Thoughts on economics and liberty

Author: Sanjeev Sabhlok

Gigi Foster’s Voices against lockdowns – (16) 16 September 2022

Gigi has issued one more Voices Against Lockdowns email on 16 September. I was travelling and have only found time to re-publish it on this blog now. For previous emails from Gigi, follow this link.

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Dear all,

So much is moving so fast that I’ve deemed an update on a few fronts to be warranted in this quick follow-on after my last missive.

First, Professor Jay Bhattacharya will now be speaking next week not only in Melbourne, but also in Sydney.  In the words of the local organising team, “Jay’s visit is aimed towards helping the public, media and leaders understand the mistakes that were made in our pandemic response, especially the damage caused by lockdowns.” To secure your tickets in either city, see here; to view a video message from Jay himself, see here; for business leaders who would like to meet Jay one-on-one or in a small-group setting, please make yourself known to me – and likewise for those interested in supporting, with time or money, an emerging initiative to form a group of local academics and leaders to prevent this kind of madness happening again.

I will be joining Jay on the stage at the Sydney event, along with Iain Benson and Rowan Dean, and I’ll bring along a few copies of The Great Covid Panic along with flyers (see also attached) for my new book with Sanjeev Sabhlok, hot off the press at Connor Court, entitled ‘Do lockdowns and border closures serve the “greater good”?’ You can pre-order this book now at the Connor Court website.

For those who don’t know, below is a brief blurb about Jay, who recently spoke with Scott Atlas and Martin Kulldorff under the umbrella of the Academy for Science and Freedom:

Prof. Bhattacharya is one of the world’s leading public health experts and is the co-author of the Great Barrington Declaration, a pandemic response plan he created with Sunetra Gupta (Oxford), Martin Kulldorff (Harvard) and which most countries of the world have now adopted. He has vocally advocated for governments to consider the effects of their pandemic response policies on the poor and vulnerable first and foremost.

During his Australian visit, Jay will be meeting with politicians, business leaders, doctors and academics to help Australia assess our pandemic response. He will also speak at several public events and appear in various media and podcasts. Alongside former Prime Minister Tony Abbott, Jay will also launch Collateral Global (CG) in Australia. CG is an initiative of academics and scientists at leading universities around the world to document the collateral damage that is caused by society-wide lockdowns.

With 135 articles published in leading peer-reviewed journals in medicine, economics, health policy, epidemiology, statistics, law, and public health, Jay has recently evaluated the epidemiology of COVID-19 and the government policy responses to the epidemic, noting that governments are gradually returning to ‘focused protection’ as called for in the Great Barrington Declaration that he co-authored in Oct 2020.

Tomorrowfreedom marches are being organised in most major Australian cities – see here for some tips on how to participate safely and effectively, and see here for a petition for a Royal Commission and Senate Inquiry into the handling of covid in Australia.

The AMPS conference mentioned in my last missive was held last Saturday in Melbourne and was an incredibly uplifting, informative event; full recording available here, newsreel clip put together by Avi Yemini – who was recently unjustly targeted by New Zealand police – available here.  A grassroots interview about covid times in the same plain-spoken vein, featuring other members of the Australian resistance, is available here.

Positive recent signs in the political realm include covid-excused restrictions being rolled back in New Zealand, and Denmark walking back even the recommendation (much less requirement) for healthy people under 50 to receive the covid shots. AstraZeneca has been attacked in the European Parliament (also see here), materials that could prove violations of free speech to have been perpetrated by US government bureaucrats is being demanded by judges, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky is being hassled by US politicians, and the US government is being sued.

