September 15, 2020

Hard Cases; Stealing Liberty

Timothy Birdnow

Masks are a slippery slope; if we let them force this little piece of cloth over our faces we will let them do worse. Readers of the Aviary probably understand that. But much of America does not, or they would be mad as hell about it.

Well, some people understand.

From the Federalist:

On Sunday of Labor Day weekend, former Olympian Kerri Walsh Jennings declared on Instagram her rebellion against mandatory masking. Jennings explained she had recently been inspired to resist restrictions more actively because "our freedoms won’t come back unless we are willing to push back and stand up for them.” She shared that her small act of pushback was to go to the grocery store without a mask.

Predictable condemnation ensued, and on Monday Jennings published a quasi-retraction she titled "Truce.” While Jennings repeated parts of the formulaic apologies typical of stars who incur the wrath of the mob, she didn’t capitulate entirely.

Her final comment voiced a very concrete concern. Jennings said she worries masks are "the potential starting point for so much more,” and that she "truly believes we are on the slippery slope of a mask mandate evolving into a vaccine mandate. That,” Jennings concluded, "scares the [fire emoji] out of me.”

Jennings is absolutely correct. Proponents of masking dismiss complaints about mandatory masks as the selfish whining of people who aren’t willing to put up with a small inconvenience for the greater good, but nothing could be further from the truth. Mandatory masking policies stifle the American spirit and are segueing us right into mandated COVID vaccines.

Masks set the stage, because they are an extraordinary intermediate step that Americans were — incredibly — willing to take. If Americans had refused to put a piece of cloth over their face to leave the house, the likelihood that the public would be willing to accept a mandated shot would be far lower.

And if you think it will stop with vaccinations you have another thing coming; governments are insatiable. Having tasted this power they will exercise it again and again and again - and the public will submit over and over, now that they have accepted the bit in their mouths. It's how horses are broken.

The author realizes this, I think:

Mandating a COVID-19 vaccine — either through a blanket edict or by making normal life impossible without accepting a vaccine — is far from improbable. The country is in the midst of a "crisis,” and when the world is off-kilter, savvy operators harness chaos to accelerate otherwise unlikely objectives.

Or, as has been attributed to Oliver Wendell Holmes "hard cases make bad law". Crisis drives despotism. A despot does not come and say "I'm going to steal your liberty because I want to tell you what to do" but rather finds a series of  crises, real or imagined, to panic the public into allowing him to fix the problem. America has been in an endless series of crises for decades now, and systematically we have been surrendering our liberties.

Would anyone have dreamed that we would have cameras feeding information on our movements to the government? That we would have the NSA processing data about our telephone calls or computer usage?  That even a guy running for President would have the CIA spying on him, and that the national security apparatus would attempt to bring his Administration down with a black op? But we built a police state-style system with the Patriot Act and other draconian measures to fight terrorism (rather than just stopping aliens who were suspicious from coming to America in the first place). It was the crisis that drove this. And now we have the crisis of Covid to empower government to force vaccinations, mask wearing, home arrest, etc.

When are Americans going to remember we were a free people?

Posted by: Timothy Birdnow at 09:38 AM | Comments (7) | Add Comment
Post contains 644 words, total size 4 kb.

1 Masks are truly a "slippery slope." What's more, there's a growing body of evidence that they just don't work. Here's a hard-hitting article from Townhall to that effect:

I am tempted to forward this Townhall article to my pastor and her husband. They are rabid maskers, although I did get a laugh out of them when I recounted having seen somebody in my neighborhood driving their car wearing a mask while being the only one in the car.

Posted by: Dana Mathewson at September 15, 2020 10:14 AM (tUvF0)

2 I'm not surprised about your pastor, Dana. A lot of black people are deathly afraid of germs; I guess it goes back to the old days when they didn't have money for doctors or medicine.

My wife used to work in an almost all black office; she was one of only two white people there. She said they washed all their fruits and vegetables. Now, that's not unusual as you should, but they PUT THEM IN THE DISHWASHER and ran them through a cycle with dish soap!  They wouldn't dream of touching food that was not so treated.

So I'm not surprised she's a big mask devotee.

Posted by: Timothy Birdnow at September 16, 2020 06:20 AM (izO9n)

3 Back in the early days of this pandemic I had occasion to meet Pastor and her husband, to exchange something-or-other, can't remember what it was except that it was something that could be handed through a car window. We live about twenty miles from each other and met in the parking lot of a Sam's Club roughly equidistant. When they got there, they were both wearing masks, I was not.

Now, I grant you that it is possible one of them may have been exposed to a possible COVID sufferer and wanted to spare the other, and I DID point out that this was in the early days of this "thing," when we knew less than we know now. But I wonder: were they wearing masks at home?

Posted by: Dana Mathewson at September 16, 2020 09:58 AM (RCaEL)

4 That is indeed truly crazy; if one was exposed they both were regardless of that stupid mask. And in the car?  I know a lot of people early on said they had people yelling at them as they drove past sans mask!  What fools we mortals be!

Posted by: Timothy Birdnow at September 17, 2020 06:24 AM (JKTWa)

5 We sure are. Well, the Democrat Party still exists, doesn't it? I rest my case...

Posted by: Dana Mathewson at September 17, 2020 09:20 PM (Xrkl6)

6 Consider, if you will, people like my wife (and my late mother) who are terribly sensitive to medications in general. For years my wife took her flu shots in two separate doses, and two years ago the first round nearly put her in the hospital, so she has sworn off taking them. Ditto for pneumonia shots (the last time she had one of them, she came down with pneumonia six weeks later, so I kidded her that she knew the shot worked). What will she do if they develop a COVID shot and she's told by the church where she works that she'll be required to get one? She sure doesn't want to get it, and frankly, neither do I (I don't get flu shots either).

BTW, she's an "at risk" person: in her early 70s and has COPD. Will such people be obliged to get the shots, one wonders? I'm in my late 70s, with mild Type 2 diabetes and take medication to control my blood pressure, so I'm at risk too.

Posted by: Dana Mathewson at September 18, 2020 09:29 AM (Xrkl6)

7 I fear she - and you - won't be given a choice. Nor will any of the rest of us.

I'm not an antivaxer, but I do know it can make you sick as a dog if you are sensitive to them. I never get the flu shot for that reason; I always get the flu if I get the shot.

And we don't know what this vaccine will do. Anyone remember thalidomide? It seemed so wonderful!  We may be killing or permanently injuring thousands, perhaps millions of people in our  quest to prevent something that sickens just a few thousand.

Posted by: Timothy Birdnow at September 19, 2020 11:06 AM (GAZD8)

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