Merv's Politically Incorrect Audio Blog

Discussion in 'SBAF Blogs' started by purr1n, Dec 26, 2018.

  1. purr1n

    purr1n On vacation

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    It was never my intention for anything here to be overtly political in this thread. I'd expressed my desire to see others write stories about how policy decisions affected their lives, their livelihoods, their data privacy (and if possible, smartly weave audio into it) instead of offering simplistic opinions - because you know - everybody's got an opinion - and there's always some cause: excess fentanyl deaths, plight of foster kids, afghans we left behind, china hegemony, old-school NY bosses' shitty behavior, police officers beating the crap outta people or snuffing out their lives, anti-asian racism (of which Hollywood has been far more guilty than any random punk on the street), the ghost of slavery, etc.

    What I wanted to hear were personal stories or stories from people who had subject matter expertise, and how public policy affected things for the better or for the worse. I worked in a heavily regulated industry for over eleven years and I saw how the winds changed. Whichever way the wind blew, some things got better and some things got worse. (It's not much different from audio where we are trying to find a DAC with three good qualities, but in the end, we can only get two.) In my experience, there's always a good balance. Where one believes where we should sit on the balance scale and the reasons why - those are legitimate discussions. Instead what happens today is people sit on totally opposite extremes - only seeing the pluses but ignoring the minuses of their positions.

    Unfortunately, I haven't read much with respect to good stories which really made me think, despite my trying to lead by example with my own personal stories or my own experience in banking. I don't really even have very hard positions, well other than being anti-statist, and even that is on the soft side because of my pragmatism: government should entice and encourage good behavior and social harmony, but never force it.

    Also, sometimes I like being witty: It's eleven years after the Affordable Care Act. How come my insurance is less affordable than ever? Where is our government? Help! I mean, I'm still pissed about this. I lost my insurance and couldn't keep what I had as promised by the man. What am I supposed to do, just bend over and take it? The more I think about these half-assed "solutions" offered by our government, the more I want to be part of a future insurrection. Don't get me wrong, I saw what happened at Capitol Hill and my first reaction was shoot those fuckers. (Hey, I hold sacred the peaceful transition of power). But I get why they did it and empathize with their deeper concerns.
     
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  2. bilboda

    bilboda Florida boomer

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  3. Lyander

    Lyander Official SBAF Equitable Empathizer

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    The problem I guess comes with subject matter expertise being relatively scarce as people are often incentivised in many workplace settings to follow the self-same factory model of education that hallmarks the modern era and that admirable folk the like of Sir Ken Robinson rightfully rail against. It's effective for rote learning and honing very specific skills, sure, but it's hyperfocused in the same way spearing a fish is in contrast to casting a net.

    It doesn't matter what colour your collar is at work, there are always protocols and norms and standards of behaviour to adhere to, and while adherence to the system can be draining and ruesome (I've got two sisters currently starting med school and both are... stressed, to say the least), there's peace to be had in having a routine job that doesn't really challenge things be it ensuring no discrepancies in paper work, building Magnis, helping students reach learning goals, or just mitigating the very real risks in having shitty wiring at home-- God help anyone who desires to be genuinely inventive and break comfortable norms. Then again, "norms" can be understood as merely being what the majority of people agree ought to be done, and anyone deviant therefrom is automagically "wrong"-- does that qualify as ultimately correct?

    I've been thinking about the Bug's Life movie recently and how the overall themes of the film are surprisingly blunt in its espousal of socialism for an American company. Haven't seen the film in years but the ending message randomly came to mind while pondering at the disconnect between the ultrarich and the exponentially greater number of "ordinary" people. I suppose it oughtn't be surprising that Pixar is radical though ;)

    That said, there's a whole global generation disillusioned by many of the same realities and aspirations that were once vaunted as being universally desirable. Stable and uneventful job, happy heteronormative family, regular vacations to hallmark years passing, hobbies to spark joy that give you an incentive to earn more money? It is what many to this day want, but there's a growing contingent that decries the homogeny and professes disillusionment by the same.

    History says the exact same thing happened about half a century ago and if humans survive long enough with how anthropogenic climate change is putting a hard cap on our growth and continued existence, I'm willing to bet that it'll keep happening like 3AM cartoon reruns.

