Everyone Knew Biden’s Covid Policy Would Fail – Because Men Are Not Piano Keys

 

Instead of jumping in the shower when I wake up, I have a bad habit of grabbing my phone and checking social media. It’s a great way to start off the day on the wrong foot. Here’s the first tweet that popped up Thursday morning.

Bradley P. Moss … sorry … Bradley P. Moss, ESQUIRE, is a DC lawyer and prolific tweeter. According to his bio, he earned a J.D. from American University’s Washington College of Law, and an International Affairs B.A. from George Washington University. Despite the top-notch education, he doesn’t seem to have learned much.

He begins his deep thought as follows:

Did Biden/Harris overpromise on stopping the virus? Um, yeah.

Of course they overpromised, as anyone with a cursory knowledge of Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, the federal bureaucracy, and basic virology knew when Joe said, “I’m going to shut down the virus, not the country.”

As of December 14, Biden has more COVID deaths on his watch than Trump did, and this after the previous administration gifted him three mRNA vaccines. Yes, this is the same “Trump vaccine” Kamala said she wouldn’t take.

Let’s jump to Moss ESQUIRE’s third assertion.

Did we know about the variants in 2020? No.

Yes, everyone knew that viruses mutate, at least everyone but Mr. Mossquire. This is why doctors reformulate the influenza shot every year.

His second point is what really drew my ire:

Did anyone anticipate how many millions of Americans would deliberately refuse to get vaccinated? Um, no.

Um, yes, it was obvious that millions of Americans would refuse to get vaccinated. Just look at Kamala’s 2020 refusal above. Aside from the progressive condemnation of the “Trump vaccine,” simply look to human nature.

If any leader says, “you should do X,” lots of people won’t. Some folks are busy, others disorganized, some don’t care, others never get around to it. Then you have a subset that opposes X, whatever it might be. There are also those who oppose X for no reason at all. I call this the “Wet Paint Effect.” Walk down a hallway and no one touches the wall. Tape a “Wet Paint” sign to it and it will be covered with fingerprints. Including mine.

The incompetent leader then says, “you have to do X.” Here’s where human nature really kicks in. Many folks, especially Americans, instinctively distrust the government. For the past several decades, our “experts” have gotten damn near everything wrong, from the Iraq War to the housing bubble to bailouts to Obamacare to Russiagate to Afghanistan. The list is endless. A politician asserting “but this time we’ll get it right” without even acknowledging his disastrous track record will be laughed off the stage.

Ultimately, humans will refuse to do the “right” thing because “men are not piano keys.” If you don’t understand human nature by mere observation, just read any classic book. One of the best is Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s Notes from Underground.

[Y]ou tell me again that an enlightened and developed man, such, in short, as the future man will be, cannot consciously desire anything disadvantageous to himself, that that can be proved mathematically. I thoroughly agree, it can–by mathematics. But I repeat for the hundredth time, there is one case, one only, when man may consciously, purposely, desire what is injurious to himself, what is stupid, very stupid–simply in order to have the right to desire for himself even what is very stupid and not to be bound by an obligation to desire only what is sensible….

Now I ask you: what can be expected of man since he is a being endowed with strange qualities? Shower upon him every earthly blessing, drown him in a sea of happiness, so that nothing but bubbles of bliss can be seen on the surface; give him economic prosperity, such that he should have nothing else to do but sleep, eat cakes and busy himself with the continuation of his species, and even then out of sheer ingratitude, sheer spite, man would play you some nasty trick. He would even risk his cakes and would deliberately desire the most fatal rubbish, the most uneconomical absurdity, simply to introduce into all this positive good sense his fatal fantastic element.

It is just his fantastic dreams, his vulgar folly that he will desire to retain, simply in order to prove to himself–as though that were so necessary– that men still are men and not the keys of a piano, which the laws of nature threaten to control so completely that soon one will be able to desire nothing but by the calendar….

I believe in it, I answer for it, for the whole work of man really seems to consist in nothing but proving to himself every minute that he is a man and not a piano-key!

The “Underground Man” focuses on negative behaviors, but it equally applies to behaviors considered noble. Many, many humans innately reject being forced into a role as cog in society’s machine; a “piano-key,” if you will. They will act out their individuality, sometimes for good ends and other times just because.

Humans possess reason, but they are hardly rational animals. This is why I never identified as a pure libertarian. Utopian free-marketeers insist that if people are just left alone, they will make the best rational choice for themselves. Have they met people?

