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September 09, 2021

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Money quote:

They found that an ideal clock — one that ticks with perfect periodicity — would burn an infinite amount of energy and produce infinite entropy, which isn’t possible. Thus, the accuracy of clocks is fundamentally limited.

That's some heavy sh*t.

Even the simplest clock will, occasionally, miss a beat. That's what makes it imperfect. But there is some consistency to the average frequency with which missed beats occur. Thus, if the time to be measured is long enough, compared to the average time between missed beats, it should be possible to increase the accuracy of the overall measurement of time applying the statistical correction.

No doubt there are technical details which I, as neither a professional in the workings of the basic clock nor in statistics, am ignorant of. But it seems, absent those, like the limits on precision are a bit better than they appear from first glance at the article.

Good very interesting article. Thanks.

But it seems, absent those, like the limits on precision are a bit better than they appear from first glance at the article.

Not really. We have very accurate clocks, so I don't think there's much of anything approaching an immediate, practical concern. It's theoretical physics, not clock manufacture.

Most clocks don’t approach these fundamental limits; they burn far more than the minimum energy to tell time. Even the world’s most accurate atomic clocks, like those operated at the JILA institute in Boulder, Colorado, “are far from the fundamental limit of minimum energy,” said Jun Ye, a physicist at JILA. But, Ye said, “we clockmakers are trying to use quantum information science to build more precise and accurate clocks,” and so fundamental limits may become important in the future.

"Oh noes, we can't make clocks!" doesn't seem to be point.

the point

JILA is a pretty cool place. Used to have to run in there every once in a while to collect a signature for a grant when I was working as a courier for the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics.

The idea that the accuracy of clocks is limited and related to energy use of the clock is very easy to accept intuitively for anyone who is familiar with Heisenberg's uncertainty principle. However, formalising this understanding with this kind of analysis of an elegant Gedankenexperiment is truly nice, especially when you can tie in the statistical thermodynamics. I am quite sure that this opens interesting avenues of research.

Even though it is 30+ year old news, I find it simply amazing that the accuracy of clocks is good enough to measure the difference between the passage of time for a clock sitting on the floor, and one on top of a table. From the general-relativistic effect of the Earth's gravity over meter-scale differences in altitude.

It's probably at centimeter scale, now. Haven't checked recently.

And, as a general rule "the more accurately you can measure something, the more weird shit you find". Some mundane, some ...not.

Regarding limits, this was interesting from the Oxford experiment referred to in the article:

https://journals.aps.org/prx/abstract/10.1103/PhysRevX.11.021029
...Once nonthermal noise is accounted for, we find that there is a linear relation between accuracy and entropy and that the clock operates within an order of magnitude of the theoretical bound...

The idea that the accuracy of clocks is limited and related to energy use of the clock is very easy to accept intuitively for anyone who is familiar with Heisenberg's uncertainty principle.

That's what I was thinking yesterday. Then I did some meth.

Driving by for a nano-second to post 2 things which might be of interest, the first link I think a good description of US "freedoms" versus other first world, social democratic countries, the second I will copy and paste, on abortion, because it is behind the Times paywall, and is by Caitlyn Moran, a popular feminist columnist, and this piece (which has been getting a lot of positive coverage here) might possibly interest USians who could otherwise miss a view from this side of the pond.

https://twitter.com/thefarmerjones/status/1232413802349637632/photo/1


In the same month the state of Texas has passed its punitive new anti-abortion laws, my youngest daughter reached 18. We had a cake, and gifts; we celebrated her life. Both my children are, now, adults. Every day, I thrill to their existence.

However, it would be a discredit to their existence to pretend they haven’t been… costly. Parents do everyone a disservice if they pretend children are a free gift to the world. We are not salmon, who spawn and then depart back downstream. We are mammals. Our baby mammals very quickly die without care, tools, and infrastructure. Our baby mammals dwindle unless they have someone in their corner, every step of the way, loving them.

And this is why love is a verb – love is a doing word. Love is feeding and clothing; love is toys and books; love is housing and electricity; love is buying the things they need to nurture talent and interest.

Love is finding a way to earn the money to provide the things that love requires – so love involves conjuring up childcare too. Every business in the world should have a modern reboot of that old poster you used to see on walls. In a world where 79 per cent of families have two working parents, it would read, “You don’t need to have a full-time childminder or nanny to work here – but it helps!”

Parenting means earning money to earn money. It’s a tax you pay tax on. It is… costly.

Love also requires time and pain. Love might require you being utterly broken after birth – incontinent, psychotic, depressed or disabled. No one is guaranteed a healthy, happy child who leaves home when they reach adulthood – so love might require midnight trips to A&E; love might require years in the mental health service. Love will require putting your life on hold while you sit with sadness, fear and heartbreak – along with homework and shoe-tying and bath times – week after week, year after year. Loving a child is the big, immovable fact of your life – everything else comes after, including yourself. In labour, you will talk to your existing children on the phone. In fever, you will read stories or change dressings. You are never anywhere but “available”. You are a practical God. Your omnipotence changes the sheets; cooks the soup; drives to Liverpool at 2am to save the sad, abandoned, drunk or lost.

The best kind of love – the love we humans love the most – is the idea of a love that lasts for ever. The person who always loves you and never leaves. As we can see from the divorce statistics, the gender split in single parenting and the caseload of absent fathers pursued for child maintenance, love without end is most likely found not in a rom-com, but between a mother and a child. There are exceptions, of course, but mothers just tend… never to leave. They’re there, through it all, to the bitter end. It’s reflected in our language. “Fathering” a child tends to refer to the moment of conception. “Mothering”, on the other hand, lasts a lifetime. We all know 56-year-olds who are still being mothered. Mothering is for ever.

Maybe it seems counterintuitive to talk about my daughter’s joyful 18th birthday and mothering in the same breath as the new anti-abortion laws in Texas. Most abortion rights campaigners, understandably, tend to shy away from talking about solid, living things like babies and children and birthdays; they talk of the right to abortion being primarily a thing that concerns women’s bodies: “My body, my choice.” They talk, correctly and truthfully, about unviable collections of seven-week-old cells.

But this new law now prevents women getting abortions after six weeks – it allows private prosecutions of not only the women seeking abortions, but anyone who helps them. So, theoretically, not only are doctors and abortion clinics prosecutable, but even the Uber driver who takes a woman for a procedure. An aunt lending the fare. A husband holding her hand on the way there. And all with the promise of a $10,000 (£7,200) bounty if you’re the one making the decision to shop a desperate pregnant woman to the state. If you would play God with the rest of a woman’s life, and that of the child you’ve just coerced into being, for the price of a shitty second-hand car.

Because what we’re talking about isn’t a right to abortion, but the now legal ability for Texas to enforce motherhood. Texan women are now compelled to become mothers. From this week on, and for as long as this execrable legislation exists, Texas is about to see a new, faltering generation of children start to be born and raised by mothers whom the state has insisted must reproduce. Texas is now in the business of conscripting mothers. It is creating an army of unwilling women to breed.

If Texas thinks that women seek abortions for nugatory reasons – they’re just being “a bit shy” about being mothers and can be persuaded if the state insists! – then the most common reasons for seeking abortion show otherwise: 40 per cent state lack of financial resources; 31 per cent abusive or non-supportive partner; 29 per cent already have children; 20 per cent feel it would interfere with educational/vocational plans; 19 per cent have emotional or mental health reasons; 12 per cent cite physical health reasons; and 12 per cent simply “want a better life for the baby than she could provide”.

