Conscious Choice cover

From the press release: In this ground-breaking new history of early America, historian Robert Zimmerman not only exposes the lie behind The New York Times 1619 Project that falsely claims slavery is central to the history of the United States, he also provides profound lessons about the nature of human societies, lessons important for Americans today as well as for all future settlers on Mars and elsewhere in space.

 
Conscious Choice: The origins of slavery in America and why it matters today and for our future in outer space, is a riveting page-turning story that documents how slavery slowly became pervasive in the southern British colonies of North America, colonies founded by a people and culture that not only did not allow slavery but in every way were hostile to the practice.  
Conscious Choice does more however. In telling the tragic history of the Virginia colony and the rise of slavery there, Zimmerman lays out the proper path for creating healthy societies in places like the Moon and Mars.

 

“Zimmerman’s ground-breaking history provides every future generation the basic framework for establishing new societies on other worlds. We would be wise to heed what he says.” —Robert Zubrin, founder of founder of the Mars Society.

 

Available everywhere for $3.99 (before discount) at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all ebook vendors, or direct from the ebook publisher, ebookit. And if you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.


The Offspring – Self Esteem

An evening pause: Performed live 1995.

Hat tip Jim Mallamace, who added, “A time before cell phones waved in everyone’s hand. A time where crowds were in the moment. A time when there were crowds.”

I would add it was a time when people were also not afraid, but lived life with spirit and exuberance, ignoring its natural risks because to pay attention to them would make life intolerable.

Enjoy your weekend. Get out of your house. Do something grand. And do it with as many people as you can find.

Readers!
 

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41 comments

  • wayne

    Jim-
    Good find!

    fast-forward to 2015….

    The Offspring: Self Esteem (Acoustic)
    KOMP 92.3FM
    https://youtu.be/bQu_YvENRdg
    5:59

  • Lee Stevenson

    @ Bob. A nice pause…. But you kinda killed it for me with the “Do something grand. And do it with as many people as you can find.” comment. I also shared your opinions on this pandemic at first, but my opinion has changed over time. I believe you do not live in a high density population area, and perhaps have not seen the effects that the wutang flu can wreak when it kicks in. Here in Sweden, it seems that the loose response to the wutang flu didn’t work, and deaths continue to rise. To actively advocate people gathering in large groups is downright dangerous, and you are wrong to do so. You can have your opinion, I can have mine, we often disagree, and discussion is always good, but when it comes to life and death, I genuinely believe you are foolish to not advise an abundance of caution. I respect your right to say what you choose to say. I also respect my right to point out that in this case I think you are dangerously wrong. I hope everyone enjoys their weekend also, but would advise a little social distancing can do no harm, wash hands, wear facemasks when in confined spaces with others, and I can also recommend a cold beer or 2 with friends out in the open air is both mentally beneficial, and unlikely to infect anyone… Finding the biggest gathering you can join…. Not so much.

  • Lee Stevenson

    I have to add…. I miss live gigs terribly… I am, and have always been a fan and consumer of live music and live comedy…. Apart from the huge artists, the smaller ones are struggling like never before…. I have not donated to behind the black for a while, but I intend to when we regain some sort of normalcy. My meager “spare” funds have been split between a few artists I love who’s career choice has been cut down by lockdown… No gigs =0 income, for those that can, I implore you to support your local/favourite small artists , ( along with supporting this wonderful forum ) , the entertainment of our kids depends on the musicians and other artists not having to stack shelves instead of honing their skills on stage.

  • wayne

    Lee–
    Tucson, Arizona; the 2nd largest City in Arizona and the 33rd largest City in the USA. 2020 population = roughly 550,000.

  • wayne

    “…and during the few moments we have left, we wanna talk right down to earth, in a language everybody here can easily understand.”

    Living Colour –
    “Cult Of Personality”
    https://youtu.be/7xxgRUyzgs0
    4:52

  • Lee Stevenson

    @wayne, population is not population density…. A house in a suburban neighborhood is a very different situation than an apartment block in New York or Stockholm…. And regardless, Bobs advice is bad advice, and I’m calling it out…. Reckless, not backed by facts or evidence, and potentially life threatening. He has the right to say people should seek out crowds and mingle. Just because you have the right to say something doesn’t mean it is not a stupid thing to say it.

  • Lee Stevenson: I live in a city. You are wrong.

  • Lee Stevenson: Actually, the population of the Tucson area is close to a million.

    I have seen more than a few people get the Wuhan flu now and live through it. It is, as I have said repeatedly, accompanied by links that back me up, that it is a variation of the flu. By itself it does not kill you. For almost every one, you get it, are sick, and then get better.

    Moreover, nothing anyone has done has stopped its spread, in the slightest. And I still suspect strongly that the foolish lockdowns and masks might have encouraged its spread rather than slowed it.

    I repeat, you are wrong. As has been the insane panic over the coronavirus that has essentially destroyed western civilization. To repeat Ben Franklin: “Those who trade freedom for security get neither.”

    We now have neither.

  • Lee Stevenson

    Bob, even if this was a normal flu season, your advice to go mingle with as many people as possible would remain foolish and dangerous. It is you who is wrong in this case, and I can see no argument you could raise that would prove you right. There is a virus which is killing people, it has been proven without a doubt that it spreads in crowds, and you recommend gathering with as many people as one can??? The stupidity of your comment here staggering! If it was measles, or even a nasty cold, the advice you offer is at very best foolish. This is not a nasty cold, it is a more deadly than usual flu-type virus. Perhaps lockdown and mask requirements have been overkill…. I don’t disagree with you there…. We await the evidence based numbers… But to encourage people to gather in large numbers strikes me more of a blind right wing reaction to anything you perceive as intruding on your “freedom” than a well concidered thought. By all means strike back at what you consider unfair, but actually stating folks should engage in actions that will promote the spread of a deadly virus is both stupid and dangerous. I expect better from you Bob.

