Sanjeev Sabhlok's blog

Thoughts on economics and liberty

Gigi Foster’s Voices against lockdowns – (14) 21 May 2022

A 14th report from Gigi. (See the 13th).

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Dear all,

Today’s Australian Federal Election is an opportunity to voice your opinion of the politicians who have been in power during the covid era and have used that power to betray the Australian people.  If you’ve not yet cast your vote, you may find the following resources useful:

https://www.tpaust.com.au/vote/

https://majorslast.com

https://www.ourdemocracy.com.au/policy-forum/

On this past Thursday’s ABC Q&A Pre-Election Special, I spoke about the cost-benefit analysis of Australia’s covid lockdowns that I have produced with the great help of ex-Victorian Treasury economist Sanjeev Sabhlok, and just released last week.  The Executive Summary is enough for most readers, but if you have an appetite for the whole 145-page draft – which we are now preparing to submit to a publisher – let me know. Sanjeev has written about the CBA in The Spectator (also viewable here), spoken about it on TNT radio, and has also kindly produced the following excerpts of the recent ABC Q&A program:

– full comments at  https://youtu.be/RDkhp1qKgRo

– covid-related comments at:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XgquaL2Dy38

– summary of Gigi’s views:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XgquaL2Dy38

– showing that Morrison’s figures of 40k are untrustworthy:   https://youtu.be/-hIj-swk6ko

[Sanjeev: Gigi also spoke to Andrew Bolt on Sky News]

With Paul Frijters I have also released this paper [Sanjeev: faster copy on my server] describing the costs of the covid policy tragedy and calling out those in the Australian economics profession whose behaviour added to the damage.  I wrote this piece for Brownstone earlier this week about Australia’s covid response, and have also recently appeared on Matt Wong’s Discernable podcast and TNT Radio.  These and other alternative media outlets (e.g., https://zeeemedia.com/ run by Maria Zeee, whose most recent video features the voices of resistance doctors) continue to grow.

Common sense is increasingly on the offensive. Every day, resistance thinkers are offering up more incisive, engaging contributions explaining the underpinnings of the continuing mismanagement of covid, from why the medical profession has become so captured (also see here and here), to how and why bullying works, to how control has been employed in countries around the world, to how people were led to dehumanising others based on their medical choices, to how tactics of distraction and misinformation by the media have led people away from truth and common sense.  The truth-speaking offered by Peter McCollough’s new book, this excellent article by Russell Blaylock that calls the spades of this period what they are, this take-down (and this one) of a recent CMAJ article claiming that the unvaccinated are dangerous to be around, this piece going on the front foot about masking harms, this ex-post self-check by Ivor Cummins, this open letter calling out captured institutions by Steve Kirsch, this broad-ranging discussion with two leading thinkers, Adam Creighton’s incisive review of Australia’s covid policy blunders, the attached “autopsy of the American left”, the attached discussion of social media censorship, and many such contributions (even this cool analysis from the National Bureau of Economic Research) is cathartic and inspirational. Uncaptured evaluations of the covid jabs continue to be aired (see hereherehereherehereherehereherehereherehereherehereherehereherehere and here). As someone who has recommended (to seeming good effect) regular warm saltwater gargles to members of my circles who have tested positive to covid, I was heartened to see Peter McCollough recommending a nasal rinse. Kill it where it lives, you might say.

The resistance also continues to meet and build its strength by working together, including via in-person conference like this one and this one.  Our local group met again in Mosman last Friday for a lovely evening together; if you would like to join our next meeting, let me know.  If you live in the Melbourne area and would like to start up an in-person meeting group there, please contact Shalika on ranaweera.psychology@gmail.com.

