bookmark_borderBiden’s moral bankruptcy on gun rights

“The way we still allow semi-automatic weapons to be purchased is sick. It’s just sick. It has no social redeeming values. Zero. None. Not a single, solitary rationale for it except profit for the gun manufacturer.”

On Thanksgiving, Joe Biden, the President of the United States, uttered these disgraceful words.

To echo Biden’s word choice, the fact that the President of the United States would say this is truly sick. These words are so deeply wrong and demonstrate such complete moral bankruptcy that it’s difficult to even explain why. But I will attempt to, anyways, because it would be unacceptable to let such an egregious statement go unrebutted.

First of all, it’s bizarre that Biden would call it “sick” that something is allowed to be purchased. The default state of existence is for all things to be allowed. The burden of proof always must rest on those who wish to ban something, not on those who wish for it to continue to be allowed. In other words, in order for something to be banned, there must be good reason for banning it. Regardless of whether or not you think semi-automatic weapons should be banned, it is not “sick” for them to be allowed; it is simply the default. Only the active commission of bad deeds can accurately be characterized as sick. Omitting an action, such as the action of banning semi-automatic weapons, cannot accurately be characterized as sick, no matter how strongly you feel the action should be done.

And then there is the fact that actually, semi-automatic weapons should not be banned, because doing so violates everyone’s rights. People have a right to do anything that they want, as long as that thing does not harm anyone else. Purchasing, owning, and possessing semi-automatic weapons does not harm anyone. Only shooting people with them does. Therefore, it is morally wrong to ban semi-automatic weapons. Biden is literally calling the failure to violate people’s rights “sick.”

Even more appalling than Biden’s claim that the failure to violate people’s fundamental rights is “sick” is his claim that respect for people’s fundamental rights has no value. It’s disturbing that this even needs to be stated, but individual liberty is valuable for its own sake. People’s ability to make their own choices and to do the things that they like is valuable for its own sake.

Some people like semi-automatic weapons. Therefore, it is inherently valuable for people to be allowed to purchase semi-automatic weapons, because this enables the people who like semi-automatic weapons to purchase something that they like. If semi-automatic weapons were banned, then people who like semi-automatic weapons would be deprived of something that they like. Their well-being and happiness would decrease. Their lives would be made worse.

Contrary to Biden’s claim, the rationale for allowing semi-automatic weapons to be purchased does not lie solely, or even primarily, in the profit made by the gun manufacturer. It lies in the benefit to the gun purchaser. When a person purchases something, both the buyer and the seller benefit from the transaction; otherwise the person wouldn’t have chosen to purchase the item in the first place. The rationale for allowing semi-automatic weapons to be purchased is the inherent benefit to people in being allowed to purchase something that they like.

A fundamental and obvious truth is that it is inherently beneficial for people to be able to do something that they like. And it is inherently harmful for people to be banned from doing something that they like. The fact that the President of the United States does not recognize this is disturbing beyond belief.

It is one thing to argue that the common good outweighs the benefits to individual people of being able to do what they like. But that is not what Biden is arguing. Biden is arguing that the ability of individual people to do what they like does not matter at all.

It is one thing to argue that the importance of safety outweighs the importance of individual rights, liberty, and freedom. But that is not what Biden is arguing. Biden is arguing that neither individual rights nor liberty nor freedom has any value at all.

It is one thing to argue that the harm done by shootings outweighs the harm done to individual people by banning them from doing the things that they want to do, and therefore that it is worth it to harm people in this way because doing so prevents even worse harm. But that is not what Biden is arguing. Biden is denying that harming individual people is at all bad. He is arguing that the happiness and well-being of individual people does not matter at all.

Individual rights. Liberty. Freedom. The ability to make choices. The ability to do the things that one likes. The ability to live in a way that matches up with one’s preferences. Happiness.

