The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

The Biden Presidency So Far

So, Biden’s approval ratings have dropped a lot.

This is because he left Afghanistan and the military, intelligence, and foreign affairs (the blob) establishments don’t want to. The withdrawal has actually gone well, with hardly any casualties, and while there are some exceptions, overall the Taliban is letting people leave who want to leave, which is in their interest, anyway, something clueless fools seem unable to fathom.

So Biden’s been hit non-stop with bogus media about this withdrawal, which is one of the only good things he did. The US war in Afghanistan was a matter of murder-robots and murder squads making night-time hits. Civilian casualties were sky high, the “army” they created was full of pedophilia (look it up, and be ready to feel sick), and the government was corrupt as hell.

Ironically, Biden has been mostly a bad President in other ways, for which he has not been attacked en masse by the media. Covid has been handled badly. His promise to support breaking Covid mRNA patents is a dead letter because he hasn’t made it a priority when dealing with holdouts like Germany. (He could easily have traded that with Germany in exchange for dropping US opposition to the Russian pipeline to Europe Nordstream, but gave them that for nothing.)

The CDC’s advice and rule-making has continued to be haphazard at best, and Biden has been a cheerleader for sending children back to school, which is going to be an absolute disaster. It’s safe to say that Biden’s handling of Covid has been as lackluster as Trump’s, but it’s actually going to kill more people overall due to Delta and him being around for longer.

Conveniently, as with Trump, no real effort is being made to accurately count Covid deaths, and the real death toll will be determined post-facto through population studies.

Economically, he has gotten little through the Senate and been unwilling to use his executive power for much. As would be expected from the man who made sure students couldn’t discharge loans in bankruptcy, he has relieved hardly any student debt. He’s constantly authorizing new oil and gas drilling, so it’s hard to take him seriously on climate change, despite some lovely rhetoric.

The economy was bouncing back from Covid (thus my prediction of a boom a few months ago, which was right for a brief period — but not as long as I expected), but last months’ numbers were anemic. The end of moratorium restrictions, the draw-down of support payments and the surge of Covid which is going to get worse, not better, means the US economy is about to take a new hit. People who have no choice will work where they must, but people who do have a choice, won’t, and those are the people with money to spend.

Overall, Biden’s done one good big thing, for which he has been slammed, and otherwise been a status-quo-don’t-do-much-fiddling sort of guy. There’s still hope some good things will happen, as with the move to break up Facebook (though the judge is clearly hostile), but overall, Biden’s about what he seemed likely to be.

A pity. As with Obama, he came into office in the middle of a crisis, and could have used that crisis to be a good President — even without control of the Senate. He’d rather not be, though, and that’s understandable. Biden’s one of the most important architects of the neoliberal world we live in, and while he’s a better man than Obama (no great feat), to expect him to dismantle key spars of it was always too much.

The real election was the primary, and Obama, Clyburn, and Warren made sure Biden won that, and the one politician who would have sincerely tried to change things, Sanders, did not become President.

The consequences for that will reverberate through the next 40 years or so. Along with the all-out push to defeat Corbyn, no matter what it took, Sanders was the last chance to mitigate climate change and inequality.

As for Biden, he seems likely to go down as a caretaker president at best.

(My writing helps pay my rent and buys me food. So please consider subscribing or donating if you like my writing.)


It’s Not Your Money


The Simplest Explanation for Western Decline


  1. NR

    The real election was the primary, and Obama and Clyburn and Warren made sure Biden one that,

    I think you mean “won.”

    Largely accurate analysis overall. I’m happy Biden got us out of Afghanistan, but otherwise there hasn’t been much to cheer about in his presidency. His infrastructure proposal has some good things in it, but it remains to be seen how much of that will actually pass and in what form. He has done little if anything to stop the creeping spread of fascism in the Republican party and the large parts of the country they control. It doesn’t seem like he even sees the threat.

    Biden’s better than Trump, but he’s definitely not who we needed right now.

  2. js

    I wonder if Sanders even could have. Even if he wasn’t sabotaged before or after the election, how many areas could he really have addressed? If he took on healthcare that might be it I suspect. Possibly huge enough to use up all the energy of a presidency. A scenario where one big piece of legislation gets passed (M4A might be the priority he would attempt).

