The Kyle Rittenhouse verdict is probably the least surprising verdict in years.

The Kyle Rittenhouse verdict is probably the least surprising verdict in years. Judge Bruce Schroeder was probably the most biased judge ever in a high-profile trial, and everything was prepped for Rittenhouse to be acquitted. Anyone with half a brain knows that if Rittenhouse had been black, he never would have survived the night, never mind be acquitted in a public trial. It’s the reason that we need a Black Lives Matter movement to begin with.

Just to review: Kyle Rittenhouse is the little 17-year old punk and wannabe police officer whose mother chose to drive him from his home in Antioch, IL to Kenosha WI (about a 33 minute, 21 mile drive) so that he could pretend to be a law enforcement officer. Kenosha was, on August 25, 2020, in the midst of several days of protests related to the shooting of Jacob Blake, where police officers shot Blake in the back several times, leaving him paralzed from the waist down.

Rittenhouse pretended to be an EMT and pretended to protect a car dealership (where the cars had already been moved off the lot; to be fair, the dealership had suffered damage the two previous nights). The following sequence followed:

  • Rittenhouse then had a confrontation with 36 year old activist Joseph Rosenbaum at 11:48 p.m.  (Why is a 17 year old kid still on the streets from 10 minutes to midnight?)  Rosenbaum was unarmed but may have been trying to take Rittenhouse’s gun. Rittenhouse shot him four times and killed him. (Richie McGinniss, a reporter for right wing Daily Caller, apparently tried to administer first aid.)
  • After fleeing the scene, several protestors ran after Rittenhouse for a few blocks, identifying him as the man who had just shot someone. At some point Rittenhouse tripped and fell down. Anthony Huber, a 26 year old skateboarder who was also at the protests, then tried to take Rittenhouse’s gun and was shot while Rittenhouse was sitting on the street. 
  • Finally, Gaige Grosskreutz, a 27 year old trained paramedic who actually was trying to provide assistance in Kenosha was also shot (but not killed) by Rittenhouse when he also tried to take the kid’s gun.

In order for Rittenhouse to get off, the jury had to find that all three shootings were justified by the doctrine of self-defense, as applied in Wisconsin.

So, let’s first acknowledge that none of the victims was perfect. Rosenbaum, in particular, seems to have been kind of a little prick; Huber has had “mental health challenges” in his life; and Grosskreutz initially “forgot” to tell the police that he had been armed that night.

Of course, if being an asshole were justification to shoot someone, we’d have to shoot about 1/3rd of the population of the United States.

All three of the people who were shot by Rittenhouse were apparently trying to disarm him, so it’s not that there isn’t some legal basis for the verdict. But as various commentators have noted, you shouldn’t be able to claim self-defense in a situation where you yourself provoked the danger.

Rittenhouse — although police had been warned that there was an “active shooter” in the streets — was not arrested, and turned himself in the next day in Illinois. 


The kid was released from detention on November 20, after his attorneys posted $2 million bail. He got the money for the bail from right-wing websites that had raised the funds for him. Later, security footage from a Wisconsin bar showed Rittenhouse drinking beers in a bar, wearing a shirt that said “Free as Fuck,” and posing for pictures alongside five men flashing an “OK” sign. Later, a mailed notice about a scheduled court appearance was returned as undeliverable when Rittenhouse had changed his address without notifying the court. Judge Schroeder denied the prosecutors’ request for an increase in Rittenhouse’ bond, stating that people out on bail “often fail to update their address without being arrested.” 

The defense put all three victims (but especially Rosenbaum) on trial. The judge confirmed his biases when he refused to let the prosecutors call the three men who were shot “victims” but allowed the defense to call them “rioters” and “looters” and “arsonists,” even though the victims were not on trial.

And so here we are. Rittenhouse acquitted. Of course, it’s not necessarily the end of litigation for him. First of all — since he crossed state lines to accomplish his shooting spree — there is a small chance that he could face federal charges, if the justice department is willing to indict him. Don’t hold your breath on that.