These are all simple, practical reasons that would be respected were they given by, say, a company CEO for not expanding their business. But they are not accepted as reasons not to become a mother. Women are simply not believed when they say, “I cannot do this.” I’m not exaggerating when I say this legislation is, in its lifelong impact, a piece of non-choice as barbaric as child marriage or sex-trafficking. It is seeking to utterly control women’s futures, bodies, minds and lives.

As the average abortion rate in Texas has been around 55,000 per year, this means perhaps 1,000 children a week could start being born to women for whom those babies are an enforced fact, rather than a joyous choice. What a cruel thing to do – to both unwilling mother and eventual child.

And, also, to the society they live in. Talk to anyone who works in social services, mental health or the emergency services and they say the greatest burden of cases they see relate to people born in chaotic, unprepared households. The cost to the taxpayer of dealing with the children of unhappy, unwilling, abused, raped, pressured or desperate mothers is enormous.

Both my children – 18 and 20 now – are, touch wood, happy, stable, working young adults; and I was only able to put the resources into helping them achieve this because I ended my fourth pregnancy with an abortion. I’m with the 40 per cent who sought a procedure for financial reasons, the 29 per cent who already have children and the 12 per cent who knew they couldn’t give a third baby the life it deserved. Having had two children already, I knew how much time and love it took to meet their needs. And whenever abortion rights, anywhere in the world, are under threat, I think often of the alternate timeline of my life, if I’d lived somewhere where that abortion wasn’t an option.

In the summer of 2006, because of our circumstances, I would have had to give up writing to become a full-time mother. I would have become financially reliant on my husband, who earns less than me. I would almost certainly have suffered a recurrence of the postnatal depression I’d suffered previously – but this time, without the release of writing or the financial resources to help me out of it. I would never have written any of my books, films, TV shows or subsequent columns.

Putting aside other considerations, the loss to HMRC alone would have been sizeable. It is a profound privilege, honour and joy for a woman to be able to contribute to their country in whatever way, big or small. I shudder to think of how many businesses, careers, inventions and ideas are lost when women’s physical ability to reproduce DNA is insisted on over, say, their potential to research it or write about it.

And then, during the five years of my youngest’s illness, I would have had to choose between children – one small and needy; one older but broken and in A&E. However heroic a mother’s love is, it nonetheless exists in the brutal, real world. Much parenting is simply triaging a series of emergencies. Texas has just made women incapable of dealing with emergencies. Texas has just made women’s future lives – with all their existing commitments and delicate calculations – vulnerable to whomever wants to a) impregnate them, and/or b) sell them out for $10,000. I’d like to think no one would sell out a woman like that. In a world of poverty, misogyny, addiction and abuse, I suspect the reality is that many, many will.

Let’s be honest about the ultimate morality of all this: it isn’t a legislation that really cares about the lives of babies. If you wanted more Texan babies, you’d provide better maternal care for women who’ve chosen to be mothers and/or desperately want a child: the American maternal mortality rate is the worst in the industrialised world, and has roughly doubled since 1990. Anti-abortionists don’t rush to fund nurseries, childcare centres or IVF; they’re not known activists for drop-in youth centres or after-school clubs.

But, of course, nowhere is this about helping women or babies. This isn’t about making a better, happier or more moral and stable society. It’s a craven, vicious law that punishes women simply for being fertile and impregnable. It imposes the cost of motherhood on those who already know they can least afford it. It is the start of a new, bad-star generation of children who, statistics tell us, are already unfortunate before they are even born. And it turns love from a verb, and a doing word, into a legal requirement. A punishment. A threat. It is a cost that will, simply, break women. It would break me. It would break you too. No one chooses not to choose. How utterly contemptible that, in Texas, others – greedy, real-life, 21st-century Handmaid’s Tale extras – can now choose for you.

Thank you, GftNC. Reading that gave me the terrible thought that some women in Texas will choose suicide over pregnancy because of this law. There's nothing "pro-life" about that. It's tragic and barbaric.

I just read my comment, and I could see how you might think the "thank you" was sarcasm, given what followed. It wasn't. It's a terrible thing to contemplate, but it's important, so I thank you sincerely for sharing.

President Biden has apparently run out of patience and is mandating vaccinations. (And not before time.) Predictably, a bunch of Republican governors (not all of the, but the usual suspects) are having a hissy fit and saing they will sue to stop it.

Here https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2021/09/10/republican-governors-challenges-vaccine-mandates/ is an overview of over a century of Supreme Court rulings which all say that the government can require vaccinations.

Of course, the new Court majority may decide to ignore precedent on this, too. But even they may find this a stretch.

the GOP is a petulant death cult.

Not all humans are born the same, of course, and the innate character and intelligence of some is more suited to mastery than slavery. For others, it is more suited to slavery. And others still are badly suited to either. These characteristics can be expected to group differently in human populations of different origins. Thus, Spaniards and Englishmen in the Americas in the 17th and earlier centuries, whose sense of political correctness was negligible, found that Africans tended to make good slaves and Indians did not. This broad pattern of observation is most parsimoniously explained by genetic differences

that's Curtis Yarvin, a recent Tucker Carlson guest.

thus confirming that i no longer need to qualify statements about the GOP being a thoroughly racist garbage death cult party of petulant morons.

i no longer need to qualify statements about the GOP being a thoroughly racist garbage death cult party of petulant morons.

"thoroughly"? No, at least not yet. "Overwhelmingly", sadly, I will grant you. But "thoroughly" still seems to be an overstatement.

Yarvin, Carlson and the entire conservative movement embodied in the vermin racist subhuman republican party, here and abroad and throughout the universe, are products of their time and place and therefore should be extended our deepest but negligible empathy for their victimhood.

We should stand by as they close the polling stations to us, as they rape women and forcibly them to bear their children, as they arm themselves to the teeth to kill us, as they commit pandemic genocide against the infirm, students, and teachers in the name of their murderous death-cult Christian diety, and as they murder the rest of we politically correct chumps for not understanding the burdens they carry living and flourishing amongst us, while insisting on not paying taxes.

As long as they don't dress like Audrey Hepburn and sit down to pee in a public ladies' room, I see no reason to butcher and slaughter every fascist last one of them with savage violence and leave their carcasses hung up to bleed out in public squares across the country.

As it happens, Tucker Carlson does NOT have a mother I'd like to fuck. That his subhuman conservative father rutted his toxic spunk into Tucker's eager beaver mother is occasion enough for America's everlasting regret and the end of IQ rankings as we know them.

As for Yarvin, his sow of a mother would have benefited from the hog farmer who bought her at market throwing some hay down in the sty in which he was issued.

I'm going to fight both of them.

All conservatives are created to be equally executed.

Not knowing anything about the parents of these pieces of garbage I would rather abstain of such wording, in particular comparisions to breeding stock of the porcine kind.

https://www.mediamatters.org/sebastian-gorka/newsmax-host-calls-vaccine-and-testing-requirement-most-egregious-assault-our

'"thoroughly"? No, at least not yet. "Overwhelmingly", sadly, I will grant you. But "thoroughly" still seems to be an overstatement.'

Give it a week.

I'm more than willing to add an asterisked addendum to the word "thoroughly" which qualifies the statement to read, "except for that one guy, the reasonable conservative wj at Obsidian Wings, for whom hope is sprained eternal. %-}

Substitute "Impossible Meatheads" for all pork references.

Given the lying, cheating, thieving species of conservative jurisprudence these days, ignore this precedent too:

https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2021/09/08/vaccine-mandate-strong-supreme-court-precedent-510280

That ruling was made by reasonable thinking individuals in 1905 and of that superior and more intelligent time and place, and therefore will be ignored by the murderous conservative judicial imposter monsters of this time and place.

Nothing will do but Civil War now to get back to the real.

I view bullets as a mandated viable vaccine to be used against the conservative plague killing America in 2021.

