Monday, April 19, 2021

National Punching Bag

Conservative rag The National Review was taking shots at Dr. Fauci again last week, comparing him to that last guest who’s still drinking and dancing when the hosts just want to go to bed:

He’s been a target of the Right since Day One when he dared contradict the Former Guy on matters within his area of (considerable) expertise. Republicans are determined to minimize the seriousness of the coronavirus in order to keep schools and businesses open and making money. They don’t care about the damage done as long as the money keeps rolling in and upward.

Republicans complaining about Dr. Fauci always strike me as sounding like kids whining because they want dessert for dinner. They just want everything over so that all the elves can go back to their trees and resume making cookies. They desperately want to turn back the clock to pre-COVID times and then turn it back further to 1949.

I understand that we are all COVID-fatigued and want things to be normal again. And we would be closer to doing so if only we didn’t have that childlike desire for instant gratification. Just when we get to the point where we can put a serious limit on the Rona, we ease off the brakes, throw open the screen door, let the horse out of the barn, celebrate on the 10-yard line, or any other metaphor you like that means "to give up too soon." Premature inoculation, if you will.

Our country leads the world in COVID cases, for the simple reason that 40% of the country thinks it’s a hoax, despite suffering over 567,000 deaths.

Look at this map from the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Research Center, specifically at the yellow graph in the lower right.

The poorly drawn red arrow shows where we started “opening back up” in February. Look at the increase in cases, and that’s WITH the aggressive rollout of the vaccine. We’re blowing it because we are too impatient and too reliant on “expert opinions” coming from non-experts, who usually have skin in the game. And that first little bump on the left of the graph shows where we were when we shut down the country the first time. I’m not saying we keep up the draconian measures, but we should at least insist on masks and distancing until the vaccinations take hold.

Taking potshots at the nation’s leading epidemiologist for changing his story only shows that they don’t really understand science. They seem to think that Dr. Fauci was supposed to stand up there on March 12th, 2020, and layout every detail regarding transmission and treatment of COVID-19. They don’t understand that no one can have a full picture of the details on a virus that’s just getting started. Science observes ongoing behavior and evidence and updates its theories to suit the data.

Science does NOT stake claim to a theory and then cast it in stone when other factors call it into question. That’s what religion and politics do. They start with the desired outcome and backfill the rest.

There’s also the question of being a decent human being and a good neighbor. Look, I’d like all this to be over as much as the next guy, (aside from working at home, which I never want to end,) and I just got my second shot last Friday. Two weeks from now, I’d love to rip my mask off and go running barefaced through the streets and retail outlets, screaming “I’m free! I’m free!”

But even after being fully vaccinated, I can still contract the virus and then spread it to others, some of whom may NOT be vaccinated. But I can’t see running wild like that until we achieve the fabled herd immunity.

It’s ironic, in a “snake chasing its own tail” sort of way, that Republicans are desperate to get to the no-restriction phase of herd immunity, yet actively work against achieving said herd immunity by downplaying the seriousness of the virus, going without masks, gathering in bars and restaurants, avoiding the vaccine and trying to convince others to do so as well. Thus, they ensure that we never reach that coveted “freedom” they so loudly desire.

But let them throw jabs at Dr. Fauci all they want. That’s the thing about a punching bag… it always snaps back.

***

In other COVID news, I noticed Republicans going nuts about the pause with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. I don’t know if the pause is a good thing, (using an abundance of caution to not kill people) or a bad thing, (scaring people out of getting the shot), but I do know that if those test results came out and they didn’t put a halt to its use, Republicans would go nuts about that too. It really doesn’t matter.

Whatever happens with Democrats in charge, Republicans are against it. To be seen fighting the Libs is all they have. (Well, that and stoking fear of foreigners, Blacks, gays, trans, Muslims, Atheists, feminists, and tan suits.)

***

I also saw this headline from the National Review in my Yahoo news feed:

To me, this sounds like the best news in a long time, on the reproductive front. And they’re calling it “cruel?”

Shit. Cruel is forcing a woman to carry and deliver a baby she doesn’t want, can’t afford, or will kill her in delivering, while opposing assistance with birth control, medical care, food, or child care. They’re just pissed because obtaining the “abortion pill” by mail bypasses all the roadblocks they’ve set up, like making up restrictions that only women’s health clinics have to follow and shutting down any place that can’t comply, allowing mobs of people to line the streets like a gauntlet outside the clinics, enforcing waiting periods to make sure it will take a couple of trips, sometimes over many hours, requiring doctors to read scientifically incorrect statements to their patients, perform invasive, medically unnecessary tests, and so on.

