More must-read articles. Currently focused on Covid-19

 

The current focus of this post relates to the Coronavirus chaos, vaccines and implications. Note: Many more articles follow the latest five.

German Minister Admits Lockdown Will Kill More Than COVID-19 Does

German Minister Admits Lockdown Will Kill More Than COVID-19 Does  By Steve Watson, via Summit News, Zerohedge, 27 September 2020

Germany’s Minister of Economic Cooperation and Development, Gerd Muller, has warned that lockdown measures throughout the globe will end up killing more people than the Coronavirus itself.

In an interview with German newspaper Handelsblatt, Muller warned that the response to the global pandemic has resulted in “one of the biggest” hunger and poverty crises in history.

Muller warned that further damage will be done if draconian measures continue to be enacted by governments.

“We expect an additional 400,000 deaths from malaria and HIV this year on the African continent alone,” Muller emphasised, adding that “half a million more will die from tuberculosis.”

“The supply of food and medication is no longer guaranteed,” Muller continued, adding “Many of the West’s aid programs are not adequately funded,” also noting that while countries focus on battling the virus at home, it is having a massive toll on countries not equipped to combat it without help.

Muller further warned that “humanitarian catastrophes” are “building up right on our doorstep,” while European governments concentrate on lockdowns and restricting the movement of people.

“Europe has decided to support its own economy with programs worth around two trillion euros. No additional support is planned for Africa. That will catch up with us,” Muller urged.

The Minister admitted that a further wave of mass migration in the future could result from such action.

Muller’s comments come five months after a leaked study from inside the German Ministry of the Interior revealed that the impact of the country’s lockdown could end up killing more people than the coronavirus due to victims of other serious illnesses not receiving treatment.

The findings dovetail with other research that has concluded lockdowns will conservatively “destroy at least seven times more years of human life” than they save.

As we have previously highlighted, in the UK there have already been up to 10,000 excess deaths as a result of seriously ill people avoiding hospitals due to COVID-19 or not having their hospital treatments cancelled.

Professor Richard Sullivan also warned that there will be more excess cancer deaths in the UK than total coronavirus deaths due to people’s access to screenings and treatment being restricted as a result of the lockdown.

His comments were echoed by Peter Nilsson, a Swedish professor of internal medicine and epidemiology at Lund University, who said, “It’s so important to understand that the deaths of COVID-19 will be far less than the deaths caused by societal lockdown when the economy is ruined.”

According to Professor Karol Sikora, an NHS consultant oncologist, there could be 50,000 excess deaths from cancer as a result of routine screenings being suspended during the lockdown in the UK.

In addition, a study published in The Lancet that notes “physical distancing, school closures, trade restrictions, and country lockdowns” are worsening global child malnutrition.

Experts have also warned that there will be 1.4 million deaths globally from untreated TB infections due to the lockdown.ive a daily recap featuring a curated list of must-read stories.

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As we further previously highlighted, a data analyst consortium in South Africa found that the economic consequences of the country’s lockdown will lead to 29 times more people dying than the coronavirus itself.

Hundreds of doctors are also on record as opposing lockdown measures, warning that they will cause more death than the coronavirus itself.

Despite citizens across the world being told to observe the lockdown to “save lives,” numerous experts who are now warning that the lockdown could end up costing more lives are being ignored or smeared by the media.

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Victoria Australia’s creeping totalitarianism

 

Victoria Australia’s creeping totalitarianism  By Helen Buybiski, RT news, 25 September 2020

 Victoria Australia’s creeping totalitarianism is based on wild overreaction to Covid, and the rest of the world is going down the same path

 Melbourne residents are prisoners in their city, risking indefinite detention for ‘pre-crime’ and even having their kids taken based on Covid statistics that are often inaccurate. How long before this spreads elsewhere?

Americans would be wise to pay attention to what’s going on Down Under. Victorian Premier Dan Andrews has gone on a police-state shopping spree to rival the Patriot Act, recently introducing a bill that gives the state government the power to preemptively detain “high-risk” persons, indefinitely, in quarantine facilities based on mere suspicion they might not comply with self-isolation orders.

