Can you name the crime?

If the Sydney Morning Herald editors want to outsource some work to me, I believe I can evaporate ridiculous columns like this one down to just the facts with a simple question, such as today’s title; can you name the crime?

Don’t bother reading the piece, the alleged crime isn’t described. Just a lot of Orange Man Bad guff.

To be fair to the bloke with the unfortunate name, he smuggled of a lot of this filler past the editors over the last few years, so he’s not been given any opportunity to learn from the grownups in the room:

Can you see a theme emerging here?

Bill’s Opinion

Imagine being this obsessed with Donald Trump. What must the inside of that head be like?

He gleefully tells us this one-sided process (when will the case for the defence be heard?) in Washington will result in Trump’s impeachment, but doesn’t complete the sentence, “…for the crime of <insert the name of a broken law>”.

It’s terrible to see a person captured by an obsession to the point their personal case of mind projection fallacy bleeds in to their professional life.

Accepting that how you want the world to be isn’t how the world probably is is an important step towards achieving inner calm.

Je suis un a former arts editor and assistant managing editor of National Public Radio in Washington.

Je avais un residence. Je habiter la A la south of France. Voulez vous partir with me?

If jealousy burned calories

…we’d instantly solve quite a few people’s major life issues.

But sadly, the effort expended on envious feelings is neither material nor measurable. This is both good and bad news for Mary Madigan, freelance writer for Mammamia (now there’s a career path to infinite riches!).

Good news because she can get a couple of hundred dollars knocking out heartfelt columns about why we shouldn’t celebrate an obese celebrity losing a lot of weight. Bad news, because Mary is burning emotional energy being bitter over other people’s good fortune, and even more mental energy avoiding reflecting on poor life choices she has made.

The back story is a minor Australian celebrity (if that isn’t a tautology), Chrissie Swan, dropped a wheelbarrow load of weight recently and has been congratulated by lots of commentators. Her Instagram feed has a flood of positive comments, many of which are middle aged men who’ve suddenly decided she’s hot.

Our “plus sized” columnist takes issue with their sudden change of opinion. Chrissie was always attractive, she claims. It’s a backhanded compliment to suggest she’s now looking great, according to our self-appointed moral arbiter.

Context is everything, of course.

This is Mary:

This was Chrissie Swan:

This is Chrissie Swan now:

I’m sure we can all agree on what a terrible and destructive transformation she’s inflicted on herself.

The feedback from Mary’s syndicated article was predictable. By which I don’t mean lots of stupid people went on the internet and called her rude names but that she would feign shock and surprise at this reaction and then post a self-obsessed semi-naked picture on Instagram affirming to herself how gorgeous she is and her superiority in the victim olympics.

It’s been a very tiring week because my inbox got flooded with abusive messages after an article I wrote for Mamamia got picked up by The Sun & New York Post. Obviously, when men attack women on the internet the insults are always about your looks. Fat, unattractive, unfuckable…. It’s unoriginal but it did make me feel sad but then I remembered I’m gorgeous and now I’m back.

Bills Opinion

There is no problem with Chrissie Swan’s weight loss. We celebrate it because, as decent human beings, we give positive feedback to obviously good life choices made by others.

It’s a social contract; we tell each other what we’re doing well and try to kindly point out areas for improvement.

If Mary doesn’t like that social contract, it’s incumbent on her to describe the alternative system she would suggest we employ.

It’s always dangerous to attempt to diagnose mental illness from a distance but it’s clearly an unhealthy thought process to convince oneself being grossly overweight is somehow a positive choice.

Would Mary sympathise with 500 words written by a chain smoker trying to convince us it’s wrong to celebrate someone giving up the cancer sticks?

Perhaps it’s just the sunk cost fallacy to wish to convince other people of these illogical views. In addition, the editors of the publications paying for these columns are encouraging negative health outcomes by printing it. Perhaps the editors are analogous to the circus ringmasters introducing the freak show exhibit.

It’s as if we are being asked to casually put aside several million years of evolution and consciously ignore the instinctive mental rank order sorting of other humans by attractiveness. Perhaps that’s possible, but the clever money and every sexual interaction in the history of the planet suggests the exact opposite is more likely.

This denial of reality can be neatly explained by Sailer’s first 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.

More chins than the Hong Kong phone directory…..

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.

Lisa says….

….. that it’s allright
When she meets me alone at night
Lisa says that she has her fun
And she’ll do it with just about anyone
.

Once a week, there’s a sub-headline on a story in the Australian media which solely consists of reporting on the opinion of someone else working in the Australian media. It’s Australia’s version of an “inside the beltway” story, in other words.

The person who gets the dull column inches is Lisa Wilkinson. The headlines usually start with “Lisa slams…” or, in today’s example, “Lisa fires up…”. Presumably, subeditors know the lyrics to the Velvet Underground song above, hence avoiding the more slanderous, “Lisa says”.

