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offsite link The CDC Is a Threat to Science Sat Jul 31, 2021 17:06 | Jeffrey A. Tucker

offsite link Moscow Drops ‘Mandatory’ Glove Rule ... Sat Jul 31, 2021 16:09 | Edward Slavsquat

offsite link Spanish and Italian Warplanes Intercept ... Sat Jul 31, 2021 13:18 | Rick Rozoff

offsite link CDC Still Baffled People Are Paying Atte... Sat Jul 31, 2021 11:34 | The Babylon Bee

offsite link Israel Switching to Air-Launched Cruise ... Fri Jul 30, 2021 22:03 | Arie Egozi

Anti-Empire >>

The Saker
A bird's eye view of the vineyard

offsite link The Taliban go to Tianjin Fri Jul 30, 2021 15:49 | amarynth
China and Russia will be key to solving an ancient geopolitical riddle: how to pacify the ‘graveyard of empires’ By Pepe Escobar, posted with permission and first posted at Asia

offsite link Russia and the Olympic Games Fri Jul 30, 2021 13:58 | amarynth
by Batko Milacic for the Saker Blog The world Olympic movement has always been based on the principles of equal and impartial attitude towards athletes – representatives of all states

offsite link Moveable Feast Cafe 2021/07/30 ? Open Thread Fri Jul 30, 2021 07:00 | Herb Swanson
2021/07/30 06:00:01Welcome to the ‘Moveable Feast Cafe’. The ‘Moveable Feast’ is an open thread where readers can post wide ranging observations, articles, rants, off topic and have animate discussions of

offsite link Update on the Christian Vignette project Thu Jul 29, 2021 16:03 | admin-herb
Status Christian Vignette Project Description Comments posted to articles under the Sandbox category with a tag of ‘Christian Vignette’ can viewed by all and a selected group of commentators will

offsite link Requiem for an Empire: a prequel Thu Jul 29, 2021 12:44 | amarynth
by Pepe Escobar with permission and widely cross-posted Assaulted by cognitive dissonance across the spectrum, the Empire of Chaos now behaves as a manic depressive inmate, rotten to the core –

The Saker >>

Lockdown Skeptics

The Daily Sceptic

offsite link End of Self-Isolation Rules for Fully Vaccinated Could Be Delayed Past August 16th Tue Jul 27, 2021 12:04 | Michael Curzon
The end of self-isolation rules for fully vaccinated Brits could be delayed past August 16th, the Policing Minister has suggested, saying that we will have to "wait and see" what the scientists advise.
The post End of Self-Isolation Rules for Fully Vaccinated Could Be Delayed Past August 16th appeared first on The Daily Sceptic.

offsite link ?Outrageous Proposal? to Introduce Vaccine Passports Could Split Tories ?Irretrievably?, Warns Steve... Tue Jul 27, 2021 11:21 | Michael Curzon
The Government must scrap its "outrageous proposal" to introduce vaccine passports or it will risk splitting the Conservative Party "irretrievably", warns Steve Baker, the Deputy Chairman of the Covid Recovery Group.
The post “Outrageous Proposal” to Introduce Vaccine Passports Could Split Tories “Irretrievably”, Warns Steve Baker appeared first on The Daily Sceptic.

offsite link Was Lockdown Illegal? Tue Jul 27, 2021 09:30 | Noah Carl
Was lockdown illegal? While the High Court in London rejected Dolan?s case against the Government, lockdown opponents have won important victories in a number of countries, including France, Germany and Spain.
The post Was Lockdown Illegal? appeared first on The Daily Sceptic.

offsite link And Finally? Tue Jul 27, 2021 02:27 | Toby Young
In the latest episode of London Calling, Toby and James discuss the declining case numbers ? and where that leaves Neil Ferguson ? as well as why Toby won?t boo footballers taking the knee and the new season of Ted Lasso.
The post And Finally… appeared first on The Daily Sceptic.

offsite link News Round-Up Tue Jul 27, 2021 02:20 | Toby Young
A summary of all the most interesting stories that have appeared about Covid and other areas of warranted scepticism in the past 24 hours ? not just in Britain, but around the world.
The post News Round-Up appeared first on The Daily Sceptic.

