wise.

Fake paintings and lemons

George Smiley : Ever bought a fake picture, Toby?
Toby Esterhase : I sold a couple once.
George Smiley : The more you pay for it, the less inclined you are to doubt its authenticity.

Remember how, once we’d received the vaccines, we’d achieve herd immunity and we’d be able to go back to the lives we once led?

This study published in The Lancett suggests otherwise.

The SAR in household contacts exposed to the delta variant was 25% (95% CI 18–33) for fully vaccinated individuals compared with 38% (24–53) in unvaccinated individuals.

Your vaccine doesn’t prevent you catching the virus and barely reduces transmission to others.

But wait, there’s more:

Vaccination reduces the risk of delta variant infection and accelerates viral clearance. Nonetheless, fully vaccinated individuals with breakthrough infections have peak viral load similar to unvaccinated cases and can efficiently transmit infection in household settings, including to fully vaccinated contacts.

To “steelman“ the case for the vaccinations, I would suggest there are three reasons for their use:

  1. To protect me from death or severe illness from the virus,
  2. To prevent or reduce my risk of catching the virus, and
  3. In the event I catch the virus, to prevent or reduce the likelihood of me passing it to others.

That’s it, right? There are no other reasons for the vaccine (or any other vaccine for that matter). Let’s avoid the conspiracy theories and temptation of assigning nefarious motives to the vaccine campaign; as we discussed earlier, that will just drive you mad,

So, those three reasons….

The statistical data from around the globe suggests (1) is valid. It’s not watertight, people are still ending up in hospital or worse, but there’s a clear drop off of the volume of severe outcomes correlated to the vaccine roll out.

The Lancet paper suggests the vaccines don’t contribute much towards (2); people are still able to catch it regardless of vaccine status.

The same paper confirms the vaccines barely prevent transmission relative to the control group of unvaccinated. 25% transmission rates versus 38% transmission isn’t going to stop us all from eventually meeting this thing. If you believe the study, anyone saying vaccines are required to stop the spread isn’t thinking straight.

Bill’s Opinion

The sunk cost fallacy is a very strong human urge. Nobody likes to admit they’ve bought a lemon.

How long we can pretend to ourselves that these vaccines do anything other than ameliorate the symptoms though, well that’s an entirely different proposition.

Expect the mass hallucination to continue for a very long time into the future. Add in a large helping of the sunk cost fallacy and we will be blaming the unvaccinated for every inconvenient data point throughout the northern hemisphere winter and beyond.

Chesterton’s Precautionary Principle

There exists in such a case a certain institution or law; let us say, for the sake of simplicity, a fence or gate erected across a road. The more modern type of reformer goes gaily up to it and says, “I don’t see the use of this; let us clear it away.” To which the more intelligent type of reformer will do well to answer: “If you don’t see the use of it, I certainly won’t let you clear it away. Go away and think. Then, when you can come back and tell me that you do see the use of it, I may allow you to destroy it.” G. K. Chesterton.

To my knowledge, there hasn’t been a single instance in medical history where we’ve vaccinated one demographic with the sole purpose of protecting another group.

Children are at no significant risk of COVID19. It seems repetitive to have to state this, but we seem to have collectively lost the ability to think critically when it comes to this damn virus.

Yet, here we are talking hopefully of stars aligning in time for an extra special Christmas present for the wee bairns:

Why?

No, why would a parent of an otherwise healthy five year old agree to this?

As a parent, I would balance the risks as follows:

Reasons to vaccinate my five year old against COVID19:

  • To protect the five year old against the disease.
  • To protect others from the risk of the five year old spreading the disease.

Reasons to not vaccinate my five year old against COVID19:

  • Natural immunity has been proven to have better outcomes than vaccine immunity for this virus.
  • No long term data exists regarding the safety of the vaccines.

Where one lands on this question is very much determined by where you get your news.

If you have outsourced your thinking to a group of professionals with qualifications in using the English language rather than medical or statistical subjects, you are likely to be booking GP appointments for little Johnny and Janey and not reading this.

If, however, you’ve bothered to look for primary sources of data, you might be applying the precautionary principle and becoming somewhat anxious about a zeitgeist that’s championing this latest vaccine push.

Bill’s Opinion

I’ll resist the temptation to post lots of links to studies and reports to make my case. If you’ve not read these already, it’s unlikely these will persuade you of my view.

We are a year into rolling out vaccines for COVID19, which is, let’s remember, a novel coronavirus. That is, it’s new.

The vaccines are even newer.

We have unanswered questions about the long term impacts on health of both the virus AND the vaccines.

What impact do either have on fertility in young people, for example? Is there a decadal carcinogenic risk, perhaps?

It’s too soon to know the answers for either situation; catching the virus as a child or taking the vaccines.

What’s a good trade off of risks for your 80 year old granny may not be quite the same calculation for your fit and healthy five year old child.

If you are happy to accept the government’s advice (let’s hope it remains advice and not a mandate) on this, perhaps recall how much of the previous 20 months they looked like startled rabbits in the headlights as they so obviously had as much idea about this stuff as anyone else:

Three weeks to flatten the curve”

Masks don’t work”

“It didn’t originate in a lab”

“Zero covid”

Vaccinating five year olds against this disease seems like a typical bureaucratic response; we’ve found a solution to a problem, now we must find more problems for this solution.

You can vaccinate your five year old children, embryos in utero, long dead childhood pets, fictional characters and inanimate objects, but I think I’ll pass this time, thanks.

First among First Nations equals

We just keep racking up the wins. In the same year we had our first Aboriginal Neurologist, now we have our first First Nations candidate for Mayor of Sydney.

It is 179 years this month since the City of Sydney was established by an Act of the NSW Parliament. In all that time, an Aboriginal Australian has never been nominated for Lord Mayor of Sydney – until Wiradjuri woman Yvonne Weldon.

Seems like a missed opportunity by all sides of politics. Still, we’re making progress as the incumbent is also running with a First Nations candidate too. Or is she?

Emelda Davis is on her {Mayor Moore’s} current ticket, and is talking up her “diverse Indigenous ancestry as as second-generation Australian South Sea Islander of First Nations and Caribbean descent” – but when I point this out to Weldon’s campaign manager, she’s definitive: “Concerning Emelda Davis, she is a South Sea Islander. South Sea Islanders are not First Nations.”

I wonder what the definition is of “First Nations” and how Weldon’s campaign manager can be sure Davis doesn’t qualify?

Melbourne doesn’t fare much better. Wiradjuri man Professor Mark McMillan was the first Indigenous person to run for council, unsuccessfully, late last year on Melbourne Lord Mayor Sally Capp’s ticket. Whilst she won a definitive second term, she didn’t win enough votes to select him on her team.

More on McMillan later. Back to Yvonne Weldon, what relevant experience will she bring to the role?

She’s drawing upon her experience as elected Chair of the Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council, Deputy Chair of the NSW Australia Day Council, Board member of Domestic Violence NSW and Board member of Redfern Jarjum College to bring leadership experience to her campaign.

Perhaps the kindest thing one can say about that CV is at least she will feel comfortable sitting in public sector committee meetings every day.

So, to recap; of the three candidates mentioned above (Weldon, McMillan and Davis), two are “First Nations”, one is not.

Ok.

Bill’s Opinion

Ethnicity really should be the least interesting human characteristic when assessing someone’s suitability for a job.

Over the last three decades, it seems we have lived through a cultural version of the Brunhes–Matuyama Reversal, where the Right stopped being concerned about race and the Left took on that pointless angst instead.

We now have the unedifying situation of two mayoral campaigns competing over who qualifies as more “First Nations”. What next, DNA tests?