Vaccines

Immunity Passports May Liberate Us From Lockdowns or Invite New Privacy Invasions

The idea is looking less like a Get Out of Jail Free card and more like a hall pass.

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Are you looking forward to resuming something that resembles a normal life in terms of travel, concert attendance, and public gatherings? Vaccines for COVID-19 are a big step towards putting pandemic fears behind us. But if hosts aren't satisfied with knowing vaccines are available, they may want proof that event attendees and travelers have had their shots. That's where immunity passports come in, and they may help us move past the pandemic—or add new intrusiveness and frustration to our activities.

The idea of immunity passports originated in the spring as a recourse for those who had already suffered a bout of COVID-19. They would be "digital or physical documents that certify an individual has been infected and is purportedly immune to SARS-CoV-2," noted a May article in The Lancet. "Individuals in possession of an immunity passport could be exempt from physical restrictions and could return to work, school, and daily life."

Immunity passports, then, were conceived as something liberating for those no longer at risk from the disease. "This has at least some potential as a way to loosen the ties that have brought so much work and so many lives to a standstill," Ron Bailey, Reason's science correspondent, observed in April.

Since then, however, the idea has morphed more than a little. For starters, it's looking less like a Get Out of Jail Free card and more like a hall pass.

"International air travel could come booming back next year but with a new rule: Travelers to certain countries must be vaccinated against the coronavirus before they can fly," The Globe and Mail recently reported.

Carriers will also impose restrictions. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) endorses immunity passports and has developed its own Travel Pass. Qantas says it will require proof of vaccination and other airlines are bound to follow. Norwegian Cruise Lines is considering a similar move.

Domestically, Hawaii currently requires COVID-19 tests for travelers who want to skip quarantine; state officials are considering a vaccine requirement.

Similar rules may apply to many entertainment venues. Ticketmaster points out that "one idea to keep the event entry process as simple and convenient as possible is to find a way for fans to link their digital ticket to their negative test results, vaccine status, health declaration or any other info that is determined to greenlight access."

Accomplishing that task shouldn't be difficult, given that there are already competing implementations of immunity passports seeking to make the process painless and to address potential concerns.

The IBM Digital Health Pass, which is designed to "bring people back to a physical location, such as a workplace, school, stadium or airline flight," boasts that "privacy is central to the solution, and the digital wallet can allow individuals to maintain control of their personal health information and share it in a way that is secured, verifiable, and trusted." IATA's Travel Pass promises that "travelers always remain in control of their data with their privacy protected." The similarly travel-oriented CommonPass, sponsored by the World Economic Forum (WEF), claims that it "delivers a simple yes/no answer as to whether the individual meets the current entry criteria, but the underlying health information stays in the individual's control."

That's a promising start with the various offerings all offering privacy assurances. But there's a very real possibility that, instead of anonymous codes in competing apps, our vaccination status will end up as entries in a government database that follows us from one checkpoint to the next.

For starters, both IATA (through its One ID) and WEF have been pushing "touchless travel" in which biometric identification becomes the norm and "your face and body are your passport," as a WEF article about post-pandemic travel puts it. The authors specify that, ideally, "the individual is in possession of and controls their identity attributes, such as their date and place of birth and physical characteristics, but also travel history, health information and other data." Fundamentally, though, people's movements would be governed by databases accessed through iris scans and fingerprints. "Health information" would, presumably, include vaccinations for COVID-19 and whatever bugs emerge in the future.

Under such a system, immunity passports look less like competing apps that you can swap out if they screw up, and more like government websites to which you upload required documents and hope that the inevitable glitches aren't too awful as they follow you … everywhere.

What kind of glitches? Just look at the government no-fly lists of people who are supposedly too dangerous to allow on airplanes, which have been so notoriously inaccurate and difficult to correct that they were ruled unconstitutional by a federal judge last year. "Even in clear cases of mistaken identity or clerical blundering, a name can linger in the system for years," CNN noted in 2015. The ACLU calls them "Kafkaesque."

This was seven years after then-Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff admitted, "we do have circumstances where we have name mismatches," amidst suspicions that a journalist had been added to the list because he criticized the TSA. Placement on the list has been used by the FBI as a punishment for people who don't play ball—a lawsuit over that abuse is working its way through the courts right now.

This isn't a peculiarly American problem; Canada's no-fly list has been similarly mismanaged. Thirteen years after implementing the list, Ottawa "hopes to have a new system for individuals who have names similar to those of genuine terror threats in place later this month—and up and running in time for the holiday travel season," according to a November CBC report.

So, a system of immunity passports could mean picking a widely accepted app with a good reputation for privacy that will offer scanners nothing more than a QR code certifying your health status. Or it could require you to call a federal agency—business hours only, please—to explain that the document you just uploaded was a vaccination certificate and not a pregnancy test.

And yes, this objection applies not only to immunity passports, but to the whole database approach embodied by "touchless travel." Vaccine information is just one important place to hold the line for competing, decentralized solutions rather than submit to yet another bureaucratic boondoggle.

