Never ever follow the recommendations of ghouls

Where did all these ghouls come from? I don’t remember all these ghouls cheering on the zombies in the apocalypse stories.

So now we’ve got Dennis Prager declaring that people must die in order to win a “war” against the coronavirus.

History shows that we have been willing to lose many to protect our way of life … [if we valued lives] we wouldn’t have fought the Nazis, the Japanese fascists…that attitude that the only value is saving a life, that attitude leads to appeasement. It must. It leads to cowardice. No one can die? Then it’s not a war.

That makes no sense. People are dying, and our goal is to take action to prevent people from dying, but if we don’t sacrifice human beings to the virus, it’s “appeasement”? I really don’t get it. The analogy to WWII doesn’t work at all, and is he really arguing that it would have been cowardice to not allow Nazis to gas people? It would have been really brave to stand back, upper lips stiff, as human beings were murdered, I guess.

I thought our goals would be really clear in a pandemic. It’s not a war, it’s a rescue mission. We should try to prevent people from dying and the disease from spreading. We’re not looking for cannon fodder.

Glenn Beck is still broadcasting, although I haven’t heard as much from him lately. Just as well, he’s joined the pandemic death cult full throttle.

I would rather have my children stay home and all of us who are over 50 go in and keep this economy going and working, even if we all get sick, I would rather die than kill the country. ‘Cause it’s not the economy that’s dying, it’s the country.

It’s a bit of a muddled message. We have to sacrifice our old people to keep the economy going, but it’s not the economy that’s dying. OK then, what is dying? The country. But what is the country?

I used to think our country had a clear meaning — it was stated in our founding documents, even if it wasn’t always practiced.

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Oh, right. The people are the country. I think the whole point of a democracy is to establish a framework for people to flourish and practice self-determination as much as is possible. We had this other president four score and seven years later who was also quite clear that this was supposed to be a “government of the people, by the people, for the people”. There have been times when people have been asked to sacrifice their lives to maintain that framework — and also times when they’ve been asked to sacrifice their lives to oppress others — but in general, this country we’re supposed to fight for is a nation of people. Asking people to willingly and gratefully succumb to a disease we’re trying suppress “for your country” makes no sense. Dying does not stop the virus. Asking people to give up on isolating themselves helps spread the virus, the opposite of what we should want.

None of these rationalizations by Prager or Beck makes any sense, because they don’t have a clear concept of what the country is. To Prager and Beck, “country” is synonymous with “Dow Jones Industrial Average”, and that’s what they want me to die for. America is a country where the working people will drag themselves into infectious masses in order to keep the wheels of industry turning, working until we die at our labors. They don’t think beyond keeping the doors on businesses open now, without concern for how those businesses will function when the workers are dead, or prostrate with illness, or permanently lung-scarred. Don’t fall for it.

Shouldn’t we all know by now that Prager and Beck are as dumb as two buckets of testicles, and realize that their advice is the opposite of what we should do?

(I want you to know that it would have been really easy to illustrate this post with a photo of a bucket of testicles, but I decided to spare everyone that graphic. Just keep in mind that Prager and Beck really are that revolting.)


  1. erichoug says

    “OK then, what is dying?”

    Really can’t believe you missed on this one PZ. What’s dying is Mr. Trump’s chances of being re-elected along with any notion that Republican ideas work.

  2. numerobis says

    Trump said we have to reopen the country. So that means his propaganda army needs to justify reopening the country, which is going to kill millions.

    I hope somehow Britain at least manages to stave off the stupidity.

  3. kome says

    Why does it seem that the cartoon villains of yesteryear become the conservatives of today. I’ve lamented how Republicans basically are Captain Planet villains when it comes to climate change and environmental protections, and now they’re basically Lord Farquaad from Shrek with the “Some of you may die, but that’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make” rallying cry. At this point, I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s ever discovered that any conservative politician or commentator once tied a kidnapped young blond woman to train tracks.

  4. kestrel says

    The Trump administration and all these right wing thinkers could teach all of us a powerful lesson by going out and working and contracting the virus and dying. That would be a great inspiration for us all to do the same.

    Or else it would teach us they are all lying to us, and actually want US to die while they don’t.

  5. raven says

    Hypocrisy is one of the three main sacraments of fundie xianity.

