Has the world truly gone mad? I sincerely hope not, but as I take in what goes on around me, I often fear the worst.

I am seeing intelligent people, good people, consumed with conspiracies, or suddenly becoming professors of medical science, and even more intelligent people buying into a “shot in the dark” and converting it to a bankable fact.

What is Going on?

In case you had not noticed, the world is in the grip of a pandemic. Of course, there are many who deny the existence of the pandemic at all. Many believe it is just a relatively harmless flu epidemic. And others believe it is an act of calculated evil in the form of a man-made virus designed to create control over the world’s populations.

Governments are scrambling for one single stated reason – to prevent an infection rate that could crush their health care systems. I have no doubt that if the health care system were to collapse, we would see violence in emergency departments.

The primary measures being employed by Governments are mask-wearing mandates, closures and lockdowns, and mass vaccination. In Australia, it appears governments are seeking to crush infections to zero, something that appears to be unattainable. However, it appears the longer-term strategy is to get enough people vaccinated to eliminate the need for lockdowns.

From data coming in from all over the world, it seems clear the vaccine’s best outcome is a reduction in symptoms in infected people. It is not eliminating the virus.

During this time, many citizens are beginning to become frustrated with the lockdowns, some protesting openly and others lamenting on social media. Further, significant conflict is rising between those who are for the vaccine and those who are against it.

The levels of agitation, frustration, anxiety and outrage we are witnessing seem greater than we have ever known them.

What do the Conspiracy Theorists Say?

Probably the biggest argument, and it can be quite compelling, is that they have proof that patents were filed for coronaviruses back as early as 2002 and that vaccine patents were filed within weeks of patents for strains of the virus back in 2013. If what they say is true, it indicates criminal behaviour. It might be true. I have no idea. I have not seen the documents. And if I did have them, could I be certain they were genuine.

Other conspiracy theorists believe there is a new world order of powerful groups that have an intention to seize control of people, dominate the world, and cull the population back to a more manageable number. When I look at it, I feel it would be a marvellous script for an Austen Powers movie.

Again, they could be right. How could I know? But all the assertions talk about what “they” are doing. I want to know who the infamous “they” are.

For any conspiracy like this to work, you first must convince a huge number of people to first compromise their moral code completely and everything they value, and then keep a terrible secret for the remainder of their lives. I doubt that is possible.

What is the Government Line?

What appears to be a consistent Government line of communication across the world is that, as soon as enough people are vaccinated, lockdowns will cease. Nobody knows if that is true. The message is delivered with great certainty. However, in countries where vaccination rates are climbing to desired levels, we are still seeing high case numbers, with regular spikes.

Economies cannot continue to lockdown as businesses are being ruined, lives are being financially devastated, and sectors of the community are becoming restless. There must be a time when governments are going to be forced to open and hope for herd immunity.

It will be interesting to observe upcoming State and Federal elections, as incumbents have been using the “let’s get everyone vaccinated” chant as the hoped-for silver lining on their most recent term in Government. If case numbers do not go down as promised, there could be a backlash at the polls.

Corporate Greed and a Lust for Profit

Corporate Greed exists. Cutting corners to create profits has been happening since the earliest days of commerce.

Over the years, Governments and their Corporate regulators have taken corporations to task and charged them with all manner of crimes from tax avoidance to fraud and criminal negligence.

One of the industries that is most notorious for fraud, manipulation of science, exclusion of data in findings and the overstatement of results is the Pharmaceutical Industry. Over time, they have been successfully sued for billions of dollars and convicted of the fraudulent use of science to gain market advantage.

These people are not Mother Teresa.

But they seem to roll on, unperturbed. I am still amazed today that Statins, the drugs used to lower cholesterol levels, are still among the most widely prescribed medications, government-funded too on the PBS, and yet independent studies show them to be an almost completely ineffective drug with nasty side effects.

What are the systems and procedures that are in place to allow such a thing to continue?

Perhaps it signifies too close a relationship between Big Pharma and medical authorities, or Government.

Ultimately what it does achieve is a deep distrust in pharmaceutical companies. When big pharma arrives with a vaccine that has been developed in a relatively short space of time, many people will put their hands up and say, “I do not trust you”. Immediately they are labelled an anti-vaxer.

One must remember that this current crop of inoculations includes mRNA vaccines, brand new technology and, no matter how anybody chooses to argue the case, untested. To say that several billion doses delivered over the past 8 months are a valid test is to deny accepted methodologies of assessing long term impact on the human genome.

Apparently, this year’s sales of the Pfizer vaccine alone will top US$33 billion. As time progresses, we realise a few things about vaccines.