That ruling was made by reasonable thinking individuals in 1905 and of that superior and more intelligent time and place, and therefore will be ignored by the murderous conservative judicial imposter monsters of this time and place.

But Jacobson, while reaffirmed numerous times, is not the only precedent. The Court has consistently ruled that the public good, not just in cases of vaccinations, trumps personal preferences.

Here https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2021/09/10/republican-governors-challenges-vaccine-mandates/ is an overview of over a century of Supreme Court rulings which all say that the government can require vaccinations.

Of course, the new Court majority may decide to ignore precedent on this, too. But even they may find this a stretch.

Well, maybe and maybe not. Local jurisdictions can and do pass local laws mandating vaccinations. Operative words: *jurisdictions*, *pass* *laws*. OSHA is a regulatory agency, not a jurisdiction. It does not pass laws. The President is the executive and not the legislative.

Short-sighted, heavy-handed jamming shit down peoples' throats only looks good when you agree with the end result. No one here--including me--wants the next president to order *whatever* as a matter of work place safety because that's what that president wants to do. This is mega-shitty precedent. I recall all the stuff about norms and processes and whatnot when DT was president. Executive fiat, regardless of the rightness of it, is illegal.

Unless the Martys and McKinneys of the world decide that even oh-noes-soshulism is preferable to MAGAtry, there's not much chance of avoiding Civil War 2 in the US.

The MAGAts seem pretty confident they'd win that war, don't they?

--TP

Short-sighted, heavy-handed jamming shit down peoples' throats only looks good when you agree with the end result.

since when is OSHA is not empowered to set minimum workplace safety standards?

OSHA is a regulatory agency, not a jurisdiction. It does not pass laws. The President is the executive and not the legislative.

You may have noticed that OSHA is an agency empowered to issue regulations as was duly authorized in LAW.

Short-sighted, heavy-handed jamming shit down peoples' throats only looks good when you agree with the end result.

No shit, Sherlock. You mean like anti-abortion regulations? Like forcing me to live in a gun crazed society? Like making it for all intents and purposes impossible to form a union? Like forcing me to watch the destruction of the human race due to global climate change? Those kinds of heavy handed regulations?

The "real" GOP is found here.

Operative words: *jurisdictions*, *pass* *laws*. OSHA is a regulatory agency, not a jurisdiction.

As I'm sure you are well aware, there's a great deal of case law to the effect that regulatory agencies can, in fact, make rules ("regulations") which are legally enforceable. No reason why vaccinations for covid should be an exception.

since when is OSHA is not empowered to set minimum workplace safety standards?

OSHA can control the work site, up to a point. It cannot require employees to take medicine, stay home if they don't feel well, lose weight, eat less meat, eat more vegetables, get marriage counseling, take long walks or any number of other things that might produce better health outcomes physical or mental health outcomes, even if it could be shown that improving one employee's health also improves other employees' health. OSHA could mandate masks and social distancing, probably, because that is *activity on the worksite*.

And, there is a recognized rule-making process that has to be followed. Declaring an 18 month old phenomena to be a sudden emergency with harm so imminent as to justify bypassing that process (also knows as "due process") is patently gross over-reach.

You mean like anti-abortion regulations? Like forcing me to live in a gun crazed society? Like making it for all intents and purposes impossible to form a union? Like forcing me to watch the destruction of the human race due to global climate change? Those kinds of heavy handed regulations?

There are no anti-abortion regulations that I know of--legislative acts a/k/a democratically passed laws are different. Emphasis: democratically passed.

Forced to live in a gun crazy society? Interesting way of putting it. You could move, I suppose or society could reconfigure itself to your satisfaction, but it would have to do so legally, i.e. by passing laws that are allowable under the constitution.

Making it impossible to form a union? Again, that is a function of the legislature, i.e. democracy, the rule of law, etc. You are not guaranteed your personal optimal outcome anymore than I or anyone else is.

Forcing you to watch the destruction of the human race through climate change? Sorry, that's not US laws, that's the PRC, India, Russia and others.

As I'm sure you are well aware, there's a great deal of case law to the effect that regulatory agencies can, in fact, make rules ("regulations") which are legally enforceable. No reason why vaccinations for covid should be an exception.

Actually, regulatory agencies can, following a legislatively crafted rule making process, make regulations to carry out laws if authorized by congress to do so. This has never meant that any agency can *effectively* pass any rule it wants. Otherwise, we'd be at risk of a federally-mandated diet, among a host of other things that would be good for us if only someone would make us do them.

The president is proposing to use a federal agency to tell citizens they must get a shot in order to go to work. If that over-reach isn't patent on its face, I got nothing. We just go along with what we are told to do if it's in our best interests.

I wanted to make vaccines mandatory at my firm, which I am confident, as an owner, I can do. The president is not the *owner*. He can't just order people around because he thinks it's a great idea. Hell, even if it's a great idea, he just doesn't have that power.

Bit of a philosophical question for McKinney: In Texas, the state requires that any student attending any public, or private, school must show evidence of having received at least seven vaccines covering diseases such as polio, hepatitis, measles, mumps and rubella. Those seven vaccination requirements — which have helped banish once prevalent diseases such as polio — cause little controversy. So why is pushing for adults to get vaccinated for covid-19 such a flash point?

Even if you want to get into arguments over laws vs regulations, etc., why is the whole topic even an issue?

let's take a look at what Biden actually did:

And, there is a recognized rule-making process that has to be followed.

and since it's being followed, what's your actual complaint?

https://www.whitehouse.gov/covidplan/

The Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is developing a rule that will require all employers with 100 or more employees to ensure their workforce is fully vaccinated or require any workers who remain unvaccinated to produce a negative test result on at least a weekly basis before coming to work.

also:

Building on the President’s announcement in July to strengthen safety requirements for unvaccinated federal workers, the President has signed an Executive Order to take those actions a step further and require all federal executive branch workers to be vaccinated.

can the President set standards for federal employees?

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is taking action to require COVID-19 vaccinations for workers in most health care settings that receive Medicare or Medicaid reimbursement, including but not limited to hospitals, dialysis facilities, ambulatory surgical settings, and home health agencies.

strings. don't like the attachment, don't take the money.

The President’s plan calls on entertainment venues

oh dear. he called on them!

To continue efforts to ensure that no worker loses a dollar of pay because they get vaccinated, OSHA is developing a rule that will require employers with more than 100 employees to provide paid time off for the time it takes for workers to get vaccinated or to recover if they are under the weather post-vaccination

are we ok with that?

So why is pushing for adults to get vaccinated for covid-19 such a flash point?

Even if you want to get into arguments over laws vs regulations, etc., why is the whole topic even an issue?

Because it is one man--the president--making a pronunimiento as if he were an autocrat. We live in a democracy. The vaccine requirements in TX were passed by the legislature and signed into law by the governor, not pronounced by the Governor and thus made mandatory.

Here's another illustration of how a rule-of-law-democracy works: trial, due process *then* punishment.

Here's another: congress passes a tax increase, the senate agrees and the president signs it. But hey, we need more money than we are getting from the laws passed by congress: why not just have the pres order up higher tax brackets?

Because we live in a democracy not an autocracy and it doesn't matter whether the autocrat is mandating only the best for his/her subjects, it's still freaking one person laying down the law. We just don't do that.

Because it is one man--the president--making a pronunimiento as if he were an autocrat.

he asked the Dept Of Labor to tell OSHA to make rules. he didn't issue a fucking edict.

let's take a look at what Biden actually did:

And, there is a recognized rule-making process that has to be followed.

and since it's being followed, what's your actual complaint?

He is proposing to bypass the rule making process and simply declare a rule because of an "emergency." So, no, he is not following procedure.

