Coronavirus and the Country’s Future (4)

And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; until we all come to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ. As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming (Eph.4:11-14).

From a Christian perspective, leadership is merely a form of servanthood. It should never be an opportunity or reason to put burdens on people, and this ideal can never be restricted to narrow aspects of secularity, but is to be across the board in every area of life.

Jesus was extraordinarily confronting with Israel’s religious leaders. In a chapter that is one of the severest condemnations of any group of people in history, he said of the scribes and Pharisees that

They tie up heavy burdens and lay them on men’s shoulders, but they themselves are unwilling to move them with so much as a finger (Mat.23:4).

When Solomon died, he was succeeded by Rehoboam. Solomon had been wise, but his latter years were his worst, and taxation had increased in Israel, so there was some ill-feeling in Israel, and pressure for taxation reduction. Consequently,

…Jeroboam and all the assembly of Israel came and spoke to Rehoboam, saying, “Your father made our yoke hard; now therefore lighten the hard service of your father and his heavy yoke which he put upon us, and we will serve you (I Kings 12:4).

This led to a debate among those who advised Rehoboam. The older men counseled him to reduce the burden of taxation, saying that

If you will be a servant to this people today, and will serve them and grant them their petition, and speak good words to them, then they will be your servants forever (I Kings 12:7).

But the younger men who “…grew up with him…” (I Kings 12:10), and may have had a conflict of interest in the outcome, advised him to say to the people,

“…My little finger is thicker than my father’s loins!…I will add to your yoke…” I Kings 12:10-11).

In an illustration of the power of peer pressure, Rehoboam went with his peers. The Bible says,

The king answered the people harshly, for he forsook the advice of the elders which they had given him, and he spoke to them according to the advice of the young men…so the king did not listen to the people; for it was a turn of events from the Lord… (I Kings 12:13-15).

Consequently, Rehoboam lost most of his kingdom. Is this relevant to Australia in 2020?

The Prime Minister Scott Morisson, along with the six State Premiers and territory Chief Ministers were advised by the nation’s medical bureaucrats to deal with the coronavirus “pandemic” using partial lockdowns. The PM knew there would be a cost to the nation for this, which could be $150 billion or more, and this would be borne by the taxpayer.

Now, this “pandemic” has thankfully proven to be a fizzer, at least in Australia. The pandemic worldwide has had great variations in impact, and this has been influenced by latitude, temperature, demographics, populations density, the health of individuals, and the capacity of health systems to cope with the virus.

In my opinion, every day that has passed since we heard of it, seems to have made our national response to the “pandemic” look ridiculous, heavy-handed, ill-chosen and frightfully expensive. It has also been accompanied by a huge impact on civil liberties, especially people’s employment. Churches have been required to close their doors, along with many hundreds of businesses serving the public.

Not only that, but the government has had a one-eyed viewpoint, failing to understand that the theoretical modelling provided to them by bureaucrats for the virus was significantly inaccurate in the Australian context, where we’ve had a very low fatality rate. At one point it was 4 Australians in 1,000 who were infected who had died, which is astonishingly similar to the rate for influenza, anyway.

The economist Jorg Guido Hulsmann has recently written,

it is fundamentally wrong to put the entire economy at the service of a single goal and to commit to a single solution. Human action always involves weighing up different goals and different means. Of course, maintaining health can be of paramount importance in the short run. But even then, it is never the sole goal and there are always different means. Free competition is essential, particularly when it comes to the efficient selection of ways and means. I therefore believe that the countries that respond best are those which give citizens and families the greatest possible freedom and responsibility, and which also do not centralise political responsibility.[1]

And there has been more. A focus on vaccinations as the best response to the virus has overlooked some readily available and cheap means of preventative care, which have nothing to do with “social distancing.” Overseas patients have been treated with great success with Vitamin A and C (if necessary, intravenously) and D, along with Zinc supplements, all of which have made a huge difference for many, making big inroads into coronavirus fatality rates.

In fact, a significant proportion of the population seems to be deficient in these vitamins, which pre-disposes them to many illnesses, anyway. And all of this information is readily available on the net to anyone, for free.

So, what are the medical bureaucrats up to? Have they bothered to notice that the difference between Sweden and Finland’s fatality rates from the virus have been slight, while Sweden had no enforced lockdown? If they haven’t noticed, why not?

What bureaucrats have done, has been to come up with novel ways to aggravate the community, and succeeding brilliantly. One refused to agree to four bi-planes flying over Brisbane one weekend, because she didn’t want rules of social distancing to be compromised by crowds potentially gathering to watch them. A terrible thought, indeed.

Politicians want to direct teachers when schools must be opened again, or cannot be, if they can play golf, or not, or even go shopping, “but only for clothes or shoes.” But this sounds like Prohibition Politics, of people with power relishing the opportunity to control people, and feeling so important in the process. But it’s merely the relishing of power over people, and it will be short-lived.

And the actual welfare of the community? Well, that went out the back-door months ago, because we’re up to 10% unemployment, and the cost could be $150 billion, and all for what? A variant of influenza.

If that’s the case, it will make our earlier Labor Prime Ministers Kevin Rudd, Julia Gillard, with their Treasurer Wayne Swan, all look like Ebenezer Scrooge.

Conclusion:

Jesus promised us that “…My yoke is easy and My burden is light” (Mat.11:30), and wise leaders in every context would do well to learn from His example, in their dealings with people.

The Bible repeatedly makes it clear that leadership is an opportunity for service, but never for egotism. Nor should it ever be a means of laying unnecessary burdens on people, especially when these burdens are based on unproven theoretical models, dropped on an unsuspecting electorate.

Those who think they can deal in a heavy-handed way with those they lead, do so at their peril. In a free country, the electorate can reward them as they wish.

And wouldn’t that be a good thing?