Much more likely is that he will be embroiled in civil suits brought by the families of the three victims, just like O.J. Simpson was sued civilly after his acquittal. The police department in Kenosha will also be sued and maybe others with responsibility for keeping the peace. It’s very unlikely that Rittenhouse will ever be a police officer, which was apparently one of his career ambitions. In any case, he’s not out of the woods yet legally, but he has obviously survived the most dangerous legal proceeding that he had to survive.  Stay tuned.

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Alex Jones is defaulted in two of his defamation cases without offering a defense.

There was more litigation news on Monday having to do with Alex Jones, the right wing POS super-prick who, among other things, claimed that the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting was a “false flag” operation intended to derogate people’s Second Amendment rights.

He went so far as to accuse Leonard Pozner, the father of one of the victims, of being a “crisis actor,” requiring Pozner to move several times to avoid harassment and death threats from followers of Jones who believe the accusations.

Well, some of those parents finally sued Jones for defamation — I have no idea why this took so long, as this was just a set of cases crying out to be filed — and those cases are now coming back to haunt Jones. Under the law of defamation in the United States you cannot publish information which is “wholly and patently false” or that it was published “with reckless disregard of whether it was false or not.” In addition, the parents of the murdered Sandy Hook children are not “public figures,” with respect to whom there is a much greater degree of liberty about what may be published.

Well this prick, Alex Jones, isn’t even losing the cases on the merits (although he most certainly would). He’s losing them because he is refusing to cooperate with discovery requests, which is requiring the courts to do something they almost never do: to default the defendant.

I mean, you really have to piss off the courts for them to default for failing to comply with discovery requests.

And this didn’t just happen in one jurisdiction. No, it happened in two: first in Texas, and now in Connecticut.

In an effort to avoid liability, Jones has, at various points in his career, claimed to be a “performance artist” and therefore (I guess) not responsible for what he says. (Too bad that’s not a defense to libel in the United States.)

I can only hope that when it comes to damages, that the courts bleed this prick dry. I hope he ends up in bankruptcy court and loses all the money he ever earned. Nothing less would be just.

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Republicans threatening to “payback” Democrats because of Steve Bannon

There was an article in the Washington Post yesterday about how Republicans are rallying around Steve Bannon. In the wake of the indictment of Bannon for contempt of Congress, Republicans are threatening “payback” once the Republicans regain the House. Republicans are claiming that Democrats are “weaponizing” the Department of Justice, and that there will be consequences for doing so.

Bullshit.

Oh sure, the Republicans (if and when they do regain control of the House) will surely create hearings about things that they think will be controversial, like the multiple hearings they had about Hillary’s email server or Benghazi.

But here’s the difference: Democrats have not been engaging in illegal conduct, while the Republicans have the insurrection.

Hillary was able to testify for 11 hours before Congress because she had done nothing illegal.

Of course, Bannon, upon turning himself in at the FBI’s field office, immediately proclaimed that this action was going to be “the misdemeanor from hell, for Merrick Garland, Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden.” How so? That was not immediately clear.

He then offered that “we’re going to go on the offense. We’re tired of playing defense, we’re going to go on the offense on this.” How so? That was also not immediately clear.

And finally, “We got the Hispanics coming on our side, African Americans coming on our side; we’re taking down the Biden regime.” Okay Steve, if you say so.

So threaten all you want, Republicans. As it is, finally indicting Bannon for his open defiance of Congress is the least the Department of Justice could do, and a lot of us were wondering when Merrick Garland is going to show some balls and finally indict this guy.

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Typhoid Mary and Henning Jacobson prove that the Anti-Vaxxers are Wrong.

There are still a bunch of people (mostly Republicans) who seem to think that the government cannot mandate the use of masks or that people be vaccinated. They are (of course) wrong on both counts. Let’s disprove that theory with just two examples:

Typhoid Mary

Mary Mallon, better known as “Typhoid Mary,” was an Irish cook who eventually came to the United States, where she infected as many as 53 people with typhoid fever while being an asymptomatic carrier of the disease. 

