Bioethics—What is right?

Is Biden’s new mandate to vaccinate businesses of 100 or more employees ethical, or even legal?

Concerning bioethics —is it ethical to mandate vaccination of citizens with an unnatural selection processes that, based on fear, have bypassed established checks and balances? Is it an ethical mandate regardless?

Here in Washington state we have vaccine mandates coupled with the threat of jobs and access. Now President Biden offering more of the same. For whatever reason nature has selected this process, yet humanity is serious enough to think it can hold it at bay ad-nauseum. We need 8 billion more people?

Will vaccines end the pandemic? No. But it will curtail some suffering while simultaneously causing other suffering.

“labs are turning to gene-based vaccines. Scientists use information from the genome of the virus to create a blueprint of select antigens. The blueprint is made of DNA or RNA—molecules that hold genetic instructions. The researchers then inject the DNA or RNA into human cells. The cell’s machinery uses the instructions to make virus antigens that the immune system reacts to. Cells respond to the instructions as a normal part of their daily existence. This is the same trait infectious viruses exploit; they cannot reproduce on their own, so they use a cell’s machinery to make copies of themselves. They burst out of the cell and infect more cells, widening the infection.

Who knows where any of this will go from here? What is nature trying to tell us? One thing is clear; humans will fight the natural processes until it all goes out with a bang instead of boredom. This artificial propping of human longevity may very well be its downfall.

It won’t be some presidential whacko to push the button, but will it likely go out with a syringe?

Is Biden’s new mandate to vaccinate businesses of 100 or more employees ethical, or even legal?

I know maybe it’s too late to say this, but the unnatural living conditions, overcrowding genomics to keep capitalism growing evermore is a root cause. Now what do you do about that?

Author: jim-

One minute info blogs escaping the faith trap.

972 thoughts on “Bioethics—What is right?”

  1. Call me “ignorant” if you wish (tildeb has called me worse) but being concerned about the wide-spread rollouts of experimental drugs having “side-effects” like death, blood clots, anaphylaxis, heart inflammations, nerve damage, autoimmune disease and paralysis does not make one anti-vax. And if the proportion of adverse reactions to number of injections is to become the sole criterion here, then lets put a precise number on this beast: exactly how many “rare” adverse reactions would you deem as acceptable collateral damage before we stop calling these COVID-19 “vaccines” safe and effective?

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    1. And if the proportion of adverse reactions to number of injections is to become the sole criterion here, then lets put a precise number on this beast: exactly how many “rare” adverse reactions would you deem as acceptable collateral damage before we stop calling these COVID-19 “vaccines” safe and effective?

      Well, I guess that’s a relative term.
      Considering the lethality of earlier strains of Covid to the elderly, obese, immune compromised and those with respiratory conditions the very small proportion of serious adverse events due to the vaccines made them safe and effective compared to the alternative.
      For younger, healthier people they were less safe and effective at a personal level but as they also reduced (somewhat) the chances they’d contract the virus and pass it on to a more vulnerable loved one I guess it’s their call as to whether it’s safe and effective.
      If vaccines for the omicron strain have a similar proportion of adverse events I think it’s much easier to argue they’re not safe and effective, as the risk:benefit ratio would shift even further against them.

      Nothing is absolutely safe. Drinking milk has killed people. The question is really down to risk:benefit and I think overall the delta vaccines demonstrated much more benefit than risk while delta was running rampant. That’s no longer the case though.

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      1. Perhaps. But the link to a technical briefing from Public Health England I provided in another comment upthread reported that members of the most vulnerable demographic who’d received two doses actually suffered worse with the Delta variant than those who had one or none. Things that make you go hmmm.

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  2. Jonathan Cook on critical thinking.

    It is not hard to understand why the magic bullet of vaccines – to the exclusion of all else – has been so fervently grasped during the pandemic. Exclusive reliance on vaccines has been a great way for our corrupt, incompetent governments to show they know what they are doing. The vaccines have been an ideal way for corrupt medical-industrial corporations – including the biggest offender, Pfizer – to launder their images and make us all feel indebted to them after so many earlier scandals, like Oxycontin. And, of course, the vaccines have been a comfort blanket to us, the public, promising to bring “ZeroCovid” (false), to provide long-term immunity (false), and to end transmission (false).

    And as an added bonus, vaccines have encouraged the vaccinated majority to scapegoat an unvaccinated minority, allowing our corrupt leaders to shift the blame away from themselves for their other failed public health policies and our corrupt “health” corporations to shift attention away from their profiteering. Divide and rule par excellence.

    To state all this is not to be against the vaccines or believe the virus should rip through the population, killing the vulnerable, any more than criticizing the US war crime of bombing Syria signifies enthusiastic support for Assad. It is only to recognize that political realities are complex, and our thinking needs to be complex too.

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    1. Well, anyone would be challenged to convince me there is no self interest involved with these companies falsifying effectivity—and obviously they were a little zealous in the predictions, just like every ad we see here in the states about pharmaceuticals.
      Remember the VW TDI emissions scandal? The Boeing parts scandal? The list goes on, yet science and pharmaceuticals are immune to failures like these. Yeah right.

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      1. Remember the VW TDI emissions scandal? The Boeing parts scandal? The list goes on, yet science and pharmaceuticals are immune to failures like these.

        Or the Pfizer fraudulent marketing scandal of 2009 which resulted in the largest fine for healthcare fraud in history.

        Unfortunately the business model for fraudulently marketing pharmaceuticals is so profitable Big Pharma can just write off a $2.3 billion dollar fine as a cost of doing business. But the next time you hear a Pfizer spokesperson insisting their patents can’t be waived because they need them as incentives to develop new drugs remember that most of the expenses in bringing new drugs to market are now in marketing, lobbying and paying penalties and lawsuits arising from the criminally irresponsible ways they’re rolled out.

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      2. From these “corrupt medical-industrial corporations” we get:

        Sinopharm (inactivated)* approved approved in 83 countries from 21 trials in 11 countries,
        Sinovac (inactivated)* approved in 51 countries from 28 trials in 8 countries,
        Covaxin (inactivated)* approved in 13 countries from 7 trials in 1 country,
        Covishield (non replicating viral vector)* approved in 47 countries from 2 trials in 1 country,
        AstraZeneca (non replicating viral vector)* approved in 134 countries from 53 trials in 24 countries,
        Johnson and Johnson (non replicating viral vector)* approved in 99 countries from 16 trials in 18 countries,
        Novavax (protein subunit)* approved in 30 countries from 11 trials in 7 countries,
        Covovax (non replicating viral vector)* approved in 3 countries from 2 trials in 1 country,
        Moderna (RNA)* approved in 83 countries from 35 trials in 9 countries,
        Pfizer BioNTech (RNA)* approved in 130 countries from 49 trials in 23 countries

        * These vaccine platforms use a variety of methods to all attempt to do the same thing: aid the body’s immune response prior to infection so that when infection does occurs (the immune system encounters the viral antigen) the body’s immune system can mount an effective response (by creating antibodies):

        Inactivated means contains copies of the virus
        Non replicating viral vector means containing viral genetic packaged inside a harmless virus that cannot copy itself
        Protein Subunit contains isolated and purified viral proteins
        RNA means it contains viral genetic material which provides the instructions for making viral proteins

        So where SPECIFICALLY is the corruption?

        It’s (I really don’t have adequate words) beyond ironic that we get a whack job like Jonathan Cook proclaiming more critical thinking is needed to see through the corrupt ‘corporations’ that produce vaccinations while at the same time spewing misinformation and conspiracy theories that rely on some secret global cabal, involve literally tens of thousands of people to carry it out and who ALL must stay oh-so-quiet, while literally millions of people have died from a very real pandemic and continue to get sick with each new wave of infections that we know beyond any reasonable doubt are severely curtailed and effects lessened by these vaccinations to varying degrees, a pandemic that we know has caused an estimated 16 TRILLION dollars of economic damage in just 2021 alone, and a conspiracy that must involve every single government in the world and every epidemiologist to lie to pull off. And this is supposed to be what ‘critical thinking’ looks like?

        Wow. Just… wow.

        This notion that vaccinations are a product from ‘corrupt medical-industrial corporations’ that has been manufactured as a way to profit is batshit crazy and requires a level of reality denying bullshit that to be effective must shut down actual critical thinking to be believed.

        If only there were a vaccine against such mis- and disinformation busy fertilizing the creation of an alternate reality to be sold to the gullible by brain-broken geniuses like Jonathan Cook. Oh wait… there is: it’s called CRITICAL THINKING.

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        1. So where SPECIFICALLY is the corruption?

          Let me try to understand you tildeb.
          Are you seriously trying to say that because pharmaceutical companies manufacture drugs they’re not corrupt?
          That paying researchers to add their names to in-house ghost-written studies isn’t corruption?
          That hiding adverse events and serious side-effects during trials isn’t corruption?
          That burying studies demonstrating lack of efficacy isn’t corruption?
          That bribing doctors and hospitals to prescribe their drugs isn’t corruption?
          That using invalid proxy end-points and using them to draw false conclusions isn’t corruption?
          That none of this is corruption?

          This notion that vaccinations are a product from ‘corrupt medical-industrial corporations’ that has been manufactured as a way to profit is batshit crazy

          So despite the fact that Pfizer still holds the world record for the biggest criminal fine for healthcare fraud in history and made $14.6 billion from vaccines last year (up from $1.7 billion in 2020) it’s “batshit crazy” to suggest it’s a ‘corrupt medical-industrial corporation’ that manufactures vaccines ‘as a way to profit’?

          Maybe you should go back to your corporate PR releases and leave the critical thinking for grown-ups tildeb.

          BTW, you still haven’t posted a ref to that alleged Israeli study you cited in a recent comment. I’m usually pretty good at finding research like that but can’t find hide nor hair of it, so I’d appreciate a URL. If it’s anything like you claim it to be it’s important, but for some reason no-one except you seems to be talking about it.

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        2. So is this the same critical thinking and superiority that leads the world in cancer? (USA)
          Science isn’t really to blame but if anything, it is an entire system of entitled baby’s who live a life of stressors and will do anything and say anything to squeak out a few more years of that same pathetic lifestyle that is killing beyond measure. You trust that, I don’t. Maybe the critical thinking problem is yours, not mine.
          I don’t think it’s a very praiseworthy lifestyle to get boosters every six months for the rest of your life for what? Prolonged death?

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          1. I don’t think it’s a very praiseworthy lifestyle to get boosters every six months for the rest of your life for what? Prolonged death?

            Turns out every six months is very optimistic.

            Research so far suggests protection from the 3rd shot (or 1st booster if you prefer) wanes steeply from 10 weeks. Giving people boosters every 2-3 months isn’t likely to be sustainable economically or medically.

            There’s a lot of immunologists speaking out against Israel’s 4th shot rollout as it may cause immune system fatigue, particularly in the most vulnerable elderly and immune compromised groups. That not only means ever diminishing returns for subsequent vaccinations but increased susceptibility to other infections.

            But what I’m most worried about is that they’ll be rolling out an omicron specific vaccine from April that will give newly emerging variants a selection advantage over omicron.

            We struck it lucky with omicron. It seems to have picked up a gene via horizontal insertion from a common cold virus and looks to be far less virulent than any other Covid variants. If it’s allowed to remain the dominant strain there’s a good chance Covid will soon become just another endemic common cold coronavirus. But if a combination of new variants and an omicron specific vaccine wipes it out as omicron is doing to delta then its replacement variant is unlikely to be so benign.

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            1. Funny thing is that America’s “leading expert” on infectious disease warned that the cure could be potentially be worse that the treatment way back in May 2020:

              “I must warn that there’s also the possibility of negative consequences, where certain vaccines can actually enhance the negative effect of the infection. The big unknown is efficacy. Will it be present or absence, and how durable will it be?”

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            2. Funny thing is that America’s “leading expert” on infectious disease warned that the cure could be potentially be worse that the treatment way back in May 2020:

              Nothing funny about that. In May 2020 there were no Covid vaccines so you could speculate anything you liked about them. Seems to me we now know enough about them to be able to say the risk of harm is likely very low for one or two shots. But three or four shots a year for the rest of my life? I’d rather take my chances with omicron.

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            3. There were lots of adverse reactions to the first two shots; but more importantly, the risk of harm from the experimental injection is quite high for the demographic whose risk of harm from the original disease was quite low.

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            4. There were lots of adverse reactions to the first two shots

              Not as a proportion of the number of people who received them.
              You know ‘adverse reactions’ are a bit more serious than ‘side-effects’, right?

              But yeah, in a few groups the risk of serious Covid was even smaller than the risk of adverse vaccine events and those pushing for near universal vaccination were either ignorant of that or ignored it. As a result loads of people underwent a medical treatment without informed consent. Nasty precedent that.

              Up until now I think the ignorance of anti-vaxxers has been more dangerous than the ignorance of pro-vaxxers, but if they roll out omicron specific vaccines in the absence of even more benign variants that might take over from omicron I think the balance will have shifted in the other direction. Omicron has been far more effective at getting rid of the more dangerous delta strain than any public health program has.

              Multiple vaccinations a year indefinitely is also idiotically dangerous, but I think that stupidity will self-correct before too long. Hopefully it won’t have killed too many people before it does.

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            5. If expressing concern about the serious side effects — like death, blood clots, heart inflammation, anaphylaxis, paralysis and autoimmune disease (to name but a few) — caused by these experimental drugs is your definition of ignorant anti-vaxer, then so be it. And exactly how many of these “rare” events would need to occur before we stop calling these “vaccines” safe and effective?

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            6. I have a close friend with general good health who has been in the ICU now 12 days after receiving the jab. Now has an autoimmune response attacking her own proteins. It safe. Very safe. She was mandated to get it against her wishes by her wonderful wise Panama government whose overreach included those living peacefully in the jungle.

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            7. IMO (for what it’s worth), there are going to be people who are affected by the virus … and there are those who will NOT be affected by the virus. Whether vaccinated or not.

              In many ways, yes, it does go back to Ron’s repeated mantra related to one’s efforts at maintaining good health, but this is not the end-all/be-all solution. Sometimes we need a little “help” to preserve that good health.

              Of course, I’m just one more person interjecting my thoughts into this VERY LENGTHY (and seemingly unresolvable) conversation … so do with them as you will. And Happy New Year!

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            8. It’s maddening, isn’t it. There’s no option for informed consent; and in many cases, no personal liability attributes to the ones issuing these mandates, because they have no skin in the game. . If someone else suffers for their mistakes — be it financially, emotionally, psychologically or health wise — they simply shrug it off with a dismissive “too bad, so sad” (for you). So much for “we’re all in it together” — eh?

              Here’s a short clip of a woman asking for the “vaccine” safety insert and the outcome of that request.

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            9. This article you reference demonstrates the danger of trusting that larger trends can be determined by small sample sizes. In fact the ‘waning’ mentioned here is because the original patients had 2 doses of AZ but were responding to both Delta and Omicron. So to tract vaccination effectiveness against Omicron means one has to account for the various kinds of vaccines and boosters over time with a good sample size and so these must be tracked accordingly.

              In fact, this larger sample shows even after 10 weeks all versions of vaccinations have a combined effect of about 85-95% efficacy keeping people out of hospitals. That’s huge because the 70X transmissibility of Omicron vs Delta means way more people are going to show up over a condensed period of time at the hospitals even with vaccination mitigation. So it’s very good news indeed to find out the most likely people to get complex symptoms (those over the age of 65) have 94% efficacy from the boosters (compared to those who did not have boosters) after 9 weeks and this ‘wanes’ to 89% after 10. Because Omicron is a burner kind of virus AND beats out Delta, this is the key time for booster effectiveness which is very high.

              Also in the good news department, hospital admissions for Covid out of London are declining at the same rate that South Africa reported their decline. If this booster can get the majority of the population through the next 6 weeks without crushing our hospital capacity (Covid admissions plus lack of staff), there is a very good chance ‘normal’ can resume by May. And with a vaccination on the horizon for the entire family of corona viruses, 2023 may see every version and variant of SARS in the rear view mirror. Of course, that, too, depends on achieving a high level of mass vaccination. What are then chances someone like Ron would ever voluntarily agree when the safest most effective vaccine in human history to date isn’t up to his expert snuff?

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            10. In fact the ‘waning’ mentioned here is because the original patients had 2 doses of AZ but were responding to both Delta and Omicron. So to tract vaccination effectiveness against Omicron means one has to account for the various kinds of vaccines and boosters over time with a good sample size and so these must be tracked accordingly.

              In fact, this larger sample shows even after 10 weeks all versions of vaccinations have a combined effect of about 85-95% efficacy keeping people out of hospitals.

              Are you posting from a parallel universe tildeb?

              What the article says is:
              Among those who received two doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, a booster of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine was 60% effective at preventing symptomatic disease 2 to 4 weeks after the shot. But after 10 weeks, the Pfizer booster was 35% effective, and the Moderna booster was 45% effective. (The AstraZeneca vaccine is not authorized in the U.S., but the Johnson & Johnson shot uses a similar technology, The New York Times reported.)

              Among those who received three Pfizer doses, vaccine effectiveness was 70% about a week after the booster but dropped to 45% after 10 weeks. At the same time, those who received an initial two-dose series of the Pfizer vaccine and then a Moderna booster seemed to have 75% effectiveness up to 9 weeks.

              The report was based on an analysis of 148,000 Delta cases and 68,000 Omicron cases in the U.K. through Dec. 20. So far, the U.K. health officials wrote, Omicron infections appear to be less severe and less likely to lead to hospitalization than Delta infections.

              I don’t know what you mean by “this larger sample …” – another one of your unreferenced claims that can’t be checked – but at over 200,000 cases this is a pretty big sample. And it includes both double AZ vaxxed patients with mRNA boosters and triple mRNA vaxxed patients. So your comment seems blissfully disconnected from the reality of the study.

              Also in the good news department, hospital admissions for Covid out of London are declining at the same rate that South Africa reported their decline. If this booster can get the majority of the population through the next 6 weeks without crushing our hospital capacity

              Yes it is good news that the duration of omicron outbreaks seems a lot briefer than for previous variants – with most of the data on that coming from South Africa where they didn’t implement a booster before the outbreak. Can you see your huge non-sequitur in crediting the booster tildeb? Because I think everyone else can.

              The reason the omicron waves are passing quickly is almost certainly because it spreads so quickly. So what you’re getting is (probably short lived) herd immunity that’s breaking the wave. This is more than likely to be achieved before the boosters have been rolled out and take effect (about 2 weeks after the shot), so while there might be a case for them in vulnerable groups who can be isolated for the duration of the wave (e.g. nursing home residents) rolling them out to the general population is gonna be redundant in terms of controlling the pandemic and risky in terms of individuals. Capacity shortages don’t just mean some people will be waiting for the vaccines and health staff to become available it also means bottlenecks of people – some of whom will be Covid positive – at vaccination sites. Anyone who gets exposed there will develop the disease before the booster takes effect.

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            11. We’re actually on the same page here. I did not mean to imply boosters are responsible for ending the wave but that boosters can help get us through the wave. I thought I had made that clear suggesting the six week time frame. If not, my bad.

              Nor did I mean to suggest that vaccine efficacy doesn’t wane over time when the approach is a manufactured RNA vaccine that the body eliminates completely within a few weeks compared to attenuated vaccines. My point was that we don’t need to care much how long the vaccines work to avoid and/or reduce Covid if we can get through the highly infectious Omicron wave and make it to the corona virus vaccine (hopefully) without overwhelming and then crushing our health care systems and driving those who staff them out of the profession entirely, as well as drastically affecting every service by temporarily reducing the availability of staff. That’s where the boosters play a key role, not because they offer long term protection but because they help keep the extraordinarily high numbers of infections much, much lower from developing symptoms that require hospitalization. In addition, the boosters unquestionably keep the rate of reinfection much, much lower than it otherwise would be from an unboostered (is that even a word?) population subjected to Omicron. In other words, I was trying to criticize the study you referred to as not adequately comparing boostered to not boostered, which I thought was important to mention. That’s also why I mentioned the very high efficacy of boosters for those most likely to get these complex symptoms even after the 10 weeks you referred to. I thought it important to say this so that readers didn’t presume that loss of efficacy over time for those best able to handle infection from the Omicron antigen (including those who had overcome previous Covid infections) which is what your referred study makes clear by highlighting LOSS of efficacy seems to make the booster program of questionable value. That is not the case in fact. It is of TREMENDOUS value when it is timely. And the study out of England shows this ( here ).

              So, yes, all these mRNA vaccines and boosters wane but that’s not the important takeaway. The important element is whether or not boosters help entire populations better handle the Omicron wave. And the answer to that is yes.

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            12. ”driving those who staff them out of the profession entirely, as well as drastically affecting every service by temporarily reducing the availability of staff.”
              So, through the mandates we lost here anyway—by forcibly reducing staff and driving them out of key professions—forcing those willing to work to make a political decision to keep their jobs. We have all of our mountain passes closed because of snow conditions. What they’re not telling us is, because of the mandate we lost 402 dot workers. The system isn’t overwhelmed because of covid, but because of inept politicos thinking their meddling and pushing people around is effective in any way. Without their fear based “scientific” wisdom to control nature I’d bet this would’ve been over a year ago.

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            13. You’ve raised what seems like a very reasonable point. So I’m going to take this opportunity to use it as a way to highlight what gathering good information means and why it’s so important.

              You have to remember that a US situation and all its local expressions is among a global community. Local policies are often criticized based on selected negative local effects as if this settles some larger point. But does it? For example, you use workers disallowed from working and draw a conclusion that ‘shortages’ are therefore self-inflicted by such policies. Well, yes… but also no. And the ‘no’ in the larger sense vastly outweighs the ‘yes’ in its narrow sense.

              If you compare that local example to, say, the one year anniversary tabulated by Medcare, you’ll see that more than 3,000 frontline healthcare workers – those who care for Covid patients – in the US died from contracting Covid… most likely at work (here in Canada over the past year – so after the Medcare timeline but with all that has been learned from that first year applied in the second – that number is still 95,000 who have contracted Covid – about 20% of frontline healthcare workers with ‘only’ 43 doctors dying from it). If you could cut that number by half, let’s say, would you – as a local health officer armed with the necessary legislated power – do it? Would you make an enforceable policy that achieves this goal? Or would you stand back, stand by, and let the virus have its way and do nothing? Which approach is the most medically defensible position so that Jim’s opinion alone is not the sole basis?

              Fortunately, we have people who gather this kind of data. Not just in the US but across the globe. We have people with epidemiological expertise whose job is to collect, collate, and interpret millions of data points like those raised in every local area to find out. We have the means to gather all of this information and have highly experienced epidemiologists put together an overview of what is going on , where it is unfolding, and what we can do to affect in their professional opinion future outcomes. Then more data is collected globally on whether or not these recommendations if implemented and by what means over what period of time actually do what these experts were hoping they would accomplish and to what if any extent.

              This is where the local example of denying workers based on vaccination policy becomes medically meaningful and so it’s very important to get ‘good’ information – professionally unbiased collated opinions whether or not this achieves the effect of either a net benefit or loss. Those unbiased collated opinions is called ‘consensus’ and it is always a work in progress as more and more information is gathered.

              This is why epidemiological consensus is what drives public healthcare policy regarding issues like mandating vaccinations for workers and not the opinion of Jim or Tildeb or even a Fauci.

              And this is why anti-vaxers will almost always present local decisions as being ‘just another opinion equivalent to any other.’ It is a tactic to undermine the expertise being used on side of these questions in order to sell misinformation under the guise of ‘respecting’ any individual’s personal opinion as if equivalent. So any information that seems to do the job of supporting the anti-vax position is packaged as if equivalent ‘good’ information. That’s why you’ll be hard pressed to find any epidemiologist who is an anti-vaxer! The data is absolutely unquestionably clear that vaccination is a very powerful and effective tool in their arsenal against all kinds of infectious diseases. There is literally no medically valid question about this fact no matter what other issues are raised about particular and/or local concerns regarding specific kinds and cohorts most affected.

              So when the epidemiological consensus is that restricting non vaccinated people in a variety of ways is justified to reduce overall harm, we should listen. We should understand that our contrary opinion is not equivalent and that we should grant a level of trust to the consensus BECAUSE we know our understanding is not equivalent in this matter. We are free to disagree but obligated to submit or accept the restrictions as the cost of acting on our contrary opinions.

              So yes, local workers are dismissed and shortages from this do occur but far more shortages of longer duration and more severe effects in more vital sectors are exacerbated by those who will not act responsibly and yet think well of themselves and their civic virtue for rejecting medical consensus. They know not what they do.

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            14. So let’s imagine this RIF is nationalized vs localized only in Washington state. This makes it justifiably worse for the common good? Your answer is the most convoluted appreciation for mismanagement I’ve ever heard, I believe.
              I think the biggest concern is the arrogance of officials that think because our microscopes can see now, way too infinitely small that they can somehow interpret these “professionally unbiased collated opinions whether or not this achieves the effect of either a net benefit or loss.” No decision, however meaningful can account for all the variables. I have to agree with Robert Oppenheimer on this one. “ It is perfectly obvious that the whole world is going to hell. The only possible chance that it might not is that we do not attempt to prevent it from doing so.”
              Without our intervention this pandemic would be over. Now we can detect the slightest changes in variants and adjust accordingly, while simultaneously destroying whatever quality of life the macro had to offer. Destroyed by expert analysis of data where each point has a million variables. This is a fact—it cannot be done.

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            15. Each of the variants have evolved and emerged from unvaccinated populations, not that seems to dent your anti-vax beliefs one bit.

              Your point that it would all be over by now is not just wishful thinking, Jim. It’s a recipe to repeat and rinse the worst case scenario… skipping the rinsing stage. The reason the US is an outlier for much higher rates of mass casualties and incredible numbers of disabled from Covid and maximum loss of economy compared to every other first world nation is because the national response was to stand back and stand by and allow this disaster to unfold for the first year (while at the same time having private companies developing effective vaccines, thank goodness). Every indicator after rolling out mass vaccination in the US shows wide scale improvement… but curtailed every time by too large a percentage of unvaccinated people aiding and abetting the next variant to gain significantly higher rates of antigen effect. American ingenuity is only matched by American ignorance, both touted as high virtues. Remarkable.

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            16. Im not anti-vax. I thought I made that clear several hundred comments ago. I do believe in nature though, and that the reasons this pandemic exists are still being ignored to promote belief systems that give life far more meaning than it does. Oppenheimer was right. We never let nature take its course because of some hidden value in the souls of individuals that doesn’t exist. If we want the show to go on maybe, just maybe we should let a thing or two play out and watch what happens? Heavens no. We meddle in everything like we’re superior to nature and natural responses to arrogant living—until it’s wound up so tight nobody will see what hit them. Boom!

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            17. ” I do believe in nature though, and that the reasons this pandemic exists are still being ignored to promote belief systems that give life far more meaning than it does.”

              LIFE produces all manner of nature including puppies and pandemics, some of which are not just detrimental to human life but toxic to both entire species and ecosystems. Too many people forget that humans are also a product of this disinterested nature and everything we do with life is also all part of nature. This notion that ‘nature’ is somehow and miraculously ‘good’ (or being ignored by epidemiologists) are truly deluded; nature in fact generally tries to kill us. We defend ourselves and our survival by trying to live in balance with nature, and that, too, is a work in progress. Coming to a verdict now is the height of hubris but absolutely typical in today’s black and white woke world. That’s why Ron knows better than every medical expert in the world. He is the rightful judge and jury on whichever matter he sets his opinions on.

              Seen another way, of what possible benefit to humanity is standing idly by during yet another pandemic and letting nature take its (deadly) course? Are the days of polio (less viral and less damaging than Covid, BTW) and smallpox the ‘good ol’ days for such nature appeasers?

              So the question I guess is whether or not you are serving human life or serving human death with such a judgement?

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            18. ”This notion that ‘nature’ is somehow and miraculously ‘good’ (or being ignored by epidemiologists) are truly deluded;”
              I didn’t say nature is good, but I trust it. One problem is you know evolution is real, but you do not trust it. You might put your money where your mouth is and trust it. Just see what happens. Left to it’s own it’s mostly correct. That’s a lot more than I can say for decision makers.

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            19. If we were living subsistence in the woods or plains with a small tribe, then sure. I would trust evolution to have provided me with what I need to do my best to survive and reproduce. But that’s NOT the world we inhabit, Jim.

              We live in a highly urbanized complex interconnected social network where contagions can and have and shall continue to wreak havoc and cause a lot of suffering if people are left to their own devices. Fortunately, we also come with a brain that is capable of producing manufactured protein strands on RNA for incredibly effective vaccinations against these indifferent wee beasties. So it’s NOT using one’s brain in the event of a public contagion and putting aside our very best defenses in the name of something else that produces unnecessary harm and suffering. That is not a sign of intelligence.

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            20. It actually is the world we live in. You may think you can outsmart it, but simply falling into the hands of self directed and random change. Your insistence we prolong it will lead to greater mandates and existential anxiety.
              I’m beginning to thing you’re having a crisis of faith. Have you some irredeemable qualities of your past that drive you to comply?
              My wife is a rules person like you. Consensus isn’t always a redeeming quality. We are shadows of our former selves, societies and technologies, yet think we really have it going. So did those extinct civilizations that thought they could outsmart it as well.
              I know you and I have different philosophies of life and death and that’s ok. Yours is as natural as any Hebrew offshoot. Mine is as natural as mine.
              Thank you for the compliment, btw. You stated you couldn’t tell if I was supporting human life or death. The correct answer is—neither one. I have no illusions that things should be any different than they are. Can they be, considering the tools we have to work with? Whatever the case, it’s a great game this is.

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            21. Ah! So the failure of the vaccines to stave off the variants in 100% double- and triple- “vaccinated” Gibraltar and Israel is entirely attributable to the statistically insignificant “unvaxxed” populations in those locations? Doesn’t say much for the efficacy of the “vaccines” then — does it?

              Watching the so-called “experts” continuously back peddle and shift the goal posts to keep the fear narrative in play is somewhat amusing, though.

              Liked by 1 person

            22. Again, here are the facts:

              Slow the spread = less transmission = less replication = less mutation = fewer new variants

              Anyone who pretends this is not true is lying to you intentionally or not.