When you think about it, these are all different ways of phrasing the same thing. And Joe Biden, the President of the United States, is claiming that these things have “no social redeeming values. Zero. None” He is claiming that these things have “not a single, solitary rationale.” To be clear, Biden is not claiming that the value of these things is outweighed by the value of something else, or that these things ought to be sacrificed for the sake of something that is even more important. He is claiming that these things have no value whatsoever.

In reality, not only do these things have value, but they are the only things that do. Without them, there is no reason to live at all.

We now live in a nation whose president is unable to see any value whatsoever in the things that make life worth living. Now that is just sick.

bookmark_borderMy thoughts on the 2022 elections

Before 2020, two things were essentially treated as non-controversial and universally agreed-upon. First, the fact that the existing collection of statues and monuments in the United States would continue to exist, with possible additions from time to time. Second, the right to decline medical intervention. In other words, the fact that no adult should be required or forced to undergo any medical procedure.

Unfortunately, beginning in 2020, these two things became controversial, to put it mildly. Politicians from one of the two major political parties began to support both the destruction of the statues and monuments that I need in order to have a life that is worth living, as well as policies that force people to undergo medical intervention against their will. 

For me, the issues of statue destruction and vaccine mandates are by far more important than any other political issues. Both the continued existence of the statues that make my life worth living, as well as the right of people to decline medical intervention, should be universally accepted and completely non-controversial. When one of the two major political parties decided to take positions opposing both of these things, it became a complete no-brainer for me to support and vote for candidates from the other party. There really isn’t much of a decision to be made when one political party supports destroying everything that makes your life worth living and the other one doesn’t.

Last Tuesday night, while watching coverage of the election results, I felt my mood slowly begin to go downhill. Even though I was watching Fox News, the channel least prone to anti-everything-that-makes-life-worth-living bias, the banter of the pundits and the victory speeches of the winning candidates started to get to me for several reasons.

First of all, it seems to be the general consensus among pundits and the general public that Republicans weren’t as successful in this election as expected. This is disappointing because, as I’m sure you’ve guessed, the party that supports destroying everything that makes my life worth living is the Democratic Party. 

But watching the election results was also depressing because even the Republican Party generally doesn’t place as much importance as it should on the issues that truly matter. It is frustrating to see politicians bickering about inflation, the economy, the cost of gas, the war in Ukraine, abortion, whether “drag queen storytime” events are appropriate for kids, and which bathrooms people should be allowed to use, while everything that makes life worth living has been destroyed and no one seems to have any interest in remedying this or punishing the perpetrators. 

The news coverage was depressing for a third reason as well. Given the severity and pervasiveness of the statue genocide, the mere mention of states and cities is enough to trigger overwhelming feelings of grief for the statues that were removed and/or destroyed in those states and cities. For example, when the Fox broadcast showed a map of the county-by-county election results in Virginia, along with the locations of major cities such as Charlottesville and Richmond, my entire being was flooded with stomach-sickening disgust and rage.

The atrocities that have been perpetrated against historical figures have been so devastating to me that for quite some time I gave up consumption of news entirely. Although I used to read the newspaper every day, browse news websites, watch the news on TV, and follow numerous local organizations and public figures on social media, the constant stream of horrifying new developments became so traumatizing that I made the decision to reduce, and then eliminate, my exposure to information. Consuming news used to be an important activity for me because I found it interesting and believe that there is inherent value in being knowledgeable about what is happening in the world. Giving it up was a significant sacrifice but necessary in order to prevent myself from being completely psychologically destroyed. Lately, my mental state has stabilized somewhat (knock on wood), and I have experimented with adding back some of the activities and information sources that I had eliminated. But the past week seems to have demonstrated that I added back the TV news a bit prematurely. I will have to wait before I can safely resume it, if I am ever able to at all. 