  • Lee Stevenson

    And just for poops and giggles, the population density of Tucson is 2330 per square mile, Stockholm is 5200 per kilometre squared… That’s about 3 times as dense a populated than Tucson… And the population density of my hometown of Walsall back in the UK was 6943 people per square mile, in 2019…. A small ex-industrial town with people packed together like sardines. It’s been mentioned before that some things are so alien that the mind struggles to wrap itself around a concept. I believe that the majority of North Americans have no idea about regular life in the rest of the world. Tourist destinations tell almost nothing about real life in different countries, and given that the vast majority of Americans have never left the shores of the US, reality is never going to spread by word of mouth… Google “terraced house” to see the kind of housing I grew up in, and perhaps you will get an idea why social distancing during a deadly pandemic might not be an unreasonable idea in some places.

  • wayne

    Lee-

    ref:
    “North Americans have no idea about regular life in the rest of the world.”

    Jordan B Peterson:
    “12 conservative principles in 12 minutes”
    (2015)
    https://youtu.be/_MyduTaCh18
    12:29

  • Alex Andrite

    Sir, I noticed that your recent “evening pause” and “…Enjoy your weekend. Get out of your house. Do something grand. And do it with as many people as you can find. … ” caused some stir.

    Perfect timing I say.

    As an Orthodox Christian believer, this is to be the beginning of Great Lent. It is known as Forgiveness Sunday. On the evening of Forgiveness Sunday, we gather together. All of us in our local Orthodox parishes gather together as the day ends, and a new week, and time, begins.
    We gather to embrace one another, and ask forgiveness of one another.
    “Forgive me my Brother, my Sister” …. “May God Forgive us both” … is the response.
    We gather with as many people as we have in our local parish.
    This is world wide, in all languages across all societies and cultures within Orthodoxy.

    The Forgiveness Vespers service lasts long, as we embrace each other with our prayer, our request. Forgive me ….. May God forgive us both….

    We then depart, going out into the new beginning day, reconciled one to another.
    Knowing that we have done a “grand thing”.
    Not in fear or intimidation. In love and humility.

    Realizing that we are in this world, but not of it.

    Regards to you and your loved ones,

    Forgive me my Brother.
    Forgive me my Brothers and Sisters !!!

    Alex

  • Edward

    Lee Stevenson,
    You wrote: “I believe you do not live in a high density population area, and perhaps have not seen the effects that the wutang flu can wreak when it kicks in.

    I live in a high density population area, one of the first six counties that started the Great Oppression in America, one year ago next Tuesday (limits to our freedoms began being imposed a week earlier, a year ago last Tuesday). My state is one that is hardest hit, and my county is where the very first American diagnosis was made. Your opinion is wrong. Being oppressed in lockdown, where the businesses are shut down and are smacked down whenever they violate the tyrannical orders, leaves us with lives not worth living. Indeed, there have been days when it was not worth getting out of bed. Misery and despair are rampant. Tens of thousands in my county and tens of millions across the country have been declared unessential, resulting in problem for their financial health. Daily life is anything but routine. Are avoiding the effects of the Wuhan flu really worth these effects wrought upon hundreds of millions of people?

    Rather than doing no harm, the oppressive measures have done great harm. The CDC numbers show that excess deaths last year greatly exceeded even the exaggerated reports of Wuhan deaths, the additional deaths being due to the deadly government reaction to Wuhan.

    There once was a time when we knew how to manage diseases without demanding everyone be locked up in their own homes. We once knew better than to go running around town when we were ill. We once had sense enough to cover coughs and sneezes — even when they were not signs of illness. Today, however, we are treated as though we are too stupid to protect ourselves and others from illness. Yet, early in the outbreak, six governors willingly, knowingly, and enthusiastically sent ailing patients into the most vulnerable populations. Our leaders even demanded that we go into our local Chinatowns, that we watch the Chinese New Year parades in large crowds, and that not doing so was racist. The only countries that avoided the spread used contact tracing early on, rather than sending people into harm’s way.

    Here you are, suggesting that those who aren’t vulnerable should cower in fear, lose a year — or more — of their lives and livelihoods, and blindly obey leaders who know that their rules are useless.

    Our fearful leaders run around violating all the rules that they have imposed upon us.

    They know that their rules hold no value to preventing the spread of disease, but like the Stanford prison experiment, they have let power go to their heads. It is people like you, Lee Stevenson, who let them get away with their tyranny.

    We should return to normal lives, do great things, be with our loved ones in other households, visit other states, vacation, see plays and other entertainments. Rather than be fearful and isolated, be brave and with people, just as were the people in the video.

    I am losing patience with people who think that lockdowns work. Lockdowns create the very conditions that result in flu season every winter, and as we have seen that lockdowns and masks have made no difference between Great Oppression states and free states. We still had a flu epidemic this winter despite the oppressive measures. New York contact tracing shows that a majority of the spread, three-quarters, occurs among those in lockdown. New York restaurants remain in limited operation despite the contact tracing showing that only 1.4% of the spread occurs there, including the staff. Restaurants are far, far safer than the home, yet many insist that we not gather in even such small groups. The suffering and sacrifice of hundreds of millions of Americans has not saved anyone from the effects of Wuhan flu but have proved to be fatal to tens of thousands, perhaps even hundreds of thousands, of Americans.

    Malarky has somehow become the new science.

    Welcome to Obama’s America, land of the formerly free.

  • Lee Stevenson

    @Edward, thank you for your opinion on my point of view without taking the time to even grasp it…. Anything that gives you chance to write a diatribe eh?
    My opinion is, and has always been that a lockdown is probably not a good idea, my opinion on masks has changed to, I think they are probably a good idea in confined spaces with strangers. My understanding ( there is a difference between opinion and understanding) is that Covid is more transmittable and more deadly than the regular flu, and my opinion is that Bobs “recommendation” that everyone goes out and mingles with as many people as possible is stupid, foolhardy and dangerous. Just as it would be during any outbreak of anything. Get your space news from a space historian, not so much your health advice….. I’m sorry if it annoys you when you realize your long rant was in vain, because I agree with a lot of your, ( and Bob’s ) opinions, but tough ….. Now write a few hundred words about why it is NOT foolish to recommend mingling “with as many people as you can find” during an outbreak of any contagious, deadly virus.

