Pondering Philosophy from a Seat of Lies

Is there any limit to the falsehoods and bad faith we'll tolerate?

Your humble correspondent was able to escape the local mask Gestapo to enjoy a brief sojourn in America - which is to say, Texas.  It's a long way, though, and time was short, which required a trip through the seventh circle of hell known as air travel.

Now, in certain ways, it was actually more pleasant than it might have been a few years ago.  There is something to be said for the peace and quiet of cowed crowds nervously shuffling under the watchful eye of uniformed guardians.  As the saying goes, freedom is messy, though I didn't expect to miss the sheer anarchy of LaGuardia anytime this side of the Pearly Gates.

The usual mayhem and conflict was largely absent.  The airline staff, too, seemed to bend over backwards to be pleasant and helpful.  No doubt they were having just as miserable time as the rest of the face-diaper-wearing throng, but they're paid to act cheerful, and, doubtless considering the countless thousands of their laid-off brethren, act they did with a will.

And rightly so!  Consider this announcement straight out of the pages of 1984: "It is very important for you to remain seated until your boarding numbers are called, to limit crowding and maintain social distancing."

Now, if this was one of the eternal Voice from Above recordings endemic to airports, it could safely be ignored.  But no: a live human being with a functioning brain was forced to spout this transparent nonsense.

First - very important?  Seriously?  We are about to be crammed into a metal tube for an hour where the air circulation systems ensure that each and every one of us will inhale the exhaust from every other person in the plane, and yet for these five minutes, it's very important for us to be sitting down rather than standing up in line?  What possible difference could it make?

From logic to sheer absurdity: there weren't nearly enough seats for everyone waiting to board what would be a 100% full flight.  If we wanted to obey, we physically could not - and that was true even if a third of the seats hadn't been roped off in worship of the same false god of social distancing.

All this was not ten feet from the face of the apparatchik with the mic.  Say what you will of trolley dolleys, they are several notches above dumb blondes; it's inconceivable that she was unaware of the fatuous rot pouring from her lips.  What must that do to one's psyche?

Indeed, it's been written by survivors of Communist hellholes that forcing people to say things they knew to be lies was the express goal of the regime: it breaks down people's resistance and makes it difficult for them to keep hold of the truth even if they know what it is.  Sure enough, I was roundly shushed at my expression of disbelief and contempt.

Aboard was much the same: reminders that masks were required for the entire flight.  Not optional!  Only to be removed when actively eating and drinking - and no, you specifically could not eat and drink slowly to maximize the time of literally breathing the free air.  Please, please comply - nobody wants to be the mask police!

Well, no doubt that was true, on that particular plane at least.  Most actual police don't want to be Robocop either - they'd much prefer to be Officer Friendly patting small children on the head as he walks his beat in Mayberry, where nothing more dangerous than a cat up a tree ever happens.  Sure, there are a few thrill-seeking Rambos with badges, but for most ordinary people, they'd rather everyone else just do as they'r etold without having to force them.

Indeed, we were reminded that we'd agreed to don the face diapers when we checked in - "Please keep your word!"

At what point does "your word" become null and void by being under duress?  What does it really mean to check the "I Agree" box when buying a ticket?

Well, we could choose to fly on a different carrier - except they all have more or less the same rules.  No competition here!

We could choose to take a week and drive.  Heck, we could charter a private jet as do our betters.  But if the obvious, practical choices are impeded, is there any free choice at all?

Thus we return to the great question of 2020: What is the obligation of a law-abiding citizen when his rulers have taken leave of their senses, are clearly operating in bad faith, routinely break their own rules without a qualm, and have conned the majority of sheeple to go along?

We hear reports of intermittent mask protests and flash mobs.  We also hear of psychopaths assaulting refuseniks.

Most people have decided that freedom to breathe is not worth a night in jail - a night that could easily become far longer given various proposals to let health departments lock up people suspected of being sick and treat them indefinitely and without recourse, regardless of their irrelevant personal convictions.

Thus we quietly march onward, into a world that is neither 1984 nor Brave New World, but something in between.  Perhaps the shushers were right, just as they would have been in 1938 hearing a neighbor speaking ill of Hitler or Stalin.  Shut up and obey - or else!

