Since the pandemic began, The Breakdown has lamented the cowardice of politicians who have given decision making to the “experts”, even though they have had a pretty awful track record.

We were told that it was essential that we “listen to the science”.

This was always wrong. It’s a “philosopher king” approach to government that says we should be governed by the wisest among us – which is anti-democratic – and assumes God-like powers which history shows are possessed by none.

Further, epidemiologists are experts in epidemiology. Not economics. Or social welfare. Or mental health.

But our politicians, who can be voted out, must accommodate a range of opinions when they make a decision – and they must pay the price for poor decisions.

Outsourcing decision-making is gutless and removes some of the blame.

But it seems there might be a value to it after all. It’s on the advice of experts that Australia has closed its borders.

Remember when journalists told us to listen to the experts?

Why not now?

Meanwhile, in the US … Joe Biden has banned all travel from India to the US. Are you old enough to remember when travel bans were racist?

Apparently, they aren’t, any more. Now you know!

The focus of this episode was this article from the Nine Newspapers: Government policy to blame for stranded Australians.

How’s that cognitive decline going?

This could be fun …

Do you reckon there’d by any chance a white, middle-aged podcaster would get the job?

Oh, great, the virus may never end

From Bloomberg:

For the past year, an assumption — sometimes explicit, often tacit — has informed almost all our thinking about the pandemic: At some point, it will be over, and then we’ll go “back to normal.”

This premise is almost certainly wrong. SARS-CoV-2, protean and elusive as it is, may become our permanent enemy, like the flu but worse. And even if it peters out eventually, our lives and routines will by then have changed irreversibly. Going “back” won’t be an option; the only way is forward. But to what exactly?

Deaths in custody

There were more Black deaths in custody this week, including one at Cessnock jail. So far, no details have been released.

But that didn’t stop the overwrought responses.

From NGOs:

NSW & ACT Aboriginal Legal Service chief executive Karly Warner said there were major failings in the system.

“This is a huge red flag about care in our state’s systems,” she said.

“People who die in prisons in police custody take their final breaths without their loved ones by their side.

“Australia is really failing us, Australia has really failed the families.”

From politicians like Linda Burney:

Labor spokeswoman for Indigenous Australians Linda Burney said the deaths were a “national emergency”.

“We don’t know the circumstances of this man’s death (in Cessnock) but what we do know is it was a person who had a family, whose family and community will be terribly affected,” Ms Burney said.

And worse, from the Premier:

Ms Berejiklian said she did not know the circumstances of the man’s death.

“But can I say it’s an issue that concerns me deeply,” she said.

“Unfortunately, too many people of indigenous heritage are behind bars and shouldn’t be.

”These are issues that we need to deal with, and it takes more than one answer for me to be able to provide [that] comprehensively, but can I say it’s something I feel very strongly about and something I think we need to address.”

Bet you didn’t hear this story

What the media doesn’t report is as important as what it does report.

This mustn’t have fit the narrative:

On Monday night, a New York radio host streamed herself on Facebook asserting “F*** the police,” then only hours later allegedly drove her Volkswagen, although she had a suspended license, into a NYPD highway officer who was redirecting traffic, killing him, before she reportedly sped away and was later apprehended. Police say her blood alcohol level was nearly twice the legal limit.

Time to learn Mandarin

The US Navy can’t be relied on from a hardware perspective:

The US Navy is at sea, figuratively as well as literally. It has 101 ships deployed around the world — the same number as during the Cold War — yet the entire fleet is only 297 vessels strong. That’s about half the Reagan-era level of nearly 600. The consequences of maintaining current global commitments with a shrunken fleet include long deployments — some sailors spend close to a year at sea — as well as more maintenance and less time for training.

Or from a troop perspective:

The pledge for a new United States Navy task force has some very progressive-sounding language in it that looks like it was written by a woke campus diversity officer. Task Force Navy One, which was “established to combat discrimination in the Navy,” requires members to “advocate for and acknowledge all lived experiences and intersectional identities of every Sailor in the Navy.”

Please, read it all. And weep.

FEATURE IMAGE: Photo by Govind Krishnan on Unsplash.