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Freedom vs. Selfishness: What’s the Difference?

July 31, 2021

I’m a man of generally moderate inclinations, and not only in my politics. Slow to anger, I tend to lose my temper mainly when dealing with uncooperative inanimate objects or computer programs whose sole purpose is to drive me to terminal exasperation. (Oh, and reckless drivers, too. And those rare people who have crossed me just once too often.)

But lately I’ve felt a powerful urge to bump some heads together, and that urge isn’t going away. We’ve spent the past year-and-a-half in the throes of a brutal pandemic. We have the tools we need to end it. And yet the same people who rebelled against the masks-and-distancing mandates are rebelling against the vaccine that would lift those restrictions once and for all. And guess what: now the damned virus is on the rebound.

It’s all about freedom of choice, the rebels insist. Their cocksure contrariness in the face of a cure must send an exhilarating rush of endorphins coursing through their bodies. How liberating to sneer at the (mostly liberal) elites who place their faith in the vaccine! Yet how ironic when the anti-vaxxers end up hospitalized! Die they might (and the unvaccinated currently account for well over 99% of Covid deaths), but they’ve stood their ground and fired a salvo for personal freedom!

A few weeks ago I had an online run-in with a former columnist for the Philadelphia Inquirer. A smart, charming and generally reasonable conservative who attaches selfies to 90% of her Facebook posts, she confessed to having been vaccinated but insisted that the decision should be a personal one. And fie on the judgmental do-gooders who shame the unvaccinated!

I had to speak up. As tactfully as possible, I wrote that it’s no longer a personal choice when it potentially affects the health of others and perpetuates the pandemic. We stop at red lights to keep ourselves and others safe, don’t we? Yes, it’s a temporary infringement on our freedom, but we accept that personal restriction for the public good. Same with the vaccine: those who refuse it are putting their own interests above those of their neighbors and society as a whole. In other words, they’re being selfish.

Within minutes, I took heat for “shaming” the anti-vaxxers. I was no different than those self-righteous elitists, she scolded me. But it’s not as if I called the anti-vaxxers stupid or even ignorant. One can’t help being stupid, and ignorance is tough to overcome. But it’s easy to avoid being selfish. We simply need to think about how our choices affect others.

Note that I’ve always shunned the collectivist mindset; after all, it’s responsible for some of the most horrendous revolutions and genocides in history. Why? Because the collectivists’ obsession with class denies our individuality. Like the Old Testament God on a bad day, they punish the good along with the evil without regard for personal merit.

I’m an individualist in the sense that I cultivate my own garden and bow to none of the mandatory groupthink that’s intimidating free thought these days. As the great Samuel Johnson put it, “I hope I shall never be deterr’d from detecting what I think a cheat, by the menaces of a ruffian.” Our minds are the last refuge of our individual selves. Surrender them to the self-appointed intellectual tyrants and we’re no freer than slaves.

But I’m also aware that individualism has its limits. Unless we’re living as solitary woodland savages, we’re members of society. As such, we agree to surrender some freedoms in exchange for a civilized life: we’re not allowed to steal, murder, vandalize, exploit, assault, or ignore those red lights, and neither are our neighbors. It makes for social harmony, even if Ayn Rand would be twirling in her grave at the thought of all that abject cooperation.

Think of baseball, that most American sport: the players are free to compile individual stats that inflate (or ruin) their reputations, but at the same time they play their hearts out for the success of the team. Baseball provides the perfect balance between individualism and responsibility, and we could look to it as a model for life in a civil society.

The extreme individualists who oppose the Covid vaccine have less in common than we might suspect. Yes, many of them are diehard Trumpsters, but their numbers also include honest skeptics, conspiracy theorists, poor blacks, poor whites, and (of course) cranky libertarians who refuse to go along with the masses. What they have in common is this: they’re prioritizing their personal agenda over the health of society. By refusing to get vaccinated, they’re allowing the virus to keep spreading and mutating until it could resist all attempts to rein it in. Their personal freedom has crossed the boundary into selfishness.

Individual freedom is sacred, but some crises call on us to sacrifice a little of that freedom and pull together for the public good: a just war, a major depression, an alien invasion – and a once-in-a-century pandemic that we should have been able to vanquish with the jab of a needle. You’d think any reasonable person would see the logic of getting vaccinated, but we’re just not an especially reasonable country these days.


Rick Bayan is founder/editor of The New Moderate. His three volumes of darkly humorous essays are available as e-books on Amazon for the ridiculously low price of $2.99 each.

599 Comments leave one →
  1. August 1, 2021 10:38 am

    Your argument works for absolutely everything that collectivists have ever wanted.

    You can ALWAYS claim that whatever it is you wish to do is in the common good.

    This is the problem with the :”common sense” theme to many of your arguments.

    What you call “common sense” is sometimes correct and sometimes not. But it is ALWAYS shallow.

    It virtually never looks beyond the first order of any issue, further frequently “common sense” claims are not based on FACTS, but beleifs.

    Specifically addressing Covid – there is not a single “policy” that has any correlation to effectiveness in fighting the spread of covid ANYWHERE.

    This has been obviously true from the start, it remains true more than a year later.

    We would all like a magic bullet that makes Covid go away. But there isn’t one.

    I am extremely disappointed by our so called public health experts – because they knew or should have known this from the start. We have never managed to stop the flu using public policy approachs – and stopping the flu only requires reducing the spread rate by a bit over 40%. stopping the earlier variants of Covid required reducing the transmission rate by just less than 500% – if 40% has never been accomplished – 500% is impossible.

    But lets address your “selfishness/freedom” argument.

    You claim that people must be vaccinated because they have a duty to protect others.

    That is a bad argument that does not hold up. Put simply – neither the facts, nor the logic, nor the moral claim are correct.

    An unvaccinated healthy person can not spread covid. They have no duty to anyone.
    An unvaccinated sick person has ALWAYS had a duty to isolate from others – this is nothing new and not specific to Covid.

    Regardless if you are vaccinated – where do you get off foisting false claims of moral duty on those who have chosen NOT to vaccinate. If you have chosen to vaccinate – a personal choice excercising YOUR personal freedom – the choice of others to vaccinate or not has negligable impact on you.

    Your false moral claim REQUIRES manufacturing a duty to “society” – the “common good” rather than others as individuals that DOES NOT EXIST.

    I would further note that ALL of the above presumes the vaccine has zero risk and is 100% effective, both of which are false.

    Further you completely ignore the possibility that chosing to risk getting Covid is a perfectly legitimate choice.

    I am 63 and have a few “risk factors” – I have therefore weighed the risks TO ME and the Benefits TO ME – and my family and chosen to get vaccinated.

    But if my age were different or my health were different the results of that analysis could be different.

    Vaccination is not a “one size fits all” issue.

    YOU entirely ignore that this is an “experimental” vaccine.

    I beleive and there is very good reason to beleive that it will prove to have a far better than normal safety profile. SO FAR the evidence appears to indicate that is the case.

    There have been people who have had very bad side effects from the vaccine – but those appear very rare – much more rare than with flu vaccines.

    But ALL of that is PRELIMINARY – it is LIKELY true. it is not CERTAIN.

    Many people – some who are well educated and are far more familiar with the science and medical technology of this vaccine are NOT convinced that it is safer than regular vaccines – that it does not have very serious long term problems.

    While they have NOT convinced me – so long as vaccination remains a PERSONAL CHOICE – the consequences of whether they are right or wrong is INDIVIDUAL.

    I get to choose whether the risks for me outweigh the potential rewards

    There are also people who oppose vaccination for bat $hit crazy reasons.
    SO WHAT – the risk is to themselves.

    I addressed that above – regardless, it is a big problem with your argument that you ignore.

    Chosing not to vaccinate only poses a risk to others who are also not vaccinated and ONLY if you get infected AND do not self quarantine.

    I have zero problems with choosing not to vaccinate.

    The “common good” that you claim – does not exist. Those who chose not to vaccinate are a risk to themselves and others who made exactly the same choice.

    The MORAL failure is YOURS – whether you FORCE those who have chosen not to vaccinate to do so, or whether you merely shame them – the MORAL failure is YOURS.

    You are presuming a right to make moral judgements of the choices that others have made for themselves that are neither your business, nor any risk to you.

    If you choose to vaccinate – YOU accept the unknown long term risks of this vaccine in return for the mostly known INDIVIDUAL benefits.

    Should we discover that this vaccine causes Gillian Bair 3 years after vaccination YOU (and I) will be the losers. Do those who chose not to vaccinate have some right to shame those of us who chose to vaccinate and time proves we made an unwise choice ?

    Your arguments completely ignore that we do not have certainty. We only have probability.

    We have to weigh the high probability of benefits against the low probability of harm.

    That alone should require that we allow individuals to make their own choices.
    But that is NOT the totality of the assessment.

    The mortality rate and the long term harm rate from Covid is LOW. Some people die, or have serious long term consequences MOST – nearly all, do not. The odds of harm from the vaccine may be small, but they must be balanced against the FACT that Covid is not a serious risk for most people.

    Worse still the risk/benefit curve is not the same for each of us.

    The risk of vaccination is higher the younger we are, and the benefit lower.

    The vast majority of C19 cases in people under 20 are asymptomatic. And the cost of long term risks associated with the vaccine are much much higher.

    IF 3 years from now the Vaccine results in a personal disability or death – I have still lived 63 years. If 3 years from now a teen finds that vaccination ends or severly impeded the rest of their life – the loss is far far higher.

    The odds of long term problems are likely very small. But odds are not certainty.

    I would not personally advise anyone under 20 to get vaccinated – unless they are for some reason at high risk of death or serious consequences from Covid.

    The rewards are just not worth the risks for people under 20. We would need far more data on the long term effects of this vaccine before we should give it to people under 20.

    For nearly all under 20 Covid is many orders of magnitude less of a threat than the Flu.

    But you would chose to force or shame them into doing something that is likely a higher risk to them than their covid risk.

    Over 20 the calculus changes with age and health.

    I doubt I would advise those with no health risks to get vaccinated under 40 – but that is still a choice.

    I certainly would not judge or shame or force those who choose differently than I recomend.

    Once again you couch IMMORAL actions as MORAL when they are NOT.

    Rick, I am honestly tired of the sanctimonious faux morality. It is no less repugnant coming from those on the left or center than it is from those on the right.

    • Rick Bayan permalink
      August 1, 2021 11:04 pm

      Dave: I’ll have to digest all you’ve written here before I can reply. Maybe tomorrow?

    • Anonymous permalink
      November 16, 2021 9:26 pm

      I just happened on this site and read most of your reply. Wow! Right on. 🙂

  2. August 1, 2021 10:50 am

    Sports are voluntary cooperative efforts.

    The analogy does not fit.

    We do not force or shame people into playing baseball – they CHOOSE to do so.
    And they make those choice knowing the obligations to the TEAM they accept by doing so.

    This is little different from the “war” analogy that the left and right constantly use to justify whatever infringement on rights they seek.

    I would hope I would not have to write 10,000 words on the horrible outcomes of the myriads of “war on XXX”.

  3. August 1, 2021 11:25 am

    It is Aug 1, 2021, the Pandemic is now about 15 months old.

    We have a vaccine, we have a variety of treatments – the mortality rate has declined dramatically – maybe because of better treatment, maybe because those vulnerable to die have mostly already been killed, maybe because the new dominant variant is both more contagious and less fatal.

    Regardless, Mortailty appears to be the only area in which we have seen any consequential change in nearly a year and a half of pandemic.

    It should be self evident to pretty much everyone that government actions regarding Covid have had ZERO impact. Even Japan has had 1M cases and 16K deaths with both deaths and cases rising.

    Conversely Sweden which did next to nothing – appears to not only be through C19 – but to have been pretty much though it since January. They have negligable new cases and inconsequential numbers of deaths.

    Regardless, my point is NOT to glorify Sweden. It is to note that we have tried a variety of measures throughout the world, and the EVIDENCE is that none of those worked.

    At best these have been speed bumps. They have had no impact on the long term total number of deaths and infections.

    We have had a vaccine for 9 months – and we have hundreds of millions of people vaccinated in the US – and we are still seeing infection rates FAR higher than last summer,

    We have seen nearly as many infections and deaths in the 7 months that biden has been president as the 11 months Trump was dealing with Covid, and Biden has had a vaccine for the entirety of his time.

    We all hoped the vaccine would be a magic bullet – but self evidently it was not.

    I am not going to fault Biden for failing to save us from Covid – any more than i fault Trump.
    I fault him for making promises that were impossible to deliver. And I fault those – including you, democrats, the left, and media for the obvious delusion that those promises were even possible.

    My point – one supported by the EVIDENCE is that Covid is outside the ability of government or policies to control or even effect.

    It was always Hubris to think otherwise.

    The moral failure is NOT with those who do not get vaccinated – it is with those who continue to beleive there is some collective solution to Covid.

    Rick, you have learned entirely the wrong lesson.

    “Who is Man, that God is mindful of Him!” Psalm 8:1-8

    It appears that we did this too ourselves. It is about 13B times more likely that C19 was developed by Man than it was created by nature.

    But even that is a different issue – man, nature, the fact is the world is hostile to human life.

    We do not have a right to live. We exist solely as a result of our sustained efforts to survive and thrive – that has always been true. C19 has demonstrated not only how true that remains, but that even then nature or error can take it all away.

    Those chosing not to get vaccinated are NOT a problem.

    Those who still beleive in the power of FORCE aka government to acheive their hoped for outcomes are the problem.

    It does not matter whether the issue is Covid, or global warming, or healthcare – government can not solve it.

    Pretending otherwise is wasteful and comes at the expense of freedom.

  4. August 1, 2021 12:57 pm

    Rick… It’s been a while since I’ve read your “moderate” blog. I had more or less stopped reading it because I so often found it to be a little more skewed to the right than to the middle, and I don’t necessarily agree with your self-perception as being “an individualist” in your thinking because of that. My take on your POV is more that you’re of the old-school type of conservatism. But in these days, that makes you an asset, and I suppose it could be a kind of argument as being “moderation.” We need less extremism in this society. The polarization on both sides of the political spectrum is killing us; on that, we have always agreed.

    That said, to me, this blog is different. The title caught my eye as it came across my feed, so I read it, rather than hit the “delete” button on the email and move on. This blog is more of a “common ground” blog, and in my opinion, you have have it sussed. Nail on the head kind of sussed.

    I live in one of those conservative states that is near the rock bottom of rankings in the United States of the percentage of people who have received *any* vaccine for the prevention of Covid-19, much less both vaccines. Likewise with other common sense disease prevention strategies, the masking and distancing. And–surprise, surprise!– this state is also near the top of the rankings in the United States of rapidly rising infections of the delta variant…of increased hospitalizations, and increased deaths. Only an incredibly dense person could fail to make the connection, or, a person in an incredible state of denial. And for what useful purpose, that denial? Your words back at you, in a “Here! Here!”, because they are so appropo:

    “It’s all about freedom of choice, the rebels insist. Their cocksure contrariness in the face of a cure must send an exhilarating rush of endorphins coursing through their bodies. How liberating to sneer at the (mostly liberal) elites who place their faith in the vaccine! Yet how ironic when the anti-vaxxers end up hospitalized! Die they might (and the unvaccinated currently account for well over 99% of Covid deaths), but they’ve stood their ground and fired a salvo for personal freedom!”

    Our governor, a Republican, has *finally* gotten out of his wimpy cow-tow-to-the-Trumpublicans hidey-hole corner, and is making town-hall types of appeals around our state to respond to the baseless claims of conspiracy theorists that are holding our state’s populace back from freedom from this virus. And he’s refreshingly said out loud that in his belief, most of the vaccine and masking resistance is due to people choosing to follow conspiratorial thinking over scientific facts. These days, that’s a bold move for a Republican to make (so I guess that makes him a moderate, too.)

    What’s happening in this state, as the infections rise, is that these *very same people* who deny the scientific evidence that supports the effectiveness of vaccinations and masking and distancing in reducing the rates of infection are *the very same people* going to the hospital emergency rooms for *their* treatment, over-running facilities all around the state by sucking up a hugely disproportionate share of the beds, of the medical supplies, of the staff, to take care of *them* when they fall ill with this debilitating virus. Ninety-eight + percent (98+ %) of the sick have not been vaccinated. These people have been selfish to the extreme…and blind as bats about it.

    In the town hall nearest me, several people rose to tell their stories of how they or a family member have had to, *literally*, put off life-saving medical treatment because *the resources are so taxed by taking care of the delta variant infected that those resources are not currently available to them!* Is this what it takes to wake up the self-centered “individualists” tilting at the freedom windmill? Maybe. Since the town halls have begun, and this kind of personal testimony and pleas from fellow community residents, we have seen a notable uptick in vaccinations. What does it say about a person, that it takes this kind of extreme public health emergency for them to “get it” about the inter-connectedness of all of us, and the responsibility to others that is the flip side of having a very free society?

    For me, it’s come down to this: I dream of the moment when the health care workers walk off the job en masse, and leave those Covid-19 infected patients sucking up resources to die alone in their hospital beds. I dream of the hospitals making the decision to admit people first for heart attacks, strokes, surgeries, car wrecks and other medical emergencies and to give only a limited number of beds to the non-vaccinated Covid-19 infected. And that’s happened here where I live; ambulances have had to queue up with occupants because there aren’t beds to admit them. Involved in a car accident? Get in line, behind an infected anti-vaxxer anti-masker who has run squealing to the hosptial to be saved when faced with the inevitable consequences of their selfish and foolish choices.

    Those people…the anti-vaxxers, the anti-maskers…they want freedom from vaccinations and masking? Then take it, dear ones….all the way to the Big Bank in the Sky. Revel in it. Tough it out at home, and die there too. While you are at it, infect your family members, please! and take some of them with you. To put it quite bluntly, American doesn’t need this s*** from you. Why should the rest of us care about *you* and *your families* when you are the weak link in the chain of public health? When so very clearly do not think of anyone else but yourselves? At this point in time, I can’t think of a good reason to. We’re in the midst of a public health emergency, and the anti-common-sense people are, literally, the hole in the dyke.

    • Rick Bayan permalink
      August 1, 2021 11:02 pm

      Welcome back, cougrrl. Oh, I’m as moderate as ever. The proof of that is that our more conservative commenters here think I’m a left-wing “statist.” You might get the impression that I’m conservative because I rail against “wokeness,” which I see as an Orwellian groupthink that tolerates no dissent and punishes heretics. I’m really just in favor of free speech and two-way conversations on race.

      Anyway, I’m glad you responded to my current column. While I don’t wish the anti-vaxxers to die and decrease their surplus population, I think they need to be shocked into action. Some of what you related is just what they need to open their eyes. Just curious: which state are you from?

      • August 2, 2021 3:35 pm

        Hi Rick. I have gotten the impression that you are conservative because when you rail against something that a conservative does that you don’t like, your railing is usually much more subdued than when you are railing against something that a liberal does that you don’t like. I noticed that pattern quite a while back. But as I said, I haven’t been reading your blog for a few years now, so maybe that’s evened out some. You do more or less hail from the conservative side, no?

        The only way these anti-vaxxers will be shocked into action is to hold them personally accountable for their poor choices. And that’s entirely in keeping with a conservative philosophy, so should be acceptable to the majority of them, since the majority of anti-vaxxers are of the conservative ilk. Hospitals are being blown out of the water with the high demands that these people are placing on our healthcare system, and by all accounts, we are experiencing a public health emergency with this viral pandemic.

        So it’s time for some triage. Limit the number of beds available to the covid-19 infected; put our resources into more readily treatable illnesses (we’re still struggling to know how to best treat this, right?) But heart attacks and strokes, accident victims and such, we can have a better “save rate” with. In the process of doing this kind of triage, we can greatly reduce the exposure that staff and other patients have to the virus. It’s just practicality. If the staff burn out, we all lose. If a person made a personal choice not to be vaccinated, then they should accept the consequences of that choice, and step-aside for other folks who are fighting for their lives and health through no fault of their own. Why allow them to soak the system for treatment for a largely preventable illness when those people more or less made the choice to play Russian roulette with it? I see nothing productive about tying up ICU beds with hoards of these folk while other people with other needs have to take a back seat to them in our care facilities. It’s poor management of resources.

        Re: what state I’m living in, it’s Arkansas. The largest newspaper here, the Arkansas Democrat Gazette, has been doing an excellent job covering the issue and trying to educate the largely conservative population here about the reality of the risk they are taking by choosing not to get vaccinated and not to mask where appropriate…and that’s quite a task. In the last several days there have been interviews with the healthcare teams in the hospitals, relating their observations that the profile of this second wave of infections, this second rising curve, has changed from the first. In this case, the people getting the sickest and dying are younger…even in the 20’s and 30’s, some leaving behind young children. Medical staff are moving out of emergency care, and burning out quicker. Some are leaving the healthcare profession altogether. One nurse walked off the job in the middle of the shift. One nurse was spit in the eye by a man who denied that he was positive when his test results came in. Family members, who were part of the “no vaccine” mind set, come in with their dying *demanding* that the medical staff do everything that they can to save them. It’s obscene and repulsive, to me. I have no sympathy at this point with the seriously ill and the dying who more or less chose this path for themselves, and as you say, for what good reason REALLY?

        With over 8 billion human beings on the planet, it’s fair to say that we suffer no shortage of humanity. Let nature take her course with those who snub the vaccination, then. Let the Darwin principle play out with people in this situation. I have great sympathy for the world’s people who want vaccines and are unable to attain them. The fact that vaccines have spoiled here in the USA while others are literally dying to get them is another obscenity, to me. What privilege we have! It’s time to set limits with these self-serving folk. If their reason for not being vaccinated is that they fear the vaccine, then let them eat their own words, the ones that they hurled at the rest of us who took the virus seriously from the beginning: “Stay home.” Stay home, stop infecting everyone around you, and if you get sick, stay home and deal with it there. If you die, you die. So many of them said that flippantly in the beginning, when they didn’t want to mask. So hold them to it *now*, and let the rest of us move toward a healthier society without them.

      • August 2, 2021 5:54 pm

        Rick – I am not “conservative”. I am libertarian. That is far closer to moderate than I find you.

        I honestly do not know what “moderate” is. I have asked here for some kind of definition for years and not received anything satisfactory.

        Most everyone here seems to think they are “moderate”. But by most linear political scales this blog and you are center left.

        As best as I can tell too many here think Moderate means compromise is a principle for you rather than a tool. That is trivially demonstrable as idiocy.

        I never voted for Trump, vote for republicans SLIGHTLY more than democrats, though rarely for either. Not nationally, not locally.

        If Democrats were not so stupid about how they apply their prefered policies, I would be more inclined to support democrats than republicans.

        I favor almost completely open borders – but contingent on either eliminating most of the “social safety net” or limiting it to citizens. I do NOT support easy citizenship for immigrants.

        I have fought for gay rights since I first knew what gay meant in the 70’s.

        I support free trade – Actual free trade – not Obama or Trump style free trade.

        I am opposed to the endless war nonsense of BOTH parties.

        I would also eliminate 90% of the federal government, and an awful lot of the state and local governments too.

        I do not support ANY regulation at all. But I fully support individuals making tort claims in the courts for actual harms caused by others.
        This is a centuries old effective method for punishing those that harm others.

        I can go on an on. I am not republican, not conservative, not democrat, not progressive.

        I am liberal by the real meaning of the term.

        I am actually happy that those on the left are now calling themselves progressive – they are not and never were liberal, and I wish that republicans would quit attacking “liberals” because we are close to a point at which we can restore liberal to its real meaning.

        But I read you – and while you usually reject the extreme left wing nut idiocy of AOC and her ilk, you seem radically confused about “the right”.

        The ‘extreme’ contingent on the right is miniscule today.

        David Dukes and Richard Spensor are nearly inconsequential.
        There are less KKK members in the US than Antifa in Portland – possibly by an order of magnitude.

        There is absolutely no equivalent of AOC or Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren or any of dozens of very left to extreme left politicians on the right.

        Even Trump – is fundimentally a center right republican.
        You can rant about disliking his style, but nearly all his “policies” had the support of a majority of americans – many 80% super majorities.

        Just to be clear I am NOT saying they have MY support.

        I think Trump is WRONG about immigration – but far less wrong than democrats. But more important with respect to what is moderate or what is centerist – Trump’s policies were centerist.

        I do not know what to say about Biden – because quite frankly the man is not all there. I strongly suspect he is suffering from vascular dimensia – and whatever his cognition problems are – he has my sympathy.
        But he is not competent to be president and has not been for a long time.
        Nor do I hold him responsible for the policies of his administration.

        The children are in charge in the Biden Whitehouse.
        And they have no idea what they are doing.

        Biden’s first 6 months have been far worse than I could have imagined.
        Biden took office with the wind behind his back. We had predictions of an 8% economy and concerns about inflation were supposed to be in late 2022.
        Biden inherited a vaccine and the expectations were that Covid would soon be over. Unemployment was supposed to drop by millions per month.
        The alleged lack of respect that the world had for the US would end.
        The US would get along better with China and Putin would be put in his place.

        We had these and many other predictions – most of which we had good reason to expect would happen.

        While the economy has not tanked – it is not headed for the 8% growth that was predicted and should have been near automatic.
        Unemployment is improving by TINY amounts and it appears only in red states that have ended extended unemployment benefits.
        Inflation is already hitting, and there are way too many predicting hyper inflation or the slightly lessor inflation of the 80’s.
        What we currently have at the southern border is hard to argue as what ANYONE would want. The US is back to fawning over Putin as it did under Obama – which is really odd as Russia is nearly irrelevant.
        Meanwhile the risk that Xi will attack Taiwan has doubled or trippled.
        And the Chinese insult the US on a near daily basis.
        And there is little evidence that Europe is any more favorable to the US than under Trump. The iranian people begged us not to ease up on Iran as the regime was near crumbling – yet we did.
        And Biden’s total Covid cases (and deaths) in 7 months have almost reached those of Trump in 11 months, and this despite inheriting a vaccine.
        It is currently summer – which should be the nadir of covid infections and we are seeing numbers near those in January before there was significan vaccination.

        None of this is “the end of the world” –
        Nor do I blame Biden for the spike in Covid.

        But I do absolutely blame him and his people for LYING about Covid to get elected.

        It should be pretty obvious – even to You Rick, that Covid does not give a $hit about anything government has done.
        We can debate masks and social distancing and shutdowns and …..
        And quite honestly I STILL mask, and social distance as part of my work.
        But then I am going into hundreds of peoples apartments in the NYC metro area. If there is a small chance these will be beneficial I am doing them by choice.

        But there is no data for the effectiveness of ANY of this nonsense.

        And to a huge extent what we have learned goes AGAINST all the dictats of government and experts.

        I do not have at my fingertips the transmission rate of Covid in the outdoors, but the Evidence is that even outdoors at NIGHT it is a fraction of the indoor transmission rate. That during the day outdoor transmission practically requires and infected person to stick their tongue down your throat.

        Yet, we arrested people for holding outdoor church.

        The evidence ALSO indicates that indoor transmission varies dramatically with the rate of air changes in the building. With Schools having BY FAR the lowest transmission rate, and Homes having the highest rate.

        The fundimental point is not to debate specifics of Covid,
        The key point is that nothing that was done or recommended, by Trump, By Biden, by government experts, has any evidence to show that it worked.

        Probably harder for you to grasp is that this was completely predictable in February of 2020.

        There are only two possibilities – the “experts” in government have lied to us.
        Or they are incompetent.

        Which is true is not of critical importance.
        What is important is that of the myriads of things that have had the attention of the public over the past 4, 10, … years. This is the most consequential BY FAR. And Government inarguably massively F’ed it up.

        If that is not at the TOP of the stack for every single editorial you post – then you are an apologist for the left wing nut government.

        “Who is Man, that God is mindful of Him!”

        Psalm 8:1-8

        A man said to the universe:
        “Sir, I exist!”
        “However,” replied the universe,
        “The fact has not created in me
        A sense of obligation.”

        Humans – especially those on the left are drowning in Hubris.

        Covid was a test of the religion of the left – and it failed.

        To the extent that Trump or any on the right promised anything regarding Covid – beyond the development of the vaccine – They FAILED.
        But the promises did NOT for the most part come from the right.

        They came from the left.

      • Rick Bayan permalink
        August 3, 2021 10:13 pm

        Cougrrl (and Dave, for that matter): Don’t have time to respond to all your points, but for the sake of clarity let me confess that I’m not a pure centrist — never have been. But I’m a moderate in the sense that I’m a persistent “boat balancer.” When I see an idea or trend that threatens to tip the boat dangerously far to one side, I feel compelled to tip us back to the center.

        So I tend to skew right on social/cultural issues in response to the punitive, take-no-prisoners “woke” groupthink that’s currently spreading from academia to the corporate world and beyond. (Sorry, but my ancestors were too busy trying not to be massacred by the Turks to oppress black people.) That doesn’t mean I’m insensitive to the real problems faced by historically marginalized groups. I’m just on guard against the compulsory white-shaming that’s gained far too much acceptance today.

        On the other hand, I’m a little to the left on economic issues. We’re obviously living through a new Gilded Age in which wealth is floating inexorably toward the top. Sorry, but no CEO is worth 400 times more than a hardworking average employee. Unless we want to become a neo-feudal society of lords and serfs, we need to scale back the disparities by returning to something like the postwar tax and salary structure.

      • August 5, 2021 12:09 pm


        All “boat balancing” is, is an effort to move left more slowly.

        I am not all that sure I would call you a boat balancer – you are drifting left pretty fast,
        and you are doing so at an odd time, when the evidence that the left is increasing wrong and increasingly malevolent is growing.

        If this were the 50’s there would be legitimate reason to fear the macarthyite right, though oddly MacCarthy was prescient about the societal destruction that leftists teachers would cause.

        Regardless, this is not the 50’s. There is no credible threat from the right.
        When there is, I will be happy to fight it.

        Today the Macarthyites are on the left.
        Today the authoritarians are on the left.
        Today those who would control our lives – are on the left.

      • August 5, 2021 12:22 pm

        Very odd.

        You are backwards.

        The proof that the left is WRONG on economic issues is pretty damning.

        Directly addressing your claim about the distribution of wealth.

        Here is an excellent video on this and many many related things by Jordan peterson.

        You can get the data to back up what he is saying elsewhere.
        Regardless, the FACT is that your claims regarding the distribution of weatlh are neither new nor avoidable. Nor is this confined to wealth. Nor is it correctable.

        There are very very few michal jordans in the world. What do you think you can do about that ? If you wish to create some kind of equality in a world where people are just plan flat out NOT equal – the only choice you have is to break peoples arms or lobotomize them.

        Specifically addressing wealth – how much of what Bill gates has does he personally benefit from ?

        There is only so many Gulf V jets, and mansions that a person can consume.

        The benefits of the wealth held by the richest people in the world today do NOT go to them.
        99.99% of their wealth is invested. It creates new businesses, new jobs, and even more wealth – for them and for others. And the portion they receive – goes back to new businesses and new jobs and more weath for them and others.

        It is a virtuous circle – and you are enviously trying to destroy that ?

      • August 5, 2021 12:34 pm

        Of course a CEO should make 400 or more times as much as a hardworking average employee.

        First as Peterson – and massive amounts of other economic data notes, most of the people working – no matter how hard for some huge business contribute very little to the success of that business.

        But lets address the real world.

        Kodak went bankrupt some years ago. I beleive Kodak was an $80B company at the time.

        Its stock price cratered. Shareholders lost billions. tens of thousands of people lost jobs.

        Shareholders might be uber rich people like Bill Gates – so who cares ?
        But they also might be your 401K or your insurance company.

        So how much would it be worth to the people who lost their jobs or whose 401K’s tanked or whose insurance costs increased

        for the CEO of Kodak to have done a better job and avoided bankruptcy ?

        It is unbeleivably hard to tell the difference between the CEO that is worth 400 times the average worker and the one who is worth 4000 times the average worker.

        But if you do not understand that they exist – you are an idiot.

        Would Amazon be what it is without Bezos ? Would Microsoft be what it is without Gates ?
        Would Apple be what it is without Jobs ? Would Tesla be what it is without Musk ?

        We can like or hate these people as you please. But you can not deny that they changed the world.

        Absolutely without Bezos or Gates or Musk or … the world would go on.
        Others would step in. Others would succeed – though not as much.

        And we would all be poorer for it.

        And as Peterson notes – this is not about business.

        It is about every single productive and creative field.

        There is only one Lebron James. You can like him or hate him. Those less than him are incredible. but they are not him.

        There is only one YoYo Ma.

        Yes, the best of the best of the best of the best are worth 400 times more than the rest of us.

        Get over it.

      • August 5, 2021 12:42 pm

        We are not due to become a society of lords and serfs.

        AGAIN – please review the Prices law video or look up prices law.

        The only thing that is happening over time is massive amounts of new wealth are being created and the curve is being stretched out.

        It is the same curve as it always ways.

        But the bottom is higher than it was, and each step along the way is higher and there are more steps than before.

        I have not done as well as my father did in life so far, I am probably one rung lower on the ladder than he was.

        Yet, I am actually much better off. I can eat out more than he, I eat better than he, I have a nicer house, nicer furniture.

        I own apartments – my tenants are lower working class.
        As people today go they are pretty bad off – not the worst, but they have no bank accounts, bad credit, no cars.

        Yet, they live better than I did when I was a child and my father was just starting out.
        And at that time he thought he was upper middle class.

        Inarguably the rich are getting richer,

        But so is EVERYONE.

      • Rick Bayan permalink
        August 3, 2021 10:30 pm

        I should add that I’m also aware of the dangers posed by the far right (and the GOP is mostly far right these days). January 6 really shook me to the core, and I seriously think Trump should be arrested for inciting an insurrection. He didn’t literally tell them to break inside the Capitol, but how else were they supposed to stop the electoral vote count according to Trump’s command? I’m probably more vocal about the wokesters because their threat is intellectual, and I’m especially sensitive to repression of free thought. But yes, the far-right nutjobs are going to be the more immediate threat to our democracy.

      • August 5, 2021 12:44 pm

        How is the GOP mostly far right these days ?

        This is just absolute nonsense.

        Republicans controlled all 3 branches of government from 2017 to 2019.

        Did they enslave the country ?

        What evil thing did they do ?

        Honestly Rick, I am not republican. I differ with republicans on myriads of things.

        But the claim they are far right is complete and total idiocy.

      • August 5, 2021 1:01 pm

        And you wonder why I think you are falling off the left edge of the world.

        No Trump should not be arrested for incting an insurection.

        Grow up – we had a disastrous lawless election,

        People are angry – legitimately.
        Trust in government is rushing towards single digits.

        Johnathan Turley – no right winger advised Biden in early november to agree to substantive audits of the election.

        This was NECESCARY to restore confidence in government.

        It matters far less who wins and election than that everyone trusts that the election was conducted within the law and honestly.

        If you beleive this election was lawful – you are an idiot.

        28 states in this country have state constitutional amendments that require secret ballots.
        There should be a secret ballot requirement in the US constitution.

        Secret ballots require that it is not possible for another person to know how you voted.

        we have laws that prohibit people from taking cameras into voting booths – because that would allow them to prove how they voted – and either be paid or coerced for specific voting.

        This is not some abstract fear. Those state constitutional amendments were created in the late 19th century as the result of MASSIVE election fraud.

        What has changed in the past 100 years that you think that it is possible to conduct elections in a way that resulted in massive fraud a century ago and not today ?

        I do not know what the actual result of this election was.

        But I know that the election was corrupt. That is self evident.

        Governors made up new election laws as they went. and in most instances the courts went along often happily.

        I have been fighting for actual election integrity long before Trump descended the escallator.

        I have been afraid of and expecting some variation of what happened in 2020.

        we have been having ever more razor thin elections – not just presidential ones, but accross the ballot.

        A house seat was decided in 2020 by 29 votes. Senate seats have been decided by a 2-3000 votes for decades.
        More and more elections are decided by less than 1% of the vote.

        This is a recipe for disaster.

        How close does and election – that will likely decide how trillions or billions or millions of dollars have to be, before it is worth it to someone to engage in fraud ?

        In the 19th century MOST voters were paid for their vote.
        We know that occured in some places on atleast a small scale in 2020.

        The incentives for election fraud are incredibly high.

        I have been sick and tired of idiots on the left claiming that there is no such thing as election from for the past several decades.

        That is complete idiocy.

        What is true is that we are structually willfully blind to the possibility of election fraud.

      • August 5, 2021 2:48 pm

        Wow, It is not surprising that I increasingly read you as a leftist.

        All you are doing Rick is demonstrating quite effectively how much the parties have reversed positions on various issues.

        We likely share antipathy towards “wokism”.
        However, I completely support the rights of the woke to beleive and speak openly stupidly.

        I think that modern wokism is just a mirror of 1950’s maccarthyism.
        It is racist, censorious, and authoritarian.

        But it is only dangerous if given power.
        Just as we must be free to choose not to vaccinate, we must also be free to spew nonsense such as that people can decide what sex they wish to be or pretend that they are the modern victims of things that happened before any of us were born.

        I supported the rights of Nazi’s to march through my city – and then protested them as they did. I am not going to act differently with respect to the woke.

        Regardless -we can debate wokism, and vaccination and censorship, and ….

        So long as none of us are permitted to use force to silence or compel the other – it will all work out in the end.

        In fact – even if force is used – it will still work out in the end, but the path will be longer more brutal and probably violent.

        I rail about censorship now – about twitter and facebook and the incredible left tilt of the media.

        But I do not wish to do anything – atleast not through government about it.

        Fundimentally bad ideas – left or right, are self punishing and self correcting.

        I posted a response to your economic nonsense.
        but honestly the response does not matter.
        There has been no successful effort anywhere ever to change any of what you rant about.
        If you took all the wealth in the world and redistruted it evenly – within a short time you would have the same distribution as now. It is possible that you could change the specific people in each wealth bucket, but you can not alter the shape of the curve.
        It is possible that you can radically reduce the amount those at the very top have.
        But you can not reduce the percentage they have. Thus when you reduce the amount – you end up with Poverty.

        Cuba has exactly the same wealth distribution curve as the US – the Castros, have Billions,
        that is as compared to Gates,, Buffet, Bezo’s …. who now have tens, even hundreds of billions.

        The standard of living in the US is many times that of Cuba.

        Every regime that has tried to accomplish what you seem to want economically, has at worst impoverished itself, and at best stagnated relative to the world.
        And in the end still had have’s at the top and have nots elsewhere.

        The problem with your entire economic analysis is that it is pure envy and has no relevance.

        What matters to you – how much the uber wealthy have ?
        Or how much ordinary people have ?

        My tenants who are working class poor – have more “wealth” than most europeans,
        They have bigger apartments, they have more appliances, they have more electronics, they have cheaper and better food, ….

        And all you care about is envy of Bill Gates ?

        I have met Bill Gates – when he was just a millionaire and Microsoft did not dominate the world. He is not smarter than I am, he is not more handsome, or taller, or better dressed.

        For much of my life on occasion I would wonder why I was not Bill Gates.
        I am nearly his age, and better at many things than he is.

        But ultimately I decided I do not care. I am not Bill gates – because I never wanted to be Bill Gates. I do not want to be a billionaire. I share many traits, I am competitive, driven, ….

        But in the end I am just not Bill Gates.

        I am the 1% – not the 0.0001%.

        And I am happy with my life. I have been happily married for nearly 40 years.
        Bill Gates (and Bezos) are divorced. I am hard pressed to beleive they are as happy as I am.
        and even if they are – so what. I am concerned about MY happiness – not theirs.

        I do not envy Bill Gates. I do not want to be him. I do not want his money. I do not want his life. And I think it is perfectly reasonable that I am who I am and he is who he is, and I do not seek to change that.

      • August 4, 2021 5:00 am

        Being criticized by the left and the right is no more likely to make you moderate than to make you correct.

        That is a pretty trivial logical fallacy.

    • Savannah Jordan permalink
      August 2, 2021 1:36 pm

      Wish there was way to make the anti-vaxers pay for their medical treatment. Once it hits THEIR pocketbooks, they will experience an epiphany.

      • August 2, 2021 3:00 pm

        That, or just don’t admit them for treatment. Reserve only a few beds for the Covid-19 infected, while saving the majority of beds for other illnesses and injuries. And further, prioritize the assignment of a covid bed to those who have breakthrough infections. The unvaccinated are a burden to our healthcare system and their infections are largely completely avoidable.

      • August 2, 2021 6:08 pm

        Or we could just go back to truly private healthcare where EVERYONE is responsible for the cost of the health decisions they make.

        If you smoke – your health insurance should cost more.

        If your diet is bad – your health insurance should cost more.

        If you have unprotected sex with multiple partners your health insurance should cost more.

        If you are overweight your health insurance should cost more.

        If you have diabetes your health insurance should cost more.


        I thought those on the left were for universal healthcare.
        For caring for those who had unanticipated health problems.
        I thought the left was for completelhy socializing the cost of health care.

        Your argument regarding vaccination is PRECISELY what PPACA was an idiotic idea.

        When you pretend that we are equal, and that we are equally entitled to something, you inevitably not merely transfer the cost from those who make poor choices to those who make good ones, but you also increase the extent to which people make poor choices.

        You are correct – incentives mater, and as a result the socialized world of the left fails.

        Either we must restore incentives – as you say impose the cost of peoples decisions on them, or we must compell good behavior BY FORCE.
        We must send the health police to each person’s home and confiscate their cigarettes, beer, pizza and forcibly vaccinate them.

      • August 2, 2021 6:11 pm

        The vast majority of people who get Covid do not get hospitalized.
        Possibly as many as 50% have cases so mild they never know they had it.

        That is based on actual data.

        Annecdotally, A family that is close to me had everyone get infected several months ago. They only determined that when one of them got sick enough to require medical treatment and the rest were tested. None of the rest of the family even knew they had it. They had no symptoms, or few symptoms.

    • August 2, 2021 4:09 pm

      I have zero problems with holding people accountable for the actual harm they do to others.

      But failure to vaccinate can only possibly cause harm to yourself.

      Harm to others is caused when you are sick – whether with Covid or anything else and you transmit it to others.

      Everyone in my family has vaccinated – and did so as early as was possible for us – February. As noted I would encourage those with significant risks – Age, know comorbidities to vaccinate – For those the risk of death or serious long term issues from Covid are sufficiently high that the risks associated with the vaccine are small comparatively.

      But I would not recommend vaccinating healthy children and healthy young adults – the Covid risk for those is many times LOWER than the FLU. While the long term vaccine risks might be higher.

      We should celebrate that we were able to cut the red tape and deliver a vaccine this quickly.
      But we should not pretend that there are no risks.

      I was vaccinated early – when the risks were significantly more unknown. It is reasonable at this time given the hundreds of millions of vaccinations across the world that the short term risks associated with the vaccines are very low – probably lower than ordinary vaccines.
      But the long term risks are completely unknown today. I have heard “experts” claim there are none, and other “experts” claim there are real long term risks. The FACT is we do not know.

      But that should not surprise given the record of “experts” that have no been suppressed over the past year. I addressed that in a different long post.

      Regardless, if after the past year you have confidence in the “experts” in government or NGO’s – then you are an idiot. While SOME of these people are well meaning. It is increasingly evident that far to many are SELF SERVING, and that well meaning or not their skills are POOR.

      This too should not surprise – as contra the left, Science is about inquiry, it takes decades to acheive scientific certainty, and even then science often finds past certainty wrong.

      Though possibly more disturbing is that the handling of this pandemic has actually been at ODDS with all prior experience, studies, and science. Most everything we were told to do, does not work – and that was known.

      • August 2, 2021 10:13 pm

        “But failure to vaccinate can only possibly cause harm to yourself.”

        Failure to vaccinate risks infection, and quite likely transmission to others along the way. Children are infected by parents and there is no vaccine for the children, currently. Children losing their parents because the parents failed to vaccinate hurts them deeply, and the rest of the family too…whomever has to pick up the pieces. The data is pretty clear: while breakthrough infections occur, the infection deck is deeply stacked against the unvaccinated. And once infected, they spread it around, which aside from infecting others, allows the virus to mutate further.

        “But we should not pretend that there are no risks.”

        No one I know has done so. Those of us who have taken the time to educate ourselves about them realized that aside from the risks associated with most prescription meds, there were more possible risks with the mRNA vaccines, simply by virtue of their newness. But the trials showed low risk, and as we’ve seen, that’s played out in the population. All’s well that ends well, as I see it, and we’ve had quite enough time to witness this to have a chance to make up our minds about this. IAny medication has the potential for side effects, and some that are regularly prescribed have “black label” warnings for particularly serious ones. Yet we accept this with virtually no public comment at all.

        The data are pretty clear: of the people getting sick now, sick enough to die or be left with the lingering debilitating symptoms and long-term damage to various organs and bodily systems, all of which we don’t even fully know about yet, are all unvaccinated people. Occurring at pandemic levels, this impacts society in a myriad of harmful ways, as seen with the economic situation, mental health risks, and the earlier referenced harm to family members. We don’t need to be pretending that failure to vaccinate can only possibly cause harm to oneself. That’s a falsehood. The havoc we’ve seen wreaked over the past year and a half should be enough to make that clear to anyone who’s been conscious and reading the news about the pandemic.

      • August 4, 2021 3:32 pm

        “Failure to vaccinate risks infection”
        Possibly – not with certainty.

        The left has told us that social distancing, masking, isolation work.
        Are you ready to admit that they do not ?
        If you are not, you can not claim that those who are not vaccinated but otherwise follow guidelines are risking getting infected.

        Further, those who already have had covid – between 35-70M people are MORE immune than those who are vaccinated.

        Those who have normal vitamin D levels are only slightly more likely to get infected than those who have been vaccinated.

        “and quite likely transmission to others along the way.”
        False assumption. Infected people should self quarantine. That is not new, and it is not unique to covid.

        Whether you are vaccinated or not, if you have symptoms of anything you have a moral duty not to spread it.

        You can not spread any disease to others if you are not arround others.

        Beyond that we have increasing data on the risks or spreading Covid.

        There is near zero spread out doors in the daytime.
        But surprisingly the outdoor spread at night is far far lower than expected.
        Indoor spread varies depending on the space – bigger spaces have much lower spread rates, spaces that have frequent air changes have very low spread rates.

        Spread within most modern schools which require several air changes per hour is virtually non-existant. Conversely the spread within homes which have very few air changes is hundreds of times higher. If you are in a room that has no air circulation with an infected person 15′ away – according the the CDC you will have a 15% chance of getting infected after 15 min. While schools, warehouses, most churches, most large retails spaces most resturaunts the spread rate is almost nonexistant.

        “Children are infected by parents and there is no vaccine for the children, currently. Children losing their parents because the parents failed to vaccinate hurts them deeply, and the rest of the family too…whomever has to pick up the pieces. ”

        Stupid appeals to emotions using bizarre hypotheticals.

        The average age at childbirth in the US is 26. That means that the parents of a 10 yr old are likely to be 36. The Covid mortality rate for 36 yr olds is extremely low – probably lower than that of the Flu. We do not force parents to get flu shots.

        “The data is pretty clear”
        That is true and you are either unfamiliar with most of it or ignoring it.

        “while breakthrough infections occur, the infection deck is deeply stacked against the unvaccinated.”

        I have no idea what this means.
        I beleive it was you that cited incorrect breakthrough infection rates.
        Regardless they are extremely low.

        You keep pushing this straw man.
        No one disagrees that the infection rate for those who are vaccinated are low.

        But you are ignorant of the fact that the infection rate for those who already had Covid is even lower.

        And the infection rate for those who have normal vitamin D is only slighly higher than those who are vaccinated.

        And that is just the infection rate.
        Mortality rates are very low for:
        The young,
        those with normal vitamin D levels.
        Those who previously got covid.
        The healthy.

        There are many unvaccinated people whose REAL risk of death is lower than many vaccinated people.

        You keep trying to pretend this is one size fits all.

        It is not, and you are unfamiliar with the facts.

        There is no moral requirement that you be familiar with all the facts.

        But when you make negative moral judgements of others, you had damn well better know the facts – because if you do not the moral failure is YOURS.

        “And once infected, they spread it around”
        Some do, all do not.

        There is an actual moral duty not to spread any infection if you are sick.
        There is not a moral duty to get vaccinated.

        I would note there appears to be some evidence that vaccinated people can catch Delta without getting sick and spread it to others.

        So even getting vaccinated appears not to prevent you from spreading it.

        “which aside from infecting others, allows the virus to mutate further.”

        Myriads of factors drive mutation rates.
        C19 is an RNA virus – they tend to have high mutation rates.
        But C19 actually has an unusually low mutation rate for an RNA virus.
        This is actually part of the evidence that C19 originated in a lab.
        Mutation rates for natural RNA viruses are higher than lab grown ones.
        This is because lab grown viruses tend to be more “fragile”, i.e. they mutate as rapidly, but a much larger portion of mutations fail.

        Time is a major factor driving mutation rates.
        Were you arguing against lockdowns because THEY increased the odds of mutations ?

        Effective treatments and vaccines tend to drive mutation rates UP.

        I think there are important factors related to the design of C19 that make a virus that is immune to the vaccine unlikely. But ordinarily mass vaccinations push mutations that are vaccine resistant.

        If you are going to make accusations of moral failure of others – you are obligated to be right, to know the facts – all the facts, far better than you do.

    • August 2, 2021 4:43 pm

      I would strongly advise not framing this as politics.

      First it is FALSE that all or even most anti-vaxxers are on the right.

      This is much less driven by politics than the media and the left pretends.

      One of my jobs requires traveling accross 5 states and DC, I encounter plenty of vaccinated conservatives. In fact many “trump supporters” are proud of their vaccinated status. Their hero, Trump made that vaccine available to them. And they look at what is occuring now as a failure of Biden. And they have a point – We are currently doing worse – with 60% of the country vaccinated, than we did last summer when there was no vaccine.

      I recently encountered a hispanic woman – a professional from the DC area, she was not vaccinated, nor was she masking. I did not ask here politics, but I think the odds of encountering a hispanic trump supporter in DC are pretty low.

      I would further note that the rate of mutation of the virus is primarily a function of TIME.
      The very policy of “flattening the curve” has assured that covid would have more time to mutate. I would also note that the delta variant appears to be more contageous and less deadly. That is what any decent evolutionary biologist would tell you is likely.

      Regardless, the worst states in the country for Covid by nearly every measure are NY and NJ. Deep blue states. It is highly unlikely that any red state will EVER catch up.

      While there were serious blunders made by Blue state governors like Cuomo and Wolf and Whitmer in sending recovering Covid patients into nursing homes early on. for the most part, government polices have absolutely nothing to do with covid infection of death rates.

      This was verifiably true in June 2020 and it is even more obviously true today.

      At various different times this is bad in some red states or some blue states.

      But as a rule – Red states have done better than Blue states. But NOT because of politics. Because of latitude – C19 like many viruses prefers winter, it prefers specific temperature ranges, it prefers indoors, The outdoor transmission rate is very very very low. We NEVER should have prohibited people from any outdoor activities.
      C19 also spreads fastest in dense populations.
      Put simply it is practically designed to target NYC or Chicago. As are MOST viruses.

      C 19 does not care if you are republican or democrat.
      But it does care how far north you are, what the current temperature and humidity are, how dense the population is, and how much time you spend indoors.
      It also cares how old you are and what your health is. It cares how much sunlight you have received – Time outdoors is doubly good – first the outdoor transmission rate is atleast a factor of 10 lower, and probably as much as 10,000 times lower. Normal Vitamin D levels are nearly as good as the vaccine at providing immunity from Covid. Those (at any age) with normal vitamin D have a 77% less chance of getting C19 than those with low Vitamin D.
      Better still those few with Normal Vitamin D levels who manage to get C19 have a 70% less chance of being hospitalized or dying.

      In fact at this time by far the most effective treatment if you are infected is Vitamin D analogs.
      Better than HCQ, Better than Invermectin, Better than Remedsivir, Better than monoclonal antibodies.

      15 Min in the sun per day during the summer is nearly as effective at protecting against Covid as the vaccine – and with completely known risk profiles.

      As to vaccine hesitancy and politics – Vaccines are not popular in much of the world.
      Much of Europe is generally vaccine hesitant – and not just the Covid Vaccine, as is Japan.

      Accross the US the vaccination rates of Blacks and hispanics are 15-20% lower than whites, while the vaccination rates of asians are 20% higher than whites.

      • August 2, 2021 10:21 pm

        “First it is FALSE that all or even most anti-vaxxers are on the right.”

        I’m not going to argue with you about this false statement, or any of the other claims you made in this last post. Believe what you wish to believe. I have seen enough data to support that generally speaking, yes, it’s the conservative communities who are refusing to vaccinate. Minority populations were hesitant for trust reasons, thanks to the Tuskegee experiments and other aspects of our racist society, and access reasons, that had nothing to do with QAnon and other such conspiracy theories. The conspiracy theories are at the heart of the mistrust, and they thrive in conservative circles. I could post links to support this until the cows come home, but honestly, at this stage of the game, I have better things to do with my time. Believe what you want to believe.

      • August 4, 2021 3:35 pm

        This is not about beleif – that is YOUR problem.

        YOU are free to “beleive” whatever you want.

        You are clearly unfamiliar with the facts.

        I have made numerous factual assertions regarding all of this.
        The vast majority of my data comes from CDC.
        Regardless, the facts regarding every assertion I have made is easy to find.

        Regardless, if you “beleive” I am wrong – demonstrate that.

        “You are entitled to your opinion. But you are not entitled to your own facts.”

        ― Daniel Patrick Moynihan

      • August 4, 2021 3:51 pm

        “Minority populations were hesitant for trust reasons,”

        Absolutely. And a very important point. I can understand why blacks would not trust government.

        I can not understand why YOU do.

        It appears C19 has been arround for 2 years now, It has been outside of China for atleast 18 months. Government experts and NGO’s have told us many many things over that time period. Most of those have been WRONG. Many have been outright LIES.

        Minorities have good reason not to trust government experts.
        In FACT all of us have good reason not to trust them.
        Dr. Faucci has as an example been caught repeatedly in actual lies.
        He actively participated in the supression of legitimat inquiry into the possible lab origens of Covid which are now about 13 billion times more likely than natural origens.

        But he also admitted in congress to lying about masks. He said that he lied for our own good.
        You can excuse that if you wish, but it Still means that you can not trust him.

        An large assortment of governors and state health executive LIED about causing C19 outbreaks and deaths in senior living fascilities.

        Those are just a few of the LIES.

        There are far more instances of hopefully innocent ERROR.

        You cite Tuskegee – absolutely – that is an excellent reason for blacks not to trust government health officials. But it is equally a reason for ALL OF US to distrust them.
        Nor is that the only example. The government track record on public health is horrendous.
        Frankly the government track record on most things is horrendous.

        Right, left, all of us have good reason to distrust government. Particularly on health issues.

      • August 4, 2021 4:01 pm

        Those choosing to not get vaccinated fall into many groups.

        Some are people who understand the data and the math and can calculate risks and grasp that for them getting vaccinated may be more dangerous than not, or if if not strictly true, that the benefits are just not great enough to justify the risk and inconvenience.

        Some are the nano-bot crowd convinced that Bill gates is tracking them with the vaccine.
        It is likely they lean pretty far right.

        But many are from the anti-GMO crowd that leans decidedly to the left. These are left wing nut ludites.

        Many are quite capable of citing myriads of REAL instances in which they have been lied to, such as about the risks of cigarettes, or certain pesticides.

        Most of the anti-MMR crowd – which also tends heavily to be anti-C19 vaccination, are LEFT wing nuts. And they too have been lied to. While there is very little credible data connecting the MMR vaccine to autism – the typical claim of that group of anti-vaxxers,
        There was a study conducted by the CDC that found a statistically significant spike in autism in black infants correlating with infant MMR vaccination. The CDC supressed the study.

        Lots of people do not trust the government – for good reason.
        You cite some reasons.
        But there are many reasons.

        I would further note that antivaxers are common throughout the world – not just the US.
        Just as in the US they can be politically on the right or the left.

        Most countries do not have the vaccination culture that the US has.
        Japan has been struggling to get people to vaccinate.
        On the one had they have an incredibly strong culture of trust in government and a huge cultural germophobia. But they also have a long culture of being antivaccination.

      • August 4, 2021 4:08 pm

        As to Qanon – even that is not strictly a right wing thing.

        The core to Qanon is the beleif in a powerful ring of “deep state” globalist peodophiles.

        Jeffrey Epstein is part of that, as are the clintons.
        there was overlap between Qanon and #metoo.

        This eventually morphed into Trump was singlehandedly in a war with deep state pedophiles. That is where Qanon shifted right.

        While I do not beleive that the “deep state” is a powerful cabal of globalist pedophiles, it is not hard to grasp how some could buy that from the epstein story.

        I would note that at one time or another just about every powerful person – Trump, Clinton, … has been linked to Epstein and Lotita Island.

      • August 4, 2021 4:30 pm

        Conspiracy theories are not even close to unique to the right.

        Hillary tried to sell us all a vast right wing conspiracy.

        There have been innumerable conspiracy theories both right and left.

        Further many of them have ultimately proven true or partly true.

        While I pay no attention at all to Qanon – can you honestly say that Jeffrey Epstein was not a powerful pervert and pedophile who was incrediably will connected with myriads of powerful people linked to his pervesions ?

        I can cite myriads of examples of malfeasance by the FBI and CIA througout my entire life.
        Democrats used to lead the charge against misconduct be federal law enforcement and intelligence. Are you at all familiar with the “church commission”.

        Whether it is Wacco, Ruby Ridge, the Atlanta, Bombing, the Anthrax letters, Yellow cake, Iraq and Afghanistan. Russian collusion, Russian bounties, or russian disinformation.
        Or many many others, there is ample evidence of “the deep state” and that they are dangerous, constantly wrong and outside proper control.

        There should be bipartisan consensus on that.
        Further it is near certain that whatever we do know about rhe misconduct of federal law enforcement and intelligence, there is 10 times more we do not know.

    • August 2, 2021 4:55 pm

      I can not conceive of any possible argument for the claim that not getting vaccinated is “selfish”.

      Can you please explain how that works ?

      The vaccine works by protecting YOU from infections.

      Whether you are vaccinated or not, you pose zero risk to anyone else – unless you are infected.

      Your argument in a perfect world – the vaccine was 100% effective and had Zero risk, would mean those not getting vaccinated were harming THEMSELVES.

      That is self destructive, not selfish.

      Further, if YOU vaccinate – the unvaccinated even the infected are of negligable risk to you.

      Further there are currently 128K breakthrough cases according to the CDC – while that is less than one percent of Total cases since early 2020, it is more than 1% of the since vaccination rates reached significant levels.

  5. rondabellelane permalink
    August 1, 2021 3:27 pm

    Oh my… my friend, you have literally hit the nail on the head! I have no words for John. His own were pulled out of a closed hat, and if he truly read and understood what you wrote would have been very different – more’s the pity.

    As for Cougrrl, I agree – to a point… but I am also surrounded by good people here in my warped state of Wisconsin that I care for – regardless of vaccination status. I continue to try to lift the blindfold they cling to, and would fight tooth & nail to save them from the fate you mention.

    It is indeed a rare kind of selfishness here (thank you for that word Rick), but still combined with a type of ignorance (not stupidity) in terms of who they listen to. And (as you know) I think that blogger you mentioned is taking a stand for her following, not for her own beliefs. Sad, and shame on her… and thank you!