Welcome to America!  Wouldn't our forefathers be proud?

Read other Scragged.com articles by Hobbes or other articles on Society.
Reader Comments

Only in America. You think your so-called freedom allows you not to wear a mask. What about the freedom of others not to be contaminated by idiots.
I do not appreciate your denigration of the flight attendant. So sexist and unnecessary.

January 6, 2021 7:33 PM

No - by what authority do you claim the right to order anyone else to wear a mask, or do something they don't wish to do?

Don't shout "Science!" Because there is not one single scientific study demonstrating that masks do one whit of good, many that say they accomplish nothing, and a few that suggest they are harmful. It is also objectively true that those places that have been most aggressive about enforcing masks, also have the highest infection rates nearly a year into this.

January 6, 2021 7:39 PM

@Gerald Richards

So, that's the name the Troll Squad uses around these parts?

No one is entitled to demand protection from disease from others. You're afraid of it, YOU stay home with your underpants on your face. Besides which, deeming every person you meet as a potential vector for infection from something not all that harmful anyway is ridiculous and crazy.

It's almost as if they're *trying* to pit people against one another. Not in America, though, amirite?

As for your whining about "sexist and unnecessary," if we didn't know you to be a troll and a pussy, we do now.

January 6, 2021 7:55 PM

Brother John. So your way of discussing a topic is to attack the person and be vitriolic and attempt to bully. Pathetic and you are not right. I'd love to discuss matters on your level but the descent would be too abrupt

January 6, 2021 8:53 PM

Patience. You are parading an opinion pretending it to be a fact.
The US is the country with the most number of coronavirus infections in the world at the moment. The country currently has an overall caseload of 20,805,262 while the death toll stands at 353,371, as per Johns Hopkins University.
Does this help?

January 6, 2021 9:02 PM

Red herring. Let us assume that your numbers are accurate (which is debatable for many reasons). In fact, let's imagine that the death toll was ten times what it is, or a hundred.

There is *no scientific evidence* that masks accomplish *anything whatsoever.* None. Nil. Nada. Zippo. Zilch.

So WTH should I have to suck it up and do something, anything, just because Someone Says So? I wasn't born into that sort of a country, and I refuse to live in one.

The people commanding everyone to wear masks, are the same people forbidding doctors to treat covid with hydroxychloroquine and zinc, for which there *is* actual scientific evidence that it helps, and has been for months:


That speaks to their good faith, or lack thereof. Why should I listen to anything they say?

January 6, 2021 9:18 PM

I had family visit me in FL over the holidays, from MA. FL is much more reasonable than MA about Covid-Nazi rules. Probably the Fauci cures of eating outside and social distancing ( in a golf cart) are easier to pull off. While here the family fished ( easy to social distance... fish don’t care) , hiked, and played golf... gets a pass as mentioned before. Masks are mostly mandatory when you go inside. So most buy on line on eat outdoors plus avoid places requiring masks.
When this is over, be interesting to see how the batting average of the govt Scolds hold up. I imagine masks will get a laugh. Social distancing lead to more anxiety and suicides . Outside helped. Elevators and mass transit was bad. And multigenerational family gatherings got tons of scolding. And the constant anxiety was really bad on the circulatory system. Let’s hope the vaccine is real.

January 6, 2021 9:37 PM

Patience. Did you read the article? It proved little. It was conjecture and possibilities. Quote
"However, in recent studies, contrasting results have been seen in patients. Some claim to have improved their condition with the help of the drug, while others blame the cure for the adverse reactions it brings."
"The drug combinations, additionally, didn't change the total amount of oxygen required by patients experiencing respiratory symptoms. Joseph Rahimian, a senior investigator and infectious disease specialist, said that it was the first study ever to examine the two combinations in contrast to each other. Furthermore, he cautioned that a controlled experiment would still be necessary to prove the benefits beyond doubt.

Rahimian said that their next approach would be to do a prospective study to see if the research holds up in people receiving zinc. Hydroxychloroquine has been proven effective in lab settings, but not in people."

