Thursday, June 29, 2023

Moral Agency In The Days Of COVID

Moral Agents,

Wikipedia: "Moral Agency is an individual's ability to make moral choices based on some notion of right and wrong and to be held accountable for these actions." 
                  "A Moral Agent is 'a being who is capable of acting with reference to right and wrong.'"

  A moral-agent will be at odds with an autocrat at the point where the autocrat commands the moral agent to perform an immoral act. This antagonism between individual morality and hierarchy was examined at the Nuremberg Trials and at the Trial of Lieutenant William Calley, following the Mai Lai Massacre in Vietnam.

  For a hierarchy or an autocrat to gain powers over life, death, property and to enslave free people it is necessary for moral agents to relinquish their decision-making about the morality of commands to the commanding authority. The commanding authority, such as a government or religious organization typically cites a "higher moral purpose" or "divine authority" to absolve the subservient-moral-agent of responsibility for actions which would be immoral in typical human interactions.

  Murder has historically been justified on religious grounds, with the souls of the murdered either being "saved" or remitted to "god" for judgement of their "sins against god". Murder and theft of property and land are also justified by nation-states by saying that the human victims were plotting the murder of the citizens of the nation-state, and had also stolen what was rightfully-theirs. The crimes are cast as "self defense".

  These calls upon higher-authority absolve the former-moral-agent of responsibility for selfish and unjust actions, because they are not-personally selfish, but are "unselfish", serving the "highest good", which happens to profit the hierarchy. The moral-hazard to actors in the hierarchy, autocrats and bureaucrats, is that they profit from immoral acts, which are abstracted in their thoughts, far removed from any personal experience of their horrors. 

  Human moral-agents may resist calls to higher moral authority, particularly if they are accustomed to acting morally, valuing the freedom, well-being and personal possessions of others as highly, and in the same way as they would value their own.

  Hierarchies typically seek to diminish human moral agency by abstracting it, and reducing it to bureaucratic protocols, which appear arbitrary, if not strictly "fair". "Just-going-by-the-book" is the position of a human who has relinquished moral agency in the work setting. Another technique to disengage moral agency is to nudge humans towards dishonest acts, perhaps as trivial as marking a 20 page legal document as "read", when given 30 seconds to do so.

  Within a rules-based bureaucracy, some humans may be re-defined as "suspects", a form of sub-human, devoid of usual  human rights, or as "unvaccinated", and therefore subject to firing and exclusion from society. 

  The naming of classes of sub-humans, to be shunned, disparaged by upright citizens, then denied basic rights to due-process under the law, and bodily autonomy, become critical when a member of society is forced to choose a favorable designation, or to accept losses for choosing the unfavorable designation. 
With the COVID vaccine-mandates, people were subjected to a greater-good moral argument for a year before the blaming of "the unvaccinated" began. This was phased in faster in some places than others, but media virtue-signalling of the "vaccinated" was pervasive. 

  The "unvaccinated" were guilt-tripped for "killing grandma", and were blamed as leper-pariahs when the "vaccines" failed to protect good "vaccinated" people from the COVID contagion. In the US people with jobs were more likely to receive COVID "vaccines", often offered to them at work, or as a condition of continued employment, and without "informed consent" regarding side effects including myocarditis, miscarriage, autoimmune disease, neurological disorders, bleeding disorders and death, which were already well known to the manufacturers, the CDC and the Defense Department in the US. This was a nudge to relinquish bodily autonomy as if accepting a "gift". 

  Once the decision had been made to accept the injections, the recipient was made to feel more moral than those selfish cowards who had rejected the "gift" through moral weakness. This was broadly effective, particularly in the medical professions, except for a small minority who chose to be fired for the principle of bodily-autonomy. These people, like the Nurses at Methodist Hospital in Houston, took a Gandhian stance of principled civil-disobedience. Overnight they went from being "heroes" to "deplorables". Many people who had reservations about the rush to "get a needle in every arm" saw this as unjust, which weakened the control-narrative of the bureaucracy and the media. 

  Also weakening the vaccine-only control-narrative was the growing population of people who had received ivermectin or hydroxychloroquine based early treatment for COVID, or the cases when courts forced hospitals to allow ivermectin provision to hospitalized patients on ventilators, who "were expected to die anyway", and they survived to return home. 

  Tractor Supply Company sold vast quantities of ivermectin "horse paste" since fall of 2021, and is still selling it, for all of those 160# horses that Americans love so much. This silent civil-disobedience illustrates a strong undercurrent of growing distrust of governmental control-narratives, perhaps similar to that which formed against the Vietnam War in 1968. The Tet offensive in Vietnam at the beginning of that year crystallized the resolve of quiet Americans who had been suspicious that the war was immoral, and that they were being lied to by President Johnson. Will another morally crystallizing event arise this year?