Some resources on the topic of covid vaccines, particularly in children:

https://rumble.com/v1hgq87-should-i-vaccinate-my-child-with-the-covid-19-vaccine-the-stats-facts-and-r.html

https://www.givesendgo.com/AustralianBabiesCase (an initiative, to which you can contribute financially, organised by legal minds Julian Gillespie and Peter Fam and aiming to protect Australian babies and toddlers from the covid vaccines)

https://www.covidmedicalnetwork.com/coronavirus-facts/statistics/flu-vaccines-vs-covid-vaccines.aspx (an analysis of the comparative risks of covid shots relative to flu shots)

https://rebekahbarnett.substack.com/p/3-months-of-nsw-data-show-its-not (an analysis of NSW Health data on health outcomes in vaxxed vs unvaxxed people)

A few recent scientific and analytical contributions worth noting:

https://www.schoolofthought.org/ (promoting critical thinking and confronting ideology)

https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=4206070 (about the foolhardiness of covid vaccine/booster mandates for university students)

Attached “Hijacked on Flight Covid-19” book penned by one amongst us, and shared here with his permission

Attached “Unhealthy Alliance” article recently published in The Australian, by Adam Creighton

Finally, below is a curated collection of articles that, according to one amongst us, “highlight targeted bullying and corruption strategies …. The following include stories regarding fines handed out to homeless people / mentally disables/ indigenous / children specifically in Western Sydney, the smoke and mirrors tactic ScoMo used for leadership stronghold … social credit-type penalties for vaccine non-compliance (despite staff shortages caused by forced mandates and forced testing/isolation), taxpayer money lost on …. ‘apps’ … and changes to ‘workplace safety’ relating to addressing ‘psychosocial hazards at work’ (that still skirt around lacking definition of being bullied by leadership)”:

https://dailysceptic.org/2022/07/01/how-governments-bullied-us-during-the-pandemic/

https://7news.com.au/lifestyle/health-wellbeing/queensland-teachers-school-workers-not-vaccinated-for-covid-19-to-suffer-pay-reduction-c-7978663

https://www.theleader.com.au/story/7863811/covid-patrols-left-nsw-refugees-fearful/

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2022/aug/16/scott-morrisons-ministerial-meshuffle-why-did-he-do-it-what-was-happening-and-where-to-now?utm_term=62fc061be3558ae8a6121ebf8a1c85cb&utm_campaign=MorningMailAUS&utm_source=esp&utm_medium=Email&CMP=morningmailau_email

https://www.easternriverinachronicle.com.au/story/7854745/failed-covidsafe-phone-app-scrapped/

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2022/aug/10/not-honest-new-health-minister-dismisses-coalition-election-claim-that-bulk-billing-had-hit-88?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

https://www.lawyersweekly.com.au/politics/35174-nsw-covid-19-fines-for-kids-could-breach-international-law?utm_source=LawyersWeekly&utm_campaign=10_08_22&utm_medium=email&utm_content=5&utm_emailID=6f05a9a60b7b6653fb0eb550a59c0e220d7d750f47bb719fd35b3b6272e2d309

https://www.themandarin.com.au/196359-new-model-regulations-prioritise-mental-health/?utm_campaign=TheJuice&utm_medium=email&utm_source=newsletter

https://www.aipm.gov.au/engage/article/exploration-impact-covid-19-police-demand-capacity-and-capability

https://thenewdaily.com.au/life/2022/08/02/travel-airports-airlines-staffing/?utm_source=Adestra&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Morning%20News%20-%2020220803

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2021/oct/27/western-sydney-disproportionately-fined-for-covid-lockdown-breaches

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2022/may/27/lawyers-call-on-nsw-premier-to-urgently-review-thousands-of-covid-fines

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2021/dec/07/unfair-covid-fines-causing-hardship-and-should-not-be-enforced-advocates-say

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2022/jul/20/indigenous-australians-losing-drivers-licenses-and-face-crushing-debts-over-nsw-covid-fines-lawyers-say

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2022/jul/24/sitting-in-a-park-riding-a-bike-covid-fines-in-nsw-riddled-with-problems-legal-centres-say?utm_source=Round-Up+of+Pro+Bono+in+the+News&utm_campaign=2fc880d4ad-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2019_04_05_01_19_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_79d0444d05-2fc880d4ad-380975529

I will stop sending these missives once it seems that they have served their purpose, which to my mind is when more connections and information are no longer needed for people to fight effective local and national battles to reclaim freedom for themselves and their communities.  In the meantime, please do keep sending me material, and as always please advise me if you’d like to be taken off my list.