    And then there’s Congress and passing any legislation through it. So if it was the current Congress, maybe a more realistic scenario is NO big legislation gets passed, but he governs better over things the President has power over.

    I see better and worse people running for office, but I don’t see any scenario where they make very realistic saviors by themselves (not me, us?), of course even less when they can’t get elected.

  3. Plague Species

    Biden’s the second term of McDonald Trump. A kinder, gentler Trump without the obnoxious orange face and wild and wacky Tourettes-like gesticulations. A McDonald Trump who loathes rallies and tweeting.

    The next 40 years? I’m not so sure America is America in 40 years. I’m not so sure the world is the world in 40 years.

  4. bruce wilder

    I recently visited LGM (Lawyers, Guns, and Money), a centrist liberal blog that thinks it has attitude.

    It was interesting to read the posts and comments on Afghanistan. Favorable to Biden. But, what was intetesting to me how often causal power was assigned to Biden personnally in some wise.

    Farley, a principal, tried to argue only Biden could withdraw, kind of like only Nixon could recognize China. (Yeah, it made no sense.) Some commenter showily praised Biden for his logistics in the withdrawal. (I would not think Biden personnally would have much of a role in such, even if he wasn’t a senile and fragile 78 y.o.

    I am glad to see Biden persist with withdrawal thru the predictable Media criticism and ambushes. But, if the Media’s conduct is orchestrated from on high, why would anyone, observing the actual Biden stumbling and mumbling, think Biden was the animating force at work executing the policy of withdrawal?

    I find PS’s sneer more plausible: this is a continuation of Trump. The elite consensus in favor of withdrawal was expressed by Trump; Trump was too weak to get it done. But is Biden “strong”? I mean, personally? It does not seem so. C’mon man!

  5. Hugh

    Progressives get routinely presented with these devil’s choices: Do you want an anti-democratically anointed mediocrity or a strutting orange disaster? We’re often d&mned if we do and d&mned if we don’t. But on the other side, we see conservative Democrats like Manchin and Sinema drive Biden’s agenda and the Democrats generally into the ditch and get off scot-free.

    As for the withdrawal from Afghanistan, same thing, The blob beats up on him for not kowtowing to them and their insane and failed policy. And Biden catches it for how the withdrawal was conducted even though getting it done had to do with the Pentagon and State Department screwing up, not so much him.

    I think Fauci and the CDC got blindsided by covid and so blindsided Biden. But a species jumping virus has a high likelihood of surprising and being difficult to control. And Fauci and the CDC should have portrayed the dynamic and changing nature of the pandemic and the likely difficulties in controlling it with a quick return to business as usual.

    Biden is a relief from the insanity of Trump, but what’s his vision? And why isn’t he standing up to and running against the fascism of the Republicans? In the face of climate change, we need more than a caretaker.

  6. bruce wilder

    Even overlooking how dysfunctional the U.S. as even a theoretical democracy for a moment, don’t you think most people want a caretaker, a kick-the-can-down-the-road specialist?

    Granted that “most” is an elastic term with a shrinking denominator as more and more people give up on politics and/or get kicked out of the economy or just shuffled to the margins somewhere just above homeless and helpless, do even the dispossessed think at all about climate change or microplastics?

    Those remaining somewhat privileged — remembering that $40,000/year puts you solidly into the global 1% — do not want the party to be over, do they? They want to believe in their aging Prius; they want to believe in the falling cost of solar panels and wind turbines.

    They may be hiding from the truth, from necessity, but maybe there is nothing we are capable of doing collectively that would be anywhere near enough. Nothing we can do collectively in a polity dominated by a thousand billionaire oligarchs certainly, but also maybe nothing a majority of the people paying attention — a decided minority with very fuzzy boundaries defining their set — could devise as coordinating devices to organize a concerted de-carbonization, a radical move away from fossil fuels (and away from general patterns of gross waste in energy use).

    We are moving toward crisis, a crisis that will simultaneously motivate panic and cripple any response at scale. You think those defying mask mandates and refusing vaccines are bad, consider those folks driving SUVs or putting 10,000 Xmas lights on their suburban house or flying to Fiji for two weeks “away”.