Because she had no symptoms, it took public health authorities in New York quite some time to find her. In fact, it took public health authorities about seven years before they had conclusively identified her as the source of the typhoid infections. She was subsequently quarantined:

  1. From 1907 through 1910, until she agreed to stop working as a cook (which agreement she breached in 1915).
  2. From 1915 until her death in 1938, during which time she was held at North Brother Island, one of a pair of small islands located in New York City’s East River, and which was once the site of the Riverside Hospital for quarantinable diseases (but is now uninhabited).

So, if you’re counting, that is 26 years that Mary Mallon was held in confinement. That is what can happen to you when you’re the asymptomatic carrier of a deadly disease. That is the power that public health officials actually have.

Jacobson v. Massachusetts

In 1905, the Supreme Court of the United States decided a case named Jacobson v. Massachusetts, 197 U.S. 11 (1905). Massachusetts had a compulsory vaccination law that empowered the Board of Health of a city or town to enforce mandatory, free vaccinations.  In 1902, faced with an outbreak of smallpox, the Board of Health of the city of Cambridge,  adopted a regulation ordering the vaccination of all its inhabitants. Cambridge pastor Henning Jacobson, who had lived through an era of mandatory vaccinations in his native Sweden, refused to comply  because Jacobson’s childhood vaccination had gone badly. However, the Court held that mandatory vaccinations are neither arbitrary nor oppressive so long as they do not “go so far beyond what was reasonably required for the safety of the public.”

And there it is.

Vaccines can be required if they are reasonably required for the safety of the public.

And the Covid vaccine is reasonably required for the safety of the public.

There are (of course) plenty of law enforcement, medical, educational and other personnel who haven’t complied with vaccine requirements at the risk of their own jobs. But they are just plain wrong. This is necessary for the public health; there have been approximately 422 million doses administered in the United States and there have been no major problems; it’s time to stop complaining and just comply with the requirements of public health.

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There will be a lot of Gnashing of Teeth in Democratic campaign headquarters tonight

There will be a lot of gnashing of teeth in Democratic party headquarters as a consequences of the results in Virginia and New Jersey, which don’t bode well for 2022.  In Virginia, Glenn Youngkin, a businessman with expertise in mergers and acquisitions and capital market financing, proved that the culture wars are alive and strong in the Republican party. In New Jersey, the tight race between Republican Jack Ciatarelli Democratic incumbent Governor Phil Murphy, may hinge mostly on the local issue of property taxes. Some of the other races around the country didn’t look so bad for Democrats.

But the matchup between Youngkin and former Governor Terry McAuliffe hurts.

So far, Republicans have not been hurt at all by their persistent lying and continued affiliation with #45, the Former Guy. This election became a referendum on Critical Race Theory, which as honest commentators (i.e., the ones who are not lying) have repeatedly pointed out, is a legal theory taught in law school, and is not taught in secondary schools in the United States. What Republicans are really objecting to is that a lot of white people are made uncomfortable with learning about or having their children taught about the history of race in America.

Pretty soon the GOP will be advocating that German school children not learn about the Holocaust because it will make them uncomfortable.

Now, I was, in fact, born in Germany, where having to learn about what the NAZIs did can indeed make a person very, very uncomfortable. It was also very, very necessary to learn about it in detail, discomfort be damned. There is, of course, the maxim that “history is written by the victors,” and that is part of the reason German school children had to learn about the history of the Holocaust in excruciating detail. But it also made us, all of us, better people.

White people in America might want to embrace the history of American racism for what it can teach him, instead of fleeing towards “parental rights” in an effort to avoid their own discomfort.

But — as we all know by now — Republicans have made a great deal of hay with the culture wars, starting with What’s the Matter with Kansas.

And they’re not stopping now.