And, the rule is not directed at employers, it is directed at employees: either get vaccinated or get tested (what is the sanction if the employee says "no"?). So, it is BS to say this is a workplace rule. It is a rule that is required in order to go to work, not passed by the legislature, but ordered by the president, who controls the administrative organ. There is no functional difference between a direct order by the president or an executive agency formulating an order ordered by the president.

he asked the Dept Of Labor to tell OSHA to make rules. he didn't issue a fucking edict.

This is spin and not very good spin at that: he is the Executive. He tells the executive agencies what to. Jesus. He didn't "ask" for anything. It's called a mandate for a reason. Look up the word.

Look, ObWi was apoplectic during the four years of Trump's autocracy. However, autocracy the majority here agrees with is just fine, particularly if it's sugarcoated with some nice-sounding words. As is far too often the case: good for me but not for thee.

Seeing the double standard is easy outside the echo chamber. It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

He is proposing to bypass the rule making process and simply declare a rule because of an "emergency."

a process which itself is perfectly within the OSHA rules. he didn't make up a new rule about emergencies, it's already on the fucking books.

every two days, as many people die in the US of COVID as died on 9/11. and we're still wallowing in that. so if this isn't an "emergency" (and an absolutely preventable one!), absolutely nothing is.

Because it is one man--the president--making a pronunimiento as if he were an autocrat.

You are totally missing (or evading) the point. Why are politicians in Texas getting worked up over this vaccination, ans not the others? And don't try to claim it's because of any concern on their part for process, as we both know that's complete bullsh*t -- process has nothing to do with it.

Seeing the double standard is easy outside the echo chamber. It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

if you could only see yourself.

How is this different from mask mandates? Or, depending on where you live, executive bans on mask mandates?

And I’m just gonna ignore the “you people can’t see outside your bubble” stuff because it’s a pointless rathole.

Just curious if an executive edict on masking (pro or con) is different than one on vaccines, and why.

Why are politicians in Texas getting worked up over this vaccination, ans not the others? And don't try to claim it's because of any concern on their part for process, as we both know that's complete bullsh*t -- process has nothing to do with it.

Ok, now you are asking me to read minds. I'll give it a go: GOP extremists, like Lefty extremists, blow their stacks whenever the other side says or does anything. Do I think that a bunch of Trump fans give any more of a shit about how things are *supposed to work* as opposed to *is this what I want* than Biden fans who endorse whatever BS he happens to come up with? Hell no.

As it happens, the Lefty hypocrites were right under Trump and the rightwing hypocrites are right under Biden.

I assume you can tell the difference between one man issuing an edict and the legislative process where there is debate, a majority vote and an executive signature, all done according to a pre-established constitutional process?

I assume you can tell the difference between one man issuing an edict and the legislative process where there is debate, a majority vote and an executive signature, all done according to a pre-established constitutional process?

OSHA rules allow for emergency rule making. this is an emergency. the rules are being followed. Congress is not required.

your outraged is misinformed at best.

every two days, as many people die in the US of COVID as died on 9/11. and we're still wallowing in that. so if this isn't an "emergency" (and an absolutely preventable one!), absolutely nothing is.

Emergency does not mean the same as crisis. "This" has been going on for 18 months. No one has proposed that Congress mandate the vaccine, although Congress has had plenty of time to act. There is no "emergency", Covid didn't just happen, and even his rule is stupid: get vaccinated or tested every week--and then what? The proposed sanction, if I understand it, is to fine the company. Because the employee won't get vaccinated or submit to a test. Does anyone see a problem here? OSHA cannot tell people what do to outside the workplace and only then can it make rules that apply to the workplace and can only sanction the employer.

We are a constitutional republic with democratically elected representatives who operate under a well understood constitutional framework. One person edicts as shortcuts are bad business on every level.

OSHA rules allow for emergency rule making. this is an emergency. the rules are being followed. Congress is not required.

Thank you Big Brother. Have you seen The Death of Stalin? He followed all the rules too.

Just an observation, and not one that I can enforce in any way, but it seems that if you want to discuss vaccination policy, you need to state your vaccination status. This isn't to claim that you have to have 'skin in the game' (which is a pretty ridiculous concept when discussing societal questions), but if one is arguing for a anti-vaxx stance (like, say, Tucker Carlson) but is actually vaccinated, I think you can immediately discount anything they say.

Anyway, I'll go first, 2 x moderna. Family as well, oldest is in Tokyo, which is having problems with the rollout for younger people, just got her first, and the second is scheduled. Be interested to hear who else and what you got.

There is a legitimate point to be made that this vaccine requirement is new territory for OSHA. They have asked for record keeping on vaccines but they have not issued a mandate like this. OSHA is concerned with workplace safety and not general personal health. If a workplace can be made safe through a combination of masking, remote work and social distancing, I'm not sure that a vaccine is required. This matters to the extent that the mandate could be analyzed under a standard of furthering a compelling governmental interest with the least restrictive means.

I don't have a problem with a vaccine mandate as a matter of policy and I think there is a compelling government interest, but this particular avenue is a stretch as it appears to be outside the OSHA's wheelhouse and may not be the least restrictive means of achieving *workplace* safety.

To be clear, I have no problem with a vaccine mandate, but this tact worries me.

Just an observation, and not one that I can enforce in any way, but it seems that if you want to discuss vaccination policy, you need to state your vaccination status.

Pfizer, 3/1/21 and 3/21/21. I will booster at the first opportunity. As I stated, I would have made vaccines mandatory at my office. It didn't happen because a critical mass just won't do it. We require them to work inside a closed office and to wear a mask when in a common area.

I'm fine with employer-mandates. I'm fine with a legislatively passed mandate. I'm not fine with any one executive, a president or a governor, handing down edicts. Forex, I think Abbot is way out of line telling local school districts they can't have mask policies. I knew Abbot back when he was a trial judge in Harris County. He was a reasonable person. He's on the Trump Team now or at least, he's going to pander to them until he doesn't have to, which is worse. We have legislatures for a reason and we limit what executives can do, also for a reason.

To be clear, I have no problem with a vaccine mandate, but this tact worries me.

Yes, outside the wheelhouse, i.e. authority, but it isn't even OSHA's idea. It's Biden's. As a matter of principle, a president deciding that individual Americans need to do "X" and using his control over the administrative apparatus to enforce *his* wishes is fricking dictatorial.

Pfizer on 3/23 and 4/13 (as soon as my age group was up).

Yes, outside the wheelhouse, i.e. authority, but it isn't even OSHA's idea. It's Biden's. As a matter of principle, a president deciding that individual Americans need to do "X" and using his control over the administrative apparatus to enforce *his* wishes is fricking dictatorial.

So what *practical* means do we have of overcoming the RW political opportunist and media coalition intent upon monkey wrenching any policy path to public safety? Do we have any non-dictatorial paths available for change?

How would you propose to change the minds (or the votes) of the idiots blocking the COVID fire exit for politics?

Absent any alternatives, it seems to me the two options that remain are either to take a tyrannical approach (the Lincoln path), or to shrug and let the obstructors paint you as weak and ineffective as the try to pin the deaths they are causing on you.

(Already posted about my drive-through vax experience in earlier threads).

this particular avenue is a stretch as it appears to be outside the OSHA's wheelhouse and may not be the least restrictive means of achieving *workplace* safety.

If people are afraid to go to the *workplace*(?) because they may get sick and die from an entirely preventable disease, then I should think this regulation falls well within what can reasonably be called *workplace* (?) safety.

McTX: As it happens, the Lefty hypocrites were right under Trump and the rightwing hypocrites are right under Biden.

I would appreciate examples of McKinney agreeing with the "Lefty hypocrites" back then as vociferously as he's agreeing with the "rightwing hypocrites" now.

