It is not the liberal left that is the problem. It is the far right xenophobia, coupled with neoliberalism and climate skeptism that are ruining the world as we know it.
You could not be more wrong there used to be a dichotomy between the left and the right but now the political divide is between the authoritarians and the libertarians and some of the worst authoritarians are in fact the so called progressives who have thus far dominated the social media and who have been more than ready to dogpile any one who challenges their ideas or who refuses to endorse their orthodoxies. The reason that Trump is likely to win the US election is that the very people the authoritarian progressives have tries to silence are rising up and saying that they will not be ignored any more. The mane calling and attempts to shame people by calling dissenter xenophobes bigots or racists simply no longer works as populists like Milo are leading a a new surge of political engagement by people who have previously just looked the other way.
The progressive left have been trying for a generation to undermine the notion of the nation state and in the light of many wars between nations that had a certain logic to it but the problem comes form their rather loopy idea that all nations are equal in their social virtues and that all cultures are the same with maybe only some superficial differences. The cold hard light of political reality demonstrates that this is at best naive nonsense. There is simply no equivalence between a religiously motivated repressive totalitarian state and a mature secular western democracy. To denounce anyone who points this out as a “xenophobe” as progressives so often do is the height of stupidity. It also shows how weak “progressiveness” has become.
Finally we come to the issue of “climate change” which has largely been driven by the former communists who moved into environmental causes after the collapse of communism in the eighties, to them this cause is just another vehicle through which they hope to acquire global hegemony. and its a mechanism that many now pay lip service too but few really believe. Its also a mask for the real global problem of over population. But we are on the cusp of a rather radical solution to that which I expect to be some sort of global pandemic that will devastate the their third world in particular , I use to think it would be HIV/aids but now I think that it will be something more mundane that will piggy back on the growing resistance of Bactria to antibiotics, either way expect to see Africa, south east Asia the middle east and South America severely affected much more than the first world because well ordered societies will be better able to respond to such challenges than those which are corrupt and chaotic. The black death reduced some populations by 2/3 in the middle ages but we may see an even higher death toll because any modern pandemic will spread far quicker thanks to global air travel.
Any way I digress the point is that there is value in having the discrete entity called a nation where the people have more in common that they have that is different, the progressive idea of a borderless world has been a total disaster that has seen previously stable and cohesive societies import cohorts of people who have no desire to assimilate into the indigenous culture instead they have formed ghettos that give provide the breeding ground for nihilism and hatred for the host culture. Calling that out is simply entirely valid self defense rather than “xenophobia” and we will see more of it as the “progressives” are shown more and more to be in reality “regressive” and that their ideology is profoundly illiberal as a consequence.
At last after seven years of madness the country can draw a line under the Asylum seeker disarray created by Kevin Rudd
I must say that waking up to the news that the government has finally manged to secure the passage of a bill to reintroduce TPVs has really brightened my day.
“The crossbench shouldn’t have been put in this position, but we have,” the Motoring Enthusiast party senator said.
Independent senator Nick Xenophon also wrestled with the decision, but like Muir believed the amendments would give hope to thousands of refugees stuck in detention.
In return for their support – and that of the Palmer United party – the government agreed to quickly process the claims of 30,000 asylum seekers languishing in detention centres across Australia.
PUP leader Clive Palmer said that backing the legislation meant 1,500 asylum seekers – including 468 children – would soon be leaving Christmas Island.
But Labor and the Greens accused the government of using those children as a bargaining chip, arguing that the immigration minister, Scott Morrison, could release them at any time, if he wished.
Independent senator Jacqui Lambie – who opposed the legislation – attacked the government for keeping children detained for so long.
“These kids have been sitting there for 15 months, and you want a pat on the back? You’ve got to be kidding yourselves,” she said.
Particular concerns were raised about the return of TPVs, a Howard-era policy condemned by refugee advocates and repealed by the previous Labor government.
The government also agreed to increase Australia’s humanitarian intake of refugees and to give those on bridging visas the right to work.
Now the government can virtually clear the legacy backlog of mendicants that we can thank the Labor party for creating way back at the beginning of the Rudd regime. Long time readers may remember when I correctly predicted the subsequent flood of boats Further despite voting against the bill in the Senate I very much doubt that any future Labor government will be rushing to repeal the legislation because they will not want to endure being thrashed for their stupid position of the issue for another seven years. Any one who looks back on the this part of our political history must surely recognize that the whole problem is a consequence of the Labor party making a bad call and then being political cowards unwilling to undo their mistake or even admit that it was a mistake. All because the Labor party have been trying to court the very loopy left who support the Greens position on the Asylum seeker issues. That sort of thinking from the ALP is of course rather mad because there is no way that a sensible ALP person can possibly sink deep enough into the slime of Green political idea without alienating their center.
