Cor baby that’s really free

Man assaulted in the street and subsequently arrested after shouting, “Andrew, you’re a sick old man” at Prince Andrew.

The report is silent on what happened to his attackers.

That’s probably ok though, shouting at someone at their mother’s funeral is beyond the pale and should have the full force of the law applied as a consequence.

Similarly, it’s right that this woman, arrested for holding a sign saying, “Abolish the Monarchy”, should face the legal consequences.

What about this one, then?

Man required to give details to police after holding a blank piece of paper at the Queen’s coffin procession.

Are we happy with these police interventions?

Which one was the overreach of the state, in your view, and why?

Bill’s Opinion

The slippery slope fallacy may be a logical mistake, but one can slide a long way before the descent is halted.

All three of these examples are unacceptable restrictions of freedom of speech and expression.

In the UK, the legal standard restricting free speech used to be “grossly offensive” – repeatedly posting pornographic images to somebody, for example.

Now, the standard has not only been reduced to merely offensive, but there doesn’t need to be an identified victim of the offensiveness either.

From nearly 21 years ago:

……why do they hate us? They hate what we see right here in this
chamber – a democratically elected government. Their leaders are
self-appointed. They hate our freedoms – our freedom of religion, our freedom of
speech, our freedom to vote and assemble and disagree with each other.

I’m not convinced.

How many shoes will drop?

Let’s count them, shall we?

Transitory inflation.

Not so much.

Vaccines stop the spread?

Not so much.

Scientific evidence supported the lockdown approach.

Not so much.

The human lives saved were worth the cost of lockdown.

Not so much.

Shutting down schools and teaching online is a good substitute for classroom learning.

Not so much.

Bill’s Opinion

What are the next shoes to drop, do we think?

How about:

There were no existing therapeutic treatments we could have used.

The vaccines are perfectly safe, especially for your children.

Lockdown legislation was legal/constitutional.

Chocolate rations increased to 20 grams!

You may have remembered the ration was 30 grams previously, but you would be incorrect.

The CDC have quietly and tacitly admitted a few facts that are in direct contradiction to their previous statements.

No! Say it ain’t so, Bill!

It also brings the recommendations for unvaccinated people in line with people who are fully vaccinated – an acknowledgment of the high levels of population immunity in the U.S., due to vaccination, past COVID-19 infections or both. “Based on the latest … data, it’s around 95% of the population,” Massetti said, “And so it really makes the most sense to not differentiate,” since many people have some protection against severe disease.

There’s a few things going on there. Firstly, it infers a prior infection is as good as the vaccines to provide future immunity. Here’s Fauci saying exactly the opposite just last year.

It also infers “herd immunity” from the dual source of vaccine and prior infection is a valid concept when fighting this virus. Some of us are old enough to remember when Fauci said that was not possible back in, erm, April this year.

Anyone with access to an internet search engine would also find him giving varying figures between 60 to 95% vaccination levels to achieve this apparently simultaneously possible and impossible thing.

So there we have it; Covid is not a problem for you dirty unvaxxed. We’re good then, right? All’s well with the world?

Well no, not really.

You see, we’ve got a few questions we’d like answered. Here’s a few to get started:

1. Are we supposed to forget how many times the authorities made unchallenged new laws discriminating against a swath of citizens based on these medicines which were are now told are not required?

2. Do the people who lost their jobs for not accepting these pointless medicines get to work again and receive compensation for lost earnings?

3. Do the vaccine injured (we don’t need to argue how many – there must have been at least one) receive compensation in a timely manner and without going through a “the process is the punishment” Kafka-esque process to receive it?

4. How are we supposed to live together after this? After people like this fucking authoritarian unscientific cunt wrote such absolute fucking horse shit?

Bill’s Opinion

We see you. We know who you were.

You should be ashamed of yourselves.

We’ll forgive you but we can never forget.

There are many people who have been shaken from a complacency about their fellow humans, a state to which they will never return. When we meet you, we will always wonder which side you were on, and depending on the conclusion, will interact with you with much caution in future.

Freedom – Technical analysis

Technical Analysis is a method used by some to make investment decisions. From Wiki:

A core principle of technical analysis is that a market’s price reflects all relevant information impacting that market. A technical analyst therefore looks at the history of a security or commodity’s trading pattern rather than external drivers such as economic, fundamental and news events.

