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Follow the Science? How COVID Authoritarians Get It Wrong


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The CDC changes the definition of vaccine so that it cannot be ‘interpreted as meaning that vaccines are 100% effective’




The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently revised its definition of vaccine and vaccination on one of its websites, saying the new definition is “more transparent” and cannot be misinterpreted.

“Although there have been small changes in the wording over time to the definition of ‘vaccine’ on the CDC’s website, these have not affected the overall definition,” a CDC spokesman told the Epoch Times via email.

“The previous definition of basic immunization | The CDC can be interpreted to mean that vaccines are 100% effective, which has never been the case for any vaccine, so the current definition is more transparent and also describes the ways in which vaccines can be administered. ”

From 2015 to 31 August 2021, a vaccine was defined as “a product that stimulates a person’s immune system to produce immunity to a particular disease, protect the person against that disease” and vaccination was “the act of introducing a vaccine into the body to produce immunity to a particular disease. “

Earlier versions of a vaccine definition also included “immunity” in its definition.

The new definition of the vaccine now reads: “A preparation used to stimulate the body’s immune response to disease”, while vaccination is “the act of introducing a vaccine into the body to produce protection against a particular disease.”

While supporters of the CDC’s revision say it is natural to revise the definition as science evolves, opponents say the changes have nothing to do with the development of science. Rather, the CDC is conducting the review in response to the current COVID-19 vaccines being less effective against the Delta variant.

Emmy-winning research reporter Sharyl Attkisson said the new definition was made to “meet the declining capacity of some of today’s ‘vaccines’, including the COVID-19 vaccine,” adding that “after the COVID-19 vaccines were introduced , and it was discovered that they do not necessarily ‘prevent disease’ or ‘grant immunity’, the CDC changed the definition of vaccines again to say that they are merely ‘producing protection’. “

Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) Took to Twitter about the CDC’s definition change and compared it to George Orwell’s “1984” and wrote, “They’ve been busy in the Ministry of Truth.”

Check out @CDCgov‘s evolving definition of “vaccination”. They have been busy in the Ministry of Truth: pic.twitter.com/4k2xf8rvsL

– Thomas Massie (@RepThomasMassie) September 8, 2021

The CDC did not respond to a request for comment prior to the press release.



The CDC moving goalposts yet again.  Color me shocked.


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'COVID-19 Hospitalizations' Are an Increasingly Misleading Measure of Severe Disease



Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, researchers, policy makers, and journalists have viewed hospitalizations as an important indicator of the disease burden, often citing increases in that measure as a justification for government interventions aimed at curtailing virus transmission, such as business restrictions and mask requirements. Hospitalization numbers do have advantages over case tallies, which are highly dependent on who happens to be tested, and fatality reports, which are a lagging indicator, since deaths may be recorded weeks after diagnosis. But because hospitalization rates reflect patients who test positive for COVID-19, they do not tell us how many were admitted for treatment of the disease or how many experienced severe symptoms.

A newly published preprint study addresses those gaps in knowledge by applying measures of disease severity to about 48,000 V.A. hospital admissions of more than 38,000 COVID-positive patients between March 1, 2020, and June 30, 2021. The researchers, all but one of whom work for the V.A. Boston Healthcare System, found that the share of admissions involving moderate-to-severe COVID-19 cases fell from 64 percent before vaccines were widely available to 52 percent afterward.

In other words, incidental or mild cases accounted for a rising share of so-called COVID-19 hospitalizations—nearly half by the end of June. That means it is increasingly problematic to treat that number, which includes COVID-19 patients without life-threatening symptoms as well as COVID-positive patients admitted for other reasons, as an indicator of severe disease. Notably, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which collects data on what are commonly called "COVID-19 hospitalizations," uses a more ambiguous term: "COVID-19-associated hospitalizations." But even that description is misleading, since the tally includes many hospital patients who were not admitted for treatment of COVID-19.

The main measure of disease severity in the V.A. study was an oxygen saturation level below 94 percent, which corresponds with "the most stringent cut-off" on a scale developed by the National Institutes of Health. The researchers also considered whether patients received the steroid dexamethasone, which reduces mortality in COVID-19 patients on supplemental oxygen or mechanical respiratory support. By both measures, the prevalence of moderate-to-severe cases declined with the advent of vaccines.

The researchers cite two explanations for that trend: Vaccination protects people against severe disease even if they are infected by the coronavirus, and "unvaccinated patients tend to be younger and healthier," meaning they are less likely to experience life-threatening systems. Another factor could be the criteria that hospitals use for admitting COVID-19 patients, which are apt to be less demanding when the infected population becomes younger and healthier. But the upshot is that "COVID-19-associated hospitalizations," which were always an imprecise measure of severe disease, should be viewed with even more caution now.

"Routine inpatient screening, common or mandated in many facilities, may identify incidental cases," the researchers note. "If hospitalizations are used as a metric for policy decision-making, patients hospitalized for the management of COVID-19 disease should be distinguished from patients who are hospitalized and incidentally found to be infected with SARS-CoV-2." They argue that oxygen saturation levels and use of supplemental oxygen, both of which are recorded by hospitals, are handy ways to distinguish between these two groups. They suggest that "reporting definitions may need to be revised to reflect the changing nature of the pandemic, particularly in regions with high levels of vaccine uptake."

The researchers note that "the VA population is not representative of the US population as a whole, having few women and no children." But the finding that mild cases account for a substantial share of hospitalized COVID-positive patients is consistent with earlier research involving pediatric populations.

A study reported in Hospital Pediatrics last month looked at 117 admissions to a children's hospital in Northern California between May 10, 2020, and February 10, 2021. Two-fifths of those "COVID-19 hospitalizations" involved patients who were asymptomatic. One-fifth involved "severe" or "critical" cases.

Another study reported in the same journal last month looked at COVID-positive patients younger than 22 who were treated by Valley Children's Healthcare in Madera, California, between May 1, 2020, and September 30, 2020. The researchers found that 40 percent of the patients had "incidental infection," 47 percent were "potentially symptomatic," and the rest were "significantly symptomatic." In this age group, they reported, "most hospitalized patients who test positive for SARS-CoV-2 are asymptomatic or have a reason for hospitalization other than coronavirus disease 2019."