  Dr. Marian Laderoute asks "When will the Sudden Adult Death Syndrome (SADS) End?"  and adds that "the excess all-cause mortality remains high even when by June 19, 2023 there are zero COVID-19 deaths per million for these 5 countries".

Charles Hugh Smith asks (and explores in detail)  How Did Someone Like Me Get Shadow-Banned?
  Given my adherence to journalistic standards, I wonder: how did someone like me get shadow-banned?
  The standard cause (or excuse) for being overtly banned is "distributing misinformation." This charge is never specific; something you posted "violates our community standards," or equivalent broad-brush language.
  Shadow-banning is even more pernicious because you're not even notified that your visibility to others has been restricted or dropped to zero. You see your post, but nobody else does.

​  ​The European Media Freedom Act envisages installing spyware on journalists' phones for the sake of "national security".

​  ​"There is no legitimate reason to spy on journalists," Lucy Komisar, an investigative journalist based in New York, told Sputnik.
​  ​"Remember, this law targets people identified as journalists, not as spies or terrorists or criminals. Journalism is not a crime, unless Julian Assange does it. The real reason is to protect government officials from journalists reporting on officials’ misguided policies, abuses and corruption. It’s quite ironic in view of the EU’s self-congratulatory rules trumpeted as protecting peoples’ data from tech companies.

There is no such thing as a Ministry of Truth and why it is important to challenge conventional “wisdom” - A personal view

Philippe Brouqui, Michel Drancourt, Didier Raoult​ MD​   (journal)​ ​​ ​​​New Microbes and New Infections

​  ​To justify censorship, some official statements, such as the FDA's tweet that “if you are not a horse or cow, do not take ivermectin, which is an animal medicine” are false information. This is obviously not ignorance on the part of the FDA, since it is well known that ivermectin is one of the most widely used human antiparasitic drugs in the world, but rather pure propaganda that legitimizes censorship over the use of ivermectin.
​  ​Censorship applies not only in social networks and in the usual media, but also apply in scientific journals. The first article on HCQ efficacy came from China, and we published preliminary results showing a faster decrease of the viral load in patients treated with HCQ combined with azithromycin [2]. Since then, 476 studies testing HCQ, have been released. Only studies reporting a lack of efficacy were published in highly impacted journals. However, these studies conclusions were not supported by the data. The data support a notable difference in favor to HCQ, but it was erroneously concluded that this was not, because this difference was not significant. A scientific impartial conclusion of these studies should have been that HCQ showed positive efficacy, but the inconclusive (not significant) results suggest that the studies might be underpowered.

​  Mark Crispin Miller , ​Patriot Front unmasked as FEDS pretending to be white supremacists, to help the state crack down on (what they call) "the right"—the latest twist on Operation Gladio, which did that to the left

​  ​The FBI is very busy doing with "white supremacy" exactly what it did with "Islamic terrorism," and, before that, the "communist threat"—i.e., creating the ILLUSION of a clear and present danger​.

​  ​FDIC accidentally reveals bailout recipients – Bloomberg​    ["Your tax dollars..."]

​  ​The US Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation accidentally released the identities of the Silicon Valley Bank clients it bailed out following the bank’s collapse in March in response to a Freedom of Information Act request, Bloomberg News revealed on Friday.
​  ​Upon realizing their mistake, the FDIC reportedly pleaded with Bloomberg to destroy the client list...

​..​The SVB clients who recovered their deposits thanks to a “systemic risk exception” declared by the FDIC included Sequoia Capital, the world’s most prominent venture capital firm, with $1 billion stored with the failed bank, and Beijing-based tech firm Kanzhun Ltd, which got its $902.9 million in deposits back. Life sciences startup Altos Labs’ $680.3 million were safe, as were payments startup Marqeta Inc.’s $634.5 million.
​  ​SVB’s largest depositor according to the FDIC document was crypto stablecoin company Circle Internet Financial Ltd., which had $3.3 billion in deposits there.

Biden Picks Up After Journalist Calls Secret Burner Phone Revealed In Hunter Scandal

  J​ournalist John Solomon called the phone, and President Joe Biden picked up!
"One of those documents got leaked to me and it had a cell phone number that Hunter Biden was paying for, so I figured this was my chance. I’ve been trying to get fair comment from Hunter Biden, so I’m gonna call the cell phone!" Solomon told Real America's Voice. "So I called the cell phone, and guess who picked up the phone? Joe Biden!"
"Joe Biden! Boy was he shocked when he got – when he picked up the phone and found out it was me," Solomon continued, adding "He hung up pretty quickly!"