I don’t know what the solution is, except that maybe the Democrats should be more willing to engage the Republicans on cultural issues unapologetically. Like, stop trying to mollify the opponents of vaccines and mask mandates and just ask them to grow up already. 

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“Let’s go Brandon” is a lovely sentiment brought to you by today’s Republican Party.

Recently it’s come to my attention that “Let’s Go Brandon” is a euphemism for “Fuck Joe Biden,” and conservatives are all delighting in it. One Southwest Airline pilot apparently signed of his flight with it, which he is apparently living to regret.

So how did we get here?

Well, back on October 2, 2021, a kid named Brandon Brown won a Nascar race at the speedward in Taladega Superspeedeway in Lincoln, Alabama, and as the kid was being interviewed by NBC reporter Kelli Stavast, the crowd went into a boisterous chant of “Fuck Joe Biden!” She generously reinterpreted it for the viewing audience as “Let’s Go Brandon!”

It does beg the question why people in Alabama want to fuck Joe Biden. What has he done to them besides working as hard as he can to eradicate the Covid pandemic and to increase infrastructure spending and the safety net for people who have been left behind by the current economy.

It’s not like he’s trying to tear the country apart with racial hatred, as his predecessor had done.

As it is, Joe Biden is stuck with two very recalcitrant Democrats who keep raining on his parade: West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin, and Arizona Senator and former Green party candidate Kyrsten Sinema about whom we can only say that nobody knows what the hell she wants.

But sure, let’s fuck Joe Biden because, after all, he’s responsible for everyone else’s insanity.

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The Supreme Court is starting to feel the heat. We need to bring a lot more of it.

Yesterday was the beginning of the Supreme Court’s new term, and you can see that the justices are starting to feel the heat. They’re out there defending the institution before having written any controversial decisions, but what they do decide could have a significant impact on the 2022 election, as it becomes apparent how conservative this court is and how out of step they are with the voters.

  • Amy Coney Barrett led us off in early September by giving a speech to students at the ironically-named McConnell Center at the University of Louisville, trying to convince them that the Court “is not comprised of a bunch of partisan hacks.” Yeah, good luck with that.
  • Stephen Breyer — who is now getting enormous pressure from the left to not make the same mistake that Ruth Bader Ginsburg made and not retire too late — supported Justice Barrett in a dialog with Washington Post columnist David Ignatius. 
  • Then Justice Clarence Thomas got into the act, lecturing at University of Notre Dame later in September arguing that we need to preserve the “independence” of the Supreme Court. That was rich coming from Thomas, the most partisan member of the court, and whose wife Ginni is a known “Tea Party” republican hack.
  • Finally, at the end of September Justice Samuel Alito delivered a withering attack on critics of the “shadow docket” in another speech at the University of Notre Dame Law School.

The Court has reasons to be concerned, because public opinion of their performance is at record lows. Also, the Court is guaranteed to make news this year because they are hearing a number of very controversial cases this year. That includes a case (NY State Rifle & Pistol Assoc. v. Corlett) that requires individuals to get a license to carry a concealed gun outside the home and an abortion case (Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization) which doesn’t even involve the famous Texas law.

More than one commentator has noted that the Supreme Court is substantially out of step with what the majority of the American people believe. And more than one commentator has noted that Trump’s most lasting legacy — with a huge assist from Mitch McConnell — is likely to be the additions he has made to the court.

No, we need to increase the pressure, the court needs to feel the heat. The court needs to know that we are watching and we need to bring the heat. 

Finally, while I’m not a huge fan of court packing, I do think that it’s high time that justices are limited to a specific number of years, such as 24 year terms. That’s long enough. Clarence Thomas has been on the court for 30 years and he’s only 73. I thought he would have been dead by now, with all the hatred in his heart, but no such luck.