  • Lee Stevenson

    @Alex Andrite, You do realize that some of the biggest “superspreader” events have occured in churches, and several “big name” religious leaders, of all faiths, have caught Corona and died. Trust me, take medical advice from a medical professional, do not take it from an old, hate filled irrelevant old book, or a space journalist, or even a left wing Englishman. Take it from your doctor.

  • Lee Stevenson

    #Edward…. Seriously, before you start hammering your keyboard, please actually read my comments in the thread above, digest, consider, then figure out why it’s Obama’s fault. ( That was a joke…) But seriously , you just enjoyed a long rant about why I am wrong without reading ( or understanding ) the point I am making. If you can point out where I am definitely wrong I will discuss with you. Otherwise feel free to scream your monologues into cyberspace, but if you must shout at me, at least try to keep it on topic.

  • Edward

    Lee Stevenson, You wrote: “Seriously, before you start hammering your keyboard, please actually read my comments in the thread above, digest, consider, then figure out why it’s Obama’s fault. ( That was a joke…)

    Since my rant supported Robert’s position and yours was written explicitly to say that his position is wrong, apparently you have failed to make your point clear.

    I do not understand why your supposedly serious sentence is a joke. You have been unclear again.

  • Lee Stevenson

    Ok, someone hold my beer…. Edward, the whole entire point of my argument is that it is not a good idea to go and mingle with as many people you can find just now. Do you disagree? My joke ( I understand that rabid right wingers like yourself might not understand… ) Was that you guys on the far right blame everything you disagree with on Obama. I have asked one question with a simple yes or no answer, and pointed out the humour in my comment. ( Yes I know , if you have to explain its not funny… However, you were not my target audience.)
    I hope some of the readers of this blog may have found it amusing.

  • Lee Stevenson

    I’m posting this as a separate post, as the last was directly aimed at Edward… This one is also, but tangentially at everyone… Edward… You claim that “people like” me are responsible for all the world’s ills, that my socialist ideals are wrong on every scale imaginable and that the only way forward is thru your right wing ideals. Have you ever stopped to think perhaps you do not have all the answered? That perhaps democracies that existed 2000 years ago, and democracies that have lasted at least 3 times longer than your own might, just might have something to teach you? You might not like the facts and figures, but the good ol’ USofA leads the world in many of the “worst for” lists…. ( As does the UK…). I’m only pointing out that the US has not got “it” right…. Not by a long shot..
    Also, while we are on the subject, why all the personal attacks on me? It’s always “people like you”, or ” you socialists” etc etc…. I don’t claim to know you well enough to blame you for all the shooting deaths in the US…. ( Highest in the world per caputa by the way)…but the big ones tend to be by right wingers ) Would you rather we of the real left were bullied into silence by internet bullies like you? Or perhaps you could maybe take the time to read and ingest our/my viewpoint before trying to shout me down with unreadable rabid essays ( seriously, leave the essays to Bob… Even when he is wrong he makes more sense than both of us combined!). If you refuse to even consider my viewpoint , and wish me only to sit down and shut up, then you become part of the problem, and a million miles away from the cure.

  • wayne

    Lee–
    I’ll let Edward respond for himself.

    In the meantime– I must point out, the whole “left-right” paradigm is a European import into the USA. It’s truly an alien/foreign ideological mindset.

    “Today the terms “left wing” and “right wing” are used as symbolic labels for liberals and conservatives, but they were originally coined in reference to the physical seating arrangements of politicians during the French Revolution. The split dates to the summer of 1789, when members of the French National Assembly met to begin drafting a constitution. The delegates were deeply divided over the issue of how much authority King Louis XVI should have, and as the debate raged, the two main factions each staked out territory in the assembly hall. The anti-royalist revolutionaries seated themselves to the presiding officer’s left, while the more conservative, aristocratic supporters of the monarchy gathered to the right.”

  • Edward

    Lee Stevenson,
    What I took away from your arguments over the past several months is that you are worried that due to the Wuhan flu of Doom a few people may spend a few days ailing and thinking that life is not worth living, but the alternative is most people spending over a year thinking that life is not worth living.

    Early on, right after our fearful leaders demanded that we go into Chinatown crowds, they then panicked. It was clear, however, that our panic was unnecessary, and Robert pointed that out. We are not dealing with bubonic plague or ebola. The real problem is that too many people blindly followed our fearful leaders and let our summer be abnormal, keeping those least vulnerable from enjoying life, and resulting in the unintended consequence that the most vulnerable remained in danger.

    The cure that many governments imposed upon us had no effect at all. The cure to normal flus is summer, when we go outdoors and enjoy life in crowds, go to crowded baseball games, hold birthday parties with friends, and go to parks and restaurants, but last year we negated that cure for Wuhan by creating the same conditions as winter flu season, which peaks in January (northern hemisphere). The result was a second wave in the middle of summer. Avoiding crowds, staying isolated, and hating life did not prevent flu season this winter.
    https://wmbriggs.com/post/34920/

    Seems the coronadoom doesn’t care one way or the other about government actions.

    Briggs quotes from the British Medical Journal:

    Fifty years of scientific and epidemiological research was dismissed, and instead Britain and Ireland, along with most of the developed world adopted the model espoused by the Chinese Communist Party.

    When laws do not apply to those who make them, people are not being governed, they are being ruled. — Unknown

    We know that we are being ruled rather than governed. Our fear mongering leaders do not obey their own rules. Government chose to rule us via fear. Either we fear the disease, like you do, or we fear the government, like virtually every business in the unfree states. We wear masks, filled with the germs and viruses that we are supposed to wash off our hands, either because we fear Wuhan Doom more than the many diseases our masks deliver directly into our lungs, or we fear that the government will punish us if we disobey their counterproductive rules.

