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Argus

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Argus last won the day on July 31

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  1. Vaccinated people are ready for normality and angry at the unvaccinated for getting in the way. Couldn't have said it better myself. A return to their carefree, pre-pandemic visits appeared within reach, tantalizing Stacey Graves and her boyfriend with promises of coffee in the cafe and sunshine on the patio. After getting her second dose of a coronavirus vaccine, Graves felt ready to brave the long bus ride to the rehabilitation facility where he lives. They could meet only masked and outdoors for 45 minutes, per the hospital’s policy. But as infections plunged in the spring, the rules seemed destined to loosen. A feeling of perilous instability now pervades the couple’s time together. As the hyper-contagious delta variant threatens her modicum of comfort, Graves is reevaluating whether the trips are safe. And she misses the simplicity of their restriction-less visits. “I don’t have that now. And I don’t know when I’m going to,” said Graves, 64. “And I’m very angry.” Specifically, she’s furious at those eligible to get vaccinated who refuse, citing misinformation or a desire to make a political statement. Graves, who lives in New York City, said she’s more understanding of those who worry the vaccines were rushed to market or people of color whose communities have been historically mistreated by medical professionals. But Graves said she worries about getting long-term symptoms if she contracts a rare breakthrough infection of covid-19. An unwelcome resurgence of the coronavirus has caused a groundswell of impatience, frustration and even rage from Americans who got their shots months ago toward those whose resistance won’t budge. States are reimplementing mask requirements, corporations are delaying their returns to the office and support is building for more coercive ways to tamp down the virus’s spread, including vaccine mandates. https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2021/07/31/vaccinated-angry-at-unvaccinated/?utm_source=reddit.com
  2. How racial politics and a media fixated by identity politics makes racism worse. America may have its first mixed-race Vice President, its first African-American Secretary of Defense and its first Latino and immigrant as Secretary of Homeland Security, but the country has never been so racist. That, at least, is one of the disturbing conclusions being drawn from a new Gallup poll, which found that the share of Americans reporting that race relations are bad or “somewhat” bad has reached 57% — the highest it’s been in two decades. But are its findings really evidence of widespread racism in the US? Hardly. In fact, you need only look at the behaviour of Americans — at the number of interracial marriages or police shootings of minorities, for example — to see that racism has almost never been so absent. So why is there such a misunderstanding between the American public and the reality of US race relations? The answer, I suspect, reflects a media-driven moral panic — one that is rooted in the racialisation of identity-obsessed progressive politics. Indeed, the “rise” of racism in America since 2014 is a social construct that reflects perception rather than daily life. This is largely a result of what Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman described in 1973 as the “availability heuristic” — the idea that vivid images rather than statistical reality tends to shape people’s perceptions. For instance, people routinely overestimate vivid phenomena, from crime to the share of Muslims in their country, because these stories make the news. Crime in America may have fallen every year before 2019 — but when asked about it by Gallup, most people in all but two years said crime had risen over the past year. https://unherd.com/2021/07/what-liberals-get-wrong-about-race/
  3. A media which increasingly focused on racism helped bring about an increasing sense of racism being everywhere in the United States. In 2011, the terms racist/racists/racism accounted for 0.0027% and 0.0029% of all words in The New York Times and The Washington Post, respectively. What we see over the past decade is a continual dramatic increase in usages of “racism” and its variations. Moreover, the graph shows that this increase occurred a half decade before the arrival of Donald Trump. By 2019, they would constitute 0.02% and just under 0.03% of all words published in the Times and Post—an increase of over 700% and just under 1,000%, respectively, from 2011. While increases in usage frequency are also observed for the more center-right Wall Street Journal, they are comparatively more gradual and modest. Notably, the shifts in the Times and Post trends precede those of the Journal by about a year, suggesting that the center-right Journal appears to react to the rhetorical and ideological trends on race advanced by the two biggest left-leaning newspapers. Over the period in question, starting in the mid ’90s, the Times and Post had always featured these terms more frequently than the Journal but, until recently, the difference was minor. Today, the gap is enormous, which suggests that the explosion in the usage of racialized terminology and ideological constructs isn’t simply a neutral reflection of an increase in racial incidents. In 2016, The New York Times published a news article detailing efforts on college campuses to train new students on how to avoid and deal with microaggressions—one of the novel categories of racism popularized over the past decade that has contributed to the perception of pervasive racial injustice. As an example of a microaggression, the