              In fact, the latest data out of the Netherlands and Germany show a rather remarkable difference post double vaxed across the populations: sure, Omicron has been like a tidal wave in rising cases (well clutch my pearls… vaccinations must be a failure then! Umm, no, you draw that conclusion because you’re NOT a virologist you have NO CLUE what all this means), but unlike every other wave prior to populations receiving 2 doses of vaccination, the RATE of hospitalizations, ICU admissions, and death rates per positive case is plunging. So the truth is not what Ron is saying here; clearly and unequivocally, the facts are that vaccinations have and are playing a HUGE role in getting us through this highly infectious wave.

              And then there’s Expert Ron’s alternative reality…

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            23. the RATE of hospitalizations, ICU admissions, and death rates per positive case is plunging.

              Can confirm. Omicron is tear arsing through the valley here, but hospitalisations and deaths are way, way down. To give you an example– for the last 2 years I have only heard of people vaguely in my orbit who had contracted Covid, with one death. In the last two weeks, I know eight people directly who presently have it. But, our high vaccination rate has staved off a disaster.

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            24. Can also confirm here, too. Case loads at historic heights, hospital admissions at a much lower rate, deaths significantly lower. Pediatric admissions, however, at a much higher rate and a rising rate of unvaxed children with complex symptoms (especially MIC-C: multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children).

              Like you, JZ, and unlike in previous waves where I knew few people who got the virus, I personally know dozens of people who have had or now have Omicron – all of whom have come through it without complex symptoms, thankfully. And that thanks belongs to vaccinations and that every one of those people were fully vaccinated.

              Liked by 1 person

            25. But, our high vaccination rate has staved off a disaster.

              Except that omicron ripped through South Africa when it’s vaccination rate was still <25% and it too had quite low rates of hospitalisation and death.

              Fairly recent vaccinations would certainly have played a part, but the main thing that staved off a disaster is that omicron is a much milder disease than delta. What's more, it's driven delta almost to extinction everywhere it's taken hold. So if an omicron specific vaccine is rolled out that gives a more lethal new variant an advantage over it you might still get your disaster.

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            26. If ‘milder,’ fantastic. Not sure if predicting what mutations will occur (mutations which are predominantly assisted by the unvaccinated) is terribly wise, though. If we have it by the throat, then let’s strangle the fucker now.

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            27. If we have it by the throat, then let’s strangle the fucker now.

              You’d have to go a long way to find anyone in the medical community who thinks we’ll ever eliminate Covid.

              And it’s not mutations that produce new VOCs, it’s environments that give those mutations a selection advantage. And mass vaccination with leaky vaccines provide just such an environment.

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            28. because you’re NOT a virologist you have NO CLUE what all this means

              You’re just a single step of reductive syllogism away from an important self-realisation here tildeb.
              Let’s see if you’re capable of taking it.

              P1: If you’re not a virologist you have no clue what all this means
              P2: Tildeb is not a virologist
              C: Therefore …

              Now really strain tildeb and see if you can fill in the conclusion.
              Maybe someday we’ll even learn why, in light of the conclusion, you insist on ineptly pretending the opposite.

              Liked by 1 person

            29. Each of the variants have evolved and emerged from unvaccinated populations

              For Darwin’s sake tildeb, would you please try to think for yourself just once before mindlessly parroting the propaganda of your preferred experts.

              Only one significant Covid strain has emerged since large scale vaccination started. Omicron. No-one knows where it initially emerged or even if it emerged within humans, rather than developing in an animal population then jumping back to us. But it’s obviously in the interests of those flogging vaccines to claim it developed in the unvaccinated, so that’s what was initially put about in the media despite zero evidence supporting it.

              But ‘leaky’ vaccines – such as all the Covid vaccines – are known to promote the development of more contagious and virulent virus strains. Omicron evades immunity better than previous strains so it has a particular selection advantage over other variants both in the bodies of vaccinated individuals and among vaccinated populations. Due to all the spike mutations it’s particularly adept at avoiding spike antibodies, which are exactly the sort the vaccines (as opposed to prior Covid infections) produce. Vaccinated populations provide the maximum selection advantage for omicron.

              So, other than uncritically sucking down propaganda, there is no reason whatsoever to believe omicron emerged from the unvaccinated and, on the balance of probabilities, good reason to believe the opposite.

              So how about you start critically examining evidence instead of just regurgitating the bullshit you like to swallow.

              Liked by 1 person

            30. “Vaccinated populations provide the maximum selection advantage for omicron.”

              No. Factually wrong. Not that that matters to you.

              I will say again, I am passing along what is considered by virologists and immunologists ‘good’ information. You can call it whatever you want but know, please, that this is not my opinion nor the result of ‘swallowing propaganda’. It is what it is. And you can go scream at the moon about how capable you are of seeing beyond and through what so many experts think. It has nothing to do with me.

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            31. No. Factually wrong. Not that that matters to you

              Either spike specific vaccines provide no more protection against the proteins they target than those they don’t or pre-omicron vaccines maximise omicron’s selection advantage over other strains. You can’t have it both ways tildeb, so which is it to be? Simply blocking your eyes and ears and singing “Not true, not true, not true …” doesn’t cut it.

              If delta vaccines properly target delta they helped omicron. If omicron vaccines properly target omicron they’ll help the next VOC to emerge.

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            32. If you want to see FUBAR in action, you need look no further than north of the border. A few months ago the Quebec government wanted to fire all its “unvaxxed” healthcare workers. Now it is demanding that COVID-infected workers stay on the job to keep its threadbare services running and plans to fine those who refuse to take the experimental cocktails.

              Liked by 1 person

            33. The FUBAR is caused by the unvaxed whose refusal to be vaccinated has resulted in overwhelming the system. So the Premier of Quebec is under pressure to ‘tax the unvaxed’ with an additional surcharge of a ‘substantial’ amount because the unvaxed idiots are getting medical treatment while the fully vaxed suffer a withdrawal of healthcare services.

              So yeah, Ron, this is the effect people like you cause. If you lived in Quebec, you would be subject to a rise in real public anger at your irresponsible intransigence about doing your part to help others, accepting a proven public mitigation treatment through vaccination, and that by refusing to do your civic duty, refusing to help others with such a simple and free act of getting a few shots, you are blind, deaf, and dumb to causing real harm to real people in real life who are not as irresponsible and uncaring and stupidly selfish as you are. I am amazed at how often the unvaxed assume no one should be royally pissed at their irresponsible behaviour and that there should be no undue consequences for their selfishness putting everyone else at higher risk and forcing the loss of life saving measures to address the results of such stupidity. Well, guess what? Sometimes what goes around comes around. You deserve to pay more than responsible civic-minded people in a civil society.

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            34. The reason the system is so overwhelmed is because previous governments failed to plan ahead for the day when an of aging population with multiple comorbidities would stress the system to its max. That can got kicked down the road and now the day of reckoning has finally arrived.

              As for your accusation (“the effect people like you cause”): it also falls flat because I have never set foot in a hospital to get treated for an infectious disease in my entire life.

              So the real harm isn’t “unvaxed” people like myself who lead a healthy lifestyle: it’s the mini-dictators like yourself who feel emboldened to trample over the personal liberties of others under the pretense of serving some greater “public good”.

              Liked by 2 people

            35. Though I hope you recognise that some day you’re likely to be part of ‘an aging population with multiple comorbidities’, so your current healthy lifestyle won’t count for much.

              Might also be good to check your privilege by acknowledging many have genetic, environmental and socio-economic circumstances beyond their control that preclude them from ever attaining your very fortunate level of good health, so are forced to rely on public health measures that may include restraining others from putting their health in greater danger.

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            36. I plan to be part of an aging population w/o the comorbidities that accrue from decades of unhealthy living. Hence the reason I tout healthy living. And you don’t need any special privileges to achieve that goal; just personal discipline.

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            37. you don’t need any special privileges to achieve that goal; just personal discipline.

              I see.
              Being born without congenital health defects is just a matter of discipline.
              Having parents who properly nurture you while you’re too young to care for yourself is a matter of discipline.
              Being raised somewhere free of pollutants that cause permanent health damage is a matter of discipline.
              Having a safe workplace and getting a living wage is a matter of discipline.
              Avoiding being hit by a drunk driver or shot by a second amendment moron who had a bout of paranoia when he saw you is a matter of discipline.

              So if anyone ever gets chronically ill, seriously injured or lacks the resources to properly feed and exercise themselves it’s all their own fault for lacking discipline.
              I think I know where you’re coming from Ron.
              No privileges there, eh?

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            38. “Being born without congenital health defects is just a matter of discipline.”

              Was every single person now in poor health born with congenital health defect?

              “Having parents who properly nurture you while you’re too young to care for yourself is a matter of discipline.”

              Do you always remain a child? Or does you eventually grow up and take on the responsibility of making your own health decisions?

              “Being raised somewhere free of pollutants that cause permanent health damage is a matter of discipline.”

              Can you name a largely populated place on earth that’s entirely free of environmental pollution?

              “Having a safe workplace and getting a living wage is a matter of discipline.”

              What exactly constitutes a “safe” workspace or a “living” wage? Those terms are entirely subjective.

              “Avoiding being hit by a drunk driver or shot by a second amendment moron who had a bout of paranoia when he saw you is a matter of discipline.”

              How does that factor in to our discussion about healthy living and late life comorbidities?

              “So if anyone ever gets chronically ill, seriously injured or lacks the resources to properly feed and exercise themselves it’s all their own fault for lacking discipline.”

              I never wrote that so your argument is directed towards a straw man.

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            39. Actually, Ron, it is. And the proof is the rate of infectious people requiring hospitalization and ICU in Quebec is DRIVEN by the small percentage of unvaxed people who then require and then use a vastly disproportionate amount of health care resources. This meeting of the unnecessary demand stops vaxed people who have done their part from getting other necessary health care services. Like cancer treatment. Like surgeries. Like screening. Like replacement joints. When you add the often rude and hostile attitude many unvaxed people in the ER show towards those health care providers who know they are diverting their time and effort and equipment and beds to those who don’t give a flying fuck about anyone but themselves but cover this selfishness and obstinancy and even ignorance in high sounding terms, you have a recipe for the kind of Draconian move by the government to charge the unvaxed a tax. Believe me, a huge number of people who vote think it’s about time the unvaxed – going into a third year of this pandemic – finally pay their fair share for this ongoing harm. That’s why there’s so much simmering anger from the general population directed at those who are not getting vaxed and refusing to do their part to help others as they expect and demand to be helped by them. Maybe a ten thousand dollar surcharge to even enter a hospital unvaxed for any reason at all. What do you think? Too little? Let’s ask the people who have lost loved ones to treatable cancers but who were denied treatment for lack of health care workers. Let’s ask someone living with agonizing joint pain as their surgery is postponed for the tenth time. How much is their unnecessary pain and suffering worth to a person who insists they will not get vaccinated but wants some health care themselves? You tell me. If reason won’t work to aid the public, then maybe it’s time to up the ante when it comes to USING health care provided by the public.

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            40. Believe me, a huge number of people who vote think it’s about time the unvaxed – going into a third year of this pandemic – finally pay their fair share for this ongoing harm.

              Little wonder, considering how much propaganda has been going into manipulating the mindless into scapegoating the unvaxxed rather than placing blame on successive governments who’ve neglected the hospital system or on pharmaceutical companies who’ve invested PR & lobbying megabucks into ensuring our health systems serve their profits ahead of our health.

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            41. From the preamble of the Canada Health Act

              WHEREAS the Parliament of Canada recognizes:

              —that continued access to quality health care without financial or other barriers will be critical to maintaining and improving the health and well-being of Canadians;

              and from Section 3, of same document:

              ” It is hereby declared that the primary objective of Canadian health care policy is to protect, promote and restore the physical and mental well-being of residents of Canada and to facilitate reasonable access to health services without financial or other barriers.”

              https://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/c-6/page-1.html

              So what do I think? I think you support striking a core principle (universal access) from the CHA based on lifestyle choices. Best be careful what you wish for. Today, it’s those who refuse your chemical injections. Next it might be those who refuse to stop smoking. Thereafter, it will become those who drink and eat to excess, or engage in other dangerous activities.

              Liked by 1 person

            42. Canadian cigs are $14-$18 a pack. The wholesale cost is roughly $3.50. Smokers are already paying for future complications in tax, but that won’t stop the punitive mindsets from ostracizing those who enjoy the herb.

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            43. I remember reading about a decade ago that taxes from cigarettes produce 3 times the revenue than is spent on the health care cost to related smoking illnesses. I have no clue where that figure is today.

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            44. No, no, no, no, no. Luggage is weighed, not measured for dimensions (excluding carry on). By those rules people should also be weighed.

              Sure, you could have a ceiling cap on it for the fat people, but smaller, lighter, leaner people should pay less… by the rules already in place.

              Liked by 1 person

            45. A fair fare is fairly fair if your a skinny ass. Unless you get a discount if you’re sandwiched in a middle seat between two bigs?

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            46. Thereafter, it will become those who drink and eat to excess, or engage in other dangerous activities.

              Yep. If it was to be applied consistently rather than selectively to create convenient scapegoats that’s exactly what would happen. Which is one reason so many medical ethicists have rushed into print to express how appalled they are at suggestions such as those made by tildeb.

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            47. I passed it along after a comment about Quebec surfaced. I didn’t make the suggestion(s) as you falsely accuse me of making and then spend time alone imagining that a bunch of ethicists rushed forth to disagree with me. Again, this narrative you build is a fiction created in your mind about me and then used by you to malign my character. Stop bearing false witness, you git. You are a piece of work.

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            48. I didn’t make the suggestion(s) as you falsely accuse me of making and then spend time alone imagining that a bunch of ethicists rushed forth to disagree with me.

              I didn’t even mention you in that comment tildeb. Your paranoia is getting the better of you.

              But since you raised the topic of tildeb bashing – one of my favorite forms of relaxation – I think I’ll note here that you rarely take responsibility for the opinions expressed in your comments, preferring instead to attribute (or misattribute) them to miscellaneous ‘experts’, health workers, public officials or, now, generic Quebecois.

              Whether you repeatedly say “the unvaccinated should be punished” or “the unvaccinated should be punished according to what people say”, scapegoating is still scapegoating. That you lack the spine to own your remarks is neither here nor there.

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            49. I didn’t even mention you in that comment tildeb.

              Oops, my bad again. I read the wrong earlier comment before responding to yours.

              Many apologies tildeb. Your paranoia remains discretely veiled for now (though I’m tempted to make another comment about BLM to bring it out in all its frothing glory).

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            50. Amazing. Even with an apology you manage to use it as an opportunity to smear my character. How very heartfelt.

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            51. Everyone still has access. What Quebec is suggesting is an additional premium at the policy end in the same way a driver with a bad record can be charged a higher premium. There’s no denial of service. I’m not saying I agree with it, but I understand it.

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            52. Yet it specifically states “reasonable access to health services without financial or other barriers”.

              Adding an additional premium would not only violate the TOS, but would also create an undue financial hardship on those lacking the means to pay it.

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            53. If you lived in Quebec, you would be subject to a rise in real public anger at your irresponsible intransigence about doing your part to help others, accepting a proven public mitigation treatment through vaccination, and that by refusing to do your civic duty, refusing to help others with such a simple and free act of getting a few shots

              It’s a shame if the Quebecois are really that susceptible to propaganda, manipulation and scapegoating.
              Here’s hoping no populist racist politicians arise to take advantage of that.

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            54. The announcement comes as no surprise. Quebec is and has been the most exclusionary and xenophobic province in Canada. Anglophones, foreigners, Muslims, and now the non-injected are all considered persona-non-grata in their “distinct society”.

              Liked by 1 person

            55. Actually, it’s interesting you say this because most people outside of Quebec really don’t understand Quebec at all and so, when certain issues like this come up, the Quebec way (usually a popular way in Quebec) tends to reinforce the description you have used here. This, in turn, tends to reinforce the Quebec viewpoint that the ROC (Rest of Canada) is not interested in respecting the role of Quebec in Confederation but are a bunch of ignorant bullies trying to destroy Quebec culture through assimilation.

              So to understand Quebec’s approach to issues requires an understanding of why there are such stark differences (to the way other provincial governments might respond, particularly Ontario). A fundamental difference rest first of all in power; the Quebec government is not just another provincial government. It is a national government inside a federated state. It is national not only in terminology (the National Assembly) but in sharing many of the same powers that are only federal to the ROC. One of those powers they share is about culture, and control of the Quebec culture long predates Confederation and was the central conditions for Quebec making peace with the English. So this is not new but a fundamental aspect the makes Quebec different from all other provinces and equal to the federal government. Most Canadians outside of Quebec don’t even grasp this much; they think of Quebec as another province.

              So. The previous Trudeau Sr. implemented some of the recommendations for a Royal Commission back in the 60s (under Pearson) that was intended to suggest ways to recognizing the importance of Quebec to Canada (like the Official Languages legislation mandating French and English in all federal offices) aimed at keeping Quebec in Canada when separation was a much stronger and more popular political issue in Quebec. There were a bunch of good ideas and a bunch of bad ideas (specifically omitting First Nations as a founding people, for example). Trudeau Sr passed legislation making Canada’s policies – foreign and domestic – multicultural… emphasis on ‘multi’. This meant recognizing and ‘celebrating’ cultural diversity as an official policy. But Quebec regarded this policy as a direct threat to its francophone heritage. This gave rise to the the terrorist group out of Quebec the FLQ and caused the Trudeau government to impose the War Measures Act and suspend all civil liberties. This was a Very Big Deal and in turn led to the popular shift politically in Quebec to a separatist party that really was aimed at leaving Canada entirely.

              Culture in Quebec is itself central to the francophone population and central to how Canadian political stability. So it matters.

              And the way it matters is that although Canada has the official policy of multi-culturalism, Quebec does not. Quebec has what is called intra-culturalism where everyone shares a central dominance of francophone culture before any other cultural differences. This insistence is a fundamental part of what it means to be a Quebecer. This is the way the separatist movement was defanged enough to get a vote of almost 60% in favour of staying after the 1980 referendum. Once legislation was passed after this referendum establishing what intra-culturalism looked like in law and local rules (that drove many anglophones from the Province) and the vilification from the ROC for doing so, the second referendum (I mean, you’d think other Canadians would wake up when the official opposition itself was based on achieving political separation for Quebec – 1995) resulted in a 50.58% ‘victory’ to stay in Confederation. That’s why today the federal government is extremely unlikely and unwilling to interfere with Quebec’s francophone first rulings that appear to other Canadians as the most “exclusionary and xenophobic province in Canada. Anglophones, foreigners, Muslims, and now the non-injected.” They are none of these but are often painted this way when francophone culture first goes against some multicultural expectation.

              Anyway, I just thought I’d offer this (partial) explanation to help clarify the ‘other side’ of this issue from the Quebec perspective.

              Liked by 1 person

            56. I’m familiar with the history of Canada. But it doesn’t change the the “optics” of situation: Quebec has chosen to sacrifice personal liberties to pursue its ideal of cultural identity.

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            57. Anything that threatens the primacy of the francophone identity will be suppressed by government policy. To the ROC, that is what looks like intolerance and xenophobia and so on. However, it is entirely reasonable when understood within an intra-cultural framework. A good example is the law coined outside of Quebec as the ‘secular’ law, where any agent with authority acting on behalf of the state cannot advertise and represent personal religious affiliation but should appear neutral to those they serve. To the ROC, this appears as intolerance to the multicultural practice of encouraging such personal demonstrations by everyone in positions of public authority. But in Quebec, to protect the francophone identity for all Quebecers to share equally first, regardless of any other secondary cultural affiliations, the government has passed legislation curtailing this kind of personal expression in public roles. Yes, it’s secular when it comes to religion but it is the case across the board. That’s why the federal government will not challenge this in court, because Quebec has every right to do this even if most Canadians have no clue why.

              Liked by 1 person

            58. It doesn’t just look like intolerance — it is intolerance. And TROC has every right to show concern when one specific provincial government continuously runs roughshod over the Charter Rights granted to all Canadian citizens as a pretext to propping up its “cultural identity”.

              Liked by 1 person

  3. As well as Pfizer sponsored studies that dishonestly equate omicron resistance derived from delta infection with resistance from a vaccine specific to the delta spike protein, it might be worth noting that Pfizer is the one vaccine manufacturer fighting tooth and nail to enforce the intellectual property laws preventing countries such as India from manufacturing cheap generic vaccines and exporting them to where they’re most needed.

    So whatever Pfizer’s agenda is, it’s clearly not vaccines-for-all.

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  4. This just in:

    America’s “Top Infectious Disease Expert” finally admits that hospitalization records over-report the number of patients hospitalized “with COVID” as opposed to “because of COVID”.

    But the other important thing is that if you look at the children who are hospitalized, many of them are hospitalized with COVID as opposed to because of COVID. And what we mean by that: if a child goes in a hospital they automatically get tested for COVID They get counted as a COVID hospitalized individual, when in fact they may go in for a broken leg or appendicitis, or something like that. So it’s overcounting the number of children who are “hospitalized with COVID as opposed to because of COVID.”

    https://rumble.com/embed/vp2b91/%3Fpub%3D4

    No shit, Sherlock! The organization you head wrote those reporting guidelines back in early 2020.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. The head of the CDC is clarifying on national TV that the sudden rise in the number of cases involving children in hospital isn’t about Covid driving them there but that the ‘sudden rise’ for statistical purposes includes hospitalized kids with Covid. And you think RON pointing this out is ‘letting the cat out of the bag’ and will bother ‘believers’?

        I mean, come on. That almost half of all case counts are coming from the under 29 cohort and hospitalized cases OF COVID COMPLICATIONS are over represented by unvaccinated in this age cohort (by about a factor of 7) is not in any way altered by Faucci’s explanation. But it’s being presented here as if it does. It doesn’t.

        More disturbing, however, is the notion that to recognize these facts is somehow part of a faith-based belief is a very clear example of promoting disinformation, Jim. There is absolutely no question that vaccination reduces and mitigates Covid infections. There is absolutely no question that an unvaxed person getting Omicron is at significantly higher risk of these complications. Calling people who respect reality and understand such facts as if they are ‘believers’ is a disservice to anyone who respects what’s true and is an inversion of it, while it inserts an element of intentional dishonesty to paint such people this way.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. A- This in no way has or had the severity implied to shut down the economy and force vaccination. The average death toll per capita has remained steady to prior covid levels.
          B- Yes it is equivalent to faith based belief. Disease experts hold a myopic view Impacted by bias. If you look around it’s not near the hype it was predicted. Maintaining that it is is hope, faith, and sunk cost fallacy.
          Part of the problem with the improvements in bio tech is we can see infinitely small variations of more and more potential problems, yet those in the industry just can’t see their overblown predictions of death and destruction just isn’t worth the hype. All they see is mutations and CYA political scare tactics.

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          1. Hold up… the link was about clarifying a sudden STATISTICAL rise in kids in hospitals with Covid. You took this to mean such a clarification would cause harm to the BELIEFS of people who would both prefer yet be worried about this statistic to mean kids were getting hospitalized for Covid. That is patently intended to paint such people not as people who respect reality but those who don’t. THAT is disinformation. AND it’s intentional.

            As for you A and B points, they are irrelevant here.

            But concerning these you seem unaware that even a tiny percentage of a very large number is still a very large number, meaning even when Omicron is less severe than Delta (it doesn’t attack lung tissue like Delta), the availability of getting health care is still negatively impacted when numbers soar quickly. This IS a real world cause for real world concern. Throw in staff shortages and the problem becomes acute. Now add in the loss of many ‘regular’ hospital-linked activities and you have a shit show where someone dying from untreated cancer doesn’t show up statistically as a death or reduction of life span and quality because of ‘Covid’. You treat none of this with any show of understanding or concern about how to mitigate this real world situation – and the FACT is that the greatest mitigation is vaccination followed by the FACT of isolation followed by the FACT of distancing followed by the FACT of masking – but remain ever-so-eager to go out of your way to malign those who do and smear them with term ‘believer’ as if they were wingnut religious believers. Of course, getting Omicron and then having the immune system kill it certainly mitigates getting Omicron again but it doesn’t work in reverse, Jim; people who had Delta are just as likely as the fully vaxed (3 doses) to get Omicron and there is evidence they tend to do slightly worse overall than the vaxed do dealing with the infection. But hey, if you think all of this is just a matter of belief and apparently you do, then then the reality denying ‘belief’ being exercised here is ENTIRELY on your end.

            Liked by 2 people

            1. Jim; people who had Delta are just as likely as the fully vaxed (3 doses) to get Omicron and there is evidence they tend to do slightly worse overall than the vaxed do dealing with the infection.

              There’s no comparable data that could constitute such ‘evidence’.

              Almost all of those who’ve had delta contracted it months ago – most more than 6 months ago. Very few people who have been triple vaxxed received their last dose more than two months ago.

              As with all coronaviruses, immunity to Covid wanes steeply from the fourth month onwards, whether induced by vaccine or by infection. So comparing the recently triple vaxxed with those infected with delta months ago is comparing apples with oranges.

              The evidence isn’t in and won’t be for five or more months.

              Liked by 1 person

            2. Not true. We do have evidence. This is in response to the idea of super immunity from hybrid conditions (pre infection plus some vaccination up to 2 doses). The evidence from an Israeli report indicates slightly higher rate of complex symptoms for such hybrid individuals (delta plus 2 doses) from Omicron than for those who have a breakthrough case after 3 doses of only vaccination (different rates depending on the types of vaccinations used). This extraction is based on modelling not because it’s definitive on its own but because it contrasts so strongly with this notion of super immunity to Omicron from prior infections plus vaccination. That’s important to know because many people presume prior infection yields higher immunity and less severe symptoms. But like with most things involving an ongoing pandemic, such notions are only partly true.

              What should be made clear is that a vaccination against the corona virus family itself rather than particular variants is preferable. We may have just that before the end of 2022 (the study has already entered its second stage), which is really good news… well, except for antivaxers who are completely deluded.

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            3. Like the Pfizer sponsored South African study I mentioned in an earlier comment, the Israeli study you cite is invalid.

              The main differences between omicron and delta are on the spike protein. mRNA vaccines only produce an immune response to the spike protein. Prior infection produces an immune response to all foreign proteins in the virus capsid, so you’d expect it to be more effective against a variant with mutations primarily in the spikes.

              So prior infection is not a valid proxy for another dose of mRNA vaccine. By dishonestly pretending it is some researchers are simply reinforcing conspiracy theories that medical science is not to be trusted.

              Liked by 1 person

            4. Apologies tildeb. I misread your previous comment and assumed wrongly that you were citing an Israeli study I read earlier in the week. If you can post a ref to the one you cite I’ll check it out, but unless the 2 vax + delta is just as recent as the 3 vax group any difference in complex symptoms is likely explicable by the steep drop off in immunity characteristic of coronaviruses regardless of how its obtained.

              Last July Israel was the first country to start rolling out boosters in response to loss of efficacy against delta and is now rolling out another booster in response to omicron, which currently accounts for over 90% of cases there. It’s just about possible they’ve already got enough post-June double vaxed delta cases who’ve since contracted omicron to make a valid comparison with triple vaxed omicron cases but I’d sure want to check the data before assuming that.

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          2. The average death toll per capita has remained steady to prior covid levels.

            Not sure where you’re getting that from jim.

            According to the CDC the US death rate went from 723.6 per 100,000 in 2019 to 838.6 per 100,000 in 2o20, with Covid the 3rd leading cause of death in 2020. 2021 figures aren’t out yet but I’d be happy to cover any bets that they won’t be even worse.

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            1. Seems to me the table you link to is showing a reversal in declining death rates in 2019/2o2o, though given that it’s for all deaths in the whole world I think it’s too crude to draw conclusions one way or the other about Covid. Countries with high death rates due to other causes will drown out the impact of Covid.

              Nor do I think overall declines in death rates from 1971 to 2020 tells us anything. If the first year of Covid had wiped out the gains in mortality rates since 1971 it would constitute a medical catastrophe unprecedented since the 1919 flu pandemic.

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        2. There is absolutely no question that an unvaxed person getting Omicron is at significantly higher risk of these complications.

          Well, there’s absolutely no question to people of faith such as yourself who allow no questions, but medical researchers who prefer evidence to authoritarian dogma still have many such questions.

          As at 20 December 132 people with confirmed omicron had been admitted to or transferred from hospital emergency departments. Notably, over 40% of hospital admissions were in London. Of the 132 patients, 17 had received a booster vaccine (three vaccine doses in total), 74 had received two doses, and 27 were not vaccinated. The vaccination status of six people was unknown, while eight had received a single dose.

          It’s still too early to estimate vaccine effectiveness against hospital admissions, but the agency said that this was more likely to be sustained, particularly after a booster.

          But an even bigger question is whether vaccines specifically targeting omicron should be rolled out. We’re already seeing omicron replacing the more lethal delta as the dominant strain, probably due at least in part to delta-specific vaccines giving it a selection advantage. It’s also more than likely that omicron emerged in an individual who already had resistance to earlier variants, whether through prior infection or vaccination, otherwise it wouldn’t have become the predominant strain in his/her body.

          Leaky vaccines such as all the available Covid ones have long been recognised as promoting the emergence of new pathogen variants. Right now we’re seeing what’s probably the most benign Covid variant to date displacing other strains in their human ecosystems. If we suppress omicron with leaky vaccines whatever comes to replace it may be considerably nastier.

          So the mindless “Vax! Vax! Vax!” chants of people like tildeb will become potentially even more dangerous than the equally mindless conspiracy theories of anti-vaxxers as omicron specific vaccines are developed.

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          1. I don’t have the date for the numbers you quote, but I will bet you’re missing the point (you usually do): the raw numbers of hospitalizations will show higher numbers of vaccinated (‘breakthrough’ cases) than unvaccinated because (roughly) over 80% of the entire population is vaccinated. So it is the rate as a ratio that is what matters and is (typically) offered as numbers per hundred thousand (hint: ratio). That is the comparative number that matters because, say, 1 person per hundred thousand who is vaccinated is a far lower rate than, say, 10 per hundred thousand who are not vaccinated (different ratio, you see, and its this ratio comparison that is what matters when it comes to the efficacy of vaccination… not that you give a shit). So if we multiply this out for the entire population to compare and contrast the efficacy of vaccination, the FACT is that we will find far larger numbers of vaccinated people getting Omicron than the number of unvaccinated who get it. But as Inigo Montoya says, I do not think it means what you think it means. In fact, I know it doesn’t mean what you think it means.