This is being justified using Covid-19 stats that even the fear-porn-loving media establishment has acknowledged are probably very much inflated, based on a test whose creator was reportedly horrified by the thought of using it to diagnose viral infection. Yet the same media establishment has embraced Andrews’ totalitarian lockdown as a model the US should adopt.

Disaster for democracy

Sounding more like a cartoon villain than a politician, Andrews earlier this week warned Melbourne residents that the “odds are very poor” they might escape the “ring of steel” his government has constructed around the city. With the rest of the state’s lockdown loosening a bit on Thursday, Melbournians still under the stricter regulations are threatened with $5,000 fines if they try to flee to saner climes. And if the thought of being preemptively detained for months for being “conspiracy theorists” doesn’t scare residents away from thought crime, the provision in the Omnibus Bill that allows the government to remove children from their parents for up to 30 months certainly will. The bill passed Victoria’s lower house last week.

Victoria declared a state of disaster on August 2 with 123 coronavirus deaths across the state over the entire course of the pandemic, citing a sudden, inexplicable spike in case numbers in its decision to lock public housing residents in their apartments and send military service members from door to door to ensure citizens were obeying.

Video of police dragging a pregnant woman out of her home for merely promoting an anti-lockdown protest in her small town in solidarity with Melbourne residents  triggered international outrage, and the economic and psychological condition of people there has deteriorated rapidly over the past two months.

ALSO ON RT.COMAustralia should be ashamed & appalled by this video of police handcuffing a pregnant woman for posting an anti-lockdown message

Nor has it been just mental health that has suffered under ‘Dictator Dan’’s lockdown. Coronavirus deaths have actually soared, from 123 when the lockdown was imposed on August 2 to a whopping 773 as of Wednesday. Of course, ‘whopping’ is relative – given the tens of thousands of people supposedly infected, one might expect considerably more deaths, at least until one recalls that 90 percent of ‘cases’ diagnosed via PCR test likely carried too little virus in their systems to experience any symptoms or infect others. While it’s good news for all the Australians who won’t die of Covid-19, it’s bad news for those now locked in their homes because of those inaccurate numbers.  

Dictatorship means never having to admit mistakes

Europe’s LOCKDOWN will kill more people worldwide than Covid-19 virus, German minister warns

Even setting aside the false positives, the terrifying computer models that inspired so many countries and states to lock down have long since been exposed as flawed. However, the policies they inspired have not been re-examined. Given the enormous collateral damage that comes from shutting down a country’s economy – statisticians warned months ago that more Australians would die of suicide than from the virus by a factor of 10, with a significant portion of those deaths from young people, while UK and US medical experts have warned the shutdowns are killing more than the virus they’re meant to stop – there’s no excuse for locking up the young and healthy in order to protect the elderly. The fact that those same elderly are more likely to die of non-Covid-19 causes when kept in social isolation only adds insult to injury. 

No one wants to admit they’ve made a mistake. Premier Andrews is being praised by the international media for seizing even more powers, and plenty of US and UK leaders are eager to follow in his footsteps. Rarely is there an attempt to correct bogus statistics, despite widespread discoveries of fraudulent (or simply incompetent) record-keeping in the US and UK. Even the understanding that most forms of Covid-19 testing are wildly inaccurate has done nothing to slow the enthusiasm for forcing it down a population’s throat (literally).

 

And Andrews is far from the only leader inflicting what can only be termed cruel psychological experiments on his people under the guise of a virus response. Whether it’s New Zealand’s pledge to lock up everyone who tests positive and their family members in quarantine facilities, Scottish FM Nicola Sturgeon’s ban on household visits, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s threat to shut off water to homes and businesses that host parties, or the US state governors who demanded nursing homes accept Covid-19 positive patients despite the risk to their charges, it seems for all the world that every wannabe-dictator in the English-speaking ‘democracies’ is racing to see who can cross the totalitarian finish line first. 

