A brief discussion about Carrots and Sticks

Over on the Book of Face, I commended Joe Biden for doing the obvious and smart thing. Said I:

Good! This should be imitated at state and local levels too. And corporate America should follow suit. And we need vaccine passports and vaccination permits before entering public places like restaurants, theaters, and sporting events. Make the selfish and stupid bear the burden of their selfish stupidity, not the rest of us.

To which a reader replied:

I guess AntiFa were right. Fascism is coming to America.

My patience being all used up by the intensely selfish and dumb, I replied ungently:

Stop talking like an absolute ass. The unvaxxed have no right whatsoever to threaten the rest of us because they are selfish. You don’t wanna vax, we don’t have to hire you. Own your selfish, stupid choices.

To which he absurdly replied:

The Vaxxed have no right to blackmail society into doing what they want either. Would you support this method of compulsion for people who do or don’t take a certain medicine? This has terrifying implications, like not hiring women who won’t take birth control so they can’t get pregnant.

Selfish fools are not victims here. Normals have no obligation to put up with your selfishness. Businesses are free to forego hiring or patronizing Typhoid Marys. Also, pregnancy is not a communicable disease. Stop telling narcissistic lies to defend your selfishness.


Every employer should make COVID vaccination a condition of employment (exempting, of course, those with medical reasons for not getting vaccinated). And every public venue should require proof of full vaccination before serving these deeply selfish people. Also, raise their insurance rates and taxes. And reward the vaxed with discounts and various benefits. That’s not “fascism” as this silly person says. It is solid governance and public policy.


34 Responses

  1. Isn’t a slippery slope argument precisely what “Humanae Vitae” made in 1968? Paul IV predicted with uncanny accuracy how modern-day American Evangelicals would be so relaxed about abortion – because their bishops at Lambeth in 1932 started by permitting condoms and diaphragms?

    1. It led to two completely different outcomes. One is indifference to and acceptance of abortion, while the other is vehement aversion to abortion.

      At least on the face of it. Given that there were many instances where opposing abortion was possible and outspoken opponents of abortion failed to rule to outlaw it (Roe vs. Wade, PP vs. Casey), it’s questionable whether this opposition is true.

  2. Tom:
    He should’ve stuck with the stronger arguments in Casti Canubii.
    Mark is right. Not even Trump can motivate people
    to do the right thing. He got booed last week when he told them to take HIS vaccine.

  3. I’m a little confused. Why would vaxxed people be scared of unvaxxed people? If your vaxxed, you can’t get covid, right?

    Dr Christina Parks, a cellular and molecular biologist, gave testimony that vaccinated people can still spread covid. If that’s true, then getting the vaccine is for oneself alone.


    1. You realize I am sure the purposes of a vaccine. Most vaccines won’t prevent you from becoming infected with a certain pathogen. Rather, they allow your body to stop the infection before you get sick, or they prevent you from becoming seriously sick when you get infected (from the Cleveland Clinic). Beyond that, I learned the purposes of vaccines in high school biology. Also between 95-99 percent if COVID patients in hospitals are unvaccinated. So getting vaccinated protects folks who need hospital care other than vivid care; it protects those who work in hospitals. That is why we should wear masks, and practice social distancing.

    2. Every child under 12 is at risk from COVID. Vaxxed people, exposed to unvaxxed people, can still *carry* COVID to unvaxxed people, including children and those who cannot be vaxxed for legit medical reasons.

      1. @ mark

        Thank you, Mark, for calling a spade a spade. Not only can you as a vaccinated personstill spread the virus, but you can get sick. The chances are small that you will get very sick, but there’s still a chance. The chance that you will die is even smaller, but it still can happen. A friend of a friend who was double vaccinated sometime ago is in the ICU right now with a very bad case of Covid. We’re hoping he makes it.

        I will add to it. I’ve already told the story, but it bears repeating. Four weeks ago, we had a birthday dinner for me with eight friends. Everyone of us have been double vaccinated. Yet the oldest member of our group was exposed by an anti-VAX social worker at her residence. She tested positive. The worse she had was a very slight cough and a slightly sore throat. But she rolled over from the city with two of my dearest friends – 40 minutes in the car with each with the windows closed. She sat next to me, the second oldest person in our group. Next to her was a friend of mine who is a grandmother, and she had been holding her three-month-old grandson as a part of babysitting her five grandchildren. She was terrified that maybe she had carried the virus, and possibly infected her grandson.

        That, dear Daniel, is what you were advocating.

      2. vaxxed people can still carry it to unvaxxed people….. vaxxed people can carry it to vaxxed people. Maybe you killed your granddaughter you selfish narcissistic anti-MAGA cultist. I spit on your arrogance. btw – the kid vaccinated against pertussis can still carry pertussis to the newborn who isn’t vaccinated yet and for whom it is deadly….. show me one article that tells people to keep the newborn away from EVERYONE even if vaccinated…. nope… cant do.