In the current pandemic-panic environment, it seems inevitable that we'll be asked to offer proof of vaccination in the near future, at least for international travel and possibly even for attending large gatherings. The potential exists for satisfying such requirements in a way that's relatively respectful of privacy. But immunity passports will only be tolerable if we can resist the pressures to turn them into entries in a larger-scale and more-intrusive version of no-fly lists.

NEXT: No Federal Charges for Police Officer Who Killed 12-Year-Old Tamir Rice

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      2. Right on. I know that when I want to fly somewhere, I want a courageous free spirited pilot that doesn’t bow down to fascist demands that he produce some kind of proof that he knows how to fly a commercial aircraft.

        1. Actually we know you want to crawl on your knees, licking the boots of those who *might* let you travel 50 miles from your home if you are obsequious enough, you stinking pile of lefty shit.
          Fuck off and die; your parents will thank you. As will your dog.

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        2. Holy strawman, Batman!

          1. Yeah, conflating a certificate of competence with ‘travel papers’ moves shitstain’s bar pretty far down.
            His stupidity wasn’t in doubt, merely the level of it. Like M4e, I keep thinking he really can’t be that stupid, and then he proves me wrong. Again.

            1. Why so angry? Let me guess! The same party that thinks voter IDs = white supremacy, and that we should not have police or jails, will be the party demanding IDs for COVID tracking and lots of “enforcement” of non-compliers.

              Dementia Joe gonna be busy as a one armed paper hanger. IDEA: We use our covid ID cards to vote with.

              1. I’ve always said if the Government ever does try to implement some sort of ‘Mark of the Beast’ mandatory ID chip, we should just add an amendment that you need it to vote and then the Democrats would never let it pass.

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  1. SleepyJoe is licking his chops at the chance to print vaccine passports.

    1. His enthusiasm will wain when he finds out they aren’t scratch-n-sniff.

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    2. Hey…. I’m thinking we need an immunology czar, maybe even make it a Cabinet position, because it worked so well for education, energy, commerce and veteran affairs. Not to mention the raging success of Bureau of Indian Affairs. Imagine the fun of sharing your medical records with not only the government, but on-demand by any corporation that demands access. Yes!!! Sharing medical data with Ticketmaster… what could go wrong there?

      “Immunity passports, then, were conceived as something liberating for those no longer at risk from the disease.” Right! Because government always enables your liberty by demanding ‘your compliance or else’.

      Also, can we stop with this “immunity” shit? First, reportedly only a 90% efficacy, which means 10% will still be at risk, but will now think they are immune and act like it. And we have no damn idea whether acquired immunity from this will hold up more than a few months.

      1. The evidence from other coronaviruses says that immunity lasts about a year, and that repeat infections are usually less severe or asymptomatic.

        And vaccination is not a one time thing anyway. New strains and recombinants will evolve, and a new vaccine will be required every year, just as it is for flu – and that is the best case scenario.

  2. A simple number tattooed on the forearm will do the trick.
    “Just wear the tattoo “ will be the new SleepyJoe slogan.

    1. Tattoo won’t do since there will be more viruses that will need more vaccines, for a price, thats why Bill Gates vaccine info on a chip is so much better it can stay up to date and probably harder to hack than a phone app. harder to hack made myself laugh

      1. A three section code on the forehead, similar to a bar code or Q code should do it. It won’t be hidden by a mask (yes, they are here to stay) of sleeves. It may become necessary to ban bangs, but what’s that compared to “safety”?
        I suspect the codes will check-digit to 666.

        1. The implants are no bigger than a grain of rice, they say. And they can be reprogrammed with a scan from the vaccine administrator, they claim. Once a year, they’re telling me. COVID-21 is just around the corner, the headlines claim. Masks are still required, experts warn.

          1. But only reprogrammed by vaccine administrators under the authority of the vaccine czar. Nobody else would have access to these implants, because nobody else has that technology. Nope, they may well be able to hack the Pentagon, but not the chip in your arm. But just in case they can, you’ll now need to buy an arm Faraday cage [in addition to the mask] any time you leave the house.

            1. Just brand ’em like a one horse pony.
              -Sleepy

    2. Yes, being jailed and tattooed against your will because of your ethnicity is totally the same thing as being required to show proof that you won’t spread a deadly disease before putting other passengers at risk before voluntarily choosing to board a plane. Totes the same. You are a regular Clarence Darrow.

      1. There is much you don’t understand.

      2. “…You are a regular Clarence Darrow.”

        And you are a regular fucking lefty ignoramus. Stay on your knees; makes it easier for your betters to kick you in the nuts.

      3. Hold up there, Chipper. Didn’t we spend the last four years listening to the Left call Trump “Hitler”? And anyone who voted for him a “Nazi”? Seems to me that forced government flu ID cards have much more in common with a Jewish star than anything Trump has done has in common with a man who killed 20 million men, women, and children in the most barbaric ways he could dream up while starting a world war.