​  ​'This Is Not A Normal Court' - Biden Slams Color-Blind SCOTUS' Decision To End Affirmative Action​  (Discrimination is discrimination.)
​  ​In Thursday's 6-3 decision (along ideological lines), the justices rejected arguments by Harvard College and the University of North Carolina that their admissions programs are warranted to ensure campus diversity.
​  ​The high court majority effectively overturned a 2003 decision, known as Grutter v. Bollinger, that had reaffirmed the right of universities to consider race as one of many admissions factors.
​  ​In a concurring opinion, Justice Clarence Thomas said that ruling “is, for all intents and purposes, overruled.”

Overseas payments to Biden family could exceed $40M, Comer says: ‘This was organized crime’

​  ​Got Any Nude Selfies? Do You Like Porn? Bill Gates' Private Office Asked Women Sexually Explicit Questions
​  The private office of billionaire Microsoft founder (and Jeffrey Epstein pal) Bill Gates put women through an extensive screening process which included sexually explicit questions in order to determine whether they might be vulnerable to blackmail.

​  Thanks for this, Christine. John Helmer has the story of last weekend pretty well fleshed-out here.​
  Political Power Out of the Gun Barrel, Billions of Dollars, Too
​  ​When Yevgeny Prigozhin​ ​arrived at Southern Military District headquarters in Rostov, announcing to Lieutenant-General Vladimir Alexeyev that he was on his way Moscow to remove Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and General Valery Gerasimov, chief of the General Staff, Alexeyev told him “Go get them.”
​  ​Prigozhin didn’t take the road to Moscow. The thin column of Wagner men began to disperse enroute, while those who pressed on were stopped at the Oka River.  While Prigozhin was announcing, and western media megaphoning, that he had taken control of Rostov, Prigozhin didn’t know that Shoigu was in Rostov; controlled the city; and with the General Staff decided on the tactics which quickly scattered the Wagner forces, halted Prigozhin’s public relations campaign,and cut off his money supply.
​  ​For the General Staff, this was a tactic of giving Prigozhin enough rope to hang himself. He did.  The General Staff defeated him handily;  the military engagement was concluded almost bloodlessly. Politically, the General Staff won much more.
​  ​For President Vladimir Putin it was a replay of October 25, 2003. That was the day, at Novosibirsk Airport Mikhail Khodorkovsky (lead image, left), owner of the Yukos oil group, was arrested, charged with fraud, tax evasion, criminal conspiracy, and other offences. That story, and the reorganisation of Yukos under state control, are well-known. Prigozhin’s story is just beginning.​..
..To save himself under house arrest in Belarus, Prigozhin has appealed to Putin for release: “we did not aim to overthrow the existing regime and the legitimately elected government.” Prigozhin also wants cash back “so that PMC [private military company] Wagner would continue to work in a legal framework.”
​  ​Putin’s answer has been to delegate the political power to the barrel of the gun; that’s the General Staff. The investigation of Prigozhin’s fraud, tax evasion, criminal conspiracy and other offences go now to the security services, the Interior Ministry, and state prosecutors.​..
..For a semi-official Russian account of what happened in Rostov when Prigozhin was there last Saturday,  read this piece published yesterday in Vzglyad. This reports Shoigu’s presence in the city at the time; the advance knowledge at the General Staff of Prigozhin’s threats, intentions,  plans, and force capacities.  
​  ​The inventory of the initial official searches of Prigozhin’s St Petersburg offices and vehicles uncovered five kilogrammes of cocaine, about Rb4 billion in cash, gold bullion bars, barrels of US dollars, several false passports, pistols, and records of offshore transactions in the Central African Republic and elsewhere. Prigozhin, speaking before Putin made public his comment on stealing,  confirmed the cash and told Fontanka, a St. Petersburg publication, he saw “nothing terrible”.

Alastair Crooke, The Negotiator's Nightmare (of trying to negotiate a settlement in Ukraine at this point) Thanks Christine.
​ The western public has not been conditioned to expect the possibility of a stronger Russia emerging. On the contrary, they have endured western ‘experts’ sneering at the Russian military; denigrating the Russian leadership as incompetent; and being presented on their TVs with the ‘horrors’ of the Russian ‘invasion’.
  ​It is – to say the least – a highly adverse environment for any interlocutor to ‘venture foot’. Dr Kissinger (a year ago at Davos) was ‘roasted’ when he tentatively suggested that Ukraine might have to yield up territory to Russia.
​  ​What would be the mission? Well, clearly it would be to find that ‘off-ramp’ to which Kissinger alluded. But the first problem would be how to frame a prospective mediator’s mission from the perspective of a U.S. public that has experienced a year of propaganda (much of it delusional) and much of which is hostile towards Moscow (the intended dialogue partner).

Witnessing History (pictured with a ripe melon from the garden yesterday morning)


  1. Moral Agency - A beautiful piece of writting. Thank you. Dennis, Boston

    1. Thanks Dennis. It was intentional and I put a lot of consideration into it.