The authors of the V.A. study note that "most of the data are from months before the more-transmissible delta variant became dominant." But they add that "proportions of patients with moderate-to-severe respiratory distress or being treated with dexamethasone did not appear to be rising at the end of the observation period (6/30/2021), when delta was becoming predominant nationwide, suggesting stability of the vital signs metric for identifying moderate-to-severe COVID-19."

As David Zweig notes in The Atlantic, the V.A. study "demonstrates that hospitalization rates for COVID, as cited by journalists and policy makers, can be misleading, if not considered carefully. Clearly many patients right now are seriously ill. We also know that overcrowding of hospitals by COVID patients with even mild illness can have negative implications for patients in need of other care. At the same time, this study suggests that COVID hospitalization tallies can't be taken as a simple measure of the prevalence of severe or even moderate disease, because they might inflate the true numbers by a factor of two."

Zweig interviewed Shira Doron, a co-author of the V.A. study who is an infectious disease specialist and epidemiologist at Tufts Medical Center. "As we look to shift from cases to hospitalizations as a metric to drive policy and assess level of risk to a community or state or country," she told him, "we should refine the definition of hospitalization. Those patients who are there with rather than from COVID don't belong in the metric."

Makes sense.  Too bad the MSM doesn't care about common sense.

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The Dangerous Dream of Zero COVID in Australia



We often hear that "if it saves just one life, it must be worth it," no matter the cost. But COVID lockdowns have a considerable cost—not just to the economy, but to liberty and, yes, to lives. Australians have been learning the hard way that the "zero COVID" strategy is impossible. We must learn to live with acceptable risks.

The city of Sydney is in week 12 of a harsh lockdown that has seen residents in the worst-affected areas confined to their homes 23 hours a day, with just 60 minutes permitted outside for exercise. When people do venture out, it must be between 5 a.m. and 9 p.m.

In other parts of Sydney, life is a little easier. People can go out for an early-morning or late-night run, but must stick to a roughly three-mile radius from their home. With the exception of grocery stores, pharmacies, and takeout food and coffee, everything is closed. There have been ripples of protest, but police have promptly shut them down, with organizers facing jail sentences and participants forced to pay millions in fines.


In Melbourne, the government has closed playgrounds and told residents not to watch the sunset. When protestors gathered, police used pepper spray and rubber bullets to disperse them. A child holding a sign saying "let me play" received a face full of pepper spray.

Melbourne was once voted among the world's most livable, desirable cities. Now it's best known for being one of the world's most locked-down cities: More than 225 days and counting of police checking if residents have a reasonable excuse to leave their homes. The federal and state governments have begun to admit the "zero COVID" strategy is unachievable and is limping towards some kind of reopening.

Queensland and Western Australia are both vast states with very low population density. But both have closed their borders to anyone who isn't rich or famous. Rugby and Australian football players can cross the border, but a critically unwell baby, a child separated from his or her parents, or those seeking medical care at the nearest hospital are not so privileged.

South Australia has developed an app which uses geolocation and facial recognition software to enforce quarantine for certain people—a clear infringement on their privacy. But many Australians are just grateful for an alternative to two weeks of solitary confinement in hotel quarantine.

Australia can try to say it did everything possible to stop the spread (except better prioritization of vaccines). The country has surrendered freedom of movement, prohibited people from leaving the country, the state, a three-mile radius, or in many cases their homes. It has only recently begun to count the human cost of these strict lockdowns.

The obsession with lockdowns surely saved some lives from COVID-19, but it also meant that COVID-19 became the only disease it was unacceptable for a life to be lost to. There is a human cost in terms of diseases not treated, medical appointments missed, and symptoms ignored. A "shadow pandemic" of domestic violence has emerged. An average of 40 minors a day in New South Wales are hospitalized due to self-harm and suicide attempts—up 47 percent from 2019. Our suicide hotline has hit multiple all-time records. Many are watching their life savings slowly dwindle. The restaurant where my partner and I had our first date, an establishment which has been a part of the community for 30 years, recently closed its doors forever. These businesses often represent a lifetime of effort lost.


Apparently, none of those costs matter.

The neuroscientist Sam Harris summarized the basics of human well-being in his book, The Moral Landscape: "people tend to be happier if they have good friends, basic control over their lives, and enough money to meet their needs." Yet for nearly two years, Australians have been told to stay home in isolation while their relationships fracture and their livelihoods turn to dust. And they've been told that it's for their own good.

Must be hell on earth there.  And yet there are authoritarians here in the USA who wish we could be more like Australia.


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  • 2 weeks later...

The Virus Isn’t Your Fault: Big-Picture Pandemic Data



I hate to be the bearer of bad news, Ben Shapiro, but feelings trump facts when it comes to covid-19. This is thanks entirely to the love triangle forged between the corporate press, government officials, and tech giants whose sinister and divisive campaign of fear and censorship spawned a reaction so virulent that society was upended in a matter of weeks for a virus with a 99 percent plus survival rate.

In no time whatsoever sacrificing for and preserving “public health”—costs be damned—became the chief end of mankind. Relegating oneself to a life of unquestioned submission to lockdowns and mask mandates became the greatest calling one could fulfill—at least until the vaccine arrived.

As our most fundamental human rights were stripped away, did any president, prime minister, governor, or mayor suggest that maybe “the people” have a vote to determine whether or not every aspect of their lives should be subject to manipulation on a daily basis? Of course not. As it turns out, your “sacred right to vote” may only be exercised so long as the ruling class permits. It appears that our only job in times of emergency is to wait for marching orders from those with political power.

What many should have come to realize over this past year and a half are two lamentable impulses of the average person: (1) the trained instinct, learned primarily in government schools, to revere and please those in positions of perceived authority and (2) the desire for safety over liberty. Fused with modernity's cushy standards of living, these two traits enabled a series of effortless goalpost shifts, starting from “We’re all in this together!" to “Three jabs or weekly testing, else you and your family can starve.” Mind you, anybody who predicted far less draconian policies in the early stages of the pandemic was promptly labeled a conspiracy theorist.

At their core, these pandemic schemes—mask mandates, lockdowns, curfews, capacity restrictions, vaccine mandates, and more—relied heavily on a blind trust in the ruling elite’s public health pronouncements and our desire to behave in a socially approved, conflict-free manner. But as it turns out, all of the big-picture covid data from the past eighteen months regarding lockdowns, mask mandates, mask usage, and vaccine uptake thoroughly implicate the ruling elite.