  3. In hindsight, Orwell seems very unimaginative.

    1. Yeah, Orwell wasn’t accurate or compelling enough… *that’s* the problem.

    2. this is a bumper sticker/billboard.

  4. See? The virus is nothing but a hoax and a power grab and a Chinese bioweapon, all at the same time!

    1. Don’t worry. Your bae biden will never harm you. Now now.

    2. Might as well use it to track your social credit score while we are at it.

  5. There will no doubt be a lengthy list of “crimes” which will result in your “immunity passport” being revoked.

    1. Why not just append the immunity list restrictions to the pre-existing No Fly list?

      1. Remember when Democrats wanted Obama to put every person in the country on the “Terrorist Watch List”, to implement de facto gun control?

  6. I suggest that we issue yellow stars that everyone must pin to their jackets. Once you’ve proven that you’ve taken the almighty vaccine, you may remove your star. The people with stars are too be treated like vermin, maybe we should even force them to all live in the same parts cities together in “ghettos” and repurpose all of their property and businesses to be distributed and run by the state.

    1. Alternatively, they can spend two weeks working remotely from quarantine centers; or camps if you will. For those requiring more expedient transportation to their final destination, mass sanitization chambers would provide a workable solution.

      1. at last, a compelling case for the bullet trains

        1. We can put the first reeducation camp, I mean quarantine center, in Merced, since that’s where the bullet train goes.

        2. at last, a compelling case for the bullet trains
          Under the SleepyJoe regime, they will use real bullets on the trains.

      2. Don’t worry, they’re coming.
        It’ll be convenient that so many of their political opponents will test positive.
        Then, in a couple years as quarantine camps have been normalized, they can sentence the “white supremacists” (who some of us may be tempted to label merely dissenters…) into actively anti-racist camps.
        After all, racism is a public health issue… and there’s no vaccine for it.

        Fuck the left.
        And fuck those of you who don’t realize there’s nothing hyperbolic above.

    2. The vaccine is only slightly more effective than not getting the vaccine at preventing someone from getting sick enough to show symptoms.

  7. Ugh. I’m saddened that these thoughts are even entertained.

    1. Even by some on this site. They are willing trading the appearance of safety for giving up their rights. And if you dont, they will call you the asshole.

      1. Appearance of safety is right. The lockdowns don’t effect C19 mortality. This is pretty straight forward, easily shown with publicly available data but still the lefties still cling to them.

  8. the individual is in possession of and controls their identity attributes, such as their date and place of birth and physical characteristics, but also travel history, health information and other data

    Of course, “other data” is subject to change as necessary.

    There’s a horrible, unspoken agreement that’s being formed between the people and the US government: We’ll agree to anything as long as the free shit keeps rolling.

  9. I think you are completely missing what this stuff is going to turn into. It is not going to be about government destroying privacy. It is going to be about creating economic privilege based on class.

    Those ‘hall passes’ are going to be allocated primarily on the basis of can you, personally, afford all the stuff that needs to be done to get that pass. Once you have that pass, then a whole world of opportunities will open up that aren’t going to be available to someone without that pass.

    1. It is not going to be about government destroying privacy. It is going to be about creating economic privilege based on class.

      It can be two things! If there’s one thing the last year, if not the last century, has taught us it’s that the Government is really good at finding ways to fuck you in orifices you didn’t even know you had.

      1. It can be two things. But I doubt it will be recognized as two things here. Because ‘creating economic privilege based on class’ can quite easily be rewritten as ‘liberating [some of] us from lockdown’. Both positive and market-supportive. A very easy rewrite to sell.

        1. You keep saying economic privilege and ignoring the political privilege fuckwit. The Oregon governor sent CPS to harass its own citizens for non compliance. Weird how you seem to not give 2 shots about it as you shouted the sky is falling rhetoric this year.

          1. “…fuckwit…”

            I see you know JFree.

        2. Absolutely! We have been thinking about this all backwards, that the government could take liberties away for noncompliance. The majority of Americans are psychologically prepared to reject that in principle, even though a remarkable percentage are happy to dispense with any liberty that isn’t personally advantageous.

          This however, is coming up from the ass end where the default position is lockdown, and the government incrementally gives it back to you so long as you continue to be a good boy. An “emergency” exists so long as the government declares that it is still an emergency, and under this theory, they are entitled to do any damn thing they want. After all, it’s only permanently temporary.

          1. You must be completely unaware that the asset-owning class is doing extremely well thank you very much. The lockdown is the best goddamn thing that ever happened. Nailing that down – via this ‘immunity passport’ – will lock in that privilege – forever. They will get to go to Davos to eat caviar any weekend they choose. You will get to uselessly whine about the commie Chinese and their antifa lackeys.

            You people are simply bat shit insane. Not only that. You don’t know squat about actual markets or capitalism either. Or about why/how/who actually corrupts government to their ends.