While we look on in horror at what’s going on in Victoria, we must do what we can to halt the growth of totalitarianism in our own countries.

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How we have been lied to so dramatically about masks

How we have been lied to so dramatically about masks  By Daniel Horowitz, The Blaze, 22 September 2020

If you are looking for the scientific rationale behind universal mask-wearing, you certainly won’t find it now that the issue has become as political as guns, abortion, and taxes. We are now at a point where Canada’s chief public health officer is calling on people to wear masks when engaging in sexual activities and 19-month-old babies are being forced to wear them on airplanes. There is no rational thought in a political cult. But what did the governmental and scientific literature say on the issue before it became political?

POLL: Who should Trump nominate to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court?

On April 3, already several weeks into the unprecedented lockdown over coronavirus, but before the big media push for universal masking, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued guidance for respiratory protection for workers exposed to people with the virus. It stated clearly what governments had said all along about other forms of airborne contamination, such as smoke inhalation — “Surgical masks and eye protection (e.g., face shields, goggles) were provided as an interim measure to protect against splashes and large droplets (note: surgical masks are not respirators and do not provide protection against aerosol-generating procedures).”

In other words, they knew that because the virions of coronavirus are roughly 100 nanometers, 1/100,000 the width of a hair and 1/30 the size of surgical mask filtrations (about 3.0 microns or 3,000 nanometers), surgical masks (not to mention cloth ones) do not help. This would explain why experience has shown that all of the places with universal mask orders in place for months, such as JapanHong KongIsraelFrancePeruPhilippinesHawaiiCalifornia, and Miami, failed to stave off the spread of the infection. Surgical masks could possibly stop large droplets from those coughing with very evident symptoms, but would not stop the flow of aerosolized airborne particles, certainly not from asymptomatic individuals.

This is why the CDC, as late as May, was citing the 10 randomized controlled trials that showed “no significant reduction in influenza transmission with the use of face masks.” The Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine at Oxford also summarized six international studies which “showed that masks alone have no significant effect in interrupting the spread of ILI or influenza in the general population, nor in healthcare workers.”

When Dr. Fauci spoke so assertively against universal mask-wearing early on in the epidemic, it was clearly based on this knowledge. “There’s no reason to be walking around with a mask,” infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci told “60 Minutes” on March 8. He went on to explain that masks can only block large droplets, they give a false sense of security, and they cause people to get more germs on their hands by fiddling with it. Those facts don’t change with time.

Several weeks later, Surgeon General Jerome Adams punctuated this point about the counterproductivity of wearing masks in public. Appearing on “Fox & Friends” on March 31, Adams said that based on a study that shows medical students who wear masks touch their faces 23 times more often, one has to assume that “wearing a mask improperly can actually increase your risk of getting disease.”

Ever since then, we have all seen how people leave masks in their pockets or cars for days and continuously put it on and off as needed without washing their hands. It’s inconceivable that this is not serving as a bacteria trap, if not downright helping spread the virus on our hands.

2015 randomized clinical trial from the University of South Wales testing the effectiveness of cloth masks among health care workers in Hanoi found that the poor filtration becomes a conduit for moisture retention. Researchers found a high rate of infection among those workers presumably because “their reuse and poor filtration may explain the increased risk of infection.” Can you imagine how much worse this is in a non-health-care setting where reuse and cross-contamination are rampant?

This is why before mask-wearing became a cult in Canada, Quebec’s public health director Horacio Arruda told the Montreal Gazette that masks are counterproductive. Arruda’s guidance as given in the article states that masks “get saturated with moisture from the mouth and nose after about 20 minutes. Once they’re wet, they no longer form a barrier against viruses trying to come through or exit.” This renders the daylong mask wearing in businesses, stores, and schools, as opposed to the short onetime use in clinical settings, a complete hazard to spread of bacteria and pathogens.

