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Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

ireactions wrote:
Grizzlor wrote:

as for masks, honestly anything but an N95 equivalent mask is not going to give you much protection.  the surgical ones, cloth ones, whatever, maybe 15-30 minutes, good enough for quick trips inside a store or whatever.  they don't help much otherwise.

Grizzlor wrote:

Most people don't wear surgical masks correctly at all, to the point where they are really not that effective.  That was my point.

I don't see anything in your original post about fit, just a blanket remark that anything less than an N95 doesn't protect. And that simply isn't true.

But on the subject of cloth and surgical masks: I've seen some very impressive results with people wearing a surgical mask (with its somewhat loose adhesion to the face) but then wearing a cloth mask on top. While the cloth mask adds only miniscule filtration, most cloth masks I've seen with nose wires and earloops and a triangular shape do a nice job of conforming to the face. This seals the surgical mask where the surgical alone fails.

Personally, I am not a fan of double-masking for myself. It works, but I would rather wear one good mask than a mask that lacks filtration over a mask that lacks a seal. I'm currently using boat-shaped ASTM Level 3 masks because I've found that the seal is best on my face. They're kind of expensive, though, so I only allow myself to rotate between five every month, and I also have a lot of surgical masks with added cord locks as backups.

The surgical masks, even if they are fit against the face, do protect against this variant anywhere near what the N95 does.  I'm getting that right from Dr. Michael Osterholm.  There really is no way to get it to "seal" on your face.  I agree on wearing the cloth or whatever on top of it, but honestly at that point, why bother?  Just get an N95.  Regardless, his point and mine was that most people wear poor masks and also wear them incorrectly.

1,902 (edited by ireactions 2021-08-11 15:04:50)

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

Grizzlor wrote:

The surgical masks, even if they are fit against the face, do protect against this variant anywhere near what the N95 does.  I'm getting that right from Dr. Michael Osterholm.  There really is no way to get it to "seal" on your face.  I agree on wearing the cloth or whatever on top of it, but honestly at that point, why bother?  Just get an N95.  Regardless, his point and mine was that most people wear poor masks and also wear them incorrectly.

The only quote I can find from Osterholm on the subject is his appearance on CNN saying that cloth masks are ineffective and N95 masks are his preference; I see no comments on surgical masks from him, although all the search results are inundated with anti-maskers citing Osterholm to bolster their lies that all masks are useless. https://thehill.com/changing-america/we … rotect-you

Regardless, Duke University's tests have shown that surgical mask materials have nearly the same filtration as N95s. https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/6/36/eabd3083 However, surgical masks require either a second cloth mask on top to ensure a firm fit or cord locks to tighten up the earloops for the individual wearer.

Why would someone buy something other than an N95? They can be costly. In my city, N95 masks cost about $1.88 USD per mask. In contrast, a KF94 costs $1.04 USD per mask, and my mask of choice costs $0.77 USD each. My mother, in the hot summer air, cannot breathe through any of these masks and can only stand to wear a $0.40 USD surgical mask. I have added cord locks to each of the earloops ($0.12 USD a pair) to ensure a tight seal to her face for those masks.

Masks aren't infinitely reusable; they'll endure about 40 hours of wearing before the filtration diminishes. People may need to buy masks in high quantities at lower price points and my 77 cent ASTM3 mask with a 360 seal is equal to any N95. Also in my case, I find that most duckbill style masks like KN95s and even the N95 leave some slight gaps whereas the boat style mask I have chosen leaves no gaps at all and the ASTM Level 3 protection boasts splendid filtration.

ASTM Level 3 filters 98 per cent of particles down to 0.1 microns whereas N95 is rated for 95 per cent of particles down to 0.3 microns (although N95 certification tests fit and ASTM does not, but these ASTM3 masks fit my face better than any alternatives I've tried and I've tried a lot).

N95 is an excellent standard. But N95 is only one manufacturing standard of certification from the United States National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. NIOSH does not review every mask in existence. Numerous countries have their own certification standards. Countries that aren't America are perfectly capable of manufacturing and certifying masks with electrostatic filtration. Americans don't have a monopoly on meltblown polypropylene.

Other certification standards for electrostatic filtration include the international ASTM (formerly American), the European Union's FFP2, the KF94 of South Korea and the Chinese KN95. Each standard and testing process is slightly different and the KN95 has proven lax, but mask standards are not the sole domain of the United States or NIOSH or China.

Mechanical engineer Aaron Collins has tested KF94 masks and found that they match and exceed N95 standards. https://news.yahoo.com/one-man-is-on-a- … 56926.html

NIOSH has not reviewed KF94s. But mask filtration is not affected by whether or not one American body put their stamp on the box.

Now, to be clear: Grizzlor's preference for only wearing N95 masks is safe and sets a high target for protection. Anyone who adopted it would be well-protected. N95 masks are an industry standard of high performance. It is the most resilient and most stringently tested respirator technology on the market. Nobody should ever perceive an N95 mask to be anything less than excellent. And Grizzlor is entirely correct to present Osterholm as a source of knowledge as Osterholm has warned that cloth masks are pretty much useless.

However, there is also excellence to be found in ASTM Level 3 masks, KF94 masks, and properly fitted electrostatic surgical masks as well. Once the filtration is good, the key concern is fit.

1,903 (edited by RussianCabbie_Lotteryfan 2021-08-12 10:03:12)

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

ireactions wrote:

I hope you're right about the vaccines versus the Delta. They definitely keep you out of the hospital and out of the grave, but the reports of contagion among the vaccinated have rattled me a bit.

You seem to equate cloth masks with surgical masks. That simply isn't true.

Cloth is indeed near-useless as a filtration medium, but surgical masks are made from meltblown polypropylene. They have a water-resistant filter, an electrostatic layer and an inner layer for skin comfort can filter viral particles. But to protect, a mask with these layers must firmly adhere to the face and leave no gaps around the nose and mouth. Masks with these filters fail to protect not because of the filtration but because of the fit, and fit can be amended.

I have reviewed and personally taken apart N95 masks, KN95 masks, KF94 masks and surgical masks. The N95 is the gold standard because it wraps around the back of the head and clamps to the face to seal off the nose and mouth -- but aside from that, the filtration, while heavily layered (five layers), is ultimately acting on the same principle of the KN95s, KF94s and surgical masks: a water resistant layer to block droplets and an electrostatic layer to ensnare viral particles.

KN95s have the same number of layers and the same filtration, but Chinese manufacturers have had a lot of trouble meeting N95 filtration standards because many of these plants were previously making T-shirts and socks. These masks often break easily or have massive gaps in the electrostatic filtering or don't have all the layers of an N95.

KF94s have four layers and the same filtration, they seal firmly to the face, and they are extremely reliable because South Korea actively inspects manufacturers and fines any business with substandard output and poor quality masks never make it out of the country. However, the filtration rates have proven to be the same; the extra layers of an N95 make it harder and more resilient to wear and tear but adding a fourth and fifth layer only provides diminishing returns.

The material used in surgical masks have nearly the same filtration levels as N95 masks despite only three filters. They have an outer water resistant layer, an inner electrostatic layer and a layer for facial comfort. The problem is not the material; it's that surgicals are shaped like flat rectangles and can't align to the three dimensional shape of a human face. They don't seal firmly, at least not out of the box, and because they leave gaps at the sides, their filtration is estimated at 60 - 80 per cent depending on the face.

However, a surgical can be amended with putting cord locks on the earloops to tighten the surgical mask's grip against the face. They can be further augmented by adding an additional PM2.5 filter inside the mask which can be firmly pressed against the mouth and nose by a tightly fitting surgical.

Do you know of k95 lose most of their usefulness (in terms of unique qualities k95 is supposed to provide) once you use them X number of times / its age?   Because if the static electric charge is the 'point' i am pretty sure a lot of that can go away over time and i keep re-using the same ones but maybe I'm not really getting much of that added k95 benefit? 

Like, are we supposed to change these things every week or something?

edit: sorry in your last post you mention every forty wears.  Is that a number that pertains to k95?

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

Mechanical engineer Aaron Collins has done a lot of tests of KF94s and KN95s and recommends wearing them for 30 - 40 hours. This applies to any mask that uses meltblown polypropylene that filters through an electrostatic charge which includes N95s, KN95s, KF94s and surgical masks. The electrostatic charge dissipates as it goes to work in catching particles from air going in and out; in addition, earloops on masks stretch over time and what starts as a firm seal can become less firm after 30 - 40 hours. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_In-nBP6WkQ

At the start of each month, I set aside five boat-shaped ASTM Level 3 masks, one designated for each day. After a wearing, I put the worn mask in a paper envelope (marked with the day of the week) and let it sit for four days while moving onto the next mask. During those four days, any droplets will evaporate and any virus will become inactive. I also have surgical masks (with cord locks and PM2.5 filters) as backups, and those are also put in the paper envelope for four days after a wearing.

At the end of the month, I throw out the five ASTM3 masks and start on a new set of five. The surgical masks, however, I wear a lot less, so I use for two months before throwing them out and moving to a new set of backup surgicals. (I keep the cord locks, though.)

And as I've mentioned, KN95 manufacturing standards have proven extremely poor with at least 70 percent of KN95s in North America filtering less than the advertised 95 per cent, some filtering as little as 20 per cent. Whenever starting on a new brand of masks (three packs of KF94s, 10 packs of surgicals, 50 packs of ASTM3 boat shape masks), I always cut one open and check to make sure that there is a filtration layer inside with a static charge. I also put water in this test mask to ensure that fluids (and droplets) don't soak through.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

You've probably mentioned this before but what ASTM3 masks do you buy?  Can you provide a link?

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

I'm afraid that my ASTM Level 3 masks are a Canadian product delivered within Canada only (and they seem to have sold out anyway at present on innolifecare.com). However, the mask that I have my mother wear is the Kleannara KF94 and Kleannara has an Amazon store.

https://www.amazon.com/stores/KLEANNARA … C97B9972D?

