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Member since: Sat Feb 22, 2020, 12:55 PM
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Fringe benefit of vaccine passports

This may be obvious, but this thought occurred to me only recently.

Gone are the days of the Jim Crow laws where minority groups are explicitly denied freedoms enjoyed by others. Nowadays the persecution is more subtle. Instead of calling out "undesirable" groups by name, laws are kept on the books which can be disproportionally applied to them. Examples of this include marijuana laws, parole searches, and "bathroom bills". There are many, many others. In addition to laws, there are rules enforced by companies and schools around things like uniforms, hairstyles, and even wedding cakes.

Generally speaking, these tools of discrimination always seems to be wielded by privileged white right-wingers in defiance of the outrage of the left.

Until now.

Now there is discussion of a vaccine passport. Those who opt out of getting a vaccine will encounter headwinds trying to go about their daily routine. They will encounter headwinds boarding a plane, entering an arena, using mass transit, travelling across state lines, etc. Recent polls show that Republicans are three to four times as likely as Democrats to opt out of getting the vaccine. Republicans will be far more likely to get mired in the quagmire of not having a passport as they watch their Democratic peers go merrily about their day.

So it's the proverbial taste of one's own medicine.

Vaccination question not asked by the MSM

Why does the MSM always ask the same questions again and again and miss some obvious ones?


It takes the first vaccine shot 2-3 weeks to provide 80% protection against infection. Are you more vulnerable to infection during this time?

It seems plausible that the body's immune response to the vaccine could weaken its ability to respond to an actual infection at the same time, increasing the chances of it being overwhelmed.

If true, it would be prudent to maximize your social distancing efforts during these few vulnerable weeks. Isn't this an important question?

What one year of the pandemic has taught us about the reality of gun control

There's a certain realization I've had about gun control recently which stems from a year of observations of the highly politicized pandemic response in the USA.

The USA has suffered 1,659.02 deaths per million as of March 26th, for a total of 544,555. This objectively demonstrates an inadequate response when compared with other countries. I believe comparisons with Germany are the most appropriate, as they are a Western country with a conservative, anti-shutdown movement a lot like ours. That said, they stuck to the science much better than we did and were more willing and able to make short-term sacrifices in their economy and keep the conservatives in check.

Germany has had 910.22 deaths per million in contrast, or 748.8 fewer. Extrapolated to our population, that equates to 245,786 lives sacrificed.

I choose the word "sacrificed" here purposefully. We as a country seem to have willingly spent these lives in order to keep our support of shutdowns at lackluster levels. We spent these lives in order to let non-essential businesses limp along and to even avoid the inconvenience of wearing masks. We spent these lives in order to pack churches and MAGA rallies with people. We willingly paid the price for these "freedoms".

While the final bill may not have been knowable last March, science told us that the likelihood of this was there. However, I see no remorse from the Republicans in general, no concession that these costs were too high. I see no evidence of any self-reflection here at all, no acknowledgement that the richest country in the world could have afforded to do more.

So if Republicans are willing to spend 245,786 American lives for a year of fewer constraints like these, I don't see them ever batting an eye at spending 20,000 lives a year for the freedom of owning guns. Their party leaders can't ever admit to this, but I believe this is the mentality.

I agree that gifts should not be used to unduly influence the political process

The Senate and House Ethics Committee allows gifts of less than $50 to congressional employees.

So set the limit on the allowable value of gifts to those waiting in line to vote in Georgia at $50. If it's good enough for Congress, it's good enough for Georgians.

Bottles of water and ham sandwiches shouldn't be a problem.

Expensive bottles of wine and caviar are out.

The media seems to have stopped talking about CV-19 R-naught values

Early on it was estimated that CV-19 had a R-naught value of 6, which is very high “spreadability” score.

Now the media talks about these strains being some percentage more contagious, but the assertions lack supporting data or the rigor of R-naught values.

So we're getting less precise in characterizing mathematically how the pandemic is progressing.

The media seems to have stopped talking about therapeutics as well. What's going on on that front? Even with vaccines, we're still going to need therapeutics. It's all very odd.

Another red state contradiction

So North Carolina's famous House Bill 2 of 2016 was basically a state law designed to prevent local laws which would allow people to decide for themselves which bathrooms to use. North Carolina concluded that people could not be trusted to make these decisions appropriately and discreetly, and this manufactured threat rose to the level of requiring legislation (despite any significant evidence to that effect).

Fast forward to 2021. Texas has eliminated their mask mandate on the grounds that people CAN be trusted to do the right thing here without the government. This is despite a national emergency and mounds of evidence showing anti-maskers putting others at significant risk.

Can anybody straighten out this pretzel logic for me?

Will there be a fourth COVID-19 surge?

For the purpose of this poll I'll define a fourth surge as daily case counts in the US rising above 150,000 in 2021 (roughly twice where they are right now and half of the previous peak)

PSA: Don't take Otezla if you are allergic to Otezla!

The Otezla ads that loop on CNN relentlessly are a nuisance.

Why warn people not to take it if they are allergic to it? There's an obvious paradox there. Presumably their attorneys saw fit to build that escape hatch in there.

You can't sue us because of your severe allergic reaction, we had a warning about that!

The Republicans could use a similarly worded paradoxical disclaimer: Don't vote for any politicians who are going to break all their campaign promises! See now it's your fault.
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