While the madness continues, with signs of sad times still upon us, we are winning and we will get there – even if it takes years.

 

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The Gigi Foster Cost Benefit Analysis of Australia’s lockdowns is now available on order as a book

An email I sent out yesterday:

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Dear all

A few weeks ago I’d shared the Exec Summary of the final GigiFoster CBA, which shows that the harms from lockdowns and border closures in Australia have been at least in the order of 68 times the benefits.

Now the full CBA is ready to be ordered – it has been converted into a book published by Connor Court. It is the kind of document that the government would normally produce. But due to the Great Hysteria, all principles of good policy were thrown out of the window in 2020 and we never got a CBA from the government.

While I’m biased towards this particular CBA,  I can confirm that in my entire career as a government economist, I’ve never seen a more comprehensive and thorough CBA. Having said that, there’s obviously a huge opportunity to further refine and improve it, should someone wish to do so.  The governments of Australia have destroyed half a trillion dollars (apart from other harms to life and health). Had they invested in a CBA, they would have achieved a great outcome for Australia at a fraction of that cost. Making policy without a CBA is equivalent to flying a plane without a flight panel.

A few related things

  1. My 2020 book, The Great Hysteria and The Broken State.
  2. Gigi Foster’s 2021 book (along with Paul Fritjers and Michael Baker), The Great Covid Panic.
  3. My 2022 study along with Jason Gavriliswhich conclusively proves that lockdowns increased even covid deaths globally.
  4. My detailed complaint of November 2020 to the International Criminal Court which showed even then how the policies adopted in Australia constitute a crime against humanity. The data on the mass massacres caused by Australia’s policies is out in the open. Further, across the world millions of additional deaths have occurred due to lockdowns. Surely someday this will be recognised as a crime against humanity.  This chart from ABS shows how severe the additional deaths are in Australia itself. Almost all the 10,000 odd people whose lives were saved in 2020 and 2021 by intense border closures, have died in 2022 from covid. Plus vast numbers of additional non-COVID deaths (the CBA contains a deeper analysis of ABS data to show how the excess deaths of Australia are an under-count).
  5. Dan Andrews and his Liberal understudy Matthew Guy have failed to respond to my challenge to prove their blatantly false claims about covid being in the league of Spanish flu. I offered them 11k. Sky Newsasked these pollies to go ahead and prove it. None have done so. They can’t! They have lied at every step over the past 2.5 years. I’ve taken this message (of the lying politicians) to the people of Bulleen through flyers, walking myself over 500 km in 100 days and spending around $40,000 from my pocket to raise awareness of these lies. My candidate page contains the DL flyers that I’ve been distributing (and paying Australia Post to distribute). I was working only 0.6 FTE when I resigned in September 2020 to fight public health tyranny. My opportunity cost will be well over $200 by end-2022 from lost wages. If we add my expenses to educate the people, I’d have spent around $250k by end-2022 to fight public health tyranny. So if you have any capacity to do so, please chip in to support my work to wake up the people.
  6. Finally, I’d love to support a CBA of lockdowns in India where even more devastation has been caused by Narendra Modi than by Australia’s politicians. Unfortunately, in India not a single economist/policy maker has ever heard about a CBA. I keep raising this issue repeatedly, but they’ve never heard of it – the purest form of a banana republic. I’m sharing this email with some Indians so they might finally wake up one day and undertake a CBA.

Regards

Sanjeev Sabhlok

 

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Gigi Foster’s Voices against lockdowns – (15) 31 August 2022

Gigi’s done it again – very diligent record-keeping, these emails will be of great use to future researchers. (The previous – 14th – one).