The Covid-19 Data We Need to Accept

There is zero meaningful correlation between lockdown strength and covid-19 outcomes.

Prior to 2020 lockdowns had never been recommended as a public health response, even for severe respiratory outbreaks. However, with a little bit of media-induced panic, social pressure, and a theistic reverence for computer modeling, it was quickly accepted that these historically and scientifically unprecedented public health measures saved lives. In turn, it was simply agreed that more stringent lockdowns would be more effective than weaker lockdowns.

All costs and moral arguments aside, heavy skepticism toward lockdowns was justified as early as April 2020, when it was shown that a region's time to lock down made no impact on its death toll.

Covid Deaths per Million

Fast-forward eleven months and we find that data from March 1, 2020, to March 1, 2021, show that lockdowns were always a nonfactor in mitigating the spread of covid-19. The following data was split into four three-month periods to better account for changes in each nation’s stringency index. The period of measurement was cut off on March 1, 2021, to exclude any significant vaccine uptake. Because Israel was the only nation in the following graph that had significant full vaccination rates going into March 2021, it has been excluded from the last period of measurement.

Lockdown Stringency
Source: Our World in Data COVID-19 dataset (stringency_index, total_cases_per_million, total_deaths_per_million).

Quite plainly, more stringent lockdowns, regardless of population density—illustrated by the size of the dots—had no greater effect on covid-19 outcomes than less stringent lockdowns. In fact, the minimal correlation that does exist slopes in the opposite direction of what we’ve been trained to believe about lockdowns.

Similar conclusions can be drawn about lockdowns in the United States. Due to data constraints on lockdown stringency, the following state data is broken down into two periods: one much larger period extending from March 1, 2020, to January 1, 2021, and a second period extending from January 1, 2021, through March 1, 2021.

Lockdowns and Covid
Source: Data on cases and deaths from Our World in Data COVID-19 dataset (total_cases_per_million, total_deaths_per_million); data on hospitalizations from HealthData.gov (COVID-19 Reported Patient Impact and Hospital Capacity by State Timeseries); data on stringency for January 2021–March 2021 from Adam McCann "States with the Fewest Coronavirus Restrictions," Wallethub, Apr. 6, 2021; and through Dec. 31, 2020, from Laura Hallas, Ariq Hatibie, Saptarshi Pyarali, and Thomas Hale, "Variations in US States' Responses to COVID-19" (BSG Working Paper Series BSG-WP-2020/034, version 2.0, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK, December 2020). Data on population density from World Population Review (US States – Ranked by Population 2021).

Again, we find no statistically significant correlations between lockdown stringency and cases, deaths, or hospitalizations. Population density, again noted by the size of the dots, was also a nonfactor.

Quite plainly, no matter the intensity, duration, or location of the lockdown mandated by government authorities, no respiratory virus can be legislated away. The claims that lockdowns are some sort of life-saving public health measure and that the strength of a region’s lockdown is inversely related to covid-19 incidence is simply not borne out in the data.

Briefly I would like to note one glaring cost of lockdowns based on recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates, namely the abnormally high level of drug overdoses that have persisted since the first half of 2020.

Drug Overdoses
Source: Data.CDC.org (Early Model-Based Provisional Estimates of Drug Overdose, Suicide, and Transportation-Related Deaths).

While there are many more costs associated with lockdowns than can be discussed in one article, it is important to realize that even if the lockdowns were costless, their inefficacy is enough to render them useless as a public health measure.

Hospitals, on the whole, were never overrun.

While it is tempting to generalize based on a few extreme cases that exist at the tail ends of a distribution, these cases are not representative of the whole. This temptation is succumbed to most frequently when manufacturing panic about overrun and overcrowded hospitals. While these stories are seemingly endless, they are nevertheless statistical outliers. A brief review of United States hospitalization data confirms as much.

Inpatient Occupany Rates
Source: HealthData.gov (COVID-19 Reported Patient Impact and Hospital Capacity by State Timeseries).

From consuming corporate press headlines one may have the impression that just about every hospital is operating above or near 100 percent capacity. As it turns out, inpatient bed utilization—these are staffed inpatient beds that include all overflow and surge/expansion beds used for inpatients, including all ICU beds—across the United States has stayed below 76 percent over the course of the pandemic while inpatient bed utilization for covid-19 patients has never surpassed 15 percent. However, judging by the fact that the 2021 seasonal summer surge—which has already peaked—has surpassed the 2020 seasonal summer surge, these rates will likely be exceeded when the deadlier seasonal winter surge arrives in the coming months. Nevertheless, it would be mere speculation to suggest that hospitals are going to exceed or reach nearly 100 percent capacity as winter rolls around.

While 76 percent utilization may seem high, former medical director James Allen points out that an 85 percent occupancy rate is commonly considered to be optimal operating capacity. Allen remarks that having too small of an occupancy rate means that workers and resources are sitting idle, which can lead to layoffs. On the other hand, a near–100 percent occupancy rate would be too much of a strain on resources, leaving patients without care.

While there are certainly extreme cases of hospitals being pushed beyond capacity, the idea that United States hospitals, on average, have been operating at or beyond 100 percent capacity is absolutely ludicrous.

Vaccine uptake is not preventing case growth.

The covid-19 vaccine just may be the most hyped pharmaceutical product in medical history. Marketed to the world as nothing short of global salvation, the vaccine was supposed to kickstart our return to normalcy. Despite this belief, the data suggest that increased vaccination rates are failing to slow the spread of covid-19.

First, let’s assess the following claim made by Anthony Fauci during a June 3 CNN interview: "When you’re below 50 percent of the people being vaccinated, that’s when you’re going to have a problem . . . With 50 percent vaccinated I feel fairly certain you're not going to see the kind of surges we've seen in the past.” Mind you, if Fauci believed that 50 percent vaccination rates were going to halt surges, you can bet a majority of the nation felt the same way.

daily new cases
Source: Data on cases from Our World in Data COVID-19 dataset (new_cases_smoothed_per_million); data on vaccination rates from Data.CDC.gov (COVID-19 Vaccinations in the United States Jurisdiction).