    Free peoples do not live in fear. Obama took away our freedom by making us fearful over healthcare and creating a government that could direct us as to how to spend our own money. No other government in all of history has ever had the audacity to do that, no matter how tyrannical. We were coerced into buying insurance, but not the insurance we wanted, only the expensive, substandard insurance (Obama called it junk insurance) that government allowed the providers to offer. Obama took tyranny to a new level, beyond communism, and this is how modern governments have been able to rule by fear. Once government can tell us how to spend our own money, where is the limit of their power over us? The government now believes, by the Supreme Court ruling on Obamacare, that through capitation taxes they can direct us how to spend our own money, what to do, what to say, and what or who to be. They now don’t even use the tax requirement in order to restrict our travel and lives or to tell us what we must wear. The tyrannical power is now absolute.

    Also quoted from the British Medical Journal:

    The entire healthy population was locked up, elderly people were taken from hospital beds without expectation of further medical care, and legislation was passed, without parliamentary debate, removing fundamental human and constitutional rights-to movement, to association, to earn a living, to an education, to engage in public worship, and to access the range of medical services to which people were hitherto entitled.

    With America (and Britain) no longer a free nation, freedom is now lost throughout the world. There is no remaining refuge from tyranny. Decades of science was dismissed for the emotional directive of worldwide lockdowns, based upon the fear of government. This is Obama’s legacy. Because the formerly-free America is subject to the Great Oppression, any government can be just as tyrannical with equal impunity.

    You wrote: “Bob, even if this was a normal flu season, your advice to go mingle with as many people as possible would remain foolish and dangerous. It is you who is wrong in this case, and I can see no argument you could raise that would prove you right. There is a virus which is killing people, it has been proven without a doubt that it spreads in crowds, and you recommend gathering with as many people as one can???

    You say that you think lockdowns are not a good idea, but you also don’t think that we should have the freedom to get together, either, because it is “foolish and dangerous” to do so. So if we should not hold get togethers, would you recommend holding get-aparts? That is not my recommendation.

    I was doing okay, living through the lockdown Great Oppression, until a couple of months ago, when I went to a get-apart with my parents and siblings and their families. That was when the depression and despair set in. Up to then, nothing had made me feel so alone and isolated as being separated from everyone as we gathered together yet apart, just sitting there holding an in-person “Zoom meeting.” Missing Thanksgiving and Christmas, didn’t get me depressed, but missing human contact while being the closest to contact we are now allowed to have, that was depressing indeed. I’m still recovering from that horrible experience of our new normal. Freedom of association has a whole new meaning. Freedom and liberty in America is truly gone. If we cannot gather together when the danger is least, then when do you propose that we be able to gather?

    Normal flus are also deadly, but never before had we insisted upon not holding our crowded Super Bowl, even though it occurs at the height of every normal flu season. We would crowd together at the stadium, at sports bars, and even at homes, grouping together to see the television and eating group foods such as potato chips and dip. Neither Thanksgiving nor Christmas, when we all gather around a table, were ever before considered foolish or dangerous, and they occur at the beginning and middle of the annual, deadly flu season. What we now consider super-spreader events had not been considered dangerous, even in the middle of flu season. The normal flu is also deadly, but we would gather in “foolish and dangerous” groups and crowds without fear. So, no, your opinion is wrong. It always was, and it always will be, at least in free societies.

    There once was a time when we had nothing to fear but fear itself. These days we have nothing to fear but government itself.

    Welcome to Obama’s fear-filled, tyrannical, oppressive, no-contact, futureless America, land of the formerly free.

  • wayne

    Alex Jones –
    “Peace Sells” Megadeth
    https://youtu.be/DUXoTNfZfog
    3:36

  • Edward

    Lee Stevenson,
    You asked: “Have you ever stopped to think perhaps you do not have all the answered?

    But you do have all the answers?

    Free market capitalism is not perfect, but neither is humanity, but free market capitalism directs human imperfections into directions of helping each other. Free market capitalism is a meritocracy, where people are rewarded for working harder or smarter to make what others are eager to pay for. Profit is the reward for finding improved efficiencies with the scarce resources at hand.

    Socialism directs people to be as lazy and greedy as possible. So, yes, free market capitalism is the answer, socialism is the problem. “From each according to his ability” encourages people try to look less able. “To each according to his need” encourages people try to look as needy as possible. Socialism means starvation, as the Soviet Union, China, the Plymouth Colony, and others demonstrated. Free market capitalism means great prosperity as Europe, America, the Plymouth Colony, and others demonstrated. In an attempt to keep everyone employed, efficient use of resources is often ignored or discouraged.

    Socialism has failed everywhere it has been tried, even today in the battle against the Wuhan flu. Freedom and free market capitalism has succeeded everywhere it has been tried, even in communist China and socialist India, two countries where a billion people were raised out of poverty just by moving in the direction of free market capitalism.

    As America descends into socialism, the lists of its “worst for” grows longer, not shorter. But people still flock here by the millions every year, so it is not yet as bad as you think. Do they flock to your socialist countries, or do they come from your socialist countries? Indeed, those coming from socialist countries seek status as refugees from oppression.

    why all the personal attacks on me? It’s always “people like you”, or ” you socialists” etc etc…. I don’t claim to know you well enough to blame you for all the shooting deaths in the US….

    You may not know me, but I know plenty of people like you, who think that socialism is the solution. Some even think that socialism would work, if only the right people were in charge. If a system requires the right people, then it is not the system that is right for the job but the people who are right for the job.

    The reason why you don’t blame me for all the shooting deaths in America is that you know me well enough to know that I am not to blame. The majority of shooting deaths comes from criminals and gangs, and occur mostly in places with the most draconian gun restrictions. The places where the majority of the people own guns have the fewest gun deaths. The criminals and gangs are boldest where they are least likely to be confronted by the general public. Surely you already knew that.

