Still More Evidence That No One Who Cares About Individual Liberty, Freedom of Expression And The Increasing Threat Of Totalitarianism In The US Should Live In California Voluntarily…

With AB 2098, California’s legislature passed a bill that would punish doctors offering “false information” on the Wuhan virus and its offspring. It okayed direct government action to punish speech based on content, and was obviously unconstitutional. Naturally, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed it into law anyway: he doesn’t believe in the Bill of Rights, his party doesn’t, and apparently the California voters that keep voting for him and officials like Adam Schiff don’t either.  Their state has devolved into a kind of Bizarro World gradted to the rest of the country, a place that increasingly rejects the underlying values and principles the United States was built on, and increasingly, basic logic as well. Here’s a meme that appeared on Powerline’s always entertaining “The Week in Pictures,” which I heartily recommend:

That’s not even satire. It’s just true, and emblematic of how ethically inert the entire stat has become.

The new law prevents doctors from providing “treatment or advice” “to a patient” “related to COVID-19” when that treatment or advice includes (1) “false information” (2) “that is contradicted by contemporary scientific consensus” (3) “contrary to the standard of care.”  Threatening disciplinary action (such as the loss of one’s license to practice) the law sends “a chilling message to physicians to toe the line.” in Prof. Turley’s words. Though a first year law student would quickly see the measure was unconstitutional, California has California-culture judges. In McDonald v. Lawson one of them held the law to be just fine. Now, however Judge William Shubb (E.D. Cal.) in Hoeg v. Newsom, another challenge to the law, has granting an injunction against its enforcement. Continue reading

The Bottom Line On The Moderna Booster Scandal: Apologies Please, And Now

It is nice to see CNN practicing journalism again. though.

A CNN report published yesterday revealed that the pharmaceutical company Moderna withheld data from both U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention vaccine advisers last summer pointing to “the possibility that the updated booster might not be any more effective at preventing Covid-19 infections than the original shots.”

The booster’s impact on actual infections, based on trials, indicated that “1.9% of the study participants who received the original booster became infected” while “those who got the updated bivalent vaccine – the one that scientists hoped would work better – a higher percentage, 3.2%, became infected.” The FDA authorized the Moderna bivalent vaccine on August 31, and did not publicize the previously omitted infection data until September 13. Continue reading

From The Ethics Alarms Mailbag: “Why Do You Insist On Calling Covid “The Wuhan Virus”?

Because that’s what it is?

I’m actually grateful for the question, because I have become more adamant about resisting the deliberately deceptive misnomer for the virus as time goes on and more information becomes available. In 2020, when the pandemic was just starting to wreck the United States’ on many levels, it was pretty obvious that the virus had its start in the Wuhan province of China. Whether it was from a lab or the (disgusting, third-world level wet markets) was and still is uncertain, but Wuhan is where the first recorded case emerged, and where the pathogen took first hold in December of 2019.

Early on in 2020, then-President Trump and some media sources referred to the virus as the “Wuhan virus” or the “China virus,” and these useful and descriptive terms were quickly declared unfair, inaccurate, and “racist.” by the Left. Part of the motivation was, I believe, to suck up to China, a corrupt and dangerous nation that too many businesses and industries (like Hollywood and the NBA) view as a profitable target for unprincipled pandering, Another aspect of the linguistic cover-up was to, as usual in the age of The Great Stupid, choose censorship and public confusion in the quixotic and bizarre effort to make certain groups feel “safe” (as in “safe from reality”). Because there are morons who will bully and mistreat Chinese-Americans as “punishment” for a disaster they could not be rationally blamed for, the widiculous woke decreed that the origins and true responsibility for the pandemic must be obscured by technical jargon. Continue reading

These Are Poisonous Fruit Of Squandered Trust

A just-released Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey concluded that 49% of American adults believe it is likely that Wuhan virus vaccines have caused a significant number of unexplained deaths. Twenty-eight percent think it’s “Very Likely” that the side effects of the vaccine have been deadly to many  in contrast with 37% who don’t believe that a significant number of deaths have been caused by vaccine side effects. Fourteen percent are not sure, the usual group that isn’t sure of anything.