Nothing about the biology of the virus or our discovery of it has changed in the past few months that would lead us to believe that masks are somehow more effective against it than they are against the spread of other respiratory viruses. What has changed is the politics. Governments could no longer control our lives through wholesale lockdowns, because it was logistically untenable, so they created the mask mandate as a way of permanently controlling our movement. They wisely did this on the heels of the full-scale lockdown when people were grateful just to be back in business under any conditions and were desperately willing to do anything to stave off a shutdown.

Dr. Jeffery Klausner, an infectious disease doctor at UCLA, described mask-wearing in early February as all psychological, not physiological. He told the Los Angeles Times that “fear spreads a lot faster than the virus” and that a mask only “makes you feel better.” What is so dangerous about this is that, as Fauci and others originally warned when they were actually speaking from a modicum of scientific grounding, is that many immunocompromised people will go to dangerous places thinking the mask protects them. I’ve seen countless friends and neighbors who are concerned about their heart conditions and diabetes blissfully walk around indoors thinking the mask is their shield.

This is why Swedish epidemiologist Anders Tegnell warned that because scientific evidence for mask-wearing to prevent COVID-19 is “astonishingly weak,” it is “very dangerous” to believe that face masks on their own could control the spread of the disease rather than hand washing or, in the case of those who are seriously ill, staying away from indoor gatherings. He would know, because his country barely has any cases left, and almost nobody in Sweden wears a mask.

The Dutch government made the prudent decision of only requiring masks on public transit when people are really close to each other for a limited period of time. With such scant evidence of the effectiveness of mask-wearing, how can we disrupt lives of children in school, businessmen in offices, and even people walking outdoors in some countries and states? “From a medical point of view, there is no evidence of a medical effect of wearing face masks, so we decided not to impose a national obligation,” said Netherlands Medical Care Minister Tamara van Ark in August.

The Danish supposedly commissioned a randomized clinical trial to study mask effectiveness specifically as it relates to protecting against SARS-CoV-2, but despite promises of imminent release weeks ago, the study has not been published. Henning Bundgaard, chief physician at Denmark’s Rigshospitale, noted, “All these countries recommending face masks haven’t made their decisions based on new studies.” It doesn’t appear that anyone else is interested in finding out the truth.

Even in England, where there is more mask-wearing than in some of the other northern European countries, Public Health England concluded, “There is weak evidence from epidemiological and modelling studies that mask wearing in the community may contribute to reducing the spread of COVID-19 and that early intervention may result in a lower peak infection rate.”

Our own U.S. government has failed to produce new evidence that counters years’ worth of evidence that masks don’t work in stopping respiratory viruses and is still producing evidence to the contrary. In June, HHS’ Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality funded a systemic review of all relevant randomized clinical trials (RCTs) on the effectiveness of mask-wearing in stopping respiratory infections and published the findings in the Annals of Internal Medicine. The conclusion was as clear as it is jarring to the current cult-like devotion to mask-wearing. “Review of RCTs indicates that N95 respirators and surgical masks are probably associated with similar risk for influenza-like illness and laboratory-confirmed viral infections in high- and low-risk settings.” The study noted that only one trial did show “a small decrease in risk” for infection when doctors wore N95s in high-risk settings, but even that evidence was scant.

The study looked at eight trials with 6,510 participants that “evaluated use of surgical masks within households with an influenza or influenza-like illness index case (child or adult). Compared with no masks, surgical masks were not associated with decreased risk for clinical respiratory illness, influenza-like illness, or laboratory-confirmed viral illness in household contacts when masks were worn by household contacts, index cases, or both.” Remember, Dr. Deborah Birx, the Coronavirus Task Force coordinator, is now saying people should wear masks even at home?

How have we gone from public officials universally warning about the lack of effectiveness plus the potential to spread germs from masks to mandating that young children who are germ factories wear them all day in school – without even a legislative debate or public hearings?