    Of course America is not perfect. That is why our Constitution has amendments: “in Order to form a more perfect Union.“. We didn’t start out perfect, and we don’t pretend to be perfect now. On the other hand, the French gave us the Statue of Liberty in hopes that its flame would be a beacon spreading freedom and liberty to the rest of the world. Instead, the rest of the world scrambles to come here for freedom rather than doing what it takes to become free. And, yes, it is people like you, who prefer socialism over freedom, who prevent the rest of the world from becoming free. Well done you.

    Would you rather we of the real left were bullied into silence by internet bullies like you?

    Holy Toledo! Someone disagrees with you and points out that you are wrong, and you think your response should be to shut up? No. Your response should be to realize that you are wrong, even if it takes until you are old and gray. You should eventually be embarrassed when you finally realize that your socialism is the cause of more suffering than is free market capitalism.

    Why are my statements so long? Because you need extra attention to explain why you are wrong. Because the facts are on my side. Even with spoon feeding, you have difficulty accepting the facts over your emotions. Your rants are short because all you have is emotional arguments and lack facts.

    It is good to know that when you say you are being serious, you are not. You don’t say what you mean, and you don’t mean what you say.

  • wayne

    “Totalitarian Communism In Münster, 1534-35”
    Murray Rothbard
    [from chapter 5, volume 1: “An Austrian Perspective on the History of Economic Thought”]
    https://youtu.be/TqNcttYWMI8
    29:15

  • Lee Stevenson

    @ Edward…. After reading your first ( still wayyyy too long post!) I understand now that you are hurting more than I am, and I do feel for you, as I have mentioned, we have very little in the way of lockdown here in Sweden, and I am still able to go about my day pretty much as normal… If I was allowed no social interaction, well I can hold my hands up and say I don’t know how I would feel or cope. I have never said that lockdown is a good strategy… Indeed I have my best friend in the UK now in prison because he “lost the plot” due to isolation, and did something bad, and I was expecting never to see my 83 year old father again ( who got Corona, and lived thru it), fortunately he is made of sterner stuff than my generation and is determined to see Me again! It’s a pretty crappy situation, but every government on this planet is winging it.. no one knows who the “winner” will be, it will all be judged with hindsight.
    Regarding the rest of your keyboard banging… I’m a socialist, not a communist, I believe that everyone deserves the chance to better themselves, and that perhaps the rediculess wealth of the top 1% of the population should be taxed a little more, and fed back to the poorest in society, to give them a chance to better themselves. There will always be a tiny percentage of folk that will abuse any system, but the vast majority of those stuck in the poverty trap would rather do an honest days work for an honest days pay, and be able to look after the family, pay the rent and contribute to society. Quote “Socialism directs people to be as lazy and greedy as possible. “, You have such a dim view on humanity!! I am a socialist… And have never been out of work, I enjoy a very small rent rebate, and a regular child benefit every month, as a single parent with 2 teenagers… When they turn 16 the money will go directly to them. Their further education will be paid for by the taxes we all pay.. they will not leave education with a massive debt, and will sail free into the world to contribute to the good of us all. I have never met anyone who just wants to “game the system”… People want to work, for pride as much as monetary gain. The tiny persentage that abuse the system are just that, tiny, and a blip in a system that gives anyone that works hard unlimited opportunity… This is not the case in your good old USofA. I’m not saying pinko commie Sweden doesn’t have it’s faults…. It surely does, but it’s not for you to say that you are the absolute right, and we are the absolute wrong…

  • Lee Stevenson

    And just saying….. Going out and mingling with as many people as possible remains a stupid and dangerous idea…. Stay at home folks…. Have a Barbi with the family, invite the neighbors, wear a mask if confined in a box or the tube or the bus…. Go shopping if you have to, don’t breath down the guy in front of yous neck… be sensible… Be grown up, wash your hands… It ain’t rocket science!!!

  • Lee Stevenson

    One final word… Quote “You may not know me, but I know plenty of people like you,”
    Edward, 1, no you don’t… There is nothing to be gained from discussion on this point. 2, if you would like to get to know me more, I am totally open to discussing/arguing/debating you outside of this forum.
    My email is loonyman99@gmail.com , feel free to engage me outside this wonderful blog… It could be fun, and perhaps we could both learn something!

  • Lee Stevenson

    Oh, and sorry Wayne, but a few words mean so much more than a YouTube video clip I am never gonna click on… YouTube is designed for nutjobs… My father would fit in here perfectly, he believes that YouTube is the entire the internet.. he’s not far off believing the world is square… If you have a point, use your words… Pointing at something doesn’t really count in a debate…

  • wayne

    Negativland
    “The Loud Speaker Spoke Up And Said….”
    https://youtu.be/FDfrrgqy_Eo
    3:58

  • Edward

    Lee Stevenson,
    You wrote: “Ok, someone hold my beer

    Sorry, I forgot to return your beer. It looks pretty flat, now, so do you want it back?

    I loved how, even as you complained that I was trying to shut you up, you told me to shut up: “seriously, leave the essays to Bob

    Of course, like most socialists, you want me to shut up because not only don’t you want to read anything that does not agree with your viewpoint but you don’t have adequate counterarguments to what I have to say.

    If I was allowed no social interaction, well I can hold my hands up and say I don’t know how I would feel or cope.

    Considering that you are telling us that it is foolish and dangerous to have social interaction, we really have to wonder about what you really mean when you write something.

    I’m a socialist, not a communist, I believe that everyone deserves the chance to better themselves, and that perhaps the rediculess wealth of the top 1% of the population should be taxed a little more, and fed back to the poorest in society, to give them a chance to better themselves.

    See? I know that even if I spoon fed you, you still would not understand it. If you give a man a fish, or the revenue from a tax on the 1%, then you feed him for a day. He becomes dependent upon that tax, does not work to the best of his ability, and remains needy. This is why socialism always fails. It is the lesson of the Plymouth Colony. It isn’t a tiny amount of society, it is all of society. Socialism offers many “benefits.” You fall for it yourself with your healthcare. You tell us that you don’t work hard enough or smart enough to be able to afford your insulin, so you prefer socialism so that you can be needy enough to get it for reduced cost from the government healthcare system. We Americans make up a good chunk of that reduced cost. We work harder and smarter for your benefit You’re welcome..

