Happy New Year (15/1/2022)
Welcome to a brand new year. We can only hope that this year is better than the last two and that one day we can stop wearing masks everywhere, stop needing COVID testing because we have been exposed to plague carriers (I've been tested about a dozen times, all thankfully negative) and maybe even stop listening to batshit crazy people offering "cures" (in 2020 it was bleach, in 2021 it was horse dewormer paste, in 2022 the old "drink your urine" thing is already back). I'm optimistic but I've been doing this for too long to hope that sanity finally wins over idiocy in the near future.
Things will be a little random around here this year. 2021 was a bit of a disaster for my other hobby, media coverage of car rallies, because almost everything was cancelled because of floods, other weather conditions (I got snowed on in November! In Australia!) and of course COVID restrictions about travel and about people getting together. 2022 looks to be a lot busier and you can see my planned activity here. Also, I've resurrected my motorsport competitor credentials so I might be inside some of the competing cars instead of standing out in the dust, rain and wind taking photos. There are those old sayings about being as busy as a one-armed paper hanger or a one-legged arse kicker. That's me for the next twelve months.
Stolen Borrowed from somewhere. I'll acknowledge the creator* if some one tells me who it is.
(* Not that Creator. I haven't gone mad.)
Fun with old friends #1 (15/1/2022)
Marcus Blackmore, main owner of Australia's biggest purveyor of snake oil had a couple of parties over the Christmas period. Mr Blackmore denies being anti-vaccine (of course) but hasn't found the time in between counting his millions to get to a doctor and actually have the shots. As it could be expected that his social circle would include people of similar quackery sentiments (plus the usual brain-dead hangers on social butterflies who worship the rich list) the headline in the Sydney Morning Herald was sort of predictable - "Party pooper COVID ruins rich-lister fun". You can click on the image to read the complete article.
Fun with old friends #2 (15/1/2022)
It would come as no surprise to anyone familiar with this site to hear that Meryl Dorey from the Australian Vaccination-[more dead children] Network has been found to be being less than truthful. You could even say she was lying, although there is some doubt about this because there is a school of thought that says that to be a liar you have to know that what you are saying is not true. My opinion is that she not only knows that what she says is not true but she is what philosopher Gary Hardcastle called a "bullshitter" in that she doesn't care if it is true or not.
Her latest was to claim that 20% of children between 5 and 11 in one state have contemplated suicide, caused by the unnecessary disruption to family life caused by the COVID scare. She of course denies the severity (and even existence) of the disease and is totally opposed to any campaign of vaccination to defeat it.
Someone bothered to check the facts of her claim and to nobody's surprise it was found that she was citing the wrong statistics from the wrong age group. Unfortunately I can't provide a link to the article telling this story or even quote it because of this warning:
All information, text and images included on the AAP Websites is for personal use only and may not be re-written, copied, re-sold or re-distributed, framed, linked, shared onto social media or otherwise used whether for compensation of any kind or not, unless you have the prior written permission of AAP.
One could wonder why they bother writing something if they don't want anyone to read it or talk about it, but I will respect their request for invisibility and totally avoid telling you where you can go to read it.
My letterbox gets polluted (15/1/2022)
I went away for a few days over the New Year weekend and when I got home I found a turd in my letterbox. Not an actual turd, but a couple of pieces of paper doing a reasonably good impression. They came from an outfit called Reignite Democracy Australia warning about the dangers of vaccinating children. This outfit is virulently anti-vaccine and no lie is too untrue for them to use in their deranged campaign to oppose vaccinations. (The RDA web site has been closed by the hosting organisation.)
The owner of RDA is a woman named Monica Smit and she has been imprisoned for organising anti-vaccine and COVID denial demonstrations in Melbourne. Nothing coming from her or RDA can be believed. There was news over the weekend of someone who tried to burn himself to death to avoid vaccination. This was the second such attempt over just a few days and Smit had declared the first one to be a martyr acting heroically for the anti-vaccine cause and encouraged others to follow. One did.
Click on the picture to see what turned up, but wear a raincoat and put plastic sheeting down to avoid damage to your clothes and carpet from the vomiting. The good news is that both my town's Mayor and the local police are concerned about this sort of thing being circulated in the town, although I'm not sure what, if anything, they can do to stop it.
Fun with old friends #3 (15/1/2022)
With the arrival of yet another COVID strain and an outbreak of infection and hospitalisations following the ill-advised relaxing of contact and mask rules just before Christmas (when people could be expected to travel and gather in groups) new restrictions have been announced by my state government. Prominent among these new restrictions are bans on groups gathering for singing and dancing. We are all being encouraged to buy and use Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) kits. Unfortunately, RATs are almost impossible to find and the laboratories doing the more usual PCR tests have been overwhelmed. I had to have a test because the contact tracing system put me in a place where there had been a positive COVID carrier - no RAT was available and it took almost a week to get the (negative) results of a PCR test (never more than 24 hours on previous occasions), during which time I had to isolate at home.
So, ICU beds full of unvaccinated people leaving no room for people who didn't get sick by choice, no quick home tests available (or at gouge prices if any can be found), fun, games and live entertainment closed down, huge delays in getting tested (the queue for drive-through testing near my place was blocking traffic two streets away) and more delays in getting the test results out, but the big news story of the week has been a tennis player who came to Australia to compete in the Australian Open but refused to comply with the rules regarding disclosure of vaccination status.
While all this was happening, our local "church" devoted to the worship of money, Hillsong, held youth camps. At these, everyone was given two RAT kits (I'm supposed to get ten free ones because I'm a pensioner with diabetes but there are none available) and it probably won't surprise you to hear that there was much singing and dancing happening.
So, a pretend church can defy all the rules that dictate the behaviour of the rest of us, rules intended to control an epidemic and protect the health of everyone else. You might wonder how this travesty was able to go unnoticed until after it was over. I don't want to sound like a conspiracy theorist, but the Prime Minister is a great supporter of Hillsong and has waved at the crowd from their stage, and the Minister responsible for managing the tennis player situation and keeping it on the font pages of the newspapers is a regular Hillsong attendee.
And have Hillsong been fined or suffered any other penalty for blatantly defying the rules being applied to the rest of us? Don't ask silly questions, just reread the last sentence in the previous paragraph.