January 6, 2021 11:13 PM

Only in America. Hmmm. True enough, Gerald, in its own way.

Cosmopolitan’s February issue cover shows a morbidly obese woman with the headline “This is Healthy.”
Of course it’s not healthy. That is a bald face lie propagated by a media that has no interest in the well-being of the public.
America’s obesity epidemic (over two thirds of the U.S. is obese or overweight) provides huge amounts of ‘dry tinder’ for this virus epidemic. Obesity and metabolic syndrome disrupt the immune system, and increase the risk of heart disease, stroke, cancer, Alzheimer’s, liver disease, and other chronic diseases.
Masks won’t stop this epidemic, nor will lockdowns. A mask is no substitute for a fully functional immune system.

The mask obsession is a distraction that keeps us from addressing the major cause of chronic disease and illness in our country.

January 7, 2021 6:27 AM

Your "Masks won’t stop this epidemic, nor will lockdowns." is more of an opinion than fact. China went into lockdown and its people and economy are recovering. America has the highest incidents of deaths in the world from Covid with more to follow.
Here in Perth, Australia we have not had to wear masks since June 2020. Why? Because when Covid hit in March we went into lockdown. We could go out to walk and exercise. It was a short-term pain for a long-term gain.
It is a combination of factors which help. Yes being healthy and not obese contribute. Here in Australia we are adults and sensible and listen to those who know like health officials and epidemiologists. It never ceases to amaze me that the ignorant seem to know more than those who have spent years studying their craft like epidemiologists. I shake my head when people promulgate an opinion and expect it to be taken as fact.

January 7, 2021 7:31 AM

The first response in this thread is by Gerald Richards who writes:

"..... not to be contaminated by idiots..."

Mr. Richards' second response contains the words "... So your way of discussing a topic is to attack the person and be vitriolic and attempt to bully...."

Can someone answer this question..

Is Mr. Richards a hypocrite or a nitwit?

January 7, 2021 8:10 AM

@Gerald - If you truly believe what China is telling you, you may be too far gone I'm afraid. They've done nothing but lie since this began.

No, it isn't proven that hydroxychloroquine and zinc are a perfect cure for covid - they probably aren't, and I never said they were. The article cited does, however, provide what I said it did - legitimate scientific reason to think that they may be helpful. No more, no less - you and your doctor can reach your own conclusion until such time as there is more solid evidence.

But that's my point - there is absolutely no excuse for any government to flat-out ban their use in treating covid. Yet that's what's happened in the US. All by itself, that proves that our betters are acting in bad faith and do not have our best interests at heart.

Combined with the clearly observable fact that there is no connection whatsoever between mask mandates and infection levels, yet they're using them to destroy our economy, they can go pound sand. What they say deserves no respect. They are the enemy, just as much as the Red Chinese are.

January 7, 2021 8:10 AM

Such a shame that you don't trust your authorities and institutions. I prefer to listen and follow the advice of people who know like he3alth professionals and epidemiologists. Of course, if you have a higher qualification in this field please tell me. If we follow your reasoning will you please tell me why health care workers are keen to wear PPEs when dealing with those who have tested positive to Covid-19

January 7, 2021 8:31 AM

Wow! Such a contribution. Your statement is otiose

January 7, 2021 8:38 AM

@Gerald - Sure: the PPE that health care workers use for dealing with highly infectious diseases is nothing like the worthless scraps of cloth everybody else has. The N95 masks genuinely do protect from viruses, because they are actually able to filter particles down to virus size.

Anybody can buy these masks now, and if that's what you're using, then yes, they can help. However, med students are trained in their proper usage - never touch the outside, change them several times a day, etc. In the real world, nobody is using them with that degree of discipline, which greatly diminishes or destroys their effectiveness.

Anything less is simply useless:


“We did not find evidence that surgical-type face masks are effective in reducing laboratory-confirmed influenza transmission, either when worn by infected persons (source control) or by persons in the general community to reduce their susceptibility.”


“Surgical mask wearing among individuals in non-healthcare settings is not significantly associated with reduction in acute respiratory illness incidence in this meta-review.”