article cites the following comment: “Everyone can succeed in this society if they work hard enough.” This is supposedly racist because it emphasizes individual agency and implies “that race plays a minor role in life’s outcomes.” In the absence of legal discrimination, in the post-affirmative-action era, and in light of the immense absolute improvements in the quality of life of the average Black person over the past half century, concepts like “microaggression” and “implicit bias” have been critical in cultivating the perception, amplified by the media, that America still practices a form of insidious racial apartheid. This occurs by a process of concept creep—a stretching of the terminological and normative boundaries of what constitutes racism and racist behavior. In other words: The racialization of things that weren’t previously viewed or understood through the lens of race. The upshot is that the more aspects of social life the media racializes, the more “racism” there is for the media to report on. https://www.tabletmag.com/sections/news/articles/media-great-racial-awakening
  4. Europe is anticipating a fresh flood of migrants, first from Afghanistan, but then from north Africa. The governments have changed, though, and most have moved rightward, in no small degree because of the previous migrant crisis. They are not in the mood to be overrun with more migrants/refugees and taking steps to ensure their borders are more secure. This should offer lessons to the Americans left, but probably won't. They are as enthusiastic about embracing limitless numbers of migrants as the EUs left wing governments were in 2015. Now those governments have fallen to the Right. I am reminded of a quote I posted several years back from an article in the Atlantic by David Frum. "If liberals insist that only fascists will enforce borders, then voters will hire fascists to do the job liberals refuse to do." The Austrian government has decisively swung towards the Central European approach of hardened borders and expedited returns to countries of origin, with Kurz stressing that he would not halt deportations to Afghanistan, as Sweden and Finland already have, a reflection of a public mood darkened by recent high-profile crimes carried out by Afghan asylum seekers. Like centre-left Denmark, which is accelerating both its return of refugees to Syria and the search, apparently along with the UK, of third-party countries in Africa willing to host refugees and migrants on its behalf, the new mood in Austria is not the result of the populist Right coming to power, but instead of centrist parties adopting solutions that were in 2015 considered the sole preserve of the radical Right. As in Spain, where the next government is likely to be a coalition between the centre-right PP and the radical right Vox, in Italy a coalition government between the centre-Right and the far-Right looms in the wings. Indeed, Salvini’s Lega is now so outflanked on its Right by the rising power of Georgia Meloni’s post-fascist Brothers of Italy party, the most popular political party in the country, that it can be considered centre-Right itself, so far has the country’s Overton Window shifted. In France, where Macron has angrily rejected an imported American racial culture war in favour of the country’s homegrown culture war over Islam and the possibility of civil war, the soi-disant liberal saviour from the perceived populist menace has moved so far to the Right that the roughly even chances of a Le Pen victory in the forthcoming presidential election seem almost irrelevant in defining the country’s political trajectory. Perhaps it is Greece that highlights best not just the shifting mood in Europe’s external border states, but the shifting mood in Brussels itself. When Erdogan opened Turkey’s land borders with Greece in spring last year, bussing migrants to the border fences in a confrontation that came uncomfortably close to war, Greece’s militarised response unexpectedly won applause rather than censure from the EU hierarchy, as well as the swift dispatch of both Frontex border guards and funds to build an impassable border wall, now being beefed up with EU surveillance zeppelins and drones. Rather than a rerun of the 2015 migrant crisis, when Europe functioned as a ready source of monetary tribute to an embattled Erdogan, last year’s Evros crisis functioned as a dry run for the coming Afghan wave. https://unherd.com/2021/07/the-walls-are-going-up-across-europe/
  5. Like everything else Taxme posts this is bullshit. Scientists consider polymerase chain reaction, or PCR, tests a highly reliable tool for diagnosing COVID-19. But social media posts are misrepresenting a recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announcement regarding the eventual discontinuation of its own test, falsely claiming the government has conceded that PCR tests aren’t reliable. The agency in a July 21 notice recommended that labs use “one of the many FDA-authorized alternatives” and said it “encourages laboratories to consider adoption of a multiplexed method that can facilitate detection and differentiation of SARS-CoV-2 and influenza viruses.” Such multiplex tests, including one from the CDC, can look for both the novel coronavirus and multiple types of influenza at the same time — which conserves testing materials and allows public health labs to do influenza surveillance while testing for SARS-CoV-2, or the virus that causes COVID-19. But the CDC did not say it was no longer supporting the use of PCR tests in general, many of which have been authorized by the FDA — or that its original PCR test for SARS-CoV-2 can’t tell the difference between coronavirus and influenza — as viral posts spreading online falsely claim. https://www.factcheck.org/2021/07/scicheck-viral-posts-misrepresent-cdc-announcement-on-covid-19-pcr-test/