As you can see, mere weeks after 50 percent full vaccination rates had been achieved in twenty states, cases in each one of those states erupted. It comes as no surprise that authorities are now calling for 70, 80, or 90 percent vaccination rates to get things under control.

Looking at the entirety of the United States since March 1, 2021, there is no statistically significant indication that states that have administered, on average, more vaccine doses are faring any better than states that have administered fewer doses on average.

Doses Administered vs Cases
Source: Data on cases from Our World in Data COVID-19 dataset (total_cases_per_million); data on vaccination rates from Data.CDC.gov (COVID-19 Vaccinations in the United States Jurisdiction). Date range is Mar. 1, 2021–Sept. 9, 2021.

Moving along to full vaccination rates, there is again no statistically significant indication that states and countries with higher percentages of their population fully vaccinated are mitigating case growth any better than states with lower percentages of their population fully vaccinated. As before, fully vaccinated rates are taken as an average of the past six months.

Vaccinated vs Cases
Source: Data on cases from Our World in Data COVID-19 dataset (total_cases_per_million); data on vaccination rates from Data.CDC.gov (COVID-19 Vaccinations in the United States Jurisdiction). Date range is Mar. 1, 2021–Sept. 9, 2021.
Vaccinated vs Cases Intl
Source: Data on cases and vaccination from Our World in Data COVID-19 dataset (total_cases_per_million, people_fully_vaccinated). Date range is Mar. 1, 2021–Sept. 9, 2021.

Additionally, a recent vaccine surveillance report from the UK shows that fully vaccinated individuals between the ages of forty and eighty are getting infected at higher rates than their unvaccinated counterparts. For those under forty and over eighty, infection rates among the vaccinated are lower than in the unvaccinated, but still significant.

Infections by Vaccination Status UK
Source: Public Health England, COVID-19 Vaccine Surveillance Report – Week 36 (London: Public Health England, 2021).

If this isn’t enough to raise some eyebrows, there are plenty of instances of countries—only a few shown below—having experienced a surge in cases or even their highest case levels of the pandemic amid ever-increasing rates of vaccination.

Daily New Cases vs Fully Vaccinated Intl
Source: Data on cases and vaccination from Our World in Data COVID-19 dataset (new_cases, people_fully_vaccinated).

Keep in mind that the percentage of people who have received at least one dose is higher than what’s displayed above. So the assumption that simply getting jabs out to people—not having to fully vaccinate them—was going to bring cases to a screeching halt is also incredibly dubious.

Pertaining specifically to the month of August, we find that a number of highly vaccinated nations are experiencing worse total case numbers amidst the highly vaccinated summer of 2021 as opposed to the unvaccinated summer of 2020.

Cases per Million in Highly Vaccinated Countries
Source: Data on cases and vaccination from Our World in Data COVID-19 dataset (total_cases_per_million, people_vaccinated).

How can it be the case that a 0 percent vaccinated country had far fewer cases last year than it did once 60, 70, or 80 percent of its population was fully vaccinated with what is professed to be an incredibly effective vaccine? Why, despite these far worse metrics, are we no longer seeing the strict lockdown measures like business closures, curfews, capacity restrictions, or stay-at-home orders that defined the summer of 2020? Collegiate and professional sports arenas that were empty just one year ago are now packed to the brim; and little to no effort is being made to check for vaccination status or proof of negative test at the gate. Are we seriously expected to believe that our political leaders have any desire to preserve the “public health” when they’re allowing their economies to operate with practically no mitigation measures in place despite climbing metrics? Maybe you are starting to realize that these “public health” measures and the new vaccine mandates never had anything to do with your health.

Despite all the data we have on lockdowns, mask mandates, mask usage, hospitalization trends, and newly emerging vaccination data, one can only marvel at how trust in the public health system and ruling elite can persist in any capacity.


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The Covid Vaccine Pass Slippery Slope: https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/the-covid-vaccine-pass-slippery-slope/


Beginning tomorrow, September 25, everyone in the Netherlands above the age of 13 will need a “Digital Covid Certificate” in order to be allowed into restaurants, bars, theaters, cinemas, and concert halls. Basically, the things that make life enjoyable for most people, will be limited to those who are in possession of a Q.R. code that indicates they are either vaccinated, tested, or have recovered from Covid-19 within the past 160 days.


What is interesting—and, in my view, incredibly telling—about the Dutch situation in particular is that a whopping 85 percent of the Dutch population is currently already fully vaccinated. More than a year and a half into the Covid-crisis, it is estimated that 95 percent of the population has antibodies, and currently only 200 people are in the ICU. Yet it is at this very moment that our government decides to introduce the most far-reaching and invasive measure the Dutch have seen to date. This is only the beginning.

Apparently, the last 15 percent of the Dutch population needs to be jabbed—whatever it takes. The ones who, for whatever reason, choose not to be vaccinated are either doomed to the social life of a hermit or have to travel, sometimes quite far, to a certified test location to get a Q-tip shoved up their noses every single day. That is, if they want to ‘’earn back’’ their right to partake in everyday activities. So even though people are not yet physically forced to be vaccinated, what the government is doing now is something that can only be called coercion.

Since there is no official or legal end-date tied to the enforcement of the Covid pass, there is no reason to believe that the Q.R.-society that we’re turning into won’t become more restrictive, let alone that it will disappear. Just take a look at other European countries, like France, Germany, and Italy. I went to Germany recently, where I experienced first-hand what it felt like to be denied entry to a restaurant for being unvaccinated; the negative test results I had on me didn’t suffice. This will undoubtedly become the case at some point in Holland as well.

Although highly inconvenient and time consuming, testing is currently still an option in the Netherlands and it is still “free” (i.e., paid for by taxpayers’ money). But not for long. The Dutch government has already announced that, sooner rather than later, people will have to start paying for their own tests, making it impossible for most people, especially children and people with low or no income, to do it on a regular basis. It is also a given that the Covid pass won’t remain only used for “non-essential social and cultural facilities.” The Dutch government is currently looking for legal pathways to enforce vaccine passes in the workplace and for health care facilities, as is already the case in countries like France and Italy. As a result of this, many Italians who still refuse to get vaccinated are forced to take unpaid leave; it is a true Kafkaesque nightmare.