It’s the same reason they hate voting by mail… it bypasses their vote suppressing policies.

 ***

I culled this from Facebook this weekend.

Um, I can think of a reason… how about so we won’t slaughter each other in numbers we can’t even keep track of any more?

Always with the grand conspiracy theories, they are. Hey, when assault weapons were outlawed in 1994, what did the government do for which you should have shot them? I’ll tell you… not a damned thing. All that happened was that the number of mass shootings went down. And then as soon as Republicans let the ban expire in 2004, the numbers skyrocketed.

If, as the meme intimates, we need semi-automatic rifles to go up against government forces that have turned against us, ask the Taliban how effective all their guns were against the forces of the United States military. They had lots of AK-47s and it didn’t do them much good at all. Defending one’s home against military invaders, using nothing but the contents of one’s own gun locker is a pipe dream, a Hollywood, bad-ass, feel-good story, and not marginally related to reality.

I’ve gone through all this before. I believe civilians have no business owning semi-automatic rifles and high-capacity clips. They serve no function other than to kill lots of people in a short amount of time, and to give ammo-sexuals their thrills when they fire guns that go boom-boom-boom. The latter reason is no rationale to tolerate the first.

The gun nuts love to rail against “taking our guns.” Even if that were possible, that these killing machines could somehow be removed from circulation, (which I seriously doubt,) we’d still be the most heavily-armed citizenry in the world, just with standard rifles and handguns.

If Washington DC didn't have strict laws against open carry, we wouldn't have seen the January 6th Insurrection, it would have been the January 6th Congressional Massacre. 

They also love to argue that guns residing with law-abiding citizens are not the problem. And the problem with that is most mass-killers ARE law-abiding citizens, right up until they’re not. Just ask the victimized parents of Sandy Hook.

People certainly wouldn’t stand for some kind of national Evaluate the Citizenry for Signs of Evil program, so how else does one identify potential killers? It’s not like the guys who suddenly go off and shoot up a workplace or factory always have a history of gun violence… it’s usually the quiet ones or ornery loners who just go off. It’s unlikely that we could ID these guys in enough time to confiscate their guns. (And if we do, it sure seems like they can go right back out and buy more guns.)

The only solution is to put limits on these guns. All we need are a few more politicians with the balls to take on the NRA. 

Getting it past the new Supreme Court is another story.

4 comments:

  1. Science does NOT stake claim to a theory and then cast it in stone when other factors call it into question. That’s what religion and politics do

    This is exactly the problem. Religion is their model for any system that makes claims about truth. Because the essence of a religion is its beliefs, they can't grasp that the essence of science is not its conclusions but rather its methods of arriving at those conclusions. They take any change in scientific statements of fact as evidence of some flaw or deceit, whereas in reality it just reflects the fact that scientific conclusions can change in the light of new evidence.

    ask the Taliban how effective all their guns were against the forces of the United States military. They had lots of AK-47s and it didn’t do them much good at all

    It did, though. We lost. We're pulling out of Afghanistan soon and the Taliban are still there, and may even take over again after we leave. They beat the Soviet invasion the same way.

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    1. Yes, but we didn't lose in Afghanistan because they fought us off with their stockpile of guns. They won because they had inhuman patience, an inability to form an effective government, and nothing there that we need to justify a permanent presence.

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  2. I totally adore Dr. Fauci AND his wife because they just look so adorable together. Many may be tired of seeing him, but thus man has a huge job to do. I'll bet there are days when he just wants to go for a walk with his wife, and not turn on a television for weeks, but he's fully committed to doing constant research, talking with other experts, and keeping millions of people updated about this virus so he can help to save lives. I would be a basket case by now with a job like this, but he does it all so graciously, professionally and patiently. I wish more people would just appreciate his hard work and treat him kindly. Happy Friyay to you and Sweet Pea. Hugs, RO

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    1. I completely agree. I don't see how he's been able to take all the guff thrown his way. I just know that inside, he's dying to say, "You do twice the talking I do while knowing half as much. Now sit down and shut the fuck up, you inbred shit"

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