Paul Krugman on Vaccine Hesitancy

• Paul Krugman, writing in the NY Times on personal freedom as an excuse for vaccine hesitancy:

Once you understand that the rhetoric of freedom is actually about privilege, things that look on the surface like gross inconsistency and hypocrisy start to make sense.

Why, for example, are conservatives so insistent on the right of businesses to make their own decisions, free from regulation — but quick to stop them from denying service to customers who refuse to wear masks or show proof of vaccination? Why is the autonomy of local school districts a fundamental principle — unless they want to require masks or teach America’s racial history? It’s all about whose privilege is being protected.


2021-08-03T15:21:20-05:00August 3rd, 2021|HomeRecommended|

Ezra Klein speaks volumes on vaccinations

• Another terrific column from Ezra Klein, writing in the NYT: “What if the Unvaccinated Can’t Be Persuaded?”  I particularly liked this line:

Over and over again throughout this pandemic, the same pattern has played out: We haven’t done enough to suppress the virus when we still could, so we have had to impose far more draconian lockdowns and grieve far more death, once we have lost control. For this reason among many, I urge those who object to vaccination passports as an unprecedented stricture on liberty to widen their tragic imagination.

Highly recommended…

2021-08-03T15:21:40-05:00July 29th, 2021|HomeRecommended|

Blog Well Done –

• Kristen Panthagani PhD (now completing her MD) has put together a nicely done blog. “You Can Know Things,” that serves as an explainer and fact checker, mostly for things COVID.  Check it out here.  Well done, Kristen!

Two nice examples:

Pandemic Contradictions  and this animated graphic of US Covid related deaths and vaccinations:

2021-08-03T15:22:15-05:00July 24th, 2021|HomeRecommended|

Good information on the delta variant

• Another excellent Morning item from David Leonhardt in the NYT.  He discusses virulence (severity) and contagiousness of the delta variant and does a very good job of it.  The quick summary:  it’s a lot more contagious, but probably not much (or any) more virulent. This comports with the usual evolutionary selection pressures operant in a massive pandemic – the mutant virus that spreads more easily (is more contagious) can reproduce more efficiently by infecting many more hosts. But if it kills too many hosts too quickly (more virulent) it won’t be able to reproduce and spread as efficiently.  The biggest issue for delta is that it is so contagious it will likely keep a huge portion of the world’s unvaccinated population infected for many months, and even if not more virulent, big numbers of infection mean more severely ill folks and deaths.  And of course a large pool of infected individuals provides ample opportunity for more mutations to arise that might be more contagious still,  more virulent, or escape vaccine induced immunity.

2021-07-15T17:31:40-05:00July 15th, 2021|HomeRecommended|

Linus Torvalds tells anti vaxxers what for…

•Linus Torvalds, responding to an anti-coronavirus vaccine post on the Linux Kernel mailing list:

“Please keep your insane and technically incorrect anti-vax comments to yourself.

You don’t know what you are talking about, you don’t know what mRNA is, and you’re spreading idiotic lies. Maybe you do so unwittingly, because of bad education. Maybe you do so because you’ve talked to “experts” or watched youtube videos by charlatans that don’t know what they are talking about.

But dammit, regardless of where you have gotten your mis-information from, any Linux kernel discussion list isn’t going to have your idiotic drivel pass uncontested from me.”


"Get vaccinated. Stop believing the anti-vax lies.

And if you insist on believing in the crazy conspiracy theories, at
least SHUT THE HELL UP about it on Linux kernel discussion lists."

Go get em, Linus.
2021-06-13T19:58:08-05:00June 13th, 2021|HomeRecommended|

Democracy under siege, reported by those who actually study it

•The Statement of Concern regarding the current threats to American democracy, now signed by 120 (and counting) professors of public policy, political science, government, public policy, etc., tries to send a clarion call of alarm regarding the current actions of Republican politicians and legislatures. These actions will erode the will of the majority in an attempt to enshrine power in a minority that is increasingly out of touch with the electorate (and in some cases, reality).   An excerpt:

“We, the undersigned, are scholars of democracy who have watched the recent deterioration of U.S. elections and liberal democracy with growing alarm. Specifically, we have watched with deep concern as Republican-led state legislatures across the country have in recent months proposed or implemented what we consider radical changes to core electoral procedures in response to unproven and intentionally destructive allegations of a stolen election. Collectively, these initiatives are transforming several states into political systems that no longer meet the minimum conditions for free and fair elections. Hence, our entire democracy is now at risk.

When democracy breaks down, it typically takes many years, often decades, to reverse the downward spiral. In the process, violence and corruption typically flourish, and talent and wealth flee to more stable countries, undermining national prosperity. It is not just our venerated institutions and norms that are at risk—it is our future national standing, strength, and ability to compete globally.”


2021-06-13T19:58:28-05:00June 1st, 2021|HomeRecommended|

Shame on them

•More excellent work from Heather Cox Richardson in her 5/21 Letters from an American.  It concludes:

“Six months after the 2020 election, supporters of the former president are challenging vote counts all over the country as he continues to insist he won. His supporters stormed the Capitol to overturn our electoral process. And now our Republican lawmakers, who have taken an oath to defend the Constitution, are trying to protect their leader from accountability for inciting that insurrection.”

2021-06-13T19:58:56-05:00May 23rd, 2021|HomeRecommended|
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