  7. Mark Pontin

    “In the face of climate change, we need more than a caretaker.”

    A caretaker? “Nothing will change,” Biden promised. There you have it.

    Change is coming anyway.

  8. anon

    Halting in-person learning for another year or two was never going to be a possibility. Too many parents dislike their children, don’t want to take care of them 24/7, and are not competent caregivers. Sadly, many children from abusive or neglectful households are safer and better fed going to school. Also, we all know that governments around the world, particularly in the U.S., want their citizens to get back to work, COVID be damned, and stop relying on handouts. We are still in a pandemic and the moratoriums should not end. I was listening to experts who, unlike Fauci, had no political incentive to hide the truth state in March 2020 that this pandemic would go on for at least 3 years if not longer. We are headed into year 3. If our leaders had any compassion, the moratoriums would continue for renters, homeowners, individual landlords, small business owners, and student loan borrowers for at least until 2023 or until the pandemic is under control. I agree that the Delta variant will rage on this winter and we should all pray that another deadlier variant doesn’t emerge.

  9. Thomas B Golladay

    “When I asked Shakira and other women from the valley to reflect on Taliban rule, they were unwilling to judge the movement against some universal standard—only against what had come before. “They were softer,” Pazaro, the woman who lived in a neighboring village, said. “They were dealing with us respectfully.” The women described their lives under the Taliban as identical to their lives under Dado and the mujahideen—minus the strangers barging through the doors at night, the deadly checkpoints.”

    “Nearly every person Shakira knew had a story about Dado. Once, his fighters demanded that two young men either pay a tax or join his private militia, which he maintained despite holding his official post. When they refused, his fighters beat them to death, stringing their bodies up from a tree. A villager recalled, “We went to cut them down, and they had been sliced open, their stomachs coming out.” In another village, Dado’s forces went from house to house, executing people suspected of being Taliban; an elderly scholar who’d never belonged to the movement was shot dead.

    Shakira was bewildered by the Americans’ choice of allies. “Was this their plan?” she asked me. “Did they come to bring peace, or did they have other aims?” She insisted that her husband stop taking resin to the Sangin market, so he shifted his trade south, to Gereshk. But he returned one afternoon with the news that this, too, had become impossible. Astonishingly, the United States had resuscitated the Ninety-third Division—and made it its closest partner in the province. The Division’s gunmen again began stopping travellers on the bridge and plundering what they could. Now, however, their most profitable endeavor was collecting bounties offered by the U.S.; according to Mike Martin, a former British officer who wrote a history of Helmand, they earned up to two thousand dollars per Taliban commander captured.”

    It gets progressively grimmer as you read down.

    For 70% of Afghan Women, the US brought death and destruction, not liberation. By any objective standard the US were bad guys and the Taliban the good guys. This story is also why the Taliban moved swiftly to destroy Panjshir and disarm the population and demobilize large numbers of troops and uniform the rest. Without firm order and clear chains of accountability, it doesn’t matter what slogans someone chants, there is no law to protect them. The new governing board also makes it clear the Taliban doesn’t feel it owes Iran, Russia, China, and Pakistan anything, they accepted their aide when they needed it, and they can come and make deals, but won’t have any influence on their government.

    They also made clear any aide to their country can’t have any strings attached or it will be rejected. They are also demonstrating they still have their technical cadres from the 90s as evidenced by getting several Blackhawks and Mil-17s operational and beginning commercial flight operations.

    Afghanistan will spend years rebuilding, but will do so without taking on debt or caring about what the rest of the world thinks. And for the first time in 46 years, the country will be unified under a single government and single army with all the old warlords gone. Poppy fields will most certainly be destroyed by next year. Contrary to popular belief, the Taliban did not have a hand in it, the Warlords were running it and the US played along with the fiction because it needed the Warlords. Its also why the US ignored the Bacha Bazis.

    Not a single Taliban was paid a dime during the entire war, they lived off solely what the locals gave them and captured supplies. Most never even went to Pakistan, fighting in the summer, and wintering at home where they dug in and stockpiled supplies. It was these stockpiles that sustained their summer blitz while Pakistan kept the border closed.