            That misunderstanding is what you’ve offered up, which demonstrates you have no real understanding to offer. But, as usual, you take your own misunderstanding and use it as an opportunity to malign me. That’s why you’re a piece of work and why responding to you specifically after you use this same tactic repeatedly is nothing more than a waste of time. I take the time here and now as an exception to demonstrate why you’re a fool: you can’t even figure out something as simple as putting this basic and expected numerical difference into its correct interpretation but presume by fiat that you’re the smartest one in the room because you think you’ve found something that justifies maligning me. Just know that every time you do, you’re just fooling yourself. That’s why you’re a fool: you don’t even know how you keep on fooling yourself. That’s not an admirable characteristic but certainly it is one of your own making and only you can undo it. I doubt you have the courage.

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            1. I think the point of the BMJ article is that medical researchers say “it’s still too early to estimate vaccine effectiveness against hospital admissions” but to you “there is absolutely no question that an unvaxed person getting Omicron is at significantly higher risk of these complications”. Apparently your evidence is way out in front of that of medical researchers.

              I think it’s also significant that as of 20 December 13% of those admitted to UK hospitals with omicron have been triple vaxxed (i.e. the criteria you use in the claim I was responding to). I don’t know what % of the UK population had been triple vaxxed by then, but I’d be very surprised if it’s over 13%.

              I would hope the particularly vulnerable are being prioritised, so that’s going to skew the hospital admission rates upwards, but in any case, given the data available so far it’s completely unjustifiable to claim “there is absolutely no question that an unvaxed person getting Omicron is at significantly higher risk of these complications”, which is why medical researchers are making no such claims.

              Pfizer did make a claim similar to yours based on one of its own South African studies that invalidly used prior infection with delta as a proxy for the third vaccination, reinforcing the view of vaccine skeptics that you can’t trust the science because its controlled by powerful vested interest. I don’t hold to that view because I critically evaluate such claims and discard the junk science, no matter who is doing it.

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      2. For some. But I think the jig is up for most people., because an ever-increasing number of “true” believers are now slowly starting to question the “scientific” orthodoxy because it doesn’t quite mesh with reality.

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        1. Alas, I see the “defenders of the faith” have now entered the chatroom to proselytize their steadfast and unwavering beliefs from the Gospel of Vax. Repent, all ye un-jabbed sinners. Repent and be baptized in the name of The Pharma, The Fauci and The Holy Consensus. 🙂

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          1. If by “defenders of the faith” you mean people informed by real world data, then here’s a bit more for you regarding vaccinations for the 12-17 years old cohort: 72.1% kids in hospitals for Covid treatment unvaxed, 0.4% for double vaxed. For the mathematically challenged who scoff at “defenders of the faith” that 180 fold reduction due entirely to vaccination. I guess that’s “faith” in action.

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            1. Yes, I laughed out loud when I saw what you had posted… not that others will necessarily understand what it means. But it does help show why Republicans are 5 times more likely to die from Covid than Democrats.

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            2. Yes, I laughed out loud when I saw what you had posted

              Why am I unsurprised that you laugh out loud at evidence of human death and suffering?

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            3. The term ‘fool’ relates to a previous explanation and is not intended to stand on its own. It comes directly from cabrogal fooling cabrogal reliably and consistently. Of course, cabrogal is welcome to malign me without any equivalent warnings from you so I assume you hold me in a special place in your heart.

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            4. for the 12-17 years old cohort: 72.1% kids in hospitals for Covid treatment unvaxed

              That’s irrelevant without knowing what % of 12-17 year olds received vaccinations prior to the date of the hospitalisation stats you’re quoting.

              If you’re gonna quote statistics to support your assertions tildeb it might be an idea to gain a basic understanding of how they work.

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            5. When you figure out what you’re trying to say, get back to me. Rather get back to the infectious disease experts who originally posted exactly this stat. But of course, cabrogal is far smarter and more knowledgeable about these rates than Meaghan Kall or Eric Topol. That explains all your equivalent medical publications and professional references.

              You are such a fool because you allow your dislike of me to warp what’s true. You need to work on that.

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            6. Hmm, so when I say you need to compare hospital rates with vaccination rates to get a valid measure I’m a fool.
              But when you do so in one comment after ignoring it in another you’re not?

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            7. No. By “defenders of the faith” I mean the people who mindlessly chant the “Vaccine Über Alles” propaganda being disseminated by the MSM.

              People informed by real world data have concluded that adopting a healthier lifestyle yields far greater immunological protection against disease than becoming a lifelong pincushion for Big Pharma, 🙂

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            8. Do you honestly believe I am advocating for obesity or pretending it’s not a major risk factor? Come on, Ron.

              Of course a healthier lifestyle and diet offers maximum immunological response and this is to be sought by any reasonable person. Of any age. But vaccinations are not contrary to this; they are equivalent to installing an air bag that, in the event of a collision with SARS-CoV-2, can help reduce its severity for everyone everywhere all the time. Those are the epidemiological facts. The variants in the analogy introduce different kinds of collisions, and we are very fortunate and even lucky if the air bag still helps in all cases. But no one is claiming this is the case with vaccinations and all the viral variants.

              So a young and healthy as well as an old and vulnerable person can still benefit from the protection the vaccination (air bag) offers and this is equivalent (so far) with the role vaccination plays in people of any age in any condition who come into contact – or collision – with this viral antigen. So doing ALL that one can makes good protective sense.

              The side effects from vaccination is a lower risk than any of us driving one kilometer. That, too, is statistically the case. If you’re willing to take on the risk of the latter, then you have no excuse avoiding the risk from the former if you’re going into the public domain. There is also an equivalent social obligation to drive responsibly – to behave in a protective manner – as there is to vaccinate responsibly – to also behave in a protective manner. It’s also the same fundamental reasoning to vaccinate children against common diseases and ask caregivers to take reasonable precautions on behalf of the health of the their children if the various diseases do arise.

              What doesn’t make any sense is to vilify air bags or, in the case here, vilify vaccination as if the relationship to healthy lifestyles/diet OR vaccination is the case (no epidemiologist is claiming this), that reasonable protective behaviour and social rules/laws in either case are part of a nefarious plot – using liberty-killing speed limits or tyrannical indoor masking – to take away rights and freedoms. This isn’t the case. At all. In any way. Anywhere. Pretending good lifestyle and healthy diet exempts one from driving with an airbag on board makes as much sense as exempting one from vaccinating.

              And you wonder why I accuse you of spreading misinformation? Because you DO!!!

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            9. For the sake of completion, let’s do a quick comparison:

              – Airbags (and seatbelts) are offered as additional protection to reduce severe injury resulting from a motor vehicle collision because defensive driving alone cannot mitigate against the unforeseen actions of other road users or sudden mechanical failure. Nonetheless, reliance on airbags alone is never prescribed as a safe alternative to defensive driving or keeping one’s vehicle in safe running condition.

              Vaccines, on the other hand, are offered as protection against severe illness due to biological pathogens. However, it’s also possible to bolster one’s natural immunity against same pathogens via healthy living. Thus, reliance on vaccines alone should never be prescribed as a safe alternative to healthy living while that latter option is still on the table. (Which is precisely the opposite of what has been done. Opportunities to improve one’s health have been actively stifled while opportunities to undermine it have been actively encouraged. For example, gyms and playgrounds were unceremoniously shuttered while liquor stores and fast-food restaurants remained open under the pretext that the first two were deemed “non-essential” activities while the latter two were deemed “essential” services. Message sent: physical and outdoor pursuits are dangerous activities to be avoided at all costs, but consuming alcohol and junk food while confined indoors is totally acceptable.)

              – Airbags only offer protection to those within the vehicle, but not to those who are struck outside the vehicle. Likewise, the vaccines can, at most, only offer protection to those who are vaccinated, but not to those who are not. (So let’s put to rest the old “if not to protect thine self, then at least do it to protect thine others” canard.)

              – Undeployed airbags are now guaranteed to last the lifetime of the vehicle, whereas the COVID “vaccine” is now only guaranteed to last until the next variant arrives — maybe.

              – And finally, airbags only cause minor injuries, whereas vaccines have the potential to induce severe adverse reactions.

              But in any case, my objection isn’t to the voluntary taking of Covid “vaccines”, per se, so much as it is to the unscientific political directives proclaiming someone’s vaccination status be regarded as the sole determining factor in deciding whether or not they be permitted to participate in public life.

              Which brings us right back to the topic of this post: is it ethical to mandate vaccination of citizens with an unnatural selection processes that, based on fear, have bypassed established checks and balances?

              To which I answer(ed) with a resounding “no” — it is neither ethical, nor moral to violate someone’s bodily autonomy or force them into doing things without their express consent. Moreover, it’s utterly shameful that so few are willing to stand up to defend this most basic of human rights.

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            10. “Nonetheless, reliance on airbags alone is never prescribed as a safe alternative to defensive driving or keeping one’s vehicle in safe running condition.

              Vaccines, on the other hand, are offered as protection against severe illness due to biological pathogens. However, it’s also possible to bolster one’s natural immunity against same pathogens via healthy living.”

              It’s not either/or as you keep presenting. That’s why this is misinformation! Find me a single epidemiologist who says it’s NOT “possible to bolster one’s natural immunity against pathogens via healthy living.” You keep presenting the issue of vaccine efficacy as if it is CONTRARY to this possibility. Misinformation again.

              “Thus, reliance on vaccines alone should never be prescribed as a safe alternative to healthy living while that latter option is still on the table.” Nobody is saying this. Nobody. Misinformation.

              What you do is paint lockdowns of communal gatherings with certain exemptions as if they are INTENDED to send the message that physical and outdoor pursuits are dangerous activities to be avoided at all costs, but consuming alcohol and junk food while confined indoors is totally acceptable. That’s not true. Misinformation. Sure, you can find examples of each, but this does not show intention. You can far more easily find counter examples where outdoor activities have much looser restrictions and greater numbers allowed than anything indoors. You are simply cherry picking information that suits your motive rather than present what is true in a fair and balanced way. That’s why it’s misinformation.

              “Airbags only offer protection to those within the vehicle, but not to those who are struck outside the vehicle. Likewise, the vaccines can, at most, only offer protection to those who are vaccinated, but not to those who are not.”

              You’re right in the first part of my analogy about airbags, which I used to show that ANYONE benefits no matter how healthy or young. Naturally, you fail to grasp this point. But you are exactly wrong in the second; vaccines DO offer a level of protection to others in a variety of ways I won’t go into. Suffice to say, the reason why you are not exposed to measles and smallpox is because vaccines have a long track record of working to protect others… even anti-vaxers. So it’s neither a canard nor anything you’ve put to bed with your misinformation.

              The level of harm from vaccines is extremely rare; the level of harm from Covid is literally hundreds of thousands of times greater. To pretend otherwise is DISinformation. Mandating vaccines is a normal public health policy used every day and it has worked to extraordinary positive effect for the unquestionable benefit of the public in any fair comparison to not doing so.

              Your legal autonomy is not affected by mandated vaccines when you consider what being a citizen is. There is an exchange between your unfettered freedom and being a member of civil society. If you want to reject this reciprocal arrangement then go away. You shouldn’t be a citizen.

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            11. Your attempts to gaslight and BS your way through this conversation won’t work.

              Welcome to the “True North, Strong and Free”, where skating and playing outdoer hockey now constitutes a criminal offense.

              And contrary to your claims, there is no “reciprocal arrangement” in play. Otherwise, produce the signed document attesting to such or go away.

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            12. Yes, such activities during a lockdown or any social restrictions can be criminal. And the reciprocity is tacit. That’s why you are subject to all kinds of rules and regulations and taxes, and yes, even social restrictions when called for during a pandemic. Go figure. But Ron should be exempt because he knows better than everyone else and his unfettered freedom defines civil liberty. Come on.

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            13. Yes, history is replete with things that can and have be deemed criminal or illegal — ridiculing the king; aiding runaway slaves; Sunday shopping; Sunday football; gambling; permitting blacks the right to vote; permitting women the right to vote; possession of weed and other “controlled” substances; procuring an abortion; the consumption of alcohol; harboring Jews; soliciting for the purpose of prostitution; inter-racial marriage; playing pinball; uttering profanities in public; sodomy; gay marriage; going topless on a beach; spitting on the sidewalk; public nudity; using the wrong pronoun; etc. — the list is almost endless. Doesn’t necessarily make it morally right or ethical though, does it?

              Nor is there any agreement — tacit or otherwise — to obediently accept and capitulate to these unwarranted intrusions upon our individual liberties.

              Nor does a pandemic, or any other “state of emergency” grant anyone the moral authority to set aside those individual liberties for the sake of “public safety” or some other nebulously-defined “common good”.

              And please note that I wrote “individual” liberties rather than “civil” liberties for a reason: the word “civil” begs the question (i.e., that it implies that I’m a subject of some ruler or other governing authority) and I do no recognize anyone’s authority to govern over me — ever.

              Naturally, those who choose to comply with all the rules and regulations are free to do so; just don’t expect others to follow suit, or cry foul when they don’t.

              And please tell me: exactly what’s the difference between a small group of kids chasing a puck on outdoor ice and a bunch of grown men chasing a puck on indoor ice s in front of large crowds for money? Does COVID take a break when the event takes place during an NHL game? Because the recent outbreak among the “fully-vaxxed” players of multiple teams seems to indicate otherwise.

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            14. I always found it amusing g that public transportation, school buses too, are exempt from seatbelts and airbags because it isn’t practical. Certainly a hypocritical connection to covid where all the sudden public safety matters.

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            15. Yes this has been an issue. And it’s good to raise it. But the response is also on point: an average of 11 fatalities per year in the US come from school bus AND school purpose vehicles. There are about 450,000 fatalities per year in all traffic accidents, almost all with both air bags and seatbelts available and deployed. So if the purpose is to increase safety, then both seat belts and air bags on school buses (school purpose vehicles have at least seatbelts) doesn’t justify the refit because most of these fatalities occurred in severe accidents (struck by trains, sinking in water, and fire).

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            16. I think your airbags comparison is a poor one Ron. They only protect those in the vehicle fitted with them. At least in the case of pre-omicron variants, vaccines also reduce transmission, so they protect others as well as the vaccinated individuals and their households.

              A better comparison would be alcohol legislation. Drink driving mostly endangers you and those in your vehicle, but it also endangers others on or near the roads. There’s no laws against getting blind, stupid drunk in the privacy of your own home but there are laws against driving while drunk and being drunk in public places in order to protect others.

              I’m not entirely familiar with US vaccine mandates, but here in Australia you can’t be forced to take a vaccine. But you can be restricted from allowing your choice to endanger others by exposing them to the risk you’ve chosen to accept for yourself. It’s similar to the freedom to endanger yourself, but not others, with excessive alcohol consumption. And there’s very few medical professionals scapegoating drinkers for the lack of adequate public health capacity and suggesting they should be put at the end of treatment queues.

              I agree there’s way too much emphasis on ‘personal responsibility’ to get vaccinated and scapegoating of those that don’t. Some of that is driven by drug companies – especially Pfizer – trying to distract attention away from the shortcomings of their product and maximise the record profits Covid has delivered to them. But I think most of it is due to governments trying to distract attention away from their own public health failings – especially in the pre-planning and resourcing needed for health systems to cope with the inevitable increased rates of epidemic disease they’ve been warned about for decades – and corporations trying to distract from their responsibility to provide safe working conditions.

              I think the big lesson of the pandemic is one that US libertarians will find very hard to learn and which governments and corporations don’t want them to learn. That is public health and safety isn’t primarily a matter of individual responsibility. It’s gotta be a communal effort in which resources are pooled, the most vulnerable are protected regardless of their financial status and everyone accepts some of their individual freedoms must be waived to protect the freedom of everyone to enjoy good health.

              Sadly, the way our society works means the most pressure on individual freedoms will come from powerful vested interests with little stake in either freedom or safety. If there’s any hope of pushing back against them it’s not going to come from ‘freedom loving individuals’ – no matter how well-armed they may be. Nor is it going to come from rather dim individuals who think parroting the talking points of authorities gives them individual authority. It’s only gonna come from large numbers of people self-organising and self-educating into groups to demand the measures needed to cope with such crises. But even within such groups, there’s a responsibility on each person to think for themselves to the best of their ability and not just parrot the positions of authorities or conspiracists.

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            17. Cabrogal, you write,

              “I think the big lesson of the pandemic is one that US libertarians will find very hard to learn and which governments and corporations don’t want them to learn. That is public health and safety isn’t primarily a matter of individual responsibility. It’s gotta be a communal effort in which resources are pooled, the most vulnerable are protected regardless of their financial status and everyone accepts some of their individual freedoms must be waived to protect the freedom of everyone to enjoy good health.”

              I think this is exactly right, as is much needed criticism of every aspect of its role, choices, and delivery. And THIS is where expert critical opinion can (and should be encouraged to) make a huge and valuable contribution.

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            18. Funny… you have to squint to see the boostered folk.

              Shame you didn’t squint to see the heading of the graph or you would have seen it’s accumulated results from May to December last year. There were no boostered folk until the very end of the reporting period, so it would have been pretty amazing had they made up a significant proportion of admissions.

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            19. Yes, the booster in the United Kingdom was approved for December so we would expect the number of hospital admissions to be relatively low when the Omicron wave started up in November. But by the end of December, the wave was already at tidal proportion so we should have seen a dramatic rise. That rise is missing for the boostered. The rise in hospital admissions from various populations that reference vaccination status, however, is NOT missing. What is very clear is that those not vaccinated are not missing from this rise, and the rise is also reduced from the partially vaccinated.

              Go figure.

              That’s why the chart is informative, because it reflects reality rather than misinformation.

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            20. But by the end of December, the wave was already at tidal proportion so we should have seen a dramatic rise. That rise is missing for the boostered

              Tildeb, the graph you link to accumulates all the UK admissions from May to December by age. It doesn’t show anything by time so of course there’s no ‘dramatic rise’ for ‘the end of December’.

              It’s lumped a huge number of admissions together, only a tiny proportion of which could be either boosted or omicron cases, because neither category existed in substantial numbers until near the end of the reporting period. Which is why only a tiny number of the cases are boosted. It says nothing about the efficacy of boosters against omicron.

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            21. Maybe this will help:

              Well, it’s good news in that it suggests the UK omicron wave has passed its peak in less than a month, just as it did in South Africa. But it’s a graph of case numbers, not hospital admissions, and gives no breakdown by booster status so still fails to support your earlier assertion in any way.

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            22. Sorry, cabrogal. My mistake. I thought you could read graphs… not just for what’s there but what should be there if vaccination wasn’t doing as advertised.

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            23. Sorry, cabrogal. My mistake. I thought you could read graphs… not just for what’s there but what should be there if vaccination wasn’t doing as advertised.

              I’ve gotta admit tildeb, I lack your talent for seeing data to support your views where none exists.
              But perhaps you can help me out here.
              Could you please compare the graph of South African cases here, covering a period of essentially no boosters, with the UK graph you provided and explain what the invisible data about the UK booster program is telling those of us who imagine we can see it?

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            24. Sure, I’ll help. But that help usually instigates some acidic comments from you about my deplorable character as your way of saying thanks. A rather inhospitable trait I have to say.

              Nevertheless, the key is to see that Omicron is just as hard on the unvaxed with both hospital and ICU admissions BUT shows DECLINING rates in spite of a tidal wave infection rate for the thrice vaxed. What’s missing is an expected RISING rate for the vaxed (because of waning immunity over time) even if much lower than the unvaxed. The difference is the vaccination effect from the 3rd shot, the ‘booster’. Even if vaccination doesn’t stop infection from this variant that is 70 times more infectious, it DOES with the 3rd dose which demonstrably reduces both its rate of infection AND its severity to a remarkable degree considering its manufactured spike protein has so many differences from that of Omicron. You will also be sad to hear that Pfizer will produce between 3 and 4 billion Omicron targeted vaccine shots to be distributed by the end of March without the guarantees provided by waiting customer nations for the original. More poison for the masses I guess.

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            25. The difference is the vaccination effect from the 3rd shot, the ‘booster’. Even if vaccination doesn’t stop infection from this variant that is 70 times more infectious, it DOES with the 3rd dose which demonstrably reduces both its rate of infection AND its severity to a remarkable degree considering its manufactured spike protein has so many differences from that of Omicron

              So why is the ‘difference’ the same for both the UK and SA waves despite the fact the latter country had distributed very few boosters?
              Wouldn’t it be far more reasonable to conclude what has broken both waves isn’t Covid vaccine mediated immunity at all, but rather herd immunity caused by the sheer number of omicron infections which, unlike current vaccines, provides excellent, albeit probably short-lived, protection from omicron?

              You will also be sad to hear that Pfizer will produce between 3 and 4 billion Omicron targeted vaccine shots to be distributed by the end of March without the guarantees provided by waiting customer nations for the original. More poison for the masses I guess.

              Yes, I am sad to hear that, though unsurprised given the huge vaccine profits Pfizer can deploy to PR and lobbying, sheer mass of pro-vaccine propaganda in the media and the number of gullible people unable to interpret data or apply critical thinking so simply polarise into opposing camps and vehemently spout their preferred brand of bullshit.

              I predict widespread omicron-specific revaccination will promote the emergence of variants more virulent than omicron and result in increasing immune system fatigue that will make the most vulnerable members of society – the elderly and immune compromised – more susceptible to both post-omicron variants and non-covid infections. I also predict it will make a shitload of money for Pfizer, much of which will be reinvested in misleading PR and lobbying aimed at maintaining consensus in favour of its new, hyper-profitable status quo.

              You wanna make your own predictions tildeb?
              We can compare them for accuracy a year from now.

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            26. I’m not sure what your game is tildeb.

              Do you know you’re making stuff up and are counting on no-one bothering to check the data and your cockamamie interpretations of it?
              The fact you rarely post a ref for your claims and when you do it pretty much never checks out seems to suggest that.

              Or are you too unintelligent to realise your claims are utterly unsupported by the data you cite for them?

              In Eichmann in Jerusalem Hanna Arendt noted that Adolf Eichmann – one of the primary architects of the Holocaust – didn’t seem to hold any personal animosity towards Jews. His problem was that he was rather stupid and deeply embarrassed about it, so he simply followed the dictates of authority in the hopes of camouflaging his own stupidity amid the statements of those promoted as being more competent than him. Hence Arendt’s subtitle for the book ‘the banality of evil’.

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            27. Back to your usual I see. Rather than try to understand the points I raise and why these points matter, you seek only to dismiss them by dismissing me. Why am I not surprised, therefore, you would go the absolute extreme in this motivation and equate me with Eichmann? That’s why you’re a piece of work.

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            28. No tildeb, I compare you with a huge number of unintelligent authoritarians who argue from authority without understanding what they’re saying. I raised Arendt because her study of Eichmann is the only one I know of that credibly unpacks the psychology and motives of people like that.

              You’ve gotta admit, trying to establish your authority by repeatedly establishing you don’t know what you’re talking about is a mystery that takes some explaining.

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            29. Funny . . . a report from 7 January 2021 reporting stats from the future (May to Dec 2021). With that kind of attention to detail, one wonders how well they did compiling the rest of the data. 🙂

              Nonetheless, you won’t have to squint for too much longer because I perused the data tables and noticed there was a significant uptick in the “three dose” patient admissions between Oct 21 (0.7) and Dec 21 (8.9).

              And one look at the chart and table of BMI rates pretty much confirms what I’ve been saying all along: obesity, plus age, plus comorbidities leads to expensive medical interventions.

              “When diet is wrong, medicine is of no use. When diet is correct, medicine is of no need.”
              ~Ayurvedic Proverb

              “Those who think they have no time for healthy eating will sooner or later have to find time for illness.”

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            30. You ignore the fact that a small percentage of a large number is still a large number. Again and again, you just wave away the fact that comparative RATES is what matters on a population scale (which is what directs public health policy) and on this issue regarding vaccinations and the effect they have on reducing such rates you are simply a reality denier. Then you reiterate lifestyle and diet and pretend these are somehow a reasonable ‘alternative’ to the role vaccination plays. They’re not. They are an integral part and a major consideration estimating rates of risk regarding physiological responses of variant SARS antigens to the population which helps direct vaccination programs. You’ve created this ‘alternative’ yourself and then pretend the medical profession is waving health and diet and comorbidities away. That’s simply not true. That’s misinformation YOU are spreading.

              Liked by 1 person

            31. You have that reversed. Healthy living is the time-tested standard when it comes to warding off disease, because reality, (i.e. empirical evidence) informs us that a healthy lifestyle leads to a healthy immune system, whereas an unhealthy lifestyle leads to a weakened immune system. So those who assert that chemical injections are a reasonable alternative to healthy living are little more than peddlers of woo and misinformation.

              Liked by 1 person

            32. “So those who assert that chemical injections are a reasonable alternative to healthy living…”

              Let’s see if caps do the job…

              NO ONE IS SAYING THIS!!!!!

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            33. Actually, that is precisely what you are saying when introduce “vaccine passports” and threaten to impose fines/taxes on the “unvaccinated” without regard for whether or not they already have antibodies to the disease.

              Liked by 1 person

            34. Especially since antibodies from omicron infection are more effective against all identified Covid strains than are the vaccines and less likely to promote the evolution of new strains than omicron spike specific leaky vaccines.

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  5. Seven anti-vaccine doctors fell sick with Covid-19 after gathering earlier this month for a “summit” at which alternative treatments were discussed. –The Guardian

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Of course tildeb has never been about critical examination of the evidence. It’s always about waiting for political authorities – such as Canadian government departments – to tell him what to think about it.

    Well, he’s convinced me. Here’s the experts telling us how to interpret the evidence and the official response to it.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yeah, I’m not an infectious disease expert. Those are the folk who interpret the data when it comes to this pandemic and make recommendations for public health policy through CIHI. That’s what I’ve passed along and not the political decisions.

      Australia has not implemented the infectious disease advice with actions outlined in the video but modified it significantly with political advice. This is the costly result and it’s a common result for jurisdictions that have done the same.

      So your attempt to link me to ‘government departments’ as if what I was talking about in this thread was the same in Canada, and that these ‘government departments’ were the same, and that the measures taken were the same, is not true. You then claiming otherwise and then insisting that this is the source of my information and ‘them’ telling me what to think is actually sad rather than moronic. But it is indicative of just how much you respect what’s actually true… as in, you’re just making shit up here and flinging it in my direction.

      The only information I’ve passed along here is up to date at the time of posting and how these experts interpret them at that time. I have not passed or gone along with any political agendas; just the expert advice. That you don’t like or respect this information is all about you and not me. That you’re willing to pretend this video somehow criticizes what I’ve offered in my commentary is just a smear job. As an atheist, I’m used to this kind of deceitful smearing behaviour from the True Believers who presume maligning my character with lies somehow works to criticize or undermine the information I have raised. They don’t. But you’ve used the same tactic and this is just as revealing about your own character as it is theirs. And it’s not good.

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  7. Facts are always the last to arrive. Ain’t that the truth?

    Here’s a fact checked article describing why World Doctors Alliance quoted somewhere above in this thread as if a legitimate source for information about vaccinations for Covid-19 is not equivalent ‘data’ to global scientific consensus (which I argue must be interpreted correctly by those who know the most about the science). This is yet another example of why using the internet to find ‘data’ that supports what is obviously counter to global scientific consensus (in this case about the efficacy of vaccines and the civic duty to be vaccinated if possible) should be held and used only with the greatest of skepticism and assigned the lowest possibility of likelihood to be the case unless otherwise indicated by a significant percentage of those experts who form the consensus. Unfortunately, bullshit can be spread instantly by whim and a keyboard but fact checking the bullshit takes time and effort… usually long after the bullshit has been used to justify some reality-denying position as has been the case throughout this thread. That’s how the denialist tactic works, by selling just a smidgen of doubt to thwart unified action, whether the science be tobacco, human caused climate change, evolution, genetically modified foods, carbon footprints, alternative medicine, naturopathy therapies, and most certainly anti-vaccination idiocy.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It’s not really about anti vaccination idiocy. That’s just a helper. I think there is value in the type of freedom people desire vs living by the tip of a needle year in and out. Is this the life they want to live?
      The data takes a lot of effort and is frankly ambiguous in many ways. Eg, the world death toll hasn’t changed. That is telling me the whole thing is overblown. Mask, no mask, contagion carrying vaxxed and maskless masses that got a shot but still can pass it around.
      The vaccine is 95%effective at keeping you out of the hospital, while your natural immune system is also 95% effective at keeping you out of the hospital.
      I think many people Tildeb, would rather be left alone and die, than be bullied by executive orders of any kind. Especially here in the states where the expectation of autonomy is very high.

      Like

      1. It’s ‘ambiguous’ IF AND ONLY IF you grant to the merchants of doubt the legitimacy of their interpretation of the selected data, especially when it is diametrically opposite to the global medical consensus. Right then and there, one should pause. Might it be a mistake to presume these interpretations are actually equivalent? The fact is, they are not. One side has some dissenters, it’s true; the other side has people in positions of public health with vast experience and incredible expertise who have reached agreement. (That’s not me; all I can offer is what these national figures say about how they interpret the data from their areas.) Are opposing interpretations between the dissenters and the experts really equivalent? Are you willing to bet your life and your life savings on it? Because that’s what you are doing when you presume equivalence. Even worse in regards to the issue of mandated vaccinations, you are betting your neighbour’s life and the lives of unseen chains of contacts on your presumption, too… maybe not directly or personally by contact but by undermining the political capital necessary to implement such public policies. And, believe me, those decisions – or lack of them – have very real consequences in the aggregate that are ALL negative. That’s the result of buying into doubt and empowering it to affect public policy. It may seem to be connected, but the data here in Canada is very clear and unidirectional: where populations have achieved high levels of vaccinations, much lower levels of infections and every category of consequences related to levels of infection are significantly lower. Where vaccination rates are lower, higher levels of infections and every category of consequences related to these levels are significantly higher. Remember, these are aggregate meaning overall. I have absolutely no doubt whatsoever that there are local exceptions to the trend. And this is what the merchants of doubt will try to sell or raise the warning about attacks on personal freedoms and so on. But the trend remains crystal clear and unidirectional.

