We were hoping for a special for our hundredth WitCH, but the chips fall when they fall. Still, it’s an odd one.
Robodebt is one of the greatest perversions of politics and public administration in Australian history. It is now reaching its appalling conclusion with the Royal Commission‘s hearings, a grotesque procession of half-wits, cowards and sociopathic goons. Rick Morton, and pretty much only Rick Morton, has covered the just-ended hearings in maddening and heart-rending detail. We only await Commissioner Holmes’s inevitably damning report.
We had pondering writing something on Robodebt, just to add our public declaration of disgust, and if only to employ the expression “Little Eichmanns”. But, we could see no natural angle. Now, however, a statistician has provided a different angle.
In the last week, the Age/Sydney MorningHerald sisterhood has engaged in one of the craziest, most hysterical anti-communist campaigns we’ve ever seen, a direct throwback to the early, nutso days of the Vietnam War. Titled Red Alert,– yes, really – and illustrated with a red sky swarming with Chinese jets on their way to Australia – yes, really – once were journalists Peter Hartcher and Matthew Knott authored a series of articles and videos, all pointing to the imminent threat that China poses to Australia. The series is based upon a “review” by a panel, concocted by Hartcher and Knott, of five “independent” “experts”. The panel concluded,
The overwhelming source of danger to Australia is from China. The nature of the threat extends to the prospect of a full-scale war – and Australia would have to be involved. … We need to be ready to fight in just three years …
The North Richmond Medically Supervised Injecting Room is back in the news. Following on from a substantially positive review released last month, Dictator Dan Andrews has confirmed that the injecting room, which began as a trial in 2018, will become permanent. This news has shaken the usual nuts out of the usual tree, and my daughters’ school, which sits next door to the medical centre housing the injecting room, has also been in the news. This has been annoying, with the familiar, annoying reporters, and the familiar, annoying pleas:
I’ve previously made clear my feelings about VIT. Just last week I heard a story about a teacher currently being dicked around by VIT that made my blood boil. I can’t tell the story, I can’t help the teacher, but I can reiterate that I regard VIT as a thoroughly incompetent and thoroughly loathsome organisation.
(Marty calls up the Happy Health Care, and auto-identifies himself. He is connected to Daisy.)
D: Hello, this is the Happy Health Care. You’re speaking to Daisy. Is that Marty?
M: Yep, thanks Daisy. Do you have my account info there?
D: Yes. I do. How may I help you?
M: Thanks, Daisy. I got a letter from you guys, saying that because of Covid I’m owed a refund on some of the services that were unavailable, but that my bank details are missing. The letter said I could add the details online, but when I tried it didn’t seem to work. So, I’m hoping you can sort it out for me. Continue reading “A Customer Gets Served”→
When we first met Sandra Milligan, “Enterprise Professor” at the University of Melbourne’s Graduate School of Education, she was ringleading a bunch of school principals in a campaign against the ATAR. The Age‘s Adam Carey gave Milligan and her cronies a free kick article, because of course it’s not the job of an education reporter to question whether their primary source might be a know-nothing ideologue. Now, Milligan is back in the news, partnered with something called Realms of Thinking, with the free kick “exclusive” provided this time by The Educator‘s Brett Henebery. Continue reading “In the Realm of the Senseless”→
Recent events – the bastardisation of Roald Dahl and the burning of history – reminded me of a post I had planned long ago, on Martin Gardner and school libraries. It is often said that Martin Gardner is responsible for creating more mathematicians than anybody else. As the fable goes, a bright-eyed teenager stumbles upon a collection of Gardner’s mathematical writing in the school library, they read away on weird topologies and the Game of Life and so on, they are entranced and another mathematician is born. The fable is not true, but it is true enough. Continue reading “The Non-Constant Gardner”→