The thing that we should always remember is that the measure of the ALP’s position on any issue where it is at odds with the current government is not the posturings of Electricity Bill Shorten and his motley crew but their answer to being asked “will you repeal it if you win office?” and my guess is that The ALP answer will almost without exception fudge it and make excuses and prevaricate because the last thing that they want to do is commit themselves to giving the public a very spiky stick to beat them with for the next seven years.
Ring around a Rosey, or a look at how the Black Death of the middle ages is reflected in the current outbreak of a Ebola
In the middle of the 14th century, however, there seemed to be no rational explanation for it. No one knew exactly how the Black Death was transmitted from one patient to another–according to one doctor, for example, “instantaneous death occurs when the aerial spirit escaping from the eyes of the sick man strikes the healthy person standing near and looking at the sick”–and no one knew how to prevent or treat it. Physicians relied on crude and unsophisticated techniques such as bloodletting and boil-lancing (practices that were dangerous as well as unsanitary) and superstitious practices such as burning aromatic herbs and bathing in rosewater or vinegar.
In many ways we can see distinct similarities between the Black Death and the current outbreak of the Ebola virus in western Africa, Like the medieval plague then there is no known cure for Ebola now and despite all of the wishful thinking, despite all of the advances in medicine in the last 600 years we are just as powerless to stem the spread of this disease. And I am sorry to be the bringer of bad news but I think that this disease is going to have a similar effect on the population of Africa as the Plague had on 14th century Europe. We can certainly expect that the death toll will soar into the millions as efforts to contain it continue to fail.
Why do I expect such a large death toll?
This is a virus that not only spread through the exchange of bodily fluids but also remains active in the items that those fluids fall upon, thus bedding and clothing that the infected have touched becomes vectors for the disease to reach new victims. Add to that cultural practices pertaining to the care of the sick that funds family looking after their own, a low level of education, the effects of other diseases poverty and crowded living conditions and it’s not had to see just how optimistic any suggestion that the disease can be contained are. Just look to the example of the response to one man with the disease who is now gravely ill in the United States to get some idea of just how much effort is needed if you are too truly contain the infection: This level of response is just not possible in third world west Africa and so it seems inevitable to me that the infection is going to spread exponentially just as the black death spread exponentially in 14th century Europe.
So what can the modern west do to help stem the spread of the disease in Africa?
Well not much at all really, we risk losing a large number of our very skilled people if we send them into the disease hot spots firstly because the treatment that is available essentially boils down to trying to keep patients hydrated and waiting to see who has the natural ability to fight the infection. Those brave souls who are trying to treat the currently infected are trying to do so while wearing Hazmat suits that are essentially a fancy yellow plastic bag which I’m sure you will realize is nothing short of tortuous in the tropical climate of the region. So not only do the health workers run the very real risk of contracting the infection but also they risk dying from heatstroke in the suits they try to prevent infection with. Several health workers who have caught the Ebola virus have been evacuated so that they can be treated in Western hospitals but if the numbers of infected western heath workers were to increase I can foresee the practice of repatriating them being wound back or even abandoned in the effort to contain the disease. Aid in the form of medical supplies, certainly can and should be provided but the major imperative now has to be containment, and quarantine of all parts of Africa where the disease has been found.
The Environmental bigger picture, or accepting the will of Gaia
In the natural world there are clear limits to the population of any species. Be it the amount of substance that a particular species can find or something in the environment that find them tasty and therefore limits their numbers through predation. Human beings are very clever in their ability to eat almost anything that is nourishing and in many ways we have become the apex predator in every part of the eco-system. That in conjunction with our ability to mitigate that other limit to population, disease. Has seen our numbers soar beyond 7billion souls on this small planet. I would seem to me that pandemics are one of the ways that Gaia addresses the problem of too many people on the surface of the planet. Oh humanity certainly has dodged a bullet from pandemics in the recent past. But this disease is not going to be so easily dodged. I think that it has already reached a critical mass that makes it virtually unstoppable. Heck thanks to modern air travel I will be very surprised if is even just contained on the African continent.