    • Rick Bayan permalink
      August 1, 2021 10:49 pm

      Thanks, Ronda. Yes, much of the vaccine resistance is due to misinformation spread by news sources of dubious merit. These people look for sources that confirm their suspicions, regardless of whether the information is legitimate or fake. There’s a vast segment of America right now that won’t believe anything that comes from the “experts.” Are they afraid of being implanted with alien DNA? Who knows? Granted, the vaccines aren’t perfect, but when 98.5% of new cases are among the unvaccinated, I’d bet my money on the vaccine.

      • rondabellelane permalink
        August 2, 2021 3:52 pm

        I’d bet the same.

      • August 4, 2021 4:45 am


        Who is it that has not lied to you about Covid ?

        The WHO ?
        The CDC ?
        Faucci ?
        The media ?

        How many lies does it take before you stop knee jerk believing people who lie to you repeatedly ?

        I am not asking you to believe anyone. I am not asking you to believe me.

        I am asking you to look at the facts to determine the truth.

        That is sometimes difficult.
        But it is the only rational choice in a world where you do not know who you can trust.

        And like it or not – that is the world we live in.

        If you are blindly trusting those who have repeatedly lied to you – and admitted to lying to you, you you trust people who whether they were lying or not were with incredible consistency WRONG – about covid, about anything.

        Then you are part of the problem.

    • August 2, 2021 6:19 pm


      My words do not come out of a hat, they come from real world FACTS.

      If you think I have a fact incorrect – please lets directly address that.

      Real honestly inquiry – debate, argument and counter argument is the only effective means we have of actually learning.

      I will be happy to correct any errors that I have made, when someone can demonstrate them.

      I put a bit too many adjectives into my arguments – that comes from years of having to deal with idiotic left wing nuts who can not make and argument that is not drowning in fallacies, by far the most common of those being ad homenim

      Do not insult me or my arguments if you do not want both facts, arguments and insults back in spades.

      But if you can make your arguments politely – even if I am not persuaded I will try to be polite in return.

      But I do not owe politeness to those whose only means of arguing is to insult whatever they disagree with.

      • rondabellelane permalink
        August 2, 2021 8:56 pm

        No, they come out of your head, which no one here can follow. How can anyone submit a real honest inquiry to you when you put everything down? Seriously, people like you should create your own government & see what happens – you’d be destroyed from within.

      • August 4, 2021 5:09 am

        “How can anyone submit a real honest inquiry to you when you put everything down?”

        Because that is how we find the truth, by relentlessly attacking all things that claim to be truth, and accepting – atleast for now, those that withstand the attack.

        Something is not true because you like the answer.

        It is not true because it conforms to your hopes, fears, beleifs.

        It is true because it is consistent with the facts and has not been falsified.

        I make no apologies for the fact that I relentlessly attack claims of truth.

        Those that do not hold up – and most don’t. Are not true.
        Those that hold up – Might be true.

        That is how actually inquiry works.

        “He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them. But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion… Nor is it enough that he should hear the opinions of adversaries from his own teachers, presented as they state them, and accompanied by what they offer as refutations. He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them…he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.”
        John Stuart Mill.

      • August 4, 2021 5:16 am

        “People like you should create your own government & see what happens”

        WE already created a government that i am mostly happy with.

        And others – possibily like you have spent the past 250 years slowly trying to destroy it.

        And they are succeeding.

        Regardless, you are off on a tangent.

        I have laid out facts regarding covid and vaccinations.

        Are any of those incorrect ?

        Every claim I make is easily verifiable.

        If you are actually engaged in honest inquiry – then lets start with the actual facts.

        Do you honestly reject the assertion that the risk death or serious harm from covid is NOT the same for everyone ?

        There is plenty of data – from the people you call experts, confirming a multiple order of magnitude variation in risk of death from covid.

      • rondabellelane permalink
        August 4, 2021 12:09 pm

        You claim everyone is wrong and you are right LMAO!! You are the only expert! Go create your own blog and see what happens – from your own verbal throw up, you will be the only one.

      • August 5, 2021 2:51 pm

        No, I argue against what is wrong and for what is right.

        I am not right all the time. But it is actually easy for ANYONE to be right all the time – especially today.

        All that is necescary is to check the facts before you speak or write.

      • August 5, 2021 3:00 pm

        There are few things I am “expert” about. Primarily I have a healthy skepticism, I am informed, and I grasp that the route to answers has more failure than success.

        That we are WRONG far more than we are right.

        I am not conservative – I am libertarian.
        But the two (atleast in theory) are not in contradiction.

        The core of conservatism (as a philosophy, not as political reality), is that we should proceed slowly when we seek to disrupt what has been for years, decades, centuries.

        This is true. Even if what is, is wrong, it unarguably works.
        Could something else work better – absolutely. Could something else work worse ?
        Changes are more likely to make things worse than better.

        Look at free markets – only about 1 in 7 new businesses succeed. Mist new products fail – often spectacularly. Even when we KNOW that something is a good idea – such as computer networks, smart phones, laptops, or tablets – if often takes many many tries to get it right.

        We fail far more than we succeed. Experts are wrong more than they are right.

        Attempts at change end badly more often than they end well.

        BUT most successes are forever. Each increase in standard of living – absent incredible stupidity is FOREVER.

        We make 10 mistakes and have 1 success and we are still better than we were before.

      • August 5, 2021 3:16 pm

        You fixate on making all this personal.

        Why does it matter to you so much WHO is right as opposed to WHAT is right ?

        Do you wish to make life a bit better for all of us – or do you wish personal victory – regardless of what is actually best ?

        I would note that much of the current debate is about how to end Covid.

        Personally I think we are quite near that. But I could be wrong.

        There is purportedly a Gama variant in Brazil that infects 50% of people who had covid before.

        I personally find that hard to beleive. But if it is true it is likely to dominate quickly – probably replacing Delta in weeks or months.

        Ultimately there is the possibility we may have to live with Covid for years or decades.

        Guess what – that is actually doable.

        Covid primarily kills the unhealthy. That is a norm of nature. Humans have successfully pushed back on that over the past several centuries – but it is still a law of nature – the survival of the fittest.

        A few years ago – most older people died of pneumonia. Yet, we have not declared war on pneumonia. Why ?

        My father died of pneumonia. Prior to getting Pneumonia he had vascular dimensia, and ulcerative collitius and severe liver disease and …
        Put simply he was old and going to die. Pneumonia just saved him from bleeding to death or stroking out, or ….

        He was going to die no matter what – all of us are.

        CDC life expectancy stats for 2020 indicate that life expectancy actually increased by 0.08 years. Small but still real. Fundimentally that means nearly all the 2020 C19 deaths were of people likely to die soon anyway.

        Regardless, if Covid can not be eliminated – and I hope I am wrong, We will learn to live with it.

        And it will likely only prove to be a small step backwards.

        We get colds all the time. We get flu every year. I would note that in 2020 there were far fewer cold and flu infections and deaths – because that is how infectuous diseases work.

        Just as the Delta variant has driven out other variants, Covid has driven out much of the flu and colds.

        We will adapt to Covid and move on.

        We will return to work.
        We will go out to dinner again.
        We will gather again.
        We will attend concerts and sports,

        Life will go on – much as it did before – with or without Covid.

        That is not my preference – but it may be what happens.

        Regardless, what will happen is what is actually possible.
        Not what I wish for.

  6. Priscilla permalink
    August 1, 2021 8:51 pm

    I’d like to make a couple of non-political points on the covid vaccines:

    1)There were always doctors and virologists who warned that a mass vacciniation program against a virus could likely result in the virus quickly mutating into a strain that was vaccine resistant and which could be caught, and spread, by vaccinated and unvaccinated people alike. It appears that the Delta variant may be at least somewhat resistant to the mRNA vaccines. The CDC has now said that many vaccinated people can catch and spread this current most prevalent form of covid.

    2)Viruses replicate at a much, much faster rate than bacteria. Hundreds and sometimes thousands of times faster. Because of their rapid replication rate, viruses also mutate far more rapidly, and almost always tend to become more contagious, though often less lethal. It’s one of the reasons that we have not generally been successful in developing vaccines against viral infections, like the common cold .

    Influenza is a virus, and this mutation rate is one of the reasons why we need to develop a new flu vaccine every year, and why flu vaccines are rarely more than 60% effective at preventing infection, although vaccinated people often get a milder form of the flu.

    3)Vaccine effectiveness also differs from person to person. Age, overall health, as well as many other variables, may make a vax more effective for some than for others. It also makes some people at higher risk for vax side-effects.

    4)So, the above facts would indicate that, particularly in the case of coronaviruses, it’s at leat as important to develop treatments and cures, as it is to develop vaccines. We actually have some effective treatments for covid – monoclonal antibodies, for example- and others that seem promising. There are also some treatments which appear to be prophylactic against covid infection.

    Both the Washington Post and the NYT have, in the past week, published articles that acknowledge that our current covid vaccines may be failing against the Delta variant. And if we’re able to modify the vaccines so that we can give booster shots that would protect against Delta, there is no guarantee that they would protect against the way that covid would mutate in response to them. In fact, it certainly would, and there would eventually be another mutation that would be resistant to that vax.

    So, rather than forcing everyone, regardless of risk factors, to get the current vaccine, and hurling blame and invective against those who are not currently vaccinated, might it not make more sense to focus on vaccinating those at highest risk of dying from covid ~ those over 60, those with co-morbidities, those with immune disorders or who take immune lowering drugs, etc~ and invest more effort and money into developing more effective treatments?

    (In the interest of full disclosure, I am vaccinated, and I am not anti-vax in any way. I am also a strong propnent of HIPAA, and do not believe that the government has the right to force anyone to take any vaccine, expecially one that is not FDA approved. If private employers and schools want to mandate proof of vaccination, I am fine with that).

    • rondabellelane permalink
      August 1, 2021 10:33 pm

      Hi Priscilla. First, thank you for being vaccinated.

      I would also like to make a few unpolitical replies to your comments…

      1) There are always professionals in any area of expertise who will disagree with peers. That said, I feel that the term ‘many’ is (at this time) incorrect. The percentages are proof since they show far fewer vaccinated people contracting the new variants, and even more important that the severity is greatly lessened.

      2) Essentially true. However, the common cold is much less lethal as is the flu, and flu shots are not taken by all – I myself choose to forgo the shots until they were developed differently and became more effective. BUT they are now much better – and (as with the Covid shots) would work better, be more effective, and have the chance to mutate much less if a greater majority would take them.

      3) Again true, but for a small percentage of people. In fact, it was discovered that a drug I use for a heart problem actually increases my immune level. There are always exceptions – but we need to look at exceptions for what they are… minor exceptions.

      4) Truth – cures always come later and take time, which we do not have. Promising treatments are wonderful for those who have Covid, but why go through getting it in the first place? Covid is mutating because it has enough bodies to mutate with – those who are unwilling to take the shots, and not for the reasons you have stated. If someone has a real medical issue against receiving the shots, fine. There are NOT enough of those people to prevent an inoculation percentage we need to help check mutation.

      I also read the NYT article. What you said was true, however it was based on the fact that not enough of the population was getting shots. Unless a real majority get them, the mutations will continue – possibly to a point where immunity will not be obtainable, and treatment will be (at best) hoping for the best.

      No one would want to get this disease for even a short time at its worst – which is when a ‘cure’ would be administered. Prevention is the best cure.

      • August 2, 2021 2:57 pm

        Thanks for your comments, rondabellelane. The bottom line is this: data shows that those who are vaccinated against the often deadly Covid-19 virus usually don’t get sick, and when they do, they don’t die. The rest of the data analysis might be interesting, but it sometimes serves as a way to duck the point, which is that vaccinating and masking, and distancing, check the spread of the virus. Why duck the point?

      • August 4, 2021 4:58 am

        No the rest of the analysis does not “duck the point”.

        Your over simplistic picture – misses the truth.

        If two things contradict – both can not be true.

        Data also shows that those who have already had covid are less likely to get Covid again than those who were vaccinated.

        Data shows that for those under 20 Covid is one of the least deadly infectuous diseases there is – while for those over 80 it is one of the most deadly.

        Your simplistic claim that Covid is often deadly – glosses over the fact that it is far more often NOT deadly.

        The ONLY reason to get vaccinated is that the risk associated with the vaccine is lower than the risk of both getting and dying from covid.

        The fundimental problem with your argument is that the risks associated with Covid are NOT the same for everyone. In fact they are RADICALLY different from person to person.

        If you are over 80 and you do not get vaccinated – you are playing russian roulette with a gun with bullets in two chambers.

        If you are under 20 your odds of being hit by a buss are higher than dying from Covid.

        You are trying to force a square peg into a round hole.

        You are looking for simple answers where there are none.

        The real world is complex. There are very few questions in life that have the same answer for every single person. Vaccination is not one of those.

      • August 3, 2021 4:38 pm

        Rondabnbellelane – you make a common error with facts,

        You presume they are one size fits all. They are not.

        The vaccine does work – it works on old people, it works on young people, it works on those between. Though you are incorrect about both the number of breakthrough cases and the scale of serious negative responses to the vaccine.

        But NEITHER of those errors are the flaw in your argument.

        There are several fundimental problems with your argument:

        First – this vaccine is still experimental, with only emergency approval.
        Overall, I am glad we have it, and I wish even more red tape had been blown away such that we would have had it much earlier.
        But my happiness that we have a vaccine is NOT the same is certainty that it is risk free.

        At this point we have pretty good data on the short term negative effects.

        For adults over 50 atleast by short term measures the benfits of the vaccine outweight the risks. For those with comorbities that increase their risk of death from covid – the benefits of the vaccine outweight the risks.

        For those under 18 – they flat out DO NOT.

        Further my analysis above is based solely on KNOWN short term risks.

        The long term risks of the vaccine are not known.

        I beleive they are likely to be low. But I do not know that – nor do you, nor does any expert.

        It is probable that the unknown long term risks STILL do not exceed the benefits of vaccination for those over 50 – especially those with higher risks of death from Covid.

        But the younger and healthier you are the less likely taking a risk with the vaccine is a good idea. As noted above for those under 18 – even the short term known risks of the vaccine outweight the benefits.

        My point is that you CAN NOT say that something that is inarguably on net beneficial in agregate is also beneficial in the case of each individual.

        I pointed out the 30 year old hispanic women I encountered who was afraid of needles.

        Her fear might not be rational – but the risk of death from Covid for a healthy 30 year old hispanic women is small

        She is likely making the wrong choice by not getting vaccinated.
        But she is with near certainty not making a fatal choice.
        In fact the odds are that she will never pay any price for her less than perfect decision.

        I would further note that we have to be careful about trying to pretend that science or policy should be determined by the vote of experts.

        Most everything in human experience is advanced at the margins – not by consensus.

        If astronmy was determined by consensus we would still teach that the earth is the center of the universe.

        The steam engine, the light bulb, did not arrive by consensus.

        Most of what is done at the margins FAILS. Still ALL progress comes from the margins.

        2). It appears that the mortality rate for the Delta Variant is much closer to that of ordinary flu’s. Though we have to be careful of mortality rates. An incredibly large portion of those killed by Covid were likely dying within the next 6 months. Most but not all diseases kill the weak – the 1918 Spanish flu had a far higher mortality rate than Covid and worse still it mostly killed young adults. Regardless, the norm is diseases kill the weak.
        Covid’s mortality is more lopsided with respect to the weak than any disease I am aware of – by huge margins.

        US life expecancy actually rose in 2020 by a tiny 0.08%(CDC). That means the total number of life years lost in 2020 was LESS than the norm.

        Absolutely Covid is different from the flu or the cold.
        If you are under 18 – the flu is more likely to kill you than covid.

        Flu shots are hit an miss. There has been no radical improvement, they are not developed differently. As a consequence of this gargantuan covid vaccine medical experiment we are performing all vaccines will likely be different in the future.

        But the medical technology in the flu vaccine is unchanged over decades.

        The effectiveness of the flu vaccine is generally low. Much lower than the mRNA C19 vaccines.

        Further the flu vaccines effectiveness varies from year to year.

        Generally the flu vaccine is for 3-4 different flu viruses, that are chosen based on experts best guess as to which Flus will be prevalent many months in the future.
        When they guess well – the flu vaccine is effective. When they do not it is near useless.

        There are myriads of factors driving mutations – C19 actually has a fairly low mutation rate.
        But regardless of the factors – the longer the pandemic lasts the more mutations there will be.
        Nature drives mutation towards lower mortality, higher infectiveness and resistance to vaccines and other tools we use to thwart the disease.

        30. “There are always exceptions – but we need to look at exceptions for what they are… minor exceptions.”

        With covid there is no NORM. The mortality and infection rates of covid vary exponentially with age and health.

        C19 for 14 year old has very little resemblance to that of an 80 year old.
        The symptoms are different, the morality is different, the risks are different. The degree to which they are contageous is different.

        There are very few viruses that we have ever cured. I am not aware of any respiratory viruses that we have ever cured. The reason for the heavy focus on vaccines is because little else has ever worked against respiratory viruses.

        Covid has changes SOME of that. Because of its scale and mortality enormous resources were directed at finding a cure.

        Specifically because of serious flaws in our health regulations most of those efforts were targeted at finding a cure among EXISTING approved drugs.

        Vitamin D analogs today come closest to meeting the definition of “curing Covid”.
        They radically reduce the severity and duration of covid is started early enough.

        Remedsivir, HCQ, and Invarmectin are other contenders for “cure”.
        All are far less effective than VitD. They are treatments – not cures.

        Monoclonal antibodies based on the last information I received were promising but falied.

        Further you have the mutation science wrong. Generally mutations are the consequence of waning efficacy of the base virus. Mutations completely replace the original virus when they prove eolutionarily superior – as Delta has.
        Covid actually has a very low mutation rate.

        The mutation rate is more a function of time than anything else.
        There are many more people with Covid today – because Delta is many times more infectuous – not the other way arround.

        Whether we can acheive immunity depends more on the rate of mutation – which is intrinsic to the virus – and for Covid LOW.

        It is highly unlikely that any mutation will ever become immune to either treatment or vaccination – as both treatment and vaccination target the Spike protein.
        It is unlikely we will get a mutation of the spike protein that remains infectuous and is resistant to treatment.

        “No one would want to get this disease for even a short time”
        No one wants to get any disease.
        But as diseases go for the vast majority of people who get Covid it is not nearly as bad as the flu.

    • Rick Bayan permalink
      August 1, 2021 10:42 pm

      Reasonable as always, Priscilla — and you’re probably better informed than I am. I’ve read, though, that 98.5% of new Covid cases are among the unvaccinated. To me, that’s a powerful argument in favor of the vaccine — even if it can’t quite keep up with the latest variants. I wonder if we’d even be dealing with the Delta variant if everyone had been vaccinated this past spring.

      You’re right that we should prioritize those most at risk of dying from the virus. I was appalled to read that only about half of all nursing home workers are vaccinated. Management has a lot to answer for by not having required all workers to get the needle.

      Now I’m even wondering how we’re going to pull off our planned class picnic in September. I know that some of our classmates would go ballistic if we required proof of vaccination. Maybe we should hire a bouncer. 😉

      • August 3, 2021 4:45 pm

        The overwhelming number of cases are and will be among the unvaccinated.

        The vaccine is effective – we know that. That is all that statistic means.

        It tells us nothing about how wise it is for those who are unvaccinated to get vaccinated.

        That depends on the specific risks for those specific people.

        We have less data on the reinfection rate of people who have already had covid – 35-70M people in the US. But from what little data we have breakthrough cases for people who had Covid are LOWER than for those who were vaccinated.

        It does not likely make sense for most of those who have already had covid to get vaccinated.

        Young healthy people have almost non-existant risks from Covid – but the same risks from the vaccine as the rest of us.
        With few exceptions it does not make sense to vaccinate the young.

        But the most fundimental error that you make is presuming that one size fits all.

        This is the most common error of leftists and statists.

    • August 2, 2021 6:52 pm

      “There were always doctors and virologists who warned that a mass vacciniation program against a virus could likely result in the virus quickly mutating into a strain that was vaccine resistant and which could be caught, and spread, by vaccinated and unvaccinated people alike.”

      Correct. But that is actually speculative. That did not happen with Smallpox as an example.
      So far it has not happened with Covid.

      While someone here has greately understated the proportion of breakthrough cases. They do still remain few and mild – even with the delta variant.

      That MAY not be the case over the long run.

      The Delta variant does NOT appear to be a response to the vaccine, it appears to be NORMAL evolution. More transmissible, and less deadly. It is the inevitable result of “flattening the curve” – the longer we allowed covid to remain the more likely it would become more transmissible.

      “We actually have some effective treatments for covid – monoclonal antibodies,”
      I fully agree with the desire to develop treatments.
      But so far the DATA that I have read have shown:

      Monoclonal antibodies did not work.
      Remedsivir is about half as effective as we were told.
      HCQ is probably as effective as Remedsivir.
      Invermectin is purportedly very effective – but I have not personally seen the data.

      By far the most effective preventative – aside from the Vaccine is having Normal Vitamin D levels.
      Buy far the most effective treatment is Vitamin D analogs (that is forms of Vitamin D that can be directly used by the body, as opposed to D2 and D3 that take a long time to be processed before they can be used)

      What is practically crimninal is that we did not have good data on Vitamin D until last fall.
      This despite KNOWING that C19 has a radical age curve. That should have been a giant finger pointing at Vitamin D.

      Both HCQ and Invermectin appear to have preventative features – but not nearly as good as Vitamin D.

      “Both the Washington Post and the NYT have, in the past week, published articles that acknowledge that our current covid vaccines may be failing against the Delta variant.”
      I would like to see the Data on that – not the articles. Anyone who trust reporters for facts today is nuts.

      ALL the vaccines work by triggering the body to develop immunity to the spike protein – both antibodies and T cells.

      It is highly unlikely that the spike protein is going to mutate.

      “rather than forcing everyone, regardless of risk factors, to get the current vaccine, and hurling blame and invective against those who are not currently vaccinated”

      Anyone that thinks that getting vaccinated is inarguably the best choice for everyone is ignorant of the data regarding Covid. For probably 1/3 of the country the risks of Covid are LOWER than those of the vaccine.

      Covid is unusual in that it kills people over 80 at a 30% rate while less than half those under 20 know they have it.

      “might it not make more sense to focus on … those at highest risk of dying from covid ”
      NO! there is no MIGHT about it. From February 2020 we knew more than enough that our resources should have been focused on the most vulnerable.

      Rather than this “flatten the curve”, lockdown, …. idiocy, from DAY 1, we should have focused on protecting the most vulnerable and getting through this as QUICKLY as possible.

      IF you CHOOSE to mask, social distance, sanitize, …. – that is your business.
      But keep the country completely open and protect the healthcare system by protecting those most likely to get hospitalized if sick.

      We could have been through this in months. While atleast as many people would have gotten Covid, there would be fewer deaths and it would be over by now.

      What we have done is the equivalent of trying to spare ourselves pain by pulling a splinter out 1/1000 of an inch at a time and pretending it will disapear with the net 1/1000.

      “In the interest of full disclosure, I am vaccinated, and I am not anti-vax in any way.”

      None of us should need to explain that.

      Rick’s article is shallow, poorly thought out, and ignorant of the facts, and bait for those who wish to pretend that this is a trivial choice.

      I do not think at this time there is any data to support vaccinated those under 20 who are otherwise healthy.
      As of 7.24.2021 there have been 406 deaths in the entire country from Covid for those under 18 according to the CDC. Further 3/4 of those have been Male.

      As to risk – in 4 months according to VAERS the covid vaccine has killed more people than all other vaccines combined since 1997. There have been 12,800 SERIOUS adverse vaccination responses reported.
      While this is actually quite small and it is likely that the safety of the C19 vaccine is as good as prior vaccines (that were not administered in the hundreds of millions of doses).
      It is still high enough in comparison to the incredibly low risk for those under 20 that vaccinating those under 20 makes little sense. The vaccine will kill more of them than Covid will.

      The left rants about science, but is completely ignorant of the data.

      • Priscilla permalink
        August 2, 2021 7:31 pm

        Dave, I will always defer to you when it comes to data analysis.

        But, a couple of questions: 1) I am under the impression that monoclonal antibodies, when given early in the infection, have been effective. Like HCQ and ivermectin, I think that there is a window of opportunity when they can be successfully used.
        As far as smallpox, my understanding is that it is a DNA virus, like measles, rather than an RNA virus, like covid. I think RNA viruses are known to mutate much more rapidly than their DNA counterparts.

        So, thanks for the additional clarifying info. I did forget about the whole Vitamin D thing, which reminds me that obesity is also a huge risk factor for severe covid. But, never do we hear about diet and exercise as a way to protect against dying.

        Just the shot.

        Also, Israel and England are seeing increases in breakthrough infections and deaths right now, and both of those nations had very aggressive vaccination programs.

      • Priscilla permalink
        August 2, 2021 7:40 pm

        Heh…got caught up in writing my comment and didnt actually ask any questions. One was about the monclonal antibodies. The other was about virus mutation rates. But, anyway, your comment was very helpful!

      • August 3, 2021 6:31 pm

        One of my sources for Covid information is Bret Weinstein and Heather Heying.

        They are both LEFT leaning evolutionary biologists.
        But they do not have blinders one.

        They run a VLog called DarkHorse that was mostly on Youtube – but Youtube censorship has them keeping more content on Odessey now.

        I also follow UnHerd
        I also follow Dr. John Campell who is NOT political at all, but had done YouTube Vlogs summarizing various papers that have been published.

        One of the things he is excellent at is statistics.

        He will not only report on a studies results, but look at the statistics to determine whether those results are meaningful.

        So he will note that Study X has a P rate of 0.1 – that means there is a 1 in 10 chance the results are just random chance. Or that Study Y has a P rate of 0.0001 – or a 1 in 10000 chance of being a false posititive.

        He has done many VitD studies – and the P rates for VitD are very very low – meaning the results are with near certainty reliable.
        As well as HCQ and probably invermectin, and many other studies.

      • August 3, 2021 6:36 pm

        One of the other things I have noted – even on Youtube and the rest of Social Media is that European sources are NOT getting censored the way US sources are.

        Dr. Campbell reads studies and points out their scientific significance without speaking politically and completely contradicts CDC or WHO or governments – without saying that he is doing so and no one censors him.

        Aparently you can read an HCQ study, and note that the study shows effectiveness and that it has a low probability of error, and you will not get censored – so long as you do not advocate for the US of HCQ or even mention that government should get out of its way.

        But mostly I think he avoids censorship because he is european, not american.

        As an american I have repeatedly faulted Europe for being anti-free speech.

        What is terrifying to me is that in a few short years the US has become the most speech repressive censoring countries in the world.

      • August 3, 2021 5:55 pm

        “Dave, I will always defer to you when it comes to data analysis.”

        Don’t. You should check what comes from CDC, WHO, NYT, WaPo, Trump, Faucci, and me.

        “1) I am under the impression that monoclonal antibodies, when given early in the infection, have been effective.”

        You might be right. I have not read studies on monoclonal antibodies, But I have heard reports that studies indicated that they were ineffective from sources I trust.

        But if you have data that they work – I would be happy to hear that.

        Monoclonal antibodies have problems regardless. The source of monoclonal antibodies is infected patients. There can never be enough to treat a pandemic. They will always be a luxury treatment – if they are effective.

        To my knowledge by far the most effective treatment is VitD analogs.

        The analog part is critical. If you take VitD it takes days, weeks to convert to the form your body uses to fight C19. VitD analogs are VitD already in the form your body uses to fight C19. The results from this are amazing. I do not think there was a single death in the 1000 person test group from the study I am familiar with. The duration of the disease was reduced by 50%, the severtity was reduced dramatically – and the study group was people who were HOSPITALIZED for C19. It is highly likely that the rapid recovery Trump experienced was from VitD in the cocktail of treatments he was given.

        There are myriads of VitD studies – the real crime is there were none before this fall.
        ALL that I am aware of have had incredible results.

        People with normal VitD levels are nearly as immune as those who were vaccinated.
        VitD is likely a significant part of why C19 has a huge preferance for older people.

        VitD is extremely difficult to OD on. It is cheap. It is OTC and you can even more quickly build up VitD by getting out in the sun for 15min each day.

        There is no means for government to interfere with VitD as both prophalactic and treatment, as they have with HCQ and Invirmectin.

        Frankly VitD is so effective that Remedsivir, Monoclonal Antibodies, HCQ and Invermectin are inconsequential.

        The only negative for VitD is that it takes a long time (months) for people with low VitD levels to get to normal using OTC VitD.

        “As far as smallpox, my understanding is that it is a DNA virus, like measles, rather than an RNA virus, like covid. I think RNA viruses are known to mutate much more rapidly than their DNA counterparts.”

        I beleive there are 5 or 8 different major virus families. You are correct that RNA viruses mutate faster than DNA viruses.

        Small pox has a very low mutation rate.

        But C19 has a very low mutation rate for a RNA virus or a corona virus.
        This is part of the evidence for the “lab leak” hypothesis.

        It is likely that C19 mutates rapidly – because it is an RNA virus, but that the vast majority mutations just die. This means that C19 is fragile to change, and that is more likely from an engineered virus than a natural one.

        There is a related argument against natural origens – we have found ZERO examples of any intermediates between Covid and the Bat Virus that it almost certainly evolved from.

        It took only a month to find the intermediates in nature for MERS and SARS 1.

        We are likely nearly 2 years into Covid and no intermediate exists in nature.
        The recent Republican report claims C19 escaped the Wuhan lab in late Aug or early Sept 2019. While I do not completely trust this report, I have heard previous evidence from other sources that C19 was likely in Wuhan atleast as early as late Sept 2019.

        Just to be clear – these are all things I have read or heard from people I trust.
        But I have NOT read the primary sources.

        “obesity is also a huge risk factor for severe covid.”

        Again if you are young, without risk factors like Obesity, and healthy, the risks of the vaccine are likely higher than the disease.

        “But, never do we hear about diet and exercise as a way to protect against dying.”

        Of course not. Honestly I am surprised that democrats are big on vaccination.
        Though anyone who thinks vaccine hesitance divides by political identity is not paying attention. Most of the people I know what have not vaccinated are either people who HAD covid, or mildly on the left.

        Regardless, I would bet that if Trump was still president the entire democratic party would be fighting vaccination. The only reason that Democrats are pushing vaccination is they are desparate to prove they can more effectively deal with C19 than Trump.

        They have already FAILED. They failed because defeating Covid CAN NOT be done by government policies. Neither by President Trump, nor Biden.

        While Faucci is disreputable, he has been right about some things.
        He was RIGHT to say that vaccination would not eliminate Covid quickly.

        I do beleive that we are currently watching C19’s last gasp.
        While there is some uncertainty in the numbers – we should be very close to “herd immunity”.
        Between vaccinations, natural immunity, and immunity from prior infection we should be coming close.

        I would also note that the high transmission rate of Delta could bring us to herd immunity very suddenly and abruptly.

        I think the current debate on vaccination is pointless. Delta is spreading faster than we can vaccinate. Further a large portion of the unvaccinated are likely immune for one reason or another.

        My “Guess” is that we see C19 hit a wall soon.

        But that is just a “guess” and a personal one. Not something from an expert.

        “Just the shot.”

        While there are some things we SHOULD have done regarding C19 – specifically targeting the vulnerable from the start. If we were going to spend massive amounts of money on this.
        If government was goint to have a role at all. It should have been to protect those at high risk.

        We should not have “shutdown the country” – we should have reverse quarantined the most vulnerable. We should have paid the most vulnerable to isolate. We should have provided them researces to do so, and we should have let C19 blow through the rest of us like a huricane.

        Instead we locked up the healthy in their homes which increasingly is the most dangerous place they could have been. We took away their jobs. We destroyed the economy,
        We prevented people from going outdoors – the safest place they could be for many many many reasons.

        We – GOVERNMENT did nearly everything completely wrong.

        Kids should be in school without masks. Doing what kids do.
        Those FEW at risk kids can be provided services.

        Older or unhealthy teachers can be given paid leave. But schools NEVER should have closed.

        Conversely we should have been extremely protective of the elderly, of the overweight, the diabetics, the unhealthy.

        But it is outside of the ability of the left to face reality – when reality is at odds with their ideology.

        Obviously a disease that targets the overweight is politically incorrect.
        I am surprised that they have not blamed Trump for creating it.

        Nature engages in “fat shaming” all the time. And no one is going to win a political battle with Nature. You can not censor it, shame it, cancel nature.

        Effectively coping in the real world requires dealing with reality as it is.
        Even when as is sometimes true, reality is racist, sexist, homophobic, or just plain hostile to human life.

        But Covid and the left was about more than just failing to face reality.

        It was about successfully)) trying to make political hay from Covid.

        Doing so REQUIRED ignoring the facts regarding Covid.

        The left did not want C19 to go away – atleast not until they gained power.
        HCQ had to be ineffective – not just because it did not come from big pharma, but because if it was effective we had a cheap fast way of bringing C19 under control.
        The same for invermectin.

        While VitD has not received the same “conspiracy theory” idiocy as HCQ etc.
        It is being heavily ignored by the left.

        There was a short time in which england was distrubting for free VitD in doses that would have taken months to prove effective. But beyond that we have seen nothing from CDC, WHO, or government generally.

        We have seen nothing regarding something that is nearly as effective as a prophilactic as the vaccine, and also serves as a cure. And is cheap.

        We have seen nothing because big pharma does nto want it.
        We have seen nothing because the left does not want anything that is not tied directly to them to get credit for anything.

        If Covid is to go away at all, it MUST be seen to be defeated by statist government.

        Reality does not matter.

        With respect to vaccination rates – The US is behind the UK and Israel – but not by alot.
        Almost the entire west is over 100 doses per 100 people.
        Most of the rest of the world is not close.

        It is always gets exponentially harder to make progress as the percentage increases.
        Calling people selfish will not change that.

        I would note that in the US, the UK and Israel, daily cases are starting to decline, and there was never more than a tiny blip on daily deaths.

        The C19 Death rate in the western world is a small percent of the peak and trending down.
        The countries getting hit the hardest right now are those that managed to mostly avoid this for so long. Mostly island nations that sealed themselves from the world.

      • August 3, 2021 6:23 pm

        One of the reasons that I label Rick as a leftist is that he is STILL on the bandwagon for statism.

        The inescapable lesson of Covid is that Governments accross the world FAILED to stop it.

        Left governments, right governments, governments that were very proactive, ones that did nothing.

        The infection and death rates in every single country correlate strongly to Geography, latitude and demographics.

        NOT Polices.

        There are many many mistakes that govenrment made that made things worse in places.
        Sweden admits they screwed up and let C19 get a foothold in their senior homes early on.

        How refreshing a government that admits mistakes.

        Various state governors are actively fighting to deny that their negligent actions caused the DEATH of many people.

        But for the most part the actions of government accomplished nothing beyond making people miserable.

        I do not fault government for not being able to defeat Covid.
        It was always evident that was outside the power of government.

        We have NEVER stopped a respiratory virus after it gains a toehold EVER.

        But I do fault government for the gargantuan harm it caused trying to do what was obviously impossible.

        Rick still does not grasp any of that – not even a little.

        His Article – not merely pisses all over individual liberty – abusing the word selfish.
        But continues to buy into the idiocy of collective action.

        Rick wants to find a political lesson in Covid. And the one he is inarguably trying to find is an anti-right one.

        The right did not save us from Covid – but it did not promise it could.

        It is the left that demanded our liberty in return for a false promise that it could save us.

        It failed.

        There is only one lesson here. Government can not deliver on most of what it promises.
        We should have known that BEFORE Covid.
        It is certainly obvious now.

        But half the country, instead of learning that is more enthralled than ever in statism and collective action.

        And it is THAT which is dividing the country.

        It is those who are completely blind to reality.

        And Rick is on the left because he is among those.

  7. Jack Olson permalink
    August 1, 2021 9:59 pm

    I agree whole heatedly with what you say. How could someone so selfish and egotistical direct these people

    • Rick Bayan permalink
      August 1, 2021 10:52 pm

      Thanks, Jack. I’m continually amazed by Trump’s hypnotic influence over his base.

      • August 2, 2021 7:07 pm

        The claim of selfishness is complete stupidity and not befitting of you.

        It is a misuse of the word.

        The unvaccinated are ZERO threat to the vaccinated.
        They are also no threat to others who are unvaccinated unless they become sick and do not self quarantine.

        Selfish means concerned primarly with ones self at the expense of others.

        By definition those who get vaccinated are being selfish. Not those going unvacccinated.

        We can debate whether getting vaccinated is a good choice.

        I have vaccinated. I decided long ago that it was a good choice for ME.

        But I cited the CDC and VAERS data in a post to Priscilla above.

        The data on vaccinating those under 20 is pretty unequivocal.
        Under 20 you are more likely to be killed by the vaccine than by Covid.
        While Both are highly unlikely.

        The CDC data for those under 20 does NOT distinguish between those with comorbitities and those without. It is highly likely that nearly ever death under 20 is of someone who already had serious health problems.

        When you or other posters here bandy about words like “selfish” in ways that neither reflect their meaning nor are consistent with the fact – you do little beyond increase the bitterness and divisiveness in the country.

        There are some complete nutcases out there who are not getting vaccinated – left and right. Anyone who thinks that tin foil hat anti-vaxers are unique to the right is ignorant.

        But there are also far more people who are weighing the fact and making reasonable choices – even if you do not agree with them.

        There are also people – like the hispanic women I noted who are making choices based on unreasonable fears.
        But GET OVER IT!! There are lots of people with irrational fear of needles.
        Forcing them to get jabbed is NOT going to improve anything.
        I would note that the women I encountered was in here early 30’s.
        Her risk from Covid was extremely low.

        There is no data to justify vaccinating those under 20.
        From 20-40 the differences between the benefits and risks are so close that I can not be critical of people who choose not to vaccinate.
        Conversely the older you are and the worse your health is the more of an idiot you are if you do not vaccinate.

        But lets be CLEAR – if you do not vaccinate, you are taking a risk with YOUR LIFE. That is not “selfishness”.

        That is NOT selfish. You are a writer. Misusing words is much less forgiveable.

        We have enough problems with 1984 language games.
        Please Do not make it worse.

        And you wonder why I keep calling you a lefty.

        When you keep parroting the mangled language of the left – you are a lefty.

      • August 3, 2021 3:41 pm

        How so Rick ?

        There are very few issues that Trump does not reflect the position of the majority often even super majority of Americans.

        Trump is popular because his platform is consistent with the views of most americans,
        because far more than any president in my lifetime – possibly in US history he has delivered on those promises, and finally because as Lincoln said of Grant “I can not spare the man, He fights”.

        I can personally forgive many differences i have with Trump, specifically because he stands up to the intolerant, hateful, destructive left in this country.

        You are not a child. You do not have the excuse of ignorance with regard to the historical consequences of statism. The children who have unfortunately taken over our govenrment are clueless, they have not lived history and they have not been taught real history.

        But YOU have.

        Ultimately Trump is not dangerous, but the left is.

  8. Savannah Jordan permalink
    August 2, 2021 12:51 pm

    Thought this was a great column Rick. What kind of amazes me is that when I was in school, you weren’t allowed to attend unless you got certain immunizations. It wasn’t just for your safety as it was more for the safety of your fellow classmates. Additionally, we force motorcycle riders to wear helmets. Why? Because society has to bear the cost of their medical procedures when they crash.

    • August 2, 2021 7:20 pm

      When you were in school you were forced to get immunizations from childhood diseases that killed children.

      So far over 600,000 people in the US have died with Covid, of those only 400 have been under 18. Covid does not make the top 20 causes of death for those under 18 in the US.
      Heart disease causes 50% more deaths under 18 than Covid. Suicide 100% more.
      Accidental poisoning 10 times more.

      The societal medical cost of Covid infections in those under 18 last year was miniscule.

      And you ignore the FACT that the vaccine is not risk free.
      VAERS reports almost 13K SERIOUS adverse events in the US in the last 4 months.
      Some of those were DEATHS.

      If you are over 70 – the risk of the vaccine is small compared to the risk of Covid.
      If you are under 18 and healthy – the risk of the vaccine is LARGE compared to Covid.

      Those of you in the world who claim to base your ideology on science are complete hypocrits if you are not familiar with the actual data.

      Or more accurately you have made science into a religion and you are little different from christian evangelicals.

      If you are not familiar with the data – with the REAL risks of Covid and the REAL risks of the vaccine and the FACT that like nearly everything – this is NOT one size fits all.

      I would note the DATA for those under 18 is not merely damning with regard to vaccinating those under 18. It is DAMNING with respect to school closures.

      While that Data is far more solid now – the incredibly low death rate of those under 18 was well known over a year ago.

      The only thing we have done that was MORE stupid than closing schools was sending covid patients to nursing homes.

      • Savannah Jordan permalink
        August 2, 2021 8:20 pm

        There has never been any drug any vaccine, and let me emphasize never never, that does not have adverse consequences for some segment of the population. Why do you think that every medication bottle lists the possible adverse consequences??? It is because EVERY, EVERY drug has possible adverse consequences for some segment of the population. Penicillin is a drug that has probably helped alleviate human sickness for billions and yet for some it is deadly. So should we get rid of penicillin? According to your logic, yes. One of my granddaughters was allergic to breast milk. So should we stop breast feeding? According to your logic, yes . Flu shots? I knew someone who had an allergic reaction and died from it. So should we stop flu shots? According to your logic, yes. So according to your logic, let’s get rid of all medicines and all vaccines. Some people have bad reactions. I am an organic chemist who worked for 20 years for one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world. I might know a little bit about drugs and their adverse reactions. When I gave the example of having to be immunized in my childhood, I was NOT advocating vaccinating children. It, as well as the example of society forcing people to wear helmets when riding on motorcycles, was to explain that society has already set precedents that would justify the making of vaccinations mandatory for adults. I thought the point I was trying to get across was fairly obvious. I am well aware of the statistics of how very few children are affected by the virus. I am well aware that heart disease and cancer kill more people than this virus. I spent 20 years reading the journals and writing the programs to do such calculations. I was one of the advocates for keeping elementary and middle schools opened.

      • August 4, 2021 6:01 am

        “There has never been any drug any vaccine, and let me emphasize never never, that does not have adverse consequences for some segment of the population.”

        Absolutely true – and you are making MY argument for me.

        The risks of Covid are NOT THE SAME for each person.

        The risks associated with the vaccine are NOT THE SAME for each person.

        Universal vaccination is only legitimate where in ALL cases the risk of the vaccine is lower than the risk of similar harm from the disease.

        In the real world that is never the case. In many cases the vaccine risk is lower for nearly all people. But Covid has a mortality curve that is so extreme, I am not aware of any other disease that has so little risk or harm for one very large group of people, and a 30% mortality rate for another large group.

        “Why do you think that every medication bottle lists the possible adverse consequences??? It is because EVERY, EVERY drug has possible adverse consequences for some segment of the population.”

        All correct. BTW it is not just every drug – absolutely everything not only has adverse consequences for some of the population – but actually has adverse consequences for ALL of the population – at some dose.

        But none of that is relevant to this debate.

        We have no data on the long term effects of the Vaccine – we are GAMBLING – probably correctly that the long term effects are not only low, but low for all groups.

        GAMBLING is not the same as knowing. And you can not force your Bets on others by force aka government.

        “Penicillin is a drug that has probably helped alleviate human sickness for billions and yet for some it is deadly. So should we get rid of penicillin?”
        Nope, nor should we give penicillin to 100% of the population to make us feel better.

        “According to your logic, yes.”
        If you beleive that you have not read my argument.

        “One of my granddaughters was allergic to breast milk. So should we stop breast feeding ?”
        You have not provided enough information to answer that.

        How serious is the allergy ?

        If there is a risk of something serious like anaphalactic shock – then yes.

        “According to your logic, yes .”
        Again you have not read my argument.

        “Flu shots? I knew someone who had an allergic reaction and died from it. So should we stop flu shots? According to your logic, yes. So according to your logic, let’s get rid of all medicines and all vaccines. Some people have bad reactions.”

        Please get past all the stupid straw man fallacies.

        What I have asserted – is that the risks of and associated with Covid are not the same for each person.

        I would hope that is self evident. Regardless, there is lots of data from the CDC on the varying covid risks for different age groups.

        I would note that until recently the CDC did not recomend vaccinations for anyone under 18, and I do not beleive you could even get them.

        Today the CDC is recomending physer for kids 12 and up. But still not recommending vaccines for kids below 12.

        That said the CDC’s own data does not support universal vaccinations for those under 18.
        And frankly for those under 40 who are healthy it is a close call.

        Facts, not emotions not fallacies.

        And PLEASE – no more straw man fallacies. It is You and Rick and a few others here engaged in one size fits all fallacies. Not me.

        I have made no blanket statements regarding vaccination.

        First that decision belongs to each of us individually. Further the factors and risks are not the same for each person. There is no one size fits all answer.

        “I am an organic chemist who worked for 20 years for one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world. ”

        I have to take you at your word. Regardless, your argument is poor, it is not based on actual data, and you have been lobbing straw man fallacies a mile a minute.

        I would not expect that out of any professional, much less an organic chemist.

        “I might know a little bit about drugs and their adverse reactions.”

        You might. And as I noted – you added an additonal point to my argument.
        Each of us does not have the same probability of an adverse reaction.

        Regardless, you have completely ignored the arguments I did make,

        which is that the Covid risk to healthy people under 20 is so low that the known risk associated with the vaccine is clearly higher.
        And that while you and I can speculate regarding the long term risks of the vaccine, we do not yet know them.

        “When I gave the example of having to be immunized in my childhood, I was NOT advocating vaccinating children. It, as well as the example of society forcing people to wear helmets when riding on motorcycles, was to explain that society has already set precedents that would justify the making of vaccinations mandatory for adults. I thought the point I was trying to get across was fairly obvious.”

        Yes, we have many precidents regarding the use of force. Dredd Scott and Plessey Vs. Fergesson come to mind.

        If that is not clear to you – we have many BAD precedents regarding society forcing people to do things.

        I would hope after the absolutely disasterous past 18 months of government using FORCE regarding Covid – to no benefit and lots and lots of harm – we would be past the knee jerk jump to societal uses of force.

        I would note that I always wore a helmet when I rode a motorcycle and I lobbied to get rid of my states helmet law – which they did.

        “I am well aware of the statistics of how very few children are affected by the virus.”
        While I specifically used those under 20 as an obvious extreme, the affects of Covid vary greatly by age. The mortality rate is much higher at 80 than 60, and much higher at 60 than 40, and much higher at 40 than 20 and higher over 20 than under.

        The covid mortality and serious harm rate for healthy people under 20 is so low that it should be a no brainer that they should not vaccinate.

        BUT there is no clean line at which vaccination is clearly the right choice. The risks are just not the same for each of us.

        “I am well aware that heart disease and cancer kill more people than this virus. I spent 20 years reading the journals and writing the programs to do such calculations.”

        Good for you. Then make arguments consistent with the knowledge you claim to have.
        And quit straw manning my arguments.

        “I was one of the advocates for keeping elementary and middle schools opened.”

        Again good for you. We did not follow your advice to our HARM.
        We followed that of government “experts” who were clearly wrong at the time, and remain wrong today.

    • Rick Bayan permalink
      August 2, 2021 10:11 pm

      Thanks, Savannah — imagine if there had been a large faction of polio anti-vaxxers back in the ‘50s. Parents would probably still be fearing for their kids’ health each summer.

      • Pat Riot permalink
        August 3, 2021 6:50 pm

        Rick, it was a very different world when the polio vaccine was created. With exceptions of course, it was a God-fearing world back then and SANCTITY OF LIFE was mainstream. My grandparents and their generation were loathe to offend the neighbors or be talked about for doing anything wrong, be criticized, etc. etc. No, of course it wasn’t perfect, but I trust a vaccine that came out of that ethos.

        Western Civ went through Realism, Modernism, to Post-modernism, nihilism, and now humans are viewed as cancer/poison to the planet and expendable. There are billions of dollars being made by Machiavellian mobsters who don’t give a rat’s ass for humans dying–in fact they think it’s necessary for the survival of the planet. I do NOT trust the overlords or their propaganda. As you know, there were only a handful of vaccines in the 1960s, and now the schedule for vaccines for children is 30 to 40 by age six. It’s a racket. A racket by people who don’t fear hell or God or what their neighbors say. They will lie directly to the cameras. “I did not have sex with that woman,” “Sadaam has weapons of mass destruction,” “No we’re not gathering private information on American citizens,” etc. That makes a monumental difference.

      • August 5, 2021 12:04 pm

        This is an exxcellent editorial by Thomas Frank – who is pretty far on the left.

        While Frank mostly focuses on the consequences of the lab leak hypothesis being proven true, he is actually addressing a much more serious and broad issue.

        Our politicians, our scientists, those in our experts have proven wrong about an enormous number of things, and worse still they have been frequently caught in LIES.

        This is very serious. This undermines trust in doctors, in government, in science, in our institutions.

        In most of my replies on the anti-vax issue I have addressed the FACTS, the risks. and demonstrated that there is not sufficient certainty for force or shaming.

        But even those who beleive this is all a plot by Bill Gates to track people.
        They might be wrong on the facts, but they are NOT wrong to mistrust, government, experts, etc.

        Faucci has bee caught lying to congress and the rest of us repeatedly.

        Some time ago he admitted to lying to us about masks – for our own good.

        More recently he has been caught – not merely in lies purportedly for the public good, but in self serving lies, in using his public powers to supress information that would embarrass him.

        And you wnder why people (left and right) posit conspiracy theories ?

        We have plenty of real evidence of real conspiracies in government already.

        Who knows maybe the bat $hit crazy conspiracy theorists are the sane ones and it is the rest of us that are crazy.

      • August 5, 2021 11:49 am

        The Polio vaccine was entirely private and entirely voluntary.

        You did not see a massive anti-vax movement because there was no threat of it being forced on people and no one was throwing moral grenades at those who did not vaccinate.

        People were free to choose – some had their children vaccinated early – some waited to see what happened.

        I would note that the IPV vaccine used in the late 50’s and early 60’s later turned out to be contaminated by a virus that causes cancer – atleast in other mammals.
        As a result in the late 90’s the american cancer institute sturied the incidence of cancer in those who received that vaccine and found no evidence of an increase in cancer rates.

        Regardless, the Polio vaccine – which YOU choose as an example directly addresses concerns that YOU do not address.

        I am 63, A vaccine that has a side effect – such as a higher risk of cancer that does not manifest itself for 20 years is of low concern to me. I will be 83 before that is an issue.

        But what about parents of 10 year olds ? In 20 years they will be 30 – not 80.

        The C19 vaccines were rushed – and that is a GOOD THING – they should have been rushed even more. There is no good reason that we could not have had the vaccine in the summer of 2020 – if we had been willing to accept lower safety testing and higher potential risk.

        Given that 300,000 people died in the US from mid summer until the vaccine was available – a much higher vaccine risk would still have SAVED lives.

        Regardless, this vaccine was rushed – that is not a judgement, it is a fact.

        We have excellent and improving data on its short term safety. Everything we have on long term safety is speculative. I personally strongly suspect that the long term issues will be negligable. But they are still UNKOWN and will not be known for a long time.

        We actually lucked out on the Polio vaccine. The long term negative impact of polio is 5,000 people who are paralyzed per million infections. What if it had turned out that the vaccine caused 5,000 terminal cancers per million doses 20 years later ?

        If the risk of Covid to those under 20 were high – they should be vaccinated anyway.
        But that is not true. Those under 20 are less likely to catch C19, less likely to spread it, less likely to develop symptoms if they do catch it, less likely to be hospitalized and less likely to die.

        Put simply choosing to get the C19 vaccine at 60 is a radically different decision than doing so at 12.

        While 60 and 12 are sort of the extremes, it should also be self evident to you unless you thing everyone including infants should be forcibly vaccinated, that there is an actual choice that needs to be made, and that the factors are NOT the same for everyone.

        If you accept that it is probably unwise to vaccinate 12 year olds – what about 22, 32, 42 ?

        I have tried to get you to address the fact that there are many factors associated with chosing to get vaccinated.

        Age is clearly one of those.
        Past Covid infection is another.
        Current health is another.

        Other factors that are a bit harder to quantify would be vitamin D levels or other reasons to suspect you might have natural immunity.

        You aren;t shaming 70 year old overweight diabetics that have not been out of the house for years.

        You are shaming everyone.

        You are casting moral judgement on people you do not know based on a binary judgement on an issue that is not binary.

        In the factors I listed above I stuck mostly to measurable physical factors.

        But I noted in other posts the 30 year old hispanic women i encountered with a devere fear of needles.

        Should we emotionally traumatize her over a very small risk that she will suffer some long term harms from Covid ?

        You do not address issues like that.

        And finally, you do not address AT ALL, that there is no such thing as freedom, there is no such thing as rights, if we are not free to make mistakes that directly harm only ourselves.

        The moment that you decide that your personal certtainty – even if correct, is sufficient to justify forcing others to do “what is right” – liberty no longer exists.

      • August 5, 2021 11:52 am

        I do not personally have data on this – though I beleive Prof Haidt did some work on it.

        Parents today are far more fearful for their children than those in the past – including the 50’s.

        In fact all of us are increasingly fearful.

        The world is getting ever safer – for us, for our kids.
        It is getting ever more tolerant, less racist, less sexist, less homophobic.

        And we are getting more neurotic, more fearful, more anxious and more depressed.

  9. August 2, 2021 8:04 pm


    How about addressing some real questions ?

    Given the incredibly low mortality rate from Covid for those under 18 – probably close to ZERO for those without health issues, and the significantlhy higher probability of a serious adverse reaction that could include death – do you think that vaccinating those under 18 is wise ?

    If I am a parent and I have to choose for my children am I “selfish” to decide that it is better to risk getting a disease that they probably will not even know that they have, and probably can not spread, rather that to get a vaccine whose long term effects are not yet known – and my 16 year old will have to live with for possibly another 65 years, or the small but real possibility that the SHORT TERM reaction could include death or serious disability ?

    While I personally think the DATA for those under 18 is so strong that it is unwise to vaccinate anyone under 18 for Covid, at the same time from 20-50 the choice whether to vaccinate or not is not clear – BASED ON DATA.

    Once again – you, like our politicians, the left, the “experts” (not even close to all experts, just those with a publicly funded megaphone) all make the same mistake – like ALWAYS. The presumption that ONE SIZE FITS ALL.

    If I had an 80 year old mother deathly afraid of needles – I would try to get her vaccinated somehow.

    If a 30 year old women in good heatlh who was deathly afraid of needles asked me if she should get vaccinated – my advice would probably be no.

    One size does not fit all – on almost ANYTHING.

    That is why government should have as little power as possible. Because government solutions are always ONE SIZE FITS ALL.

    My final question is Why this editorial ? Why is this important ?

    60+% of the country is vaccinated. While the number of “breakthrough” infections is much larger than someone here claimed – it is still tiny. the unvaccinated are NOT a risk to anyone but the unvaccinated.

    At best – and the data says that you are wrong on that – you are ranting thagt people are making poor choices FOR THEMSELVES.

    That is what freedom means. If you are not free to make poor choices – you are not free PERIOD,

    Regardless, Stupid is NOT selfish.

    There are real issues to write about. Vaccination rates are NOT one of those.

    The self evident failure of government regarding Covid is HUGE.

    Look at arround. Can you see actual evidence that aside from developing the Vaccine government actions had ANY meaningful effect on Covid ?

    As I posted earlier – I do not fault Trump or Biden or Democrats or Republicans of the CDC or WHO for failing to prove a magic bullet to Covid.

    The problem is not that the failed to tame Covid.
    It is that the wreaked havoc on out freedom, our enjoyment of our lives, our standard of living and they did so with ZERO benefit.

    Why is THAT not your story ?

    We have spent some unimaginable Trillions of dollars on Covid – Both Trump and Biden.

    We destroyed the economy to an extent NEVER seen before and likely never since.
    I beleive something close to 1/3 of all small businesses have FAILED.

    We have spiked drug use, domestic violence, likely increased cancer deaths for years to come. We have a reconing coming when millions of tenants have to pay their back rent or be evicted and unable to rent a decent apartment because they have a recent eviction.
    Many of them will have a huge judgement against them and WILL have to pay that back.

    The real harm that all this government nonsense has done is enormous.

    Worse still, much of this was entirely predictable.

    Why is THAT not your story ?

    If your odd moderate brain requires you to blame Trump for some of it – GO FOR IT.

    Despite being called a “trumpster” by Jay and Robby, I did not vote for Trump – EVER,

    From 2016 I OPPOSED his idiotic “infrastucture” nonsense – Just as I oppose the current Trillion+ “bipartisan” infrastucture plan.

    I fully expect to be tied up in accidents and highway construction for the next decade, worse than the mess that ARRA made. And god knows what mess this will make of things aside from roads – now that “infrastructure” has become and orwellian term.

    Why don;t you write about that ? The fact that language today has come to imitate 1984. We all speak “newspeak”.

    I also opposed Trump’s capitulation to the so called “experts” to lockdown the country and his Covid Stimulus plans.

    Though I wonder how in 2021 you are still fixated on Trump – when unarguably there is much WORSE than Trump (and even Obama). I honestly feel sorry for Joe. Wilson ended his presidency incompetent. Joe started it that way. We spent parts of the Trump presidency sniping about the 25th amendment. Now, we are not far away from using it.

    Regardless, why does Trump continue to own so much of your brain.

    If you are going to write – why not write about something meaningful ?

    • August 2, 2021 10:27 pm

      If you are going to write, John, why don’t you start your own blog, rather than just jeer at real, successful, bloggers? A

      And if you do so, please, take your own advice: write something meaningful.

      • Ronda Belle Van Liew Lane permalink
        August 2, 2021 11:40 pm


      • August 5, 2021 4:50 pm

        With what ?

        That you are entitled to a world in which you never need to hear disagreement with your point of view ?

      • Savannah Jordan permalink
        August 4, 2021 12:09 pm


      • August 5, 2021 4:49 pm

        Is this an actual argument ?

        Regardless, maybe you should take your own advice and start your own blog. and try to say something meaningful by for example becoming familiar with some facts.

        If you think I am wrong about something – great, make an argument.
        That is what I have done.

        What is your argument in this post ?
        That you should be entitled to have blogs that only reflect the viewpoints that you hold ?

        If I did choose to start a Blog the last thing I would want is one were no one was willing to disagree with me or point out any mistakes I might have made.


        “He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them. But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion… Nor is it enough that he should hear the opinions of adversaries from his own teachers, presented as they state them, and accompanied by what they offer as refutations. He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them…he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.”

        ― John Stuart Mill, On Liberty

    • Savannah Jordan permalink
      August 4, 2021 1:07 pm

      Since there was no option to reply to your reply to my posting, i will put my reply here. I don’t care if a person wants to not be vaccinated, but if they choose not to, let them stay home and self medicate. But society, unfortunately, is not going to impose that responsibility upon people. Instead our health care system is collapsing under the strain. Last year elective surgeries were postponed because of lack of hospital beds and because medical personnel were having to primarily care for COVID patients. We force people to wear motorcycle helmets and to use seat belts not because our primary motivation is concern for them, but because society would have to bear the cost of their irresponsibility. I don’t know where you are getting your statistics but there is no doubt that 97% of the people who are now dying of COVID are the unvaccinated. Doesn’t that somewhat make you think that perhaps the vaccine does prevent COVID deaths. Where are you getting your statistics that there is a huge percentage of people having adverse reactions ???? Becker’s Hospital Review studied 13.7 million people who received the vaccine. Approximately 7000 reported adverse reactions but only 9% of that 7000 reported severe reactions. Do the math!!!! That is less than 0.005% of those who had the vaccine reported severe reactions. Compare that with the effect of COVID. To date, there have been approximately 35.6 million people who have contracted the virus. That resulted in 2.4 million hospitalizations. That is approximately 6.7%. So you are approximately 1400 times as likely to have a serious reaction from COVID than you are from the vaccine. Check your sources, do the math, and consider the harm to society and not just the feeling of being forced to do something you don’t want to do. Fine. Don’t get vaccinated. But don’t run to the hospital. Take some aspirin and stay home. Your choice now live with the consequences.