Unfortunately, the reality is that I live in a country where the President and Vice President want the people I love to be dismembered and tortured to death. And now I live in a state whose governor-elect wants this as well. But even many politicians from the opposing party, including my state’s current governor, don’t particularly care about the dismemberment and torture of the people I love, either. This demoralizing situation is exemplified by the election of Glenn Youngkin as governor of Virginia last year. Although he was certainly an improvement over his morally repugnant predecessor, Youngkin made no move to repair, restore, or defend the statues that were so viciously brutalized.

Prior to 2020, the continued existence of the people I love was taken for granted, the nation’s collection of statues a backdrop of sorts, atop which politicians bickered over various issues. During the summer of 2020, when the frequency of dismembering and torturing was at its nauseating peak, the outrage of those on the conservative side of the political spectrum made me feel seen and heard. But now, the post-2020 collection of statues, so diminished as to not even be worth fighting for, has become the new backdrop. In other words, the existence of the people I love used to be taken for granted, but now their non-existence is taken for granted. This horrific, incomprehensible, and profound loss no longer seems to register to politicians of either party.

It’s a disturbing situation, to put it mildly, and it is a reality that I have to live with every day. If my day is going relatively well, I can manage to function and possibly even be in a good mood while the disturbing reality lurks in the back of my mind. But other times, the disturbing reality comes to the forefront. Overall, it is very difficult to live in a society in which the political establishment, and likely the majority of people, support the destruction of everything that makes my life worth living.

I believe that it is never acceptable to destroy or remove a statue. I believe that it is never acceptable to require a person to undergo a medical procedure. Without the people I love being allowed to exist, life is not worth living. And without the freedom to make decisions about my own body, life is not worth living, either. Any politician or public figure who disagrees with me on these issues wants me to have a life that is not worth living. And I can’t support any politician or public figure who thinks that, regardless of how mainstream those views are, and regardless of what party the politician is from. 

bookmark_borderThere is nothing deplorable about calling out wrongdoing

In the latest example of our society treating protests against injustice as the problem as opposed to the injustice itself, FBI Director Christopher Wray recently called criticism of his agency “deplorable and dangerous” after FBI agents ransacked the home of former president Trump. “Violence against law enforcement is not the answer, no matter who you’re upset with,” Wray added.

Actually, Wray has things completely backward with these comments. The actions of the FBI – which involved a group of approximately 30 agents ransacking Trump’s private residence because of concerns that he took home documents that should have been given to the National Archives – were truly deplorable. Therefore, it is 100% correct for people to be angry about these actions and call them out as wrong. Yet Wray opts to completely ignore the wrongness of his own agency’s actions and instead to condemn the people who are (correctly) objecting to these actions! Contrary to what Wray seems to believe, pointing out that someone has done something wrong is not deplorable; doing something wrong is. If someone has done something wrong, as the FBI has in this case, they deserve to be criticized and called out. Neither criticizing, nor calling out, not being angry about wrongdoing is a problem. The wrongdoing itself is the problem, and that is what needs to be condemned, not the people voicing their opposition and anger.

And while I agree that committing and/or threatening violence against anyone is not an ideal way to express one’s anger, Wray in his comment about violence similarly ignores the wrongdoing of his own agency in his haste to condemn his agency’s critics. Instead of scrutinizing and condemning the ways in which people voice their upset, Wray should be scrutinizing and condemning what his agency did to cause people to be upset in the first place. But as usual in our society, the people who actually did something wrong are given a free pass. The FBI is painted as the victim instead of being held accountable for its role in causing the angry and hostile situation.

Making matters worse, the LA Times’s coverage of the FBI raid and the reaction to it demonstrates the same mindless and morally bankrupt belief that expressing anger in response to an injustice is the problem, as opposed to the injustice itself. The article focuses, using a blatantly critical and condescending tone, on the people who have expressed criticism of, and anger with, the FBI raid, while letting the perpetrators of the raid completely off the hook. The article bemoans the “threats and calls to arms in those corners of the internet favored by right-wing extremists” and quotes several alleged examples found on the social media app Gab, which the article describes as “popular with white supremacists and antisemites.” As is the norm among the media establishment, 100% of the scrutiny and criticism falls upon those protesting against injustice, angered by mistreatment, and speaking out against wrongdoing, as opposed to the actual perpetrators of the injustice, mistreatment, and wrongdoing.