Things are going to get a great deal worse before they get better
During the Black Death whole towns succumbed to the disease they were left with only the dead in residence sometimes the dead were not even buried and it’s not hard to imagine that happening again in Western Africa if Ebola really starts to take off as I am expecting it to do.
What we need to realize is that modern medicine is good, its clever and its largely been the bringer of better lives for all of those it has touched, from the poor children spared the mortal diseases of childhood that used to take so many children well before they reached maturity to the wonders of surgery that can see the imperfections and damages to our bodies repaired and replaced in a way that would seem magical to a medieval man contemplating the plague yet here we stand in the same place as that medieval man facing a disease pandemic that we cannot stop and a death toll that we dread will be larger than anything humanity has not seen in the last six centuries.
If this danse macabre does play up a storm it will change every aspect of global human society we could well go from a place where the people desperately compete for places in the economy to one where skilled workers will be in very short supply in many parts of the planet. The mechanized west where we already have machines that enable a very small number of people to grow the crops to feed the many or to operate the machines will probably get through this upcoming disaster well enough but any society still that practices subsistence agriculture can expect the same hard times that befell Europe after the plague because there was simply not enough people to plant and harvest the crops. Those who have been worried about climate change May well find all of their concerns are moot because a world with less people on it will not be producing anywhere near the emissions growth they are so certain is the problem. On the other hand the worlds mercantile economy is likely to be severely affected by both the loss of potential customers and the cost of trying to address the disease.
One other thing that we should recognize is that many people see the world through the lens of their religion and those religions that have a millenarian tendency may well see Ebola as some sort of divine retribution for our “sins”. A faith like Islam on the other hand which places such value in the observance of a mass gathering like their Haj could well be both a vector for the spread of the disease and suffer a huge number of casualties among its faithful.
The thing is that as there are now many thousands of people who have studied science enough to have “qualifications” it has become a very “broad church” that has elements that can support and endorse almost any proposition. Add to that the fact that there are many millions of people who are reasonably scientifically literate and an Internet to allow anyone to engage in the previously closed shop and you have the foundations for science becoming the new secular religion of the modern world.
No more perfect example of the making science a religion exists than the branch of science that deals with our climate and trying to predict the way that it may change into the future. Because “climate science” is utterly immune to any testing by the foundational tenet of science, the scientific method, So instead of being able to test the theory of AGW (which we can’t do because we don’t have a spare planet earth to experiment on) we the public are fed a constant stream of faith statements and dire predictions all of which are based upon some rather convoluted reasoning built upon a great deal of assumption, a little bit of (incomplete) data and huge amounts of confirmation bias, The proponents of this theory have take on a priest like role and many of their congregation argue about what they imagine will happen with the certainty of the religious zealot.
the simple truth is always going to be that we won’t know what the future of the climate will be until it actually happens and we are going to have to adapt to any changes if and when they come. We can try to anticipate change and spend a great deal of effort and treasure in the process but what if those anticipations are based on a wrong call? That was the underlying point of Newman’s piece in the Australian. As a “clever country” we have to be able to jump which ever way we have to to survive and prosper into the future. The planet is littered with edifices to failed millenarian thinking, the temples and monuments meant to placate the gods that did not avert the expected end of humanity lets not fall into the same trap of wasted effort just because the priests of the new warming religion wear white coats and use computers instead of tearing the beating hearts out the chests of human sacrifices on the altars of their faith.
Am I the only one who sees this event here as the beginning of a very nasty carnival of death for west Africa? Because I just can’t shake the conviction that we are going to see a tide of death flowing out of that part of the continent that will make the bubonic plague look like a mild case of the sniffles. It already seems that the official death-toll may well be underestimated and as there is no cure or even an effective treatment beyond hydration and a plaintive plea to what ever deity one holds dear.
You see disease epidemics like this one are virtually unstoppable once they get rolling and this outbreak of Ebola is certainly rolling now.
Frankly if the disease can be contained within the African continent the world will be doing very well but even on that score I have my doubts because we live in the age where anyone can be traveling the world by the perfect disease incubators/infection pods in the shape Jet airliners
Trying hard not to abandon hope here but frankly all I can foresee is a carnival of death that may soon get to the point where there are not enough of the living to inter the dead. I really hope that I am wrong in my dark expectations but I see nothing to convince me otherwise.
Pessimistic mood on this one Comrades
If there is any disease that strikes terror into anyone’s hearts it should be Ebola if you have just come back form the Link I posted I have no doubt that you will have experienced that shiver down your spine of REAL terror. Sadly I think that we are witnessing the African pandemic that I have been expecting for a very long time. You see I don’t think that this outbreak will be contained and that the current death toll is going to become exponentially worse in a very short time frame Frankly all it will take is one international traveler to contract the disease and this could have global consequences.