      3. I approve this for publication only so your post can serve as a warning to others about MAGA’s debilitating effect on the intellect. That you think this gobbledegook is some kind of crushing reply and not the mere vomit of words in defense of self evil that it actually is everything a Normal needs to see to send him fleeing in horror from your sect. Now back to the killfile you go!

      4. Did you notice that the FDA didn’t give a full green light to the 12-15 year olds? I wonder why that would be if the 12 year olds were allowed to get it at the same time as the 16 year olds. There must be some additional data they aren’t talking about.

        I’m glad they are being cautious, but it must not make people who rushed to get their 12-15 year old kids feel very good about it.

      5. Mr. Shea, you don’t know me or my struggles. I did not vote for Trump, either in 2016 or in 2020. A cursory look at my blog will show that I opposed him, I support Pope Francis, and have written about Catholic Social Teaching. I am not a right-winger, but nor do I consider myself leftist. I am Catholic and trying to understand confusing things.

        I loved your book about CST, but I can’t recommend it to people because your blog’s fundamentalist attitude (you either agree or are dumb; good or evil) greatly diminishes your credibility. Your comment accusing me of being in the MAGA cult proves this, because I am obviously not. You heard something you didn’t agree with and immediately went to attacking my character. Why? What did I say that made you think I was MAGA? Is that the sort of dialogue Pope Francis has called us to? The world is more complicated than what fundamentalism allows for.

        Your tactics don’t help anyone believe you because you discredit most of what you say with vile attacks on whoever disagrees with you. That’s the same tactic as the MAGA crowd.

        But Catholic charity demands that I accept your spit upon me; it does not demand that I agree with you.

      6. Daniel: Permit me to sincerely apologize for leaping to conclusions about you. I get a *ton* of crap from insincere “questioners” who pretend to be seeking information when they are really just predators looking for excuses for their selfishness. I took you for one of these and answered accordingly in my mortal disgust with them and I did you an injustice as a result. Please forgive me. I will edit my reply to excise the assumption of bad faith in your question. Again, my apologies. I was wrong.

      7. Thank you for your apology and I forgive you.

        For many people it’s super obvious that this vaccine is the savior, but it’s not so super obvious to a lot of people. Some worry about the long-term affects because there hasn’t been enough time to study those long-term effects. Then upon seeing the militancy with which an experimental drug was being pushed harder and harder, and good people with families at risk of losing their livelihoods (the very thing that keeps *them* alive and housed), the trust factor naturally diminished.

        Some people are more willing to allow an experimental vaccine to be thrust into their bodies, but other’s lack that trust and need time. (Yes, the FDA has finally approved one of them officially, but this just adds to the distrust issue because its non-approved status was not the message sent at the beginning of the militant push; the message was that these will save us all and anyone who doesn’t get it is killing everyone else. Such violent rhetoric also destroys trust.)

        Most people do not have problems with vaccines per se, but that doesn’t require them to support literally every vaccine. I believe I have a healthy respect for the role of government (I don’t wave “Don’t Tread on Me” flags), but I also believe I have a healthy suspicion of giving the government too much power and forcing mandates on everything it happens to want at the moment. I’ve always appreciated education more than force and insults.

      8. Thank you. I appreciate that.

        I really could not care less about the feelings of the intensely narcissistic, selfish, and stupid in this pandemic. If it’s a choice between the lives of my grandchildren and some idiot in a MAGA hate screaming about his freedumb and microchips in the vaccine, I have no problem at all saddlling them with a ton of financial penalties, social ostracism, shame, and massive inconveniences. They think only of themselves and they can bear the burden of the commitment to selfishness, not my grandchildren.

    3. It’s about hospital capacity. Unvaxxed using up beds is entirely preventable. ICUs in the American south are filling up and turning away patients. This doesn’t need to happen. It’s about cost—why should I pay for your ICU stay either through increased premiums or increased cost of hospital care when you won’t get vaccinated?

      The great myth of our time is “don’t tread on me.” We are all connected and my life, health, and so many other things relies on others giving a shit—about themselves and others. And so I give a shit, put on a mask and get vaxxed. It’s not something difficult like having join the army to fight fascism or even smearing horse paste on my body.

      1. It is very unCatholic to complain about masks. Catholics used to do all kinds of things to mortify the senses. It’s like spiritual pushups not to be beholden to every whim of your body. I guess these people haven’t read books on the lives of the saints.
        Protestants have turned catholics into weaklings and fundies.

    4. “If your vaxxed, you can’t get covid, right?” Wrong. It has been determined that a vaccinated person can carry the same Covid load in their nose as the unvaccinated. Have you not heard of breakthrough cases? The difference is that if a vaccinated person succumbs to Covid the chances of getting very sick or ending up in the hospital or dying from it are tremendously lessened. This was reported on August 2nd: “According to the latest data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, less than 0.004% of people who have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19 experienced a breakthrough case resulting in hospitalization, and less than 0.001% have died from the disease.”