Legally, the enforcement of these Covid passes and the far-reaching consequences that they already have clearly form a grave breach of constitutional rights and civil liberties such as bodily integrity, the non-discrimination principle, and freedom of movement. It is often argued that these breaches do not technically form a legal ‘’violation’’ of our constitutional rights, because the breach is justified in view of public health. In my opinion, however, this is simply wrong.

First of all, if this line of argumentation would carelessly be accepted, any constitutional right could be set aside when the definition of a “justification” such as public health is stretched out far enough. This is something most people, especially legal scholars, are usually very wary of. Due to fear, behavioral manipulation, and a general fatigue when it comes to the Covid measures (‘’I just want my freedom back’’), a substantial group of people seem to accept or even want vaccine passports. In other words, people accept this drastic measure for all the wrong reasons.

Let’s start with fear. The Dutch government insisted on classifying the much less dangerous Covid-19 as a so called ‘’A-label disease’’—the same category as Ebola—as this provided them with a legal basis for far-reaching measures like lockdowns, curfews, and now the Covid pass systems. No wonder the government has often been accused of instrumentalizing the virus to enlarge its own legal competences and powers. After all, to most people the virus is not life-threatening at all, especially not to young people, who make up a very large part of the 15 percent of the Dutch population that is not vaccinated. Although of course some people can get very ill from Covid, the mortality rates are nowhere near as high as in the case of a virus like Ebola, which has a mortality rate of 50 percent.

No one will deny the fact that fear forms a great basis for inducing people to abstain from rational thinking and to accept disproportional government control. The Covid pass will not in any way slow down transmission of the virus, since both vaccinated and unvaccinated people can carry and transmit Covid. Yet only unvaccinated people are obliged to take a test in order to gain entry to public facilities. The system doesn’t just make a legally unjustified distinction between the vaccinated and the unvaccinated—discriminating between citizens on the basis of their medical data, which for privacy reasons should not be asked for in the first place—but it is also ineffective.

Although our government is of course well aware of the fact that vaccinated people can still get Covid and pass it on, they still aim to ostracize unvaccinated people and mark them as the enemies of public health. Just like President Joe Biden told American citizens that the government has “been patient, but our patience is wearing thin,” the Dutch minister of public health, Hugo de Jonge, stated that “the freedom of one group [those who do not wish to be vaccinated] cannot continue to threaten the freedom of another group [those who are vaccinated],” reminiscent of John Stuart Mill’s utilitarian harm principle.

This type of divisive rhetoric by the government is incredibly dangerous. Our minister puts forward a completely false dilemma: These two groups do not threaten each other’s freedom. It is actually the government and the government only, here, that poses a fundamental threat to both groups’ freedom. These losses of freedoms are imposed by policy. The vaccine does not protect anyone but the person who takes it. Nevertheless, plenty of people who aren’t afraid of the virus at all, or maybe have already had it and have natural immunity, have taken the vaccine because they fear the government and the social consequences of not being vaccinated more than they do the virus itself. Since when did we start to regard such behavior or choices as ‘’normal’’?

Frustratingly, only a very limited number of people in the West see what is really at stake here. Most fail to see that, once these Q.R. systems are enforced and people have become accustomed to them, these systems can be used for a variety of other purposes as well. It is most likely not a coincidence that a couple of weeks ago, suddenly, a nationwide poll was conducted to enquire how the Dutch viewed the possibility of a “personal carbon credit” system. Nevertheless, a large majority seems to believe—or want to believe—that all of this is for the common good, or that it is at least all temporary and won’t “get that far.”

I hope they are right, but I cannot help feeling that Tocqueville hit the nail on the head, as he often did, when he wrote that the type of despotism democratic people have to fear will in no way look like the despotism and tyranny our ancestors endured: “It would be more extensive and more mild; it would degrade men without tormenting them,” he wrote in 1840. And, in a way, the fact that it happens more gradually is what makes it arguably even more dangerous. After all, a people that do not realize they are losing their freedom will not fight for it. They will simply let it slip through their fingers.

Coming to an America near you.  

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15 hours ago, Bonecrusher said:

Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive... - C.S. Lewis

Good quote.  I like this oldie but a goodie as well:

"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." - Benjamin Franklin

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Those who are stupid will do stupid stuff.......Swordfish

Yesterday's (literally) heroes are to be today's unemplyed.


Sept 26 (Reuters) - New York Governor Kathy Hochul is considering employing the National Guard and out-of-state medical workers to fill hospital staffing shortages with tens of thousands of workers possibly losing their jobs for not meeting a Monday deadline for mandated COVID-19 vaccination.

The plan, outlined in a statement from Hochul on Saturday, would allow her to declare a state of emergency to increase the supply of healthcare workers to include licensed professionals from other states and countries as well as retired nurses.

Hochul said the state was also looking at using National Guard officers with medical training to keep hospitals and other medical facilities adequately staffed. Some 16% of the state's 450,000 hospital staff, or roughly 72,000 workers, have not been fully vaccinated, the governor's office said.

The plan comes amid a broader battle between state and federal government leaders pushing for vaccine mandates to help counter the highly infectious Delta variant of the novel coronavirus and workers who are against inoculation requirements, some objecting on religious grounds.

Hochul attended the Sunday service at a large church in New York City to ask Christians to help promote vaccines.

"I need you to be my apostles. I need you to go out and talk about it and say, we owe this to each other," Hochul told congregants at the Christian Cultural Center in Brooklyn, according to an official transcript.

"Jesus taught us to love one another and how do you show that love but to care about each other enough to say, please get the vaccine because I love you and I want you to live."

Healthcare workers who are fired for refusing to get vaccinated will not be eligible for unemployment insurance unless they are able to provide a valid doctor-approved request for medical accommodation, Hochul's office said.

It was not immediately clear how pending legal cases concerning religious exemptions would apply to the state's plan to move ahead and terminate unvaccinated healthcare workers.

A federal judge in Albany temporarily ordered New York state officials to allow religious exemptions for the state-imposed vaccine mandate on healthcare workers, which was put in place by former Governor Andrew Cuomo and takes effect on Monday.

A requirement for New York City school teachers and staff to get vaccinated was temporarily blocked by a U.S. appeals court just days before it was to take effect. A hearing is set for Wednesday.

