So it turns out that, like clean elections, mass vaccination campaigns is just another thing America can no longer do.
Across the pond, my old editor Boris Johnson is a complete arse busily destroying those few remnants of British Conservatism that managed to escape Theresa May and David Cameron. But, granted all that, he knew enough to ensure that the first person on the planet to receive the vaccine was an actual member of the public - an appealing nonagenarian lady ("Patient 1A") - and that the second or thereabouts was some old coot from Warwickshire who chanced to bear the name William Shakespeare, which allowed the tabloids to rise to the occasion with "Patient 2B or Not 2B" and "The Taming of the Flu".
Here all is cronyism. So the twelve-year-old congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio Cortez has now received the vaccine, while any actual nonagenarian citizens will be centenarians by the time they get it. Because members of America's decadent pseudo-legislature are "essential". You know they're "essential" because they've spent the last six months hammering out a Corona "relief" package that ensures that citizens whose businesses have been destroyed by state fiat will receive a Treasury check for $600 to cover the last eight months. That's seventy-five bucks a month - or rather less than the average congressman's kid's allowance. But now we've vaccinated them our indispensable legislators can get on to hammering out a new Corona "relief" package that will guarantee Americans get a check for $400 to cover the next eighteen months.
Lawyers are also in the express check-in category. Why? As someone who's been in permanent litigation for a decade, I'm well aware that every single attorney in the land is currently working from home: I was deposed by Zoom the other day, and became very familiar with my interrogator's bookcase, paintings, mantlepiece vases, etc. Every courtroom is closed, there are no jury trials, and, if they ever again reopen, there will be a years-long backlog of cases. My own interminable Mann vs Steyn suit, which the latest judge (the third trial judge, just for the record) showed signs of wishing to be done with, has thanks to Covid been put back even further to the very edges of my life expectancy.
Why are lawyers "essential" - or indeed even a separate category? Because they're connected and you're not, you six-hundred-buck loser.
Too much of American life is like this, and the fact that the cronyism cannot be suspended even for a pandemic tells you a lot about our fundamental unseriousness.
I would have said a few months ago that the CDC (the Centers for Deadbeat Commissars) had utterly destroyed its brand during the ChiCom-19 lockdown. Except that, according to Mitch McConnell, Pat Toomey and the like, it seems that more Americans than have ever voted for anything else voted to "follow the science", even if it means following it off the cliff into a total civilizational abyss.
The CDC, of course, has things other than "science" to follow, such as "social justice". One of the factors their all-powerful committee decided to take into account was "mitigating health inequities". For example, eight out of ten Covid deaths in America are among persons 65 and older. So, given they're at greater risk, shouldn't they be given priority over, say, trial attorneys who get elected to Congress?
Ah, not so fast, say the CDC. True, they have the "highest incidence and mortality in congregate living", but, on the other hand, "racial and ethnic minority groups [are] under-represented among adults >65".
So, because the high-risk category is excessively white, we have to find other categories to give the vaccine to instead.
Got that? It's all very scientific: Because men are "under-represented" in breast cancer statistics, we need to prioritize mammograms for blokes with hairy pendulous moobs. Remember the way it was thirty years ago? Because gays were over-represented in Aids deaths, the CDC decided to give the protease inhibitors to uptight straights who hadn't had a tumble since the late Fifties.
Who are these scientists we must follow? They include Jo Walker, a CDC infectious disease modeler whose current Twitter handle is "Festively Defund the Police". Mr/Ms Walker is a nonbinary trans (pronouns they/them) who lives on "occupied Mvskoke land". I know that's what I'm looking for in an epidemiological modeler.
I confess there are moments when this society appears to me so depraved that I would welcome an instant obliterating ChiCom EMP attack in preference to death by a thousand shots for a thousand trial lawyers. Yet everyone else seems to be cool with it:
In the rush to roll out vaccines, commitment to social and racial justice must not fall by the wayside
Vaccines should be allocated in ways that reduce â€” rather than maintain, or worse, exacerbate â€” existing inequities across socioeconomic, racial, and ethnic groups.
So spake the medical "ethics" profs.
In welfare states, the future is premised on social solidarity: The young will pay for the costs of the old.
But, as the west ages, social solidarity frays...
Because the past (white, old, boring) does not look like the future (vibrant, diverse, multiculti). Thus:
Big Government welfare programs depend on a high degree of social solidarity between givers and takers. If you think in France or Germany that young Mohammed and Ahmed will be willing to pay higher and higher taxes so that Jean-Pierre and Fritz can continue enjoying their present thirty-year retirements, you're deluded.
"Wokeness" is a means by which embarrassed, guilty, self-loathing whites can escape both the shame and the ruthless logic of demographic transformation. And so somewhere between "two weeks to flatten the curve" and the late-spring frenzy of statue-toppling and Macy's-looting the two great news stories of the year merged into one to bring us the first woke pandemic. A wokedemic in which the most vulnerable must be damned as the most "white privileged". They're privileged to have been walled up in their "care homes" and slaughtered in their thousands by blood-soaked commissars like Cuomo and Charlie Baker, but that's not enough: they must be further targeted by the lights of woke science.
I used to joke that the United Nations, with its blend of thug dictatorships and free societies, is akin to what happens when you blend a pint of vanilla ice-cream with a pint of dog feces: the result tastes more like the latter than the former. The same is true when you blend science with "social justice".
~We had a busy weekend at SteynOnline, starting with the weekend edition of The Mark Steyn Show, and news of the accelerating Big Shut-Up, a transitioning courtroom, Hunter turned painter, and more - plus Longfellow, George Michael and Perry Como, not necessarily together. On Saturday Mark covered for Kathy Shaidle on the film beat with a prowl around the more obscure corners of his Yuletide movie vault. Our Sunday song selection followed Gene Autry right down Santa Claus Lane. And, for the first of this year's Christmas Tales for Our Time, Steyn read the Damon Runyon classic Three Wise Guys: You can find the opening episode here, and the conclusion here. If you were too busy this weekend joining all the reindeer games, we hope you'll want to check out one or three of the foregoing as a new week commences.
The second of our Christmas tales by Damon Runyon will air right here this evening. Tales for Our Time is made with the support of members of The Mark Steyn Club. For more information on the Steyn Club, see here.