    You know that Prager and Beck don’t really mean that old people like them should die of Covid-19 for the USA.
    They will be safe in their bunkers with bottled water, filtered air, and large stockpiles of food.
    They want you (plural) to go out and die for the sake of the ultra-rich oligarchies.

  6. cartomancer says

    Actually dying could stop the virus in its tracks. But in order for that to be effective you’d all have to do it at once.

  7. brucegee1962 says

    Sorry, erichoug, Trump’s approval ratings are climbing. Which means it’s just about time to give up on this here country.

  8. chrislawson says


    I gave up on the US as a functional culture after the re-election of Bush Jr.

  9. christoph says

    Couple of questions: Who would collect a bucket of testicles, and who would photograph it?

  10. wzrd1 says

    No, I totally get it. If business stops, the nation dies and nobody at all lives.
    Just like what happened in 1918, when the influenza pandemic stopped everything, everyone died and the North American Wilderness returned to being unsettled.

    Oh wait, our nation somehow survived the horrific casualties and cessation of business for a brief period and we even managed to muddle through WWI in the process.

    Oh, but this is war, so we need to use artillery, bombs from aircraft and machine guns to win. So, when do these “leaders” lead the way by example and be shredded by our lethal technologies that are utterly useless in fighting against disease – other than never, as they volunteer everyone except themselves.
    As usual.

    @5, I love it when idiots lock themselves inside of bunkers. Weld the doors shut, foul the emergency exit in a similar way, then block the ventilators.
    On second thought, that’s way too much work. I’ll just pull the covers and filters from the ventilators, sit down and have some beans. The overpressure will quickly warp the exits shut.

  11. Doc Bill says

    I always get a kick out of these death cult cheerleaders who are all to eager to volunteer someone else to go out there and risk their lives. There’s nothing stopping Prager and Beck from handing out food on a street corner, or working in a shelter or food pantry or otherwise exposing themselves to the virus to “keep the economy going.”

  12. Akira MacKenzie says

    My father is among these ghouls, whining about how this pandemic is overblown and that “destroying the greatest economy ever” isn’t worth keeping a few dozen people alive. In his world. Trump and Dan Patrick are the “serious” voices of reason, pragmatically balancing the need for a functional economy with a pubic health risk that has been way overblown by overly cautious scientists looking to justify their funding and partisans out to make Dear Leader Trump (Greatest President Ever, Lord of all Tweets. Protector of Boomers, the Second Amendment, and the Unborn. Slayer of Hillary the Crooked. Trigger-er of Libs…etc.) look bad. I assume that Brietbart and FOX, his only news sources, aren’t reporting infection and death totals, because he keeps insisting that the outbreak isn’t severe because the local news (Milwaukee, WI) has only reported a handful of deaths so far… And I stress so far.

    People are too stupid for democracy.

  13. rpjohnston says

    More than that. What happens when the magats are seeing half their families lying in mass graves, while their lords blame the gays and the blacks and the Dems, and even the God Damn New York Times is running headlines like “Coronavirus relief Bill Held Up As Dems Block It”?

    You know what happens? They get further radicalized. Not just to vote for ever more insane fascists, but to grab their guns Malheur the entire damn country.

    Blood will flow. And the likes of Beck and Prager and the rest, that isn’t merely an “acceptable sacrifice” for the gears of capitalism. Death is the POINT. When you believe in a Just-World philosophy, where outcomes are determined by personal morality, the more people you’re above and the further above them you are, the more morally righteous you must be. And if millions of people are dying of plague and war and poverty and strife, then the likes of Beck and Prager are KINGS.

    That, ultimately, is their goal. To be as kings by consigning as many others to death and destruction as possible.

  14. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    It’s pretty simple:
    The country = white, male xtian privilege
    Trump’s platform = white, male xtian privilege
    Therefore, by the transitive property (if two things are equal to the same thing, they are equal to each other),
    Trump = the country. QED
    All they care about is keeping the wheels on until November 4. After that, a crisis will just be an excuse to declare martial law. (Marco Rubio, note spelling)

  15. says

    It’s easy to find photos of buckets of testicles, because they’re prepared as “Rocky Mountain oysters”, and it’s irresistible to take photos of your collection of harvested bull’s gonads, I guess. They’re pink, shiny, and bloody, so I went with a bucket of rocks instead.

