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Jeffrey Tucker: The antivaccine movement and the far right

Jeffery Tucker, founder of the Brownstone Institute, is a far right wing Neo-Confederate hack. What does this say about the confluence of the far right and antivax?

It will come as no great surprise that I’m no fan of the Great Barrington Declaration (GBD), a document written by three useful idiot scientists brought together by Jeffery Tucker at the headquarters of the libertarian “free market” think tank American Institute for Economic Research (AIER), where he served as editorial director. Published in October 2020, the GBD advocated a “let ‘er rip” strategy for the COVID-19 among the young and healthy (and presumably low-risk) population designed to rapidly reach “natural herd immunity,” with “focused protection” proposed as a means of protecting people at high risk of severe disease and death, such as the elderly and those with chronic health conditions that made them high risk (e.g., diabetes). Indeed, not long after the GBD was published, I likened it to previous denialist documents signed by pseudoexperts promulgated to sway public opinion against the scientific consensus, such a documents casting doubt on the theory of evolution, whether HIV causes AIDS, and the scientific consensus from climate science that human activity is dramatically altering the earth’s climate, with disastrous implications. (I also called it eugenics, because it basically advocated sacrificing the vulnerable, either through death or longstanding lockdown, so that the young could continue their lives normally.)

Not satisfied with having been, as he bragged, in the “room where it happened” as the GBD was being drafted, Jeffrey Tucker left AIER a few months later to form his own libertarian think tank, the Brownstone Institute, which he himself described as the “spiritual child of the GBD.” There, he recruited the useful idiot who became the prime behind writing the GBD, Harvard scientist Martin Kulldorff, to be Brownstone’s scientific director, along with a bevy of other ideologues, COVID-19 pandemic minimizers, antimaskers, anti-lockdowners, and, yes, antivaxxers. Even before the appearance of the Delta and Omicron variants of SARs-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, it was clear to public health scientists, epidemiologists, and infectious disease experts that the GBD never would have worked, but since those variants demonstrated that COVID-19 evolve to overcome postinfection “natural immunity” claims that we can ever reach “natural herd immunity” to the disease are delusional at best.

So why am I mentioning Jeffrey Tucker again? Because news stories from last month have been sticking with me, leaving niggling little reminders that I really should write about them, even if it’s been over three weeks. I’m referring to stories like this one:

Poor Jeffrey Tucker! He has a sad because his tour of Monticello included a discussion of Thomas Jefferson’s ownership of enslaved people, who worked on his plantation, and not enough hagiography for his taste. On a side note: You’d think a guy with little round glasses and a bow tie would shave more often. Maybe Tucker was going for a “manly” sort of “Miami Vice meets Pee Wee Herman” look.

Tucker also was used as a source for a story in the New York Post, Monticello is going woke — and trashing Thomas Jefferson’s legacy in the process:

“The whole thing has the feel of propaganda and manipulation,” Jeffrey Tucker, founder of the libertarian Brownstone Institute and a recent visitor, told The Post. “People on my tour seemed sad and demoralized.”

The new emphasis is the culmination of a 10-year effort to balance the historical record, officials of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation, the nonprofit that owns the estate, have said.

But visitors complain that employees go out of their way to belittle Jefferson and his life.

As a result, lots of people are comment bombing posts like this on the Monticello Facebook page with complaints about “wokeism”:

Leading me to repost this perennial meme:

No, seriously. Never read the comments. Not even here!

How is it that I did not know these things when I originally started writing about Jeffrey Tucker and his involvement with pandemic minimization and rallying opposition to public health interventions to slow the spread and mitigate the effects of COVID-19? Let’s go to the story:

Today’s little Fox News gem was a segment on what a huge bummer it is to visit Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello these days, what with all the focus on slavery and what not at what was built as a slave plantation. 

A bow-tied, bespectacled guest for the segment was billed hilariously in one chyron as a “recent Monticello visitor.” Turns out there’s a little more to the story. 

The guest was one Jeffrey Tucker. Who?

It gets worse:

Tucker is a former Ron Paul acolyte who has worked with Lew Rockwell in various capacities, including at the Ludwig von Mises Institute. But there’s a bit more to it than that. A 20-year-old report by the Southern Poverty Law Center on the Neo-Confederate movement identified Tucker and Rockwell as founding members of the League of the South:

Both Rockwell and institute research director Jeffrey Tucker are listed on the racist League of the South’s Web page as founding members — and both men deny their membership. Tucker has written for League publications, and many League members have taught at the institute’s seminars and given presentations at its conferences.

We need not be drawn into a debate over whether they were in fact founding members of the League of the South. It wouldn’t be the first time a fringe organization touted ties it didn’t have to draw attention to itself. Suffice to say though, there was a lot of crossover between the League of the South and Rockwell’s Ludwig von Mises Institute. Some that cross-pollination is detailed in this 2016 piece for the Washington Post.

The League of the South faded away for a while, but in its heyday it was a racist and secessionist forerunner of the current brand of white nationalism that animates the far right.

I also note that, back in the day, Tucker was very good at destroying irony meters. For example, in 2017 he complained about a “racist threat” to libertarianism:

“I’ve been concerned about some libertarians trending alt-right, because these hard alt-right proto-fascists and neo-Nazis have been trolling libertarians for years,” said the libertarian writer Jeffrey Tucker, who has written extensively about the racist threat to the movement. “They’re doing to libertarianism what they did to Pepe the frog, or Taylor Swift — to co-opt it. They know that no normal American is going to rally around the Nazi flag, so they’re taking ours.”