You can question the accuracy of this poll or all polls, you can believe that the vaccine skeptics are hysterics, you can believe that these numbers are in large part the result of “misinformation.” However, there is no question that even if they are inaccurate, the numbers show a shocking level of distrust in the pandemic vaccines, and, by extension, vaccines in general as well the health professionals and elected officials who have promoted them. When asked if there are legitimate safety concerns surrounding the shots, or whether doubts have been seeded by conspiracy theorists, 48% said there that concerns are valid. Only 37% indicated that false conspiracy theories were behind the public’s fears.

Glenn Reynolds, the Beauchamp Brogan Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of Tennessee College of Law and one of the most widely read conservative blogger, has it exactly right, writing, Continue reading

Climate Change Media Hype, 2022

The more I think about it, the more the Wuhan virus fiasco strikes me as a microcosm (not too micro, unfortunately) of the climate change hysteria. Both are “Do Something!” debacles; both have demonstrated that those who argue for lock-step compliance with ideologically driven “science” don’t understand the science they demand we bow to. And, as we have seen, the policies applied to both problems have proved to be irresponsible, reckless, expensive, and destructive. Nevertheless, a substantial portion of the population remains brainwashed by climate change hysteria, even those individuals with brains one would think are too substantial to wash, much like the once sane and competent Americans who wear masks alone in their automobiles and while walking their dogs. I am seeing this in my college reunion report, as I slog through hundreds of life stories. A majority of them express terror at the looming climate apocalypse. Their solution is massive “structural change”…you know, “one world” government, though few are bold or honest enough to say so clearly.

Aiding and abetting the hysteria that is so useful to those who find democracy an inconvenience is the mainstream media. Just as it hyped the risks of the pandemic, never clearly explaining that the virus was overwhelmingly a mortal threat only to the already sick, elderly or obese—all the better to justify shutting down schools, businesses, social interaction and the economy, the news media continued to exaggerate and misrepresent the effects of climate change in 2022. Continue reading

Amnesty For the Unethical Pandemic Policymakers, Fearmongers And Health Experts?

I was thinking about making the latest Atlantic essay “Let’s Declare a Pandemic Amnesty: We need to forgive one another for what we did and said when we were in the dark about COVID” an Ethics Quiz. Wouldn’t that be the civilized, forgiving, soothing, fair thing to do? After all, as author, a Brown professor named Emily Oster, argues, weren’t “most errors were made by people who were working in earnest for the good of society”? They meant well! (Rationalization #3A  The Road To Hell) Anyone can make a mistake! (#19. The Perfection Diversion) OK, we could have done better! (#19B The Insidious Confession) That’s in the past! (#52. The Underwood Maneuver). There are so, so many more rationalizations, all employed here to avoid accountability by those who richly deserve it. And I realized that this was coming from The Atlantic, one of the leaders of the Trump-hating media, and a herald of the Progressive New Order. Of course they want an amnesty.

Continue reading

Wuhan Virus Ethics Train Wreck Update, Part 2: Hospital Masking

I actually witnessed this exchange three days ago, as part of my four-day Alexandria, VA hospital adventure:

Woman: Put on a mask! This is a hospital!

Man: Why should I? You’re not wearing one!

Woman: I am!

Man: You’re wearing it under your nose!

Woman: I’m still wearing it! Put one on, or I’m reporting you!

Man. Go ahead!

Whereupon the woman turned to the elderly volunteer manning the desk at the entrance. He wasn’t wearing a mask.

Are the idiotic pandemic masks the official symbol and attire of The Great Stupid? I think so. My experience at the INOVA hospital convinced me. At the Emergency Room entrance. a large sign mandated masks. A security guard ordered me to put one on (but not my wife, who was being checked in). The masks being handed out were those cheap paper things that are either completely useless or mostly useless, depending on who you talk to. During the four days of hospital visits, I didn’t see a single N95 mask on the faces of staff, patients or visitors.

Around the busy ER waiting area, there were unmasked people, masked people, and people wearing masks under their noses or chins. When my wife was being checked in, nobody appeared to care about the masks at all. The nurse processing us wore no mask. I didn’t; my wife didn’t. The attendants who took her to the temporary room did. Later on, all of the nurses and techs were masked, but some doctors were not. Nobody ever asked me or my wife to put one on. In the nearby rooms, the typical scene was an unmasked patient and a mixed crowd of masked and unmasked family members, shoulder to shoulder.

Later, when my wife was moved to a regular hospital room, the signs even disappeared. The Patients Entrance and Visitors entrance had cheap masks available, but there were no apparent requirements. Sometimes the receptionists were masked, sometimes not. Sometimes one was and the other wasn’t. I walked in maskless (let’s see…) eight times, and nobody said a word.