About 14 percent of Americans smoke cigarettes, despite knowing the health risks. I knew motorcycles were more dangerous than cars; guess what my first vehicle was? And try lecturing an addict about rational choices.

Even if the Covid vaccines were thoroughly tested (they weren’t) and 100 percent effective (they aren’t) a lot of people would refuse them. Even if lockdowns and masks were proven to stop the virus (they don’t), Americans wouldn’t obey.

Some of the reasons behind this are sound. I’m more interested in living than existing and have gone about my life as normal since May 2020. I’m not much at risk of serious problems with Covid anyway, so my risk assessment is different from an obese, immunocompromised 80-year-old. Even then, I would probably still act the same since death is always near while life is fleeting. No one gets out of here alive; enjoy it while you can.

Other people refuse just because. They don’t have “bad” reasons; they aren’t reasons at all. Human nature continually asserts itself over rationality, however “rationality” is defined this week.

I’ve argued against Covid mandates since March of last year because they are counterproductive. Just issuing a mandate creates resistance where none was before. Especially when the politician issuing it has repeatedly proved incompetent or malevolent.

You can program a device to obey your instructions. But men are not piano keys. If Mr. Esquire ever read a book, he would have known this from the jump.

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  1. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Jon Gabriel, Ed.:

    Walk down a hallway and no one touches the wall. Tape a “Wet Paint” sign to it and it will be covered with fingerprints. Including mine.

     

    I’m not testing the paint. I’m testing the sign.

    • #1
  2. Steve C. Member
    Steve C.
    @user_531302

    Nicely written, Jon.

    • #2
  3. MiMac Thatcher
    MiMac
    @MiMac

    you think that is a top notch education? Man I have got to lower my standards….

    • #3
  4. Henry Castaigne Member
    Henry Castaigne
    @HenryCastaigne

    Thomas Sowell’s second economic fallacy is that the government planners aren’t smart enough to organize society like pieces on a chessboard. He calls it the chessboard fallacy.   Dostoyevsky managed to explicate economics as well as most everything else about human nature. Darn impressive. 

    • #4
  5. Victor Tango Kilo Member
    Victor Tango Kilo
    @VtheK

    Let me see if I understand this: The “Party of Science (TM)” never took into account the probability of the virus mutating into different strains.

    • #5
  6. Steve Colombo Coolidge
    Steve Colombo
    @Steve Colombo

    Great post! In Intro to Econ, decades ago, first thing we were taught: 

    Economics holds one assumption:  That (people) consumers act rationally.

    The second thing we were taught:  Economics is the Dismal Science.  

    Appears Mossquire skipped that day–or knows nothing about the Dismal Science. 

    • #6
  7. David Foster Member
    David Foster
    @DavidFoster

    “Men are not piano keys”…reminds me of something George Eliot wrote, back in 1866:

    Fancy what a game of chess would be if all the chessman had passions and intellects, more or less small and cunning; if you were not only uncertain about your adversary’s men, but a little uncertain also about your own . . . You would be especially likely to be beaten if you depneded arrogantly on your mathematical imagination, and regarded your passionate pieces with contempt. Yet this imaginary chess is easy compared with a game man has to play against his fellow-men with other fellow-men for instruments.

    • #7
  8. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    David Foster (View Comment):

    “Men are not piano keys”…reminds me of something George Eliot wrote, back in 1866:

    Fancy what a game of chess would be if all the chessman had passions and intellects, more or less small and cunning; if you were not only uncertain about your adversary’s men, but a little uncertain also about your own . . . You would be especially likely to be beaten if you depneded arrogantly on your mathematical imagination, and regarded your passionate pieces with contempt. Yet this imaginary chess is easy compared with a game man has to play against his fellow-men with other fellow-men for instruments.

    Love that

    • #8
  9. Seawriter Contributor
    Seawriter
    @Seawriter

    Initially I did not refuse to get vaccinated. I simply did not bother to get vaccinated. Why should I bother to do so after I came down with the disease before the vaccine came out? That would be like my getting vaccinated for measles when I had it as a child. (Which happened before the vaccine came out. I seem to make a lifelong habit of that don’t I?) Especially since my original case of Covid was mild. I do not need protection from Covid.

    Getting vaccinated does not prevent the vaccinated from getting Covid and spreading it to others. It mitigates the disease if you get it, but having survived Covid seems to prevent reoccurrence anyway. And I have already had it. So, I pose less danger to others than those who are vaccinated, but have not had Covid.