Unfortunately, as we know now, a disturbing number of “normal” Americans will and do rally around the Nazi flag, or, at least, under other fascist symbols not quite famous. Also, given Tucker’s involvement with far right Neo-Confederate fringe organizations in the past, it’s really very hard to believe Tucker’s claim that libertarianism was an innocent political movement being “co-opted” by fascists and racists, like cartoon characters or pop stars.

So why even bring this up? I can just see it now, certain readers who are—shall we say?—receptive to right wing messaging complaining that this post is nothing but one massive ad hominem. The first part of my response is that it’s not an ad hominem if you point out a person’s background and also refute his arguments with science, facts, and reason, as I’ve done quite a few times with Jeffrey Tucker, the GBD, and its Tucker-founded “spiritual child” the Brownstone Institute. Feel free to peruse the lists in the links provided. What I’m interested in here is in discussion why we might see someone like Tucker rise to become so influential in the resistance to COVID-19 public health efforts to mitigate and control the pandemic, with his institute not only spreading antimask and anti-“lockdown” misinformation, but also promoting antivaccine disinformation even as it can’t make up its mind whether to label public health fascist or Communist. (Maybe it’s both!)

Six months ago (which seems like a lifetime now), I wrote at length about why there is such an affinity between fascism and the antivaccine movement. What I didn’t say then that I sometimes say on Twitter is: Scratch a libertarian, and all too often you will find a fascist underneath the veneer. That’s because libertarianism, by and large, supports privilege and white supremacy. (Seeing Tucker’s reaction to a discussion of slavery at Monticello is a great example.) It’s always all about my freedoms, which lockdowns, masks, and vaccine mandates impact but, for instance, police violence does not so much, at least not if you’re white.

John Ganz put it well describing libertarian Peter Thiel (whom we met once before when he was picking candidates to be FDA Commissioner for then President-Elect Donald Trump):

Thiel’s libertarianism is about freedom—freedom for him and people like him, the entrepreneurial elite of the capitalist class. He’s openly antidemocratic. In an essay for the Cato Institute, Thiel once wrote, “I no longer believe that freedom and democracy are compatible…” Why? Because if you empower the demos, they will eventually vote for restrictions on the power of capitalists. and therefore, restrictions on their “freedom.” He continues, “Since 1920, the vast increase in welfare beneficiaries and the extension of the franchise to women — two constituencies that are notoriously tough for libertarians — have rendered the notion of ‘capitalist democracy‘ into an oxymoron.” In that 2009 essay, Thiel imagines a kind of futurist program of utopian projects “beyond politics” in cyberspace or “seasteading,” but it’s clear now he’s returned to believing in politics, or at least an anti-political form of politics.

The brand of radical libertarianism favored by Thiel and his crony Curtis Yarvin has long looked to crackpot authoritarian solutions that would enable unalloyed capitalist domination. 

This passage reminds me of, well, lots of articles on the Brownstone Institute lamenting how lockdowns harm business. Sure, they’ll throw in the sop every now and then about how lockdowns are harming the poor, but their overwhelming concern is for business owners, to the point where Tucker himself co-opted a word often used to describe payment to victims of slavery and other historical atrocities, “reparations,” to compensation to businesses harmed by “lockdowns” in an article entitled Reparations for the Business Victims of Lockdowns, although, quite pointedly, he does not mention slavery in his rant about how businesses should be compensated with “reparations”:

The damage is done. The carnage is around us all. Nothing can change that. We can hope for truth and honesty but longing for pure justice is futile. That realization makes the pandemic response even more morally objectionable. 

If, however, we think of lockdown reparations as consisting of some form of compensation, there could be a path for a new crop of political leaders to pursue. There is precedent for this: the US government did pay reparations to those victimized in Japanese internment camps during World War II. Germany was forced to pay reparations after World War I (that did not end well). 

And:

The lockdowns were and are an intolerable attack on property rights, the freedom of association, free enterprise, and basic rights of trade and exchange that have been a bedrock of a thriving economy since the ancient world. They were also without precedent on this scale. We need a clear statement from the top that this was wrong, and did not achieve the aims. A well-constructed reparations package would make the point.

There is no doubt that many businesses were harmed by COVID-19 interventions, and it can certainly be argued that compensation was inadequate, but, as I like to point out, if you read the Brownstone Institute’s output, you’ll see that it’s obsessed with this sort of narrative, rather than with frontline medical workers, grocery store workers, and workers for essential businesses for whom working at home was not an option, or even police and frontline responders like paramedics for whom working from home was also not an option. All of them put their lives on the line facing the danger of COVID-19 every day, often with little choice in the matter.

As I discussed previously, support for vaccination used to be pretty similar on the right and the left. I also used to suggest that, back in Jenny McCarthy‘s heyday as the celebrity face of the antivaccine movement 15 years ago, the heavy representation of celebrities among famous antivaxxers contributed to the public perception that the antivaccine movement was predominantly left wing, Hollywood celebrities like Rob SchneiderMayim BialikAlec Baldwin, and Robert De Niroamong others. Then, of course, there was (and, alas, still is) Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., who is now arguably the biggest name in the antivaccine movement and also arguably no longer liberal, given his recent palling around with fascists.

Even then, though, with relatively few exceptions, the most motivated antivaxxers still tended to be conservative, with right wing media giving voice to antivaccine views. As early as 2011, Fox News was airing sympathetic segments on Andrew Wakefieldinterviews with Dr. Bob SearsSafeMinds’ anti-vaccine PSA campaign, and Louise Kuo Habakus. Politically, some of the most rabid anti-vaccine activists in government were conservative, for instance, Rep. Dan Burton (R-IN).