 

 

[1] Jorg Guido Hulsmann, in Gary North (www.garynorth.com), “What About Europe’s Economy?” 1/5/2020.

Coronavirus and the Country’s Future (3)

The economic collapse has not been caused by the coronavirus. It has been caused by [US] governors across the nation and legislators around the world who have shut down their economies. It is big government that has done this, not the coronavirus.[1]  

 I’ve never felt this kind of astonishment before. Perhaps you’re like me. We seem to be witnessing political leaders worldwide, going from one level of craziness to another, over the last two months. They do this, because in my opinion, they don’t have a proper grasp of what is really happening with the coronavirus, and consequently, are easily panicked into making rash decisions of the worst possible kind.

National leadership is an important responsibility for anyone; that much is obvious. And what is just as obvious is getting the proper information to deal wisely with a problem. And this is where life gets very challenging, particularly when it’s an entirely new challenge to face, for an individual, or a community.

The Christian person should always turn to God and His Word for advice on all matters, and there is Biblical advice available on issues such as contagious diseases. We find this in the 116 verses of Leviticus 13 and 14. The person who, having been examined by a priest has leprosy,

…shall remain unclean all the days during which he has the infection; he is unclean. He shall live alone; his dwelling shall be outside the camp (Lev.13:46).

These verses give us the origins of the notion of quarantine, 1,500 BC. The infected person was isolated from the community, until they recovered. Furthermore, no obligations or restraints were placed on healthy community members. Paul explained to us that concerning Israel’s history,

…these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come (I Cor.10:11).

Few people are taking much notice of Leviticus, when it comes to the coronavirus today. But it explains clearly, what needs to be done with a contagious disease. And because of the very low fatality rates we’ve witnessed in Australia, should a “pandemic” have even been declared, anyway? 75 deaths (as of 24/4/2020) from coronavirus in Australia is not many at all for influenza, which can take thousands of elderly people in this country, annually.

Consequently, we have these astonishing displays of “Lockdown,” in many parts of the world, including Britain, most of the US and Europe, and to a lesser degree, Australia. “Lockdown” has been embraced at the advice of medical bureaucrats, but the social and economic implications of lockdowns are shocking, and extraordinarily destructive in any community.

Politicians should never have accepted them, but how many political leaders read and believe the scriptures? Jesus gave us a commentary on such people. He said (concerning the Sadducees),

…You are mistaken, not understanding the Scriptures nor the power of God (Mat.22:29).

The lesson is: Ignore the Bible-make bad and costly mistakes.

But there’s more to this ignominious political saga. Would you believe corruption, and public figures with a conflict of interest? Consider this:

In 2009 the world went crazy after the WHO [World Health Organisation] declared the H1N1 influenza pandemic. This resulted in billions being spent on very expensive H1N1 vaccines and antiviral treatments although it turned out the pandemic was indistinguishable from seasonal flu.

The only people who benefited from pointless vaccines and unnecessary medication were the manufacturers GlaxoSmithKline, Roche and Novartis. Each of these pharmaceutical corporations were among the largest voluntary contributors to the WHO in 2008/2009 financial year.

With an $84 million investment, the Swiss pharmaceutical giant Roche were the largest single contributor into the WHO’s coffers that year. Luckily, as it turned out, they could afford it because sales of their unnecessary Tamiflu H1N1 medication rocketed to more than £3 billion following the WHO’s declared H1N1 pandemic. Which was just a coincidence.

The whole debacle resulted in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) launching an investigation into the WHO to look into the issue of ‘falsified pandemic.’ [2]

Conclusion:

I’ve never liked the idea of top-down solutions to people’s problems. The key for individuals is to find the solutions to their problems, then make their own decisions, for everyone is different. But “solution by imposition” is to me, always a suspicious bag of tricks, because it reeks of control and devious agendas being used to manipulate a population.

That’s why I oppose the whole notion of the “lockdown,” from a religious, ideological, political and economic perspective. It’s consequences have been disastrous everywhere it’s been embraced, and we’ll be paying for it for decades.

Now its time to tell the community.

 

 

[1] Gary North (www.garynorth.com), “Earthday Celebrates 50 years in Lockdown,” 21/4/2020.

[2] Iain Davis, “Coronavirus and what You are not Being Told,” Part 2, 20th April, 2020.

Coronavirus and the Country’s Future (2)

Modern man seeks to create a humanistic justice by means of his social planning, laws and education, to enable himself to establish a just order apart from God. History gives us the continuing shipwrecks of all such efforts. For all such men, their laws are attempts to force their particular doctrines of justice and order on men and nations.

In so doing, they affirm the claims of the tempter in Genesis 3:5, that man as his own god and law, can determine good and evil, establish the true paradise on earth, and declare God to be irrelevant and wrong.[1]

The Australian Prime Minister, the Treasurer, the State Premiers and the territory Chief Ministers, a “Gang of Ten,” have arrogated to themselves a level of authority and power never seen before in this democracy, under the cloak of protecting the country from the Coronavirus pandemic.

They have sealed State and Federal borders, so that people trapped interstate or overseas cannot return to their own home. The visit and travel restrictions have cut multitudes of people off from friends and family, and meant churches were compelled to close their doors.

The US Dr Michael Burry has written:

Universal stay-at-home is the most devastating economic force in modern history. And it is man-made. It very suddenly reverses the gains of underprivileged groups, kills and creates drug addicts, beats and terrorizes women and children in now violent, jobless households, and more. It bleeds deep anguish and suicide.

With thousands of businesses having to close their doors due to misplaced fears of infection, millions of employees are facing a very uncertain employment future. And for the business owners, who can say when it’ll be profitable to open the doors, again?