    Because contrary to what people believe, Pakistan doesn’t have control of the Taliban. Its leadership cadres never went to Madrassas in Pakistan which practice a completely different strand of Deobandi School. Uruzgan Province was where the Taliban Leadership was inculcated in a militant Sufi strain of Deobandi thought.

    Because of this, and their support for the Taliban’s former enemies till the Taliban gained the upper hand, the Pakistanis were only able to work on shared interests. The Taliban would ignore them on anything else. Al-Qaeda likewise was unable to influence the Taliban and they had a diametrically opposed Sharia school to the Taliban. The Taliban took their money, and their troops to use as cannon fodder, and absent the US Invasion in 2001, the Taliban would have ultimately kicked Al-Qaeda out once they no longer needed cannon fodder. Now they are allies and battle brothers despite their diametrically opposed philosophies.

    It also shows in the bleed over. Al-Qaeda no longer preaches against veneration of saints and uses iconography which is totally against their original teachings, and they are more willing to work alongside Shiites and not blow up shrines. Likewise the Taliban is willing to allow women education and set up its schooling to accommodate them and grant economics rights which are actually enforced. Something they would have adamantly opposed before.

    A smarter approach in 2001 would have been to send a single team to track and assassinate Bin Laden and frame the Taliban for it. Then stand back and let the two groups kill each other over their religious differences. Sadly then as now, people don’t do proper basic research before acting. Going to war in Afghanistan was the US’s greatest mistake and the results have now come to roost in the US which is fracturing.

    Afghanistan is our 2 trillion dollar tombstone. Bought for by the lead poisoning of Flint, victims of Katrina, et al. Defeated by 40,000 light motorized infantry with AK-47s whose barrels were worn smooth by constant warfare, yet inflicted more losses on the combined NATO, US, and ANA forces than they themselves suffered.

    Truly 2 trillion dollars well spent. Now the Taliban have new rifles with scopes, uniforms, and shockingly enough, good trigger discipline.

  10. Jim Harmon

    And our “entertainment” media are no help, with their rampant and downbeat filth and cynicism. Our films portray the only skills useful for survival as fightin’, rapin’, ‘n’ cannibalism.

  11. Hugh

    Nice thread hijacking. Geez, the Taliban are saints. Who knew? Maybe Afghans can eat all those guns instead of regular food like the rest of us. And immoral films. Oh nooooz.

    Biden’s new covid strategy is apparently to put more pressure on the unvaccinated to get vaccinated. Is this too late? Too reactive? Or is it a realization of just how nutso anti-vaxxers are?

  12. John

    But all that Afghan War Mongering money build the suburban sheet rock palaces of Northern Virginia. It paid for all those soccer camps and ballet lessons. Bought all those Range Rovers and Audi SUV. No wonder there’s deep mourning from Ashburn to Manassas.
    Come to think of it, more devastating than the 1st Battle of Manassas.
    War is such a lark. Why can’t it go on forever. (At a reasonable distance of course)
    The money is just so good.

  13. Feral Finster

    @ Thomas Golladay:

    I cannot recommend that article enough. Thanks for posting it so that we don’t have to.

    It’s not that women like Shakira necessarily relish living under Taliban rule, it’s that the American puppets regime brought little that was good for the average frustrated Afghan and much that was worse. Certainly they were more corrupt, more arbitrary, more spiteful and pointlessly brutal.

  14. Trinity

    “more devastating than the 1st Battle of Manassas”

    aka The First Battle of Bull Run, in which Congress critters and their wives drove their carriages out of DC to watch the frivolities. And also hindered the retreating Union army from returning to DC. A spectator war, it’s a wonder they didn’t sell tickets to watch young men die.

    I like your post, John. I grew up in Fairfax, partly. Escaped in my early teens.

    Whenever I think of Biden, I always think of George Packer’s book The Unwinding, “an intimate look into American lives that have been transformed by the dissolution of all the things that used to hold us together.” Packer included interviews with Jeff Connaughton, who also wrote a tell-all about O and B.