More resources built by the resistance:

https://www.voiceforscienceandsolidarity.org/ (featuring Geert Vanden Bossche)

http://www.covidstoriesarchive.org/ (collecting the stories of those harmed by covid policy decisions; another similar effort is here)

https://artistasfamily.is/videos/ (more stories, in video form)

https://www.vaxcontrolgroup.com (recruitment of the still vaccine-free, for the purpose of future monitoring)

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1SUmG_cLMZG-PDbez90Yw1BCQmP0YmTOisaJ2bioONmQ/viewform?edit_requested=true (collecting grassroots reports of covid vaccine side effects)

Activist groups and alternative media outlets daring to challenge the continuing covid madness in countries overseas:

https://www.freetofly.ca/

https://thelightpaper.co.uk/

https://formerfedsgroup.org/legal/cms-form/

https://smilefree.org/nhs/

https://www.pandata.org/accountability-for-failed-covid-policy-measures-and-mandates/

See here and here for recent legal wins overseas, and here for a nascent attempt to re-invigorate education in the “developed” world with the values of the enlightenment.

Australian governments themselves (and even some authors in significantly tainted scientific outlets) are increasingly recognising the costs of our response, while many restrictions remain in place within and at Australia’s borders and a full reckoning is still years away at best.  In the UK an “inquiry” has been set up about the country’s covid response and some influential lockdown advocates have started to repent publicly, Denmark has stopped its covid vaccine program, and some US lawmakers are starting to call for government apologies, while Macron recently sailed to re-election in France despite his covid policy mismanagement and China’s leadership has revealed its cards by imposing strict wholesale lockdowns upon the residents of its largest cities, causing human carnage and ripple effects across the world.  The downstream effects of the world’s covid policy blunders are now being felt, even in developed countries, in the heartbreaking form of hungry babies.

Concern has emerged in the worldwide resistance about the WHO Pandemic Treaty. While signing this treaty may not be the death knell (also see here) for national sovereignty that some have claimed, petitions and pleas have been organised against it and the Covid Medical Network has prepared a response.

Finally, as usual, something to lift your spirit: the humour offered at the most recent White House Correspondents’ Dinner by comedian Trevor Noah: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_fpxCuorKjA

 

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My response to RUANELA Menzies regarding the North East Link Program

Have received this document from Residents United Against North East Link option A.

My response

Thanks, Ben

I’ve reviewed the document you’ve provided. Given the relatively uncontrolled migration into Australia by the federal government, without any regard to infrastructure levels in the States, and without getting the States to reform their planning policy which often restricts people from living closer to their place of work, the use of the car has skyrocketed. Congestion has become chronic. For someone who’s lived in Bulleen for over 20 years, the change has not been very welcome.

Now the residents of Bulleen and nearby areas are being asked to pay the price for decades of government mismanagement. I agree in principle with most of your suggestions about improving the NELP and if elected would ask the federal government to examine ways to support these concepts, so that the harms to residents of Bulleen can be minimised. I’m not sure about leaving a rail easement unused. Land is at great premium. Not using it for NELP could force a greater expansion of the outer borders of the project. Should circumstances change in the future, land can be recouped for rail (which I suspect is not going to happen for the foreseeable future).

Trust this is what you were looking for.

Regards
Sanjeev Sabhlok
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My views on Aleph Melbourne’s questionnaire re: the LGBTIQ+ communities

I missed filling out the questionnaire I had been sent, so I’m putting out my views here:

Let me preface what I say with my general view that every individual must be equally valued and must remain equal under the law. I am aware of the horrible situation of some members of the LGBTIQ+ communities in a country like India. In India, many transgender persons, in particular, are forced into a life of perpetual poverty due to the huge social discrimination they experience. Australia has moved far away from such treatment, a far more civilised place now, I consider.

I strongly condemn any form of social discrimination which values someone on their birth or other external characteristics (e.g. so-called caste) but I am also aware that any such reform must come mainly from social reformers, with the government setting up a level playing field and broad-based protections that are also consistent with other freedoms.

I also believe that the free market tends to incrementally shift the boundary since it tends to value people on their innate talents, not other characteristics. (That doesn’t mean there is no racism in Australia: I have experienced it and know many who have: but the situation is improving every year). The current debates about transgender persons must be used to get the society to understand how badly some of them have been treated in the past. But not just the LGBTIQ+ community: all other discriminated groups. I do not agree with such social biases but realise that humans will take time to outgrow them.

Issue 1: Do you support preventing all discrimination against LGBTIQ+ people (including school settings, sports settings and religious settings)?

