John Hinderaker has a really spectacular horror story of official stupidity, petty tyranny, and self-importance.
This is the most infuriating news story I have read in a while, and it comes, surprisingly, from the New York Times. The protagonist is Dr. Hasan Gokal, a Houston physician. He had a limited quantity of the Moderna covid vaccine to distribute, and rather than throw some of it away, he found qualified patients to receive it. For that, he was fired from his job and criminally prosecuted.
The Texas doctor had six hours. Now that a vial of Covid-19 vaccine had been opened on this late December night, he had to find 10 eligible people for its remaining doses before the precious medicine expired. In six hours.
Scrambling, the doctor made house calls and directed people to his home outside Houston. Some were acquaintances; others, strangers. A bed-bound nonagenarian. A woman in her 80s with dementia. A mother with a child who uses a ventilator.
After midnight, and with just minutes before the vaccine became unusable, the doctor, Hasan Gokal, gave the last dose to his wife, who has a pulmonary disease that leaves her short of breath.
For his actions, Dr. Gokal was fired from his government job and then charged with stealing 10 vaccine doses worth a total of $135 — a shun-worthy misdemeanor that sent his name and mug shot rocketing around the globe.
Dr. Gokal was charged by a Democratic Party prosecutor in Houston. The charge was so absurd that it was dismissed by a disbelieving judge, but the prosecutor “vowed to present the matter to a grand jury.”
You should read the whole story, if you can get past the Times paywall. (Protip: clear your cache of Times cookies.) This is another sign of the times:
The officials maintained that he had violated protocol and should have returned the remaining doses to the office or thrown them away, the doctor recalled. He also said that one of the officials startled him by questioning the lack of “equity” among those he had vaccinated.
“Equity” doesn’t mean what you probably think it does. “Evil” is a pretty good shorthand translation.
“Are you suggesting that there were too many Indian names in that group?” Dr. Gokal said he asked.
Exactly, he said he was told.
In today’s fallen world, being fired and charged with a crime is by no means the end of the ordeal:
On Jan. 21, about two weeks after the doctor’s termination, a friend called to say that a local reporter had just tweeted about him. At that very moment, one of his three children answered the door to bright lights and a thrust microphone. Shaken, the 16-year-old boy closed the door and said, “Dad, there are people out there with cameras.”
This was how Dr. Gokal learned that he had been charged with stealing vaccine doses.
Harris County’s district attorney, Kim Ogg, had just issued a news release that afternoon with the headline: “Fired Harris County Health Doctor Charged With Stealing Vial Of Covid-19 Vaccine.”
The next person who needs to be fired is Harris County’s District Attorney.
It was a scene right out of a Wild West movie where the hombres on horseback ride into a Texas border town in the dead of night and gallop down Main Street, firing indiscriminately.
However this was no movie and the horses these thugs were driving was a Nissan Altima and that fabled Main Street was Glenburnie Drive, in North Houston, Texas.
Miraculously the homeowner escaped uninjured; however what followed next would put Clint Eastwood to shame, within a matter of seconds after that awesome display of firepower, the homeowner reached for his own weapon that he apparently had at the ready and began immediately returning fire at the speeding auto, which swerved and hit a parked car.
Wounded the three thugs exited the vehicle and continued the pitched firefight on foot. The homeowner who is an avid marksman continued returning fire hitting all three, stopping them before they could reach his property.
One of the men was immediately killed at the scene, while the others were rushed to the hospital. A second shooter was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital, while the third is in critical condition battling for his life.
According to news reporters, aside from being an excellent marksman the Texas homeowner is licensed to carry a concealed weapon, and goes to the shooting range regularly and practices his skills with his AR-15, the weapon he usually has by his side when sitting on his porch late at night.
Police are investigating the shooting; however, itâ€™s an obvious case of self-defense and another example of why our Second Amendment was created.
VDare is Nativist, which seems ironic to me considering the fact that its run by a Limey immigrant, and it very obviously relishes indulging in the sort of divisive rhetoric characteristic of less savory elements of the Alt-Right. But… we are living in a time when only the likes of John Derbyshire has guts enough to speak the obvious truth out loud.
Last night Tucker Carlson did a segment on looting in the flooded city of Houston; or rather, on the outraged reaction to ABC journalist Tom Llamas, who had calmly and factually reported the looting.
â€œWhat about our society has changed so much that noting that youâ€™re watching [the looting] is somehow a thoughtcrime?â€ asked Carlson. …
The segment was decorated with video clips showing the actual looting. So far as I could tell, the looters were all black.