      • Vermonta permalink
        August 4, 2021 4:32 pm

        That was a very good analysis, although I will admit I have not checked your sources, Savannah. It certainly matches my impressions of the trends.

        I have spent more time than I want to think about arguing with Dave (John) over more than a decade. Sometimes he says insightful things, but almost never when he is in argument mode as he is now. Then he is simply an uber contrian. He is always right, the experts are wrong, you are wrong. It is beyond his control to say otherwise.

        He is wired to use his “no” powers against mainstream science, government, and anyone with any hint of liberal thought. An intelligent man, but all the power of that brain is hardwired into the “No” circuit. Unless you have a lot of free time on your hands don’t let him drag you into an endless argument. I say that from sad experience.

        Mainstream science is not infallible and deserves thoughtful (scrutiny. But in the battle between ideologically based contrarians and mainstream science, MSS is going to be a lot closer to the truth than the contrarians 99.9% of the time.

        You three ladies have spoken well holding up the sane side of this argument. It was my pleasure to read it.

      • August 5, 2021 7:01 pm

        Robby – I do not care of your impressions of trends any more than you likely care about mine.

        Savanah used Becker, most everyone else is using VAERS. They use different definitions.
        Becker is a sample VAERS is for all currently administered vaccinations.

        I would note that Savanah’s analysis FURTHER assumes a 100% infection rate among the unvaccinated. That is extremely dubious.

        Further she uses the public data on the total number of Covid cases todate.
        I beleive that is way off.

        She also made an assumption that 100% of all unvaccinated people will get Covid.
        Do you beleive that ?

        But if I am WRONG at the current rates Covid will be arround the US for 4 more years.

        Do you beleive that ?
        If not than either we must start to see close to 1M infections per day or Savanaghs analysis falls apart.

        Whenever you are looking at statistical data you should always ask how reliable each number is likely to be.

        It is highly likely that the US deaths number is relaitvely accurate. The only debate being if they died WITH covid or from it. Regardless, dead is dead and we miss very few dead people. This is also a good number when we look at crime statistics – it is unlikely that number of murders is off by much.

        The VAERS system is a manditory reporting system as I understand it.
        It is likely close to correct, and any error would be in under reporting not over reporting.

        I used CDC data on the number of deaths in each age group.
        Again, I strongly suspect any error in deaths and ages is very small.
        Regardless, the totals add to the accepted aggregate numbers.

        I would further note that the data that 94% of all Covid deaths had atleast 1 comorbidity is also generally well accepted.
        Do you doubt that ?

        That means the total deaths todate of healthy people are about 35K – that is less than 1/2 of the deaths from drug overdoses in 2019 – last CDC data.

        This debate is NOT about whether people with serious risks should get vaccinated.

        My personal risks are not serious. I am pretty healthy for 63. I have no problems listed by the CDC as a comorbity, but I am still 63, I am not 40, or 20 anymore. I chose to get vaccinated.
        My risk is atleast a factor of 10 higher than if I was 20.

        If you have health problems – get vaccinated – whatever your age.

        I would further note that the CDC age numbers I cited are for ALL people of an age cohort, not for the healthy ones.

        Of the 400 people under 20 who have died of Covid – how many had health issues ?
        If that was 96% then only 16 healthy people under 20 in the entire US died of Covid.
        More people die in chicago on a weekend.

        Regardless when we are doing math on statistics we should be very careful about the quality of the statistics – the error rates and that we are actually comparing apples to apples.

        We do not have VAERS data by age. We do not have Covid deaths of the healthy by age.
        Those probably exist, but I do not have them.

        Put simply given the data I used and the likely direction of the errors in that data – I am over estimating the risk to a healthy person under 40 or under 20.

        I would note that the KFF survey indicates that the overwelming majority of the unvaccinated are young. Only 6% are over 65. I beleive only 1/4 are over 40. Unfortunately it does not tell us if they are healthy. but young people are disproportionately healthy compared to older people.

      • August 5, 2021 7:18 pm

        Robby, you have wasted substantial time arguing with me in the past.

        Though I would credit Savanaaugh with atleast making her arguments using data.

        Something you have rarely done. Nor have either of the two “ladies” you applaud.

        Do facts care about gender ? I must have missed that part of my woke training.

        Regardless, nothing Savanaugh has produced – the only one to produce data.
        actuall contradicts anything I have asserted.

        In fact her analysis pushed me to go deeper and that makes the argument against vaccinating healthy people under 40 even worse.

        We do not have the number of deaths of healthy people under 40.
        But we know that of the whole population 96% of those who died had comorbidities.

        At any age your risk of death from Covid is 20 times LOWER than any statistic that includes people with comorbities.

        This has been one of the major problems with Covid policy from the start.

        Only a very small portion of the total population is at actual risk of death or serious harm from Covid. We have known that from February 2020.

        Yet we continue to impose policies targeting 100% of us.

        This is bad policy. It is ineffective policy, It is immoral policy.

        It is what offends us so much that many governors sent infected people into old folks homes.

        They did the OPPOSITE of what was right.

        There are perhaps 10M people at most in the US where the risk of death from Covid was high. That is out of 35M people.

        We have masked 350M people. social distanced 350M people destroyed a about 5T in the economy. destroyed more than 10M jobs, and on and on and on, when we could have put a fraction of the effort into protecting the few who were actually vulnerable and likely had far better results.

        Remember that during the revolutionary war George Washington deliberately infected his troops with small pox as a means of defeating a much more serous pandemic at the time.

        While I am not advocating the exact same thing.
        It is still crystal clear to anyone with a brain that we have been wrong by the numbers about Covid from the start.
        Worse we KNEW or should have KNOWN.

        You appear to be ideologically immune to the proposition that the elites could possibly have FAILED.

        But lots of ordinary people understand that.

      • August 5, 2021 8:29 pm

        Oh, god not the “mainstream science” argument again.

        This is as much nonsense as ever.

        Nearly everything done to address covid was at odds with “mainstream science”.
        When have we ever done any of it before ? In the dark ages maybe ?

        Regardless, this argument has always been lunacy.
        Science is about discovery, it is also skeptical. It does not promise certainty.

        In the last century the most fundimental laws of physics – newtons laws were proven false.
        While we still use them and teach them – because they do arrive at correct enough answers for most ordinary physics problems on earth. They are still WRONG.

        Any scientist that claims certainty is not a scientist – they are the high priest of some religion.

        Again in the last year all that “mainstream science” of your FAILED.

        Biden is inarguably doing worse against Covid than Trump.

        he has had nearly as many deaths in 7 months with a vaccine as Trump had in 11 without.

        I am not seeking to make this political. It is dubious to claim that either Trump or Biden could do better.

        Again I would refer you to thomas Franks article on the lab leak hypothesis.
        The problem with Franks editorial is that he worries that if the lab leak hypothesis is proven true it will undermine our trust in science in government in institutions.
        The problem is that ALL the errors – of the past year, or the past 4 years of the past decades have undermined our trust in science, government institutions.

        Worse still they DESERVE our lack of trust.

        The problem is NOT with Science, or the institutions, or government, it is with the people in them.

        People like you who have said “Trust us” and then proven untrustworthy.

      • August 5, 2021 9:05 pm

        The poster boy cfor what you call “mainstream science” is Dr. Faucci.

        First he lied to us about masks, then he changed his tune, then he told congress that he initially lied – for our own good. All fine, but not inspiring trust. How is it you can tell when Faucci or any of the rest has lied to us.

        Social Media used WHO an d Faucci as their bible for truth – how did that work out ?

        We now know that Faucci was actively using his public power to supress any mention in the scientific literature of the possibility of a non-zoonotic origen of Covid.
        So you are clear – the lab leak has not been proven – but the zoonotic hypothesis is DEAD,
        There were not bats within 1000km of the Wuhan wet markets – except those in the labs at WIV. It normally takes a month to find the natural intermediaries when a virus jumps to humans. 2 years later we have found NONE
        RaTG13 is the closest to Covid, there are no intermediaries between it and C19 that have been found in nature – none at all. There is zero possibility that RaTG13 mutated directly into Covid and Zero possibility that intermediaries existed by have completely disappeared.
        For any intermediary to have lead to C19 there would have to be a successful mutation that SURVIVED.

        Regardless, we KNOW that Faucci used his grant powers and control of publican to threaten and seduce anyone who would publish anything beyond the Zoonotic thesis into silence.

        This is your idea of “mainstream science” ?

        To most of us this looks far too much like Galleleo being forced to recant by The roman clerical “mainstream science”.

        Regardless, what we have learned – those that did not know it already, was that science is as political, corrupt, and wrong as everything else in the world.

        Saying “but science” is NOT a magic talisman that wards off all challenges.

        Real science accepts that it is wrong when the facts contradict tenents or beleifs.

        What you call “mainstream science” has exposed itself as a religion.

        Over the past year we have had some inklings of a real medical and scientific debat under the surface. The only reason it was not above the surface – is that the left media supressed it.

        Absolutely some of the contrarian views ultimately proved to be nonsense.

        That is one of the huge problems with censorship. When you try to censor the nutjobs you constantly censor the truth.

        So what have we learned – lockdowns do not work. It is surprising it was so hard to learn that – we knew that from the past. but as is typical of those and the left – we were assured – “this time would be different”. It wasn’t. You destroyed the economy for nothing.

        We were told Masks would work – absolutely an N95 mask in a lab is 77% effective at preventing the spread of Covid for a single exposure.

        Of course anyone with the least understanding of the real world and mathematics would understand that is not enough – tripply.
        First C19 had a transmission rate of 2.4-3.8.
        Everyone wearing masks will not get that spread rate significantly below 1.
        Next, 77% for one exposure is 59% for two and 45% for 3.
        The danes came out with a study in December that religious n95 masks use by 5000 people
        over 100 days resulted in a 15% reduction in infections. That will have 8% for 200 days and 5% for 300. Is there anyone here that thinks that less than 5% reduction over a year is sufficient ? Shortly after the CDC published a serious of studies that found masks 3% effective over 90 days. And they actually celebrated it – Headlines Masks found effective. \
        Of course they burried the lead – 3% effective.
        Regardless, this was mathemtaically predictable.
        I wear a mask – especially in situations wear there is a risk – I will take a 3% increase in my chances if I can get it. But as a matter of public policy this is a non started.
        Third and finally – have you seen people in masks ? Almost no one is wearing an N95 mask.
        Other studies found that the overwhelming majority of masks being sold, used, … were useless, some worse than useless.

        And all this was predictable – but we were sold masks as “science”

        And you wonder why faith in science is going down the toilet ?

        Because peopole like YOU Robby are selling shit as science and wondering why people are Flushing.

        Please do not keep selling this nonsense “mainstream science”

        If you are not willing to subject what you call science to testing scrutiny, criticism, if you are unwilling to share data and allow people to reproduce or disprove your claims.
        You are selling religion not science.

        If you are claiming that science is the product or pronouncments of the elite rather than reproduceable testing – you are a religious nutjob not a scientist.

        And in 2020 and 2021 we learned that the “scientific community” is full of religious zealots, who are actively suppressing dissent with the aide of left politicians and media.

        A wise person would not utter a phrase like “main stream science” today.

        To anyone with a whit of sense and the slightest contact with the real world, that is the same as calling something voodoo.

        Mainstream science = voodoo.

        Atleast until you are ready to get past faith in elite high priests and return to proof by verification and testing.

      • August 5, 2021 9:22 pm

        “Mainstream science is not infallible and deserves thoughtful scrutiny.”
        The only thing you have said that is correct.

        “But in the battle between ideologically based contrarians and mainstream science,”
        Misframing the question. In a battle between ANYTHING and MSS – it is reproduceable results that are truth.

        ” MSS is going to be a lot closer to the truth than the contrarians 99.9% of the time.”

        Can you name a single consequential advance in science where MSS was not WRONG at the time ?

        Science – like nearly everything else is ALWAYS advanced at the margins.
        It is always at some extreme that the truth is found.

        We call it “the cutting edge” for a reason it is always at the edge.

        I would further note that the NORM is that those you call contrarians ARE MSS.
        Those saying the earth is not the center of the solar system – the contrarians – were right.

        To be clear – all attacks on what you call MSS are not correct.
        But all successful advances of science come from the OUTSIDE.

        Science like religion and politics are stoltified and prone to stick with error well past sanity.

        I would also like to be clear. There is no such thing unfortunately as science without people.
        And people are fallible – even when they vest themselves in the robes of science.
        They are especially fallible when they seek to silence dissent rather than overcome it with debate.

        You can tell when science is corrupt and off the rails when the response to criticism is fallacy – ad homenim – when you hear appeals to authority – as pretty much every post of Robby’s, or labeling of dissenters as ideological.
        BTW that is entirely irrelevant. And makes the false presumption that an ideological position can not be true.

        Ideology at its core is the belief that the universe makes sense. That it is not totally random.

        Science itself is inherently ideological – it seeks to find laws that govern the universe.

        What is the difference between the law of supply and demand and the law of conservation of energy ?

        One is economics, the other physics. BOTH seek to find a rational explanation for the behavior of the universe BOTH are ideology.

        For that is all ideology is – the belief that everything is not totally random, that some laws govern the universe.

      • August 5, 2021 5:01 pm

        Society is not likely to impose such a responsibility because doing so would be immoral.

        We have spent thousands of years discovering the boundaries of morality and law.

        If you wish to re-make them – you would be wise to have a damn compelling argument – one that has not been addressed thousands of times over.

        All morality derives from liberty – and you inherently accept that premise when you denigrate those who choose not to vaccinate.
        An act is only moral or immoral if it is freely chosen.

        Inherently all violations of liberty are preemptively immoral if you wish to violate someones liberty – by confining them to their homes – the burden is on YOU to demonstrate that your use of force is both moral and effective.

        It is generally accepted – including by law, that we can require those who are actually sick and contagious to self quarantine – or do so by force.

        It is NOT accepted or moral to force healthy people to quarantine.

        Something close to 10% of the country has already survived C19.
        Each of them is as immune and possibly more so than those who have been vaccinated.

        It is actually bad public policy and a waste of vaccine to vaccinate those who are already immune. Yet we have done many stupid things in response to Covid.

      • August 5, 2021 5:18 pm

        “Last year elective surgeries were postponed because of lack of hospital bed”
        That is FALSE.

        The FIRST reason that elective procedures including surgeries were not performed is because people CHOSE not to go to hospitals – because there were Covid patients in them.

        In the past when we had an epidemic we set up special “fever hospitals”.
        For innumerable reasons this was wise.

        In my city there are 4 hospitals – one of which has been vacant throughout the pandemic.
        It would have been trivial to reopen that hospital specifically for Covid patients.
        Or if necessary to choose 2 or three of the available hospitals for Covid and the rest for normal procedures.

        We did not do that. Initially NYC danced very close to doing that – setting up Jaavits Center and tents in central park and the hospital ship to handle Covid patients.

        But ultimately NYC in April and May of 2020 – the closest we ever came to overwhelming the medical system never filled hospitals or exceeded medical capacity.
        Almost no one was sent to Javits center or to the tents in Central Park or to the hospital ship.

        However the actual hospitals handled both Covid. They initially tried creating covid floors, but ended up infecting people throughout the hospital – because most older hospitals do not have HVAC systems isolated by room or by floor.

        I would note that there was a massively under utilized resource – even today that DOES have HVAC systems isolated by room – Hotels.
        But again our public experts might have known something about contagious diseases, but they were historically ignorant, they were ignorant of building design and particularly HVAC systems – which is a big deal for respiratory viruses, they were ignorant of their own facilities.

        Simply doing what man has done in epidemics throughout history and isolating those with communicable diseases from everyone else would have allowed our entire healthcare system to continue to function as normal.

        But that did not happen.

        I would further note annecdotally that I had a (botched) colonoscopy in Nov. 2020, followed by hospitalization as a result of a very serious blood infection (50% mortality rate) caused by the colonoscopy. In early 2020 I had elective foot surgery and elective prostate surgery.

        It was only during the spring and summer of 2020 that elective procedures were barred.
        And that was by choice – either patients unwilling to go to hospitals where they feared covid.
        Or governments dictating that elective procedures were banned based on fears of overwhelming the health system that never materialized.

      • August 5, 2021 5:24 pm

        Only 21 states have universal manditory motorcycle helmet laws.
        Two states have no laws at all.
        Most require helmets for people with a permit rather than a license, and for those under 21.

        I would separately note that governments have frequently imposed restrictions on liberty that were immoral.

        As is constantly pointed out today – for the first 75 years of our history in half the country we enslaved negros. I would be hard pressed to think of a moral immoral restriction of individual liberty.

      • August 5, 2021 5:26 pm

        Just to be clear regarding motorcycle laws.

        Arguing that a restriction on liberty is moral because it exists is trivially fallacious.

        Were Nazi Germany’s race laws moral ?

      • August 5, 2021 5:35 pm

        I get my statistics from public sources – ones that I beleive YOU consider reliable.
        CDC, VAERS, The Kaiser Foundation.
        When I include a datum I typically use initials to indicate its source – JHU, CDC, ….

        These are all readily available sources.
        They are not “right wing sources”, they are not “libertarian sources”.

        Frankly facts do not care about your ideology.

        I do not know where you get your data. I have typically noted mine comes from CDC or VAERS or FDA or WHO or …

        I suspect you are correct that 97% of people who are dying were not vaccinated.
        But you could try providing a clue where you information is from.

        Current US deaths per day are about 1/2 (and trending down) what they were at any time from April 2020 though April 2021, while the number of new infections per day is just barely lower than the peak (and trending down) in January 2021. JHU.

      • August 5, 2021 5:51 pm

        Of course the vaccine prevents covid.
        So does having gotten Covid.
        So Vitamin D.
        And there is pretty good data that the MMR vaccine is more effective at preventing Covid than the Flu vaccine is against Flu.

        A motor cycle helmet would probably reduce the number of deaths in automobile accidents,
        But we have not mandated that people wear helmets to drive cars.

        The fact that something is beneficial does not make mandating it moral.
        The fact that something is beneficial does not make not doing it stupid.

        We could impose a nationwide speed limit of 20mph and reduce auto deaths by 98%.

        when we chose to use force – we should have clear bright lines, we should be near universally correct, and there should be no underlying complexity.

        There is one exception to the law that you can not deliberately kill another person.
        Defense of self or defense of others.

        It is pretty clear when you can deliberately kill others and when you can not.

        When we can not have that kind of clarity – we should not be making laws.

        We actually have an entirely different portion of our legal system for dealing with much more complex scenarios.

        Tort Law. Torts provides a means of redress, of being made whole when someone else causes you ACTUAL harm. Torts does not a priori bar anything. It does not require the harm to be intentional. But it does require it to be REAL.

        If you can establish that I negligently infected you with Covid and that you were harmed – you are entitled to compensation for your actual losses, and in some cases punative damages.

        We have spent thousands of years experimenting with law to come up with the system we have today – which the left seeks to dismantle and which you appear to want to abuse.

        It has lots of problems today – mostly due to the damage trying to “fix” systems that have worked for hundreds of years has done.

      • August 5, 2021 6:18 pm

        “Where are you getting your statistics that there is a huge percentage of people having adverse reactions”

        VAERS- that is the governments Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System.

        I have NOT claimed a huge percent are having adverse reaction.
        I have claimed a large number.
        There have been almost 350M vaccine does administered in the US. That is about 20 times the number used in your Beckers survey. 20 * 7,000 is 140,000 very similar to the 128,000 serious adverse events reported on VAERS.
        A serious adverse event is one that results in death, serious risk of death, or hospitalization.
        I have no idea what the standard for your data is.

        The risk of a serious adverse reaction to the C19 vaccine is low.
        The risk of a serious result from Covid for healthy people under 40 is LOW.
        Total # of deaths under 40 is LOWER than the VAERS number of adverse reactions from 350M vaccinations.

        It is quite rational for a healthy person under 40 to conclude that their risk of Harm from the Vaccine (low) is not sufficiently different from the likelyhood of their getting Covid and experiencing similar harm (also LOW).

        I do not personally care if that is the case – we can not force people to do as we wish for their own good even when the math is lopsided. we can attempt to persuade. That is all.
        Anything else is immoral and should be illegal.

        BUT we especially can not FORCE people to act in some way when there is no appreciable differences in risks. Less people have died of Covid under 40 than have had VAERS serious adverse reactions.
        While these are not perfectly equivalent comparisons. There are adjustments to both VAERS and CDC covid age data that would be needed to DIRECTLY compare them.
        Still they are pretty close. The risk difference is easily within an order of magnitude.

        Further we have not factored in the actual risk of getting Covid if you are unvaccinated – which is not known.
        If the risk of unvaccinated people getting Covid is 100% – then we should prepare for 2.5M more deaths before this is over. There have been 600K deaths for 35M infections so far JHU
        If 60% of us are vaccinated – 40% are not, and using the same death rate we have a long way to go before people are done dying.

        I doubt that is true. If it it not true – the calculus swings even further against vaccination.
        If only 50% of the unvaccinated are going to get Covid – the risk to a random unvaccinated person from the vaccine is probably higher than from Covid.

        Current daily covid cases(declining) is 90K CDC, If there are 140M unvaccinated people it will take 1500 days to infect all of them – that is 4 more years.

        Just to be clear I think many of these numbers are wrong.

        I think the total number of new cases per day is much more than 90K. I think the total number of people in the US who have already had Covid is 2-5 times greater than 35M.

        But if you adjust the data for what I think is likely true – mandating vaccine is even more stupid, and choosing not to vaccinate if you are under 40 and healthy is the right choice.

      • August 5, 2021 6:27 pm

        I have absolutely no problem with healthcare being entirely the responsibility of the individual – which is what you are arguing.
        But it is NOT.

        We can say that there will be no health insurance of any kind and if you get sick – you must pay for it yourself. But we have not.

        We can say that you can choose to buy health insurance if you want, and you can buy the coverage you want – and if you do not buy coverage that protexts you if you smoke or are obese, or did not vaccinate – then you must pay out of pocket. But we have not.

        What we can not do is promise people coverage in return for their money and then fail to provide it. That is a breach of contract. It is also immoral.

        Yet, you keep making immoral arguments.

        Why is it that you have such a hard time with morality ?

        You seem to think it is fungible – that you can make it up as you go.

        That you can promise people one thing and then renege

        You can refuse to provide coverage for people who make bad choices.
        But NOT after you have promised that you will not do so.

        When we required hospitals to treat anyone who showed up on their door step in the 80’s we took a huge step towards socializing the cost of bad choices.

        When ObamaCare pretty much mandated that everyone must be able to receive affordable insurance regardless we completed the process of socializing the cost or bad choices.

        I will be happy to join you and stepping back from that.
        But I do not think that is what you wish to do.

      • August 5, 2021 6:33 pm

        I have cited my sources – do you really have a problem with CDC ? VAERS ? JHU ? KFF ?

        I have checked my math. I do not know about your Becker data. I am not challenging it.
        But it appears to use different defintions than VAERS and certainly different ones from the data on actual cases.

        I would further note that though I use it, Pretty much no one accept the data on the total number of Covid cases anywhere as even close to correct.

        Studies accross the world including CA, have found that infection rate data is off by somewhere between a factor of 2 and a factor of 10.

        The US data is not likely off by a factor of 10 – as that means everyone has already had covid. But I would be very surprised if there were less than 70M actual covid cases todate of which more than 50% were so mild as to not be detected.

        We already know that many people get Covid without symptoms – especially young people.

  10. August 2, 2021 8:24 pm

    I have addressed the question of vaccinating those under 20.

    But there is another large group for which vaccination has never made sense.
    Those who actually got Covid.

    Why should anyone who has already recovered from Covid who is according to the data MORE immune than those who have been vaccinated, why should they get vaccinated ?

    Why should someone – regardless of age, who is less likely to get covid than those who were vaccinated take the risk of vaccination – however small that might be ?

    According to JHU that is about 35M people – probably it is more like 70M as more people got C19 that tested positive. In nearly every effort to compare testing results to the actual infection rate in the broad population we found atleast twice and often as much as 10 times as many actual infections as positive tests.

    Regardless, more recent data is showing that those who previously had Covid are MORE immune than those who were vaccinated.

    Currently JHU reports 345M does of the vaccine have been given in the US.
    50% of the country is 100% vaccinated, 58% has received atleast 1 dose.
    Again recent data indicates that the single dose immunity is much greater than previously predicted, it is better than the immunity from the Flu vaccine.

    Add to this 35-70M people – 10-20% of the population that has been infected, and adjust for some overlap, then address the fact that some portion of the population is naturally immune, and it is likely we are watching the “last gasp” of Covid.

    Atleast we can hope.

    Regardless there MUST be a limit, and we MUST be somewhere NEAR it.
    Time will tell, but unless we are wrong about the vaccine, wrong about natural immunity, wrong about immunity from infection we MUST be approaching herd immunity.

    I would note that Cov id appears to have burned out completely in Sweden.

    • Rick Bayan permalink
      August 2, 2021 9:56 pm

      Dave, your comments are reproducing faster than the coronavirus, so I can’t possibly give you a point by point response. I’ll say this much: you criticize my use of the word “selfish” to describe the anti-vaxxers, right? If we’re vaccinated, their choice shouldn’t matter to us, you insist. But it does, and you know why? Because the unvaccinated keep the virus alive and circulating. Their decision to avoid the vaccine affects the health of others and could cause numerous deaths. To me, that’s selfishness carried to a criminally negligent degree. Do you dismiss those deaths because they were the result of “personal choice”? (That would be the libertarian response. Call me a bleeding heart, but I don’t like to see people die needlessly.)

      By the way, I never wrote that the government should force everyone to get vaccinated. I’d prefer to see the vast majority of Americans opt for the vaccine voluntarily because it’s 1) the surest way to end the pandemic, 2) considerate of others, who have a right not to be infected, and 3) simple good citizenship. I know that appeals to public duty are anathema to libertarians, but you have to acknowledge that we live in a civil society… and membership in society comes with responsibilities as well as benefits.

      By the way, it’s not just the unvaccinated who are vulnerable to the virus; now we have the variant strains to worry about. Already the effectiveness of the Pfizer vaccine has dropped from 95% to about 80%. Another variant could drop the effectiveness to 60 or 40 or 0%. We need to do everything in our power to cripple this virus. The vaccines might not be perfect, but they were making huge inroads until the Delta variant emerged. Why did it emerge? Because HALF THE COUNTRY still wasn’t vaccinated!

      Americans just need to get the damn shot. And, to quote Samuel Johnson again, “There’s an end on’t!”

      • Priscilla permalink
        August 3, 2021 2:39 pm

        I’m genuinely curious, Rick. If you were the parent of a five year old (which you were, not so long ago!) and you were told that your child would not be allowed to attend school unless he got the covid vaccine, would you have him vaccinated, knowing that his chances of getting the disease was well under 1% and his chances of serious disease was almost infinitesimal, while his chances of side effects, now or in the future, might be significantly higher? Or would you prefer to wait?

        Because that is the issue here. If someone makes the calculation that they – or their children- are more at risk from an experimantal vaccine then they are from the disease, isn’t that a rational choice? I made the more irrational choice, but I am old and I knew my life would be more difficult if I could not assert that I was vaccinated. Plus, because of my age, I’m not particularly worried about long term effects, birth defects, or the like. My main concern was that I would have an overly robust immune response to the vaccine, because of my previous covid infection (which I did, and which landed me in the ER for a night).

        I think that calling unvaccinated people “selfish,” is unfair. The vaccine is not without well-publicized risks, and the looming mandates that will be used to coerce reasonable people (many of whom may be simply hesitant, and waiting for more data) to take the shot, or lose their livelihoods, will be disastrous to our country.

        If our politics are poisonous now, they are about to become more so.

      • August 5, 2021 3:45 pm

        Mostly, i think the information we have on the vaccine is good.

        At the same time – so much of the public policy on Covid has been complete nonsense.
        And an awful lot of it was predictable nonsense.

        I beleive I have referenced the 3Blue1Brown videos on Youtube before.

        One of those is on mathematical models of epidemics.

        I watched on of those in March and quickly grasped that most public policies would fail.

        I will use Masks as an example.
        Early on we had data that a mask was 77% effective in stopping covid transmission.

        That sounds really good, and there are a bazzillion youtube videos trying to show how effective masks are.

        But most omit one crucial fact – true of nearly all public policies.

        They are PER EXPOSURE.

        77% for one exposure is 59% for two and 45% for 3.

        Another study I tripped over early on was that for medical personel with 97% effective PPE working 8 hours a day in Covid wards, within 2 weeks every single one tested positive for Covid antibodies, and Most got Covid.

        There is no level of protection less than 100% that is per exposure that will not with near certainty result in infection if the epidemic lasts long enough.

        Worse nearly all public policies deliberately sought to “flatten the curve” – trade short term spikes for increasing the duration of Covid.

        In Denmark they tested masks on 5000 people for 100 days. And compared them to a control group
        (no masks) the masked group had a 15% lower rate of infections than the control group.
        In 200 days that would be 8%, in 300 days that would be 5%.

        A mask will probably make it take much longer before you eventually get Covid,
        But absent actual immunity if Covid remains arround long enough – you will get it.

        BTW a CDC study produced even worse results finding masks about 3% effective after 90 days.

        Masks work. They reduce the probability of getting Covid dramatically each time you are exposed. But they do not change the fact that if you are exposed enough times, you will eventually get it.

        Nor is any other public policy measure any better.

        Every single thing we have done has accomplished nothing except increase the duration of the pandemic. It has not reduced the number of infections – only the number today.
        It has not reduced the number of deaths – only the number today.
        Arguably policies may have increased the number of deaths.
        Further they may have increased the likelyhood Covid becomes a permanent problem.

        Vaccines and actual infections confer long lasting immunity
        They MIGHT allow use to eventually eradicate Covid.
        But that is not certain.
        If the duration of immunity is not long enough or the virus mutates in a way that overcomes immunity we could have to live with Covid forever.

        We are not going to mask forever,
        We are not going to choke off our lives forever.

      • August 5, 2021 3:51 pm

        Calling the unvaccinated selfish is not unfair. It is a misuse of language.
        It is orwellian.

        While I am not advocating we take the WHO advice, the WHO recomends a moratorium on 2nd shots in order to get everyone in the world a better chance for a first shot.

        Getting a 2nd shot is selfish – with correct use of the word.

        A 2nd shot delivers a benefit to you that is SMALLER than the benefit to an unvaccinated person. It is therefore ACTUALLY selfish.

        I would note that arguably getting a vaccine if you already had covid could be selfish – you are already immune, your benefit will be small compared to others.

        Getting vaccinated if you are young and healthy is selfish – atleast until everyone who is not young and healthy in the whole world is vaccinated.

        Rick is a writer.
        I expect that he will use words like selfish correctly.
        Otherwise we are diving deeper into 1984 and newspeak.

      • Rick Bayan permalink
        August 3, 2021 5:11 pm

        Priscilla, I don”t know if anyone is recommending the vaccine for young children at this point. There’s been a definite uptick in childhood infections, but there don’t seem to be many fatalities. I’m more concerned about the unvaccinated adults who are circulating this virus and allowing it to mutate. The delta variant is more contagious and less lethal than the previous ones, but what if the next variant is both more contagious and more lethal? If, say, 90% of adults had been vaccinated this past spring, we probably wouldn’t be looking at a thriving, mutating virus right now.

        Only a fraction of the adult anti-vaxxers have legitimate medical reasons for holding out. I’ll excuse those. (I’m sorry you ended up in the ER after getting your vaccine — I didn’t know.) The rest are playing politics, grasping onto bogus conspiracy theories, displaying a selfish disregard for those who might catch the virus from them, or misjudging the dangers of getting vaccinated vs. the dangers of staying unvaccinated.

        Remember, over 99% of current Covid fatalities are among the unvaccinated. I don’t know if we have stats on deaths or serious complications directly attributable to the vaccine, but I’d guess they pale in comparison to the number of Covid victims.

      • Priscilla permalink
        August 3, 2021 9:47 pm

        Sorry, Rick, the question about children was meant to be a hypothetical, although Pfizer has announced that they will apply for emergency use authorization in children as young as 2, come September, in time for school.

        I guess I don’t think that most vaccine holdouts are doing so for political reasons. I totally agree that there is a contingent of non-vaxxers who may be doing so, but, in general, no one who thinks that their lives are in danger from covid is going to refuse a vaccine that they believe would save their life.

        Statistically, anyway, the holdouts tend to be young, non-white, or both. Old white folks ~ thoase most likely to be Republicans 😉 ~ are overwhelmingly vaccinated, upwards of 80%. Asians also tend to have been vaccinated. Black and Hispanic people are least likely to have taken the vaccine, although aggressive outreach programs have made some headway, particularly among Hispanics. In NYC, less than a third of black adults are vaccinated, despite their high levels of infections and deaths, in comparison to other racial and ethnic groups.

        I don’t think that they are hesitating due to being libertarians or Trumpian populists, Roby’s contentions to the contrary. It may have to do with their mistrust of government medical programs, such as the Tuskegee Study.

        Young people don’t fear the virus as much as older perople, regardless of race, and that seems at least somewhat rational. They are at very low risk of serious symptoms, much less death, and they don’t want to get side effects, for which they are at higher risk than us oldtimers. There has been speculation that the vaccines might increase the odds of infertility, miscarriages and/or birth defects. If I were a young woman planning to have a baby some day, I would not take the vaccine until that has been cleared up. For that matter, if I were a young man, who might be risking infertility, I wouldn’t take it right now either.

        And “right now,” is key. This is still an experimental vaccine, and one that has primarily only been tested in clinical studies of volunteers, who are likely to have been mostly high risk. The J&J vax (which is the one I took) was paused due to blood clots in women under 40. Sure, it was only a few, but healthy women under 40 are not afraid of dyong from covid, at least for the most part. Maybe, after some longer term clinical studies have shown the vax to be safe, many of these young people will get it.

        But, right now, why would they take a chance on not being able to have a family of their own, to become vaccinated against a virus with a 98-99% survaival rate?

        (I survived the vaccine just fine, in the end. About 9 hours after getting it, I began to vomit, and 3 days later, I was dehydrated and still unable to keep anything down. But after getting some fluids and electrolytes, I was discharged and have felt fine since. Would I do it again,, knowing how my body would react? Probably not, but that is also a hypothetical)

        Anyway, I think we should be less judgemental of people who are vaccine hesitant for their own good reasons. But, that’s just my opinion.

      • August 5, 2021 4:43 pm

        According to a KFF (Kaiser) polls 9% of the unvaccinated are over 65.
        20% 50-64, 41% 30-49 and 29% 18-29.

        Of those unvaccinated the primary reasons given for not vaccinating were:

        awaiting full FDA approval 44%
        Vaccine being available at a local healthcare provider – like their doctor 46%

      • August 5, 2021 3:54 pm

        If you do not know of anyone pushing for vaccines for children – you are not well informed.

        The NEA is pushing for it.
        Many states are talking about requiring it for students in the fall.
        Some have already imposed it.

        At the behest of the NEA the CDC has revised its guidance for students – even though there is no testing on people under 20, and no long term testing at all which is a requirement for non-experimental use on people under 20.

      • August 5, 2021 4:08 pm

        Where was your concern about mutations last year when “experts” were selling “flattening the curve”.

        The longer the epidemic lasts, the more likely mutations are.

        There is a very high probability that the vaccine will be effective against all dangerous mutations (all viruses mutate constantly, nearly all mutations FAIL)
        The reason for this is that the vaccine creates immunity to the spike protein.
        The spike protein it the “key” the virus uses to unlock cells and gain access.
        A mutation of the spike protein that causes the vaccine to fail, will likely cause the virus to fail too.
        Just to be clear that is PROBABILITY not certainty.

        There is purportedly a Gamma variant in brazil that is reinfecting 50% of people who had covid before.

        If that is correct we will see it supplant Delta very quickly.

        With respect to your “fear”.

        Every single dose of vaccine produced is being used within 2 weeks of production.

        For every person in the US that refuses to vaccinate someone somewhere else in the world is vaccinated.

        We are probably 2 full years away from vaccinated most of the world.
        There is absolutely nothing that can change that.

        To the extent that mutations are dependent on the number of unvaccinated – a person in the US refusing to vaccinate will have ZERO effect on mutations.

        I would further note that as best as I can tell no mutation so far has ever originated in the US.
        I do not know why that is. Successful mutations are fundimentally a matter of random chance.

        Though there is in fact epidemologically a correlation between the development of “super bugs” and the development of effective treatment.
        Put simply killing off the ordinary versions of Covid creates the space for mutants to thrive.

        All of this is a bit of an over simplification.

        But what is true regardless, is US antivaxxers do not increase the probability of a mutation that is dangerous to the vaccinated.

        If you wanted to avoid mutations you should have allowed Covid free reign throughout the world and tried to get it to burn itself out in a few weeks or months.

      • August 5, 2021 4:22 pm

        Do you have to keep trying to FALSELY make everything about your particular twisted politics ?

        First deciding not to vacinate – whether you like it or not, is not inherently a bad choice for the overwhelming majority of people.

        The death rate and serious complication rate for heatlhy people is extremely small.

        There is not much of a difference between getting vaccinated and getting Covid for a health adult under 40.
        Both will ultimately result in immunity.
        Neither will likely result in death or serious complications.

        You keep trying to pretend this is not a reasonable choice,
        but that is false.

        It MIGHT be true – especially for older young adults that the risk of harm through infection is greater than through the vaccine, But that difference is not large.
        The deaths from automobile accidents for people under 40 last year was greater than that from Covid.

        The covid risk curve is exponentially greater with each age group.
        128 deaths under 4
        288 5-18
        16,000 19-44
        109,000 45-64
        135,000 65-74
        345,000 over 75

        I would further note that according to the CDC 94% of all covid Deaths involved atleast 1 other comorbidity.

        If you are healthy at ANY AGE your risk of death from Covid is LOWER than the Flu.

        While I would not mandate it,

        AT ANY AGE, if you have any of the risk factors associated with Covid
        Such as diabetes, you should vaccinate.

        You are not being Selfish, you are being Stupid if you do not.

      • August 5, 2021 4:30 pm

        According to the CDC 84% of those vaccinated have an adverse reaction.
        Nearly all of those are mild.

        According to the CDC the Serious adverse reaction rate – resulting in death, life threatening, or hospitalization is about 0.6%.

        VAERS reported about 128K serious adverse events due to vaccination – that is lower than the CDC figures.

      • August 4, 2021 6:16 am

        “If we’re vaccinated, their choice shouldn’t matter to us, you insist. But it does, and you know why? Because the unvaccinated keep the virus alive and circulating. Their decision to avoid the vaccine affects the health of others and could cause numerous deaths.”

        So keep proving that you are a lefty.

        The claim is that the vaccination is highly effective – and the data actually does bear that out.
        While there was an exagerated claim of effectiveness by another poster it STILL is true that there are very very few breakthrough cases.

        If you are vaccinate – those who choose not to vaccinate are no risk to you.

        Further the virus can not keep alive and circulating forever. At some point nearly all the unvaccinated will catch Covid and by immune – just like those of us who are vaccinated.

        Yes, the choice to not vaccinate effects others – others who also choose not to vaccinate.

        Your reasoning is circular and flawed, and uses a manufactured meaning for selfish.

        Selfish means caring only for your self.

        Even if it were acutally true that Covid risks were uniformly greater than vaccine risks – which they are not, not getting vaccinated would not be selfish. A selfish person would lie, cheat and steal if necescary to get vaccinated before anyone else.
        Selfish does NOT means taking risks for yourself, because of rational or irrational fears.

        You are defaming those who choose not to vaccinate by calling them selfish.
        For atleast SOME it is true that they are STUPID, but that is not the same as selfish.

        You are engaged in a typical tactic of those on the left today and trying to shame people into doing as you wish.

        Absent a mutation for which the vaccine no longer works – which is highly improbable as the vaccines ALL target the spike protein, and if the spike protein significantly mutates the virus will likely die, those not getting vaccinated create no risk for those who do.

      • August 4, 2021 6:45 am

        “To me, that’s selfishness carried to a criminally negligent degree.”

        We have far far too much of people using their own personal definitions for everything.

        If you are writing poetry or fiction – use words however you please.

        IF you are writing about force AKA government then the rule of law requires using words with their narrow shared common meaning

        “Do you dismiss those deaths because they were the result of “personal choice”? (That would be the libertarian response. ”

        So much to unpack.
        No i do not dismiss deaths – nor is that “the libertarian response”.
        I am merely unwilling to use the force of government to infringe on a persons rights to (likely fail) to prevent them.

        Rights only exist if you have the right to do things that most think is wrong.

        I hope you do not commit suicide.
        But neither I nor government have the right to stop you.

        “Call me a bleeding heart, but I don’t like to see people die needlessly.)”

        A very large part of our disagreements and your problems is the sloppy way you use words.
        I do not like to see people die needlessly either.
        That is not what this discussion is about.

        It is about your near universal willingness to sacrifice just about any individual right for just about any public good that you perceive.

        You can pay lip service to individual rights. But unless you are willing to defend those rights AGAINST the use of force by government, even when those excercising their rights are acting stupidly and harming themselves (but not directly harming others) then you do not actually beleive in individual rights and that puts you on the left.

        Arguments from you constantly are of the form

        “I respect the rights of others, but in this case people should not have that right”

        And not just occasionally, but ultimately always.

        Frankly you trade hypothetical societal benefits that never emerge for real rights constantly.

        Worse at a time when many of our institutions – particularly government and the press are bending over backwards to destroy any trust in them, you seem to have doubled down on trusting them.

        I am prepared to give most (not all) of those in the press in government, … who have given us incredibly bad advice or horribly inaccurate information, the benefit of the doubt regarding their sincerity. But I am NOT sticking my head in the sand and pretending they were right when they were wrong by the numbers.

        I am pretty close to the point where I consider the use of the word “misinformation” – particularly when targeting those on the left, is just a giant red flag saying “I am an idiotic left wing nut”

        Even the idiots claiming Bill gates is using nano-bots to track them are only marginally more stupid than those in government and the media.

        I am not going to rehash a long and frankly self evident argument. But it should be inarguable that the “experts” driving government (and the press) have been disasterously wrong about nearly everything Covid related – to all of our enormous harm.

        What would these people have to do ? Set off a nuclear bomb in your hometown, before you realized they have been wrong about nearly everything.

        One of the big problems is Nassim Taleeb’s “skin in the game” problem.

        Humans make lousy choices when the costs and benefits of those decisions are not paid by them. In insurance they call this moral hazard.

        What experts have lost their job as a consequence of the bad covid policy they advocated ?
        Who in the press has lost their job for thoroughly screwed up reporting ?

        Why do you expect these “experts” to make good decisions if you are not going to hold them accountable when they do not ?

        Regardless, on nearly everything you have asserted – it is pretty easy to find real world data demonstrating that the statist or leftist positions you are argument are false.

        When belief trumps facts – TODAY your on the left.

      • August 4, 2021 2:55 pm

        I am aware that you do not constantly state that government should do X.
        But I do not honestly beleive that you do not support government doing X by force.

        It is a small step from improperly and immorally shaming people based on a shallow understanding of facts and their circumstances, as well as personal cognitive biases that have you jumping to presume that everything is political, and that everyone who disagrees with you is a right wing nut job.

        Everyone does not “need” to get vaccinated. Air is a need, water is a need, food is a need.

        Vaccination is something some of us want.

        The US has delivered about 345 million doses at this point.

        WHO is now recomending that western nations do not give people a 2nd dose.
        Immunity from the first dose is turning out to be much higher than expected, and it is more efficient to get everyone one dose first.

        While I do not inherently agree with WHO they have been constantly wrong, and occasionally lied – my real point is that there is both disagreement on how we should proceed and in fact there is not on clear best answer.

        And again part of the reason that I place you on the left – is that you hide from and try to hide the fact that not only doesn’t one size fit all, but there is substantial disagreement among experts about pretty much everything.

        Alot of that is natural. Everyone does not share the same priorities.

        You keep using the phrase selfish with respect to those who are not getting vaccinated.
        Selfish more accurately describes those of us like you and I who got vaccinated early and have received two doses. And particularly those who got vaccinated early but are at low risk.

        There is a limit to the rate at which we can produce vaccine,
        Only 10% of the world has received a single dose – and as YOU note this is not going away until alot more people are vaccinated.

        This is another issue that you and those on the left ignore.

        Do we save the world ? or do we save ourselves ?

        This is not just about the virus, it is pretty much about all mandated social good.

        I have said this before. My daughter was born in china and spent two years in an orphanage there. I am incredibly sensitive to issues involving impoverished children throughout the world. I almost get angry when people talk about kids going hungry in the US.
        Poor american children miss a meal periodicially. Those in other parts of the world sometimes STARVE.

        I contribute very little to charities that focus on US problems – this is an afluent nation, the american poor are the 1% of the world. I personally have far less sympathy for the disadvantaged in the US than people in real poverty in the rest of the world.
        I contribute to a number of groups that help children in the rest of the world.

        That is MY PRIORITY. Yours may be entirely different. AOC has priorities different from both of us. The NEA has its priorities, as do government employee unions of MADD or the myriads of interest groups.

        All of that is OK so long as everything is entirely voluntary.
        You can contribute to whatever you wish, and I can do as I wish.
        I am not FORCING you to contribute to my priorities, you are not FORCING me to persue yours.

        But all charity through government reduces my ability to advance MY priorities.

        I would further note this also introduces massive hypocracy.

        Is your priority the people in this country or the entire world ?

        A substantial part of “Trumpism” is “America First”.

        It is the demand that government prioritize the needs of THIS COUNTRY above that of others.

        Many claim that is racist. Yet here you are demanding that we vaccinate more americans – with an implicit screw the rest of the world. While WHO is telling us that it is more important to get one dose into more people accross the world than two in healthy americans.

        Which is it ? What should our priorities be ?

        I get really tied of those who push shallow easy answers.

        The Trumpists atleast know and are honest what their priorities are – America first.

        How about YOU ? Whether you are left or not, you are shaming americans for being ‘selfish” and not getting vaccinated, when it is ACTUALLY a correct use of selfish to say that americans myself included are being SELFISH by jumping to the front of the line.

        As you say this is not ending until we reach high enough levels of immunity but you miss that means GLOBALLY.

        We are seeing incredibly little waste in vaccines. Yes, there have been a few issues.
        But hundreds of millions of doses have been produced and the waste has been small.

        Doses not used in the US are being used somewhere. Every single dose produced is being used within a few weeks of being produced. We are vaccinating the entire world about as fast as we possibly can – which is not all that fast. We need about 16B doses to vaccinate the world. It has taken us about 8 months to administer just over 4B doses.

        I do not care that you do not share the WHO’s priorities.
        I do not care that you are an america firster – atleast with respect to vaccines.

        What I care about is that you seem to think YOUR priorities are the only priorities, and worse that you seek to turn YOUR PRIORITIES into moral commands and judgement – if not actual force, which frankly I have little doubt you would support.

        You are being hypocritical. You think you have the one and only right answer for everyone.
        When clearly you do not know all that much. You are happy to be tribal and racist and shame others – atleast so long as you are not called on it, while at the same time attacking those who apply the same values that you are using for vaccines to immigration, or trade, or numerous other issues.

        One of the many reasons that we should place individual liberty above collective approaches is specifically because there are ALWAYS myriads of competing priorities. There is not only not a one size fits all answer, there is rarely even a single correct answer.
        At the vary least the correct answer changes for those whose priorities differ from yours.

        I would note that this is not merely true of vaccination – or trade or immigration or ….
        But it is also true with regard to covid policies.

        The priority of the CDC, FDA, WHO, … was to minimize deaths and infections from Covid.
        They failed at that.

        But why is that the correct criteria ? In our failed attempts to minimize Covid we did substantial other harms to people. We increased suicides, domestic violence, depression and anxiety, we increased joblessness, we decreased standard of living. we decreased health in other areas.

        Even if policy X was actually effective against Covid – which few if any were, eac h policy had impacts beyond covid.

        We are already seeing – not just in the US but throughout the world – even europe has anti-government protests and riots driven by these policies.

        I am honestly disappointed in you Rick. You always leaned slightly left.
        But you are drifting further to the left.
        Worse you are drifting left at a time when to all who can see there is a clear message that the “Experts”, government, the media, …. handle these things abysmally.

        And you are still fixated on Trump, and spouting leftist nonsense about “misinformation”
        The prime and most damaging sources of misinformation today are the very people you are claiming we should trust.

      • August 4, 2021 3:01 pm

        I have no problem with appeals to public duty.
        I have no problem with shaming people.

        I have two problems with yours.
        The first is that it is small step from your rhetoric to force.
        It is especially small when you elevate your position to a moral one.
        It is trivial for the self righteous to impose their will on others by force.

        The 2nd is when you start making moral claims, you have an absolute duty to be absolutely right. When you make claims of moral failure against others and you are wrong – even a little, the moral failure is YOURS.

      • Ron P permalink
        August 7, 2021 11:16 pm

        Rick, “Do you dismiss those deaths because they were the result of “personal choice”? (That would be the libertarian response).

        Rick I do not know exactly where you get this would be Libertarian point of view. There are MANY Libertarians that believe in freedoms UNLESS THEY BRING HARM TO OTHERS. For those Libertarian like myself, that is the GOP point of view because they don’t want anyone telling them what to do regardless of the impact on anyone else. Maybe the extreme Libertarians would believe as you do, but the more moderate of those would not IMO. The GOP supporters are much more concerned about the life of an unborned than they are of the elderly, those with health issues and others where this virus can be only one outcome, death. They are the ones that believe “I dont need to be vaxed, I dont trust it, I dont need to wear a mask and iof you have the problem, then stay the F at home.

        Yes, they are the selfish, But in every group, there are selfish individuals.

      • August 8, 2021 2:28 am

        There are many forms of libertarians.

        I nor most that I know would not use the “unless they do harm to others” formulation you do.
        With a few exceptions – initiating violence against others – you are always free.
        But being free to do something does NOT mean you bear no responsibility for the consequences.

        The “libertarian” remedy for harm to others is Torts. That is highly prefered because it is after the fact – not before. The problem with regulation is it punishes methods not outcomes.
        A tort merely requires that you harm another. No harm – no foul. If you can figure out how to do something a regulation would bar – without causing harm – you are free to do so.

        Using vaccination as an example – you can not mandate vaccination.
        But where it can be clearly established that you infected another and caused them real harm, you can be held accountable for that.

        The incentive to vaccinate is to avoid the tort. But you are not required to vaccinate – a specific method, you are required to avoid harming others, and if you can preclude harming others by a different means – that is your business.

      • August 8, 2021 2:41 am

        We should all be more concerned about children than the elderly.

        I am not looking for a debate on abortion. I old a position that I think is a good solution to the debate and is neither pro-life or pro-abortion.

        But I am trying to address your claim of hypocracy for republicans.
        Catholics addressed this long ago.
        A child has a lifetime before them, an adult does not.
        Theologically an adult has made their choices regarding their life. regarding good and evil.
        If there is a trade between adults and children – catholics require that you pick children.

        Today it is extremely rare that childbirth endangers the mother. But it used to be quite common. Catholics always picked the life of the child over that of the mother.

        As a spouse I do not know if I could make that choice.

        That said with respect to Covid – we should do what we can reasonably to protect the elderly from dying from Covid. But I have no problem with a huge disparity in the resources we throw at someone who is going to die in 6 months and those for a child.

        The final CDC data for 2020 does NOT show a dramatic increase in total deaths from those in 2019. In fact the increase is consistent with a trend driven by the number of people in each age cohort that predates C19.

        The actual negative impact of C19 is far smaller than represented. with few exceptions we saw 600,000 of the dying die from Covid rather than something else, and maybe a few months earlier.

        What we did to society was not justified.

      • August 8, 2021 2:47 am

        Ron, both you are Rick are horribly abusing the meaning of selfish.

        While generally I do not like the term selfish – it implies something negative about something that is nearly always positive.

        “It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own self-interest. We address ourselves not to their humanity but to their self-love, and never talk to them of our own necessities, but of their advantages”

        Adam Smith

        Self interest has improved the world far more in one year than all charity in all history combined.

        Regardless, it is not selfish to choose not to vaccinate.
        It might be stupid, it might not. But it is not selfish.

        This is not 1984.

  11. Priscilla permalink
    August 2, 2021 10:06 pm

    I think it’s a terrible mistake to blame individuals for a problem that has arisen out of bad messaging from authorities. Demonizing and threatening our friends, neighbors and relatives is not going to make covid go away, and the unvaccinated are not to blame for the situation in which we fnd ourselves. They are simply skeptical, confused and/or scared, just like everyone else. As we hear so often, “these are unprecedented times.”

    I think this article is pretty balanced and I agree with all of it:

    “The debate is also about how much faith individual Americans have in the information they’re given. When Pfizer’s CEO announces that its coronavirus vaccine is 96 percent effective up to two months after a second dose, but only 84 percent effective four to six months after the second dose — on the heels of suggesting that a third “booster” shot may be needed — that raises alarm bells among skeptics. When the CDC goes back and forth on its mask-wearing guidance — loosening recommendations in May and tightening them again now — it invites the charge that public health officials are winging it, rather than making evidence-based calculations….

    “A democracy must use democratic means — acknowledging unknowns, continuing outreach and avoiding stigmatization — even to combat something as serious and urgent as a pandemic. Making people get vaccinated, by contrast, will likely increase mistrust. Instead of “normalizing” the jab, it risks creating a permanent and hardened segment of our society, primed to oppose government efforts to deal with covid or other public health crises on the horizon.”

    • August 5, 2021 9:35 pm

      Priscilla – we know that public health officials have been Winging it – from the start.

      As I have noted repeatedly – the 3Blue1Brown simulation of epidemics that I watched in March of 2020 was illuminating for me.

      Every single “public policy” approached modeled (save one), as well as combinations acheived only One thing – making the epidemic last longer.
      In every single simulation the exact same end condition was reached – but after differing amounts of time.

      3B1B was not producing a political video. I doubt he thought about ideology at all. He was just trying to show how mathematics and modeling could be used.

      There were only Two factors that changed the end condition. The first is NOT public policy but an attribute of the virus itself. The higher the initial transimission rate the larger the percentage of people were infected by the end state.
      The other factor was quarantine of the infected.
      The effectiveness of Quarantine which was the ONLY approach that produced less deaths and infections, varried with several factors – the higher the R0 the more difficult a successful quarantine was to acheive. And a if a quarantine did not meet the threshold effectiveness that the RO of the virus dictated – the result was the quarantine did not work – you reached the same end state as always just taking more time. But if the quarantine was sufficiently effective – the end state was about half the infections and deaths as without.
      The last factor was for quarantie to work it was necescary to determine that a person needed quarantined BEFORE they were infectuous.

      My point is that it was trivially knowable before this started that nothing public health officials were doing was going to work.

      And it did not.

      The consequence of Covid is undermining confidence in our institutions.


      I am happy to see robby ranting about MSS.
      He is just making a fool of himself.

    • August 5, 2021 9:44 pm

      My expectation is that we – atleast the US are close to the end of this.
      The delta spike appears to be over and the trend back down.
      Deaths never increased much and never reached levels seen as late as april.

      Absent a varient that circumvents the immunity of the vaccine or infection – I think/Hope this is done.

      But there is an alternative.

      Covid sticks arround for years – maybe longer.
      Death rates continue to remain low – among other reasons because it has already killed most of those it can kill. And we start to learn to live with it.

      If democrats the media and the left wish to continue to try to sell more lockdowns, more masking, more government control of our lives – they should go for it.

      Obviously there are people here – Rick, Robby, …. who are blind to the failure of government and who knows maybe they will continue this nonsense for a few more months or longer.
      Some people take a really long time to grasp reality.

      But the clear lesson of the past couple of years is the elites are corrupt and untrustworthy.
      They control government, they control science, they control our institutions,
      And they do not know what the H311 they are doing.

      What disappoints me most about Rick – is he not only has not grasped that but he has doubled down.

      And that is why I say he is on the left.

      I can not accept a version of “moderate” than means continuing to beleive people who have lied to you over and over.

      I have listened to armies on the left rant – Trump lies over and over.
      Yet, if I were to list the consequential lies of the past year, four years, ….
      Trump would not make the list at all.

    • Ron P permalink
      August 7, 2021 11:24 pm

      Priscilla, for those that have a real concern about the vaccines, i can support their position. Black Americans have a real concern about anything government wants them to do medically. There have been too many medical experiments throughout history to support their positions. If the idividual is a cancer chemo patient, they can not take the vax.

      But a great many that refuse to get vaxed are younger white, healthy, red neck men and women that read questionable comments on social media, do no research themselves to check those “facts” and then based on those unverified facts, refuse the vaccine.

      I would not have one once of sympathy for them if they got it, spent months in a hoopital on a vent and died. That is the only cure for stupid. But that does not happen. They refuse the vaccine, they refuse to wear mask, they quote everyone that says masks dont work, that the vaccines cause every illness know to man and then they get covid, spend a few days ill and brag about how they beat the minor bug the got that was no worse than a cold, all while they spread to to 6-10 others that might not be so lucky.

      yes not only are the stupid, they are selfish.

      • August 8, 2021 2:55 am

        Look arround Ron.

        Almost no one read bothers to do research for themselves.
        In fact few of Robby’s experts have real familiarity with the facts.

        Further the argument that others make poor choices because of what someone else has said is fallacy.

        You are responsible for your choices.
        People did not vote for Trump in 2016 because “the russians made them do it”.
        You are free to act assuming something someone else said was gospel – but YOU not they are responsible for your actions.

        Personal responsibility is completely absent on the left.
        Sometimes the right too.

      • August 8, 2021 3:08 am


        Masks do not work.
        According to properly conducted published scientific studies done in the US and Europe.

        This should not have surprised anyone from the moment that laboratory studies found masks 77% effective against Covid PER EXPOSURE.

        Everything from there forward is MATH.

        A mask will delay how long it takes before you get Covid. But if Covid remains arround long enough you will get it mask or not.

        The more key problem is that Masks and Social Distancing and locktowns and … all together do not reduce the transmission rate below 1.0. Again math would tell you that, as would decent computer models.

        I am not telling you not to mask. Do as you wish.
        But if you have been masking religiously for a year and you do not have Covid – you are either immune, or were very rarely if ever actually exposed.

        Very early on studies came out finding that hospital workers in covid wings wearing 97% effective PPE – the best there was, were near universally infected after a few weeks.

        BTW all these tests were before Delta. The transmission rate of Delta according to the CDC is something like 3 times that of prior variants.

        That means even if both parties are wearing a mask your odds of getting Delta are greater than no mask with prior mutations.

