Fear and panic do not good government make. Ditto sound public policy. Even during a national “public health emergency.” Additionally, a free and open society cannot long exist when vague, indeterminate lockdown orders are in play for an extended, unspecified period of time. Nor can an economy power up when select “non-essential” businesses are shuttered by government and employees are told to stay home.
I’ve kept mostly mum on the whole coronavirus/Wuhan flu/civil rights and personal liberties debate for a while. I’ve been listening. Observing. Here are some select thoughts on same:
Novel Thoughts & Questions
- What’re the odds China pays reparations for unleashing this deadly virus on the world?
- Why are Democrats determined to turn a public health emergency into a political football? What does this say about them?
- Why can’t we trust entrepreneurs and small business to mitigate responsibly instead of ordering them closed? (Hi, Jay)
- With all the social distancing and quarantining, how many people will be at risk for contracting the Wuhan/coronavirus later because they never developed any immunities previously?
- President Trump hasn’t shut down a single business. Mayors and governors have.
- There must be a definitive sunset clause/moratorium on any curtailing of civil liberties.
- What about prior incidents in U.S. history in which civil liberties were temporarily curtailed and/or restricted?
- Will Sleepy Joe ever wake up?
- Can or should “public health officials” be allowed to over-ride civil liberties?
- Per the above, where’s the ACLU these days?
- In future, will we see two castes of citizens – those who test positive for the virus and those who don’t?
- Stop with the self-righteous Pecksniffian “patriot” sermonizing, okay? Just because someone doesn’t see things 100% your way doesn’t automatically make them “sheeple.” Give it a rest already.
- How reliable are computer models?
- Some people can’t/won’t set aside their Trump hate even in the midst of a national emergency. SMH.
- What will America look like on the other side of this pandemic?
What about governors issuing temporary rights-restricting orders in order to address “emergencies”?
We’re in uncharted waters here. As a nation, we’ve never encountered anything quite like the coronavirus. Balancing civil liberties and public health is a delicate tightrope act. Much as I dislike Governor Inslee’s March 23 Stay Home/Stay Healthy order, I’ve complied. But I would’ve preferred that the guv asked Washingtonians to stay home, rather than issue a royal edict.
Perhaps more problematic than said edict is Inslee’s snitch line:
Violations of the Governor’s Proclamation
Governor Inslee has issued several orders including the Stay Home-Stay Healthy proclamation, 20-25, prohibiting people from leaving their home or place of residence except to conduct or participate in (1) essential activities, and/or (2) employment in providing essential business services. If you have concerns and would like to report suspected violations of this order, please follow these guidelines…
That’s something right out of Kafka.
There’s also been tons of bum information regarding the role of law enforcement related to the guv’s Stay Home order. So here’s a link to the March 24 statement by the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs on the matter.
Also, what’s up with closures of state and national parks? Excuse me? Most people I know who frequent these places aren’t looking to hang with the herd. They want to get away from the crowds. Soak up some solitude. And they’re typically not just six feet away from the next humanoid. They’re often six hundred yards – or six miles – away.
As far as park entrance fees and parking are concerned, the first could be handled on-line. Digital passes don’t require any person-to-person contact. Crowded parking lots? Just cone off every other space. Eliminating access to hiking and outdoor recreation as part of a Stay Home order makes zero sense.
Know what else makes no sense? Selectively targeting churches and churches services for discrimination. Hi, Kentucky. When liquor stores and pot shops are deemed “essential businesses” but churches aren’t, we’ve just wandered through the Looking Glass, Alice.
One other point: “Conservatives” who willfully, intentionally, and deliberately refuse to comply with “best practices” noted by medical experts, etc. aren’t “patriots.” They’re stupid. And selfish.
We’re dealing with a highly contagious, life-threatening virus here. And although Stay Home orders are majorly chafing and = government over-reach, so does ignoring best practices and risking transmitting a dangerous, deadly virus to others. So get over yourselves. Act responsibly. And grow up.
The latest in a long laundry list of hysteria surrounding the response to the response are the “sky is falling” prognostications of those decrying the recently announced “agreement” by the governors of Kalifornia, Oregon, and The People’s Republik of Washington regarding a “shared vision for reopening their economies and controlling COVID-19 into the future.”
I have some issues with that, too. But can we please lose the ridiculous argument that this “pact” is “unconstitutional” because it allegedly violates the Compact Clause of the U.S. Constitution? Article 1, Section 10, Clause 3 reads:
No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, lay any Duty of Tonnage, keep Troops, or Ships of War in time of Peace, enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State, or with a foreign Power, or engage in War, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay.
Claiming that a governors’ “pact” to re-open state economies is a violation of this clause is a major stretch. The Compact Clause has to do with states making treaties and alliances. Trying to torque the compact clause to fit the coronavirus/economic situation not only wrenches the plain meaning of the clause from its original contextual moorings, but from common sense as well. So knock it off. Cuz if you’re doing this, you sound like an idiot.
Furthermore, if you’re royally hacked off regarding the disruption of and/or threats to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness that have occurred during this pandemic, here’s an idea: instead of adding fuel to the hysteria fire with incendiary rhetoric and doomsday prognostications about the end of Western civilization as we know it, channel your time and energy where it belongs: into the next election and at the ballot box.