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August 03, 2021

Comments

I appreciate Marty acknowledging Russell's wrap up, though I wish he would have pointed to the links that he was using. Though I'm not sure it would have helped, it might have been 'ahh, what an idiot, you believe that?' I was just having an email chat with someone who used to be here (I can't remember what his handle was here) who got roasted for posting his links, so I acknowledge that possibility. So it's making yourself vunerable to say 'I believe this because I read X'. But if you don't open up yourself to the possibility, you'll stay in the same place.

But about approval, this was an interesting article
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/jun/26/the-oxford-vaccine-the-trials-and-tribulations-of-a-world-saving-jab

some pull grafs
So much has gone wrong, and the well-intentioned folk at Oxford and AstraZeneca have taken so many blows, that it is hardly surprising that they wonder whether they have been the victims of a deliberate disinformation campaign.

It seems they have. There is clear evidence that the Oxford vaccine, and other jabs, have been targeted by Russians peddling disinformation in order to promote their own version, Sputnik V.

[...]
“There’s a long history of trouble with this vaccine. And it’s hard to pin it on any one thing, and I think it would be fair to say maybe we haven’t handled the negative news as well as we might have. But we’re kind of new at this game [and] there was nothing deceitful about what we did. We just perhaps didn’t get in front of the dialogue.”

[...]
The coupling of Oxford University’s scientific idealists with big pharma was an important contributory factor, and it was this merger of minds and money, idealism and pragmatism that set the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine off on the rockiest of roads.

“AstraZeneca isn’t really known as a vaccine specialist company,” said Dr Penny Ward, a visiting professor in pharmaceutical medicine at King’s College London, who has spent a lifetime in the industry. “Also, not long before, they had shut down their entire anti-infectives division.” That meant AstraZeneca had hardly any involvement with infectious diseases.

A deal had been expected with the US pharmacetical giant Merck & Co, which is known as MSD outside the US and Canada and has a huge vaccine division. But the UK health secretary, Matt Hancock, is said to have torpedoed it because there was no guarantee that Britain would get priority once doses were available.

By the time AstraZeneca got involved, Oxford’s scientists had already set up the early trials. That meant, said Ward, that the studies were not tailored to the needs of regulators in the way that big drug companies would have done it.

“There are things that you can do as an academic and it all seems perfectly rational to an academic who thinks scientifically, but don’t actually make a great deal of sense in drug development terms,” she said. “There is in fact a difference between academic science and development of a product that you’re going to sell in the marketplace.”

Two things happened that would cause serious problems with regulators later on. Oxford had an extremely cautious approach to older people, and chose to recruit mostly under-60s for the earliest trials in the UK.

Second, there was a glitch in the production of vaccines for the studies. A contractor accidentally supplied half-doses, according to AstraZeneca’s Sir Mene Pangalos, who headed the research once the company was on board. When they found out, the academic researchers told the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Authority (MHRA) in the UK , and got the go-ahead to continue with two dosing strengths to see what happened.

When the trials reported, it turned out that volunteers given a half-dose followed by a full dose got more protection – up to 90%, compared with 62%.

Pangalos described it as serendipity. Regulatory bodies such as the Food and Drug Administration in the US don’t like serendipity. They like predictability and no surprises. The oddity of the information sowed doubt at the FDA.

And the Oxford/AstraZeneca explanation of the 90% efficacy turned out to be wrong. Those who got the lower doses also had a bigger gap between the two shots. That, it turned out, was what improved the outcome. As we know now, a strategy of delaying the second dose paid off in the UK, but it was unorthodox.

The FDA looked askance. It had already been perturbed by the side-effects in the trials.

I don't get that they planned on doing two doses, but the half dose screwup forced them to, which then had them do the two doses, which then upped the strength. I haven't been able to follow this closely, so if anyone has any insights into this, I'd be interested. thx

Covid is a deadly virus. Viruses adapt to become more infectious. The more transmission there is, the faster the virus mutates, the more people get infected, the more people die.

Not getting vaccinated when you can is an act of supreme selfishness. Unless you're willing to isolate yourself indefinitely.

Bearing what Pro Bono and others have expressed, it also speaks to the motives of those involved if they promote anti-vax sentiments. While it can be hard sorting out whether individuals truly believe it is dangerous or not, things like this

https://www.theguardian.com/media/2021/jul/23/fox-news-covid-vaccination-tucker-carlson

https://edition.cnn.com/2021/07/19/media/fox-vaccine-passport/index.html

would seem to be more than selfishness.

would seem to be more than selfishness.

You bet. It's an astonishing and shameful display of cynicism, duplicitousness and avarice (for ratings, and thus eventually for money).

Not getting vaccinated when you can is an act of supreme selfishness. Unless you're willing to isolate yourself indefinitely.

Totally agree. Especially in light of the way the unvaccinated create a breeding ground for new variants that may end up making what the rest of us chose, in getting vaccinated, to be irrelevant.

Totally agree. Especially in light of the way the unvaccinated create a breeding ground for new variants that may end up making what the rest of us chose, in getting vaccinated, to be irrelevant.

Always worth repeating, even though Marty either didn't read my earlier statement of this or chose not to acknowledge it since it did not in any way alter his opinion (which he refused to support with any backing, anyway).