      • August 8, 2021 3:10 am

        I am not quoting people – I am citing actual studies. Some done for/by CDC

  12. rondabellelane permalink
    August 2, 2021 10:39 pm

    Years ago, anthropologist Margaret Mead was asked by a student what she considered to be the first sign of civilization in a culture. The student expected Mead to talk about fishhooks or clay pots or grinding stones… but no – Mead said that the first sign of civilization in an ancient culture was a femur that had been broken and then healed.

    Mead explained that in the animal kingdom, if you break your leg, you die. You cannot run from danger, get to a fiver for a drink or hunt for food. You are meat for prowling beasts. No animal survives a broken leg long enough for the bone to heal.

    A broken femur that has healed is evidence that someone has taken time to stay with the one who fell, has bound up the wound, has carried the person to safety and has tended the person through recovery. Helping someone else through difficulty is where civilization starts, Mead said.

    We are at our best when we serve others. Be civilized – get vaccinated.

    • August 7, 2021 2:11 am

      Beautiful anecdote.

      For 98% of human existence – life expectancy was about 25 years, and 25% of deaths were due to violence – basically we killed each other.

      In fact for all of human history our primary societal cooperation was to kill each other.
      We murdered each other as ancient tribesmen. We did so as early city states, we did so as nations. Even in modern times we have myriads of genocides – the armenians, the Holocaust, The Gulags, the Killing fields, Rwanda, …..

      No one doubts that those who are vaccinated have a very low probability of getting Covid, and a far lower probability of dying from it.

      But the same is true of those previously infected. It is also true that the younger you are the less likely you are to get infected, the less likely it is to be serious, the less likely you are to die.

      The US has just under 2000 deaths per million in population. 94% of those have one or more Comorbidities. Therefore the death rate for health people is 120/1M

      The typical mortality rate for the flu is 150/1M

      If you are healthy Covid is LESS of a risk to you than the Flu.

      You are free to and I would expect you to check these numbers.

      We strongly recomend that people get the flu vaccine.
      We do not force them to.

      We do not as those of you on the left have done – shame them, excoriate them, call them names.

  13. Pat Riot permalink
    August 3, 2021 2:09 am

    Et tu, Rick B!
    Oh it saddens me!

    It seems you’ve succumbed to the fear-mongering. I’m not surprised because the fear-mongering is all around us. I am a bit disappointed though. Your niche used to be showing “both sides” of an issue. Even if you picked a side, you used to present both sides as fairly and succinctly as you could, or elaborate how particular issues were not mere dichotomies.

    And now here you are, calling unvaccinated people “selfish” and lumping them all together as “freedom rebels”! Ug! Such sweeping generalizations, over-simplified thinking, and provocation from a usually nuanced, moderate thinker and excellent writer!

    You must have forgotten there are numerous reasons nurses, doctors, electricians, carpenters, and all manner of intelligent, wonderful people choose not to be vaccinated. It is not a simple, ignorant “don’t tell me what to do” knee-jerk as you essentially insinuate.

    Commenter John Say, though wordy, maintains logic. You have succumbed to the fear.

    Here is quick summary of my own brief logic, based on information from the experts, that the fear may have pushed aside for some screen-addicted folks:

    The vaccines seem to be working for what they were designed and developed to do. The vaccines were designed and developed to prevent severe symptoms and death.

    Vaccines don’t kill the virus or block it from entering the body. Rather, the vaccines stimulate or trick the body into developing anti-bodies. Important Reminder: you can develop anti-bodies without the vaccine.

    My 30-year-old son became sick and tested positive for Covid-19. He quarantined, as is the responsible thing to do. I took him his meals, gave him some shoulder and foot massages, sat with him and talked with him. I tested negative, twice. My wife’s 90-something uncle contracted Covid and got over it.

    WHERE ARE THE NEWS REPORTS ABOUT HOW TO BUILD HEALTHY IMMUNE SYSTEMS, ABOUT HOW TO DEVELOP ONE’S OWN ANTI-BODIES? Where is the fair and balanced, objective reporting and sane logic? The preposterous slant of the info should be enough to vibrate people’s BS detectors!

    It seems to be a fact that vaccinated persons rarely develop severe symptoms and rarely die. So what are you vaccinated persons so worried and self-righteous about?

    How can intelligent people discount and/or ignore and/or forget the rampant corruption in big business, including the pharmaceutical industry, the rampant corruption in government in general and in U.S. government in particular, and the rampant corruption in mainstream corporate media? What? Those are conspiracy theories? How many specific, undisputed reminders do intelligent people need?

    Rick, you wrote so many good essays, so I forgive you! (haha how you must be relieved!) But C’mon man!

    • Vermonta permalink
      August 3, 2021 5:21 pm

      Hi Pat. In my Universe Rick nailed it. In fact he was restrained.

      So, why will the COVID pandemic ever end without herd immunity mostly due to vaccination? Why will it ever end? It won’t. 610,000 American dead and counting. More than all our war dead by far and all in a bit more than a year. Its seems to be a little bit too serious for conspiracy theorists like T Carlson to be killing members of his audience because the money is good. As long as COVID is not mostly in our rear view mirror, the economy will be distorted and limp. Important?

      Why do left leaners get the vaccine in much larger numbers than right leaners? Why is it the the ideological group that does not get the vaccine is the same group that thought (thinks?) that the VP could simply decide which states to count the electoral votes of and thus decide the election and invalidate the entire voting process in states that voted for Biden? The same group that has gotten on one loony bandwagon after another leading up to Jan 6 and after, with a good hunk believing that their orange god will be reinstated in July?

      But, Before I conclude that one side is loonier than another, I will remember that following 911 large numbers of democrats thought that W knew ahead of time that the attack would happen and did nothing. Some even thought he was in on it. I can name a long list of loony things that progressives believe as a cultish tribe, they just still do not do seem to do nearly as much actual harm, for one thing because most of their proposed actions to improve society are well meaning but delusional and have no chance of becoming law.

      Both the right and the left cults are mindless and scary and live in their own bubbles with no apparent thought about the consequences. In the case of COVID, not getting vaccinated has what economists call “negative externalities” Getting vaccinated has “positive externalities, that is, it helps not only the person but the benefits spread to the population as a whole.

      Two trump supporting guys I played music with went out and got vaccinated, they wanted to be able to gig and practice, and as well they had comorbidities that suggested that it was wise to get protected. I told them what I am telling you, without a very high level of vaccination COVID is going to continue as a deadly pandemic that hurts the economy as well. Liberals believe that as a group, conservatives as a group do not.

      I suppose I could simply watch those on the right die faster and shrug and call it evolution. But that would be pretty sick. I would rather that all the brainwashed cult members in the Bernie and trump and other tribes somehow would somehow see that they are really believing outlandish nonsense. Large numbers of Americans being members of mindless ideological cults scares me. There has always been some of this but I do not think its been nearly so bad in my lifetime.

      As I always say, history will judge in the fullness of time. I have no doubt that history will record mass insanity on the right all though these trump impacted years. People in 50 or 75 or 100 years will think of this as a time when one ideology completely went off the rails and did unbelievable damage.

      I have always found most libertarians, with their me, me, me, childish, selfish and antisocial. like 3 year olds little IDs as Freud put it. I exclude Ron, he is a different sort of libertarian. This was the wrong time for the GOP to go all libertarian.

      I can tell you about our COVID path in loony old left wing Vermont, it turns out that our lefty state (with its sane GOP governor) does all the right things about COVID and we are way better off for it.

      • August 7, 2021 12:10 pm

        “Hi Pat. In my Universe Rick nailed it. In fact he was restrained.”

        And that is the problem. Your universe is NOT the real one.

        Here you are talking about herd immunity – a year ago you and those like you were attacking me or anyone else that talked about herd immunity.

        Now you that you grasp that is likely how this must end you ignore your own past opposition and piss all over those who understood that Herd Immunity was the likely end to C19 more than a year ago.

        You are pushing something that was both the argument and position and made possible by the very people you hate the most, and have tried to censor and shut up and called liars and murders.

        Why should we beleive those like yourself who have been constantly wrong, over those who have been right from the start ?

        You chant “science” as a religious mantra. But what you claimed was “science” for the past year – FAILED. And what has proven correct – what is actual science, is what you rejected and called right wing nonsense.

        Why should anyone except YOUR claims regarding vaccination and herd immunity – when you still do not grasp that you were wrong about everything else ?

      • August 7, 2021 12:41 pm

        At the moment we are at a point of uncertainty. Delta (in the US) has spiked and appears to be waning. There does not appear to have been a significant spike in deaths from the Delta surge. But we can not draw conclusions from US data yet, Deaths lag infections. We have seen spikes arrive, decline slightly and then push to new peaks.

        But we can look elsewhere. Sweden appears to have reached the tail phase of C19 deaths by February 2021. Daily infections have been in what appears to be permanent decline since april. Delta has not thus far caused even a small spike in Sweden.

        Sweden has a 40% full vaccination rate, and about a 60% one dose rate – slightly lower than the US.

        If Trends in Sweden hold – and as noted – they have for months so far, Sweden has acheived “herd immunity”.

        If you have come to accept that as the means to defeat C19 – then it appears the swedes have done so – without mandating anything – including vaccines, and without vaccinating half of their population.

        Nothing I have said above is certain. Almost nothing I have said about Covid ever is certain.

        Real Science rarely offers certainty. Science is probabalistic. Partly because of randomness, partly because of large observational problems.

        The vaccine does not confer immunity. It merely makes is dramatically harder to be infected by C19.
        Prior infection does not confer immunity. It merely makes it dramatically harder to be infected by C19.

        Those are NOT the only factors that significantly reduce the probability of infections.

        Masks, social distancing and lockdowns Do actually work – and there are diminishing returns over a short period of time.

        That is likely true of vaccination and immunity through prior infection. But with a much larger time window.

        AGAIN vaccination and prior infection do not appear to be the only methods of dramatically reducing your probability of being infected.

        The real world data is that healthy people are much less likely to get infected.
        If they do get infected – the infection is nearly always mild, and the probability of death low.

        According to CDC data – an 85 year old is 600x more likely to die from Covid than a 29 year old.

      • August 7, 2021 12:51 pm

        Can you atleast get your data correct ?

        Estimates of the Civil War deaths are 640-700K people – approximately 2% of the population at the time. More than Covid with a much smaller population.

        Total US war deaths through the present are 1.4M more than twice that of Covid.
        Deaths “with” Covid todate are under 0.2% of the population.

        Further according to the CDC US life expectancy INCREASED by 0.08 years in 2020.
        It is going to take sometime to figure out if there was any actual increase in total US (or global) deaths from Covid. Regardless, we know that Covid did not produce 600,000 ADDITIONAL deaths in the US. To an extremely large extent Covid replaced other causes of death – such as pnuemonia, the number of those who died who were not likely to die shortly is small.

      • August 7, 2021 1:04 pm

        So your annecdote is that two trump supporters with health issues got vaccinated, and from that you conclude that conservatives are going to die enmasse ?

        Absolutely those with risk factors should CHOOSE to vaccinate.
        And amazingly your annecdote indicates that conservatives are capable of weighing personal risks and CHOOSING vaccination when it makes sense.

        My world view is not determined By Carlson, nor do I follow him much – but given your past history of misinformation and lying – what is your evidence that Carlson is opposed to people chosing to vaccinate if they wish, particularly if they have serious risks.

        From what I can tell Carlson rails against MANDATES.

        I would note that the claims that there is a strong ideological element to vaccination rates are poor. There is a small difference in the vaccination rates of republicans vs. democrats.

        But by far the largest factors regarding vaccination are other demographic issues.

        The single largest predictor of vaccination status is AGE.
        Only 5% of those over 65 regardless of politics are not vaccinated.

        Vaccination rates decline dramatically with age.
        The decline dramatically among those in good health.

        They are higher in urban high risk areas than in rural low risk areas.

        Vaccination rates most strongly correlate to the ACTUAL risk the person has of dying or getting seriously ill from Covid.

        Overall, it appears that ordinary people are actually making rational choices – regardless of politics, and regardless of your railing at them, and trying to create a false moral crusade where there is none.

      • August 7, 2021 1:22 pm

        You of all people should not be talking about getting on looney band wagons..

        You have been wrong – almost always over the past several years over almost everything.

        You are the looney band wagon.

        That you would insult people who have been right far far more than you is revolting.

        Alex Jones has been correct more than you.

        Think about that.

        A real tin foil hat nut job has been right – not only more than you but more than all the talking heads of the left media.

        The very fact that you and I are here in Aug 2021 still discussing Covid as a serious issues is a reflection of how much you have been wrong over the past 18 months.

        Masks did not work,
        Lockdowns did not work.
        Social distancing did not work.

        Vaccines – which for almost a year you railed at as a Trumpian delusion – are now magically in your mind the single cure.

        How do you rationallize your own cognitave disonance and hypocracy regarding vaccines.

        For almost a year we heard they were a pipe dream and could not be done safely.
        Myriads of democrats told us they would not take a vaccine that Trump had anything to do with. Now the same vaccines – which we rushed FOR GOOD REASON – are suddenly so safe we should be giving them to kids.

        Are you capable of rational thought ?

        Your two “conservative” friends demonstrated that most people can make wise choices for themselves. But you are incapable of accepting that.

        You rant about the number of deaths. As of Jan 20, 2021 about 320K people had died of Covid in the prior 12 months. As of today less than 7 months later there are 615K deaths.

        Trump had a lower death rate for 12 months – almost all WITHOUT a vaccine than Viden has in less than 7 months WITH a vaccine.

        Yet You, the left, the media and Biden himself told us that Trump’s handling of Covid was incompetent, and that Biden would do better – Much Better.

        I do not blame Biden for his failure. Public policy has nothing to with Covid.

        I do blame ALL OF YOU for LYING.

        It would be trivial to fill books with the lies, errors, and bogus conspiracy theories that YOU have pushed.

        And you have the termidity to talk about others ?

        Qanon is crazy – but they are models of sanity compared to you.

      • August 7, 2021 1:32 pm

        You could try to watch those on the right “die faster” – except that is just not what has happened.

        The US death rate is just under 2000/M.

        The 4 states with the highest death rates are
        NJ, NY, MA, RI.

        These are NOT red states.

        I have repeatedly pointed out that C19 death and infection rates are driving by demographics and latitude – not politics or policy.

        And you CONSTANTLY and stupidly try to pretend otherwise.

        If there were any actual political signal to Covid – it would damn those on the LEFT.

        If public policy has actually been a factor in Covid deaths – Blue states – democrats have failed miserably.

        DeSantis and Abott have done 50% better than Cuomo and Murphy.

        DeSantis is particularly laudable as FL has high population denisity and more elderly residents than NY.

      • August 7, 2021 1:34 pm

        I doubt history will judge well. History has a long track record of error and currently history is in the hands of lunatic race baiters.

        But if history did properly assess our time – no one who voted democrat would dare show their face in public.

        “At lone last have you no shame ?”

      • August 7, 2021 1:41 pm

        Yes, rant about conservatives, republicans and libertarians.

        Does that change FACTS ?

        Do you have an argument ?

        Atleast some of the newer left leaning posters here have actually tried to make arguments.

        Once again as is typical – your posts are just aroggant posturing and defamation of anyone that disagrees with you.

        As many have noted – I have posted alot – lots of facts. I have put myself out there.
        I have asserted facts, and made arguments.
        Those can all be tested.

        Much of what I post can either be verified or falsified by readily available sources.

        What am I wrong about ?

        If I have made an error, I will take responsibility for that and correct it.

        What of you ? Have you posted anything beyond insulting those you disagree with ?

        Have you made any claim that is testable ?

    • Rick Bayan permalink
      August 3, 2021 10:51 pm

      Pat: First of all, it’s good to see you back “home” here — even if it took a New Moderate column that you vehemently disagreed with. Was I less even-tempered than usual? Of course! I confessed as much at the top of the column. Why such a visceral response from me? Because we almost had the virus licked — the vaccines were a godsend, and new cases had plummeted — but the diehard holdouts enabled the bug to keep circulating and mutating. So what do we have now? Just when the pandemic should have been behind us, new cases have increased fourfold within just the past month. It’s as if we had cornered a demon but couldn’t summon enough support from our fellow citizens to put him out of commission.

      Yes, we can build antibodies naturally and safely — if, like you, we’re exposed to the virus and don’t catch it. But how many of us are lucky enough to come in contact with the virus and not fall victim to it? I don’t criticize people who have legitimate medical reasons to avoid getting the vaccine, but the fact that 98.5% of new cases are among the unvaccinated would strike me as a ringing endorsement for the vaccine.

      Now, of course, even the vaccinated can’t feel entirely safe because our vaccines are less effective against the new delta variant. And as I said to Dave somewhere, what if the next variant reduces the effectiveness of the vaccine to 60 or 40 or 0%?

      • August 7, 2021 2:40 pm


        facts are not decided by emotion.

        I hope that the vaccine ultimately proves to be a godsend.

        If so you should swallow your pride and Thank Trump.

        But the data so far is NOT clear on that.

        My educated GUESS is that we are at Covid’s last gasp.

        Delta appears to have started waning, more importantly deaths did not spike.

        There have been more deaths per month in 2021 with a vaccine than in 2020.

        There was a huge spike THIS summer which portends a WORSE winter.

        There are some clues that the Brazillian Gamma varriant can infect those who have already had C19 and probably those who were vaccinated.

        Every does of vaccine that is produced is being used.
        It is likely to take another 2 years to vaccinate the world.

        Your railing about “anti-vaxxers” is just nonsense.

        According to US polls the primary reason given for not being vaccinated is lack of easy access to the vaccine. Many people are used to getting shots from their doctors – not pharmacists.

        In the US 360M doses have been given. In the world 4B.

        While I suspect that a truly free market approach would be capable of delivering more doses faster. the quasi-free market, quasi statist approach we have taken is doing the best it can.

        While we saw a very large Delta spike this summer – the increase in deaths was tiny and has passed.

        There is a leaked CDC graph that purports that Delta is not only far more contageous but that it is atleast as deadly.

        In the real world that has not proven true.

        Why ? Maybe CDEC is wrong – it is not like that has not happened constantly.
        Maybe they are once again lying to increase fear and get more people to vaccinate – it is not like that has not happened before.

        But most likely the decline in deaths is because only 5% of those in the US over 65 have not been vaccinated. Covid still has many americans that it can infect, but most of those it can kill are vaccinated.

        In fact if you look at the data on who has been vaccinated it is a very strong match for those with the highest risks.

        You have chosen to fight over whether young heatlhy people shoudl vaccinate at all.

        Can you atleast grasp that they should NOT be our priority ?

        AS I noted before we are jabbing people about as fast as can be done.

        If we can not vaccinate everyone tomorow – who should we vaccinate first ?

        We seem to be doing an excellent job of vaccinating those with the highest risk.

        Delta infected a large number of people. But it did not kill a large number of people.

        I beleive that deaths are down because the most vulnerable have been vaccinated.

        Even if you can not agree that young healthy people might be wise to choose not to vaccinate – you should atleast grasp that young healthy people should be our LAST priority.

        I would note – though I oppose GOVERNMENT vaccine mandates. I do NOT oppose rational employer mandates.

        As noted – we can not actually vaccinate people much faster than we are.
        We should not allow people to be deprived of a job because they can not get a vaccination.

        We also need reasonable exemptions for those at higher risk from the vaccine.
        And we should not require vaccination for those who tested positive for Covid in the past – as they are likely already immune. It is probable that a significant portion of health care personel were already infected and are immune.

        I am 63, I had paeret of my right lung removed when I was 20.
        My Job requires alot of interstate travel – including to senior living fascilities.
        I also have to enter hundreds of occupied apartments of strangers every month.

        I have been overdosing on Vitamin D since last fall. I also get lots of sun each day and have a Tan I have not had since I was a teen. I received an MMR booster in November – because data came out indicating that the MMR vaccine appears to be 77% effective against Covid and results in milder cases. I was vaccinated in February, and I mask when I am indoors near strangers – which is often.

        I have done all this because I am at higher than normal risk for covid and complications and because I could spread it.

        I would note that the occupied apartments I enter are in the DC, Baltimore, and NYC metro area. These are not bastions of conservatism. Most of the places I go are 2nd quintile, most have seniors of all races, and younger working class minorities in them.

        I can not tell that vaccination status of the hundreds of people I encounter. But some mask religiously – the overwhelming majority do not. The property managers, superintendents, and tenants in the facilities I enter – mostly do not mask. While those like me – the inspectors, and engineers, and appriasers near uniformly do. We are typically required to by the companies that hire us. And I am perfectly OK with that.

        You keep making one size fits all arguments that not only are ignorant of the facts – but could not actually work if imposed.

        We are vaccinating about as fast as we can.

        If Robby and those of you on the left which to beleive there is some vast rightwing conspiracy against vaccination. I can not stop you from that beleif.

        But even if it were true – which it is not, SO WHAT ?

        Robby teeters on glee that conservatives might exterminate themselves and shame for feeling gleeful.

        But about 2M people are vaccinated each day. The quasi statists vaccination scheme can do no better.

        If I were to guess much of the political ranting by Biden about anti-vaxxers – is a deliberate distraction from his own failures. It should be clear by now that even with the vaccine Biden is doing no better than Trump. That is far more of a problem for Biden – because he promised to do much better.

        Regardless those who are choosing not to be vaccinated near perfectly align with those who should be the LOWEST priority to get vaccinated.

        I do not think we should EVER push the vaccine to those under 20.
        It will be years before we know enough about long term safety to honestly recommend it.

        But I have no problem with requiring TEACHERS to vaccinate.

      • August 7, 2021 3:11 pm

        If there is data otherwise I would love to see it.
        But I do not think that anyone builds sufficient antibodies to protect against a virus without actually getting the disease.

        I do not think your hypothetical person with sufficient exposure to build meaningful natural immunity without getting Covid is meaningfully likely.

        What is certain is that the vast majority of Covid cases are so mild that people do not know they have it. That is a significant portion of why it is so dangerous. If only the seriously sick could spread Covid we would have defeated it by contact tracing, isolation and quarantine long ago.

        Historically (and by computer model) there are only two public policies that have EVER worked to thwart a respiratory virus.
        The first is quarantine, and the 2nd is herd immunity.

        After over a year of pooh poohing it the left – people like Robby are finally coming to terms with the fact that C19 is going to be defeated by “herd immunity”.

        There should be a reckoning – a COST for all of those who subjected the rest of us to makss, lockdowns, and assorted other ineffective and damaging public policies.

        Whether you are the governors who imposed this nonsense or the people who supported it – your credibility should be diminished. Further YOU should be rethinking your own values, your own principles, and your own judgement.

        Because you were WRONG.

        Credibility is not determined by prestige, or election or appointment, or even education or expertise. It ultimately rests on a track record of accuracy.

        You ranted that a CEO should not make 400 times more than a janitor.

        If the decisions of the average person are correct 50% of the time and yours are correct 90% of the time – you are worth far more than he.
        If your decisions are right 99% of the time – you are worth more than those right 90% of the time. If you are right 99.9% of the time you are worth more than those right 99% of the time.

        Further contra perception bigger businesses are far more fragile that small ones.

        My point is that we are not all equal. We are not all equally credible.

        Democrats, republicans, libertarians, moderates – ideologies and their adherents should be judged based on their accuracy.

        If you participated in the unnecescary economic and social destruction of this country over Covid without producing any worthywhile benefit – you should not be trusted in the future.
        You should have to build a reputation for good judgement to regain trust.

        You rant, Robby rants myriads on the left Rant about “the big lie” about “incitement” about Jan 6.

        That whole issue is trivial.
        Establish the truth – about the election.
        We spent the fall fighting this out in the courts – which was ludicroulsy stupid and only damaged the credibility of the courts with half the country, and polarized us even further.

        We have seen a few actually inquiries in the election. These have been fought tooth and nail.
        But ALL have produced results that demonstrate we are doing a poor job running our elections.

        Regardless, I do not want to see audits after controversial elections such as 2020.
        I want them ALWAYS.
        The most important thing that we do is conduct elections.
        It is elections that attempt to establish the consent of the governed.

        We can debate whether Trump incited Jan. 6. Whether it was an insurection.

        But there is one simple truth – if the elections in 2020 were trustworthy – lawful, with minimal error and fraud – Jan 6. is not consequential.
        But if the election was not trustworthy than far worse than actually occured was justified.

        There is alot that has been found since regarding the election that is extremely disturbing.
        I expect you know little of it as you rely on censored sources. What has been found must be subject to serious scrutiny – not insults, dismals and ad hominem, not false claims that it has been debunked, but real critical examination.

        Like with Covid – we should trust those who have been right, and not trust those who have been wrong.

        Further we should not be fighting tooth and nail to preclude getting at the truth – regardless of whose ox gets gored.

        Elections should be audited routinely.

        Trust and credibility are established by TRUTH – FACTS.

      • August 7, 2021 3:20 pm

        There is no evidence todate that any vaccine is less effective against any variant.

        I would further note that is highly unlikely.

        The vaccine is specific to the Spike protein – not the virus as a whole.

        The spike protein is the “key” that allows the virus to unlock the door to our cells.
        Break the key and you disarm the virus.

        Any mutation in the spike protein that would disarm antibodies would likely result in an impotent virus.

        Anything is possible – including a mutation that was more contagious, more deadly and not effected by the vaccine, But that is not probable and even if it occured it would essentially be a new virus, not a varient.

        Initally we saw drug companies talk about boosters as a means to adress variants.
        We are seeing that talk go away – because all variants use the spike protein.

        Now we are seeing discussions of boosters because immunity fades over time.

        Thus far we are NOT seeing that. Though inevitably over some time frame immunity must fade.

        The fundimental risk regarding Covid is that we drag it out long enough that we are stuck with it forever.

        I would note that is increasingly a very real possibility.

        We might ultimately conclude that lockdowns were the worst public health mistake in human history.

    • August 7, 2021 2:14 am

      John Say is dhlii is David.

      I am posting under jbsay at because that is the only way I seem to be able to reliably successfully post here.

    • Ron P permalink
      August 7, 2021 11:32 pm

      So Pat Riot, how many people outside your home did your son infect before he realized he had covid? Remember science has documented “a person with COVID-19 may be contagious 48 hours before starting to experience symptoms. Emerging research suggests that people may actually be most likely to spread the virus to others during the 48 hours before they start to experience symptoms.”

      So how many did he spread it to during that 48 hour period and if he did, how many recovered, how many ended up in the hospital and how many died.

      Or do you only know what he did to your immediate family?

      • August 8, 2021 3:17 am

        It is unlikely that his son or anyone else spread C19 to someone who was vaccinated.
        To someone who was immune through prior infection.
        To someone with normal levels of vitamin D.
        To someone outdoors during the day.
        To someone outdoors during the night.

        As you seem to beleive masks actually work – then his son did not spread it to someone with a mask.

        Finally the question is not whether his son spread Covid. It is whether he infected someone who died.

  14. Vermonta permalink
    August 3, 2021 6:33 pm

    Well, Rick, nice job, you got a real discussion going this time, multiple participants, something with a different flavor, (if one disregards the voluminous Dr. No). I think you went light on this libertarian flavored vaccine-skeptic nonsense.

    The vaccination got going in earnest early this year, shortly followed by the steepest fall in COVID deaths since the pandemic began. This is not enough to convince any sane person to trust the experts and get vaccinated? ? There is no need for amateurs to try to sound like deeply informed scientists from reading a few internet articles and news stories and repeating technical language they have almost no idea the meaning of. But contrarians being who they are, they will do it anyhow. I have my doctorate in cell and molecular biology and I could climb into the biology of COVID and vaccination and obsess about the details and every little aspect. But I don’t, because I understand that I would have to devote every minute of my life to that if I wanted to be truly on top of the subject, which would have no purpose. I don’t need that. The experts and the COVID charts tell the story.

    Those who are part of an ideology that has been doubting the theories and conclusions of the mainstream medical world all through this pandemic talk a good game sometimes, they sort of sound like they know something about virology. But, its a thin veneer of knowledge, very thin. Virologists and epidemiologists with their Ph.Ds and their professional experience actually know something. The skeptics and the independent thinkers can all simulate a science degree, except, in the vast majority of cases, they haven’t got one. The people who have got an actual deep education and experience in virology and epidemiology are, with the exception of a few oddballs and outliers, all in favor of masks, vaccination, and mainstream science as the best tactic in the struggle with the COVID pandemic.

    Simplicity is beauty. Vaccination works and its the only thing that can bring COVID out of pandemic mode. How many virologists would think that vaccination is something to be inspected as suspiciously as a used car for sale? I’ll go with the virologists, others will go with the thin, thin medical acumen of people like TC. No small number will die for that choice as time goes on, its their right. But, as most of us realize, they will unfortunately infect others as well, who will get sick or die. This is not new, its been a constant theme, the contrarian trumpian right living in its own biological fact universe throughout the whole COVID pandemic.

    Science is the best thing we have for this and the voice of scientists is close to unanimous, get vaccinated! OK, I am being very wordy and very, very repetitive. I will stop that and go fishing.

    • August 7, 2021 3:36 pm

      Robby, you remain wrong about most everything as always.

      I find your Dr. No nonsense hillarious.

      Guess what MOST propositions are WRONG. Most new ideas are WRONG.

      One of the reasons you have such a piss poor track record, is that you are constantly pushing positions based on feelings and intentions rather than facts.

      Skepticism is absolutely essential to avoid wasting efforts on unproven approaches that do not work.

      You do that constantly. And as a result you FAIL constantly.

      Truth is a rare comodity. It is NOT common. Edison purportedly made 10,000 attempts before arriving at a successful light bulb. that is the NORM.

      Today we have wasted trillions of dollars – and to some extent Trump and republicans are complicit in that, done enormous harm all to accomplish less than nothing regarding Covid.

      There are very few people who are truly skeptical of the vaccine.
      As is typical you mischaracterize the debate.

      Later you argue that simplicity is beauty – possibly true – atleast sometimes.
      But there are very very very few simple truths. For the most part the world is complex. NOT simple. And in fact that complexity is incredibly beautiful.

      Vaccines are not a one size fits all answer – almost nothing ever is.
      A mistake you CONSTANTLY make.

      One of the reasons that freedom and liberty exist is because very very little is one size fits all.

      Getting vaccinated like many many other things MUST be a free choice – because there is not one answer that is right for everyone.

      The risk of infection varies with age and health.
      The seriousness of the infection varies with age and health.
      The likelyhood of death varies exponentially with age and health.

      You are sufficiently math ignorant that you can not grasp that the choice is not the same for everyone.

      And you are sufficiently authoritarian that you would impose your will on others by force regardless.

      Someone MUST say NO!!! to you and those like you.

    • August 7, 2021 3:50 pm

      The libertarian position on nearly everything is not skeptical, it is liberty.
      To trust people rather than institutions.

      Few libertarians would oppose anyone who wanted getting vaccinated even if we knew it would kill them.

      Your rants about vaccinations are nonsense.

      Even your own anecdotes are at odds to your claims.

      People are freely CHOOSING to vaccinate very close to the most effective way to do so.
      Those at the most risk got vaccinated FIRST, We continue to see those who are getting vaccinated being the highest risk group among the remaining unvaccinated.

      Put simply people are choosing wisely.
      And you are railing about it.

      Those with the least to gain and the most to lose – the young and healthy are the largest group of unvaccinated people.

      Further we appear to be seeing the real impact of this – as even though infection rates fluctuate, the death rate appears to continue slowly downward.

      Further you are blind to the fact that not only does every dose of vaccine bring us closer to Covid’s demise, but every single recovered covid patient accomplishes the same.

      In my lifetime – before the plethora of childhood vaccinations today, we saw parents hold chickepox or measles parties. seeking to get safely through the unavoidable.

      You “Simple” approach is obviously a WRONG one.

      It is wrong because as always you have been confused about both facts and objectives.

      The objective is to avoid death or serious illness as best we can. It is not to prevent anyone from every getting a disease that many do not even know they have.

    • August 7, 2021 4:03 pm

      Actually no Vaccination is NOT the only think that can end the pandemic.
      Nor is vaccination what WILL end the pandemic.

      That is an idiotically stupid claim.

      The earliest evidence of vaccination is about 1000 years ago.

      Vaccines have not be commonplace until the 20th century.

      Yet the world has not been in continuous pandemic for the past 150,000 years.

      Diseases come, and they go, and epidemics near universally end for the same reason – herd immunity. Nearly always acheived by either imunity through infection or some other form of natural immunity.

      Widespread immunity through vaccination was not common place until the last century.

      Vaccines are a PART of overcoming Covid. They are not the only factor.

      “How many virologists would think that vaccination is something to be inspected as suspiciously as a used car for sale? ”

      That is precisely what you and others did in May of 2020 when Trump first proposed operation warp speed.

      You told us all that a vaccine could not be developed safely in less than 4 years.

      As late as November you and virologists were telling people that the Trump vaccines might not be safe.

    • August 7, 2021 4:28 pm

      The problems with your simplistic nonsense are apparent in your own flip flops.

      You say I am Dr. No.

      In April of 2020 I was arguing FOR unrestricted voluntary use of vaccines pretty much identical to what we finally have, produced by bio-hackers in garage labs.

      In May I was arguing FOR immediate voluntary use of the vaccines that had already been developed.

      A major issue you keep ducking is RISK.

      In May 2020 we had not yet seen 100,000 deaths, but such numbers were forseable.

      Had we gone forward with the vaccines we already had – at potentially 100 times the risk level that they eventually proved – we would have saved hundreds of thousands of lives.

      The GOAL – which you are blind to is saving lives – not numbers of vaccines administered.

      There are myriads of ways to acheive the herd immunity that it now seems most everyone grasps is the only way to a post covid world.

      But today as last year there are very few ways to reduce the number of deaths.

      I quite literally argued HERE last summer for making available vaccines immediately for voluntary use – even if they had very very HIGH adverse reaction rates – including death.

      If you are 85 and face the risk of a disease that will be fatal 30% of the time – how safe does a vaccine have to be before you choose it ?

      Conversely if you are 18 and have a 1 in a million risk, how safe does a vaccine have to be ?

      If you are 85 – how important are long term risks that take years to test for ?
      If you are 18 how serious are long term risks that take years to test for ?

      If you can find an actual virologist who disagrees with my assessment – they should have their degree taken.

      Regardless, From the very start I have been CONSISTENT.

      I have encouraged taking high risks – where inarguably the risk of doing nothing was higher.
      I have discouraged taking low risks – where the risk of doing nothing is lower.

      You have been opposed to vaccinations until you were for them.
      And you have no more clue what you are arguing now – than you did when you were opposed.

      You constantly make appeals to “experts” – without having a clue what the experts actually advise. Or by ideologically culling the experts so that you listen to only those that share your ideology.

      You have FAILED. If you had any shame you would hide under a rock and hope no one remembered any of the stupid things you had said.

      While there is nothing wrong with informed skepticism.

      Your “Dr. No” argument is a transparent straw man.

      You confuse simplicity and ideology with truth, to your own harm and that of others.

      You are dangerous.
      Far more so than those you attack.

      Where would we be if we had listened to you and your Ilk ?

      The very experts you defer to were telling all of us in May that a vaccine by November was a pipe dream. That it would take 18 months atleast.

      Was that True ?

      The fact is that vaccines existed in April. In fact the vaccines we currently use existed in February of 2020.

      There should never have been any question regarding the development and quick use of vaccines.

      The decision to vaccinate – in June of 2020 and today lies on exactly the same criteria.
      What are the risks of the vaccine ? What are the risks of the disease ?

      The answer to each of those questions is both individual, and different at different times.

      Just as we should not today force those at low risk to vaccinate, we ALSO mistakenly denied those at high risk the oportunity to vaccinate last summer.

      You were wrong then you are wrong now.

      You were and are wrong for the same reason. You allow ideology to cloud your thinking.

    • August 7, 2021 4:43 pm

      ” Simplicity is beauty”

      I, Pencil was written by Leonard Read in 1958.

      I would suggest paying careful attention to every single word.

      You are not merely wrong regardding simplicity, but “I. Pencil” rebuts the entirety of your ideology.

      It does so with the facts about a “simple” pencil, Something that is not at all simple, and that comes about absent any mastermind, or central direction or use of force.

    • August 7, 2021 7:44 pm

      “Science is the best thing we have for this and the voice of scientists is close to unanimous, get vaccinated! OK, I am being very wordy and very, very repetitive. I will stop that and go fishing.”

      What nonsense. As should be self evident by now – health officials are for the most part clueless about the 2nd and third order consequences of their recomendations.

      Near universally the advice of YOUR experts 18 months ago was wrong – both because they were wrong on the actual science and because they were clueless about the unseen consequences of their choices.

      We should easily have known and we now know by experience that the economic consequences of their choices were horrendous.
      But even the health choices proved incredibly poor.

      Your “experts” were seduced by your simplistic nonsense to spout nonsense like “14 days to stop the virus”. They were ignorant of the fact that what they pushed would not work.
      They were ignorant of the non-health negative conseuences, and they were ignorant of the health consequences outside their specific narrow domain.

      You keep jumping between virologists and scientists – as if these were the same and the only voices that mattered.

      It is inarguable at this time that the leading public virologists were pretty much wrong about everything, worse they were wrong where we have everything we need to know better.

      Interestingly they were mostly wrong for the same reasons that Greenspan was wrong and caused the great recession. They KNEW the truth the facts the science, but hubris lead them to beleive they had control, could manipulate reality.

      They were wrong about their purported core competence.

      But they were also wrong outside of their core competence – virologists are not experts in the healthcare system. They are experts in viruses, They are not experts in economics.
      They were poor in their own fields – oddly and abysmal elsewhere.

      I would further note that viroligists did not speak with one voice, and as we now know – they were under enormous pressure to conform.

      There were plenty of experts – YOUR experts who were deeply concerned that C19 came from a lab leak. Science has politics and its own equivalents of social media censorship – so YOU never heard ir heard very little of what many of your OWN experts actually thought.

      What you call science had little to do with actual science – it was pure politics.

      Even today you would not know that scientists are not unanimous – really not about much of anything. You do not know that because you encourage political censorship of the voices you do not like.

      Real science ALWAYS has multiple voices and progress is ALWAYS at the margins.

      I honestly find it hard to beleive that you have ever been a biologist.

      The education you purportedly have had should have disabused you of the nonsense you are claiming.

      I would further note that Science is pretty much never able to answer what are inherently political questions, nor can it answer values or principles questions.

      In a small number of instances science can tell you that if you change X – and all else remains unchanged you will get results Y. It is incredibly poor at predicting outcomes in complex scenarious with multiple variables.

      EVERYTHING is incredibly poor at doing that.

      Finally it is extremely disengenuous when YOU – who have been wrong about pretty much everything – including “Science” try to claim some kind of infalibility for “science”.

      Even if science was infallible – which it is not,
      What you call science – ISNT’

    • August 7, 2021 7:48 pm

      I am going to address your Science claim one more time.

      If science is infallible – what you claim is science is not science.

      If there was the consensus of virologists you claim – they were inarguably wrong.

      Most of what you claimed happened didn’t.
      Most of what did was wrong.

      If you wish to wrap it in the mantle of science – all you have accomplished is converted science to religion.

  15. Pat Riot permalink
    August 3, 2021 7:07 pm

    Ian Vermonta, I wish to preface my upcoming responses to you: I believe you are up there in New England playing quality music on stringed instruments, loving your family, being a witty and well-rounded, educated good guy and vital American, etc. So when I sound flippant and brusque in my upcoming comments, don’t take it personal. I intend to focus on the opinions and viewpoints, not the person, and will try my best, though I may slip with something that seems directed at the person in an effort to get my point across, like I might say “Oh stop being such a blue-pill like the guy in the matrix who just wants to enjoy his steak!” That would be more to try to communicate how you are coming across to me, and perhaps if it’s playful enough it might get somewhere, to a synthesis of viewpoint. No animosity. You and I found some common ground at times. I wonder if we can again, but we are typically so far apart in perspectives.

    • August 7, 2021 8:04 pm

      Robby takes everything personally, and he makes everything personal.

      Finding common ground is getting increasingly difficult.

      Those on the left are far too disconnected from reality.

      Just look are reality here.

      Robby and those he fawns over religiously not merely were wrong over pretty much everything. They were specifically wrong regarding Vaccines.

      With all credit to the scientists, engineers and companies who developed these vaccines
      We would not have vaccines today but for Trump.
      Trump did two critical things that made getting a Vaccine quickly possible.
      He guaranteed that the US government would purchase enough vaccine NO MATTER WHAT to make the development possible. It seems obvious to us today that Covid was going to continue unabated until a vaccine was developed. That was not certain in May 2020.

      The 2nd was that he put enough pressure on FDA to compel them to do an emergency authorization. If you think tht is a small accomplishment – despite repeated efforts of congress to legislatively compel FDA to fast track approvals for orphan diseases, terminal patients and emergencies the FDA has almost never done so before.

      If you think Biden had enough balls to push on the FDA to do so – you are an idiot.
      Biden botched dealing with H1N1 which because it was merely a minor variation of an existing vaccine should have been trivial to develop and approve.

      I would further note that the very people – including Robby, both in politics and science who are now trying to sell us forced vaccines for everyone were the same ones telling us that vaccines could not be developed in less than 18 months and probably more like 4 years, and that what Trump was doing was dangerous and wrong.

      We had constant stories of Trump “pressuring” the FDA – if anything he did not pressure them enough.

      Regardless these same people including Robby have completely flipped in a very short period of time now that Biden occupies the white house.

      Just as they were catagorically wrong about vaccines before – they remain so NOW.

      In fact they continue to make pretty much the same error.

      They failed in the past to grasp that the risk for SOME of the population was so high that a fast tracked high risk vaccine was easily justifiable – that short circuiting t4esting and accepting much higher risk was still the right course.

      Now they make the oposite mistake – they fail to realize that Covids risk profile is such an exponential curve that for large numbers of people the vaccine – which is still a godsend and miracle to some, is not risk justified to most young healthy adults.

      Robby keeps talking about listening to “virologists”.
      He need to bone up on Math.
      This is not a question of science.
      Frankly the “experts” in this would be insurance risk adjustors.

  16. Pat Riot permalink
    August 3, 2021 7:51 pm

    Hi Priscilla! I must say it’s a relief to read your measured, reasonable posts. After all the surreal changes and insanity in the world over the past couple years, I re-visit TNM and find you are still not merely parroting media messages like so many others. You take a fresh, honest, critical look for yourself at a topic, and thank you for that!

    I wish I could say the same for others here at TNM. I remember when that Vermonta Guy used to come up with his own analogies and really delve into a topic, and explore, but I see he’s still dividing reality up into us-and-them dichotomies of scientific on his side vs. looney on the other side, as if there are only two sides! That’s not very scientific! To be fair, I saw he was pointing to lunacy at both extremes, so perhaps he hasn’t gotten completely “comfortably numb” up there in New England. I still have some hope for the guy!

    • Priscilla permalink
      August 3, 2021 10:02 pm

      Hey Pat! So great to see you here. It’s been quite a while, and I’ve missed your good sense and sense of humor.

      Roby and I have our rare moments of agreement, but this is clearly not going to be one of them. It’s too bad, because I think that politicians on both sides of the aisle, but particularly on the left, want the kind of hate and resentment against each other that this vaccine debate has instigated.

      They want society to be like:

      The left~”You’re trying to kill us by not getting vaxxed!! You’re an awful person! A stupid Trump ass-kissing cretin!”

      The right: “You’re trying to take away all our freedoms and jab us with Bill Gates’s tiny communist microchips!! We won’t submit!”

      Sigh. I hope it doesn’t get much worse….

      • Vermonta permalink
        August 3, 2021 11:15 pm

        The local chiropractor, an aging hippie type wellness guy who has always been a space shot and a famous left wing type of anti vaxer wrote a long letter that got into the local paper a few months back about anti mask, anti vax all that, could have been written by TC himself. He got an earful from all kinds of people in the next weeks paper, especially actual medical people. So, Its not only the right, there are others people including one I know, a Russian with a biology doctorate who are anti-vaxers. But, coming on the heels of the trump presidency and the election lies and violence, the fact that it is the same trump nation who live in some other universe who are the largest group to reject vaccination, well, its going to be a sore point. And, yes they are killing people.

        Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country. Its a popular sentiment. I have heard it from left and right, its a pretty non-partisan sentiment.

        Well, to get real, for your country you (I don’t mean YOU you) can do a little thing that you have already done many times in your life and get yet another vaccination.

        This is not some mostly silly political argument like transexual toilet rights, its 610 000 Americans dead and counting. This should really be beyond argument. Contrarians can sometimes be good but for the most part they are a royal pain in the ass and in this case they are a deadly pain in the ass. Just truly living in their own universe oblivious to the consequences of their actions.

        Rick is not having it, quite a few others here not having it. History… You know what I am going to say about history.

      • August 7, 2021 11:44 pm

        You have been uniformly wrong about nearly ever argument you have ever made.

        Please do not talk about “election lies”.

        No one with a whit of sense trust you.

        As to Trump – still did not vote for him.
        But I would bet you voted for Biden and Clinton.
        I do not have to wear that shame.

        Regardless, I can list myriads of things that you, or others have claimed Trump lied about.
        Can you name one that was an actual lie ?

        We have the collusion delusion lie.
        We have the Russian bounty lie.
        We have the more than circumstantial evidence lie.
        We have several “russian disinformation” lies.

        We have the lie that the election was conducted lawfully.
        We have the lie that the courts conducted meaningful inquiry.

        We have Biden’s numerous lies on Fracking – in fact the “debate” that as I recall you claim he won was just a long string of obvious lies.

        We have his lies about Ukraine.
        You do know that there are now PHOTOS of Biden meeting with people from Burisma and others introduced by Hunter.

        We have the “big lie” that Biden would be able to do better than Trump fighting covid.

        While I honestly hope and expect that Covid will burn out on its own soon, that we will soon reach the herd immunity that you pooh, poohed a year ago, inarguably Biden had no more ability to deal with Covid than Trump.

        You rant about people dying – almost 50,000 a month since Biden was elected.
        So much for “I can do better”. More people have died in a shorter time under Biden than Trump – even though Biden inherited a vaccine from Trump.

        Just to be clear – I do not fault Biden’s handling of Covid – mostly.
        There has never been anything government could do.

        I fault him for LYING about it.

        Biden lied repeatedly to get elected. And he is lying still – when he can remember what he is doing.

        And people are supposed to beleive you about the election ?

        Why ?

        Do you even know anything about the election ?

        Nope. Like always you are ill informed and accept as gospel whatever the holy experts you kowtow to say – why bother with facts ? Truth ?

      • August 8, 2021 12:00 am

        What should be beyond argument ?

        You trivially lost this argument long ago, and yet you keep going.

        Nearly all those at high risk have been vaccinated. About 95% of those over 65.
        This is the most likely explanation for the recent spikes in infection rates without corresponding increases in deaths.

        CDC claims Delta is More fatal – not less.
        If course CDC says all kinds of things – and some of them are true.
        Regardless – infections spiked. Deaths did not.

        You still have not addressed that.

        What is beyond argument is that your thinking is shallow. It has been since the start.
        You can not even retain consistency with yourself.

        Vaccines are bad, vaccines are good.

        You are what is most despicable and hypocritical about politics and the left.
        Your views on everything change depending on who is in office.

        The core issues regarding vaccines – both april a year ago and today are math – probability and the calculation of risk. They are NOT science.
        They are also math – the allocation of scarce resources.

        You ignore both of those – as do your “experts”.

        You live in a world where government could magically jab people 6B times tomorow if it wanted, where it is OK to compell someone with a low probability of harm from Covid to do as you demand to make you FEEL safe – even though you will not be one whit more or less safe than the day before. But where it is NOT ok for people who might be at very high risk to voluntarily take a vaccine that is much less likely to kill them than Covid – because the FDA says no.

        You are no better at math than automechanics.
        Hopefully you have made better choices of mechanics, than health officials to trust.

      • August 7, 2021 8:33 pm


        I have some pretty loony right wing friends.

        I do not know a single Qanon follower, I do not know a single person who beilives vaccine nanobots are reporting to Bill Gates.

        Obviously a few such people exist. Todate the only actual antivaxxer I have met is a left wing 30 something hispanic mom who is afraid of needles.

        This is a ginned up fight to distract from Biden’s failures.

        If the left and right are meaninglessly fighting over vaccines, no one will notice everything else that is going wrong.

        I beleive and hope we are on the cust of herd immunity.

        But I will push that hope only so far. I have had that hope dashed many times before.

        Regardless, I fully expect one of my earliest predictions to prove true.

        I do not expect that ANYWHERE will see a covid infection rate over 1/3 of the population.

        It is extremely rare for ANY infectuous disease to exceed that.

        I am more hopeful now than before – Sweden appears DONE with Covid.
        There are few infections and few deaths even as Delta burns through everywhere else.
        The last spike in Sweden was April and C19 has been declining since.

        I would further note that those Sweden has a slightly lower vaccination rate than the US,
        There is no way that the decline of Covid in Sweden in April was significantly effected by vaccinations.

        Vaccinations will likely be a factror in the US.
        But not THE factor.

    • Vermonta permalink
      August 3, 2021 10:51 pm

      Well, if I have to accept that the opinion of people who are not educated on a technical subject are just as valid as the opinions of people who are highly educated on the subject, then I cant do that and you will just have to give up hope for me.

      If a person does not understand how a car works, if they have any brains they just admit it instead of trying to fake it. If a person doesn’t have any education in electronics and cant tell a diode from a transistor then they don’t pretend they can fix a stereo. Ah, but let us talk about something astronomically harder, like economics or immunology, and suddenly Bernie sanders thinks he can blather on about capitalism and TC thinks he can blather on about medical matters and they are both very popular and successful at spreading their delusional BS. Well, they sound like idiots because they are two ignoramuses. Fixing a car or a stereo are relatively simple things that can be learned by the average person in relatively short educations. Most people know that they can’t dive into an engine or a stereo and start messing around with its guts without some training. But they think they can go head to head with climate scientists or immunologists who have put in decades of study.

      People who don’t know how much they don’t know is a very common problem. A little knowledge is dangerous.

      When I was a kid I got vaccinated. We all did. Didn’t like it. Didn’t matter. Same when I went into the Nat Guard. You should have heard the whining from the tough guys when needles came out on day 2. They all survived. In a sane world every adult should be mandated to get the COVID vaccine. Period. It is a thing that has to be done for the sake of the country and one’s fellows. Just do it and get on with your life like we all did as kids.

      No animosity involved. If people believing incredibly stupid things was a rare event I would likely have animosity toward them. Since its such a lot of people and so often, its pointless to have animosity towards most of them, but the actual so called leaders of destructive BS movements, grrrr I do have animosity and lots of it, towards them.

      You accuse Rick of fear mongering. Lets say he is, for sake of argument. 610,000 Americans dead and counting, their loved ones lives disrupted or ruined, and many more who recovered who will have lingering and sometimes serious health problems. And its coming around again for another shot at us. You are not afraid? Really? What planet are you from? Fear is a good thing. We need fear. We very often do the correct thing because of fear. Evolution created fear for a reason. Fearless people or creatures don’t last long. Bravo Rick, continue with that.

      • Rick Bayan permalink
        August 3, 2021 10:54 pm

        Thanks, Roby. Excellent points about the value of valid fear.

      • August 7, 2021 11:29 pm

        Rick – you and Robby are NOT dealing with Valid fear.

        That is been pointed out to you by several of us in different ways.

        Please cite a rational fear that you are ranting about ?

        I have address the facts repeatedly.
        If you did not read them the first or 2nd time, you are not going to the first.

        Robby is busy bowing down in fealty to people who have at best been consistently wrong, and on several occasions knowingly lied.

        But that is normal for him.

        You I do not understand.

        It is as if you are mentally unable to cope with a world in which Trump or anyone on the right might ever have been right.

      • August 7, 2021 8:52 pm

        What you should accept is that FACT are determinative – not education or oppinions.

        What you should accept is that education does not assure quality.

        As I have noted here on many occasions – the quality of advise is directly proportional to the skin that a person has in the game.

        What is the cost for being wrong ?

        No matter what our education or IQ, we all make better choices when the consequences of our decisions falls on us.

        You seem incapable of grasping that in far too many instances today the incentives for “experts” do not encougage Truth.

        My father was a practicing architect for 50+ years, one of the things he noted early on was that school boards would hire architects to do a study of their fascilities – and nearly always the results of the study were that the school district needed new schools.

        No study ever found things were fine.
        few studies ever found that existing fascilities could be renovated.

        Architects get paid for designing and building new buildings.

        I also noticed that a great deal of high profile and successful architects got very little built.
        They would design and get paid for a project and then turn completion of the project to a local architect. The project would rarely ever get built – it would prove too costly or otherwise unnecescary. But the original architect still got paid for designing buildings that were never built.

        When I hear studies that claim our infrastructure is in poor shape – I remind myself that civil engineers get paid for building new infrasturcture – not for telling us that we only need minor tweeks.

        I do not expect anything different of “virologists”.
        Until things started coming apart more recently Faucci was the prima donna of the world for the past year. Everyone hung on his every word. I beleive he was the highest paid us government employee.

        Virologists do not benefit from telling us “Virologists created this superbug and inflicted it on us”. they do not benefit from telling us to go about our lives and live with the virus.
        They do not benefit from telling us to focus on the most vulnerable.

        And we have a millenia old history of people securing power by instilling fear.

        Find me an expert who will suffer real consequences for being wrong – and I will be more inclined to listen.

        As william Buckley noted

        “I Would Rather Be Governed By the First 2,000 People in the Telephone Directory than by the Harvard University Faculty”

        The more divorced you are fromt he consequences of your advice the less trust should be given to your advice.

      • August 7, 2021 8:54 pm

        Why are you continuing to trust those who have been wrong about everything ?

        Why should you be trusted ?

        Why should anyone follow your advice ?

      • August 7, 2021 9:11 pm

        If a person does not understand how a car works – they can figure it out.

        I am not a mechanic. I replaced the engine in my Honda Civic several decades ago.
        I was young and poor. I could not afford to pay for an engine rebuild.

        You rant about expertise – mechanics have far less education that virologists.
        Yet, they manage to repair complex problems in cars every single day.

        “The greatest improvement in the productive powers of labour, and the greater part of the skill, dexterity, and judgment with which it is anywhere directed, or applied, seem to have been the effects of the division of labour.”
        Adam Smith

        Most of us do not repair our own cars because that is beyond our abilities, but because it is not efficient.

        When you are discussing the use of force to limit peoples liberty – we wisely tend NOT to trust others.

        You tell us in one post that simplicity is beauty and vaccines are simple.
        And in the next that all of this is too complex for ordinary people to understand.

        And you wonder why you are not trusted ?

      • August 7, 2021 9:25 pm

        Fear is not a justifcation for stupidity.

        We have innumerable instances where our leaders have instilled fear in us to justify infringing on our liberty.

        Last year life expectancy rose a tiny bit according to the CDC.

        People die by the millions every year. We all die.

        From the CDC – total US deaths from all causes since 2014

        2014: 2,626,418
        2015: 2,712,630 : Increase – 86,212 – 3.28%
        2016 : 2,744,248 : Increase – 31,618 – 1.16%
        2017 : 2,813,503 : Increase – 69,255 – 2.52%
        2018 : 2,839,206 : Increase – 25,703 – 1%
        2019: 2,855,000 : Increase – 15,794 – 0.55%
        2020: 2,913,144 : Increase – 58,144 – 2%

        Can you show me where Covid is in those numbers ?

        If the 617K people who have died with Covid –
        If those almost half have been in the 7 months Biden was president.
        Over half occured during the period in which we had a vaccine.

        Fear is not a justification for irrationality.
        According to JHU we have still not seen a consequential uptick in C19 deaths from Delta.

        Regardless, we are a minimum of 2 years from fully vaccinating the world.
        Whatever you are afraid of – there is going to be no consequential difference in the next two years whether young heatlhy people vaccinate or not.

        Fear mongering is instilling irrational fear.
        You are guilty as charged.

      • August 7, 2021 9:27 pm

        “God grant me the serenity
        to accept the things I cannot change;
        courage to change the things I can;
        and wisdom to know the difference.”

        You are lacking wisdom.

    • August 7, 2021 8:22 pm

      A major problem for our future is that Robby is far from alone, even Rick has been sliding into this.

      I will make a trivially easy preduction.

      If those on the left get their way – if they can silence dissent, if they can force the world to act as their chosen experts direct, the failure will be large.

      We are already seeing alot of that.

      I strongly suspect that this idiotic fight over vaccines is a deliberate “wag the dog” bu Biden’s people.

      There is almost zero wasted vaccine. Every dose produced is going to someone.

      The risk to the US will not end until C19 is defeated globally.

      Rick and Robbies fears of variants even if reasonable MUST continue for a couple of years.
      At current rates it will take two years to vaccinate most of the world.

      At this time we do not know if any form of immunity lasts that long.

      If immunity either caused by vaccine or infection does not last atleast 2 years – we are unlikely to clear covid. Boosters will not change anything – those too still have to be produced and administered.

      Regardless, ranting about vaccinating the young and healthy now is idiocy.

      If you want to kill off Covid permanently – priority should ALWAYS be to vaccinate those who are at the highest risk of death.

      That is pretty close to how we have proceeded in the US – partly at the direction of govenrment, but mostly by peoples natural choices.

      Regardless, at the very bottom of the list of priorities for vaccination are the young and healthy.

      We are seeing many on the left start to talk about “herd immunity” – now that it appears to be within reach in the US.

      But they discuss it ignorantly.

      If you have a vaccine – but not enough to do everyone quickly, and you wish to reach herd immunity quickly – you prioritize vaccinating those who are at the greatest risk of death or serious harm. And you hope that those who are young and healthy get covid in large numbers and acheive natural immunity.

      Herd immunity is NOT reached purely by vaccinating people.

      Prior to Nov 2020 no one talking about herd immunity meant vaccines.

      Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient portion of the population has some form of immunity such that the virus increasingly can not spread.

      It is acheived because many of us are naturally immune to Covid. We either can not easily get it, or we get only very mild cases.
      It is accheived because many of us already got it and are immune through prior infection.
      And it is acheived by vaccination.

      Arguably it can be accheived by the prophalactic effect of drugs like HCQ or invermectin.
      But that would start another food fight.

  17. Priscilla permalink
    August 4, 2021 9:21 pm

    Ok, so it seems as if most here are of the mind that anyone who chooses not to get vaccinated ~ and vaccinated right away~ is a selfish, radical libertarian-type. Am I right?

    So, how do we feel about the government forcing people to get vaccinated? I know that Rick has said that he is not advocating mandates, but mandates are happening, and Biden has endorsed them. In New York, you will now need to present proof of vaccination in order to enter a restaurant, a gym, a theater, a sports venue, or basically any indoor public venue. Bill DeBlasio, in announcing this edict, said that unvaccinated citizens will “not be able to participate in many things>”

    Mind you, this is not the businesses themselves restricting entry only to the vaccinated. It is the state ordering the businesses to bar entry. Most restaurants are less than enthused about the potential loss of business and the need to be enforcers, not to mention that they will need to fire any employee who is not vaccinated.

    I’m sure that this will convince some people to vaccinate. Coercion does work. And it’s clear that many Americans are now fine with this sort of coercion imposed upon their fellow citizens.

    The Democrat mayor of Boston, Kim Janey, has said that she will not impose a vax mandate, and that demanding that citizens “present papers,” in order to gain admittance to public venues, smacks of slavery and Jim Crow. I agree with her.

    Janey is not a libertarian, not by any means. I do think that she understands that persuation works better than coercion, and that, as a black woman, she is not about to treat the unvaccinated, particularly people of color, as second-class citizens.