That is true of all bureaucracies: their primary goal is to get more money for the next year, and their secondary goal is to avoid responsibility for what they do with the money. This is universal. There are no exceptions.[2]

This Gang of Ten have treated the community as though we couldn’t be trusted, and could be some kind of lepers. Under the guise of protecting us from an infectious disease, we’re being controlled and manipulated, while multitudes of law-abiding, innocent people can’t go about their normal, commercial, social and private business.

In Victoria, a group of adults were fined $1,600 each for enjoying a joint dinner party, for they were in breach of the latest anti-virus regulations. What’s “containing” about that, when none of them had it?

Then there is more. For a funeral of an aboriginal elder, 70 people were permitted to attend. But for a Caucasian? Coronavirus safety means that numbers attending a funeral cannot be more than 10. Not only is this stunningly hypocritical, but it smacks of George Orwell’s Animal Farm:

All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.

And none of these regulations have seen the light of day in Parliamentary debate.

Is all this a Trojan horse? Is someone with dark intentions pushing us into a kind of social meat-grinder, with unspeakable consequences? As the US judge Andrew Napolitano has recently written in this context,

the folks in government, with very few exceptions, suffer from what St. Augustine called libido dominandi — the lust to dominate — when they are confronted with the age-old clash of personal liberty versus government force, they will nearly always come down on the side of force.[3]

The “Gang of Ten,” poorly advised, but dominated by medical bureaucrats, have created unnecessary hardship for a whole nation. Now, they have left us wholly unprepared for an imminent and severe recession and possible depression, ready to burst upon us. And finally, they have made the tax-payer responsible for all their misjudgements, with debts now to be paid by us, for decades.

What’s next?

Conclusion:

I’m unimpressed. I suspect the Australian electorate’s unimpressed. And I hope and pray that each of the “Gang of Ten,” at a State or Federal level, is voted out at the electorate’s next opportunity. Queensland’s State election now, is only six months away.

After this government instituted, abusive, theft-ridden, monstrous debacle, what other way can some national justice be pursued?

Will you join me in vigorously pursuing this, too?

 

 

[1] R. J. Rushdoony, “Romans and Galatians,” 1999, p.353.

[2] Gary North (www.garynorth.com), “The Fire Drills are not Working,” 9/4/2020.

[3] Andrew Napolitano, “Beware a Government of Fear” (www.lewrockwell.com), 26/3/2020.

Coronavirus and the Country’s Future

Perhaps saddest of all is that the U.S. government response has been something of a copy of draconian responses by the world’s most tyrannical dictators… The sheer folly and carnage of government overreaction to this threat to workers and so forth will go down as unparalleled in American history.[1]

Probably like you, I have been astonished at the speed of the political and social changes we’ve seen because of the Coronavirus, both in our own country of Australia, and around the world. And all because of … a strain of influenza?

Yes, people are dying with coronavirus. Around the world, they’ve died, by the thousands. But that happens every year with influenza, but few of us are that interested most of the time to do the sums on what’s happening internationally to influenza sufferers.

What’s important to understand is that the fatality rates from the corona virus are not unusual. They seems to mostly range from 0.4% (four in a thousand) to 2% (twenty in a thousand), with the vast majority being the elderly. And when you are 75 and older, you don’t need a lot of health stress to push you over the line, and anyone with an ounce of knowledge about influenza and the health of the elderly knows this.

What I have found astonishing is the willingness of political leaders to blindly take the advice of medical bureaucrats, suddenly imposing massive restrictions on their community, lunging into totalitarian control, with almost no regard for the consequences. The US economist Dr Gary North explains this:

 The modern welfare state is justified by Keynesian analyses. We are living in a world in which the leadership has lost its collective mind.

The response to the coronavirus is simply one more reminder that we don’t live in a world in which reason dominates.

The economic interventions that we are witnessing around the world are creating greater havoc than the disease itself. The lockdowns threaten the world’s economy. The United States Senate and Keynesian economists are frantic to do something about this, but the only things that they know how to do are these: send out checks free of charge to beneficiaries, and fund this by the creation of digital counterfeit money…

My conclusion: things are going to get worse, fast.[2]

There is nothing new about infectious diseases, which have been with us for thousands of years. In Biblical law 1,500 years BC, in Leviticus 13 & 14, God provided the means to deal with leprosy. The leper was classified as “unclean” and had to be separated from the community, meaning quarantined. They had an infectious disease which would normally prove fatal; of course it was essential they be quarantined.

But what governments seem determined to do today, apparently on the advice of medical bureaucrats, is put massive restrictions on everyone in the community. The freedom of the individual, a vital factor of our Western civilisation, has been forgotten. Now we have “social distancing,” meaning maintaining 1.5 metres between people in public. But if my neighbour and I don’t have the virus, why should we be treated as lepers if we (with our wives) happen to be talking over the back fence?

North continues:

For a quarantine to be selective, and therefore not destructive of the division of labor, authorities have to know who has the disease. But they don’t know this. That’s the problem. So, governors and mayors are using a sledgehammer to isolate everybody in the community except people working in grocery stores, gasoline stations, the police department, healthcare workers, and so forth.[3]

To say this is going to be economically costly is an understatement, and governments know this. What they may not know, is that their over-reactions to this manufactured crisis may cost them their jobs too, for why should their community place any future confidence in them?

The Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, recently described what’s happening today as “incomprehensible…traumatic…” No doubt he is sincere in his actions, but sincerity is no substitute for a sensible, restrained response, that doesn’t penalise the healthy. The electorate may judge him harshly, come the next election.

He said, “I have to take advice…”

I agree, but from whom?

Medical bureaucrats, State Premiers and a handful of businessmen? Well, you can be sure that the first group will do nothing that will lessen their power or status, because that’s the way of all bureaucrats. They think they are the centre of the world if at their advice, the PM pushes the big red buttons. Why would he trust them?

And if they are wrong, they won’t lose their jobs-they never do.

