Sunday, September 12, 2021

Biden's new vaccine mandate.

 Not every thing the government does is good, and not everything it does is bad. I see the vaccine mandate as a mixed bag. Biden was reluctant to push for this; even some progressives are concerned about the government's growing footprint now.

Biden wants you to get vaccinated. He wants the pandemic to end during his first term in office. Biden doesn't really want to force you to do it, because he needs to keep his approval ratings up if he wants to get re-elected.

Your boss wants you to get vaccinated. He wants you to not get sick and not make your coworkers sick. Your boss wouldn't mind forcing you to get vaccinated, but he doesn't want to get sued and he doesn't want you to collect unemployment if he has to fire you.

So the Biden Administration and Corporate America came up with a plan. The mandate will "make" companies do what they want to do anyway: fire people for not getting vaccinated. But with the mandate in place, terminated workers will not have any legal recourse. When you try to fight the Man, the Man always wins.

People like to ask "Why does the vaccine have to be political?" Anytime the government is involved, it's political. Many Trump supporters are upset that Trump isn't getting credit for Operation Warp Speed. They want to boycott the vaccine out of sheer spite.

But if you care about politics, you need to realize that COVID-19 has a fatality rate that is greater than 1%. Elections are often decided by less than 1 percentage point. So let's you have a district with 100,000 Democratic voters and 100,000 Republican voters. All the Democrats get vaccinated. Let's say half the Republicans get vaccinated. Let's say 10% of those unvaccinated Republicans get sick. So that 5000 patients. One percent of them die. So now this district has 100,000 Democrats and 99,950 Republicans. Now, that might not sound like much of an advantage, especially since Democrats tend to have a lower turnout rate. But spread that across 435 Congressional Districts, and the GOP is going to struggle to take back the House.

So next year, when Democrats increase their control of Congress and become able to pass any laws they want, are you going to blame Biden for tricking you out of getting vaccinated?

Thursday, July 01, 2021

Why Trump lost in 2020

 I'll try to explain in the simplest terms that I can. Trump might have won if it weren't for the pandemic; voters have been routinely re-electing Presidents since 1996. I can see how his supporters might be frustrated and disappointed by the outcome. Personally, I've been frustrated and disappointed by election outcomes my whole life. But it's important to understand why these things happen.

1. There was a recession economy in 2020. Whether it is right or wrong, voters often place blame for a poor economy on the President. This sort of thing caused Herbert Hoover to lose re-election in 1932 and Bush 41 to lose in 1992. To be sure, the recession was caused by the pandemic.

2. Trump's response to the pandemic was bad. He had federal agents seize medical supplies from hospitals. He visited patients in hospitals without wearing a mask. He kept holding public rallies in spite of the danger, and ended up getting sick himself. That showed poor judgement.

3. There are more liberal and progressive voters in the US than there are conservative voters. While a typical conservative is more reliable and more likely to show up for every election, higher turnout means more liberal voters are at the polls than conservatives. Higher turnout helps Democrats and hurts Republicans. There was record turnout in 2020 due to emotional charged events and state election officials working hard to allow voters to participate safely.


Friday, June 25, 2021

What if Walter White ran against Gus Fring for President?

Walter White would be the idealistic liberal with big, bold ideas.

Gus Fring would be the the pragmatic conservative with a proven track record.

Hector Salamanca would be the dark horse third party candidate, challenging the 2 party system.

Monday, June 21, 2021

What You're Saying Vs What You Really Want To Say

 So far, here is what I've heard Republicans say about the Capitol Riots:
1. "Antifa had committed a false flag attack." A false flag attack is when Group A tries to frame Group B for something Group A did. Most of the mob weren't wearing masks and weren't trying to hide who they were. Quite a few of the people arrested were already famous influencers before the election. Tim Gionet, better known as "Baked Alaska", was one of the alt-right goons who marched at Charlottesville in 2017. He was arrested after livestreaming from within the Capitol. Brandon Straka achieved 15 minutes of notoriety when he refused to wear a mask on an American Airlines flight in 2020 and tweeted about getting kicked off the plane. He said that he had a medical condition known as "sanity" that prohibited him from wearing a mask. Then he went on to film himself at the Capitol riot wearing a powder blue disposable mask. (I guess he got over his self-diagnosed case of sanity).

2. "It was just some tourists." Except tourists don't cause millions in damage, injure over 100 cops, and get five people killed.

3. "The FBI had lured the rioters into storming the Capitol." Recently the FBI had been tricking violent morons into planting fake bombs at buildings. It's debatable if the FBI should continue using this tactic or if such losers are even smart enough to pose a threat. But if you fall for this kind of trick, you have to address the possibility that you are a violent moron too. It's also quite a stretch to claim that Christopher Wray would use Congress as the bait when entrapping Proud Bois.