For all we know he just rolled percentiles and consulted a chart.

"I'm Gary Gygax and I'm...[rolls dice] pleased to meet you."

Not getting vaccinated when you can is an act of supreme selfishness.

I actually think refusing to qear a mask is worse. Someone who refuses to get vaccinated is, whether they admit it or not, taking some risk of damaging themselves. Someone who refuses to wear a mask is, primarily, risking others by refusing to do something with zero possible downside for them. Thus, far more selfish.

I have enough respect for Marty to believe him when he says he's vaccinated.

I have enough respect for russell to accept his "no one should be forced to get vaccinated" position.

I also have enough respect for my (really) elderly relatives that I want no contact with unvaccinated people. I can get along fine without their society, and they can damn well do without mine.

I never liked freeloaders anyway, and I have no wish to hide my contempt for the type of person whose attitude amounts to "Why should I care if your end of the lifeboat is sinking?"

--TP

How is getting a vaccination like bungee jumping? The point of bungee jumping is to deliberately do something that simulates falling to your death. Getting a vaccine is... getting a shot at the doctor.

What exactly is the risk of getting the vaccine at this point? What is going to happen to you, that hasn’t happened to the billion people who’ve gotten it already?

This really isn’t a matter of everybody just deciding what level of risk they want to assume and then going about their business with no ill effect on anyone else. The pool of people who refuse to get vaccinated makes it possible for the virus to continue to spread and mutate into strains that are more difficult to manage. Plus, they not only don’t want to get the vaccination themselves, they want to overrule any masking mandates or other protocols that might be put into place to prevent the spread of the virus.

Tony P respects my wish to not have mandatory vaccination. The reason I’m not in favor of mandatory vaccination is that I don’t want people getting killed over it.

Pro Bono sees the anti-vax impulse as selfish. I think of it less as being selfish and more solipsistic. Less a matter of greedy self-interest, and more a matter of failing to recognize the experience or interests of anyone other than yourself as being real or of having any persuasive force.

A kind of blindness, more or less.

The fact that an entire industry has grown up around feeding people utter fucking lies does not help

If a little more than half of the people who currently aren’t getting vaccinated decide to get vaccinated, we may get in the neighborhood of herd immunity, and COVID will become something like influenza - a persistent but manageable disease.

If they don’t, we will continue to play mole whack with periodic surges and new mutations.

We have the means at hand to turn this into noise. We just don’t have anything remotely like the popular consensus necessary to make those means effective.

Something like 90% or more of cases of the delta variant are people who are not vaccinated. It’s preventable, but people refuse the means of prevention.

Why? What, in simple practical terms, are the real risks of getting the vaccination at this point?

What, in simple practical terms, are the real risks of getting the vaccination at this point?

No medical risk. But clearly some experts in the field** think there are serious political risks. Which, for them is a career risk.

** i.e. politicians

Looks like Tucker is cheerleading authoritarianism again, this time in Hungary:

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-58104200

Toady.

from that bit that wj posted:

"Surviving in Andrew Cuomo’s orbit always required more than competence.
...
To make it in Cuomoland, above all else, you need to be loyal. To the man, to the brand, the power that pulsed out of the capital and cowed legislators, county executives, and mayors alike."

The only thing I regret about the above is that 'pulsed' was chosen instead of 'throbbed'. That would have made it even more Trumpian.

Although it can't be truly Trumpian, because surviving in his orbit didn't actually require competence. Fortunately for all of us -- with competent people, the last 4 years would have been so much worse.

It's a bit late for this, but I'm gonna share a long random thought that hit me a couple of days ago, on the subject of ideas that may be treated as controversial.

In ordinary life (exceptional cases noted later) it doesn't really matter whether you think the Earth sits still in the center of everything while the universe spins around it; or it annually moves around the Sun, which itself is not the center of everything. (Galileo got this point right in a marginal note: Considering the vast size of the universe, it hardly even makes sense to call anything the center - and old G didn't know the half of it or the millionth!)

In ordinary life (ecnl) it doesn't really matter whether you think the world was created in seven days with a Let There Be Light(*), and stocked with millions of species of life; or it has been around for over 10 billion years, in the last 4 billion of which the amazing complexity of life on Earth has developed according to now-known causal "laws".

Ecnl: Of course, these do matter if you want a livelihood in astronomy or physics or mathematics or any biological discipline of for that matter in anything that involves the assessment of "sensible experiments and necessary demonstrations".

In ordinary life, on the other hand, it does matter whether there is a disease going around that causes some people to die while coughing up their lungs, and larger numbers to suffer seriously if not so luridly - such disease being highly communicable and almost 100% preventable, with its spreading from an outbreak into the larger population being preventable with 100% certainty under certain conditions. Are people who accept these demonstrations justified in applying moral pressure on those who don't? Even to the point of excluding them, by force if necessary, from activities that are demonstrably a danger to the rest of the population?

(*) Humorous sidelight: for an extremely short time in the early history of the Big Bang, virtually all the substance of the Universe was in the form of high-energy photons - of light, if you please. For some reason this does not impress the Fundamentalists.