North continues:

This is basically the Keynesian worldview. It doesn’t matter what the effects of the lockdowns are. No matter how many people are unemployed, the government can take care of them. The government can reassure citizens that they should have no worries about not producing anything. Neither should businesses that used to hire them, but have now sent them home without paychecks. Don’t worry about productivity. Productivity is irrelevant. The government can handle this. I am not exaggerating…Governments are the source of productivity, through deficit spending and massive expansion of digital money out of nothing. Theft through taxation and theft through counterfeiting are productive . . . on behalf of Keynesianism.[4]

Ron Paul, the former Dr and US Senator, points out another serious weakness:

People should ask themselves whether this coronavirus “pandemic” could be a big hoax, with the actual danger of the disease massively exaggerated by those who seek to profit – financially or politically – from the ensuing panic.

That is not to say the disease is harmless. Without question people will die from coronavirus. Those in vulnerable categories should take precautions to limit their risk of exposure. But we have seen this movie before. Government over-hypes a threat as an excuse to grab more of our freedoms. When the “threat” is over, however, they never give us our freedoms back.

Conclusion:

The decisions being made by governments around the world in the face of the coronavirus, are unprecedented. They are breathtaking in their scope and implications for the community, and in my opinion represent a massive over-reaction to a manufactured crisis. Manufactured, because yes, the coronavirus is killing people, as influenza has historically killed tens of thousands of people around the world annually, most of them frail, elderly people. So there’s nothing that special about the coronavirus at all, that some sensible, cheap and modest mechanisms of quarantine in the community couldn’t properly address, while the rest of the world went about their normal business, untroubled.

We will be feeling the pain of these decisions, for decades to come. Poor decisions fed by panic and alarm tend to harm individuals; but what about when national leaders make these decisions, then have the power to compel the general population to follow suit?

Already, we are seeing the oppressive abuse of political and social power, in the face of the lockdowns. When “Essential Services” staff have social liberties the healthy, average person who merely wanted to earn a living or go about their business doesn’t, you know there is a problem. And we’ll wonder why we gave this kind of power to governments in the beginning, and how we‘d better get it back again.

 

 

 

[1] Roger Roots, “A Death Sentence, for your own Protection,” (www.lewrockwell.com), 27th March, 2020.

[2] Gary North (www.garynorth.com), “McConnell & Schumer have a $1 Trillion Solution,” 21st March, 2020.

[3] Gary North, “Coronus Estimates: I Know Two Victims. How Many do You Know?

[4] Gary North, as above.

Just a Minute, Mr Morrison

It’s been over a month now, since the Deputy Leader of the National Party of Australia, Bridget McKenzie, resigned over the so-called “Sports Rorts” saga. She was the minister responsible for administering some $100 million, to be granted to a number of sporting facilities around Australia, to assist them with improvements to their facilities.
An enquiry held at the time, concluded that she had not distributed the monies according to “Ministerial Guidelines,” suggesting that her decisions may have been influenced with a view to seeking political support, so she had to resign.
This was not good.

How could a Minister not be aware of what her Guidelines were? Why so incompetent? Her bureaucrats have denied they had any say in how it was done, which makes it look as though she was the King-Pin in it all, which seems…strange-even absurd for a Minister. She was really asking for this to blow up in her face.
Even for a Federal department, $100 million is not small change being passed around, and at the Minister’s direct determination?
But suddenly, the plot thickens. The enquiry reveals that the PM had been emailing her office while decisions were being made. She had been consulting with him. Anything wrong with that?
No, if he was unaware that she was about to breach Guidelines, and if he only had superficial knowledge of her plans, he could not be blamed. Nothing wrong with chatting with the boss.
But then, how much did he know? She’s taking the blame, and he’s denying any responsibility, but what are the facts of his involvement?
For the government, this could get very messy, indeed. If the enquiry was furnished with a list of emails from the PM, and those from the former Minister, were these selected by the PM? If they were, what about any other ones? Has the PM potentially, got something to hide?
I think he could have. He very well may want to be Mr Laylow, sitting on any information that could implicate him in the Minister’s bungles, leading to her resignation.
For the government, this raises an ethical issue. Naturally, no one in government wants to see the PM forced to resign over this issue, but the seriousness of it means that anything less than full disclosure of the PM of all correspondence with the disgraced Minister, would be utterly unsatisfactory.
This means one thing. The PM should be required by his Party to provide full discloser of all relevant correspondence, and this should be properly overseen, independently. Some kind of independent, judicial oversight could well be essential, to clear him. If the PM resists that, on any basis whatsoever, it’s a plain hint that he’s hiding something.
If back-benchers drag their feet at this option, complaining that “It’s our PM, you know, and the Minister’s already resigned. Why have the PM responsible, too?”
They need something vital, which they may not get: objective, Biblical reminders, such as:

The same law shall apply to the native as to the stranger who sojourns among you (Ex.12:49).

Then there is,

I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus and of His chosen angels, to maintain these principles without bias, doing nothing in a spirit of partiality (I Tim.5:21).

The PM is like anyone else in the Parliament: responsible for what he says and does. Furthermore, he’s the PM, so he’s the standard setter. Anything else is a double-standard, and reeks of hypocrisy. If the Minister was responsible, but the PM had more than just superficial knowledge of what she was about to do, he’s up to his eyeballs in strife, and he probably needs to go, too. He has a one heap of ‘splainin’ to do, and that could be too much.

Conclusion:
What’s good for the goose is good for the gander. We have accountability in this life, and this prepares us for the ultimate day of accountability, before the throne of God, Himself. If the government wants to retain the confidence of its supporters, and its back-benchers, the PM must be compelled to put all the cards on the table, nothing hidden.