4. "Ashleigh Babbitt was a victim." This woman was at the front of a mob of people trying to break through a set of locked doors that separated them from a group of members of Congress. If you watch the video of her shooting, you see somebody with a drawn weapon on the other side of the door. Most of the crowd takes the hind and gets down. Babbitt is still attempting to climb through the broken window, presumably to unlock the door from the other side. Stopping an entire mob is a lot to ask from a service pistol, so it was critical that the doors stay closed long enough for Congress to be evacuated. Now I suppose someone who knows more about police work than me could explain a way for that cop to hold back the mob without resorting to lethal force. But that cop also had to make a split second decision. Her death was a foreseeable outcome. Indeed, if the goal was to overturn the results of the 2020 election, and that goal was achieved, then her death might considered "acceptable losses" from a hypothetical military standpoint. But our real non-hypothetical military is backing Joe Biden as President.

What many Republicans really want to say is that they support the January 6th coup attempt. They can't really say that on social media because their accounts will get deleted. They won't say it around anyone who they think is wearing a wire either. 

There are other Republicans who want to say that the coup attempt was Trump's doing, and that it was wrong and foolish. They can't say that out loud at all, because they fear the wrath of Trump supporters. They secretly hope that Trump will go to prison and things will go back to normal. But nobody can say for sure who will be in charge of a post-Trump GOP, or even if such a thing will exist at all.

Saturday, June 19, 2021

I'm a Democrat now.

In a nutshell, ideologically I am a libertarian. Historically I tended to agree with Republicans on economic issues and mostly agreed with Democrats on social issues. But elements within the Republican Party are trying to start a civil war within the US. On January 6th, then-President Donald Trump sent a large number of his supporters into the Capitol in order to hold Congress hostage and force them to allow him to remain in office. This was an act of domestic terrorism.

The Republican Party needs to come to terms with what happened and why. But it doesn't seem like they are ready to admit that Trump lost the election and used violent means in an attempt to remain in power. Folks, another civil war is not something a fiscal conservative should want. The economic damage would reduce tax revenue and there would be a huge increase in military spending which would blow out the deficit even more. If the economy is a high priority for you, then a civil war should be something that you don't really want. Oh yeah, and people will get killed.

So my goal for the next election cycle is to cause the GOP to lose support, funding, and elections. I don't even care about free college or ACA, I just want Republicans to lose. I hope a different opposition party emerges to replace it, but since I won't know what that party will look like, I'm going to be a Democrat just to be on the safe side.

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

On bigotry against Asians

 Asia is the largest and most populated continent. It stretch from the Suez Canal to the Bering Strait and from the Ural mountains to Indonesia. Most human beings on Earth live in Asia. If you hate all Asians, you hate over 4.5 billion people. Since six countries with nuclear weapons have most of their territory in Asia, if Asians hate you back then you have a big problem. Most religions have originated in Asia, and yes, this includes Christianity. Every US foreign war since Reconstruction has involved Asia. Ironically, most of these wars were to protect Asian countries from European countries or other Asian countries.

Most Americans' understanding of world history revolves around the US and Europe, but history literally started in Asia.

Bigotry against Asians is somewhat different than bigotry against other races. White supremacists think they are superior to  black people but they can't help but feel inferior to Japanese. Of course if your first instinct is violence, then you actually are inferior to everyone else. Address the fact that you are an absolute loser, and go from there.

Monday, March 15, 2021

Just get vaccinated

The word "vaccine" comes from the Latin word "vaccae" which means "cattle". I'm sure some anti-vaxxer will find a way to use that etymology compare people to livestock for wanting a COVID-19 shot. But during the 18th century Dr Edward Jenner noticed that people who worked with cows on dairy farms tended to not get smallpox. Instead, these folks were getting cowpox. Cowpox is a somewhat minor illness that is still around, but smallpox used to have fatality rates of 30%. So Dr Jenner intentionally injected pus from a cowpox patient into a young boy. The boy developed a mild fever but quickly recovered. A few weeks later, Dr Jenner injected the boy with pus from someone with smallpox. When the boy didn't get infected with smallpox, Dr Jenner concluded that cowpox could be used to protect people from smallpox. Today Dr Edward Jenner is praised as the inventor of the first vaccine.

Most modern vaccines do not rely on live viruses. A vaccinated person might experience an immune response or other symptoms. But that is a small trade-off compared to being vulnerable to a possibly lethal infection

Now here's some interesting facts:

1. Smallpox is now extinct, thanks in part to Dr Jenner's efforts. The last smallpox case happened during the 70's, so most people are too young to remember how deadly this disease was.

2. Medical ethics have improved greatly over the past couple centuries  so you don't have to worry about new vaccines being tested on your kids. Only after a vaccine has been proven safe for adults will children be allowed to participate in trials with their parents' consent.

3. Dr Jenner did not even know what a virus was. He simply made an observation (cowpox patients don't get smallpox) and formed a hypothesis (infecting people with cowpox can prevent smallpox).

I believe that the 3 COVID-19 vaccines that are being distributed in the US are safe and effective. They have passed months of rigorous and redundant testing. If these vaccines were dangerous, we would be hearing about what the vaccines are doing to the millions of healthcare workers and military personnel who have already received them. I am going to get the vaccine as soon as it is available to me. Should you get the shot? Since I'm not a doctor, you might have reason to be skeptical of any medical advice that I give out. You should also be skeptical of any medical advice that you get from YouTube videos. By all means, make an appointment with your doctor and ask directly if a COVID-19 shot is right for you in particular. Or you can do what actual doctors and nurses are doing and just get the shot.