I've taken apart my ASTM3 mask and taken apart the Kleannara mask and the Kleannara mask is actually a bit better. Under the Kleannara's outer layer of water resistant non-woven layer is a high density filtration layer on top of the electrostatic layer followed by the soft-on-skin layer. In contrast, my ASTM3 mask has the water resistant material on as the first and third layer with the electrostatic filter in the middle. But my ASTM3 mask has a closer fit on my nose, so I use those instead.

Aaron Collins, the mechanical engineer whose videos provide me with all knowledge of masks, has reviewed the Kleannara as well with his equipment and he measured filtration at 98.7 per cent, so it is a very fine mask. https://youtu.be/Z93BoeCuIE4?t=1992

My mother says she can't wear the Kleannara right now as it's very hot outside and she is struggling to breathe through the four layer mask. I have put her back on three-layer surgicals with cord locks. If you already have surgical masks and just want to close the gaps, you could try spending $7 on 100 cord locks.

https://www.amazon.com/Adjuster-Silicon … ref=sr_1_2

1,907 (edited by RussianCabbie_Lotteryfan 2021-08-12 22:15:09)

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

ireactions wrote:

Mechanical engineer Aaron Collins has done a lot of tests of KF94s and KN95s and recommends wearing them for 30 - 40 hours. This applies to any mask that uses meltblown polypropylene that filters through an electrostatic charge which includes N95s, KN95s, KF94s and surgical masks. The electrostatic charge dissipates as it goes to work in catching particles from air going in and out; in addition, earloops on masks stretch over time and what starts as a firm seal can become less firm after 30 - 40 hours. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_In-nBP6WkQ

At the start of each month, I set aside five boat-shaped ASTM Level 3 masks, one designated for each day. After a wearing, I put the worn mask in a paper envelope (marked with the day of the week) and let it sit for four days while moving onto the next mask. During those four days, any droplets will evaporate and any virus will become inactive. I also have surgical masks (with cord locks and PM2.5 filters) as backups, and those are also put in the paper envelope for four days after a wearing.

At the end of the month, I throw out the five ASTM3 masks and start on a new set of five. The surgical masks, however, I wear a lot less, so I use for two months before throwing them out and moving to a new set of backup surgicals. (I keep the cord locks, though.)

And as I've mentioned, KN95 manufacturing standards have proven extremely poor with at least 70 percent of KN95s in North America filtering less than the advertised 95 per cent, some filtering as little as 20 per cent. Whenever starting on a new brand of masks (three packs of KF94s, 10 packs of surgicals, 50 packs of ASTM3 boat shape masks), I always cut one open and check to make sure that there is a filtration layer inside with a static charge. I also put water in this test mask to ensure that fluids (and droplets) don't soak through.

thanks for that info.  in terms of storage, do you thing a paper envelope is superior to a plastic zip lock for storage (in term of preserving the static electric charge)?

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

I don't believe anything can preserve the static charge aside from not wearing it. The reason a paper envelope is best for storage after wearing: moisture can evapourate from the mask and through the paper. The mask will dry, any virus lodged in the mask will become inactive, and the mask can be worn again after 72 hours (although I give it 96 to make it easier to keep track). A plastic ziplock bag won't allow moisture to lift off the mask; it will stay in the bag and on the mask.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

ireactions wrote:

I don't believe anything can preserve the static charge aside from not wearing it. The reason a paper envelope is best for storage after wearing: moisture can evapourate from the mask and through the paper. The mask will dry, any virus lodged in the mask will become inactive, and the mask can be worn again after 72 hours (although I give it 96 to make it easier to keep track). A plastic ziplock bag won't allow moisture to lift off the mask; it will stay in the bag and on the mask.

Oh ok.  I thought if the mask was exposed to air that it naturally lost the electro static charge at the forty hr rate.  it sounds like wearing it is what is largely responsible for that loss, due to exhale and breath (carrying moisture discharge)?  rather than just air exposure (which is why I had asked about zip lock bags).

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

Under various tests, the electrostatic charge has mostly broken down due to liquid, aerosol and particle exposure from inhaling and exhaling. Air exposure in storage has proven to be irrelevant at least within a four month period.

When an electrostatic layer gets soaked, it loses its static properties. (This rarely happens because a mask has an outer water resistant layer.) But every time you breathe through a mask, you are expelling moisture in your breath. The moisture goes through the mask. This is a very low level of moisture, but the droplets in your breath which will gradually cause the charge to lessen over time.

The other charge-reducing factor is particle exposure. As you breathe in and out, every particle that your mask filter catches with its static charge is a reduction in that static charge.

According to Collins' tests, after 38 hours in a "clean office environment," a mask with 99 per cent filtration would go down by 3 - 4 per cent. That's not bad, but that filtration level will only get lower and lower. If you're regularly passing through environments with lots of particles in the air, that charge will drop even more severely.

However, leaving a mask sitting unused didn't seem to cause the filtration to degrade within the four months Collins was testing this. Air is not being forced in and out through the filter when the mask isn't worn. You have to breathe through it to wear the filter down.

N95 masks are sold with an expiry date of five years after they were produced, presumably because the electrostatic charge can't last indefinitely.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

ireactions wrote:

Under various tests, the electrostatic charge has mostly broken down due to liquid, aerosol and particle exposure from inhaling and exhaling. Air exposure in storage has proven to be irrelevant at least within a four month period.

When an electrostatic layer gets soaked, it loses its static properties. (This rarely happens because a mask has an outer water resistant layer.) But every time you breathe through a mask, you are expelling moisture in your breath. The moisture goes through the mask. This is a very low level of moisture, but the droplets in your breath which will gradually cause the charge to lessen over time.

The other charge-reducing factor is particle exposure. As you breathe in and out, every particle that your mask filter catches with its static charge is a reduction in that static charge.

According to Collins' tests, after 38 hours in a "clean office environment," a mask with 99 per cent filtration would go down by 3 - 4 per cent. That's not bad, but that filtration level will only get lower and lower. If you're regularly passing through environments with lots of particles in the air, that charge will drop even more severely.

However, leaving a mask sitting unused didn't seem to cause the filtration to degrade within the four months Collins was testing this. Air is not being forced in and out through the filter when the mask isn't worn. You have to breathe through it to wear the filter down.

N95 masks are sold with an expiry date of five years after they were produced, presumably because the electrostatic charge can't last indefinitely.


Thank you, this is great information.

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Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

Well obviously the lead story is the total mess in Afghanistan.  Not much to say other than the US Military is incapable of a mass/hasty withdrawal like this following what is obviously defeat.  Frankly, I don't think any military is capable of keeping order in this type of scenario.  I do not quite understand why the administration seemed to ignore calls for an earlier evacuation?  My personal feeling is that Biden expected that would require taking tens of thousands of Afghans on as refugees, for which every GOP politician would have screamed bloody murder over.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

Afghanistan isn't masks, so I'm not qualified to really analyze it right now. Every editorial I've seen saying Biden was wrong to withdraw is written from a pro-war standpoint which I don't hold with. Every editorial I've seen saying Afghanistan was unwinnable and pointless and that there is never a good time end an already lost far pays little attention to the civilians who will suffer. I am not capable of offering any measured, considered perspective, so I'm simply reading and listening.

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Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

Ultimately the Afghani "leadership" is to blame for the Taliban's quick retaking of the country. The US left them with a significant advantage in manpower and equipment, twenty years of training, and control of all the major cities. Maintaining a hold over the country shouldn't have been that difficult.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

I think that is something to contemplate.

**

This is not about masks or Afghanistan but, oddly, is about SLIDERS and Trumpism.

In 2018, I had an episode of blackout rage where on a SLIDERS Facebook group, a person I'll call Francisco Herrera called Temporal Flux a liar because Temporal Flux shared so much anecdotal behind the scenes information about SLIDERS that Herrera couldn't imagine anyone being able to find and therefore, Temporal Flux had to be making it all up. Herrera told people to go to EarthPrime.com for "the real story" which is hilarious because EarthPrime.com's behind the scenes information doesn't contradict Temporal Flux in any area.

I was furious that my friend was being attacked with EP.COM as a cudgel especially when I'd spent a lot of time converting a box of Sci-Fi Channel press clippings to EP.COM content. I proceeded to post 10 separate links in the Facebook group linking to EP.COM where TF had gotten the info first, each time tagging Herrera. Herrera proceeded to reply, "I have been tagged with at least TEN NOTIFICATIONS today," he wrote. "Nobody needs this on Christmas Day! If you want to keep posting links to EarthPrime, LEAVE ME OUT OF IT!"

The moderator told me to desist and I agreed. Later, I decided I had to get the hell out of this ridiculous Facebook group because posters kept slut-shaming Kari Wuhrer for having performed nude scenes (nonsensically insulting her for producing the material they clearly sought out and enjoyed). Also, the posters there inexplicably rallied behind some scam artist claiming that he was pitching a revival of SLIDERS (an NBCUniversal property) to the Canadian Broadcasting Company (which has no tie to NBCUniversal) and that he was sure he could convince the Canadian Broadcasting Company to buy the rights to SLIDERS. This person didn't have so much as a TV commercial to their name and also bragged that he was going to be contacting David Peckinpah and Kari Weir to return as their characters.

Anyway. Recently, Hererra showed up in the SLIDERS Discord. While civil at first, he remarked on my psychotic episode against him and I confirmed that his account was accurate and that he'd upset me. Then abruptly, Herrera stopped being civil when I said I had been talking to a SLIDERS crew member who shall be nameless, but I had stopped talking to them and become uncomfortable when this crew member had been retweeting pro-Trump posts.

"I'm sick of people demonizing Trump voters," Hererra said. "Your president did good things for your country. You have to accept it."