Shame on the political and media establishment for treating protesting against wrongdoing as the problem, as opposed to the wrongdoing itself. 

bookmark_borderWashington council member’s absurd comments on vaccine mandate

Thankfully, vaccine mandates have been lifted over the past few weeks in various places. One such place was Washington, D.C., where Mayor Muriel Bowser lifted that city’s mandate on February 15. Dismayingly, however, there are numerous people who value safety over respecting people’s fundamental rights, and who have objected to the lifting of vaccine mandates.

One such person was Washington, D.C. Councilmember Brianne Nadeau, who said (according to the Daily Wire):

“As a CM, and a parent of 2 kids under 5, I am flabbergasted and angry. Why would we give up on vaccines when we have come this far? Why are we not protecting the workers in these industries? Why are we telling parents we don’t care if they participate in society? I’m so F-ing mad… This will have a chilling impact on businesses. People who were going out and eating indoors BECAUSE of the mandate will not do that anymore.”

Everything about this statement is absurd.

First of all, ceasing to force people to get vaccines against their will does not constitute “giving up on vaccines.” It is frustrating that so many people equate forcing people to do a thing with the thing itself.

Second, the vaccine mandate applied to workers at affected businesses in addition to customers. Forcing workers to get a medical procedure against their will is the exact opposite of “protecting the workers in these industries.”

Third, it is preposterous to claim that ceasing to force people to get vaccines against their will constitutes “telling parents we don’t care if they participate in society.” There is absolutely nothing about allowing people to make their own medical decisions that prevents parents from participating in society. It seems that Nadeau is attempting to claim that it is impossible for children under 5, because they are not eligible for the vaccine, to go to places where there is any chance that a non-vaccinated person might exist. This is blatantly false. Plus, Nadeau should have specified that she meant specifically parents of kids under 5, while accompanied by their kids, as opposed to merely using the word “parents” and forcing people to guess about what she actually meant.

Additionally, it is irrelevant whether or not ceasing to violate people’s rights will have a chilling impact on businesses. Violating people’s rights is wrong, in all cases, regardless of the impact on businesses (or anything else, for that matter). If people stop eating indoors because they are unwilling to do so unless the rights of others are violated, so be it.

This leads to my most important point: it is incomprehensible that someone could be “flabbergasted,” “angry,” or “F-ing mad” about the fact that people’s rights are not going to be violated anymore. It is vaccine mandates themselves, not their abolition, that ought to make every person on earth flabbergasted, angry, and F-ing mad.

Finding it unacceptable for people’s fundamental rights to actually be respected, Nadeau introduced a bill to reinstate D.C.’s vaccine mandate. Thankfully, her efforts were unsuccessful. But that didn’t stop her from making another preposterous statement, which you can read below:

“I still believe that reinstating the proof of vaccination requirement for certain establishments and facilities is the best way to protect public health and safety. I believe that it is the best way to protect our immunocompromised neighbors, children under five, and even the ninety-three percent of District residents who have received at least one shot of the COVID-19 vaccine. I strongly encourage businesses to keep this protection in place for their workers and patrons. I truly believe that patrons will choose to spend their money in the places they feel protected. If the Washington Post poll is any indication, then 74 percent of residents who support the requirement will have your back. The restaurant workers who have to face unvaccinated out-of-state customers want it. The parents who have to make tough decisions every day about what risks to take with their young children want it. Residents in their twenties still suffering from long COVID want others to avoid their pain, and the residents who passed away saying goodbye to their loved ones on FaceTime would want it if their voices could be heard… I will continue to engage in the hard work of making the District safer, healthier, and fairer.. I implore the Mayor to do the right thing. I implore her to stand up for workers, for young people, for sick people, and for all those whose voices have been drowned out in this conversation by those of lobbyists.”