As far as libertarians go, at FreedomFest in 2012 I was privileged to watch a debate between Julian Whitaker and Steve Novella about vaccines. At the debate, vaccine pseudoscience flowed freely from Whitaker in a most embarrassing fashion, and I couldn’t help but note that FreedomFest that year featured two screenings of Leslie Manookian’s antivaccine propaganda pieceThe Greater Good and had featured antivaccine talks in previous years. I was there, too, and amazed at the merchandise and conspiracy theories being touted, although in retrospect, in the era years before the rise of QAnon, conspiracy theories about the gold standard and New World Order now seem almost quaint.

By 2018, I was personally observing this rightward shift and infiltration of conservatism, including the Republican Party, in my neck of the woods, when a candidate for the Republican nomination for my district’s Congressional seat held an antivaccine “vaccine choice roundtable” that I attended incognito and documented, and openly antivax candidates were running for state governor and other offices. By 2019, Republicans in Oregon were openly opposing anything resembling tightening school vaccine mandates, and the Ohio Statehouse was rife with antivax legislators, to the point that antivaxxers were bragging about them. Also, to bring it around, antivaxxers in California were openly marching with the California State Militia, specifically the California State Militia, First Regiment, California Valley Patriots and the State of Jefferson. Then came the pandemic, and the rest you know. Antivaxxers quickly allied themselves with antimaskers, anti-“lockdown” protesters, and QAnon, with fascists being a common sight now at antivaccine rallies and antivaccine rhetoric becoming increasingly violent.

There’s another interesting bit about Tucker’s background. He has a long association with the Mises Institute, named for Ludwig von Mises, an Austrian economist and historian whose writings have strongly influenced the libertarian movement. Although many of Mises’ writings are critical of fascism, Mises is also known for having been strangely laudatory of fascism on at least one occasion, for example as an “emergency” measure to protect capitalism:

Fascists are full of the best intentions? Francisco Franco was the 20th century’s most successful ruler? WTF?

As one wag wrote, it’s “easy to beat up on Mises” for this assertion, but “he’s just performing his ideological role as spokesman of the capitalist class: this rationalization of a ‘limited’ fascism as a sort of ‘custodial dictatorship’ that would fix things up for capitalism and ‘civilization’s’ sake was virtually a commonplace among the interwar bourgeoisie.”

Interestingly, Tucker similarly seems to be willing to support goals aligned to this end. Indeed, he is very big on attacking the “deep state,” namely the civil service:

In short, Schedule F — which Trump announced in an October 2020 executive order — would create a new classification of federal government workers who are deemed to have an effect on policy making. They would, consequently, be stripped of employment protections. Federal workers were spared the prospect of being summarily dismissed by Trump’s executive branch minions because of the timing: Trump pursued the policy in earnest just a few weeks before the end of his first term, and he wasn’t able to steal a second one. 

Tucker is a huge supporter:

In fact, the only Schedule F-obsessed person I’m aware of who I didn’t see referenced in Swan’s piece is Jeffrey Tucker, the libertarian writer who has a long history with the racist right, and who you may remember as a recent Fox News guest. Tucker complained bitterly that the staff at Monticello, Thomas Jefferson’s historic home and plantation, was teaching the public about… the slavery part. Tucker seems to post to Twitter enthusiastically about Schedule F basically every other week.

There are several articles, by Tucker and others, at the Brownstone Institute website as well. For example, Tucker portrays Schedule F as the “people” actually controlling the government, rather than as a means for a President to eliminate pesky impediments to total power in the bureaucracy. Robert “inventor of mRNA vaccines” Malone, for his part, hates the “medical deep state” for its role in trying to keep government health policy science-based regardless of who the President happens to be.

In fairness, I have to mention that Tucker has in the past railed about fascism as being a great evil. Tellingly, however, he refers to it as a form of “right wing collectivism,” borrowing the term “collectivism” that’s traditionally been ascribed to Communist regimes. With this little rhetorical trick, he appears to be buying into the “liberal fascism” distortion promoted by Jonah Goldberg and fascist-adjacent pundits that seeks to claim that fascism is not a right-wing/conservative political movement but rather a left-wing phenomenon. It’s basically the rhetorical equivalent of, “I know you are, but what am I?” It’s a category error, a fallacy in which one compares or conflates things that actually belong in different categories.

When I discussed how the antivaccine movement and fascism have an affinity for each other, I included the history of how antivaxxers had long used rhetoric that appealed to the right, such as “freedom” and hostility to government regulations. I mentioned how that rhetoric had been very successful during the debate about SB 277, the California law that banned nonmedical exemptions to school vaccine mandates, noting how that year (2015) was when antivaxxers completed their pivot from messaging primarily focused on “toxins” in vaccines and the false claim that vaccines caused autism, autoimmune disorders, sterility, and death to messaging that primarily emphasized “vaccine choice,” “freedom,” “parental rights,” and resistance to government mandates. It was a winning message that attracted those of a conservative/libertarian. By the 2016 federal election cycle, even Republican presidential candidates like Chris Christie, Ben Carson, and, of course, Donald Trump—Rand Paul, too, but I leave him out because he was always antivaccine—were invoking the same language to pander to the antivaccine movement under the guise of supporting personal and parental rights.

Then came the pandemic. Antivaxxers quickly allied themselves with antimaskers, anti-“lockdown” protesters, and QAnon, with fascists being a common sight now at antivaccine rallies and antivaccine rhetoric becoming increasingly violent. After I had discussed the aspects of fascism that are mirrored in the antivaccine movement (e.g., a mythic past with lost greatness, a “stab-in-the-back” conspiracy theory, a focus on “purity” versus “contamination,” and the like), I mentioned that I used to think that antivaxxers had succeeded beyond their wildest dreams after having enticed the right to their cause with messages of “freedom,” “parental rights,” and resistance to government vaccine mandates, that they had “taken over the right.” I then said that I was no longer so sure that was the case and wondered whether, after having made common cause with antivaxxers out of convenience, particularly during the pandemic, the far right had actually absorbed the antivaccine movement into itself and turned it into a tool to radicalize mainstream conservatives.