That way, we ensure proper accountability.
And if the PM has to resign as a result? There are plenty willing to take his place. That’s the price of a major bungle, when you’re the PM, and you’re implicated in it.

The Dark Background to Gun Legislation (2)

John Howard is a respected conservative in Australia. Most conservatives look back with fondness on his era of government in Australia. In welcoming President Bush to the Australian Parliament in 2003, Mr Howard indicated that one of the things that bring Australia and the U.S. together, “is the belief that individuals are more important than the State.”

Mr Howard’s ideological position was in stark contrast with that of Adolf Hitler. Hitler claimed that

The individual should finally come to realise that his own ego is of no importance in comparison with the existence of his nation; that the position of the individual ego is conditioned solely by the interests of the nation as whole…that above all the unity of a nation’s spirit and will are worth far more than the freedom of the spirit and will of an individual.[1]

But following the Port Arthur massacre of 1996, the legislation Mr Howard put through parliament significantly restricted private firearm ownership. In my view this represented a significant ideological contradiction, and a mistaken view of government. I believe it was an  over-reaction to a single, most tragic shooting spree.  It led to the confiscation and destruction of millions of firearms belonging to law-abiding individuals at tax-payers’ expense, so that now individuals are prevented in Australia by law, from purchasing firearms for self-defence.

The liberty of the individual and the restraint of government were exchanged for what? The liberty of government to greatly restrict law-abiding individuals. Hitler’s ideology triumphed in Australia, though we had an ostensibly conservative prime minister.

Why? It goes back partly to Mr Howard’s attitude towards guns. In his autobiography, he expressed his support for the anti-gun cause and his desire to introduce restrictive gun laws long before he became Prime Minister. In a television interview shortly before the tenth anniversary of the Port Arthur massacre, he reaffirmed his stance:

I did not want Australia to go down the American path. There are some things about America I admire and there are some things I don’t. And one of the things I don’t admire about America is their… slavish love of guns. They’re evil.

He also said in 2002, “We will find any means we can to further restrict them because I hate guns…ordinary citizens should not have weapons.”

Mr Howard’s legislation seems to have been founded on these three assumptions:

  1. Guns are evil.
  2. Availability of guns for the general population must be heavily restricted through licences and permits, and subject to centralised, government control.
  3. Guns (generally) should only be used by police and the armed forces: government employees.

These assumptions have very significant implications. Though the legislation ostensibly was for the protection of innocent people, it removed the ability of many people to actually protect themselves from criminals. Now, because of the black-market, criminals are able to procure more powerful and concealable firearms than law-abiding citizens. This places innocent people at a decided disadvantage in a crisis, and history shows us it places them at a distinct disadvantage in relation to government in a time of national crisis. The only thing being conserved here, is government power to control innocent, law-abiding people.

One does not have to be in favour of death camps or wars of conquest to be a tyrant. The only requirement is that one has to believe in the primacy of the state over individual rights.[2]

We are now suffering the consequences to this fundamentally ill-conceived legislation.

Mass shootings have taken place around the world. What did these tragedies have in common?  Law abiding people are generally precluded there from possessing firearms. Think of Port Arthur, Virginia Tech, the Columbine massacres, Dunblane in Scotland, Hoddle St in Melbourne, Strathfield in Sydney, the latest in Norway, the theatre shooting in Colorado, where guns were banned from being taken inside, and now Christchurch. Criminals intent on murder target these places deliberately. Why? There won’t be armed people there to stop them.

On a bright sunny day in October of 1991, Suzanna Gratia went to lunch with her parents at Luby’s restaurant in Killeen, Texas. In order to be in compliance with an unconstitutional law that forbade the possession of a concealed weapon, Ms. Gratia compromised and left her .38 calibre pistol in her vehicle. Suddenly, a madman, George Hennard, drove his truck into the cafeteria, got out of the truck and opened fire on those inside.

Ms. Gratia and her father, Al, turned over a table to use as cover. Ms. Gratia stated she reached for her purse to retrieve her .38, but then realized she had left it in her car.

Believing the madman was going to shoot everyone, Al Gratia, exhibited uncommon courage in rushing the killer. Hennard shot him in the chest, an obvious mortal wound. Ms. Gratia spotted a window, broken by another patron trying to escape, told her mother to follow her and then made her escape. Her mother decided she could not leave her wounded husband, sat on the floor and cradled his head in her arms. Hennard would return to where Mrs. Gratia sat and shoot her in the head. The couple had just celebrated their 47th wedding anniversary.[3]

Furthermore, the futility of a registration process for firearms is shown by the fact that “more than 93 percent of firearms used in homicides in 2006-2007 [in Australia] were unlicensed and unregistered.”[4]

The Lindt café shootings at Martin Place in Sydney, Australia in 2014, were a most disturbing example of how restrictive gun legislation doesn’t protect the innocent. The Coroner’s report (delivered in May, 2017), chronicled an astonishing number of bungles that took place within different ranks of the police agencies involved. Firstly, the criminal who subsequently died on the scene, Man Haron Monis, was on bail for being an accessory to the murder of his wife, and also for a number of sexual assaults of children. Why was he out on the street?

Secondly, the state’s only negotiation truck that was equipped with everything police negotiators needed to operate, was unavailable during the siege. The inquest heard it was never replaced after it fell into disrepair in 2011.[5]

Thirdly, the police strategy to “contain and negotiate” clearly failed. While this strategy to negotiate was in place, the police bungled their communications with the hostage-taker, so that four times his attempts to communicate by phone went unanswered.

Fourth, the police were consistently ill-advised by a psychologist who misread the nature of the terrorist’s demands, believing he was merely “grandstanding.” Thus they were prepared to wait out a crisis, which actually required their urgent intervention.