What's really needed is a vaccination rate of 85% and then we have to think about third shots soon - so we're still off by a mile.

But, all of this pales in comparison if we look at the vaccination rates in developing and threshold countries - they are so low because of lack of vaccines.

COVAX has effectively been sabotaged by rich countries doing bilateral deals with pharma giants.

The health, social and economical consequences in these countries are already visible and they are much less able to cope with them than are.

And since this is a pandemic we cannot just ignore the other half of the world - even if solely guided by self-interest.

"Why? What, in simple practical terms, are the real risks of getting the vaccination at this point?"

Really this is the question. And, despite assertions to the contrary, no one knows.

The vaccine is fragile and quickly eliminated but, hopefully, it's effect is not. Thus ill effect can't be completely ignored.

More people getting it allows more mutation is a new goal post, true, but only newly a concern.

Viruses always get more infectious as they mutate, this is not true. They can, they can also become more benign. Or, like the Alpha variant, can just stop spreading.


Then there is this: "for an extremely short time in the early history of the Big Bang, virtually all the substance of the Universe was in the form of high-energy photons - of light, if you please. For some reason this does not impress the Fundamentalists."

Stated as a fact as surely as the Fundamentalists would discuss the resurrection. So some zealots are quite impressed.

Really this is the question. And, despite assertions to the contrary, no one knows.

And no-one will know to an absolute certainty. No-one will know without question what effects of the vax will be after a year, or five, or ten, until a year, or five, or ten have passed.

And in the meantime people get sick.

There are all kinds of reasons that people don’t want the vax. If you don’t want the shot, don’t get the shot.

But if you don’t want the shot, you need to recognize that you present a greater risk, not just to yourself, but to other people. And if you want your wish to not get vaxed to be respected, you are obliged to respect other’s wish to not get sick themselves, and to not have to live in limited circumstances indefinitely in order to make it more convenient for you to opt out.

If you don’t want the shot, there are going to be places and events where you won’t be welcome. There are going to be people who will not want you around them. There will be places and events where you will be expected to wear a mask, whether you think you need one or not.

And if you want your choice to not get the shot respected, you are obliged to accept those limitations. Because they are an expression of other people’s understandings of the risks involved.

You can make your choice for yourself. You can’t insist that everyone accommodate you. Especially not at higher risk to themselves.

You’re talking about refusing a vaccination during the biggest pandemic event in 100 years. There are going to be areas of life in which you will not be welcome, and will not be able to participate.

All choices have costs.

"Why? What, in simple practical terms, are the real risks of getting the vaccination at this point?"

Really this is the question. And, despite assertions to the contrary, no one knows.

The vaccine is fragile and quickly eliminated but, hopefully, it's effect is not. Thus ill effect can't be completely ignored.

Marty, this is not well thought out. On this basis one should never do anything for fear of long-term ill effects through some unknown mechanism. Eat cake? No, it might make your head fall off - look what happened to Marie Antoinette.

Viruses always get more infectious as they mutate, this is not true. They can, they can also become more benign.

You're confusing two different things.

Mutations which make a virus more infectious propagate. So the more infectious variant becomes prevalent. That's natural selection.

Mutations which make a virus more benign, i.e. less dangerous to the host, are roughly neutral for natural selection, except that it's good for the virus to induce behaviour - coughing and sneezing - which spreads the virus, and bad for it to induce behaviour - lying down and dying - which stops its spread.

Nobody has PROVEN that grubby, filthy, germ-ridden banknotes won't kill you, Marty.

Better just send them to me, I'll risk it.

On this basis one should never do anything for fear of long-term ill effects through some unknown mechanism.

This ^^^^^.

What I also want to point out is that many of the people whipping up suspicion of the vaccination have, themselves, gotten vaccinated. And have had their own families vaccinated.

There is more going on here than just a sober assessment of risks and probabilities.

Yes because everything is brand new, emergency authorized for only 7 months or so.

So no one should do anything based how little experience we have with everything.

That's a bizarre take, we've been exchanging money for centuries.

The comparisons being thrown out are so ludicrous that its a challenge to even have a discussion.

Lots of people regularly avoid everything from processed foods to any otc drugs, because mistrust big business and big pharma. Not without evidence, many of those companies have been sued often for selling anything from carcinogens to opioids. To suspend that distrust to put a relatively new vaccine in your body is understandably difficult.

I suspect that accounts for half of those who say they have no plans to get vaccinated. No I don't have a link to document that.

So my take and I am going to step out, is what russell summarized above. As the vaccine is available to protect those that want it, the edge cases will always exist and will have to manage their risk, those that don't simply don't pose a great enough risk outside the pool of the unvaccinated to justify being shunned from society.


I'm sure this won't move Marty, but this article
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/08/03/us/politics/pfizer-vaccine-approval.html

(via LGM)

points to why FDA approval has been taking so long.

Full approval typically requires the F.D.A. to review hundreds of thousands of pages of documents — roughly 10 times the data required to authorize a vaccine on an emergency basis. The agency can usually complete a priority review within six to eight months and was already working on an expedited timetable for the Pfizer vaccine. The F.D.A.’s decision to speed up was reported last week by Stat News.