Now that I know more of the history behind a lot of the players like Jeffrey Tucker who have glommed onto the anti-vaccine movement as well as the links between insurrectionists and antivaccine ivermectin promoters like Dr. Simone Gold, I’m more and more beginning to think that the antivaccine movement as any sort of independent movement is no more. Its members and goals have been largely subsumed into the goals of the anti-democratic right. I wonder if people like Dr. Vinay Prasad and other COVID-19 contrarians providing their writings to the Brownstone Institution know what they’re contributing to now.

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

72 replies on “Jeffrey Tucker: The antivaccine movement and the far right”

” a bow-tied, bespectacled guest…” tells me all I need to know. Roger Stone, Tucker Carlson cloning? It might be alright on a 22 year old, good-looking hipster. But no, not on him.

Yet fashion may inform us a little about personality or beliefs: these guys harken to an earlier era which suits their agenda better. They who complain about “woke-ism” or LGBTQIA rights or femi-nazis recall a simpler time when these issues were not a concern. People kept in their respective places widening the field for its rightful managers: rich white men.

Dr DG’s twitter recently featured a graphic which has stuck with me because of how it resonated with alties’ messages. The image included a pastoral scene of a happy family with lively children enjoying the pure air of the country where they farm. In the background, the ruins of a dying city linger far away. Of course, they’re white AF and have many children . Some of the anti-vaxxers and natural health advocates I survey similarly lionise farmers, pure foods, home scholling and country life as well as orientation towards the family not careers.
Orac has pointed out how these ideas mirror fascistic ideals**. Nostalgia for 1950s life might really mean nostalgia for something else. I hear / read this every day unfortunately.

-btw- I think Louise has dropped Habakus
** Kinder, Kuchen, Kirche?

” a bow-tied, bespectacled guest…” tells me all I need to know. Roger Stone, Tucker Carlson cloning? It might be alright on a 22 year old, good-looking hipster. . .

As a gentleman of some noticeable years beyond even being thought to be a hipster and who wears spectacles from necessity and continues to wear bow ties when neck wear is needed, I must caution you to be more careful in your judgements. Bow ties have a multitude of reasons to be worn : they don’t fall into one’s work, they are very difficult to grab if a discussion becomes too charged, and it seems that lawyers still are somewhat reluctant to have bearers of such seated on a jury. In Mr. Tucker’s thin defense, at least he does not appear to have sunk to the depths of being an adult who wears a clip on.

I don’t wear bowties, but one of my favorite pairs of glasses right now (I’m wearing them in my Twitter profile pic) has round tortoise shell frames. After this thread, I’m half-tempted to retire them for a while, lest I start to look like these aging fascist-adjacent pundits…

I don’t wear bowties, . . .

Pity, that. You may need to turn in you official nerd card.

Bow ties are cool.

But if you definitely aren’t up for that, perhaps a nice pair of Barry Humphries? That will certainly secure your nerd card and should explode their heads as a bonus.

Re: Fashion. There’s a reason that a popular saying among part of the vintage fashion community is “vintage fashion, not vintage values”.
It’s to state loudly and clearly to all that 1) everyone is welcome to wear vintage fashions even if they don’t look like the people in the fashion plates of yore, and 2) just because someone is wearing spats or a 50’s New Look dress doesn’t mean they’re a racist conservative.

And really, what better way to stick it to the “man” than to look better in vintage fashions than them? Goodness knows people like band leader Dandy Wellington can work a bow-tie better than either right-wing Tucker.

My comment was not meant to be serious social commentary but merely a way to insult three awful dudes.

@DW
“white AF and have many children”, as opposed to sub-midwit, bitter, childless hag like you?

LOL. Piss off, Claude Frollo, you nasty little nazi flack.

@Orac: I make that two abuses and a poop sock, so it’s obvious this ‘Quasimodo’ is fishing for a smack with the ban stick. If you feel like obliging it, it certainly won’t be missed.

Nice one bud!

He needs his daddy to change his diaper and to slap the baby ban stick.

But since you are a narcissist, wait…. Everyone’s a narcissist in has#es’s eyes (that doesn’t agree with him) theory of mind isn’t this Bloke’s best suit.

I do like his prose, but dude has Maslow’s hammer clutched tightly.
Narcissist, Narcissist’s everywhere

Thanks for the laugh!

Except for your comments, of course.😎

Seriously, though, given the handful of antivaxxers still lurking here, such a warning was mandatory.

That being said, I’m still kicking myself. How is it that I didn’t look into Tucker’s history more deeply last year when the Brownstone Institute first came to my attention?

Well, typically I’m the one around here with the curiosity about wider ideological connections and free time to dig a bit more into some of the BSers you profile, and I didn’t think to look farther than Tucker’s uber-Libertarian associations you’d already noted, which seemed cranky enough… (my bias there, no doubt). There are so many rabbit holes of crazy, going so deep, no one person can follow them all.

But, on the subject of COVID denialism and anti-vax now being woven in with the whole basket of right-wing deplorables, check out the Trumpist triumverate that just triumphed in the Arizona Republican primaries: Senate candidate Blake Masters, Gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake, and Secretary of State Candidate Mark Fincham.