    Since then, I have gone from not bothering to refusing to get vaccinated. Unless someone can articulate a rational, science-based reason for my getting vaccinated, one that shows me why my risk from not getting vaccinated is higher than my risk from getting vaccinated I won’t. Because as small as the risk from vaccination is, it is larger than the zero risk Covid poses to my health today. What do you get when you divide by zero, people?

    I am not opposed to vaccines. Long time Ricochetti may recall I favorably reviewed books about vaccinations (Do Vaccines Do That? being one.)

    I consider Covid vaccine mandates superstitious nonsense. They are as irrational as believing your ship is doomed if you sail on Friday the 13th. Indeed, they seem totally faith-based, like a religion. Getting vaccinated when doing so has a negative cost-benefit ratio is a sacrament in the church of Science!, an irrational act to affirm one’s belief that Science! is a god.

    Sorry, I have a perfectly good religion in which I believe, with a God Who commands “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” So I do not plan to bend my knee to something I consider a requirement of a state religion. I am now part of the LGBFJB community.

    • #9
  10. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    If the vax works so well, why force it? The. Lear answer when you use force is that your product sucks.

    • #10
  11. BastiatJunior Member
    BastiatJunior
    @BastiatJunior

    Jon Gabriel, Ed.: I call this the “Wet Paint Effect.” Walk down a hallway and no one touches the wall. Tape a “Wet Paint” sign to it and it will be covered with fingerprints. Including mine.

    I heard about a place (don’t remember what it was) on the east coast that was open for tours.  It was one of the many places that George Washington slept.  The bed on which General Washington slept had a sign that said, “Wash hands immediately after touching.”

    No one touched the bed.

    • #11
  12. jonb60173 Member
    jonb60173
    @jonb60173

    The only thing I’d say in Moss’s defense is that the problem with texts and tweets and whatever you read but don’t hear, is the inflection in the writers voice.  So when I first read what he wrote I heard it in satire.

    • #12
  13. BastiatJunior Member
    BastiatJunior
    @BastiatJunior

    Seawriter (View Comment):
    I am now part of the LGBFJB community.

    What’s that?

    • #13
  14. Eustace C. Scrubb Member
    Eustace C. Scrubb
    @EustaceCScrubb

    BastiatJunior (View Comment):

    Seawriter (View Comment):
    I am now part of the LGBFJB community.

    What’s that?

    I know the first part is LGB for “Let’s go Brandon!” I’m not sure what FJB stands for… Perhaps we could ask the President.

    • #14
  15. Seawriter Contributor
    Seawriter
    @Seawriter

    BastiatJunior (View Comment):

    Seawriter (View Comment):
    I am now part of the LGBFJB community.

    What’s that?

    Split it in two in the middle.

    • #15
  16. Lois Lane Coolidge
    Lois Lane
    @LoisLane

    Excellent post, Jon.  

    I read Notes from the Underground when I was in high school and loved it.  It keeps getting referenced here, there, and everywhere it seems, so I guess I have to dust off a copy and revisit so many decades later.  You’ve given me an additional goal for 2022!  :)

    As for the vaccines, my faith in information from public health institutions  has taken a giant nosedive.  Whatever the government’s goals per the constant fear mongering, I will absolutely not get the booster at this point or visit NYC as I used to like to do on an odd weekend or two, or ski  in Canada, or, or, or…. 

    I’d rather stay home and play my own piano. 

     

     

    • #16
  17. BastiatJunior Member
    BastiatJunior
    @BastiatJunior

    Seawriter (View Comment):

    BastiatJunior (View Comment):

    Seawriter (View Comment):
    I am now part of the LGBFJB community.

    What’s that?

    Split it in two in the middle.

    Now I get it.  Thank you.

    • #17
  18. BastiatJunior Member
    BastiatJunior
    @BastiatJunior

    Eustace C. Scrubb (View Comment):
    I’m not sure what FJB stands for… Perhaps we could ask the President.

    LMAO.

    • #18
  19. Spin Coolidge
    Spin
    @Spin

    Percival (View Comment):

    Jon Gabriel, Ed.:

    Walk down a hallway and no one touches the wall. Tape a “Wet Paint” sign to it and it will be covered with fingerprints. Including mine.

     

    I’m not testing the paint. I’m testing the sign.