First, they do not stop the virus. However, they do seem to reduce the severity of an infection, which aligns with the goals of governments to reduce the load on health care systems. Second, the vaccine does not stop a person from contracting the virus and then spreading it. I wonder if it will create a new wave of asymptomatic “spreaders”. Third, we now learn from Pfizer that we will require a 6 monthly booster shot. That was never stated upfront. When does that cease to be necessary?

What happens when a corporation becomes so big that its public relations budget outsizes that of the Government? Further, what happens if huge corporations sign lucrative advertising deals with media outlets in return for favourable and supportive coverage or the suppression of negative stories? Does this happen? I personally do not know. There is evidence of it, but I do not know.

Mistrust in the Media and the Government.

In 1802, in a letter to the Danbury Baptist Association, Thomas Jefferson declared that when the American people adopted the establishment clause, they built a “wall of separation between the church and state.” Perhaps we need a similar wall of separation between business and government and the media and government.

Barry Jones, former Science Minister for the Hawke and Keating Labor Governments in the ’80s and ’90s, released a brilliant book back in 2017 “Knowledge, Courage, Leadership”. I attended an evening where the book was being promoted and he sat in conversation with John Clark for 90 minutes. He talked about his book, his life in Politics, his deep friendship post-politics with Malcolm Fraser and the current state of Australian Politics.

He stated during the conversation that the two major Political Parties in Australia were no longer Political Parties representing the electorate but had become corporations serving the interests of their benefactors.

As members of the voting public, we continue to condone such behaviour by giving our votes to their parties. If we want the tightly knitted relationships between big business and Government to change, perhaps we need to move away from Party Politics for a while. Take away the power of the corporations and place it back in the hands of the voting public. We have that power.

What About Immunity?

Figures coming out of the US state that of all the people who were placed in Intensive Care for Covid 19 infection, and or died, over 75% were overweight or obese. This statistic presents a case that the unhealthier citizens were the more likely to become ill and possibly die.

Data out of Europe, the US, China, Korea and a long list of other countries reveal that over 80% of those who became the sickest, or who died, were chronically deficient in vitamin D. Zinc deficiencies were also mentioned in several reports.

The human immune system requires elements for it to be fully optimized. All this information is widely documented and published extensively in respected, peer-reviewed journals. These elements include Adequate Vitamins D and C, adequate Zinc, healthy gut microbiome, sound general health, a reasonable fitness level, effective stress management and adequate sleep.

It appears that there is nothing any vaccine can give a person that a healthy immune system cannot give them. None will stop infection, but all will certainly minimize the risk of becoming sick.

There are citizens on the community who have been taking a strong interest in natural immunity for many years and who do not see a valid reason why they should receive a vaccination. And please note. I am one of those citizens. I am not saying that I am against the vaccines or that I will not receive one. I guess that will depend on whether my life becomes restricted because I have not been vaccinated. Personally, I have not been sick from a cold, or the flu since March 2010.

So, I guess this is where someone like myself could become quite cynical about the relationships between Government, Big Business and Big Media. When the pandemic first arrived in 2020, when there was no vaccine in sight, why did we not receive regular guidance, support, and urgings from our governments, similar to the current vaccine messages, to take care of our immunity?

Why was this message never even discussed in an open forum and why is it still not being raised in the face of underwhelming vaccine results?

Mandates and Vaccination Passports.

Currently, there are strong pushes for vaccination passports and mandated vaccination in workplaces. It seems this is a message that is mostly being pushed by the media. This sort of reporting stirs up emotions and creates conflict. Surely the writers and editors will know that our constitution and our laws, particularly contract law and common law, will make these almost impossible.

I have a sense there is mischief in this type of reporting, convincing a population that “you have no choice” when it comes to vaccination. Again, I could be completely wrong.

If You Believe it, You will find Proof.

I saw a great cartoon once of a guy trawling through google looking for information on a topic. Everything he found went against what he believed until finally, pages and pages in, he found something that agreed and screamed, “Ah-ha! Here is my proof. I knew I was right.”

Last week I received a video in messenger from a friend who has fallen down the conspiracy theory black hole. She said, “This video is proof of what I said to you two days ago. This lawyer in this video is issuing the relevant writs”. As soon as the video commenced, I realized the lawyer was someone I know very well and who I love dearly, but he lost his mind a long time ago. He is quite crazy.”

But this person took the video as valid proof.

We all fall prey to this one. If I feel my football team was on the receiving end of poor umpiring, I just need to watch a replay and I will find my proof. We lose objectivity and begin searching for things that support our arguments. We are no longer in the mindset of an explorer or learner. We are gathering ammunition for our assault on the minds of others.

Personal Responsibility.