    So, are we really going to go down this road? Scares the living crap out of me….

    • Vermonta permalink
      August 4, 2021 11:33 pm

      If it were my decision, yes I would mandate vaccination. I cannot predict what new turns COVID may take. I read an article yesterday, a considerable portion of deer tested, 40%, had COVID antibodies. My hair just about stood up on end. There is a whole lot ahead of us with COVID, I am wondering if life will ever return to “normal.” It is a no brainer to fight as hard as we can, immediately.

      Conservatives are the largest group of anti covid vaxers and they are following the words and fears and conspiracy theories they hear from some of the most popular conservative opinion makers, TC being the most obvious example, but they are Not the only ones. The left also has anti vaxers, especially in the hippie wellness subdivision and there are anti-vaxers who have no particular ideology. My wife was not in a giant rush to get vaccinated but she wanted to visit her son and his family in Israel so she did it. I have no problem with people wrestling with their concerns, as long as they win the wrestling match in the end and do the adult thing.

      My god, my parents lived through WWII. Imagine the greatest generation whining about getting a shot and allowing untold thousands to die to avoid the needle. If those people would have been told this story of Americans in 2021 they would not have believed their ears. 17 year old soldiers too young to land at Normandy instead drove transport boats to the beaches and watched the troops they delivered mowed down and then went back got more loads of troops to deliver to the beach. Modern Americans? I do not care what the ideology is of the anti vaxers, I have no sympathy. Talk about snowflakes. Its pitiful.

      My oldest daughter hates needles and she has small veins that complicate it every time she needs to have blood drawn. She deals with it. Now, ironically she has to put needles in people because its part of her job doing CAT scans and she is the CAT scan tech at her hospital and works alone much of the time on night shifts. She hates it. She deals with it. People can deal with being vaccinated. With the number of dead I cannot believe we are even worrying about this.

      I think that there are other things at work. One is religion. Many lefties are scared to death of dying, they believe that when they are dead, that is it. I see people in Vermont driving their cars, alone, wearing masks! These people are at the other extreme They don’t ever want to die. Of course they get the vaccine. Many on the religious right are expecting to spend eternity in heaven with their loved ones when they pass. They think that its gods choice when to call them. Time of death is all in God’s plan, vaccination is unnecessary for all but godless democrats. Not getting the vaccine is a way of thumbing one’s nose at the atheist liberals and pissing them off. Just a hunch I have about this.

      • Priscilla permalink
        August 5, 2021 9:18 am

        Your position is reasonable, Roby, based on the information that we’ve received from the authorities.

        I disagree with you that conservatives are the most reluctant to be vaccinated, although they are certainly the most likely to protest government mandates. As I mentioned in a previous comment, race and age are statistically far more likely than ideology to predict whether a person is vaccine-hesitant.

        But, when it comes to covid, contradicton and hypocrisy abound, and that’s why I’m a skeptic. If I believed that we could eradicate covid with this experimental vaccine, I would likely agree that mandates were necessary.

        There are any number of issues that clearly contradict the covid messaging that we’re hearing from the Biden adminstration, but none are more egregious than the border crisis. More than a million migrants, from all over the world have now poured into the country, just this year, primarily through Texas. They’re being flown and bussed to almost every state.

        Putting aside the violation of immigration law, only a small percentage of these migrants have been vaccinated, mostly those in Mexico, awaiting their chance to make asylum claims. Otherwise, many have been tested, some quarantined for a few days, but zero mandates on vaccination.

        Until we close the border, even temporarily , as a guard against covid infected migrants spreading the disease, I’ll have a difficult time believing that mandates and coercion of Americans is the most reasonable or effective way to stop this thing.

        (I’ve got other examples, but , in the interest of not writing a book here, I’ll hold off on them!)

      • August 8, 2021 12:41 am

        Robby is incapable of understanding that people who would or even have done something voluntarily would resist being forced to do so.

        In Robby world – so long as he can persuade himself that something is a good idea – forcing it on others is justified.
        Worse his standards for what constitutes a good idea are very low. It is not necescary to be right – only to beleive you are right.
        Find a shallow analysis that sounds good – and that is enough.

        Libertarians and many conservatives are going to fight against mandates to the death.
        Even as they choose to vaccinate.
        Robby is not capable of understanding that.

      • August 8, 2021 12:48 am

        Covid will go away (diminish) – country by country as that country reaches herd immunity.

        Infections – even deaths will continue – possibly for a long time. but at very low rates – before Covid completely disappears.

        But it will disappear from the news cycle once the numbers – especially in the US are low enough.

        Sweden appears to have reached herd immunity.

        My “educated” guess is that we reach herd immunity what the approximately 1/3 of the population who are most susceptible to Covid have gotten immunity through infection or vaccination.

        The problem is that we do not have a magical test to identify those who NATURALLY are unlikely to get covid. We vaccinate everyone to get that 1/3 that are the issue.

        Sweden has not had enough infections or vaccines to reach herd immunity if 100% of the population is susceptible


      • August 8, 2021 12:50 am

        There is not even a collectivist argument for mandating any vaccine – unless those who are unvaccinated are a serious risk to those who are.

      • August 8, 2021 1:14 am

        The president – and every member of our government swears to uphold the consitution of the united states and the laws of the country.

        Not those portions they agree with. Anything less is lawless.

        I do not agree with our immigration law. I do not care how many people come here or from wear. But I accept that I an not free to force my preferences on everyone else by force.

        There is no constitutional or legal right to immigrate to the US.

        I fully recognize that those born here – or who mange to immigrate here – legally or otherwise, have won the lottery of life. Oddly those on the left as is typical do not bother to explain why we should seek to allow immigrants from other countries to come to this $hithole that they hate.

        There is a constitutional right and a legal right to be an american if you are born here – but there is no natural right. Again being american is winning the lottery of life.

        That life is not fair is a given – one those on the left can not accept, and will seek to ruin life for everyone to acheive equality for everyone.

        But government following the law is critical – we are lawless otherwise, and lawless nations do not survive.

        If course Biden’s lawlessness on immigration is unsurprising – since his party was responsible for the lawlessness of the election.

        It is also unsurprising that those who condone some forms of lawlessness are blind to others.

        Regardless, immigration is a political problem – not in the sense of republican democrat, but in the sense that our immigration law must reflect the political will of the people.

        I would note that Biden’s lawlessness on immigration is a compounding problem.

        When Biden lawlessly allows them into the country – he creates recursive lawlessness.
        In much of the country they can not work legally, they can not drive, they can not receive benefits. Those who hire them are acting lawlessly, while they are violating the law by working. Failing to enforce the law at the border undermines the rule of law everywhere.

        Nor is it limited to this. During the Obama presidency gangs in the US received tens of thousands of violent recruits mixed in with those deliberately seeking a better life in the US.

        While I would legalize drugs – including heroin. Importing tens of thousands of violent gang members is not the way to go.

      • August 8, 2021 1:15 am

        Priscilla – the fact is those on the left do not actually belive anything they say.

        They were opposed to those dangerous Trump vaccines – until they were for them.

      • Vermonta permalink
        August 5, 2021 1:38 pm

        I read your link and I found a NYT story.

        After reading both apparently I am becoming stupider as I age because I cannot understand jack: whether there is a difference between migrant families and illegal immigrants, whether they are now just letting everyone in once the get past the border, and even making arrangements for them to be settled, who is being sent back, how many stay, how many are sent back why the ACLU is suing. I understand jack.

        My first reaction to the idea of welcoming illegals who have COVID is just as yours, that can’t be good. What it would take me to be informed enough to actually understand this, who would just clearly spell out who gets in and who gets sent back, why, and how the situation under Biden that compares to the past.

        I pretty much just don’t trust the media at this point, not left, not right, not vanilla. There are clearly reasons and causes of this border situation but I have insufficient facts to dope it out and no one is giving a clear understandable news story.

      • August 8, 2021 1:23 am

        The reason that you are confused Robby is that we are deep into 1984 Newspeak.

        The words mean whatever they need to mean today, Tomorow – maybe different.

        There are numerous instances in which Biden’s immigration policy is stupid and is exactly as Priscilla described or worse. We have 10 times as many “kids in cages” as under Trump.
        We are letting people in and transporting them without covid testing or masks all accross the country. We are also returnignt he to mexico – depending on the mood.

        Biden is concurrently continuing to follow Trump immigration policies and abandoning them.
        They are following the law and ignoring it.

        We are denying assylum to Cubans who inarguably have a justifiable legal basis for assylum compliant with US law, while granting assylum to economic immiggrants from central america.

        None of this makes sense because the left makes no sense.

        I would further note that this is all rbought to you by people well educated and purportedly as expert in immigration as your virologists.

        You struggle because the left is not rational.

      • Vermonta permalink
        August 5, 2021 1:43 pm

        This is a link I found, slightly outdated, but fair, I think you will like it, its very reasonable and, er, moderate.

        I am trying to find out the rates of “hesitancy” by group. Again, I seem to becoming stupider because I am not wrapping my brain around the true state of affairs on this. The more articles I read the more fuddled I get. One good thing is that it seems that recently more people are getting vaccinated again and our rate is going up.

      • August 8, 2021 1:28 am

        The article that you cited is old and the analysis is thin and shallow.
        But if it has somehow convinced you that this is not some right left nonsense.

      • August 8, 2021 1:30 am

        Rates of vaccination correlate most strongly to age and risk.

        Who would have thought it ?

        There are myriads of articles that try to make a political story out of this.
        There are small political differences in vaccination rates,
        There is also far more opposition for FORCE from the right, as a matter of principle.

      • Vermonta permalink
        August 5, 2021 1:51 pm

        Finally this link, which paints a complex picture but I think improving, of the race gap in vaccinations.

        My blood pressure has been high and not responding as much as usual to my medications. Maybe its because my wife is away for a month. Funny, I thought she was more likely to raise my blood pressure but it seems that perhaps she lowers it. Anyhow, I am going to take a break from thinking about these news topics until my blood pressure is back to normal. I don’t want to burst a vessel and I am sure thinking about COVID and immigration policy and TC can’t be helping.

      • August 8, 2021 1:42 am

        “My blood pressure has been high and not responding as much as usual to my medications.”

        Maybe it is a side effect of vaccination ?
        Maybe it is caused by cognative dissonance – your subconscience mind rebelling at the conflicting idiotic views you hold.

        Or most likely it is just because life is not fair.

        I am sorry about your health problems. I have the opposite. I was hospitalized in November with blood pressure of 76/50. It took hours and 4 liters of IV to get my BP to 80/60.
        My BP is normally low. but not that low. Turned out I had a blood infection acquired from a colonoscopy – that had a high probability of being fatal is not treated.

        Jokes aside – I would have hoped your own medical conditions would help you grasp that vaccination must be a choice – because we are not the same.
        Your risks from Covid are likely 100+ times those of your daughter.
        There is no reason to force a healthy 29 year old to overcome their fear of needles.
        There is every reason for an older person with blood pressure issues to choose to vaccinate.

      • August 8, 2021 12:19 am

        Yes, Robby – we know that if you had power – you would violate peoples rights right and left by force. Fortunately you do not have power.

        Fortunately for all of us.
        And fortunately for you.
        Because even if you mandated vaccines – you still can not vaccinate more people than there is vaccine.
        And all but the most incompetent tyrant would choose to forcefully vaccinate those with the lowest risk last – unless they were connected.

        And only the most immoral and stupid tyrant would forcefully vaccinate his enemies BEFORE people with more risk.

      • August 8, 2021 12:23 am

        We will not return to normal so long as those like you remain in power.

        The people you worship do not want things to return to normal. They revel in the power that claims of crisis give them.

        Many on the right expect a huge backlash in 2022. I hope they are right.
        I think they are right. There are many many clues that they are likely right.
        But 2022 is a long way off, and though there are many indicators of a big backlash, all indicators do not point in the same direction.

        Regardless, AGAIN – we will not return to normal so long as those like you remain in power.

        However long that lasts, and however that is accomplished.

      • August 8, 2021 12:27 am

        Still pushing this political nonsense.

        according to Statista the only demographic that Trump got a majority vote was those 65 and over. Those 65 and over have a 95% vaccination rate.

        While Biden lead 2:1 among those under 29 – those under 29 have the lowest rate of vaccination.

      • August 8, 2021 12:29 am

        After 5 years of lunatic left wing nut conspiracy theories – you still have the termidity to pretend that conspiracy theories are the domain of the right.

        Well you MIGHT be correct – True conspiracies.

      • August 8, 2021 12:33 am

        People can deal with being vaccinated.

        But we do not choose to FORCE people to do things that are not absolutely necescary.
        Unless we are idiotic left wing nuts.

        If your eldest daughter is young and healthy and has problems with needles – it is reasonable for her to choose not to be vaccinated, or to delay and wait and see.
        Choice means she is free to do the opposite too.

        Freedom means that you can not FORCE people – as you are wont to do – even if the choices them make for themselves are poor.
        You certainly can not force them when those choices are not poor.

      • August 8, 2021 12:36 am

        I suppose it is possible that you have some insight into the fear of death of left wing nuts.

        But is there any reason that we should accept your mind reading efforts regarding the religious right ?

        What does it take to get you past idiotic arguments based on reading other peoples minds ? Especially those you have no understanding of.

    • Ron P permalink
      August 7, 2021 11:42 pm

      Government should not be mandating the vaccinations. but I fully support and business that want to enforce that mandate on their customers or employees. I also do not support any laws by states banning any company that wants to require vaccinations from doing it like “Little Trump” the governor of Florida. But for businesses like airlines that fly to numerous states and would have to follow numerous laws, then federal law would be understandable so the companies only had one regulation to follow nationally. And if the government wants to require their employees and military to be vaccinated, that is up to them unless the federal courts rule against it.

      • Priscilla permalink
        August 8, 2021 12:55 am

        Ron, the Florida senate passed legislation banning corporations from mandating the covid vaccines, and DeSantis, aka “Little Trump,” signed it. That’s the way things are supposed to be done, and if Floridians want mandates and vaccine passports, they should vote their state senators out of office, as well as their governor, who signed the legislation.

        I cannot support mandates forcing anyone, black or white, to be injected with a vaccine that they do not trust. If the young rednecks of whom you speak, have gotten information that makes them reluctant or afraid to take the vaccine, they should be educated and persuaded, not coerced to get the shot.

        Right now, even the CDC has said that the vaccines provide protection from severe disease, but do not prevent people from catching or transmitting it. Breakthrough cases are increasing, and Moderna has already applied for emergency authorization to give booster shots, due to the increasing numbers of vaccinated people who are getting the virus. So, if the protection only lasts 6 months, will all Americans be mandated to get the shot twice a year? Three times a year? What happens if the vaccines never get FDA approvals, due to the discovery of adverse effects?

        These are not insignificant concerns. These vaccines are based on technology that has been around, but has never been used in humans before, and they have not gone through enough testing. If there wasn’t such panic over covid, we might be rationally discussing the whether the cost/benefit analysis of mRNA vaccines warrants the mass vaccination of all Americans of all ages, and perhaps considering whether they might be contributing to the virus mutating and perpetuating.

        In the meantime, those most vulnerable to severe disease would be vaccinated, and anyone else who chose to be vaxxed could take the shot also. Those who have had covid and have natural immunity might not need to do so.

        In short, I’m against mandates, and I think the whole country has gone nuts. And that’s coming from someone who has had covid and been vaccinated. By choice, not mandate.

      • August 8, 2021 3:33 am

        Priscilla – I actually disagree with the FL law.

        I would prefer that corporate mandates were done intelligently.
        But FL law is FORCE.

        There is no fundimental differnece between government saying “you must” and it telling businesses “you cant”.

      • Priscilla permalink
        August 8, 2021 7:04 am

        I don’t know all that much about the details of the law, Dave. My point is that, unlike many of the mayors and governors who have been ruling by decree, as if they were little kings and queens, this law was passed by an elected body, accountable to the voters, and signed into law in regular order.

      • August 10, 2021 5:06 am

        Absolutely following the “rule of law” is a vast improvement over the lawlessness of the past year+.

        But there is not much difference between telling people they CANT do something and telling them the MUST.

        There can be circumstances where either is justified – but those are rare, and this is not one.

      • August 8, 2021 3:35 am

        If the protection only lasts 6 months – we will never get rid of Covid.

        It will take more than 2 years to vaccinate the world.

      • Ron P permalink
        August 8, 2021 12:33 pm

        Priscilla you and i are debating two different issues. You are debating if people should be mandated to get the vaccine. I am debating if government shold tell me, as a business owner what I can and can not do with my business.

        I do not want some government telling any businessman or woman what they can and can not do if that law is not to protect the customers from harm. If I go into a restaurant, i can not see how meat is stored. I can not see if it is kept at 40 degrees or at 60 degrees (which after a matter of a few hours would be dangerous) Any laws regulaing that is fine as it protects the customer from the harm of food poisoning.

        But if the cruise industry says they only want vaccinated people on their ships, then the damn government should stay out of that decision. If the healthcare systems want to require their employees to be vaccinated, that is their prerogative. I can not tell the hospital that I am admitted to for an emergency I only want vaccinated employees taking care of me.

        I believe in person choice for both the employers and the business. The business has the freedoms to make policies that fit their needs and the employees are free to accept those policies. If the customers do not like vaccine mandates or mask mandates, they are free to go to a business that does not require them. If the employees do not like vaccine mandates or mask mandates, they are free to seek opportunities elsewhere that do not require them.

        but in either case, just because the majority of the state elected representatives are conservatives, their political positions should never be forced onto businesses when it does not cover health and safety issues and forcing businesses to not require vaccinated customers has absolutely nothing to do with safety. Its all a political agenda to get reelected.

      • Priscilla permalink
        August 8, 2021 12:48 pm

        I agree. But, in NY, the governor and the mayor of NYC have told businesses( restaurants, gyms, entertainment venues that they MUST ban unvaccinated. And this was not based on any legislation. Just Cuomo and DeBlasio dictating to private businesses. If we’re going to allow that, then states that don’t want unvaccinated people to be banned from public settings feel the need to legislate protections for them.

        Look, at this point, we are getting massively bad and contradictory information from the Biden administration, and whenever there is poor, unclear communication, chaos and confusion follows. Nobody’s rights are being protected, and ordinary people are blaming each other.

        I think that, at this point, we need hard data on breakthrough infections, and how many result in hospitalizations and death. Data coming out of Israel shows the majority of serious disease is now among the vaccinated. Here, we’re told, there are only a tiny fraction of breakthroughs, yet people are being told that we have to go back into lockdown soon.

      • Ron P permalink
        August 8, 2021 2:27 pm

        Priscilla, New York should not be telling business what to do just as Florida should not be telling business the opposite. I would hope that people had enough of government in 2020 to understand just how fragile democracy is and how states have created their state constitutions that allow their governors and other officials to act like kings. The federal constitution does not give the president that power based on states rights. No individual should have the power to control citizens for almost a year without the state legislatures providing legislation that allows actions after 60 to 90 days. I understand emergency powers, but they should be limited in time and extended only by the legislative actions.

        But once medical resources are available and people are free to make individual choices, then the states should stay out all together. No banning of vaccine requirements, mask or other safety issues or requirements for those. Only the businesses themselves should do that!

        As for data, anyone that reads anything from the government, on social media or from various news sites are only getting one side of the issue. I listen, but verify. Anyone that listens to Fauci will have multiple positions over a period of time because his positions change with the weather. I dont give a damn what Biden, Trump or anyone else says. Fauci needs to retire! But my source of information is coming from the healthcare providers in my area. We have three large hospital systems and all have infectious disease physicians that report on their covid activities on a weekly basis. Reports, one said 98% of their patients are unvaxed and no vaxed deaths. Another, 95% unvaxed and no vaxed deaths. Multiple patients on vents in both, unvaxed. These individuals do not have a political agenda. If over 90% are unvacinnated, people need to listen, but you can lead a horse to water, but not make them drink. Social media is the number one worst thing that has happened in this country because it allows stupidity to drive the information. Someone could post covid vaccines causes a mans penis to shrink 2 inches and within 24 hours 10 million people would have read it and 1/2 would believe it.

        As for the profit-driven media, they are only there to promote a political agenda and could care less about the truth. I was listening to Fox and CNN briefly while trying to get some headline info before hitting the beach and I thought I was in two different countries at the same time.So I gave up!

      • Priscilla permalink
        August 8, 2021 3:03 pm

        Ron, I’m very glad to hear that your sources are still seeing minimal serious cases of covid among the vaccinated.

        Seems to me that, if we had even a halfway functional political system and a halfway honest media, we’d be building on that success, with outreach to those populations that are most resistant to getting vaxxed, with clear, honest, non-political reasons why they should get the shot.

        If some are still reluctant, then there isn’t much that can be done. Trying to force them to take the shot will just backfire and create harder resistance. Many businesses will choose to exclude them, and many will not.

        But what we’re doing now, by accusing them of selfishness is both ineffective, inaccurate and unfair. Most of them have personal reasons that they consider valid.

        I’ve pretty much stopped watching cable news. As you say, it’s nothing but agenda driven slop from both sides.

        Enjoy the beach!!

      • August 10, 2021 1:05 pm

        Polls indicate most businesses are NOT going to impose requirements.

        Even the state mandated requirements imposed on businesses are not enforced.

        In most places today the state requires you to mask if you are not vaccinated.

        Yet no one checks you at the door. And when you get in there are masked and unmasked people. But many of the masked are vaccinated people who are very cautious, and it is unlikely the unmasked are all vaccinated.

        A persons vaccination status is not tattooed on their forehead, and you are just not going to get businesses to ask.

        You might see some deviation from this with employee’s – you can make demands of employees and more easily verify them.

        But even that poses problems. Whether the left likes it or not universal vaccinations will kill even more people. The VAERS numbers are low, because those at risk of bad reactions are not volunteering to get vaccinated. ‘

        Can a business mandate an injection if that injection could kill or harm the person receiving it ?

        Can a business mandate a vaccine for those with religious objections ?

        For those who will not benefit ?

        I would further note that unlike government mandates – business mandates come with risk and responsibility.

        Mandate employees vaccinate and you are responsible for any harm the vaccine causes to them.

        While employers are generally NOT responsible if customers spread infections.

      • August 10, 2021 12:55 pm

        Ron, for the most part state constitutions do NOT give govenors the power to act like Kings – even in emergencies.

        Executive emergency powers do not exist in either federal or state constitutions.

        They are either manufactured by the courts or are the consequence of the courts egregiously over extending legislation granting emergency powers.

        Addressing emergency powers should be trivial.

        No extraordinary power of the executive should survive more than a short time after the legislature returns to session.

        If you allow executives to define what when and how long an emergency lasts you make them totalitarians.

        While I beleive it is still stayed, a Federal Judge in PA found NONE og Gov. Wolf’s emergency actions justified.

        He actually had hearings, testimony and those in the executive could not shw for a single emergency action anything to support the action.
        They could not even show that they had considered altearnatives, or had a clue what the benefit of their actions would be. They just decided what they were going to do and did it, never bothering to consider whether it would work or what other harms might arrise.

        Let me repeat – it is not that they were WRONG – which they wrong. It is that they did not even bother to understand what they faced and try to solve the actual problems they faced.

        They made up new rules at whim. And I would note – they admitted this in court.

        The failure we have seen in the past year has been one of the courts.

        This was true with respect to controlling idiotic Covid rules, it was true of the courts role in undermining election integrity.

        The courts allowed this farce of a lawless election to go forward.
        Failing to reign in the election nonsense early committed the courts to protecting their own actions after things went south.

      • August 10, 2021 12:16 pm

        Not only are they FORCING businesses to ban the unvaccinated.

        They have been FORCING businesses to do stupid things that did not work for the past 18 months.

        At what point do you come to realize that this has not worked ?

        In PA in may voters overwhelmingly voted to narrow the governors emergency powers.
        They Passed TWO separate measures to do so.
        They did so DESPITE deliberate efforts by the governor to mangle the ballot question so that people could not figure it out.

        Recent Polling

        “71.4% of American voters believe taking the COVID vaccines should be a personal choice—87.3% of Republicans, 67.2% of Independents, and 58.7% of Democrats.
        21.8% of American voters believe taking the COVID vaccines should be mandatory—7.2% of Republicans, 26.5% of Independents, and 33% of Democrats.”

      • August 10, 2021 12:16 pm

        Why should we trust those who have been universally WRONG from the start ?

      • August 10, 2021 12:32 pm

        The data you are looking for already exists and though Robby and others here exaggerate it,
        They are not wrong that the Vaccine works.

        We could have a far lower efficacy rate – break through infections, and still have a vaccine that works.

        The most critical unknown is the duration of immunity.

        It must last significantly more than 1 year – or we are just infinitely vaccinating people.

        If it lasts for 2 full years – we will probably eradicate Covid in 2 years.

        The lefts fixation on vaccinating everyone is unhealthy.

        While Robby’s “there are only 3 deaths” claim is lunacy.
        The complications and DEATH rates are not high.
        I beleive they are higher than normal vaccines, but still not high enough to be a problem.

        But they are high enough that unknown long term risks make forced vaccinations – particularly of the young STUPID.

      • Priscilla permalink
        August 8, 2021 12:51 pm

        In short, transparency is needed. Transparency, data, and calm. If vaxxed people are dying of covid, we have a problem. If they’re not, then the shots are working, and everyone needs to calm down, and stop playing politics.

      • August 10, 2021 12:43 pm

        I do not think the fundimental problem is data trasnparency – though that could improve.

        It is Censorship.

        The data is available – fairly readily.

        But if I made youtube videos saying what I am saying in posts here – and citing CDC data to prove it, those videos would be taken down and my account canceled.

        Similarly on Twitter and FB.

        “If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind…”
        JS Mill.

        If you can not debate the meaning of Data, having the data is near useless.

      • Priscilla permalink
        August 10, 2021 5:16 pm

        Good point. If dissenting views and conflicting data were reported on, people would be far better able to make smart choices, and probably less judgmental regarding the choices of others.

      • Ron P permalink
        August 10, 2021 5:29 pm

        Priscilla AND everyone. ” If dissenting views and conflicting data were reported on, people would be far better able to make smart choices, and probably less judgmental regarding the choices of others.”

        This assunes people would read the conflicting data.I would love to find someone do a “Jay Walking” routine on a comedy show and ask true, as well as false< questions about covid, vaccines, side effects, etc and see if people really read conflicting data.

        I have my own thoughts about a large percentage of the American public on that.

      • August 10, 2021 6:56 pm

        “He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them. But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion… Nor is it enough that he should hear the opinions of adversaries from his own teachers, presented as they state them, and accompanied by what they offer as refutations. He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them…he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.”
        John Stuart Mill, On Liberty

        Pat linked to a video by a doctor.

        I highly doubt the doctor is completely wrong – meaning that everything he has said it true about some respiratory viruses GENERALLY or a few SPECIFICALLY.

        Everything he said is something we should be concerned about regarding Covid.

        But I strongly suspect that some of it is WRONG regarding Covid.

        But we do not find the truth by supressing dissent.

        We find it by directly confronting it.

        I have ZERO interest in Robby ranting that this guy has been “debunked”

        I want the actual ARGUMENT that he is wrong.
        I want the FACTS that lead to that conclusion.

        I will take FACTS from places like the CDC.

        But I will not take claims without FACTS from anyone.

        Our institutions have LIED repeatedly.
        This guy goes after the CDC – and inarguably they deserve that.

        But the lack of credibility of the CDC does not make him right.

      • August 10, 2021 11:55 am

        If restaurants are improperly storing meat customers will get sick.

        But few if any will die.

        Restaurants that give their customers food poisoning will be out of business fairly quickly.

        You do not need to check the refrigeration of meat to measure the overall safety of a restaurant. It is NOT determined by measuring temperatures.

        It is determined by the number of people who get sick.

        We have been eating meat for 150K years. We have had some form of refrigeration for about 200 – mostly for the rich. Refrigerators have been common place for only about 60 years.

      • August 10, 2021 12:05 pm

        While I do not support state laws that bar private actors from requiring vaccination.

        One of the problems we have is that so much GOVERNMENT pressure is being brought to bear that one way or the other everyone is a state actor.

        DeSantis refused to allow Cruise ships to have mandates, The CDC required them to have mandates.

        The CDC lost – both to DeSantis and to the courts.

        I would prefer that both CDC and DeSantis stayed out of this.

        You are recommending to most people that they get vaccinated.

        SO AM I!!!

        The differences are that Unlike Rick and Robby, I do not see vaccination as a one size fits all matter.

        MOST is not ALL.

        Covid is so non-consequential for those under 18 that it is malpractice to vaccinate those under 18 absent a health condition.

        Experimenting with those over 65 is one thing. Experimenting with Children is another.
        Doing so when the risk to them of doing nothing is negligable is a CRIME.

        I strongly suspect the long term complication rate will be LOW.
        The odds of my being wrong are small.

        But the price for being wrong is HIGH and it increases rapidly as age decreases.

        I am arguing mostly from CDC data – Why ? Because the left has scrubbed all dissent from the web. The only means available to falsify most of the nonsense of the left today is by using sources that the LEFT claims are authorities.

      • August 10, 2021 12:09 pm

        Absolutely conservatives should not be able to FORCE business to act one way.

        Nor should those on the left be able to FORCE them to act the other.

        I do not aggree with what DeSantis is doing.

        But it is ABSOLUTELY as legitimate as the actions of democratic governments accross the country.

        Further DeSantis actions are FAR LESS likely to cause harm.

        Blue state governors have caused serious harm to their own citizens with myriads of draconian mandates that did not work.

        So long as Robby, and Rick and apparently you have no problems with those other failed mandates, opposing those of DeSantis is just hypocracy.

      • August 8, 2021 3:38 am

        Generally I like DeSantis. He has done extremely well protecting the elderly in FL

        Absolutely I agree that business should be free to mandate.

        Whether they should actually do so is a different matter.
        Priscilla noted a number of exceptions that would be wise.

        But businesses are not and should not be required to provide exceptions either.

    • August 8, 2021 12:14 am

      Priscilla – this entire debate – Ricks entire article is “wag the dog” nonsense.

      I am sorry that it took me so long to grasp that – I doubt Rick does.

      I focused on the FACT that there is an astronomical difference in the risk between someone over 65 and someone under 20.

      That is true – and the Covid death risk for healthy people under 40 is so low that we shoudl never compel their choice.

      But there was a more significant issue.

      I touched on it when noting the WHO was pleading for a moritorium on 2nd shots.

      That issue is that we do not have enough vaccine to vaccinate more people than we already are.

      This is all a giant red herring to hide the fact that Biden LIED. That he has no magic bullet to save us all from Covid.

      I would ask Robby – why we should beleive that someone who told so many lies to get elected, did not also cheat to do so ?

      Regardless, if we actually lived in the soviet state that Robby years for – the young and healthy (and not politically connected) would be the last to get vaccinated.

      Why is Rick Shaming young healthy people into getting vaccinated – when in the US and accross the world we do not have enough vaccine for those at greater risk – and will not for a long time.

      4B doses have been given in 9 months. 350M in the US.
      We are a year away from getting everyone one dose, and 2 years from getting everyone 2.
      Even in the US we are atleast 7 months from something close to fully vaccinated – even if we used force.

      And rick wants to shame the unvaccinated ?

  18. Pat Riot permalink
    August 5, 2021 5:21 pm

    “Until we close the border, even temporarily, as a guard against Covid infected migrants spreading the disease, I’ll have a difficult time believing that mandates and coercion of Americans is the most reasonable or effective way to stop this thing.”–Priscilla at TNM.

    Amen, sister!

  19. August 5, 2021 5:22 pm

    I honestly think the best way of dealing with this is to encourage people to get the vaccine and countering skepticism with reason and a degree of respect. It’s easy to see antivaxxers as being selfish, gulliable fools or similar but many I think have serious trust issues, perhaps with the medical establishment and “Big Pharma” due to bad experiences, or of government and other institutions or individuals which wield a lot of power and influence. If you sincerely believe that vaccines are more harmful than the disease, that there is some grand conspiracy out there acting with nefarious aims, then anything that smacks of being forced to take it, or that smacks of propaganda and censorship will simply confirm their beliefs and increase resistance.

    (And for bleep’s sake, comparing anything to do with the pandemic to the war is a very, very bad idea.)

    Of course we could call selfiish those who refuse a vaccine out of nothing but sher bloody-mindedness.

    There are cases- such as withe the crossing of international borders, or with the medical and caring professions where transmission poses a high risk, but I wonder about the merits of going beyond that. Here in the UK there has been much controversy about the extent to which so-called “vaccine passports”- means of proving vaccination status in order to gain acess to certain things, should be applied, if at all. The government are going to require it for nightclubs and large sporting events, havent ruled it out for pubs but the thought of doing that is very awkward even for them. Personally I don’t like the idea, though it might have the upshot of persuading younger people- for whom uptake of the vaccine has not been so high, which can’t be a bad thing, especially since restrictions have been lifted so quickly in spite of high case numbers.

    • Pat Riot permalink
      August 5, 2021 5:58 pm

      “…with reason and a degree of respect.”

      Yes and yes! Thank you, lyniezian, for weighing in!

    • August 8, 2021 3:24 am

      Lets get past distrust – though many have good reasons for distrust.

      It is not like these experts have been truthful to us,

      Lets get past nonsense about nano bots.

      The short term risk of the vaccine is low. It is not zero. The long term risk is likely low, but unknown. The risks associated with Covid vary with health and age.

      I you are 85 and have diabetes – for gods sake get vaccinated. There is no world in which the vaccine risk is close to the risk of Covid for you.

      If you are 18 and healthy – Your risk from Covid is much less than the Flu.
      If you do not beleive that look at the CDC data for deaths by age.

    • August 8, 2021 3:26 am

      Can we quit abusing words.
      Rick should appologize for starting this selfish nonsense.

      Being sheer bloody minded – is not the same as selfish.

      Being stupid – is not selfish.
      Being capable of calculating risk – is not selfish.
      Being afraid of needles – is not selfish.

  20. Pat Riot permalink
    August 5, 2021 5:27 pm

    Way above, Cougrrl wrote to Rick: “We need less extremism in this society. The polarization on both sides of the political spectrum is killing us; on that we have always agreed.”

    I concur. So let’s not add vaccinated vs. un-vaccinated as another.

    • August 8, 2021 3:28 am

      But that is precisely what we are doing.

      And we are doing it because the left is agressively seeking to divide us and inspire conflict in every possible way.

  21. Pat Riot permalink
    August 5, 2021 5:54 pm

    I am not against vaccines per se (I am against too many vaccines for children and against excess corruption) and I am pro-science, but I am to the inner walls of my soul and the fiber of my being against people being forced/coerced/mandated/shamed to inject manufactured solutions into their bodies, and everyone should be (!), especially considering the collusion/partnership/alliance between government and big business, including the FDA and Pharma, especially considering the history of the government and its “police actions” around the globe.

    When something is clearly a good idea, people gravitate toward it. It doesn’t need to be mandated. If there was more transparency, less conflicting information, and if our own government had a better track record, there would be less hesitancy. The situation, like many things in life, is not nearly as simple and black and white as many pro-vaxers are trying to paint it.

    John Say makes more than a few EXCELLENT points about the situation:

    “Vaccination is not a one-size-fits-all issue…the risk/benefit curve (for C19 vaccination) is not the same for each of us”…”If 3 years from now the Vaccine results in a personal disability or death–I have still lived 63 years. If 3 years from now a teen finds that vaccination ends or severely impedes the rest of their life–the loss is far, far higher.”

    That is an excellent point, and the kind of rational drilling-down that “militant pro-vaxers” gloss over or ignore in their emotional quest to make C19 go away.

    • August 8, 2021 3:42 am

      We do not KNOW the long term risks.

      That is why this vaccine has emergency use approval.

      I am absolutely fine with that – as noted I would have moved faster and had the vaccine out earlier with higher potential risk.

      I Strongly expect the long term risk to be LOW.
      But we have been wrong about that many times.
      And unfortunately each time makes the FDA even more skitish – which is why the Vaccine would never have happened without Trump.

      • Priscilla permalink
        August 8, 2021 11:14 pm

        A very reasonable comment, Dave. I find that vax mandaters (no one here at this point, except maybe Roby, and, even he doesn’t seem all that enamored of the idea) tend to push back very hard against any speculation that the vaccines, the mRNA ones in particular (J&J’s works somewhat differently, but still isn’t a traditional vaccine) might have some concerning long-term effects.

        As you say, the risk may be low, but in order to give informed consent to have an injection, we should be, you know….informed. And until the data on long term effects or lack thereof is in, we really don’t know.

        Part of the deal for the Pharma companies that participated in Warp Speed was the guarantee that they would have no liability for any harm that the vaccines might cause. Vaccine -related injuries would be compensated through a government fund that apparently is not, um, actually funded:

        “pandemic-related claims for vaccines will be routed to a rarely used federal program set up to encourage drugmakers to help combat public health emergencies. It spares pharmaceutical and device makers from costly liability lawsuits in exchange for taxpayers compensating injured patients — though it doesn’t guarantee there’s funding to do so.”

        So I think it’s important to understand that neither the government nor the Pharma companies are accepting any risk here. All they are doing is making tens of billions, while we absorb the potential downside.

      • August 10, 2021 1:30 pm

        I oppose government protecting Big Pharma from liability.

        But that is a phyric stand.

        So long as vaccines are voluntary, we all have to sign a liability waiver that should have meaning – so long as Pharma is not knowingly lying.

        Nor do I have a problem with this.

        I wanted the Bio-Hackers to be allowed to proceed with vaccines in April.
        I have no doubt we could have had a vaccine starting into the pipelines in late June.

        But I would expect that anyone seeking to take it would have to waive liability.

        I would note that just as their are those with irrational fears of the vaccine,
        There are those with irrational fears of Covid.

        Had there been a vaccine in June or July, I would have looked at the data, and decided if I was willing to take the risk.

        But I know lots of people who would NOT have considered the risk – they would have just rushed in. These are the same people arguing for manadates now.

        One thing that Robby, Rick, the left, the media, democrats are correct about is that people do act – often draconianly out of FEAR. Left, Right, does not matter.

        I watched an old Clip of Bill Mahr saying that Trump is different, we have never had so authoritarian a president. And I thought – you are a smart guy – what world are you living in ?

        It is not Trump who has behaved as a totalitarian. Both Obama and Biden were far more authritarian.

        Trump said things about censoring others periodically – but he did not do anything, and ultimately he stopped saying it.

        The left has been TALKING and DOING censorship in one form or another for a long time.
        And when they have power they do so within government.

      • Vermonta permalink
        August 9, 2021 11:07 am

        “All they are doing is making tens of billions, while we absorb the potential downside.”

        You sound like a hippy wellness type. Oh, the greedy cawperations, as Bernie would say. Oh, that capitalism and profit motive. The vaccine they developed, with, believe it or not, the best intentions of saving lives, HAS saved tens or hundreds of thousands of lives and will save millions in the end. Conservatives so often sound like its just an enormous bother and imposition that there is a vaccine, while throughout all the COVID time so many conservatives have considered the COVID response to be overblown, possibly as a scheme to rob them of their rights.

        Sorry, that thinking and that pair of reactions to first COVID and then the vaccine is just beyond my comprehension.

        COVID has killed 615,000 the vaccine is associated with 3 deaths. When a person chooses to fear the vaccine more than COVID their risk analysis is off by a factor of 200,000. COVID is 200,000 times more dangerous than the vaccine and it only kills and never saves lives, like the vaccine does. To top it off, conservative/republican fears mean that they accept the vaccine only half as often as democrats/liberals. They will die to make their point and also impede the efforts to return the world to something more normal. I am sorry, I cannot have any sympathy at all with this thinking. Its just nuts.

        Every vaccine is experimental. Always has been. Vaccines have existed for a little over 100 years, the human race for 2 million in some form. Vaccines are a very recent thing, as is chemo therapy, antibiotics, or open heart surgery, all of which are constantly being changed and improved and thus are experimental. Personally I am incredibly thankful to have been born in the very tiny sliver of human history where medicine actually has become medicine and not witchcraft as it was for all of human history prior to when my father’s father was born in 1880.

        To me, fear of the vaccines is fear of modern medicine, and it is just crazy and also just that it is manifested most of all by one political party.

        I would have a vaccine passport for most social settings. I would not actually have the Feds come to anyone’s door and force them to get the shot. A person can choose ignorance over science, death over medicine, that is their choice. But they should not walk among people who made the correct choice.

        Now, Dave is going to bury my comment under a mountain of denialist blather and unfortunately I am afraid you will find his blather and TCs blather and fear mongering reasonable. Which will be just the normal state for people who believe conservative ideology.

      • Ron P permalink
        August 9, 2021 11:43 am

        Roby, Just wanted to jump in concerning your comments about conservative/Republican.

        This anti vax issue is not completely a political issue.
        1) Many whites that are anti vax never vote. They get their info from the internet, where data is 100% correct.
        2) More whites as a percent of the population are vaccinated compared to blacks/hispanics.

        And yes there will be those that use the racism card that says blacks are not being vaccinated because they lack access to the vaccines. Before I will accept that BS anymore with vaccines widely available, I want facts that back that up. And I base that on the fact that we have had efforts for 6 weeks or more now with vaccine clinics in the minority parts of town, they pay drivers $25 gift cards for each person they bring to the clinics, they are vaccinating at black churches and they are doing home vaccines for those that can not get to a clinic.And I have no doubt these ideas came from other states as NC is not know for coming up with its own ideas wh9ich means the lack of vaccine rates in those states are also not racism.

        Just take a look at this data. It show the discrepancy between white rates and minority rates.There are many logical reasons why this exist, and most of it is not political.

      • August 10, 2021 1:42 pm

        The data on vaccinations reveals several things.
        Mostly that vaccination is proceeding mostly in line with proper priorities – partly directed by government but mostly “the invisible hand”.

        Rates of vaccination have conincided closely with RISK.

        The older and unhealthier vaccinated FIRST.

        Those in dense urban areas vaccinated FIRST.

        We are currently MOSTLY seeing the highest daily rates of vaccination in places that Delta is most active.

        We also saw Covid move from dense urban areas to smaller cities to rural areas.
        We are seeing Vaccination proceed the same.

        Despite efforts to the contrary – vaccination of minorities has tended to be lower than that of whites.

        In fact vaccination rates likely perfectly track the quality of healthcare and health insurance people have. Asians which tend to be afluent in the US are the most vaccinated.
        I would suspect that poor whites have the same low rates as poor blacks.

        No vaccine is being wasted, there is no consequential difference effecting mutation or the eradication of Covid to jabbing someone in PA or FL or Biaffra.

        Some people are not going to get vaccinated.
        Some for excellent reasons, some for good reasons, and some for crappy reasons.

        That is life – get over it.

        All the republicans who are fighting mandates are vaccinated and most have spoken out urging people to vaccinate.

      • August 10, 2021 1:44 pm

        We are not equal. Life is not equal.

        I have zero doubt that black vaccination rates are lower atleast in part due to differences in access.

        Each and everyone of us does NOT have equal access to all things.

        I have excellent access to a car. I have poor access to public transportation.

        The virus did not attack the country uniformly.
        Why would we expect vaccination to be uniform ?

      • August 10, 2021 4:31 am

        Do you really want to sell Bernie as sane ?

        BTW it is because of the greed of corporations that we have the vaccine in the first place.

        Of course the vaccine was developed to save lives AND MAKE MONEY.

        Just as farmers produce food to Feed us AND MAKE MONEY.

        Do you expect Farmers to continue to produce food if they do not make money ?

        Do you expect vaccines would have come about – if drug companies could not make money ?

        I would note that this virus with near certainty came about as a consequence of the incompetence of those in Government – here and in China, and the Vaccine came from Greedy capitalists.

        The people you say altruistically developed the vaccine – would not have jobs at all – but for the fact that their employers expect them to MAKE MONEY.

        mRNA vaccines were not created to save lives.
        They were created decades ago to MAKE MONEY.

        I expect corporations to be greedy. I count on it.

        It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest.
        Adam Smith

      • August 10, 2021 4:32 am

        Your vaccine death claim is completely at odds with VAERS and the CDC.

        If you expect to be trusted – do not make stupid mistakes.

      • August 10, 2021 4:33 am

        If you do not want burried in comments – do not make so many errors.

      • August 10, 2021 5:03 am

        “To me, fear of the vaccines is fear of modern medicine, ”

        I have no problem with your openly admitting that you are an idiot.

        There are always a few people with irrational fears – like the hispanic women I mentioned with an irrational fear of needles.

        Though come to think of it maybe her fear is NOT irrational.

        I was hospitalized in November for blood poisoning – something with a 1:3 chance of death.

        The most likely cause was the IV needle used prior to my colonoscopy.

        As I had nothing else to do that night in the hospital while they tried to figure out what was wrong with me. I self diagnosed blood poisoning – based on symptoms, and the immediately preceding colonoscopy. And then I looked at the frequency of blood infections, and was surprised at how common they were considering the odds that they are fatal.

        Regardless, you continue to push this irrational fear nonsense.

        The FACT that 95% of those over 65 have been vaccinated and that the largest proportion of unvaccinated are the young make it CLEAR that something other than fear is driving differences.

        I have repeatedly pointed out that the risk/benefit of the vaccine varries with age and health.

        It should not surprise that the strongest correlation between those who are vaccinate is age and health.

        You may not like why people are deciding as they do, You may not like how they weight the risks – but that is clearly what they are doing.

      • Vermonta permalink
        August 9, 2021 3:17 pm

        Hi Ron, I actually posted the same link here a few days back with the comment that race gap in vaccination seems to be closing.

        So, blacks make up 12% of the population but have accounted for 10% who have received one dose and 15% of those receiving the vaccine in the last 14 days. The caveat being that the CDC only knows the race of about 60% who got the vaccine. If these figures would be correct for a 100% of the recipients then blacks are slightly under vaccinated relative to whites but catching up. As I look at the racial composition reported in this data the races are not very far apart from their actual compositions of the population.

        The ideological gap is much wider, a 2 to 1 margin. Plus there are many more republicans as a percent of the population than blacks. So, unless there is some large error in my thinking, the largest numerical group that is vaccine hesitant is republicans.

        If famous white wealthy wellness woman kook Gweneth Paltrow were leading a massive misinformation campaign that led progressives to refuse the vaccine en masse then I would be just as upset with her as I am with TC and Co.

        Unless I am wrong, the main source of vaccination data as a function of ideology/party is polling, although there is also the correlation between blue and red states and their vaccination rates. So, while I have read that there is an 80%/40% democrat/republican vaccination dichotomy, I don’t guess that this is known with high precision or is updated daily or anything.

        All the same I think I am on very safe grounds saying that republicans are numerically the largest vaccine hesitant group by a good margin. As well, as far as I know there is no concerted campaign by some element of blacks or Hispanics or any other group to provide anti-vax misinformation like the anti vax-element in the GOP/conservative world. I am not saying that all conservative figures belong to that element, plenty of GOP personalities or office holders are trying to undo the damage TC and Co. do.

        As to any idea that blacks are undervaccinated (if they still even are) relative to whites because of racism, that would be nonsense in my world.

      • August 10, 2021 4:16 am

        Not only are republicans not different from democrats by a large margin as ALWAYS you never get past the surface.

        Democrats are heavily over represented in cities – where the infrastructure for vaccines is higher.

        We are seeing spikes in the South right now – mostly in places that do not have the same medical infrastructure as NY and NJ. We actually import Doctors primarily from India to service places like Lousiana – because they are underserved medically.

        What is especially damning about the incredibly high mortality in Blue states is that they also have much better medical care.

        Can you bother to learn the facts before spouting nonsense.

        If you want to make this red/Blue – It is STILL true that the states with the top 4 date rates are BLUE.

        Even now CA has the largest number of Deaths and the 3rd largest daily average # of deaths.

        You are not the only one who can abuse statistics – CA is the most populous state of course it is going to have the highest total number of deaths.

        I have told you REPEATEDLY – the Data does not show POLICY (or PARTY) having a significant impact on Covid.

        It DOES show Policy and Party (Blue) having a significnat negative effect on the economy.
        On employment, on business failure.

      • August 10, 2021 4:22 am

        Whether you like it or not the KFF data shows a 30% difference in the vaccination rate of Blacks compared to whites. A 10% difference for hispanics and Asians are 30% MORE likely to be vaccinated than whites.

        You can call that nonsense – but it is still the data.

        There are lots of reasons for this.
        One is the higher hesitancy of Blacks that has been discussed.
        But it is also true that just like southerners blacks do not have the same access to decent medical care.

        It would be useful to compare the vaccination rates of blacks in NYC with those in Mississippi.

        Regardless, you do not get to just make up statistics.

  22. Pat Riot permalink
    August 5, 2021 10:35 pm

    Ian Roby from Vermonta said:

    “I think that there are other things at work. One is religion. Many lefties are scared to death of dying, they believe that when they are dead, that is it. I see people in Vermont driving their cars, alone, wearing masks! These people are at the other extreme They don’t ever want to die. Of course they get the vaccine. Many on the religious right are expecting to spend eternity in heaven with their loved ones when they pass. They think that its gods choice when to call them. Time of death is all in God’s plan, vaccination is unnecessary for all but godless democrats. Not getting the vaccine is a way of thumbing one’s nose at the atheist liberals and pissing them off. Just a hunch I have about this.”

    Hah! Now you are talking! Those are a few of the reasons. People’s decisions of course have a lot to do with how they view themselves and the world/existence/Universe.

    Whether people lean toward individualism or collectivism is another fault line or dividing line. During the 2020 campaigning and election season I was frequently driving through rural areas, including Amish and Mennonite areas, but then also urban areas and suburbs. The farms, Amish, Mennonite, and also “them English” modern folks, and the small towns, were overwhelmingly for Trump, with huge banners and flags, not because they are stupid but because as evidenced by where they choose to live they are more individualistic, self-reliant, take care of ourselves first, etc. Individualistic is misunderstood and misrepresented though by Hollywood and New York media types. And no surprise the urban areas were strongly Dem, as they choose to live in closer proximity to networks of people and be more dependent on being a piece of the system, etc., which parallels more with progressive/liberal/dem. Those are just generalizations of course, with exceptions, but I think the individualistic vs. collectivist fault line applies to C-19 vaccination also.

    • Priscilla permalink
      August 6, 2021 5:29 pm

      That’s a great point, Pat. In many ways, the city mouse/country mouse split is the most significant division (at least in political terms) that we have.

      I’ve read studies that show that black and Hispanic Americans who are middle class and live in suburban or rural areas, far from major urban centers, tend to be much more heterodox in their political thinking than their respective urban counterparts.

      My youngest son, who moved out of NYC a year ago after living there for 8 years, believing, for most of that time, that he would be a New Yorker 4-eva, grew disillusioned with the extreme lack of diversity of thought and opinion. Losing his business as a result of the covid lockdowns was the immediate reason that he left, but he’s had the opportunity to return, and he’s decided against it, primarily because he found that..well, he just didn’t want to be there anymore. He’s not a conservative, more of an artsy free-thinker, but he says that he began to find the hive mind-set in NYC oppressive.

      It’s clear from looking at those color-coded electoral maps that show areas of Dem and GOP voters in red and blue, that there is way more red in term of geographic area, but more blue in and around big urban population centers.

      I wonder how the demographic shifting caused by covid might be change things in the long term?

  23. Ron P permalink
    August 7, 2021 11:56 pm

    One thing that has not been discussed is how this vaccine was rolled out.

    First trump encouraged drug companies to develop the vaccine.

    Then he created Operation Warp Speed

    Vaccines were developed and went through clinical trials.

    Since the drug companies were unable to complete all the red tape required for “approval” within an acceptable time period and the FDA takes months, if not years, to review the written data submitted by the drug companies after receipt, the FDA effectively bypassed the red tape and gave the vaccines approval on an emergency use basis based on clinical data that would have been included in the official paperwork.

    But how it was distributed was the problem! Trump got UPS, Fed Ex and others to distribute the vax and they worked out that logistics with the drug companies. But then it went to “government”. And once it hit the government distribution system, it immediately set up a red flag to many. It took months before and real healthcare systems or physicians were involved with the shots. So if you are an anti-government person tha does not trust anything government does, what is your initial response? And once you develop that thinking, how much does it tke to change it?

    • August 8, 2021 3:48 am

      More than red tape was cut.
      The testing for emergency approval was far less than normally required.

      I think this is very important – beyond the vaccine.

      We know that drugs can get to market much faster – but at higher risk.

      One problem we have with government is that There is not a one size fits all answer to the speed to market risk tradeoff.

      There is no reason this vaccine could not have been available in June – albeit with less well known risk.

    • August 8, 2021 3:51 am

      Trump botched distribution – so did Biden.

      Get government OUT of distribution – have the drug companies and the doctors and pharmacies figure out who and how it gets distributed.

      The largest single reason people give for not getting vaccinated is that they can not get it from THEIR doctor.

      I had to travel an hour each way twice to get it.
      If I was 50 I would not have done it.

  24. Vermonta permalink
    August 8, 2021 8:30 am

    Bottom line, COVID itself has killed 615,000. The vaccines have 3 deaths linked to them. As well aside from those 3 deaths the vaccines have saved tens of thousands and will save hundreds of thousands or worldwide, millions. Politically speaking it is mostly conservatives who fear the vaccine, despite the obvious numbers that show the risks of COVID and the vaccines. The ratio of vaccinated democrats to republicans is nearly 2 to 1 as of today. That giant gap reflects ideology. Both democrats and republicans face the same hurdles finding someone to administer the vaccine etc. This is ideology. TC is the actual poster boy for the point of view that is so strong on the republican side. He is the most visible example of conservative opinion makers who are spreading total nonsense and killing people. So, I have a big problem with the republicans/conservatives who think like this and the members of the conservative media who are spreading this nonsense, and it is not just harmless nonsense.

    Pat even said that Rick was fear mongering. Pat, I have read your comments about the vaccine, I think YOU are fear mongering about the vaccine, and TC is fear mongering about a vaccine that has saved and will save huge number of people.

    Yes, Pat, those among us who can do math do desperately want COVID to diminish its rampage ASAP. The fear mongering about the vaccine is killing people by the thousands. Fear mongering about COVID itself is highly warranted, the numbers tell the story.

    I say Ron P has arrived, I used the search function to find his comments, 5 so far. They are as I expected, highly sensible and realistic. So, there are different kinds of libertarians and the Ron P libertarians and the Dave libertarians are very, very different. Thank you Ron.

    • Ron P permalink
      August 8, 2021 12:18 pm

      Roby If your “Ron P has arrived” meaning I am commenting, I was at the beach and Word Press only lets me comment using my desktop. I can not comment using my Fire tablet. So I am back and yes, made a few comments. If the “arrived” meant something else, not sure what that might have been.

      Anyway, yes, just like all political positions, there are many different levels in all parties and ideologies. I have never subscribed to the far extreme Libertarian position of no government controls at all. There are many that say the government should not be involved with food safety and grading restaurants, that the public will decide on their own if it is safe to eat at establishments and once a bunch of people get sick, and some die form food poisoning, the business will fail. I do not fall in the extreme segment of Libertarian.

      So, as I said, my Libertarian position is muted much more by what I define as “harm”. And that is where many disagree as I shared in that article.

      • Vermonta permalink
        August 8, 2021 12:51 pm

        All I meant Ron was that I was interested to see what your position on Ricks latest post would be and sort of wondering when it would come.

        When it came it was the sane reasonable response I would have predicted from you and it was far, far, far from the predictable extreme libertarian response that has also arrived here by the boatload full of delusional denial.

        In this era I am grateful for every still sane person left who is commenting on politics.

      • Ron P permalink
        August 8, 2021 2:06 pm

        Roby, thanks. I try to research as much as possible before running off remarks and making an a$$ of myself. But then there are times that I dont do that, comment and get set straight.

      • August 10, 2021 11:49 am

        “I try to research as much as possible before running off remarks and making an a$$ of myself”

        That is wonderful. That is to be encouraged.

        I wish Rick and Robby would do more of that.

      • August 10, 2021 11:44 am

        I continue to highly the same SELF EVIDENT facts regarding Covid.

        Except in response to your Red/Blue idiocy, those FACTS are not partisan.

        But YOU seek to make EVERYTHING partisan.

        YOU are the extremist.

        And WORSE you are WRONG.

        YOU say 615K people died.

        They died DESPITE everything that government did.

        They died DESPITE mask mandates, lockdowns, social distancing, and all kinds of other restrictions on liberty.

        We can look around the world and we see much the same EVERYWHERE.

        There are nations that did slightly better and ones that did slightly worse.
        But not because of policies.

        The US has had almost 2000 deaths per Million in population.
        Sweden has had 1400.

        Swedens highest number of Deaths per day in the past month has been 4.
        Its average has been below 1.

        Swedens new infections per day is averaging about 500.

        Sweden mandated nothing.

        Swedens vaccination rate is 108 doses/100 people.
        The US rate is 109 doses/100 people.

        In the US FL and TX have the highest number of vaccinations per day for the past 14 days.
        FL and TX have been at the top of Vaccinations per day since early July.

        71% of the US population over 18 has received atleast one dose.

      • August 10, 2021 11:46 am

        I am mostly commenting on Covid not Politics.

        That you think everything is about Politics is the problem.

        I am also commenting using data and Facts.

        You keep citing your fears and feelings or drawing conclusions about the feelings of others from thin air.

        If you stuck to FACTS you would have nothing to say.

        Yet purportedly you are a highly educated biologist.

        Who can not process clear statistics.

      • August 10, 2021 5:11 am

        No government controls at all is not libertarian – it is anarchism.

        Regardless, I have repeatedly addressed this with you.

        The fundimental issue is a priori vs. a posteriori.

        While far more often than any of us grasp free markets get things right without any intervention, it is still generally justifiable for individuals to demand compensation AFTER THE FACT from those who harmed them.

        That is Torts and it requires government.

        A priori restraint is always far more damaging.

        You can subscribe or not. It is still true.

      • August 10, 2021 11:13 am

        I doubt we are of different minds regarding Harm.

        Just different minds as to how government should address harm.
        Before the fact or after the fact.

        There is no legitmate power to restrict freedom because you Guess doing so will reduce harm.

        Over the past year and a half government has radically restricting freedom.

        To NO benefit.
        We have had a near perfect demonstration of what is wrong with Government power to do so.

        And worse still – so many – yourself and Rick especially still do not seem to grasp how badly government has failed.

        I expect that from Robby. Not from you.

        I would note that most government actions over the past year meet your definition of Common sense – or at-least shallow common sense.
        But they did not work.

        Good intentions are NOT a justification for abusing peoples rights.

        For government to restrict liberty there MUST be a larger benefit.

        That is NOT alone sufficient – but it is necessary.

        You can make arguments about my “extreme” libertarianism.

        But the FACTS are that actions of government over the past 18 months have HARMED not helped us.

        That is not legitimate in any ideology.
        Even Facism promises to actually accomplish a societal good.

    • August 10, 2021 12:46 am

      Robby – Should you be banned/censored/… for “misinformation” ?

      According to CDC:

      “Reports of death after COVID-19 vaccination are rare. More than 346 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines were administered in the United States from December 14, 2020, through August 2, 2021. During this time, VAERS received 6,490 reports of death (0.0019%) among people who received a COVID-19 vaccine.”

      6490 is NOT 3.
      It is a low rate – given that 350M doses were administered, but you are still off by several orders of magnitude.

      It is likely true that some of those deaths are coincidental – Though doctors do nor report deaths from Automobile accidents to VAERS.