The answer is that we have become emasculated as a society. We have become a people who are willing to surrender every morsel of our liberty at the ever-changing and capricious whims of “public health officials,” even when they are appallingly contradictory and without any evidence justifying the 180-degree U-turn.

During times of panic, opportunistic politicians in positions of power will always latch on to desperate and regressive ideas to infringe upon liberty, while packaging them as some sort of enlightened advancement in technology or understanding. In reality, these same desperate measures were tried in 1918, and even then, it was understood that they didn’t work. A November 16, 1918, headline of the Santa Barbara Daily News read, “Average Person Doesn’t Know How to Take Care of Mask and It Becomes Veritable Bacteria Incubator.”

Many principles in life are inviolable and do not change with time. We used to understand that mask-wearing was a novelty of Halloween. Now, our passivity has allowed our entire country to become a Halloween nightmare masquerade every day, with no end in sight.

This article has been updated.

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We shut up shop for a coronavirus that was unlikely to kill us

We shut up shop for a coronavirus that was unlikely to kill us  By Adam Creighton, The Australian, 22 September 2020

“Faced with the choice between changing one’s mind and proving that there is no need to do so, almost everybody gets busy on the proof.”

John Kenneth Galbraith’s quip couldn’t be more apt right now, where the world’s political class and their cheer squads in the media and pockets of academia are trying to justify the extraordinary attack on civil liberties and economic freedom over a disease that’s like a severe flu in its health impact. They will need more than: “China said it worked”, “it was popular”, and “it feels as if lockdowns must work”.

The aim of such blunt policies, enacted contrary to advice and without empirical support, has steadily shifted from “flattening the curve”, to suppression, and now, in Victoria, at least, “elimination”.

Regardless, we shouldn’t have copied the policies of an increasingly totalitarian state on faith; many terrible and stupid things are popular, and science doesn’t care about feelings.

In Sweden — a nation castigated mercilessly for taking sensible precautions rather than enforcing a China-style police state — total mortality has turned out to be much the same as previous years.

It’s had no “second wave”, unlike other lockdown-prone European nations, lending support to the idea Swedes have developed some herd immunity, and are getting on with their lives.

The modelling produced to justify Victoria’s stage-four lockdown that began on August 1, predicted the 14-day average of new cases would be “over 60 by mid-September” with a tough lockdown. It was 34 as of Monday, when 11 new cases were announced — the modelling was poor.

As analysts at Bell Potter showed, the virus peaked just three days after the fourth stage began, which, given the incubation period, means the additional measures had nothing to do with the decline.

Almost 1770 Belgian doctors and health professionals issued an open letter urging Belgium — in a second wave of about 1000 cases a day — against reimposing a lockdown. “If we compare the waves of infection in countries with strict lockdown policies to countries that did not impose lockdowns (Sweden, Iceland …), we see similar curves. There is no link,” they said on September 10.

Belgian doctors have spoken out against harsh emergency policies to combat the coronavirus. Picture: Screengrab / docs4opendebate.be/en/

Never mind all that. Just as our medieval ancestors thought influenza was caused by the “influence” of the stars (hence the name), the decline in cases in Victoria will be attributed to curfews, lockdowns, and Victorians’ globally unique vigilance.

There is no link between lockdowns and reduction in deaths, let alone a demonstration of causality, as multiple analyses in medical journal The Lancet and elsewhere have shown. The sun doesn’t rise in the morning because the rooster crows.

Paris-based data scientist Ivan Debono published an insightful graph last week, putting the 960,000 global deaths from or with COVID-19, in context. You almost need a microscope to see the impact, given more than 60 million people, mostly aged, die each year.

And Melbourne University’s vice-chancellor implied this week, in terms of quality-adjusted life years saved, the toll would be much less. “What is the value of a 90-year-old’s life versus the value of the continuing livelihood and happiness of a 25-year-old?’’ he bravely asked.

Police patrol Melbourne’s CBD on the weekend. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Wayne Taylor

The chart, anyway, is either a demonstration of our collective genius in snuffing out a very deadly virus — for the first time in history — or one of the coronavirus’s modest lethality. I am pretty sure for which explanation future historians will opt.

