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May 25, 2021

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A GoFundMe to send Gohmert, Boebert, and Greene on a junket to tour solar dynamics up close and personal could fully fund Biden's American Job Plan.

Throw in some Senators (McConnell, Tuberville, Johnson) and we might be able to pay down the national debt a little.

Another truly excellent suggestion (or solution)!

A further gloss on the Gohmert intention

It's just another triumph of "I'm just a regular guy using my common sense" logic.

i know we're not supposed to call them the anti-science party. but...

Greene accused Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, of being "criminally liable" for the pandemic outbreak because, she charged without evidence, he "was using American tax dollars and sending it to the Wuhan lab to fund this research that was creating viruses."

"That's a bioweapon," Greene said. "There's no other reason to create a virus that makes people sick, spreads so quick, and kills people. There's no other intent but it's a bioweapon."

Bannon then asked her if she found it implausible that the virus was the subject of research meant to find vaccines and somehow the material evolved into COVID-19.

"No, I don't buy it because I don't believe in evolution," Greene replied. "I don't believe in that type of so-called 'science.' I don't believe in evolution. I believe in God."

they're the anti-science party.

Certainly they are the party for those who are anti-science. But that's not quite the same thing.

It might be more accurate to say that they are the anti-empiricism party. It isn't science, after all, which says that Trump lost. Denial of reality is a rather larger field than just denying science.

Per the title of this thread, for some the limits (if any) are way, way out there:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/adam-schiff-leak-investigation-eric-swalwell/2021/06/11/ee935590-ca58-11eb-81b1-34796c7393af_story.html

Quite usually for the Trump administration, the accusation motivating the investigation (leaks) was something that members of the administration were doing more than anyone else.

Sieve calling the colander holy (i.e. hole-ridden)?

Hey, it's the only kind of "holy" they can get anywhere close to.

Hey, it's the only kind of "holy" they can get anywhere close to.

Holy shit! Wholly shit?

As for "leak-ridden", the Trump admin seems to have invented a new form of aerogel.

People object to some libertarians calling the government a criminal syndicate and protection racket. But the government seems to take an inordinate number of opportunities to prove them right.

"Eric Boehm, who reported this story for Reason last month, notes that on March 22, law enforcement officials with the bureau raided the establishment as part of an ongoing criminal investigation into the business itself. The warrant allowed agents to confiscate a laundry list of things: the company's security cameras, computers, the steel frames that nest the containers. Deemed off-limits: "a criminal search or seizure of the contents of the safe-deposit boxes."

The agents were unfazed. They did it anyway, wantonly rummaging through the personal property in approximately 800 boxes—belonging to people who were not suspected of committing any crimes—and then holding those items hostage. (If you feel like getting mad today, feel free to watch them in action.)
...
There's the obvious implication: The government wants the proceeds. But there's also the notion that carrying or storing large sums of money somehow incriminates you in the drug trade, evocative of the Department of Homeland Security's sordid record of habitually seizing large sums of cash from airport travelers."

The FBI Returned This Innocent Couple's Safe Deposit Box. It Refuses To Give Back Many Others—and Is Trying To Seize $85 Million in Cash.: "It makes me feel like the government is preying on the vulnerable and the weak to line their own pockets."

back to lab leaks
https://www.microbe.tv/twiv/twiv-762/

https://virological.org/t/early-appearance-of-two-distinct-genomic-lineages-of-sars-cov-2-in-different-wuhan-wildlife-markets-suggests-sars-cov-2-has-a-natural-origin/691

1) asset forfeiture is an abomination. when cops take more from people than thieves do, the system is broken.

2) as predicted, the media's new breathless crush on the lab leak story is convincing the Trump cult that Trump was right all along and that the media was previously lying to hurt Trump.

virological.org, eh? Well, let's face it, it's no Bro Bible.

This past week Nevada became the sixth state to permanently adopt mail ballots as the default voting method. Vermont is expected to become the seventh, and first non-western state, to permanently go vote by mail later this month. (California's default vote by mail statute is not permanent; it expires at the end of 2021.)