Here is a wake-up call. We live in a market economy. I love a market economy. I can be creative and discover ways of producing useful things, then seek to inspire people to buy them. I make a living this way, and hopefully, in doing so I bring value to other people’s lives.

If I am highly skilled and I create the right marketing mix, I may inspire many people to buy my product and create wealth. I have nothing against wealth. It is fun to have a lot of money. It also gives you the capacity to do more, and perhaps bring more value.

But there is a difference between creating wealth through honest enterprise and hard work and using less honourable means to either get more money or hold onto money, i.e., refusing to pay bills.

I have no doubt that there are huge corporations, with skilful lobbyists, that do everything they can to drive government policy to suit their businesses. In doing so, they find ways to increase their power and market dominance to increase profits.

I have a question for you? Have you ever stolen money, even as a child from your parents or siblings? Have you ever made a false declaration on a timesheet or an invoice? Or have you ever refused to pay all or part of someone’s bill or begrudged another for the magnitude of their fees? I certainly have.

If you answer yes to any of these, it does not mean you are a bad person. Bit it means you have, at one point in your life, gained money through dishonest means.

In fact, this sort of thing goes on all the time, and nobody really does much about it. We condone it as part of a free-market economy. So, I wonder why we get so angry when huge corporations do it, like big oil and big pharma. The things we walk by are the things we condone.

I was watching a scene from “Falling Down” this morning. In it, Michael Douglas’s character, on the edge of a breakdown, highlights the difference between the burger in the photograph and the insipid looking sandwich in his package at the fast-food restaurant. For decades, we have been allowing huge businesses to be blatantly fraudulent in their advertising, and never once act in protest.

I suggest the people out in the world who are screaming the loudest about big pharma profiteering and market manipulation in the current pandemic, have perhaps got a few skeletons in their closet.

In a different realm, we must also accept personal responsibility for the lockdowns. We have had access to the Internet now for 25 years and most people have done enough research to realise that cancer, heart disease, diabetes and other common ailments are lifestyle diseases.

Even though we are a wealthy and prosperous country, like most other countries, our healthcare system is constantly close to breaking point, treating illness and disease that has manifested from the person’s life choices.

Yet, as a collective, we do nothing to change that. Sure, we support the taxing of cigarettes and alcohol, but continue to consume sugar, highly processed foods, alcohol, chemical residues, and synthetic additives with zero regards for the consequences.

I have always believed that the illicit drug industry is kept alive and profitable by the wealthy recreational user and not the addict. The same goes for the products that degrade human health and create a burden on the health care system. We are all complicit in the gradual destruction of the good health and resilience of the population.

And of course, personal responsibility also includes taking charge of one’s own health and immunity.

We Do Love to be Right!

Righteousness is a unique form of ugly. It can turn even the most wonderful people into rabid, judgmental, and domineering psychopaths. If I believe I am right, then someone else must be wrong.

I ask you, “When was the last time you enjoyed being made wrong?”

Righteousness does not move anything forward. It creates conflict and not much else. It fails dismally to bring understanding. Brow beating other people with your righteous ideals simply closes their mind to you and you are destined to become little more than noise in their background.

It becomes a war between your mind and theirs. The result is stress, anger, resentment and perhaps hatred.

What would happen if you dropped your righteousness and sought to understand, share ideas, explore perspectives and to expand learning, understanding and collective curiosity. Celebrating scepticism opens the door to new discussions and dilutes the venom of cynicism.

I guess I could be accused of being righteous in the writing of this paper. I hope note. My aim is to generate healthy discussion and action.

Us Versus Them

I have a sense that we collectively hold an arrogance about “our medicine”. I certainly have grown up in competitive times. In my earlier years, it was always the West versus the Communist Block. I looked at everything the US developed as “ours”, and everything coming out of the Soviet Union as “theirs”. Of course, “ours” was always superior. I felt those same attitudes with recent stories about a Chinese Space Agencies landing of a re-useable space vehicle. My immediate response, in my mind, was “It couldn’t be as good as Space X”. No validation of any kind, just a lifetime of bias and arrogance.

Many of us, if we stop and reflect, will think that “our science” is better than “other countries science”, especially if it is not an Ally. We have an arrogance about our superiority. Nationalistic superiority is common across the globe.

But when it comes to medicine and pharmacology, our arrogance stops us from asking questions.

Consecration of Our Constitution.

Australia has a well-written constitution. We also have the power of common law as a trusted ally, and a High Court is a gathering of some of our wisest minds. Together, the three of these protect the rights of every individual. When I began looking into them, I was amazed, humbled, and deeply encouraged by what I found.