        Some of those people will be part of the blood services data. Oh?

        If I recall correctly, you have imported blood services data regarding year over year death rates and have extrapolated on this basis that this data set is representative of no significant change including the pandemic. On this extrapolation, you have then rationalized covid vaccinations on a global scale are basically useless.

        The point here is that a little red flag SHOULD have gone up in your mind that maybe – just maybe – your extrapolation was missing something when the conclusion YOU reached contravened every infectious disease organization in the world. So my question is, why? Why didn’t reaching an opposite conclusion here raise self doubt in your mind FIRST – that maybe YOU weren’t interpreting the data correctly – and only much later feel you were in a pretty strong position to deny the global expertise and consensus?

        This is the point that relates back to extrapolating equivalence with dissenters and how that plays out. What you are missing are the real world data that matters, missing the unequivocal real world evidence used by experts to inform their ‘opinions’. How these folk interpret data is not equivalent to thee or me; they use metrics that produce real world results, whereas the dissenters just spread bullshit and hope some of it sticks long enough to make it SEEM like their contrary reality-denying opinions are equivalently informed when they most certainly are not.

        The way you think is being manipulated by dissenters. It is a series of tactics and methods you should recognize not because you know so much more than the experts but because you realize you (and I) know so much less! This doesn’t bother the dissenter, and there’s the red flag. The dissenters are playing on our egos to try to make it SEEM like we have the inside track, the real story, versus those pointy head table banging academic types who schill for Big Whatever and are part of some governmental or conspiratorial plot. But not us: we’re too clever to fall for that; the dissenter will praise us for our cleverness and we will invest our belief in the denialism because NOW we’re emotionally invested.

        How we think determines what we think. At the very least, critical thinking should grant us the tools to figure out the difference between bullshit and reality and pay attention when the red flags are hoisted.

        Like

        1. This comment reminded me of Blaise Paschal
          I have made this letter longer than usual, only because I have not had the time to make it shorter.”
          At every point in my life of the past 6 years doubt has been my biggest asset.
          These worries about aggregate consequences shows your lack of belief in evolution. Nothing is happening that isn’t exactly as it should be. Maybe Mother Nature is on the right track here. It’s ok and normal for you to fight it but don’t take it too seriously.
          Don’t you ever buy into doubt? If you didn’t you’d be at a pulpit (mass consensus of the experts) and that would be ok too.
          When do you decide which mass consensus to follow? This is faulty reasoning and faith in science.
          Although fear is still a best seller, it is also as normal an emotion of survival that got us where we are today. It’s perfectly human

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Put it this way, Jim: I base my opinions and beliefs on likelihood. There is always room for doubt if that doubt is warranted. But it’s a gargantuous task to elevate doubt to any significance in the face of scientific consensus, knowing that every scientific idea is subject to scrutiny and so consensus has already gone through far in excess of anything I can being to it because my expertise is so much less. When I disagree with some scientific idea that has gone through peer review, or disagree with some big brained person who has admiration from others in the same field, then the very first assumption I make is that I have misunderstood, that I have missed something, that I have made a thinking error. This is my default setting. Not for a second do I assume or presume greater expertise, but I am in a position to try to better understand WHY this is more likely than that, that this is more probable than that, and so I gain that from these experts. It’s a win-win approach.

            Dissenters come at issues exactly the opposite direction, that experts have to ‘prove’ their cases and have failed against the supposed high standards the dissenter imports. And – lo and behold – nothing can approach the demanded standards unless – lo and behold again -it just so happens to align with the dissenter’s imported opinions.

            Liked by 1 person

  8. Hear that, Jim? That’s the whistle of the train that Gauleiter Tildeb has summoned to round up the unvaxxed for their trip to his “Impfstoff Macht Gesund” re-education camps.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t think anyone really wants that nor thinks they are capable of doing that…as they are doing that. The milgram shock experiment comes to mind.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Ha! That is so funny! Police state, North Battleford, Saskatchewan!

          The Covid Enforcement Team is trying to respond to the idiocy of those who are intentionally breaking public health protocols… specifically about the size of gatherings. The ‘police state’ method? Batons? Water cannons? Shooting people? Rounding up and sending by cattle cars to concentration camps? Nope. Worse than all of those: the brutality of handing out tickets!

          End of days!

          Like

          1. How many tickets are they allowed to give one person? One per day, block by block, or who gets them, elected officials, or just those nasty lifesaving nurses who’ve refused them?

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            1. Good question. I’m sure there are reasonable rules about those issues – giving people time to put corrections into place I presume. Their role is as bylaw officers and not armed black-shirt commandos with night vision goggles and laser guided weaponry! That’s why I’m laughing; this team will probably get reimbursed for gas – if they’re lucky – maybe in 2023.

              Another role they have is to help ensure a measure of protection and security when health officials gather to share information and discuss protocols. I mean, seriously, Battleford is not a big place and so the gathering of a dozen protestors can be considered a ‘mob’ in Saskatchewan lingo! But to think of forming this team as a ‘harbinger’ of authoritarian rule headed towards the States is really quite funny; almost as funny as, say, Reefer Madness coming down from Priest River, Idaho and scaring the good folk of Los Angeles. That’s quite the harbinger!

              Liked by 1 person

          2. Funny indeed! I imagine the native tribes were laughing themselves silly, too, as they were being carted off into those remote northern reserves and residential schools. Likewise for those 22,000+ Japanese Canadians who were relocated during WWII.

            But hey, it’s totes different now, because the Saskatchewan premier doesn’t have a bushy mustache or talk in a funny accent, and the “enforcement” officers aren’t wearing Hugo Boss uniforms — at least not yet. Oh, and that toll free snitch line we’ve set up to secretly report on those subversive COVID scofflaws — it’s for the common good.

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            1. It’s amazing how much things have changed over time. A few decades ago, I traveled most of the west coast from San Diego to Vancouver Canada, and felt it had a very distinct, fun, relaxed, freedom-loving vibe to it — like being in paradise — and I was extremely tempted to move out there. But as Don Henley noted: “you call some place paradise, kiss it good bye.” Now I read that more people are moving away from California than moving towards it.

              That said, the snitch lines are popping up in many places, and for better or worse, the authoritarians have now removed their masks to reveal their true identities. We live in interesting times.

              Liked by 1 person

            2. Here it is essentially east vs west. The west is very liberal and the east is uber conservative and has attempted a few times to create its own state, which would be combined with north Idaho idealistically. It makes an interesting show, yet an irritating one. If they could only believe the right dogmas…

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            3. How liberal can it really be if the people out west have become militant about the wearing of masks?

              The true test of someone’s commitment to the constitutional ideals — like freedom of speech, freedom of expression, freedom of association, freedom of peaceful assembly, freedom of movement, freedom to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, etc. — is whether they maintain that commitment without waiver, even during times of crisis and turmoil, because a right that can be withdrawn is not really a right — it’s a privilege.

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  9. For anyone who might care about what risk in the age of Covid means:

    There is an excellent article here explaining the real risk of Covid to different people that reveals the tremendous age skew at work and why the vaccination goal really is a PUBLIC health issue goal and not a personal freedom issue at all.

    For example, understanding ‘risk’ by means of statistical probabilities is not easy to disperse to the wider public because the disease is not the same to everyone; it is well known to skew higher risk towards those who are older. So how do we come to better understand our own risk?

    Well, statistically speaking, it takes about 800 vaccinations in the 60+ population to keep one 60+ person out of hospital. It takes about 25,000 vaccinations in children under the age of 12 to keep that same 60+ person out of the hospital. But what we as interested members of the public do to calculate what our own risk might be is we use information that has been collated based on averages – information gathered across all age cohorts that constitute thee ‘public’ – but this presents a misleading baseline when we (understandably) look at our personal risk using these stats and then decide whether or not we feel we should or should not get vaccinated.

    The result?

    When we use average risk, we think we are safer than we are OR more at risk than we are based on these averages. This leads to a great deal of confusion about accurately determining the real levels of risk we – and those we care for – face. More importantly, it leads to a great deal of confusion about why we should or should not get vaccinated!

    But the truth is that the virus causes logarithmic risk based on 5 year age segments. A person 5 years older than you faces TWICE as much risk as you do! So your decision about getting vaccinated is far, FAR less important to you that it might be to them!

    At one end of the age spectrum, this doubling has little effect… a young child goes from extremely unlikely to get complex Covid symptoms to very unlikely. Big deal. But the other end of the population spectrum? Well, let’s just say the older one is, the more prudent to have one’s affairs in order. The risk of getting complex Covid symptoms go hand in hand with age; vaccinations mitigate it, divide it by a percentage less than the doubling effect, it is true. So it’s just that simple. Vaccinations only partly mitigate the rising risk of having complex symptoms that comes with age in the time of Covid.

    So the best defense is wide vaccination aimed to reduce exposure. That’s the major thing: being exposed to the virus. Vaccination in this context is a mitigating measure only, and that mitigation is mostly dealing with developing complex symptoms. And if vaccination programs are wide enough to capture most of a population, then vaccinations can mitigate exposure to the point of being – you guessed it – extremely unlikely. And that’s the the most important goal of any and all vaccination programs. if you’re never exposed, you’re not going to develop these symptoms that are what kills and maims people for life (not the virus).

    So this goal of reducing exposure can only be accomplished by mass vaccination because we also know that the unvaccinated are not evenly distributed across the wider population but very much based on enclaves that, as a social group, are very poorly vaccinated if at all. When members from these enclaves interact with people beyond that enclave, the risk they present is ALSO logarithmic. Think about that. A single infected person offers different levels of risk – from little to great – with every single contact made throughout the public they come into contact with. And this is very poorly understood by most people.

    A single unvaccinated person, in other words, even if pre- or asymptomatic presents a different risk, what’s called a ‘scaled’ risk, to others depending on the ages of these other people even if they are fully vaccinated. Hence, what get a rising number of what we call ‘breakthrough cases’. Although vaccinated individuals lessen their chances of developing complex symptoms if exposed (this is good), their age increases the risk to the point of doubling them for every 5 years old they are when exposed (this is bad).

    That’s why framing vaccinations as a personal issue does not accurately define what’s really at stake nor properly describe why remaining unvaccinated by choice increases the risk such people present to the entire public domain to those who are older even if fully vaccinated!

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Public Health Ontario recently released a report stating there was a demonstrable increase in Myocarditis and Pericarditis following “vaccination” with COVID-19 mRNA “vaccines” from December 13, 2020 to August 7, 2021.

    From the highlights:

    – Since the start of the COVID-19 immunization program in Ontario, there have been 314 reports
    of myocarditis or pericarditis following receipt of COVID-19 mRNA vaccines in Ontario.

    – Of those, 204 reports of myocarditis/pericarditis met the Brighton Collaboration case definition
    levels of diagnostic certainty 1, 2 or 3 for myocarditis or pericarditis and are subsequently
    included in the remainder of the analysis.5,6
    – Among the 204 reports, 79.9% occurred in males and 69.6% occurred following second
    dose.

    – The reporting rate of myocarditis/pericarditis was higher following the second dose of mRNA
    vaccine than after the first dose, particularly for those receiving the Moderna vaccine as the
    second dose of the series (regardless of the product received for the first dose).

    – The reporting rate for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was 6.4 per million doses administered
    following first dose and 8.7 per million doses administered following second dose, for all
    age groups and genders combined.

    – The reporting rate for the Moderna vaccine was 6.6 per million doses administered
    following first dose and 28.2 per million doses administered following second dose, for all
    age groups and genders combined.

    – The highest reporting rate of myocarditis/pericarditis was observed in males aged 18-24 years
    following second dose.

    – The reporting rate in this group following the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine as second dose was
    37.4 per million doses and was 263.2 per million following the Moderna vaccine as second
    dose.

    https://www.publichealthontario.ca/-/media/documents/ncov/epi/covid-19-myocarditis-pericarditis-vaccines-epi.pdf?sc_lang=en

    Liked by 2 people

    1. *sigh*

      From the authors (parentheses and bold are mine):

      “Even if you took the worst-case scenario, it doesn’t happen in 99.9 per cent of cases,” said Montreal cardiologist and epidemiologist Dr. Christopher Labos. “So the vast majority of people, even young people, are going to get vaccinated and not have an issue with myocarditis (the more serious of the two conditions… para, infection of the heart sac; myo, infection of the heart).”

      “A small proportion of people who do experience the side effect (~30-40 potentially per million doses in the 18-24 cohort who are most at risk) will experience mild symptoms that are treatable without hospital care, Labos said, and don’t appear to cause “any major heart damage.”

      And the actual risk conclusion from the authors you (somehow) managed to avoid?

      COVID-19 vaccines are safe and have been proven effective against the disease. We invite anyone who has not yet received the shot to please get vaccinated.”

      Also, when asked about this study, “The real problem here is that I worry that people are going to keep using the wrong version of the study to advance their agenda.” You mean there are people who have an agenda other than providing good information about this very serious pandemic? Whodathunk!

      Now, who might that be, I wonder… hmmm….

      Liked by 3 people

    2. JAMA study here.

      Take away?

      ” No relationship between COVID-19 mRNA vaccination and postvaccination myocarditis can been established given the observational nature of this study.”

      Like

      1. Yet Sweden, Finland and Denmark have announced they have suspended use of the experimental Spikevax drugs for those under 30. Things that make you go . . . hmmm.

        Like

  11. Here’s some more “anti-vax misinformation” being peddled by the alt-right conspiracy theorists working for Public Health England:

    Click to access Technical_Briefing_23_21_09_16.pdf

    I direct you to examine the data found in Table 5. “Attendance to emergency care and deaths of sequenced and genotyped Delta cases in England by vaccination status (1 February 2021 to 12 September 2021), which can be found on pages 19 – 20 of the report.

    If you compare the total number of cases reported in column two against the number of unvaccinated cases in the last column, you will discover that they represent ~43% of all cases, ~50% of all cases in the <50 age group and ~9% of the cases in the 50+ age group.

    If you compare the total number of deaths, the total unvaccinated represent ~28% of the total, 65% of the <50 age group, and ~30% of the 50+ age group.

    And the doubled-vaccinated, 50+ age group faired the worst in all categories:

    – total cases ~75%
    – total emergency care ~65%
    – total overnight inpatient admissions ~69% and 63% (exclusion and inclusion)
    – total deaths within 28 days ~68%

    So it doesn't look like the vaccines were quite as effective as their proponents claim.

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    1. I’m surprised you’re not requested by every health organization in the world for your infectious disease expertise, Ron. You are by far the smartest one anywhere and can read reports to find exactly what everyone else in the profession misses. Sound very reasonable . You are truly amazing. Now, I’ve got this rash…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, this is what those health experts you keep referring to have reported. If you’re dissatisfied with their findings, then perhaps you’ll have to take it up with them personally.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. No, this is what you have interpreted these finding to mean. That’s why you should be a world-renowned infectious disease expert, Ron: because you think the data supports what you believe. This is a thinking error you keep making.

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          1. tildeb, you ask for data, when data is presented to you, you go straight to cynicism and ad hominem attacks.
            you’re not playing fairly!

            Liked by 2 people

            1. I’m not parsing a report that used a different vaccine at different stages than the mRNA vaccines used here. It’s not in my wheelhouse and I’ve read, seen, or heard nothing about it. That’s not the way I ‘play’; that’s respecting infectious disease experts to parse this information for all of us and then explain how it impacts people or affects vaccination scheduling. Ron thinks himself so well informed as these experts because, Hey, he has this data that he thinks says what seems to align with his beliefs. Yeah, so?

              As I’ve said earlier, there is no end to this denialist tactic, monicat. The interwebs will ALWAYS offer a steady supply of this. And I’ve also stated quite clearly that I’m not going to play this game, either with vaccination data here or a creationist argument elsewhere that seems to undermine evolutionary theory or climate data that seems contrary to climate science. People are welcome to go town with all the ‘alternate’ facts they want. I’m much more concerned with using what’s true to inform my beliefs about reality rather that using my beliefs to guide me to select which information best bolsters them.

              Liked by 1 person

            2. tildeb, you close your eyes to the fact that there is a significant amount of information that is not publicized. i am not afraid of the vaccine, and will take it if need be. what worries me is how those contrarian but well-credentialed docs and scientists are being treated. if you have nothing to hide, why try to conceal any opposing view? this is scary and very anti-democratic. it’s the method that is so detestable.

              but be careful, you feeling you are “using the ‘truth’ while those disagreeing are using ‘beliefs’ puts you in a huge blindspot. a lil flexibility of mind never hurts.

              now, let’s not fight. after all we’ve been through!😁.

              Liked by 2 people

            3. I laughed out loud at being told there is a fair amount of ‘information’ that is not publicized! You have no idea at the avalanche of ‘information’ pouring into public health! You have no idea how many people are involved figuring out what is ‘information’ and what is batshit crazy and then parsing it into useful data. I suspect you also have no clue what constitutes ‘useful’ data.

              If you wrote a scientific paper for publication and submitted it, only then do you begin to realize the rigor of the process. This is why many studies avoid this process by going straight to a gullible press who can slap a click-bait heading on something and publish instantaneously. This is why the online world is full of all kinds of stuff that may or may not be good information, the kind that can be used to better understand something like a virus and how it operates and by what mechanisms. That’s why we have actual experts who DO know exactly this, who have spent a tremendous amounts of time and effort and undergone highly specific training to be able to understand these differences and recommend appropriately. It is EXACTLY this expertise that can cut away 99% of the shit pouring into social media and get to the heart of the increasing knowledge we are earning. And then they know how to apply this knowledge in ways that offer the best chance for EVERYONE to benefit.

              To suggest that it is the lack of publicizing good information that is a problem is downright hilarious; the more an expert publishes, the higher the chances someone like Ron will either find some cherry-picked data that SEEMS to be contrary to medical consensus or claim the expert isn’t publishing the right data that just so happens to agree with him!

              Believe me when I say there are literally hundreds if not thousands of infectious disease experts parsing this avalanche and trying to the very best of their professional abilities to separate the wheat from the chaff, to get the best possible vetted information (this the rigorous process I mentioned) to those who formulate public health policy. This is why I say I know the vaccination policies are based on the very best information at hand, that this is process, that the goal is unquestionably to try to get a handle on and end this global pandemic. I know this is an international effort utilizing the very best infectious disease experts humanity has ever produced, incorporating the very best information humanly possible, and that there is a global consensus on the efficacy and effectiveness of vaccination to accomplish this Herculean task.

              On the other side is Ron…

              Liked by 1 person

            4. tildeb, i agree there is a lot of crap out there but there is also a lot of good stuff.

              do you mind sharing what is your background?

              Liked by 2 people

            5. Married to someone who was ‘at the table’ so to speak putting together from a healthcare perspective what needed to be translated into public policy. And that perspective was very much driven by CIHI (the national database for all medical information) and all the various data streams it produced. My spouse worked directly for the Minister of Health and so I’ve been exposed for many years to the inner workings of how health policy comes about. Many of these people continue to ‘use’ (problem solvers are especially valuable resources) the expertise of many other people who also understand this process and after time very deep bonds of friendships develop as as well as professional respect for putting all of this together. Heads of hospitals, medical departments, ongoing research private and public, all the major players from pharmaceuticals to robotics, from manufacturers foreign and domestic to suppliers and the chains they use. Balancing costs with results, investments with timelines and publications, and always an eye to how the political aspects plays out. Why recommend this kind of cancer centre here and that kind of organ transplant there, how to meet the projected demands with population shifts in order to recommend more training dollars and spaces here but reduced over there. There’s a huge amount of activity in a socialized medical system made redundant, as you know, because the delivery of ‘health care’ is a provincial concern! But there are also federal dollars and regional benefactors and it relies on really good centralized data through CIHI.

              So this is what I know about from this end of things and how ridiculous is the notion that so much policy or recommendations are from this nefarious group or that committed business. It is SO MUCH larger than that and involves incredible amounts and kinds of input, not least of which is a changing landscape based on the massive digital disruption AND opportunity that is called eHealth along with increasing advancements in efficacy in all kinds of areas. Just look at how quickly the vaccination program was designed for remote communities which were almost first on the list. The challenges were immense but there are almost no kudos for how smoothly that rollout happened. And it involved literally thousands of points of cooperation across dozens of jurisdictions.

              It has also been quite interesting hearing from various department heads in Italy and Spain back in early 2020 describe in detail the unfolding of what a pandemic can do to a local health region and better prepare for when it strikes closer to home… including accessing refrigeration trucks, stocking up on liquid oxygen, ordering plexiglass by the ton, sending out updates on best physio practices, coming up with a triage protocol, increasing capability for funeral homes. Stuff like that. And when co-workers actually die from Covid complications, or have symptoms drag on for months with no respite in sight and doctors befuddled about what they’re dealing with, it really brings home how we’re living immersed in ‘interesting’ times and how very challenging all this is to so many people.

              So my frustration with misinformation or disinformation or intransigence to even recognize the social aspect of this disease and the responsibilities that go along with it to get through these waves – especially when vaccinations are the fundamental highly effective defense knowing even Olympic athletes in their absolute physical prime who are unvaccinated are just as susceptible as the compromised senior (delta just keeps on giving it) – is very great and my tolerance is very low BECAUSE so much information is all is one direction and it actually takes effort to divert from best medical practices earned by the suffering of millions.

              Liked by 1 person

            6. I’m not in the thick of things and my spouse has moved on from that position prior to Covid even though remaining in contact with many and being a willing ear and friendly advisor when asked. So I know about the process and hear about various issues as they arise and the responses/solutions being recommended by way of public health policies plus a lot about the interferences, which can derail good policy faster than anything when it has a significant political angle.

              So I know how the anti-vaxers are a HUGE problem that has cost taxpayers not just untold millions and millions of dollars in direct care but tremendously, deeply, and adversely have profoundly and negatively affected the highly trained, experienced health care professionals most needed in treating them. This unwillingness to get vaccinated in a timely manner has unquestionably caused unnecessary but massive difficulties achieving public health goals versus this virus and significantly raised the very real risk of getting Covid even to the fully vaccinated, of giving mutations more fertile ground over a greater period of time, and prolonging this pandemic for everyone everywhere. At this rate, anti-vaxers will kill many people and in various ways they know nothing about. They are not looking beyond themselves because they think the issue is personal rather than social. They couldn’t be more wrong.

              The cost in human lives and reduction in quality of life for thousands of citizens mounts every single day by those who should get vaccinated but are not doing so for all kinds of personal reasons THEY think, the BELIEVE, matter more. This is why I keep saying people like this should go SEE what it’s like at local hospitals and TALK to those who are burning out their compassion dealing with all this shit. THEN compare the reasons for not getting two shots against the real life cost of not doing so and see up close and in person just how selfish and ignorant the choice to avoid vaccines are to all these other people suffering not just with complex and long haul Covid but what NOT having an ICU bed means to so many waiting for procedures. That’s the cost.

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            7. tildeb, we would like things to occur the way we want things to occur. but life doesn’t work like that. i hold a different philosophy, and i think it’s healthier. we do the best we can, and then we let things be. otherwise, my friend, we go nuts! you wanna be crazy too in a sick world??

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            8. Vaccines authorized for use in UK:

              – Pfizer-BioNTech Comirnaty (mRNA)
              – AstraZeneca Vaxzevria (viral vector based)
              – Moderna Spikevax (mNRA )

              Vaccines authorized for use in Canada: all of the above plus J&J (viral vector based)

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            9. *sigh*

              Authorized does not mean used. The J&J I don’t think has been used at all in Canada, although there is some talk of using it for those AZ inoculated people who want to travel to the States because I believe (I may be wrong) that AZ was never recognized there by the government (mostly because of manufacturing issues, I believe). So the British data from which this report comes will be heavily skewed towards AZ, which has different results (because it’s a different kind of vaccine) than populations vaccinated mostly by mRNA products. All of this is complicated to interpret outside of the studied population (but not for you, of course). Hence, the comment that I’m not going to parse such a study but will allow the experts who are much more familiar with all of these considerations time to parse it for me.

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            10. According to the GOC website, Canada distributed approximately 43m doses of Pfizer, 17m doses of Moderna (mRNA) and 3m doses of AZ.

              https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/prevention-risks/covid-19-vaccine-treatment/vaccine-rollout.html#a4a

              So given the Israeli hospitalization data revealing a marked waning of the effectiveness of the Pfizer (mRNA) variant (especially in the older and more vulnerable groups), I think it safe to say that Canada will soon follow the same trajectory as Israel. Nor is this idle speculation: Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer already announced that the 4th wave of the Covid-19 pandemic was underway in Canada on the 12th of August.

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            11. Ron, none of this news to me. I honestly don’t get why you’re commenting about waning vaccine effectiveness. I’ve written quite a lot about exactly this, why it’s to be expected (given the chemistry of the vaccines), why it’s causing so much anger at those who will not get vaccinated, why boosters are to be expected and after how long and in which combination, that’s we’ve been in a 4th wave since late July, why vaccinated areas have done so much better than where vaccination rates are lower, why Alberta has been overwhelmed and they are now practicing triage sorting, how people are dying who cannot get necessary transplants and chemo treatments and how much suffering is caused by no availability of ICU specialized staff (1/3rd of whom have quit because there’s no end to unvaccinated patients), that this is what too little too late looks like as the vaccine effectiveness reduces over time and so on. You send along this data as if it MEANS something towards your points when, in fact, it just highlights why your are very much an example of what the problem is: people who think they know better and spread dis- and misinformation about stuff they actually know very little about. What I know about is from the policy end where so much data is gathered and why this is a process as conditions on the ground keep changing – with new variants, new rates of spread, changing healthcare, the rise and interference of anti-vaxers and anti-maskers from obtaining the health policy goals FOR EVERYONE.

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            12. I’m commenting about waning efficacy because you keep arguing the vaccines are doing a great job. Well, if that were true, we wouldn’t be seeing requests for booster shots and the hospitalization and death rates for the twice-jabbed over 50 group should be significantly lower than the vax-free 50+ group. Instead, it’s the direct opposite. The twice-jabbed are presenting and dying at a significantly higher rate than the vaccine free.

              But instead of addressing that issue, you keep resorting to the use of ad homs and appeals to authority.

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            13. Where am I asking for data? I’m up to my eyeballs in data. What’s missing from the anti-vax position is interpreting the data (finding the meaning to advance our knowledge and understanding of something) to make it meaningful across the spectrum of data. So when I respond to a particular but consistent framing of data that fails to do this, yes, I’m critical of why the person is framing it this way.

              In the same sense, I’m critical of those who cherry pick data and demand I play the game of ‘explaining’ this never-ending challenge of data that seems to fit the anti-vax narrative. This is what creationists do to try to manufacture doubt about evolution, what climate change deniers do to try to manufacture doubt about humanity’s role in warming the planet, what anti-vaxers do to manufacture doubt about all kinds of childhood inoculations.

              It’s a GAME, a deplorable tactic, the means to try to MANUFACTURE doubt while demanding other people do this work FOR the denier, and done intentionally when the overwhelming evidence AND scientific consensus is contrary to the denier’s position.

              The motivation for presenting this challenge to me is NOT to learn or gain a better understanding of a fairly complex issue, nor to utilize the insight I offer into how all of this tends to inform public policy; it is to overwhelm those who respect what’s true with a gish-gallop of an unending stream of data that serves only one master: doubt. That’s why it’s manufactured. In other words, this is a TACTIC and not an honest question whatsoever.

              So it’s the person using this dishonest tactic that deserves criticism and condemnation for the dishonest motivation. And that motivation ain’t to respect what’s true nor intended to increase knowledge or reduce ignorance or gain a better understanding. It is a tactic used to deceive, to manufacture doubt where none should be, and the person doing it richly deserving of shaming because it produces nothing but harm and not one bit of insight or knowledge. These people ARE the modern version of the snake oil salesman.

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            14. “manufacture doubt where none should be”?? you decided for all what we should or should not doubt? the mRNA has never been used on people. it is already surrounded by doubt.

              go ahead and jump on the wagon wheel of boosters of your ‘miracle’ vaccine. yee, sole Keeper of Truth!

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            15. No. You are 100% wrong.

              This has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with me. It’s like claiming that someone who understands basic biology and the mechanisms that cause change over time to life is the one responsible for ‘deciding’ evolution is true. This is absolutely wrong. It is overwhelming evidence that tilts the likelihood that evolution is true. You have to ignore the entire scientific community and its consensus on this matter to make such a claim. You have to ignore reality.

              My position, my opinions about vaccination, is deduced FROM the scientific and medical consensus on this issue. THAT is what people are ignoring when they claim there is some reasonable measure of doubt about vaccination. There isn’t. Doubt is manufactured because it simply doesn’t fit reality. That’s why it’s a narrative, a particular framing, an imported contrary belief – just like creationism – that absolutely and utterly FAILS to understand why there is scientific consensus, why there is overwhelming evidence to favor high confidence, and the colossal amount of evidence that relegates doubt to the tiniest possible sliver that we just don’t understand how reality operates at all in the field of biology and have just gotten lucky that the current understanding just so happens to ALSO fit in spite of us being absolutely wrong. Compelling evidence that fits what reality demonstrates to us is why the scientific community has very high confidence in the model, in the explanation of how this virus operates and by what mechanisms, extracted from reality by how the data shows not just efficacy but real world effectiveness in doing what vaccines are meant to do. All of this would be wrong, would incorrect, would be full of errors if our biological understanding was wrong, and THIS is what anti-vaxers are actually telling us with their doubt, that you cannot trust reality and our understanding of it in this field. Ani-vaxers are INSISTING that all of this is wrong, that THEY know better, that the entire field of understanding the biology of humans and the biology of viruses are actually quite wrong. That’s why ALL anti-vaxers can offer in exchange isn’t new knowledge, new understanding, new models of explanation, new mechanisms. Anti-vaxers have none of this. All they have is ego and doubt and they are successful ONLY by increasing some measure of doubt. That’s it. Every biologist, every virologist, every doctor, everyone else one wrong, you see because of this trivial thing here or that trivial thing there.