    There is a reason Biden was allowed to run for prez, but those reasons have nothing to do with the interests of the general public. Smoke and mirrors, mostly.

  15. Trinity

    From the Politico article:

    “Ted tried to console me,” Connaughton writes of Kaufman: “ ‘Jeff, don’t take this personally. Biden disappoints everyone. He’s an equal-opportunity disappointer.’”

  16. NL

    The ruling group, whoever they are, that managed the country during the previous administration remains in place during the present administration. That’s an easy conclusion – the policies are the same. Seems like John Kerry is part of the group, keeps on traveling around the world bypassing the usual state apparatus and providing a link directly to this invisible group of governors. BTW, the term “invisible governors” goes to the start of the previous century when there was some public discussion as to who could assume this role.

  17. Hugh

    Invisible governors? How are they different from the deep state, the Establishment, professional managerial class, or the rich and elites?

    As for John Kerry, he is currently Biden’s Special Presidential Envoy for Climate.

  18. Plague Species

    Biden didn’t last this long in politics by disappointing those who matter most. For anyone else he’s disappointed, who gives a shit? They were idiots to put any faith in him.

  19. Plague Species

    Did you hear the Taliban will be instituting a vaccine and mask mandate? Afghanistan’s COVFEFE-45 numbers are off the charts according to the Taliban Ministry of Health.

    Also, I didn’t know this but apparently Greg Abbott and his team spent considerable time in Afghanistan crafting their recent abortion legislation. The Taliban were their consultants.

    Greg Abbott for POTUS in 2024. Mark my words. A competent McDonald Trump who will get things done. A REAL autocrat. McDonald just paved the way.

  20. NL

    Invisible governors = make decisions, set policy

    Administrations/Senate = visible representation/face of the policy, execute decisions

    Deep state, the Establishment, professional managerial class = career technocrats + imaginary bogeyman.

    the rich and elites = rich, privileged and care-free, tend to their particular interests

    And why does the administration need an outside envoy? Under Trump, Kerry was also traveling the world and meeting foreign dignitaries as a private citizen, which drew a threat of prosecution from Trump, which of course was theater.

  21. different clue

    There is a limit to the theory that Americans want what they have, because they vote for it. So they must want it.

    The Warren-Obama-Clyburn-DemParty conspiracy to stop the Sanders primary run shows that Americans are denied a vote about what to vote for at the Presidential level. How about at the Senatorial level? Or the carefully gerrymandered Representative level?

    I remember a saying from the Peak Vietnam years of the Johnson Administration.
    ” They told me that if I voted for Goldwater, I’d get a war in Vietnam. Well . . . that’s what I did. And that’s what I got.”

    The America voting majority who voted for Clinton versus Poppy Bush voted for no NAFTA, no Free Trade. And Clinton, the great double crosser, worked his hardest to get NAFTA passed and signed, MFN for China, WTO membership for America, etc. So tell me again about how Americans are getting what they voted for.

    Given the basic illegitimacy of several-at-least levels of government, people who “want different than what we have” will eventually seek extra-political and para-political ways to get it. They will also try growing a superior eco-sustainability culture to retreat into, and to exclude members of the inferior fossil-fuel based deathculture from, as best as they can. For now, seekers of an eco-life culture can only reduce their use of fossil fuel as best they can, because the grids that keep them alive are based on fossil fuel. So all they can do is ” use the grid less than now”. Those trying to do that will seek and find eachother and evolve a superior life-culture as a refuge against the inferior death-culture all around them.

    Seekers and builders of eco-lifeculture will try and learn survival ways and means as best they can. Those who are fully human will withhold that knowledge from members of the fossil inferior death-culture if giving them that knowledge would make the difference between them surviving or dying.

    Here is a compilation of videos of fossil death-cult members “rolling coal” on various protestors of this-and-that. Do these people have a right to exist? Do they have a right to survive? No. And anyone who hives them information which helps them survive is a traitor against the future and is a common enemy of all life on earth.

    Here is the link.

  22. different clue

    And yes. I voted for Biden so as to have no-more-Trump.

    One other thing Biden has done or overseen or whatever: a slowdown or even a stop to the Bannon/ Conservanon/ Confederazi project of “deconstructing the Administrative State”.