Nevada also tossed their presidential caucuses in favor of a primary. The law sets a default date for the primary, but also includes a provision to adjust the date so that Nevada is the first primary. This sets up a battle with New Hampshire, which has a similar provision in its state law.

Jusr wait until the originalists on SCOTUS find that voting by mail was clearly not the intent of the founders thus making it unconstitutional.

Hartmut, I have previously expressed my concerns that HR1/S1 may not allow a voting model where the default is vote by mail and in-person activities are inconvenient and intended to handle just the edge cases. Despite the fact that such models consistently win expert rankings for accuracy, security, and ease of use among all US models.

The law sets a default date for the primary, but also includes a provision to adjust the date so that Nevada is the first primary. This sets up a battle with New Hampshire, which has a similar provision in its state law.

The obvious solution, for those not obsessed with being special: hold them both on the same day. Tie for first!

Another seriously dumb idea
https://www.eastbaytimes.com/2021/06/11/masks-for-unvaccinated-workers-not-for-vaccinated-new-cal-osha-proposal/

Apparently it has escaped the notice of our state Occupational Health and Safety folks that there is a significant overlap between those who refuse to get vaccinated and those who refuse to wear masks. In short, there's no way this idea works in the real world.

In short, there's no way this idea works in the real world.

People often say that about workplace safety rules. Right up until the regulations are enforced, with escalating fines and insurance problems, and it becomes very much in businesses' interest to conform. The big problem in my mind is that Cal/OSHA probably doesn't have the resources to do a whole lot of enforcement.

"Why did Bob get fired?"
"Lied to the supervisor about being vaccinated."

Michael Cain, and my concern is that the current SCOTUS will take a second bite at (or out of) voting rights, should a new case reach it. So, I fear that, even if Congress managed to pass anything (and thanks to among others Manchin it won't), SCOTUS will be the second line of defense of the GOP shenanigans and may even go on the offense to force Blue states to follow the example of the Red states by declaring all measures taken to ease voting to be against the original intent of the founders. It could be a moment of "obviously we were not clear enough the last time and you refused to take the hint when we killed all means of enforcement of the Voting Right Act. So, as a result you now force us to talk plain: this is not supposed to be a democracy and the veneer will only be tolerated as long as the power stays where it belongs. And that is not The People. And we are mightily p|ssed and extremly disappointed that you force our hands that way."

it becomes very much in businesses' interest to conform.

I expect that businesses would have no philosophical problem with complying. But they, especially the small businesses, have very little prospect for checking their employees' true vaccination status. Even if they would be fine with firing employees for lying about it, how would they ever know?

... it becomes very much in businesses' interest to conform.

until enough people can be bought to reverse either the rules or to call back the enforcers or to get the case thrown out of court by 'friendly' judges in conjunction with also carefully corrupted prosecutors.

I have my cap of cynicism on to-day, I admit.

Even if they would be fine with firing employees for lying about it, how would they ever know?

And some Red states are working on preventing them knowing and being unable to act should they learn anyway.

"And we are mightily p|ssed and extremly disappointed that you force our hands that way."

"Even more, we are pissed that we have had to admit, to ourselves, just how little we care for democracy. Self-delusion was ever so much more pleasant."

SFAICT, the danger of being unvaccinated and unmasked is to the people who are unvaccinated and unmasked.

IOW, a self-correcting problem.

The test should be whether someone has immunity, not whether they've been vaccinated. Recent studies indicate that it's a pointless and unnecessary risk for people who have had COVID to get vaccinated.

SFAICT, the danger of being unvaccinated and unmasked is to the people who are unvaccinated and unmasked.

Not all unvaccinated people are that way voluntarily. Houston Methodist Hospital has now suspended 178 employees (out of almost 26,000) who refused to be vaccinated because, in the hospital's opinion, they pose a clear danger to patients who cannot safely receive any of the current vaccines. The lawsuit has already been filed. The EEOC has issued guidance that says employers in general may require vaccination for employees who work on site.

Recent studies indicate that it's a pointless and unnecessary risk for people who have had COVID to get vaccinated.

just get the shot. quit trying to weasel out of it.

The test should be whether someone has immunity, not whether they've been vaccinated.