--TP

We are a constitutional republic with democratically elected representatives who operate under a well understood constitutional framework. One person edicts as shortcuts are bad business on every level.

Our system assumes, and requires, that both (all) sides are operating in good faith. That is, one side may be wrong on a particular issue, but they are at least trying to make the overall system work for the public good. At the moment, we don't have that.

What you seem to be saying is that, in the current circumstances, our only valud option is to twiddle our thumbs until those who care only for obstruction finally manage to kill off enough of their own supporters that no amount of shenanigans can keep them in office. No matter how long that takes, or how many other people get killed as a result while we wait.

Or do you see some magic alternative path forward that the rest of us have missed?

No one has proposed that Congress mandate the vaccine

No need to. Congress, as in so many things, has already delegated that authority to the Executive. You may find this advantageous for your issues, and not so much for our wild eyed lefty issues.

In many ways, it is a reflection of the increasingly complex world we live in, and increasingly gridlocked political combat.

Pollo de Muerte: ... this particular avenue is a stretch as it appears to be outside the OSHA's wheelhouse and may not be the least restrictive means of achieving *workplace* safety.

"*workplace* safety" is good. National security is also good.

I know that "national security" has come to be a term of art for military and quasi-military action using missiles and drones and all the other toys Congresses of both parties have given Presidents of both parties permission to play with. I know it does not mean things like protecting The Nation (which is a people as well as a territory) from deadly viruses and such. And I consider that a sorry state of affairs.

--TP

The NYT investigated the drone strike that killed the family.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/09/10/world/asia/us-air-strike-drone-kabul-afghanistan-isis.html

The US government account looks like complete horseshit.

As one would expect.

Sad, but not surprised by Donald's 8:00.

Again, though, unless the American people change and stop being some sort of psychic Big Hit highlight reel in their foreign policy Id, we will never see a change in this. Not even Obama, who campaigned on a pledge to do better, managed to implement any of that. It's too ingrained in the American psyche and too consistently and effectively reinforced by both sides of the US media to change.

Biden isn't going to be any different. It's not who he is. And if he did change, we'd punish him at the ballot box for it.

Local jurisdictions can and do pass local laws mandating vaccinations.

In Jacobson, the requirement for a smallpox vaccine was a mandate issued by the Cambridge MA Board of Health, a regulatory agency.

They were empowered to issue that mandate by laws, passed by legislators.

Has OSHA been empowered by law to make rules for workplace health and safety? If so, then I think this question has been asked and answered.

I knew Abbot back when he was a trial judge in Harris County. He was a reasonable person. He's on the Trump Team now

Reasonable people are no longer welcome in the (R) party.

That’s a shame, but as someone who is not a (R) and has no leverage over (R) policy or interest in having any, there is bugger-all I can do about it.

If conservatives don’t want to be represented by a party that kisses DJT’s behind early and often, it’s on them to make changes.

Best of luck.

In the meantime, I’m agin you, politically.

Clean your freaking house, (R)’s.

McTX: Yes, outside the wheelhouse, i.e. authority, but it isn't even OSHA's idea. It's Biden's. As a matter of principle, a president deciding that individual Americans need to do "X" and using his control over the administrative apparatus to enforce *his* wishes is fricking dictatorial.

*If* a vaccine mandate is within OSHA's delegated authority, then I'm not going to get worked up over whether it was Biden's idea. OSHA, as part of the Department of Labor, is considered a sector within the executive branch of the federal government. Biden is the chief executive.

If you want to have a general discussion about whether Congress has ceded too much to federal agencies, then you and I might have some common ground, but a vaccine mandate during a pandemic won't be my Exhibit A in that debate.

bobbyp: If people are afraid to go to the *workplace*(?) because they may get sick and die from an entirely preventable disease, then I should think this regulation falls well within what can reasonably be called *workplace* (?) safety.

I'm not worried about there being a compelling government interest or making a connection to the workplace. I'm concerned that *if* a least restrictive means test is applied, a court could find that there are less restrictive ways to achieve reasonable workplace safety. Keep in mind that OSHA is not operating on a zero tolerance standard for workplace safety. There are balancing tests for achieving reasonable safety and I don't think this will be a cake walk for the administration to defend in court.

bobbyp: Congress, as in so many things, has already delegated that authority to the Executive.

To be clear, I'm not an expert on OSHA (far from it), but I'm not sure that the authority to mandate a vaccine has been delegated to OSHA. Without having researched it, my sense is that it is less than a slam-dunk.

The SARS-CoV-2 virus is the freest of all American citizens.

Indeed, it deserves the Medal of Freedom for showing us the way to Constitutional Valhalla.

It ignores all borders, procedural niceties, high principles, established governance, Constitutional bluster, and you're-not-the-boss-of-me outbursts, indeed, regarding the latter, it hitches its deadly ride on the expectorating droplets exhaled by the most thunderous defenders ... the virus' chosen vectors ... of its freedom to kill me and my loved ones and friends.

The virus emigrated from China to America to enjoy our God-given freedoms and escape China's totalitarian regime.

The idea that preventing Joe Biden, the President, from declaring nationally-imposed vaccine and testing mandates, in favor of allowing smaller principalities ..... Congress, states, counties, cities, school boards, and corporations and smaller employers to engage in the exact same fascist (why not call it what it is .. the fascism closest to the people is the best fascism of all)) measures, as if compliance enforced on some will be in any way better and more effective than forcing every individual in America to be vaccinated, excepting those whose medical conditions might be adversely affected by the vaccines themselves, is deadly procedural parody.

We want Congress to declare mandates?

Does anyone expect the violent, insurrectionist conservative movement in America to celebrate the procedural niceties of THAT decentralization of power.

Local public health officials and school board members are being driven from their jobs and confining themselves to their homes because of death threats by violent conservatives sicced on them and their families by conservative operatives in the media and within the hallowed halls of stinking national, state, and local conservative governance for the formers' efforts to exert some local authority and procedure over events.

So much for the decentralization of power and authority in America, where a murderous bug has crawled up its collective conservative libertarian Christian asshole and NOTHING is fine by them.

Properly arrived-at measures that are fine to McKinney, let alone whatever is fine or not by me, are NOT fine to the monsters in the conservative movement.

On January 6, 2021, Congressional Democrats and a few remaining sane republicans were forced by marauding, viral, insurrectionist, murderous conservatives breaking down the doors of the US Capitol to "share" confined spaces with murderous, insane Congressional republican radicals who refused to act like human beings and wear masks, and some of the latter "refuse" refuse now to be vaccinated themselves.

The latter's procedures: Do Nothing.

Indeed, force the viral infection on every American who doesn't want it.

The Congressional Democrats, attacked from outside and inside the Capitol by the conservative movement death cult, should have been armed then and absolutely must carry arms now, to shoot to kill their attackers, on that day, and every day henceforth as we there will be no election ever again in America that is accepted by conservative murderers.

When murderers engage in procedures that ignore all procedure, then fuck all procedure and do what needs to be done even if it requires one individual to declare it so for all.

I'm not gonna like it when the other side does it? I arrived there 40 years ago.

Texas passed a law, all procedural niceties observed thru the proper gerrymandered channels, except for the fucking Constitution, deputizing and recruiting citizens to spy on, harass, and extort money from pregnant women and their circles of support.

Stalin and his secret police did that too.

At least Stalin's iron fist applied to all Soviet citizens, like republican attempts to steal the voting franchise from their enemies, so what's the problem?

Yes, I saw The Death of Stalin.

Shoot Stalin in his head again, because he's on the prowl in our midst one more time.

but I'm not sure that the authority to mandate a vaccine has been delegated to OSHA.

