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Posts posted by BrickTopHarry

  1. For those who don't know, physicians in the U.S. who refuse/reject Covid vaccination are a small minority:




    CHICAGO — The American Medical Association (AMA) today released a new survey (PDF) among practicing physicians that shows more than 96 percent of surveyed U.S. physicians have been fully vaccinated for COVID-19, with no significant difference in vaccination rates across regions. Of the physicians who are not yet vaccinated, an additional 45 percent do plan to get vaccinated.

    The national AMA survey is the first to specifically collect data on practicing physicians’ COVID-19 vaccination rates. The survey was conducted June 3–8 and showed an increase of more than 20 percent for physicians who have been fully vaccinated for COVID-19 compared to a May 2021 Medscape poll.


    Unfortunately there is a huge discrepancy between physicians and nurses and techs and other such support staff, where there is considerable variation between geographic regions but generally have significantly lower vaccination rates/acceptance (like 50-70 percentish).

    These kind of numbers are consistent with what I saw in Texas (just moved from there back to the West coast), even in a very conservative Trump voting cohort pretty much all the doctors were vaccinated, even the ones who promoted hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin.  A survey was done just before initial vaccine rollout by one of the biggest hospital systems I worked in and showed greater than 90 percent acceptance of vaccination among the physicians and something like 60-70 percent among the nurses and other staff.

    Texas, by the way, requires by state law all physicians to have documented proof of current vaccination to all kinds of things ranging from diptheria, polio, measles, heptatitis etc. to be on the medical staff of a hospital, and has had this requirement for many years now.  As far as I can tell the only reason Covid vaccination is not on the list, being the single most important thing to be immunized against at the moment, is because of its Emergency Use Authorization status.  I will be curious to see, given the current state of GOP Covid politics, whether Abbott wants to force Covid vaccination to be an exception to this vaccination requirement even after FDA approval.



  2. I take a quick peek at the Sailing/Refitting Athena channel sometimes.  Mainly to see if the boat will ever sail.  As far as I can tell it's pretty much only ever been about home improvement type projects on his boat, the huge majority of which seem to have little to do with actual seaworthiness or sailing/navigation of the vessel.

    Has he done much actual sailing on this or any other vessel?  I can't bear to sit through dozens of hours of DIY construction projects, but I don't seem to see him ever discuss actual sailing or even planning his trip in any concrete way, just DIY projects.

    Now it seems that he has a bunch of projects he's supposed to finish before some kind of hard deadline by which he's supposed to sail the boat.  Again most of these projects don't seem to involve the ability of the boat to get places safely or efficiently.

    If his actual experience is limited, and he's making all these modifications, wouldn't it make sense to budget in some time for shakedown trips to assess problems/seaworthiness before some kind of hard deadline to travel a long way, to make sure he hadn't caused any issues with all the work he's done on her?  I'm not even sure he's budgeted time for provisioning etc.

    I'm not sure what the nature of his deadline is but my gut feeling is that he will find some reason why he needs to tear down and reconstruct the bulkhead in his head for the twentieth time before he can get underway and reset the deadline for another year down the road (i.e. forever). 

    I suppose that would be preferable to him setting out and having some kind of misadventure.

  3. While I feel that the general direction of GOP politics was set around the time of the Civil Rights era and the realignment that happened then (with the Southern Strategy following in its wake), and that the original fault lines in American politics are around race and date back to slavery, certain events in the modern era have accelerated us to where we are today.

    Rush Limbaugh and right wing talk radio, and then Fox News, really helped consolidate the GOP's power.  People have always had passionate arguments and even bloody wars over politics, but for the first time people were able to live eat and breathe a political message 24 hours a day.  It has really, for a lot of Americans (much more on the right IMO) resulted in their political alignment as a "conservative" or righty becoming a much more core component of their overall identity than other things that used to take that role, whether it was religion, being a Southerner or whatever.

    Some of the big consequences of this kind of media bubble, which now has evolved from radio and TV to the web in various forms, are that when a party, the GOP, delivers bad results, such as in the GWB administration, with the trifecta of foreign policy/national security (Middle East quagmire), global financial crisis and domestic failure/Katrina, the electoral consequences are far less drastic than they should be.  I think it's because people are bathed in talking points from their media bubble so no matter how bad the result (for example the massive covid epidemic in the US) there are a bunch of talking points explaining how it's really not the GOP or Trump's fault.  Testing too much!  Died WITH covid not of covid, the numbers are really false you see!  Just the flu/hoax/no big deal!  The cure can't be worse than the disease!  More people will commit suicide from lockdown or die from its economic effects than covid!  Etc. etc.  Even if some or most of these don't stand up to the slightest scrutiny, it's a type of mental armor that allows one to justify staying on one's political "team" even if they are losing all the matches.

    The other very pernicious consequence is the lack of an agreed upon objective reality anymore.  People used to share sources and get information from many of the same sources whether it was Walter Cronkite or whoever.  Those sources sometimes got things wrong in a big way of course but people at least generally agreed that the sky was blue or it was raining.  Now you can have people shouting at you that there's no rain even while you show them the raindrops streaming down their face.  I don't know how you solve that or get functional politics out of it.  You have your facts, I have mine which are equally valid!  Nyah!

