Battles over AIDS privacy should block vaccine passports

AIDS was a very scary disease in the 1980s but gays successfully fought to keep their status private. The same reasoning should apply to COVID vaccinations.

It’s entirely possible that I am completely misremembering my 1980s and 1990s history, but I don’t think I am. If I’m correct about it, those battles should stand as a bulwark against an industry’s demands that people must show their vaccination status to take advantage of their services. (I’m talking to you airlines, stadiums, and any other place that demands proof of vaccinations.)

What I remember is that AIDS was terrifying when it first appeared because it was contagious and had a 100% mortality rate. Keep that mortality rate in mind as you contemplate COVID’s mortality rate in America.

The CDC’s numbers show that COVID has only a 1.8% mortality rate (577,857 deaths out of 32,446,915 cases). While I suspect both numbers are inflated because everyone who died with COVID was identified as having died from COVID and because the tests used to diagnose cases are way too sensitive, the relative number is probably close. So, again, we’re talking about a 1.8% mortality rate compared to the fact that AIDS started out more deadly than the Black Death in the mid-14th century.

What I also remember is that AIDS in America was most common in the gay community. This was so because of gay sexual practices (multiple partners, often in a single night, plus a form of sex that was more likely to result in blood flowing). That meant that gays were terribly worried that they would be stigmatized as modern-day lepers. That is, merely being gay would imply that someone carried a contagious disease with a 100% mortality rate.

This stigma meant that gays were denied health insurance, jobs, medical care, etc., simply because they were gay, irrespective of their actual health, Medical privacy suddenly became extremely important.

And here’s where my memory might be failing me but I don’t think so: To protect against a stigma that applied whether or not someone had AIDS, the gay lobby successfully mounted a campaign to make a person’s health status completely private. That health campaign was eventually federalized in 1996 as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (aka HIPAA).

HIPAA completely muzzles health care providers from sharing any health information about a patient without the patient’s explicit permission. The point is to ensure that, if someone has AIDS or any other contagious disease, that information is strictly between the patient and his healthcare providers. Employers don’t get to know. Family members, insurance companies other than the one currently covering the patient, airlines, sports stadiums, etc. — as to all of them, the information is in a lockbox and they don’t have the key.

While HIPAA applies only to health care providers because it was developed for a disease as to which there was (and still is) no vaccine, the principle behind it should apply globally. The way I see it, demanding proof of someone’s vaccine status should fall into the same “It’s none of your damn business” category as AIDS information or any other medical information. My body, my privacy — and you should not be able to discriminate against me because I opt for privacy.

Source: Battles over AIDS privacy should block vaccine passports

[Josh Blackman] What Do “Many” of the 140+ Law Professors Think About the First Amendment and Impeachment?

[This letter is not unanimous. Indeed, the signatories are quite fractured about impeachment, the First Amendment, and Brandenburg] On Friday, nearly 150 law professors signed a statement about President Trump’s First Amendment defenses.

Source: [Josh Blackman] What Do “Many” of the 140+ Law Professors Think About the First Amendment and Impeachment?

If you laid 140+ law professors end-to-end, would they reach a conclusion?

Speech and Sedition in 2021

The progressive press decides that dissenters should be suppressed.

Most Americans learn in school about flagship political excesses in U.S. history like Joe McCarthy’s 1950s inquisitions, the post-World War I Red Scare and the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798. Yet a recent Washington Post opinion piece purports to explain “what the 1798 Sedition Act got right.”

The law banned a wide range of political speech and publication. It was passed by the ruling Federalists to suppress the rival Democratic-Republicans, whom they saw as seditious. The Post piece argues that though their solution was “flawed,” the Federalists had reason to worry about “unregulated freedom of the press.”

We highlight this as one example among many of the emerging appetite for viewpoint suppression among journalists, intellectuals and Democrats in the wake of the Trump Presidency. They increasingly see domestic enemies wherever they look, and are devising ways to use levers of power to restrict, regulate and boycott opposition. It’s an extraordinary and ominous turn in a democracy.

Many calls to sanction opposition media come from voices that claimed to be most alarmed by Donald Trump’s attacks on the free press. Margaret Sullivan, the Post’s media columnist, wrote this week that “corporations that advertise on Fox News should walk away,” declaring that the outlet’s “role in the 400,000 U.S. lives lost to the pandemic and in the disastrous attack of Jan. 6” has been “deadly.”

Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times called for “pressure on advertisers to withdraw from Fox News so long as it functions as an extremist madrasa.” He added that “cable providers should be asked why they distribute channels that peddle lies.” A CNN writer asserted that providers like Comcast “have escaped scrutiny and entirely dodged this conversation.” By conversation he means political bullying from the left.