  23. Ché Pasa

    We are almost never allowed to vote for policies. We vote for personalities. The policies come regardless of our votes. And the policies are similar regardless of which personality is elected.

    Biden is clearly foot-dragging on some of the things we supposedly elected him to do. On other things, he’s moved fast. Congress is as dysfunctional as ever. The courts cannot be relied on to enable, further, or support the supposed “Democratic Agenda.” Anything that deviates substantially from a relatively strict conservative agenda will be squashed by the current Supreme Court, which is probably one of the sources of foot dragging. Political operatives are no doubt looking to the looming Abortion Crisis to gin up outrage and votes but that really won’t change much.

    Nevertheless, Biden (and the non-functional Congress) has allowed for a little breathing room as we hurtle into the abyss.

    So there’s that.

  24. nihil obstet

    Most people will not spend a few hours a day on the internet seeking out sources of news that they will then find accuracy checks on. They react the way a community reacts — forming bonds with other people with whom they have learned to identify. Blaming them for stupidity or greed may be morally satisfying, but doesn’t get us anywhere we want to go.

    The successful attacks on Sanders and Corbyn made me despair. Nonetheless, if we want to see a decent world, we have to figure out a way to organize and motivate people. The hellacious Tea Party managed it for their way.

    People still in the Democratic Party might make good use of precinct meetings and rubbing shoulders with other party members to keep slamming the party’s leaders — Biden, Pelosi, Schumer. (Sorry, Hugh, scrupulous equality in time spent pointing out both parties’ failures will not lead to Democratic Party reform). Joining on the ground organizing with other groups can help.

    The status quos will rewrite every step forward as a failure. I’ve seen the Seattle anti-globalization protests, the Occupy movement, the Sanders campaigns all described as proof that only extremists got involved, but the before-and-after way issues were addressed was real progress. Black Lives Matter seems to have been shepherded into cultural issues that the elites are happy to let them use as a diversion, but they’re still creating a foundation for going after the use of mass incarceration for political control. And new attention to unionization is hopeful.

  25. bruce wilder

    Hugh: Biden’s new covid strategy is apparently to put more pressure on the unvaccinated to get vaccinated. Is this too late? Too reactive? Or is it a realization of just how nutso anti-vaxxers are?
    It might be another indication of how artless and irresponsible the Biden Administration COVID policy continues to be. And, how ripe the most tribalist blues are for authoritarian measures.

    Why bother with careful consideration of who exactly remains unvaccinated and their discernible reasons for hesitancy? No, let’s imagine rabid anti-vaxxers are typical and then shame and beat them — blame them for the fourth wave: “the pandemic of the unvaccinated” — catchy tune!

    I suppose the Biden Administration is largely being carried along by the nastiest rhetoric — people suggesting that the unvaccinated should be left untreated for example. Not a Biden message, but are they doing enough to quash it? Anything to quash it?

    COVID, the rapid erosion of elite legitimacy, the inexorable rise in “inequality” (that colorless PMC label for predatory economics and the precarity it nutures in place of the general welfare and public interest) — these factors are driving American society toward random violence and social tension and toward political paranoia.


  26. Hugh

    In this most recent surge, it’s the unvaccinated who are filling and overwhelming ICUs. And they are the ones dying. We are a year and three quarters into this pandemic. At this point, the only legitimate excuses for not being vaccinated is lack of access to a vaccine or being under 12. Beyond that I do not give a shtt what BS reason people have. They aren’t just putting themselves at risk but those around them.

    I saw at NC the Tucker Carlson-loving Glenn Greenwald doing his full on libertarian shtick about personal autonomy yadda, yadda, because it’s a fundamental personal right, apparently, to infect others. That’s what we get in an upside down world. The problem isn’t the brainless, murderously irresponsible idiots. Oh no, it’s us, that we don’t treat these brainless, murderously irresponsible idiots with enough respect.

  27. Jim Harmon

    How’s that superioritty thang workin’ out 4 yuh, Hooey?

  28. Considering the experience of Uttar Pradesh, with 1/10th the vaccination rate of Israel, but only 15% the per capita death from covid, if Biden were less demented, he might instead try to force down a similar drug + nutrient approach.

