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Peter Ramirez
political science researcher. former valedictorian. reader/writer. host of “Politics Mostly” podcast.

Just how ineffective are the Chinese vaccines?

On a conference call a few days ago, George Fu Gao, the head of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, acknowledged that Chinese vaccines “don’t have very high protection rates.”

Backtracking immediately, he tried to explain that he was attempting to increase vaccine efficiency. But his initial statement was actually quite accurate, as rare as it is for the Chinese Communist Party to admit any deficiencies.

Here are some of the Chinese vaccines currently on the market, along with their protection rates:

— Sinovac Biotech Ltd. with China National Biotec Group Co.’s vaccine is just over 50% effective

— Sinopharm Group Co.’s two vaccines are self-reported to be 73% and 79% effective, but there…


Also, stop trying to cancel him.

Illustration by Alicia Tatone

Let me start off with something controversial — I find Tucker interesting. While I often find myself disagreeing with him, I will at least give him credit that he is talking about ideas (mostly).

Unlike Hannity and Ingraham, who immerse themselves in the daily drab of blue team vs red team in an ever shrinking news cycle, Tucker has always fashioned himself a card carrying member of the right wing intelligentsia. Substance! Theory! Ideas!

One of Tucker’s recent theories has sparked some criticism. Here is the video, and I encourage everyone reading this to watch it in its entirety.

Tucker…


It depends on your definition of bipartisanship.

Photo: Getty Images/Illustration: Chloe Krammel

Joe Biden, heading into a tough election, cautioned American voters that the “GOP fever will break after the election.”

Except the year wasn’t 2020, it was 2012. I guess the fever never broke. Despite pushing broadly popular programs, President Biden has been met with near uniform resistance from Republican lawmakers.

Republicans have refused to negotiate in good faith with the Biden administration, while simultaneously slamming the president for failing to meet his campaign promise of uniting the country around bipartisan consensus.

I wanted to write a few ideas about bipartisanship in the present day — what it means, how to…


2,000 year old advice on fear and friendship.

Photo by Jan Zhukov on Unsplash

“Vita sine litteris mors est” — Life without learning is death. The authenticity of Seneca’s words, despite being written almost 2,000 years ago, is easily apparent. Letters From a Stoic (officially Epistulae Morales ad Lucilium) offers insight into living the moral life, free of distraction and temptation but full of meaning.

Seneca focuses on the mind over the soul. The soul, while technically a part of us, is not truly our own. Souls are not for people, but rather, are for the divine. As such, Seneca is more concerned with our minds and our ability to think rationally.

Wisdom, the…


Hear me out.

You know the Trump era is over when Democrats and Republicans are yapping over issues like the federal debt and the annual deficit.

Welcome back! If Biden’s unofficial campaign slogan was Make Politics Boring Again, he was successful.

Debt and deficit talk is once again all the rage in America. Hell, even John Oliver is devoting a segment to it. Unfortunately, I’m seeing the same, widely held (and incorrect) assumptions about the debt being propagated by some in the media.

Let’s get into my views, of which some are heterodox.

1. Running up deficits is politically advantageous for the party in power.

(Short term, anyway.)

Take Jan Hatzius, the chief economist at…


Inside the Trump scheme to defraud his donors.

Buried deep in the fine print, boxes that must be manually unchecked.

The New York Times released a bombshell report detailing how the struggling Trump campaign deceived its donors, resulting in unprecedented amount of refunds and fraud complaints.

The Trump campaign quietly set the default donation option to recurring, forcing donors to “wade through a fine-print disclaimer and manually uncheck a box to opt out.”

According to the report,

As the election neared, the Trump team made that disclaimer increasingly opaque, an investigation by The New York Times showed. It introduced a second prechecked box, known internally as a “money bomb,” that doubled a person’s contribution. …


And why voter fraud is a myth.

Photo by Manny Becerra on Unsplash

If you haven’t read the Georgia voting law, you can do so here.

I wanted to wait a bit before weighing in. Allow some time for my thoughts to marinate, if you will.

Here are five quick thoughts:

1. The water provision is ridiculous.

“No person shall solicit votes in any manner or by any means or method…or participate n the giving of any money or gifts, including, but not limited to, food and drink, to an elector,” the law says.

This is particularly egregious, even for Republican standards. …


Racial demographics and its alarming effects on political behavior.

The United States is undergoing a demographic shift.

In 2012, the Census Bureau noted that nonwhite births outpaced white births for the very first time. A year later, they reported that more whites were dying than were being born. A year after that, the Census Bureau projected that whites would be a minority by the year 2044.

There are caveats to this data and its accompanying alarmist headlines. First, while whites will be a minority of the population, they will still be the largest single ethnicity. Second, the methodology of gathering racial data has been scrutinized, particularly what constitutes certain…


Debunking the new narrative.

Illustration by Woody Harrinton.

According to the GOP, corporations are transforming from a once reliable ally to a woke, progressive foe.

This notion of corporate betrayal is gaining traction with the right. “How Corporations Surrendered to Hard-Left Wokeness” ran in the New York Post last month.

Just this past week, Senator Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) voiced his frustration with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to radio host Hugh Hewitt, calling the pro-business lobby a “front service for woke corporations who are trying to peddle Anti-American theories and demanding that their employees get reeducated and indoctrinated on anti-American ideas.”

Cotton wasn’t done. “The Chamber endorsed several…


Once the “party of ideas,” Republicans are intellectually depleted

Illustration by Peter Ramirez.

When Ronald Reagan accepted the Republican Party nomination in Dallas in 1984, he declared that “we are the party of new ideas, we are the party of the future whose philosophy is vigorous and dynamic. And they are the party of the tried and not-true.”

The battle for which side represents the “party of ideas” has raged for generations. After the progressive policies of the New Deal, perhaps the political pendulum swung forcefully towards the GOP. (A certain dynamism accompanies the “ideas party,” as Reagan won young voters by 19 points.)

“Once the party of ideas, the Democrats have become…

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