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Let’s not look at the 20th Anniversary of 9/11 too much  through rose-colored glasses

Saturday was the 20th anniversary of 9/11. As appropriate, there were a lot of heartfelt tributes, and remembrances, and stories about couples who were marrying where both had lost a parent on 9/11. There were beautiful stories about the children of New York firefighters lost in the collapse of the towers who are now firefighters themselves.

It was the recollection of a long time ago, a time when the country did actually come together, and everyone was a New Yorker, and the Yankees would have won the world series but for the Arizona Diamondbacks having both Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling in their rotation.

Now we’re a nation that can’t even agree on wearing masks, getting vaccinated, and whether Joe Biden actually won the election. We couldn’t even get a bipartisan commission to investigate the January 6th insurrection.

Before we view as the time after 9/11 with rosy glasses, we should acknowledge that in many respects our government’s response to 9/11 was terrible:

  1. We invaded Afghanistan and then stayed there for 20 years, leaving only a 12 days before the 20th anniversary of 9/11. Our expectation that we could create a stable democracy there was just a fantasy.
  2. We invaded Iraq based on the claim that Saddam Hussein’s regime had “weapons of mass destruction,” which, of course, they did not.
  3. We detained inmates at Guantanamo Bay, and then we tortured them. In the process we threw out everything we claimed to believe in about our own exceptionalism. A few of the inmates there have still not been tried, in part because of the legal complications resulting from having been tortured.
  4. Anti-Muslim prejudice and profiling grew substantially, as did hate crimes directed against Muslims.
  5. We passed the Patriot Act, which was a complete legal overreach into our private lives, and led to things like the NSA creating vast surveillance programs where they tracked the telephone and email activities of vast quantities of American citizens.

The thing that personally disappointed me the most was how quickly we resorted to torturing our detainees. I thought one of the things that made us different is that we didn’t do things like that. But clearly we do. At least, we did.

So let’s be realistic and not just remember the heroism of the day. There are a lot of incorrect things that happened as the result of the 9/11 attacks.

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The Texas Fetal Heartbeat Abortion Law is a legal calamity in the extreme

The more I read about the Taliban Texas anti-abortion law (Senate Bill 8), the more it becomes clear that this a legal clusterfvck of gigantic proportions that may come back to bite its proponents in a big way. This is a truly bizarre piece of legislation that is too cute for its own good by half. It tramples on all kinds of constitutionally protected rights in novel and brazen ways. There are so many issues here that it is, frankly, difficult to fit them all into one article. But we will try.

Civil vs Criminal Enforcement

So, the first thing to take note of is that the proponents hope to prevent people challenging the law by taking the enforcement of this legislation out of the hands of Texas law enforcement — its District Attorneys and the Attorney General — and handing it to private citizens. 

What normally happens in these kind of cases is that the Attorney General or the various District Attorneys are required to enforce any restrictions on abortion. For example, in the legendary case of Roe v. Wade, the defendant was Henry Wade, the District Attorney of Dallas County, who was tasked with enforcing Texas abortion law in his county. But no more. Until one of those private citizens tries to sue a woman or an abortion provider, there is no one who can be named as a defendant in a challenge to the law’s constitutionality.

The Comparison with East Germany

A number of comparisons have been made between this law and the old German Democratic Republic, famous for having its citizens inform on each other in an intricate web of mutual betrayal. But the key to their “informant society” was that the informants were all allowed to hide (that is, until the collapse of the East German Republic and the eventual opening of the security files, to the great embarrassment of many citizens).

In Texas however,, the citizen zealots will have to expose themselves. Many will simply “drop a dime” on a neighbor, friend or loved one, but to prove a legal case, they will have to be called as witnesses and disclose what they know.

Awkward!

There may be lots of false accusations and issues that are difficult to prove, and people are going to be really fired up with each other and just about ready to murder each other, which won’t be hard to do because Texas also liberalized its gun laws to allow people to carry guns without a license.

Who will actually File Suit?