Fincham, an Oath Keeper who was at the Capital on 1/6, per Dana Milbank in WaPo: “Touted his endorsement by the antisemitic head of far-right social media site Gab, and claimed that the violent, neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville in 2017 had ‘Deep State PSYOP written all over it’.” Fincham’s also called the coronavirus vaccine a “crime against humanity” and the pandemic itself a “manufactured illusion.”

Masters, who’s bankrolled by yer ol’ buddy Peter Thiel, has been labeled Nazi-adjacent by Johnathan Chait: “[he has] suggested January 6 was a false flag directed secretly by the FBI. He blamed gun violence on Black people… He has endorsed the “great replacement” theory. And he has echoed far-right positions… blaming American entry into World War I on a secret plot directed by the “Houses of Morgan and Rothschild.” To fill in the bingo card, he recently told the conservative talk show host Charlie Kirk that Dr. Anthony Fauci “will see the inside of a prison cell this decade.”

If anything, Lake may be the looniest of the lot, showing as many or even more signs of pathological personality disorder than Trump. She’s vehemently anti-mandate of course, and openly disputes scientific expertise. She’s also prone to bizarre non-specific claims and promises, e.g. her proposal for dealing with COVID: “I would end the pandemic.” That’s it, no details…

Eek!

@sadmar

Over here in the UK, we don’t seem to have these crackpot politicians who believe your aforementioned types of beliefs as no party wants them, and we have a few of them. Our UK versions of Dr Fauci are Chris Witty and Patrick Vallance who, amongst many others, advised government on the science. They are generally admired by nearly all politicians (right or left) and the general public. I find it rather odd that the likes of MTG and Bobarff get elected at all.

And, yet, Boris Johnson was your Prime Minister—and a quite popular one at that; at least until his hypocrisy was too much even for his party.

@Orac: Johnson is just a good plain simple honest old-fashioned minor public school sociopath, his ostensible popularity amongst the populace a fortuitous [for him] accident of him being the only other person present except the Mad Trot; the LibDems having already unalived themselves in excruciating shame of having had their first taste of power.

Johnson would still be PM today too, had his equally venal and shameless cabinet not seen the synchronous opportunity for a bit of blood sport. Which, of course, every single one of them’s been waiting to do since the day that idiot fell into power.

But hey, we’re British! If a competent leader ever stood up, we would not have a clue what to do. (Probably fall off the island in surprise.)

If you really want to measure our raving Right: I happily direct you to Nadine Dorries and [until 2019] David Tredinnick, while the malodorous Rees-Mogg would be happily at home at any Quiverful rally. (My own Tory MP is, to use his official parliamentary title, merely “a Right Cunt.”) And on the Left, well anything Momentum will do—the “cool-kid” branding fooling absolutely no-one, ever.

Nothing that starts to compare with your own Supersized Leni-Riefenstahl-meets-Keystone-Kops shitshow, though.

Don’t get me wrong: I genuinely love it about our colonial children that when you swing a punch, you honestly throw every ounce into those muckle fists of yours; not like a wet slap from a cucumber sandwich, which is the absolute best our once-mighty Airstrip One can offer anyone now. That said, your aiming is regularly balls and most decent folks in the world don’t really want a Sean Hannity, y’know.

At first he appeared to be doing everything right, the knives came out when Cummings decided to test his eyesight, from thence on every one was out to get him. PS, I am not a BoJo supporter, but appreciated he had a hard job to do.

Wasn’t a Finchem killed by the FBI during that whole wildlife refuge occupation thing? Probably that nutbar’s brother…

People like this are exhibit #1 for why I left that state as soon as I had a chance decades ago. The place is lousing with them.

I think the need to present a clear activist as just another visitor, just another ordinary person says a lot about the honesty of the host media.

It’s okay to host an activist. But be upfront about who you are having on.

And yes, I know that’s just a small part of your points about Tucker, but I think Fox’s willingness to help the extremes, including by misleading omissions, is also relevant.

@Dorit:
“It’s okay to host an activist. But be upfront about who you are”

Dorit Reiss = A leading dimbulb of the fascism promoting, Mussolini-esque regulatory-capture coercive seditionist operatives.

Carry on…

La rana arroja que del estómago primero, por lo que el estómago está colgando fuera de su boca.

@Narad:
Is that what’s happening to you from that agonising internal condition you mentioned suffering from some months ago, or is it just a side effect of your recreational activities?

You are not very specific. I gather that you have no srgument left. Raed first history of Italy.

He has a sad because his tour of Monticello included a discussion of Thomas Jefferson’s ownership of enslaved people….

I hope the tour includes the reason for the Second Amendment, viz., protecting slavery in order to get Virginia** to sign on with the Union (for a while).

** Not that one.

Some notes from the field…

-We’re neck-deep in another wave. It never gets sent off for differentiation but most seems to be Omicron. We’re basing this on the lack of loss of smell but that’s not really scientific. We’re seeing about ten a day in the ER and another 5-7 daily as same-day clinic visits.

-Every case has been mild (If you compare it to the Delta wave(s)) and I have only had to admit one guy in three weeks. He was early-fifties with a BMI of 46 and a random glucose on a CMP of 385 or something like that. Hadn’t been to a doctor in three decades. No vaccines. Smoker. Still wouldn’t believe he had COVID even as he was having trouble speaking in full sentences. Walked by his room the other afternoon and he had FOX news blasting on his TV to overcome the noise of the BiPAP. Nurses said he accused us of “Kidnapping” him and told him he could leave-He didn’t even have the strength to get out of the bed let alone walk. We really do live in our own worlds.