I don't have to be an epidemiologist to be able to read and understand. Show me an actual scientific study demonstrating that non-surgical masks work by non-medical professionals out in the real world accomplishes anything at all.

January 7, 2021 8:56 AM

My opinion is one born of many years in public sector risk management. One o& 5h3 first tenets is fixing th3 root cause. My state, Connecticut, part of the greater New York area, is rapidly approaching 500 deaths per million residents. In spite of a major lockdown, strictly adhered to mask usage and social distancing. Compliance is high.but 5hey still haven’t worked.
On of 5he major tenets of risk management is fixing the foot cause. In the US, poor metabolic health is rampant.

January 7, 2021 5:20 PM

The the findings of the source you quoted is inconclusive. I quote

"The efficacy of SM usage to prevent transmission of influenza-like illness (ILI) and laboratory-confirmed influenza have been shown in a number of studies among symptomatic patients (12–14). However, the protective effect of SMs among healthy individuals in a community setting remains unclear. Existing systematic reviews and meta-analyses consistently found SMs ineffective at preventing ILI or influenza episodes when worn by an uninfected individual (15–17). However, a study that examined the protective effect of SM use against secondary influenza episode in a household setting, found a 70% reduction in reported episodes when participants were compliant in SM use (18)."
I, like most Australians, prefer to follow the advice of the experts not some self-appointed person who thinks they know better.

January 7, 2021 10:59 PM

Sorry to be joining late but.....

Patience....you are wasting your time trying to discuss anything with Gerald. I know you know that. Gerald will not listen, or consider, or be swayed by, any evidence that contradicts what he has been told by “them” to believe.

He has been told by “them”, and he believes as “they’ve” stated, that the world is flat and no matter what evidence to the contrary he is presented with, he will NEVER change his stance.... unless, of course, the anonymous Australian “they” he speaks of, tell him to change his stance. And of course, “they” will tell him that when “they”deem it beneficial to “themselves” that the Geralds of Australia change their stance. And the Gerald/sheep of Australia and the US will comply to the letter.

Gerald type humans do as they are told by “them” and deny what their eyes see, ears hears, fingers feel, nose smells. Denying what the senses tell you is reality causes inner conflict which Gerald misinterprets as coming from people like you who do not deny the reality their senses perceive. So Gerald attacks you in the hope that through the attack, the inner conflict he obviously feels will lessen. But it won’t. So he increases his attacks hoping
mistakenly, that if he could just get you to deny reality and listen to and obey what “they” say, then everything would be ok. Gerald thinks he would feel safe if you and the rest of the world would only “listen and obey them”.
But he wouldn’t feel safe. Because “they” don’t want people to feel safe. “They” want chaos, confusion and disturbing unsettledness to spread to maintain their ability to get people like Gerald to obey, no matter how stupid or outlandish the behavior they demand is. And Gerald and his ilk will comply to the letter hoping “they” will finally tell him and his kind that it’s ok to now feel safe. Only then will Gerald be “ok”. Only after “they” tell him that he is ok will Gerald be able to even try to feel ok. Even then, he will doubt his okness. Imagine that. Someone who has so bought into the rhetoric bs that they are no longer able to discern their own beingness.

That is who we are dealing with. And no amount of rational discourse can or will change anything they’ve been indoctrinated into believing. It’s like they’re in a dream and they kind of know it’s a dream. But they can never seem to wake up from the dream. So they surround themselves with others dreaming the same dream to try and ease the inner conflict. But the inner conflict never lessens. And they never wake up.

January 8, 2021 9:02 AM

@Gerald -

"The the findings of the source you quoted is inconclusive."

That is exactly my point - it is hopeful, but not proven.

On what possible grounds, therefore, do our masters dare to attempt to legally forbid doctors and patients from trying hydroxychloroquine and zinc as a therapy, should they wish to do so?

Nobody is suggesting that it should be forced on anyway. You don't seem to think it's a good idea, and that's fine - don't take it. The fact that our masters are using their powers to *prevent* people from trying it, on their own responsibility, says all that needs to be said about their bad faith.

Look at it this way: there is far more evidence (not proof) that hydroxychloroquine and zinc help against covid, than there is that masks do. Yet one is being forced on people, and the other is forbidden. Why should we trust such arrogant, dictatorial duplicity?