    RE: Chinese hegemony I had a few adult students who, while otherwise very enthusiastic, kind, and deeply engaged in learning, were nonetheless ardently supportive of the recent move to boycott western brands e.g. Nike, H&M, and others for their questioning of how exploited Uighur labour was an integral part of the overall profitability of their systems; many others who knew my nationality (but often questioned whether or not I was really Filipino because I "didn't look like it"... charming) were insistent that China's move to effectively homogenise all of Asia is in everyone's best interests and will ultimately benefit the entire continent, if not the world.

    For the love of crap even a really subtle easter egg in a Taiwanese horror game is enough to raise fire. "Best interests" my low hanging left nutsack: https://www.scmp.com/tech/policy/ar...me-devotion-banned-china-after-hidden-message

    @rhythmdevils frankly I don't necessarily think that there're more right-wing extremists here than elsewise, it's just that those tend to be the more vocal bunch because of how people who identify as conservative proclaim more rigid adherence to established laws and are enabled thereby. Of course the matter of WHY certain laws exist is seldom questioned--one of my best friends from undergrad is a Nevada native and he lives there now with his son-- he is very much a conservative as many Filipino expatriates are [what's the difference between an immigrant and an expat? :p] so conversations with him almost never go down the line of "what's right to do?" but instead "what does the law dictate?".

    In the same way that falling neatly in line at one's job is a source of comfort and peace, people on every end of the political spectrum will invariably gravitate towards their own and treat out-groups as either enemies or poor, unwashed savages to be shown The Right Path. Everyone has biases, no exception whether you're a charity worker, priest, prostitute, mechanic, lawyer, musician, gambling addict, doctor, broker, shopkeep, pensioner, or trust fund baby, and challenging preconceived notions is always going to be harder than anyone dares to expect. The trick is to try and be dynamic and look at oneself from without; many people find it hard to imagine themselves as another person, likely because that perspective would reveal unflattering things that their ego and sense of self-worth may not brook.
     
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  4. YMO

    YMO Chewbacca's hairy brother

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    As a Floridan, our new "Surgeon General" hasn't been approved by the Florida Senate. We should be raising our eyebrows on why this person is providing health directions for the state when he wasn't officially approved by the Florida Senate. Also, why we are using our tax payer money to pay for these press conferences to someone who is not a "Surgeon General?"

    As a Floridan, why the hell we have a "Surgeon General" office in the first place? The office doesn't have that much powers to begin with, and the FL Legislature can just pass a law that more/less make that office useless. Why our tax money is being wasted on a media circus? Our state budget with the Covid funds is almost $100 billion, which is slightly more than the NYC annual budget. That's a crap ton of money, and I know there's fat in it.

    Voters on both political parties in all 50 states deserve the government they get: A bunch of fucking lawyers who are smart enough to make $$$ on my tax money, rape me on my taxes, and smart enough to have the ignorant masses continue to vote for them.

    A warning for everyone regarding DeSantis: He is a Big Government GOP fan like Trump.
    • He permanently raised my taxes - Making sales tax in FL permanent on online sales, which they didn't have to do it since the state reserves were not running in a negative. This hurt my wallet.
    • Working with the FL GOP in making ballot initiatives even harder - You need to have millions to even get something on the ballet. DeSantis and FL GOP saying it will prevent special interest, but you now need special interest to even get something on the ballot.
    • Doesn't Respect Home Rule - If a City/County pass something that the GOP that control state government doesn't like, they just pass a law overriding the City/County law. FL is a Home Rule state which over the last 20 years the FL GOP has been attacking it, just like the NY Dems.
    • How to solve a problem? Just pass more confusing laws. - There was this "Anti-Riot" law that passed in FL. However, we already had strict Anti-Riot laws to begin with and our police force before this law was pass can already handle riots. I read the law, and honestly shit is vague. Justice Gorsuch said best: “In our constitutional order, a vague law is no law at all.”
    @purr1n asked how political policies affected me? Well, DeSantis got my wallet. I blame the voters who voted DeSantis for raising taxes on everyone. I do not forget, but FL Voters like everyone else vote D or R, even if they forgot who fucked them over.