            1. Really? If you look at the states with the most progressive policies you have the biggest wealth gaps, because progressive policy is crony capitalism. Also, if you look at socialist countries the also have huge wealth gaps. Free markets are the best solution to wealth inequality.

  10. I’m sure if Biteme proposes it liberaltarian koch suckers will be all over it as a great idea. If Trump proposed it he’s the devil incarnate.

  11. There’s nothing wrong with airlines, Ticketmaster, movie theaters, amusement parks, or cruise companies from requiring immunization–if that’s what they want to do. That could be a business saving decision for some of them, and they should be allowed to do was they please. No one has a right to use their services against their will.

    We need to separate that from the state of Hawaii saying you can’t travel there without immunization, which is a separate issue. If Hawaiian airlines or the Hilton Hawaiian Village chooses to restrict their clientele to people who’ve been immunized, that’s one thing. A state government saying you aren’t allowed in its borders (with or without quarantine) is another question entirely.

    It should also be noted that one good reason to have intelligent open borders is for precisely this reason. If we had a treaty with Mexico that allowed Mexican citizens to come across our border by showing an ID–with certain stipulations–we could better protect ourselves from not just Covid-19, but an assortment of other communicable diseases by requiring immunizations as part of the stipulations qualifying people for IDs. We would also prohibit people from getting a border crossing ID if they were convicted of a felony. If you don’t want to trudge through miles and miles of desert in the middle of the night and be subject to smugglers and the danger associated with that journey, get yourself immunized, and you can walk across the border at a checkpoint by just showing an ID.

    I remember when everyone from the left to people here at Reason were condemning Trump for banning travel from Italy and other countries in the early stages of the pandemic. This is basically the mirror image of that argument. There is a proper place for government in protecting our rights from the consequences of a raging pandemic by taking reasonable precautions at the border. After all, the legitimate purpose of government is to protect our rights, and the legitimate purpose of border policy is to protect our rights from threats that are coming across the border.

    On the other hand, using the government to regulate what private companies can and can’t do and who is or isn’t allowed to use their services isn’t one of the proper places for government.

    1. intelligent open borders

      Borders are just a social construct, a figment of our collective imagination. Intelligent open borders, OTOH, are a sensible, objective truth that you can take to the bank.

      JFK, Ken, they’re fine twisting the language and inventing slogans to cover their authoritarianism without your help.

      1. JFK

        That’s some damn fine work autocorrect!

        1. And left leaning, I notice!

      2. Actually, open borders means allowing people to cross a border without obtaining a visa beforehand, and there isn’t anything imaginary about the difference between an open border and a closed border.

        Meanwhile, policies that allow people to cross the border without obtaining a visa can be stupid or intelligent. There isn’t anything imaginary about that either.

        An intelligent open border policy would make the U.S. safer than it is now–and freer, too. And we should institute such a policy because it’s in the best interests of the United States to do so.

        1. Ah yes, theres Ken insisting on the defintion that allows him to he correct.

          God he’s trash.

          1. So, can you point to an open border policy that doesn’t ultimately mean not needing to obtain a visa beforehand?

            Or are you just wrong?

            1. You aren’t talking about open borders, you are talking about a monitored border that still excludes people. It is amazing how many times libertarians use open borders but then conclude there will have to be some enforcement. So really it is just two sides arguing over how to enforce the border.

    2. if you don’t like your Hawaiian Islands you can always start your own island chain.

      1. We really do need a Section 230 to protect the islands from being held liable for its customers’ offensive speech that makes it through moderation.

    3. government will tell grocery stores people must show vaccination to enter store it won’t be the private companies choice. went to a funeral a couple of weeks ago and California requires visitors to the funeral home to write your name and contact for “tracing” purposes.

      1. “government will tell grocery stores people must show vaccination to enter store it won’t be the private companies choice.”

        Biden and the Democrats might do that, and we should be making the difference between grocery stores doing that (if they want) and progressives inflicting these policies on us against our will.

      2. Whenever Virginia requires me to write on a contact tracing register I always put down bad or illegible information. I don’t want to get a call from some bureaucrat ordering me to quarantine for 2 weeks.

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    4. I remember when everyone from the left to people here at Reason were condemning Trump for banning travel from Italy and other countries in the early stages of the pandemic.

      You are remembering only that day’s media headlines. That seems to be a very consistent way that people are remembering things but in fact it has nearly nothing to do with what actually happened because media headlines have all the memory consistency of a late-stage Alzheimers patient.

      re the specifics – Italy banned travel from China two days before the US did at the end of Jan. That is certainly the one travel ban that Trump highlighted personally and is ‘early’ – but the fact is that those travel bans in that timeframe were very widespread. If someone was opposed to ‘Trump doing it’ , it is solely because that was that day’s excuse to pee on Trump.

      The travel ban by the US from Italy occurred on March 11. Not the ‘early stages’ of anything. In fact, one week AFTER Italy put its own travel restrictions in place (including screening for fever in US-bound flights); and two days before Trump declared a national state of emergency, and four days after NY (the main entry point for the Italy/Europe cases) declared its state of emergency.