  16. says

    It is ironic that World War 2 lasted for years and yet the USA still exists albeit with the same defense industry that was created back then leaching us of a huge portion of the country’s budget.

    I’d suggest that these old guys Prager, the Texas guy, Glenn Beck, Trump and the other morons that are proposing the die for the country routine should demonstrate their patriotism to us.

  17. Saad says

    PZ, #21

    They’re pink, shiny, and bloody

    Ugh, oh my god, not while I’m eating bull’s testicles, please!

  18. rrutis1 says

    Time to make good use of Gofundme…take up the collection and offer money to anyone who is corona positive and willing to go lick/touch/hug or otherwise transmit the virus into these ghouls. Then let’s see how much they talk about other people dying.

  19. Akira MacKenzie says

    Ugh! Already seeing MAGAts and so-called “apoltical” morons on FB claiming we’re taking these sort of comments “out of context.” Fuck these people.

  20. unclefrogy says

    I am not sure stupid is the correct word to describe these people who make these proposals. The proposals are stupid to such a degree that it is hard to know where to start. That the proposal would not work with their intended goal of saving the economy and instead likely precipitate a collapse seems obvious.
    No stupid is not what they are. Conceited applies to most of them, ignorant about much of how the world works and in this case virus spread and immunity, absolutely. they are also profoundly self centered and manipulative, basically dishonest in the name of ideology, which in this case is nothing more noble then money and their desire for more of it.
    uncle frogy

  21. says

    @#8, brucegee1962:

    It couldn’t possibly have anything to do with the Democrats being apparently about to nominate a pro-status-quo guy who thinks we should continue to tie healthcare to our jobs, refuses to take climate change seriously (which completely destroys the claim that he WoUlD tAkE tHe AdViCe Of ScIeNtIfIc ExPeRtS sErIoUsLy unlike Trump), and wants to normalize Trump’s behavior at least as far as installing his billionaire cronies in as many high offices as possible? Nah, it can’t be that the Democrats are bent on demonstrating themselves to be horrible and sociopathic by nominating a horrible sociopath, it must be that people are stupid. Why don’t you move on to the next step, and start yelling at Independents that they’re morons? I’m sure that will encourage them to turn out for Biden. I mean, that was what the party did for a couple of years after Hillary Clinton was too stupid to campaign for the Electoral College, why not have a repeat performance?

    Democrats are refusing to learn that if you want people to take your alternative seriously it has to be an alternative. Biden is just a blue-tinted Trump, financially supported by the same people and just as willing to let us all die. The people who are paying attention know that. The ones who aren’t are already in Trump’s camp. The Democrats got played — again.

  22. says

    @29 – the only people who are upset at Biden’s nomination are Democrats – are you suggesting that Democrats are converting to Republicans? That does not pass the sniff test. This isn’t about Democrats, this is about the entire country.

    What’s causing Lord Damnut’s approval to climb is the broadcast media normalizing everything he does and fawning over him.

    Example: when he attacked the reporter for lobbing that softball question to him, my local TV station reported itas “oh, look how stressful this pandemic is.” No mention of how the reporter was asking him to provide inspiration to the country. No mention of how his behaviour is unbecoming a world leader. No mention of his blatant racisim. No mention of how he attacks the media. Just “oh, look at all the stress he’s under.”

    You look at reports on how we got here – no mention of how he fired the pandemic response team. No mention of how he ignores experts. No mention of how he touts conspiracy theories. No mention of his inaction. No mention of him saying “it will be gone, like a miracle”. They are actively collaborating with him to boost his approval rating.

  23. consciousness razor says

    the only people who are upset at Biden’s nomination are Democrats – are you suggesting that Democrats are converting to Republicans?

    I won’t speak for Vicar, but try to understand who Biden appeals to. Some “Never Trump” Republicans converted to the Democrats, at least for the moment. Dems have been dumb enough in the past to put all of their eggs in the “centrist” basket, even though such people generally have no interest in leftist politics. So, as far as the Dem leadership is concerned, winning over converts like that is just business as usual. (See also, Michael Bloomberg. While you’re at it, compare that with all of the absurd complaints that Bernie is “not a Democrat.”)