What’s going on here?

Madness, as Major Clipton said. Virtue signaling. Confusion. Mixed messages. Chaos. Fear. Stupidity.

Science!

Wuhan Virus Ethics Train Wreck Update, Part 1

[There’s almost no traffic here on Saturday if I don’t get a post up before 10:30am; I guess I’m going to find out what kind of traffic there is if nothing gets posted before 4 pm. Ugh. I’m sorry. Sitting down at my desk is still very painful, more so, in fact, today than yesterday. I also don’t understand why an 18 inch bruise on one leg makes the rest of me feel so terrible. I feel like a weenie, and I’m sorry.]

1. Biden again extended the Wuhan pandemic public health emergency, which was set to expire last week. Now it will remain in place past the midterm elections. This keeps millions of Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program beneficiaries who might lose their coverage enrolled for several more months, and allows allowed vaccines, testing, and treatments to be offered for free. It also requires states to offer continuous enrollment for Medicaid and CHIP, public health insurance programs for low-income individuals, in order to receive additional federal funding.

That’s nice, except that there is no emergency, and Biden’s previous public statements admitted as much. This is an abuse of Presidential power, no more ethical nor legal than a leader’s extending a curfew or martial law to seize dictatorial powers—it’s the same principle, and the same tactic. Congress should throw a fit, but it won’t, because Congress has no principles or guts: the measures benefit voting blocs, and though the President is abusing his emergency powers to bypass the requirements of legislation and rule-making, the public can’t comprehend such details like due process and the separation of powers, nor, apparently, basic honesty. If the President can declare an emergency (extending an emergency is not different from declaring one) when there is none and get away with it, why not martial law?

The Wuhan gravy train has benefited so many (while wrecking the economy, whole sectors of the economy and the education and social progress of our children, just to mention a few of the self-inflicted wounds) that ending it will undoubtedly cause many considerable pain. HHS estimates that as many as 15 million people will lose their Medicaid coverage—but then, they aren’t supposed to have medicaid coverage. 

Many families will also lose supplemental money they received through the federal government’s nutrition program. But the only reason they were getting such funds was because of an emergency that no longer exists. Biden has already used the non-emergency to justify student loan forgiveness (we’ll see if he gets away with that) and make landlords continue to do without rent. HHS overrode state laws regarding which vaccines pharmacists could administer to certain age groups.  Whether the nationalization of pharmacy vaccine rules will expire when the “emergency” is lifted is still open to question. Essentially, this is a scheme to spend more taxpayer money and extend nanny state benefits and ratchet up big government control, using the pandemic as the tool. It is both an abuse of power and a cynical exercise in bypassing democracy. Continue reading

ER Ethics

I’m running back and forth to the Alexandria hospital’s Emergency Room today (don’t ask why). It’s been at least 6 months since the last unpleasant visit, and something new has been added in the check-in area. It is a large sign warning that “aggressive, threatening or inappropriate conduct or language” will not be tolerated, and may result in refusals to offer treatment.

It was immediately evident why the hospital felt such a threat was necessary. The place was a disaster. It was obviously understaffed, and the staff members that were there were rude, distracted, slow and harried. I watched a 90-year old woman stand at the check-in window as the woman behind it left without explanation abandoning the potential patient who was literally whimpering as the minutes ticked by. “At least there’s no emergency,” I said to the angry lady. She was not amused.

As with so many other places in which professional, timely service is expected and once, before the pandemic gave them an excuse to go with skeleton staffing, was delivered, the ER was lowering its standards and telling people that they could like it or lump it, but they had better not complain or express frustration.

And life in the USA gets just a little bit shittier.

For Amherst College Students, A Values And Self-Respect Test…

…and for Amherst itself, a test of how well its totalitarian indoctrination program is working. Just look at this head-exploding thing:

Well.

The new policy at Amherst College has each student and teacher fill out an anonymous survey to state whether they want a mask mandate in their classroom. If a single student, or the instructor, so desires, everyone will be required to wear a mask, despite the fact that masking as the paranoid and largely useless security-blanket response to the lurking Wuhan virus and its relatives is no longer required by CDC guidelines (Science!) and that masks are now almost exclusively worn by phobics, lock-step progressives seeking to show their fealty using the equivalent of a Nazi armband, and people so immuno-compromised that they probably shouldn’t be out in public at all. Continue reading