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Dear all,

After a refreshing, informative and productive trip to North America, I’m back in Sydney and heartened at the growing evidence that both in the US and in Australia, the errors of covid-era policymaking are coming into focus for more people by the day.  In the US, as Team Sanity gains momentum, the mainstream fanaticism has started to buckle, as evidenced most recently by the announcement of Anthony Fauci’s upcoming departure from his covid-era post, the CDC’s abandonment of distinct advisories for vaccinated versus unvaccinated citizens, and a new round of finger-pointing by key covid decision-makers trying to secure options for comfortable seating when the music inevitably stops. Others noticing this trend have been penning pieces that range from deeply cynical to pointed and cutting to competitively invitational to cool and summative to despairingly reflective to aloof and academic to matter-of-fact to dystopian plot summary-esque to downright revolutionary.  Calls for accountability for the failures of this time are increasing (e.g., from PANDA), and have included direct push-back against clearly compromised appointments to positions tasked with reviewing covid-era policy-making (e.g., see attached “AMN Letter…”), while inevitably, some big names (also here) are now prominently hitching their carts to particular counter-narrative positions that now seem a safer political bet than what, not so long ago, was seen as the only acceptable position.

During my trip I had the great pleasure of meeting in person for the first time Brownstone Institute founder Jeffrey Tucker, whose website continues to deliver thought-provoking analysis about the covid era. Notable BI pieces include a suite of recent articles by Ramesh Thakur on the antipodean situation, the most recent of which is an updated version of Ramesh’s excellent recent article in the Weekend Australian (also see this prior piece of Ramesh’s in The Spectator, and this recent interview). At a Brownstone Institute gathering in May I was also honoured to meet Great Barrington Declaration co-authors Martin Kulldorff and Jay Bhattacharya, the latter of whom (also a key figure in Collateral Global) will be visiting Australia in just a couple of weeks. If you are in Melbourne, I highly recommend securing a ticket to see Jay speak in person. The impressive It Is Discernable team, led by Matt Wong (who has recently interviewed, amongst other people, inspiring human rights lawyer Peter Fam who has recently penned both a damning opinion about AHPRA (with Julian Gillespie) and the attached “Letter to AHRC…” to the newly-appointed Australian Human Rights Commissioner), will be hosting Jay’s visit.

While in the US I did a bit of media, including an interview for the Epoch Times’ “American Thought Leaders” series of which bits were folded into this piece and this piece; I have also recently been interviewed herehereherehere, and here.  I have secured a contract with Connor Court to publish my cost-benefit analysis with Sanjeev Sabhlok of the Australian covid lockdowns (updated Executive Summary available for free download here) before the end of the year, and will be speaking about that CBA at the in-person conference in Melbourne on 10 September being put on by the Australian Medical Professionals’ Society (AMPS), an alternative medical practitioners’ association organised to counter the existing professional societies that have lost their way during the covid era (see here for AMPS’ introductory salvo, here for another recent piece by them, and here for information about a recent AMPS event). I also hope to be afforded the opportunity soon to testify in a legal case against vaccine mandates in which I am serving as an expert witness, and from which we can only hope for a more just result than what has been delivered in recent similar cases in Australia and New Zealand (though encouraging results have recently been seen in the US, and even on occasion in Australia).  For more information about the ongoing fight against authoritarian health diktats in Australia, see here and here; for some inspirational front-foot resistance against authoritarian over-reach overseas, see herehere, and here.

Researchers around the world continue to produce analysis showing that the lockdowns were destructive (also see here (produced by Jason Gavrilis and Sanjeev Sabhlok), here, and here), both overall and as measured on particular scales like the wellbeing of the young, and that mandating mask-wearing in low-risk settings, such as schools, doesn’t work. The UK Parliament has heard devastating evidence of the damage attributable to covid policies.

Academics are organising conferences to discuss more openly the politics of science and medicine and how to re-build after this era, creating moral charters to guide the management of future health threats, and writing papers and presentations about how to repair destructive norms in science, while other groups are offering courses in how to talk to one another about divisive topics like the covid shots (see attached file, “202205…”). John Stapleton has come out with a new book that aims to “dismember the political, administrative and social derangement which has overtaken Australia since the early days of 2020.” Inspired by the egregious mistakes of this era, other books are being written with the explicit aim of educating young children about the pillars of Western civil society.