      But exactly the same is true of the 600K Covid deaths you like to cite.

      Most of those are deaths WITH Covid, not Deaths FROM Covid.

      As I noted previously US Life expectancy went UP a tiny bit in 2020.
      Nor did the total 2020 deaths diverge from the Trend for the prior 6 years.

      You can draw your own conclusions.

      But no matter what conclusions you draw unless you do so the same for the Vaccine as for Covid itself – you are misrepresenting the actual facts.

      Regardless, 6490 is NOT 3 – by a factor of over 2000.

    • August 10, 2021 12:56 am

      I would further note that there are 15 times as many deaths associated with the Vaccine as there are Covid Deaths for those under 20.

      Further of the 400 Covid deaths under 20 – it is likely that something close to 95% of those were of people with serious health problems.

      I linked to a recent study of Covid hospitalizations and the factors that most strongly correlated with Death. One of the stronger correlations was between anxiety and death from Covid.

      I would note that Democrats have 3 times the political anxiety of republicans – 72 vs 26%.

    • August 10, 2021 12:57 am

      Rick is fear mongering – so are you and according to a recently published study of the factors that correlate to death from Coviety – Anxiety is one of the top factors.

      Therefore YOU are killing people.

    • August 10, 2021 1:00 am

      What has Pat or anyone else here that is opposed to mandated vaccines said that is inaccurate ?

      I can provide a long list of innaccurate things that you, Democrats, health officials have said.

      Previously you have said we should Trust the experts.

      If we determine expertise as accurately reporting the facts – most of the people here you disagree with are clearly more expert than your “experts”.

      Certainly more expert than you.

    • August 10, 2021 1:03 am

      Robby there is a simple logical reason why it is pretty trivial to tear most of your arguments apart.

      In logic once you introduce a contradiction to your premises it is possible to prove anything.

      Because your arguments the few that you make have contradictions in them it is very easy to turn them arround and beat you with them – often assuming some parts of what you claim is correct.

      You are purportedly an educated person – I would hope you learned this in school or in your professional life.

    • August 10, 2021 1:16 am

      I am not particularly familiar with TC.

      But if you are going to make moral accusations against him you are obligated to prove those allegations.

      There are myriads of people who have noted the Vaccine is not risk free.
      Most of us are clearly more familiar with the Data than you are.

      You pulled a number out of a hat – as best as I can tell.

      We can argue about the quality of the VAERS data. But atleast you know where my numbers come from. I have also pulled other Data from the CDC that contradicts you. I have noted that it came from the CDC.

      When you make arguments you lobb randon numbers and moral accusations, but you do not support anything you claim – you do not even mostly make specific claims.

      What iss it that TC has said that has your panties in a bunch ?
      You rant as if he sodomized your mother.

      You hacve told us that he is “fear mongering” – as if we did not see – and do not continue to see massive fear mongering from you, the media, democrats, the left every day.

      Regardless, what is it that TC said that is “fear mongering” ?

      I would note you do the same with Trump – constantly.
      You say Trump lies. But you refuse to provide the remarks that are purportedly lies so that we can all judge for ourselves.

      There is a long list of Purported Trump lies that have proven to be truth.

      As noted before – you have burned your credibility over the past several years.

      You should not expect to be beleived just because you make a nebulous and unsupported claim.

      I am not defending TC – I only follow him occasionally. He is a typical talking head.
      But in my limited experience he is more trustworthy than say Chris Cuomo or Andersen Cooper.

      One specific problem that I have with him (and Andrew Yang) is that they are both modern day Luddites. They are convinced that technology will leave large portions of the workforce unable to get a job. Absolutely technology will destroy jobs. Free markets do that all the time. It has another name – productivity and without it standard of living will not rise.
      But free markets also create jobs – faster than it destroys them.

      The luddites were wrong in the 18th century and they are wrong today. But Yang and Carson do have one point – it is not wise to go into a field that is predictably going to be automated. That is a recipe for pain.

      Regardless, I will be happy to entertain supported claims of bad conduct by TC or anyone else.

      But you do not have the credibility to expect anyone to pay attention to your unsupported claims.

    • August 10, 2021 1:17 am

      Robby – the evidence is that you can not do math.

      You make enormous math errors all the time.

  25. Vermonta permalink
    August 8, 2021 9:06 am

    I get along very well on a personal level with many trump supporters. I bought minnows from a lady the other day whose garage and lawn were covered in trump posters. She was super friendly and nice and helpful and we had a fine very friendly interaction.

    Pat, you have a very light cheerful touch, humorous, pleasant. My own tendencies can be much more biting at times I admit.

    Here is the conundrum: trump supporters, including his rural ones, are mostly like the lady who sold me the minnows. Most of them are not assholes, most are not flying confederate flags in triplicate off the back of their pickup truck. Most of them are quite pleasant people I relate well with.

    But their hero, who they support without reservation very often, is not pleasant. He has played smash mouth political warfare since his political beginnings and still is doing so and his supporters adore it. He has followed insane conspiracy theories, set fire to the Constitution many times, lied at rate never before seen even in politicians and instigated a riot in congress in which his supporters built a gallows and some of them really, truly, not as a joke, were hunting for Nancy Pelosi adn other democrats, looking to bring them to mob justice. And all this is just fine with a very large number of those trump supporters I get along fine personally with.

    So, how does one react to nice people who enthusiastically support the poisonous and insane leadership of a clearly psychologically ill man who has done and is still doing immense damage to America?

    • Vermonta permalink
      August 8, 2021 9:17 am

      Pat, you have used the analogy in the past of a frog in water that is slowing reaching the boiling point. Since its a slow progression to the boiling point the frog just sits in the water.

      I submit that you and the loyal members of the trump cult are the frogs and trumps leadership is the boiling water. If you could have seen the full trump consequences at the beginning you never would have accepted them. But little by little you and trump nation have got used to it.

      • August 9, 2021 7:05 pm

        The frog analogy does not work with Trump.

        You, the left. democrats, the media have been calling Trump a totalitarian fascist nazi liar from the moment he rode down the escalator.

        There are only two possibilities:

        Trump is an always was those things, and the judgement of Trump voters is poor,
        or You and those ranting have been wrong from the start.

        I would note that the only thing unusual about you, the left, democrats ranting about Trump is the volume and degree of hysteria.

        You made the same totalitarian fascist nazi liar claims about

        Just at lower decibel levels.

        Somehow NOW because some of these people atleast partically share your disdain for Trump you worship them.

        But is there any doubt that if Romney was the GOP candidate in 2024 – that he would be vilified by the same people on the left who fawn over him as a totalitarian fascist nazi liar ?

        Apparently you have not read the story of the little boy who cried wolf.

        If you are wondering why Trump voters (and lots of others) are not listening to you.
        That is why. You have cried “wolf” too many times.

        Neither they nor I trust you.

        I sometimes wonder why I spend time rebutting the idiotic nonsense you spew.
        I am not writing for you.

        If you have not grasped that

        “Contradictions do not exist. Whenever you think that you are facing a contradiction, check your premises. You will find that one of them is wrong.”

        Ayn Rand

        at your age and education – it is unlikely you ever will.

        But many many people learn when reality is at odds with what they are told.

        Nearly all the comments on this blog are specifically about the mismatch between reality and the perceptions and representations of left wing nuts – which increasingly and unfortunately includes Rick.

        Much of the debate on this particular post is about Covid.

        Almost no one doubts that the vaccine reduces your odds of getting Covid dramatically and in the unlikely event you do decreases your odds of serious illness or death.

        But many of us know that Vitamin D does the exact same thing – though to a SLIGHTLY lower extent.

        Many of us know that having gotten Covid does EXACTLY THE SAME thing – there is an open debate as to the exact extent. There are some studies that have found past C19 infection is less effective than the Vaccine, and others that have found it more.
        Studies from Israel just found that prior infection confers substantially MORE immunity than the vaccine – I beleive that Israel found that those previously infected were 600% less likely to get infected than those vaccinated.

        Regardless, the effect is not likely significantly different.

        The results for Israel are likely large because the number of people who get infected after either a vaccine or prior infection are small. You can get dramatic results when you are examining tiny differences between large effects.

        Many of us know that if you are healthy – your odds of death or serious illness from Covid are small – smaller than the Flue.

        Many of us know that the younger you are the less likely you are to get Covid, or to even know that you have it.

        Absolutely there are people out there with bat$hit crazy ideas about Covid.
        Those of you who DO NOT know the things that I just listed are not especially distinguishable from those who will not get vaccinated because they are afraid of needles, or think Bill Gates is tracking them, or think that because Trump was instrumental in getting the vaccine developed quickly that there must be something wrong with it.

        Rational people are capable of grasping that we are vaccinating people in the US and the world about as fast as we can. That it really does not matter with respect to the likelyhood of mutations whether those people are in the US or Timbucktoo.

        That tolerating the freedom of people who choose differently – either for credible reasons – because we are NOT all the same and do not all have the same risk or for stupid reasons, does not actually cause harm to anyone but themselves.

        You vaccinated to protect yourself from Covid.

        If you are going to shame others who have not, then I am going to shame you for not working hard to improve your health – if you do not want to die from Covid – control your weight, do not give yourself Type II diabetes, …..
        Or for not taking Vitamin D or getting out in the Sun.
        Or for not getting an MMR Booster,
        Or for Not taking HCQ or Invarmectin propholactically.

        There are myriads of things you can do BESIDES getting vaccinate to reduce your risk.

        If you have been vaccinated – BRAVO. When you have done EVERYTHING that can or MIGHT reduce your risk you can judge those who for whatever reason have not vaccinated.

        That you do not understand this.

        That you shame others, that you are hypocritical, that you would use FORCE to achieve miniscule or non-existant improvements in your own odds makes you IMMORAL

        So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone
        John 8:7

    • August 8, 2021 8:36 pm

      “Contradictions do not exist. Whenever you think that you are facing a contradiction, check your premises. You will find that one of them is wrong.”
      Ayn Rand

      There are two possibilities Robby.

      You have misjudged Trump supporters or you have misjudged Trump.

    • August 8, 2021 8:42 pm

      I will absolutely agree with you Trump is hostile to left wing nuts – just as they are not only hostile to him – but to anyone that stands up to them.

      We have the same thing here. You are hostile to conservatives, libertarians – pretty much everyone who does not agree with you.

      And you get that back from me in spades – along with Facts, logic, and reason which are generally absent from your posts.

      I suggest to you that Trumps support is strong specifically because of he stands up to those like you.

      As Lincoln said of Grant “I can’t spare this man, he fights!”

      I have issues with Trump. But I can live with him. The country not merely survived him – but thrived. It will survive Biden, but we are having predictable problems thriving.
      That is to be expected the children are in charge.

    • August 8, 2021 9:04 pm

      “He has followed insane conspiracy theories, set fire to the Constitution many times, lied at rate never before seen even in politicians and instigated a riot in congress in which his supporters built a gallows and some of them really, truly, not as a joke, were hunting for Nancy Pelosi adn other democrats, looking to bring them to mob justice. ”

      It is remarks such as those that are why Trump has the support he does.
      You lob grenades like this as if speeking them makes them true.

      I can list innumerable “conspiracy theories” of the past several years all FALSE left conspiracy theories.

      I can list innumerable instances the LEFT has set fire to the constitution.

      I can list inumerable times the Left has rioted – even in congress.

      I can list innumerable times that the LEFT had actually done violence to those they disagreed with.

      But the converse is not True.

      You rant about conspiracy theories – would this be the collusion delusion ?
      Would it be Russian Bounties ?
      Would it be lab leak thesis ?
      Would it be myriads of false claims of Russian disinformation ?
      Would it be that the election was conducted following the law ?
      Would it be “more than circumstantial evidence” ?
      I could go on – need I ?

      I do not know what “conspiracy theories” you think Trump is selling.
      But I can list DOZENS that you the left, the media, democrats have offered ?

      Recently NYT did something unusual. They pulled hundreds of articles from their public web accessible database. They pulled articles that were essentially paid advertisements by the CCP that were presented by the NYT as straight reporting.

      A few days ago the CDC reinstated an Eviction mortatorium that the Federal courts had shot down as unconstitutional – entirely outside of the CDC’s authority. Biden spoke on this – admitting that he queried numerous (left leaning) constitutional scholars and they all thought this was unconstitutional. But he allowed CDC to go ahead anyway and has the Executive branch committed to defending CDC actions that everyone knows are unconstitutional.
      All this in the hope that the eviction moratorium can last a few weeks or months longer.

      So we have the Biden administration supporting the destruction of private property rights.
      And you think Trump set fire to the constitution ?

      Maybe next squatters will expropriate your car.

      The eviction moratorium was ALWAYS a stupid idea. If you did not lose your job – you can afford to pay your rent. If you did lose your job you have been receiving UC that is in many cases higher than your pay. Myriads of people have been seduced into not paying their rent for a long time, and eventually they will suffer consequences.

      Everyone who failed to pay their rent will sometime soon see their future destroyed.
      If they have jobs, if they have cars, if they have credit – they will lose those – as well as a place to live. Further they will not be able to get a decent place to live for a long time after.

      If these people are “judgement proof” – they will be forced into even worse places to live.

      In addition we are seeing landlords being destroyed all over the place.

      In my county they BRIEFLY had a ban on minor court procedures – including Evictions, for Covid. This was to avoid spreading Covid. Eventually they worked out procedures for holding hearings. They NEVER were so stupid as to tell people you will not have to pay your rent.

    • August 8, 2021 9:24 pm

      The FBI and DC police have testified in Congress that no weapons were brought into the capital on Jan 6. The only person murdered at the capital was a protestor, murdered by a police officer.

      Are you aware of any instance in US history in which the capital of the united states was not open to the public while congress was in session ?

      It was during the Kavanaugh hearings – and the ensuing left wing riots, were Senators were accosted in their private offices and cloak rooms.

      But it was not on Jan. 6th.

      The first amendment includes not merely the right to free speech, but the right to assembly and the right to petition government. The courts long ago have ruled that government can not impose rules that effectively eliminate those rights.

      We have seen inuumerable instances were government has refused to allow people to protest – whether that was at the Chicago Democratic convention in 1968 or Charlotte, or at University of California Berkeley. The courts have repeatedly ruled that government can not use claims such as the cost of security to thwart protest.

      You talked about “burning the constitution” – that is what Pelosi did on Jan. 6th when she locked the doors of the capital. All the violence on Jan. 6th was to overcome an unconstitutional and lawless act by government.

      The repeatedly publicly stated goal of the protestors was to get Congress to authorize and audit of the election and delay certification until that occured. That was proposed by Sen. Cruz and supported by other Senators. It is something that SHOULD have occured in November.

      You claim Trump “incited a riot” – yet if you paid the slightest attention – you would know that Trump had already rejected extraordinary but legal steps to audit the election.

      Sydney Powell, and Gen. Flynn and many others came to the white house repeatedly from November 2020 to persuade Trump to authorize the national guard to publicly audit the election. That is probably inside the Presidents constitutional powers but it was highly unusual and had never been done before and Trump refused to do it.

      And you think that he “incited a riot” ?

      We are all well aware that there are more guns than people in this country. There is certainly no shortage of guns among trump supporters. Yet none of them brought a gun into the capital.

      So you are trying to claim that Trump supporters conducted an Unarmed insurection ?

      Would that be like the insurection on Nov. 9th 1989 that ended with the fall of the Berlin Wall ?

      If Trump supporters wanted Pelosi or anyone else dead – they would be dead.

      If they intended an actual insurection – there would have been an actual insurrection.

      I would note that I suspect those Trump supporter freinds of yours all know this.

      They also all likely know the results so far of the audits in AZ and GA.
      They know of the hundreds of election fraud prosecutions in TX – some quite large.

      I would bet most of them know the date of Lexington and concord.
      I would bet they have guns and no how to use them.

      They didn’t – and you are clueless and do not grasp that means something.

    • August 9, 2021 6:29 pm

      “So, how does one react to nice people who enthusiastically support the poisonous and insane leadership of a clearly psychologically ill man who has done and is still doing immense damage to America?”

      By grasping the possibility that YOU are not connected to reality.

      I would further note – the EVIDENCE supports that.

      As on issue after issue, YOU have been sucked in by people who are ACTUALLY poisonous, ACTUALLY insane leaders, ACTUALLY clearly psychologically ill, ACTUALLY doing immense damage to america.

      I would also suggest that is you – and those that you buy into that are engaged in dividing the country.

      As you have noted those “trump supporters” are friendly and decent people.
      They are not RACISTS – no more so than you are.
      They are not HATEFUL HATING HATERS.

      They are descent hard working people for the most part.
      They are sometimes right and sometimes wrong.

      What they are not is the Racist, bigoted, hateful, hating, haters that those you worship claim.
      You have already said as much.

      You do not seem to be able to grasp if people who are not what you were told have no problems with someone you were told was also a racist, bigoted, hateful, hating, hater,

      That the problem might be with those who are telling you this nonsense rather than with the people they are maligning.

      There are numerous policies I disagree with both Trump and Trump voters.
      But I do not presume that because we disagree Trump and Trump voters are evil hateful people.

      I do have a serious Moral problem with you is that you are prepared to use FORCE to restrict the liberty of others without justification. That is IMMORAL.

      I will be happy to have a discussion with you about Trump, Republicans, Conservatives, Trump voters, …. using government/FORCE to restrict liberty – if you can find an example of that.

    • August 9, 2021 6:31 pm

      Here is an answer for you from the 70’s.

  26. Pat Riot permalink
    August 8, 2021 10:11 am

    Priscilla, I hope your son is re-adjusting and re-establishing well after the shutdowns. I saw many businesses close permanently. Imagine those people who had just jumped into the restaurant business, perhaps investing their life savings into remodeling a building, only to run into the pandemic-scamdemic (some pan and some scam).

    “Country mouse/city mouse split”–hah I’d forgotten about that expression. Oh the things we humans forget! The country mouse is a field mouse, brown with a white underbelly, like a small hamster. They have local meetings in old barns where the sun shines through the spaces between the weathered boards and falls in warm stripes on the hay. Some of them, like the “pack rat” are right-wing preppers storing items for upcoming lean, cold days!

    The city mice, on the other hand, are grey and smellier, occupying the walls of apartment buildings and row houses with the roaches, never seeing the sun…haha just practicing my propaganda so I can apply for a job in corporate media. I grew up in Philadelphia as a free-range kid from 1962 to 1989 and my city childhood was so adventurous and good that some of the joy still sustains me! Granted, my father took my brother and I to lakes and streams and fields in Lancaster County and up in the mountains for the majority of weekends, so I had the best of both worlds.

    The ubiquitous, profit-driven media…they could be helping people appreciate their differences instead of setting one group against another. We should all be thanking our lucky stars that people LOVE doing things we do not, and vice versa.

    • August 10, 2021 1:29 am

      I do not care that the media is profit driven in fact I would celebrate it.
      I am happy that SM is profit driven.

      So long as government stays out of all this – the drive for profit will ultimately drive the media – including social media to sanity.

      We are seeing hints of that now. Post the election left wing nut media ratings and revenues TANKED. Trump bashing does not make money unless Trump is president

      Profit wil ultimately require the media to do their jobs.

      I argue constantly against regulation. Within their proper domain – which is quite large, free markets are inherently self regulating.

      I have railed against SM censorship here. And I will continue to do so.

      But the BIG problem is government.

      The DMCA is unconstitutional, and we are now founding that SM is acting at the direction of some in government.

      I beleive Robby ranted that Trump had called for censoring journalists.
      But that did not happen.

      Conversely we now know that Media and social media DID censor at the direction of democrats and those in government.

      THAT is a real problem.

      I actually celebrate the lunacy of democrats. The bigger and stupider they go the more quickly they will fall. I am not happy about the carnage to others that will result.

      My advice to republicans ? All they need to do is make sure that the country knows that what happens they had nothing to do with.

  27. Ron P permalink
    August 9, 2021 11:25 am

    I feel sorry for the families of these individuals. Maybe their deaths will change a few minds that decided not be be vaccinated based on social media “facts” they were basing their decision on previously.

    But this just shows how much more dangerous this variant is when so many younger individuals outcome is death.

    And Priscilla, yes I have no doubts in my mind that in 20 years you will hear ads from Happy Jack, your 1-800 litigation attorney to file a claim against the government to claim your part of the $1 billion settlement for any number of issues that were blamed on the vaccine. Anything from Male ED to Female vaginal dryness.(Used as sarcasm because they are now a significant % of the population already suffering from them).

    I think what bothers me with this whole vaccination issue is the double standard the anti-vaxers are taking. They claim there may be significant side affects, some maybe years down the road. While on the other hand, there are significant risk to not being vaxed, not wearing a mask when in public and not avoiding large crowds like at NASCAR races, football games, baseball games, concerts, and opposing any measures by private business to control the various within their confines, etc. All of which many anti-vaxers are against also.

    So my ignorance in this situation is how they claim the vaccines can be risky, while participating in risky behaviors that can infect them with the virus that has been shown to cause significant long term side effects, hospitalizations and death.

    Its like the Fram oil Filter ad, “Do you pay me now or pay me later”. Just now its do you risk side affects or death now or do you risk possible long term affects later.

    • August 10, 2021 1:43 am

      YOUR article reports that THIS church had a vaccination clinic in March that resulted in 800 members getting vaccinated.

      This is not some right wing church that had a change of heart.

      I have no idea whether they lean right or left.

      I also find some of the claims dubious. That so many of these people were young and healthy. Given that there have only been 400 deaths among those under 20 according to the CDC as of the end of July – AND we know it is likely that 95% of those were not healthy.

      This article is reporting that in a single week one single church in FL had fully 1% of all deaths of young people in the past year and near 100% of the deaths of young heatlhy people

      According to JHU the daily Covid Deaths on Sunday was 111. While that is slightly misleading – because there has always been a 7 day cycle to death data with Friday being abnormally high and Saturday and Sunday being abnormally low.

      The deaths last week averaged 500/day that is compared to about 350/day in July.

      We have seen a huge spike in infections. We have NOT seen a huge spike in deaths.

    • August 10, 2021 1:44 am

      Anecdotes are interesting – but they are quite often misleading.

    • August 10, 2021 2:06 am

      Rather than fixate on the purported hypocracy of anti-vaxxers – why not focus on the FACTS.

      Those on the left and right misrepresent the short term safety of the vaccine.
      Robby claimed 3 deaths – he was WAY off. The death rate is low. It is not non-existant.
      Regardless, we have actual data and left or right unless you are arguing that VAERS is significantly wrong we can use it.

      The long term risks are NOT KNOWN. There is good reason to beleive the long term risks are small. There is even good scientific reasons to beleive that. But it is still beleif. We will not KNOW for years.

      It is quite reasonable for older people or the small portion of the population with extrodinarily high risks of Covid Death to vaccinate – without knowing the long term risks.

      It is far less reasonable to try to force a young healthy person to do something that if we are wrong in our GUESS about long term risks they will pay for for the rest of their life.
      Especially when the known risks of Covid for the young and healthy are much less than the Flu.
      You, Robby, Rick – keep ignoring that.

      Dubious anecdotes aside – the young and healthy appear less likely to get C19. When they get it quite often it is so mild there are no symptoms.

      Refardless, i am not interested in annecdotes. We can trade annecdotes all day.

      Nor am i interested in what people – even experts SAY. Because there has been so much lying about this and other things.

      Absolutely those saying Bill Gates is spying on them with nano-bots are lying or delusional

      But frankly nearly every bit of advice we have been given – or everything we have been ordered to do has proven to be WRONG.

      Absolutely – wear a mask if you want. I do – because I am required to when I inspect other peoples apartments. I also do because it is polite, and because I want even the small increase in safety that an N95 mask provides when I go into another persons apartment – which is just about the worst place for spreading Covid.

      But the FACTS are that an N95 mask – which is NOT what most people are wearing.
      Is 77% effective for A SINGLE exposure. For 2 it is about 50% and for each additional exposure the effectivness declines rapidly to single digits.

      Masks will NOT stop the spread of Covid – not alone, not in conjuction with other policies.
      We saw that Before Delta. Delta makes that exponentioally worse.

      All religious masking of the entire population will do is SLIGHTLY slow the spread of Covid.
      It also MIGHT give you a 3% chance of being lucky and not getting Covid.

      On a voluntary basis many of us will choose that small potential benefit.
      Though I will point out that it is essentially a lottery – one you are likely to lose.

      Vaccines DO significantly increase your chance of not getting Covid over 6 months. – we do not yet know over longer periods. Masks do not.

    • August 10, 2021 3:40 am

      No it is not like the Fram filter add.

      It is a string of risks and variables on either side.

      If there was a 1 in ridiculously low chance of your engine melting down if you did not change the filter, and a similarly low change the filter would shred and destroy your engine – and both of these risks varried greatly depending on the make, model, year, and milage of your car. Then you would have a comparable analogy.

      95% of americans over 65 have been vaccinated. These are the people with by far the highest risk.

      As a result Delta has infected record numbers of people, but deaths remain the lowest they have been since BEFORE the April 2020 spike.

      The unvaccinated do not put the vaccinated at consequential risk. Regardless, to a large extend that risk will remain for 2 years – that is how long it will take to vaccinate the world.

      And even that is problematic is we do not know that vaccine (or infection based) immunity will last that long. If it does not – we can not get rid of Covid by vaccine.

      You separately argued that they put us all at risk for mutations.
      That is false for the same reason. But there IS data that suggests that vaccines create an evolutionary bias towards vaccine resistant mutations.

      You want easy answers – there are none.

      Thus far the rate of mutation is low – that is actually evidence that the virus came from a lab.

      Lab created viruses tend to be fragile – mutations occur at the normal rate. But a much higher percent FAIL do to the lab induced fragility

      Regardless, we all hope that no vaccine resistant mutation occurs.
      WE all also hope that immunity lasts long enough to exterminate Covid.

      But those are HOPES.

      They are unknowns.

    • Priscilla permalink
      August 10, 2021 9:26 pm

      Ron, I don’t see the similarities between people who have chosen not to take the covid vaccine and anti-vaxxers.

      I have only had the flu shot twice. In other years, I took a calculated risk that I wouldn’t get the flu. I wasn’t an anti-flu-vaxxer, I just didn’t get the shot. No one accused me of endangering those who DID get the shot, but who might still catch the flu and end up hospitalized or dead.

      A vaccine that prevented people from getting covid would be a godsend, but we don’t have that. We have a shot that protects most people from dying of covid, but that’s not the same thing. Still a godsend for some, mind you, but for others, who are low risk, they may choose not to get it, and that doesn’t mean that they are spreading covid.

      We are NOT following the science on covid, no matter how many time Tony Fauci says we are. We are uninformed ~ about covid, about the vaccine, about the therapeutic treatments for covid. Sure, there are a lot of idiots out there, but mostly it’s just millions of people that are desperately trying to make good decisions about their health and the health of their families. But it’s next to impossible, when the narrative is “Just trust us and get the shot because we demand it.”

      It’s no way to run a country, that’s for damn sure.

      • Ron P permalink
        August 11, 2021 12:04 am

        If we were in a country that did not have a “mommy” government this would be different. But they have decided since a minority of people have for one reason or the other that they are not going to be vaccinated, they are going to place restrictions on 100% of the population,

        But we are not in that situation. I have said many times that I do not believe it is the government responsibility to make laws requiring certain thing or passing laws banning certain things. If owners of companies want to make rules for their company and employees, then that is fine. Mask and vaccine mandates, fine, but not by government.

        But we are not living in that society, And that is what pisses me off. One adjoining county board has now passed regulations that everyone, vaxed or not, if indoors, has to have a mask on. If they do not, the business owner can be fined $300 for first offense, $500 for second and $1500 for each subsequent unmasked customer. That means underpaid and over worked retail and hospitality workers are going to be required to fight with customers. Its not government enforcing the rules and in the majority of cases, it wont be the owners out at the front door mandating the mask.

        And I suspect that our county will follow suit shortly given the makeup of our county board. So my freedoms to make a personal decision, even though I have been vaccinated, is being infringed upon since so many have dicided what’s best for them is opposite whats best for me.

        I just wonder with these new mandates if we will see the same violence in business that airlines are seeing on their planes.So far this year there have been over 3,600 reports to the FAA campared to less than 200 for a complete year in prior years, most due to fliers taking off masks.

      • Priscilla permalink
        August 11, 2021 9:16 am

        “So my freedoms to make a personal decision, even though I have been vaccinated, is being infringed upon since so many have dicided what’s best for them is opposite whats best for me.”

        Exactly, Ron! And, what is to stop officials from deciding other things that they have no right to decide? As of now, nothing.

        The mask thing is big, because Biden repeatedly assured people that, if they got vaccinated, they would no longer have to wear a mask. He didn’t say ” Oh, by the way, it doesn’t matter if you get vaccinated, because, unless 100% of everyone else is vaccinated, you still have to mask up, even in your own home, even around your own children. Oh yeah, and the vaccines might not protect you, so you have to wear a mask as well. I’m going to make sure that you hate those m-fer’s that choose not to be vaccinated. I don’t care if they already had covid, or if they have concerns about the vaccine. Everyone must take the vaccine or be relegated to second class citizen status.”

        He didn’t say to landlords “Ok, now that the economy is struggling back, and jobs are plentiful, you can start collecting rent again, because I know that you invested in a building that was supposed to provide income for you, and you haven’t been able to collect rent for more than a year” Oh, no…he extended the eviction moratorium, even for landlords whose tenants are working and able to pay rent. So, just like restaurant owners, and gym owners, now apartment building owners are going bankrupt, not because they made poor business decisions, but because the government basically destroyed their livelihood.

        And, when Rick talks about right-wing “extremists” refusing to obey the rules, he’s not acknowledging (as you have) that many of the people who have been fighting the rules are doing so because the rules are stupid and arbitrary. And, trust me, a lot of those people are left wing…my brother in law is super liberal, but he hates masks. The other day, he declined to wear a mask when walking from a restaurant lobby to his table. My sister wore hers. Within 5 minutes, they were asked to leave the restaurant, even though every single person in the dining room was maskless…but he had broken the rule that you must be masked for the ten yards that it takes to get to your table.

        Fair enough, the restaurant had every right to make that rule, and the absolute right to kick them out. But my BIL had just about had it with arbitrary mask rules, and he turned into a rebel. A vaccinated 75 year old, law-abiding father of 6, grandfather to many, and supporter of the Democrat party. But, for whatever reason, he just said “Enough.” And he behaved like a rebellious , insubordinate jerk.

        We’re seeing a lot of this, and it’s not good.

      • Ron P permalink
        August 11, 2021 11:14 am

        Priscilla, your comment is exactly why I think the way I do about government.

        For instance, I will provide 3 examples.

        1) FDA..It was commented today by none government drug company mucky mucks that when there is a change in administrations, there is usually a change in the commissioner of the FDA. During this transition, much is not done waiting for new direction. In this case, some of the delays in full approval of the vaccines that have been submitted is due to not having an FDA commissioner and Biden still has not appointed one. Pfizer has had their request in for months.

        2). Rent moratorium. This one I can not lay blame on Biden. I support his actions (at this point). Why? Because our incompetent. over bloated, under performing, uninterested and any other “un” one can think of for government workers has been given $47 billion in rent assistance to distribute to states to pay rent for individuals that could not pay. Only about $4B of the $47B has actually been distributed and of that some states have not distributed some to landlords. Any number of reasons have been given, but the main reason was lack of information on who how and when applications could be made. We just have seen local, not-for-profit groups create programs to assist renters in applying for this assistance. Seems to me if a landlord needed money, most would be smart enough to find out how to help their tenants obtain this money.

        3) Summer lunch program. (And this one is local issue, not national). There is a program created to given low income families $300 (I think or close to it) a month during the summer months to pay for meals that kids would not receive at school. They have just announced that this money would be distributed, even though kids have been out since mid-late May and its 3 week before the start of school. Kids needed the meals in May, June and July and distribution of these funds late does nothing to feed the kids when needed.

        So not only are the rules “stupid and arbitrary” that are being made, those that are made that may be worthwhile are being undermined by stupid and lazy government employees uninterested in making sure any program works.

      • August 11, 2021 3:53 pm

        Rent moratorium and assistance.

        Of the 5 tenants I have 4 would qualify for assistance.

        As a Landlord I must apply – but only ONCE.. The government does not care much about my qualifications for assistance.

        But each of My tenants must apply.

        Two of my tenants have not applied. They have asked me and I have told them what they need to do, then they do nothing and a few months later ask again. In the meantime they are MOSTLY current on their rent – or atleast as current as my tenants get.

        Two did apply. The first took three tries before the government apparatchik handling this approved. The second tenant is on his 5th try, and still has not been approved.

        He pretty much meets every qualification – but he has an IQ of a bit over 80 and he just can not manage this. Further he gets easily frustrated and angry and that makes it easy for the apparatchiks to blow him off. He is significantly behind on his rent – but he is trying.

        Next, Absolutely I help people to get assistance. I hired someone specifically to help people get assistance. In the end I paid here over $3000 to help my tenants get assistance, and she managed to get $2600 in assistance.

        Ultimately everything associated with rental assistance he been nonsense and handled incompitently.

        I would further note that I deal with much larger landlords all the time.

        Many are doing quite well with assistance programs. They have hundreds of tenants, and they have become adept at efficiently working the system. Many are doing better than they did before Covid.

        Others – even some higher end landlords are seeing many tenants fall 40K behind in rent.

        Contra appearances there is no national eviction moratorium. The CDC moratorium only applies to those receiving federal housing assistance.

        various states and communities have different local moratorium.

        In my community ALL court processes were shutdown through August 2020.
        But they reopened and I had to evict someone – for cause. Illegally subletting her apartment to as many as 10 people a night.

        Regardless, many people think they can not be evicted and are wrong.

        Regardless this is a government caused mess.

        The entire eviction moratorium was from the start idiocy.

        As was rental assistance.

        Dealing with rents was trivial —- DONT!

        There is only one group of people who were going to have a rent problem as a result of Covid. The unemployed, and most of those have received benefits exceeding their prior pay.

        Why does anyone who was able to pay their rent before Covid, who has kept their job or who has qualified for unemployment need rental assistance ?

        This was an abysmally bad idea from the start.

        I would further note that charity is HARD.

        Two of the tenants I have that are elibable for assistance and not going to get it.

        One because he just does not appear to care enough.
        The other because he just does not have the skills.

        Helping these people is not easy.

        Even to help them with THEIR part of the application they must FIND and SHARE unemployment and income information with me.

        They do not want to do that. They see it as an invasion of privacy.
        And separately it is outside their skill set.

        The one tenant I have is not really able to negotiate getting himself unemployment.
        There are about 50M people in the US with an IQ of 85 or below.

        Some of them readily accept help. Some do not.
        Neither those that do nor those that do not are capable of helping you help them.

        These problems permeate society.

        Newsome is currently proposing some massive problem to address homelessness in CA.
        In the hopes of holding off Recall.

        The overwhelming majority fo the chronically homeless have serious mental health issues.

        Through to the mid 20th century we institutionalized these people.

        Then we decided that was inhumane and we released them and they mostly ended up homeless. Sometimes now we incarcerate them – as if jails are better than institutions.

        Regardless, we do not have an easy answer. There is no magic that will make the homeless problem easier to deal with.

        At one time in the past most families dealt with their own family members with mental health or mental capacity issues. But we have both destroyed the family and created a culture were we expect that from the state.

        Many families dealt with these problems badly.

        But the sate is near universally worse.

        And beyond the obvious problems with the moeless, we have other issues.

        It is my understanding that it costs CA about 2M to create a single apartment for ONE homeless person, and that maintining them in that apartment runs about 200K/year.

        Part of that is normal government in efficiency.
        Part is Special California stupidity.
        Part of it is because it is nearly impossible to build housing in California.

        CA is not alone with this problem – but it is near the worst.

        CA has a wonderful climate that Rich people spend a fortune to have.
        Of course the homeless will come to CA if they can.

        And they are going to take over – often some of the best place – if they can.
        Unless you are prepared to give the police free reign to make them miserable enough to leave or to send them to prison – you are going to have mass homelessnes in CA.

        Regardless my point is that many of the problems that you think government is going to solve are likely insoluable. Certainly not by government.

        And I have not address the destruction that is going to reign down on lots of people inevitably when these moratoriums end.

      • August 11, 2021 3:54 pm

        Why do you expect anything different from government ?

      • August 11, 2021 2:18 pm

        Biden – and myriads of others assured people that if they wore masks that we would beat this.

        Not only has this proven false.

        But we are constantly catching all these tyrants in hypocracy.

        No one masked at Obama’s mega birthday bash.

        Pelosi is fining representatives for not masking – while violating her own rule constantly.

        After a short period at the start of his presidency Biden almost never masks in public anymore.

        And those on the left wonder why no one believes them any more ?

      • August 11, 2021 2:23 pm

        Of course the rules are stupid and arbitrary.

        Lets presume for the sake of argument that N95 masks actually work.

        Very very few people are wearing n95 masks, those that are are not doing so correctly,

        As I noted to Ron there is a large cottage mask industry. And often their product is made to barely comply with “mandates” – and sometimes it is made to say FU to mandates.

        And the hypocracy of those imposing these rules is apparent to all.
        It destroys all confidence that those in govenrment know what they are doing.

        Little inspires more rebellion against government than rules for thee and not for me.

      • August 11, 2021 2:14 pm

        There are myriads of issues in planes.

        The first is there is a perception that planes are an enclosed cramped space in which the spread of diseases is easy. I have shared that perception.

        But it is my understanding that there is actually no evidence of spread of Covid on airplanes.
        If someone has other data – please present it.

        Another issue on planes is that people eat, drink, snack to get through the time.

        Airlines provide snacks, drinks even meals, not just because customers demand it,
        but because problems increase when passengers have nothing to keep them occupied.

        You talked about businesses and mask mandates – government or otherwise.

        We all should know by now that most masks that people are using – even our politicians are USELESS – or worse than USELESS.

        Early on we saw a cotage industry of private masks, that industry has evolved over time.
        First there were special masks for people with specific problems.

        Then there were masks that did not hide ones face – they were clear plastic with valves and fitlers.

        Now I am seeing masks whose openly stated purpose is to do the minimum necescary to comply with mask mandates.

        These are not merely ineffective – they are essentially deliberately so.
        They accomplish nothing but meeting the requirements of the law.

        They are a giant middle finger to mandates.

        Most places I go the current “law” is that the vaccinated are free to go unmasked, but the unvaccinated must still mask. There are signs on doors saying that, and citing local code.

        Business owners post these signs. But no one does anything to enforce them.

        People are not asked whether they are vaccinated if they have no mask.

        In fact I would venture based on what I see that most of those masked are vaccinated, and most of those not masked are not.

        You talked about businesses having mask or vaccination requirements.
        That appears to be happening regarding employees.
        But it is NOT going to happen or atleast be enforced for customers.

        Businesses will post sign if forced by government, and maybe even by choice.
        But outside of a few Karen’s no one is going to enforce them.

      • August 11, 2021 1:13 pm

        There are now two large studies – one in the US and one in the UK that indicate that vaccinated people are able to get and spread the Delta variant and do so in very large numbers.

        It is not clear – but it appears that the vaccinated are “typhoid mary’s” – that they get Delta, but have few or no symptoms, but they still end up with high viral loads and are still very contagious.

        If I were to use the broken logic that Rick used for this post – the VACCINATED are selfish.
        They are protecting themselves – nut placing others at high risk.

        If that sounds like a crazy argument – that would be because it is
        It is the same crazy argument that the unvaccinated are selfish.

      • August 11, 2021 1:25 pm

        I get the Flu shot every year.

        I thought about it briefly last year – there were some reports that getting the flu shot INCREASED your odds of getting Covid. But I got it anyway.

        I had a part of my right lung removed 40 years ago.
        While I have had no long term negative effects of that,
        I am extremely cautious about coughs and colds and the flu.
        I also seem – likely due to allergies to be highly prone to colds and the flu.
        Even with the vaccine I frequently get the Flu – the Flu vaccine is on average only 70% effective, and on occaision less than 50%.

        Still I regularly get the Flu vaccine.

        When I catch the Flu or a cold int he winter it tends to be a long haul for me.
        Once one thing gets into my lungs, they tend to get serially infected by other things,
        first, the flu, then a cold, then some bacterial infection.
        I end up with 6 weeks to a month of fighting to get back to normal.

        So I am very serious about the flu vaccine.

        But I am NOT everyone. Nor do I expect everyone to make the same choices I do.

        Most people do NOT get the Flu vaccine.

        These people are not “anti-vaxxers”.
        They are just people who measured the risks and benefits in their own life and decided not to get the Flu vaccine. For 99.9999% of them that choice works out.
        They do not get the flu, or they get it and get over it in a few days.

        The EVIDENCE is that for MOST healthy people under 40 Covid is LESS serious than the Flu. I know of many people who got Covid. Most of whom only found out because an older person in their family got noticably sick, tested positive and so they whole family got tested.

        People do not get vaccinated for good reasons and bad reasons.

        Which is no different from myriads of other choices people make all the time.

        This is an incredibly stupid fight.

      • August 11, 2021 1:59 pm

        This “follow the science” narrative is nonsense.

        It has always been a piss poor argument.

        The consequences of trying to turn the opinions of government experts into force is destroying the credibility of science.

        We are destroying the credibility of our instutitons,

        We are destroying trust in government – that is atleast a good thing.

        And we are dramatically increasing the likelyhood of catastrophe.

        Something like 47% of republicans now beleive that violence may be necescary to resolve our political problems.

        AS bad as that sounds – they might be right.

        When we can not trust our institutions – when we can not trust government at all, things can go to hell very quickly.

        I assume that the vast majority of the “featured” experts – those who said what the media and the left wanted them to say, had good intentions – they beleived the advice they provided.

        That is fine – I accept that, and that is WHY we must hear all voices – especially those of dissenting “experts”. Good intentions do not assure good results.
        Doing good and wanting to do good are NOT the same.

        We are 18 months into this pandemic.
        So far we had about 320K deaths under Trump in 11 months mostly without effective treatment and a vaccine. We have had 300K deaths under Biden in 7 months with more effective treatment and a vaccine.

        Robby and myriads of others rant about those deaths – as if by some magic they were preventable. Yet it is self evident they were not.

        We can debate masks and lockdowns and vaccinations.

        It is still my hope and expectation that between vaccination and multiple forms of natural immunity we are approaching herd imunity and this will come to an end soon.

        But that is merely an informed hope.

        It is self evident we do not have the power to thwart Covid.

        That we are doing little better than Mayan’s sacrificing virgins to appease the gods.

        The left rants “Science, Science, Science” – but self evidently – Science does not have the answers. Instead what we have seen is the continuous desire to “do something” – whether it will have any benefit at all – just to be able to claim to have acted.

  28. Pat Riot permalink
    August 9, 2021 9:19 pm

    Roby-Wan Kenobi from Vermonta,

    You wrote: “I get along very well on a personal level with many xxxxx (republican candidate) supporters. I bought minnows from a lady…”

    First of all I didn’t want to trigger remnants and vestiges of your derangement syndrome with the “t-word”. I wish you a full recovery someday. I am glad to see some of your humanity remains intact as you are able to separate people’s behavior from their political choice in a two-party system that offered a statist puppet career politician with dementia or xxxxx. The purchasing of minnows is a further clue that you do not spend all of your time in the Matrix. One of the wholesome, nourishing, salubrious benefits of fishing is it can immerse us into a context that existed before the U.S., before the Roman Empire, before the development of democracy in Athens during the Golden Age of the Greeks. I trust you leave your cell phone charging in the car when you cast those minnows!

    Now, pertaining to the subject of unvaccinated persons being selfish, and the subject of mandated vaccinations: based on your posts, your logic looks something like this:

    1. Covid-19 is highly contagious and deadly
    2. The vaccines work and were slowing the spread of the virus
    3. Therefore, everyone should get vaccinated
    4. Therefore, un-vaccinated folks are enabling the virus to spread and are selfish

    Your “logic” is not sound. Aside from the fact that your logic is THE SAME MESSAGE BEING BROADCAST 24/7 BY MOST OF MAINSTREAM MEDIA, via cable channels on every TV in every house, on big screens in hotel lobbies, on little TVs at the gas pumps, NPR and most corporate stations on the radio, leftist newspapers, etc., your logic is NOT sound. Commenter John B. Say, a.k.a. the Black Knight, has successfully shredded your unsound logic in myriad ways, and I will expose more gaping holes in subsequent posts, as your “logic” is more a shallow relay or cursory regurgitation of an existing message rather than real critical thinking. (How’s that for a very light, cheerful touch!)

    I believe I read that you have earned a PhD. Genuine congratulations for that. That requires a ton of reading, writing, and thought, and so my theory is that you were a bit tired of thinking, your blood pressure was high, and you would rather be fishing or playing guitar. You didn’t want to think about the many questions. You preferred to listen to experts, get your shot like an good citizen, and go fishing. How else can an intelligent person ignore so much legitimate information that casts doubt on the mainstream media message regarding Covid-19 and C19 vaccinations? That would be okay if you’d choose to take the jab and then leave others to their choices, but you’d be willing to mandate a vaccine! Aaarrgg!

  29. Ron P permalink
    August 9, 2021 11:27 pm

    Roby, yes there is tie-in to the political parties. I am not trying to say there is not.

    But remember, only 66% of eligible age voters voted. And there is not really a good way to determine if those lean right or left. The only way to make an assumption is to look at the state turnouts and when viewing those results, the states that are traditionally red and now have low vaccination rates are the states that had voter turnouts between 59% and 64% for the most part. States that are blue had turnouts in the 68%-70%+ range are the states with much higher vax rates. But in all states, there will be a high number of GOP voters using every excuse to avoid the stick.

    So my comment about those not getting vaxed can be estimated to be a higher number of people that do not vote, they may or may not be political and most of their news comes from social media. I live in one of those areas. Ask them if they saw some big political or international story and you get a blank stare. But ask them about some social trending story and they can give you complete details.

    • August 10, 2021 3:59 am

      High voter turnout is historically associated with pollitical instability.

      It is NOT desirable.

      The Top 4 states for Covid deaths are Blue and that is extremely unlikely to change.

      It is incredibly stupid to make covid infection rates a red/blue thing as Blue states lose.
      That said – atleast I am honest enough that Blue states lose for demographic and geographic reasons.
      But if you really want to make this about politics – go for it.

      I would further note that the difference in vaccination rates is SMALL.

      If you are expecting it to explain Covid behavior you are reaching.

      The only possible scenario in which minor differences in C19 vaccination rates could have major impacts on infection rates is if we were very very close to herd immunity.

      Delta is highly contagious. All other things being equal – it should burn through densely populated places.

      All other things being even 10pts different – it should burn through densly populate regions.

      I would note that Robby’s great state of Vermont has the Highest vaccination rate in the country. It also has the highest percent increase in hospitalizations in the last 14 days.
      And the 4th highest change in the number of cases.

      Atleast according to the NYT.

      I would note that Lousiana which has the highest increase in the total number of deaths per 1M increased that by 7 It has a long way to go to catch up to NJ.

  30. Pat Riot permalink
    August 10, 2021 12:44 am

    Before I start poking holes in the premises and conclusions of the Mainstream Message regarding the virus and the vaccinations, I’d like it known that I…

    am not anti-authority and I do recognize expertise and value expertise and defer to expertise, but I also don’t accept conclusions as gospel just because someone has been deemed an “expert.” I’ve been in enough courtrooms to see expert witnesses, who seem irrefutable, subsequently neutralized by other expert witnesses. I’ve been in the U.S. Navy and worked for a research university, so I saw first-hand how large institutions do CYA and squash results that are inconsistent with their mission and public image. In the private sector I’ve seen data cherry-picked (unfavorable feedback tossed in the trash and only the favorable results passed up the chain of command.) I do know individuals who are anti-authority. They distrust just about everything. I realize some anti-vaxxers are anti-authority types. I’m not one of those.

    am not anti-vax, anti-science, or anti-Western medicine, as some un-vaccinated folks are, but I am not one of those.

    am not as anti-government as some strict Libertarians. I agree with perhaps 90% of Libertarian views and principles, can see how much of government boils down to FORCE, but I also recognize situations and instances in which a reasonable consensus of people voluntarily adopt a measure that everyone in the local or region agrees with. I see the gaps between supply and demand that free markets cannot and will not attend to. I think it is prudent for limited government to step in and bridge some of those gaps, even to the extent of playing favorites. Perhaps I share this less strict flavor of Libertarianism with Ron P, I’m not sure. One example I encountered was in Washington State in which the government assisted in the paving of certain roads over others. They chose to pave the roads used by the trucks carrying apples because bruised apples from bumpy roads are less valuable in the marketplace. That decision helped the region. Yes, government can be a bungling, corrupt mess, but sometimes it makes sense. That said, our federal government has been hijacked by special interests and is a monster…

    I think some of those caveats or exceptions or distinctions I just mentioned make me a moderate, not left, not right, and not wishy-washy either.

    • August 10, 2021 3:20 pm

      Libertarian is not anti-government – that would be anarchism.

      All government is FORCE.

      That is not a judgement, it is a FACT.

      If something does not require force, it does not require government.

      None of this is intended to be controversial.


      Barney Frank stated
      “Government is simply the name we give to the things we choose to do together.”

      This is nonsense. Frank described Charity, not government.

      One of the distinctions between charity and government is FORCE.

      No matter how polite government is – government “requests” are not voluntary.
      If you refuse you will be FORCED to comply.

      That is how it is supposed to be, and that is why government MUST be limited.
      The unlimited use of FORCE is totalitarian.

      Limited government should not be slightly controversial – though according to Merit Garland it is an indicator that you are a domestic terrorist. that is like saying because you have a boat you are a pirate.

      There must be some limit to the use of FORCE.

    • August 10, 2021 3:41 pm

      “but I also recognize situations and instances in which a reasonable consensus of people voluntarily adopt a measure that everyone in the local or region agrees with.”

      Consensus and everyone are NOT the same.

      Voluntary and government are NOT the same.

      I do not think there is a libertarian that beleives that there are not instances in which “a reasonable consensus of people voluntarily adopt a measure ”

      Pretty much every single private group action – charity, business, meets that definition.

      Nor do libertarians require unanimity for government to Act.

      But Consensus ALONE is not sufficient.

      I would further note that we all KNOW that.

      We do not convict people of crimes based on Consensus.

      We expect that before government can take away a person’s property, liberty or life, that the need to do so is STRONGLY demonstrated.

      It is possible that you and I and Robby, and Ron and Rick, may each disagree on what constitutes justification for the use of force.

      THAT is not the conflict that is occuring.
      Robby and to a lessor extent Rick and Ron and others here entirely skip justifying the Use of FORCE.

      They presume FORCE can be used merely because they want to.

      It is NOT indisputably wrong to mandate masks, vaccines, lockdowns, etc.

      But it is indisputable that you may not use force to restrict the liberty of another without JUSTIFYING it.

      Concensus is NECESSCARY – but NOT sufficient.

    • August 10, 2021 3:50 pm

      With respect to your claims of free market failure regarding supply and demand.

      No system of any kind EVER has come close to matching supply to demand except free markets. That is not merely what they do, it is what they do better than any other scheme.

      Government is abysmal at matching supply and demand. This is quite litterally one of the primary failures of all forms of statism – not just socialism.

      The bigger government grows the worse we are at matching supply and demand. \

      I would further note that Nobel Economist and one of the 4 most brilliant economists of the past 100 years Ronald Coase established as an economic LAW that the lower transaction costs are the more perfectly markets not merely match supply and demand by solve ALL problems.

      We do not have zero cost transactions. But the cost of transactions have been declining radically over the past two centuries – while the cost of anything government does has increased.

      250 years ago Adam Smith noted that

      “Little else is requisite to carry a state to the highest degree of opulence from the lowest barbarism, but peace, easy taxes, and a tolerable administration of justice: all the rest being brought about by the natural course of things.”

      That is MORE true today than then.

    • August 10, 2021 4:07 pm

      The US government “playing favorites” is a violation of the equal protection clause of the constitution.

      Outside of the constitution it is also an absymally bad idea.

      We can not eliminate “playing favorites” in govenrment.
      That is a major reason we LIMIT government.

      One of the major problems with government “playing favorites” is there is no correction for error.

      If a purchasor at a conglomerate plays favorites with a sales rep from a supplier – any significant impact of that choice will create an advantage for a competitor.

      When government plays favorites there is no self or other correction mechanism.

      With respect to your example – in much of the world Roads are not a public commodity (and many places where they are, government is inept).

      The outcome you celebrate would have occurred naturally – because consumers value bruised apples less, they would have paid more for unbruised apples and apple transporters would have paid to improve roads.

      With further respect to your example – unbruised apples are something people value.
      So are unbruised people. So are fewer traffic fatalities.

      The “best” choice for the improvement of highways is incredibly complex – so complex that no individual human of government can determine it – whether in the free market or in government. But there is a fundimental difference in the free market.

      Free markets pit the ideas of everyone against each other, and those that best meet all of our needs prevail over those that do not.

      In free markets decisions are not really ever made by producers. They are made by consumers when they choose what they will purchase, what they will pay and what they expect.

    • August 10, 2021 4:11 pm

      Power corrupts.

      However much power you give the government – that power will be corrupted.

      We limit govenrment to limit corruption – and for many other reasons.

    • August 10, 2021 4:15 pm

      I have no idea what Moderate means. No one here has ever provided a meaningful definition.

      Nor do I care about left, or right, or ultimately even libertarian.

      I care about facts, and truth and what works.

  31. Pat Riot permalink
    August 10, 2021 1:16 am

    Rick, in your July 31 post you wrote: “It’s all about freedom of choice, the rebels insist.”

    I think you trivialized something utterly indispensable, making it sound like it was choosing breakfast cereal, or clothing style, rather than the vital thing that prompted a man to stand in front of a line of tanks in Tiananmen Square.

    You’re a fantastic writer with diction perhaps as flawless as it gets, but you usually go deeper than that. I thought at first you were being provocative on purpose to prompt dialogue, and maybe you were, but then I concluded you were more motivated by fear of the virus, which is why I said you had “succumbed to the fear-mongering,” meaning the overwhelming fear-mongering by the ubiquitous media. So I meant that you’d been affected by the fear-mongering surrounding us, but I didn’t say YOU were fear-mongering as Vermonta had taken it. There’s a difference between “being fearful” and “fear-mongering.” Just wanted to clear that up.

    • August 10, 2021 6:02 pm

      Freedom of choice matters EVEN when it is just breakfast cereal.

      If you will not defend small liberties, you will not have large ones.

  32. Vermonta permalink
    August 10, 2021 8:37 am

    Back in 1968 or 69 when I was a little hippie radical I was spouting off to my father about how my hippie world was made of independent free thinkers, non conformists. He came right back at me, with Bullshit, you all wear the same denim uniform, have the same hair, listen to the same music, and have the same political ideas. You are not independent free thinkers you are conformists. Its just a different conformism.

    I am sure you see my point Pat. Yes, trump cultists see themselves as critical free thinkers. At the end of the day the “critical thought’ of your group has reached the conclusion that 3 is larger than 615,000, that the mob who ransacked the Capitol were tourists, that a Kraken filed by the legal genius Sidney whatsername was going to show that the election was stolen, and that the VP could simply not count the votes of states that did not go trumps way and give trump the election. Just in case Pence failed to perform, they had a gallows waiting outside. In the trump nation of critical free thinkers all these things are true and good. It’s a cult Pat, you are part of a cult. You are not a free thinker, you are a sardine in a different school of sardines.

    I place a lot of blame for the state of our country on the other cult, the left wing cult that believes the Dr. Suess is a racist, that men should call themselves women and use the woman’s bathroom at the mall, and if a state goes against that (it was SC?) they should be boycotted. The left cult has its own cult leader, a former (or maybe not former) Marxist Leninist, who, ignoring the whole history of the 20th century is trumpeting socialism, (although actually none of the congressional agenda of his movement is truly socialist, its just mathematically challenged yuge government, the class warfare and eat the rich mindset IS socialist). So I place a lot of blame on the Bernie populist cult and the older PC cult for enraging your trump populist cult to the point of madness. But its not any excuse for ransacking the Capitol or not being able to make a rational comparison between 3 and 615,000 deaths.

    In my universe COVID is much more dangerous than the vaccine and things have a much better chances of improving if as many people as possible are vaccinated. In my universe 615,000 is a larger number than 3. In my universe tens of thousands of people have already died because of the irresponsibility of other people in their COVID behaviors and Sturgis is a selfish deadly event. In my Universe those unnecessarily dead people also had a right, a right to live their life and not to be killed by the carelessness of critical free thinkers. Yes I know you think I am blathering about mainstream nonsense and the fact that the mainstream believes these things is Proof that my beliefs are lazy nonsense that you and Dave can easily smash logically.

    Yes, between the two populist cults of free thinking sardines, COVID itself, and the economic fallout I am using fishing and music fro relief from the madness. If I live as long as my parents have with all my marbles like they have I may be able to look back on this in 25 years and see that neither cult won and both cults subsided like William Jennings Bryan into history without going the way of Mussolini. I may be able to look back and see that COVID was eventually reduced to a flu-like level of death and destruction. I hope so but I am far from certain.

    Now, you and Dave have a good time being critical thinkers and I will leave Ron to try to move either of you by a molecule from your ideas. I am done breaking my head, I have very repetitively made every argument I have to make and what I have heard in return is the same old contrarian Dave with his usual mix of actual facts, half truths, and out and out lies, the same old recipe that contrarians and conspiracy theorists always use to create their narratives, and you saying amen and high fiving him. History will decide which of us was closer to the truth.

    Gone fishing, by a shady wadey pool…

    • August 10, 2021 4:29 pm

      No I do not think that Trump supporters think of themselves as “free thinkers”.

      As you noted that was a value of the left in the 60’s.

      Put simply they do not think about the things you do, or the things you think they think about.

      There are neither conformists, nor non-conformists. Neither is a value they care about.

      They here arguments from Trump, Carlson, Hannity, from left wing nuts, from friends from ministers, from families and they draw conclusions.

      They are far more inclined than YOU to accept reality as it comes.

    • Savannah Jordan permalink
      August 10, 2021 4:32 pm

      About 5 decades ago, I was arguing with my extremely intelligent, well-read brother about something that I can’t even remember. When he felt threatened by the argument, he proclaimed to me that God had revealed to him the validity of his arguments. It was at that point in my life that I accepted that logic, facts, and reason do not persuade people; we are driven by emotion. I accepted that I would rarely convert anyone.

      • August 11, 2021 12:19 pm

        “About 5 decades ago, I was arguing with my extremely intelligent, well-read brother about something that I can’t even remember. When he felt threatened by the argument, he proclaimed to me that God had revealed to him the validity of his arguments. It was at that point in my life that I accepted that logic, facts, and reason do not persuade people; we are driven by emotion. I accepted that I would rarely convert anyone.”

        You are correct that many people make choices driven by emotion.

        In your own personal life you may make your choices however you please.
        You may consult a ouija board if you wish.

        But when you make choices for others. When you make choices that involve FORCE, in short when you make choices that in anyway involve government, you are not free to impose your emotion based decision making on others against their will.

        This is again why government must be limited. Decissions involving government effect everyone and they are imposed by force. Getting those correct is substantially harder. The consequences of error – even small errors – substantially greater.

        We are debating Vaccinations.

        If I make a poor choice – the consequences fall on me.
        If a decision is made that applies to all and is imposed by force – the consequences are imposed on all.