Ultimately the tide of sanctimony and hysteria will go out leaving the facts, but in the meantime the economic and social destruction continues.

The facts have changed but not the response. Why?

Economics provides two ideas that help us understand how we ended up putting millions under house arrest: path dependency and public choice theory.

If the virus had emerged in Sweden, Brazil, Japan or even Victoria, it is unlikely the world would have locked itself down in terror. History matters; China took the lead, we followed.

The path you’re on depends how you started, however stupid it was in hindsight. For reasons of saving face and sheer inertia, governments cannot and do not re-optimise like computers might with the latest information each day, which leads to the second factor. Economists once thought politicians acted wholly in the public interest, their models assumed policies were carried out as if by a “benevolent dictator”.

Nobel prize winner James Buchanan blew this naivety away in the 1970s, showing that bureaucracy and regulators often acted in their own interest or that of the industry they regulated (as the GFC well-illustrated).

“Show me the incentives, and I’ll show you the outcome” quipped legendary investor Charlie Munger.

The pandemic has given the political class an opportunity to increase its fame, power and relative income under the self-righteous banner of “saving lives”.

Politicians, who know they’ll be accountable to the media only for pandemic deaths, do whatever is popular, such as close state borders, in order to be re-elected.

All the costs have fallen on others, who had no place at the decision-making table.

Imagine one slight tweak to this incentive structure whereby every politician and chief medical officer endured a 20 per cent pay cut for every day lockdown and restrictions were maintained. How long would it have lasted?

ADAM CREIGHTON

 

ECONOMICS EDITOR

Adam Creighton is an award-winning journalist with a special interest in tax and financial policy. He was a Journalist in Residence at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business in 2019. He’s written … Read more

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Australian state of Victoria is now a police state

Australian state of Victoria is now a police state  By Janet Albrechtesen, The Australian, 13 September 2020

The state of Victoria is unfathomable. The duly elected leader, a Labor Premier, has armed police with brute powers to enter and search the Ballarat home of a young pregnant woman, her partner and children, arrest and handcuff her and seize all phones and laptops, regardless of who owns them.

Why? Here’s the fascist part.

Twenty-eight-year-old Zoe Buhler posted about “Freedom Day Ballarat” on Facebook. She wrote this: “PEACEFUL PROTEST! All social distancing measures are to be followed so we don’t get arrested please. Please wear a mask unless you have a medical reason not to. As some of you have seen, the government has gone to extreme measures and are using scare tactics through the media to prevent the Melbourne protests.

“Here in Ballarat we can be a voice for those in stage 4 lockdowns. We can be seen and heard and hopefully make a difference. We live in a ‘free’ country.”

She was right to put quotation marks around the word ‘free’ because, right now, freedom is up in the air.

When police stormed Buhler’s home at suburban Miners Rest, in Ballarat, her four-year-old child ran and hid under a bed. Buhler told police she could take down the post, right there and then. The march had not taken place.

She pleaded with police to show some common sense.

“I didn’t realise I was doing anything wrong,” she said to them. “I’m happy to delete the post. This is ridiculous. My two kids are here. I have an ultrasound appointment in an hour.”

Assistant Police Commissioner Luke Cornelius reckons the officers “stuffed” the optics — but they were right to arrest and handcuff the pregnant mother. Stuff the optics, indeed.

 

THEAUSTRALIAN.COM.AU0:19

Pregnant anti-lockdown protester: ‘I was scared I was being kidnapped’ (Today)

Zoe Buhler has spoken to media about her controversial anti-lockdown protest arrest.

This is about the state of democracy in Victoria. It’s not about turning the young Ballarat woman into a martyr or a hero.

For all we know, she might have plenty of views that chafe. Maybe she’s into crystals? Maybe she’s an anti-vaxxer? But police didn’t come for Buhler because she might have views in common with rich hippies in Byron Bay.