I said it was interesting that Herrera assumed he could only be talking to Americans in an internet forum when the SLIDERS Discord is actually run by a Canadian and a Scotswoman and defined a failure to support Donald Trump as treason. I also remarked that Donald Trump supporters were largely composed of abusive, harrassing liars.

Herrera proceeded to call me a "virtue signaler" and "an elitist." I promptly blocked him, but I noticed that he was responding to my every comment afterwards which I would read 4 - 6 hours later.

I commented on DOCTOR WHO having recently recast the First Doctor. Herrera shrieked at me that the Doctor had been recast in 1966, not recently, and said I should get my facts right. I guess his hurried Google search missed how David Bradley had played the First Doctor in 2017.

I remarked that Allison Mack had left SMALLVILLE in Season 9; Hererra told me that Allison Mack had "completed" all 10 seasons of SMALLVILLE, clearly having never watched the show and unaware that Mack only did six episodes out of 22 in Season 10.

I commented that Jerry O'Connell didn't seem too picky about projects these days having done lots of pilots and voicework and web videos and he shrieked at me that Jerry O'Connell was worth millions. "He gets paid more than YOU!" A very odd attempt at an insult as the vast majority of people in the world have less than 20 million dollars.

I didn't respond to him. The moderator asked Herrera to desist and I also apologized to Herrera for my behaviour on Facebook in 2018, then put him on mute again, reading his comments hours after he'd send them.

I commented later that David Peckinpah's concern for safety standards on SLIDERS had been shockingly poor, hiring a non-union stunt worker in Season 5 despite poor safety having already gotten Ken Steadman killed in Season 3. Hererra told me that it was outrageous for me to criticize David Peckinpah in any way because Peckinpah had built an excellent career before SLIDERS.

I remarked that "The Exodus" had been essentially a two week rock concert for the cast and crew to enjoy Roger Daltrey's band (The Who) with filming episodes done between binge drinking and spoke to Peckinpah's addiction issues; Herrera told me that it was ridiculous for me to speak poorly of Peckinpah given Peckinpah's mental health.

I noted that Peckinpah writing rape fantasies about Sabrina Lloyd into "Genesis" was shockingly unprofessional; Herrera declared that I had no right to evaluate Peckinpah's writing at all because Peckinpah was dead.

I didn't respond to him. The moderator informed Herrera that criticism of David Peckinpah was not in any way unreasonable or off limits.

I was later talking about how the Season 5 team had known SLIDERS would be cancelled and Herrera called me a liar, saying that Bill Dial had not known about the cancellation until after filming "The Seer."

I didn't respond to him. The moderator pointed Herrera to Keith Damron's blog posts citing that Season 5 had 18 episodes simply to reach syndication and end it, that a series finale story had been plotted, and also pointed to actor interviews where they themselves said Bill Dial believed Season 5 would be the final season. Herrera replied that Dial had wanted the show to come back, not addressing how Dial had known full well that it wouldn't.

The moderator proceeded to kick Herrera off the SLIDERS Discord for posting blatant falsehoods about SLIDERS.

Let's take a moment to appreciate how a Trumpist became angry about being described as an abusive, harassing liar and so proceeded to engage in a campaign of abuse, harassment and lies. This Trumpist declared that anyone who is worth less than $20 million is a target to be attacked. This Trumpist decreed that David Peckinpah's stewardship of SLIDERS should never, ever, ever be criticized in any way shape or form and that David Peckinpah writing rape fantasies about Sabrina Lloyd into SLIDERS scripts isn't something to be judged harshly.

Anyway. I apologized to the Discord moderator, saying that this situation was entirely my fault because I'd antagonized a crazy person in 2018 and they came after me in 2021 and did it on the SLIDERS Discord. And I gave the moderator my word that I would stop creating enemies this way because they apparently show up later on her server.

Since then, I've been dealing with the Herreras of the world by speaking to moderators and administrators and not making myself a target that they'll pursue to the ends of the SLIDERS community.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

ireactions wrote:

I'm afraid that my ASTM Level 3 masks are a Canadian product delivered within Canada only (and they seem to have sold out anyway at present on innolifecare.com). However, the mask that I have my mother wear is the Kleannara KF94 and Kleannara has an Amazon store.

https://www.amazon.com/stores/KLEANNARA … C97B9972D?

Awesome.  I bought some of these yesterday and they'll be my primary mask.  I really only leave the house to get groceries and pick up take out so I think a good reliable mask will be a key part of staying healthy.

My only concern now is that we have grandparents coming over semi-regularly to help with the kids and my oldest is in daycare.  But I think it's impossible to have zero risk.  I'm just doing what I can.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

Grizzlor wrote:

Well obviously the lead story is the total mess in Afghanistan.  Not much to say other than the US Military is incapable of a mass/hasty withdrawal like this following what is obviously defeat.  Frankly, I don't think any military is capable of keeping order in this type of scenario.  I do not quite understand why the administration seemed to ignore calls for an earlier evacuation?  My personal feeling is that Biden expected that would require taking tens of thousands of Afghans on as refugees, for which every GOP politician would have screamed bloody murder over.

I haven't figured out where I stand on it.  I think Afghanistan was a huge failure and we probably needed to get out.  We probably could've done better, but I agree with Biden that if the Afghans didn't care, why should we?

I do wonder why there wasn't a quicker move to evacuate, and I haven't heard a good reason as to why that didn't happen.  Especially Americans.  I would've evacuated, then withdrawn.  But I'm hardly an expert either.  I think it sucks for all the soldiers who felt like they lost friends for no reason.  But I don't know what else we could've done: it does seem like the options were to leave or stay forever.

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Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

ireactions.....I'm about 99% certain I know the man who spoke of as "Francisco Herrera" LOL as he's pretty active on the Sliders FB group.  I get into it frequently with him, because he's quite the "know-it-all" and his new crusade is to complain about anything woke.  Suffice to say he doesn't have much reverence for any of us who've been in the Sliders online community for over 20 years.  Which is fine.

Moving on, guys the sad fact is you will not find one instance in the history of mankind where an occupying army completely withdraws from a war it has effectively lost, and there is no chaos.  There is always chaos, and there are always huge numbers of people left behind who fought/aided that same army.  It is unavoidable, and is not the fault of the military leadership.  The media is full of Monday morning QB's from right to left, but none of them have a reasonable alternative plan for what's happening there. 

The only alternative is to redeploy probably 100K US forces on the ground, a level we have not had in a decade or more.  Biden is trying to avoid having US Marines having a firefight with Taliban.  That is his goal here, get Americans and Western nationals out.  So that's where we are.  If he can accomplish that to a satisfactory level, great.  Doesn't seem like it right now though.  For those who will start screaming Al Qaeda will return, or they won't let girls go to school, whatever, enough already.  We cannot be at war.  The Afghans largely gave up when Trump made that deal in February 2020, it is what it is.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

Afghanistan is a bad situation. I don't know what else to say about it right now except everyone's views here seem valid.

**

I don't know that the longevity of our love for SLIDERS is anything that requires reverence, but I do think we should bow to facts and not flood the SLIDERS community with false information about the show.

I don't doubt, Grizzlor, that you know exactly who Francisco Herrera is, but I don't want to attack his professional prospects by putting his real name in an account of his insistence on defending rape fantasies that could be harmful when employers look him up.

I accept full responsibility for how things with Francisco Herrera started in 2018. I don't think it was my fault that it ended up the way it did in 2021. Nobody forced him to flood the Discord channel with savage insistence that David Peckinpah's unprofessionalism, sexual harassment and non-existent script editing should never be raised or discussed or critiqued.

I wasn't even responding to him; he did that of his own accord because hearing Trumpists declared as abusively harassing liars apparently made him feel he had to defend himself by being an abusively harassing liar with the lies being so petty and easily fact-checked (like whether or not Allison Mack did every episode of SMALLVILLE's tenth season or whether or not a new actor recently played the First Doctor in DOCTOR WHO).

I'm not sure if Francisco Herrera understands that he became a Trumpist cliche in a SLIDERS context by claiming David Peckinpah and Bill Dial should be elevated to sainthood. He continued to bleat that Peckinpah and Dial should never be questioned and lied about Dial not knowing Season 5 was the end and I don't know if he actually believes that. He may or may not, but he kept saying that because it obviously enraged him that I wouldn't respond to him, wouldn't speak to him, wouldn't acknowledge that he even existed. He was hoping his lies would trigger a response from me and got himself kicked off the server and I suppose he did get me to respond, but only after he was gone.

I absolutely started it and I accept responsibility for that, but I'm not responsible for how someone offended by Trumpists being viewed as as deranged, deceitful abusers decided that the best way to disprove that would be to embark on a deranged course of deceitful abuse. Francisco Herrera was probably like this long before Christmas 2018.

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Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

By the way, this study claims that most surgical masks and cloth coverings filter only about 10 percent of exhaled aerosols.  KN95 are 46% while the N95 is 60% effective.  This again goes to my point that most people are using masks that don't do much of anything.

https://nypost.com/2021/08/22/study-fin … oth-masks/

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

The actual study: https://aip.scitation.org/doi/10.1063/5.0057100

The study's review of surgical masks is extremely concerning to me: 47 per cent filtration when the material was wrapped around an outlet pipe is shockingly poor. However, the study specifies that N95 and KN95 masks have electrostatic filtration -- and then equates surgical masks with cloth masks as lacking that filtration. This indicates they used a surgical without electrostatic layers, so their study doesn't review surgical masks that do have the filtration.

I've seen electrostatic surgical mask tests with Collins and Duke University where the material itself filtered 90 to 98 per cent. As I've said earlier, every time I buy a new quantity of surgical masks, I'll cut one open to make sure it has an electrostatic filter. I've found one brand that lacked the electrostatic layer and simply don't buy it any more.