    I love the Conservatives Media keep calling FL a state of "freedom." I'm saying "freedom" with "" because FL doesn't come close to freedom as TX, LA, MS, AL, etc.
    • Our gun laws are the strictest in the South.
    • A lot of cities put bans on rentals and other things on the property that you own.
    • Even with less restrictions, there's still plenty of restrictions businesses can't impose on.
    • Yes no income tax, but the state will rape you in other ways.
    This is what you get when you have a tons of moderate conservatives moving to FL from the Northeast. They look down at the "god loving rednecks" who live in TX, LA, MS, AL, etc. They know those states are cheaper to live in, but they want to move to a place that reminds them of Long Island. And they don't mind of the politicians are assholes, since they are used to it up in NY! Plus, the people want the town/city to act like one giant HOA by imposing their will on other property owners (you have a commercial vehicle, well you can't have it in your house - that's one law where my dad lives).

    FL is the GOP version of California, but minus the good weather, mountains, food, and wealth making economy.
     
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  5. purr1n

    purr1n On vacation

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    I love Chinese mainlanders, even more after they come to the USA, their eyes open wide, and they say fuck China, I ain't ever going back. I've pointed a few who graduated here in the right directions so they can stay (at banks serving the Chinese speaking communities). I find them so American, taking advantage of all the opportunities afforded here that they would never get in China.

    Hey you don't look Filipino, you look Chinese! That's wonderful that they've taken to you! You are now an honorary Han Chinese.

    I think the Pooh thing is endearing. Xi does not. He's all business.
     
  6. purr1n

    purr1n On vacation

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    Wait a minute. You just blew everything I thought I knew about Florida out of the water. Sturgeon General? WTF? Why? Well I guess states do need a body and a person to lead it to certify doctors (and COVID witchdoctors). Hey, at least we are reaching community immunity via shots and naturally acquired SARS2. I just noticed this week that masks are starting to come off in Corpus. No idea how mask situation is there?

    Pensacola my friend. Pensacola.

    Upscale Corpus Christi in FL. The reason it's upscale; well, we know why. South Texas is still cheap because only weirdos like me would move here from California. Most move to Austin or Plano. Things are changing tho. Big plans for The Island.
     
  7. Lyander

    Lyander Official SBAF Equitable Empathizer

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    For the love of fuck being mistaken for Michael Reeves [had no idea who this was until earlier this year until ex pointed the resemblance out... yikes] was bad enough but you're not even the first to say I look like a mainlander. I don't see it and y'all be trippin. Of course it could just be denial :D

    Amusingly one of my regular students was a big fan of Winnie the Pooh-- they had a whole wall covered in a painting featuring him and Tigger and the rest of the Hundred Acre Woods; given that she was presumably a mainlander I had a great deal of trouble keeping a straight face whenever we had classes.

    Was having a conversation with a friend earlier and frankly, there is an uncanny level of disquieting disconnect when talking with most people from the mainland about policies and some social realities. Quoting aforementioned friend, she basically said that the brainwashing is very real and runs deep and it's hard to disagree given context.
     
  8. BarnBurner

    BarnBurner Acquaintance

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  9. crenca

    crenca Friend

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    Be afraid, very afraid. Classical Liberalism (i.e. "rights") is just not all that useful for public health policy, any more than it is useful for sewer design, or deciding whether everyone should drive on the left or the right. The simplistic "mortality rose after lockdown" means whatever its hearers want it to mean, which for the target audience is "nobody can tell me I have to get that there microchips inserted into me!".

    Here in southern New Mexico, our hospitals are full of COVID patients. About 40% of them are from small towns and rural area's in our state, but 60% are overflow from low vax Texas. Our high vax rates are your benefit, and your gasping and dying are our hospital's $financial$ benefit.

    We will see. The question is around the efficacy of "natural immunity" and the balance of these numbers with the vaccinated. Anecdotal evidence in our area suggests that there are too many cases of ICU/ventilated/dead among those who were relying on the fact they had COVID in the past.
     