I hope my dark prediction is wrong Comrades but I see no reason that it should be, its already getting past current attempts to contain it and I’m also sure that among all of the hand wringing, the sackcloth and ashes from the “compassionate Green left” there will also be more than a few devotees of Gaia who are going to see this as the will of the goddess. And maybe there is more than a seed of truth to the nation that disease and pandemics are the way that balance is restored when a species begins to reach the limits of its ecosystem to sustain it. After all humanity messed with all of the other checks and balances on our numbers globally with our vaccines and disease prevention programs we have made possible the global population boom in the last couple of centuries. Sadly try as we might modern technological society has not been able to make the idea of restraining fecundity popular in the over crowded third world the same way that it has become the norm in the first world. Its obvious to me the “refugee” crisis that the planet faces is also an artifact of the same rubric. Well if things go the way that I am imagining then much of that impetus to move into the first world may be hugely diminished. Simply put empty countries will not provide the same incentive to emigrate.
For the duration of an active pandemic may well provide the understandable urge to flee but the need for disease containment and quarantine will constrain people movement and after up to 90% mortality every able body will be needed to rebuild viable societies competitive pressures will be for all intents and purposes be gone and healthy citizens will be at a premium in all of the countries where life is now so cheap that snuffing them out means nothing. If we need to look for historical precedents the effects of the bubonic plague in Europe gives us some idea of what we can expect. Whole cities essentially emptied of their people, the dead lest unburied, houses and farms abandoned and left to decay.
As both an Island and a first world nation Australia is well placed to weather this coming storm we can quarantine ourselves against the ingress of the pandemic in a way that others won’t be able to do. The global politics of this will not be at all pretty but I suspect that it will prove one thing and it is this. “Climate change*” just won’t matter because a world with substantially fewer people on it is going to have substantially lower emissions of CO2 and that is the salvation the Profits of the faith say we need…
Tin foil hat time:
Maybe the Ebola outbreak has been engineered by “Deep Green” activists to “save” the planet… Would they really do it? I would hope not but you just never know when it comes to those who are driven by a mad ideology
No Cheers on this one Comrades
*assuming that the Profits of the Green religion are right which is a big ask
Dead, deceased, it is no more, it has shuffled off its mortal coil, the Carbon tax has fucking snuffed it, or death of a vile impost on our lives.
The tragedy of the Carbon tax/ETS is not in its passing but that it ever existed in the first place because it was always based on a false premise, namely that it was ever going to make the slightest bit of difference to the global climate and so many leaders, on both sides of politics have been destroyed by it. It took out Rudd, Turnbull and Gillard in turn and it also played its part in taking out the resurrected Rudd as well. There has been more bullshit produced to promote the various incarnations of this toxic scheme than our national herd. And for what? All that it ever gave us was a wildly expensive token gesture and a rather nasty piece of socialist wealth redistribution which in layman’s language means it was a totally useless money churn.
Even if you believe the AGW proposition there is no reason to believe in the often chanted mantra that the best way to address it is through a “market mechanism” because there is absolutely no reason to believe that such a mechanism can ever produce the desired outcome without some nasty unforeseen consequences, of which the massive spike in energy costs is a rather good example, and before anyone says “its the gold plating of the poles and wires” that caused the majority of those price rises I’m going to say that the “gold plating” is just another example of the same thinking that the poor long suffering consumers are an eternal milch cow that can be taken for granted by planers and ideologues just as they take for granted the idea that costs for essential commodities can rise endlessly and no one will suffer or object.
Suffer and object we have and now the vile impost on every aspect of our lives has be dispatched to the dustbin of history and any claims that it will bring down Abbott in its passing are utterly ridiculous. The trend in technology now is very much focused on energy being used as efficiently as possible and for that I do think that, to some extent, we can thank the panic merchants of the Green Religion but just as we can take from the Christian religion useful notions of community and what makes a good society without taking on the supernatural Mumbo Jumbo of that faith. So to we can take the good things that have come from the Green religion, like seeing our planet and its biosphere as a whole and complexly interconnected entity of which we are just a small part, but we can let go of its millenarian prognostications and dire predictions of doom because no matter what life and the earth itself is far more resilient and adaptive than the doom merchants of the Green religion are willing to admit