-Paxlovid works but tastes like poo-poo. Folks who would have been prime candidates for a bad ride in the past are doing really well if they’re vaccinated and get paxlovid early.

There are several articles, by Tucker and others, at the Brownstone Institute website as well.

Don’t forget his daily column at The Epoch Times. If that doesn’t say, “You’ve arrived,” I don’t know what does.

My sister-in-law works as a tour guide at Monticello. I’ll have to ask whether her commentaries unfairly malign Thomas Jefferson and whether she’s been called out by any bowtie-wearing protesters.

While some relatively normal people wear bow ties, bow-tie wearing appears to be a symbolic badge of non-conformity among certain cranks and extremists. Louis Farrakhan is a prominent example. Then there’s this guy, whose writings reek of tobacco industry apologism:

https://retractionwatch.com/2022/07/28/an-editor-invited-me-to-submit-a-commentary-then-he-rejected-it-and-named-and-blamed-me-in-an-editorial/

Regardless, it’s amazing that posters here are dithering about Jeffrey Tucker, when 72 of the world’s nations have now publicly embraced Satanism (according to Natural News). This outbreak of NN hysteria refers to the appearance of a giant mechanical bull (symbol of Baal, doncha know) at the opening ceremonies for the Commonwealth Games. Apologists for this shocking development claim the bull is a symbol of 19th century oppression of working women, but we know better. It’s just surprising that NN failed to mention the most obvious example of Satanism at the opening ceremonies – a performance by original members of Duran Duran.*

*true crime fans will remember that a favorite song of convicted child-killer Diane Downs was “Hungry Like A Wolf”.
**per NN, Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi are all demonically possessed. Energy drinks are openly marketed as tools of Satan. We are doomed.

Have a nice day.

https://www.rawstory.com/in-protests-and-politics-canada-s-freedom-convoy-reverberates/

In Canada, the antivax movement and the radical right have teamed up in the wake of the so-called Freedom Convoy. The leading contender for the leadership of the Canadian Conservative Party, Pierre Poilievre, is cozying up to these idiots. This is scary, since the Conservatives have the best chance of forming the government if the Liberals blow the next federal election.

BTW, what’s with Tucker’s getup? I imagine he thinks he looks scholarly, but to me it looks more like he’s cosplaying Gussie Fink-Nottle.

@ Dr Bacon:

What I don’t get is that crazy bull like this might lose Mikey some potential customers; he can’t be so narrowly focused upon End Times fanatics- there are natural health and libertarian fanatics with money to spend.

I notice that Null has drifted towards the right but checks himself before going into full tilt loon territory although like Mike, he advocates against Ukraine which is the aggressor against Russia! Don’t most people support Ukraine?

Who are their audiences?

@ Denice
I addressed this in a comment (likely held in moderation as I included two Duran Duran links) under Orac’s newer post on the Baal bill. Short version: since Alex Jones is taking in up to $800,000 day at InfoWars, there’s more than enough money to be made in niches of nuttery.

“This outbreak of NN hysteria refers to the appearance of a giant mechanical bull (symbol of Baal, doncha know) at the opening ceremonies for the Commonwealth Games”

The bull is an affectionate symbol of Birmingham (whatever the convoluted historical precedents). I could say that Mike Adams can shove his tripe up his arse but his head is already up there, space is tight.

That nutty news revaluation about bulls had me laughing (religion often does that for me). The Bull in the Commonwealth games ceremony, is in reference to Birmingham’s famous ‘Bull ring shopping centre ( or mall in US), of which there has been a statue of at the site. The ‘Bull Ring’ label is referencing the site of Birmingham’s mediaeval market place dating back to the twelfth century, where they had a ‘ring’ pen where bulls were ‘baited’ for sport before slaughter.

The ‘Bull Ring’ label is referencing the site of Birmingham’s mediaeval market place dating back to the twelfth century, where they had a ‘ring’ pen where bulls were ‘baited’ for sport before slaughter.

I honestly had no idea that there was a film version of The Sun Also Rises.

Kristallnacht Two-point-Oh and now these fuckers are up and rolling all over the place:

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2022/08/02/cljz-a02.html

Putin, Xi, Modi, and your own now openly fascist GOP are salivating as rabid dogs in a sausage truck. And we are the dumb fucking sausages, sitting dumb and apathetic while our fellow citizens throw open the door. Because they want to. Just to watch us get eaten first.

Lessons of history are written in blood for a reason.

Lesson One: Tolerating fascism’s enablers makes monsters of us all.

Forget fascism’s leaders. They are small in number; the power they hold is that which others give them. It is the kleine Lügner, the undistinguished millions who tell themselves contentedly “I—We—are Good People” as they feed their neighbors into the maw, who must be held to account. Because last time we permitted them their little lie, instead of ripping it from them and choking them upon it in shame and humiliation and guilt; this was the result.

They fooled themselves, true. But they did not fool us. We fooled us. Desperate to believe total evil could never be so banal, so easy, so familiar. So very alike ourselves. And so my granddaddy and the rest of antifa had to take arms to sort the whole mess out; the second-worst solution of all.

(My grandfather returned from the war. Not all of his family did.)

And now millions more of these painfully ordinary human little fucks have once again chosen to be the cowards and enablers of the world’s worst abuse, round #2. Therefore as they cannot now speak honestly of and to themselves, we had better do it for them. For if we permit them their little lie for a second time, knowing already its result, then who really is responsible for the megadeaths which follow if not our own uselessly indolent selves? Shut them down today, before we have to shoot them (again) tomorrow.

Fuck them for returning our world to this horror.

Fuck all of us too, for allowing them this far.