              Scientific consensus is not imported and imposed on reality like the manufactured doubt but extracted from reality to create consensus. Once people grasp this fact, only then can they begin to actually understand how and why vaccines work.

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            16. This has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with me.
              Then why aren’t you vaccinated? Still gathering convincing data to to take the plunge(r)?

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            17. Who says I’m not vaccinated? I simply pointed out earlier that one is making an assumption that I am. I also pointed out that this is what substituting beliefs, substituting assumptions that may OR MAY NOT be true in place of ascertaining facts does: it creates uncertainty, creates doubt, all of which goes unnoticed by those who PRESUME their assumptions are correct first. Science works exactly opposite to this: it ascertains facts about reality and THEN creates a model – an explanation – to see if it fits. The more it fits the evidence, the higher the confidence that the explanation is correct. This process of creating confidence is in the direction from reality to beliefs about it. That’s what ‘justified true beliefs’ MEANS in understanding what knowledge IS. Knowledge comes FROM facts assembled into a possible explanation that is then tested against reality and produces evidence for or against the model. In the case of vaccinations, this evidence is unidirectional and all goes towards the models being held in such high confidence across all these fields of study that there emerges one belief, and this is called consensus. It doesn’t have to be this way at all, and there many many many explanations that have not achieved this because there is CONTRARY evidence, facts that do not fit the explanation offered. So this model, this explanation would be called a work in progress where we’re still trying to figure out what’s goin on. Happens almost all of the time. But not in the case of vaccines. ALL the facts fit our understanding about – in this case the corona – viruses. That is why people should trust and have high confidence in approved vaccines. Not because they believe this that or the other thing, nor that tildeb says this that or the other thing, but because entire scientific fields find agreement in our proposed explanation of how this virus works and what we can do to impede its progress. Doubting that consensus is… well, I think it’s the height of hubris and astounding ignorance about how the scientific method operates in reality. And how sad it is that so many can be so unknowingly gullible to buy into the doubt by a few hucksters with an agenda other than respecting what’s true.

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            18. tilbed, there is abundant scientific evidence on the contrarian side. much was posted here on this thread- you are ignoring it all. all you want to do is stubbornly protect your perspective.

              i didn’t pull those out of my pocketses to create doubt or manufacture some tactic. i took my mom to get her vaccine; i encouraged her. i encourage anyone who is concerned about covid to get the vaccine.

              but the choice remains a personal one and should be respected as such. your bullying attitude only feeds the division that covid has created, and god knows, we didn’t need any more division.

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            19. A pandemic is a PUBLIC health crisis that is handled not by individual choice – which may or may not be informed by good knowledge – but by public health policy. Following these public health policies is the DUTY of of those who wish to claim citizenship. Behaving as if this isn’t a pandemic but a matter of personal rights is a category mistake. Because we share the same reality, reality is a harsh task master in such matters. The decision to respect it – and the public polices to address it – is a personal responsibility and not a choice. That’s why mandates are ethical. Not going along is unethical no matter what reasons individuals might think that exempts them. So the cost to these misguided people should be paid by a loss of access to public interactions.

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            20. According to tildeb logic we should also be withholding monoclonal antibody treatment for everyone that isn’t legitimately ill.
              -Chronic kidney disease
              -Cardiovascular disease (including congenital heart disease, hypertension)
              -Diabetes
              -Down syndrome
              -Dementia
              -Liver disease
              -Chronic lung disease
              -Sickle cell disease
              -Immunosuppressive disease or immunosuppressive treatment
              At least half of which are patient at-fault, while the other half nature has selected for removal, speaking of Hitler.
              I don’t believe for a moment that “public health officials” care about me and are just as self serving as any politico.

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            21. And you catch these ‘infectious diseases’ (!) from whom?

              Come on, Jim… we’re talking vaccination against an infectious disease, meaning the transmission REQUIRES at least 2 people! That has absolutely nothing to do with monoclonal antibody treatment. But to claim somehow it does because of “tildeb’s logic” is not helpful. It’s disingenuous.

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            22. Not really disingenuous at all. What about kids who’s parents forbid vaccination? You going after them too? What about obese kids who have an enabler for a guardian? Guilty! That’s where Tildeb logic leads. Is conspiracy theory any less organic than scientific superiority complex? You act like this is beyond reproach. I don’t think there’s a Christian out there with as much faith as you

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            23. I have said on many occasions the costs and restrictions are ethical if applied to those who CAN can vaccinated but choose not to. I don’t know why this is difficult for you to grasp. There are a growing number of cases where doctors and nurses are starting to refuse in person treatment with the unvaccinated (not necessarily infected). This is basic reciprocity in action: if you’re not willing to recognize your social responsibility to me and take it into account for an interaction, then why should I recognize my social responsibility to you in order to engage? This is the tilted playing field the unwilling-to-get-vaccinated are trying to play: I can do what I want and tell the public to go fuck themselves because I’m defending ‘freedom’ but you must do what I want and provide me public services because you’re obligated!

              It’s so anti-social, stupid, unnecessary, and so harmful. I have not heard of single case where a doctor or nurse refusing to disperse monoclonal antibody treatment. It’s not the same thing at all.

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            24. It is being used for covid patients that have serious comorbidities. Isn’t that an outrage since most of those comorbidities are from personal choice?

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            25. Why would it be an outrage to try to treat people with Covid with monoclonal antibody treatments? Every little bit helps. There are kinds of treatments trying to alleviate Covid… once people get it. And the MAJOR source for getting Covid is being unvaccinated, so I don’t see whatever connection you’re trying to make here. The medical practitioner’s frustration is having an ongoing, never-ending stream of unvaccinated people doing their best to continue a pandemic. Surely you can appreciate why after a year of this unnecessary volume of patients, practitioners might be getting a little frustrated that so many people are not doing this one small thing.

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            26. Certainly every good dr recommends a weight loss program to their obese patients. If they refuse to comply they just get a bigger operating table.
              Refusal of one medical aviso never dictates another. This should be no different.

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            27. Someone with, say, diabetes is not infecting other people and, let’s say, by overeating is not filling ICU beds to the point of having hospitals cancel life-saving treatments and therapies and surgeries and transplants because diabetic patients have taken over the hospitals. Your analogy doesn’t work, Jim, because none of these you’ve mentioned causes the particular disease to spread to others. That’s why this a special situation – a pandemic – and involves public health intervention.

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            28. Yes, there’s always an element of that including firefighting for crying out loud, but we don’t pretend addressing fires that are burning RIGHT NOW and threatening entire communities is really just a partisan political issue involving the ‘freedom’ of those who don’t want to pay taxes towards fire fighting!

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            29. No, but I’m sure many people can make it seem similar. That’s what deniers of reality do, pretend up is another kind of down and that white is another kind of black.

              In fact, we’re talking about a couple of needles that are both safe and effective to do our part to help others. But that help requires all of us. That’s it. You want to pretend this is some kind of gulag moment and shroud what is a straightforward public health medical issue backed by overwhelming evidence that requires each and every one of us to do our small part as if cause to establish a political divide between authoritarians and libertines and the creation of extermination camps. I mean, come on…

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            30. monicat, you state as if true, ” there is abundant scientific evidence on the contrarian side.”

              This is the problem of trying to promote doubt about vaccination programs. It’s easy to come up with data from online sources that refutes what many people believe is being promoted by vaccinations or refuting the notion that vaccines are a panacea when it’s already well established that they are not. They are a MITIGATING response, one that if properly implemented in time to enough people has the effect of stopping the spread, of saving lives, of reducing the suffering of many by interfering with the transmission rate, reducing the pool to create mutations that power variants of concern, and so on. In every way, vaccinations are a net benefit. But they also have some very small amount of risk. When risk from vaccine is compared and contrasted to risk from infection, it is obvious except to deniers of reality that vaccinations are a REALLY GOOD IDEA and have PROFOUNDLY POSITIVE effects. Not getting vaccinated produces exactly the opposite. These are the facts. They are not open to debate because reality overwhelmingly demonstrates this. To doubt this and think the doubt justified is to live in an alternate reality.

              So what these manufacturers of doubt seem not to grasp is that the so-called ‘contrary’ data he’s presenting doesn’t do what he assumes it does – the same mistake you’ve made here: it does not legitimize doubt. That’s the con job. That’s the reality denialism. Believing the doubt is legitimate to balance the real world data of vaccine effectiveness is a thinking mistake in exactly the same way that believing the doubt creationists think is legitimate to balance the overwhelming evidence for evolution is a thinking error. And a good way to recognize this error is when there is scientific consensus. Believing that there is legitimate doubt versus scientific consensus MEANS the error in likelihood belongs at our end of the spectrum with some failure to understand and not with all the scientists paired with some vast global conspiracy to explain the disconnect.

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            31. tildeb, the contrarian evidence against this amazing efficacy and undeniable safety you keep preaching about also comes from the scientific community.

              3 scientists from Pfeizer (Rahul Khandke, Nick Carl and Chris Croce ) admitted recently that natural immunity is stronger than vaccine immunity and that the company is trying to keep that information from the public.

              look into that! it’s part of reality

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            32. Oi Vey.

              You don’t have to be a scientist from Pfizer, monicat, to know this. The same is true for polio and smallpox and ebola and AIDS and so on. Yes, natural immunity is better. So if you were to ask these scientists if it’s ‘better’ to allow polio free reign, what do you imagine they might say?

              The issue is at what cost to the wider community? THAT’S where vaccines matter.

              *sigh*

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            33. comparing apples and oranges, tildeb. you know very well the traditional vaccines kickstart your natural immunity by presenting inactivated versions of the pathogen. the mRNA shot does not do this. it tricks your body to produce a specific anti-body and this interferes with your natural immunity.

              comme ca!

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            34. Your assumption that “this interferes with your natural immunity” is true for all vaccines. Whether it’s antibodies or T-cells, vaccines add information to your body’s immune response in an ‘unnatural’ way. This doesn’t make it bad. Without this kickstart to the immune response, a body needs time to figure out an effective response. During this time, the symptoms produced is what causes all the damage. Vaccines shorten this time and give the immune response a kickstart in the right direction. All of this is ‘good’ if your goal is to reduce the harm caused by infection.

              So it very much is comparing apples with apples.

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            35. what you just said is the mRNA (which was never used before) works exactly same like traditional vaccines. you know that isn’t so.

              traditional vaccine act like dead viruses. the new mRNA shots acts like a live virus.
              a natural immune response includes dozens of anti-bodies, the mRNA shots rely on one and lack the diversity of the natural immune response.

              imagine an orchestra playing a song harmoniously raising towards a climax (this would be our natural immune system).
              the mRNA shot acts like an obnoxious trumpet player who comes in off the street, hogging all the attention right from the beginning of the song. thus, the mRNA shot interferes with the natural immune response.

              according to Dr Yeadon (ex Pfeizer chief scientist) patients who had SARS (2003) displayed immune response to Sars-Cov 2. these 2 viruses have 20% difference in their genomes. this is the robustness of a natural immune response.

              by contrast, Sars-Cov-2 variants have a maximum of 0.3% difference in their genomes). the mRNA shots are so specific they struggle to deal with these slight changes in the virus. this is not a robust and diverse immune response.

              which brings us to why the vaccine is not so efficient and we’ll require boosters, and new mRNA packages, so on. and endless series.

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            36. No, I did not say, “the mRNA (which was never used before) works exactly same like traditional vaccines.” It says right in the description: ‘m’ RNA, meaning messenger. This is a new technology so OF COURSE it is unnatural in the sense of being synthetically manufactured and then added to the RNA protein strand (if I recall correctly). Even ‘traditional’ vaccines can be quite different from each other depending on how the vaccine works. These methods tend to be longer lasting BUT come with lower efficacy. In other words, every method has trade-offs. The AZ and J&J and various sino-vaccines are all more along the lines of this protein-in-serum. Notice this type has a very different efficacy profile, meaning different effects (lower immediate effectiveness, but longer lasting, slower decline in effectiveness but less effective against variants, and so on). The mRNA injection completely breaks down after a mere 2-3 weeks whereas a protein serum can last in the body for years depending on type. That’s why adverse reactions to the mRNA are usually much more immediate versus these longer lasting vaccines where adverse reactions can emerge over time.

              So it’s been a given that as the pandemic continues, the need for boosters will rise when using the mRNA vaccines, to the point where it is widely assumed by infectious disease specialists that is quite likely yearly boosters will be required but tailored for each variant of concern. This has positive and negative considerations I won’t go into here other than say this not only is expected but offers tremendous benefit to target the most dangerous of mutated viruses quickly and effectively. For example, an mRNA tailored vaccine against ebola is now currently used to arm medical people in a small region to almost immediately vaccinate the most at-risk groups and keep these outbreaks extremely local and have them peter out almost as soon as they are identified. A ‘traditional’ protein vaccine takes years to develop and not a day or two using the mRNA approach.

              So this notion of mRNAs ‘interfering’ with ‘natural’ immunity is the imported narrative that grossly distorts what’s true. If you get sick and there’s a shot available that will keep those you love protected from being infected by you and potentially harmed, I suspect you would not argue with them that it’s in their best interest to get infected now in order to promote a more robust immune system somewhere down the road. Yet that is what this narrative is trying to sell. Those who are buying it are doing so for reasons OTHER than the health and welfare of others.

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            37. tildeb!
              1. RNA is not a protein. if you write that on an exam, you’d get kicked out of biology class.

              2. the flip side of the mRNA benefits you mention are that mass vaccination of non-sterelizing vaccines risks accelerating the evolution of a mutation that can escape the vaccine. just like antibiotics and superbugs. this is Darwin 101.

              3. you imply i am a puppet to a contrarian narrative, but you are puppet to the establishment narrative. one of the hallmarks of which is complete disregard to key numbers. according to medical concessus knowledge, during the pre-mRNA shot era, the risk of mortality for a non-vaccinated person who contracts covid 19 is around 1 in 100.

              many professional doctors and associations (i already posted some resources) are treating patients with prophylactic and early treatment protocols. with such interventions, the risk of mortality is reduced to levels at or below regular influenza. this is what you narrative is lacking.

              so all your halabaloo is out of proportion.

              ps conveniently, it also happens to support big pharma. this is understandable due to your profession. ciao ciao!

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            38. I didn’t say RNA is a protein: I said the messenger portion is attached. This attachment ( to my understanding, which may be wrong) duplicates a portion of the protein spike of a SARS-Cov-2 virus. All of this is then metabolized by the body in only 2-3 weeks.

              I wrote all this to explain why the effects from a mRNA vaccine are much shorter in duration than a typical protein serum vaccination, which takes the body way longer to metabolize. This was in reference to you pointing out its effects require a booster, as if this was a legitimate criticism of its effectiveness as a vaccine. It isn’t. At all. In fact, this is well known for any mRNA treatments if duration is required. With various cancer treatments that use the same technology, for example, the duration is long enough with a single or double dose. But not with an ongoing pandemic that produces multiple waves and multiple variants. But is still highly effective. And this was point.

              Accelerating mutations has to be understood as a feature of the the size of the available pool for mutations to occur. If 99.9% of us were vaccinated and not infected, the mutation pool starts at.01%, which is a small pool to bring about a mutation compared to, say, 50% or 80% of all humans who are unvaccinated. That’s the pool that is FAR more likely to produce a mutation that alters the virus to become a variant of concern. But if a mutation DID arise, was a variant of concern, then yes, this makes the 99.9% highly vulnerable. Only in this sense does the narrative about mass vaccinations ‘causing’ mutations that produce variants of concern make any sense at all. That mutation is not going to arise from someone full vaccinated and outside the available pool of infected people… unless the vaccinated person DOES become infected, which is far less likely compared to an unvaccinated person but far MORE likely as that available pool of unvaccinated people remains large. To suggest vaccinations CAUSE variants of concern to arise is factually wrong.

              You once again return to this notion that treatments of infected people is somehow a criticism of vaccination programs generally and mortality specifically. It’s not. Ask any doctor! They will tell you they would prefer fewer people getting infected to begin with, people who THEN require these therapies and the number one way to do this is get more people vaccinated! It’s just that simple.

              This is the ‘hullabaloo’ you are attributing to me. It’s not about me. It’s about trying to get a better handle on how the science informs public health policies.

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            39. tildeb, darling, the fault with your argument against evolution of the virus is that it assumes that vaccinated people will not carry the virus, or they will carry less virus.

              we know that vaccinated people can carry and transmit the virus. i quote from recent UC Davis paper “Although vaccinated people with a breakthrough infection are much less likely to become severely ill than unvaccinated, the new study shows that they can be carrying similar amounts of virus and could potentially spread the virus to other people.” Oct 4, 2021. pls see link attached.

              how many vaccinated people will become infected is currently not known.

              so, like i said the presence of mRNA shots in population set the stage for the evolution of variants that will escape the vaccine. it is only a question of time. there is little doubt about this.

              now, time for a lil clarification. RNA is the code (akin to a string with coloured beads on it) which is subsequently translated into protein.

              the mRNA shots deliver an mRNA (containing the code) for the receptor binding domain portion of the viral spike protein.

              in other words, the mRNA shots act very much like a virus in that both hijack the body’s protein fabrication machinery.

              https://www.ucdavis.edu/health/covid-19/news/viral-loads-similar-between-vaccinated-and-unvaccinated-people

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            40. monicat: “tildeb, darling, the fault with your argument against evolution of the virus is that it assumes that vaccinated people will not carry the virus, or they will carry less virus.”

              No, I make no such assumption. As I said, the likelihood of mutation is dependent on the size of the infected pool. A fully vaxed person getting infected is far less likely than an unvaccinated person.. unless they meet with an already mutated version, in which case the vaccine may prove to be of little effect. This does not, as you say, ” set the stage for the evolution of variants that will escape the vaccine.” You make it seem seem like these variants of concern arise from vaccinated people, that it is these folk that the virus is busy busy busy finding a way to escape the bodies of their hosts. This is backwards to reality although theoretically possible. Every VOC to date has arisen from the unvaccinated population. That is where there are NO constraints on the virus and where increasing the pool of infected people – and the potential for severity of symptoms – is demonstrated in every hospital in the country where the difference is about 1 vaxed person for every 4 unvaxed and with age a much more dangerous ‘condition’ to get the virus.

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            41. tildeb, pls read this carefully, it is crucial that you do understand.
              it is not that the virus has any ‘intent’ to escape or evolve or do anything. the presence of the vaccine-induced antibodies in hosts by definition changes the evolutionary landscape for the virus. in evolutionary biology the term is “positive selective pressure.” it refers to conditions whereby natural selection tends to favour variations that overcome the constraints imposed upon the evolving population. the variations that display greater ‘fitness’ (higher probability to replicate) become more populous.

              so, in unvaxxed hosts there is no specific selective pressure for the virus to escape the mRNA induced spike protein antibody simply because unvaxxed hosts don’t present the mRNA-induced spike to the viral population within their bodies.

              on the other hand, viral populations inside vaxxed carriers are indeed presented with the mRNA-induced spike protein fragment.

              by definition, the mRNA-shots absolutely do create positive selective pressure for randomly occuring viral variants that could escape the mRNA shot induced antibody-immunity.

              there are cases of previous vaccines that suffered exactly from this effect: the bacterium streptococcus pneumoniae escaped a first vaccine (Prevnar 7 which was recommended for all U.S. children) and then it escaped the second, replacement vaccine (Prevnar 13) that was designed to fill the gap created by the first.

              this process is exactly analogous to super-bugs and antibiotics or to the predator-prey ‘evolutionary arms race.’

              Like

            42. That would explain all the variants of concern that have arisen from polio and smallpox and rubella and diphtheria and, and, and….

              Good grief.

              Liked by 1 person

            43. hello tildeb, two things:

              1. don’t forget that mutation rates among viruses vary widely. smallpox mutates slowly while influenza is fast. this is one reason why new influenza vaccines need to be concocted every year.

              2. all your examples pertain to traditional vaccines, not the fancy mRNA tech. you are basically admitting that viral evolution (whether or not it was affected by the vaccines) was able to cause trouble for traditional vaccines. but the catch is that traditional vaccines generally confer a broader immune response compared to new mRNA tech.

              so you see why the situation with covid-19 is a perfect storm whereby the SARS-Cov-2 virus mutates quickly AND the mRNA tech induces a fragile, one-antibody immunity.

              ps to quote one virologist who has written about this issue: “the mRNA shots and their ‘narrow molecular focus’ (of immunity) raise the spectre of viral immune evasion as a potential failure mode”.

              have a nice saturday!🎈

              Like

            44. Variants of SARS-CoV-2 that competes with the delta variant since mass vaccination rollout:

              – _______________ … .. . . . . . .

              Yeah. Nothing.

              In the same time frame prior to mRNA mass vaccinations, 4 variants including the last one, delta. The mRNA vaccine is designed for the same spike protein so this ‘fear’ about creating room for a new variant by using mRNA vaccines does match reality, although the possibility is always going to be there just like it is there for other communicable but vaccine-addressed diseases.

              In other words, the notion of creating variants more deadly ’caused’ by a vaccine is a tactic used to manufacture doubt, a doubt that is infinitesimally less probable than the very real danger from Covid mitigated by this kind of messenger vaccine.

              Also, should a variant of concern arise, the mRNA technology can create another target within hours and begin manufacturing a different vaccine within days. In comparison, a serum vaccine takes years.

              Liked by 1 person

            45. tildeb, for a public policy wonk, you have an appalling ignorance of how creative science actually works.

              1. in Israel, the efficacy of the new shots has dropped from the original 95% to 39% (NY TIMES July 23 2021).

              2. in Israel as of 15 Aug, 59% of the 514 patients hospitalized with severe or critical covid-19, were fully vaccinated (SCIENCE Aug 2021).

              3. in Singapore as of July 2021, vaccinated people made up 75% of recent covid cases (REUTERS 23 July 2021).

              4. in England in early Sept the fully vaxxed accounted for 75% of covid-19 deaths (PUBLIC HEALTH ENGLAND REPORT)

              5. in the Canadian capital city, it has recently been reported that out of 535 new covid cases 147 are in fully vaxxed.

              6. while your precious mRNA-tech-induced immunity is waning like a magician’s puff of smoke, it has been shown that people who survived SARS (SARS-Cov-1) circa 2003, still have memory T-cells that recognize covid-19: “…patients who recovered from SARS (the disease associated with SARS-Cov infection) possess long-lasting memory T cells that are reactive to the N protein of SARS-Cov 18 years after the outbreak of SARS in 2003; these T cells displayed cross-reactivity to the N protein of SARS-Cov-2.”(NATURE Aug 2020).

              in other words natural immunity, like an orchestra, makes far better music than your ridiculous, blaring, one-trick trumpet mRNA-tech.

              7. finally, take a look at this scientific article (if you dare):
              Risk of rapid evolutionary escape from biomedical interventions targeting SARS-CoV-2 spike protein
              https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0250780

              the paper estimates the time to viral escape of the mRNA-shots. Answer: not very long.

              Biologists probably ignore this paper because it uses differential equations and most biologists (and arrogant public policy wonks fall into this category too) are deathly afraid of math.

              it is beyond time for you to wake up and get your head out of the pocket of big pharma.

              PS
              there are cases of previous vaccines that have suffered from pathogen evolutionary escape. See:
              https://www.quantamagazine.org/how-vaccines-can-drive-pathogens-to-evolve-20180510/

              in one case the bacterium streptococcus pneumoniae escaped a first vaccine (Prevnar 7 which was recommended for all U.S. children).

              it then escaped the second, replacement vaccine (Prevnar 13) that was designed to fill the gap created by the first. ‘Leaky’ vaccines.

              happy thanksgiving!

              Liked by 1 person

            46. Remember I said something about age being a logarithmic risk? Why do you just gloss over these facts and then pretend it doesn’t matter relating to breakthrough cases? This is all about the risk being elevated by those NOT getting vaccinate to those who ARE vaccinated! So let’s review your found stats with this in mind:

              1 & 2: “The majority of these patients received two vaccine doses at least five months ago, are over the age of 60 and also have chronic illnesses known to exacerbate a coronavirus infection. They range from diabetes to heart disease and lung ailments, as well as cancers and inflammatory diseases that are treated with immune-system suppressing drugs, according to Reuters interviews with 11 doctors, health specialists and officials.”

              This is NOT evidence that vaccines don’t work or elevate the risk of variants. It is evidence for mandatory vaccinations.

              3: “The Singapore data also showed that infections in the last 14 days among vaccinated people older than 61 stood at about 88%, higher than the figure of just over 70% for the younger group.”

              Well golly gee whiz, same story. Now please notice we’re dealing with percentages here. This means:

              “As more and more people are vaccinated in Singapore, we will see more infections happening among vaccinated people,” Teo Yik Ying, dean of the Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health at the National University of Singapore (NUS).”

              In other words, it is EXPECTED that Covid infections would be breakthrough cases and that would show up as higher percentages from the vaccinated because the pool from the unvaccinated is shrinking. Why does this understanding matter? Because:

              “There is continuing evidence that vaccination helps to prevent serious disease when one gets infected,” the ministry said, adding that all the fully vaccinated and infected people had shown no symptoms, or only mild ones. Infections in vaccinated people do not mean vaccines are ineffective, experts said.”

              But that’s not how you are using this data. You are using it as if it supports what YOU think rather than what infectious disease doctors and virologists tell us it means.

              4: Again, “Breakthrough” deaths – occurring at least two weeks after the second jab along with a first positive PCR Covid test – tend to happen in the most vulnerable, men and those with weakened immune systems, with the average age being 84.” There’s that age factor hard at work. But the percentage! 75% sounds so terrible! Yet:

              “But overall numbers were very small – they accounted for only 0.5% of all deaths from Covid-19 over the first six months of the year.” That’s why using percentages is so misleading. It is not saying what you BELIEVE it says; it does NOT that. It supports what infectious disease doctors and virologists having been telling us all along.

              5: About 85% of people over the age of 12 in Ottawa are vaccinated. The salient news here that you’re missing is that about 75% of new infections are coming from the 15% who are unvaccinated. This is a clue, monicat, about the efficacy of vaccines. But again, because the pool is large from the vaccinated, it would be expected that breakthrough cases would become larger and larger percentages over time. This is just basic statistical reading that requires a minimum of understanding HOW to read this kind of data. This matters because NOTHING you’ve raised here says what you think it does. That’s not my fault and it’s not the fault of public health policy or the advice from infectious disease and virology experts; this constant misreading of data fall squarely on you.

              6: yes, natural immunity is stronger because it involves several KINDS of immune mechanisms. The problem is the cost of getting there, a real life cost in lives lost and effected, as well as about 15 trillion dollars in lost productivity. So far. Unlike you, I think this cost matters when there’s an obvious and safe way to reduce all of it.

              7: Great discussion paper. It’s all about mathematical modelling of potential mutations and suggestions of how best to respond to them in our vaccination strategies.

              “This has implications for SARS-CoV-2 disease control strategies, as one possible solution to the problem of immune evasion by SARS-CoV-2 that has been proposed is to develop a new vaccine update every year, similar to influenza.”

              Guess how anti-vaxers would present this info? Yeah, very much like you have here. Sure, the more targeted the vaccine, the more likely it’s a one trick pony. But that one trick pony has saved many tens of thousands of lives in the US alone. So far. And that’s against the original virus and 4 variants of concern. One mutation does not a variant of concern raise: the delta variant produced 16 just on the spike protein alone and it basically killed off al the other variants. That’s why these discussion papers are not saying what you THINK they are saying. Leave that up to the experts to tell us what they think it means and then we should follow their advice even if WE think they’re wrong. That likelihood is significantly less than the likelihood WE have misread data and misinterpreted what it means.

              Liked by 2 people

            47. tildeb, you said “…using percentages is so misleading”. that’s good to hear! how about misleading the general population by using relative risk without quoting absolute risk?

              the establishment has been louder than a thrash metal band in broadcasting the 95% efficacy for the Pfizer shot. this is a relative risk. they never bothered to mention that in the Pfizer trial both the unvaxxed group and the vaxxed group showed less than 1% absolute risk of illness (162/18,325 versus 8/18,198 respectively). this renders an absolute risk reduction of 0.84%.

              the convenient omission of absolute risk in communications relating to the shot was/ is contrary to best practices of data analytics and is contrary to explicit guidance from the FDA. furthermore, with such low absolute numbers the 95% figure shouldn’t have been taken seriously in the first place. a little misinterpretation of a few numbers and it would change by 25%. The fact that this number was media-amplified with a power akin to a PCR replicator reaction, only serves to illustrate the stinky aromas coming from your side of the fence.
              thus a question: where have you been the past 10 months, oh defender of analytical integrity?

              what have you and your bosses and your CIHI number-crunchers been doing about the rampant relative risk fear-mongering by your big pharma masters?

              FYI
              -treatment group: 0.04% mild or severe disease.
              – placebo group: 0.88% mild or severe disease.
              – absolute risk reduction = (0.88 – 0.04) = 0.84%
              – relative risk reduction = (0.88 – 0.04) / 0.88 = 95%

              regarding headlines (1) – (7), your reply was somewhat predictable. i was aware of the age stratification. i was also self-aware i.e. that I was motivated by my specific model and hypothesis (i.e. that this mRNA stuff is crap).
              you on the other hand don’t seem aware that you also have biases that come from your model and its motivations.
              you basically argue that, yes numbers are increasing all over the place but this is totally expected and there is nothing to worry about.
              but in fact you never predicted those numbers. you’re just reacting to them and cramming them retrospectively into your model.
              for you, “This is all about risk being elevated by NOT getting vaccinated…” for me it’s about being wary and vigilant to emerging trends that would betray escape (Darwin 101).

              re-read the excerpt you posted:
              “As more and more people are vaccinated in Singapore, we will see more infections happening among vaccinated people,”
              yep! that’s the definition of a crappy (leaky) vaccine. nothing to see here folks! it’s affecting the older age group more than the younger. yep! just like when the pandemic started with the Wuhan strain.

              i’m sure you didn’t consider the possibility that the shots might have helped weaken the immune systems of some of the vaccinated.
              you didn’t consider that an increasing proportion of the newly vaccinated were already exposed to the virus and/or contracted non-symptomatic (or close) covid-19 and had developed natural immunity before they received their shot(s).
              the possibility thus arises that your stats are increasingly stealing beneficial outcomes caused by natural immunity, not by the shots themselves. more importantly, if/when a serious escape occurs and/or an ADE-capable variant appears, you won’t see it because you will be too busy fudging the numbers so that they fit the model you have foisted upon the world.

              finally about references 6 and 7. glad you agree that natural immunity is better. your corporate and political masters (along with gullible medics who should have known better) were recently fighting tooth-and-nail to convince everyone the exact opposite.

              they are now trying to convince you that every child should get the shot. this is yet another abominable tactic on par with the maligning of natural immunity.