        The odds of a serious long term problem with the Covid Vaccines is very small.
        But if we missed something, and we force those under 18 to vaccinate the consequences could fall on millions. And worse Millions who had no choice in the decision.

        Couple that with the consequential degree of error that we have seen from public health experts over the past year and you have the potential for a huge disaster.

        So should we be making public choices based on facts, logic, reason ? Or emotion ?

        And where facts, logic and reason do not produce certainty – why are we making public choices at all ?

        You are correct that far to many decisions are made emotionally – though I would note that public decisions tend to have other factors driving them as well – such as corruption – using public power for personal benefit. That simply can not happen when we make personal choices.

    • August 10, 2021 4:34 pm


      From the CDC web site.

      “Reports of death after COVID-19 vaccination are rare. More than 346 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines were administered in the United States from December 14, 2020, through August 2, 2021. During this time, VAERS received 6,490 reports of death (0.0019%) among people who received a COVID-19 vaccine.”

      • Vermonta permalink
        August 10, 2021 4:51 pm

        Out of a population of several hundred million in a 7 month period, how many will die? These are not COVID vaccine reaction deaths, they are ANY deaths of people who have been vaccinated. This is the usual misuse of facts in order to lie. I am sure you yourself realize this is just a deception.

      • Ron P permalink
        August 10, 2021 5:47 pm

        Roby, Ignore some comments. Protect yourself from pain and suffering. Remember a fool believes himself to be right all the time about all subjects. A smart man knows himself not to be. A wise man knows when to ignore the fool.

        AND the wise man gets to go fishing because he enjoys it, not to escape fools!

      • August 11, 2021 1:05 pm

        This is not about “beleif”.

        As I have said repeatedly – it is quite easy to be right all or nearly all the time on the internet.
        All that is required is to check your facts before you post.

        There is no excuse for ANY of us to be wrong in our posts.

        It is not the 1960’s where getting any information – much less trustworthy information was nearly impossible.

        I made a specific claim about Vaccine Deaths – I provided a Source (VAERS) – anyone here can find that source, and can evaluate the meaning of that source.

        Robby subsequently claimed a vaccine death rate of 1/3000th of VAERS.
        He provided no source. The credibility of his number rested solely on his personal trustworthiness – which has time and again proven POOR.

        I subsequently researched his number and my Best guess – which Robby has not disowned, is that it is the number of Deaths specifically associated with TTS from the J&J vaccine.

        That is a tiny subset of all Vaccine related deaths.

        Claiming there were only 3 deaths from Vaccines is LYING.

        I would further note that an order of magnitude more people experienced TTS but did NOT die. TTS is a very serious side effect with not just life threatening but possible long term adverse consequences.

      • August 11, 2021 1:07 pm

        Ad Hominen is still not argument.

        Haven;t we had enough of that nonsense over the past several years ?

      • August 11, 2021 12:26 pm

        “Out of a population of several hundred million in a 7 month period, how many will die? These are not COVID vaccine reaction deaths, they are ANY deaths of people who have been vaccinated. This is the usual misuse of facts in order to lie. I am sure you yourself realize this is just a deception.”

        Doubly false.
        VAERS does not include ALL reports of ALL deaths of everyone vaccinated.
        But You are correct that VAERS reported Deaths are NOT deaths specifically determined to be Vaccine Deaths.

        Just as the 615K deaths you constantly call Covid Deaths are NOT deaths caused By Covid.
        They are deaths WITH Covid.

        FURTHER the 3 vaccination deaths you claim are ALL deaths, are only a small portion of all the deaths. They are the deaths from a specific cause for those who received the J&J vaccine. They are not ALL vaccination related deaths.
        Anaphalaxis – which is usually unexpected and sometimes fatal occurs in 1 in every 200,000 doses according to WHO data.

      • August 11, 2021 12:42 pm

        Robby, I have been perfectly clear where all my data came from, and what it means.
        I have misrepresented NOTHING. NOTHING I have written is “deceptive”.

        You can NOT say the same. There is little difference between the VAERS reports of approx 6500 deaths immediately following Vaccination, and your constantly repeated number of 615K Deaths of people who also have Covid. As has been repeatedly noted 94% of those deaths had SERIOUS comorbidities. A significant portion were in people who were terminal or at the very least near the end of life.

        My Father had Vascular dimensia and was having constant ministrokes, he had chrones disease that resulted in massive life threatening bleeds – if he was properly medicate prevent strokes, and unknown to us he also had terminal liver disease.

        Yet, he died of Pneumonia when he was put into a home.
        His death certificate reads Pneumonia.

        We spent three years fighting his assorted health problems – Pneumonia was not among those things we were fighting.

        He died of Pneumonia, because that is what happens when you put old unhealthy people together in a home.

        I would note that Coivd death reports are even LESS accurate.
        My father actually died of Pnuemonia. He did not die With Pnuemonia.
        He did not die of a stroke while suffering from Pnuemonia.
        The Actual direct cause of death was Pnuemonia.

        We do not even have that with Covid. If you have Covid and you die, or even if you recently recovered from Covid and you die – it is reported as a Covid death.
        We have had instances where people had Covid, recovered and were killed in an automobile accident and reported as a Covid death.

        The standards for a VAERS report and death are HIGHER than those of a Covid Death.

        So long as you are going to use the 615K reported US Deaths With Covid – it is DECEPTIVE, it is LYING to measure Vaccine Deaths differently.

      • August 11, 2021 12:56 pm


        You have been caught in another lie, quit trying to point the finger at others.

        The VAERS data of Vaccine related Deaths is no different than the 615K Covid related deaths. Both are reports of a death from many different causes in close proximity to a health event – either a vaccination or contracting Covid.

        While the 3 Deaths that you FALSELY claim are ALL the Vaccination related deaths are Deaths from a SINGLE Specific Cause for a SINGLE specific vaccine.

        I would note that more than half the VAERS reported vaccine deaths were of people over 60, and a signficant portion were people in poor health in hospitals and long term care.

        EXACTLY Like Covid Deaths.

        From a CDC report on Vaccine related deaths.

        “Mortality in LTCF residents is high and substantial numbers of deaths in this population will occur following vaccination as temporally associated coincidental events,”

        As best as I can tell about 40% of all Covid-19 Deaths have been people in LTCF fascilities.

        There were 43,000 Covid Deaths in LTCF as of June 11, 2020 when there were about 90K total deaths and CDC graphs show LTCF deaths week by week as about 40% of total C19 deaths.

        Dying shortly after vaccination in a LTCF is no different from dying shortly after C19 infection.

        People in LTCF fascilities Die at a disproportionately higher rate than the rest of the population.

    • August 10, 2021 5:16 pm

      I have tried to figure out where you came up with this 3 deaths number.

      As best as I can tell it is because a CAUSAL relationship has been established between the J&J vaccine and TTS, and 3 people who were given the J&J vaccine died of TTS.

      That is a single well researched cause for a single issue with a single vaccine.
      It is NOT the probability of death from all causes from any vaccine.

      As noted there are atleast 6500 reports of death linked to the vaccine.

      If you wish to argue that deaths linked to the vaccine and deaths caused by the vaccine are not the same – I will agree.
      Deaths WITH Covid and Deaths CAUSED by Covid are not the same either – yet you continue to use the 615K number despite the fact that it is the number of people who died while infected, not the number of people who died from infection.

      If we are comparing apples to apples – the VAERS number of Vaccine deaths using the same criteria as the widely reported Deaths with Covid.

      I have no problem with your trying to establish what proportion of deaths immediately following vaccination are deaths from vaccination.

      But I expect that if you do, you will do the same with deaths with Covid.

      As i have noted before there has been no deviation from a multiyear trend in the total US deaths in 2020. Approximately 3m people die in the US each year.

      a 615k deviation would be a 20% increase in actual deaths.
      Though there were only about 300K deaths with Covid in 2020 – therefore if 300K people died FROM covid we would expect a 10% increase in deaths in 2020.

      That did not happen.

      I would suggest some thought about death rates.
      Humans do not live forever. Nor does each of us live the same number of years.
      However the variation in life expectancy is consistently the same.

      The life expectance at birth in 1946 was on average 74 years.
      We should expect approximately the same number of people born in 1946 to die in 2020
      There were 3.47M births in 1946. There were 3,358,814 deaths in 2020.

      This is not perfect – but it is better than anything you are shilling.

      Deaths are likely to trend upward for a long time – as we are working our way into the baby boom.

    • August 10, 2021 5:57 pm

      “In my universe COVID is much more dangerous than the vaccine”
      I strongly suspect that you are over 60 – so that is with near certainty true for YOU.
      It is not true for the “universe”.

      “things have a much better chances of improving if as many people as possible are vaccinated.”
      Atleast partly true.

      Pretty much everyone has now accepted that “herd immunity” is the best hope to End Covid.

      Vaccine are a part in acheiving herd immunity.
      So is the immunity of those who have been infected by Covid and lived.
      So is they immunity of those who for other natural reasons are unlikely to get Covid.

      We Know with reasonable accuracy the number of those vaccinated.
      We know within a factor of 2-10 the total number who have been infected and lived.
      We really do not know much about the extent or numbers of those natural immune

      Sweden has thus far had 109K cases/M and has not seen a spike in new cases since april, and few new deaths.

      I would further note that thus far no place in the world – including small islands were Covid will quickly infect everyone it can and then begone has seen an infection rate above 200K/Million – or 20%.

      For the entire past year I have REPEATEDLY claimed that Covid will NOT infect more than 30% of a population. that was the maximum we saw on cruise ships where we likely have very accurate data.

      That is an educated guess – very few diseases ever infect more than 30% of the entire population.
      Regardless, I expect it to prove true. the Current US infection rate is purportedly about 12%,
      My guess is that it is double to tripple that.

      ” In my universe 615,000 is a larger number than 3. ”

      In the real world neither number is means what you claim, and they certainly can not be compared. One is the confirmed causal deaths for a single cause for single vaccine,
      The other is the total number of people who died With rather than From Covid.

      “In my universe tens of thousands of people have already died because of the irresponsibility of other people in their COVID behaviors and Sturgis is a selfish deadly event.”

      That would be a fantasy universe, relying on the false presumption that if we all just cease living our lives for some unspecified time, if we stay home, mask, lock down, ….. that covid will magically go away. It did not.

      “In my Universe those unnecessarily dead people also had a right, a right to live their life”
      That too would be a fantasy universe.
      To assert that something that actually happened was not necescary you MUST demonstrate how it could have been avoided.

      We are all hopeful that the vaccine is PART of what is necessary to defeat Covid. I share that hope – but it is far from certain.
      What is true is nothing else worked.
      Covid deaths are unnecescary – to the same extent that all other deaths are unnecescary.

      Unfortunately there is not and actual “right to life” – there is merely a right not to be deliberately killed by humans. Covid was not the leading cause of death last year. There were double as many people dying from heart disease.
      They had no more or less reason to expect to live longer.

      “and not to be killed by the carelessness of critical free thinkers.”
      What does this even mean ? You are constantly spraying out these sentences that make a long list of imputations without any support.

      What carelessness ? As I noted before – NOTHING has worked to stop Covid before the vaccine. You can only be accused of being careless, when being careful would have changed something. You have concocted this construction “critical free thinker”.
      Frankly it is somewhat self contradictory.
      Free thinking – as you noted above is “anything goes” thinking. there was some of that in the 60’s – though as you note there was alot of conformist n on-conformity.

      Attacking critical thinking generically is just stupid.

      If I am wrong about something it is not because of a flaw in critical thinking, it is because I have failed to think critically.

      Once AGAIN

      A man said to the universe:
      “Sir, I exist!”
      “However,” replied the universe,
      “The fact has not created in me
      A sense of obligation.”

      Nature does not care that you wish to live.
      It does not care what ineffective steps you take to thwart it.

      A man caught in a huricane is not careless because he forgot his umbrella.
      He will be drenched regardless.

      You continue to make arguments that presume that Covid cares what we do.
      The evidence is that it does not. we have been powerless against it.

      Who is Man, that God is mindful of Him!
      Psalm 8:1-8

      Or if you prefer

      “Yes I know you think I am blathering about mainstream nonsense and the fact that the mainstream believes these things is Proof that my beliefs are lazy nonsense”

      Yes, you are blathering nonsense.

      I do not care much about your use of “mainstrem” to describe it.
      Nonsense is nonsense whether it is “mainstream” or not.

      “Dave can easily smash logically.”
      It is not me that destroys your nonsense – it is facts, logic, the real world.

      You are not wrong because I says so.
      You are wrong because your claims are not supported by reality.

  33. Pat Riot permalink
    August 10, 2021 12:25 pm

    Dear Vermonta,

    Fishing is good. More outdoors and less screen time is what I prescribe for you, Doctor! (My father coached my brother and I to always first rinse our hands in whatever stream or lake we were fishing to “wash off the civilization” so that we would not put a detergent smell or other smell onto our lures or bait!) Sometimes I forget to do it, but when I do I smile because for a moment I am nine years old again.

    Why do you insist on placing me in a xxxxx cult? I’ve clearly indicated numerous times I don’t idolize or venerate the man, but preferred his policies over globalist ones (to drastically generalize). Enough has been said on xxxxx.

    Your universe seems to be radical right and radical left flanking you in an intelligent, scientific, genteel center. If you would rid yourself of that over-simplified framework and come back into THE Universe, than maybe we’d get somewhere! But that is not required. I won’t hound you or badger you. Banter when you want. I’ve learned some things from you, Priscilla, Dave, Rick and others here at TNM. In the meantime, enjoy. Take another blue pill if you must and enjoy your steak or fish fillets! –Patriot the Feisty Commoner

    • August 10, 2021 6:00 pm

      Robby has to pigeonhole everyone into a cult, he is not capable of accepting people as individuals.

      This was one of the core problems with the “Russian influence” nonsense that he spewed.

      It presumed that Putin had the ability to do mind control.

      While I frequently group Robby with the left, I still hold him PERSONALLY responsible.

      He is not wrong because he is a left wing nut.

      He is wrong because he is in conflict with reality.

  34. Pat Riot permalink
    August 10, 2021 2:11 pm

    I’m not an immunologist or a virologist, but here’s a dissenting voice (if the link works)…

    Dr. Destroys the COVID Narrative

    • Pat Riot permalink
      August 10, 2021 2:14 pm

      I’m not saying the doc in the above video is correct. I’m saying it’s a dissenting voice we don’t get to hear through mainstream censorship, that’s all. I haven’t based my logical thinking on anything he has said.

      • Pat Riot permalink
        August 10, 2021 2:18 pm

        If it turns out the doc in the video above is a fraud, that his medical degree is written in crayon on construction paper, that won’t affect the honest logic of my current viewpoint. I just came across this guy and it seems he knows a thing or two about viruses. I did see a few reports that deer tested positive for C19. Welcome to the Monkey HOuse!

      • August 10, 2021 6:36 pm

        First he is absolutely right about masks.

        Though he did not express it the same as I have, masks are generally ineffective against respiratory viruses much less contageous than Covid.
        but they are not ineffective. If you are rarely exposed to people with Covid – a mask MIGHT significantly reduce your odds of infection.

        If you are not locked away like a hermit, the effect of a mask will be tiny.
        And that is assuming an N95 mask. Most real world masks are not n95 and are useless, some worse than useless.

        I looked up several of his claims that i was suspicious about.
        The animal reservoir issue is a real concern. So far there is evidence of human to animal transmission but very little animal to human transmission. Cats appear to be by far the most significant risk to humans. Most of the closely related animals or animals that we are in close contact with do not appear to support 2 way transmission.

      • August 10, 2021 6:29 pm

        The doctor on your video SOUNDS incredibly persausive.

        He makes a substantial number of claims – none of which I KNOW to be false and some of which I know to be true.

        That said there are several claims he makes I strongly suspect are wrong.

        I am not aware of consequential animal resevoirs for Covid.
        But I am open to finding that out.

        If he is correct that animal resevoirs exist and immunity is insufficiently long we are stuck with Covid forever.

        Most respiratory viruses are transmitted by coughing spreading the virus.

        C19 spreads that way. But many respiratory viruses are spread by very tiny virus particles in the air from normal breathing. These are the most contageous viruses.
        The evidence since dec 2020 atleast is that C19 is one of the latter. That if you spend sufficient time in a room at any distance with few air changes with an infected person masked or not you will eventually be infected.

  35. Ron P permalink
    August 10, 2021 5:21 pm

    I have been keeping a spreadsheet on cases in NC, my county and zip codes within my county. There has been an interesting shift in the case numbers from the high this past winter until now.

    I only posts this info and you can make your own assumptions.

    Winter cases were close to 67% within the 6 zip codes comprising the “Winston Salem City” zip codes. A large percentage of these cases were within the zip codes in the minority section of towns where many who worked at a Tyson foods processing plant worked and many in employment where taking time off was not an choice.

    Today, that percentage for the cases that have been reported for the past 12 days has dropped to around 59%, while the cases in the more rural parts of the county for this same 12 day period have increased by this 8%.

    Maybe an 8% shift over the 12 ays in not statistically viable. Dont know. Just seems strange that the blue part of the county is decreasing, while the red part of the county has increased.

    • August 10, 2021 6:49 pm

      The shift from urban areas is not surprising. It is NORMAL.

      And we saw this before.

      With the earlier less transmissible variants they started in dense urban areas, jumped to other dense urban areas and slowly spread to suburban and rural areas.

      This is how viruses normally spread, it is also what models show.

      Unsually the spread rate dimenishes in rural areas – because population density is lower, and there are less freequent outside contacts.

      But fatality is sometimes higher – as there is fewer and less available medical care.

      We went through all of this before when the left was ranting about Covid exploding in the Red Dakotas. that was a brief event.

      The highest death rates continue to be in population dense northern states.
      Flares elsewhere are real and concerning, but unlikely to reach the levels we see in places like NYC or NJ.

      Regardless, anhy infectuaus disease will explode when it gets into an urban center, spread rapidly to other urban centers and then slowly to less dense populations.

      It is normal.

      What is troubling right now is that we are seeing Delta explode in warm southern states.

      There are two REAL possibilities.

      The first is that because places like FL despite high population density have done well so far, they still have a large body of infectable people, while places already devastated to not.

      The scarrier proposition is that Covid has changed (beyond just being more infectuous).

      If my first explanation is correct – we are likely very near herd immunity and C19 will fall off a cliff shortly in the US – as it did in Sweden.

      The alternative suggests we NEVER get rid of it.

  36. Priscilla permalink
    August 10, 2021 8:58 pm

    Roby, cultists are not “free-thinkers,” and, although Trump has inspired his share of “fans,” as in people who follow him as a personality, most who voted for Trump did so because his policy positions made sense to them and no establishment politicians were advocating them. Law and order, secure borders, reasonable restrictions on abortion (meaning no late term or post birth abortions, no abortions for minors without parental consent, etc) no allowing biological boys and men competing in women’s sports, etc.

    These aren’t mindless cult positions, these are mainstream views, held by a majority of Americans, yet Trump was the only one campaigning on them. It’s not surprising that Trump’s voters stuck with him, despite his weird orange tan, swoopy hairstyle, blustery rhetoric, and easily manipulated ego.

    Obama had, and still has, a much more cultish following. Do you not recall schoolchildren singing songs about him, as if he were Dear Leader? And how about that super spreader birthday party he threw for himself this past weekend? While we peons argue about vaccination mandates, St. Barack had hundreds of rich celebrities partying at his $15M mansion, maskless, no proof of vaccination needed. No criticism of the man allowed, though. He is a saintly man, you know, far superior to mere mortals.

    Mind you, I don’t fault the man for throwing himself a party, or for enjoying the company of the rich and famous. I fault him for being a huge hypocrite, but that would apply to so many politicians, it’s hardly worth being bothered by it.

    I know that you are not a cult follower of Obama, and you would likely, and rightfully, be annoyed with anyone who repeatedly accused you of being one just because you voted for him. The sad truth is that we ~ as in “we, the people” ~ no longer have much control over who the president is.

    George Bush, Barack Obama, Donald Trump, Joe Biden. All of them sadly deficient in real leadership qualities, despite each having some admirable qualities. Maybe we’re doing something wrong?

    • Anonymous permalink
      August 10, 2021 10:22 pm

      It was not policies. It was setting fire to the constitution. It was all the abnormal destructive and mentally ill things that his supporters accepted, even loved. It was the things that got him impeached and the things McConnell described, which were all accepted by his cult following. Its the fact that after all this lunacy he is still the boss. That is a cult

      • August 11, 2021 5:30 pm

        “It was not policies.”
        Well that is what I expect out of a president and a political party.
        I would note that unlike most democrats or republicans Trump delivered on alot of his policies.

        “It was setting fire to the constitution.”
        You have been asked for an example of that OVER AND OVER.

        That is just about the stupidest argument you have made.

        More so than any other president in my lifetime Trump acted not just withing the constitution but to restore constitutional limits to government.

        I can provide a long list of unconstitutional behavior within govenrment.
        Not a single thing on that list has anything to do with Trump.

        Something is not unconstitutional because you do not like it and wish it was unconstitutional.

        I have a long list of changes I would see in the constitution – most of which are very popular.
        But they are not part of the constitution yet.

        Regardless, setting fire to the constitution is a uniquely democratic action.

        When you make idiotic claims like that – you undermine your own credibility.

        “It was all the abnormal destructive and mentally ill things that his supporters accepted, even loved.”

        Despite the idiocy of the left – Trump is quite obviously not mentally ill, nor is he mentally incompetent like our current whitehouse occupant.

        We get that you do not like him, or what he says.

        And BTW most Trump supporters CORRECTLY grasp that when you say “mentally ill or destructive” – what you MEAN is contrary to your POLICY objectives.

        The most brutal and vicious battle of the Trump administration – was over immigration.

        Probably the next most consequential battle was over Russia – and Right now we have the Biden administration fawning over Russia much more than Trump.
        But YOU pummelled Trump as soft on Russia. The FACT is – Biden or Trump does not matter, Russia is barely a consequential player ont eh world stage.

        Regardless, please identify some “mentally deranged” destructive behavior of Trump that is NOT just a policy difference ?

        Was he sniffing little kids hair ? Was he contradicting himself daily ?
        What is this irrational behavior you are talking about that is only irrational – because you disagree with his policies ?

        Trump directly interacted with the press on an almost daily basis.
        Where is Biden ?

        “It was the things that got him impeached”
        Yes, Democrats TWICE without due process, without proper inquiry pushed an incredibly politicized impeachment on purely political grounds.

        Absolutely Trump was impeached because he refused to KowTow to democrats.
        New we have republicans talking about doing the same to Biden – with far more basis for doing so.

        Our founders did not want impeachment to be about policy disagreements, or political animosity – but YOU have made it so. And though the founders CLEAR debates over impeachement make it crystal clear this was NOT what they intended, the fact is they did NOT provide a check in the constitution against political impeachment.

        MAYBE we will see republicans back down from that and restore the sanity that DEMOCRATS stole. But unfortunately I doubt it.

        I fully expect that if Republicans retake the house and have more than a very narrow majority that Biden will be impeached – probably repeatedly.

        We have seen this over and over. Democrats change the norms of political conduct and soon enough republicans do the same thing.

        Even the behavior that you complain about in Trump – is just the typical conduct of democratic politicians over the past several decades.

        Trumps supporters are not ignoring that conduct, many of them support him BECAUSE of that conduct.

        As Lincoln said of Grant “I can not spare the man, he fights”.

        Democrats have engaged in character assassination for decades.

        “and the things McConnell described”

        I am surprised that you would accept McConnell on anything – isn’t he the devil incarnate ?

        Almost no one likes McConnell, he MIGHT be politically effective – but he is not liked by anyone.

        “which were all accepted by his cult following. Its the fact that after all this lunacy he is still the boss. That is a cult”

        You keep saying “cult, cult, lunacy” – but you have not established the basis for any of that.

        I have addressed nearly every word in your post.

        You spew insults, ad hominem, but you do not provide any evidence to support them.

        The emotional fury of your posts might have persuaded some.
        But atleast some of us want FACTS, Evidence.

        As an example, Biden – as expected is refusing to enforce US immigration law.
        It is not like we did not see that coming. And in his defense he promised as much while running for election – so he is certainly honest and keeping a campaign promise.

        But it is still a fact that we have immigration law – whether Biden likes that law, or Trump or you or I. And the president, and everyone in the federal government swore and oath to uphold the laws of the land. Not to ignore those they did not like.

        I would impeach Biden and remove him from office for failing to enforce immigration laws.
        Even though I do not agree with all our immigration laws.
        Impeachment for failing to uphold immigration laws would be fairly straight forward.
        It is not like there is disagreement on what the law is, or that Biden is not following the law.
        He is pretty OPENLY not following the law.

        So we have an obvious legitimate basis for impeachment, that would have met the standards through all of US history.

        You impeached Trump twice – and most of us still do not understand what it is that he did ?

        In the first instances he asked a foriegn power to investigate corruption and abuse of power.

        We do that all the time. Biden quite litterally and openly did that.

        There was this claim that Trump did so to win an election.
        Obama hid the fact that Benghazi was a terrorist act to win an election.
        Trump built the wall to win an election.
        Elected officials constantly act withing the constraints of the constitution in ways that will help them win an election. Political advantage is not a basis for impeachment.
        But personal corruption is.

        Supreme court Justice Abe Fortas facing claims of abuse of power for personal benefit (benefit to a family member) resigned in 1969 rather than face impeachment.

        legitimate uses of the power of the executive that also had political benefits have NEVER been the subject of impeachment before. I do not beleive there has ever even been an investigation of politically benefiical but otherwise legal conduct.

        But there are myriads of investigations, and resignations and even impeachments of public officials using their government power for personal benefit or that of their family.

        Your impeachment of Trump HARMS your own claims – it makes it obvious that policy and politics matter to you more than corruption, abuse of power, lawlessness and the actual constitution.

        Corruption is NOT tearing down your lawless and unconstitutional regulations.

        And then you followed by the idiotic “incitement” impeachment.

        Little could possibly make clearer that you have converted impeachment into a political weapon.

        Had Trump actually said anything close to what you claim he said – it would have been constitutionally protected free speech. But he did not.

        In fact your whole “insurection” nonsense has fallen apart.
        There were no firearms, no knives nothing that anyone would use if they actually planned on an “insurection”, there were no molitov cocktails. Compared to the RIOTS that took place all summer – the capital protests were PEACEFUL.

        I beleive that democrats are Correct to fear an “insurrection” – I WANT them to legitimately fear insurrection. They conducted a lawless election and they should be very afraid of the consequences of that. And there is increasing evidence that they conducted the election either in a willfully incompetent fashion or in a fraudulent fashion.

        I know that you do not aggree – but you are clueless regarding the facts – about pretty much ANYTHING.

        Regardless, it should have been obvious on the day after the election that serious inquiry into the election itself was necescary.
        That did not occur. Even liberals like Johnathon Turley called on Biden to ask for real inquiry as a NECESCITY to establishing trust in government.

        Real inquiry did not happen. Instead there was a holy war in which democrats and the very courts that helped make the election lawless protected their own interests and thwarted any meaningful inquiry.

        And you are surprised that people were PISSED ?

        70% of americans rank election integrity as a very important issue to them.
        91% of republicans want Voter ID. 62% of democrats, 87% of independents, 84% of non-whites.

        Yet Democrats still oppose Voter ID laws – and/or actively attempt to thwart them, while lying about them.

        I would also ask you – how you expect to enforce a photo id requirement in a mail in election.

        CA is seeking to make it so that voters can print out their ballot on their home printer, and have ANYONE deliver that ballot. So exactly how is it that you are going to verify that a ballot is legitimate ? And do you really expect that there will not be massive fraud when party apparatchiks can print ballots for people ?

        And you wonder why people are angry about the election ?

        You are very lucky you did NOT have an armed insurrection.

        You talk about impeachment as some victory. The fact is that your faux impeachments undermined you. Many people feel that you have effectively impeached them.

        All the efforts of the left to silence those who disagree – whether impeachment or big tech censorship or cancelling or … just make people angry and distrustful of YOU, of government.

        You are actively creating the environment in which an actual insurection will occur.

        But keep it up.

    • Pat Riot permalink
      August 11, 2021 10:19 am

      If the goal is to keep The People distracted and fragmented and pitted against each other while some of the mega-wealthy become mega-mega-super-wealthy while particular “structures and arrangements” are put into place, then the recent Presidents have been doing a great job.

      • Vermonta permalink
        August 11, 2021 11:01 am

        “f the goal is to keep The People distracted and fragmented and pitted against each other while some of the mega-wealthy become mega-mega-super-wealthy while particular “structures and arrangements” are put into place, then the recent Presidents have been doing a great job.’

        That sounds a whole lot like the age old conspiracy theory that the Bernie cult is based on. Perhaps its Bernie you need rather than the the mega-wealthy —–.

        The mega rich will always exist, mostly they are people who found companies and own a lot or all the stock in them. Their Mega-richness turns to mega mega richness as their stock prices rise. It has not a damn thing to do with any president, any more than inflation does. The market, supply and demand, capitalism, these are vast impersonal forces that do not care who is president. It is not the job of any president, not even trump to provide cover for the mega mega rich.

        Your comment to me sounds rather like socialist belief.

      • August 11, 2021 5:41 pm


        The left has been selling us hate of the wealthy for eons,
        Are you saying that was ALWAYS a conspiracy and Cult ?

        Just to be clear – I have no problem with private parties – including rich private parties seeking to get whatever they can from government or any other way that does not involve the use of force or fraud.

        But those in Government MAY NOT give them what they want.

        It is not corrupt to attempt to bribe a government official.
        It is corrupt for a public official to accept a bribe.

        Nor am I fixated on the uber wealthy.

        So long as govenrment has power some special intrest will engage in rent seeking.

        There is an entire raft of nobel economists who have demonstrated the problems caused by rent seeking. Joseph Stiglitz as an example.

        James Buchanon and several other Nobel prize winners did their work on Public choice theory which is basically a proof that the very same incentives that drive free markets to work well, drive governments to failure.

        “If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. ”
        James Madison Federalist 51.

        What Pat posted is no “conspiracy theory” – it is the reality of the intersection of human behavior and government.
        Thwarting special interedts from bending government to their will is a permanent problem that will never go away.

        It is not a “conspiracy theory”.

      • August 11, 2021 5:56 pm

        You are absolutely correct there will always be those at the top.

        You are parroting the Jordon Peterson video I linked to on Price’s law.

        Unequal distributions are essentially an immutable law of nature that you can not fix through government without impoverishing us all.

        The Issue that Pat and I and in the past even you have addressed is NOT natural inequality, it is “Rent seeking” – the successful efforts of ANY special interest – be it the wealthy or GreenPeace to bend government to its will.

        Attempts at “Rent Seeking” are inevitable and unavoidable.
        What is NOT is success.
        But thwarting rent seeking is tremendously difficult.

        I have not been following the details of the infrasturcture battle.
        I do not care much about it – Democrats are intent on acting incredibly stupidly and Republicans are atleast partly in tow.

        Whether a 1T or 3T or 200T bill passes, do you really expect that there was not from long before passage a rush of special interests piggies to the trough ?

        Do you honestly expect that trillions of dollars will be efficiently allocated through market competition, rather than doled out as political rewards ?

        There will be big piggies like Bezos and Gates pushing to get to the trough, and there will be littler piggies – as we saw with Solyandra. To some extent I expect the efforts will be “bipartisan” – does that make them good ?

        Regardless the problem is not with the piggies.

        The key problem is that all these piggies are currying favor with those in government to get as much of the slop as they can. Rather than attempting to persuade consumers by delivering value to get the same money from them.

        Producers answer to whoever pays them.

        If you spend your money, producers answer to you.

        If government takes your money and spends it – producers answer to govenrment.

        When you spend your money – you do not mostly answer to those you spend it on.

        But when government spends money, there is a strong tendency to a bidirectional corrupt relationship.

      • Ron P permalink
        August 11, 2021 11:32 am

        Pat R
        I dont agree that the goal of the parties are to keep the people fragmented so the mega wealthy become super mega wealthy, I believe the goal is POWER. The Mega wealthy are going to become super just due to wealth breeding wealth.

        Keep the people divided, fragmented, provide your clan with anything and everything they need, turn them against anyone that thinks differently than they do and create an environment that insures the election of your parties candidate. Just pull up a red/blue county voting map and it is evident what is happening. Even in states like NY and CA you will see clusters of red or blue. Most states today have few “swing: districts.

        One can see it even in comments here. I can comment and Roby with completely different views on most subject will make a differing comment without being personal. That is not always the case with others here and the comments become personal diatribes since one has become indoctrinated into believing anyone with a political view different than themselves is stupid, or at least uneducated and informed. Instead of educating and informing, they call the other out for their stupidity.

        The changes occurred after Reagan. No one would dare be doing today what Tip O’neill did in the 80’s with RR or they would be ostracized from the party. Nancy and Chuck would have them on a skewer.

      • August 11, 2021 6:32 pm


        You are incorrect in stating that most comments here are not personal.

        You also falsely conflate myriads of other things with personal.

        If you take it personally when someone disagrees with you – that is YOUR problem.

        If you take it personally when someone argues from an ideological persepective – that is your problem. While there are ideolgies that are false and those that are not, arguing ideologically is NOT inherently insulting. Though it is often (but not always) wrong.

        If you take it personally when another presents facts, logic, reason to criticise your argument – that is YOUR problem.

        Ad hominem is personal. Attacking a PERSON, not their arguments is PERSONAL.

        Pretty much everyone here does that to some extent.

        Rick’s post – a claim of selfishness is a PERSONAL attack – as well as abuse of the meaning of words.

        If it actually was selfish to not vaccinate – though I have no idea how that would be.
        Attacking selfishness would STILL be a personal attack.

        Making constant unsupported and FALSE moral accusations is a fallacious personal attack.
        There are very few people who do that here – and I am not among them.

        Once upon a time you grasped this.
        You do not seem to any more.

        This partly seems to be the consequence of your shifting views on some subjects.

        Obviously you are free to shift your views.

        One of the attacks on Trump that has some merit is that his “style” is not moral even if he is correct. I agree with that. Trump seems to be of the school when you are personally attacked, attack back twice as hard.

        I am hard pressed to think of any public figure since Hitler who has been so villified as Trump. But I do not feel sorry for Trump because he is villified. To a small extent he has brought it on himself, and to a larger extent he does not get my sympathy because he dishes it out in kind often doubled.

        I try MOSTLY not to emulate that behavior of Trump, but at the same time, I am less inclined to condemn it either.

        I actually respond – often point by point to baseless and especially false moral accusation made by others – Robby as an example.

        Aparently I am not effective – as you are no coming to the defense of one of the posters here most deeply engaged in the poisonous false personal attack arguments that are tearing us all apart.

        When Trump calls someone “fake news” or a “liar” – he had damn well better be right, because if he is not he is immoral. I noted before I was deeply offended by Trump’s personal attack’s on John McCain’s military service. I do NOT consider McCain to be an exemplary politician or senator. But he is a legitimate military hero and Trump’s personal attacks were uncalled for. I would note the exact same thing is True of McCain’s efforts to Shill the Steele Dossier to the FBI.

        But the same works in reverse. Trump is one of the first consequential and successful republicans to essentially use Alynsky’s rules for radicals against democrats and the left.

        Robby is correct that I turn a blind eye to that. Just as he is correct that most trump supporters do to.

        As Lincoln said of Grant “I can not spare the man, he fights”.

        Trump is no better (nor Worse) than those he engages with personal attacks.

        If we wish to end the politics of personal attacks – before we get rid of Trump, we need to get rid of the democrats who essentially invented it.

        I do not see that happening soon.

        But there is one major difference between MOST of Trump’s “personal attacks” and those of his enemies. That difference is that Trump is RIGHT.

        If you wonder why so many people still beleive the election was stolen – that would be because Trump has been accused of lying over and over and over – and near universally he has been vindicated.

        Credibility is the consequence of a history of truth.

        Contra the wacky Trump is a liar nonsense – Trump has to an unusual extent for politicians been RIGHT about nearly everything.

        I have diverged too much onto Trump.

        Frankly for the most part I defend Trump primarily because he is a very effective tool to prove the immorality of those who rant about him constantly.

        When you say X is mentally unstable – and you are wrong YOU are the problem – no matter who X is.

        When you say X is a habital liar – and you are wrong YOU are not only the problem, you are the liar – no matter who X is.

        Valid arguments are not personal attacks.

        But all personal attacks are not equal either.
        A false personal attack is a moral failure on the part of the attacker.

        As I noted before Trump’s personal attack on McCain’s war service was WRONG, and a moral failure on Trump’s part.

        That exact same standard applies when judging those who morally attack Trump.
        Absolutely Trump DEMANDS to be attacked.
        Frankly he BENEFITS from those attacks – something Robby fails to grasp.
        He Benefits – because the loser in a false moral attack is the attacker.

      • Ron P permalink
        August 11, 2021 11:14 pm

        I guess I look at “personal” differently than others.

        When one says “Robby has to pigeonhole everyone into a cult, he is not capable of accepting people as individuals.”, that to me is personal. It is not fact, it is a thought from one person about another.

        And if I want to spend the time going back over multiple comments from many different articles Rick posted, there would be many more comments I would consider personal and not fact.

      • August 13, 2021 5:32 pm

        Making a claim of moral failure without proof a very serious personal attack and a moral failure.

        Calling all or most of those who support some you have morally denounced without proof members of a cult a very serious personal attack and a serious moral failure.

        Robby rarely if ever makes arguments.
        He posts personal attacks that is all.

        He is much like Trump but for TWO things.

        Robby personally attacks people who did not personally attack him.

        Robby is usually if not always wrong.

        Being right (or wrong) is extremely relevant when you make a moral claim.

        Moral denunciations of others are extremely serious.

        If you make them you had better be right.

        We are all wrong occaisionally, Some of us are wrong constantly.

        Being wrong about facts is rarely a moral failure.
        Further there is NOT an affirmative moral burden to prove your factual claims.

        If I say the sun will not rise tomorow, That is stupid, but it has no moral value,
        If I fail to provide evidence – you can beleive or not beleive me.
        But it is rare that error is moral failure.

        If I say YOU ARE A LIAR – that is a very serious moral claim.
        It REQUIRES proof.

        Being wrong about moral claim is a moral failure.

      • August 13, 2021 6:12 pm

        “When one says “Robby has to pigeonhole everyone into a cult, he is not capable of accepting people as individuals.”, that to me is personal. It is not fact, it is a thought from one person about another.”

        It is not a fact ? Probably not, I can not read Robby’s mind.
        But it is very nearly a fact.

        Each and every day – the sun rises. Eventually i can presume that it is a fact that the sun will rise each day.

        Robby CONSTANTLY claims that others – particularly “trump followers” are all or mostly members of a cult.

        That is NOT an accusation, I doubt you can find 1/3 of Robby’s posts that do not refer to groups of people as members of a cult – or some similar claim.

        Some thoughts from one person about another are facts.

        Juries decide whether defendants committed murder.
        They are not eye witnesses, They must make decisions based on the evidence.

        Those are “thoughts about one person from another. ”

        I get frequently upset with you – specifically BECAUSE you are more intelligent than this.

        But I have never defamed you it the way Robby does in every post.
        Nor are we talking about personal attacks as PART of a post.

        They are ALL of Robby’s post.

        Robby would be justified in his posts – if the things he claimed – like the rising of the subn were near universally historically true.

        But they are NOT.

        Left and right – people attack each other all the time.

        Both You and Robby seem to constantly feel “attacked” by me.

        It is reasonable to expect that when you assert with facts and logic that another person is wrong – they will take it personally.

        All argument is personal – if feelings are the criteria, rather than facts.

        And ALL of us are prone to get somewhat personal when we make out arguments.

        Rick was well over the line labeling those who do not vaccinate as

        That is a moral judgement – and one that is both false by the actual meaning of the word selfish, and a claim that requires mind reading of those who do not vaccinate.

        But Robby is well beyond a moral failure as simple and small as Rick’s.

        He has been frothing at the mouth – no merely defaming Trump – who can take care of himself. But morally defaming anyone who agrees with Trump about anything.

        The very nature of Robby’s posts are guaranteed to produce bitter conflict and divide people further.

        What has surprised me most is the number of people – like you are Rick – moderates as you say who have properly determined that you only have two choices – that those like Robby have made politics binary. You either agree with them or you will be brutally attacked.

        And you and Rick appear to have decided not to stand up for yourselves or anyone else.

        If Trump were an actual nazi. If his supporters were racist, hateful, hating haters – I would be defending their rights. Just as I did actual nazi’s and actual KKK members decades ago.

        But they are not – and that makes Robby’s behavior all the worse.

        The posts that Robby makes are trivially simple – like everything from the left.

        They are not about facts, or reason or logic. They are not even about whether Trump lies or his followers are members of a Cult.

        The message Robby advances is simple – agree with me or I will vilify you and drag you through the mud.

        He did not want to address facts. He is not interested in finding the truth.
        Capitulate or get slimed. That is all.

        Nor is Robby alone.

        But THAT is what has ruined public discourse.

      • August 13, 2021 6:26 pm

        “And if I want to spend the time going back over multiple comments from many different articles Rick posted, there would be many more comments I would consider personal and not fact.”

        Can I buy a noun ? Or atleast a pronoun ?

        I am presuming that you are obliquely trying to say that many of my posts are personal attacks.

        First – I am not especially interested in what you would “consider” a fact.

        As I noted with the quite that you think is a personal attack – which it is, it is also a FACT.

        I revel in the conflict of ideas – which involves both statements of facts, and assertions as to where they logically end.

        I have had protracted knock down drag out arguments with a tiny number on the left who are intelligent and can argue their positions intelligently.

        When I make the same kind of arguments with you – YOU think they are personal.

        You take the prospect of being wrong about something PERSONALLY.
        Most of us do. I may appear arrogant – because I KNOW I am right most of the time.
        But I KNOW I am right – because I have had the same argument before many many times with intelligent opponents who either found no flaws, or I have subsequently repaired what flaws they found. It is not arrogant to believe the sun will rise tomorrow. It is also not a personal attack to claim that it will when you claim it will not.

        Regardless, I am wrong occasionally – not often, and not because I am smarter than everyone, but because I rarely make arguments from the top of my head. Because I have checked the facts BEFORE I opened my mouth.

        I have said this over and over – this is not the 60’s we have access to infinite data at our fingertips.

        We have no excuse for being wrong as often as so many of us are.

        Regardless, whether it is you, or me, or Robby – being wrong is OUR failure – not theirs.

        If Robby ever successfully argued the the point of establishing that I or anyone else was wrong – that would be a failure on MY or their part – not his.

        I do not expect that anytime soon. Robby does not make arguments from fact.
        He makes them from ideology and emotion.

        An d of course when you are driven by emotion – everything is personal.

      • August 13, 2021 7:10 pm

        “When one says “Robby has to pigeonhole everyone into a cult, he is not capable of accepting people as individuals.”, that to me is personal. It is not fact, it is a thought from one person about another.”

        “To answer your question, judging by polls, 50% of trump voters belong to the trump cult.”

        That did not take long.

      • August 11, 2021 6:57 pm

        The problem with our politics started before Reagan.
        It was merely substantially less severe then.

        Absolutely it was still possible in the past for compromise – though I would note there have actually been numerous bipartisan compromises in the past couple of decades.

        The DMCA and the patriot act were bipartisan compromises.
        The end of the sequester was a bipartisan compromise,
        The massive and stupid Covid Stimuli were all BiPartisan compromises.
        The current infrastructure bill is a bipartisan compromise.

        Each and every one of them and probably every bipartisan compromise I can think of in the 21st century was a very bad idea with very bad results.

        That is a change from the past. You talk of Tip ONeil and Reagan striking deals.

        Newt Gingrich and Bill Clinton struck incredible deals.
        They worked together to radically reduce deficits, to bring entitlements under control to improve real prospertity for the poor.

        I do not like either Gingrich or Clinton – but I like what they accomplished together.
        And all that was done in the midst of bitter and personal partisan conflict the worst we have seen prior to Trump.

        Ultimately Pelosi proved to be no Gingrich.

        Regardless as I have said repeatedly – compromise is a tool not a value. the same is true of bipartisanship.

        Compromise and bipartisan deals are sometimes good and often really really bad.

        Nor is bitter personal rankor an obstacle to good policy – Clinton and Gingrich proved that.


        If democrats got there way on HALF of what they are after – how long do you think the country would last ?
        I could be wrong – it might survive, it probably would, but it would be a much worse place.

        If Republicans got 100% of that they are after – would the country actually be worse off ?

        Trump actually – for 3 years accomplished much of what he promised – and though he exagerated his sucesses they still were significant improvements.

        Contra the left, we were more free and more prosperous and better off during that time.

        What is it that Republicans or Trump are ggoing to do that is actually dangerous ? That would burn the constitution ?

        Just about the most troubling thing in the entire Republlican agenda would be reversing Rowe Vs Wade and returning control of Abortion to the states.

        I doubt that will happen – I actually expect aside from minor whittling away the court is not going to seriously change Rowe. This court is far too politically timid.

        But even the worst outcome would have small consequences.

        Would the world end if republicans required everyone to use the bathroom that matches their chromosomes ? Or compete on the sports team that matches ? Or go to the prison that matches ?

        would the world end if we had universal voter ID, and if mailin voting never happened again ?

        Would the world end if the wall was built and immigration for south and central america came to a standstill ?

        Would the world end if the US actually reverted to Trumpian (mild but beligerant) protectionism – which is actually more free market than democrats ?

        What poilicy of Trump’s would be actually disasterous ? Or even really bad ?

        I am not advocating for Trump or republican policies, only noting they are easily the lessor evil.

        Yet if we listen to the media, the left, democrats and increasingly you,

        The republic would have failed if Trump was elected.

        Policies matter,

        Wrong policies matter,

        Incredibly wrong policies matter.

        The personal attacks in politics ? Not so much.

        In fact the personal attacks actually have value.
        They allow us to weigh who is actually moral and who is not.
        False moral accusations are a serious character flaw.

        While personal attacks are merely bad style and fallacious arguments.

    • August 11, 2021 4:05 pm

      The hypocracy at Obama’s birthday bash was MOSTLY not his.

      Obama is NOT at the moment at the forefront of the mask mandate crusade.

      But those at his party ARE.

      And they are the hypocrits.

      There is of course hypocracy with Obama.

      He recently bought and incredibly expensive place at Martha’s vinyard.

      According to his own Cult of CAGW if will be underwater in a decade or two.

      So my question is Does Obama beleive in Global Warming or not ?

      If he does why did he put millions into a place that will be underwater and worthless ?

      I would note that we see the same elsewhere. The Seychelles which will purportedly be underwater in a few decades have BILLIONS in constuction going on right now.

      This is commonplace – we see this hypocracy right here from Robby and now all too frequently from Rick.

      We see arguments that not only do not make sense, but that they are blind to the logical outcome of those arguments.

      We can fight over technical issues regarding a variety of govenrment policies – masks, etc.
      But the fact is that these DID NOT work, and anyone with a whit of sense would know they WOULD NOT work. Maybe for scientific reasons, maybe for reasons of government incompetence. Maybe for reasons of human nature.

      But it was forseable they would not (and did not) work.

      And we are still fighting – and blaming others.
      We are blaming Trump, or republicans, or selfish anti-vaxxers.

      We will blame anyone but ourselves for pushing things that would not work.

      And we can not learn from that.

  37. Pat Riot permalink
    August 11, 2021 8:52 am

    If only it were that simple. Ignorant people were swept up into a cult and look what happened to our country! What percentage of Trump voters do you say were part of the cult?

    The lightning rod of Trump apparently distracts you enough to keep you fixated. I can’t believe you are still talking about Trump. With all that is going on, with all that was going on before Trump, and now, I can’t believe you are still peering out through that slit in your pill box carved into a hill.

    • Vermonta permalink
      August 11, 2021 10:46 am

      Pat, you are a good hearted person with good intentions, I know that. Thanks for the fishing advice, I like your words on that subject. Be well.

      To answer your question, judging by polls, 50% of trump voters belong to the trump cult. Those are the people who think that the attack on the capital was simply a tourist trip, that if there was any problem on Jan 6 it was due to Biden and not trump inciting it. They are the ones who maintain —– as the king bully with powers somewhere between a Mafia Don and the Pope inside the GOP. These are the state party leaders and the true believers who censure people like Ben Sasse for not kissing the —– ring. All of these things should not be happening but they are, because there is a cult of personality about —–

      I’d love to stop thinking about —–!!! I was really hoping to after the election. Note that in my post I was responding to Priscilla, who denied any —– cult exists. I cannot let that pass.
      Cult members do not notice they are in a cult, that is the point, they think they are on the right path and the true path. Being told they are in a cult seems outrageous to them, moonies, Bagwan Rashneesh followers, Bernies cult, Scientologists, end the world movements, Jim Jones peoples temple movement, all have their wacky beliefs and think that they are fine up the moment the kool aid comes out in the worst case scenario. The great dictators who plagued the 20th century all had cult followings. Stalin still has such a following with many Russians.

      I have long called many political movements cults, even before —–. Forget my words, consider those of Ben Sasse and the few other GOP politicians who have had the guts to speak out against trump. They call his following a cult.

      “Republican senator rails against ‘personality cults,’ says Republican Party needs to change

      In a blunt and defiant video, Sen. Ben Sasse on Thursday told a Nebraska Republican group to go ahead and censure him for “not bending the knee” to former President Donald Trump.
      “You are welcome to censure me again – but let’s be clear about why: It’s because I still believe (as you used to) that politics is not about the weird worship of one dude.”
      — Sen. Ben Sasse
      While he described himself as “one of the most conservative voters in the Senate,” the Nebraska Republican has been one of his caucus’s most vocal critics of Trump, and is one of the few Republican lawmakers to condemn Trump’s rhetoric that led up to the Jan. 6 siege of the U.S. Capitol, in which five people died, including a police officer. Sasse was also one of the few Republicans who supported moving forward with a second impeachment trial.
      The Nebraska Republican Party State Central Committee will consider a motion to formally censure Sasse next week. The committee has previously censured Sasse for not being supportive enough of Trump.
      In the YouTube video Thursday, Sasse said: “Now, many of you are hacked off that I condemned his lies that led to a riot…. Let’s be clear: The anger in this state party has never been about me violating principle or abandoning conservative policy. I’m one of the most conservative voters in the Senate. The anger’s always been simply about me not bending the knee to … one guy.”
      “Something has definitely changed over the last four years … but it’s not me,” he said.
      Sasse added that “personality cults” and “conspiracy theories” are not conservative.
      “We’re gonna have to choose between conservatism and madness, between just railing at who we’re mad at, versus actually trying to persuade generations of Americans again.”

      • Pat Riot permalink
        August 11, 2021 11:04 am

        Vermonta, good post that last one of yours. Yes, the cultish aspect of Trump exists, and that’s dangerous in varying degrees. But there’s much more to it than some people worshipping a man, and that’s why I can’t allow it to simply be put into a jar and labelled “Looney”. There are important, critical reasons Americans had put their hope in a narcisstic bully with his name on buildings. We’ve talked about it enough. My opinion of Trump has dropped precipitously, as he had the power to unite instead of divide, but not my recognition of the driving forces/reasons. As Morpheus says, you can’t tell someone about the Matrix; they have to see it for themselves. (paraphrasing)

      • August 13, 2021 9:37 pm

        Sorry Pat – but Robby is in lala land.

        Of course there is some tiny fraction of a percent of a “cult of Trump” – just as there is a Cult of Sanders or AOC,

        But there are three fundimental elements to Trumpism – and they are all rational.

        Trumpism is absolutely about a specific set of policies. Some of these were even democratic policies in the past.

        They are not inherently conservative policies.
        They are not even inherently correct policies.

        But they are focused very heavily on the values of working class and middle class americans.
        Even bleeding into lower classes and minorities.
        They are anti-elitist. It is not an accident that Trump won the vote of everyone who graduated HS, Trade School, 2 yr colleges, and lost among 4 year graduates and masters, and Phd’s.

        Trumpism is also about standing up for a huge group in the US that has felt VOICELESS.

        A significant portion of Trump voters voted democrat in the past.

        And Finally Trumpism is about fighting fire with fire. It is about using Alynsky’s rules for radicals AGIANST the left.

        Right or wrong – this is not the foundations of a Cult.

        Trump did incredibly well for a republican among minorities – especially minority men.

        The entire republican party is owned by Trump – BECAUSE he has shown a road to victory.

        We can debate all the other issues regarding the 2020 election.

        But another often unmentioned one is Covid.

        Not the disease per say – while that Harmed Trump’s efforts are re-election, the really big deal was that the emergency powers that democrat governors in swing states took and used to political advantage specific to the election were indispensible to democrats.

        Not only would Trump have won re-election – but Republicans would have retaken the house and probably gained in the Senate, but for the end of secret ballot elections.

        We are unfortunately probably stuck with mailin elections in way too many states until the real fraud they empower comes sufficiently to the surface to trigger a backlash.

        Forget Republicans and democrats – we should NEVER NEVER NEVER allow mailin elections. They WILL result in massive fraud.

        There is reason for the secret ballot constitutional emendments in 28 states in the late 19th century.

      • August 13, 2021 11:35 pm

        Trump has no more power to unite than Biden does.

        The country is not divided by “cult leaders” – it is divided by ideology.

        And the driving force of that divide is an ideology that deliberately seeks to divide.

        Republicans are not going to aggree to wear some mantle of white guilt.

        I am using race as an example – the problems are broader.

        Republicans disagree with democrats over policy.

        But the left, and democrats try to make the disagreement over morality.

        You may note – beyond Robby, that I have made a theme of the moral failure of false moral accusations.

        That is the core tactic of far too much of this country today.

        It is not merely morally wrong, it is inherently a political failure.

        We are seeing a warped american version of the cultural revolution right now.
        Without a Mao to assure success.

        By lobbing moral accusations, democrats create a political environment where the only means to “unite” is through one side crushing the other.

        Do you expect significant portions of this country to engage in “self criticism” to debase themselves in return for the acceptance of those on the left ?

        I think the chances of that in this country are slim to none.

        I can not think of a person here who has not posted something that would offend the intolerant left.

        If you have not figured it out yet – it is those Trump cultists who are in the least danger of being silenced or canceled – for the most part – they don’t care.

        The left tolerates no deviation from dogma.

        When Martina Navratilova, JK Rowling or Alan Dershowitz can be PNG – what chance do you think you have ?

      • August 13, 2021 11:41 pm

        How is it you imagine the country being united ?

        I can think of almost nothing Trump could have done that would have resulted in tolerance much less the good graces of the left, regardless, any such effort would have cost him his own base.

        And frankly deservedly so – Contra Robby the primary appeal of Trump is that he is trustworthy. He keeps his promises. That separates him from all politicians left and right.

        Just as Trump can not molify the left without losing his base, there is nothing Biden can do either.

        He is now in the idiotic position of begging the Saudi’s to produce oil while choking US oil production.

        I can criticise – but that is not the real point. Biden does not have alot of room to maneuver.

      • Ron P permalink
        August 11, 2021 11:51 am

        Roby, its all about the money. Tim Scott is a black, conservative senator from SC and has raised bunches of $ for reelection. He praises Trump. How much money would he have raised had he not taken that position.He would be up against a Trump supported candidate that would have much more money based on just the Trump support.

        Ben Sasse will find that to be true next election of he runs.

        Our former governor is running to replace Richard Burr. He has said little about Trump and anything that occurred during the election. He is running against someone who is supported by Trump and there are only three so far in the GOP primary race, so maybe the anti-Trumper’s votes will not be divided between multiple candidates and the Trump supported candidate will lose with that 35-38% of the GOP vote.

        And yes, I agree somewhat with your 50% Trump supporters being a cult. they drank the
        Kool-Aide early on and are drunk on it now.But I am not sure it is 50% given some recent elections where there are Trump candidates against non-Trump candidates. Most of the Trump supported candidates in primaries are getting 35-38% of the vote and the rest is splitting between the non-Trump. Just like why we got stuck with trump in 2016 with the early primaries determining the choice giving him this same support.

      • August 14, 2021 12:00 am

        What has no democrat ever been able to raise money for re-election ?

        Ron, this is an idiotic argument.

        Politicians have power. There is ALWAYS someone prepared to rent that power.

        Every politicians left or right is capable of getting money from somewhere.

        And frankly even more if they are maleable on ideology.

        Republicans are losing to democrats in fundraising 2:1 – primarily because the lost the part of big business support they used to have, and small businesses and individual contributions will not make up the difference.

        At the same time we are well past the point of diminishing returns on political spending.

        There is a minimum amount of money needed to win an election – but at some point – and we have exceeded that further spending is wasted.

        I do not so far see that much of a Trump/non-trump pattern.

        There are specific instances in which existing politicians have pissed off the electorate,
        Cheney, Kemp, Raffensberger as an example.

        And i would note their problems are MORE than Trump.

        Kemp and Raffensberger have problems bigger than Trump – They cost Georgia two senate seats. Raffensberger is now trying to make nice with the electorate by going after Fulton County – but he is far too late.

        Cheney is one of the last of the dying breed of GOP Neo-Cons.

        Absolutely Trump’s election in 2016 was a fracture with GOP NeoCons.
        But Trump or not the split with NeoCons was coming.

        I know there are some republicans attacking Biden over his disastrous handling of Afghanistan. But neocons and deep staters need to get over it – not only is the US leaving Afghanistan, but it would take exceptional circumstances for the electorate to tolerate a new mideast conflict.

        As to the Sasses and Kaisich’s and Romney’s and ….

        They need to get over it. They will still be called Nazi’s even if Trump is gone.

        But in most instances candidates who have a long good relationship with their voters are going to do well whether they are pro-trump or not.

      • Vermonta permalink
        August 11, 2021 12:11 pm

        Pat, OK I am reassured, you sound like you are awake.

        I can reassure you a bit too. SInce you are not hanging around here all the time you probably have not read my ideas about trump’s actual accomplishments. On the economy he simply did the normal things any GOP POTUS would have done. On foreign policy he did a lot of crazy things I disagree with, but he also did some things that only an outsider to politics could do. He tried to make peace with NK. He shouldn’t have fallen in love with Lil Kim, but he tried and he did change the dynamics in the Koreas. History will see from the vantage point of decades whether that effort helps or hurts world security, but he tried and that was the first thing I gave him credit for years ago.

        I also agree with his 2016 campaign statement that it would be a great thing for the world if the US and Russia got along. He certainly cultivated his relationship with Putin. I am not a fan of Putin to say the least and he should not have gone around being, as he said in his own words, on better terms with people like Lil Kim and Putin than with our traditional allies. But his premise was a good one and not possible for anyone inside politics.

        Finally, History is going to have to give him credit for the fact that he started no wars and in fact brought troops home. He was the most peaceable POTUS of my lifetime. I tell that to my liberal friends and family and they won’t believe me. The man is a nut job in so many ways, but he is a nut job who does not believe in war and he had the love of his party enough so that he could do what he pleased and what pleased him was bringing troops home and telling Lindsey Graham that while Graham would keep US boots on the ground for the rest of time, trump was not going to. He faced down the generals, brought the troops home. I give him genuine credit for that and history will too.

        So history will record and complex story of terrible actions and insightful ones.

        So my —– insanity if that is what it is, is not all powerful.

      • August 14, 2021 12:35 am

        “On the economy he simply did the normal things any GOP POTUS would have done.”
        Interesting observation – but not true. The last president that was as de-regulatory as Trump was Carter.