Under the OSHA Act, employers are responsible to provide a safe and healthy workplace. The Agency, under this statute, may create regulatory requirements to meet this goal.*

Employers who fail to meet a reasonable standard of workplace safety are at risk of fines. It staggers the imagination to argue that failing to take appropriate safety measures in a workplace where people are in close quarters subject to infection by a highly contageous disease is simply not reasonable in the slightest.

(Furthermore, as I understand it, the "mandate" is to give the employee a choice: Vaccination or frequent testing. Something McFog didn't bother to mention.)

If you somehow think this is beyond their legislatively delegated responsibiltiy, I am really at a loss for words. This is a safe and sane approach, and well within their regulatory perview. That the President "ordered" it is fucking beside the point. Issuing orders is part and partial of what the President is tasked with doing as Chief Executive. Calling it "dictatorial" is simply this: Bullshittery of the highest order.

If you want to find out more about where OSHA is coming from wrt COVID workplace rules, you might start here.

*As a construction professional, I am well aware of OSHA's role (in actuality, OSHA sets the minimum standard, and state agencies carry the load to insure safe workplaces). The agency's really quite mind numbing toothlessness is frustrating at times when dealing with an industry that has a high injury rate and far too many players who treat injured or dead workers as just another cost of doing business.

Thanks.

Pfizer 1 & 2 back in March.

I'm concerned that *if* a least restrictive means test is applied, a court could find that there are less restrictive ways to achieve reasonable workplace safety.

OK...I see where you are coming from here. But it would be a rather strained "test" indeed that found "less restrictive ways" (and what, pray tell, would those be?) to achieve the regulatory goal.

There is a lot of regulatory room between doing nothing and simply sending everybody home (100% guarantee of a safe workplace!). To find, in the face of law and precedent, vaccination to be "restrictive" is, in actuality, quite a stretch.

Thanks.

I'm curious what other people think about this or what other people may know. It seems to me that this is an example of a slow racheting up of the steps needed to get the population vaxxed. Obviously, this is a view sympathetic to the current admin, but I get the impression that as previous measures failed to put a dent, going to this was an escalation and I assume that Biden's advisers have several other further steps. I certainly don't get the impression that this was a knee jerk response.

I'm trying to go back to see if there were intimations of this earlier. I didn't find anything, but these two articles may be interesting.
This discusses Biden's approach to COVID in the run up to the election.
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/14/health/covid-biden-pandemic-plan.html

OSHA on the 2009 flu that Biden took a lead role in
https://www.osha.gov/news/testimonies/05072009
OSHA stands prepared to use its existing authority to aggressively enforce safe work practices to ensure employees receive appropriate protection. Although OSHA has no specific standard on influenza exposure, in appropriate circumstances the agency will use the "General Duty Clause" of the Occupational Safety and Health Act, which requires employers to provide employment free from recognized hazards, to ensure that employers follow the practices that public health experts agree are necessary to protect workers' health. OSHA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have distributed extensive information about how to protect workers from influenza exposure in the workplace.

Am curious what some of you may think.

That last OSHA press release, btw, was written in 2009...

It's time for 2nd amendment solutions.
Develop a short range gun firing vaxx syringes and freely dispense it to the vaccinated population at large. The unvaxxed are potential attackers with deadly force and every citizen has a right to defend against that. So they should be encouraged to give anyone they suspect of being an unvaxxed aggressor and approaches to a distance of less than 15 feet a shot. Whether they have to issue a warning first is open to debate but since it is about 2nd amendment and effing Murica, we should assume that one can dispense with that as default.
For safety reasons I'd recommend a double-barreled version with the second shot being a tranquillizer.

bobbyp: As a construction professional, I am well aware of OSHA's role (in actuality, OSHA sets the minimum standard, and state agencies carry the load to insure safe workplaces). The agency's really quite mind numbing toothlessness is frustrating at times when dealing with an industry that has a high injury rate and far too many players who treat injured or dead workers as just another cost of doing business.

Again, I'm not an OSHA expert, but it does come up in some of my case involving real estate development and contractors. I completely agree as to your assessment of toothlessness which is why my reaction to the this particular agency being the avenue for a nationwide vaccine mandate was surprise and then concern. On a surface level, it kind of makes sense, but this is new territory for the agency to say the least.

bobbyp: OK...I see where you are coming from here. But it would be a rather strained "test" indeed that found "less restrictive ways" (and what, pray tell, would those be?) to achieve the regulatory goal.

If a court finds that the workplace is not *currently* a major vector for COVID spread and that most workplaces can be protected via masks, social distancing and work from home, then I wouldn't be shocked if a conservative judge or five found that a vaccine mandate is ultra vires.

bobbyp: There is a lot of regulatory room between doing nothing and simply sending everybody home (100% guarantee of a safe workplace!). To find, in the face of law and precedent, vaccination to be "restrictive" is, in actuality, quite a stretch.

We both know that OSHA does not shoot for 100% guaranty of a safe workplace. There are balancing tests between burdens on the employer (that shouldn't be an issue here) and personal rights of the employee (e.g., OSHA doesn't explicitly ban workplace smoking).

lj: Am curious what some of you may think.

This press release discusses OSHA's brave new aggressive approach to dealing with a flu outbreak. Lots of talk about PPE, respirators and guidelines for determining which workplaces present a higher risk of exposure. I did not see the words "vaccine" or "inoculation". Compare to a nationwide mandate on all large employers (no guidelines targeting higher risk workplaces) requiring vaccination (with some opt outs).

I guess you could characterize this as a "slow ratcheting up", but as much as I support the policy goal in general, it feels more like a leap.

That press release was from 2009, so one wouldn't expect discussion of vaccines, but a lot of that language seems like the idea was waiting there.

On the other hand, there is this politico article
https://www.politico.com/news/2021/09/10/biden-pandemic-vaccination-effort-511157

which portrays the Biden admin as suddenly realizing that people weren't going to get vaccines. While I normally would think that the truth is probably somewhere in the middle, it seems of a piece with politicos Afghanistan, where every thing was rushed, unplanned, haphazard. But the sources they draw on seem to be out of the inner circle and so get some benefit from portraying the admin as rudderless.


A super PAC supporting the president conducted polling in August that tested support for large companies requiring their employees to get vaccinated in five battleground states — Arizona, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin — that went for Biden after voting for Donald Trump in 2016. It was favored by a solid majority of voters in all five of the states. A separate AP/NORC poll shared widely by Biden aides and advisers on Twitter Friday found strong support for vaccine mandates across several corporate and government sectors.

Well, it seems to me if a poll went out in August, there must have been some lead time. But that would not be as click-baity, now would it...

There was a vaccine for the 2009 outbreak that also protected against H1N1. Obviously COVID is next level compared to regular or even swine flu, but whatever balancing tests or political factors that were considered in 2009 did not result in OSHA mandating a vaccine.

Again, I realize that no vaccines were mandated back in 2009, but setting aside how well equipped or organized OSHA is for this, this passage

in appropriate circumstances the agency will use the "General Duty Clause" of the Occupational Safety and Health Act, which requires employers to provide employment free from recognized hazards, to ensure that employers follow the practices that public health experts agree are necessary to protect workers' health.

Seems to speak to what OSHA is now being called on to do.

Not to engage in both-siderism, but Trump relied on similar general language when he redirected funds to the border wall and many of us complained it was an ultra vires act.

I'm just saying that this is a bit of a stretch.

On its face, the Trump border wall was a dumb, cruel, and stupid farce. That he boosted funds lawfully allocated for other uses was just icing on the cake. So not even remotely the same.

I'm just saying that this is a bit of a stretch.

and I am just saying that it is, given the magnitude of the problem, not.

Fellow revolutionaries! Take heart!

