Tag: Government control

Who’s Afraid Of The Passport?

The current discussions around mandatory vaccines and vaccine passports is interesting. I use the term “discussion” loosely. It’s more like two baboons in a cage screaming at each other and throwing feces. I generally don’t like when someone tells me that a thing is mandatory. Dammit, we’re supposed to be a free people. Nobody tells me what I can and cannot do. If I want to sit in my recliner and drink beer and eat donuts all day, that’s my god given right. Except there are plenty of things that are mandatory. A drivers license to drive. Education through high school is compulsory. You must be licensed to cut hair, open a business, be a gym instructor or chiropractor. As a society we’ve made all sorts of things mandatory. In theory, we’ve made those choices collectively through our elected representatives. They weren’t edicts handed down by the king of the seven realms. We voluntarily put those restrictions on ourselves.

Ok, but requiring vaccines are different. That’s my personal health information. Maybe. But we already mandate vaccines. There are a whole host of required vaccines various states require to attend public school. I chose to work in health care. I was mandated to get whole bunch of additional vaccines if wanted to be employed. There’s nothing new about requiring a vaccine.

Except this one does feel different. It’s brand new. It did not have the full edge-case testing over a long period of time that other well established vaccines had. As a broad statement, I think it’s pretty safe. I was one of the first folks to get it when it was made available to health care workers. I’m older and was going to be regularly exposed to folks with the virus that shall not be named. I made a risk assessment and decided it was worth it. But I have a number of coworkers who are young and are thinking about starting a family. They haven’t gotten the shot because of the unknown factor when it comes to pregnancy. I think that’s very understandable and a reasonable risk assessment for someone who’s young and healthy. Except our hospital just announced that they are making the vaccine mandatory to continue employment. That bothers me. Mandating a vaccine that does not yet have full FDA approval to healthy young people doesn’t seem right. Maybe health care is a slightly different scenario, but making the shot mandatory is being talked about in all walks of life. Healthy college kids, people who’ve already had Covid, and many non-essential businesses. Making something like the flu shot mandatory to work as an accountant or a Starbucks barista never would have been accepted in this country. Jenny Mccarthy made sure of that. Why is this any different?

And then there’s the vaccine passports. I generally don’t pay much attention to that discussion. In the back of my mind I just didn’t think proving health status was something that this country would seriously consider. Other countries may do it and that’s fine, I just won’t go there. France is attempting to require a vaccine passport to go to bar or restaurant. Our news will never show it, but tens of thousands of people are in the streets of France, day after day, protesting this. It’ll never be seriously considered in this country, will it?

And then this morning I read something on Twitter that made me realize we’re closer to a passport than I thought. Geraldo Rivera made the following statement: “All Americans need to be Vaccinated. With #VaccinePassports. I have right to know if you’re contagious”. Not that I think Geraldo is the authority on anything… but for some reason that bugged me. I have the right to know if you’re contagious. Think about that statement. I’m starting to think more people that I ever thought would be willing to submit to carrying proof of vaccination status around with them. I find that frightening. I can stomach certain types of jobs requiring a vaccination as a condition of employment. I don’t have to work in that field if I don’t want to be vaccinated. But requiring a shot and proof to be out and about in society doesn’t fly for me.

There is a massive list of communicable diseases that people are walking around with every day. You’re encountering them all the time without knowing it (how do you think you get the common cold?). Could you imagine the outcry if we required people to carry proof that you don’t have HIV? Yes, I know that’s not an airborne/droplet transmission vector. It’s an extreme example of forcing people to share private health information. There’s plenty of airborne diseases – measles, TB, influenza, chickenpox, RSV, pertussis, etc… The CDC estimates that a third of the population is colonized with MRSA, Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, which is a staph bacteria. It’s very easily spread and was probably our biggest infection control issue in the hospital pre-Covid. Should I have to show my status on any of those if I’d like to drop into my local bar for a drink?

We’re potentially heading down a slippery slope. I don’t know what the right answer is. My fear is that humans are frightened herd animals. We tend to make panic decisions that may have unexpected consequences we haven’t fully thought about yet. Mandates of anything are very hard to roll back once enacted. A vaccine passport is a genie we won’t be able to put back in the bottle.

An Upside Down Dystopia

If you haven’t seen it, the Handmaid’s Tale is a fabulous series. It describes a dystopian world in which an ultra-right religious group has seized control of portions of the former United States following a civil war and subjugated women to be nothing more than breeders and servants. It’s probably an accurate picture of what many left-leaning thinkers feel the conservative right would enact given the chance. Mrs Troutdog and I started re-watching season 3 in preparation for the newly dropped season 4. Naturally since our phones are always listening to us in the background (cue foreshadowing) I logged on to YouTube and had a bunch of Handmaid’s Tale video suggestions.

One of those video suggestions was a discussion of a map of the former United States and the territories that Gilead (the new country) occupied. This map was created by a fan of the series, pieced together by vague references in the series and the original book by Margarat Atwood. My first thought was who has enough time (or interest) to create an elaborate map on a work of fiction? But then again I don’t get people who cosplay and I didn’t play dungeons and dragons in high school. But what got me thinking is a comment the video creator made. In the TV series, most of the regions of the country seized by Gilead are the Northeast, East and West coast. The Midwest is controlled by the former United States. Here’s the rub. Gilead is a far-right religious group. The East and West coasts are dominated by left leaning progressive folks. How is it the far-right took over the liberal centers and, presumably, the left occupied the middle of the country? It doesn’t make sense.

Which leads me to where we are today. Our world has been flipped upside down. What used to be conventional wisdom, isn’t any more. For years articles, news stories, and movies have been made that declared the threat of the right wing. The right wanted to suppress speech. The right was intolerant. They were potentially violent, spawning shadowy right-wing militia groups. The left were the creative thinkers, lovers of free speech, and defenders of individual rights. Today it feels like we’re in opposite world. The right are the new counter culture. The woke left have spawned a cancel culture that strives to shut down any independent thinking. When the pandemic which shall not be named arrived, the left seized the opportunity to exert control over every aspect of your life. Power hungry governors and mayors quickly shut down business, restricted free movement and gatherings, and all but mandated martial law in some cities.

Censorship and restricting free speech are now a thing. From killing the Hunter Biden laptop story, banning a sitting president from speaking, to the intentional shutdown of Parlor, the left has done everything possible to control what information you see. Just in the last few days they actually started brazenly saying it out loud. The Whitehouse press secretary said that they are working with Facebook and other social media entities to “flag” problematic posts that spread disinformation. This should scare the hell out of you. Twitter, Facebook, and Google were already banning, suspending, or flagging accounts by the thousands that mentioned anything they deemed harmful information. Now they’re coordinating directly with the deep state to suppress any non-conforming thoughts? Scary stuff.

Of course all of this is done for your own good. We locked down to protect you. Unfortunate that you lost your business, but it was for the greater good. We’re not going to allow you to see data refuting the effectiveness of masks because that might spawn disharmony. You will not be allowed to question a mandatory vaccine, government lockdowns, election audit results, who killed Ashley Babbitt, Hunter Biden’s business dealings, or border policies. You silly little citizen, not to worry, the adults are in charge now. Go back to your fun Facebook password phishing memes, the state is here to protect you. The bad orange fascist is gone now. And if any of your family members or friends seem to be, you know – “extremists”, you can always report them to the FBI.

“The beatings will continue until moral improves”

Captain Bligh, HMS Bounty