  10. YMO

    YMO Chewbacca's hairy brother

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    FL on stats I do not trust the government #s. When I go outside I see people wearing masks is 50/50. Most have their shots and living their lives. That's why so many people are moving to FL and making COL becoming too much when comparing to salaries, sadly. Even employers don't want to raise salaries too much or else they aren't making $$$. Hard times for those who can't afford to pay salaries as a small business. My big bank employer had to raise starting pay at $18 for entry level bank jobs but even then they are getting priced out a bit since their competitors are paying $20/hr to start. It's a start, but that is before we get into the steep rental market increases due to demand.

    You did say this earlier:

    In FL during the Jeb Bush years they really love him. However, people wanted the FL Executive branch to have more powers. At the time the FL gov was one of the weakest governors in terms of power in the South. We had seven constitutional officers including the governors. When FL GOP taken over the whole state government they sold on the population that we can make Jeb Bush more awesome by getting rid of some of these constitutional officers and give more powers to the FL governor as a cost saving measure. Voters had to vote on it via a Constitutional Amendment. That passed super easy in the early 2000s. Yes it saved money, but it make the FL Executive branch more powerful since they taken some of the former constitutional officers powers. I guess foreshadowing??? People love their governor have more powers if they are on the same pollical party as they are.

    Ah, that is true. Pensacola has a weaker job market than Jacksonville since it is still mostly a heavy military city. Also tons of money $ from other Southern states are hiting up Santa Rosa and other counties in the area for beach access. I almost went to UWF for college in Pensacola, but researched the job market and made a decision that I wouldn't get luckily with a job in that area of FL. Thus I went to Jacksonville, which has the biggest non-tourist job market in FL instead. That area of FL has the most amount of military retirees in the whole nation. So Matt Gaetz Congressional District? His district is the more heavy military retiree district in the whole country. It is also one of the most conservatives districts in FL since the heaviest consecration of conservatives in FL are based in NW FL (North Central FL and Northeast FL also has heavy conservative voting block).

    Did you know that one of the two pure dry counties (for those outside of the US, areas where alcohol sales are banned) is in Matt Gaetz's district? That's Liberty County. The other pure dry country is Washington County that is right near Liberty County, lol. But that isn't in Matt Gaetz's district. It's 2021....yeah. Liberty County....Washington County.....WTF.

    Maybe I am reading this wrong, but @crenca I am open minded to have a Surgeon General office in FL. However, the office itself is more/less a giant joke since they don't have powers to mandate anything (since the FL Legislature has final say on everything). Of course if you do something the governor doesn't like, your ass is gone. With the Covid mess the office became one giant joke where why we even have it in the first place? This "Surgeon General," provided if he accepted by the FL Senate, did a lot of writing with the WSJ about his stances that aren't popular. I do agree with him on some of it, it is just I think he only got the job not due to his qualifications but more on "getting his name" out there on the conservative media circuit. For me, I shake my head and cry that my tax money is being pooped on.

    Maybe in other states that have a Surgeon General office aren't close to the drama and pollical baggage that FL has, and actually work as intended.
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2021
  11. Senorx12562

    Senorx12562 Case of the mondays

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    Yeah. No. There is nothing you can do or to make me happy or unhappy.
     
  12. GettingBuckets

    GettingBuckets Almost "Made"

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    As someone in the medical field who will be entering residency next year, I can without a doubt say that our hospital ICUs are completely packed and 80% of the beds are occupied by unvaccinated COVID patients who are slowly dying. The amount of times we have had to turn away people in critical care to go die at home from the emergency department because we did not have any beds to take care of them is honestly so fucking demoralizing. Plus, with the great divide of vaccination and lack of transparency causing a distrust in medicine, it's sad to see so many doctors becoming villainized because they are promoting vaccinations because they have literally seen countless people die from COVID and are helpless to stop them from dying once they reach a certain point in the hospital.

    We usually have a running count of number of COVID patients in the hospital and the percentage that are in the hospital that are unvaccinated is usually around 90-95%, which is pretty consistent across the board.
     