      What I myself am discovering this year is how pervasive our cognitive biases are. Not specific to your post but it brought up one of the best quotes from Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman – Odd as it may seem, I am my remembering self, and the experiencing self, who does my living, is like a stranger to me

      1. You seem to be having a conversation with a voice in your head. Do you sometimes find yourself wondering if you said something out loud?

          1. That wasn’t even a very good try.

          2. As an aside – I hope you understand that you are posting to a computer screen not a human. Whether you are talking while you post – well that’s your business and nothing wrong with that.

            1. And that was even worse.

              1. It won’t get better.
                Ask him about the millions dead we should have had by now.

          3. “Only when people reply”

            Those aren’t people, they are the voices in your head, asshole.

    5. Ken I don’t disagree on your points that it could be a business saving decision, but I think myself and many of us wonder how we got to this point that we’re even considering a passport. I don’t even know if this was considered in the past for non travel but it seems extreme. Media inspired terror? Idk. I think one of NPR’s headlines from recently summarized the issue perfectly for calling those who don’t want to follow their science “Toxic Individualism” and that’s currently where we are being challenged.

      1. I think we need to look at ourselves to explain why we libertarians aren’t even distinguishing between free association and government policy anymore.

        There are a lot of libertarians, around here for sure, who were so overwhelmed by the magnificence of Trump’s personality that they can’t even bring themselves to advocate libertarian positions anymore if those positions somehow rhyme with something Trump wants. And that’s really bad.

        If my fellow libertarians won’t even bother to distinguish between private action and government policy anymore, why should we expect officials or average voters to make the distinction?

        1. Hi Ken,

          Agree again on those points and that’s true. I am focusing in on your first statement which is something I don’t disagree with but rather was trying to figure out how free association which I believe is correct got to a thought process which it needed to consider the idea of passports. Trump like all people as valid points and good ideas. We may hate a person on the right or left or where ever but it shouldn’t mean that their ideas are all null an void.

          1. “I don’t disagree with but rather was trying to figure out how free association which I believe is correct got to a thought process which it needed to consider the idea of passports.”

            If those “passports” are something that private enterprise established for itself, that’s one thing.

            Free association means private entities should be free to associate with whomever they please–and free to exclude people as well. If a private entity decides they want to discriminate against people who haven’t been immunized, that’s their right.

            And that is fundamentally different from the government stepping in to prohibit private companies from doing business with people who don’t have a “passport” and haven’t been immunized.

            One involves private entities exercising their rights.

            The other means the government violating their rights.

            I hope that clears things up.

          2. I agree that a business should have the ability to require whatever documents it wants before letting someone in. Maybe Lowe’s should demand a valid passport. But why would they, given that they’re in the business of selling stuff and that’s hard to do when you keep a bunch of people out. This is just a lot of “what if” speculation that won’t happen because it’s not in anyone’s interest to do it, other than maybe airlines, sports arenas, and cruise ships – and only in those places until the pandemic subsides. It’s not in anyone’s interest to make it harder to spend money.

            1. Businesses don’t want to be sued out of business – especially if they are a “deep pocket”. And sports venues, concert halls, and airlines don’t want bad publicity that will hurt business or cause the government to shut them down. So they may require proof of vaccination with the most up to date annual vaccine to avoid lawsuits and avoid scaring away customers or inviting shutdowns from the local health department.

              The best case scenario is there will be a new vaccine every year to cover the newest virus variants. The worst case scenario is new variants and recombinants will evolve that are totally vaccine resistant and more lethal than quaint old SARS-2, and possibly very selective in who they kill by race, sex, age, or some new factor.

              1. At my local stores they have “mask required” on the doors of virtually all businesses but about a quarter of the people don’t wear them when they go in. I suspect that this is a combination of lack of enforcement and a desire not to alienate customers. This would appear to be a worse liability situation than what we’ll be seeing in a few months because the case numbers are very high now, and the business is knowingly allowing people to violate a government health directive (we have a statewide mask mandate). You can see easily if someone is wearing a mask, yet they’re not willing and/or don’t see the need to enforce that, but in a few months when the pandemic is sure to be nowhere near this bad, they’re going to start demanding paperwork from everyone who walks in? I just can’t see that happening.

                Airlines, sports venues and such might do this for a while, as we’ve both said, to make people feel safer, but a business isn’t going to get sued for a communicable disease unless they gave it to the customer (as with food-borne illness) or they disregarded government-imposed health regulations (which they’re doing now but apparently aren’t that worried about). Any business that’s open to the the public cannot possibly be expected to demand health paperwork from everyone who walks in the door.

                1. There is now way people are going to take their shoes off at the airport.

                  1. Security checks at airports have taken place for decades and aren’t even remotely comparable to an “immunity passport.”

        2. If my fellow libertarians won’t even bother to distinguish between private action and government policy anymore, why should we expect officials or average voters to make the distinction?