    But Biden is a loser, who also spits on our Constitutional and human rights eagerly, as well as the Nuremberg code.

    He compares badly with Trump, who is also a COVID loser, but who at least didn’t spit on the Constitutional and human rights of US citizens. Low information Trump recently informed us that the vaccines are “good”. No mention of ADE, ivermectin, yadda, yadda. In many ways, he may as well be as demented as Biden.

    Naomi Wolf, who has studied the phenomenon of decent into totalitarianism in various countries, is sounding the alarm, ever more loudly, but how many are listening?

    BTW, I recently learned more about the covid strategy in Uttar Pradesh. Their home treatment stack included ivermectin, but had other things in it, like vitamin D.

  29. bruce wilder

    Hugh goes full fascist while protesting that we are not doing enough to fight Republican fascism, but it’s alright because Biden is a Democrat and Glenn Greenwald guests on Tucker Carlson, so consent to medical procedures is yesterday, bodily autonomy just a good-bye, with anti-abortion nuts on the right and anti-anti-vaxxers to the “left”, there is no alternative!

  30. bruce wilder

    For those who do not read sarcasm well, in plainer English, it is not a good idea to let yourself be driven blindly by a tendentious narrative, however compelling the drama it sets up, however flattering to self the moral meanings it casts about like fairy dust.

    Politics — the talking part at least — consists largely of contested narrative storytelling. People are not likely to escape it any time soon; it is probably written into our DNA, but I really do not think we have to be mastered by it. People are capable of critical reflection on premises and consequences. It is not always easy to distinguish factoids from facts in a world where the Media’s motto is, “when the legend becomes fact, print the legend” but we can try. Human beings like a good story even if reality is almost always more nuanced morally and fuzzier factually. Reality does not put black hats on bad guys and white hats on good guys with any reliability.

    Which is a long preface to saying that the narrative of COVID and vaccination justifying mass compulsory vaccination is founded on dubious facts and shifts of understanding.

    The vaccines, oversold and touted to the exclusion of broader efforts to find treatments and quantify the effectiveness of mitigation tactics, have proven to be somewhat disappointing and the “authorities” pushing them have squandered much of their claim to credibility, not just on this one bet but on many previous. Throughout the epidemic and particularly with the vaccine trials, commitment to learning what we all needed to learn in this grand experiment(s) and to communicate the truth as best it is known in real time has been notably absent from the heights of the public health establishment.

    There’s an old adage, that the first one in a debate who starts shouting has lost the argument. I feel that way about Hugh and his sockpuppet, NR. Even if I didn’t know that their premises were questionable, I would think the tone was wrong, the disrespect shown to others of differing views or opinion or simple hesitancy a tell, and the carelessness about principles guarding personal autonomy being lightly discarded, frightening. And, the bad attitude of which Hugh is so proud begins with a simple unwillingness to acknowledge the sequence of events undermining elite credibility — the lies, the exaggerations, the shameless manipulations, the recklessness, the negligence.

    Sadly, the factual certainty regarding the relative risks and effectiveness of the vaccines is not there, in large part because those in charge were too stupid and too feckless to insist from the beginning to secure good data and investigate thoroughly. When we have spent tens of billions of dollars, “we don’t know” because we didn’t think to ask that “specific” question in advance is not a good answer.

    We do not have good, reliable analysis or factual foundation for basic claims of safety and efficacy for the vaccine or, for that matter, the risks and mitigation potential of the disease. We do not know to what extent being vaccinated actually does reduce the probability of being infected or the degree to which the vaccinated-infected are contagious — these would be key facts in support of the narrative of “a pandemic of the unvaccinated”, if we knew them. We don’t and there’s evidence — in the experience of highly vaccinated Israel most prominently — that it is simply not the case that the vaccinated can be practically absolved from being sources of contagion, let alone risk of serious illness.

    We are rushing toward compulsory vaccinations with vaccines that are not that effective, do not long remain effective and have not been thoroughly examined for safety against a disease that may not be that risky for large swaths of the population and re-writing ethics on the fly to do so. Can the mass vaccination of teenagers, let alone children, be justified, given the balance of risks as they are imperfectly known? I see a lot of voices featured in the Media of people, who apparently do not even see that as a question to be answered by careful consideration of evidence and ethics.