Buhler is on bail, facing hefty fines and possible imprisonment, for posting about “Freedom Day in Ballarat” to protest against lockdown policies. Her brother set up a GoFundMe page to help his sister, only to delete it after receiving death threats.

This is Australia in 2020?

The young mum lost her job during the economic shutdown. She is worried about suicides. Many frontline medical experts are also concerned that Daniel Andrews and Victoria’s Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton are focused only on COVID-19, ignoring the devastation caused to lives by lockdown measures.

A group of thirteen senior medical specialists wrote to the Victorian Premier on Monday night. They want to do something, so they offered to meet with him.

“It is our professional opinion that the stage 4 lockdown policy has caused unprecedented negative economic and social outcomes in people,” wrote the doctors.

“In particular, it has caused or exacerbated depression, anxiety and other mental health issues, as well as contributed to domestic violence, through an extreme and unjustified disruption to family, social and work life.

“Job losses, home-schooling, the isolation of the elderly and single people, and the restriction on the number of people who may attend funerals are but a few examples of how the government’s current response is harming the health of the general population.”

Australians should be concerned that governments have turned health bureaucrats into health dictators. That’s what happens when governments choose a narrow bandwidth of advice.

The Victorian Premier is following the early lockdown model of the Morrison government, adding his own COVID-19 bells and whistles: a nightly curfew, one hour of exercise a day, no roaming beyond 5km of your home. None of this is based on science, only the advice of bureaucrats.

Australians should be troubled about early political calculations made by the Morrison government, copied by other state and territory leaders.

They reckoned that they would be held to account for every COVID-19 death but not for suicides or self-harm or depression or lives lost to cancer or another disease because treatment was cancelled, suspended or slowed down through fear of attending a hospital.

Why wouldn’t Australians be concerned that Andrews chose a softly, softly approach to Black Lives Matter protesters in the middle of a lockdown, but has emboldened police to cuff and arrest a young woman for wanting to exercise her right to protest, in a COVID-safe way, against lockdown laws that are not grounded in science?

We have that right in Australia, a right to political freedom under the Constitution. We might hear more about that from Buhler’s Melbourne lawyers, Stuart Wood QC and criminal lawyer Stephen Andrianakis, who stepped up to act for Buhler on Thursday. The high-profile and high-powered lawyers aren’t just defending one young woman; they are defending our freedoms.

Apart from the Constitution, Buhler’s lawyers might look at whether the whole damn scheme imposed by Andrews under the Public Health and Wellbeing Act is unlawful for empowering thousands of lowly bureaucrats and council workers with extreme and disproportionate powers.

A court might find that the Andrews government has applied the law unlawfully, or strike down the law for overreach.

If this was a migration matter, the Federal Court would look very dimly on a government using laws to impose tyranny by fiat.

And then there’s the Victorian Charter of Human Rights. The Andrews government will need to craft something better than “Seriously, one more comment about human rights …”.

That’s how the Premier, at a press conference in July, dissed our hard-fought freedoms.

Australians from all walks of life contact me daily, desperate to know what they can do to defend our way of life in the face of lockdown laws that are devastating their lives. For starters, watch the video of Buhler being handcuffed, the noise of her little children in the background, her pleading with police to see reason. It should send shivers down your spine.

What about the Prime Minister? What will he do? Will he talk about the importance of freedom now? Even if it doesn’t create a single new job?

That has been Scott Morrison’s excuse in the past when asked about incursions into our culture and our freedoms.

Millions of mainstream Australians will cheer a leader who understands that our way of life must be defended, that freedoms are fragile, that each generation must protect them, and hand a robust set of freedoms on to the next generation, explaining to them why they must do the same.

NSW Liberal backbencher Craig Kelly does most of the heavy lifting when it comes to defending basic freedoms for Australians — more than most Liberal MPs combined in the Morrison government. He contacted the family of the Ballarat woman, offering his support.