          This is my gripe with ‘intelligent open borders’. An intelligent border is neither open nor closed, that’s what makes it intelligent. Describing it as you have handwaves away concrete policy with invisible, brown-skinned unicorn propaganda. If it assumed that a border enacts the will of its people, oxymoronic pandering is not how you get an intelligent one.

          1. If it *is* assumed.

          2. “An intelligent border is neither open nor closed, that’s what makes it intelligent.”

            Look . . . um . . . that isn’t Intelligent Open Border isn’t a proper noun. I’m using “intelligent” as an adjective. Some policies that do something are smart, while other policies that do the same thing in a different way are stupid. I’m in favor of the smart policy, and I’m against the stupid one.

            For instance, the legitimate purpose of government is to protect our rights. The legitimate purpose of border policy is to protect our rights from threats coming across the border.

            The closed border policy is really stupid for a number of reasons, but two that I’ll highlight is that the closed border policy does a terrible job of protecting our rights from threats that come across the border. Because people coming here to look for work can’t just come through a border checkpoint and show an ID, they create a swarm of people traipsing through the desert at night. The real threats that come across the border (whether they be cartels, violent criminals, or even contagious diseases) are hiding behind that swarm of people. That’s a really stupid policy if you think the purpose of border policy is to secure the border!

            A much more intelligent open border policy would be to let people come across by showing an ID–and making the issuance of that ID contingent on certain things, like not being a convicted felon, not being a wanted fugitive, not being a member of a cartel, being immunized against certain communicable diseases, etc. If we established a system like that by way of a treaty with Mexico–and ratified by the U.S. senate as required by the Constitution–the people sneaking through the desert at night would mostly just be the bad guys–and they would be easy to catch. The rest of them would just queue at a border checkpoint and show an ID.

            There are open borders policies that would be pretty stupid, too–and those should be rejected for being stupid. The idea of open borders where we get rid of Customs, the border patrol, etc and just let people swarm across the border at will has a number of problems associated with it. Among them, there are convicted felons, violent cartel militia, wanted fugitives, etc. in Mexico, and they would flood into the U.S. and present a legitimate threat to our rights.

            There isn’t anything libertarian about letting looters and arsonists burn down our cities in riots–because the legitimate purpose of government is to protect our rights from things like looters and arsonists. There isn’t anything libertarian or principled about government steadfastly refusing to protect our rights from violent criminals streaming across our border either.

            In fact, one of the reasons that form of stupid open borders is so stupid is because this fact is so obvious to so many average Americans, that they’ll never give us the support we need to ratify an open borders treaty in the senate if they think we mean just letting anybody and everybody cross the border. After all, the purpose of libertarianism isn’t to inflict freedom on the unwilling using the coercive power of government. If we want to live in a country that enjoys a truly secure border (unlike what we have now), we’ll need to persuade more Americans to want open borders. And the chances of a majority of the American people deciding to support opening the border–only relying on the good will of the cartels for security–is zero.

            Hope this clears things up.

        3. The problem is we are at a point where private action is sorely limited. Specifically, the degree to which regulatory frameworks and publicly funded infrastructure limit which “private” actors may offer a service, and where, and how, means that there are government created barriers to entry for the creation of services for people who, eg, did not want to carry a COVID passport (whether or not they were actually vaccinated). It’s pretty problematic to tell citizens that their tax dollars must fund services, gateways to services and regulation of services but that they aren’t allowed access to those services because it’s a private entity at the point of contact.

      2. I saw that article you’re referring to about “toxic individualism.” Isn’t it funny how anything or anyone someone personally dislikes or disagrees with is now “toxic”? The health care officials in the article where that term was used just can’t understand why people get upset when they’re told they might not be free to earn a living, might therefore lose their home and everything they’ve spent their life working for, or might lose all of their savings trying to keep it. People are “toxic” for wanting to remain free to support their families.

        I don’t agree with the people who keep saying the deaths aren’t happening or that this is a hoax. But people are taking these counter-factual stances because the public has been lied to so many times and fed demands for China-style lockdowns, to the point that many people refuse to believe anything other than what they desire to be true.

    6. Viewpoint: In Case You Were Wondering, It’s Legal to Close State Borders
      https://www.claimsjournal.com/news/national/2020/03/18/296072.htm

    7. Government regulations and public funding of airports both play a huge role in who can operate an airline and where. What’s more, the feds are bailing out the airlines, again. Further, you’re not allowed in the air – the people’s air – without the FAA approving. On another note, at least half the public events I attend take place at venues subsidized by taxpayer dollars. Movie theaters and amusement parks, I’ll give you, but there are a lot of “private companies” that are directly or indirectly supported by governments that reason that they provide a public good or service. Such organizations must provide service to all citizens.

      I know we’re at Reason and you may believe these ventures shouldn’t be publicly subsidized. But so long as they are, saying that an airline should be able to make its own rules about who has reasonably inexpensive and quick transcontinental travel options is bullshit.