Yes and no. There should be absolutely no discrimination in public (government) or other employment settings which are secular, i.e. not religious. But the primacy of religious freedom means that religious institutions must have the right to discriminate in accordance with their belief. Religious freedom does not give anyone a right to assault anyone else, but discrimination in employment, for instance, in a Church setting, is consistent with the broader principles of Western civilisation. I have no religion (I’m not an atheist, though) and would personally NEVER discriminate against anyone. That doesn’t mean I would force religious people to change their beliefs through the use of the police power of the state: that would be equivalent to the state acting violently against people who are not physically assaulting anyone.

There are some settings which I’m concerned about: sports and shared toilets. While there can be a number of sports in which everyone can compete equally (e.g. shooting), in some sports the difference in physical structure (e.g. muscular/ bones) means that separation is needed. I do not agree with the situation that’s happened recently with Lia Thomas competing as a woman. It is not discrimination to expect sporting bodies to have a separate category for transgender persons or for gyms to have separate locker rooms for men and women – and one for others. Disabled toilets already exist in most facilities, they could be renamed as “Toilets for Others”, or some such thing. We need to balance out competing concepts here and arrive at a sensible policy.

Issue 2: Do you support preventing coercive surgeries and other non-consensual medical interventions for children born with variations in sex characteristics?

Obviously any coercion would not be acceptable and use of force against a child could amount to an assault under criminal law by any medical practitioner involved. I would like to study this further with illustrations to understand what exactly is being implied in this question. My general view would be that as a child grows older, his/her co-consent could be required – not sure what the situation is at the moment.

UPDATE: I’ve been sent the following by ALEPH:  https://ihra.org.au/bodily-integrity

“Intersex people are born with physical sex characteristics that do not neatly fit medical norms for female or male bodies”. I fully empathise with the mental agony of parents and children in this situation and would require the state to ensure that there is an “independent, effective human rights-based oversight mechanism” to ensure the mental health of both parents and children. Any such costs would be legitimately incurred by the taxpayer since this situation is not of the making of the individual concerned.

I’d also be comfortable in supporting the criminalisation of surgery that is unnecessary or deferrable. For any surgery to be undertaken on health grounds during an intersex person’s childhood, I’d suggest two independent doctors would need to certify it. Any such costs would be borne by the taxpayer. The society needs to step in to reduce any avoidable hurdle in the mental and physical wellbeing of transgender persons.

Issue 3: Do you support ensuring access to gender affirmation treatment for trans and gender diverse people through Medicare?

There needs to be a difference between emergency treatment (yes) and elective treatment (under certain circumstances). I’m not quite sure where Medicare reimbursement stands for such treatments, but I’d be reluctant to include treatments under a Medicare umbrella for ailments that are not potentially life-threatening or that do cause physical pain. There is only so much that the taxpayer can afford. Once again, I would like to understand this issue better regarding the current regulatory environment and what exactly is sought.

UPDATE: I’ve been sent the following by ALEPH: https://alastairlawrie.net/2019/04/28/trans-out-of-pocket-medical-costs/

I’ve now come to the view that not all transgender medical treatment is cosmetic. Yes, some people need to remove hair from their face, and that might seem cosmetic – but this hair removal is radically different from someone who just wants to beautify themselves. And many other types of surgeries for such persons too would often enter the category of essential surgery (maybe not all types – that’s a matter of detail for the experts) – to ensure a level playing field for that person, where the person is not under pressure from society about who they are or how they look but is, instead, able to focus their mind on their contributions to society like anyone else.

To the extent possible a compassionate state has a responsibility to ensure equality of opportunity for all citizens. Someone with physical disability is supported by the state. So also some citizens born with an obvious physical gender disability (leading to a lifetime of mental stress) needs to be supported under the Medicare system like any other essential (not emergency) service. I would think that such an approach might leave out some persons, but it is a matter of drawing the line in such a way that equality of opportunity is ensured even as discretionary “additionalities” are not demanded from the taxpayer.

UPDATE: I’ve been sent this link re: Issue 1. Unfortunately, no time at present to go through. I agree it is my responsibility to understand as many aspects of the issue as possible.

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