Fifth, when the Police finally intervened, the two officers who fired their weapons clearly overreacted, inexplicably firing between 17 and 22 rifle rounds at short range at Monis, who was hit 13 times and died instantly. This was despite the fact that the Police knew there were hostages close by, who would clearly be in danger from their rifle bullets ricocheting in the concrete building. Unfortunately, at least one of these rounds (in fragment form) struck and killed the hostage, Katrina Dawson at the scene. Three other hostages were wounded, but survived. Monis had earlier murdered the Café manager, Tori Johnson, with a shotgun.

And you thought that the police were there to protect the public from criminals? After the siege, Australia’s Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull indicated that

Australians should be reassured by the way our law enforcement and security agencies responded to this brush with terrorism.

Well Malcolm, what should we be reassured about? A law abiding person with a hand gun in the café, could have shot and killed Monis, as soon as he began to brandish his shotgun, threatening people. But Australian law does not permit this liberty, so this is the political fact:

The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire (Robert A. Heinlein, 1907–1988).

Conclusion:

When massacres occur, and political leaders suddenly conclude there is a need from legislative change to protect from further catastrophes, they are generally guilty of a serious over-reaction, and an emotional response that overlooks significant facts.

I therefore conclude that restrictive gun legislation, limiting the capacity of law-abiding individuals to purchase the firearm of their choice, represents an ideological contradiction in a free society. Furthermore, in practical terms it is an invitation for armed criminal behaviour, because criminals appreciate it when their potential victims are disarmed by their own government. Without change, the fruits of such laws both promise and continue to be bitter ones.

Why? Because for a law-abiding individual in a crisis, in public or private,

A gun in the hand is better than a cop on the phone.


[1] Hitler at Buckenburg, October 7, 1933; “The Speeches of Adolf Hitler,” 1929-1939, ed. by N.H Baynes, 1942. Quoted by Leonard Peikoff, “The Ominous Parallels,” 1982, p.3. found in Gary Demar, “Ruler of the Nations,”1987, p.7.

[2] Walter Williams, “Liberals, Progressives and Socialists,” http://www.lewrockwell.com, 8/8/2012.

   [3] Mike Gaddy, “The Bitter Fruits of Compromise,” http://www.lewrockwell.com, 12/1/2009.

[4] Jack Dearden and Warwick Jones, Australian Institute of Criminology, 2008, quoted in “Australian Shooter,” December 2010, p.58.

[5] news.com, “Lindt Cafe Siege: Why it all went Wrong,” August 18, 2016.

Australian Commentary (58)

Transgression speaks to the ungodly within his heart; there is no fear of God before his eyes… the words of his mouth are wickedness and deceit; he has ceased to be wise and to do good….let not the foot of pride come upon me, and let not the hand of the wicked drive me away. There the doers of iniquity have fallen; they have been thrust down and cannot rise (Ps.36:1, 3, 11-12).

It’s astonishing how sin can blind people to the enormity of their choices, so they cannot perceive themselves and their actions, in any kind of dispassionate way. Barnaby Joyce, Deputy Prime Minister, Leader of the National Party, Federal Cabinet Member and Member for the seat of New England, is married with four children, and earning hundreds of thousands annually, at taxpayer’s expense.

For about a year, he’s engaged in an improper, adulterous and now public relationship with a female staff member who is now pregnant to him, and he gives every impression that he’s hardening his heart, digging in, and won’t forsake the relationship for the sake of his political career, which is clearly now on the line, let alone his wife and children.

I guess he thinks that “this is a private matter.” But in his position, much of his life cannot be private.

Why?

Because the electorate and the nation want to know something of their representatives who are supposed to be leading them, who are public examples, making decisions in relation to billions of dollars of tax-payer funds.

He thinks his private life is of no account to people? Oh really? Try telling that to the people of Tamworth and Armidale that voted for you in November, but knew nothing of this affair. Thousands of them would be disgusted with your behaviour, and vote differently.

You have treated them with contempt, as if they are no account people to be laughed at behind their backs, as though a man discarding his vows with his wife, is irrelevant.

If a man cannot keep his vows to his wife, why should we expect him to keep any commitments he makes to his nation? When people are privately deceptive and immoral, it inevitably bursts out and becomes a dominant characteristic in their life. A private liar soon thinks of the public, “What do they know? I’ll keep this from them.” What’s in a man’s private life, inevitably translates to his public life, too.

The Psalmist speaks of this. He says,

A perverse heart shall depart from me; I will know no evil… My eyes shall be upon the faithful of the land, that they may dwell with me. He who walks in a blameless way is the one who will minister to me. He who practices deceit will not dwell within my house; he who speaks falsehood shall not maintain his position before me (Ps.101:4, 6, 7).

There is no way that what Barnaby has done will be excused and accepted. Even if the PM and the National Party accepted it (and it appears they won’t), the electorate will be counting down the days to the next election, with a view to getting rid of him.

Sympathy?

I have no sympathy for him, because he’s deliberately committed what the Ten Commandments forbid, and he’s now fighting for the right to do so. But when people get to this level of responsibility, they have to accept there is greater accountability for their actions, as an elected representative of the nation. He’s asking for a world of pain (if he’s not there now), and he’ll most certainly get it. And the Bible’s warning is clear: “Let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall” (I Cor.10:12).

Conclusion:

The Bible teaches and warns us, that “…we will all stand before the judgement seat of God” (Ro.14:10). That is never a light matter for every person to consider, whatever our position in life. Positions of leadership, whether they be in the church or other places, are places of both responsibility and accountability in all manner of moral issues, beginning at home.

Those like Barnaby Joyce who seem determined to ignore these facts are doomed to be condemned by them.

Australian Commentary (56)

                                      Stopping the Rot

The same sex marriage debate in Australia has come about, after a long period of confusion and uncertainty in the church. There is nothing new about this. Times of uncertainty and confusion have plagued God’s people, since Old Testament times.