    With respect to more recent political events, I think the important ones were Palin getting picked for VP, Obama's elections and the Tea Party stuff, which in my view are all part of a package as is Trump.  The significance of Palin is that she marked a transition from where the actual GOP candidates were elite Ivy League types (Bushes, Romney, Cruz) who could put on a cowboy hat and play cowboy to round up the rube votes (or hold up a preacher's Bible) come election time, to where the actual candidate on the national ticket was one of those rubes.  There were always yahoos in Congress here and there but not at this level before.  And with the embrace of Tea Party zealots a lot of crazy true believers became officeholders too.  The situation where the Ivy Leaguers were the actual candidates and officeholders and in charge but harvesting rube votes to stay in power was no longer operational, they'd lost control.  A threshold had been crossed.  How are you going to keep your rube voters down on the farm when they've seen Paris?

    Trump is just another step, although a big one, in this progression.  I think the direction GOP politics and media has gone since Civil Rights was eventually going to lead to someone like Trump taking advantage of loudly shouting racism and fascism instead of using code words and excite some group of people that never usually vote by doing so, it just happened to be him, and he had the advantage of a long career in entertainment media to build his personal brand and name recognition.

    This is now what, 7 out of the last 8 Presidential elections that the GOP has not won the popular vote?  I think with the massive impact of the post 2010 gerrymander, after Romney's loss, and looking at inexorable demographic trends, the GOP seems to have entirely given up the idea of appealing to a majority of voters to win office and is now concentrating hard on tilting and structuring the playing field in their favor.

    • Like 4
  4. When I was in the military I rented a house with 3 classmates.  Someone had the idea one summer to take the basic recreational sailing course at the U.S. Naval Academy (the Morale, Welfare and Recreation one for anyone, not the stuff the Midshipmen do).  The course was taught on 24 foot Rainbows with what looked like a torpedo for a keel, no engine of any type, hank on sails, sail off and onto moorings, take down and fold the sails and bring them ashore to get cleaned/stored at the end of each class.  I can't remember whose idea it was but it certainly wasn't mine or I would have remembered it.  Probably the one classmate who was from that part of Maryland originally.

    The first time we came off the mooring and got underway, the sound and feel of the water flowing around the hull had me totally hooked.  Those classmates and I did a little sailing renting those same rainbows while we were in training, but only myself and one of the other guys stuck with it as a lifelong thing.  He and I have owned various boats over the years and have traveled out to sail with each other, on lakes in North Carolina, on the Gulf of Mexico, and on the Pacific, and we still do whenever we can.

    • Like 5
  5. On 1/28/2021 at 10:36 PM, AJ Oliver said:

    Yeah, and as Chris Hayes pointed out tonight  . . 

    LOE of any sort has yet to hold a press conference, or issue a report, on the events of Jan 6th 

    WTF  ?? 

    If by LOE you mean Law Enforcement, there was this DOJ briefing:

    which took about a week to happen.  But it was obviously pretty preliminary and there hasn't been anything since.

    • Like 1
  6. The problem is you're already on thin ice if you're depending upon a "good guy" military coup to get you out of a dictatorship.  You have to rely on enough senior officers to have the courage to go through with it, and hope that they are in fact good guys who turn over power to civilian leadership.  Meanwhile the whole U.S. system of government has been discredited.

    • Like 2
  7. On 1/15/2021 at 8:43 AM, kent_island_sailor said:

    Can someone game this out?

    The insurrections actually do kill Pence, Pelosi, AOC, and some others and hold the rest of them hostage.

    What would happen next? Especially if Trump starts saying I WIN I WIN and does little to nothing to resolve the situation.

    I'm glad you posted this, it's something I've thought about a fair amount.  If the mob either kills a bunch of Democrats and/or the VP, or holds a lot of them hostage, it renders the Congress essentially inopoerative.  If that happened Trump's power would essentially be unopposed as Congress is the main other pole of power in the U.S., and Trump would have nominal control of the military.  There would be no Inauguration or transfer of power in the short term.

    No one internationally or domestically aside from Trumpists would recognize the legitimacy of that power but he would have it nonetheless.

    It wouldn't be a very stable situation.

    The only resolution to the situation that wouldn't result in the country becoming a full fledged dictatorship under Trump would be either an assassination or military coup against Trump, a widespread "people power" revolution and/or general strike against Trump that would either result in Trump losing control over a military that wouldn't massacre U.S. civilians, or a full fledged civil war.

    I'd like to think that some of those non dictatorship outcomes could occur but given that 70 some odd million people voted for this guy and a substantial portion of them are fanatic in their support of him, I don't feel nearly as comfortable about how the scenario would play out as I'd like.

    The situation would be extremely unstable and I think it's very likely that Trump would be out of power and either assassinated or in prison within months or possibly even weeks.  But there would be a great deal of bloodshed and chaos in the meantime, and we'd probably have to start over almost from scratch to form a government where this kind of situation couldn't easily occur again.

    I doubt if Trump had any specific plan other than to try and stop the certification of the Electoral College vote in any way that he could and prevent Biden's inauguration and stay in power and figure out the rest as he went along.

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