A few Australian politicians continue to do sensible things regarding covid, such as Malcolm Roberts, while good examples of covid-era health policy leadership are finding their way to the airwaves. Vote-winning and book-selling are naturally part of the incentives driving such activities, but that in itself is a positive sign: it means that rational thinking on covid policy is gaining popular support and hence becoming publicly viable. As another sign of the growing popular support for sanity and freedom, the targeting of individuals as part of the authoritarian responses in Victoria is being walked back retrospectively, and NSW vaccine mandates for health workers are not being renewed.

The bullying of our medical professionals has reached a fever pitch, resulting in the mainstream peak bodies responsible for that bullying now being on the defensive.  Dr Philip Altman has complied the attached withering review (“Altman Report…”) of jab effects and policy-making.  Meanwhile, independently-minded people from all quarters of the globe and in an entertaining range of analytical and expository styles continue to raise safety concerns about the covid jabs and comment upon their questionable overall efficacy (e.g., see herehereherehereherehereherehereherehereherehereherehereherehereherehere, and here; also see attached “Leopold…” and “Spectatorjune252022”articles), underscoring the wisdom of allowing individuals the freedom to make their own informed decision of whether or not to have the injections. Films are being made capturing the zeitgeist of the hour (e.g., “Uninformed Consent” – see herehere, and here), moving personal stories and powerful analysis of historical parallels are increasingly being platformed, and professional societies in sectors from firefighting to aviation are speaking out against the mandates. Timelines are being complied, comments aired about the morphing of quality media into propaganda outletsbills introduced seeking to help those injured by the shots, and international conferences convened on ethics and health practice in the time of covid (see also here and here, and a particularly moving speech from the lattermost gathering here). Reflective musings are being produced on how to stop the “careening clown car” of senseless recommendations and actions, by known figures like Steve Kirsch and even by health professionals awakening to the damage caused by the covid-era explosion in health-excused technocracy – damage that is increasingly obvious within Australia, where early treatment suppression is being called out and creative ways to access such treatment are being disseminated to people. Just as support for wholesale lockdowns quietly began to ebb in most Western policy circles months ago, sanity around the shots too is starting to percolate quietly through even official channels: the UK recently changed its labelling to advise against the use of the Pfizer shots in pregnant and breastfeeding women, and NSW’s own publicly accessible data interface shows prima facie evidence that being quadruple-jabbed is not the panacea it has been sold as. Official TGA communiques announcing more shots appear to be attracting just as much criticism as praise, and the ABC is airing conversations about the shots that beg so many questions, in light of reality, that the door is left open to hard-hitting critical take-downs (listen from about 28:55).

While the resistance gains ground, disgraceful episodes continue to remind us that the battle is far from over, such as the court-martialling of Canadian serviceman James Topp over his expression of dissent regarding covid vaccine mandates, the proposal of new legislation in California that would further embed elite authority without accountability, and the barring of Novak Djokovic from competing in the US Open due to his choice to remain free of covid vaccines. The recent Australian Federal election results also speak ominous volumes: calls for freedom did not get Australians’ votes.

There is still much work to be done. A healthy dose of (at times macabre) humour from the world of performance art, to help you on the journey:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ShdU5rLOK6k (Topher Field)

https://brownstone.org/articles/flatten-the-curve-the-song/ (Neil Baker)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F74iqEJnb14 (JP Sears)

https://imagined.com/blog/welcome-to-the-hotel-paranoia/ (Ned Buratovich)

Thank you to all who have been sending me information to consider including in these newsletters, and to each person on this list who is working in his or her own circles to make a positive difference in whatever ways present themselves: speaking a reasonable opinion, standing up for others’ rights, offering direct support to those who are suffering, removing people’s blinders about the immorality and destruction on display in this era, or being involved in the genesis of new groups to refresh, refurbish, or replace the old.  Inspired by determined, fearless people of principle like the recently passed Vladimir Zelenko and so many others, we will defeat the madness by working together to build a freer, stronger, more just and more joyful society for the next generation.

 

 

 

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