I’m not sure that many individual citizens are going to want to file suit themselves to collect their $10,000. They would have to hire an attorney and come into court as the actual plaintiffs, and there would be lots of reasons that wouldn’t really work in practice.

What is more likely is that they would just drop a dime, and hope that somebody else does the prosecuting. And somebody else will do the prosecuting for sure. There are groups like the Texas Alliance for Life which are likely to hire teams of attorneys and go after abortion providers, seeing if they can bankrupt them with multiple $10,000 judgments. 

But setting up a website where Texan evangelists can drop a dime isn’t as easy as it sounds. In fact, there was already a website — www.prolifewhistleblower.com — that had been established by Texas Right to Life, which was itself quickly attacked by trolls and overwhelmed with fake reports from TikTok and Reddit users, causing GoDaddy to bounce the website for violating its terms of service.

Oops.

One can expect probably any public website asking people to turn each other in to suffer a similar fate.

Problems of Proof

Next, just consider the problems related to proving that someone had an abortion. Imagine, you call someone to the stand and say:

  • You had an abortion.
  • No I didn’t. I had a miscarriage. (Prove me wrong.)

Or of proving when someone became pregnant:

  • You became pregnant on August 21st.
  • No I didn’t. I became pregnant on September 2nd. (Prove me wrong.)

Proof here — because these are civil and not criminal cases — is by the 51% “preponderance of the evidence” standard and not the 90% “proof beyond a reasonable doubt” standard. But still, it can be hard for someone to know when they got pregnant, how is a stranger going to be able to prove when you got pregnant. Just think about it.

First Amendment issues

The Texas anti-abortion law is so broad, that among other things, it imperils anyone who “knowingly engages in conduct that aids or abets the performance or inducement of an abortion . . . regardless of whether the person knew or should have known that the abortion would be performed or induced in violation of this subchapter.” 

In addition it creates liability for anyone who “intends to engage in the conduct described by Subdivision (1) or (2).”

This is like the Thought Police.

How do you prove that someone “intends” to engage in an abortion. And how do you make that a crime (or technically, a civil penalty)?

That seems to be a flagrant violation of the First Amendment, which, after all, establishes that the government “shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech.”

Federal Civil Rights issues

Then there are civil rights issues, such as those involving 42 USC §1983, which prohibits denying somebody of their civil rights under “color of state law.” Until Roe v. Wade is overturned, there is still a constitutional right to an abortion. If a civil vigilante seeks to keep you from having an abortion by using a state law, isn’t that a violation of §1983?

It could be.

And if it is, there are serious penalties associated with violating §1983. 

There are other civil rights statutes that could potentially be infringed by the application of the Texas fetal heartbeat bill.  For example, noted constitutional scholar Laurence Tribe has suggested that the Department of Justice could use 18 U.S. Code § 241, which makes it a crime for “two or more persons” to agree to “oppress, threaten, or intimidate” anyone “in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him by the Constitution or laws of the United States,” to go after anyone seeking to enforce the Texas bounty provisions.

This question is well above my pay-grade, but clearly something both the Department of Justice, and eventually the Supreme Court, should look at.

Right to Counsel issues

The law has two very peculiar provisions which (1) allow the award of court costs and attorney’s fees to the plaintiffs if they prevail, but (2) specifically prohibit the award of court costs and attorney’s fees to the defendants, if they prevail against their accusers.

That is (to the best of my knowledge) unprecedented in American law.

The practical effect of this is to incentivize false accusations on the part of plaintiffs, with no penalty for these false accusations, and to make it exceedingly difficult for defendants to hire counsel to defend themselves.  (In practice, it’s likely that there will be funds created that defendants will be able to access to defend themselves, as this is such an extremely polarizing issue.)

That kind of imbalance implicates both “equal protection” and “right to counsel” issues. 

The Opiods Comparison

A lot of things have changed since the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, and one of them is the easy availability of opioids, which have fueled the opioids crisis over the last decade. The opioids crisis proves — at a minimum — that it’s not that hard to create a thriving industry in illegal narcotics that the authorities have a hard time reigning in.