The highly transmissible Delta variant has driven a surge in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in the United States that peaked in early September and has since fallen, according to a Reuters tally. Deaths, a lagging indicator, continue to rise with the nation reporting about 2,000 lives lost on average a day for the past week, mostly in the unvaccinated.

While nationally cases are down about 25% from their autumn peak, rising new infections in New York have only recently leveled off, according to a Reuters tally.

In an attempt to better protect the most vulnerable, the CDC on Friday backed a booster shot of the Pfizer-BioNTech (PFE.N), COVID-19 vaccine for Americans aged 65 and older, adults with underlying medical conditions and adults in high-risk working and institutional settings.

On Sunday, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky fleshed out who should be eligible for the booster shots based on their work in high-risk settings.

"That includes people in homeless shelters, people in group homes, people in prisons, but also importantly, our people who work...with vulnerable communities," Walensky said during a TV interview. "So our health care workers, our teachers, our grocery workers, our public transportation employees."

Walensky decided to include a broader range of people than was recommended on Thursday by a group of expert outside advisers to the agency. The CDC director is not obliged to follow the advice of the panel.

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New York Firing Health Care Workers as COVID-19 Heads Northeast



For most of spring 2020, rattled New Yorkers trudged out onto their stoops and balconies every night at 7 p.m. sharp to bang their pots and pans and holler appreciation for the first responders—cops, nurses, doctors, EMTs, firefighters—who, unlike them, did not really have the choice to stay home from work while the deadly coronavirus ripped through the five boroughs.

As of Tuesday, those same New Yorkers, through their representative government, are telling those same essential workers to go look for a new job, unless they have been vaccinated for COVID-19 or have filed for a religious exception from the statewide mandate.

"The only way we can move past this pandemic is to ensure that everyone eligible is vaccinated, and that includes those who are taking care of our vulnerable family members and loved ones," Gov. Kathy Hochul said in a statement on Monday, while signing an executive order easing various licensing requirements in order to expand the pool of potential health care workers. The governor is keeping open the option of calling on the National Guard to cover for expected hospital staffing shortages.

New York's vaccine mandate, which covers 600,000 health care workers, is one of scores across the country affecting nurses, doctors, teachers, and cops. North Carolina–based hospital company Novant Health announced Monday that it had fired 175 noncompliant workers. According to The Washington Post, "More than 150 health-care workers who did not comply with a vaccine mandate at Houston Methodist—one of the first health systems to require the coronavirus shots—were fired or resigned in June after a federal judge upheld the policy. ChristianaCare, a Delaware health system, announced this week that 150 employees were fired for not adhering to its vaccine mandate."

The requirements are exacerbating existing staff shortages in the health care sector 19 months into the pandemic. But are they increasing vaccinations? Yes appears to be the answer.

New York announced its mandate August 16; between then and late Monday, vaccinations of at least one shot among staff at nursing homes increased from 70 percent to 92 percent, at adult care facilities from 76 percent to 89 percent.  The hospital-worker vaccination rate rose from 77 percent in mid-August to 84 percent as of September 22 (there has been widespread reporting of a rush of health-sector vaccinations in the final hours before the deadline).

According to a soon-to-be-published nationwide poll of 1,036 Americans that was funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, 16 percent of employed respondents said they would quit or start looking for new work if required by their employer to get a vaccine. "Among those who said they were 'vaccine hesitant'—almost a quarter of respondents—we found that 48% would quit or look for another job," pollsters Jack J. Barry, Ann Christiano, and Annie Neimand wrote. "Other polls have shown similar results. A Kaiser Family Foundation survey put the share of workers who would quit at 50%."

Yet, those same authors conclude, "the actual number who do resign rather than get the vaccine is much smaller than the survey data suggest."

This week will be the test of those theories, as Connecticut's statewide health care vax mandate took effect Monday (for public hospitals), California's kicks in Thursday, and Rhode Island's on Friday.

As the Associated Press notes, in a development that mirrors COVID-related educational restrictions, "States that have set such requirements tend to have high vaccination rates already. The highest rates are concentrated in the Northeast, the lowest ones in the South and Midwest." This raises in particular some uncomfortable issues of class, as six-figure big-city professionals cheer on or at least shrug at the firing of working-class nurses, EMTs, and support staff. Spring 2020, this ain't.

Soon, however, the impact will be spread out all over the country, after the rollout of President Joe Biden's mandates on private employers with more than 100 workers, plus all 17 million employees at health care providers that receive Medicare and Medicaid, and every federal employee (including military). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 77 percent of Americans age 18 and old have received at least one shot, with 67 percent being fully vaccinated. The U.S. one-shot vaccination rate of 64 percent overall ranks just 45th in the world.

The most compelling arguments for government to mandate injections into people's bodies is when those people A) work for the government, and/or B) work in close proximity to at-risk populations, which disproportionately means the elderly, the sick, the immunocompromised, and the unvaccinated (particularly those falling in the prior categories). The state is on far shakier ground—legally, morally, and medically—when mandating jabs for low-risk populations outside its employ.

For an explanation of why someone might not want to take the vaccine, go no further than professional basketball player Jonathan Isaac of the Orlando Magic:

Jonathan Isaac ????????????????


— Art TakingBack ???????? (@ArtValley818_) September 28, 2021


The National Basketball Association does not have a league vaccine mandate on its players, but government mandates in New York City and San Francisco mean that three teams (the New York Knicks, the Brooklyn Nets, and the Golden State Warriors) will be subject to the requirement. Brooklyn star point guard Kyrie Irving and Golden State forward Andrew Wiggins have been talking about missing all of their home games rather than acceding to the mandate.

Far more consequentially, public school districts are beginning to adopt and enforce vaccine mandates on all eligible students. Culver City, California, started the trend, followed by the Los Angeles Unified School District, the country's second-largest. San Diego Unified was set to vote on a mandate Tuesday night.

In a sign of blue-state policies to come, Education Secretary Miguel Cardona endorsed student vaccines last week. "I wholeheartedly support it," Cardona said during a visit to Detroit. "It's the best tool that we have to safely reopen schools and keep them open. We don't want to have the yo-yo effect that many districts had last year, and we can prevent that by getting vaccinated."