    If people really wanted to work an honest day’s work instead of suckle off the rest of us, they would. They could even start up their own company to do so. Instead, we find that our safety net has turned into a hammock. You may not think that you are in a hammock, getting insulin at reduced cost, but you are. You are what someone dependent on government looks like.

    Unless there are private doctor offices, clinics, and hospitals available in Sweden, then it is not a tiny amount of the population that is taking advantage of the system, it is 100%. If there are private health facilities, then it is a vast majority of the population. Sweden’s healthcare system is a “to each according to his need” system. The progressive tax system that you like, higher earners paying a higher percentage, is a “from each according to his ability” system.

    Going out and mingling with as many people as possible remains a stupid and dangerous idea

    When did it become a stupid and dangerous idea? It didn’t used to be, but now you not only declare that it is but that it remains one. You have failed to explain why now but not in 2018 or 2019, when we also had deadly flu seasons. Why should it remain a stupid and dangerous idea now that flu season is over, the cure of summer is upon us, and that even draconian lockdowns and face diapers failed to make any difference? Why now? Why not then? Why didn’t Wuhan flu ravage through non-lockdown states, even though they were free to gather in crowds, such as Trump’s speech at Mount Rushmore?

    Have a Barbi with the family, invite the neighbors

    Both are banned in my county. And if we invite the neighbors, that is what Robert said when you told him he was wrong, that it was foolish and dangerous. .

    I wrote: “You may not know me, but I know plenty of people like you,
    you responded: “no you don’t.

    You are the one who said you are a socialist, so are you now saying you are some special kind of socialist that I know nothing about, that is unlike the people that I know,?

    if you would like to get to know me more, I am totally open to discussing/arguing/debating you outside of this forum.

    What, are you embarrassed to say things on this forum? Or do you want no one else to get to know you?

    I know you much better than you think. You do not debate the points but bring up emotional points that avoids the topic of discussion. Not meaning what you say seems new, though. I’m not sure how long you have been doing that while I have been missing it.

    wayne,
    Lee Stevenson wrote to you: “If you have a point, use your words… Pointing at something doesn’t really count in a debate.

    Don’t fall for it, wayne. Lee gets bent out of shape if you write too much. He calls it a “rant” when spoon feeding him the information that he needs in order to understand. Just remember that he won’t watch your linked videos, and he won’t believe anything that goes against his emotional point of view.

  • Lee Stevenson

    Edward, I have made a special effort to scroll thru to the second page of endless scrolling to continue our conversation, ( I do not use a computer outside of work, I read, and listen to music, the weeks I have my kids we have a TV for playing Wii together, it is not connected to anything else.), My telephone is my music player and web browser…. Anyway, back to the point. Quote “Of course, like most socialists, you want me to shut up” , I actually stated that Bob is better at long form writing than you or I. If you think I believe in silencing anyone, you have never read or understood my posts. Next… Quote “You tell us that you don’t work hard enough or smart enough to be able to afford your insulin”… Eerm, no… insulin and other life-dependant medications are subsidised in most countries over here in Europe, are you aware that the inventor of easily administrable human insulin did not patent it so it would be cheaply available for all? Are you aware that US pharmacological companies have tweaked and patented the formulation to drive up the cost? Are you aware that in the US there are Facebook groups that share insulin amongst those that cannot afford the US prices? Are you aware that Walmart is going to produce an “out of patent” variant that is affordable? Are you aware I find this situation abhorrent? 2 decades into the the 21st century, and the people of the US have to share insulin so they don’t die????

  • Lee Stevenson

    Ok, onwards…I don’t really understand the rest of your post around the insulin bit…. (It seems to be based on “socialism don’t work” and “socialism makes you lazy”… Tell me if I got that wrong). Socialism gives the poor, the disadvantaged, and the down at heel a chance to better themselves, and more importantly, places the same value in a human being of poor background as a privileged human being. Everyone deserves the same chance in life, in the US this simply doesn’t happen. A kid from the ghetto, no matter the potential, statistically will simply will not advance in the US.. In Sweden his or her chances are admittedly less than those from wealthier families, but still much higher than the US. I am an immigrant, and my kids are currently in one of the best highschools in the country. It costs me my eye watering taxes. They are there on merit rather than ability to pay. Tell me the US has a better system. Next. Healthcare…. The entire rest of the civilised world shakes its head at the US healthcare system…. I can’t say anything I haven’t said before… But it certainly highlights how your wonderful capitalistic system treats its most vulnerable… ( There is a phrase you may want to Google… ). Onwards… It’s stupid to mingle with people during a pandemic that kills people… Keep risk to a minimum while continuing life… If you don’t get it, I can’t educate you. Next. My offer of engaging with you outside here was a hand of friendship, and a signal that I’m not some anonymous guy on the internet… I have no shame in my beliefs, and I believe it is only thru discussion we move forward. I am the only Lee Stevenson in Sweden…. I’m not hard to track down… Why do you instantly suspect a hidden agenda? I honestly think US society could do with a bit of the kick up the backside regarding a bit more responsibility taken for the less privileged in your society, and I would like to explain how that would and could work if anyone was willing to take the time to listen, but this is very much a hobby… My main job is working 7.00am to 4.15pm, and looking after my kids.

  • wayne

    Lee–
    I was a mental-health caseworker for a long time and diabetes was always a complicating factor. (for all concerned) I can anecdotally relate to you– nobody I ever worked with was denied access to insulin for monetary reasons. (If you have Medicaid, it’s free.)
    -Walmart is the least expensive provider of any number of pharmaceuticals–in my area Walmart has “the $3 list,” which is comprised of about 50 common (essential) drugs, for $3. (again, if you have Medicaid, there is no co-pay.)
    -Cash price of a bottle on ‘insulin’ at Walmart is $25.
    -Technically, “Insulin” has never been patented in the USA, (there isn’t a single ‘formula’ its a complex hormone, every form produced is considered ‘bio-similar” to each other. It’s an FDA thing. ((with different duration, potency etc.)) only the preparation and purification there-of is patentable. (Given that insulin was historically derived from animal sources. Synthetic ‘human’ insulin is currently produced via recombinant DNA using E.Coli . )

    ref:
    “2 decades into the the 21st century, and the people of the US have to share insulin so they don’t die????”