Thank you Big Brother. Have you seen The Death of Stalin? He followed all the rules too.

so, you bitch about him not following the rules, except he did, but now he's Stalin.

you just want to bitch about Biden. how novel for you.

--

There is a legitimate point to be made that this vaccine requirement is new territory for OSHA.

so is a worldwide pandemic.

I'm trying to go back to see if there were intimations of this earlier. I didn't find anything, but these two articles may be interesting.

this COVID OSHA rulemaking stuff has been in process since spring 2021. https://news.bloomberglaw.com/daily-labor-report/emergency-osha-covid-rule-drawn-out-by-more-white-house-meetings

At least 30 meetings lasting through May 13 had been scheduled by the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs as of Thursday. The sessions with groups representing employers, workers, and occupational health specialists started April 28, two days after OIRA received the standard, which has not been made public.

“The demand is very high, which speaks to why OSHA should have had a comment period,” said Robyn Boerstling, the National Association of Manufacturers vice president for human resource policy in Washington.

Employers are concerned that if the standard is enacted they’ll be forced to follow OSHA requirements that don’t fit their industry and work sites. Instead, they prefer the freedom to adopt federal and local health guidance. Worker advocates counter that if an employer already adheres to health recommendations, the standard shouldn’t be a challenge to comply with.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is attempting to issue the regulation as an emergency temporary standard to deal with an immediate grave danger, a process that enables OSHA to enact the rule without a formal public comment period. The process is coming more than a year into the pandemic as Covid-19 cases are falling and at least 32 percent of the U.S. population is fully vaccinated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

tyranny! unconscionable dictates! bullshit shoved down throats! ignorant wailing! other ridiculous Republican talking points!

I have to admit, I come from it based on my context, which is that Japan had stockpiles of the vaccine before the Olympics, but chose not to make a big push. And it prioritized elderly (no problem there) but has not seemed to get its act together. Like this
https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2021/08/27/national/shibuya-youth-vaccination-site-launch/

A COVID-19 inoculation site for supposedly vaccine-hesitant youth in Tokyo’s Shibuya Ward got off to a rocky start Friday after the capital dramatically underestimated the size of the crowd that would turn up.

Registration was supposed to begin at 11:50 a.m., but a line had amassed by sunrise and every slot was filled by 7:30 a.m. According to officials, around 15 people were already waiting in line by the time staff arrived at the facility at 4 a.m. Some had been waiting overnight.

“I live in Yokohama so there’s no way I can get here that early,” said Arisa, a 23-year-old who works in Tokyo and gave only her first name. Having had no luck reserving a slot at a vaccine site in Kanagawa Prefecture, she thought she would try her luck in Shibuya — but tickets had run out by the time she arrived at around 10:30 a.m. “I don’t know what to do now,” she said.

Dozens began to arrive at around 10 a.m. on Friday thinking they had given themselves ample time to claim a spot in line, only to find that registration had ended hours earlier and that they would have to return another day.

The confusion and disarray meant many left frustrated, empty handed and unvaccinated.

So I'm thinking yeah, about f**king time...

It also seems that several big business lobby organisations have spoken out in fabor of the measures or kept silent, when their usual mode in case of proposed regulations or..get thee behind me, Satan..tax increases is apoplectic and apocalyptic. Some GOPsters have already aired their great disappointment and sense of betrayal about that.

Hartmut: Develop a short range gun firing vaxx syringes and freely dispense it to the vaccinated population at large. The unvaxxed are potential attackers with deadly force and every citizen has a right to defend against that. So they should be encouraged to give anyone they suspect of being an unvaxxed aggressor and approaches to a distance of less than 15 feet a shot.

I realize you aren't here, and so may be missing the nuances. But a "2nd Amendment solution" would traditionally not rely on merely resolving a possible threat. And besides, the vaccine takes a few days to work. So lethal force, not a mere vaccine, would be the true 2nd Amendment fans' response.

companies that employ more than 100 people must require them to either be vaccinated or take a COVID test once a week.

the context here being a pandemic that has stretched for almost two years now, and continues to surge as variants emerge.

FWIW, I felt flu-ish last weekend. went to my local CVS, got a COVID do-it-yourself test. the test was:

* put a q-tip up your nose
* swish it around for 15 seconds
* put the q-tip in a little card with a reagent
* wait 15 minutes and see if a little pink line shows up

this is the tyrannical burden that is being placed on the American populace.

there's an interesting procedural or maybe balance of power question to ask about whether and when it's appropriate for the executive to step in to stuff like this. the courts will, no doubt, weigh in, and we'll see where it lands.

comparisons to Stalin are hyperbole to the point of absurdity. the many many millions who died under Stalin might even call it obscene.

and there is no comparison between the administrations of Joe Biden and Donald Trump. Trump rendered the whole "both sides" line of argument moot.

I am, personally, sick and tired of humoring people who fill their heads with noxious lies and paranoid fantasies, and then use that as a basis for endangering the lives and livelihoods of all of the rest of us.

Get with the fncking program, losers.

677K dead, in this country. Isn't that enough?

supposedly vaccine-hesitant youth
...
Registration was supposed to begin at 11:50 a.m., but a line had amassed by sunrise and every slot was filled by 7:30 a.m. According to officials, around 15 people were already waiting in line by the time staff arrived at the facility at 4 a.m. Some had been waiting overnight.

Sounds like "vaccine hesitancy" is being used as an excuse for a government which is failing to actually make the vaccines available to meet demand.

677K dead, in this country. Isn't that enough?

Think of it as an index of how many deaths would be acceptable when fighting to overturn the next election. (Not as an absolute number.
More an order of magnitude.)

wj, the term '2nd amendment solution' was chosen deliberately because I am aware of the insane RW rhetoric (like Sarah Palin's '2nd amendment remedies').
And that I do not seriously propose freelance self-defense vaccination should be obvious.
It would quickly have lethal results even with a tranquilizer shot in reserve.
Btw not my idea. I took inspiration from this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jV2tZd3ubf4

that I do not seriously propose freelance self-defense vaccination should be obvious

Hartmut, I realized that. But couldn't resist taking the sarcastic suggestion and running with it. No offense intended.

this is what the plague rat party is fighting for: at the current rate, we'll have another 1M dead in the US this time next year.

at the current rate, we'll have another 1M dead in the US this time next year.

One cogent question is: What fraction of them will be people who, had they survived, would have been voters for DeSantis, or Abbot, etc. come November 2022?

Some GOP governors may be in sufficiently red states to not have to worry about such things. But others may find they have created a serious problem for themselves. Simply because they have less margin for error -- no matter how carefully they gerrymander no how extensively they try to suppress votes against them.

hey, wj. Speaking of voters, that reminds me about our wager on the Newsom recall election. When can I swing by and pick up my winnings? I do not accept Bitcoins. Given my age, I tend to misplace them.

Have a nice day down there.

K-drum on the mandate here and here.

He might be on to something. I guess we shall see.

Give it to them hard, Joe. Really hard.

What fraction of them will be people who, had they survived, would have been voters for DeSantis, or Abbot, etc. come November 2022?

based on the headlines i see in media, my initial thought was "it'll be 50/50 : Republicans and black people". because i keep reading stories about how blacks are refusing vaccines at a very high rate.

then i googled.

https://www.kff.org/coronavirus-covid-19/issue-brief/latest-data-on-covid-19-vaccinations-race-ethnicity/

and while it's true in some states that minorities account for more COVID deaths than their percentage of the population, in most states, COVID death rates and population share are pretty close to equal.

so, i guess it will just be Republicans. if only there was a free and easy way for them to take responsibility for their own lives and the lives of those around them! alas. they'll just have to die, smelling of Heartguard and bleach.