My claim of this being a weekly occurrence is no hyperbole either; put the words “Lisa slams” in a search engine and you’ll be presented with pages of results referencing Wilkinson. It’s a similar tale for “Lisa fires up“. Obviously the headline writers’ lack of originality and access to a thesaurus is not Lisa’s fault, but it helpfully presents us with an easy opportunity to check her consistency and prescience…..

The latest “Lisa slams” is regarding the decision by several Australian health authorities to halt elective surgeries because, well, for the same reason everything from having a cup of coffee, educating your children, buying a decent cut of meat, burying your deceased parent, getting married to visiting Machu Pichu, is currently an utter pain in the arse or a shit experience; der ‘rona.

We can agree with Lisa, it would be great if the healthcare system was a little more focused on those with decades of life in front of them as well as protecting those most at risk from Kung Flu who, as we should all know by now, are mainly in their late 80s or have shown an ability to constantly avoid the salad option in Maccas for decades.

With our common ground confirmed, let’s take a look at some of Lisa’s recent topics of “slamming” or “firing up”;

Exhibit 1 – December 2021, Lisa slams not being in lockdown yet again.

Exhibit 2 – August 2021, Lisa slams not having a “hard” lockdown earlier in the year.

Exhibit 3 – August 2021, Lisa slams apologises to the entire State of Victoria on behalf of New South Wales’ residents because we didn’t lock down “properly” (not that we were consulted about our opinion in advance.)

Bill’s Opinion

What a fucking great job it is being Lisa Wilkinson; you get to give a monologue to camera once a week, complaining in your side-of-mouth idiom about whatever it is your PR people think will resonate with the viewers, safe in the knowledge you’ll never put yourself in the situation where anyone can take you to task about your previous opinions and predictions.

In the real world, life is a little less precise, a smidgen more complicated, and not as black and white. This may come as a shock to those zero covid, lock us down hard cheeleaders, but life is a series of difficult to balance trade offs. You close down one important section of the economy and society, you discover unintended consequences appear somewhere else. Which, in Lisa slams thinking, looks a little like, “Lock us down NOW! Wait, hospitals have stopped treating patients?

Anyone who still believes, like Lisa slams did until at least last month, that there’s little or no consequence to lockdowns, has proven to us all they are not capable of thinking and acting as a grown up.

Preferred pronouns: murderer, killer, psycho

Australia doesn’t have many serial killers or mass murderers. Well, not if one excludes South Australia from the census, anyway.

One of the recent cases involves this person:

“A NSW woman convicted three times for homicide has been arrested again in Sydney.”

Riiiiiight.

In the same news outlet, a report of a child abuser who breaks the gender stereotype for that crime as she is female:

Riiiiight…..

Bill’s Opinion

Imagine looking in from the outside on a society that panders to the whims of triple murderers and child abusers by changing the language and cultural norms of thousands of years. What conclusion might one draw regarding the sustainability of that society?

I have no proof that Reginald Arthurell and James Tubbs aren’t genuinely deeply convinced they were born female in male bodies, or whatever version of the several explanations we are offered for transgenderism, but I do know that the very last people I’m prepared to offer the benefit of the doubt to have been convicted of murder and sexual assault.

Presumably, at some point in the recent past, Catie Mcleod, Audrey Conklin, Michael Ruiz and Emma Colton were summoned to a briefing at Holt Street, Sydney and received instructions on the new style guide for News.Com.Au, requiring their copy to be filed using the preferred pronouns of anyone they write about, regardless of the likely credibility of such demands.

Such a briefing must have occurred as this switch in language is now consistently applied throughout the publication. No journalist is going to get off the spike if they refer to Arthurell as “Reginald” or male.

Meanwhile, 99.9% of people read the reports linked above and feel a visceral disconnect from the words and reality. We read the report of “female” Regina and think, “Fuck off. He’s an evil piece of shit who is taking the piss out of us. He even chose a female name with such an obvious double-entendre rhyme as part of his sick joke. Whoever writes this crap must know this too, so why do they pretend down is up and black is white?“.

Perhaps we should applaud this self-destructive writing from the media. The more they insist on ignoring reality, the fewer of us believe anything they report.

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.

Australians can’t/won’t read data

The Australian government has published data about mortality in 2020.

It’s barely got a mention in any of the media outlets. That’s fair enough, there’s probably nothing of interest to most people anyway.

Despite this, let’s have a quick look, shall we?

Cherry-picking their own words:

Key statistics


In 2020 there was a decrease in mortality in Australia.

COVID-19 was the 38th leading cause of death (898 deaths).


The five leading causes decreased, with a significant reduction in respiratory diseases.


Rates from suicide, drug overdoses and car crashes decreased.


Alcohol-induced death rates increased by 8.3%.

Some other nuggets from the summary:

(The) median age at death (from/with covid) was 86 years. (The usual median age of death in Australia is 79).

Dementia was the most common pre-existing condition (of Covid deaths).


Chronic cardiac conditions, hypertension and diabetes were also commonly reported comorbidities (with Covid).

Influenza and pneumonia mortality had the highest proportional rate decrease of all respiratory diseases with a drop of 45.8% from 2019.