      1. “I know we’re at Reason and you may believe these ventures shouldn’t be publicly subsidized. But so long as they are, saying that an airline should be able to make its own rules about who has reasonably inexpensive and quick transcontinental travel options is bullshit.”

        There is never a point at which the government becomes so pervasive that the freedom of individuals and private entities to exercise their rights through markets becomes a bad idea.

        Market forces are nothing but people making choices, and the more they are free to make choices for themselves, the better the end results will be–and not just in quantitative terms but also in qualitative terms.

        The inability of utilitarians to account for qualitative preferences has always been the Achilles’ heel of utilitarianism, and every single issue worthy of consideration has a qualitative aspect attached to it.

        Surely, when consumers are thinking about maybe flying to Disney World this summer, the relative safety of flying and going to an amusement park is a qualitative consideration. How much is having fun with the family worth the risk of infection?

        Different consumers will answer that question differently, and if airlines can attract more customers by certifying that every passenger on the flight has been vaccinated, they may be able to charge a premium for that flight–even if they forgo the fares of people who aren’t or don’t want to be vaccinated.

        The point is that just because the government has intruded on the aviation (or any other) industry doesn’t mean that these questions aren’t still best answered by companies and individuals pursuing their own interests and their own qualitative preferences through markets–rather than having solutions inflicted on them from above by politicians and government bureaucrats.

        The goal, here, isn’t just to argue why people should be free to make choices for themselves despite government intrusion in the industry. The fact is that individuals and companies making choices for themselves by way of markets gives us better outcomes–regardless of whether the government has completely invaded the industry through regulation and financing.

        Why pretend otherwise?

    8. Ken, I don’t disagree with your fundamental premise that companies can dictate terms under which they will do business. However, a fundamental premise of government is to protect citizens.

      Demanding that people wear a face mask to do business is a far cry from demanding access to medical information. How about your employer – – should they also have access to your medical information? If so, to what limits? Should companies have an unlimited right to information about your home life, beliefs, whether you’re on anti-depressants or have a gun in your house? Maybe your job can hang on whether you are willing to let them audit your finances and do a deep search on your computer. Cuz it’s a free market and you can go elsewhere, right?

      There is a name for it when government coordinates/conspires with business to enforce its will on citizens. And most of the businesses listed above are heavily dependent on government for absolute necessities such as licenses and regulation. It would only be a fool who would argue that airlines for example even have the capacity to make such decisions independent of government insistence when another arm of the government could shut them down on 10 minutes notice.

    9. Ken, I am sure you will still be able to swim to Hawaii.

      1. When SleepyJoe gets the bridge done, you can take the train there.

      2. Shitstain, I’m sure you’ll get all the required papers to go to the grocery store; you’re such a boot-licking piece of lefty shit.

  12. I heard testing was going to save us.

    New York is going to let 6,000 Buffalo Bills fans into the stadium for a playoff game, if they test negative. The Golden State Warriors proposed something like this to San Francisco, and they laughed them out of City Hall.

    1. The difference is, in new York, you have to quarantine in a nursing home after the game.

  13. Re: Hawaii

    Compromise: the Hawaiian government can require immunizations, but they give up statehood and either remain a U.S. protectorate or fully secede with an indefinite lease on the U.S. naval base.

    1. Damn it. Supposed to be a reply to Ken’s 3:17 pm post.

  14. Anyone else have the impulse to reread the Book of Revelations? I read it in Bible study about a decade ago, so I am bit rusty on my recall, but wasn’t there something in there about governments requiring you to wear a symbol to go about your lives?

    1. Revelations chapter 13:(15-17).
      15And it was allowed to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast might even speak and might cause those who would not worship the image of the beast to be slain.16Also it causes all, both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave, to be marked on the right hand or the forehead,17so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark, that is, the name of the beast or the number of its name

      1. marked on the right hand or the forehead

        The forehead offers lots of real estate that can be read from >6 ft. away while both people wear masks. The right hand would work too, but hands are concealable and some people don’t have right hands.

        1. And it seems no one will ever be allowed to grow a far right hand – – – –

    2. God willing (or science willing if that’s your flavor) this will seem hyperbolic a year from now and not prescient.

      1. Sure, because government isn’t known for holding onto power any longer than absolutely necessary. The Chinese are still holding out for 2021.

      2. The scary thing is I fear that my post wasn’t as much hyperbole as I would like to believe.

  15. I told you so!!!

    I have been waiting since the patriot act suspended the constitution in airports to say that. You vote for fascists, you get fascists.

    Welcome to the revolution.

    Starting next week most of those ‘work from home’ bots will link to how to set up a home based vaccination certificate forging site.

    1. To be fair, America has been voting in Fascist since the 1930’s.

      1. I’d move that needle to 1912, on and off. We just didn’t have the term for it back then.

          1. I think it started around September 14, 1901

            1. Or possibly even August 16, 1856 when the bill that would eventually become the 1862 Pacific Railroad and Telegraph act was introduced.