Yet this did not come up. In a 4m37s segment, the word â€œblackâ€ did not occur. Nor did any of the common euphemisms for â€œblackâ€ or â€œblacks.â€
Why not? Because, as the late Larry Auster told us, blacks are sacred objects in our state religion. Criticism of them is received as a species of blasphemy.
As I watched these two talking heads blathering on about â€œnihilismâ€ and â€œthe destruction of objective values,â€ I kept hearing, in my mindâ€™s ear, the voice of my old South African colleague cutting through the baloney: â€œItâ€™s the blecks, dear fellow, itâ€™s the blecks.â€ That was, in fact, the answer to all the questions they were chewing over so earnestly.
Itâ€™s a bit depressing to see that even Tucker Carlson, one of the more fearless of our heterodox commentators, believes he has to cleave to convention on this. …
So hereâ€™s my question: When a person inside the state religion observes the orthodoxies like this, is he at all aware how deeply weird it looks to us outside?
If you cannot bring yourself to mention, perhaps even to think, obvious true facts, then the world you are living in is to some degree a make-believe world, and you yourself are, to that same degree, slightly nuts.
HOUSTON â€” As if the city of Houston hasnâ€™t seen enough tragedy due to catastrophic flooding from Hurricane Harvey, things took a turn for the worse today after a U.S. Navy ship collided with a building in the downtown area.
The ship was identified as an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer belonging to the Navyâ€™s 7th Fleet.
It was unclear why the destroyer was not able to see the building and take evasive action, or why it was over 20 miles inland and trying to navigate through a major metropolitan area.
Vogue’s “Fashion Muse” Lynn Yaeger (see photo below) saw a photograph of First Lady Melania Trump boarding a Houston-bound plane in stiletto heels and made a major thing out of it.
This morning, Mrs. Trump boarded Air Force One wearing a pair of towering pointy-toed snakeskin heels better suited to a shopping afternoon on Madison Avenue or a girlsâ€™ luncheon at La Grenouille.
While the nation is riveted by images of thousands of Texans wading with their possessions, their pets, their kids, in chest-high water, desperately seeking refuge; while a government official recommend that those who insist on sheltering in place write their names and social security numbers on their arms, Melania Trump is heading to visit them in footwear that is a challenge to walk in on dry land.
A spokesperson says she has other shoes to change into on the planeâ€”and one sincerely hopes there is a pair of leopard-print Wellies-in-waiting to get her from the tarmac to the limo. But what kind of message does a fly-in visit from a First Lady in sky-high stilettos send to those suffering the enormous hardship, the devastation of this natural disaster?
And why, oh why, canâ€™t this administration get anything, even a pair of shoes, right?
Melania Trump is the kind of woman who travels to a flood-ravaged state in a pair of black snakeskin stilettos. Heels this high are not practical. But Trump is not the kind of woman who has to be practical. Heels this high are not comfortable. Comfort is not the point. Neither hers nor yours.
Trump is the kind of woman who knows that when she walks from the White House to Marine One there will be photographers, and so she will dress accordingly. On this soggy Tuesday morning, she wore her stilettos with a pair of cropped black trousers and an Army-green bomber jacket. Her hair was nicely blown out, and she was wearing a pair of sunglasses though it was overcast and drizzly at the time. As she walked to the chopper, she glanced toward a camera, and the photographer captured her with one hand in her pocket, her weight shifted slightly to one leg. She looked great.
Trumpâ€™s fashionable ensemble was defined by its contradictions. She was wearing a working manâ€™s jacket but it was juxtaposed with sexy limousine shoes. The trousers and the top were basic black â€” utilitarian. The oversize aviator sunglasses were Hollywood. Itâ€™s an image that would have been at home in any fashion magazine, which is so often the case with the first lady. …
It was also an image that suggested that Trump is the kind of woman who refuses to pretend that her feet will, at any point, ever be immersed in cold, muddy, bacteria-infested Texas water. She is the kind of woman who may listen empathetically to your pain, but she knows that you know that she is not going to experience it. So why pretend?
Well, sometimes pretense is everything. Itâ€™s the reason for the first lady to go to Texas at all: to symbolize care and concern and camaraderie. To remind people that the government isnâ€™t merely doing its job, that the government is engaged with each and every individual. Washington hears its citizens. Thatâ€™s what the optics are all about. Sitting around a conference table and talking into a speaker phone are not good optics. A politician has to get on the ground in work boots and a windbreaker. Rolled-up sleeves. Galoshes. Baseball caps.