The study rates KN95 inhalation filtration at 95 per cent and N95 filtration (referred to as R95 in the study) at 96 per cent protection for the wearer. Their exhalation filtration is rated at 46 per cent for KN95 and 60 per cent for KN95 -- which is protection for those around the wearer. The study does not review KF94 masks (thankfully, we've had Aaron Collins for that) and those masks are rated at 98 per cent filtration for the Kleannara.

The study also doesn't account for how KN95 masks have extremely poor quality control with over 70 per cent of them filtering less than 95 per cent; some as low as 40 although some hover in the 93 - 94 per cent range.

Anyway. As Grizzlor says, N95 masks are excellent.

KN95 masks are a gamble. KF94 is great. And surgical -- if you can make sure that the filter is present by cutting one open to check and if you can put on some cord locks to tighten up the fit, those are also good. I would just go with KF94: affordable in high quantities for a rotation, no modifications needed, widely available, stringently reviewed before export from Korea.

My personal choice of an ASTM3 mask is more for my specific face than it is a general recommendation and my ASTM3s are sold out anyway.

1,922 (edited by Grizzlor 2021-08-23 12:07:55)

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

Well again there's a further trade off between mask efficiency and where you are and who you are with.  If the space is well ventilated, and your time there is short, you probably don't even need a mask. 

I was reading something the other day, and of course now can't find it, that vaccinated people may have similar viral loads to unvaccinated, but that the virus is actually not culturable at all, or for a much shorter time.  That means the rate of transmission from a vaccinated person is likely still never low.  That is why vaccine passports are likely some of the smartest, most efficient means of controlling the spread.  As is being done across Europe and some US cities.

https://www.yahoo.com/news/italy-once-o … 06491.html

Lastly, the FDA approval for Pfizer is done, so the anti-vaxxers who have used that as an excuse no longer have one.  US Military should be mandating it soon.  There's a lot of debate over boosters, but the main reason for them was that we gave people 2 shots within a very unusual period of time, just 3 or 4 weeks.  That's normally months, if not years apart.  That's why the immunity has waned.  Many doctors believe that a booster may well be the final COVID shot you need take, since the immune system has had time to develop defenses, and such after the booster.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

Grizzlor wrote:

Well again there's a further trade off between mask efficiency and where you are and who you are with.  If the space is well ventilated, and your time there is short, you probably don't even need a mask.

Nobody test this theory.

Grizzlor wrote:

I was reading something the other day, and of course now can't find it, that vaccinated people may have similar viral loads to unvaccinated, but that the virus is actually not culturable at all, or for a much shorter time.

This is the study:
https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101 … 21262158v1

This is a web article on the study:
https://www.deseret.com/coronavirus/202 … ious-covid

The upshot of the study is that while vaccinated and infected people were contagious, their viral particle count dropped within three days. In contrast, an unvaccinated and infected patient is contagious for 10 - 20 days.

Grizzlor wrote:

Many doctors believe that a booster may well be the final COVID shot you need take, since the immune system has had time to develop defenses, and such after the booster.

I don't know anything about this at all, but I'd like to believe it. I don't know if it's true. But I'll march my mother to get a third dose as soon as she's eligible. In the meantime, I'm carrying extra boat shaped ASTM3 masks in my bag and restocking on hand sanitizer and watching BLACK WIDOW in VR at home.

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Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

https://news.yahoo.com/why-annual-covid … 24502.html

Yahoo Finance Video
Why annual COVID-19 booster shots might be unlikely
Thu, August 19, 2021, 3:01 PM

Dr. Peter Hotez, Co-Director of the Center for Vaccine Development at Texas Children’s Hospital and Dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, joins Yahoo Finance to discuss the latest on the coronavirus pandemic.
Video Transcript

ALEXIS CHRISTOFOROUS: Want to switch gears here now and talk about COVID and the vaccine, because we know the Biden administration announced this week that most Americans will be eligible for a COVID-19 booster shot in September, just a few weeks from now, after the CDC found vaccine effectiveness does decline over time. That is something we expected.

Joining us now is Dr. Peter Hotez, Co-Director of the Center for Vaccine Development at Texas Children's Hospital and Dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine. We're also joined by our health reporter Anjalee Khemlani.

Doctor, thanks so much for being with us. I want to begin with what the Biden administration told us this week. US health officials now recommending we get this booster shot eight months after our second dose. Do you think this is going to be an annual thing, that we're just going to keep needing the booster shot in the very same way we get the flu vaccine every year?

PETER HOTEZ: Actually, I don't. I think we could be-- it's not one and done or two and done, but three and done. And here's why. When that vaccine was rolled out in December and January, the first two doses were spaced three to four weeks apart, three weeks for Pfizer-BioNTech, four weeks for Moderna. And that's because we needed to fully immunize older individuals as fast as possible, because we were losing 3,000 American lives per day and we had to avert any further tragedy. It was actually a very good decision.

The problem was when you did that there was a trade-off. The trade-off is when you give that kind of rapid pace, a one-two vaccination schedule, you don't get very good long-lasting protection, durable protection. So that basically bought us a third immunization right from the beginning. And that's what we're doing now. We're seeing this waning immunity in terms of decline in terms of preventing infection from over 90% to 40% to 50%.

And the worry, I think, is from Health and Human Services is that that's the tip of the spear, and we'll start seeing now a lot of breakthrough hospitalizations, hence the recommendation. But I think the messages should be that this third immunization was both predicted and predictable. And it looks like the response to that is quite impressive after you give that third immunization. I anticipate long-lasting protection, high levels of virus neutralizing antibody, resilience to the variants, and that may be it. So it's not impossible that we'll need annual boosters, I just don't see us heading that way for now.

This was who I referenced on the boosters.  My allergy doctor, a long-time immunology professional, told me this guy is one of the smartest there is.

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Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

US Marines killed in Kabul bombs.  Pentagon have been saying this is beyond dangerous.  That's why Biden wouldn't extend the date.  That's why he is only taking US citizens.  That's why he won't send helicopters all over the city for people.  There's no police or army in Kabul.  Just the useless Taliban on mopeds and pickups.  It's like being in the middle of The Walking Dead.  If I'm Biden, I tell the commanders to pick up the damn pace and get out of there ASAP.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

It sounds like a third dose would provide some very long lasting protection, but you'd conceivably need one again in 18 - 24 months.

**

Afghanistan is bad, but the current White House administration made a lot of predictions about low casualties and costs that would come with pulling out and those predictions have proven wrong.

**

Wondering how Slider_Quinn21 is faring with the Kleannara KF94s. I wear masks that are almost the same, but yesterday, I was wandering the park with my favourite actress and the air was hot, getting even hotter through my mask, causing my airways to narrow in response.

I ended up having to take off my KF94 equivalent with its dual droplet blocking layers and put on a thinner surgical mask with only one droplet blocking layer. This one, I could breathe through. I might have to wear these until fall weather arrives.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

ireactions wrote:

Wondering how Slider_Quinn21 is faring with the Kleannara KF94s. I wear masks that are almost the same, but yesterday, I was wandering the park with my favourite actress and the air was hot, getting even hotter through my mask, causing my airways to narrow in response.

I ended up having to take off my KF94 equivalent with its dual droplet blocking layers and put on a thinner surgical mask with only one droplet blocking layer. This one, I could breathe through. I might have to wear these until fall weather arrives.

I go out so infrequently that I haven't really used them enough.  The upper and lower flaps are tight across my face, creating a good seal (I assume) but they're small so they take a little bit of adjusting to get right. 

But I honestly only leave the house to pick up take out food (2-3 minutes) or have groceries/Target orders dropped in my car (where I usually don't interact with anyone enough to put on a mask at all).  With two kids and both of us working from home full time, it's pretty easy to social distance.

I did give some of them to my mom, who is working part time for the next few weeks.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

From the MCU thread:

Slider_Quinn21 wrote:

This can't help their case in the Scarlett Johansson case, but I'm assuming they'll make enough money where that won't matter.

I'm still not cool going to the theaters so I guess I'll be waiting.  I might risk it for Spider-Man: No Way Home because I can't imagine I'll make it 45 days without spoilers.  I'll have to just go on a weekday at noon or something.

I myself won't be going to theatres for awhile. But let me know what it's like these days!

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

Yeah I think I'd only go midday on a weekday with a mask on.  Even for Spider-Man, I'm sure I can find a showing with only a couple of people 6+ feet away.  I figure that would be fairly safe.  I had in-person jury duty over the summer, and I was able to get by with those rules.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

Well, when you go, please wear a Kleannara mask. I know they require some adjusting, but that's every mask! I myself am currently on surgical masks. It's 80 degrees F outside and my ASTM3 masks are just warming up the air too much. I am really making sure the masks clamp on my face with the cordlocks on the earloops, but that does mean adjusting them every time.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

I would absolutely wear my Kleannara mask and stay away from anyone.  I'll sit in the far corner if I have to smile

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

I'm going to the movies tonight to see NO TIME TO DIE.

I feel comfortable doing this: in my province, you need proof of vaccination to get into a movie screening. Seating is reserved and spaced out. I'm still going to wear my KF94 mask.

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Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

ireactions wrote:

I'm going to the movies tonight to see NO TIME TO DIE.

I feel comfortable doing this: in my province, you need proof of vaccination to get into a movie screening. Seating is reserved and spaced out. I'm still going to wear my KF94 mask.