That's 6-8 months after the companies submit the data. So hinging your opinions on the face that the FDA is not approving is a bit shortsighted. Though if folks on your facebook feed have suddenly become experts on vaccine approval, understandable I suppose.

There is more going on here than just a sober assessment of risks and probabilities.

it's whatever justification is appropriate for the argument.

* performative obstinance (freedom!)
* a way to oppose Democrats (Providence! Pelosi's mask!)
* sudden expertise (R values!)
* distrust of expertise (no long term studies!)
* deep trust of government (waiting for approval!)
* distrust of government (mind control!)
* distrust of corporations (profiting!)
* excuses for racism (it's the Mexicans and Chinese!)

really, they're just rolling coal and getting off on being naughty.

As the vaccine is available to protect those that want it,

You can't reason with stupidity.

Take the quiz and see how inconclusive the data can be. And how subject to spin it can be by all sides.

COVID Charts Quiz

Take the quiz

just reading that front page, before even clicking the button, you know what the final page is going to be. it's going to try to convince the reader that the "radical measures" were unjustified.

here's the thing - the radical measures were barely implemented and barely followed because of knee-jerk contrarians like that who got their degrees in viral epidemiology from the Trump U bankruptcy clearing sale.

crowing about how you predicted the failure of something you worked hard to sabotage isn't really a good look.

... especially since, you know, that failure literally means death.

Thanks, cleek. I couldn't even bring myself to bother. I wonder if the guy who wrote that stuff understood how clear it was that it was loaded. But I don't really care.

i mean, grow the fuck up, GOP:

Rep. Ralph Norman (R-S.C.) has tested positive for a COVID-19 breakthrough infection after defying the House of Representatives' mask mandate and filing a lawsuit against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) over a resulting $500 fine for going maskless.

the rest of us are sick of coddling you.

those that don't simply don't pose a great enough risk outside the pool of the unvaccinated to justify being shunned from society.

to be clear, your position here is not what I've summarized.

those that don't get vaccinated in fact do pose a great enough risk outside the pool of the unvaccinated to justify being excluded from some contexts. I'm not going to use your "shunned from society" language because that is overblown. There are simply going to be contexts where unvaccinated people are not welcome, because they pose a risk that other people are not going to want to take.

If you have kids who are too young to be vaccinated, you may not and likely won't want unvaccinated people around them.

If you have co-morbidities that put you at risk even if you are vaccinated, you may not and likely won't want unvaccinated people around you.

If you operate public venues like theaters, restaurants, workplaces, and the like, you may not want to expose your vaccinated patrons to unvaccinated folks.

If you are vaccinated and *simply don't want to risk getting the virus* in spite of being vaccinated, you may not and likely won't want unvaccinated people around you.

Vaccinated people can get the virus. I know vaccinated people who have contracted the virus. Vaccinated people can get sick, and can communicate the virus to others.

Vaccination means you are less likely to get COVID, not that you will not get COVID. It means you are likely to have less severe symptoms, not that you will have no symptoms. And it means you are less likely to pass the virus along to others, not that you will not pass the virus along to others.

Your argument here seems to be that unvaccinated people only present a risk to other unvaccinated people, and therefore there should be no limitations on where anyone can go, because if you don't want the risk you can always get vaccinated.

That understates the risk that unvaccinated people present to both vaccinated and unvaccinated people, and ignores the numerous costs that we all incur by not being able to achieve herd immunity.

My wife's birthday is next week. We had plans to go out to dinner. We cancelled them, because in the context of the delta variant my wife finds the risk of being around people who we don't know and whose vaccination status we can't know is greater than what she is willing to accept.

And we're both vaccinated. But the risk of getting COVID in spite of that is not nil. It's *at least* as great as the risk of suffering some unforeseen side effect of the vaccine. It's a more pressing risk than the risk of some unforeseen side effect of the vaccine, because it is a known risk, not a hypothetical risk.

The choices of unvaccinated people do have an impact on other people, whether they are vaccinated or not, whether they signed up for the risk of exposing themselves to the virus or not.

And, as in the case of the restaurant we will not be going to for my wife's birthday, the choices of unvaccinated people incur costs of all sorts that are unrelated to whether anybody gets sick or not.

We should be on our way to herd immunity at this point. We are not. Not achieving herd immunity is a drag on the economy and on public life in general. The reason we are not headed for herd immunity are all the people who decide to not get vaccinated.

If you're not vaccinated, that is your choice, but you are obliged to accept the fact that you will not be welcome everywhere. That's not a personal thing, people simply don't want to get sick.

Choices have costs. If you make the choice, the burden of paying the cost is on you.

People who have opted to be vaccinated are assuming whatever risks go along with the fact that the vaccine is only approved for experimental use. In return, they get a freedom of movement that comes with the immunity provided by the vaccine.

People who opt not to be vaccinated don't get that same freedom of movement. They are not entitled to it. They've made a different choice, one that incurs risks for other people, and being excluded from some places and events is the cost of their choice.

You can't have your cake and eat it too. You can't opt out of the vaccine, and then demand access to places where your presence creates a greater risk for others.

Or, you can, but you should not expect to be welcome. You won't be, and shouldn't be.