Let’s go over everything that is wrong with this statement. 

First of all, the number of people who support something has nothing whatsoever to do with whether the thing is right or wrong.

Second of all, I find it odd for someone to refer to being robbed of bodily autonomy as a “protection.” I would much rather patronize a business where my fundamental rights are respected, as opposed to a business where my rights are violated out of some paternalistic desire to protect health and safety.

Third of all, it is twisted and messed up that Nadeau speaks of workers “who have to face unvaccinated out-of-state customers,” as if the existence of people who decline a particular medical procedure is somehow a foreboding and terrible thing.

I also find it presumptuous of Nadeau to assume that restaurant workers, parents of young children, people with long covid, and people who have died of covid would support having their rights, as well as everyone else’s, violated. I’m sure some people in each of these groups (unfortunately) support vaccine mandates, but I’m also sure some don’t. Nadeau should speak for herself instead of presuming to speak for others.

Additionally, for Nadeau to imply that mandating vaccination constitutes “making the District fairer” and “doing the right thing” is the furthest possible thing from the truth. Vaccine mandates might possibly make places safer and healthier, but they absolutely do not make any place fairer. Mandating any medical procedure is both deeply unfair and morally wrong.

Furthermore, vaccine mandates are the furthest possible thing from “standing up” for anyone. Mandating a medical procedure tramples on people’s rights, which is the opposite of standing up for people.

And finally, it is deeply offensive to claim that the decision to cease trampling on people’s fundamental rights is somehow the result of lobbyists’ influence. And it is utterly wrong to claim that the voices of people who support vaccine mandates have somehow been drowned out. The reality is the exact opposite of this: those who actually believe in respecting people’s rights are the ones who have had our voices drowned out, while those who prioritize safety over liberty have completely dominated the conversation. Ultimately, it is irrelevant what led to the decision to lift D.C.’s vaccine mandate, and it is irrelevant how many or how few people support this decision. Stopping trampling on people’s fundamental rights is simply the right thing to do. Anyone who wishes for the rights of others to be violated deserves to have his or her voice drowned out, because such a person is a morally bad person.

In conclusion, Councilmember Nadeau is demanding that her city do the wrong thing by re-implementing a policy that violates people’s rights to make their own medical decisions. She is flabbergasted and angry that a policy violating people’s rights has come to an end, when the thing that she should be flabbergasted and angry about is the fact that the policy was implemented to begin with. This mindset is illogical, immoral, twisted, and (unfortunately) all too common in today’s society.

bookmark_borderPsaki’s ignorant comments on bullying

Recently, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki made some truly idiotic comments about the Florida law prohibiting education about sex and gender related topics for kids in preschool through third grade.

Here is what she said, according to the Daily Wire:

“A bill like this, that would discriminate against families, against kids, put these kids in the position of not getting the support they need at a time where that’s exactly what they need. It’s discriminatory. It’s a form of bullying. It is horrific… I think the most important question now is why are Florida leaders deciding they need to discriminate against kids who are members of the LGBTQI community? What prompts them to do that? Is it meanness? Is it wanting to make kids have more difficult times in school and in their communities?”

The fact that Psaki uses words such as “discriminatory,” “bullying,” “horrific,” and “meanness” to describe this law demonstrates a complete lack of empathy towards people who have actually been discriminated against and bullied. Psaki’s comments are particularly objectionable because a huge amount of the discrimination, bullying, and meanness that has occurred lately has been perpetrated by the Biden administration.

To give just one example*, President Biden has repeatedly used rhetoric that insults, threatens, and aggresses against people who opt not to get the covid vaccine. He has attempted to implement policies requiring people to get the vaccine in order to work for the federal government, for any company that contracts with the federal government, for any employer in the medical field, or for any employer with 100 or more employees. He has also used rhetoric to encourage all employers not covered by the above categories to force their employees to get the vaccine as well.