I do have a long running streak of seeing Bond films in the theater.  I may go after it's been out awhile and I know the theater will be empty.  Ditto for Ghostbusters Afterlife.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

Grizzlor wrote:
ireactions wrote:

I was listening to Tracy Torme's January 2021 Dark Matters podcast and he had some interesting political views.

https://www.spreaker.com/user/kgra/dmr0 … io-tracy-t

Dark Matters podcast has completely vanished from the internet!  I can't find the mp3's anywhere.

this interview / link is working again.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

I wonder if Temporal Flux wrote this DEEP SPACE NINE fan webisode about the stupidity of NFTs.

https://twitter.com/joshuamartian/statu … 31622?s=20

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

ireactions wrote:

I wonder if Temporal Flux wrote this DEEP SPACE NINE fan webisode about the stupidity of NFTs.

https://twitter.com/joshuamartian/statu … 31622?s=20

lol!

https://iili.io/7JT1oB.md.jpg

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

TemporalFlux wrote:
ireactions wrote:

I wonder if Temporal Flux wrote this DEEP SPACE NINE fan webisode about the stupidity of NFTs.

https://twitter.com/joshuamartian/statu … 31622?s=20

lol!

https://iili.io/7JT1oB.md.jpg

Hahahahaha. That is great! big_smile

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

American democracy is in crisis. And Democrats are sleeping through it.
https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics … en-america

And Slider_Quinn21 wonders how we went from RETURN OF THE JEDI defeating the Empire to THE FORCE AWAKENS opening with the First Order in charge and the Rebels on the run just as they were before. He's absolutely right to note that the storytelling skipped several steps, but I imagine it happened just like this.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

If anyone wants to learn how to build a filtration system as another factor to mitigate potential lingering covid in a closed environment, it's actually not that hard.  Fan, some filters, a box, duct tape.  I am sure Quinn and Arturo would have come up with something like this if not for penicillin!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aEn2xzlvrdo
https://www.wired.com/story/could-a-jan … -covid-19/
https://www.texairfilters.com/iaq-resea … r-cleaner/

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

With the new variant, I'm considering waiting until the new version of the vaccine comes out (Pfizer said they could make one in a matter of a couple of months) instead of the booster.  I was planning on waiting until January either way.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

I don't want this post to contribute to vaccine hesitancy, so I won't quote the above.

Just to inform: The CDC does recommend that everyone 18+ get boosted *now* and not to wait.

*steps off soapbox*

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

Well, I think Slider_Quinn21 is just waiting until six months after his second dose. If an improved vaccine is announced and scheduled for six months and 2.23 weeks after his second dose (my personal tipping point), that might (might!) make sense. SQ21 got his second dose and he is not an anti-vaxxer; if he's holding out, it's because he's looking to get maximum shielding from his shot. I am not a doctor; I cannot evaluate that strategy except to say it's not from a place of mistrust for vaccines.

I don't qualify for a third dose for another two weeks; my mother doesn't qualify for another nine days. I'm not going to wait and I've informed my mother that she's not waiting either.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

ireactions wrote:

Well, I think Slider_Quinn21 is just waiting until six months after his second dose. If an improved vaccine is announced and scheduled for six months and 2.23 weeks after his second dose (my personal tipping point), that might (might!) make sense. SQ21 got his second dose and he is not an anti-vaxxer; if he's holding out, it's because he's looking to get maximum shielding from his shot. I am not a doctor; I cannot evaluate that strategy except to say it's not from a place of mistrust for vaccines.

I don't qualify for a third dose for another two weeks; my mother doesn't qualify for another nine days. I'm not going to wait and I've informed my mother that she's not waiting either.

Thank you, ireactions! I did not know that with my limited membership here. I was just playing it safe on my end.

My apologies, Slider_Quinn21!

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

ireactions wrote:

Well, I think Slider_Quinn21 is just waiting until six months after his second dose. If an improved vaccine is announced and scheduled for six months and 2.23 weeks after his second dose (my personal tipping point), that might (might!) make sense. SQ21 got his second dose and he is not an anti-vaxxer; if he's holding out, it's because he's looking to get maximum shielding from his shot. I am not a doctor; I cannot evaluate that strategy except to say it's not from a place of mistrust for vaccines.

This is 100% correct.

I'm eligible in January so that's when I was going to get the booster.  My mom just got it and hoping my in-laws get it soon.  I just read an article like this (but not this) recently https://www.newsweek.com/pfizer-ceo-say … ad-1654037 where they said they could make a new variant-resistant version of the vaccine (in less than 100 days) so I'm thinking about it like getting a new phone - do I get the one that's available for Christmas or wait until January for the new version.

And my wife and I are essentially locked down.  We work from home, we get our groceries via contactless pickup (and we still wipe down), we don't eat out in restaurants, we don't hang out with friends, and the only people we see are our parents (who are double or triple vaxxed and are all retired).  I interact with people very rarely, and when I do, I'm wearing my fancy Korean mask that ireactions recommended smile

I am still monitoring a 12/20 11am Spider-Man No Way Home showing.  No tickets sold yet big_smile

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

QuinnSlidr wrote:

Thank you, ireactions! I did not know that with my limited membership here. I was just playing it safe on my end.

My apologies, Slider_Quinn21!

Appreciate that!

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

And I'm getting my booster December 26!

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

Slider_Quinn21 wrote:

And I'm getting my booster December 26!

Yaaayyyyyyy!! Well done, Slider_Quinn21.

I've had very little in the way of side effects from the vaccine + flu shot. Aside from a sore arm, I didn't have anything else. And the sore arm was even less on the covid side. I didn't even have a sore arm on the flu shot side.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

Ah good. I just drove my mother to her third dose. And appointments for my age bracket open on Monday.

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Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

I had a sore armpit from the booster and flu shot, that was all.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

I'm glad to hear this.

After my first dose, I had blurry vision for four days. After my second dose, I was exhausted and picked a weird fight with my sister over her supposedly turning off the air conditioning only to, upon further contemplation, realize that I had a fever and the air conditioning was fine.

My favourite actress, after getting her second dose, had a high fever, partial paralysis and severe mouth sores for about a week and a half. She has a blood vessel disorder that the increased immune response set off. She recovered fully after about two weeks, but she is now a target for every anti-vaxxer and anti-masker out there trying to get a conventionally attractive actress who was in a Hot Pocket commercial to be the spokesperson for their diseased and suicidal campaigns and now she's had to change her number.

We were going to go to this cocktail bar for lunch on Sunday (all restaurants in our town require proof of full vaccination before entry), but now we're just going to eat on her balcony and wait until we both get our third dose boosters before going out for meals again.

1,951 (edited by Grizzlor 2021-12-19 00:05:25)

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

My allergist (MD) has gotten every vaccine on Earth at some point.  Several years ago she had some sort of illness, and ever since then any vaccine makes her ill but she still takes them.  The alternative is not worth it.  This omicron though is of such veracity that really nothing short of an N95 is going to keep you from acquiring COVID if any length of time is spent indoors with multiple people that are infected.  The vaccines/boosters seem to keep you out of hospital though.  The variant is exploding in the NYC-area here, although I have faith our level of vaxxing will keep severe cases down.  In other states such as the midwest, where people are not being vaxxed enough, it will be far far worse.  This may be a disastrous blow to restaurants and event spaces for the next several months.  Several people I know have tested positive from office parties in the last few days.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

I too have some hope that a robust third dose rollout will blunt (but not stop) the wave.

N95s are excellent masks and you can't go wrong with them. However, layered electrostatic filtering is not exclusive to N95 masks; it's a public domain technology. ASTM Level 3 masks and KF94 masks have the same efficacy; what makes a N95 the best is the tight, clamp-like seal it exerts on the face. KN95 masks (mostly duckbill style) and KF94 masks (mostly boat-shaped) have a similar 360 seal without the harsh tightness -- unlike surgical masks which can leave gaps around the nose and at the cheeks. Currently, KF94 is best of them all because KN95s are not sufficiently reviewed and tested before export whereas KF94s are monitored and surveilled by the South Korean government.

Slider_Quinn21 and my mother both have Kleannara KF94 masks. The best mask for me is either an ASTM Level 3 mask with a boat shape or a KF94 mask with a duckbill shape; those clamp best to my face. The Kleannara KF94 is the only mask that fits my mothercorrectly; I had a bunch of N95s, but they were too tight; I tried KN95s on her and they left too many gaps on her nose.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

Slider_Quinn21 wrote:

And I'm getting my booster December 26!

I'm getting my booster a couple days after SQ21.

May I ask: how is vaccine booking in the States? In my province, it's ridiculous; the system can't handle all the people logging on at the same time and puts everyone in a waiting room and when you get into the system at last, the appointments can be as late as February or March. I had time to stay in the system and keep rebooking my appointment to earlier and earlier dates as new appointments were added to the calendar over the course of a couple hours, going from January 25 to January 6 to January 4 to December 29, but not everyone can do this. Not everyone has time to sit for this long in front of a computer, booking, cancelling and rebooking, especially if that person works in construction or retail or food.

It's really bad. Surely the best bet would have been pre-registration and wait-listing followed by a randomized system within specific demographics (age, chronic conditions, frontline and health workers) sending out notifications that the person would have 24 hours to accept or reject an appointment. The average pharmacy can do this, but they don't have the staff for mass vaccinations. The province has the staff but can't seem to get the digital infrastructure together despite having had over 10 months to prepare.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

my guess is here it's like a two to three week wait but i am not sure of that.  also now there is likely a surge in interest, which of course will push back timelines.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

Omicron is now the dominant strain in the United States, jumping from 3% of cases to 73% of cases nationwide.

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Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

I'm a member of the American Underground.

slidecage.com
Twitter @slidersfanblog
Instagram slidersfanblog

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

Jim_Hall wrote:

I'm a member of the American Underground.

I don't know what this means, you're being unclear.

When it comes to pandemic information, we should endeavour to be clear. At two doses of vaccination, you have 33 per cent protection from being infected by Omicron exposure and about 70 per cent protection from hospitalization and death. At three doses, you have 75 per cent protection from being infected by Omicron exposure and about 90 per cent protection from hospitalization and death.

People who are unvaccinated and unmasked have no protection. They infect others with COVID-19. They themselves will become infected with Omicron and require hospitalization. The mass numbers of unvaccinated hospitalizations slows health care systems to the point where they have to cancel routine and emergency surgeries; instead of treating patients with cancer or hurt by assaults and car accidents and chronic conditions, nurses and doctors are tied up treating people who won't get vaccinated and won't wear masks.