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  13. crenca

    crenca Friend

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    This is key. If we had real leadership and we're not so fucking "live and let live" and overly concerned with "privacy" we would be marching these anti-maskers/anti-vaxers through the ICU's like the US army did with the German citizenship through the Nazi death camps, denial being such a powerful thing. Marv and others have argued that folks should make their own risk assessment, but the vast majority of folks simply do have the tools they need to do such a thing. That said he is right we are ungovernable.

    Doctors need a union, one that will back them up when they refuse to treat the spreadnecks...
     
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  14. yotacowboy

    yotacowboy McRibs Kind of Guy

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  15. purr1n

    purr1n On vacation

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    Did any of us really believe that we would quickly reach herd immunity via vaccination? Deep in our hearts, we knew this was never gonna happen. I would have loved to see one the archons in the CDC or NIH step up, and through sheer force of personal will, take an unwaveringly lead in the charge against COVID. No, that person wasn't Fauci. He's too nice.

    The problem is that in this social media age, even if such a person did arise, they would have been met with immediate opposition. Facebook, to Zuckerberg's credit self-interest tried to be a force for good; but in the end got taken over by the conspiracists. We are not the USA of the 1950s.

    This is where we failed. The USA is not like the eastern democracies who were able to control the spread of the SARS2 virus through a well behaved populace. Our approach should have been one that assumed that Americans would be ungovernable, taking a realistic expectation of achievable vaccination rates. We would have been more "successful" if we assumed that that a certain rather large percentage of folks would never take the vaccine; and that in order to reach herd immunity, naturally acquired immunity via contraction of SARS2 would be necessary.

    By taking a realistic view of Americans' behavior, we would have avoided issuing confusing mask guidance, ever changing social distancing guidelines, purple alerts, etc. People do not cope well with change. We see this in SBAF all the time. I tell people to get used to change on to SBAF, but every time there is a change, people freak out.

    You are in the medical profession and thus obligated to help. I'm not, so I can be a bastard and say that staying alive is not is right, it's a privilege. Things have been changing. This recent spike is the first one where I've really heard of people getting sick and dying. When close relatives and friends start dropping dead, people revise their risk assessment based on this information. Hey, LeBron eventually concluded his "research" too.

    I still feel that people should be able to make their own choice, particularly because highly effective next generation and less effective old school vaccinations are easily available for anyone who wants one to protect themselves. I can't claim to be "anti-statist" and want the state to force it down everyone's throat. Maybe the quarterly government handouts could have been predicated on vaccinations as an incentive?

    Anyway. We are finally over the hump. We can argue about the effectiveness of naturally acquired immunity, but I'm betting it's still better than SinoVac. (Let's face it, nothing has been more effective than these next generation mRNA vaccines). This won't go away totally. We'll still see flare ups, but the worst will be over soon for the USA.

    Besides, one less person does wonders for the environment and climate change. More than any solar panel, windmill, or electric car. Thanos had the right idea. He was the ultimate Green.
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2021
  16. BarnBurner

    BarnBurner Acquaintance

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    I'm sorry you have to experience this. Hang in there.

    If I could do it all over I would dedicate myself to the epidemiology of contagious narcissism and mass psychosis.
     
  17. Beefy

    Beefy Almost "Made"

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    The problem with relying on natural immunity is just how many people it would kill to get there.

    The whole-population case fatality rate for unvaccinated people is still no less than 2%. Yes, it's way higher in old folks, and way lower in young folks. But the low risk for young people does still rely on functional hospitals. Fatality rates in younger people skyrocket if the margininal cases can't get a hospital bed.

    And what were seeing in Canada (Alberta and Saskatchewan specifically), if you cut all control measures and just treat the virus as if it were the flu.... well, even 70% adult vaccination rates aren't enough to stop the hospitals from being completely overwhelmed by unvaccinated people.

    So yeah, TLDR, the road to natural immunity is ripe with the smell of corpses.
     
  18. purr1n

    purr1n On vacation

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    It's more pragmatic to control the smell of rotting corpses than to try to force an unruly population to do what they simply are not going to do. The smell of rotting corpses tends to make people redo their own personal risk assessments. Unfortunately for some, it's too late.

    Purple alert, orange alert, green alert, purple alert, partially closed, kinda open, totally closed, maybe open, mask up, mask off, maybe masks, mask on. That shit just confuses the heck outta people with respect to complying with attack rate mitigation measures.