Last week when the media were pushing the Prime Minister on the mandating of vaccinations by employers, he backed away from legislative support. I have seen a few politicians behave in this way. Further investigation revealed that it is not possible for the Government to do so as it would require a change in our constitution.

This further reveals the dishonesty of the media. Journalists are not stupid people and many among their ranks would understand the constitution, so one would have to ask why they even bring up government support for mandated vaccinations by employers unless they are trying to stir up some hysteria.

Responsible media, I believe, would be explaining the Government’s response in relation to the constitution.

Perhaps it is time for Australians to take a little more interest in our constitution and to honour its power and the freedoms it protects.

Those who are losing their minds about conspiracy theories, whether they are right or not, have forgotten the power of our constitution and the support it provides if used as it was designed. It seems that many of them are fighting as if this is the final battle for survival and are losing focus on the possibilities that remain.

The True Freedom of The People.

Freedom is not something that is given to us by Governments. It exists in two areas. First, the constitution of the land lays out our rights clearly.

Second, our freedom exists in the choices we make. For example, I am free to decide what I think about lockdowns, travel bans, or any other matter. I can see the lockdowns as a curtailing of my freedom, or I can see them as the best effort of our current leaders to stop the spread of the virus. My response is created by me. If I create a response that makes me angry or depressed, perhaps I need to take another look.

You can get angry if you like. That is your choice. For example, you can get angry about your belief that the virus is man-made, and that the Governments are running a control scam and that the vaccines are evil. That is your choice. But what are you going to do with it?

Do you think the next post you put up on social media is going to bring the world to its senses? Not likely, but you will get to feel right and enjoy your rightness with the people who hold the same view as you. But do you really believe it will change anything?

The same goes for those of you who get angry about the anti-vaxers as you call them. Do you honestly believe your righteous response to their latest post is going to save the world from their evil? Not a chance.

Why do we need to be so adversarial? What would happen if you stepped into the other camp and listened clearly, with interest, to what they have to say. And then vice versa. Perhaps some understanding will grow, and new viewpoints could be developed.

Until we do this, we are all just lost in our minds, swirling in a sludge of righteous anger, competitiveness, persecution, defence, and hopelessness, fighting for a chance to be heard in a room where everyone is deaf.

Dignity, Humility and Wisdom – Quiet Warriors

Perhaps we can all take a step back and draw a completely different viewpoint. Instead of reacting to what is happening, look inside and get more real with who we are being and who we are becoming.

Do you like yourself right now? Are you living the level of virtue that you would like to? These are challenging and emotive times. Last week I tripped myself up badly. My brother wrote a post that I saw as arrogant and deeply self-righteous and I reacted. I wrote a response to his post that was an ugly personal attack on him. I wanted to put him in his place.

I was awake all night. First, my mind wanted to justify what I had written. Eventually, I shifted to regretting that I had allowed myself to stoop to such levels and finally, started to feel how my brother might have felt. I got up and 4 am and wrote a full apology on the post, for my brother to read and for everyone else. I needed to own that I had been a shithead.

But isn’t that our challenge. Instead of getting lost in our minds, I suspect we should be placing more attention on who we are being and how we are contributing to the evolution of humanity and the care of the environment.

This pandemic has brought out the worst in many of us. Adversarial behaviour, playing the right versus wrong game, justifying, attacking, criticizing, and debasing is not the actions or attitudes of an aware and dedicated humanitarian.

For us to move this forward and get to some deeper levels of understanding and cooperation, we should recapture our sense of humour, remove the seriousness we create and again become diligent, committed citizens of the planet.

We are too close to violence for my comfort. This is not the way of the peaceful warrior. I have a sense we will be better served if we begin sharing helpful information, encouraging others, being supportive and noting that our criticisms are reflections of who we have been in the past.

From here, we can restore some order, bring greater peace, allow others to correct their mistakes, inspire everyone to be more responsible, and collectively improve health standards and heal our environment.

Consumers are the most powerful force in any economy.

A Brand New Political Party

Imagine if our passionate citizens who wanted change were to form some new Political Parties and step up to contest some seats. Taking power away from the major political parties stops the dirty deals between big business and government.

Consider for a moment what may happen if a bright new party with humanitarian ideals, were to step up to the plate and win some seats. They could follow the lead of Jacinda Adern and bypass big media by talking directly to the people via social media and bring in a new age of balanced, equitable and responsible government.

Do you dare to dream that it can happen?

We can restore balance to the economy, take the unfair advantage away from powerful industries, support people to make their own choices regarding things like healthcare and education and develop a new playing field where freedom, creativity and a new form of prosperity can thrive.

Am I an idealist? Perhaps I am. But what I do know is that complaining and “kicking up a shindy” does not deliver much other than noise and dissent.

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