People who refuse vaccinations and refuse to mask are stealing health care from people with blood vessel disorders, with diabetes, with heart conditions, with genetic disorders.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

I wore an N95 mask today for six hours. I have to tell you, these things hurt due to the clamp-like seal and the overhead bands (as opposed to earloops). They really hurt. A lot. I'm not sure the average person could tolerate wearing one for long; if people are going to consistently wear masks, they have to be as comfortable as a KN95 or a KF94.

Third dose for Wednesday for me!

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Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

I can't wear a KN95, my face sweats so bad and my nose runs.  Better off double masking with two looser fitting ones I think.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

I'm surprised that a KN95 makes you sweat and makes your nose run!

I have experienced that in winter with an ASTM3 mask where the water-resistant outer layer was wrapped around the mask and on the inside too. When exhaling air and water vapour in cold temperatures, droplets would form on the inside of the mask that I would end up breathing in and sneezing out. I've switched to KF94s that are more like Slider_Quinn21's Kleannara's with a quilted cotton layer that doesn't have as much condensation.

I generally don't recommend KN95s because there is no review standard or oversight; anyone can make a KN95 and call it a KN95 even if the filtration may be significantly less than 95 per cent. I do have some KN95s where I've bought a box of 10 and checked to make sure it actually has two interior layers of electrostatic filtering. But there's a lot of garbage KN95s on the market that only filter about 20 - 50 per cent, some below standard ones that only filter 70 - 90 per cent -- all generally due to poor manufacturing with the interior layers being either stretched to breaking or missing those layers entirely. KF94s, however, are subject to strict government standards before export.

One of the issues with double-masking: it can be harder to breathe. That said, it works for a lot of people. The surgical mask has electrostatic filtering; the cloth mask applies a firmer seal at the sides to prevent gaps. It's not something I like, though. I prefer to have one good mask rather than two poor ones.

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Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

My nose runs all the time, especially outside in the freezing Northeastern cold.  I wore the KN95 indoors at times during the summer this year at conventions, not comfortable at all.  Eventually ditched them for double play cloth masks although obviously this was in the absence of a surge.  I'm not intending on going anywhere for the next month or so though.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

ireactions wrote:

Third dose for Wednesday for me!

I got mine Sunday.  My arm was sore Sunday and Monday (but not as much as with the first dose, oddly enough), but that might've been my worst side effect.  I had the slightest of headaches (so slight that it might've been psychosomatic), and I was tired all day (but that might've been the fact that our baby didn't sleep well and our toddler wouldn't nap during my designated nap time).  Very happy about how well it went.

I also thought I was going to get a Pfizer booster (as it was the only thing offered at the most convenient place for me to get boosted), but I ended up getting a 3rd Moderna.  Which is good because Moderna seems to be the most effective against Omicron based on my super-limited research I did?

1,963 (edited by ireactions 2021-12-28 14:12:10)

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

Every time someone says they got a booster, I feel a great sense of relief.

My reading indicates that for reasons scientists don't fully understand yet, alternating between Pfizer and Moderna has provided a higher number of antibodies than matching vaccines. I encourage mixing. I've had two doses of Moderna and I'm expecting a third, but I'd be happy to get Pfizer on Wednesday.

On average, early reports indicate that Pfizer and Moderna give you about 75 percent protection against getting sick at all, but after 10 weeks, that drops to anywhere from 30 - 45 per cent. Omicron has unfortunately rewritten the rulebook; earlier, Grizzlor shared a doctor's expectation that a third dose could be the last vaccination needed, but that was only for Alpha to Delta, not for Omicron. However, even if the 10 week wane is true, the booster would still protect you from getting seriously sick, from having to go to the ICU, from being put on a ventilator, and from dying of COVID.

No vaccine could have ever granted permanent immunization. Even if Delta had been the last variant, a third dose would not have prevented people from getting sick from Delta; a third dose would prevent people from dying of Delta.

Vaccines aren't cures as much as teachers; they teach your body how to create the antibodies against a specific virus; they teach your body to cure itself. Anyone who calls vaccination useless because it doesn't prevent infection is either ignorant or lying. Vaccines don't stop you from getting infected; they stop you from getting so sick that you die. This is the case with all vaccines whether it's tetanus, measles, flu, polio, hepatitis or COVID-19.

People in the first 10 weeks of their third dose could still get infected by Omicron; they just have a 70 - 75 per cent chance of never developing a fever or a cough. Michael Rosenbaum caught Delta after two doses of an mRNA vaccine and lost two weeks of his life to fever and exhaustion -- which is significantly better than losing his whole life.

I salute Slider_Quinn21 for doing his duty and protecting his family, his friends, his neighbours and his country.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

Don't Look Up on Netflix is a hilarious and terrifying look at what would probably happen if a comet was barreling towards Earth.  It's obviously a satire of some version of Trump 2.0 being in charge, but I could easily see some of the decisions being made the other way around.  It's satire....but is it?

I'd love to talk more about it if anyone else wants to talk about it in the Random Thoughts post.  Since my non-spoilery thoughts are primarily political, I thought it made sense to put it here.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

Well, I've read the (negative) reviews and the Wikipedia summary and it seems like a pretty good movie to me, but I would never watch it. I'm sure it's great, it's just that if I want to see people being self-destructive and incompetent, I'll just read the newspaper. I turn to entertainment for what is somewhat inflammatorily described as "competence porn." I want fantasies of people being good at things, sometimes at the expense of their needs in other areas.

**

I got my third dose. Pfizer not available to my age bracket, only Moderna. Canada currently has lots of Moderna and not as much Pfizer.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

The negative reviews I've seen are all about it being too heavy-handed.  But most of the heavy-handed stuff has real-world equivalents so it's not like it's 100% fictional.  And I think McKay didn't want to do a subtle satire - he wanted to cram something down your throat because he's tired of it.

I could also see people upset with the politics, but Adam McKay refused to say whether or not the president was Republican or Democrat, saying "I don't think either party has much to be proud about over the last 40 years".  I think it's clear that he's lampooning Trump and his team, but I don't think the Democrats are exempt from following their own interests and/or ignoring an opportunity to turn a crisis into a moneymaking venture.  While I think Biden is much better than Trump, I've been underwhelmed by what he's done on a number of issues.

So while I doubt President Orlean in the film would be a Democrat, I don't know if the end result would've been any different.  McKay seems to think there's plenty of room for bad decisions in both parties.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

Well, reading the Wikipedia summary was an unpleasant experience, but it's clearly a story that's meant to be unpleasant. Ultimately, we live in the world of DON'T LOOK UP and we can watch that movie any time we read a newspaper which I do every morning and evening. I have an annual subscription to The Toronto Star, so I have to read it or it's like burning money.

My preference for a movie on such subject matter would be the film TOMORROWLAND, but that's because my preference is to look for something with hope. That said, TOMORROWLAND is only a movie and despite having a character who is relentlessly determined to do SOMETHING about the problems of the world, the movie doesn't (and can't) offer a solution to climate change and world hunger. All it can do is ask people to serve their best impulses and not their worst.

Movies and TV are great for normalizing sexual and gender identities and condemning transphobia and climate change denial, but actually offering a solution to defeating greenhouse gas emissions may be asking them to punch above their weight. It's entertainment.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

A book (and a movie but less so) that I like as inspiration is The Martian.  It shows what humans are capable of if we work together.  The book is a little more realistic (if I recall correctly) because the Chinese agree to help in exchange for something from the US/NASA.  In the movie (again, if I'm remembering correctly), they just do it in the spirit of humanity.

“If a hiker gets lost in the mountains, people will coordinate a search. If a train crashes, people will line up to give blood. If an earthquake levels a city, people all over the world will send emergency supplies. This is so fundamentally human that it's found in every culture without exception. Yes, there are assholes who just don't care, but they're massively outnumbered by the people who do.” - Andy Weir

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

I'd like to believe that people will band together, but that's proven untrue. Look at vaccinations: people accepted vaccines for measles, mumps, rubella, chicken pox and flu without complaint; then white supremacists presented the COVID-19 vaccine as a divisive point and now we have a pandemic extended by the unvaccinated. People believe what they're incentivized to believe even if that incentive is as shallow and meaningless as claiming expertise and unassailability by virtue of privilege, even to the point of psychosis and eating horse de-wormer.

Look at the Center for Disease Control, supposedly run by sensible adults with President Joe Biden in the White House. They have nonsensically reduced the quarantine period from 10 days to 5 not because people aren't potentially contagious after 5, but because, as Dr. Anthony Fauci himself said, companies can force people to go back to work faster and keep the capitalist machine churning.

People are ultimately for themselves; they will only act in their own perceived best interests and those perceptions are often flat out stupid. My suspicion is that we will only work together if enough people can be convinced that what's in everyone's best interests is also their own, but people can have an incredibly shortsighted view. If my country and yours hadn't hoarded vaccines from poorer countries, COVID wouldn't have had the opportunity to continue spreading and creating new mutations.

Movies like TOMORROWLAND give me a little respite from all that and say that it's possible that people will figure it out. Not that they will; no movie can assert that sincerely. Just that it's possible.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

Funny how history repeats.  Linked below is an actual 100 year old editorial cartoon following the Spanish Flu pandemic:

https://mobile.twitter.com/KurtBusiek/s … 7695100928

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

From a TV standpoint: MACGYVER and SAVED BY THE BELL were both hit by the pandemic and had to shut down production in 2020 and resume under strict quarantine protocols. They were filming new episodes during the pandemic, and they proceeded to set their stories *after* the pandemic.

However, most of these stories are basically written as though they were *before* the pandemic despite references to COVID and 2020.