Yet even unvaccinated kids remain overwhelmingly less likely to contract, spread, or suffer from COVID-19. Fears of the new school year generating a new surge of cases have proven unfounded so far. And the situation that Cardona is trying desperately to avoid—remote learning, which has proven educationally calamitous—will likely increase in communities where parents are skeptical about the cost/benefit ratio of vaccinating their kids.

In fact, the LAUSD—where in addition to the vaccination mandate, all students and staff are tested weekly regardless of vax status—new enrollment figures for 2021-22 just came out, and they were three times worse than the district expected: a drop of 6 percent in just one year, after already falling 4 percent the year before that. Forcing vaccines on the unwilling has more consequences than merely increasing vaccination.

So we're in uncharted territory here. If even 3 percent of any given population decides not to comply with vax mandates even under threat of government reprisal, that could have huge impacts on the public education system, the economy, and on hospital capacity.

It's on that latter point in particular that policy makers should be looking at closely over the coming weeks, as they fire nurses and mobilize the National Guard. After the brutal COVID-19 wave in the South this summer, the 10 states with the biggest percentage increase in hospitalizations over the past two weeks, led by highly-vaccinated Vermont and Maine, are all in the north.

Vaccine mandates may well be the last illiberal push that results in the U.S. reaching some mythical pandemic off-ramp. But they may also create health care shortages in the Northeast right as the virus once again rears its seasonal and regional head.


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Vaccine Mandates Coming for K-12 Students



The San Diego Unified School District Tuesday night voted unanimously to require students age 16 and over to be fully vaccinated by December 20 or be exiled into remote learning.

The country's 21st largest school district thus joins #2 Los Angeles (whose guidelines cover everyone 12 and up), and smaller Culver City, California (also 12+), as the earliest adopters of what will likely be an increasing—and increasingly controversial—trend of mandating injections into the arms of comparatively low-risk minors.

"Tonight we're making a statement that we believe in the science, we believe in the process and that we are serious about this, that we want to protect children," School Board Vice President Sharon Whitehurst-Payne said at the meeting.

Whitehurst-Payne's interpretation of the science is not universal. Dr. Vinay Prasad, of UC San Francisco's Epidemiology & Biostatistics department, noted in a U.S. News & World Report column Tuesday that different countries have come to different conclusions about the safety of giving kids two doses rather than one, and that potential side effects of myocarditis (heart inflammation) are real, if rare.

"Taking kids who decline vaccination and preventing them from getting an in-person education is a draconian penalty," Prasad wrote. "Prolonged school closures have massive negative effects on children, robbing them of education, the last tattered rung left in the ladder of American opportunity….[T]he reality is they are overstepping the certainty of the science, and they are taking out our collective rage and frustration—that this pandemic has not yet ended—on children. It is a shameful policy, and I condemn it."

K-12 student vax mandates are almost certain to jump beyond the borders of California. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona last Thursday said that he "wholeheartedly" supports them. New York Governor Kathy Hochul has said repeatedly this month that she's keeping a student-mandate open as an "option."

According to an article this week in Pew Trusts, "Officials in counties and cities in California, Maryland, New York and Virginia as well as the District of Columbia are mandating vaccinations—with a few exceptions for weekly testing—for student-athletes. Hawaii has a statewide vaccine requirement for public school student-athletes." But also: "At least 12 states ban schools from requiring vaccines for students."

As has been the case with COVID-related policies on masking, school reopening, business closures, and vaccine passports, a chief determinant on whether a given polity mandates or bans K-12 vaccines is not the comparative impact of the coronavirus, but rather which of the two major political parties constituents favor. That means the higher your vaccination rates are for minors, the more likely you are to pass a student vax mandate.

The United States' one-shot vaccination rate for 12- to 17-year-olds is currently around 57 percent. California is at 68 percent, New York at 66 percent…and then there are the states that have banned student mandates: Florida (55 percent), Utah (55), Arizona (53), Arkansas (47), Oklahoma (44), Montana (42), Tennessee (37), and Alabama (36). Assuming for the sake of argument that vaccine mandates are an unalloyed good, the states that need them most will almost certainly get them least.

But the argument over mandates is anything but settled. COVID-19, even since the triumph of the delta variant and the advent of vaccination, has remained overwhelmingly an older-person disease: Just 478 people under the age of 18 have died of it through Sept. 29, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). That's less than the 643 minors that the CDC estimates died during the 2017-18 winter flu season. Rare is the state that mandates flu shots; though in fairness, their effectiveness rate lags far behind those of the three COVID-19 vaccines approved in the U.S.

The second main reason to favor the physical removal of unvaccinated students is to keep kids from spreading the virus to teachers and staff. But school employees have had priority access to vaccines for more than half a year by now. Given the microscopic infection results revealed by school testing—0.27 percent among the unvaccinated in New York City, around 0.6 percent in Los Angeles—it's reasonable to continue concluding that school buildings are among the safest places for humans to gather in groups.

Like all vaccine mandates, K-12 student requirements will surely drive up vaccination rates, and thus hasten the virus's transition from pandemic to endemic status. But by how much, and at what cost?

Kids who are sent back home for yet another year marred by remote learning will experience tangible and measurable harm, including the possibility of being more, not less, exposed to COVID-19. Their parents' work productivity, comparatively, will suffer.

Speaking as a parent of a fully vaccinated 13-year-old in public school, I do not fear her unvaxxed classmates (if she has any), and I'd rather any such students be regularly tested than be sent packing. But as usual, my educational preferences will be drowned out by the people I choose to live among.

A "science" whose policy extrapolations depend on political slant will continue to lose public respect. Advocates who don't acknowledge and grapple with real-world tradeoffs will almost certainly introduce major error. Vaccines are a marvel of modern medicine, and the best ticket out of the wretched last 19 months of our lives. But that doesn't mean it's wise for the government to force this particular one on teenagers.

Related Reason reading, from 2014: "Should Vaccines Be Mandatory?: A libertarian debate on immunization and government."


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Public Health Or Power Play?: https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/public-health-or-power-play/


I have not been vaccinated for the Covid-19 virus. I am not anti-vaccination. I have had a variety of vaccines including those to protect against polio, measles, and mumps. When I step on a rusty nail, I am quick to get a tetanus booster. My children have been vaccinated against these things as well. Nevertheless, I hesitate to comply with the emphatic suggestions of various government agencies, and I find myself put off by the mandate issued by a stern, though at times confused, president whose patience, he has informed us, is wearing thin.