Does the Prime Minister want to be remembered for his managerialism, or as a national leader who fought to uphold basic freedoms?

Rather than be concerned about the protest against government policies that is scheduled for today, we should be far more troubled if all Australians simply sat in silence.

The second wave of COVID-19 was unleashed by an inept Andrews government who also withheld information from the public; heavy-handed restrictions remain “on the table” even after the current state of emergency is due to end on September 13, as Sutton said on Wednesday. And worst of all, the Premier has encouraged brute police tactics to enfeeble citizens.

Andrews has done more to incite Australians to breach public health orders than a young pregnant Ballarat woman dressed in pink flannelette pyjamas who posted on Facebook about Freedom Day in Ballarat. Her arrest is nothing short of modern fascism. It will be a healthy sign if more Australians draw a line in the sand.

JANET ALBRECHTSEN

 

COLUMNIST

Janet Albrechtsen is an opinion columnist with The Australian. She has worked as a solicitor in commercial law, and attained a Doctorate of Juridical Studies from the University of Sydney. She has written for n… Read more

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Flu Is Killing More People Than Covid19, And Has Been For Months

 

Flu Is Killing More People Than Covid19, And Has Been For Months  By Kit Knightly, HAF, 12 September 2020

A report from the UK’s Office of National Statistics (ONS) shows that since at least June 19th, more people in the UK have been dying of influenza than Covid19.

This, of course, is despite the fact that “Covid19 deaths” are incredibly vaguely defined.

Under UK law a person only has to test positive for the Sars-Cov-2 virus at any point in the 28 days prior to their death for “Covid19” to be on their death certificate, a policy which totally ignores the fact the majority of Sars-Cov-2 infections are completely symptomless (and has already resulted in huge over-counts).

Meanwhile boring old influenza is lumbered with having to actually contribute to the death before being added to the death certificate.

And nevertheless, for three straight months, the UK has recorded more flu deaths than Covid deaths.

See this graph: (Editor’s note: Download the article using link above to view this very telling graph.)

“Ah”, some of your may be saying, “this is just evidence that the lockdown, social distancing and masks have worked.”

But that is obviously not the case. Clearly, if these measures did anything to halt viral transmission, the flu deaths would have gone down as well. They have not. They are right in line with the five-year average.

Despite social distancing and wearing masks and hand sanitizer on every corner… the spread of the flu virus has not halted one bit in its usual annual progress through society.

Ergo – the “emergency measures” have little to no impact on viral transmission.

The “novel” coronavirus is still spreading all across the population and is now killing fewer people than normal flu viruses, even though it’s late summer and we’re well past the peak flu season.

Even following the state’s own coronavirus narrative – that every person who dies with the virus is a “covid death”, and that every positive test is actually a “case” and not a false positive – even then the Covid19 story is done.

The virus arrived, it hit those with weakened immune systems or who were already seriously ill, and is now moving harmlessly through the population – regardless of whatever draconian controls we put in place to (allegedly) stop it.

Just as many epidemiologists and virologists predicted it would.

Does this mean the lockdown is over? Does this mean we can dump “the new normal” and get back to the old normal, which – though I wasn’t enjoying it much at the time – I now look back on as golden age of calm and reason?

Does this mean the government are going to leave us alone?

In short, no.

Instead, the social controls are getting stricter. The UK has announced that, from Monday the 14th, no social gatherings of more than 6 people will be allowed. There’s talk of a curfew too.

Oh, and those “immunity passports”? You remember, the ones only paranoid conspiracy theorists were ever worried about.

Well, they might be bringing those in to. As a purely temporary measure you understand, so people can go to the movies again.

The numbers speak for themselves. The “danger” – such as it ever was – is over. The curve has been flattened, the hospitals protected, the hands well and truly sanitized.

And yet the lockdown is still here, and getting tighter all the time. Maybe, just maybe, it was never about the virus.

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    •  A sea of frothing, sweary, often pompous, intolerance  By Tim Black, Spiked Online, 29 August 2015

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