    The point is, there are Democrats and then there are Democrats. Which type are you referring to? The genuinely leftist people out there (or even moderately leftist people) have nobody but Sanders to represent them in the presidential race right now. Strangely, Biden is sort of best when he’s out to lunch, because when he does crawl out of the woodwork to open his mouth, it’s nothing but disappointment.

    So, let’s call them “centrist Dems” and “yesterday’s Republicans.” Those are the sort of people who actually like Biden. So how do you want to put it? Are they “converting to Republicans”? (At least those who weren’t Republicans yesterday.) Or would you prefer to say that they’re making the Democratic party useless and indistinguishable from the Republican party?

    What’s causing Lord Damnut’s approval to climb is the broadcast media normalizing everything he does and fawning over him.

    “Fawning” is not the word for most, except for Fox and their ilk.
    But are you claiming the media’s obvious and total disregard for facts and its normalization of shit politics has nothing to do with how the establishment Dems are shoving a loser like Biden down our throats? Because that’s not how I see the media’s role. They have helped Biden a lot throughout the primaries.

    Example: when he attacked the reporter for lobbing that softball question to him, my local TV station reported itas “oh, look how stressful this pandemic is.”

    Your local TV reporter probably has very little effect on national politics. However, for what it’s worth, the ones in my area are just as worthless.

  24. voidhawk says

    Prager is right.

    “No one can die? Then it’s not a war.”

    Absolutely correct, this ISN’T a war. It’s a medical emergency and treating every god-damned thing like a war (on terror, on poverty, on drugs…) has led us to the totally fucked situation we’re in now.

  25. KG says

    The point is, there are Democrats and then there are Democrats. Which type are you referring to? – consciousness razor@31

    Who are you asking? From context, it is presumably Karl Stevens@30, but The Vicar never (AFAIK) specifies whether he means all habitual Democratic voters, registered party supporters, party activists, or the national leadership. Moreover, none of these groups is homogeneous. The “Democrats” who are in the process of nominating Biden are those taking part in primaries and voting for him; and those who could take part (and vote for Sanders), but are not doing so. For whatever reason, Sanders has not succeeded in mobilising enough people to gain him the nomination. I profoundly wish he had been able to do so. But given that he hasn’t, and assuming they both survive, the choice in November is going to be between Trump and Biden. The Vicar likes to pretend there’s no difference, becuse it allows him to rail self-righteously at everyone else. That doesn’t make it true.

  26. consciousness razor says


    Moreover, none of these groups is homogeneous.

    You don’t have to tell me. I was raising a similar point in the comment you quoted.

    And I said that I won’t speak for Vicar. I think I’m mostly on the same page with Vicar on this point, but a little clarity regarding which Dems are upset about Biden and which Dems aren’t upset can’t be a bad thing, given the incredulity Karl Stevens was expressing about it. I don’t know what your argument with me might be — isn’t it with Vicar?

    For whatever reason, Sanders has not succeeded in mobilising enough people to gain him the nomination.

    Biden hasn’t either. He currently has about 1200 out of 4000 delegates. People in the remaining states do still have a right to vote, of course, so I’m not willing to count them out. Biden has mostly being hidden from voters now, but whenever he does pop up, it’s consistently an embarrassment. Meanwhile, Sanders is doing everything he has to right now, whether or not it leads to his nomination. So there is still some hope that Biden’s campaign will implode — maybe just a hope that the world isn’t quite as absurd as it often seems to be, but sadly we’ve got nothing else.

    By the way, you say “for whatever reason” in this thread. But in case you haven’t checked the “trolley” one again, I responded to your other comment there, which was either minimizing or denying the role that establishment figures have played in all of this.

  27. KG says

    consciousness razor@35,
    I’ve responded to your point in the “Trolley problem” thread.

  28. photoreceptor says

    I beg to differ that two buckets of testicles are dumb. After all, men think with their balls, so that must be a ton of neurons.

  29. publicola says

    I can guarantee there are more balls in a bucket of testicles than in the entire GOP.

  30. jack16 says

    @35 consciousness razor
    The California vote hasn’t been tallied. Too soon to give up. There’s a lot of voting yet!