        Overall Trump was NOT that hot economically – he was just preceded by 16 years of economic nonsense.

        “On foreign policy he did a lot of crazy things I disagree with,”
        Most of your posts are like this.
        You rant about craziness or lies or whatever – but you rarely get specific.

        It actually matters what you think is crazy – it is how we can determine if YOU are crazy or not. Regardless if you defame another, you owe all of us enough specificity in your defamation to judge whether YOU are a liar or not.

        “but he also did some things that only an outsider to politics could do. He tried to make peace with NK. He shouldn’t have fallen in love with Lil Kim, but he tried and he did change the dynamics in the Koreas. History will see from the vantage point of decades whether that effort helps or hurts world security, but he tried and that was the first thing I gave him credit for years ago.”
        Amazing a backhanded compliment to Trump.

        “I also agree with his 2016 campaign statement that it would be a great thing for the world if the US and Russia got along. He certainly cultivated his relationship with Putin. I am not a fan of Putin to say the least and he should not have gone around being, as he said in his own words, on better terms with people like Lil Kim and Putin than with our traditional allies. But his premise was a good one and not possible for anyone inside politics.”

        This is just nonsense. We listened to 4 years of Russia, Russia, Russia from you.
        And now, we get of course we have to get along with Russia, but he should not have said nice things to Putin.

        Trump savaged Putin – not in words but in actions. Oil is the life blood of Russia, and Trump starved Putin.

        I would note that Biden is far more freindly to Russia – both in word and deed.
        And most importantly – by choking US energy, Biden empowers despots accross the world.

        You constantly fixate on words and are clueless about actions. Either that or you presume that some policy that you favor like CAGW nonsense is so critical that the disasterous geopolitical consequences can be ignored.

        Trump can suck up to Putin and the Saudi’s all he wants. His energy policies disempowered them.

        “Finally, History is going to have to give him credit for the fact that he started no wars and in fact brought troops home. He was the most peaceable POTUS of my lifetime. I tell that to my liberal friends and family and they won’t believe me.”

        “The man is a nut job in so many ways,”
        If the above is a list of the ways he is a nut job – I think you should re-read what you wrote.

        “but he is a nut job who does not believe in war”
        I am going to ignore the oversimplification. We are at the greatest risk of war with China we have been since the Korean War – because Xi views Biden as Weak.

        Is there anyone who doubts that Trump would have agressively defended Tiawan ?
        It there anyone who doubts Trump would have wiped North Korea off the map had they behaved recklessly with Nukes ?

        Trump was NOT a Dove. All he was, was NOT a neo con. If you want to know the difference between Trump and his predecessors – go read Mattis’s book. It is purportedly an eloquent deffence of the active use of the US military as policemen for the world.

        That is a legitimate policy view that the majority of americans REJECT.

        We do not as of yet know where Biden stands – partly because Biden is a puppet president, the children actually running things have not yet figured out where they stand.
        But we appear to be still leaving Afghanistan – and for all the childrens screwups in implimenting that – we can be thankful that the left did not have to reverse that because …. Argh Trump.

        “and he had the love of his party enough so that he could do what he pleased”
        Actually that is false. Trump owns the GOP TODAY.
        In 2017 he did not.

        “and what pleased him was bringing troops home and telling Lindsey Graham that while Graham would keep US boots on the ground for the rest of time, trump was not going to. He faced down the generals, brought the troops home. I give him genuine credit for that and history will too.”

        With one exception I agree with that. They exception is that you do not grasp this is more than “what Trump wanted” – this is what the american people – and particularly Trump supporters wanted.

        One of the many reasons that blue colar workers have abandoned democrats is because these are the people – of all races that make up our military. They are patriots and they are proud of the country, they will die for our country, but they are very angry about the fact that their lives and those of their sons and daughters have been wasted – Neither Bush nor obama ever provided a satisfactory explanation for our casualties.

        Those who beleive that this country will not send its sons and daughters to die anymore are wrong. But our leaders had better make a compelling case for the need FIRST,
        And those leaders have in so many ways lost our trust.

        Bush abused that Trust, Obama lied, Trump honored that – and that is ONE of the reason for that support you call cult like – what it actually is, is a reward for not betraying their trust.

        “So history will record and complex story of terrible actions and insightful ones.”
        Again the constant unspecified claims of failure.

        While I disagree with details of some of the semi positive things you have said about Trump. Mostly your assessment was pretty rational, and our disagreement is analysis and maybe motivation. You constantly view Trump as free to act as he pleased without political cost.

        Most of the things you claim Trump did well – had he not done he would not have the support he still does. Trump had to succeed at those things he did or lose his base, and Trump’s base does not follow him “cult like” they follow him because he did what they expected.

        Regardless you spoke of “terrible actions” – what were those ?

        I appreciate that you have been specific about what Trump has done that you like.

        But lobbing grenades about unspecified terrible actions is not argument – it is litterally much of the problem in the country today.

        We need to judge people based on their ACTUAL specific failures and successes – not what others say about them.

      • August 14, 2021 12:39 am

        I have noted my disagreements, but this is the most rational post you have made – possibly in years.

        Even the disagreements are not critical – because aside from the unspecified negatives, you actually argued your point. You were mostly specific about what Trump did that you did not think was crazy.

        So that you understand what was GOOD about your post was NOT that you actually praised Trump. It was that MOSTLY you made an actual argument – facts, logic reason.
        As opposed to vague nonsense like unspecified “terrible actions”

        I am not sure how history will judge Trump – modern history is written by total morons.

      • Vermonta permalink
        August 11, 2021 12:16 pm

        “Tim Scott is a black, conservative senator from SC and has raised bunches of $ for reelection. He praises Trump. How much money would he have raised had he not taken that position.”

        Yep. I am sure that Scott is among the GOP senators who hate trump in reality but he is trapped. Still, win or lose, Sasse is a hero for speaking the truth. This is not only about winning or losing, its about how you play the game and far too few GOP figures have the guts to act on that and say the truth about trump.

      • August 14, 2021 12:52 am

        Back to reading other people’s minds.

        And you are contradicting yourself.

        I beleive you claimed Trump had the full support of the GOP from 2017.
        Now you are claiming Tim Scott secretly hates Trump.

        What is it you think Sasse said that was Truth ?

        Regardless, you voted for a wanna be child perve, a possible rapist, a waffler of the first water, and the first president who probably could not pass a MOCA on innarguration day.
        And as a result we have a bunch of incompetent children slowly learning their ideology is complete crap – at significant cost to the american people.

        Where is the democratic pushback ?

        Suddenly – almost a year after the election the democratic party grasps what everyone else has known for years – that Cuomo is a sexist pig an a walking case of workplace sexual harrassment. He is precisely what you accused Trump of.

        I am Glad you finally dumped him – but why not years ago ?
        Its not like any of this is new ?

        Aside from the sexual harrassment – what were Cuomo’s accomplishments over the last 11 years ?

      • Priscilla permalink
        August 11, 2021 3:49 pm

        Roby, I certainly did not deny that “The Cult” exists. I said that “most who voted for Trump did so because his policy positions made sense to them,” and that is indeed the the case. I also acknowledge that some of his voters indeed behave like “fans” rather than supporters. Some, not most.

        Obama has his cult of personality and so does Trump. I think that this trend is dangerous, but I disagree wholeheartedly that either the Obama cultists or the Trump cultists form the majority of their respective supporters.

        Your mileage may vary…..

      • August 14, 2021 12:54 am

        The “cult” does not exist – atleast not to any greater extent than the KKK still exists.

      • August 14, 2021 12:58 am

        The Cult of Obama was far more numerous and stupid than that of Trump.

        Obama took their votes – and ignored them.
        Trump mostly delivered on his promises – even where I wish he had not.

        When Trump makes a campaign promise – I can decide how to vote based on that promise, because he will deliver or try incredibly hard to deliver on that promise.

        IF I disagree and it is important – I vote no.
        If I agree I can vote yes, knowing I will likely get what i was promised.

      • August 13, 2021 7:07 pm


        Why does it matter whether Pat is a good hearted person with good intentions ?

        And how would you know ? Can you read his mind ?

        I can plausibly beleive you are a good hearted person with good intentions.
        And you can beleive I am evil as that seems to float your boat.

        But we are for the most part debating issues of Truth, fact, or morality.

        Good intentions nor a good heart have any weight.

        Even the christian god does not judge our hearts or intentions – though purportedly he actually knows them.

        Matthew 25:31-46

      • August 13, 2021 7:53 pm

        “To answer your question, judging by polls, 50% of trump voters belong to the trump cult. ”
        Why – because they disagree with you ?

        “Those are the people who think that the attack on the capital was simply a tourist trip, that if there was any problem on Jan 6 it was due to Biden and not trump inciting it.”
        I know of absolutely no one at all that thinks that.

        There are many reasons for what happened at the capital – which BTW was NOT an attack on the capital.

        The first is the lawless election. Had governors and Sec. States and local election officials followed the existing election laws as well as state constitutions none of this would have occured.

        Had the courts acted to stop the lawless elections none of this would have occured.

        Regardless, of who won the election – you would have had limited problems with Trump supporters had you followed the law.

        But you did not.

        As a result trust in govenrment is in very low double digits.

        And whether you like it or not, that fundamentally means we have no legitimate government.

        The problem could have been mitigated after the election had REAL inquiry been allowed.

        But it was not. There was very little consequential examination of the election until March and STILL the left, and democrats are fighting that tooth and nail.

        I would note that at this time even if massive fraud is found – the only remedy is impeachment, and that is not happening.

        What happened on Jan. 6 is that DEMOCRATS thwarted the constitutional election process.

        First the capital was atleast partly locked down while the legislature was in session.
        I am not aware of that ever happening before. It did not happen during the Kavanaugh hearings when a left wing nut mob invaded the capital.

        Do you have any instance in US history where the capital was locked to the public while in session ?

        This is not merely wrong, it is unconstitutional.
        Not only is it a free speech and free assembly issue, it is also a petitioning the government issue. Whether you or democrats like it or not congress was OBLIGATED to allow those at the capital to voice their concerns. Congress was NOT obligated to listen, but it was not entitled to shut them out.

        I would strongly suggest the Capital lockdown was specifically to thwart the possibility that democratic legislators might be influenced by the loud voices of their constituents and agree to Sen. Cruz;s proposal to delay 10 days and conduct real inquiry into the election.

        THAT is what protestors wanted.

        I would further note, that has happened before in US history. Contra the claims of the left almost no steps in the process of an election are pro forma or cerimonial.

        States MUST certify the election – and the constitution leaves that to the legislature.
        Legislatures deligated that to the executive – but there is a legitimate question as to whether they can unilaterally rescind that delegation. The constitution places elections into the hands of congress and state legislatures, NOT executives, not State courts.

        Subsequently electors must vote. Hillary tried hard to persuade electors to defect from Trump in 2016, The vote of electors is NOT pro forma.

        Congress must accept the vote of each states electors. It is ROUTINE to see congressmen challenge the votes of electors. Republicna challenges are actually rare, but challenges by democrats are commonplace.

        We have had instances int he past were there were competing slates of electors from the same state. It is the obligation of congress to sort that out. It is NOT pro forma.

        Almost 150 years ago – when we just like 2020 we did NOT have a secret Ballot election, we had EXACTLY the mess we had in 2020. And Congress sorted it out.

        Those protesting at the capital on Jan 6. did not demand a corronation of either Trump or Biden. They demanded that congress conduct serious inquiry into the legitimacy of the election.

        Congress refused – that was within their power. but that was a mistake.
        It has increased the bitter divide in an already bitterly divided country.

        You can beleive that Biden won the election – and maybe he did.
        But you do not know, and if you were not an idiot you would grasp that those who do not agree with you do so with a very strong basis for disagreeing.

        I can write another 10,000 lines with the myriads of problems with the 2020 election.

        The audits that already occured have found significant problems. They have found large scale errors, and they have found problems that are with a very high probability large scale fraud.

        We can not conduct an error free election – but what occured in 2020 was a FARCE.

        I would note that in 2016 Clinton supporters tried everything in their power to thwart the election. They pushed this idiotic russian influence nonsense. and they burned and looted in washington.

        What was unusual in 2020 was only that it was Republicans protesting.

        I would further note we have a severe problem right now.

        With all the censorship that is going on – We do not know the pulse of the people.

        I am actually disturbed that Ron and Rick as shifting left. Not just because I think they are wrong – but because they are a measure of where the center of the country is moving.

        Who knows maybe democrats will have a landslide in 2020. There are small clues that it possible.

        But more so than ever before we have no idea what may be coming politcally.

        I have had this poster in my office for 40 years.

        Censorship – legal or not is very dangerous – because you can not know what people are thinking.

        I would note further with respect to the lawless 2020 election – REAL inquiry was necescary for reasons having nothing to do with who won in 2020.

        It was necescary to prevent future fraud and lawlessness.

        If the way 2020 was conducted did not result in massive fraud – we were lucky. If we continue to conduct elections as we did in 2020 we WILL have large scale fraud.

        If you are stupid enough to beleive otherwise you are ignorant of US history.
        The State constitutional requirements for secret ballots resulted from Massive 19th century fraud.

        I would further note – that you already think all republicans are crooks. Why do you beleive that in 2022 Republicans are not going to engage in large scale fraud ?

        We have seen over and over in the past decade – democrats changing the rules for temporary advantage and Republicans suing the new rules to the disadvantage of democrats.

        If PA conducts the 2022 election as they did the 2020 one – it would be trivially for a single individual with modest resources to tip the election anyway they wanted.

        But a worse option actually exists. It would be simpler to just destroy any confidence in the election.

        The normal purpose for election fraud is to get a specific candidate elected.

        But it is much easy to destroy the election.

        Inquiry and audits into 2020 were necescary to assure that future elections go well.

        What you have done is assure they will not.

        As is typical democrats choose short term advantage over trust in the system and their own long term interests.

      • August 13, 2021 8:05 pm

        “They are the ones who maintain —– as the king bully with powers somewhere between a Mafia Don and the Pope inside the GOP. These are the state party leaders and the true believers who censure people like Ben Sasse for not kissing the —– ring. All of these things should not be happening but they are, because there is a cult of personality about —–”

        I can not make much sense of this.

        There is clearly more room for dissent among republicans.

        As to the Sasse’s and Romney’s and other republican moderates.

        It should be clear to all by now – they can not win elections. You claim that the country is moderate – but Romney lost, McCain lost, myriads of moderate republicans LOST.

        Worse still – being “moderate” did not save them from being labeled as Nazi’s or racists, or sexists, or hateful hating haters.

        I am personally very glad that the Chenney;s are PNG in the GOP right now.

        If Democrats want NeoConn’s back – they can have them.

        There is a partisan political battle going on over afghaistan right now.

        Biden – in possibly one of the few bits of courage and sanity he has had ever is continuing the withdrawl.

        He appears to be botching it. But that is small potatoes. I would prefer he did better.
        I do NOT want him to reverse course.

        We should have gotten out a decade ago. To late is better than never.
        Trump laid the groundwork, and frankly this would not be possible without him.
        But Biden did NOT reverse course.

        I will give him Kudos for that.

        I expect the Taliban will take over the country.
        I expect Afghanistan to descend into a worse hell hole.
        I am sorry about that and sorry for those who are harmed.

        Absolutely we should bring those who helped us and their families to this country.

        We may even seen more terrorism fomented from afghanistan in the future.
        And if necescary we can decapitate the Taliban in the future.

        But we must get out.

        The endless war neocon types – the Chenney’s – and their Democrat colleges are evil and wrong.

        I am frankly surprised that Biden is going forward with withdraw given the tremendous hostility Trump faced.

        Though that is just more demonstration of the hypocracy of the left.

        Good ideas are bad when advanced by Trump, but become good again when Trump is gone.

      • August 13, 2021 8:12 pm

        I have no fight with the so called moderates in the GOP.
        Only with those who foolishly expect that empowering the Romney wing means anything but the slow advance of the left.

        But despite your fixation on purported Republican divides – it remains the democratic party that is in trouble.

        I am very surprised that Sen Sienama is standing up to her party.
        That is a profile in courage. Se was attacked as a left wing nut while running for the senate – and there was reasonable evidence that she was. But she won her election and has behaved as one would hope of a senator from a divided state.

        One wonders where the rest of the democratic party is.

        Manchin’s willingness to stand up the left is more understandable.
        He is a popular democrat in a deep red state.
        He is also an elder statesman more concerned about the country than his party.

        What I would ask is why only two democrats are willing to stand up against the insanity of their own party ?

        Where are the other 48 senators ?

      • August 13, 2021 8:26 pm

        If Sasse is claiming that lies lead to Jan. 6th then he like you owe us all proof of those lies.

        You do not seem to get that you are not entitled to be beleived when you make a claim about the moral failure of another – you are obligated to prove it.

        The election was lawless, The election was likely fraudulent,
        The election was conducted in a way that guaranteed that the electorate would not trust the results.

        And YOU, the Left, Democrats own that.

        We have spent months with barbed wire arround the capital. With national guard their, with purity tests for the national guard, with constant fears of further conflict that never materializes, With an FBI and DOJ that now beleives that advocating for limited government is domestic terrorism.

        I am actually sympathetic to the barbed wire and the national gaurd and the palpable fear on the left.

        That is what you get when a large portion of the country beleives you stole an election.

        And you do not seem to grasp that what is relevant is NOT whether Biden won or not,
        But that the election was conducted in a way that assured that the results would not be trusted.

        You can call those who disagree with you members of a cult – but cults are about blind faith absent facts – and that characterizes YOU, not them.

        As noted – Biden is now president – Most of those on the right demanding further inquiry KNOW that is not going to change – they are smarter than you.

        Even if massive fraud by democrats was uncovered – even if every claim of Sydney Powell came true – Biden will remain president.

        But we still have a major problem – 70% of the country beleives we have a serious problem with election integrity – and they are right.

        We will have future elections. But if we do not restore Trust – and that requires conducting elections in a way that can be trusted, then we will see the ACTUAL insurrection those on the left feared – we will seem ARMED protesters.

        On Jan. 6th – no one went to the Capital with weapons.

        Regardless of YOUR lies – they went to have their VOICES heard.
        They went to PETITION government.

        They went PEACEFULLY – except when those in power tried to lock them out.

        Maybe they will be peaceful next time.

        But unless you restore Trust in government and elections – the collapse of this leftist nonsense is inevitable.

        Frankly, it is inevitable no matter what.

        And you think Trump supporters are part of a Cult ?

      • August 13, 2021 8:39 pm

        Trump does not own the GOP because of some personality cult or conspiracy theories.

        He owns they GOP because he did something no other republican or politician in my lifetime has done. He did or forcefully tried to do nearly everything he promised.

        You keep constantly calling him a liar. Yet, he kept most of his campaign promises.
        That is not what liars do. That is not what politicians do.

        Trump “owns” GOP voters because they KNOW he will do what he says.

        You (and sometimes I) disagree with his policies.

        But he is NOT a liar, he might be occasionally Wrong – though much less than your average democrat, but Trump voters can count on Trump to do the things they elected him to do.

        And Trump owns the GOP – because those voters Trust Trump more than Sasse – with good reason.

        I have no axe to grind with Sasse, he is entitled to his views, and who knows I might agree with some of them.

        But he is inarguably on the wrong side of the voters.

        You still think this is about Trump alcolytes in party offices.

        You seem to be clueless about the fact that Trump threw his hat into the GOP ring with no allies, no machine, and was STILL elected.

        Absolutely myriads of voters and GOP staffers have gotten behind Trump.
        But this is the opposite of the norms.
        This is not about normal political power and machines.
        It is about the direct support of voters.

        Sasse is not facing censure because of some powerful nebraska republcans.
        He is facing it because Nebraska Voters do not have confidence in him.

        And Sasse and other republicans would have no worries from Trump if they are in tune to their voters.

        I would note that Trump has endorsed candidates that have won, and some that have lost.

        Trump has generally lost, when there is little to distinguish his candidate.
        Trump has won when the local electorate is out of sync with the local party and Trump gets behind the elctorate.

        Regardless for someone who advocates for democracy – you have alot of problems with it.

        I am the one who has problems with democracy.

        You keep having to concoct cults when you are out of touch with the people.

      • August 13, 2021 9:05 pm


        I expect Trump to fade – probably after the 2020 election.

        He is getting older and I do not expect him to run in 2024.

        I could be wrong. He could manage to keep his mental and phsycal health.
        but i doubt it.

        But “Trumpism” – owns the GOP – even more so than leftism owns the democratic party.

        Whether you like it or not Trumpism is a CENTERIST Worker oriented Republicanish ideology.

        It is not especially conservative,
        It is not especially republican.

        I would characterize it as follows – and these are NOT my views, but I think they accurately reflect Trumpism.

        First it is essentially a natural evolution from the Tea Party.
        The Tea Party was a REJECTION of social conservatism.

        Trumpism is fiscally conservative – ISH – there are specific areas where it is spendthrift.

        It is America First.

        It is also America as a world leader – by action and example, NOT concensus.

        It is America as a world leader by DOING what is in America’s interests – even when other countries do not agree.

        It is Buy American.

        It is Free-ish markets – not free markets.

        It uses Tarrifs and trade as both a foreign policy weapon and a political weapon.
        To advance the interests of the country and american workers – even when it is wrong about those.

        It is about controlled borders and controlled immigration.

        It is about moving back toward government that conforms to the constitution as it is written.

        It is about having faith in the american people to manage their own lives without government telling them what to do.

        It is about understanding that we solve our problems with race, sex, whatever best face to face ourselves, rather than by force from the federal government.

        It is a rejection of the neo con nation building nonsense of both past republicans and democrats.

        It is about law and order. It is strongly pro police.

        It is also strongly federalist, and localist.
        It is about having most government by those who live in your community – not 2.000 miles away.

        It is confrontational – because 4 decades of republicans being whipping boys for the left has not worked well.

        Whether you like it or not the Sasse’s are not the future of the GOP or the country.
        That is not a comentary on Sasse, it is more one of the electorate.

        Moderate democrats are no more likely to vote for Sasse Republicans then they are for Trump.

        One should always assume that when one party recomends a candidate to the other party – that is the one they think they could most easily beat.

        As I noted I do not agree with all of this.

        Further there are important values I would add that are NOT part of Trumpism.

        Despite Trump’s attacks on “the deep state”, Trump and Trumpism have not YET rejected much of what constitutes “the deep state”

        Trump did not pardon either Assange or Snowden.

        Trumpism is still trying to find some accomidation with “the deep state”.

        Trump, and republicans, have not yet embraced Crypto, and P2P as the means to circumvent private and public censorship and plutocrats.

      • August 13, 2021 9:20 pm

        I have in the prior post tried to open a dialog with you to define “trumpism”

        I would appreciate your thoughts – and those of others on what I have described as Trumpism

        But lets keep the insane nonsense to a minimum.

        As I noted Trump – and ultimately Trump-ism, owns the GOP for the forseable future.
        Pretty much as long as it continues to be successful.

        Regardless, if you could get past the ad homimen and try some critical thinking, and try to criticise or add to my description of Trumpism.

        I would actually like to hear what you and others have to say.

        I would note further – this is NOT an effort to describe Trumpism as either some perfect ideolgy or some evil cult.

        Just to accurately describe what it is .

        I think that is important because – it is NOT as you claim a cult of personality – despite the fact that Trump has a larger than life personality – and whether you like it or not Charisma that we have not seen since the Kennedy’s or maybe Bill Clinton.

        There WILL be successors to Trump – and they will NOT be Sasse, or Romney or Kaisich.

        I doubt those you call moderate republicans are leaving the party – but they are not driving the party.

        The leaders of the GOP after Trump are Cruz, Hawley, Jordan, DeSantis.

        Aside from policy one of the defining requirements for future republican standard bearers is going to be Trumplike confrontation of the left, the media, and democrats.

        Those unwilling to fight will not be able to win, and they will not have the support of Trump voters.

        Probably the single most important link between Trump and Trump voters – is not policy – though there are ties. But that he fights for them.

        They are tired of being called rasict, sexist, hateful, hating haters.

        When the left – when YOU call Trump that and he fights back – that binds them to him.

        While Trump is NOT Hitler, and NOT authoritarian – and in fact he is anti-authoritarian.

        There is no doubt that the LEFT created and continues to create the environment where a real authoritarian could attain power.

    • Priscilla permalink
      August 12, 2021 9:55 pm

      Honestly, Pat, I think that we are seeing some very cultish behavior among the radical vax pushers.

      Despite the warnings, even from the CDC, that vaccinated people catch and spread the virus the same as unvaccinated people, they insist on saying that only the unvaccinated are catching it and spreading it. They refuse to accept that there are any valid reasons to decline the vax. They want 100% compliance, down to vaccinating very young children, even though children are at miniscule risk from covid, and the vaccine has not even been approved for emergency use in kids under 12.

      They want to ostracize and punish anyone who does not take the shot, and blame them for the current surge of infections. There’s a frightening orthodoxy among them, and a “burn them at the stake” mentality that I find pretty scary.

      I’m not at all saying that anyone here at TNM is in that cult. No one is. But, if we’re going to be throwing around the word, I vote for the Vaccine Cult.

      • Pat Riot permalink
        August 13, 2021 11:05 am

        Priscilla, yes, yes, yes, I strongly agree that the orthodoxy is frightening, and infuriating.

        If we understand cultish behavior to be following directives without critical thinking (and personal evaluation of the directives according to a broader understanding of the world and how the world works, weighing the various factors, etc.) then yes, absolutely, the way Americans and citizens of other countries are jumping to follow recommendations and mandates from self-appointed agencies and spokespersons is very cultish and deeply troubling.

        It especially infuriates me as a father and grandfather. How callous and delusional and psychopathic are these self-appointed control freaks who are declaring across-the-board measures without taking into consideration the many differences between people and circumstances? This is not just “policies,” and “adjustments.” Our society, economy, and country are under attack. We are under attack.

      • August 14, 2021 1:13 am


        There is nothing unique here.

        The failure related to vaccines and covid are not new.
        They are typical of the failures of top down command economies.

        We have almost 2 centuries of failure of this approach – and hundreds of millions dead.

      • August 14, 2021 1:10 am

        The vaccine cult is just a subset of a much larger cult – those who pretend that science – and particularly science as reported by the NYT based on distortions of often incorrect information from a subset of public “experts” is their religion.

        I place ZERO weight on anything ANY reporter says about “science” – these people are clueless. And people who treat their words as gospel are a cult.
        Many of our public health people are “good intentioned”.
        I do not care about their intentions. I care about whether they know what they are doing FIRST, and whether others with broad rather than narrow expertise have considered the unintended consequences of their recommendations.

        Good intentions or not – the CDC has come off as incompetent from the start.
        Whatever they say today – they said something else the day before and something else before that.

        Trust in govenrment is at very low double digits – and deservedly so.

    • August 13, 2021 6:35 pm

      I would note that Rick went off the rails in his 2nd sentence.

      We all sometimes get angry with inanimate objects. But you can not rationally argue that THEY not you are the problem.

      I work with computers all the time. I work with computer problems much more complex than anyone here is likely to.

      When things do not work – it is nearly always MY problem.

      Computers, machines, nature are not there to thwart us and make us angry.

      A man said to the universe:
      “Sir, I exist!”
      “However,” replied the universe,
      “The fact has not created in me
      A sense of obligation.”

      In an infinite number of areas – the world is what it is, it does not give a damn about us.
      It does not hate us. It barely knows we exist.

      Neither inanimate objects, nor animate ones, nor even other people are responsible for most of what goes wrong in our lives.

      Life is not fair, we are not equal, and it is not easy,

      Get over it.

      Those on the left can win elections – by lawlessness and fraud, or legimately,
      But they can not change the fact that statism does not work.
      They can not change the fact that life is not fair, that we are not equal, and that real life imposed incredibly few duties on any of us.
      But it does punish us relentlessly for failure.

  38. Pat Riot permalink
    August 11, 2021 10:47 am

    Savannah Jordan, you are correct. We rarely convert anyone by logic, facts, and reason. So true. Many people refuse to budge, especially in the short term. Over time, with enough repetition, and tied to emotions, etc., people are swayed. Look what cinema and television have accomplished both good and bad. I marvel at the differences in attitudes and the way men and women speak to each other in movies and television from 1940s to now. Some bad habits were gradually abandoned, thankfully, as if eroded by images and dialogue on screens, but the pendulum has swung too far into new bad habits. In many ways we’re not as naïve as past generations but we’ve lost some important aspects of courtesy, respect, and pleasantness, depending on the situations of course. We can find examples of horrendous ideas and behavior or noble ideas and behavior anywhere along the timeline.

    • Savannah Jordan permalink
      August 11, 2021 7:01 pm

      So, so true movies, music, and literature move the emotions and thus over time they change our beliefs. I think of the some of the major historical characters that praised or used the power of the media to alter people’s beliefs: Plato, Aristotle (of course back then it was principally plays), Hitler, Stalin.

      • August 14, 2021 1:22 am

        I do not care what your beleifs are. I do not care what your influences are – so long as your actions as a result of those beleifs are confined to your own life or those who share your views. More than I do not care – I celebrate your right to decide for yourself on whatever criteria you wish. Sometimes amazing things are the consequence of choices that make no rational sense.

        When we move to the use of force against those who do not share our beliefs – only Facts, Logic, reason are relevant. We do not use force against others in the hope of a happy accident. We do not use force against others justified by good intentions.

    • August 14, 2021 1:16 am

      The crime is not that we can not and do not learn from facts, logic, reason.

      It is that having learned – sometimes by argument, sometimes by failure in the real world, we so quickly forget and must learn all over again.

  39. Pat Riot permalink
    August 12, 2021 7:53 am

    It seems some civil discussion occurred here at TNM, even among persons with different political views. Excellent. So important.

  40. Ron P permalink
    August 12, 2021 11:54 am

    Somewhat off the subject. But it relates.

    I May not understand what is happening in Florida. What I am reading may be all lies. But there are more negative stories concerning DeSantis showing up in more moderate publications than positives and this is beginning to show with his decline in approval over the past 3-4 weeks.

    Covid cases rising, hospitalizations rising, more kids getting covid, more kids in the hospital with covid and he is doing many things contrary to CDC and medical advice.

    I am a strong believer in allowing business and individuals to do what they believe is right for themselves. But i am against any governor going against recommended guidelines when local government and individuals decide to follow those rules. I do not believe the governor should be making rules that ban schools from mask mandates and threatening school superintends pay. This is a local issue and should be handled at the local level.

    I sure as hell hope after this is all over his popularity in Florida has collapse to the point he loses the Governors election in 2022 or is damaged enough that his national standing is too low to be nominated for the GOP presidential candidacy since he is one I would refuse to vote for.

    • Priscilla permalink
      August 12, 2021 9:31 pm

      For what it’s worth, Ron, everyone I know in Florida loves the guy (I’m sure there are plenty who hate him, as well!). They all were vaccinated early on in the year (they’re mostly seniors). They went to Publix and waited in line for about 10 minutes. My neighbor in NJ, a snowbird, jokes that she got her vax in the frozen food section. Her son, who moved there specifically so that his kids could go to school, says “life is so normal here…reminds me of when I was growing up, just much hotter”

      I think we have to take into consideration the fact that his state has the most covid vulnerable population in the country, yet ranks somewhere in the middle of the pack in terms of death rate p/100,000 as of last week…far below NJ and NY. It’s near the top in # of cases, but still only half as many as California, another populous state. I used, which I’ve found to be a reliable data source.

      As far as kids, I’ve looked into this a bit, because its so concerning. Rates of covid positivity in children have remained relatively stable, but many of the covid positive kids that are in the hospital have been admitted with RSV, then tested positive for covid. I haven’t seen any info on whether there have been any deaths from either one, but definitely a surge in hospitalizations.

      DeSantis is clearly aiming to run for president, so he’s being attacked in the media on a daily basis. Biden has attacked him from his bully pulpit more than once, implying that the death rate from covid in FL is the highest in the country, which it isn’t. So, I’m not surprised that his numbers have gone down. People believe what they hear from the president.

      He seems to me to be a pretty good governor, but I don’t trust any politician these days, so I’m open to changing my mind about him.

      • Ron P permalink
        August 13, 2021 11:52 am

        Priscilla, I guess my dislike for RD is the same as my dislike for Ted Cruz. Both have political lives that are based on telling people what they should or should not be doing when those decisions should be left to the individual. For example, Ted Cruz sides with those that want to dictate what a woman can and can not do if pregnant. RD has created an environment where he is telling business and local government what they can and can not do during the pandemic.

        So if that is what people desire, fine, they get what they vote for. That is not what I desire in a politician. I want leadership to set an example, provide a strategic plan for the future, practice sound financial policies, provide specific data that allows for state and local government to make decisions best for their citizens and promote safety requirements that cover issues where the citizenry are unable to identify unsafe situations to make an informed decision themselves.

        I do not support even local government making mask mandates like Guilford county in N.C. has done that makes the business owners and employees financially liable if customers refuse to mask up. If the county wants mask everywhere indoors, let them enforce it. Put the cops on foot patrol and walk in and ID unmasked people and issue summons. That is not feasible, so the underpaid and overworked hospitality workers and retail workers are the ones that are going to take the feed back $h** from mad customers and the politicians sit on their thrones monthly at county meetings pounding their chest and saying “look how we protect our citizens, aren’t we great”?

        As for RD, I do not support his statewide edict that schools can not require masks and parents have to do something to opt out of that edict so their kids can were a mask. Orange county reports 4% of the students submitted notes for this opt out. WTF! If you show up wearing a damn mask, is that not opting out? Why the need for “Mommy Govt, please allow me to wear a mask”? It should be up to the local districts. Just because more voters in a conservative part of Florida voted for RD over the liberals in Miami Dade county, if Miami Dade liberals want mask, they should be allowed to have mask.

        Yes, RD is setting up for a presidential run and everything he does today is for that specific purpose, not for the best for Florida. And if Floridians approve of his actions, then he will be reelected. And if he runs for president, I will vote for someone else in the primary that takes a much more libertarian position concerning local government and individual rights.

      • August 14, 2021 1:55 am

        I agree that DeSantis can not dictate to businesses.

        But Public School boards having mask mandates, is exactly the same thing and it is wrong, and DeSantis is right to thwart them.

        Government is government. If DeSantis can not force businesses, then School Boards can not force students.

        Our handling of Covid with respect to schools has been horrendous.
        And it has been especially bad for poor minority students.

        We have already lost more than a full year of meaningful education for a generation of kids.
        Over a virus that is much LESS risk to them than the flu which they see every year.

        If a parent wants to vaccinate a child, if they want to mask their child that is their right.
        Not the school boards.

      • August 14, 2021 1:48 am

        I am told that Christie is running against him as Governor, and that Christie currently has a lead within the margin of error.

        My perception is that DeSantis has done well, and that Floridians think so to.

        But there is still that poll.

        And frankly the tea leaves are very confusing right now.

        Even TNM is confusing me.
        Robby posted a long list of positive accomplishments of Trump.
        While Ron and Rick are drifting Left.

        These things are among the many tea leaves I try to make sense of.

        I have attacked Ron and Rick for their leftward drift. I think their claims are ludicrous.

        But whether peoples reasons are stupid are smart – they are still signals.

        I see districts that have been owned by democrats for decades go red.

        Ron noted that some Trump candidates lost, some also won.
        But I do not think there is a theme there. Trump candidates win when the status quo has failed. The people who attacked Trump who are really in trouble are the ones who are disconnected from their electorate – and Trump is only one issue.

        Trump has not been especially good at picking candidates or picking people in his administration (though Biden is far worse).

        What Trump was better at – which he did not do enough was firing people.
        You can make bad personel choices – if you can keep firing people for failure.

        Eventually Trump got good people into many key positions – but it took a long time.
        And frabnkly he did not fire people fast enough.

        There was purportedly a big camp david blow out with him and “the generals” in the spring of 2018. Trump ranted and raved and demanded withfrawl but eventually gave in – in return for a “plan” – which he never got.

        He should have fired them all. Acted on his own and gone to the american people about it.

        Something like.

        I was advised by X,Y,Z to remain in Afghanistan. These are good people giving sincere advice. I promised the american people we were leaving, and I am keeping that promise.
        Those advisors that can not in good conscience support that must leave immediately with our respect and gratitude for their service. But We are leaving afghanistan. That is my choice, that is what I was elected to accomplish and I am responsible for the consequences.

        I would note – while I think Trump made many poor choices of advisors.
        Most of those were “good people”

        I completely disagree with Mattis’s view of the US role in the world.
        He is still a good person and makes a good argument, that in the end I and the american peole (and history) reject.

      • Ron P permalink
        August 14, 2021 11:49 am

        Priscilla, I know this is early, the governors race is 15 months away, things will change between then and now, but this gives an indication that there are some in the state of Florida that think the same as I think. And unlike myself, they live there, they are getting information from many sources including their local news and they are going through the surge personally while I am not.

        And when comparing RD to Charlie Crist, it is not comparing RD to someone like Shumer, Pelosi or other left wing nuts of the democrat party. Charlie Crist was a republican elected as governor twice. He supported many of the GOP policies as a moderate. Now I do not know what his positions are now since he has not provided anything that is on the internet. But I would not expect him to become radical in his left leaning positions.

        Anyway, just a snapshot of current thinking in florida. Next week it may be completely different, especially if there is a big change in the virus numbers either way.

      • August 14, 2021 5:33 pm

        I am not looking to handicap FL politics. That is the responsibility of FL voters..

        I have noted that I disagree with DeSantis on what I will call reverse mandates.

        If Government should not say you must, it should not say you must not.

        Beyond that he appears to have done quite well as Govenor, and is generally quite popular.

        He is constantly attacked by the press, but he is extremely sharp and handles Attacks very well.

        DeSantis Won FL specifically because his democrat opponent sought to end FL’s charter schools and that was a very unpopular move with substantial minority support.

        Charter Schools are not much of a national issue, but in many places they are a huge local issue – especially for single minority women with kids.
        Charters are the best hope their kids have of breaking the cycle.

        I honestly do not know how to read the tea leaves moving forward – there are too many factors.

        But a likely huge fight in 2022 is going to be education – and I think Democrats are on the wrong side of that. Families want their kids back in school. Removing them over the past year was a huge mistake, and it is likely someone is going to pay for that.

        An entire generation has lost a full year of education.

        The ongoing CRT battle is another big issue. Most of the big CRT Feud are in Blue suburbs – often with significant minorities. All too often those railing at their school boards are minorities and immigrants.

        Last I would ask you – Why you think DeSantis is not a Moderate ?

        We agree that he should not have put his thumb on private masking.
        But beyond that he has been competent, He has dealt with Covid incredibly well especially given that he has a larger senior population by percent than any other state.

        He is hated by the left – because he has succeeded and embarrased them – but the left hates everyone not on the left.

        What is it about DeSantis that you think is not moderate ?

      • Ron P permalink
        August 14, 2021 10:55 pm

        I dont remember saying RD is not moderate. And if I did then I was making comments I know nothing about. My position is:
        1. I acknowledge that at some level, government is going to make decisions regarding schools and the safety of children.
        2. I prefer those decisions to be made at the lowest level of government and at the level closest to the people that are affected.
        3. I do not support decisions coming out of Washington or state capitals where many have come from such as RD threatening schools districts if they decide that kids should wear a mask. I support the local governmental agencies making that decision.

        In these instances we are not debating if they should or should not be made because they will be made, that is how our government works now. Nor are we debating if masks work or not, so please do not respond with a multi paragraph response telling me how mask don’t work and government should not be involved. I wont be reading that)

        4. I do not support any government at any level telling businesses that they have to make customers show proof of vaccination or block a company from requiring vaccinations. And RD also did that with the cruise industry which I think has been blocked by the courts.

        So that is where I relate RD to Ted Cruz with both of them believing in some way or the other that their personal beliefs should be law.

        So RD can have moderate positions for the most part and support a more moderate agenda, but once he steps over the line and begins dictating to people and business, he crossed the line into unacceptable decisions and that is what I think some believe in Florida given his declining approval amoung voters.

      • August 15, 2021 5:02 pm

        1). I do not accept that is how it must be.

        But it IS how things are.

        From a moral or philosophical position there is no difference between DeSantis telling schools what they can and can not do, and school boards doing so.
        Both are government.

        The best answer is to get the decision out of government.

        2). the lowest unit of government is the family.

        But I do not think you actually do. Clearly different decisions should be made at different levels. We decide to go to war or not at a federal level.

        With respect to kids and masks and vaccinations – there is no school district affliated department of health. There is a state and federal one.

        There is also no compelling reason why School District A’s choice should be different than School District B.

        Whether the governor is left or right it is both more likely they get these issues right than that a school board does, and more likely they can be corrected if wrong than a school board.

        There are decisions that belong locally.

        A health decision specific to a local issue belongs with the school board.
        But that is not what we have.

        Further saying that Schools Can not mandate something, does not put the decision to mask or vaccinate at the TOP – the governor. It puts it at the Bottom – with parents.

      • August 15, 2021 5:09 pm

        3). I agree that RD should not dictate to businesses.
        I have ZERO problems with RD STOPPING School Districts from dictating.
        Again RD is not acting on a local issue. Further in this instance he is NOT pushing the decision Up the ladder – he is pushing it DOWN – to parents.

        I do not support local governments making health decisions that are not uniquely local decisions and that can be made by individuals.

        I do not support ANY government making health decisions that can be made by individuals.

        We are never debating whether decisions should or should not be made,
        We are ALWAYS debating where they are to be made.

        With respect to masks and vaccinations for Covid School Boards are near the WORST choice. They have no special health knowledge or resources, there is not a strong local element, the BEST choice is to let parents decide, but the 2ND best choice is for the state to decide.

      • August 15, 2021 5:15 pm

        4). I agree with you here.

        You are right that the courts were involved.

        But last I heard DeSantis had WON in federal courts.

        Specific to Cruise ships – this really was not a private vs. public decisions.

        The cruise industry claimed they were required to follow the CDC.
        DeSantis blocked that.

        DeSantis was correct – both as a mater of constitution, and principle that the CDC is purely an advisory body. There is no general federal police power.

        There is a general state police power.

        By now it should be clear to nearly all of us that the federal government, the president has very little power to dictate to states regarding health issues.

        This is why CDC is going to lose the eviction moratorium case.

      • August 15, 2021 5:32 pm

        “So that is where I relate RD to Ted Cruz with both of them believing in some way or the other that their personal beliefs should be law.”

        First ALL LAW is someones personal beleifs imposed by force.

        I would frame this as Do Cruz and RD use govenrment to restrict individual liberty unjustifiably ?

        ALL LAW restricts individual liberty.

        Even where RD barred businesses from mandating masks or vaccinations, that did not convert personal beleifs to law.

        Individuals remain free to do as they wish,

        I am hard pressed to think of single area where Republicans are constraining the liberty of individuals – out side of abortion.

        And abortion is complex – while a woman has an absolute right to her own body.
        From the moment of conception a pregnancy is NOT her body it is IN her body.
        Those are NOT the same.

        Abortion is further complex because it involves both moral issues that are the domain of govenrment and those that are not.

        Regardless, can you think of another significant area in which Republicans are seeking to restrict individual liberty rather than the power of government ?

        I can think of some – but not many.

        Conservatism – particularly american conservatism are NOT inherently authoritarian.

        The CORE to conservatism is to NOT change what has worked for decades ever centuries without proving to a very high standard that the change will be for the better.

        I agree with that – as a VALUE. Not as a principle.

        Regardless conservatism does not impose new restrictions on individual liberty.
        It merely delays lifting old ones.

        Conservatism is neither inherently dangerous, nor authoritarian.
        It merely resists change positing CORRECTLY that how things are is USUALLY better than any random change.

        To be clear, I am NOT a conservative. But I accept as a VALUE not a principle that we should USUALLY move slowly in government.

      • August 15, 2021 5:36 pm

        I am not aware of a significant downward Trend in DeSantis’s approval.

        All governors and Biden are waning with respect to Covid as a result of Delta.
        But those declines are based on Delata and fear and will recover when we are past this.

        DeSantis has a specific issue at the moment – while he is a popular governor, he appears to be facing a popular former governor in re-election.

    • August 14, 2021 1:30 am

      When DeSantis’s record is as bad as Murphy in NJ or Cuomo in NY – I will take notice.

      I would further note that DeSantis is aparently in a tight race with Christie for re-election.

      And finally WHEN has DeSantis gotten good press ?

      If We are going to pretend that Covid respond to govenrment policies – DeSantis has done amazingly – while Cuomo presided over the 2nd highest mortality rate in the country.

      Yet, until recently the Press $hit on DeSantis and diefied Cuomo

      I do not really give a crap if DeSantis is ignoring the CDC – the CDC does not know what they are doing. I care about their data, not their recomendations – and I am not that trusting of their data either.

      I have a problem with anyone telling others that they Can not insist on vaccinations privately.

      I can insist that you are vaccinated if you want to come into my home.

      I make few if any distinctions between what an individual can do and what a business can do.
      The public sphere is the sphere of GOVERNMENT, not of business.

  41. Pat Riot permalink
    August 13, 2021 10:32 pm

    I saw a billboard tonight on route 422 West between Linfield-Limerick, PA and Phoenixville, PA. It was a close-up of a heavy-set white dude, double chins, scraggily hair, and an idiot smile. The text was: Made brownies today instead of getting vaccinated.

    Vaccine shaming is on, and it’s going to get worse.

    Of course it was a white dude, just like approx. 90% of all villains, idiots, and despicable low-lifes in the movies and crime dramas, etc. It’s been open season on white people for awhile. Now I’m talking about two wrongs at the same time, vax shaming and prejudice against white people. It’s wrong. It’s divisive. It’s a steady, relentless attack.

    I’m the kind of guy who stops to help people fix flat tires. (I carry a big floor jack in the back of my truck.) About six weeks ago I saw a guy on all fours on the ground about six feet from heavy traffic. Me and a few other people pulled over to help. Somewhat unbelievably, I found a dining room chair that someone had put out for trash. We got him into the chair and called an ambulance. When I go to any convenience store, everybody of every skin color holds doors open for each other and says “thank you” and “take care” and “have a good one.” That’s because people are just being civilized people and not pushing their agendas into each other’s faces. This divisiveness has got to stop.

    Paul Revere had it easy. The enemy arrived on big wooden ships and marched in columns wearing bright red coats with white straps and carrying muskets. Enemies of freedom and civilization are all around us, and they’ve got big money and agendas. It’s a nightmare.

    I’m happy that mainstream media is losing market share while independent platforms and voices, such as podcasts, are gaining traction, but it isn’t enough. America is being torn apart and people of all skin colors are going to suffer. It feels like trying to stop the ocean tide with a bucket.

    • Ron P permalink
      August 13, 2021 11:55 pm

      Pat. excellent comments. The only thing you did not mention was this all started at the top with elected government figures setting the example. Just as adults set examples on how to act for kids to learn and follow, so too does politicians set an example. They support the division that has occurred with the proliferation of cable news prime time talk shows.

      How often do we hear anything from those individuals chastising both the left and right wing news. Yes, Trump continually attacked the left news as fake news, but what about Fox and all the questionable “facts” they promote?

      It is not all on the politicians, but it started years ago with the cable news outlets and reached its peak in growth with Obama and comments he made concerning mostly white voters. One of the first comments being about working middle class voters in old industrial towns: “They get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.” And many comments followed during his 8 year term that turned off many whites since they were not comments from the president “of the United States” but from a perspective of “president of this special group of the united states”

      And that is what promoted Trump to where he ended up.

      The division today will not go away anytime soon. One tribe wanting to force the other tribe to do what they want done without regard to personal choices and beliefs.I have made previous comments concerning both sides and given example of the control they want to impose on others personal choices. No need to write it again.

      But on the other hand, people today do not make personal choices and think about the impact it will have on others. They dont want to get vaccinated, fine. But they also do not want anyone telling them to wear a mask, stay in smaller groups and try to not spread that virus. They give all sorts of reasons why they refuse to do anything to protect others from their germs.

      And I offer this to support wearing a mask if one is not vaccinated.

      • August 14, 2021 2:17 am

        Starting with the FIRST study.

        1). It is a study of studies – not an actual study.
        Further – no one disagrees that ALL masks stop something.
        Prior to Covid data on widespread use of masks to stop the flu was inconclusive.
        But issues with Covid are WORSE.
        Mire recent studies on the spread of Covid indicate that in addition to “droplet” spread, which most of us have some familiarity with a major vector for covid spread is incredibly fine particles in our breath – not from coughing. Masks are virtually useless against these – and the data shows that.
        But if you doubt that – CDC studies found that if two people are masked and in a close room with no air exchange together and one is infected the other has a 15% chance of being infected in 15min – no matter how far away.

        That was a pre delta study.

        Further there are plenty of CDC studies that demonstrate that plain cloth masks, double cloth masks – and anything short of an n95 mask are useless, near useless, or actually harmful.
        Very few people are wearing effective masks properly.

        Finally – i beleive the laboratory studies of the effect of an n95 mask have it at 77% effective.


        We have a version of the same problem with vaccines. Vaccines are more than 80% effective – for a specific time. But their effectiveness degrades over time.
        We are still trying to establish how long it takes the vaccine to degrade in effectiveness.
        If that period is too short we will NEVER get rid of Covid.

        I would note the vaccine does NOT become ineffective over time it becomes LESS effective over time.

        The effectiveness of an n95 mask is 0.77 times the number of exposures.
        On otherwords the effectiveness of a mask declines RAPIDLY over time.

        Masks COULD be a part of an effective public policy response – but ONLY if combined with other measures that reduce the overall transmission rate significantly below 1.0.

        The closest we have come to accomplishing that is China welding infected people into their homes.

        There are dozens of studies demonstrating that the real world effectiveness of masks over the long run is quite small. Given that 77% effective is not even close to sufficient on its own – 15% after 90 days is next to useless.

        If you expect a mask to prevent you from getting Covid – you need to also be a hermit.
        Because if you mask and encounter enough infected people you are going to get Covid.

      • August 14, 2021 2:33 am

        Please stop spreading disinformation.

        While I shredded the first study cited, the ineffectiveness of masks is not only evident by many many other studies, but by our experiences in the real world.

        Has Covid been stopped by Masking ?

        The answer is Obviously no.

        The infectuous period for Covid is about 5-14 days.
        IF we could reduce transmission 97% for 14 days – Covid would disappear.
        It has not, we self evidently cant.

        In all of human history we have NEVER stopped a respiratory virus after it has infected more than a few hundred people.

        I have been here from the start saying there were few things we could do about Covid:

        Pray that natural (uninfected) immunity is high.
        That does appear to be the case, so far Covid has never infected more than 30% of even a dense confined population.

        Pray for an actual cure.

        Pray for a vaccine

        Protect the vulnerable as best we can and go for herd immunity as fast as possible.

        Despite Delta – Sweden is still seeing miniscule rates of infection and death.
        They have essentially reached her immunity – months ago.

      • Ron P permalink
        August 14, 2021 11:03 pm

        Our local infectious disease physician at the large teaching hospital gives a weekly update on covid.

        This week his message comes as COVID-19 concerns are rising again and while the community is still a ways away from herd immunity.

        He said, he believed, enough people would either get COVID-19 or get vaccinated during this recent wave of the virus.

        His comment “I think this wave we’re in is going to get us close to it (herd Immunity) because you’ll get vaccinated or you’ll get COVID, so you’ll become immune. you can choose how. I’d probably choose the vaccine, it’s a lot less risky than choosing to get covid,” he said.

        So in some parts of the country it appears herd immunity will occur.

      • August 15, 2021 5:48 pm

        I MOSTLY agree.

        With ONE issue.

        He is missing non-infection related natural immunity.

        So far Sweden is stable with very low new infections or deaths.

        That likely means they are very close to “herd immunity”.

        But sweden does not have 100% vaccination, or 100% infection or even close to 100% vaccination OR infection.

        As I have noted over and over and over.

        There is so far NO PLACE where covid infections have exceeded 30% of the population.

        Regardless we have several possible scenarios.

        1). We reach herd immunity through a COMBINATION of measures – SOON.

        2). One or two of natural immunity, infection immunity or vaccination immunity are short lived and we have this arround for a long long time.

        3). Covid mutates and we are no longer immune.

        I would further note we are likely to see some permutation of more than one of these.

        We are not likely to reach herd immunity globally for 2 years.

        If vaccine immunity, natural immunity and infection immunity do not last that long we are not getting rid of Covid – atleast not by herd immunity.

      • August 15, 2021 5:53 pm

        I think we are already very close to herd immunity in much of the country.

        A big deal is being made that Delta is hitting southern red states harder than Blue states.

        That is likely because northern and blue states are already close to herd immunity.

        I would further note that the conditions for herd immunity are not uniform.

        The more dense the population the higher the level of immunity needed to reach herd immunity.

        At the same time dense populations are LESS likely to see periodic flare ups.

        In sparsely populated areas there are plenty of pockets of people with low immunity who have had minimal exposure that could flare if Covid later gets in.

      • August 15, 2021 6:02 pm

        There are also political consequences to Covid.

        We wrongly expect our leaders to protect us from everything.

        It should be self evident now that government has little power to thwart highly infectuous viruses.

        There are many factors that effected the 2020 election. But Covid was a massive one.

        If Covid continues to be a factor in 2022 – Democrats are toast.

        Biden has inarguably done worse than Trump – despite having the Trump vaccine.

        But if Covid fades this fall – even though Biden had nothing to do with that, Democrats will be in a much better position in 2022.

        Republican dreams for 2022 are based on conditions right now, plus historic trends.

        I think it is highly likely that Covid is in the midst of its last gasp in the US

        Democrats will get credit for that – no matter than they had nothing to do with it.

        Further complicating this is that while Covid is likely ending in the US. it is NOT in the world.

        Put simply alot of politics at the moment is driven by something that is completely outside the control of politics.

        Trump got blamed for not controlling something that can not be controlled.
        Biden is getting blamed for not controlling something that can not be controlled.
        Biden will get credit if something he can not control fades naturally.

        He will get the blame if it does not.

        Republican prospects in 2022 have more to do with Covid than anything else.

      • August 14, 2021 2:36 am

        Obama was not even close to the peak – The media negative fixation on the president was 3-10 times higher under Trump than Obama.

      • August 14, 2021 2:45 am

        I am hard pressed to think of an instance in which Trump directly attacked citizens.
        I can not recall him even directly attacking citizens on the left.

        Trump attacked the Media, He attacked democratic leaders – politicians.
        To the best of my recollection he did so exclusiively individually.
        He did not attack generic democrats or even news generically.
        He attacked specifically those who attacked him.

        What we see from Obama, from Clinton, from Democrats, from those on gthe left, from the media, is attacks on large portions of americans.

        We have a discussion here over the “cult” of trump voters.
        I guess Robby mentioned Bernie Bros too.
        But for the most part – we are only attacking Trump voters atleast to the extent we are defining them as a group and them claiming they are a cult or racist or ….

        Obama, Clinton, Biden lied to their voters.

        Are we calling 50% of Biden voters or Obama voters a cult ?

        Why not ?
        Because that is factually wrong morally wrong – and stupid – it is highly likely to backfire.

      • August 14, 2021 2:45 am

        Trump’s attacks on the media were attacks on those who attacked him.

        Biden is doing a perfectly fine job of attacking Fox and mostly fawning over the rest of the press.

        You are pushing essentially a leftist equality agenda.

        I do not want a fawning press – left or right.

    • August 14, 2021 11:53 am

      Content is disappearing from Youtube faster than I can keep track of.

      More and more there is zero tolerance for dissent. Rand Paul was suspended from Youtube for repeating CDC studies that cloth masks are useless or worse.
      The Same day a Biden admin official said the same thing on Two different “MSM” outlets and those videos are on Youtube.

      Left wing and moderate content produces who touch obliquely on any hot button issue of our digital overlords are banned. Those who remain are increasingly speaking in code or refering people to their videos on Rumble or other sites.

      We know find that Parlor was not taken down because of its content – the Jan 6 protests were organized on Twitter not Parlor. But specifically because of collusion mostly with Big Tech but also with democrats in government.

      We are increasingly finding that Big Tech censorship is nepotistically tied to democrats in government who ask for and receive the censorship they want.

      Glenn Greenwald and others are moving to Rumble.

      In the long run – free markets will fix this.

      But it still could take a long time.

      I have little doubt that as rumble becomes a threat to the left that they will try to kill it.

      We are quite litterally using the internet to impliment the types of control and censorship it was designed to thwart.

      Those who want real free speech need to embrace Crpto and P2P

      These are the only technologies that are likely immune to censorship.

      But it is going to take a while – particularly for those on the right to grasp that the same technologies that enable drug dealers and peodophiles are necescary to support free speech.

      When you do not defend liberty at the margins.
      When you do not defend the liberty of drug deals peodophiles and alex jones.
      you will lose your own soon enough.

  42. August 14, 2021 2:59 am

    An excellent editorial about the moral failures of the past 18 months by John Tammy.

  43. August 14, 2021 3:08 am

    We have wasted thousands of lives and 2T to forestall the inevitable in afghanistan.

    • Savannah Jordan permalink
      August 14, 2021 9:00 pm


      • Ron P permalink
        August 14, 2021 10:28 pm

        This is just another loss of American lives for nothing. We have a history of getting bogged down in wars, losing lives, injuring military, building the hopes of the citizens expecting a more democratic form of government and then leaving them high and dry to the whims of tose taking over. Vietnam and now Afghanistan. The worst part is the education of the women in that country and the repercussions they will feel when the Taliban take over.

      • August 15, 2021 4:41 pm

        I doubt anyone believes the Taliban taking over Afghanistan is a good thing.

        Afghanistan is a pretty crappy country and will only be worse when the Taliban move in.

        Absolutely the already abysmal treatment of women will worsen.

        We could probably create a long list of already bad things that will get worse.

        Afghanistan is NOT the only shitty place in the world where people are abused by the government or by religion or just live like crap because of the $hitty conditions in that country.

        The question is what are we going to do about it ?

        Should the US spend blood and treasure to prevent afghanistan from becoming even $hittier ?
        All of us wish for a more enlightened Afghanistan.

        But our wishes will not change anything.

        Only our actions will – so should we act ?

        I want to stress this is a LEGITIMATE question. Many – Mattis in particular argues that the entire world is better off with US troops deployed forever to hotspots across the world.

        I am not sure I agree, but he still makes a point worth considering.

        I would further note this debate is much bigger than afghanistan and much bigger than endless wars.

        We have over 1M people from $hitty places in south and central america who have illegally crossed our borders this year.

        What is our obligation here ?

        Are we obligated to fix the mess that is the countries they came from – and is it even possible for us to do so ?

        Are we obligated to allow them into this country – because they are fleeing a $hithole ?

        This is also the same question as when we ask should we provide health care or insurance to all americans ?

        What is it we owe AS A GOVERNMENT to those whose lives are crap – both in the US and in the world ?

        We can have that discussion. We can debate if you wish.

        As I have stated before – the Mattis/NeoCon position has its arguments.

        We should hear those arguments before we accept or reject them.

      • Ron P permalink
        August 15, 2021 10:37 pm

        As long as we do not have mandatory conscription where all young people share equally in the defense of the country will we have people actually voicing an opinion on what the country gets involved with. And while we have only those that sign up knowing they may die in far away places that we have no reason of being there, few will pay much attention, Why else could we stay in Afghanistan for 20 years. Vietnam ended because many shared equally in death and injury. Afgh