Or as my financial adviser puts it, “follow the market”.

A key aspect of Technical Analysis is to look for patterns and trends over time. For example, a pattern of higher highs is thought to indicate an upward trend, such as this one:

Conversely, lower lows suggests you’re going to lose heavily betting on that stock.

Using that simple logic, how are your freedoms looking these days?

Taking Australia as our case study, what has the trend been over the last few decades?

In the chronology below, I’ve tried to show key moments for and against individual freedom and liberty, making a purely subjective justification for each item. For example, Responsible Service of Alcohol legislation could be argued as a positive for freedom because it might assist those who don’t want to be beaten up by drunks, but in my view it’s an unnecessary imposition on the rest of us, if only for the additional cost overhead (training, enforcement, regulation, dedicated government departments) applied to our drinks.

Since the 2001 September 11th attacks, you can be detained without trial for 14 days.

The government can keep your “metadata” (I bet nobody knows what that means without searching) and you can have your citizenship revoked, even if you were born here.

You can’t write or publicly speak about an alleged disconnect between the people profiting from Aboriginal grants and employment perks and their ancestry or skin pigmentation.

Your right to employment, travel, entry in to shops and restaurants, and to protest can be revoked immediately without parliamentary debate or approval but on the word of an unelected Chief Medical Officer.

You must take an experimental treatment to remain employed in a huge number of jobs in a wide range of occupations. The source of this may be State government legislation OR private employer mandates, but the freedom to choose has been revoked either way.

On the plus side, Uber rideshares are legal (although you had to bail out the taxi licence speculators).

Bill’s Opinion

If freedom was charted, I reckon it’d look something like this:

(That’s Bitcoin for the last month, if you were curious).

You might get some temporary wins, and these should be cheered, but it’s just lipstick on a pig.

We’ve been losing rights and freedoms at an increasing pace for quite some time. It’s an interesting question to ponder; when did it start?

My guess is we were most free probably just prior to the First World War. The government interfered in our lives to such a minimal degree, you could go through a day without interacting with its officers. In fact, a passport with a photo was only introduced by the UK (and by extension, Australia) in 1915.

However, there’s a pragmatic aspect to the answer too; “freedom” isn’t worth much without access to dentistry, penicillin, clean water, power, affordable protein, etc.

It’s just an opinion, but I think the rot set in when the Berlin Wall fell. We bought a lie that we had the best system so what’s the only logical action from that conclusion; MORE of that system. Let it take care of us from cradle to grave.

I hate it.

Panem et circenses

The shortest national government term in the democratic world has expired again. Despite it being only about ten minutes ago when Australians were forced (yes, forced; there’s a fine for not voting) to choose between the Candidate for Corporate Welfare or the Candidate for Union Welfare to be this month’s Prime Minister.

If news of the date of the annual election has passed you by, this is likely to do with the fact the office of PM in Australia is increasingly a ceremonial position, analogous to the Lord Mayor of London or the wife of CNN’s Brian Stelter.

It was already a relatively pointless job prior to the Covid over-reaction but Scott Morrison’s lethargic approach to the State Premiers’ unconstitutional power grab in 2020 resulted in the continued slide into impotence.

The Unaparty have offered us two choices this year; the incumbent, Scott Morrison, and the Labor (sic) leader, Anthony Albanese.

If you can find a difference between what they are likely to do if elected, I’ll be impressed. They’re both planning to be profligate with our taxes, they’re both going to do nothing to wind back the authoritarianism of the State premiers, they’re both going to speak in a mealy mouthed way about China while desperately hoping it doesn’t impact trade.

Plus ça change, plus c’est la ça même chose, in other words.

Usually, I refuse to play the game at Australian elections. I register for a postal vote, to save me having to change my daily routine on the various polling days, and then return my voting slip with a rude picture and the words “none of the above”.

This year, however, I shall be voting. The third candidate most likely to win the most votes in my constituency will be receiving my vote (no not you Greenies, sit down), regardless of how batshit crazy they might be.

Bill’s Opinion

Previously, my vote had a net neutral impact on the Unaparty. From now on and forever, it will be cast against the Unaparty.

Regular readers here will understand why but if you can’t work it out, pick a combination of the following;

Mindless aping of the Chinese policy of highly damaging lockdowns.