I recognize the right of people to decline the vaccination. "You have to accept me no matter what choice I make", however, is not on offer. It's a childish demand, and the rest of us are not obliged to honor it.

A long post, but perhaps if I keep repeating myself, the point will sink in.

To borrow from Mel Brooks-

Tragedy is when I have to wear a mask in public.
Inconvenience is when you get covid and are intubated in the ICU.

Take the quiz and see how inconclusive the data can be. And how subject to spin it can be by all sides.

Yep, that was some spin.

Now where are those other sides?

Data can be very inconclusive if you are asking the wrong questions or collecting the wrong data to answer those questions. I saw this a lot when I was a data analyst for a tech startup. The exec team always tried to use data for things it could not do, or failed to measure things they needed to measure in order to know the things they wanted to know.

Data can be easily spun if you take that inconclusive data and either misrepresent it as answering a question that it cannot measure, or fail in your analysis to ask good questions about why it looks the way that it does. My refusal to misrepresent data was why I got fired from that data analysis position.

That quiz is not analysis. It's just straight up disinformation masquerading as inquiry.

Just to point out the obvious, over 600K people in the US have been documented as dying from COVID-19 in about the last year and a half. Over 4M worldwide. That's what we're comparing purely hypothetical long-term aftereffects of the vaccines to, thanks to our pal Marty. It's an intellectual black hole.

and, for the record, the estimated US death total from the Spanish Flu of 1918-19 was ... 675,000.

COVID Charts Quiz

let's compare virus transmission in CA, with a population density of 252 / square mile and is home to LA with a population of ~4 million, to NV, with a population density of 28 / square mile and whose largest city has a population of ~630K.

and so on.

Yes, and that's an estimate. Despite the assertions of conspiracy theorists who will tell you that deaths from COVID are being inflated for money or control over people's lives or whatever other ridiculous reasons, there are people who have died from COVID and were not documented as such. The focus on COVID is pretty intense, so I doubt the undercount will be anything like that of, say, annual deaths from the flu. (Remember when people were comparing documented COVID deaths to estimated flu deaths back in the good old days at the beginning of the pandemic?) But the estimates based on statistical analyses after the fact will certainly be higher than the documented deaths.

Stuff like this.

If you don't want the shot, minimize your contact with other people, *especially kids and old folks*, and wear a mask when that's not possible.

If you can't do this on your own initiative, other folks are probably going to impose it on you. Because people are sick of the freaking virus and are tired of worrying about whether they are going to get sick.

Grant the respect that you demand from others. It's as simple as that.

Excess deaths tracker at The Economist:

https://www.economist.com/graphic-detail/coronavirus-excess-deaths-tracker

Likely not undercounting COVID-19 deaths.

Also, it seems like the COVID vax skeptics apologists are not considering the effect of all those COVID patients on everyone else's ability to access routine health care, which is one of the possible factors to be considered when trying to account for those excess deaths.

Mike S - Kurt Schlichter, a noted RW shitposter on Twitter, said it in nearly those exact words regarding why he won't wear a mask: His convenience is more important than the possibility of someone he exposes going into the ICU.

russell @01.17

For God's sake, how is a word of that even a little bit arguable?

For God's sake, how is a word of that even a little bit arguable?

Non-argumentative Marty would come and argue with it if he hadn't bowed out.

Or see CaseyL's comment at 2:37.

Re russell @2:06
Tennessee is seeing the same phenomena with kids.
https://fox17.com/news/local/child-covid-19-cases-surge-in-tennessee-state-one-of-7-with-over-150000-total-schools-students-teachers-delta-vaccines-nashville-memphis-sumner-county-rutherford-county-knox-hamilton

And yes, I do recognize the irony of it being a Fox News report.

So in Marty-world and Kurt Schlichter world, the convenience of the unvaccinated is paramount, and the rest of us have to keep our distance and curtail our lives if we don't want to get exposed to them. So, no doubt they'd be willing to wear some kind of badge so at least the rest of us know who to stay away from.

No? .... No?

I'm sure Marty would have an irrefutable (in his own mind) answer to that, like he has an answer to everything else.

CaseyL - I guess that’s not a surprise given the number of anti-vaxers who’ve expressed variations on “I value my freedom more than life itself.”

How one is to enjoy freedom in the absence of life itself is left unexplained.

How one is to enjoy freedom in the absence of life itself is left unexplained.

I suppose they should at least support the right to assisted suicide.

Mike S - The same way they justify keeping America armed to the teeth: The Tree of Liberty must be watered with the blood of the unvaccinated/unmasked.

Almost always, of course, someone else's blood. Not their own.

Texas Lt. Gov. Patrick, in arguing for easing COVID restrictions, said “some things are more important than living.”

the fools and their kids in my dumb little town are out protesting in front of the elementary school to complain about children being masked.

they'd get more attention if they stood in the road but for some reason, they stay on the sidewalk. it's like they don't value their freedom to stand wherever they want whenever they want. cowards.