When Israel was led by a godless leader in Ahab, he gathered the prophets together at Elijah’s command at Mount Carmel, and Elijah spoke to them, saying,

“How long will you hesitate between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him.” But the people did not answer him a word (I Kings 18:21).

What is needed now, is a clear voice from the churches in relation to homosexual behaviour.

Will we get it? I don’t know. But all Christians have a responsibility in this, firstly in their family and church, and secondly in their community.

What is also clear, is that pastors and other Christian leaders are going to have to make some choices between being faithful to God and His Word, or popular. If they choose popularity, they will bring on their heads a fateful promise from Jesus Christ:

You are the salt of the earth, but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men (Mat.5:14).

I’ve heard that 50 Christian leaders have come out in favour of SSM, and I can believe it. At some point in the future, each one of them will regret their position, which is completely at odds with the Bible.

How do I know this? Well, God said this:

For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh (Gen.2:24).

The sexual relationship of husband and wife is the only sexual relationship legitimised in scripture. Anyone who tells you anything else is either a liar or a deceived person. It is a matter of God’s plan and design for us.

Jesus reminded the Pharisees of this. He said,

Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘for this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh?’ (Mat.19:5).

I know that some people have come up with the argument that if two people really love one another, they should be permitted to marry, regardless of whether they are male and female or not. But this foolish notion hasn’t a shred of support from scripture. The scripture says that

If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put to death. Their bloodguiltiness is upon them (Lev.20:13).

Christians must realise that it is impossible to be morally consistent, and to sit on the fence on this issue. In 2004, Harvard law professor Mary Ann Glendon warned that

Religious freedom… is at stake. As much as one may wish to live and let live, the experience in some other countries reveals that once these arrangements become law, there will be no live-and-let-live policy for those who differ. Gay-marriage proponents use the language of openness, tolerance and diversity, yet one foreseeable effect of their success will be to usher in an era of intolerance and discrimination the likes of which we have rarely seen before. Every person and every religion that disagrees will be labelled as bigoted and openly discriminated against. The axe will fall most heavily on religious persons and groups that don’t go along. Religious institutions will be hit with lawsuits if they refuse to compromise their principles.[1]

When Christians vacillate on plain moral issues, they command the respect of no one. Yes, we’ll have our enemies when we are plain spoken, but that’s how we expect it to be. In fact, this should be our standard practice.

John the Baptist’s plain spoken approach with Herod cost him his head, but our Lord had no complaints about John, His forerunner. And this was David’s approach. He said that

I will set no worthless thing before my eyes; I hate the work of those who fall away; it shall not fasten its grip on me. A perverse heart shall depart from me; I will know no evil (Ps.101:3-4).

God requires that His people be firm, faithful and loving; all of those things. To choose anything else in relation to the SSM issue, is to invite disaster. God’s people also want and need to be ably led, and I haven’t seen a lot of that evident yet from churches themselves.

Conclusion:

Unquestionably, the Same Sex Marriage debate is going to split the church, which is a good thing. It’s about time there was a split, between those who believe the scriptures, and those who don’t.

And let us remember this: the Bible says of God, that

…Righteousness and justice are the foundation of His throne. Fire goes before Him and burns up His adversaries round about (Ps.97:2-3).

Where do you stand, and will you be public about stopping the rot? Courage says that Christians must act and speak.

 

 

[1] Mary Ann Glendon, “For Better or for Worse,” the Wall Street Journal, 25th February, 2004.

Australian Commentary (53) – The Floundering Turnbull

 

The Floundering Turnbull

Unless Malcolm Turnbull can re-invent himself, his days as PM are most definitely numbered. And he will have no one to blame for his fall but himself.

Why?

When a man’s ambitions run a long way ahead of his abilities, trouble becomes predictable. Malcolm clearly wanted the top job, but since he took the role less than a year ago, he’s done little of any value. The Liberals have gone backwards.

Clearly, July’s election shows that he hasn’t impressed the electorate. And for someone who had a history before entering Parliament of public articulation of argument and persuasion as a prominent legal person, Turnbull’s No Show has been all the more surprising.

The Dyson Royal Commission handed him more ammunition to use against Labor than any Prime Minister could have dreamed of, but he did nothing with it during the election campaign. Union corruption and intimidation is rife in Australia, and the Leader of the Opposition is implicated, up to his neck.

Any competent campaign manager should have realised that this was the Labor Party’s soft underbelly, to be pursued relentlessly during the campaign. It was public knowledge, and absolutely indefensible. The Labor Party knew it, which was the very reason they sought to unfairly discredit Dyson during the Royal Commission, as some kind of Liberal stooge.

But Turnbull went AWOL, on the very issue that should have been central to his campaign. It was as if the Labor Party had reluctantly parked a loaded brick-truck outside his door, but Malcolm walked out of his house, saw the truck, got in his car and drove away. He could have gotten in that truck, driven it around to the House of Labor, and spent the rest of the day  hurling brick after brick through its windows. It never happened.

Turnbull’s real problem is this. On matters of fundamental conservative ideology, he really doesn’t have what it takes, and only alienates those who could be his supporters. (This is why Pauline Hanson is so popular in Australia today. In the hearts of the grass-roots of the community, she has what it takes to represent them, and she’s fast becoming the de facto heroine of Australian conservatism.)

Turnbull is not a free-market man, and there isn’t much about the Liberals that he actually identifies with, including moral and economic conservatism. He wants to be friends with everyone and in the middle of the road, and he’s afraid to de-regulate the labor market, because there might be some losers. Of course there will be some losers: those who can’t do their job well and should be sacked.

So, he loses the backing of the thousands of small-business operators who should be his supporters, who have to abide by the Penalty Rates that are such a burden for them, preventing them from hiring more staff and growing the economy. But Penalty Rates are not his problem. Why should he care?