MACGYVER had to do this because its fifth season was using a number of unfinished Season 4 episodes. MACGYVER's fifth season opens with one of these started filming before / completed filming after episodes. A dubbed in line of dialogue declares how MacGyver had to shut down all missions during the pandemic, but they are back on the job now that it is over, having been resolved in some unspecified fashion during an unstated amount of time.

SAVED BY THE BELL ended up doing the same thing: Season 2 is set a year after the pandemic and has everyone declaring that everything is normal now that all have been vaccinated, and while characters lament a lost year, there is no talk of boosters or variants and there is no ongoing masking; the stories outside, of the lost time and year of social distancing, are clearly written in a pre-pandemic world.

In the real world for people who took COVID-19 seriously: people kept wearing masks, understanding that vaccination doesn't stop you from getting sick, it only allows you to get better after getting sick without needing hospitalization, and getting sick with COVID after two doses is still severe and debilitating for at least a few weeks. People were cautious about physical contact with anyone they hadn't known to have been fully vaccinated. People were worried about new variants and the need for booster shots.

This isn't a failure on MACGYVER or SAVED BY THE BELL. Both shows, filming during the pandemic, had no way of knowing how long the pandemic would last or how it would end. They took the view that life would go back to 'normal' because that was a world they could write, perform and render without guesswork outside of the guess that 2021 would be like 2019.

**

I do think we could be near the tail-end of the pandemic. Viruses can't mutate infinitely without losing what makes them transmissible, virulent or vaccine evasive, and for a virus to be transmissible, it has to be mild enough at least at the outset for the patient to be unaware that they're sick and spread it. Omicron is a serious problem even with a lower percentage of severe cases because that lower percentage is still a very big number when it's so contagious. However, Omicron's transmissibility will prevent other variants overtaking it in spread. Those who survive Omicron (which you can without hospitalization if you're vaccinated) retain the immune system responses needed to defeat this and previous variants. COVID-19, for the vaccinated and for Omicron survivors, would become a mild illness going forward.

I'm not a doctor, I could be WRONG.

https://www.salon.com/2021/12/23/some-s … cs-finale/

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

This may not be a problem for some people, but it is really cold here in Canada and when I walk around outdoors, my boat shaped masks (KF94, 99 per cent filtration, perimeter is tight and further tightened with cord locks on the earloops) -- well, it gets soaked from all the moisture coming out of my exhaled air. I'm pretty sure that the water droplets from the condensation are soaking the electrostatic filter inside the mask and rendering it inoperative. Once an electrostatic filter gets wet, it can no longer electrostatically filter. Wet masks need to go in the garbage.

I guess there's a couple solutions: to throw out the mask as a single use product once it's wet (which kind of ruins the cost-effective approach of rotating between masks every day and going through five masks a month).

Another option is to, when outdoors, switch to a cheap surgical mask. Outdoor transmission risk is fairly low and even a surgical mask with gaps would be sufficient protection and it's only like a 25 cents lost when throwing out the worn and dampened mask.

Another another option would be to put a PM2.5 filter (a flat, charcoal filter layer the size of two business cards) into my KF94s and see if that can absorb the moisture in my exhales before it soaks the mask.

I suppose I could also consider not wearing a mask when outdoors, but... I just don't do that. Again, outdoor transmission is negligible; I think it is unlikely to catch COVID outside, but a mask turns the "unlikely" risk into a risk so fractionally low that it's functionally non-existent.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

I've had several friends who all got the booster and all had very mild side effects.  My worst was a sore arm - I *might've* had a headache, but it might've been more my brain expecting a headache and making it feel like I had a really dull one.  No nausea, no chills, nothing else.  Now I got my shot strategically in the late morning so maybe I slept through the side effects, but I didn't wake up drenched in sweat like I did with shot two.

My wife got her shot while breastfeeding and, since it can cause lymph nodes to swell, it caused her to develop mastitis.  So she's hesitant to get another shot because of how rough her experience was.  Hopefully stories like mine will encourage her and others to get the booster.

Regarding the possible end of the pandemic, I agree and am hopeful.  I have a friend turning 40 this week and I'm going to skip his party.  I told my wife that if we hunker down for a couple months (our biggest risk will be our 2-year-old at daycare), we could start seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.  At least here in the US, we had a million cases the other day.  We've gotta be moving to some form of herd immunity / conversion from pandemic to endemic.

And once we're there, I've read that we might not even need the vaccines - that it might end up being lesser than the flu / more like a cold, and only the high-risk people would need a yearly booster.  That would be nice.  At the same time, if the science recommends a quarterly booster forever, I'm fine with that too.  My experience with the booster took 30 minutes from door to door, and that included 15 minutes sitting around to see if anything happened.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

I'm sorry to hear that your wife had a bad reaction to the vaccine. I always seem to lose a week to exhaustion and soreness after each dose of Moderna and am hypersensitive to it. But I also have a hypersensitivity to COVID-19, so it seemed best to get vaccinated and be able to see other booster-vaccinated people in person again. Two doses staves off death from COVID-19, but the symptoms of Omicron will be quite severe and it will be contagious, so that's something to think about. My favourite actress had an intense immune system response to her second dose of vaccine due to a pre-existing blood vessel disorder; her mouth burst into sores and she was ill for nearly two weeks before recovering. She needed to get an antibody test before her doctor cleared her for a booster and she hasn't had any issues.

But it's not easy to get over having had a serious reaction that some women have experienced and mistaken for breast cancer.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

Ha, I'll convince her.  And its still months before she'd be eligible for a booster anyway.  And like I've said before, we're low risk since we very rarely go anywhere.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

Biden is not taking the massive danger of minority rule seriously.
https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics … ext-policy

His administration has been focused on his failed infrastructure deal; he has failed to rally Democrats to mount any defense towards how Republicans intend to seize power through taking control of elections at the state level.
https://www.salon.com/2022/01/06/the-in … te-houses/

The ineptitude of the original January 6 insurrection to overturn the legitimate outcome of an election will be replaced with competent procedural cheating next time -- and Biden is taking no real action, raising no awareness, governing like Republicans are just normal politicians on the other side of the aisle when they have completely signed onto fascism, delusional conspiracy theories, gerrymandering and violence.

Biden's mild comments on Omicron and allowing the CDC to cut quarantine time from 10 days to five is entirely too relaxed. https://abcnews.go.com/Health/wireStory … s-82072671

While I'm not a huge fan of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Canada, he has warned of an extremely difficult winter as even 'mild' Omicron COVID is causing massive work absences that make it impossible for businesses and public services to function and even a small percentage of a massively infectious COVID variant will break the health care system. Undoubtedly, the United States is closer to the peak of Omicron than Canada, but had Donald Trump had the same tone as Biden has had for Omicron, Democrats would have savaged him for downplaying Omicron.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

I've been disappointed in Biden in a lot of ways.  And the Democrats in general.  And I think, especially among younger voters, they're going to get punished.  What was the point of winning the White House and winning both Georgia Senate seats if nothing got done?  Sure, infrastructure got done, but while everyone likes infrastructure, no one loves infrastructure.  None of the hot-button stuff that people wanted has gotten done, and I think cynical young voters aren't going to have the same level of engagement.

I listened to a months-old Five Thirty Eight politics podcast that was essentially just an interview with Adam Schiff where Schiff had all these concerns about democracy.  The interviewer kept trying to get him to say what he's doing about it, and Schiff didn't have any answer besides passing HR1.  HR1 was written before 2020 and wouldn't solve all the problems.  Plus, it's entirely unpassable in this environment.  They needed to throw out HR1 and write a bill that actually fixed the problems that Trump was trying to exploit.

And I think it's easier than the Democrats are making it out to be.  It would just take compromise on their side, and they're already compromising on their side.  The Democrats are essentially saying that if the Republicans are going to make it harder to vote, they need to work harder to get people out to vote.  Well, okay...but you aren't getting anything out of that.  This needs to be codified, and I think there's a fairly simple way to do it.

Republican voters want election integrity.  Democrats want election integrity.  They just don't agree on what that means or who's doing it.  I think that's fairly simple to fix, though.  I think the Democrats needed to offer up the right compromise.  What I would've done is written a law that provides some sort of independent oversight to state elections - states get to choose how elections are done, but they don't get to choose who won.  I'd also do what I could to end partisan gerrymandering.

How would I pass it?  I'd give in on Voter ID.  It's a huge hot-button issue for Republicans that I think they'd have to vote for.  And instead of spending four years trying to get people excited to vote, I'd spend four years getting everyone voter IDs, which I think would've been easier and harder to exploit.  And instead of getting nothing in return, I'd either prevent Trump loyalists from messing with elections, and/or I'd get rid of partisan gerrymandering.  And if that doesn't pass, I'd see what I could get for national voter ID. 

I think this was an issue that they could've easily solved.  It would've been a win for everyone, just like when Cory Booker was so excited to vote for a rebuke to Defund the Police.  People agree on this, and I think it would've been really hard to get 40 Republican senators to vote against Voter ID, as long as the rest of the bill wasn't full of insanity. 

Plus, it wouldn't require ending the filibuster, which I think would be the most temporary of solutions.  You can end the filibuster, pass HR1, and there's a good chance that a Republican congress dismantles it before 2024.  It wouldn't matter.

Pass it legitimately, truly secure elections, and figure out how to work within the new lines.  I think in four years you could get voter IDs to everyone in the country, and if you do it right, maybe they never expire.  So it'd be a lot of work from 2021-2024 and then you're set for the most part.

Democrats don't know how to get out of their own way.

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Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

The problem remains that Republicans in Congress no longer care about federal legislation to improve society.  They only care about winning.  Democrats are forced to throttle this stuff through, because you have 0 GOP votes for anything.  The infrastructure bill passed, McConnell touted it, yet wouldn't vote for it.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

They have to vote for some things.  They voted for the "punishments for defunding the police" bill because it was political.  But the Democrats voted for it too because it put in stone that all Democratic senators are against defunding the police. 