“Let not any one pacify his conscience by the delusion that he can do no harm if he takes no part, and forms no opinion. Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing.”—John Stuart Mill, 1867

@has:
What you wrote seems like some anti-vaxxer fevered, delusional, misogyny fueled screed.

Are you able to clarify your point(s), whatever they are, without all of the strange, misplaced profanity and nonadjacent emotional lability?

Check real fascism, There actual neonazis around.When will conspiracy theorists decide that Jews are behind all this ?

@Aarno: Mate, you are seriously behind the curve.

The fascists are already organized, engorged, and marching openly in many western democracies. Most especially, and frighteningly, in the United States, where they are now perilously close to taking absolute power and then never letting it go again. (And should they succeed, it is game-over for everyone as they and the other fascist superpowers rapidly subsume the rest.)
“Quasimodo” is one of them, knows he’s one of them, and delights in the identity and promise of power that comes with it. Everything he says here is designed to abuse and manipulate those who respond to him.

With any luck our gracious host will shortly pull the plug on the nasty little fascist scrotal wannabe for his violations of Comment Policy. (Something our whole damn world needs to start doing right now en masse, if it doesn’t want to end up as literally this.) Until then, the correct behavior for the rest of us is to cut off the venomous troll’s narc food source, by no longer replying to his baiting, gaslighting, and other abuses. At all.

Let him escalate his vile behavior to the sound of utter silence, the best punishment of all.

On television right now:
the conservative crowd gives Hungarian PM ( dictator) Viktor Orban a standing ovation at CPAC in Texas

Over the past years, many of the alties I survey have moved to Texas and advocate for their followers to do the same – Wakefield, Null, Adams, Del , Alex Jones. Especially after Covid restrictions.
They value FREEDOM! Florida is also on their list.
Something is wrong with this picture ( I won’t even go into the abortion ban)

On television right now: the conservative crowd gives Hungarian PM (dictator) Viktor Orban a standing ovation at CPAC in Texas

Old news is very old news.

Which they, of course, will call “Fake News” when called out on it. Because that is what abusers do.

This is why all human beings need to know the signs of abuse, and declare it to the world wherever and wherener they see it. Because it is all the same thing, from lone spouse beater to national GOP.

And all abusers operate only because others allow it. That means us.

The GOP does not want to end abuse. The GOP wants to end their abuse being talked about. Learn, and proceed accordingly.

Joe Biden just showed that, “following the science”, doesn’t work.
2 weeks to flatten the curve didn’t work

Mask mandate didn’t work
6 foot distance didn’t work

One way isles didn’t work
Plastic barriers at the check-outs didn’t work

Closing schools didn’t work

Closing restaurants/bar/gyms/playgrounds/beaches didn’t work

2 shots of the vaccine didn’t work (Even Birx admitted that)(a shot that doesn’t stop you from getting the virus, doesn’t stop you from infecting other and doesn’t stop you from hospitalization is not a vaccine but a therapeutic)
2 boosters didn’t work
Contact tracing didn’t work (who did Biden get the virus from?)

Paxlovid didn’t work, Biden got sick just two days later, while he was still on it and 6 days later he still has it.
Australia, despite having a 95% fully vaccinated population just had a record high death rate from Covid as New Zealand/Korea/Japan hits record highs of cases and deaths.
This has lead to more and more people distrusting science, 3 years ago you could get 75-95 compliance with masks, lock downs, shutting down schools/parks/playgrounds/beaches, you couldn’t get that kind of compliance now, with all the ‘new’ revelations

reason.com/2022/04/03/against-scientific-gatekeeping/

—FOR THE RECORD—

The assertion that the vaccines “Don’t work” or “Don’t prevent hospitalization” is BULLSHIT.

A LIE, pure and simple.

I hope I was able to attract the attention of any passers-by who were given to believing this pathetic commentary.

Shorter Ed: “This one time I tried to walk and chew gum at the same time, and I strangled myself on my shoelaces.”

For the rest of the world: confounders.

“—FOR THE RECORD—

The assertion that the vaccines “Don’t work” or “Don’t prevent hospitalization” is BULLSHIT.

A LIE, pure and simple.”

“To date, there have been 292,802 COVID-19 vaccine breakthrough cases in Oregon. Of those cases, 103,563, or 35.4%, were fully vaccinated and boosted at the time of infection.

To date, 2.6% of all vaccine breakthrough cases have been hospitalized, and 0.6% have died. The median age of vaccinated people who died is 80.”

ktvz.com/news/coronavirus/2022/08/04/oregon-health-authority-releases-july-covid-19-vaccine-breakthrough-report/

Or are you claiming the Oregon Health Authority is lying.

Le sigh, evidence vaccines and masks work at a university: https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamanetworkopen/fullarticle/2794964

“Of those cases, 103,563, or 35.4%, were fully vaccinated and boosted at the time of infection.”

Nirvana fallacy. You will note that over 64% were not fully vaccinated and boosted. I believe that means more who were not protected got sick, and were possibly sicker than those who were vaccinated.

Looking at the actual report: https://www.oregon.gov/oha/covid19/Documents/DataReports/Breakthrough-Report-08-04-2022.pdf?utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery

Table 3 shows that the unvaccinated were 16473/2342 = 7 times more likely to be hospitalized, and 4269/358 = 11.9 times to likely to die versus the fully vaccinated and boosted.

The Oregon Health Authority is not lying. Though your interpretation of the actual data is quite flawed.

I was not invoking the Nirvana fallacy. I was responding to the yeti’s comment that
“The assertion that the vaccines “Don’t work” or “Don’t prevent hospitalization” is BULLSHIT.

A LIE, pure and simple.”

Was not an accurate statement.