              7. i’m glad you liked the PLOS article.
              perhaps you didn’t notice something though: you just made a 180 degree pirouette change of direction.
              after months of arguing grandiloquently that escape wasn’t even worth considering, you finally, casually state that escape is indeed possible. at times you can be brilliant, but at times you are as flaky as a trans-fat pie crust.

              let’s close this discussion.
              i sincerely hope you are right about the jabs. but I don’t believe you are right.
              and if my suspicions come to pass, there will much long-term damage caused by the jabs, both to public health and to democracy.
              at that time, your masters will be the ones who, as a matter of political survival, will viciously blame everything on the 15% of neanderthal anti-vaxxers who supposedly ruined it for everyone.

              Liked by 1 person

            48. You Stated — “What’s missing from the anti-vax position is interpreting the data (finding the meaning to advance our knowledge and understanding of something) to make it meaningful across the spectrum of data.”

              My Response — I disagree. You could have the best data ever but nobody cares. If you want an antivaxxer to understand, then you need to meet them at the ICU where they can hear you.

              As for the rest, your brush is so big that it attempts to paint the sky, so I’ll just disagree in general.

              Some people are not convinced
              Some people think it’s a big lie (that sounds strangely familiar)
              Some people believe it but they hold “liberty” above health
              Some people believe it but they are paranoid

              In short it’s relative, people disbelieve for a myriad of reasons.

              My solution: Let them do what they want and the virus will sort it all out.

              At the end of the day it’s not like we are inoculating the poor of the world so it’s going to mutate anyway.

              If it kills off the human race it won’t be because of antivaxxers, it will be because of the sea of people we refused to spend money on to inoculate. Millions of unvaxxed waiting for their first shot while we get our third.

              Just saying

              Liked by 1 person

          2. There’s nothing to interpret. Barring a tabulation error, the numbers speak for themselves: the double-vaccinated over 50 are no more protected from the variant than the unvaccinated.

            But if you think my thinking is in error, then kindly inform us what it really says.

            Like

            1. The book review does not address the facts presented by the data in the report — namely, that the effectiveness of the vaccines not only fades after a few months, but that those who received two doses fair no better (and much worse for those over 50) than those who received none. This fact is acknowledged by the “experts”, which is why they are now promoting a third course of booster shots be administered to the most vulnerable (i.e., those with severe illnesses and immunocompromised systems).

              Liked by 1 person

            2. I didn’t say it did, Ron. I said it might help understand why data sets need to be interpreted by experts.

              Good grief, but your reading comprehension is poor.

              Like

            3. Yet in my second last comment I specifically requested that you inform us what the data says — not why data sets need to be interpreted by experts.

              So perhaps you might want to tend to your own lack of reading comprehension prior to accusing others of same.

              Liked by 1 person

            4. And what exactly are those “very good” reasons? Care to enumerate them?

              Because simply asserting my thinking is wrong without demonstrating why while hiding behind the cloak of authority for all your pronouncements is poor form.

              Liked by 1 person

            5. No you didn’t, and anyone reading the comment thread can verify that. I presented a report from Public Health England, to which you responded with an ad hominem. I responded that those were the conclusions reached by the report writers and told you to take it up with them. You then claimed “you think the data supports what you believe. This is a thinking error you keep making.” I reiterated that the numbers speak for themselves and offered you an opportunity to rectify my thinking error by asking you to tell us what the data really says. Instead, you linked to a book review instead. I responded that it did not answer my question and you ridiculed my reading comprehension. I reminded you of my original request and you declined to do so, stating you had “very good reasons” not to do so. I then asked for you to enumerate those reasons and now you claim you have already done so. Which brings us to this point. Oh, and there was a little joke about a rash, which turned into a comment chain of it’s own, but that’s not important for this leg of the conversation.

              Liked by 1 person

            1. I think that’s truly ridiculous, Jim. You cannot do your own research unless you honestly think you can achieve the same level of understanding against a background of knowledge that experts as a group have obtained. By trusting yourself over and above everyone else, you are wide open to all kinds of fallacies with absolutely no way to keep them in check because you don’t know enough. Your effort would be much better spent trying to understand WHY people with far more expertise than you in every single subject think this is more likely than that. Compare and contrast and USE the expertise offered to do just that.

              The four most important words I think are: I do not know.

              Liked by 2 people

            2. Yes, Jim. “Trust in the EXPERTS with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine understanding.” Tildebs 3:5

              In the same manner that the Church of Rome once explicitly forbade the laity be permitted to own or read the Bible for themselves without its expert guidance, so too are we now asked to stop reading the data for ourselves without the guidance of the (uncited) “experts” and certified interpreters of the data.

              Liked by 2 people

            3. Hence the reason I said, “understand WHY people (snip) think this is more likely than that. Compare and contrast and USE the expertise offered to do just that.”

              I mean, seriously Ron, do you stop reading – or even comprehending – when you hit a notion that causes your self-certainty to waver?

              You utilize expertise every day and in all kinds of ways without assuming you’re handing over all your personal autonomy to some nefarious governmental overlords. Or do you pull out your own teeth?

              Like

            4. It bears repeating that we are examining the trends revealed by the data (cases, admission, deaths) obtained from hospital records, here — not government policy.

              Liked by 1 person

            5. Always my first response. And no matter how much I learn about anything, it’s always the leading edge because it’s true: I don’t know what I don’t know. My beliefs and opinions are ALWAYS subject to change because of exactly this. And that’s why I usually focus any confidence I have on likelihood.

              Liked by 1 person

            6. haha! you say that, but you are rock solid in your opinions. it is important to observe neutrally how our mind operates, what triggers it, and why.
              covid has brought us all to the edge of our comfort, hehe.
              have a lovely sunday!

              Liked by 1 person

            7. someone told me once “Never give all your power to the doctors”. most of the time, all they do is prescribe pills. now i challenge, i ask questions, i research all i can myself. they were useless in treating asthma except to prescribe stronger and stronger medication. i learnt to manage it by myself, and rarely need any medication. if i was to go their way, i’d just be spending hundreds on prescriptions. for every pill you take, there are two other needed to manage the symptoms. is this “medicine”?

              there is no concept of preventative medicine, just treatment of symptoms. even with covid, the immune vitamins are so important right now (vit D, C, A, zinc and quercetin) do you ever hear the medical establishment suggesting people take these as a precaution? a simple and effective way to boost yours system. they tell you nothing except take the vaccine. totally disempowering.

              Liked by 2 people

            8. Totally agree! And the health mandates (stay inside and avoid all human contact) have created additional stress, which further erodes a person’s health and emotional well-being.

              Liked by 2 people

            9. Part of the history and physical exam is collecting or finding out what medications people were taking. Many, many times the patients were taking medication and didn’t know what they were for.
              Panamanians were actually a little worse at this. If you don’t have prior medical knowledge the docs really wouldn’t tell you anything, just give you a rx.
              We hauled a lot of people to town to go to the doctor and they would come out not knowing their diagnosis, but had a prescription to fill. Weird.

              Liked by 1 person

            10. That is not an accurate portrayal of my family physician at all. Quite the opposite, in fact. Wholistic health has been predominant in medical teaching for decades now. I get a monthly newsletter that helps all patients of the practice to better understand how things are and what the latest recommendations are based on. This runs the gamut from foods to drugs including a long list of problematic supplements and ‘alternative’ medicine that causes so much under-reported trouble for pharmacological intervention (because, hey, the patient always knows best having gone to medical school for…. ummm…. well… you know….).

              But I understand your point: if you go to surgeon to talk about a problem, what are the chances surgery will be recommended? Patients have a responsibility to understand their central role in their own health decisions and so this necessarily involves learning how to think about it. Many docs – the good ones, I think – are there to help in just this way: by teaching. But you cannot teach an unwilling student or, as I like to say, I can’t learn you nuthin.

              Liked by 1 person

            11. Patients have a responsibility to understand their central role in their own health decisions and so this necessarily involves learning how to think about it. “ So, if my doctor recommends I don’t get the vaccine, you’re good with that?

              Like

            12. wow, i never thought i’d hear words like “wholistic” or “alternative” out of your mouth. i am well pleased, tildeb. there is hope for our relationship.

              Liked by 2 people

            1. The point is, it doesn’t matter what you believe, Ron. What matters is what is true. And I’ve got nothing to do with that other than respect it to the best of my ability.

              Like

            2. No, the point is you’re either double-vaxed, or you’re not. And if it turns out to be the latter, all your long-winded browbeating boils down to little more than “do as I say, not as I do”.

              As to your statement “What matters is what is true” – – that sounds eerily similar to Joe Biden’s “We choose truth over facts.”

              The two are related, but not synonymous. Facts represent hard data, whereas truth incorporates beliefs about those facts.

              Liked by 1 person

            3. Elevating context over content is the tactic used by those with an agenda or something to sell. My vaccination status has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with presenting relevant content to this issue, although I mentioned this absence of fact did not affect your beliefs about me. You simply assumed. You do not know whether or not I am vaxed or not because you’ve never asked and I’ve never offered. You can guess, but the point was that you were forming opinions based not on fact but on your beliefs. This is not good thinking practice and leads to making exactly the kind of thinking errors that populate your position on this issue, makes you wide open to relying on fallacies without any means to correct for them. This is why I said your beliefs don’t determine reality even though it’s quite easy to search online and find data that SEEMS to support them. And you do this mistake over and over again oblivious to the order in which your opinions are formed; you are not arriving at a conclusion AFTER assessing good data but searching for and finding data that you think supports your imported beliefs. This is EXACTLY how religious belief works and why such belief has never, does not and probably never will produce one jot or tittle of KNOWLEDGE about reality and everything it contains.

              As for the content of this particular data set, one thing popped out to me because I know that to compare and contrast accurately – as well as measure these differences – relies on using the same metric (Sing along if you want: “You can measure at your leisure if your units stay the same,” goes the Electric Company’s song for pre-schoolers). Let’s see if you notice. And I am certainly no expert in statistical analysis but I do know enough (okay, maybe I’ve been trained in spite of my own eagerness to jump to conclusions) to not allow context to prejudge the content.

              Like

            4. ” My vaccination status has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with presenting relevant content to this issue” Other than the fact your concealing other data that has convinced you not to be vaccinated.

              Liked by 1 person

  12. Molnupravir. This looks like a promising anti-viral medication one takes AFTER a SARS or MERS infection (by Merck). But, because it interferes with the virus’ copying ability, there is legitimate concern about potential DNA damage to the host. That will be the major focus by the FDA before any ’emergency’ approval from the 50% reduction in hospitalizations and deaths revealed by the latest results.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You sure have no problem peddling misrepresentation like it deeply nourishing facts: Dr Malone admits he was not the ‘architect’ of the mRNA vaccines but one of the literally hundreds of people who helped bring the technology to bear. His contribution was with lipids to penetrated the barrier… along with 3 others at that time and in that place (in other words, a team approach he readily admits). He was the first one to then leave the field… well over 20 years ago and long before mRNA became anything more than purely theoretical.

      So to use his name as if it magically backs up anti-vax misinformation today reveals not an impartial view but a highly biased approach. Again, the interwebs is just chalk full of data that can be used for any issue about anything that seems to support the conclusion one wants. So when these kinds of names continue to crop up, a very large Red Flag should automatically be hoisted because the position is already pre-determined to use the name as if revealing scientific merit. Malone also got Covid and then took a Moderna shot to try to alleviate his symptoms… after the fact.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It hard for me to believe These “rare occurrences” known as “breakthrough cases” when it seems like everyone I know, knows someone who has died. 4 breakthrough deaths in my little town of 185.

        Liked by 1 person

          1. So here’s the thing about vaccines and variants… a vaccination program works best when distributed in large numbers quickly and consistently. The goal is to reach a critical number of people and interfere with the transmission of the virus. This is called ‘herd immunity’. The longer it takes to reach ~90% vaccination in the case of SARS-CoV-2 to reach herd immunity for this virus, the more variants arise and the less effective dealing with the new variants are the original vaccines. Reasons, donchaknow. What results between the time vaccines are widely available and the population reaching herd immunity are called ‘breakthrough cases’ where the virus finds a host in a fully vaccinated person and still produces complex symptoms. And yes, these vaccinated breakthrough cases are still vulnerable – but to a much lesser extent – of complex reactions to the virus. Even death. So to compensate, boosters are shown to bring the more vulnerable population back up to a higher level of immune response. People can still get Covid but the results are between 75-99% better than those in same condition but unvaccinated. Win win.

            So, the anti-vaxers and misinformation peddlers make it more difficult to achieve herd immunity by making the willing pool of people smaller (meaning more people are unsure and so unwilling to get vaccinated while the rest of us then must make up for those principled cowards who are unwilling to get vaccinated for the welfare of the whole and try to convince others to avoid getting vaccinated), making it take longer to reach the necessary numbers for herd immunity with an assortment of idiotic ‘counter’ information and close to criminal demonstrations targeting healthcare workers and vaccination clinics. These are the folk who intentionally vilify and impede and spend effort undermining vaccination programs that unquestionably work (thus increasing the risk for the vaccinated and unvaccinated alike), and then sit back with smug and deplorable satisfaction that their efforts to make this pandemic worse have succeeded, that they have done their part to cast a negative effect on everyone in order to pretend their misinformation and disinformation and anti-vaccination lies were right all along. It’s revolting because it’s so damn malicious.

            This is one reason why other vaccination programs are mandatory for children: because so many parents think themselves wiser and more knowledgeable than the entire medical profession that has overwhelming evidence to back up the efficacy of these programs and give in to this manufactured doubt. Jim Bob and Dwayne and Candi all know better than any damn infectious disease expert doctor, donchaknow. That’s the level of idiocy real world governments and real world healthcare professionals are dealing with on a daily basis, day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year, wave after wave after wave, and seem unconcerned and even oblivious that their efforts are in fact driving nurses and doctors out of the professions most required to deal with real world complex patients due to this pandemic. This requires towering ignorance, egoism, selfishness, and gob-smacking stupidity… all gussied up to look ‘sciencey’ and therefore equivalent to the best medical knowledge ever assembled on the planet. And the peddler of this addictive drug called Doubt feels ever-so special and insightful because, well, the intertubes, donchaknow. It’s so stupid, it’s not even stupid. It’s pernicious to the core and all of us – vaccinated and unvaccinated – get to enjoy the poisoned fruit of their labor. Mommy and Daddy must be so proud.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. relax, tildeb, i’m not a threat. i’m nearly a monk, having minimum contact with the outside world. one of the reasons i decided a vaccine is not necessary for me. had i worked, i might have decided otherwise. oh, wait, my boss would have decided otherwise 🙂
              stay well!

              Liked by 2 people

            2. You know, I’m beginning to feel a great deal of empathy for the abuse being visited upon that table you keep pounding away on.

              Like

  13. You Stated — “For whatever reason nature has selected this process, yet humanity is serious enough to think it can hold it at bay ad-nauseum.”

    My Response — We are nature and it has decided to change at will, no more waiting millions of years.

    You Stated — “We need 8 billion more people?”

    My Response — Think bigger, we need 800 billion more people. There are more than a billion planets for every one human out there.

    You Stated — Now what do you do about that?

    My Response — Expand out into the universe. The big empty is waiting for something exciting like us to end the boredom.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The trouble is that the nearest “potential” habitable planets are many light years away. You’d have to put everyone to sleep for the trip and then cross your fingers that they not only make it to their intended destination in one piece, but also wake up on cue and quickly acquire the know-how to adapt to their new environment that would most likely be host to any number of unknown dangers. (Though I suppose the challenge of trying to stay alive would preoccupy them thoroughly enough to alleviate any feelings of ennui.)

      Liked by 3 people

        1. Don’t hold your breath ‘cuz it ain’t gonna’ happen in our lifetime and most likely not at all unless our brains get a WHOLE lot smarter in the next several hundred years.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. I don’t doubt we will eventually develop such technology, but even a ship traveling at the speed of light would require 14 (earth) years to reach the nearest currently known star system having a potentially habitable planet — and it’s a gamble what awaits once you get there — so I think we’ll stuck on this rock for a long while yet.

          Liked by 1 person

            1. Hmmm. The scientists have “written a paper.” Fairly common among scientists that study various scientific possibilities (including but not limited to space travel). Until it moves a little closer into the arena of reality, methinks it’s will rest at the bottom of the pile designated as “Potential Ideas for Space Travel.” 👩‍🚀👨‍🚀 🚀🪐

              Liked by 2 people

            2. It’s a bit more than a paper. NASA is working on a project with Warp Drive, it’s in phase one (math). Hard to say how long they will be working it out but different engineers have been working since around 2014 (slow moving target) but not just a paper.

              It’s not exciting like a tv show but they are serious about the technology and are applying resources.

              Have faith 😉

              Liked by 1 person

            3. Like I said, I don’t doubt we will eventually develop the technology; but as the presenter in the video acknowledges, moving from mathematical theory to practical reality is difficult step. And in all likelihood, the “passengers” taking those first series of test flights won’t be human.

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            4. You Stated — “…moving from mathematical theory to practical reality is difficult step.”

              My Response — It’s more of a predictable step since we are on a proven trajectory to do so.

              Walking
              Running
              Horse
              Buggy
              Car
              Rocket
              Ion Drive
              FTL Drive

              Just a matter of time, not an if but a when

              But I will acknowledge, for sake of argument, that we do not have a publicly visible FTL drive at the moment.

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  14. Several times now, Jim, you have mentioned people treated by public health authorities as if nothing more than ‘cattle’ and their rights improperly infringed upon through public health orders. I thought this explanation by a much respected Constitutional lawyer might help clarify:

    “The libertarian view is that the rights of the individual must not be sacrificed to the interests of the collective. But that is entirely the wrong picture of how rights work. The common good does not “override” individual rights. Rather the common good determines the boundaries of those rights from the beginning since, in the end, the goods of individual and family life can only be enjoyed in a healthy and flourishing polity. The common good is itself the highest good of individuals.

    Even our physical liberties are rightly ordered to the common good of the community when necessary. Just ask those drafted for military service in a national emergency. Our economic liberties can also be subordinated to the common good: consider those whose property is destroyed by the government to prevent the spread of a fire. Covid-19 is like a spreading wildfire, and the vaccine mandate is analogous in principle to such crisis measures. Our health, our lives and our prosperity, are intertwined in ways that make it entirely legitimate to enforce precautions against lethal disease — even upon objectors.”

    And the legal precedent I mentioned in an earlier comment comes from a 1905 decision, Jacobson v. Massachusetts, where the Supreme Court sustained mandatory vaccination in the face of a smallpox outbreak in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The Court was emphatic: “Upon the principle of self-defense, of paramount necessity, a community has the right to protect itself against an epidemic of disease which threatens the safety of its members.” It is against this paramount necessity that allows the law great flexibility for executive power to be used towards this end.

    You’re welcome to disagree with any of this, of course, but it’s a legal explanation nevertheless.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have no problem with this, although I do live a little differently than most do. The cattle references are usually based on how I recognize the connection between livestock management and people management. I understand how and why it is this way, but I don’t care to live like that. I’ve spent 10 years of my adult life living on the range, in the mountains, and in the jungle with my family. 10 years off work to do what I enjoy, Ive seen that I’d rather be free of the moldings of society, though it is hard to escape it permanently.
      I do think being overprotected my laws and guardrails doesn’t really provide experience that fosters a high level of common sense, which is now garnered from books without practical experience. These are the governing bodies and policy makers. It is the end of an era. I will embrace the change but won’t be sorry to leave it.

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      1. Of course, it pretty much goes without saying, Jim, that not everyone has the opportunity or the desire or the wherewithal to do as you have. Thus, for most of “the rest of us” we must abide by what others have determined is the best path for the masses. Of course, individually, we may not agree and attempt to fight against “the system,” but in the big picture, we’re often on the losing side.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. I have a son in law in the military and he gave me this. Seems to be the hyper controlled sampling that we’re looking g for.

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      1. Who is this? Where is she getting this information? What position of authority does she hold to have access to total all the records? Why is there no linking information given here or in her talk… even so much as a name? How is she relating vaccinations and of which kind and when they were given to the cases she is reporting are the ‘result’? Where’s the information… you know… data? Why hasn’t the same information – the same data – appeared everywhere by the same ratio of ‘complications from Covid vaccines’? I can assure you the number of myocarditis reports in Canada do not reflect what she’s claiming here. Why? If these claims were true, we should have corroborating evidence. Where is it?

        Look, when a tiny fraction of vaccinated women were getting strokes, the entire line of vaccines was pulled in many countries to err on the side of caution. The same would happen with any vaccine that produced the kinds of ‘complications’ she says are linked to receiving it. So where’s the data?

        Liked by 1 person

        1. All I can find is military members are having a higher that average myocarditis presentation post vaccine, but it’s not near the numbers she’s saying. The total increase in other general diagnoses would be a stat I’d be interested in.

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          1. If I may interject personal opinion here … “Stats” can be found to repudiate or confirm pretty much any issue. It all depends on how much confidence each individual has in the source that’s presenting the information. In the case of the virus, we’ve all seen (and extensively discussed) that people put their trust in widely diverse sources. Most likely it will be the history books that will validate the data that was the most accurate.

            Liked by 3 people

            1. It is staggering to walk through cemeteries and see all those older era child markers. But that was normal. Are we asking for more than we can maintain? Yes. Should we stop it? No

              Liked by 1 person

            2. I wonder what beliefs we’ll find? You think they will have heard of Jesus, Allah, and YHWY? That would be some fine evidence if you ask me.

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    3. Allot of what you say is just generalities. But at base there is sometimes a balance between peoples freedoms and the government’s restrictions of those freedoms because it thinks it knows better what we should do. In the case of small pox with a huge mortality rates that balancing act looks much different than covid where most people can choose to get a vaccine and have an extremely low mortality rate.

      People who would give up freedom for safety deserve neither. Ben Franklin said something similar but the context he said is the opposite of the way I mean it.

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        1. There is formula that applies to balance these values in every situation that everyone will agree on.

          But Historically we can say people came to the US because they wanted more freedom rather than a government that was enforcing it’s own balance of safety. Early on it was pretty clear that the European governments wanted to keep souls safe so they tried to make people follow what it thought was the correct religion. Americans said they would rather take their own risks based on their won ideas. So in the US we are known for typically balancing a bit more in favor of freedom compared to other places in the world.

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          1. Getting vaccinated does not mean losing one’s freedom. At the very least it means doing one’s civic duty to MAXIMIZE everyone’s freedom with the smallest possible infringement. That’s the ‘formula’ used for everything from traffic rules to elevator capacity: there has to be a recognition that maximum personal freedom depends on public constraints on everyone.

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            1. It’s not okay to think 10% or so of people can pretend traffic rules don’t apply to them in the name of freedom and individual rights. It’s a bizarre perspective and terrible reasoning. We are not exchanging transportation ‘freedom’ to insist on mandatory rules imposed on everyone and enforced by the state to better facilitate a basic level of safety for everyone on the road. The vaccine is no different as an unquestionable improvement on the safety for everyone in the public domain and so imposing and enforcing this baseline is not a restriction but a rule of the road that everyone who wants to use it must abide. It’s the cost everyone shares so that everyone can get safer access to shared spaces.

              Don’t agree with the rules of the road? Fine. You are free to stay off of them. Don’t agree with vaccinations? Fine. You are free to stay out of any shared space. Good luck with that and enjoy the appropriate level of freedom from such a restrictive choice you are making.

              But what is unreasonable is to pretend imposing and enforcing any kind of common law is an unconstitutional infringement of personal freedom and rights; there is a third party recognized as ‘the public’ and the public good and this element has to constrain unfettered personal freedom in order to find that balance with maximizing everyone’s personal freedom and rights.

              Liked by 1 person

            2. I wonder why they are called ‘indicators’? And I wonder if indicating intentions might be a safer way to alert others when driving? Hmmm… if only there were some data… Ron?

              Liked by 1 person

            3. You actually learn to be very alert because you don’t know what the other guys are going to do. My data is my own experience

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            4. You think not being able to trust fellow motorists (driving at speed in 1 ton metal battering rams) is a good thing?

              Am I missing something here?

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            5. It works because you don’t trust your fellow motorists. It is trusting the mistrust and going with the flow of things.

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            6. Considering I haven’t had a sniffle in 20 months? It’s not as fun as the flesh pots of Egypt or a Roman bath house, but there is something to it.

              Liked by 1 person

            7. My assumption when driving anything anywhere is that everyone is out to kill me all the time, and then drive accordingly. So far, so good!

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            8. tildeb, i am already healthy. me taking a vaccine i don’t need will not improve anyone’s safety any more than wearing a seatbelt in bed. how is this concern for “improving the safely of everyone” when the transmission of the virus is equal even between fully vaccinated folks??

              the only thing the vaccine does is to protect you from getting very ill yourself. it doesn’t protect you from speading it, or from contracting it.

              we’ll talk again when those sports gatherings will result in breakthroughs, and see who you’re going to blame then for public safety, and how effective this vaccine is.

              Liked by 2 people

            9. Wow.

              Okay, three ways to come at this failure to understand that you demonstrate with such a comment. That you disagree with this statement is to be expected, so…

              The first is to point out you are not using good information to inform this opinion. That’s too much work for me and I doubt it would have any bearing whatsoever.

              The second is to convince you to start over as if you have no opinion one way or the other and fill in this ignorance with your own effort. That’s probably too much work for you and I doubt you’d only use confirmation bias anyway.

              The third is to get you to look at the facts on the ground and engage your brain with a mystery: why are most positive cases directly related to unvaccinated carriers and why do the unvaccinated overwhelmingly occupy ICU and hospital beds for the very worst symptoms? There’s a good reason for these international yet consistent patterns. Let’s see if you can find them.

              Finally, you may want to pop over to Nan’s site and see a graphic representation of how vaccinations alter the spread pattern. That reason alone should be sufficient to anyone who gives a damn about anyone else. But hey, your motivation is your own…

              Liked by 1 person

            10. fair. i guess i deserved that.

              i follow my own unconventional protocols. protocols that have have been supressed by media while pushing the vaccines as the ONLY therapy against covid. why that is?? makes one wonder.

              you might want to take a look at this meta data (this is just one example)
              the things they never tell us.

              https://ivmmeta.com/

              Liked by 1 person

            11. The latest info I have on Ivermectin is that it has no control study and suffers from a whole range of significant problems for the data collected. It may be effective and may be the case in many ways, but until GOOD info is collected under rigorous peer review, this treatment is not medically sound. In comparison, vaccination has the largest international comparative data set ever assembled and is HIGHLY effective. Every medical organization IN THE WORLD agrees and so it has reached medical consensus. This is not a small achievement but a staggering one.

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            12. you did not click on the link, did you tildeb?

              what do you think of this trial?

              Biber et al., medRxiv, doi:10.1101/2021.05.31.21258081 (results 2/12/21) (Preprint)
              Favorable outcome on viral load and culture viability using Ivermectin in early treatment of non-hospitalized patients with mild COVID-19, A double-blind, randomized placebo-controlled trial.

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            13. I am not questioning what the various graphs show because I am not an expert on quality of how the data was collected. But there are many organizations that are, that do look at all incoming information and assess them with experts. Here’s the meta data on just this with the important bits bolded by me:

              “Different websites (such as https://ivmmeta.com/, https://c19ivermectin.com/, https://tratamientotemprano.org/estudios-ivermectina/, among others) have conducted meta-analyses with ivermectin studies, showing unpublished colourful forest plots which rapidly gained public acknowledgement and were disseminated via social media, without following any methodological or report guidelines. These websites do not include protocol registration with methods, search strategies, inclusion criteria, quality assessment of the included studies nor the certainty of the evidence of the pooled estimates. Prospective registration of systematic reviews with or without meta-analysis protocols is a key feature for providing transparency in the review process and ensuring protection against reporting biases, by revealing differences between the methods or outcomes reported in the published review and those planned in the registered protocol. These websites show pooled estimates suggesting significant benefits with ivermectin, which has resulted in confusion for clinicians, patients and even decision-makers. This is usually a problem when performing meta-analyses which are not based in rigorous systematic reviews, often leading to spread spurious or fallacious findings.

              In other words, don’t be fooled by colorful graphs that supposedly show data contrary to medical consensus as if equivalent to the consensus. If Ivermectin did as advertised, our medical people would be ALL OVER THIS and getting it fast tracked to the general public. But that simply is not the case.

              Liked by 2 people

            14. The government forcing people to take medications that they do not want is indeed an infringement on our freedom. I am fully vaccinated and I am very pro vaccine. But I am at least sensitive to the fact that some people may weigh the risks differently than I do. People should be free to live their life by their own calculation of risk and reward unless the weight is very heavy on the side of safety of others. The science suggests that people who are vaccinated have little risk of dying from COVID even if those around them are not vaccinated. So the weight required for the government to force people to take medications they do not want is simply not there. Mortality at 33% as with small pox – ok.
              This number is not even close to for the government to force people to take medicine they don’t want.
              https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/health-departments/breakthrough-cases.html

              Liked by 3 people

            15. Of course, freedom to live one’s life as they choose is well and good — except when it comes to women and their CHOICE about a certain procedure.

              Liked by 1 person

            16. Because the selfish idiocy has cost so much and continues to do so. There is already policy discussions in Canada that all children must receive SARS-CoV-2 vaccinations along with all other mandatory childhood vaccinations when and if final approval is granted.