You have to find the right issue.  The Democrats have toyed around with national voter ID, but they're not serious about it.  Find the voter ID that most Republicans would be happy with, title the bill the "Federal Voter ID Act", and you hammer Fox News, OAN, and Newsmax with ads for it.  And most importantly, don't fill it with any nonsense.  If getting rid of the filibuster is popular enough with voters, do that.  If it's protection against state legislatures, do that.  Whatever you need to do so that Ted Cruz isn't on Tucker Carlson every night complaining about how the bill helps illegal immigrants.  That's what was the issue with the Infrastructure bill.  It had too much stuff that Republicans hate.  Get what you want and give them what they want.  You don't have to be fully happy with it.

Because this isn't about getting a win for Democrats, it's about getting a win for the Constitution.  And if that means doing a bill that both sides reluctantly have to swallow, then do it.  If it can safeguard elections without ending the filibuster, then do it.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

The issue is that fascist alt-right Republicans don't want "election integrity." They want to use procedural methods to declare themselves the winner of any election regardless of how many votes they get. They don't want voter ID because if everyone could vote, they'd lose. I've also read that even Democrats wouldn't want a full turnout because every eligible voter voting would lead to Libertarian or Green Party victories. I don't know how true that is.

The 'fairness' of American political system was always wobbly from the start: the electoral college was, by design, to grant more power to slaveowner states. This attitude of disenfranchisement is found throughout the system: disproportionate representation in the Senate (two senators per state despite population), and gerrymandering and voter suppression are new manifestations of a very shaky system.

**

Going back to DON'T LOOK UP  (briefly) -- it's hard for fiction to confront real world situations effectively and positively. DON'T LOOK UP, judging from the reviews, confronts the fictional equivalent of a real world situation effectively and negatively. Negativity is a deeply alienating approach for media even though it may be totally valid, accurate, correct and reasonable.

One of my favourite (if flawed) shows, the MACGYVER reboot, attempted to say something positive about the climate crisis. It was, to be frank, a a bit of a disaster where the show in some ways trivialized and dismissed the climate emergency.

MACGYVER's fourth season has MacGyver facing a bioterrorist group seeking to reduce the global population by 50 per cent through engineering a series of environmental disasters. It's revealed that this plot is actually drawn from a secret US government file, File 47, where US scientists and spies engaged in a thought experiment in how human-created natural catastrophe could create doomsday scenarios.

A CIA administrator came to view File 47 as a threat to the US and assassinated everyone except for two scientists who escaped and decided to form a bioterror group, an organization called CODEX, which would enact the plan in File 47.

MacGyver at first tries to stop CODEX, but then finds himself confronting how his work as a spy for the US government has protected a broken system that's destroying planet Earth. MacGyver abandons his spy agency and joins CODEX. However, MacGyver ultimately stops CODEX from unleashing nuclear disaster, yet vows to dedicate himself and his agency to battling the environmental catastrophe that the world is facing. He also presents File 47 to various US government committees to show how the world's ecosystems will collapse without immediate action.

MacGyver presenting File 47 is the Season 4 finale, it's presented with a stirringly victorious musical soundtrack -- and it's absurd.  This is a 2020 episode of television suggesting that MacGyver explaining climate change with a top secret CIA file will somehow spark action. Climate change has been a part of our global lexicon since 2006. Al Gore couldn't get the world to take climate change seriously. It is in some ways insulting for MACGYVER to say that MacGyver and a grim PowerPoint presentation will somehow end decades of inaction and indifference.

The Season 4 finale also has MacGyver taking control of his spy agency and declaring that their mission will to build a better future going forward, implying that MacGyver will be leaving behind his usual spyfi hijinks for something more meaningful. That was the Season 4 finale. The Season 5 premiere opens with...  MacGyver engaged his usual spy hijinks on another mission, business as usual; the climate crisis angst of Season 4 is almost totally forgotten.

It's as though MACGYVER's fifth season is declaring that, upon further consideration, the climate crisis isn't something the show wants to think about any more, that File 47 has completely solved global warming, and the biggest problem on MacGyver's mind now is stealing this week's secret files from tis week's villain.

To be fair (ish), Season 4's finale wasn't meant to be the finale at the time, but the 13th episode of a 22 episode season that got cut down to 13 due to the COVID shutdown. There would likely have been another nine episodes exploring MacGyver's personal crisis if not for Season 4 production being stopped.

There is some unspoken rationale in Season 5 for why MacGyver wouldn't be pursuing his environmental concerns. Season 5 establishes that MacGyver hasn't had many missions since Season 4, that his agency was shut down for the entirety of the pandemic (which is stated to have happened and been resolved over an unspecified period of time). Also, the 2020 lockdowns were a massive, global showcase for how the environment could repair itself without constant toxic emissions into the atmosphere, a far more meaningful display than anything a fictional character in a CBS spy show could have ever done. Later in Season 5, we learn that MacGyver has been trying to use some of the material from CODEX to create a cure for cancer.

But all these are simply excuses. In Season 4, MacGyver was experiencing a crisis of faith, of conscience, of purpose and while he didn't adopt CODEX's murderous methods, he accepted their worldview that the world is in serious trouble and that he was working on the wrong side of the crisis (even though that didn't make CODEX the right side). In Season 5, MacGyver is up to his usual adventures and his journey in Season 4 is forgotten.

Season 5 does end with MacGyver ultimately deciding to stop taking any work from the US government and to be an independent agent, but it doesn't seem connected to the CODEX arc and the show ended on this adequate if inconclusive note.

And yet... it's arguable that having MacGyver fight climate change was simply asking too much of a fictional character who cannot actually affect the real world with his actions in a fictional world, and whose fictional existence will always revolve around spyfi hijinks.

MACGYVER was never going to be anything but MacGyver MacGyvering his way out of various immediate situations with improvised inventions using every day objects. MACGYVER was never going to do anything about the climate crisis beyond making a statement, offering a performative gesture, and then going back to the next spy mission. Which has me wonder if maybe they shouldn't have even told this story in the first place -- although once again, the Season 4 that aired was short by nine episodes, so it's not reasonable to judge the writers harshly for a story they weren't able to finish.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

ireactions wrote:

The issue is that fascist alt-right Republicans don't want "election integrity." They want to use procedural methods to declare themselves the winner of any election regardless of how many votes they get. They don't want voter ID because if everyone could vote, they'd lose.

I don't think 74 million Americans are alt-right or fascist just because they voted for Trump.  People could vote for Trump for any number of reasons, and I don't think it's all intertwined.  If you're very wealthy, voting for Trump would make you money.  You could hate the guy and still vote for him if it benefits you.

And while the Republican Party might not want voter ID, Republicans do.  So if the Democrats put out a bill for that includes the voter ID that Republicans want, I think the Republican Party would have to go along with it.  If the Republican Party doesn't want it, it'd be calling their bluff and it would make it very difficult to call voter BS ever again.

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Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

Pretty sure it's the Democrats who don't want to require voter ID, as such requirements tend to discriminate against minorities and the poor

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

pilight wrote:

Pretty sure it's the Democrats who don't want to require voter ID, as such requirements tend to discriminate against minorities and the poor

Correct.  But if the choice is "leave things as they are and hope enough people show up and everything goes the way it's supposed to" or "work your ass off to get everyone a voter ID in an election that will be systematically fair otherwise", why would you select the first one?

If you end the filibuster and you don't hold the House or the Senate, any legislation you pass is dead before 2024.  If you don't offer the Republicans anything, you won't get the votes and you'll have wasted your opportunity.

Find the best worst plan and pass it.  Or you better be right that the system will hold.

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Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

Despite the rhetoric, there's very little fraud that will be prevented by voter ID.  Impersonating individual voters at the polls is the least efficient way to affect elections.  Anyone with enough resources to do it enough to matter can (and will) use better methods to achieve their goal.

The actual verified voter fraud in recent elections hasn't been anything that would be stopped by voter ID.  It's stuff like this...

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/12/us/p … boxes.html

or this...

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/north-caro … legations/

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

Oh I know.  I'm just saying voter ID is a hot button issue for Republicans.  It's trending on twitter right now.  If you add voter ID to a bill, Republican voters will make sure it passes as long as there isn't anything overwhelmingly negative or socialist in it.  You have to give them what you want and make the rest of the bill clean and on topic.

But these days, no one thinks about the compromise even though, again, this is an issue that both sides say they want.  So do it.  And once the election is secure, you can worry about getting people IDs.  But if the election isn't secure, who cares about anything else?  You could get 100% of the vote and they'll legally overturn it.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

I meant to type that Republicans don't want "universal voter ID accessible to any and all." I apologize for the typo.

I meant to say that the Republicans who don't want "universal voter ID accessible to any and all" are the fascist alt-right wing of Republicans that have come to dominate Republican representation in media and politics, not Republicans in general. I apologize for the... well. I apologize.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

Yeah.  There's a somewhat-reasonable Republican that I follow (we were connected via a non-political common interest) that I *long since* muted but still follow because I like to know the hot button issues that are making people like him mad.  And he's somewhat reasonable so it's not yelling at clouds.  But he and people like him are constantly yelling about voter ID.  If the Democrats offered it in the form they want, it'll get done.  No Republican would be able to survive voting down a bill that hardcoded voter ID (again, as long as the Democrats' ask is reasonable).

And, along with it, at least *something* that Democrats could use to secure elections would pass.

To me, it depends on how dire you think the situation is.  Would you be willing to take one minor step back to potentially fix elections for the foreseeable future?  Or we can just trust that, even with the stuff Republican state legislatures are doing, the system will hold.

We can get voter IDs to everyone.  It might be hard or take Stacey Abrams-like activism in every state.  But we can get it done.  It's already the law a lot of places.  In my opinion, it's a very simple price to pay