  6. Covid skeptics have been proven wrong again and again and again. But like other conspiracy types, they refuse to accept reality. When I last wrote about the rise of the coronavirus cranks for Quillette on January 16th, there were 37,000 people in British hospitals with COVID-19, and 1,411 COVID-related deaths on that day alone. The story that self-described sceptics had been telling themselves since the summer was a smoking ruin. As far back as June 2020, they had been announcing that the virus had run its course, that herd immunity had been achieved, and that there would be no second wave. They then dismissed a resurgence of the infection rate in August and September as a “casedemic”—a fraudulent illusion built on a glut of false positives produced by unreliable over-testing. The founder of the Lockdown Sceptics blog, Toby Young, claimed in June that the “virus has melted into thin air,” and predicted that “there will be no ‘second spike’—not now, and not in the autumn either.” In September, YouTube personality and low-carb entrepreneur Ivor Cummins declared that “the epidemic is over.” Asked what it would take to prove him wrong, he tweeted: “Simple. Excess mortality this winter is far higher than 2018 or 2015 same months—directly driven by Covid19. Period. Anything else, and I am correct.” At the end of November, Michael Yeadon, doyen of the deniers thanks to his credentials as a former Pfizer scientist, wrote that “the pandemic was over by June” and dismissed the case numbers as “an artefact of a deranged testing system.” All of these endlessly circulated delusions lay in tatters by the end of December when more than 50,000 Britons were testing positive for the virus each day and a similar number were going undiagnosed, but the smiley community (so-called for their adoption of the yellow smiley face as a badge of their resistance to alleged fear-mongering about the virus) stubbornly held the line. Distrustful of doctors and death certificates, they would accept no evidence except excess deaths. Some of them would not even accept that measure and demanded to see figures for burial and cremations. A surprisingly large number knew funeral directors who told them that business had never been quieter. Very suspicious. https://quillette.com/2021/07/28/vaccines-and-the-coronavirus-crank-crisis/
  7. What makes you think he's less electable than O'Toole?
  8. Uhm. No. right. Order. Order at the point of a gun. Repression over everything we see, do, hear and say. No thanks. Here is China bringing order to Tibet. They sure are working hard at... trying to not get her brains spattered on their uniforms...
  9. You should look into what states have the lowest vaccination rates. Hint, it's not New York or California.
  10. This is how the weak-minded, gullible people like Shady get stuffed full of nonsensical misinformation. Apparently a shady Russian agency has been trying to pay influencers to talk against the Pfizer vaccine, giving them links to fake web sites with wrong information, and telling them how to talk up the danger. And you can bet this isn't the first such effort, nor are youtube influencers the only people being recruited to sell the message online. "It started with an email" says Mirko Drotschmann, a German YouTuber and journalist. Mirko normally ignores offers from brands asking him to advertise their products to his more than 1.5 million subscribers. But the sponsorship offer he received in May this year was unlike any other. An influencer marketing agency called Fazze offered to pay him to promote what it said was leaked information that suggested the death rate among people who had the Pfizer vaccine was almost three times that of the AstraZeneca jab. The information provided wasn't true. Fazze's brief told influencers to share a story in French newspaper Le Monde about a data leak from the European Medicines Agency. The story was genuine, but didn't include anything about vaccine deaths. But in this context it would give the false impression that the death rate statistics had come from the leak. The data the influencers were asked to share had actually been cobbled together from different sources and taken out of context. It presented the numbers of people who had died in several countries some time after receiving different Covid vaccines. But just because someone dies after having a vaccine doesn't mean they died because they had the vaccine. They could have been killed in a car accident. https://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-trending-57928647
  11. Uh huh. The vaccine is no good at all! Only about 150 of the more than 18,000 U.S. COVID-19-related deaths in May were among fully vaccinated people, according to an Associated Press analysis of available government data. That means only about 0.8 percent of the deaths were among vaccinated people, which means more than 99 percent of the dead were unvaccinated. Likewise, “breakthrough” infections in fully vaccinated people accounted for fewer than 1,200 of more than 853,000 COVID-19 hospitalizations, according to the AP analysis. That’s about 0.1 percent, which means 99.9 percent of people who had to be hospitalized were unvaccinated. https://www.galvnews.com/opinion/editorials/free/article_f8a71f04-215a-5d67-b0ea-3af7155ba708.html
  12. Because of idiot Republicans who won't take the vaccine even though it was developed under their orange god.
  13. Yes, the Russians are doing their best to promote vaccine hesitancy in order to encourage doubt in western governments. They're pumping out all kinds of disinformation every day to lure the gullible into believing... the stuff you're believing.
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