Not a bad day

It’s been a good, satisfying and wide-ranging day today. So far I’ve:

  • Participated on a really interesting panel at an online tech conference, opining about analytics, security, artificial intelligence and machine learning. I managed to avoid embarrassing myself or other panelists.
  • Planted a few trees on the Socal property.
  • Created a new model for our financial planning, looking at some almost-worst-case scenarios.
  • Read a lot of another excellent crime novel set in San Diego by Matt Coyle.
  • Updated the materials for an upcoming tech meeting that I’m organizing and hosting.

When I’m experiencing a day like this, I realize that I’ve spent a lot of time lately being bored. Not really fulfilled or engaged. Need to fix that.

All I need to do to take this day right across the finish line is to get some exercise (beyond lifting a few potted trees). We’ll see.

Bad idea, Joe

I think that Biden and the Democrats will come to regret the announcement today that all Federal employees and all employees of companies with more than 100 employees are required to be vaccinated by January 4, 2022.

Consistent with my earlier post on this subject, I don’t think the government should be able to mandate vaccines. I get the “for the greater good” argument, and I sympathize with it. But just like the government should not be able to stop you from eating too much or too little, or piercing your ears, or terminating a pregnancy that you don’t want, “your body, your choice” is logic that must be applied consistently. I own my body and I control what is done to it, period.

Having said that, I *am* OK with private employers requiring vaccination or wearing masks for safety reasons, and I’m OK with their firing employees who refuse. That *is* a reasonable choice – you can choose to work for that employer or not. And some employers will have very good reasons for such a requirement. Imagine a surgeon who refuses to wear masks and gloves during your surgery because “she doesn’t want to”, or her phony baloney religion says not to. Your risk of infection and deat from that surgery increases, the hospital’s risk increases, the doctor’s liability insurance cost increases…everybody loses. Hence, masks and gloves for surgeons just aren’t negotiable.

And I’m very OK with the government taking a bully-pulpit leadership role in promoting the scientific and societal value of mass vaccination. Educate us, convince us. Give us the tools we need. But don’t make any form of body invasion or modification the law of the land. It really is a short distance from “US law says you must be vaccinated or <some form of punishment>” to “US law says you females will wear veils and never get a tattoo or <some form of punishment>”. Slippery slope.

The Biden pronouncement blurs the line between government and private employment. OSHA is tasked with enforcement, and the company can be fined $14K per violation, and more when “willfullness” is involved. So the company gets the fine, and the company becomes the government’s enforcer.

The more I think about this, the more I believe that this will haunt Democrat candidates for years to come. The MAGA-right and even moderates hate the idea of a nanny state, of being told what to do. This top-down mandate will be their poster child from now forward. And while I don’t agree with much on the far right, I *do* agree with them on this. Let private industry make a logical, market and risk-based decision about requiring employees to take protective measures, especially body-invasive protective measures like vaccination. Employers set the requirements for their workers. And then let employees decide if the job is worth that requirement.