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            17. But it’s not personal: it’s a risk to the entire society in every way imaginable. Your take is that it’s only personal and it’s not. That’s what a pandemic infectious disease means, people get infected FROM other people. If there is an easy and safe way to impede this, it is unethical to NOT do so. That’s why the US has lost not just those who died from Covid dozens of times at higher rate than so many other countries with responsible governments but has left a very wide swath of suffering in the name of ‘freedom’ for the few. This is exactly backwards.

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            18. tildeb, what is unethical is that the government has chosen the treatment for us and we are left with no choice but to comply. now nurses are losing their jobs for not complying. last month they were calling them ‘heroes’.

              in fact there are other options to combat this virus and numerous countries around the world have successfully used these methods (check my link, it has pictures of Covid treatment packages sold in Brazil, Bolivia, India, Ecuador, Mexico, Thailand, USA, Ukraine, and others). the studies are there, they are peered reviewed. they are legit.

              but we never hear about that on the news. why? where is the integrity here?
              and how can i trust a government or a treatment that hides these things from us?? i would take the vaccine gladly, if i was presented with all my options equally.

              the whole thing stinks, tildeb.

              Liked by 2 people

            19. If ALL the facts were known about ALL the various and sundry “government” actions, we would not be able to breathe for the “stink.”

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            20. haha! indeed. i heard there was a time (ancient times) when the rulers actually cared for the people. they were brave and noble.
              they call our times the ‘age of darkeness’- kali yuga, the age of “quarrel and hypocrisy”, where greed and falsity dominate.

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            21. No I am not saying it is only personal. I am saying it is a balance that needs to be struck. If you don’t get the flu vaccine you might transmit the flu to others and people actually do die from the flu.

              But we do not say therefore the government can force everyone to take a flu vaccine even if they don’t want to.
              https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/burden/index.html

              People who are vaccinated for covid seem less likely to die from covid than a typical year of the flu. So the data does not support the government forcibly vaccinating everyone in order to protect people. This has much more to do with manufacturing a crisis in order to use it for a political power grab by our government.

              I think the US has lost more per capita to covid than other countries (that actually track covid deaths in a similar way) because we happen to have several of the comorbidities that make covid more dangerous – Such as diabetes, obesity etc.
              https://www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/prevalence-maps.html#overall

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            22. The US death rate is about 8 times higher than the rest of the world. Sure, you can believe it’s all about comorbidities but the rate does not align. You’d knoow this if you weren’t so willing to be gullible. Of course, you don;t see it this way because suckers never do.

              What you are doing is coming up with beliefs to justify anti-vax sentiment and then filling that desire with whatever notions, distortions, ideas, misinformation and disinformation you can find that seems to do the job. This is the same tactic, the same rationalization, the same methods, used by creationists to ‘question’ evolutionary theory, the same tactic used by Republicans to ‘warn’ people about any democratic – read ‘socialist’ – legislation, the same tactic used by oil and gas energy consortiums to doubt climate science, the same tactic used by any and all successful woo-miesters to sell bullshit to the gullible. It’s as old as time and just as tedious because it’s never ending. No matter what facts and compelling evidence are brought forward to counter the bullshit, the next one is waiting to be trotted out. That’s how these bad ideas continue to have life: by those who have some motive other than respecting what’s probably true.

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            23. “The US death rate is about 8 times higher than the rest of the world. Sure, you can believe it’s all about comorbidities but the rate does not align. You’d knoow this if you weren’t so willing to be gullible. Of course, you don;t see it this way because suckers never do.”

              Are you surprised that the US death per capita is fairly well in line with advanced countries that have the technology to detect covid and governments that are honest enough to give the break down? Do you really trust China and Russia are giving you accurate numbers with the same methodology we use?

              “What you are doing is coming up with beliefs to justify anti-vax sentiment and then filling that desire with whatever notions, distortions, ideas, misinformation and disinformation you can find that seems to do the job.”

              No quite the opposite. I am very pro vaccine when it comes to covid. Although I will admit we can not be sure of all the possible side effects of the vaccine I would wager they are less than the side effects of getting covid – especially a bad case of it. I have strongly encouraged everyone I know to get the vaccine.

              I am also pointing out that if you get the vaccine you have very low risk of dying from covid. That is why I think it should be left to people to choose. I am vaccinated as is my family if others want to choose not to vaccinate I disagree with their decision but it is their own life and their choice how they want to weigh those risks. I strongly believe in the vaccine’s effectiveness so I do feel the vaccinated need to be overly concerned about the unvaccinated.

              You are the one that seems to be saying that people who are vaccinated need to be worried. If you and those who got the vaccine are protected then why are you so interested in having the government force people to take medicine they do not want? If it is for their own good ok, but again that is part of living in a free society. It was for their own good that many European countries had laws forcing people to be one religion or another. But in the US we say people can make their own choices about how they will live their own life and how they weigh the risks and benefits. Maybe in Canada it is different I don’t know or much care.

              “This is the same tactic, the same rationalization, the same methods, used by creationists to ‘question’ evolutionary theory, the same tactic used by Republicans to ‘warn’ people about any democratic – read ‘socialist’ – legislation, the same tactic used by oil and gas energy consortiums to doubt climate science, the same tactic used by any and all successful woo-miesters to sell bullshit to the gullible. It’s as old as time and just as tedious because it’s never ending. No matter what facts and compelling evidence are brought forward to counter the bullshit, the next one is waiting to be trotted out. That’s how these bad ideas continue to have life: by those who have some motive other than respecting what’s probably true.”

              Your view is clear. You think it is the government’s job to tell everyone what to think. And yes I do in fact very strongly disagree with that view. I have absolutely no interest in having Trump or Biden tell me how I have to think – thank you very much.

              I do not believe in creationism nor do I believe in evolution that was unguided by God. But I do very strongly believe the federal government should not be telling everyone what to believe.

              You don’t seem to understand something. If you give the Federal government the power over your life they will have that power whether you think the government is the good guy or the bad guy. Most Americans have a visceral understanding of this – even though they often are happy to have their team use government power to cram down their own agendas on others. But in other countries it seems this understanding is almost completely lacking. Let people think what they want to think and live the life they want to live unless the government absolutely must step in. But if you set up principles where the government can step in all the time you are opening the door for the bad guys too.

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            24. The mistake you keep making – and the same tactic used by oil and gas companies to great effect, to those who don’t want to recognize climate change, to those who want to continue to believe some agency of Oogity Boogity created us in some way to make us oh-so-special – is ton misidentify the problem and then undermine the credibility of those who point this out. The mistake is believing the threat the virus presents is personal and so all approaches to addressing this rightly belong to the individual to choose.

              This is factually wrong.

              The threat is PUBLIC. And so to deal with the threat MEANS a public approach is NECESSARY.

              You then create and believe in the fiction that this understanding and solutions associated with this understanding are therefore totalitarian, that anyone who understands the real problem are wanting to take over the lives of everyone and eliminate all freedoms and liberties. It’s such a typical and grossly naïve perspective that it ends up promoting and causing the problem to do great harm to EVERYONE. That is what you are doing hidden behind platitudes – similarly believed as virtuous, no doubt – about vaccinations.

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            25. Ron:
              “And for the record: I’m not a Trump supporter, nor a Republican, nor a Democrat, nor a Constitutionalist (though I agree with the principles espoused in the DOI), nor a Libertarian (in the political sense).

              At heart, I’m an anarchist — in the strict dictionary sense (i.e., “a person who advocates the abolition of government and a social system based on voluntary cooperation”)”

              If someone kills someone in your family I am not sure they will voluntarily cooperate with social system. If you say society will nevertheless arrest the murderer whether or not he cooperates then how is that not a government? Is it that the societal rules are not decided by democratic process but some other process?

              I guess I don’t understand why people seem to jump from the view that the state should control everything from what we think to what medicine we take to how much we can be paid for something we do for someone else, all the way to anarchy.

              I mean what is wrong with a view that government should have some very limited functions like protecting all citizens from violence but we should keep it in check so people can by and large live and think how they like?

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            26. I didn’t jump to that view, so much as transition into it as a consequence of reading and reflecting upon all the various forms of government that have been tried throughout history.

              And questions like “who will protect us against the uncivilized members of society in the absence of a formal government” strike me as an odd argument in favor of government given their demonstrated failure to protect us against such elements. In fact, the historical record shows that governments have killed more people than the criminals they were instituted to protect us from.

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            27. I certainly agree with your general view that we should be highly resistant to trust government or give them too much power. I am not sure we can say how many deaths government has protected us from. It is one of those counterfactuals. Yes when we have government there have been few murders. But if we didn’t have government how many murders would there be? As far as government killing people through wars that of course also raises difficult ethical questions. But if you mean the deaths caused by Fascists or Communists or other tyrannical governments then yes I agree that provides very clear historical evidence that we will be better off if we err on the side of keeping power in the hands of individuals instead of giving it to governments.

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            28. For myself, the question concerns morality. I abide by the principle that no man has the moral right to initiate force against another and that all human interactions must remain voluntary — IOW, that it is morally wrong to coerce others into doing things to which they are opposed.

              So I am not against forming hierarchical organizations or voluntary cooperatives in order to fulfill common goals, per se — I’m merely against the proposition that such organizations be granted authorization to initiate force as a means to achieving those goals. And the problem is that many people subscribe to this quaint notion that the government is some sort of benevolent mystical entity charged with safeguarding the welfare of the population, when in reality it is little more than a group of men claiming to possess the moral right to initiate force and violence against others within some arbitrarily-determined geographic boundary. Never challenged is the method by which they obtained this presupposed moral right to exercise authority over others, because I certainly don’t recall ever granting it to them — nor would I ever willingly want to, because I deem it as absurd as wanting to choose my own slave master.

              Moreover, it’s all just an illusion: their power rests entirely upon our collective willingness to grant recognition to their authority and collapses the moment a sizeable portion of the population decides to abandon this charade by ignoring their demands and edicts. How long do you suppose any government would survive if everyone stopped remitting taxes and resisted any attempts to collect them with extreme prejudice?

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            29. Ron, IMO, this — their power rests entirely upon our collective willingness to grant recognition to their authority and collapses the moment a sizeable portion of the population decides to abandon this charade by ignoring their demands and edicts (emphasis mine) — is exactly what December 6th and continuing efforts was/are all about.

              For all intents and purposes, it sure seems to me that this particular segment of society is doing its damnedest to seize the power you speak of.

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            30. Put in a jab? Valhalla, no! As my comment history on this post would suggest, I’m decidedly against it.

              As for January 6, I still had to look it up (I’m not good with remembering dates or numbers). Apparently, some people did something but it was a mostly peaceful protest. 🙂

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            31. “I abide by the principle that no man has the moral right to initiate force against another and that all human interactions must remain voluntary”

              The problem is that as soon as someone say a rapist decides they will force someone else to do something your ideal world becomes impossible. If you decide to force the rapist not to rape then they are not refraining voluntarily. If you decide to let them rape then obviously you are violating the rule that interactions must remain voluntary.

              “And the problem is that many people subscribe to this quaint notion that the government is some sort of benevolent mystical entity charged with safeguarding the welfare of the population, when in reality it is little more than a group of men claiming to possess the moral right to initiate force and violence against others within some arbitrarily-determined geographic boundary. Never challenged is the method by which they obtained this presupposed moral right to exercise authority over others, because I certainly don’t recall ever granting it to them — nor would I ever willingly want to, because I deem it as absurd as wanting to choose my own slave master.”

              Here I agree with you very much! In that I would say we should always be very leery of giving the state rights to control our lives by force.

              In general I think the libertarian view that we should only allow the state to take action when we think we would have a moral right to take action is a good one. So if someone was attacked me or my family or stole something I believe I would have a moral right to take action against them. But for example if I went door to door asking for charitable donations to some worthy cause and the person refused to give me money I would generally not have a right to force them to give to the charity!

              When people use governmental power to force people to do things they do not think they have a moral right to force then we are need to be very careful and guarded. I agree that people should start thinking about this. People just act as though the government wielding power is the answer to everything. I think we are very much aligned on that general idea even if we likely disagree about particulars.

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            32. Curious. You write: So if someone was attacked me or my family or stole something I believe I would have a moral right to take action against them.

              Since I interpret your comment to mean you don’t feel the government should step in, what kind of “action” against them would you consider as your “moral right”?

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            33. I do think the government has a right to step in that case. I am saying we give the government much more authority to step in with physical force way beyond that. For example if I choose not to give to a charity or to fund retirement plans etc.

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            34. To clarify, a prohibition against the initiation of force simply means you do not have the right to harm someone who has done you no harm or injury, but does not preclude the use of force for purposes of self-defense or aiding in the defense of another. So when the rapist decides to violate the bodily autonomy of his/her unwilling victim, the use of counterforce against the rapist is morally justified.

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            35. Ok what if someone you didn’t invite wants to come in your family room and sit there? Can you “force” them out? What if they decide they want to take your food can you use force to prevent that? How would that work?

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            36. To impose yourself upon another or take their possessions without their consent is to initiate force — is it not? Perhaps the quickest way to determine whether something is right or wrong is to ask yourself whether or not you would still find it acceptable if the roles were reversed and you found yourself on the receiving end in a similar situation.

              So to answer your question: I’d politely ask them to leave, but if they refused to do so voluntarily, I would have them forcibly removed.

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            37. Anymore if a stranger comes in your house you better be ready to use full force without the polite tendencies of our culture. My aunt and uncle were home invaded, tied up and lived in the house with the perps for four days. Then they left. The only reason they weren’t killed was luck. Eventually they were able to get free and call for help. The bad guys were never caught.

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            38. Reminds of this description by analogy of libertarians:

              House cats. They are convinced of their fierce independence while utterly dependent on a system they don’t appreciate or understand.

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            39. It reminds you of that but has nothing to do with my comment. This is where liberalism fails real world practical knowledge. Your books may be lacking you. After having my own experience with an attempted home invasion just a couple weeks ago, were it not for a little planning and awareness I would not be here commenting today.
              Your attitude may work well with a cop on every corner, but here we wait—and die if left to liberal policy.

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            40. I fully agree, but the situation you described is a little more intense than the one I originally had in mind when I composed my reply to Joe. My thoughts were focused on an obnoxious houseguest, rather than a home invader.

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            41. “To impose yourself upon another or take their possessions without their consent is to initiate force — is it not?”

              I don’t know the guy just wants to sit in your family room and no one else is already taking the seat. Maybe he would be fine if you wanted to sit in his family room. Is that your view that he has started using force?
              It seems to me that you think people are justified in using force to protect their property. But then we get into who rightfully owns the property! And that is why we need governments and clear rules. If it is anarchy you basically have mob justice. So I do think we need government but I also agree we should try to keep government to a minimum and pretty much just enforcing rights we feel we should be able to enforce and dealing with externalities.

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            42. The pertinent question isn’t whether or not you would feel fine if someone sat in your family room, but how you would react if someone took such liberties without your express consent. That is to say, the implicit argument here is that you reserve the right to request to be left alone and unmolested by others. And please note that my response advocated making a polite, diplomatic request to refrain from doing so as a first step rather than proceeding directly to the use of physical force.

              When it comes to property rights, you rightfully own the things that you have acquired through honest means and therefore retain the moral right to defend yourself against the theft of your property. And it bears repeating that I’m using a strict definition of anarchy here — i.e., an absence of rulers, not an absence of rules. While an unbiased adjudicator may occasionally be required to settle disputes over the rightful ownership of property, there is no requirement stipulating that said adjudicator must be a government authority.

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            43. Good point.

              But you know, I saw a documentary a while ago, and Ron might be right about his grand global conspiracy. The doco claimed the world’s elite had pooled their money and resources and were building these HUGE, secret doomsday arks in the Himalaya inside of which they will save themselves while the world drowns and burns and is crushed in all these earthquakes and tsunamis and volcanoes. If I remember, it was called 2012, or something. Just spitballing here, but the *vaccine* windfall Ron has so rightly called attention to would pay for a few arks, wouldn’t it?

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            44. Maybe you should read up a bit on anarchy. You could start with revolutionary Catalonia in the late 30s or you could really go to town with Peter Marshall’s book Demanding the Impossible.

              But even if you were right, how would your view of anarchy be any worse than the statist monopolies on legitimised violence we have now?

              “The ideally non-violent state will be an ordered anarchy. That State is the best governed which is governed the least.” – Mahatma Gandhi

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            45. Ok how would the adjudicator that enforces the rules not be the same as a judge? Is it just that people can choose to be part of this set of rules or not? Does everyone decide to literally sign on to “the rules” when they become 18? If some people do not agree with the rules about what constitutes “rightful ownership” and come up with a different set then what? I’m just not seeing how you can do better than a government if you want to forcefully enforce property rights.

              What about negligence? What if you did not intend to cause damage to someone but you do it anyway. Is an adjudicator going to decide if you need to pay something to the other person and how much?

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            46. I’m just not seeing how you can do better than a government if you want to forcefully enforce property rights.

              Exactly. Anarchism and private property are incompatible (though personal property is a different matter).

              Ursula Le Guin’s novel The Dispossessed makes the distinction pretty clear I think.

              But many anarchists are also caught up in the notion of ‘impartial’ adjudicators – as if concentrating that power in the hands of an individual doesn’t immediately erase their impartiality. A former anarchist colleague of mine even suggested ‘crime’ wasn’t really criminal but pathological and that in an anarchist society psychiatrists should be able to ‘diagnose’ criminality and impose appropriate (and enforceable) ‘therapy’. I hope he was completely ignorant of the history and practice of psychiatry when he made that suggestion.

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            47. What makes you assume the adjudicator would need to “enforce” the rules? Usually when two or more parties call for an independent arbitrator to settle a dispute, they have already granted tacit consent to “follow the rules” and act in accordance with the decision handed down by that person. If they reserve the right to ignore that decision, then the whole exercise was pointless and they’d might as well have settled the matter with pistols at dawn.

              The reality of the situation is this: for those who naturally follow the golden rule, laws are superfluous; and for those who don’t, they are of little consequence.

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            48. The basic formulation of the Golden Rule is obviously a rubbish moral maxim. Not everyone wants the same things so treating others as you’d want to be treated can constitute anything from worship to abuse (not that those two things are incompatible).

              Some formulations require you to know what others want even if it’s not what you want. That’s obviously limited by empathy – which is delusional. You can’t really know what another wants and the further the other is from your own outlook and experience the more flawed your imaginary empathy becomes.

              The Golden Rule just doesn’t hold up as a categorical imperative. Instead it’s a formula for tribalism to the point of solipsism. It only guides you to treat others well inasmuch as they share your values, preferences and aspirations or inasmuch as you can imagine theirs; and no-one can fully imagine another.

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            49. Well, I can buy into that. But can you?

              Do you think criminals can only go to prison on a voluntary basis?
              Do you think those designated insane can’t be forcibly restrained or medicated?
              Do you think young children can’t be forced to stay off busy roads?

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            50. I can’t (and don’t pretend) to address or proffer a ready-made solution for every conceivable situation or scenario presented, but the basic premise assumes the existence of rational actors making informed decisions (a big assumption, I know), which IMO lays the groundwork for a more tenable social policy framework than the one that informs our current situation.

              So to answer your specific questions:

              1. The convict has (conceivably) already violated the code and thus forfeits the right to complain about the consequences stemming from that decision (assuming here that those consequences are proportionate to the crime that was committed and that the crime was an actual transgression against another individual rather than just the violation of some arbitrary civil statute).

              2. Well first off: who gets to decide who is insane? Or to what degree? But assuming that such a determination can be made, then the overriding question becomes: is the individual a harm to themselves or others? IF not then the answer is no. Otherwise it would be yes.

              3. By definition, young children lack the cognitive ability to assess risk and danger, so the answer is no until such time as they gain those abilities.

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            51. I can’t (and don’t pretend) to address or proffer a ready-made solution for every conceivable situation or scenario presented

              I thought that was exactly what ‘golden rule’ implied. Or is it only golden until a situation rendering it perverse arises, then it turns into fool’s gold?

              Maybe no rules are natural. They’re just man-made conventions limited to specific situations. Maybe we have to find our way without rules. And maybe a social contract is only good until it’s time to rip it up.

              The country I live in isn’t just colonial settler like the ones claiming sovereignty over Native American lands. It’s convict colonial settler. Some of those who stole the lands of my ancestors were sent here against their will for stealing bread to feed their children. So what would have been the crime? Violating the code ‘thou shalt not steal’? Or letting your children starve to stay on the right side of the law?

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            52. My opening sentence was meant to serve as a notification that I would not entertain a steady stream of “what if” questions. Nonetheless, I addressed the questions submitted and note that you raised no objection to any of those answers. And as a sign of good will, I will address your follow-up question regarding Australian colonization, as well.

              IF the British aristocrats had followed my moral principle, there would have been no colonial settlements.

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            53. Ahh, but the Brits had their rules and rationalisations to guide them.

              You see, Australia was ‘deserted and uncivilised’ when James Cook planted a Union Jack on it. It didn’t belong to anyone recognised as human under British laws. It was terra nullius.

              So “no man has the moral right to initiate force against another”. But what if the victim isn’t a man? What if it’s a child who lacks the cognitive ability to assess risk or danger? What if it’s a child-like race who lack the ability to understand realpolitik or defend themselves against against musket wielding imperial powers? What if it’s someone who is such a danger to themselves or others it justifies taking her children from her and raising them in a different, more enlightened culture.

              In 1851 a pioneering American psychiatrist named Samuel Cartwright discovered ‘drapetomania’ – the pathological tendency of some Negro slaves to run away from their rightful masters. Obviously they were a danger to themselves and others. They would be forced to steal – possibly violently – if they wanted to eat and risked being shot on sight by law-abiding citizens. There were no antipsychotics or ECT back then so for acute drapetomania Cartwright suggested whipping the Devil out of them. Chronic cases were treated by amputating their toes.

              By the 1960s civil rights era such treatment of African Americans was obviously a terrible injustice. There’s nothing wrong with being an African American who wanted to be free. Unless he was gay. Homosexuals were considered criminally insane. Those who were treatment resistant to aversion therapy – electric shocks to their genitals if they were aroused by homoerotic imagery – were given psychosurgery. Many neurosurgeons were convinced it was a brain disease caused by the hypotrophy of certain ganglia. So they opened their skulls and cut the gay out.

              There’s always designated subhumans about. And there’s always exceptions allowing them to be forcibly dispossessed, bombed, tortured or enslaved. Of course later we’ll look back and call that sort of behaviour unconscionable. We’ll be doing it to someone else by then.

              So we know you think young children, correctly designated crazies and those who commit criminal transgressions against other individuals aren’t deserving of the human rights of a ‘man’. Any other subhumans you’d like to add to that list?

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            54. I’m confused.

              By what process did you derive “So we know you think young children, correctly designated crazies and those who commit criminal transgressions against other individuals aren’t deserving of the human rights of a ‘man’.” from my moral precept (“no man has the moral right to initiate force against another”)?

              Because you’ve pointed out examples of human behaviour (colonisation, slavery, tribalism, bigotry, scapegoating, etc. ) that run counter to the very principle I’m proposing.

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            55. By what process did you derive “So we know you think young children

              By definition, young children lack the cognitive ability to assess risk and danger, so the answer is no

              correctly designated crazies

              is the individual a harm to themselves or others? IF not then the answer is no. Otherwise it would be yes.

              those who commit criminal transgressions against other individuals

              The convict has (conceivably) already violated the code and thus forfeits the right to complain about the consequences stemming from that decision

              aren’t deserving of the human rights of a ‘man’.” from my moral precept (“no man has the moral right to initiate force against another”)?

              Because you’ve pointed out examples of human behaviour (colonisation, slavery, tribalism, bigotry, scapegoating, etc. ) that run counter to the very principle I’m proposing.

              You’ve shown you’re prepared to make exceptions as to who constitutes ‘another’ (man) under your golden rule, even when the person being subjected to force hasn’t initiated it. I pointed out that such golden rules have always received lip service – usually enforceable among privileged members of society – but there have always been exceptions that serve to justify initiation of force against others.

              Has it occurred to you that in a generation or so the exceptions you make might also be seen as abuses by ‘right-thinking’ golden rule advocates?
              History would suggest it very likely.
              History would also suggest it likely the exceptions would have shifted to new stigmatised groups that rules advocates would see as self-evidently unfit for protection under their rules.

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            56. I still don’t follow your line of reasoning. At no point did I state that any of the above individuals “aren’t deserving of the human rights of a ‘man’” — unless you mean to argue that restraining someone from violating the rights of others constitutes a violation of their basic human rights. (In which case I would argue it is a justified exception, because it would be somewhat disingenuous to cry foul play for being prevented from engaging in foul play.)

              Furthermore, by definition, a convict is someone who has already been found guilty of harming another, so it is incorrect to say that such a person is being subjected to force even though s/he hasn’t initiated it yet. And the same can be said for preventing someone who lacks the capacity to make sound decisions from committing harm against others.

              As for preventing others from committing harm against themselves — at first glance it appears to violate the principle. But does it really? Because the principle also carries with it an implied presumption of such force being used to cause intentional harm, which is the polar opposite of using force to prevent harm. I’ll grant that an argument could be made against forcibly preventing someone from committing suicide, but I would consider that to be an edge case scenario.

              As to the rest of your comment, a principle stands or fails on its own merits independent of how many people choose to observe it or how badly things get twisted to include what wasn’t intended or mean what wasn’t meant.

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            57. I still don’t follow your line of reasoning. At no point did I state that any of the above individuals “aren’t deserving of the human rights of a ‘man’” — unless you mean to argue that restraining someone from violating the rights of others constitutes a violation of their basic human rights. (In which case I would argue it is a justified exception, because it would be somewhat disingenuous to cry foul play for being prevented from engaging in foul play.)

              That’s exactly what I’m arguing.

              You can never know if someone is going to harm someone until they do it. But you can convince yourself it’s a reasonable conclusion to reach if you start by stigmatising them for their DSM diagnosis or the colour of their skin.

              You seem to be broadening your ‘golden rule’ beyond initiating force to ‘violating the rights of others’, which I’m sure you know can be stretched into a very wide brush.

              Furthermore, by definition, a convict is someone who has already been found guilty of harming another,

              So using illegal drugs, selling sex or taking things deemed (by authorities) to be someone else’s property is ‘harming others’ sufficiently to warrant imposing force?
              And what about remandees who haven’t been found guilty of anything but are still forcibly imprisoned?

              Methinks you’re holding a very broad brush there. Is there anything you disapprove of that’s beyond its reach?

              As to the rest of your comment, a principle stands or fails on its own merits independent of how many people choose to observe it or how badly things get twisted to include what wasn’t intended or mean what wasn’t meant.

              Perhaps you should stop calling your moral tenet a ‘golden rule’ – which is usually taken to mean a universalist categorical imperative – and call it a ‘Humpty Dumpty rule’ instead.

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            58. You can never know if someone is going to harm someone until they do it. But you can convince yourself it’s a reasonable conclusion to reach if you start by stigmatising them for their DSM diagnosis or the colour of their skin.

              Then you are arguing against a straw man because you are framing this in a manner that does not come close to representing what I’ve been discussing.

              First off, I want to reiterate that the principle I advocate for is one of cooperation and voluntary human interaction in which resorting to the use of force — i.e., physical violence, threats of physical violence and/or coercion — to get one’s way is not morally permitted. So when I talk of prevention, I’m speaking about stopping someone who is already actively engaged (or about to become actively engaged) in committing harm. Nor am I broadening the scope of the principle; because by definition, the initiation of force constitutes a violation of someone’s rights — specifically, the negative right to be left alone in peace.

              Second, I don’t know where you got the “stigmatising them for their DSM diagnosis or the colour of their skin” part because it certainly doesn’t reflect anything I wrote. In fact, I specifically stated: “who gets to decide who is insane? Or to what degree? But assuming that such a determination can be made, then the overriding question becomes: is the individual a harm to themselves or others? IF not then the answer is no. Otherwise it would be yes.”

              And skin colour wasn’t mentioned at all.

              So using illegal drugs, selling sex or taking things deemed (by authorities) to be someone else’s property is ‘harming others’ sufficiently to warrant imposing force?

              I already addressed that in my initial response when I wrote: “assuming . . . that the crime was an actual transgression against another individual rather than just the violation of some arbitrary civil statute.” Drug and prostitution laws fall into the latter category, but you’ll have to clarify what you mean by “taking things deemed (by authorities) to be someone else’s property” — especially the “(by authorities)” part — because I’m not sure what you are referring to.

              And what about remandees who haven’t been found guilty of anything but are still forcibly imprisoned?

              What about it?

              It appears we’re talking at cross-purposes because you’re framing this entire discussion from the perspective of someone who advocates for a state monopoly on violence, while I’m advocating for a system based on voluntary exchange and cooperation. In effect, you’re arguing against yourself, because I’ve already agreed that interfering in the lives of others is completely unwarranted unless their intent is to cause harm. So there is no reason I would ever want to imprison people who haven’t been found guilty of anything.

              Perhaps you should stop calling your moral tenet a ‘golden rule’ – which is usually taken to mean a universalist categorical imperative – and call it a ‘Humpty Dumpty rule’ instead.

              I explained what I meant from the outset and even provided a link to my initial comment fleshing out the details, so you are without excuse for interpreting it in any other manner than the one already presented.

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            59. The fact is that deontological (rules based) ethics is just as morally bankrupt as consequentialist ethics. Every situation is unique and infinitely complex. There will never be a big enough book of rules to cover all situations and if there was you’d never have time to look them up before having to make moral decisions.

              If you’re handing your morality over to external rules or rationalisations you’re not being ethical at all. You’re absolving yourself of morality in the same way as if you simply bowed to a fuhrer. You’ve made yourself into an ethical automaton. Your freedom of choice no longer exists. You’re no more ‘ethical’ than a car that obediently starts when you turn the ignition.

              Being able to act according to your own ethics is the essence of freedom. If you’re a slave to your ‘base impulses’ you’re neither ethical nor free and no rationalisation or rule book will ever change that.

              So what are your morals? Obviously I can never know. I can’t even know what mine are from moment to moment. But by making myself as aware as possible not of my rationalisations and not of my designated rule book but of my ethical instincts and intuitions in any given situation is the best guide I know of for making a free moral decision. What Hume called ‘moral sentiment’.