      1. My wording was apparently poor in an attempt to make a point. I agree it seems that vaccinated people can carry covid (that’s what the lady in the video I posted said too). But that’s the problem I have with the “get the vaccine so you don’t spread to others” narrative. That’s apparently wrong since vaccinated people can spread to others too, which even Rochelle Walensky said recently. If that’s true, then why the heated rhetoric about how it’s the unvaxxed who are the ones killing everyone but not the vaxxed too? I don’t understand it.

      2. @ daniel

        Good for you for correcting it.

        Vaccinated people can spread it. But they are extremely much less likely to. The more people that are vaccinated, the fewer people there are to spread it to people who are not vaccinated.

    5. If you’re vaccinated you can still get the delta varient but the symptoms will be much less severe, and you probably won’t need to be hospitized. Our hospital system is operating beyond capacity so the fewer people who need hospitalization the better it is for everyone. And people with compromised immune systems can’t be vaccinated so the fewer people there are who are spreading the virus the better it is for them.

  4. The mechanism the virus uses to hollow out lung tissue is somewhat getting clearer : it fuses adjacent lung cells together. The virus moves cell-to-cell, without ever going through the the intercellular fluid. Eventually this process forms a large mass of hollowed out nonfunctioning cell walls that finally collapses, releasing a huge load of virus particles all at once like a bomb. After weeks of these explosions, the lungs consist of just scraps of scar tissue loosely hung together and no longer involved in respiration.

    If the virus transited through the the intercellular fluid, it can be recognized and the human immune response will develop antibodies, and the virus will be attacked by antibodies quicker.

    Why vaccines?

    Quote – “Given the rapid cell-to-cell infection cycle observed here, it is little wonder why innate antibody responses, which take several weeks to fully develop, are rarely capable of effectively removing the virus once cells are infected. As vaccines provide ongoing neutralizing antibody circulation for a period of several months, they could better allow the removal of free virus before it enters cells and subsequently spreads while evading capture.”

    Source — https{:}//www.news-medical.net/news/20210604/SARS-CoV-2-evades-neutralizing-antibodies-and-rapidly-spreads-by-cell-fusion-finds-study.aspx

  5. I heard that preliminary studies are showing that the vaccinations start to wear off after 6 months. Kind of worrying. I work at a school. Look at what is happening in Israel.

    If it’s true, mine will start wearing off soon.

    1. The CDC recommends annual flu vaccines for everyone over 65, and for younger people with certain complicating conditions (like asthma, diabetes, and a list of other things).
      I assume our future will have a similar system in place for COVID vaccines, but for a larger share of the population.
      – joel

  6. I should be an anti-vaxxer, but it may surprise you to know that I’m not. I have a godson who got myocarditis and will never play basketball again. I have an aunt who was jabbed in the nursing home (despite her insane screams about having antibodies) and died 8 days later of a clot. My partner at work has a right eye that momentarily rolls up (vision is unaffected). And I have a slight tremor in the left arm which gets better every week. Any one of those things could be cited by a MAGA nut job as a reason for not getting vaccinated. But ask yourself, should we not be treated because some anti-vaxxer is occupying our hospital bed?

  7. Should we be calling out those who have medical conditions of epidemic proportions because they don’t take care of themselves? Mandate exercise, and diet? Or make fornication, and sodomy illegal and punishable because they spread STD’s that can eventually harm others and take up hospital beds. All these sicknesses have an effect on others? Motorcycles cause many to be seriously injured for life and take up resources that can be used for more deserving folks. Just where do we stop with mandates? The Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith has said the vaccine should be voluntary. Is that not part of church teaching as well?

    1. I don’t know about the US, but in New Zealand, making people who do risky things like smoking and heavy drinking is indeed what we do. Tobacco tax is extremely high here. Much of the reason for alcohol tax is because heavy drinkers place a disproportionate burden on the health system. To be sure, we have a public health system, so the person with lung cancer, or even COPD (like me, who smoked heavily when I was young) are treated in the medical system – which we all pay for in our taxes.

      So, yes, placing at least some of the burden on people who endanger others by their behaviour is, at least for us, precisely what we do and the right thing to do.

    2. You are welcome to be as selfish and dumb as you like. And we are free to force you to pay for your selfishness and not put the burden on the rest of us. Amazing how the avatars of the Party of Person Responsibility hate having to take responsibility. Tough.

  8. “…making people who do risky things like smoking and heavy drinking…” => “…making people pay who do risky things like smoking and heavy drinking…”

    “If there were a God, this site would have an edit function” – Neko

  9. I really don’t know where this ends. Smokers are a burden to the healthcare system (although some
    Would say they take themselves out early). What about the obese, people who eat carbs vs keto? How about people who engage in sodommy?

    1. Yeah! What about those people who do sexy things ya don’t like? ?!?!

      Maybe we should ban heterosexuality, because it so often leads to abortion, out of wedlock births, teen pregnancies? And those crotch spawn!?!?!? Always demanding to be educated and fed!!!! And worse!! Hugs from Gramma! Some of them are even Eric Trump!

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