When can I swing by and pick up my winnings? I do not accept Bitcoins. Given my age, I tend to misplace them.

Have a nice day down there.

I'm expecting to have a relatively quiet day working the election. Just because I anticipate so many people have voted by mail (or DropBox, which is essentially the same thing). We shall see. Still, I think it is a job worth doing.

There's no way I would pay with Bitcoin. Not being engaged in any illegal (or quasi-legal, perhaps) activities, I have no need for such.

Remind me of what, exactly, the terms of our wager were. From what I'm seeing currently, I expect Newsom to eke out a win (albeit with a far lower percentage of the vote than he won with in 2018). I hope, but do not expect, that Elder will manage to fall short of a plurality in the irrelevant (because the recall fails) vote for a successor. And, after this current fiasco of Elder's "success", I expect the California GOP to continue its stampede into irrelevance.

Donald, this is only going to get worse - hard to imagine, I know - with no intelligence on the ground.

The "war on terror" isn't over and will probably never be. Here's an interesting argument regarding Obama and drone war:

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/aug/31/how-the-us-created-a-world-of-endless-war

From the GOP POV it was 'merely' a miscalculation made at the time when the blue states bore the brunt on COVID and it had not yet gone out of control in the red states.
Leaked documents show that sabotaging the blue efforts was seen as a top priority to make the Dems look bad leading to losses in the elections. When they had to realize that it would hit them too it was too late to go back on the demagoguery and their only option for personal political survival was to double down (or be eaten alive by the zombie hordes they had released).
And making Biden look bad is still a priority. I guess they assume that midterms always will cost the governing party and that their own losses via COVID deaths and anger would still get compensated by Dem losses via voter suppression and blaming for lack of success.
They made a bet and now have to hope that a) they survive their own primaries and b) that their miscalculations are small enough to not be lethal (to them, not their brainless base).
Cynic that I am I would not bet on that cynical plot not working. And all bets are off should it not work and 'other options' are considered and the masks come really off (pun intended).

comparisons to Stalin are hyperbole to the point of absurdity.

But they have the same first name!!

Reading that Guardian piece was interesting for me because of the deep ambiguities (and ambivalences) embedded in the analysis. One example: "One of the insidious results of the humanisation of endless war was to prompt activists to demand even more humane war."

As a scholar who focuses a lot of attention on the rhetoric of conflict and war, I read that sentence and wonder precisely what the writer means here by even more humane war? Is that even more [humane] war, or *even more humane* war?

I also remain troubled by the moral framework overlap between defenses of drone strikes and defenses of police use-of-force. I don't see any real difference between the two justificatory frameworks.

Which points to the deepest question I have in all of this which is "Humane for who?" Every one of these discussions hinges on the State of Exception (If there is some person or institution, in a given polity, capable of bringing about a total suspension of the law and then to use extra-legal force to normalize the situation, then that person or institution is the sovereign in that polity (PT 5). Any legal order, Schmitt bluntly concludes, is based on a sovereign decision and not on a legal norm (PT 10, 12–3). Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy).

It would be really nice to get a liberal framework of law and order back, and not an endless extension of the State of Exception.

The reality of leadership is not amenable to rigid philosophical frameworks.

Purity of thought is a fine academic pursuit. Nobody in charge of anything has the luxury.

That's an interesting observation regarding State of Exception (And a sidenote that here in Japan, Japanese press is always using the acronym SoE for State of Emergency as related to quasi voluntary corona measures) which provoked some googling and I see it is a concept from Schmitt. Very interesting stuff.

My take is that the difference between drone strikes and police use-of-force is the notion of Other/alterity. Drone strikes are directed at the Other, while police are supposed to be part of the group that is being policed. That had me find this
https://www.oxfordhandbooks.com/view/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199916931.001.0001/oxfordhb-9780199916931-e-002

which I am working thru now. (*cough**Libgen*) I'm not so familiar with Schmitt, anything you recommend as a starter? Thanks.

On the war on terror—

I think the root of the problem, or at least a big part of it, is the complete lack of accountability when one of our policies or actions kills innocent people. I often rant about war crimes and the need to jail high ranking officials, but that is currently a pipe dream.

But we can start small. In this piece you find General Milley, the head of the JSOC, saying the drone strike was righteous and there was a secondary explosion, meaning an ISIS bomb went off and killed the civilians. The evidence for this is apparently nonexistent.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/09/05/us/politics/military-drone-strike-kabul.html?searchResultPosition=2

He might have believed what he was told, but it is his responsibility to have a culture of honesty ( I will refrain from snickering) in the military. When things go wrong they have to be reported accurately. He should not be going out to the public and telling a comforting story which appears to be false. But that is what he did and he ought to be fired. Everyone up and down the chain of command who passed on this version of events as the truth needs to be investigated.

The government has a long record of putting out civilian casualty estimates that are far below ( factors of ten or more) what human rights investigators find. Gopal did a survey in Iraq ( and maybe Syria) where he found that the number of air strikes that killed civilians in the region he investigated was thirty tines higher than what the military claimed. ( This was in a NYT Sunday magazine piece years ago). This should be unacceptable.

Ultimately the blame for all this falls on Americans in general, or it does to the extent that we have a democracy. Because all of this is acceptable in practice even if it shouldn’t be.

Honesty about the consequences of our actions isn’t enough. But it would be a start.

He might have believed what he was told, but it is his responsibility to have a culture of honesty ( I will refrain from snickering) in the military. When things go wrong they have to be reported accurately.

Allow me to observe that, if the existing culture is otherwise, it is going to take a while, and probably several successive leaders, to turn that around. And, given the culture, it may take a while to manage to find such a series of leaders.

For illustration, consider how long it took from when President Truman ordered the integration of the military to a time when the military culture (more accurately, the views of its members) was generally not racist. (Feel free to argue that they still haven't got there. It only reinforces the point.)

As for the suggestion to investigate everybody up and down the chain of command, Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? If the problem is pervasive in the military (which it feels like you believe), where do you get the honest officers for an internal investigation? And if you think that having the politicians in Congress (fonts of probity that they all are) do the investigation -- well, I do not refrain from snickering.

The reality of leadership is not amenable to rigid philosophical frameworks.

Purity of thought is a fine academic pursuit. Nobody in charge of anything has the luxury.

They have no luxury to do this because they must consider the character and will of the people or else they will not remain the leader.

I wasn't particularly interested in critiquing leaders with my analysis. I was looking at the other side of that mutually constraining dynamic.

I think that we are happy to say that we wish to be humane in our application of violence against others for the sake of People Like Us. I think that so long as the person empowered with that franchise for violence can make the argument that they intend safety for People Like Us and used that violence with reasonable judgment against People Not Like Us (or People of Questionable Status), then we excuse the deaths of those others so long as we don't have to look at them and see them as people.

That's how aid workers and the innocent people around them get blown to hell by drones. That's how "threatening" people holding cell phones get shot and the people responsible get excused. We decide the person using that violence is the Person Like Us and that the people who were killed don't count as much as our own security.

As far as an approach to Schmitt goes, I've only read The Concept of the Political in full, and excerpts of Political Theology. The heart of modern discussions of Schmitt comes mostly through Agamben (Homo Sacer and The State of Exception) which are specifically looking at Schmitt through the lens of Benjamin's critique of Schmitt.

Been a decade since I read any Agamben or Benjamin, so I can't really get much deeper into the weeds without getting in trouble.

(*cough**Libgen*)

There is nothing to apologize about for using Libgen. It is an absolutely appropriate way to protest American academia and publishing for attempting to price out everyone who isn't part of the in group.

I've NEVER apologized for using
#include <libgen.h>
and never considered that it might be at all controversial.

Now, libwnck, that's a different matter entirely.

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