Essentially, Biden chose to use the power of the presidency to force people to undergo a medical procedure against their will. And as Press Secretary, Psaki has enthusiastically defended these efforts. Forcing people to undergo a medical procedure against their will is the epitome of discrimination. It is the epitome of bullying. It is the epitome of meanness. Forcing people to undergo a medical procedure against their will is truly horrific. And requiring medical documentation in order to participate in public life truly, to use Psaki’s words, causes people to have more difficult times in their communities.

For Psaki to describe the Florida law using all of these terms, while completely ignoring the fact that these terms actually apply to her own actions and those of her employer, is deeply illogical, hypocritical, and immoral. Psaki clearly has no idea what discrimination actually is, what bullying actually is, or what meanness actually is. To truly understand what these terms mean, Psaki would need merely to look in the mirror.

 

*Another example that comes to mind is the brutal campaign of destruction that has been waged against statues and monuments to unpopular historical figures. These actions are infinitely more discriminatory, bully-like, horrific, and mean than a law limiting what types of sex ed can be presented to young children, yet Psaki has not uttered a single word of criticism when it comes to this topic.

bookmark_borderBiden the bully

There’s been a lot of discussion, much of it negative, about the below post on the official White House website. In this blog post, I will join in the discussion and give my thoughts

First of all, I’m not a fan of using the terms “the vaccinated” and “the unvaccinated.” I prefer to talk about people who have gotten the Covid vaccine and people who haven’t. I find it wrong, and somewhat demeaning, to use language that defines people by whether or not they have gotten a medical procedure. 

More substantively, I disagree with the assertion that “the vaccinated” have “done the right thing.” Getting a vaccine is morally neutral. Opting for and opting against vaccination are equally good, acceptable, and valid options. There is nothing morally virtuous about getting a medical procedure, and there is nothing wrong or immoral whatsoever about abstaining from doing so.

Additionally, as many others have expressed, I find the tone of the second paragraph to be disturbing. It is clear that Biden (or whichever of his employees wrote the post) is intending to threaten and intimidate people into getting the vaccine. He is essentially saying: if you make a medical decision that is different than mine, then horrible things are going to happen to you. Plus, he tries to induce guilt and shame by telling those who opt out that they will “overwhelm” hospitals, causing other people to be unable to get the medical services they need. In addition to being factually inaccurate (data indicate that the omicron variant is generally mild regardless of vaccine status, and that the vast majority of people who get it do not require hospitalization), Biden’s words are mean-spirited and smack of authoritarianism and bullying. It is inappropriate, unkind, unjust, and wrong to introduce moral condemnation into a non-moral topic

The hypocrisy of Biden’s words is also noteworthy. Throughout his campaign, and in his inaugural address, Biden presented himself as being all about decency, civility, and unity. Yet now he is praising one group of people while condemning and threatening another, solely on the basis of the personal medical decisions that they have made. It is ironic that so many people who relentlessly attacked Donald Trump for being a “bully” are perfectly fine with a president who condemns, coerces, and threatens people for making a medical decision that differs from that of the majority.

This statement, and the many similar ones that he has made so far during his presidency, show Biden to be far more of a bully than Trump ever was. Biden’s policies and rhetoric are the antithesis of decency, civility, and unity.

bookmark_border“Nothing more American than coming together and taking care of each other”

Disgustingly, Boston Mayor Michelle Wu announced today that people will be required to give up their rights to bodily autonomy and privacy in order to be allowed to enter restaurants, bars, gyms, museums, theaters, and any other indoor eating, drinking, sports, and/or entertainment facilities.

One of the most disturbing things that she said in the press conference announcing this decision was, “There is nothing more American than coming together to ensure that we are taking care of each other” (source: MassLive).

I could not disagree more strongly with this statement. In my opinion, coming together to take care of each other is not American at all, nor is it morally virtuous. I believe that it is each person’s responsibility to take care of his/her own self, and that the world is a better place when people concern themselves with their own goals and their own happiness and allow others to do the same. People are not morally obligated to take care of others.