Why the hesitation? For one, I’ve had Covid. By most accounts, natural immunity is at least as effective as a vaccination in protecting against future infections. And while there is uncertainty about how long natural immunity will last, it is significant that in a 2008 study, people who survived the Spanish Flu of 1918 still had antibodies. Thus, I am, or at least should be considered, as good as vaccinated.

This is great news. If the goal is to control the spread of Covid-19, the number we should watch is the sum of those who have been vaccinated and those who have recovered from the virus. Currently, around 181.7 million Americans have been vaccinated against Covid-19, which is roughly 55 percent of the population. Nearly 42 million Americans have had confirmed cases and subsequently recovered. This number is likely far lower than the actual, since we know that many experience mild or no discernible symptoms and therefore develop antibodies without ever being tested. According to the CDC, from February 2020 to May 2021 an estimated 120.2 million Americans were infected with Covid and recovered. Combine these numbers with the fact that we are getting better at treating Covid symptoms, and there is reason to think that we are making serious progress in blunting the effects of this virus.

Thus, it’s hard not to smell a rat. I am, of course, not a physician; however, I am a political philosopher who has spent a goodly number of years thinking about the nature of power and the all-too-human proclivity to abuse it. This background primes me to ask certain questions.

First: Why do those pushing the vaccine ignore the natural immunity that recovering from a viral infection offers?

Rather than celebrating the fact that over a third of the population is likely carrying Covid antibodies, those in power are mandating vaccines without any regard for immunity. Yet, every vaccine carries certain risks. This is even more true with a newly developed vaccine the long-term effects of which are simply unknown. Is it rational for a person carrying Covid antibodies to take what is, for all intents and purposes, an experimental vaccine with no long-term data? Why? Please explain. A truly science-based approach would readily take into account those who possess natural immunity. Why is this not being done? Why do those who insist that we “trust the science” have no regard for the science of natural immunity? Something seems off.

Second: Why has information surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic been routinely suppressed?

A case-in-point is the lab-leak theory, which was floated early in the pandemic and roundly dismissed as Trumpian crazy talk. News outlets seeking to explore this possibility were suppressed. Individuals who expressed interest in this angle were dismissed as conspiracy-minded cranks who needed to stop peddling lies. Except now it appears that a lab leak is perhaps the most plausible explanation. Even more remarkably, it appears that Dr. Fauci and others knew that gain-of-function technology was an important part of the story, and this research was underwritten by an NIH grant. Individuals interested in the truth don’t suppress views they happen to disagree with. Again, if public health was the only consideration, then vigorous public debate and the free pursuit of the truth would be the norm rather than the exception. Obvious questions arise: Who is trying to suppress this information? What are they trying to hide? What do they stand to gain?

Third: Why was ivermectin so widely vilified in government and media reports?

Ivermectin is an anti-parasite drug that veterinarians use on horses and cows. It’s not for people, yet some (Joe Rogan is taking a horse dewormer!) are desperately pumping themselves full of livestock medicine in an ill-fated and irrational attempt to beat Covid. Right? Well, not exactly. Ivermectin has been prescribed by physicians for decades. In 2015, the discoverer of ivermectin was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine. It is used to treat certain tropical parasites and is listed by the World Health Organization as an “essential medicine.” Veterinary applications have also been developed.

Ivermectin has been used by some physicians to treat Covid. The results have been mixed. While I have no opinion on ivermectin, I do find it suggestive that the mouthpieces of the vaccination-mandate cabal have manufactured an alternative ivermectin reality, rechristening it as a horse pill that only asses ingest. Even the FDA has beaten this dead horse. Why? Consider the following: according to FDA regulations, an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) is permitted when, among other things, “there are no adequate, approved, and available alternatives.” The Covid vaccinations have been made available to the public as an EUA. Only last month the Pfizer vaccine received FDA approval. Other vaccines still operate under EUA guidelines.

If there were clear alternative treatments, the vaccinations would not receive EUA status. Clearly there is a strong incentive for monied interests to discourage the testing and approval of vaccine alternatives. The patent on ivermectin has long ago expired. No one stands to make billions on it. Sometimes following the money is pretty sound advice. Might it be in this instance? Perhaps, but we’ll never know the effectiveness of possible treatments unless scientific trials of various therapeutics continue, information about them is freely disseminated, and different voices are allowed to debate vigorously in the court of public opinion.

Fourth: Where does all this end?

If the pro-vaccination syndicate has its way, every American, and eventually every human, will have the Covid-19 vaccination. Furthermore, if recent chatter and momentum are any indication, regular boosters will be soon be standard. For instance, last week an FDA panel rejected a Pfizer request to recommend boosters for the general population, recommending, instead, boosters for people over 65 and those deemed at high risk. CDC director Rochelle Walensky, however, unilaterally chose to expand the recommendation to include high risk occupations, teachers, grocery store employees, and other “essential” workers.

Of course, there’s no clear reason why one booster will suffice. A policy of perpetual, mandated boosters is a remarkable achievement. If nothing else, there is a lot of money at stake in this vaccination ballet. But there is something here that should interest anyone concerned with “the science.” If everyone is vaccinated, there is no control group and therefore no group against which we can accurately judge the effectiveness of the vaccine. This is a monopoly of the most excellent sort and also an exquisite insulation against lawsuits: The government mandates regular doses of a drug the long-term effects of which are unknown—and unknowable—because we will have nothing with which to compare. All that would remain are vaccinated people humbly bowing to a perpetual mandate in the name of a promised security that is not even demonstrable.

“Politicized science” is being used as a club to bludgeon dissenters into submission. But this is not science, for science requires open and free inquiry. It is not politics, either, for legitimate politics requires free and vigorous debate. It is, instead, naked power masquerading as science. Combine this with a chorus of eager and self-righteous minions and you have a toxic situation where power is dramatically expanded and abused in the name of public health. Science is an obvious casualty, but when you dress up power in the garb of pseudo-science, another casualty is freedom.


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So - IF the Southwest Airlines mess-up is totally a weather-related/logistical mistake kinda thing like the media is painting with this picture, (and not a protest by the pilot's union, which is pretty much denied by the same media) then perhaps the "Civil Action" filed in the State of Texas by SWAPA on behalf of the pilots isn't real?


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