It's not a question of public safety, though, it's a question of public safety *policy.* Whether or not someone is unvaccinated, but is resistant due to prior exposure introduces more ambiguity and bureaucracy and legal questions into what is meant to be a simple way to create enforceably and unambiguous policies that increase the likelihood of reaching herd immunity. Requiring the vaccine is just pragmatic at that point.

The test should be whether someone has immunity, not whether they've been vaccinated.

If there was a charge to get vaccinated, you might have an argument. But since it's free, why split hairs? It is, after all, far easier to keep records of who got vaccinated than to run immunity tests over and over.

SCOTUS will be the second line of defense of the GOP shenanigans and may even go on the offense to force Blue states to follow the example of the Red states by declaring all measures taken to ease voting to be against the original intent of the founders.

Not so much anti-blue as anti-western. Utah is vote by mail. Arizona is 80% vote by mail, installed by Republicans (note how none of the many proposals to restrict vote by mail that have been introduced in Arizona this year have passed). Montana is 75%. Wyoming is 30%. In 2020, >90% of all ballots cast in the 13-state West were ballots distributed by mail.

I always think back to Arizona v. Arizona and get depressed about the changes that have happened in the Court's lineup. East Coast pundits were all surprised when Justice Kennedy sided with the liberals and said the people could take redistricting authority away from the Arizona State Legislature (that's what they call themselves, not the General Assembly or some such) and award it to a largely independent commission. I called it when I said that Kennedy was a California boy, the only Justice at that time with experience in the West, and knew what an enormous can of worms would be opened if the SCOTUS started now to try to rein in ballot initiatives in western states.

Kennedy is gone and so is RBG. I believe that Gorsuch would follow Kennedy's path, because he still has family in Colorado and would prefer to be able to walk the streets and not have people spit at him. That still leaves us (me?) a vote short. Roberts was incensed over Kennedy's vote then. The CJ's dissent reads like a fifth-grader throwing a tantrum. Kavanaugh and ACB probably don't care enough to go against the CJ on this.

The test should be whether someone has immunity, not whether they've been vaccinated.

So just as a hypothetical, you're good with Houston Methodist notifying their employees that unless they can show an adequate antibody test by June 21, they're terminated? Let the employees decide between getting two free jabs that provide a very high probability of passing the test, or hoping to get infected and acquire adequate immunity that way?

Not all unvaccinated people are that way voluntarily.

I'm aware of that, but they can wear masks.

Once the vaccines are approved for general use by the FDA, employers and venues can require vaccination, with some exceptions (and I anticipate that a bunch of people whose only philosophy is IGMFY will suddenly claim to have deep philosophical reasons for not getting the shot).

I'm just so enormously fed up with the anti-vaxxers (of all varieties) that I don't give a fine feathered damn what happens to them.

So just as a hypothetical, you're good with Houston Methodist notifying their employees that unless they can show an adequate antibody test by June 21, they're terminated?

Yes.

This Politico article was interesting

https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2021/06/06/covid-vaccine-saga-health-care-system-491932

Though I imagine there is a writer at Reason already incorporating it into a this is why goverments shouldn't do vaccinations article

"So just as a hypothetical, you're good with Houston Methodist notifying their employees that unless they can show an adequate antibody test by June 21, they're terminated?"

It is just one more of a ton of things you have to demonstrate to work at a hospital. The question is what antibody test they will use. So sure.

The FDA doesn't recommend any tests that currently exist as tests for immunity so it seems premature to require the test. That just leaves proof of vaccination.

The FDA doesn't recommend any tests that currently exist as tests for immunity so it seems premature to require the test. That just leaves proof of vaccination.

My understanding is that there is also a small but definitely non-zero percentage of the population with innate immunity that doesn't produce the antibodies, and would always fail an antibody test. This seems to be true for almost all viral pathogens -- for any given virus, some part of the population is innately immune. I have read speculation that what was previously labeled "junk DNA" has something to do with it.

A little something on the position of the courts on requiring employees to get vaccinated or be terminated:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2021/06/13/methodist-vaccine-lawsuit-dismissed/

As with so many cases involving Trump cultists (I confess to not having verified that the plaintiffs are such; but I'd put money on it), the judge's comments in dismissing the suit were caustic.

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