  31. Failing to take good data on who already has natural immunity from covid, before jabbing them, is not only a scientific ‘crime’, but its implications show up the vaccine-fanatacism of such covid dopes as Biden and Trump.

    That’s true even if the modeling for hyperviscosity turns out to be wrong.

    From From their model:

    If you’ve never had covid, the risk of hyperviscosity after vaccination is acceptable.

    However, it’s not acceptable if you’ve had symptomatic covid.

    And it’s even more dangerous if you’ve had asymptomatic covid.

    I’m not a doctor, but I’d at least discuss it with a KNOWLEDGEABLE doctor about whether it’s a good idea to take a blood thinner before getting jabbed, coerced or not.

    Also, I’ll speculate about this model: You are more at risk of blood clots if you have a more robust immune system. While one’s risk of symptomatic covid is a function of level of exposure, it’s also a function of the immune system robustness. For most people, I’m guessing their exposure varies less than their immune system robustness.


    Equally outrageous is telling pregnant women it’s recommended to get the vaccinated, before the funding for researching this in limited amounts even dropped. (Robert Malone talked about that, recently.)

  32. Hugh

    Always entertaining when the Freedumb contingent arrives in full force. The chest beating can be heard for miles. 650,000 Americans are dead because of their criminally irresponsible idiocy. So of course, we should honor and respect their non-think conspiracy-filled views. In fact, let’s repeal the drunk driving laws and let people shoot randomly out their windows because Freedumb means no one should be able to tell you what to do ever.

  33. NR

    Welcome to 2021, where sensible public health measures that were completely uncontroversial a century ago are now decried as fascism by neo-libertarians.

    Idiocracy is looking more like a documentary every day.

  34. bruce wilder

    A little over a century ago, the country had a red scare complete with the Palmer Raids. The Socialist candidate for President had to lead his campaign from a prison cell, jailed for his opposition to WWI under the Sedition Act of 1918. President Wilson had jailed and force-fed suffragettes in reprisal for protests in which their banners quoted him. Wilson had broken the IWW. Shall I go on?

    So, yeah, by the standards of a century ago, we are wild and crazy .

  35. Ian Welsh

    Wilson was a truly awful President. Never understood why some people like him.

  36. different clue

    Brill-yunt innalekshuls love Wilson because he was a University Professor and a University President and he wrote books and he was a brill-yunt innalekshul just like them.

    And he sanctified American missionary humanitarian imperialism, which won over numbers of missionary humanitarianists.

  37. different clue

    I have just read at NaCap an article about how the Biden EPA has obstructed a step in the chain of permission that some high powered operators would need to be able to open up a big gold mine on Bristol Bay, Alaska.

    The TrumpAdmin favored that mine. So if the Biden Admin can get that mine-idea killed before losing office, that will be another better-than-Trump thing accomplished.
    Food before gold.

  38. Robert W Malone, MD

    I have seen reliable estimates that there have been at least 450,000 excess US deaths attributable to USG blocking early use of ivermectin and HCQ.
    9:24 PM · Sep 10, 2021

    If we consider Israel something like a best case scenario, then the relative success of poorly vaccinated Uttar Pradesh, with 15% the per capita death rate of Israel, suggests that if the US response was more like that of UP, and less like that of Israel, we would have saved ~85% of 677,000, or 575,450 American lives.

    So, Malone’s source does, indeed, seem in the right ballpark.

    For those of whose “common sense” is just fine with half a million unnecessary deaths, may I suggest moving to New Zealand or Australia, permanently? When the government there decide to continuously monitor covid viral loads by implanting a censor to your anus, I’m sure you’ll cheer your good fortune, ever more loudly. (Hopefully, everybody knows that sewage has been examined to determine facets of covid infection in the pooping public.)

    For people not cursed with such “common sense”, I suggest keeping abreast of our ever stronger embrace of medicalized tyranny, by following Naomi Wolf, and getting active against it. She’s often a guest on Steve Bannon’s War Room Pandemic show.

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