OUR WEIMAR MOMENT?

OUR WEIMAR MOMENT?

We’re scheduled to speak at a conference this weekend.  We will fly out on Friday via Southwest Airlines.

There’s only one catch:

Southwest Airlines canceled hundreds more flights Monday after the airline was forced to ground nearly 2,000 flights over the weekend, blaming the issues on weather and staffing….

The world’s largest low-cost carrier canceled almost 350 flights — or one in ten scheduled departures — as of Monday at 7 a.m. ET, according to data from Flight Aware. That marks the highest cancellation rate of any major US airline by far, according to the site.

More than 300 other Southwest flights were facing delays, the site’s data showed.

The airline’s latest woes come after it had to ground more than 25 percent of its scheduled flights on Sunday.


And why, you ask, is Southwest having staffing problems?

The mass cancelations and delays on the busy Columbus Day weekend come after the airline announced last week that it would require all of its employees to get the COVID-19 vaccine, as called for by President Joe Biden earlier this year.  Employees must get vaccinated before Dec. 8 or face termination. The Dallas, TX-based airline has approximately 56,000 employees.

The timing of the cancelations sparked speculation by travel industry insiders and politicians that the mandate could be exacerbating issues at the airline….


Oh.

A few weeks ago, we happened to be seated at dinner at the same table with two nice gentlemen from an organization headquartered in Seattle.  At some point during the meal, we asked, “Is it really as bad in Seattle as the stories suggest?  Is Seattle really dying?”  The response?  “It’s even worse.  The town has fallen into complete chaos.” And yet:

Seattle’s already depleted police department is bracing for another setback.

The city is poised to fire as many as 403 officers, about 40 percent of the 1,000-person force, for failing to take the COVID-19 jab by an Oct. 18 deadline, according to local reports.

“The environment has been pretty toxic and negative,” an unnamed officer told Fox 13 News. “Not just from this whole mandate, but prior to that as well. I’m not sure this would be a good place for me to work long-term for my mental health. It has been very stressful.”

A total of 292 officers had yet to provide proof of COVID vaccination as of Oct. 6, the station reports. In addition, 111 officers are awaiting the results of exemption requests, said Seattle PD spokesperson Sgt. Randy Huserik.


Oh good.

As you well know, the global risks to American interests have been growing substantially over the past several years, and this growth has accelerated recently.  The less-than-ideal withdrawal from Afghanistan; the rebirth of Russia as a power player in Europe, as the result of the West’s energy suicide; and an emboldened People’s Republic of China that is more and more provocatively stalking Taiwan, among other things, are just a few of the exacerbating concerns facing the nation and its leaders.  And so…how have those leaders responded?

Hundreds of thousands of U.S. service members remain unvaccinated or only partially vaccinated against the coronavirus as the Pentagon's first compliance deadlines near, with lopsided rates across the individual services and a spike in deaths among military reservists illustrating how political division over the shots has seeped into a nonpartisan force with unambiguous orders….

90 percent of the active-duty Navy is fully vaccinated, whereas just 72 percent of the Marine Corps is, the data show, even though both services share a Nov. 28 deadline. In the Air Force, more than 60,000 personnel have just three weeks to meet the Defense Department's most ambitious deadline….

[C]ritics say the large gaps between vaccination deadlines jeopardize how ready the military can be in a moment of crisis. They point specifically to the reserves and National Guard, which over the last two years have been called upon in numerous emergencies - at home and overseas - and yet large numbers of their personnel have so far refused to get vaccinated….

Combined, the Army Guard and Reserve comprise approximately 522,000 soldiers, roughly a quarter of the entire U.S. military, and they account for nearly 40 percent of the 62 service-member deaths due to covid-19, according to the data assessed by The Post. Barely 40 percent are fully vaccinated….

Republican lawmakers, including Rep. Dan Crenshaw, R-Texas, have suggested the number could be significant. "Question for the SECDEF: are you really willing to allow a huge exodus of experienced service members just because they won't take the vaccine?" the former Navy SEAL tweeted last month, using an abbreviation for secretary of defense.

"Honestly, Americans deserve to know how you plan on dealing with this blow to force readiness - it's already causing serious problems," the tweet said.


Oh sh*t.

We have made no secret whatsoever about our thoughts on this virus.  From the very start, we expected that, after an ugly adjustment period, it would move swiftly from pandemic to endemic, which is to say that it would quickly become part of our social-health ecosystem, much like other coronaviruses or influenza viruses.  In turn, we expected that this would mean reduced deadliness, increased tolerance, and annual vaccinations, tweaked every year for mutations.  For the most part, this has, indeed, been the progression of the disease.  It is a risk – especially to older people and those with preexisting conditions – but it is NOT Ebola or Hantavirus.

More to the point, it’s also not smallpox or polio – which means that comparing it to those diseases is intellectually dishonest.  It is “exaggeration for effect.”  COVID-19 is ugly enough in itself.  Exaggerating it serves only one purpose.  And if you’ve been around here for any length of time, you know that that purpose is politics.  From the very start, our ruling class has expected that they could manipulate this event to accumulate and consolidate power.  And they did so – beyond even their wildest dreams.

As is their wont, however, the members of our ruling class failed to recognize much less accept their victory, and so they’ve continued to push and push and push, using the virus as the ultimate political weapon.  Our friends get their shots, you see, while our enemies do not.  If you can’t get your shot – if you can’t make that small sacrifice for the common good – then you are irredeemable and you must be shunned by polite society – even if that means destroying society in the process.  And destroy society, they will.

This is our Weimar moment, in other words.  The question is whether we can save ourselves from what comes next.

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