Even if one considers it morally virtuous to take care of each other, doing so cannot come at the expense of individual rights. The right to privacy, the right to make one’s own medical decisions, and the right to freely come and go in public spaces are all fundamental rights. People deserve to have all of these freedoms, and it is morally impermissible to take any of these freedoms away or force people to choose between them, as Wu’s policy (along with similar ones around the country and world) does.

It would be a true statement to say that there is nothing more American than individual rights. The concepts of individuality, freedom, and liberty are quintessential American values, and contrary to Wu’s assertion, policies that sacrifice these for the sake of “taking care of each other” are both morally wrong and un-American.

Gubernatorial candidate Geoff Diehl eloquently voiced his disagreement with the vaccine mandate:

“These mandates are clear violations of the civil rights of anyone who lives in, works in, or travels to the city… While I openly acknowledge and share concern over rising case counts in Massachusetts, infringing on citizens’ right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness is never an acceptable solution.”

bookmark_borderBiden’s totalitarianism reaches new lows (again)

I have been so heartbroken, furious, and disgusted by Joe Biden’s September 9 announcement that I have not been able to write coherently about this subject. Reading about and watching his speech was horrifying, and I am ashamed to be from a country that elected him president. I can confidently say that I have never in my life been a fan of Biden, but the degree of authoritarianism and disregard for individual liberty that he has demonstrated is far beyond what I ever imagined possible. For the better part of five days, I have felt completely exhausted, beaten down, and sick to my stomach. I have felt as if my chest is being crushed in a vice and a noose slowly being tightened around my neck.

With that said, here are a few semi-coherent thoughts on Biden’s reprehensible speech:

  • Biden’s comments that “it’s not about freedom or personal choice” are preposterous. The issue of whether people should be required to get Covid vaccines or testing is fundamentally a matter of freedom and personal choice; that is self-evident. Clearly, Biden does not think freedom or personal choice are important. His executive order takes these basic rights away from millions of people. But the fact that Biden is taking the anti-freedom position on an issue does not make the issue not about freedom.
  • Biden says that his “patience is wearing thin” with people who opt not to get the Covid vaccine. This makes no sense. People who opt not to get the vaccine are doing nothing wrong; therefore there is no reason for their existence to make anyone upset, angry, or frustrated in any way. I don’t know about you, but my patience has completely run out with this fascist government and its attempts to take away people’s power over their own bodies and lives.
  • The purpose of OSHA is to protect workers. Under Biden’s executive order, OSHA would require employers to require workers to do medical procedures that they do not want to do. This is the exact opposite of protecting workers, and therefore the exact opposite of what OSHA is supposed to be doing.
  • For those who argue that Biden’s executive order protects workers by lowering everyone’s Covid risk, it is true that the executive order benefits those workers whose sole concern is having the lowest Covid risk possible, and who care nothing about freedom, individual rights, or the well-being of those with different preferences than themselves. But people who have this attitude are wrong. Their desire for safety does not override the rights of others to make decisions about their own bodies. Biden’s executive order gives paranoid, anti-freedom people a benefit that they do not deserve by invading the bodies of their co-workers. This is unjust and wrong.
  • One person on Twitter equated requiring vaccination with banning people from waving a chainsaw around at work. This analogy is ridiculous. Employers have the right to make rules about what employees are and are not allowed to do while at work, and waving a chainsaw is definitely something that employers have a right to ban. Vaccine and testing requirements are different in two ways. First, they compel people to actively take an action as opposed to banning an action. Second, requiring people to undergo a medical procedure does not merely affect them during their work hours; it physically invades their body. By working for a company, people agree to give up specified amounts of time and energy in exchange for money. But bodily integrity is far more intimate and is beyond the scope of what people should have to give up in order to secure employment.
  • The fact that the vaccination/testing requirement will likely apply even to people who work from home defeats any attempt to justify it by invoking workplace safety. Clearly, the vaccination status of those who work 100% remotely has no impact on the safety of their co-workers. This demonstrates that the executive order is not primarily about protecting workers; it is about pressuring as many people as possible into getting the vaccine.
  • As for Biden’s comments that if governors will not help to beat the pandemic, he will get them out of the way, this is not only disturbingly totalitarian, but philosophically unsound. Believe it or not, there are more important things than beating the pandemic, such as individual liberty. Of course, beating the pandemic is a worthy goal, but it is never acceptable to violate people’s rights in order to do so. Individual rights must always come first, no exceptions. Governors who recognize this, and who are courageously standing up for the rights of their people, should be praised, not criticized and threatened.