    That is just not a truthful statement.

  • Lee Stevenson

    Ok, final 2 points…1st. No, you do not know me, indeed, I think you do not have the capability right now to know me…. That is not an insult, it’s just a statement regarding how you feel about anyone left of you. If we sat down over a beer or 2 you might change your mind, but unless you have a trip to Stockholm planned, ( when we finally get back to some sort of normal!) I don’t see that happening… You just have to take my word for it…. If you think you know a man from some comments on a blog on the internet’s, your social awareness must be somewhat lacking! Finally ( thank god!) Quote “you write too much. He calls it a “rant” when spoon feeding him the information that he needs in order to understand. Just remember that he won’t watch your linked videos, and he won’t believe anything that goes against his emotional point of view.”
    Sorry wayne, but I hardly believe a word I watch or see in a random YouTube clip… Pointing me to a video is wasting your time… Send me a link to something scientific, a paper, or an article in an accredited journal… Then yes. If you both believe everything you watch… Good for you. Thank someone I’ve finished refuting you post point by point on an ancient thread Edward…. If I’ve missed anything, let me know, but preferably in a more recent post so I don’t have to scroll back a million posts… And have a great weekend ;-)

  • Lee Stevenson

    @wayne, thanks for the clarification there, I need to do a bit deeper research… I was writing from last year’s diabetic news , and even tho I know it’s not good science, the amount of aputees I met in North Carolina, and their stories.

  • Lee Stevenson

    Ahhh. Unusual in my household…. I have nothing to do for an hour to do…. So Edward, I’d like to pick a little further info your miscomprehension…. I quote….”If people really wanted to work an honest day’s work instead of suckle off the rest of us, they would. They could even start up their own company to do so.”…. The fact that you cannot comprehend a life with no jobs available speaks volumes about you… The kinda guy who never had to struggle once in his life…. Upper middle class ? White? Always been able to pay the rent? Never walked the streets going into stores and bars asking for a job? I seriously doubt it! I’m indebted to Wayne… And have rarely been so happy to be proven wrong ( I haven’t researched this yet, but trust the source “) quote “Cash price of a bottle on ‘insulin’ at Walmart is $25……; What sort of country needs it’s local supermarket to make its own medicine to keep its citizens alive. Edward, I guess the final question is, how are you? And are you happy with your life? I am 50 in a few weeks, I am raising 2 teenagers, as a single parent, and I believe I’m doing a decent job bringing them into the real world with a skeptical attitude… I’ve taught them to look, read, consider. I’ve taught them to be aware…. And can do no more. And they will argue against all the bullcrap you have taught any of your offspring ;-)

  • Edward

    Lee Stevenson,
    You wrote: “I actually stated that Bob is better at long form writing than you or I. If you think I believe in silencing anyone, you have never read or understood my posts.

    No, you wanted me to stop writing my points. Your exact words: “seriously, leave the essays to Bob” That is definitely a request for me to stop my essays. Now you have written five of your own essays. Or did you not mean it, either, when you said leave the essays to Bob? It is so difficult to know when you mean what you say. You contradict yourself continually.

    insulin and other life-dependant medications are subsidised in most countries over here in Europe, are you aware that the inventor of easily administrable human insulin did not patent it so it would be cheaply available for all?

    Yes, but it still needs to be subsidized in Europe. You are still on the government dole. We Americans are part of that subsidization, but we rarely hear any gratitude for it.

    (… Tell me if I got that wrong)

    (I explained it right there. You have a comprehension problem.)

    Socialism gives the poor, the disadvantaged, and the down at heel a chance to better themselves, and more importantly, places the same value in a human being of poor background as a privileged human being.

    Socialism only keeps them down. To continue receiving, you have to remain needy. Free market capitalism gives everyone the ability to start companies, advance on their merit, and best of all: be independent of government. Under socialism, the only privileged ones are those who choose how to distribute the goods to the needy. The needy being everyone else. Including you, Lee. Someone chose to distribute insulin to you.

    Tell me the US has a better system.

    There’s that comprehension problem of yours. Maybe you should be more careful in reading my comments. I have been careful reading yours. Please return the favor.

    The entire rest of the civilised world shakes its head at the US healthcare system

    So does the U.S. The socialist “Obamacare” system is even worse than the previous government-imposed system, which was worse that the system that Hillarycare was going to fix — until it was seen as too horrific to implement. Every U.S. healthcare system had been mucked up by government going all the way back to the Great Depression, when the socialist FDR started really fouling up America. The more socialist our healthcare system gets, the worse it gets. Obamacare is completely controlled by government but somewhat financed privately. The private sector is having a difficult time of it, but that seems to have been the goal of Obamacare all along.

    But it certainly highlights how your wonderful capitalistic system treats its most vulnerable

    Ah, that is the goal of America’s socialists. Create a socialist system, which they know will be bad because they all are, then get everyone to think that it is the capitalist system that failed.

    You fell for it, Lee. There is increasingly little that is capitalist about American healthcare, and there is absolutely nothing that is free market about it. Thus, the bad guys are winning, and they are successful because you and people like you are willing to take a worse socialist system while believing that the existing socialist system is capitalist. Free market capitalist healthcare in America worked very well, until the socialists started mucking it up. A sarcastic thank you goes out to you socialists for doing that to us. It is amazing that you have the gall to shake your heads after your kind did this to us.

    It’s stupid to mingle with people during a pandemic that kills people

    And yet you do not understand the topic well enough to explain why. Even after you have insisted that we gather in groups around the barbi with our neighbors, you now say that it is stupid to do.