"I, like most Australians, prefer to follow the advice of the experts."

Yes, I agree with this statement, and wish you the very best of luck with that choice. Perhaps your "experts" are wiser, more trustworthy, and more honest than ours have proven to be. But I wouldn't bet on it.

It comes down to this: every so-called expert has every right to make their arguments. Naturally, some people are more worthy of being listened to than others.

But I categorically reject the concept that "experts" have the authority to *force* ordinary people to follow their advice, outside (possibly) of a duly-enacted law voted on by the people's representatives who are accountable to the voters. So far as I'm aware, not one single covid regulation has been voted on or passed by any legislature anywhere, and it's been a year. That, by itself, utterly invalidates all of them on democratic grounds.

January 8, 2021 1:20 PM

If our rulers were interested in actually protecting us on airline flights, they could put ultraviolet lights in the air flow ducts to kill the virus. The cost of intallation and weight penalty would be minimal. Don't they often say, "If it could save only one life...?"

Not that I don't expect hypocracy, but as Alinski says, make them live by their own rules. At least until media Democrats censor the news of them not living by their own rules.

Democracy dies in censorship.

Douglas Proudfoot

January 9, 2021 12:40 PM

Douglas. What is your proof that ultraviolet light kills Covid-19?

January 9, 2021 10:57 PM

You do what you want to do. Here in Australia we have faith and trust in our health professionals. Sad to see you don't. In the lockdown there were three simple tasks - wear a mask, wash your hands and social distancing. Seemed to work. But if you wish to kill your own and have the highest number of deaths in the world go ahead. Darwinism still works

January 10, 2021 1:22 AM

What on earth are you talking about?! You accuse me of things of your own making so otiose. Here in Australia and many parts of the world we have faith and trust in our professionals so we follow their advice and it works. In America people don't wish to follow such advice so could that be why you have the highest rates of deaths in the world?
BTW I have not attacked Patience if you disagree please show me where I have done so.

January 10, 2021 1:34 AM

@Gerald, @Rico
Gerald, the people in my State, here in the US, have slavishly followed the advise of the professionals...and it’s not working. Despite compliance rates above 95 percent for mask wearing, and lockdowns and school closures, the Coved death rate is racing towards 500 per million residents.

Metabolic syndrome and obesity disrupts and impairs the immune system. The higher the rates of obesity/ met syndrome, the more risk of disease and the higher the risk of a long severe. Case. This, unfortunately creates a reservoir effect, in which the virus has more time and opportunity to spread to healthcare workers and family, thus amplifying the spread.
With obesity, T2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome rates afflicting about 2/3 of the population here - most of the population has thus put themselves at serious risk for disease.

A paper or cloth mask is no substitute for a healthy immune system. Nothing is.

January 10, 2021 6:20 AM

Gerald Richards says:
"Douglas. What is your proof that ultraviolet light kills Covid-19?"

I followed the science. You can too!

If you like, search for "Do UV lights kill Covid-19?" If you're lazy, here's a link to one of the many articles about it:


Douglas Proudfoot

January 10, 2021 2:58 PM

Douglas. Thank you for the link. From this and other articles it appears it is early days and UVC is the one to use. I quote from the article to which you referred me.
"The U.S. Food and Drug Administration took it one step further on its website.“There is limited published data about the wavelength, dose, and duration of ultraviolet radiation required to inactivate COVID-19,” the website reads.

But within the past few weeks, OCPS altered its plans.
“We changed our mind on what we’re going to do first,” said Orange County School Board Chair Teresa Jacobs.
She said after looking at the research and after having conversations with the Orange County Schools Medical Advisory Board, the district opted to hold off on installing UV lights in the air conditioning system.
Instead, she said the district will install CDC-recommended air filters that are rated MERV 13 and MERV 9."

January 10, 2021 9:50 PM

Gerald: The filters have to be replaced often. It's a bad decision. UV lightbulbs last years.

What does the limited data say? This article summarizes the USFDA position:

Your post gave a misleading impression.

January 22, 2021 4:10 PM
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