I was aware of the data behind the article (did link the article which linked the data). You have also misinterpreted the data. As 53% of the cases were breakthrough cases and in July, 69 deaths from fully vaccinated deaths out of 127 deaths.

But back to my original post, the vaccine doesn’t stop the spread nor does it stop you from getting sick or hospitalized (you study link showed that).

I can still remember when the director of the CDC and the President told everyone if we got the shot we wouldn’t get Covid nor would we pass it on. I was reflecting how that along with other misguided statements have made people skeptical of other precautions

Australia, despite having a 95% fully vaccinated population just had a record high death rate from Covid as New Zealand/Korea/Japan hits record highs of cases and deaths.

JLB has a friend to watch Twister with?

I think of Reason as the most wrongly named publication in existence. It’s as foolish as referring to “libertarian thought”: no reason in Reason, no thought in libertarianism.

Only government can censor things, that is, preventing anyody to publish them. Shapira will find other outlets. like substack.
His argument is not very good, btw. Monkeypox actually comes from monkeys

Most of those things that didn’t work are due to those that fucked about and ignored them. Plus there is the fact that those who ignored them also have no idea how they worked (vaccines, oh they DO work, except for the intentionally blind, deaf, dumb)

Australia, despite having a 95% fully vaccinated population just had a record high death rate from Covid

I will point out that the case fatality rate for COVID-19 in Australia is about a 10th of the USA. That is what having a vaccinated population can do for you.

I’m more and more beginning to think that the antivaccine movement as any sort of independent movement is no more. Its members and goals have been largely subsumed into the goals of the anti-democratic right.
This certainly seems to be happening in NZ, where we now have the “Freedom and Rights Coalition” that rolls together antivaxxers, anti-govt protestors, & the far-right in a most revolting way.

We saw the same in Australia. However, for now the extreme right has largely crawled back into its holes. With the exception of Pauline Hanson who has taken up the cudgels against declaring that the aboriginal people occupied Australia prior to European settlement.

I love how Jr’s report is citing Koch brothers (Brownstone), Epoch Times (cult), Green med info (viruses don’t exist), NY Post as credible sources of accurate medical info. He’s off his rocker, to be polite.

Love also the charts showing deaths going up in poor countries after vaccination started, but no hint that most of those countries did not actually have a high percentage of vaccinations. No mention either that the states in USA with the highest death rates from covid since the start of vaccination are all in states with the lowest vaccination rates. Whoever made this report must have been a fan of the classic book “How to Lie with Statistics.”

Also touts Mr. Malone as the co-inventor of mRNA vaccines, when in reality he was just one of many who did minor work and nothing at all on the vaccines themselves.

No mention that several key studies supposedly proving ivermectin cures covid were fraudulent and withdrawn, and others were so shoddy they only proved a political campaign to promote this off label drug and demonize vaccination.

And as Orac and others have noted, the increase in VAERS submissions means more people submit claims – but anyone can submit anything they like. Proving the submissions are real … that’s a different thing.

I hope RFK Jr is able to get the psychiatric care he desperately needs.

“I hope RFK Jr is able to get the psychiatric care he desperately needs.”

Please do not do that.

Mental illness is not a joke, and in employing it as a cheap base insult you belittle all those who do genuinely suffer it. JFK Jr is not mentally ill. He is fully in control of himself and 100% responsible for his words and actions. He could well be a grandiose narcissist or possibly just a psychopath, but those are personality disorders, not mental illnesses. Some human brains are just wired differently to yours, lacking the empathy that turns the rest of us into social empathetic animals.

The English language is already spoiled for words with which to excoriate such ahuman monsters honestly, accurately, and with all the venom and hate you can muster. Use some of those.

Effectively managing mentally ill people who hurt others as a product of their illness requires a completely different set of tools and methodologies to responding to those who hurt others by choice. Conflating the latter with the former excuses and minimizes these willfull abusers, and completely fails to direct victims and bystanders to the correct techniques for combatting their abuse.

Our comfy complacent western societies are already well past the point where individual abusers could be safely ignored by the rest of us for sake of a quiet life, and are now organized and massing in numbers and powe that represents a serious imminent threat to us all. So the sooner everyone correctly understands and recognizes the real disease, the better chance we all stand—as individuals and as societies—of curing it before it kills.

Minimizing kills. Misinformation kills. Don’t be that jerk. You, me, all of us deserve better.

Actually .all these claims have been refuted multiple times. Vaccines prevent transmission, reduce deaths and have save millions of people.
Start with IFR and vaccines:
Chapman LAC, Barnard RC, Russell TW, Abbott S, van Zandvoort K, Davies NG, Kucharski AJ. Unexposed populations and potential COVID-19 hospitalisations and deaths in European countries as per data up to 21 November 2021. Euro Surveill. 2022 Jan;27(1):2101038. doi: 10.2807/1560-7917.ES.2022.27.1.2101038. PMID: 34991776; PMCID: PMC8739340.
Other Robert Kennedy Jr’s claims are as easy to refute, just do a simple Google Scholar search.
Becaue you are obsessed with corruption, can you explain why he does not tell who funds his organisation ?

@Aarno: I think it best to say ‘vaccines prevent most transmissions, to deny Ed and all the other shitweasels their wiggleroom. You may know what you mean in your original phrasing, but non-experts do not and it is unrealistic and unreasonable for any of us to expect that they should.

Key to effective science communication is knowing one’s audience and shaping the language we use to fit them, not us. And when a simple ‘most’ is worth a million exacting stats, we should not hesitate to add it. It might seem like a little thing to us and irritatingly imprecise at that, yet it completely changes the world to millions of others.

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