A week before the Census, when Turnbull on television effectively endorsed all that the Census was going to ask for, he set himself up. And when the electronics couldn’t cope and there was a Bureau of Statistics computer melt-down, who was made to look stupid, distant and incompetent? The Department, along with the sucker PM who supported that Department in its bureaucratic ineptitude.

The symbolism hasn’t been lost on the electorate. They know a loser who really doesn’t care about them, when they see one.

Electorates don’t care about inspirational leaders, because they want competency. Inspiration is nice, but it’s just cream on the cake when the leader is doing their job properly. The best inspiration is competency. Voters will choose those who come across competent, every day of the week. Turnbull lacks it, and in too many ways, he’s on another planet to the average Australian.

Conclusion:

In my opinion, Turnbull at 62 won’t be able to re-invent himself, and I don’t see him making it to the next election. It’s not that the party hates him; they wanted him to do well and succeed, but he’s been a do-nothing PM, on the very issues he needed to perform on.

I grew up on a farm, and cattle farmers buy stud bulls to do one job: get the cows pregnant. If the new bull (despite his bellow and blood-lines) can’t do what he’s there for, he’ll get replaced. They won’t hang around with him being unproductive- their future depends on it.

Australian Commentary (52)

To show partiality is not good, because for a piece of bread a man will transgress (Prov.28:21).

 Lost at Sea: Our Submarine Procurement Process

Anyone responsible for purchasing equipment has to be governed by two basic fundamentals: you need items of the right quality, at an appropriate price. You want bang for your buck, and military hardware is no different. But Malcolm Turnbull’s announcement this week that Australia will employ a French company to build 12 submarines in South Australia for $50 billion, (which we won’t begin to get till around 2030), only shows that those two fundamentals got lost at sea.

Why?

We’re due for an election in July, so the PM wants to ensure his party gets the maximum number of South Australian votes. That hasn’t got to be wrong. But too bad these subs will be diesel powered, inferior and expensive, and an albatross around the neck of successive Australian Treasurers and hapless taxpayers now, for 30 years. What matters is we get the votes, right?

Let’s assume Australia needs some new submarines. Take a look at a map of the world at Australia’s surroundings; we have vast tracts of ocean to our West, East and South. If you want a quality, truly ocean going competitive submarine, you have to go with the nuclear version. Today, “nuclear” means high class, because you get unlimited underwater range;  no need to keep coming to the surface to re-charge batteries, which conventional, diesel powered submarines have to do. In my view, this is a major flaw. If you are in a shooting war at sea, this becomes a critical factor, so you can stay under water for as long as you like, doing what you want, till your food runs out.

The Americans know how to produce a quality nuclear, ocean-going submarine, at the right price. Their current version is the Virginia class, possibly the best in the world: 12 built and in service, 5 under construction, expected to be in service beyond 2060. The first was the “Virginia,” commissioned in 2004. These are 115 metres long, have an unlimited range, can dive to over 240 metres, travel at over 25 knots underwater indefinitely, and are being produced every 2 years, for about $4 billion Australian. If I had to spend a week underwater, especially in the midst of a war, I’d be in that boat like a rat down a drain.

As Defence writer Brendon Nicholson says,

The best way to destroy a submarine is with a better submarine.

In 1935 when the British realised that Germany under Hitler was rapidly re-arming, they realised this might present a serious challenge to Britain before long. They quickly got serious about the design and build of world-class fighters, such as the Hurricane, which were being produced in Britain by 1937. So in 1940 when the Luftwaffe was in the skies over England, what were they met by? Hurricanes, and later Spitfires, both of which could successfully match the German fighters.

The fact is that technological advantage in war is critical to winning. And if you have lost it, you’re in trouble. You can’t re-gain it, overnight. The Poles and the French found that out the hard way, in 1939 and 1940.

When others are responsible to build submarines, we are not. That’s a massive difference in every possible way. We place the order for 5-6, have them built in the US, progressively train the crews, bring a boat to Australia every 2-3 years, progressively pay, get a warranty on purchase, spare parts, back-up and a manual. Done.

No problems with having to build massive infrastructure to start the process, find and train the staff, quality of construction, plans that don’t work, boats that leak, lack of build experience, flaws, welding rods of the wrong kind, engine problems, unions, contractors, cost overruns. These are all problems the Americans have dealt with, in producing the 12 that are in the water, today. And one more thing: the versions have steadily improved as they’ve gone along.

Wouldn’t you think that would be the way to go?

No, because we’ve got an election coming, it’s looking tight, and the PM and his Party want to get over the line. Too bad if we’re in a shooting war in 15 years’ time, and you’re a submariner. Rest assured, our PM won’t be down there with you.

And if your son’s in a boat that had to come to the surface to charge its batteries (with technology that’s hardly improved since World War II), and it gets ambushed, torpedoed and is sunk with all hands? Perhaps our PM might send a bouquet to throw on the water, in memory. Oh well.

Cynical? Of course. Who wouldn’t be?

Australian political leaders continue to treat us with contempt. They don’t want an intelligent, well-educated, discerning electorate. That kind of electorate would throw them out. When the PM treats the electorate this way, having no consideration for the quality of the product or the costs we are now committed to, but only considers his own political future, you know we’re in trouble.

The Psalmist spoke of a similar scenario:

Be gracious to us, O Lord, be gracious to us, for we are greatly filled with contempt. Our soul is greatly filled with the scoffing of those who are at ease, and with the contempt of the proud (Ps.123:3-4).

Judith Sloan from “The Australian” put it well.

This is a classic case of crass political opportunism, and the Prime Minister knows it. We are all the poorer for this decision, even South Australians.[1]

 

 

 

[1] “Submarine Contract: Inefficiency Premium of $4 million per Job,” 27/4/2016.