A Facebook friend posted this about an hour ago:

My 93yr old vaccinated grandfather is now in the hospital getting oxygen due to contracting the variant. So maybe now isn’t the best time to discuss your antivaxxing statistics and bullshit. I’m not in the mood.
Get vaccinated, please.
Meanwhile there’s nothing we can do. We can’t go visit him, we can’t go help with his care. This is a nightmare.
Stop creating the variants and do your part by getting vaccinated. It’s not just all about you.

It’s not just all about you.

conservatism: it really is all about you.

Freedom in action.

The world as Marty prefers it.

For people are are fucked, or dead: well, that's their fault.

Somehow.

Inevitably.

They or their parents screwed up, too bad for them.

Marty comes here to troll us. he has admitted it.

The more fool I for biting the hooks.

Never again.

Fuck him. All the more since now he's trolling about mass death.

Again, fuck him.

Brief, temporary (but irresistible) change of subject:

Liz Cheney says her father is "deeply troubled" about the state of the Republican Party

https://thehill.com/homenews/house/566435-liz-cheney-says-her-father-is-deeply-troubled-about-the-status-of-the

No comment necessary, I believe most if not all of you will agree.

conservatism: it really is all about you.

Just to be clear, that's actually libertarianism. However often they get conflaited in current US political discourse.

But wj...there is no conservative party in the US.

Libertarians are not the problem.
Conservatives are not the problem.
MAGAts are the problem.

--TP


MAGAts are *a* problem. Arguably the biggest problem. But they aren't the only problem.

wj, face it, the brand is ruined. I feel the same way about anarchism. Perfectly good concept, ruined by people constantly linking it to bomb-throwers and rabble rousers. I feel your pain.

ruined by people constantly linking it to bomb-throwers

It's sister Mary's turn to throw the bomb.
Last time it was done by brother John
(...brother John...)
Mom's aim is bad,
and the coppers all know Dad,
so it's sister Mary's turn to throw the bomb.

A Doctor Demento favorite.

Liz Cheney says her father is "deeply troubled" about the state of the Republican Party

Funniest thing I’ve read in a dog’s age.

Me, I've been deeply troubled about the state of the Republican Party since it would not countenance a bipartisan agreement that Dick Cheney, along with Donald Rumsfeld and George Bush, should be prosecuted for torture.

My take is the R’s sold their souls to Richard Nixon and have never looked back.

That was just a semi-permanent lease. The actual selling was a bit later after a brilliant sales pitch by St.Ronnie and then the Newt collecting. But admittedly Richard N. got the ball really rolling in the first place (not that attempts had not been made earlier).

Oh, and some might look back questioning whether they could have gotten even more out of the bargain had the known how the rabbit (or was that rabid) would run.

i blame Fox.

they provide the mythology that keeps Republicans ignorant of reality. and they provide the martial celebrity culture that raises the loudest and most vicious yakkers to the top of the pyramid [scheme]. and then GOP politicians want to get a piece of that action, so they try to sound like what they hear on Fox.

the base elects people who most resemble the people they see on Fox, who then spend their time trying to get mentions on Fox. and that quest requires them to be louder and crasser and dumber than everyone else.

it's a machine designed to create the dumbest audience and the brashest scammers.

My understanding is that practically everyone with cable is funding this murderous malevolence. Google "fox funding via cable."

conservatism: A collective effort to adopt public policies that reinforce its adherents individual need to lard their deeply held feelings of moral superiority over others.

Fox was the brainchild of some of Nixon's henchmen, admittedly. Iirc there was even a quote from one of them that with Fox around Nixon would have been able to stay in office.
With Jabbabonk the hypothesis got tested and many believe that it passed the test with flying colours.
The hypothesis that with good media backing one can start a war was already proven by W.R.Hearst with "Remember the Maine!"

I think it has been the proverbial slippery slope.
1. Nixon
2. Reagan
3. Newt Gingrich
4. {W + Cheney + Rumsfeld
5. {Fox Fox Fox, in exactly the sequence laid out by cleek (and for Fox, feel free to substitute or add Murdoch)
6. Trump
7. What is to come

And fertile ground for it was found in a) people who take it as read that you put your own interests well before the public (let alone the global) good, and b) that Western (White, Judeo-Christian) Civilisation is self-evidently the source of everything worthwhile. And no doubt other elements that temporarily elude me - feel free to add.

i blame Fox CNN.

they provide the mythology that keeps Republicans Democrats ignorant of reality...

you be sure to let me know when large groups of Democrats are refusing a life saving vaccine because CNN told them to.

Who is F*cker Carlson’s CNN equivalent?

Yes Charles, feel free to provide a side by side comparison, with reference not only to Carlson, but also Ingraham, Hannity, O'reilly back in the day, maybe De Piero and Maria Bartiromo.

Who is F*cker Carlson’s CNN equivalent?

There are no exact equivalents. But Chris Cuomo comes across as pretty questionable.

While not at CNN, Rachel Maddow comes across as an approximant ideological opposite of Carlson.

But my knowledge of the various hosts/anchors/reporters/journalists/commentators, etc. on either side is almost entirely second-hand. I almost never pay any direct attention to any of them.

"Pretty questionable" vs. despicable. Not "exact equivalents" but close enough for Libertarian smugness.

Broderism is to Libertarians what The Force was to the Jedi.