Wall Street Journal

Impeachment 2.0 – No, the Senate cannot convict Trump after he leaves office

At best, supporters of post-departure Senate impeachment conviction could say there is an argument for it, but it’s complicated. Opponents merely need to point to the words of the Constitution. The post first appeared on Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion .

Source: Impeachment 2.0 – No, the Senate cannot convict Trump after he leaves office

If they can, does that mean Obama can be impeached? Maybe get Nixon while we’re at it. The notion of moot-ness seems to be moot.



Alan Dershowitz: Democrats Cannot Impeach Trump, and You Can’t Impeach Him After Leaving Office. “Congress has no power to impeach or try a private citizen, whether it be a private citizen named Donald Trump or named Barack Obama or anyone else.”

I should also note that they can’t disqualify him from running again. The penalty for impeachment only includes disqualification from offices of “trust or profit,” and as Josh Blackman and Seth Barrett Tillman demonstrated some time ago, those offices are appointed, not elected offices.


Trump’s Rally Speech Was Not Illegal “Incitement”

Former Prosecutor Jeffrey Scott Shapiro: “The president didn’t commit incitement or any other crime. I should know. As a Washington prosecutor I earned the nickname ‘protester prosecutor’ from the antiwar group CodePink.”

The post first appeared on Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion .

Source: Trump’s Rally Speech Was Not Illegal “Incitement”

Impeachment has now become a “vote of confidence” maneuver, only unlike the British system, the opposition party gets a vote.

I think this might be another example of Dennis Prager’s statement that “The Left Ruins Everything It Touches”.


1) No, Trump did not incite a riot:

Under the Supreme Court’s First Amendment precedents, inflammatory speech can be punished only in narrowly defined circumstances that go beyond what happened on Wednesday. Under federal law, incitement to riot does not include “advocacy of ideas” or “expression of belief” unless it endorses violence, which Trump did not do…

…[Trump] urged his followers to “show strength” and “take back our country” by “marching over to the Capitol building” and “demand[ing] that Congress do the right thing.” The “right thing,” according to Trump, was overturning the election results by rejecting electoral votes for Biden.

I believe that Trump sincerely believes he won the election and that it happened as a result of fraud. I have supported his fight to have the evidence of that given a fair hearing in the court system, but I think he should have allowed January 6th’s events to play out without his input.

Source: Roundup

Most of the people calling what Trump did “incitement” are the sorts who are ready to commit violence merely because Trump exists.

Deadly Laws: Sleeping Peaceably

And this is also a response to people who say passing a counterfeit $20 bill shouldn’t be a death penalty offense.

Most importantly, we must never make any law we are not willing to kill to enforce, for that is the final civilizational choice in law enforcement.  If we are unwilling to back up our choice of laws with the force necessary to secure them, including deadly force when necessary, we find ourselves facing cries to defund, abolish and reimagine the police.

Stately McDaniel Manor

If we wish to have police forces—we all know about D/S/C ruled cities that don’t—they must have the authorization to use force, up to and including deadly force.  So yes, the police may end up killing someone over a traffic violation.  But if they do, and if they acted lawfully, they used deadly force because all of the elements necessary for the use of deadly force were present, not because someone ran a red light, which was merely the probable cause predicate for the police to stop them.  It was only when they drew a weapon and threatened the police with imminent seriously bodily injury or death that the police were authorized to use deadly force.  However, if there were no laws against running red lights, that person would never have been killed by the police.  Do we therefore eliminate all traffic laws because of the possibility someone stopped for violating one may provoke the police into shooting them?

The same applies when a criminal steals a $5.00 pink flamingo from someone’s yard.  The crime would generally be petty theft, a misdemeanor.  Conviction for that crime would never involve the death penalty, but only a small fine, occasionally restitution, and maybe a short jail sentence in a county jail if the criminal has a previous record of convictions.  However, if confronted by the homeowner in the commission of that crime, the criminal pulls a knife and menaces the homeowner, the elements for the use of deadly force may be present, and they may be shot and killed.  One may whine the criminal died for stealing a plastic flamingo, and no one should face the death penalty for misdemeanor theft, but that’s not really what happened, was it?  Do we make theft legal to avoid the possibility a thief may be lawfully injured or killed?


Stately McDaniel Manor

credit: babylon bee

On 12-03-20 I wrote Reimagining Reality, which was an article about what defunding and abolishing the police really means.  Because this reality is so little known and appreciated, this excerpt was of particular importance:

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