Ukraine

The Russian invasion of Ukraine remains an act of barbarism. It’s a disaster for many, if not most, of the Ukrainians. It’s also a disaster for the Russian people.

A swift capitulation may have been what Putin expected. It didn’t happen. Putin’s reasons for the invasion have been well telegraphed for at least 20 years and so it’s not really a surprise. The surprise is all on the upside if you are in favour of western civilisation, the nation state and energy independence.

There is a struggle underway for global hegemony. Klaus Schwab, Jinping and Putin wanted to be in charge. Unfortunately for that trio, Putin will fall first, Jinping will retreat to ponder and Schwab will die soon enough unfulfilled. He won’t be missed in this quarter.

Putin has shown: the nation state matters. It is still a thing. Culture and history matters. He has also shown that energy matters. Hence the scramble in Europe to fire up coal fired generators that they previously shut down.

Putin has also shown how hard it is to invade. Jinping won’t have missed the lesson.

Putin is almost out of gas. Ukraine will be supported by the West in rebuilding. Russia will be a Chinese vassal. The fourth turning looks likely to turn out well for everyone outside Ukraine, Russia and China.

The latest COVID strain

It’s the Omicron strain. Or as I prefer, the OMG strain. Viruses mutate, particularly so in response to mass vaccination. No surprises in this quarter. This strain is likely to consider both the vaxxed and the unvaxxed as fair game.

Update: increased government restrictions as a result of this strain apply to all people regardless of vaccination status. The UK has gone even further: to remain classed as vaccinated, booster jabs are now to required once every three months. (Cognitive dissonance alert for those readers who prefer government actions to be coherent.)

Australians should be grateful to the US founders

The Australian constitutional convention to establish the Federation in 1901 closely followed the US model that had been established in 1776. We should be grateful for the wisdom and foresight of both. A Federation of States has the advantage of internal constrained competition.

In both the US and Australia, interstate migration is increasing. Victoria is well on the way to self destruction due to decades of Labor government. Whether it’s deliberate or accidental can be discussed. Both are plausible. The end result is the same. Migration out of states like Victoria in Australia and California in the US after leftist government naivety, wilful stupidity or deliberate destruction is on the rise. That couldn’t happen in a one jurisdictional state, such as Austria, for example. The Austrian Government is trying to impose a lockdown on the unvaccinated citizens. Memories appear to be short in Austria. Not even long enough to remember what happened in 1939.

While certain Australian States are doomed, the country is not necessarily so. NSW looks to be a beacon.

About that modelling….

Readers may recall that I said the Burnet Institute’s COVID modelling from September 2021 should be revisited in late October to check the actual outcomes against the modelling predictions. It is now late October. The following actual data is sourced from covidlive.com.au

Predicted deaths: 964

Actual deaths: 280

Predicted hospitalisations: 1,666

Actual: 738

Predicted intensive care cases: 360

Actual: 130

What does this comparison of actual against expected prove? The modelling was wrong, of course. It was wrong by a factor of around 3 in these measures. Modelling is just a guess based on certain assumptions. Burnet’s modelling was clearly poor quality, but many modellers around the world have been proven to be just as bad or worse. The real lesson is that modelling is not gospel truth and should not be held up as justification for a government coercion on the populace. Nor should the modelling be used to prove how effective those coercive measures were: ‘See how much worse it would have been had we not imposed the lockdown?’ Modelling may have some uses, but should only ever be one input among many. Modellers that have a track record of dud predictions should be treated with scepticism or, preferably, ignored.

The dangers of cycling near the unvaccinated

I received an email today from Audax Australia with some details about rides being opened up again in Victoria. The pith of the missive is shown below.

To the eagle-eyed reader, the exclusion of the unvaccinated from certain rides will be noted. Plus, such exclusion has been made for two reasons: increasing participation rates and safety.

I may be able to clarify the rationale if I get a response from Audax to my two questions: on what basis did the Committee determine that banning the unvaccinated will increase participation and on what basis will it increase the safety of riders and families?

I’m expecting a response soon. It should be a hoot.

I received a response: because “The Science.”