A real leader would have banned businesses from requiring Covid vaccination or testing. A real leader would have instructed OSHA to draft a rule fining businesses for requiring Covid vaccination or testing, not for failing to do so. A real leader would have stood up for individual rights, not trampled on them. A real leader would have threatened to “get out of the way” those businesses and states which are trampling on the rights of their people, not those that are failing to trample.

It’s not an exaggeration to say that we now live in a totalitarian society. Biden’s executive order is the most severe violation of individual rights that has ever been enacted in the United States. Your body is the most fundamental piece of property that you own, and the right to make decisions about it is the most fundamental right there is. If people can be deprived of this right, then people are no longer free in any meaningful sense. The fact that such a thing has happened in the United States is heartbreaking, infuriating, and sickening.

bookmark_borderColbert’s First Amendment fail

During his show earlier this week, Stephen Colbert (unsurprisingly) decided to make fun of former president Donald Trump for holding his first rally since the January 6th protest at the capitol building. “Why is he allowed to have rallies after that?” Colbert asked. “After the assassination, John Wilkes Booth wasn’t welcomed to Broadway for a sold-out performance of ‘I Shot Lincoln: The Musical.'”

Given that Colbert is a comedian, this was obviously an attempt to be funny, but I didn’t find it too humorous. 

The answer to Colbert’s (rhetorical) question is that, believe it or not, there is this thing called the First Amendment. It protects the right to freedom of speech. There is no reason why Trump would lose his First Amendment rights because his supporters held a protest at the capitol building. 

In other words, the reason why Trump is allowed to hold rallies is because being allowed to do things is the default. There is no compelling reason why Trump wouldn’t be allowed to have rallies after the protest; therefore he should be allowed to have them. Whenever someone demands that another person be banned from doing something, the person doing the demanding bears the burden of proof. It doesn’t even make sense for Colbert to have asked the question that he asked, because by doing so he is putting the burden of proof on Trump (as well as on anyone who thinks that Trump has the right to hold rallies) when it should be on him.

The real question that should be asked is, “Why should Trump be banned from holding rallies?” I doubt Colbert, or anyone, could come up with a satisfactory answer.

bookmark_borderMorgan Freeman is a bully and a bigot

I recently stumbled across a disturbing tweet by Morgan Freeman, in which he demands that the hotel that hosted CPAC denounce the event because its stage was shaped like a rune. If that sounds absolutely ridiculous, that’s because it is. 

The one good thing about this situation is that the Morgan Freeman in question is not the famous actor, but just a despicable excuse for a human being who happens to share the actor’s name. 

Freeman’s tweet is below:

In case it is not immediately apparent how ridiculous this is, allow me to explain. First of all, there is no proof whatsoever that the stage was designed to look like the odal rune. The CPAC stage looks like a pretty typical stage shape to me, and it is entirely plausible that the resemblance to the rune was coincidental. Second, even if the stage was intended to look like the rune, why is that bad? Runes are Viking letters. The fact that the Nazis happened to use this rune does not make the rune a Nazi symbol; it is a Viking symbol that happened to be used by Nazis. There is no rule that if a symbol has ever been used by Nazis, then no one is allowed to use it ever again. 

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