Lockdown Skeptics >>

Voltaire Network
Voltaire, international edition

offsite link France : from colonial fantasy to disaster, by Thierry Meyssan Tue Jul 27, 2021 09:41 | en

offsite link France, against its adversaries and its allies, by Thierry Meyssan Thu Jul 22, 2021 11:36 | en

offsite link From false accusations to the real massacre, by Thierry Meyssan Wed Jul 21, 2021 09:39 | en

offsite link The nuclear race accelerates, by Manlio Dinucci Mon Jul 19, 2021 10:21 | en

offsite link Turkey sending jihadists from Idlib to Afghanistan Mon Jul 12, 2021 10:32 | en

Voltaire Network >>

Vaccine Passports and the Nature of Freedom

category national | rights, freedoms and repression | opinion/analysis author Wednesday May 19, 2021 23:23author by 1 of Indy - Open Eire Report this post to the editors

Open Éire Editorial

This editorial from Open Eire nicely sums up the question around Vaccine Passports as it places the concept of freedom at the very heart of the matter since this is actually what it is about

“They may take our lives, but they'll never take our freedom!”

The famous line, almost cliché, commonly attributed to Scottish knight and freedom fighter William Wallace. Though much quoted, it was more likely dreamt up by the scriptwriters of Braveheart than actually being Wallace's last defiant battle cry before leading his men on a charge into an almost certain death at the hands of the English forces.

Nonetheless, it's a line that says a lot in only a few words. Freedom, though we think of it in terms of wide open fields and happy smiling people, is really a state of mind. We view it as where we are and the possibilities open to us, but it is more what we are. If you have made a decision to live as a free human being, even death cannot take it away.

The issue of freedom is perhaps more important than at any other time in living memory. The world has been for the most part placed under severe restrictions for over a year now with the stated purpose of managing the Covid-19 pandemic. We face a future full of uncertainty, with daily news pumped out containing a barrage of various different graphs and figures, as well as warnings from figureheads in the worlds of politics and science about “variants”, “surges” and a myriad of other ominous threats.

There is of course the promise of a return to freedom, a way back to normal and a route back to the lives many people crave and miss via the introduction of a “vaccine passport” or as it has been rebranded a “Covid status certificate” or even “freedom passport”. Like many other phrases that we have seen plastered throughout headlines over the past year such as “social distancing”, it may be worth considering if the definition of the word “freedom” is being changed, or at least redeployed in a much different way.

Though the term “freedom passport” may conjure up the image of a person using a document to step out of the darkness, through a gate of some sort and into a wonderful bright world full of peace and possibilities, one must stop to think for a moment of the inherent contradiction it seems to contain. Though it is not quite as blunt as some of the examples Orwell gave in 1984 such as “freedom is slavery”, there seems to be an element here of Doublethink, the idea that you can put two diametrically opposed concepts together in one idea and have the listener accept it as valid.

After all, the nature of a passport implies that you are restricted in some way, that you will need this document to gain permission to pass, to reach another place or access a certain service. If you do not have this permission without the document you do not have full agency and ability to move without the blessing of a third party, you are not “free” in the truest sense of the word.

Of course, in some ways this is nothing new. In our daily lives we have always conformed to a number of legal and social contracts. A person cannot intentionally cause physical harm to others simply because they feel like it, without fear of the legal consequences. However the difference in this concept rests in the fact that it functions as an unwritten agreement, a general understanding that there is an obligation to live peacefully within society and that there will be consequences if this obligation is ignored.

The idea of “freedom passports” seems to turn this concept upside down. In this version of freedom we start off as unfree, limited by the fact that our human bodies and respiratory systems make us potential disease-carriers. In order to change this status we must prove that our health status is up to a standard determined by a third party. It flips the script: we are not born free to roam within the commonly accepted boundaries of society, but have to meet a certain standard of compliance to exist within it at all.

To better understand the problems associated with this, we must think of it in terms of boundaries. Though boundaries are undoubtedly healthy in any form of relationship be it personal, familial or societal, we must consider very carefully what boundaries are being offered to us by others in order to have these relationships, and if they can align with our own ideas of acceptable boundary.

Though a degree of compromise is equally important to these boundaries, it cannot be accepted without some kind of balance being achieved through negotiation. When this negotiation does not happen and one or both parties feel hard done by and not listened to there is usually only one outcome possible: one party dominates, the other submits to being told how to act, and resentment builds.

Though Mel Gibson's quote in Braveheart may be fictional, there is a quote on a plaque at St. Bartholemew's Hospital in the City of London, near the site of William Wallace's execution at Smithfield. It is written there in Latin: “I tell you the truth. Freedom is what is best. Sons, never live life like slaves.”

It may be added to this statement that freedom is not only best, it is necessary for our relationships with each other, our society and, ultimately, ourselves, to survive and thrive.

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