There were 55 people who died from influenza. This compares to 1,080 in 2019.

Bill’s Opinion

It’s a modern medical miracle; we’ve cured the ‘flu.

Also, we’ve locked up all the kids for two years to save grandma and grandad from a disease that has a median age of death (86) that’s 7 years older than the national median age of death.

Well done everyone, seriously well done.

Farewell vaccine passports – thank you CDC

Australian politicians and media (for they are in agreement on all things) have engaged the Nudge Department to convince us to get vaccinated.

One of the pieces of rhetoric is a future where so-called vaccine passports will enable a bio-security state of Apartheid. “Get doubled jabbed and you can go to the pub, otherwise it’s drinking alone with home delivery beer for you people on the naughty step”.

It’s highly likely this will be challenged through the courts soon. What might the government defence be, do we think?

There’s possibly two lines of defence here:

Firstly, that the unvaccinated are risking others’ health by spreading the virus.

Secondly, that the unvaccinated are at too great a risk of the virus so must be excluded for their own health.

I can’t think of a third defence, but if you can, please add it in the comments.

Point two is the weaker reason, protecting people who are personally at risk of injury by a virus has no legal precedent, otherwise we would have laws banning dangerous sports, excessive drinking, consuming sugar, or preventing people with heart conditions from jogging. People take their own risks in life, or at least that’s how it worked in 2019.

The first defence seems to be the key reason for the segregation by vaccine status. How might our plaintiff counter this?

Perhaps by printing a copy of this CDC report from August 26th (highlight, mine):

Fully vaccinated people with Delta variant breakthrough infections can spread the virus to others. However, vaccinated people appear to spread the virus for a shorter time: For prior variants, lower amounts of viral genetic material were found in samples taken from fully vaccinated people who had breakthrough infections than from unvaccinated people with COVID-19. For people infected with the Delta variant, similar amounts of viral genetic material have been found among both unvaccinated and fully vaccinated people. However, like prior variants, the amount of viral genetic material may go down faster in fully vaccinated people when compared to unvaccinated people. This means fully vaccinated people will likely spread the virus for less time than unvaccinated people.

In plain English; Vaccinated people are as likely to transmit the Delta variant as unvaccinated people.

What about the suggestion they remain infectious for longer? The report has several sources linked at the bottom of the article. I challenge you to find any information in those studies supporting the that statement. I couldn’t.

Bill’s Opinion

I’m certain the minor talents and over promoted bureaucrats who are State Premiers and Chief Health Officers will push ahead with the next upgrade of the phone app to include vaccine status. The sunk cost fallacy applies in both money and political capital expenditure.

There will also be several legal challenges as soon as it is launched.

The case should be straightforward to decide; does not having the vaccine offer the general public any greater risk of transmission? The CDC says no.

Of course, in this “late stage democracy” world, trust in institutions has collapsed. We know we can’t trust politicians, we know we can’t trust the media, we will soon learn whether we should still trust the legal system.

Enough. Really, enough now

The modellers have been modelling.

Some idiot gave a laptop with Microsoft Excel installed to researchers at the University of Melbourne with, sadly, the predictable result that we now have yet another bunch of unprovable predictions and what/if scenarios to scare our politicians with.

They even got a WordPress website registered and set up, bless ‘em.

The website allows one to plug in whatever assumptions you’d like and spits out a result demanding MOAR lockdowns, masks and mandatory 17th booster shots of whatever vaccine the government procurement department managed to buy on eBay this week.

The Melbourne University report addresses some of the gaps in the Doherty modelling but it also points out the uncertainty around several factors that could make a big difference to results.

Here we go again. Repeat after me, children; multi-variable situations are almost impossible to predict. It’s an incredibly idiotic mental feat to convince yourself otherwise. Some of our worst human decisions are made as a consequence of thinking we can calculate complex probabilities.

This includes the proportion of people who get Delta that are asymptomatic and can spread the disease without knowing, and how effective the vaccines are at stopping vaccinated people from spreading the virus.

Oh, do continue…..

For example, the Doherty report assumed vaccination reduces the infection rate by 65 per cent but Melbourne University researchers believes this is too “optimistic” and they used a figure of 25 per cent on average.

And that’s it, right there. It’s over, folks. Go back to the office, open the schools, book your overseas holidays; the vaccines only reduce transmission by one quarter.

We are stuck with this thing forever. Get vaccinated if you want, take your chances if you don’t, but stop pretending this virus is not going to be around if only we could convince everyone on the planet to get the jab.

As for the fucking modellers:

“It is best practice for Governments and decision-makers to take a ‘many models’ approach to decision-making support,” the report says.

Well, they would say that, wouldn’t they. Remind me again, how do they get paid?

Bill’s Opinion

This is a mind virus now. Perhaps it always has been.

As commentator Liberator pointed out, Charles Mackay’s book Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds has the perfect quotation for where we are, “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.

Happily, some of my friends are slowly recovering their senses. I suspect we will never speak openly of what happened to them.