--TP

While not at CNN, Rachel Maddow comes across as an approximant ideological opposite of Carlson.

And yet, "But my knowledge of the various hosts/anchors/reporters/journalists/commentators, etc. on either side is almost entirely second-hand. I almost never pay any direct attention to any of them."

"Ideological opposite" -- I would hope that most of us are "ideological opposites" to a venal, lying fascist scumbag like Carlson.

Your gotchas don't even pretend to be coherent anymore, CharlesWT. I hope they at least entertain you.

format fail........

And priorities fail also.

"The worship of bipartisanship for its own sake, combined with a fake "pox on both their houses" attitude. The main goal is the establishment of a permanent ruling class of Washington insiders, our betters who know better. It is their rough agenda which is sold as "centrism" even when it has no actual relationship with the political center in a meaningful way. The establishment of an aristocratic class in America.

The belief that it all sides are equal and must compromise at all times. Regardless of the final outcome or the level of understanding or intelligence presented by each side."
Broderism

Except maybe for a non-fake "pox on both their houses", none of that is libertarian. And David Broder is no libertarian.

"Ideological opposite" -- I would hope that most of us are "ideological opposites" to a venal, lying fascist scumbag like Carlson.

It's not like Maddow is always found in close approximation to the truth. The narrative has become more important than the truth on both sides.

I hope they at least entertain you.

Isn't entertainment why everyone is here?...

Only libertarians are without narratives, I suppose.

Isn't entertainment why everyone is here?

This isn't entertainment.

Bye for now.

i blame Fox CNN.

they provide the mythology that keeps Republicans Democrats ignorant of reality...

Truly, Charles, you have outdone yourself.

Call me next time when Rachel calls her audience to harrass kids, praises foreign strongmen and dictators as examples to be imitated at home and threatens her enemies directly or indirectly with extralegal violence (by private or state actors).
Or on the other side please notice us the next time that Tucker on air admits to an error and apologizes to his audience for it.

But my knowledge of the various hosts/anchors/reporters/journalists/commentators, etc. on either side is almost entirely second-hand. I almost never pay any direct attention to any of them.

Then why make ill-informed - by your own admission - comparisons?

CharlesWT,

If you're allowed to suggest that CNN is somewhat equivalent to Fox and Rachel Maddow is in some way comparable to Tucker Swanson Carlson, then I am entitled to suggest that you're very like a Broderist -- whether or not ol' David was a Libertarian.

Thanks for clarifying what YOU mean by "Broderism". I'm just making MY definition clear to you.

--TP

I'm always surprised to learn of the sort of sway that CNN and MSNBC are supposed to have over Democrats. Who watches them? In my own immediate circle, I only know one household that does, and they are middle-of-the-road, consumerist neo-liberals whose only claim to radicalness comes from being a same-sex marriage.

Not that I think my social circle is all that representative, but still...

My media ecology is mostly BBC or Guardian for breaking news (because the cultural differences catch my attention make the biases easier for me to see) and PBS or Pro Publica or The Atlantic for bigger investigative things, or the Sierra Club and Patagonia for environmental stuff.

And from there, I chase links or use databases to find the sources reported in those stories and read what those experts have published to get a better idea of the nuance that gets left out of the popular reporting in order to make the writing more accessible.

Does anyone here spend most of their time on CNN or MSNBC? If not, where do y'all get your information from?

Media Bias / Fact Check

"Overall, we rate CNN left biased based on editorial positions that consistently favor the left, while straight news reporting falls left-center through bias by omission. We also rate them Mixed for factual reporting due to several failed fact checks by TV hosts. However, news reporting on the website tends to be properly sourced with minimal failed fact checks"
CNN Bias

"We rate Fox News strongly Right-Biased due to editorial positions and story selection that favors the right. We also rate them Mixed factually and borderline Questionable based on poor sourcing and the spreading of conspiracy theories."
Fox News Bias

"Overall, we rate Reason Magazine Right-Center biased based on story selection that favors Libertarian positions and High for factual reporting due to mostly proper sourcing, and a clean fact check record."
Reason

Of course, this is an apples and oranges comparison. Unlike CNN and Fox, Reason is not an on-air 24 hours a day news organization in a constant battle for ratings.

Fox: strongly right, factually questionable with poor sourcing and conspiracy theories.

CNN: left biased through omission, failed fact checks broadcast but not online.

clearly same/same.

The Columbia Journalism Review describes Media Bias/Fact Check as an amateur attempt at categorizing media bias and Van Zandt as an "armchair media analyst".[2] The Poynter Institute notes, "Media Bias/Fact Check is a widely cited source for news stories and even studies about misinformation, despite the fact that its method is in no way scientific."[3]

and who checks the Columbia Journalism Review?

Does anyone here spend most of their time on CNN or MSNBC? If not, where do y'all get your information from?

I can't remember the last time I watched either one. (Being fair minded, I never watch Fox either.)

My news sources run to my local newspaper (the East Bay Time, in the unlikely event anyone cares), the Washington Post, and the Economist. Other places from time to time, but those are the regulars.