    And as I said: The right to staying alive is a privilege. The Universe doesn't guarantee this as a right.

    Think of this this way: the problem with climate change activists is they are too focused on 2099 when they should be focused on what's happening now. California has no plans for water storage, no plans for power when the sun goes down, spent years eliminating fossil fuel power generation in favor of solar power while ignoring aging power lines that are causing fires and killing people, no plans for cutting down forests, etc.

    What's needed is pragmatism. What can be done now to address the shit that is 95% going to happen today rather than trying to prevent shit in the future that 95% can't be prevented.
     
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  19. purr1n

    purr1n On vacation

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    They already have one. It's called the AMA. Unfortunately, refusal to treat spreadnecks is contrary to their code.

    I'm perfectly fine with giving overwhelmed hospitals the option to place unvaccinated COVID patients on wheelbarrows and throw them into the dumpster or hospital incinerator. I'm dead serious about this and if I worked at a hospital, I'd probably volunteer for this unpleasant job. The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few or the one. This is simply a variation of medical triage after mass casualty incidents and disasters. (Well, OK let's place them in an field somewhere on stretchers away from everyone else and pump them full of drugs to keep them comfortable until they die or miraculously recover).

    I proposed something similar to this idea to a few unvaccinated people I knew. They said they would fine with this - and I know they would be because of their convictions and the type of people that they were. However, I know most others would have regrets: the sad sacks on television and social media imploring people to get vaccinated days before they died.

    That's television and social media though. People here in Nueces County kind of shrug "hey, they made their choices, got their consequences" when they talk about close friends and relatives who have died. It's sad, but we move on as humans always have before us.

    I know lots of people would have a problem with this. How could you (Texans) allow people to be dumb and make bad choices? Choices that not only kill themselves, but friends, relatives, their unborn babies? (It was hard hearing one lady telling me about her unvaccinated pregnant friend who died along with the baby - the lady didn't want to be vaccinated because she was pregnant - Facebook and all ya know.)

    I don't have a good answer. Maybe it's because we like our freedom and know that the price of freedom can sometimes be high and come with collateral damage.
     
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  20. crenca

    crenca Friend

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    Southern New Mexico
    The AMA is not a union, it's a lobby organization, or even more accurately a PR organization. Actually that's not even it, it's more like an NGO that serves some politicians/government and their idealist donors. Like most of these sorts entities it long ago succumbed to the "long march of through the institutions" of the baby boomer progressives. Out of habit and vague sense of civil duty we used to send them our $500 dues every year, but I stopped that after they openly supported the unaffordable-health-care-act before its ultimate passage. The state wing of the AMA (New Mexico Medical Society) however was able to milk us for another few years (another $500 a year) because they managed to get it passed into administrative law that you had to be a member of their organization to be eligible for malpractice insurance. However a few years back they pissed off our insurance company (not sure how exactly, probably by only half heartedly supporting tort limits) that they stopped collecting the dues for them, and they are too disorganized to collect from me directly.

    If we actually had a libertarian system that flowed both ways then I could perhaps tolerate it, but we don't. We give individuals the choice to not be vaccinated, but we do not give physicians, hospitals, and "the standard of care" the freedom to let these fools actually suffer the consequences of their choice. On the contrary, we (doctors and hospitals) are as liable as we ever were, and these fools get the same care as if they had made the right choice. The strain and utter exhaustion that @GettingBuckets spoke about is very real. For Darwin and "free choice" to actually work, we would have to utterly change the basic way we think about and deliver medicine in this country, and that is simply not going to happen. In other words, the wrong consequences are flowing from the freedom not to be vaccinated. Sure, these fools are gasping for breath for a few weeks before dying (and in an individualistic way "paying the price") but the collateral damage to the medical system, to society in economic and personal terms is in my opinion too high for us to keep making this basic category error - of indulging in the fiction that viruses, vectors, and vaccines are in the main a private choice.

    All that said, it's as you say and all this is academic because the sad fact is that this deadly pandemic is not quite deadly enough, and things are going to stay more or less the same for the foreseeable future.
     

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