Enter the RU486 “morning after” pill.

One of the many ways that people could get around Texas’ super-strict abortion laws will be — I imagine — a quasi-legal industry of pills that will allow women to get and use the morning after pill to avoid the whole abortion question altogether. That way you don’t have to wait for a “fetal heartbeat,” you take a pill “just in case.” (The morning after having sex there is no way to know whether an egg was fertilized and no way to prove whether anything was aborted.)

Already there are groups like the Amsterdam-based AidAccess that prescribe pills to people in the United States, with pharmacies in India filling the prescriptions. Texas and their pro-life evangelists are just begging other groups and organizations all around the world to circumvent their retrogressive abortion restrictions.

The Shadow Docket

Finally, there is the question of the Supreme Court’s “shadow docket,” which has been highlighted by this act as well. The “shadow docket” is, briefly, the docket of “emergency” cases where the Supreme Court can issue orders relative to ongoing litigation — often to prevent some injustice from going forward — before a case is fully briefed and formally heard.

  • In the past this procedure has often been used to put a hold on federal executions while there were still questions that had not been fully litigated.
  • More recently it had been used to allow churches to continue to hold worship sessions even during the Covid pandemic when state public health regulations had banned large in-person gatherings.

This time, the Supreme Court failed to block in the implementation of this Texas law — see Whole Woman’s Health v. Jackson — despite the many constitutional questions raised by the Texas law. Even Chief Justice John Roberts — a conservative but also an institutionalist — sided with the liberals on the basis that there are so many questions that needed to be examined here, in particular whether the state of Texas could avoid responsibility for the enforcement of this statute by outsourcing the responsibility to vigilante citizens. (Read the entire text here.)

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Why do people want to use Ivermectin but not FDA-approved vaccines?

I have a friend on Facebook who has been promoting Ivermectin for months. She is not, in  my experience, a right winger, a Trump supporter, or a crazy person. Maybe a fan of alternative medicine, but that’s about it.

Maybe a month ago, she sent me a link to an article from the Mountain  Home Magazine (reaching parts of Pennsylvania and the Finger Lakes in New York) entitled “The Drug that Cracked Covid.”  The article included a long profile of Dr. Pierre Kory, a critical care physician who, at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, became a fierce advocate of off-label uses of existing drugs. One of those drugs is Ivermectin.

Ivermectin is medication used to treat parasite infections in both humans and animals. It is the “horse dewormer” of so many recent memes.

Although not particularly dangerous in small doses, Ivermectin is contra-indicated in large doses, where it can cause issues with neurotoxicity, including depression of the central nervous system, and potentially even coma and death. There is, of course, no reason that a medicine that treats parasite infections should be useful against a highly transmissible respiratory-based viral infection. But I’ll leave that argument to the scientists.

Ivermectin joins a long list of miracle cures for Covid-19 including:

  • Chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine (Donald Trump’s favorite drug)
  • Certain vitamins, including Vitamin D
  • Chinese herbal remedies
  • Common cold and flu treatment like aspirin and antihistamines
  • Cow dung and urine (in parts of India)
  • 2-Deoxy-D-glucose
  • Silver
  • Mustard oil
  • Spiritual healing

What is interesting about all this is the degree to which people want to use medications other than those recommended by the scientists and experts: namely vaccines.

I’ve previously discussed Andew Wakefield and his false connection between childhood vaccines and autism. But why the hostility to vaccines in general?

While the Covid-19 vaccines can cause a day or two of discomfort, they cause almost no other problems, and we now have the data for many of the approximately 5 billion humans who have received at least one dose of a vaccine, and the approximate 2 billion humans who have now been fully vaccinated. 

If the vaccines caused major problems, we would know that by now.

And still, the number of people who are vaccine-hesitant is extraordinary, as is the number of people who would rather take a “horse dewormer” than just take an effing vaccine.

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