I don't watch Fox or CNN much, but have seen multiple excerpts of both Tucker Carlson and Rachel Maddow. The comparison seems to me laughable, not even vaguely possible for both-sideserism. Rather like putting Jane Austen and Mills and Boon on the same level. Both Romance novels, right?

yes, GftNC, that juxtaposition struck me similarly.

[Hi there, all my Internet friends!]

I listened to Rachel Maddow's recording of her book, Blow Out. I happen to enjoy her dramatic presentation, though I admit it's a question of personal taste. As far as the facts go, though, it is a work of scholarship.

After listening I looked up her background: Poli. Sci. at Stanford and a Ph. D. from Oxford. No surprise.

I'm not the person to ask, but Guardian is a first read, I've loved that newspaper since I first did an exchange in the UK back in the mid 80's and have had international subscriptions in 4 different countries (pre internet) (The paper was printed on this paper that was like cigarette paper). Though the wall to wall Olympics coverage is not really a good thing, but I guess they have to get their clicks, even though it would probably be better to ignore it all.

Then a roll thru my FB timeline to see what everyone I know is up to and hopefully nothing bad has happened. If there are any topics that are blowing up, I usually see them, though I never click on anything and if I do want to look at something, I copy the link and strip out the fb identifier info.

Then google news to see what is trending. If it's related to Japan, I drop into some newspaper sites to see what Japanese are saying, but if it's not, it is unlikely to make a dent. So if I have something I'm interested, I will look at the sources listed in the google news topic and make a judgement call, places that I will click are NPR and actual brick and mortar newspapers (you can get by the pop up by saving the page as html and opening the file in your web browser) If it's something new and it catches my interest, I'll look up stuff, always willing to drop into wikipedia or chase links, though I try to look for factual stuff, if there is opining in it, I'll skip it or set it aside to try to find something more factual first. I certainly admit that I look at the facts thru my own lens, but I think there is a difference between starting from things that seem relatively factual and developing your views or taking your opinion tout court from some person who you may or may not be familiar with. Unfortunately, when I hvae pointed out that so and so may not be the best person to go to about something, often gets the reply that they don't have time to go thru someone's back catalogue. (for some strange reason, Bari Weiss and Andrew Sullivan seem to attract such readers)

And then to other smaller web publications. If it's new to me, I'll hit wikipedia and see what kind of problems they have had, which can give you an insight. I don't immediately reject them if they have had a controversy, but if you go into the talk, you can find a lot of interesting things as well as controversies that don't get up to the main page. CharleWT puppy dog love had me drop into Reason's wikipedia page, as I generally don't give them the time of day, but thought it might be interesting. Well, it was, with some discussion about this link

https://pando.com/2014/07/24/as-reasons-editor-defends-its-racist-history-heres-a-copy-of-its-holocaust-denial-special-issue/

Now, I've always thought Reason was full of shit, but I still retain the capacity to be amazed.

As far as talking heads goes, I can read a lot faster than I can listen, so I tend to avoid those. There does seem to be some psychosexual angst wrapped up with discussion of Maddow, when she first came on the scene, the fact that she was a lesbian was always mentioned in the remarkably byzantine ways of the mid 90's. Speaking of wikipedia, I just dropped into that talk page and it has this

The article Rachel Maddow is currently subject to discretionary sanctions authorized by active arbitration remedies (see WP:ARBAPDS). An administrator has applied the following restrictions to this article:
Limit of one revert in 24 hours: This article is under WP:1RR (one revert per editor per article per 24-hour period).
Consensus required: All editors must obtain consensus on the talk page of this article before reinstating any edits that have been challenged (via reversion). This includes making edits similar to the ones that have been challenged. If in doubt, don't make the edit.
These restrictions have been imposed pursuant to an arbitration decision which authorized discretionary sanctions for all edits about, and all pages related to, post-1992 politics of the United States and closely related people. If you breach the restriction on this page, you may be blocked or otherwise sanctioned. Any uninvolved administrator may levy restrictions as an arbitration enforcement action on users editing in this topic area, after an initial alert. Please edit carefully.

strangely enough, a similar policy is not in place on Tucker Carlson's page, so either 1)wikipedia is a liberal rag or 2) Maddow seems to attract a lot of attention from people who feel threatened by her. Again, given I run facts thru my own lens, I'd pick the latter.

People who watch CNN and Rachel Maddox don’t riot and attempt to prevent the peaceful transfer of power. They don’t run around with firearms threatening mayhem and insurrection if they don’t get their way.

So, on the whole, they don’t bug me all that much.

You sure Russell? Don't they go into hair salons and demand those man like cuts?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=csxwCPh7yik

People who watch CNN and Rachel Maddox don’t riot and attempt to prevent the peaceful transfer of power. They don’t run around with firearms threatening mayhem and insurrection if they don’t get their way.

The people who do riot and run around with firearms mostly hatewatch Fox except for their devotion to Carlson and Ingraham. The rest of the channel can't be trusted since they undercut Il Douche-y's claim to an AZ win.

They prefer Newsmax these days.

They prefer Newsmax these days.

But isn't that a relatively new phenomenon? Pre-election, it was Faux News, all the time.

People who watch CNN and Rachel Maddox don’t riot and attempt to prevent the peaceful transfer of power.

I wonder what the people rioting all over the country last year watch.

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