    I honestly think US society could do with a bit of the kick up the backside regarding a bit more responsibility taken for the less privileged in your society,

    Really? More than half the federal budget goes to handouts for the less privileged in America, and that does not include state and local safety hammocks. Just like your North Carolina friends, they only want more and more, but are unwilling to do what it takes to get off the government dole. There are plenty of jobs available for your friends of yours, just not in their town. Those friends, you have told us, are unwilling to move to where the jobs are, so they remain on the dole, and you tell us that you are OK with that. You now want us to hand out even more to them. This is socialism. Your own words to us demonstrate why socialism does not work, and yet you continue to advocate more of what does not work. You think you know the answer, and when that answer does not work you insist that we apply more of the answer.

    It is hubris to think that socialism it could not possibly be anything other than the solution, so if a little socialism didn’t work, then more must be applied until it does work. Once again, socialism has not worked anywhere that it has been tried.

    If, on the other hand, your friends were willing to go to where the jobs are, then they could be adding to American productivity rather than draining the rest of us. who are working harder and smarter.

    That is not an insult, it’s just a statement regarding how you feel about anyone left of you.

    In your supposed statement about how I feel, all that you gave was how you feel.

    If we sat down over a beer or 2 you might change your mind, but unless you have a trip to Stockholm planned,

    I talk to socialists all the time and have since my college days. You are just like them. If you paid any attention at all, you would have known years ago that I do not drink beer, which just goes to show how little you glean from these conversations. email would be no better. In person would be no better, either.

    I know a hundred people who have found one aspect of socialism that they think will work for them, then they advocate for all of socialism, just as you have done.

    I guess the final question is, how are you? And are you happy with your life?

    I am well, thank you for asking. Lockdowns are depressing, but even as we start our second year of lockdown, shutdown, smackdown, Great Oppression, I have regained a modicum of hope that it will end sometime after Wuhan is extinct and it is allowed to grill on the barbi with the neighbors, again.

    I was happy a year ago, when we were only preventing a surge in hospitalizations, but the mission drift of the lockdown has changed much. I thought I had become anhedonic, until I realized that everything enjoyable was taken away by the government lockdown, shutdown, Great Oppression. You don’t understand that, because you are in free country, still allowed to gather with friends and neighbors.

  • wayne

    Lee–
    Reference: Walmart—
    -10% of their (food) Revenue comes from SNAP (‘food-stamps’). In that regard, they are essentially a Partner with the federal government.
    -I’m not aware if they actually own any pharmaceutical manufacture’s. What they can do however, is place massive orders for insulin and guarantee distribution & customers. (I’ll explore what you mentioned about private-label insulin.)
    -Their “$3.00 list,” of pharmaceutical’s covers most everything the average person might need, for acute or chronic conditions, and you can get a vial of “insulin” for $25, although I don’t know what Type they have. (lancets & syringes are equally very inexpensive)
    -The vast majority of people in the USA, do not buy their medications for “cash.” If they have so called private-insurance they pay a co-pay (determined by the insurance carrier), if they have Medicaid it’s essentially free (originally there was a nominal $2 to $5 co-pay, but that was determined to be too onerous for ‘poor’ people to pay. {editorial comment: it’s takes cash money to buy liquor, crack, and weed]
    –>The one thing about pharmaceuticals in the USA, that you absolutely have to keep in mind, >>You aren’t the customer, the Pharmacy Benefit Manager is the customer for so called ‘private insurance,’ and the other elephant in the room is Medicaid/Medicare/VA.
    –If they had to actually sell pharmaceuticals in the open-market, the more expensive stuff would crash in price.
    –Pharmaceutical’s aren’t priced on the cost of manufacture, they are priced on relative-benefit and negotiated-prices with pharmacy benefit managers. Nobody actually pays “list price.”
    (This is a very Crony business, exactly because the government regulates these companies to death. Everything they sell has to be approved by the FDA, but if anything goes “wrong,’ they are on the hook for lawsuits.)

    A Sunday Pause:

    “Mass Production of Miltown Tablets”
    Wallace Laboratories 1955
    https://youtu.be/-lhxTUpxka4
    2:35
    [“Miltown” brand meprobamate, first widely used psychotropic drug in America.]

  • Lee Stevenson

    Wayne… I am actually going to watch that video!! ( Shock horror! )
    Edward…. We obviously don’t take enough notice of each others posts…. All my comments regarding the people I met in Mannington, WV. were along the lines of that they were too proud to accept any form of government “handouts”…. Indeed a kind of barter economy was in place, with people trading skills for skills ( one example… Building work traded for home schooling help ). It’s all very well and good to say people should move to where the work is…. But it’s not so easy to move anywhere when you have no money. I think you are a little bit stuck in your ivory tower on this point, there are a huge number of people, all over the world, that would, given the chance, move for work, but just don’t have the opportunity. Should they not be given any help by a caring society? My next comments pretty much covers anything else you have said. I am happy. I like the country I live in. I am happy to pay my taxes knowing that they provide a great social welfare system for not just myself, but for everyone. I have access to great affordable healthcare, my kids are getting a great education which will not bankrupt them, the streets are clean and the public transport infrastructure means it is faster and cheaper to take a bus and train to work than it would be to drive. Is Sweden perfect? Far from it! Would I rather live here than in the US? Yes. All your comments regarding how I have fallen for some imaginary hidden agenda, how I am part of some problem that exists in only your head, how I am just plain wrong, they all ignore the fact that my life is pretty damn good…. I am not a sponge, I work roughly 45 hours a week, I pay a level of tax that would make you bust a blood vessel, I keep a roof over our heads and food on the table. I have a decent social life, wonderful children, and to be honest…. generally speaking, life is pretty bloody good. I’m sorry that you will never understand the fact that your system in the US is not the be all and end all….. Other systems of govenence are available, and this English immigrant in Sweden is very happy with mine.

  • Lee Stevenson

    @wayne….. Somehow strangely disturbing!!!

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