  16. Ja, steck es einfach an deine linke brust.

    get the fuck out too-chilly.

  17. Could be wrong, but I suspect that the latter is more likely.

  18. I can’t wait for deaths to drop to near zero and the hospitals to empty out, if only to stop stupid articles like this from being posted. I give it five months.

    1. I can’t wait for deaths to drop to near zero

      I guess a 0.05% fatality rate doesn’t count as near enough?

  19. Might as well use it to track your social credit score while we are at it.

  20. The Bidden Administration will just copy totalitarian health apps from China and require everyone to use them.

    The emergency will never be over. Even after everyone has been vaccinated, new versions and recombinants of the virus will emerge, and some will be vaccine resistant and far more lethal than the current versions. I am waiting for the panic that will ensue when SARS-2 recombines with a cat virus like FIP and makes a really virulent hybrid virus. When China unleashed SARS-2 onto the world, they guaranteed that life will never be safe the way it once was.

  21. So very glad that there is some pushback on the current desire “to do something, anything, just keep us safe” mentality.

    Too bad that there wasn’t the same scepticism 20 years ago after 9/11. We might not be standing in lines to get on a plane (other than for simple economic, weather or simple bad management reasons), having to have a passport to go to Canada, ID to open a bank account, etc. etc. etc.

  22. Do ya think? Privacy? That’s been cancelled by the cancel idiots. Having a vaccine shot will prove nothing. You may still get sick, carry around a virus or some other germs (oh my) , catch Covid and pass it on. You will not be immune from anything unless your OWN immunity kicks in to protect you. An RNA/DNA scrambling vaccine will only make it much more difficult for your natural immunity to kick into gear.

    The vaccines have NOT been tested to stop anything more than extremely mild symptoms in very healthy people. So yes, in a nutshell, immunity passports are nothing more than another form of invading your rights and privacy and putting you under surveillance. Old man Dr. Gates will get his jollies watching your every move on his Surface PC.

  23. https://twitter.com/Rothbard1776/status/1344360623182901249?s=19

    MASSIVE PROBLEM in GA [and around the country?] w/ regard to every single adjudicated ballot that would effect any potential recounts, per witness “There was a point in that video where we showed that, Richard Barron, who had said that 113k ballots had been cast and 105k were
    2/ adjudicated. Now, that’s not physical possible, which we can prove mathematically, but at the same time, if you adjudicate 105k votes, you have to understand from a technological perspective, as we’ve delved into all the different aspects of how the vote moves along, when you
    3/ adjudicate a ballot, that old reference [THE ORIGINAL BALLOT IMAGE] that you saw, or anything like that, is COMPLETELY DESTROYED. It’s gone. You can no longer reference [it]. And when you go run a hand recount, like you did in GA, then you’re looking at the print-out of those
    4/ ballots scans. So at no point did the original voter intent enter into that process once it’s destroyed. That’s the one thing I don’t hear people talking about that’s very, very important. The original ballot that you cast, especially from an absentee point is destroyed
    5/ and replaced with a new image. With no meta-data. No trail. And even from an audit perspective, you know, it would fail, because they’re all using the same account to audit. So you don’t know who made that change. You don’t know how many times that change was made in the past
    6/ and if I had a group of two-people, the Republican and Democrat [which used to be 3 people], that were auditing something … the only thing you would see from the end perspective, data-wise, is that final audit. You would not see any intermediate audit, or any intermediate
    7/ ballot image or the original ballot image, so keep that in mind when we’re talking about adjudicated ballots.”

    Can this possibly be true? If so, how on earth did we ever let it happen? This is a major problem with regard to ensuring the integrity of our elections.

    1. https://twitter.com/JaclynHord/status/1344442447649251338?s=19

      Add to all of this that Jovan Pulitizer said that the ballots had different bar code according to Dem/Repub. areas. And the Republican bar codes didn’t scan into the machine requiring adjudication.

    2. GA commie RINOs let felons vote, out of state nongeorgians vote, changed military absentee ballots to all biden votes, and failed to require one person-one cote ID requirements.

      Biden lost georgia. Just like ossoff lost to perdue by 80k votes.

  24. You masks pussies and your totalitarian wet dreams.

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  26. I can’t believe I’m actually reading this argument in a “libertarian” magazine.

  27. Passports liberate?

    Freedom is slavery…. and vice versa apparently.

  28. A post on CNN:

    https://www.cnn.com/2020/12/27/tech/coronavirus-vaccine-passport-apps/index.html

    “It’s also unclear how effective the vaccines are in stopping the transmission of the virus, says Dr. Julie Parsonnet, an infectious disease specialist at Stanford University. So while a vaccine passport app will show that you’ve received the shot, it may not be a guarantee that you safely attend an event or get on a flight.

    “We still don’t know if vaccinated people can transmit infection or not,” she told CNN Business. “Until that is clarified, we won’t know whether ‘passports’ will be effective.” “

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