Lying about the ridiculous claim of scientific backing for the majority of Covid laws, for example, mandating face masks.

Mandates or standing by when employers imposed them on people to bully them into taking medical procedures against their will.

Profligacy to bribe people to accept the above catastrophic errors.

A protest vote is a pathetic response to what we’ve had to suffer, but it’s a start. I’m still considering what else can be done.

Coerced consent

No plan survives contact with the enemy.

My employer unilaterally made vaccination a condition of employment.

I thought I’d anticipated this well by obtaining a vaccine exemption certificate from a sympathetic doctor, which was duly accepted by my employer.

However, the doctor would not load this on the official immunisation register, presumably so they (deliberate neutral pronoun to obfuscate) could remain under the radar.

I now have to travel internationally for business and the immigration department requires the record on the register.

So, I ran out of road and excuses.

Bill’s Opinion

This government coercion for what should be a very personal medical decision is morally wrong.

It’s also medically wrong – the injection won’t prevent me catching the virus or passing it on. In fact, some studies are now suggesting a higher infection rate amongst the vaccinated.

It’s also an abuse of human rights, as documented by the /checks notes/ Australian government’s Human Rights department in 2019.

There will be a consequence to this, at a minimum a protest vote at every future election, perhaps there’s more tangible actions I can take. Suggestions below, please (and no, I’m not planning to go “postal” on anyone).

Brave soldiers holding out in the Pacific theatre of war

What is it about the Pacific Ocean and soldiers hanging on in denial of the catastrophic loss their side suffered in the war?

Take for example, Sergeant Shoichi Yokoi:

Still hoping the 17th booster will be the charm

Sergeant Yokoi lost contact with his unit (and reality) a few weeks before the ceasefire and, in the absence of any news from the real world, bunkered down in his Melbourne foxhole. He stayed there, popping up only to take the occasional shots at his former platoon (and voters).

Eventually, news from the real world filtered through and he was unable to live in his fantasy one man war movie any longer. His final act before surrendering was to lob a grenade at some visiting Serbian UN Blue Berets.

Private 1st Class Kinshichi Kozuka.

“Hands up! Don’t shoot! Blackface Lives Matter!”

Private Kozuka found himself stranded on the other side of the Pacific from his platoon after riding a really gnarly point break left hander from the Marshall Islands all the way to the north of the 49th Parallel.

After removing his facial camouflage make up to better assimilate with the natives, he quickly installed himself as Emperor, demanding hot and cold running maple syrup, never ending Tim Horton’s donuts and the world’s biggest collection of Wayne Gretzky souvenir hockey pucks, all of which were duly delivered to Ottawa in 50,000 trucks.

Lieutenant Hiroo Onoda

De-Nile is the river running through Perth (previously known as The Swan)

Lieutenant Onoda commenced his campaign in the Pacific, in New South Wales, but quickly realised his minor talents would be hidden in such a buzzing theatre of war as Newcastle, so volunteered for duty in the Indian Ocean campaign, basing his activities in the sleepy villages in that remote and strategically irrelevant coastal area.

Despite the frequent messages dropped from passing planes, Onoda managed to avoid reality for several years. Multiple possible breakthroughs after exhortations from his commanding officer ultimately failed and he is currently in discussions via field telephone for a potential surrender in mid-winter, just as the seasonal respiratory illnesses usually arrive. As his commanding officer has explained, “Onoda was never the sharpest knife in the kitchen drawer and this isolation has dulled whatever cognitive edge he may once have possessed. Why on earth did I get him instead of John Rambo?”

Private Teruo Nakamura

The ability to eat fallen fruit through a chain fence proved invaluable whilst evading capture

The last of the holdouts, Nakamura is still bunkered down on two poxy islands in the Pacific. Repeated calls to rejoin the world have been rebutted and the international community have now agreed, using the North Sentilenese People as a precedent, to leave Nakamura alone to pursue his dream of creating a caring, loving and kind society by demonising and imprisoning anyone who has an alternative opinion on any subject whatsoever.

Bill’s Opinion

Yeah, unusually ad hominem for me but, hey, it’s just a bit of fun.

I mean, it’s not like anyone has got hurt by any of this multi-year nonsense is it?

Oh.

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?