              “Kalamas, when you yourselves know: ‘These things are good; these things are not blamable; these things are praised by the wise; undertaken and observed, these things lead to benefit and happiness,’ enter on and abide in them.” – the Buddha

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            60. I practice the moral code that I presented — i.e., I endeavor to deal with each individual on a voluntary basis free of any coercion or dishonest intent, and expect same in return.

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            61. I endeavor to deal with each individual on a voluntary basis free of any coercion or dishonest intent, and expect same in return.

              Including if you become a danger to yourself or others?
              If you live long enough it’s almost certain to happen.

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            62. Of course. But loss of personal autonomy due to mental or physically infirmity is an entirely different kettle of fish than loss of personal autonomy due to malevolent actors.

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            63. But surely the actors aren’t malevolent if they’re acting to protect you from yourself or others from you. Of course there’s the problem that people are notoriously poor at assessing the dangerousness of others – especially others who seem quite different to themselves. But that’s just a technicality, right? Best to exercise an abundance of caution and lock you up right away. Someday you’ll be dangerous and we wouldn’t want to leave it too late.

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            64. Again, I don’t follow. Individuals going about their daily lives without intent of causing harm to others elicit no call to action, whereas those whose actions threaten harm to others elicit calls for restraint. The key determining factor revolves around the “initiation” of force — that is to say, who is the one that is initiating the threat of violence or harm to others, not in how you respond to that threat. I’m not advocating for pacifism here.

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            65. I was attempting to point out that unless something else kills you first someday you’ll suffer an ABI, be diagnosed with a mental illness or descend into dementia and would be considered ‘childlike’ or ‘a danger to self or others’.

              Then ‘benevolent’ people would feel just as justified in initiating force against you – for ‘your own good’ of course – as you are about using it against children playing on roads or those you’d consider ‘a harm to themselves or others’.

              Of course the problem then becomes anticipating harm before it’s already happened. Those tasked with doing so will inevitably seek to use force increasingly pre-emptively to avoid facing consequences for failing to prevent it. That’s why there’s orders of magnitude more people under psychiatric detention or forced medication than there are people with mental illness diagnoses who commit harm to themselves or others.

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            66. Yes, and I’m prepared to accept that loss of autonomy is the natural consequence of losing the mental or physical capability of looking after oneself, because I find it preferable to the stark alternative: total neglect.

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            67. And how pre-emptively would you accept force being used?

              As soon as a shrink diagnoses you with a major depressive or psychotic illness?
              When you lose the ability to drive safely and the insight needed to recognise that?
              After the third time you leave the house forgetting to take sufficient environmental protection or PEP?
              The first time someone overhears you saying your life isn’t worth living?

              That’s the thing Ron. If you stretch the horizon and a safety buffer far enough there’s nothing anyone does that can’t be seen as a potential threat to yourself or others. And the way our societies work mean that those who are most stigmatised – those with mental health diagnoses, racial minorities, those with criminal records … – will always be seen as the most likely to be dangerous and so warranting the lowest threshold of protection against use of force. That will especially be the case during times of social stress and turmoil when people are looking around for scapegoats.

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            68. Larry was getting dementia. He’d been in two minor accidents is a week and left the scene of both, but he couldn’t remember why his car was damaged. We told him to stop driving and live the rest of his life—with his dogs out in the ranch. 80 acres of lightly wooded pasture, a greenhouse and some geese. He agreed. “Don’t ever put me away” he said. “This is where I want to die.”
              Larry again decided to drive the 10 mile stretch to go to the post office. It went well til he forgot to put the Jeep in park, ran over himself and wound up in the hospital where the doctors (three of them) concurred that Larry will never go back home. His assets are now being used to pay for his stay at the memory care facility, at $7500 a month. He hates it there, and all he can remember is his dogs and his geese, his wife’s grave on the land—and his gun and gold collection. Little does he know it’s all been liquidated—even his wife’s oriental collection and his Buddhist statues. The dogs and geese have been rehomed, the greenhouse auctioned and dismantled and ADT is now monitoring his timber framed property—all because he drove to the post office.
              True story.
              Now he’s eating better (the care facility is going to squeeze out a few more years) as he’s gained some weight back and looks a little better, but Larry will never remember nor appreciate that. “Let me out of this jail”, he says every time we visit. The doctors, Larry. We’ll talk to the doctors…

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            69. They are with a nice family. They were outside dogs, protecting the geese and property, now they sleep on pillows in the house. They’re spoiled, kids climbing on them. That part worked out, but for a few weeks they were out there alone and depressed.

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            70. Really happy to hear that.

              A while ago a rescuer with a shelter found an old man who had something like 15 (maybe even 20?) dogs. All rescues. Soon after this girl found him, and he knew his dogs would be safe, he died. Turned out he was very, very sick and had been simply hanging on because of his dogs.

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            71. We have the geese, and the dogs are vacationing. This has been going on about 2 years now. Larry would drop dead if we ever told him the truth.

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            72. And that’s the way of all flesh.

              I’m old enough to wonder if I’m already on that slope and to hope that I’m good with being confined and utterly dependent on others for my basic needs. But I’m also old enough to have seen several friends and family members disappear into the clouds of dementia and they didn’t go easily. I practice acceptance on a daily basis but wonder if I’ll eventually lose all that and go back to being fiercely defensive about my youthful notions of autonomy and freedom.

              Time will tell, but will I notice?

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            73. Larry told me “these people are crazy”, I hate this place!” I told him he was a good looking guy, get yourself a girlfriend. He said “these people shit their pants”, not realizing at the moment that he does too.
              Acceptance is the right path. Unless we have a really good family that will take care of us, we will die unexpectedly or live out the remainder in an isolation facility. It’s big business

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            74. Call me sentimental, but most of these problems stem from the disintegration of the family unit, and social cohesion in general. Once upon a time families and neighbors cared for and looked our for one. Now we shuffle our kids and elderly off to state-run daycare centres and nursing homes and expect others to handle the responsibility.

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            75. You are confusing what happens when people agree to contractual arbitration clauses when there is a government that will enforce those contracts, with what would happen if there were no government.

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            76. I don’t think so. Because even without an enforcer we are prone to follow social rules and customs just for the sake of expediency. For instance, most people voluntarily line up for checkout service at the supermarket in the order of arrival and those who attempt to cut into line are quickly reprimanded without any need of an “official” policy or enforcer.

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            77. Ok I do think the check out person is the enforcer in that situation. If you try to cut in front of several people the check out person likely will not check you out. But I think you are thinking habits where people are conditioned to rules being enforced will carry over forever when there is no enforcement. I think that is dubious.

              But let me ask: if you were robbed or had a family member seriously attacked or killed by someone what do you think would happen if there was no government? What process would you use to go about finding out who did it? If a person you suspected did it wouldn’t let you into their home to check for incriminating evidence that you were really pretty sure was there what would you do? And then what would you do if you were pretty sure you found out who did it?

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            78. I don’t dispute that we’re conditioned to call for an outside enforcer. What I’m proposing it that we break away from this conditioning to explore alternative methods of conflict resolution. As already mentioned, the cashier, and/or people waiting in line are quite capable of policing the situation by themselves without having to call in a third party to do it for them, so why not extend that to other situations?

              You ask what would happen if I were robbed and there were no government? Well, I have been burgled a number of times and the police did nothing other than file my report. So how would I be worse off? Or consider the plight of the shopkeepers in California forced to contend with shoplifters because the government has abandoned all attempts to enforce the laws in place. Or the countless businesses that have been burned, looted and vandalized during the Antifa/BLM riots while the police turned a blind eye to the chaos. How are they any better off under the current system?

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            79. I’ve been burgled and assaulted multiple times and have never called the cops. I was also involved in running a community based response to sexual assault (not vigilantism) that didn’t involve police or courts.

              If there’s one thing I’ve learned about crime and law enforcement over my decades of contact with both it’s that there’s very few situations so bad that police aren’t likely to make it worse.

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            80. My experience with law enforcement hasn’t been quiet as dismal, but I think you raise an important point. Encouraging community involvement yields greater dividends than demanding increased state intervention.

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            81. I’ve done a lot of deaths in custody work, supporting families of people killed by police, so my dismal experiences may not be entirely representative of public interactions with police. But I think if you talk to someone who has reported a rape to the police you’re probably going to hear something pretty dismal too.

              Full stop

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            82. I should probably concede that four of the times I was assaulted I didn’t need to call the police. They were already there. Bashing me. In two cases they were also robbing me. I’ve never been charged with a criminal offence.

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            83. I learned long ago that the only real difference between the state-sanctioned police force and every other criminal organization is the gang uniform. That , plus the latter has the decency not to insult my intelligence by claiming they’re acting in my best interests.

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            84. You live in Oz, right? Your (in a collective sense) first mistake was believing that the state officials have a vested interest in safeguarding individual liberties. Your second was voluntarily surrendering your weapons to the state under the pretense that doing so would procure you greater safety. Your third is your unwavering belief that pleading for mercy will grant you relief from your current predicament.

              As Malcolm X noted:

              “Nobody can give you freedom. Nobody can give you equality or justice or anything. If you’re a man, you take it.”

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            85. Well, being from Australia and of Aboriginal descent I was never under the illusion the state was here to protect me. But also I was never prone to Hollywood cowboy fantasies that my collection of rifles and shotguns was ever going to protect me from state violence. In fact it would more likely have given police the excuse to blow me away.

              Since I was forced to surrender my beloved guns – along with most other Australian gun owners – there has been zero mass shootings and only three mass killings of any kind, compared to 2-3 per year before the ban. And there’s been no uptick in police killings of civilians either (though neither has it declined).

              Maybe the US could learn from that, though to do so it would first have to drop its John Wayne mentality.

              I agree with Malcolm X, but I don’t kid myself that the way to take your freedom back from a nation-state with a multi-billion dollar police and military budget is with a locker full of small-arms. It doesn’t seem to be working so well for Americans so far. The person most likely to be killed by privately owned firearms in the US is the owner. The next most likely are his/her family members. Doesn’t look like a path to freedom to me.

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            86. Amazing how Jim’s post has taken on a life of its own!

              Your remarks about guns is close to home. I live with an AVID gun-owner … and although I truly doubt in my heart of hearts that he would display the John Wayne mentality you mentioned, I do know he would be VERY upset if guns were outlawed in the U.S.

              In many ways, it’s discouraging to read the statistics of Australia since the removal of guns because such statistics most likely will never become a part of the U.S. 😞

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            87. although I truly doubt in my heart of hearts that he would display the John Wayne mentality you mentioned, I do know he would be VERY upset if guns were outlawed in the U.S.

              I was heartbroken to give up my guns. I’d worked hard as a teenager to earn the money and do the research to get just the ones I wanted. I’d spent many hours cleaning them, accessorising them, maintaining them and practicing with them so they and I in concert could do what I wanted from them. I hugely admired their engineering and efficiency in what they did. I had many fond memories of hunting trips and shooting contests tied up with them. But I don’t think I ever had what I called the John Wayne mentality.

              What I meant by that is the notion promoted by Hollywood that there’s no problem that can’t be solved by a sufficiently rugged individual armed with the right gun. There’s even otherwise intelligent people in the US who think they can free themselves from oppressive government authority that way.

              Maybe I should call it the second amendment mentality.

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            88. I think you and he would have gotten along VERY well. Most likely the two of you would have spent many hours in deep discussion related to all things guns. I’m NOT a fan and I get a bit frustrated at his ever-present and ongoing desire to purchase things gun-related (cleaning tools, magazines, reloading equipment, etc.) Reading your regrets, however, has helped me to understand a bit better why he is so very much against the removal of guns in the U.S.

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            89. John Wayne rode off the silver screen (and world stage) more than four decades ago. In fact, the only recent mention of him pertained to the rumblings from the “woke” crowd pressing to have him expunged from American history because he doesn’t meet their current standards of puritanical excellence, and at the rate they’re going, it won’t be long before they set their sights on the erasure of Martin Luther King Jr. as well.

              But no one “forced” you to surrender your guns; you more or less did that voluntarily because the people far outnumber the “rulers” and widespread mass civil disobedience would have nipped that in the bud, just as mass civil disobedience could have ended your tyrannical lockdowns.

              So while it’s true that mass shootings are lower over there, it comes at a heavy price: loss of personal liberty.

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            90. John Wayne rode off the silver screen (and world stage) more than four decades ago. In fact, the only recent mention of him pertained to the rumblings from the “woke” crowd pressing to have him expunged from American history because he doesn’t meet their current standards of puritanical excellence, and at the rate they’re going, it won’t be long before they set their sights on the erasure of Martin Luther King Jr. as well.

              I think there’s a strong case for expunging John Wayne from history for his terrible acting – with the exception of his swansong, True Grit – and personally I found his onscreen and offscreen glorification of murderous US imperialism in which those defending their homes from gun-wielding US patriots – be they Native Americans or Vietnamese peasants – are dehumanised then exterminated in huge numbers to be rather distasteful. But I think the chances that either wokism or good taste will free us from the memory of The Duke are pretty slim. Mind you, I find it ironic that his work on The Conqueror – perhaps the ultimate showcase of both his lousy acting and the anti-wokism of the roles he played – may very well have provided the rail on which he was ultimately run off the world stage, thanks to the potentially genocidal imperialism of the US nuclear weapons program. I guess not even The Duke’s six shooter could save him from atomic bombs. Maybe he needed Harrison Ford’s refrigerator.

              But to leave a dead non-actor behind and return to a bit of relevance, I think we need to start by acknowledging that society and civilisation itself depends on acceptance of some sort of limits on freedom. For example, if the limits of my right to swing my fists doesn’t stop somewhere short of your nose we’re not going to have the sort of social coherence needed to keep us alive long enough to engage in libertarian fantasies of rugged individualism.

              So the question isn’t “How do we uncompromisingly defend all our self-perceived liberties – with lethal force if necessary?”, but rather “What trade-offs of our liberties are acceptable to maintain conditions in which we can survive and flourish?”.

              I should probably start by pointing out that with the exception of a small number of QAnon inspired nut-jobs Australians don’t perceive Covid lockdowns as tyranny. There’s robust debate – including protest marches – as to how far they should go, how they should be enforced and what form enabling legislation should take, but Australians overwhelmingly support temporarily suspending some of our liberties in order to avoid the level of Covid mortality suffered in the US. We don’t call arguing over the details ‘tyranny’. We call it ‘democracy’. And most of us are perfectly aware we need to be vigilant and proactive to prevent temporary suspensions from becoming permanent erosion. Though we we’re initially amused by the way Fox News ignorantly portrayed our lockdowns as a ‘horrifying attack on civil liberties’ (Tucker Carlson) some of us got rather alarmed when US commentators started calling for the US military to invade Australia to liberate us (Candace Owens). We know how batshit crazy many Americans are about ‘liberating’ foreigners with bombs and worry they and/or our local US-inspired crazies may not get the joke.

              It seems to me US libertarians have rendered themselves clueless about liberty by lapping up corporate consumerist propaganda as to what liberty is. They’ve enslaved their minds to advertising and industry funded lobby groups such as the NRA in order to liberate their wallets to buy whatever they’ve been programmed into believing makes them ‘free’ – including cigarettes (or ‘torches of freedom‘ as Edward Bernays called them), guns and health-destroying junk food. Instead they can only see their freedoms restricted if it’s done by government, even if those restrictions offer liberties in other areas, such as the freedom to breathe without sucking in industrial pollutants, passive cigarette smoke or potentially lethal pathogens.

              So, for example, you get libertarians waxing apoplectic about their freedom to walk into a retail outlet or entertainment venue without a mask but they seem far less exercised about their lack of freedom to walk down the street bare-arsed naked, though in hot weather that’s probably just as uncomfortable and restrictive as wearing a mask.

              So if you want to be free you need to start by deciding which freedoms to prioritise and what you’re willing to trade to protect them. I loved my guns, but I think handing them in to mitigate the escalation of gun violence in my community and the inevitable paramilitarised police response was a pretty good deal – especially when I look across the Pacific and see what sort of deal Americans have got in return for keeping theirs. And I’m not prepared to fight for my freedom to walk around where and when I choose without taking precautions against disease transmission if it means the sort of death rates from Covid that seem to be acceptable to Americans.

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            91. Perhaps you misunderstood the point of my previous comment . I wasn’t reviewing John Wayne’s acting abilities, so much as pointing out that cultural norms have shifted. America’s current “gun culture” is largely influenced by the “drugs, thugs, hoes, clothes and money” lifestyle that’s being glorified and promoted by (mostly black) rappers. So the “gun problem” isn’t really a problem with the guns themselves: it’s mostly a problem with the moral standards and attitudes held by those who wield them in an unlawful manner.

              As for supporting democracy: that’s just a disingenuous way of saying “we support mob rule” (i.e., that the majority of the population has the right to impose its will upon the minority) — a concept I deem morally bankrupt. By what method does one obtain the “right” to dictate and rule over others?

              The same applies to the clarion call in support of the “public good”. Exactly who decides what items fall under that umbrella, and who exactly granted them that authority? Because I certainly don’t remember partaking in that discussion; nor would I be willing to entertain such a conversation, because I subscribe to the principle that individuals have complete autonomy over their lives and can do whatever they please so long as it does not impinge upon the liberties of others. That is to say: how you choose to live your life is no one’s business but your own, so long as you don’t attempt to impose your chosen lifestyle upon others. So if you choose to take drugs, or have unprotected sex with random strangers, or drink and eat to excess, or engage in other risky behaviors (like taking experimental “vaccines”) — that’s entirely your prerogative. Just leave me out of it.

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            92. I invoked John Wayne not because I blame him personally but because I think he best embodies the Hollywood-reinforced mythic trope that runs through US society that all pragmatic, social, moral and political difficulties can be resolved by determined individualists with guns. While I think there’s much more to gansta rap culture than firepower I think that aspect also arises from the notion that in order to change society and protect yourself and your community you need to be packing heat.

              As I mentioned in an earlier comment, I concede that part of the explanation for such widespread irrationality is likely to be anachronistic fetishisation of the second amendment, but I seriously doubt it would exert the influence over American society that it does were it not for repeated action movie plots in which the well armed hero ultimately prevails and dispels moral complexity by virtue of blowing away the bad guys. Most John Wayne movie plots follow that well worn path and are well known so I invoke him as short-hand for the myth, though he didn’t originate it and it has taken forms he would doubtless have deplored (e.g. Wayne was an avowed white supremacist so wouldn’t likely have approved of the way gangsta rap promotes gun culture as a means of overcoming racist oppression).

              So the “gun problem” isn’t really a problem with the guns themselves: it’s mostly a problem with the moral standards and attitudes held by those who wield them in an unlawful manner.

              It’s a problem with the notion that guns (in the hands of the right people) are a universal social panacea. You can see how ridiculous belief in that myth has become with the response of US gun nuts to the Aurora mass shooting that the problem would have been immediately solved if ‘good people’ in the movie audience had been armed. Could you imagine the sort of bloodbath that would have occurred in a panicked, darkened theatre if a dozen or so people had began returning fire? But in the movies the good guys’ bullets rarely go astray and misidentification of targets is almost unheard of, so it’s possible to make suggestions like that in the US without attracting the widespread ridicule they deserve.

              Another Hollywood trope is that the ‘Dirty Harry’ style superior shooter is a law above the law, so when firearms are used unlawfully to bypass ‘corrupt’ and inefficient legal and judicial processes many Americans consider it more lawful than the law. Vigilante gunmen as ‘good guys’ is a prominent movie theme that I think goes a long way towards explaining gun cultism and the extraordinary firearm homicide rate in the US.

              As for supporting democracy: that’s just a disingenuous way of saying “we support mob rule” (i.e., that the majority of the population has the right to impose its will upon the minority) — a concept I deem morally bankrupt. By what method does one obtain the “right” to dictate and rule over others?

              You don’t. But vigorous and robust democratic debate is how you go about achieving consensus as to what individual liberties can be restricted in order to protect the liberties of others.

              Would you agree there should be sanctions restricting me from punching you in the face?
              How about spitting in your face?
              How about breathing droplets in your face that contain potentially lethal pathogens?

              The way to resolve that is via public debate and while I’d agree the electoral plutocracies that currently pass for representative democratic government in much of the world are very poor vehicles for implementing public consensus I don’t agree that simply disagreeing with consensus on such things as murder, assault or contagion control licences dissenters to ignore it. I think disagreeing with government regulations licences people to protest against them but not to set fire to a museum whose staff have nothing to do with it, as anti-vax wingnuts in Canberra did earlier this week.

              Australian state governments enjoy overwhelming public support for the measures that have given us a Covid mortality rate of about 8 per 100,000 compared to about 240 per 100,000 in the land of the free.

              We restrict the freedom of those who are happy to endanger others by ignoring public health measures in the same way we restrict the freedom of those who are happy to endanger others by ignoring road safety measures. With the exception of a tiny number of mostly right-wing conspiracy theorists who act as an echo chamber for similar US-based groups, we don’t see it as tyranny.

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            93. Ron
              I was also burglarized and the police did nothing. That is the problem though. The problem with your situations is the police do nothing. You are trying to make the problem of police doing nothing a feature. It would be better for everyone if the people robbing us were caught and punished in a way that we could all vote on. To say in this or that case the people were not caught and nothing happened so therefore we should make every case that way is not a good solution. The solution is to have the government actually be good at the limited things it should do but not try to go beyond that and start doing things they have no business doing.

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            94. When it comes to property rights, you rightfully own the things that you have acquired through honest means

              Seems to me you can hide an awful lot of theft behind ‘honest means’.

              If you worked hard to raise the money to pay for land that was stolen from Native Americans did you acquire it through honest means?

              If you inherited a factory and paid the workers below living wages while pocketing huge profits from the products is your income acquired through honest means?

              American libertarianism sucks not because it decries state power (or because it often boosts corporate power) but because it incorporates that peculiarly sociopathic American view of individualism that refuses to acknowledge all ‘means’ are ultimately more social and communal than rooted in individual ‘merit’ and so seeks to appropriate both the means and fruits of production for whoever can make the loudest, most egotistical claim on them.

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            95. I think you’re quite right to point out this real world effect from anarchy (and inherent as well in fundamental libertarianism as a guiding governing principle). But I think the danger from the other extreme – too much government and the loss of individual autonomy in law to accommodate it’s establishment – is just as important to consider.

              So it seems reasonable to me that there needs to be a better balance between the two incompatible book ends – the social model (that relies on group identities) and the individual model (that relies on presumed individual capability) – and I think liberalism that sets a common floor of shared rights and freedoms that can be constrained for the public good provides just that. There’s quite compelling real world evidence for that compatibilism, too.

              The thorn, however, is always going to be this idea of what defines the common good, which is also going to be a constant work in progress (the enlightenment idea behind the phrase ‘a more perfect union’). Once one accepts that there will be an ebb and flow determining the real world boundaries (by real world effects) of what adds to or detracts from the public good by the least amount of individual constraints using a preponderance of evidence as the metric, then liberalism as a political philosophy shines (or in Churchill’s phrase, the worst possible government except for all the others) in that it is flexible enough to provide room for both publicly funded social improvements that aids the common good AND the greatest possible freedom for individual merit and creativity to be rewarded as a virtue.

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            96. So it seems reasonable to me that there needs to be a better balance between the two incompatible book ends – the social model (that relies on group identities) and the individual model (that relies on presumed individual capability) – and I think liberalism that sets a common floor of shared rights and freedoms that can be constrained for the public good provides just that. There’s quite compelling real world evidence for that compatibilism, too.

              I can admire your aspirations there tildeb, but I think you’re reaching for a solution with an even longer track record of failure than Marxism.

              IMO, Burkean liberalism was originally formulated to allow the emerging middle classes of early industrial Britain to ethically distance themselves from the imperial abuses that fueled their newfound wealth. Instead of slaughtering and stealing from foreigners the Empire shouldered the ‘white man’s burden’ of civilising savages. Naturally such childlike, dark-skinned folk couldn’t be permitted to rule over themselves or exercise control over their own resources – they’d just squander their wealth on trinkets, hurt themselves and leave themselves open to ‘less benevolent’ imperialists to do what the British Empire did to them.

              Liberalism has never really escaped from those roots. Liberals now are almost invariably of a materially privileged class who promote the same old paternalistic virtue of ‘tolerance’ of those they obviously consider to be inferior – oops, sorry, ‘disadvantaged’. Their virtue is constrained by a blinkered empathy that starts from the position that everyone else wants what they do and should emulate them in seeking to achieve it.

              I’m an Australian of indigenous descent and I can tell you that far more damage has been done to First People here by arrogant liberal good intentions than by outright, self-aware racism. Elevating us to white civilisation involved destroying our culture and language and stealing our children to be raised by white institutions. Our sacred sites were destroyed and rituals banned to better assist us to find Christian virtue and salvation. Even now our still dwindling lands and autonomy are eroded (usually for the benefit of mining companies) in the name of protecting our women and children from abuse.

              My understanding is that the experience of Canadian First People with liberalism has been very similar to ours.

              And that’s the pattern of the relationship between liberalism and imperialism the world over ever since Edmund Burke set out its founding principles. It was liberals who spelled out the doctrine of ‘Responsibility to Protect (R2P)’ that’s been used to justify everything from the destruction of Libya to bombing Afghan wedding parties to protect the rights of girls to go to school (nothing at all to do with trying to enforce the rights of energy companies to build the TAPI pipeline).

              In 1988 Noam Chomsky and Ed Herman identified the liberal media – not the rightwing tabloids – as playing the most crucial role in manufacturing consent for imperialist abuse, economic injustice and rule by the elites. I think the subsequent history of support by publications like the New York Times and the Guardian for imperialist warmongering, neoliberal economic policies and obedience to entrenched authority has utterly vindicated that analysis. But I think Phil Ochs nailed liberalism even more succinctly in 1966.

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            97. You’ve certainly built a case and, like any good zero sum lawyer, you’ve presented it as if one layer can rest easily on the preceding one. Each point does indeed have some merit… on its own.

              This is the danger of historical cherry picking. You can build a case that seems to have merit to justifying a desired conclusion. For example, you conflate Burke’s writings to be ‘liberalism’. When I studied liberalism, I had to compare and contrast Burke with Locke because neither was ‘liberalism’ individually. Yet both had some legitimate claim to shaping the political philosophy and this becomes apparent only by combining them. If one doesn’t do this, one cannot then understand why JS Mills’ short essay On Liberty IS liberalism correctly defined because that is what has gone into law. This essay is the one with which a good lawyer must contest (steel case if one wishes to confront the strongest argument rather than the cherry picked weakest) and so on this basis your case falls apart to associate Burke alone to be ‘liberalism’ (he was a very strong Monarchist very busy condemning mob rule democracy of France during the Terror and, in today’s language, would be much closer to a Reagan Republican conservative than, say, a Clinton or Obama or Carter liberal democrat). This is why I say your points do have some individual merit but collectively it doesn’t lead you to where what’s true resides. It leads you to a constructed case, a narrative, a strong bias, you favor to ‘explain and blame’ legitimate historical grievances that you mistakenly associate with liberalism rather than what’s true: the lack of liberalism. Illiberal policies. This is what a country gets when its government and legal system abandons liberal principles for the sake of convenience or gain or in selling a preferred and biased narrative. One cannot possibly justify or lay at the feet of JS Mills’ liberalism these root historical grievances. But one can clearly demonstrate these policies as lacking liberal principles and the resulting harm from them predictable.

              The same is true today. Those who do not learn from history are condemned to repeat it. Abandoning liberalism in the name of something else is a guaranteed path to systemic injustice and collective harm. And the offspring of that unholy alliance is always retribution. It’s never a constructive path forward but a regressive slide backwards in respecting real people in real life. History offers us nothing but evidence to support this thesis.

              Along this line, what people so easily either forget or refuse you recognize today is how these grievances HAVE BEEN altered BY enforcing liberal policies, namely, forcing the illiberal policies to legal review and found wanting. These policies have been stopped. That is the first step towards ultimately meaningful change. I think there’s no question that governments have been held accountable for these grievances and have put a stop to them. That’s significant because it demonstrates the power of liberalism in action: the legal recognition of forcing governments to respect the individual’s shared autonomy in law. That liberal principle, enforced by courts using the fundamental tenets of liberalism, has forced these policies to be abandoned, has forced these governments to recognize some kind of restitution to be made. Whether or not specific actions are sufficient or timely or acceptable is beside the point: liberal principles established in law caused these changes overthrew the selfish interests and imposed their end. These principles of liberalism didn’t cause the original illiberal policies but were the means to effectively stop and then begin the arduous task of addressing the legal inequalities on behalf of the public that resulted. Say what you will, but this is also an ongoing process that is unquestionably arcing away from supporting and/or backing or justifying these historically true illiberal policies in action. That’s what so many people will not admit TODAY in their zeal to maintain both blame and never-ending victimhood. What’s done is done and liberalism is the only way forward for both the aggrieved and the representatives of past government guilty of these illiberal policies.

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            98. Was all of the land really stolen? According to this website, the Dutch purchased present day Manhattan for 60 Guilders; so it appears that there was a legitimate land purchase contract even if the current native descendants are now experiencing sellers remorse. Nor was this the only one. There were a multitude of other land treaties, as well.

              For sure, there were lands taken in conquest — but those were the rules of engagement subscribed to by all parties during that era.

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            99. If the concept of land ownership is in dispute, “buying” private property from the natives was like you bartering with your 4 year old. Heads I win, tails you lose. On the other side, imagine bartering with a fragmented, post apocalyptic society who are falsely acclaimed as nomads when 90% of your population had been decimated by a disease bomb and your settlements wasted?
              The stereotype of the native American is just plain wrong. It’s like comparing the USA today to a scene from the book of Eli.

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            100. You’ve just demonstrated how rubbish the Golden Rule is.

              You can only imagine land ownership in European terms. It’s extremely unlikely the Lenape had any concept of individual ownership of land or that it could be exchanged for something as abstract as money. So pretending they were engaging in a fair exchange is nonsense, even apart from the fact the Canarsee Lenape apparently ‘sold’ Minuit land occupied by their rivals the Weckquaesgeek Lenape.

              And I don’t think genocide and mass dispossession was likely considered ethical behaviour by Native Americans of the day, regardless of the traditional practices of the savages who arrived from the East.

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