    Hot Plate!

    • #19
  20. DaveSchmidt Coolidge
    DaveSchmidt
    @DaveSchmidt

    Eustace C. Scrubb (View Comment):

    BastiatJunior (View Comment):

    Seawriter (View Comment):
    I am now part of the LGBFJB community.

    What’s that?

    I know the first part is LGB for “Let’s go Brandon!” I’m not sure what FJB stands for… Perhaps we could ask the President.

    Perhaps ask Dr. Jill. 

     

    • #20
  21. Jules PA Inactive
    Jules PA
    @JulesPA

    Jon Gabriel, Ed.: Especially when the politician issuing it has repeatedly proved incompetent or and malevolent.

    FIFY

    • #21
  22. Jules PA Inactive
    Jules PA
    @JulesPA

    BastiatJunior (View Comment):

    Seawriter (View Comment):
    I am now part of the LGBFJB community.

    What’s that?

    C’mon, man!

    • #22
  23. thelonious Member
    thelonious
    @thelonious

    If I were a piano key I’d be G flat just above middle C.

    • #23
  24. dukenaltum Inactive
    dukenaltum
    @dukenaltum

    A common conceit held among permanent bureaucrats and their sycophants is government could solve all problems if it weren’t for the wickedness and stupidity of lesser men and women failing to live up to the “Plan”.   Every concentration camp and gulag were built with the same understanding.  

    • #24
  25. She Member
    She
    @She

    jonb60173 (View Comment):

    The only thing I’d say in Moss’s defense is that the problem with texts and tweets and whatever you read but don’t hear, is the inflection in the writers voice.

    Valid point.

    So when I first read what he wrote I heard it in satire.

    Leftists are incapable of humor, or of its subgenre, satire. Except when it appears in the form of involuntary and unintentional self-parody.

    • #25
  26. Malkadavis Inactive
    Malkadavis
    @Malkadavis

    Jon Gabriel, Ed.: I’m more interested in living than existing and have gone about my life as normal since May 2020.

    Beautifully said. For me, personally, I would have written “as normal as possible” simply because I have been compelled to don the mask in certain public places.

    • #26
  27. Gazpacho Grande' Coolidge
    Gazpacho Grande'
    @ChrisCampion

    Great post, Jon!  Mssr. Esquire, Esq., of Esquire lane can go jam it.  Setting up a sentence so you can knock it down with “Um” responses is the weakest form of self-pleasuring, and he revels in it.  That’s the best his law degree can do?  I’d ask for a refund.

    Regarding the rest:  Pfizer spent a billion on marketing (not a made up number, that’s the number).  Why should they think that they have to?  Their reasons are more than one, obviously, in that primarily there’s a financial return there (ask any of the MSM shows what percentage of their funding comes from pharma, particularly in the last 2 years, and after they get done coughing lightly into a closed fist, they’ll say “let me get back to you on that”), but Pfizer knows, just as Dosteyevsky knows, that humans will act as they always have, and always will.

    Ironically, in other settings, Western media and the dumpy loads who populate that industry laud and sanctify those who resist, who stand up, when it’s simply easier and even more beneficial to conform, up to and including risk of imprisonment or death.

    But if an American, healthy, in his mid-30’s, says “No” to a vaccine mandate?  Hey, let’s roll the tanks on him, baby!

    See the source image

     

    • #27
  28. Gazpacho Grande' Coolidge
    Gazpacho Grande'
    @ChrisCampion

    dukenaltum (View Comment):

    A common conceit held among permanent bureaucrats and their sycophants is government could solve all problems if it weren’t for the wickedness and stupidity of lesser men and women failing to live up to the “Plan”. Every concentration camp and gulag were built with the same understanding.

     

    • #28
  29. I Walton Member
    I Walton
    @IWalton

    I lack the background and knowledge to evaluate this Canadian hit on Pfizer.  Any comments from folks?

     

    https://www.canadiancovidcarealliance.org/media-resources/the-pfizer-inoculations-for-covid-19-more-harm-than-good-2/

    • #29
  30. Doug Watt Moderator
    Doug Watt
    @DougWatt

    My mom and dad spent a year in Firenze, for you barbarians, Florence, Italy. She said that signs were posted inside passenger trains that stated; “Do not spit on the floor”. Some passengers felt insulted by the signs so they would spit on the sign. There’s a lesson in that story for the elite scolds.

    • #30
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